Saturday, December 27, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Saturday, November 8, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Can this be applied to learning? For instance, can teachers benefit from putting out custom curriculum that they write from their bedrooms? Better yet, can students benefit from asking the right questions on the web? The answers to these may lie in who we think are the "artists" in this situation: The teachers, or the students, or someone else?
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Harun, the protagonist's best friend and brother in law, has all the qualities Hasan wished he had but could not seize. In previous posts, I seem to think that this character is usually the enemy, the ante, the foe. But in Leo the African, the other is on the same side. Perhaps, then, the importance is not in which side the different perspectives support, but in the difference of perspective itself.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
"Comrade Nyerere is very much interested in education and public health. He is very interested in learning how we have faced the problem of illiteracy and the problem of educating our people. True, we did not have a situation as serious as Tanzania's, but it was serious in that in the early days of the revolution we had some 30 percent of illiteracy and almost 50 percent of the children were not going to school."- Fidel Castro on Julius Nyerere (13.19.22 – 14.10.99) and Cuba. Archive here.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Full article here.
User-centric design or just fast-food school?
Monday, September 15, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
A farmer comes home one day to find that everything that gives meaning to his life is gone. Crops are burned, animals slaughtered,Fantastic oration by James Spader, here and in many other monologues. Kinda reminds me of a post I wrote 6 years ago discussing heros and villians, and then a revisit on the topic 2 years ago. Also reminds me of Frank Costello - played by Jack Nicholson - in The Departed:
bodies and broken pieces of his life strewn about. Everything that he loved taken from him - his children. One can only imagine the pit of despair, the hours of Job-like lamentations, the burden of existence. He makes a promise to himself in those dark hours. A life's work erupts from his knotted mind. Years go by. His suffering becomes complicated. One day he stops - the farmer who is no longer a farmer - sees the wreckage he's left in his wake. It is now he who burns, he who slaughters, and he knows in his heart he must pay.
When you decide to be something, you can be it. That's what they don't tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?When it comes to binary oppositions, does it matter what the extremes are?
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Officially, this abbreviation stands for Terms of Reference. But I've seen it so many times in the development space that I now see it as an outsourcing tool. Which is OK, unless you're outsourcing the most interesting, audience - facing and practical part of your work. If that's the case, then what do you do exactly?
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Following this, CSR should be thought of as business as usual. Your primary product or service should be socially responsible. CSR should not be an afterthought, or charity.
Monday, May 26, 2014
I have such a hard time finding the right kind of help on design projects, not because it is not available, but because 80% of people's comments are useless. It feels like just because they had the facility to contribute to the discussion (ie: open commenting), they did in the most bland way possible, thus increasing scroll time, shortening patience and serving no value to the reader whatsoever.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Perhaps it's not just about economic transactions, but more about revolution across the board. When the political, economic and social status quo is so entrenched in thinking X, but a new way of thinking Y has far reaching consequences on this status quo, then perhaps the only way is through force.
It's important to consider different forms of force here: Through written or pronouned words, produced sounds, or through physical action. I meant physical action for the majority of this and yesterday's post, but force may come in different ways. And along this line, force may come through natural as opposed to human interventions.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Particularly, one question: In any instance when a new way of transacting goods and services was introduced, was force necessary?
We could discuss market entry, but that would imply an assumption that there is a market in which people transact based on known and accepted methods. Today that means that cash and credit can buy you a good or a service. Barter could also do, but you may have to try extra hard.
But that assumption did not exist in 570 AD. Barter was a viable option, and so were other forms of currency which came from different lands. So in order for Muhammad to introduce a way of being - including a way of doing business that was based on a philosophy of why business should be done - there had to be some kind of significant shift in reasoning.
It's this significant shift I am contemplating now, particularly the methods by which the shift occurs. The section includes descriptions of the Nakhla Raids and the Battle of Badr, which were necessitated for various political, social and (my current interest) economic reasons. I'm not implying that the forms in which people transacted changed after these events, but the way in which they thought about transactions changed.
So, is force necessary when introducing a new way of transacting?
[Note for later: Highly undeveloped thoughts here. Need to fix.]
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Where you are pushed into a corner for a fault you have never been given notice of, how do you protect your dignity?
Where you and the people around you are consistently abused by the law which you try never to break, what law do you formulate to make sense of the situation?
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
On one hand, my friend and his supporters (myself included) contended that not all books can be delivered to one's doorstep given scarcity, and following this logic, the people who will come to view a book at a store in person are most deserving of the purchase.
