Meditation: my perspective

Meditation! I have passed through many experiences of meditation practices and mindset. When I was in my youth, I was under the impression that meditation would give me superpowers. In the last years, twenty or so, I discovered that meditation, in its essence, is a technique to silence the thoughts of the brain which in turn would give clarity of thought by eliminating the impact of the physical and emotional factors that would causes noises to our thinking processes.


I have passed through many meditative habits and practices based on the beliefs I followed of the period.

The first meditative practice was the Christian prayer where I close my eyes and recite phrases that makes me closer to God. Based on this teaching, I was supposed to be reborn and given magical powers of speaking a new language. 13 years of practice and I did not feel any changes or satisfactions.

The second and third meditative practices were Islamic based. The first one was Doaa (the call for God to fulfill a desire I have by asking him directly). The second one was the Sufi practice of ziker (repeatedly mentioning the word “Allah” while moving the beads of a rosary where it is claimed that combination of voicing the word of Allah with the movement of the thumbs with the beads has a synchronizing effect on the overall personality and make the individual unique te with God.) both method did not work with me and found them useless.

The forth meditative method I practice was the Transcendental Meditation where you repeat a specific random word given to you by a “guru” in a silent meditative environment. A prolonged practice would lead to gaining some powers of leaving the body experience and flying (more hopping) which never worked with me.

My method

In late 90’s, I went through a severe mental exhaustion due to personal insecurity. None of the meditative practices eased up my situation. In one of my long drive, I recognized my brain is turbo working and an unlimited stream of interrelated ideas throughout the trips. It was going through a lot of “what if” scenarios and trying to figure the expected outcome of each scenario. I used to call this practice “the planning”. On my return trip, I recognized that none of the “what if” scenarios actually happened and that I have spend the two hours drive worrying about something that would not happen. So, the planning, was actually useless worrying. I spent few years trying to overcome this habit which now I recognize as a flavour of compulsive disorder. The breakthrough came when I watched the movie called “beautiful mind” about how a genius overcame his schizophrenic nature by ordering his brain to stop thinking about a recurring fear or idea. That’s when I recognized that one method to stop worrying is to forcefully order the brain to skip and idea and think of something else. I.e. take control of the thinking process. Later, i discovered that this is a variation of the worrying process and it does not help rest my brain, but a way to put the energy of my brain engine into shifting to new ideas (or worries) that I choose rather than the brain forced on me. One step. In the right direction of minimizing worries, but did not offer any peace of mind.

In another boring long drive, I started figuring out new ways to apply. I remembered the rhythmic breathing practices I was asked to do during all different meditations I practiced. I thought this could be a solution because focusing on breathing cycle eliminates the need to think of ideas. However, I devised my own variation. When I was learning to scuba dive, I was asked to free my lung from air to prevent my body to float. I failed miserably. So, during my drive, I tried to practice to elongate the period of keeping my lungs free from oxygen the longest period I could. Over a long period, I used to exhale all oxygen, keep my lung empty for as many seconds I can, at that point I would exhale further more and keep my lungs even do it again until by brain cannot take it anymore and force me a inhale deeply. That feeling was phenomenal. Feeling of relieve and control. After doing that cycle for 5 times, I notice my brain attained peace I never experienced before. My brain was free from all kinds of thoughts. I was in control, peacefully. The rest of my day was peaceful. And a new breathing technique was born that proved effective.

The breathing technique: for 5 seconds, i would slowly inhale as much as I can. Hold it for 5 seconds, then repeat this cycle of inhalation 5 times. Hold the air in my lungs for 5 seconds. Then exhale for 5 seconds nd hold it for 5 seconds. Repeat the exhaling cycle five times until there is no more air in the lungs. Once I feel I will die, I exhale further more one more time then wait for my brain to force to inhales. At the beginning, violently, but it became more controllable with the passage of time.

This gave my brain energy, clarity and the power to avoid worrying and just use its power I. What is happening now instead of worrying about the future.

The counting technique: sometimes, I would go through some planning or worrying mode when I am planning for a project. It natural. I needed another supportive method to help me direct my brain into productive line of thought. While watching some spiritual video, I stumbled into an effective thought controlling technique which is simple and powerful. Close my eyes, count depending from 100 to 0 focusing on the counting and reverting from any unrelated thought. Repeat from 30 to 0, then 20 to 0 and finally from 10 to 0.the first time, I nearly reached 60 and lost my line of thought. After a week, I was able to master the “decounting”” which gave me a full control of my thoughts. It works.

