Wikipedia… again

I am falling in love with Wikipedia… I am finding very fulffilling… I am averaging 5 articles per day between English, Arabic and French sites… it is great…

Besides its ease of use, the magnificent concept of just write anything, how other interact with my sites and how those little bots work to fix my errors and to populate my site with categories, language translations, correct common spelling and grammar mistakes are thrilling… I love it…

Why I am feeling this? This will be another blog… for now, I am enjoying my contribution to the knowledge of the world… and I am impressed with myself for I am able to take a neutral stand even in areas that I have strong opinion… magnificent

Age

Recently, my body is telling me I am getting old. My brain still rejects the idea. But my body is not responding to what the brain is telling it. I still hope I can control my body… I am trying, but not succeeding. I hope I am wrong and that it is just a phase.

Wikipedia

I have spent 3 hours writing an article about the genealogy of my family on Wikipedia… I was hoping that we can collaborate with relatives from all over the world to rediscover our roots…. in less than 10 minutes, my article was removed by TheEgyptian because family references are not permitted on Wikipedia… this made me furious at the beginning because it was a total waste of my time. But after drinking a cup of coffee, I was really impressed how fast the Wikipedians ensure that the content of their website is accurate.

Simply: Impressive.

Now, I am investing sometime installing TikiWiki on this site to permit our family members to create their own Wiki pages and enrich our family tree.

Professionalism and Logic

… just one example of the creeping evil of Professionalism, the control of aspects of society by cliques of insiders…
— Ted Nelson

I had a lengthy chat with a colleague who is facing major problems at work. He has all the logic on his side. He has the facts clearly defined and they truly support his point of view. However, he is fighting a losing battle because he is losing on the professional front. This made me think of few concepts: what the hell is fact, logic and professionalism? Are we taught the wrong concepts?

First some anecdotes came to my mind: We create “elegant” words to disguise vice and convert them to virtues. For example, “efficiency” is an elegant laziness. Politics is a disguise for deception. Diplomacy is elegance in lying! This made me think, is Professionalism an elegant disguise for unfairness?

I am just wondering!! I hope this concepts materializes into some meaningful formula.

Some famous quotes that addresses common sense which I will use in future blogs:

Professionalism has no place in art.
Jamie Zawinski

Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence
Joseph Wood Krutch

Logic: an instrument used for bolstering a prejudice
Elbert Hubbard

I see Professionalism as a spreading disease of the present-day world, a sort of poly-oligarchy by which various groups […] can bring things to a halt if their particular demands are not met…
Ted Nelson

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.
Albert Einstein

Google Chrome

I installed Google chrome on my computer and found it useful. Its “chromless” concept which give a wide space for browsing is a nice twist on words and concept. Their instruction book is amazing. It sells many concepts at the same time… notice how they introduce all the members of the team that worked on the project. Having each tab the ability to work independently will improve the reliability of the web applications.

Still, it is not replacing my FireFox… the add-ins offered by FireFox are irreplaceable for me… so, I will wait until the Add-ons and extensions matures on the Chrome before I uninstall the Mozilla monster.

Google Chrome

I installed Google chrome on my computer and found it useful. Its “chromless” concept which give a wide space for browsing is a nice twist on words and concept. Their instruction book is amazing. It sells many concepts at the same time… notice how they introduce all the members of the team that worked on the project. Having each tab the ability to work independently will improve the reliability of the web applications.

Still, it is not replacing my FireFox… the add-ins offered by FireFox are irreplaceable for me… so, I will wait until the Add-ons and extensions matures on the Chrome before I uninstall the Mozilla monster.

Something Fishy

Signing of the North Agreement: Mr. Hariri, Prime Minister Saniora and Sheikh Minkara
Signing of the North Agreement: Mr. Hariri, Prime Minister Saniora and Sheikh Minkara
The North Lebanon powers signed a peace agreement. 30 years of hate and feud… now, they agreed on living in oeace. Why? Something fishy!

First: some indications.

(1) Egyptian authorities stressed that the situation in North is a cause for a civil war.
(2) Sarkozi and Ruler of Qatar criticized Syrian president, Bashar El Asad, that his comments about the instability in Northenr Lebanon are a violation to their agreement.
(3) Asad “authorized” the Lebanese army to move its strongest betallion from the south to the north.

Suddenly, Sheikh Saad El Hariri spends 3 days in the North to sign the accord. Would he be able to do it if the Syrian did not approve it? Did Sarkozi and Sheikh Hamad of Qatar push Asad to allow the peace to happen? Did Sheikh Harir know about this arm twisitng that made him choose this moment to make a move? Was Eid, the Alawite Leader, requested by Asad to sign the agreement?

Maybe. If this is the case, and since all the arms are still intact, will there be a renewal of feud in the near future?

Anyaws, the move was in the roght direction and for the good of the country. Clearly Hariri and Siniora emerged as winners… while Sheikh Monkara proved to be a sound leader… is he the next Mufti of all Lebanon?

Technology and Prediction

Today I had an interesting question from a friend that made me think in some new lights. Below is my answer (try to figure out the question.)

Dave: Actually, I have read the book and met the Author in a conference where he was challenging another author called Tapscott who talks about Wikinomics (the 4th wave.) Interesting read.

Your questions are more interesting.

1. The answer to the first part of the last one might answer the others: “wasn’t tech supposed to make life easier?” In my opinion, technology did: today, we work 8 hours a day, have a good income, have a good living standard, own a house, change our cars every few years, take a lot of vacation over a year and we can do more than what we would have done 40 years ago! We have better access to knowledge and we can communicate in real time with individuals that are far away… all of these advancement are caused by technology! Right? (Just try to imagine how your grand pa used to live when he was your age and compare it to today!) So, technology made our life better. Don’t you agree?