On the other hand, people argued that we live in an age where home delivery is a premium service, and only those service providers who will deliver will survive. The rest, those who demand a customer to come to them, will lose out in the long run.
OK, so let's assume that every product and service was brought home to you. In this state of affairs, you need to be prepared to make wise choices, otherwise one of two things will happen, assuming that our need for stuff is never satiated: Either you will run out of money and into debt, or you will have too much shit lying around at home to make sense of.
Also, let's think about books compared to other products for a second. Books are a learning resource. Their returns can be quite larger (or smaller in that respect) than the money they are exchanged for. They are also many, many book titles out there, on many, many topics. So the opportunity cost of having the exact book you want delivered to your doorstep is the cost of going to the bookstore and having to browse through other titles similar to the book you want.
This is an opportunity cost worth taking up, rather than foregoing. Sure, this is my point of view, but I get where my friend comes from. Book stores ought to do anything they can to promote more people coming through them, otherwise I think we might end up with too many book lovers in debt because they ordered too much of stuff they didn't need.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
But in recent days, I have come to realize one important distinction between what is personal and what is business, and it has to do with the kind of people one interacts with. One's personal space may not - and in most cases does not - involve the same people as one's business space. Yet, one's business space is what keeps one's personal space happy and prosperous.
In this light, "it's not personal, it's business" has taken on new meaning for me. Sometimes, the personal needs to stay out of business, otherwise there would not be enough time or resources to satiate everyone's personal appetites. At the same time, the business needs to stay out of the personal, otherwise our private, intricate relationships would wither into calculated, emotionless transactions.
Some comparisons I played with:
One more thing: This reminded me of a previous post, Binary oppositions.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Here is an extract: "Life can be designed. Career can be planned. Happiness can be prepared. You should start planning now. When you are poor, spend less time at home and more time outside. When you are rich, stay at home more and less outside. This is the art of living. When you are poor, spend money on others. When you’re rich, spend money on yourself. Many people are doing the opposite."
This puts a lot in perspective for me, compared to the other works I've seen. Thanks, LKS and NM!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
What, then, should be expected of the number of stories? Is it proportional to the human population? Does it depend on the ability of storage devices (from caves to disks) to stand the test of space and/or time? And can some stories last forever?
Thursday, January 30, 2014
He had read some of the groups' work and mostly advised on writing logically. For example: No need to describe every detail and context as the story happens because that's not how humans typically live. The story should unfold just as our senses observe life unfolding. Tenses also need to be consistent... but I didn't quite understand that, and asked if all these "rules" around the logic of writing apply to poetry. He said some rules do but not all.
He did also say that if you cannot live without writing, don't write. I'll be thinking about that one for a while.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
To volunteer is to step outside the belief that immediate material returns on investment are the only reason to work. It is to believe in something larger than oneself, in a different kind of return to a different kind of investment. Contrary to popular discussion, volunteering is indeed an investment.
(Thanks Femima HIP!)
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
“Requesting such removals…seems at odds with the nature of an academic enterprise, in which the sharing of research information is an essential element.”Another article discusses the skew of research itself; that it is mostly based on the US, where there is an abundance of data available. It's a sad situation for the world's poor, who ironically need the implementation of all the cool things that academia finds out:
"The world’s poorest countries are effectively ignored by the profession. From 1985 to 2005 Burundi was the subject of just four papers."Two problems persist, and I have written about this before: Academia is not free for all, and its content is not about all. But, if academia is supposed to be a product of society and whose products are for society, then how did these problem arise?
Effectively, I would like Elimushare to deal with both these problems. The trick I think will be to make sure its design is akin to Tanzanian students. The web isn't always available to students... but is academia for students only, or does its implication touch the rest of the society as well?
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
First, that knowledge is manifested through the actions of mankind should be regarded as fact. That is, knowledge has physical implications. For example, the knowledge of how to build a car is manifested in the building of a car; the car is proof that a systemic plan (which includes its corresponding theories and all the experimentation around those theories to prove them as true) was executed. But knowledge itself is not physical. It exists first in the mind.
Second, whatever mankind's opinion, knowledge ought to be preserved. Even for "bad knowledge", future generations ought to understand the prevailing interests of past times. Otherwise, if knowledge from different points in time or communities is erased, then history is obscured. Using the example of building a car, how would the most efficient car of the time be built without evidence of past trials and errors around car-building attempts before? History is never written with an absolute 0 bias, but history is enriched with more information on the direction in which the bias slants.
By torching libraries, we burn not just ourselves but also the understanding people of the future will have of us.