The combination of both techniques allowed me to put my thought process under control as a way of life without even having to do them, my brain is tamed. I lost all feelings of worry, fear, guilt feeling and I had peace of mind in a true meaning.

Does religion gives tranquility

I was asked: Is religion the only way to tranquility? I answered: No. People are different. I like to divide them into a spectrum that has three segment.

In the first segment, which is very short, belongs the “wise individuals” who use pragmatic reasoning in their dealing. They create their own tranquility by channeling their emotions and reasoning into constructive actions.

In the second segment, which is short as well, you find the Elite. These are individuals who use reasoning in a specific paradigm which they master its parameters. They find tranquility by focusing on clear well defined objectives with clear value set that help them so the can make the right decisions. They lose their tranquility when they are forced to shift to unexpected new paradigm.

In the third segment, which is by fare the largest, you find the commoners. These are individuals who are followers and need an external influencers to give them direction and makes sense. These individuals need a basic dogma, whether religious, political, racial, scientific, educational or a combination, to give them  a path towards tranquility. In this case, religion is the most successful tool in providing a good level of tranquility)..

(Side note: The Elite exploit this basic human need to achieve their means whether in religion, politics, business, marketing, leadership and all other areas of life.)

What is the reason for this situation.

The answer is simple. It is the “WHY”. We, as a species, are driven by an instinct need to know the why of things. This is the single element that differentiate us from all other species.

Controlling Instincts 3: Qalam – The neuroscientific perspective

Since the 60’s, amazing discoveries in the study of the brain allowed us to get closer to understanding how the brain functions. It started with the concept of brain plasticity which proved that brain growth and development is a long life journey which debuct the misconception that brain stops growing at a certain age.

The next breakthrough was in the 90’s when it was discovered that the brain reached its full structural developmental of its basic set of synopsis around the age of 3 after which it loses half of its synopsis after that age. Still, with what is left, we develop the necessary intelligence to surpass all other species intelligent abilities.

In the last decade or so, brain scanning allowed scientists to study how the brain work in real time that helped them to understand the impact of each sensory experience on brain activities.

These discoveries made the scientist understand when synapsis are formed and enhanced following each sensual and emotional experiences. There are some strong evidences that built-in curiosity basics synapses are activated early in the childhood that entice the children to discover the world around them to make sense of it. It starts simple then complex with a boast around the age of 5 during the “why” asking stage which all children go through. I believe this resembles the qalam we are discussing in this series.

It is worth noting that the study of the brain, neurosciences, and the discoveries of the DNA are still primitive and there are a lot of work required to prove this argument and identifying the DNA strand responsible for the qalam.

Related References

For simple read, check Popular Science. Special Edition, Your Brain. 2018. New York: Time Inc. Books.

Purves, D., et al. (2018). Neuroscience. International 6th Edition. Signature Oxford. ISBN-10: 160535841X; ISBN-13: 978-1605358413.

Controlling Instincts 2: Qalam – The anthropological perspective

As mentioned in the first part, the Controlling Instinct model posits the existence of  a basic instinct that bridges the gap between animal instinct (DNA engraved instincts) and human instincts (brain evolved instincts). This instinct facilitates the development of advanced cognitive powers characteristics of humans. In the evolution ladder, this instinct appeared with the a specific hominoid species that resulted in the emergence of the sapiens.

Does science support this position?

Anthropological Perspective

In anthropology, there is ample evidence that something happened, few hundred thousand years ago, that developed the brain of the homo species which resulted in the emergence of the thinking species. Most theories attributes this jump to the discovery of cooking by fire. Eating cooked food, especially meat, helped divert most of the digestion energy to the other organs of the body especially the brain. Providing such increased energy to the brain allowed it to create a bigger organ that was able to develop new synapses other species do not have. The brain has the ability to develop beyond the norm.

However, this sudden supply of energy did not create the qalam, that is the ability to develop knowledge and dynamic cognitive powers. Another factor had to play a complementary role. This factor is the premature delivery of babies, compared to other species. Homo sapien’s brain continue it development outside the womb while all other species are born with almost matured brain. Harari calls this “homo sapiens are born with half baked brain”. This means the brain continues growing and developing following triggers by sensory observations and experiences of the real world.

