Aboluay's (Anas) Musings

Capturing Thoughts Before They Perish

Aboluay's (Anas) Musings - Capturing Thoughts Before They Perish

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.]

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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.

MOOC: Online Writing Course

I have just started another MOOC course on Coursera about writing. I was amazed to discover they have outlined 5 types of online offering. I am wondering why a writing course talk about online teaching? But I found its information worth capturing:

Type 1: Traditional Undergraduate Level Online Courses: have a great deal of instructor to student interaction,  follow the course content of the face-to-face counterpart, not self-paced, follow along with the entire class within a designated time period, do activities with other members of the class, also limited in size.

Type 2: Traditional Graduate Level Online Courses: the student is much more self-directed, not self-paced, but there is more interaction among the students with the instructor in a facilitation role.

Type 3: Mass Open Online Courses (MOOC): The interaction with the instructor is limited, the instructor mainly participates through designing the course and offering its content. The instructor will also participate in some of the discussion activities and is usually assisted by peer tutors or teaching assistants. Much of the course is conducted with technology providing the evaluation through machine graded tests and assignments as well as the use of peer graded work. These courses may or may not be self-paced based on the content and the design and usually have hundreds or thousands of students from all over the world.

Type 4: Hybrid (sometimes called Blended) Distance Education Courses: These courses usually occur in the traditional college setting and are partially online courses.

Type 5: Flipped Classes: take place in face-to-face classrooms in many colleges and universities. They implement online content and activities as a major component of the course delivery. Instructors determine what content for the course can best be done by students on their own (watching video lectures, read, do tutorials, etc.) and what parts of the course the students usually need help with (writing essays, solving problems, creating projects, etc.). Students complete the work on their own online before coming to class to work with the instructor on the components that are best done with instructor assistance.

Courses with Proctored Testing: Many fully online courses require the students to go to a specific place to do testing. Usually, the site for testing is the college campus or an alternative sited agreed to by the instructor and the individual student. (This class has no proctored testing.) Student integrity is very important in distance education programs because the college has to be sure that their courses meet requirements of governmental agencies.” 

(Ross, Barkley & Blake n.d.)

Although I like this classification and it makes sense, i still find their definition of the MOOC type to be wrong, or at least, incomplete.

References
Ross, L. & Barkley, T., Blake, T. (n.d.) : Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade by Lorrie Ross, Lawrence (Larry) Barkley, Ted Blake. Coursera Course. Week 1. Retrieved from https://class.coursera.org/basicwriting-001/class/index

eNomad communication technology

So far, my telecommunication devices are not convenient. I carried with me a phone, iPad and a laptop. My iPad had a Bell data plan. It worked well in Canada but failed measurably in the US. I changed to Mobility Roaming, but was a disaster. slower than a snail. I found difficulty finding good wireless provider in the US. Most salesperson would not help a visiting Canadian to get a good deal for all they were trained on is getting a long term plan.

After three days of trial, and few states later, I was able to get a good deal from an AT&T guy in the outskirts of DC who just gave me a microSIM and said: set it up. It worked. I chose the 5G/$30 deal for it meets my need. Good deal. Speed is good. I’m satisfied.

This solution was suitable for most of my need. The annoyances include missing signals, non-coverage in most rural area. Loss of 4g coverage. The most annoying feature is the disconnections that happens with Google Latitude. It could not keep track of my location regularly.

One good feature of the AT&T is the massive number of WiFi locations across the US which includes (like Bell) Starbucks and McDonalds.

the iPad was a very useful tool for many of the tasks which I will cover later. For now, the AT&T and iPad is a good tool to complement the GPS. Additionally, it was not bad to keep connected with my PhD team and doing some of my PhD assignments.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Alexandria Bay,United States

3year olds and ideas

This idea came to me while driving to Yorkton… Based on Breuer’s 3 year idea, I am wondering if there is a relationship between being obese and the habit/attitude taken while being breast fed. For example, if the mother tends to start feeding the baby when she just cries as the first test to address the crying (before trying to figure out other causes )) would tend to make the individual eat even if the are full? Is there a relationship between being slim and the mother attitude to allow the child to cry for a while before feeding? Is there a relationship between eating habit if the mother followed a strict feeding regime whether the kid was crying or not… I wonder.

Maybe i should ask the elderly that I meet during my trip to see the relationship.

Maybe I should start with these two ladies.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Broadway St W,Yorkton,Canada

East to west trip


Here I started my next phase of using nomad technology. I have been traveling for two days now in my soul search and experiencing next generation technology. I am traveling from Fort Mcmurray to Montreal through the US to enjoy the beauty of North America, reflect on my next 5 years of my life and, most importantly, experiencing the eNomad life: that is, living and working anywhere, anytime, anyone ice and just in time. I had some mishaps so far, but I am converging to something thrilling. At the moment, I have reached Kenton on the border between Sakskatchewan and Manitoba on my way to Grand Fork, North Dakota which I am planning to stay for one night to finish my Sat PhD assignment.

So, the technology I am using is my car GPS, my iPad and a Bell G4 pay as you go plan. I am facing some hiccups with connectivity on the road. But McDonalds always come to saving me because of their free WiFi. I still have to figure out what I must do when I get to US.

So, from now on, I should be able to blog my thoughts and feelings as I progress. Hope it works.

P.S. the picture above is taken at Yokoton McDonald. The place I downloaded BlogPress app and testing it with this post.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Broadway St W,Yorkton,Canada