Here is the explanation. The increased size of the brain created a problem and a solution. The female hominoids with an evolved DNA responsible for the enlarged brain could not deliver the mature fetus because their womb and cervix could not handle the passage of such enlarged and advanced partially developed brain like other species. As anthropologists puts it, most mother died upon delivery, few weaker mothers dropped their fetus prematurely. Few of these premature babies survived but they needed to complete the development of their brain outside the womb.  Neurologists, as will be presented in the next section, say that the complete development of the brain takes around 3 years after birth to form the necessary neurons and the interconnecting sybapses. This means, the brain was growing and being developed while the baby/toddler is experiencing real life interactions through their 6 senses (5 being the known senses while the 6th is the emotional experience). This interaction at such an early stage allowed the brain to create new synapses that other species did not posses. One outcome of this evolutionary development is having a superior plasticity of the brain that let it grow based on sensual experiences at a level no other species could achieve. This is the qalam.

So, in anthropology, there are ample evidence that something happened that shifted a specific species from being owners of slow developing brain to incredibly flexible and adaptable brain that continuously change based on sensual incentive.

Next, neuroscience perspective.

Related References

Harari, Yuval Noah; Vintage (2014). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

Wolpoff, M. H.; Spuhler, J. N.; Smith, F. H.; Radovcic, J.; Pope, G.; Frayer, D. W.; Eckhardt, R.; Clark, G. (1988). “Modern Human Origins”. Science241 (4867): 772–74.


Control Instincts – 1 : the beginnings

Controlling Instincts (CI) is a term I coined that defines the behavior of an individual in every day life.

I started thinking about this concept in 1998. Ever since, my perception evolves with every new field I study, with every interaction I have and with every new scientific field that emerges..

My initial ideas were influenced by the works of Tofler and the likes who looked at evolution as a movement from agrarian mentality to industrial then Information Age, as well as, by the new field of positivity psychology that looks at human psyche through constructive lens.

Recently, my last iteration was influenced by 4 fields of knowledge Which I have been researching in depth since 2011. Some of them are emerging sciences, like neuroscience and quantum physics. Others are well rooted, like anthropology and religion. In addition, I am constantly influence by numerous individuals and concepts that I face day after day.

I feel my brain has switch its cognitive power to try to reflect and analyze every act I face on a daily basis to synthesize a new branch of the CI model and add value. This means, the idea is a dynamic concept that continually evolve with every incident I face.

I have interacted with many thinkers trying to find ways to refine it. I have interacted with many laypersons to validate my discoveries and to minimize any blind spots in my argument. Moreover, I have applied the model in different fields of life with a considerable success. I applied it in management, leadership, education, politics, virtual collaboration, child upbringing, to name a few.

I was planning to put all my findings in a doctoral research which unfortunately, due to a personal disaster, I had to drop it. More about this in due time.

So, this CI model gives me a good tool to look and understand people and life and it helps me to cruise my life smoothly despite turmoils. Above all, it allowed me to make a living by using its parameters in many of the projects I have undertaken since 1999. With a good level of success I may add. I feel now is the time to share my ideas with the world instead of keeping it to myself because I stopped looking for money.

In a nutshell

The CI posts that humans has two (maybe more) groups of instincts. The two basic groups are the animal instincts and the human instincts. We are born with the animal instincts (like drive for survival, eating, having sex, etc…) that are built in our genes at birth. Then we develop the human instincts as we grow. Like guilt feeling, curiosity, bravery, fear, abstract conceptions etc… Psychology terms them as subconscience drivers.

In my model, the animal instincts are engraved in the DNA, while human instincts are developed in the brain as we grow. Some human instincts are so rooted in the conscience they appear to be unchangeable while some animal instincts, or DNA instincts, could be masked by human instincts to eliminate its effect. For example, fasting is a mechanism to curb or tame the animal instinct of hunger. While gluttony is a human instinct that amplifies the same hunger instinct.

The Qalam

There is one basic instinct that triggers the creation of human instincts and evolve them to become the human cognitive power. I cannot classify it as an animal instinct because animals don’t have it although it acts like one. This instict drives the development of all future human instincts. I like to call this instinct the “qalam”.

ZQalam is an instinct that differentiates us from animals. Basically, This “qalam” is (I believe) is a DNA based instinct that triggers brain activity that drives our curiosity and give us the instinct of the need to discover. It converts observed experiences into knowledge, abstract and or emotions in a very complex interrelated mental, cognitive and brain activities.

At the moment, I cannot tell when this kicks in in our life. But there are many studies that hints that the first 3 years of the life of a baby has a tremendous effect on who she becomes. It could happen sometime early in that phase of our life. This qalam is the instinct that makes the child recognize communication and then develop the ability to talk and comprehend. It is the instinct that makes the toddlers ask “the why” at an early stage of their being. It makes them formulate a way to interact with their parents and surroundings. It is the instinct that makes them human.

Do animals have this instinct? Maybe some has it in a primitive form. I yet need to find out.

The qalam drives the human to develop further human instincts. Like appreciation of time, role in a society, being dependent, independent or interdependent, the feelings and emotions that drive and formulate individual’s habits and attitude. All of these start at a very early stage of life. (I have done research that shows the experience babies face in the first few months will impact their eating instincts and their feeling of security).Further observations made me realize that most of the instincts we practice in adulthood are attributed to values little toddlers were exposed to in early ages. So, the social and cultural experience exposed to toddlers at early age go through the filter of the qalam instinct to form the human instincts that control the attitude of an adult.There has been many studies that talk about the impact of the first three years of a child. Some scientists are adamant that the impact of these 3 years is everlasting. Others argue against it. I agree with both. I will explain why in a due time.

Next: why humans have the qalam instinct? Are there any scientific proof to that? Anthropology, neurosciences and the theory of evolution provide some answers.

Triad and Religion: Questions about Trinity and Cognitive Triad?

A quick question: Does the Christian trinity relates to my 3 cognitive powers (internal, external and abstract)? Is the Holy Spirit the recognition of the Internal? Is the Father the recognition of the abstract while the son the recognition of the external physical reality? Did Jesus try to tell the followers to stop following the “religious line of thought” and endorse the philosophical line of thought (i.e. start thinking for oneself rather than following elder teaching)? Was it the real message of Jesus? Was his original message distorted to mean the holy trinity by wise men/woman who wanted to simplify it to the masses?

Many questions I am still looking for answers.

Triad and Religion: The Lenses

This is a continuation of the Triads I have been working on. Influenced by the ideas of Shahroue, I tend to look at religion through two different lenses that give two different perspectives about religion. One lens is the lens of beliefs based on human interpretation of the religion. The second lens is the lens of our today’s knowledge of the universe based on scientific discoveries.

For example: Satan is mentioned in many religions as the advocate of evil and the archenemy of God that drives us at a subconscious level to send us to hell. This is based on the first lens. If I want to use the second lens, I would use recent discoveries in psychology, sociology and neuroscience to say that Satan is the inner controlling instincts that drive us to do what we do not believe it is right. In psychology, this is the Id. So, in this lens mapping exercise, the Stan of religion is the ego of sciences.

Accepting this premise, re-reading religious beliefs would result in a new understanding of religion that matches sciences discoveries. This will be addressed in another post about the 2nd Lens interpretations of religion.

One note: Id, Ego and Super-Ego is a triad… are they related to my triad? Another thinking exercise.

Triad: Internal, External and Abstract

Another cognitive triad I have been contemplating is type of knowledge an individual has. I have recognized in me three different types of knowledge:

Internal Knowledge: That is the ability to know thyself. Especially, the controlling instincts that drives your values, actions, attitude feelings and extra-sensory perceptions (like pain, hunger, anger, etc…)

External Knowledge: That is awareness of knowing the universe outside yourself. This includes intrapersonal knowledge, knowing the physical world (space, time, science).

Abstract Knowledge: The knowledge of the non-existing realities like sur-real, time-space warps, the infinitesimal small and large, created and compounded realities, etc…).

Triads: Religion, Philosophy and Science

In the last year, I have been interested in defining life through triads related to cognitive powers. I still don’t know why I am driven by threes. Am I influenced with the Trinity? Time will tell. Here is the first of these triands.

Influenced by Russell’s school of thought, I find that our cognitive powers differentiate between three levels of knowing that would classify people’s attitude towards understanding life: Religion, Philosophy and Science. (Note: later, I refined it to faith, reason and empirical observation. More to come).

Religion is the knowing based on belief where reason and thinking have a low role in the process. In most cases, the derived knowledge is virtual. It is a state where individuals follow the thought of others blindly even when it defies reason).

Philosophy is the knowing that depends highly on reason and thinking. It is not necessary observable or testable. Opinion and personal knowledge has a role although it tries to use facts more than religion would do. It is a personalized knowledge building based on premises developed by the individual. These premises undergo processes of reasoning to build up the knowledge structure of the individual.

Science is the knowledge based on observable and repeatable facts or on mathematical formulation. It has one premises which is the empirical scientific method. An individual of this type are ready to change their knowledge based on the results of the experiment of the mathematical derivation.

Humans have different varieties of cognitive reliance in each area. In my case, the below chart demonstrates how I perceive my cognitive. The chart is not conclusive, but it was developed partially bases on religious belief (what I believe how I see myself), partly philosophical (how I think my powers related to each other) and partially scientific (where I use number 5 as my scientific power then compare the other two cognition to it):

[image not displayable by Word Press The values are: Religion=3, Science=5, Philosophy=7]

Will the future prove me that there are more? I don’t know. But for now, it is a triad. (Note: later, the idea moved from a triad to a continuum where faith/religion is at one end, scientific/empirical is at the other end and reasoning/philosophy is somewhere in the middle).

Raising Children: Principles vs Values

In a recent discussion about wisdom in life made me articulate a raising method I applied with my son: During childhood, teach them principles, and not values. Let them choose their own values. When they become adults, they can make up their own principles if they wish.

In my case, the principles I enforced on my son were:

1- Make mistakes. But never make the mistake twice.

2- Spend money that you earn. When you earn money, put 20% for retirement. 20% for risky business. Enjoy life with the rest.

3- Never let your brain power go to sleep. That is, don’t get drunk. Don’t use drugs.

4- Never be involved in death situation. Neither yours nor others.

When we focus on principles rather than values, we give our children more independence. We do not transfer our baggage to them. We free them from living our past. We allow them to see life through their own eyes, their own experience and their own strength. We create children who lives their present and focus on their future rather than kids who are bugged by the past of their ancestors.

It has only one draw back: your kids will be independent when you grow old and you might be lonely when you cannot take care of yourself. But parenthood has to choose the wining sacrifice. And seeing your kids progressively happy deserves all prices.

Airplane Mussings: Cloud and Education

I am stuck in the airplane on YMM runway waiting to head to Calgary. Apparently the captain cannot see his way due to heavy fog. While waiting for one hour, I interacted with some LinkedIn articles and I’d like to record my thoughts here.

1. There is a move against cloud computing. I agree with the reasons (i.e security and cost of tracking confidential information on the uncontrolled cloud). However I disagree on the perspective. Cloud computing provide considerable savings (through effective real time collaboration and platform free potential and geo-independence), so, I think the shootings should not aim at the Cloud technology but at the security standards and the controls implemented in the IT world. COBIT et al should start revamping their security codes to accommodate for cloud potential. I will raise the issue on the right platforms once I return.

2. There is a talk, at least in LinkedIn circles, that we should revamp the use of technology in education. I agree as well, but, again, from different perspective. I think it is time to reengineer education itself to meet modern technology advancement rather than modify technology to meet old traditional educational models. It is time to move education from the “outdated” Industrial Age perspective (I.e. Mass production, one-to-many teaching, social/economic focus philosophies) into a more modern, post knowledge age mentality (I.e. Collaborative individual growth, Many-to-many learning, individual focus, connected knowledge..). There has been a lot of good reforms ideas and forward going attempts. However, in my opinion, education circles should reframe and reengineer education by visiting and redefining the principles upon which should drive the reform, then work on the values (the set of whys). The principles of the industrial age educational system focused on meeting socio-economic goals first, then mould the individual to meet these goals. The principles of the post knowledge educational system should focus on the individual first, then the socio-economic factors. In my opinion, which I will do a research to prove it, this will yield a happier work force, increased productivity , improved economical results. And since the workers are happy, the society will face prosperity.

Let’s see if I am right.

FBE: How to raise our children

In respond to one of my Facebook acquaintances who wrote:

As parents (or future parents in my case at least) we should understand that religious indoctrination is nothing more but child abuse. 

We are essentially cutting off diversity by imposing our thoughts over the new generation’s thoughts. Thus harmful to us all, by attacking the evolution of human mentality and “teaching” them things like young-earth creationism and that homosexuality is unnatural and purely a choice. 

Alternatively, we should teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with us. In my opinion, even the most intense religious indoctrinations can be overcome.

I replied:

You are absolutely right. We must be careful not to make your approach another “intellectual” indoctrination and indirectly influence on our children our “liberal” points of view. For this reason, it is essential to bring them up on “Mustapha’s Premises on Steroids”: we should prepare them to learn, unlearn, relearn and to think collaboratively (the steroid) at a very early age. This could be achieved in promoting the values of flexibility, adaptability and tolerance. Then let them build their own personality, as you said, through thinking [collaboratively with others] for themselves. Once they reach this stage, then they are free to indoctrinate themselves in any paradigm they choose. This is the “food for thought” I fed my son. 

PS: 1. To clarify collaboration vs cooperation. Cooperation is synergy among individuals of the same paradigm. While collaboration is synergy among individuals from different paradigms. 
2. Thank you, Mustapha Hamoui: for enticing this discussion. Valuable thoughts.

Breakfast in Amesterdam

I had a delicious breakfast in Amsterdam this morning. I discovered few new tricks that would add gourmet flavour to common breakfast food:

1- for scrambled eggs, add a dash of French dressing (mustard based) and the eggs will taste energizing.
2- sauté half tomatoes and when done, melt a thin slice of Swiss chess on top, a drop of lemon and a dash so salt! Heavenly
3- on a slice of herb cheese, put small diced mushroom (sautéed with butter) and dash of pepper then roll and eat…
4- instead of putting mushroom in the scrambled egg, separately sauté them with butter and have them on the side of the eggs… To replace the potatoes…

All the above are delicious and fulfilling without ruining the all protein diet…

I love Amsterdam!

Education drives for success but not (necessarily) happiness

This is a phrase I used today in a meeting. Education tries to help an individual to become successful in his life by giving him the right tools, habits, attitudes, knowledge and skills he needs to succeed based on what the curriculum thinks are needed. In most cases, these needs are determined by socioeconomic factors like market studies or government driving polices and guidelines. However, if the individual is not competent in any of these skills, there is a tendency in education to force the change and in many cases deform the abilities or potential of the individual. For example, if the market opportunity requires Math competency while the individual does not have it, education tends to either force him to learn it through hard methods (from the individual perspective) or tag him as incompetent with every psychological load such tagging holds.

It is time to focus on student happens when thinking about individual success.

Cloud, IT Security, Education and grounded aiplane

I am stuck in the airplane on the runway waiting to head to Calgary. Apparantly the captian cannot see his way due to fog. While waiting, Interacted with some LinkedIn articles and I’d like to capturethe thoughts I exchanged.

1. There is a move against cloud computing. I agree with the reasons (I.e security and cost of tracking confidential information on the uncontrolled cloud). However I disagree on the perspective. Cloud computing provide considerable savings (through effective real time collaboration and plaform free potential and geo-independence), so, I think our attack should not aim at the Cloud technology but at the security standards and controls implemented in the IT world. COBIT et al should start revamping their security codes to accommodate for cloud potentials.

2. There is a talk, at least in LinkedIn circles, that we should revamp the use of technology in education. I agree as well, but, again, from different perspective. I think it is time to reengineer education and take it from the Industrial Age perspective (I.e. Mass production, one-to-many teaching, social focus philosophies) to a more modern, post knowledge age mentality (I.e. Collaborative individual growth, Many-to-many learning, individual focus). There has been a lot of good reforms and going forwards attempts. However, in my opinion, education should reframe and reengineer education by visiting and redefining the values (i.e. the whys) of its value set.

For example,this article is written in wasted time while at the airport (so cloud t has great advantages) and the information :I learned: to write in thI am stuck in the airplane on the runway waiting to head to Calgary. Apparantly the captian cannot see hisway due to fog. While waiting, Interacted with some LinkedInarticles and I,d like to capturethe thoughts her.

1. There is a move agains cloud computing. I agree with the reasons (I.e security and cost of tracking confidential information on the uncontrolled cloud). However I disagree on the perspective. Cloud computing provide considerable savings (through effective real time collaboration and plaform free potential and geo-independence), so, I think our shootings should not aim at the Cloud technology but at the security standards and controls implemented in the IT world. COBIT et al should start revamping their security codes to accommodate for cloud potential.

2. There is a talk, at least in LinkedIn circles, that we shoot revamp the use of technology in education. I agree as well, but, again, from different perspective. I think it is time to reengineer education and take it from the Industrial Age perspective (I.e. Mass production, one-to-many teaching, social focus philosophies) to a more modern, post knowledge age mentality (I.e. Collaborative individual growth, Many-to-many learning, individual focus). There has been a lot of good reforms and going forwards attempts. However, in my opinion, education should reframe and reengineer education by visiting and redefining the values (a the whys) of Ll its value set.

[For example, this article is written in the wasted time while at the airport (cloud has great advantages) while the information ‘I have just learned’ that made me write this article was based on interaction with many entities on the internet (whom I do not know most of them) which is a sort of many-to-many individualistic learning.]


Believers and Knowers in Islam

The discussion about the “dependent thinkers” and “independent thinkers” enticed me to put it in the framework of Islam.

The Quran, to some extent, classify people into categories: believers, knowers (3alem), mushrek (believes in more than one god) , mol7ed (does not believe in god), and  so on.

As I mentioned in my previous post, believers are dependent thinkers. The Quran values one specific group of believers and not all. Specifically, the “believers who do not get astray from linking to God”. Those are promised happily eternal life. Consequently, the believers who get astray of linking to God are promised miserable eternal life.

On the other hand, the Quran glorifies the knowers. Those who create their own knowledge through the use of faculties of the brain. In fact, the very first moslem as mentioned in the Quran, i.e. Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham) is considered to be the first Muslim because he believed in God through reason. Notice: believing thru reason!. Merger of belief and science! The Quran glorifies the “independent thinkers” far more the “believers”. For example, as mentioned, the first independent thinker in history is the first muslim. There an aya in the Quran that states explicitly that we cannot compare the “knowers” with the “unkowers” (aka believers) in stature (Wa hal yastawi al lazen ya3lamoon wa al lazen  la ya3lamoon). Another aya explicitly states that God “yakhsha” (i.e. owe respect) the knowers from among his followers (Wa la yaksha allahu min 3badihi ila al 3olama’).

Unfortunately, modern Islam, in both its Shiite and Sunni versions, valuee believers and believing overs knowers and reason. In clear contradiction to the will of God as presented in the Quran.

Later, I will support my Quranic references with exact aya and sura,


Dependent and Independent Thinkers

In a dialogue I had with couple of my dear community, we reached to an interesting concept that can direct  the way we raise of children. We have noticed, as parents, that our action and attitude towards our kids can promote one of two types of thinkers: the dependent thinker who strive to collect their thoughts, ideas and knowledge by absorbing them from others. The independent thinkers is those who create their own ideas by themselves through observations, interactions and reflections and they do not wait for others to show/dictate/ them how.

Relating the above to sociological dynamics, the first type, i.e. the dependent thinkers, are the “believers” who follow tradition and the norm of their community of practice or culture. The second type, i.e. the independent thinkers, are the “scientists” who rely on observation and analysis of patterns around them to create their own understanding the parameters of life.

Unfortunately current religious practices, especially in Islam, convert the believers, or the dependent thinkers, into a lower form of thinkers. Al Jabiri calls then: the resigned thinkers. I.e., those who disassociate reality from reason completely and just follow what the usually devious elders to set the route of life for them.

Creating independent thinkers happens when parents get  less involved in the upbringing of their kids between the age of infancy and toddler-hood. By letting them free to discover their world on their while providing: love, support and a set of values that governs their principles.

In my case, the set of values I provided my son during his youth were: (1) Don’t spend money unless you earned  it, (2) Don’t get involved in any act the render your reason faculty useless, (3) Don’t be involved in activities that might result in loss of life and (4) Make mistakes, but never do the same mistake twice.

Reflecting on my son, I find that he has added many values to the  above set. If I choose one from his set to add to mine, it would be: (5) Be compassionate.


Journal Week 3

I am reflectively sitting in-front of my old computer firmly placed on the tall table in my spacious room while I am glaringly looking through the tinted window towards the massive park adjacent to my house. thoughtfully admiring its tall trees.

Journal Writing Week 2

Red=nouns, Blue=pronouns, Green=adjectives:

I am sitting in-front of my old computer placed on the tall table in my spacious room while I am looking through the tinted window towards the massive park adjacent to my house. admiring its tall trees.