2. The market is controlling the technology development. Millions of technical gadgets are introduced every year… the market determine the winner… 2-3 years ago, the iPod was the market winner although other gadgets that were introduced… last year, the Wii took over the other similar products… the web over took over the Superhighway concept… the Internet destroyed the multi-billion “Satellite belt” project… I can numerate a lot… The fate of these technologies were determined by the market… In my opinion, the market and the global consciousness determine what technology should be developed. What do you think?

3. About the cellular phone example: you determine if you are important to use it. In my case, I preferred email over the phone… but that is because I am visual and not and auditory person. I am far more productive with an email than a phone. My wife is the opposite of me: she is extremely effective over the phone for she is an auditory person… A compromise: I use Blackberry to read my emails and my wife send me an email to pick up our grocery… we fight less… I buy the grocery just in time… can you see where I am heading?

4. About predicting future applications: we can predict to some extent. However, you need to know that you must add the human factor to the formula. To predict the wining technology, you must look for the users. For example: Du Chardin, predicted the creation of something like FaceBook in 1960’s… the world laughed at him… however, for his prediction to come true, the number of millennium individuals should have reached a critical mass and the right technology should have matured… this happened in 2006 and his prediction came true! Similarly, Drucker predicted something like the Wiki in 1980’s (he called it voluntary work in non-profit organizations) the corporate world could not understand him and figure out how people can work without being paid… Wikipedia fulfilled his prediction in 2004 when the people were ready! I can quote lots of such predictions likes this one… we just need to see them through the eyes of others and not our own!

Do I make sense?

I really enjoyed your email. It is the first time I prefer to answer an email than having my lunch… I hope we continue the discussion…

Passion

I was chatting with my employees and I was advising him not put his passion in his emails for it always come out to be wrong… the discussion lead to the concept of passion and if we should be passionate. He was in the learning mode… he was waiting for me to utter the words that he is ready to remeber for the rest of his life… it is one of the life changing moments… so I had to switch to the “life Experience Juice*” mode and uttered the following wisdom of the moment:

“You need to pick up your passionate beliefs that are worth fighting for… not the one’s that will waste your emotions into useless battles”… I admired my juicer that made me say these words. He asked me about my passionates… it was a moment of truth that made me reflect on my personality and figure out my passions:

“I am passionate about helping the people around me to be successful” is what I said. This is true… I discovered that I have that innate drive to help the people around me to discover their best and make them happy, content and fight for their betterment!

“I am passionate to let people use technology to learn”!

“I am passionate to bridge in cultural and paradigm differences between individual”…

I was so amazed of my self to summarize my passions… and to come up with a new to look at my life… Is this my Karma? Yet to find out…

* The “life Experience Juice*” mode is a mental state where I overcharge my intellectual power to make instant decisions based on pulling together all my submerged beliefs to be summarized in a meaningful phrase!

Fairness

One of my employees sent me a nasty email and requested seeing me. The email was long. Of importance is a paragraph that states that he feels he is being treated unfairly. The reason is that another employee, who he considers to be of a “lower species” is being paid the same salary.

It was an excellent discussion with him where I convinced him to look at that individual in a different way, consequently, change his mind and discover that he is over paid compared to the other person!

Anyway, the message I want to convey here is the concept of fairness. One comment that my “Life Experience Juicer” gave me is this phrase: “Feeling unfair compared to another person happens when you allow yourself to compare your strength to his weakness”. Wow, I was amazed about myself!. This has a lot of applications! When you hate someone… you look at his weakness and criticize him. To change your attitude towards him… search for his strength! Actually… mine for his strength… put the effort to see his goodness… I know my uncle told me this before: “We Eljamal, never say a bad word about anyone, we always convert their bad characters to positive comments…” I understood his words before… but now I have a different level of the meaning…

As I am blogging this instantaneous wisdom, I discovered I need to start a new habit: For each of my enemies… I need to find 5 good things about them… and I hope I will change my perspective about them…

About

You are now inside my brain… you will read thoughts that comes to my mind… they might root and become part of my personality or they will be dust blowing in the wind… time only proves.

Welcome to Anas Eljamal weblog. I use AboLuay as my cybername (it literally means the father of Luay… and Luay is my real son!). I am married to Sana who works in Leadership training besides running her CoffeeNews newspaper in Fort McMurray where we live.

About Me

The quickest way to describe myself is as a person who like to challenge the obvious to come up with a better understanding of life. My heart is in education and human growth while my brain is in IT and it intriguing applications. I an an open book and you can find more about me on my own website which outlines my experience; on FaceBook that shows you my daily activities (add me to your friends to see more of my life) and few other online places like twitter, wave, google, Wikipedia and MSN.

I have been working in education all my professional life. Different hats and different responsibilities. From the bottom of the education food chain (i.e. assistant instructor) to the top of the Chain (i.e. C.I.O.). Still, I always teach one course every semester just to stay close to the young mind. This helps me to understand the younger generation which allows me to offer them technology that is suitable for their emerging learning style.

You can find on the web my philosophies about work, leadership, Knowledge Technology, education and my favourite topic: Controling Instincts.

My Present Work

Presently, I am working as a Chief Innovations Officer at Keyano College in Northern Alberta. My role is to work with the college on introducing new educational paradigms that suits the learning styles of the students of the area, meet the expectation of the market and above all prepare the graduates of the college to be successful in their future endeavors.

Why EDDL514?

I expect that the EDDL514 course help me evolve my philosophies about eudcation and technology to new levels that were not familiar to me.

My Belief-set

  • I challenge the obvious to reach a better understanding.
  • I prefer pragmatism over traditionalism
  • I believe in the rights of others to disagree with me in opinion, beliefs, values and choices. I struggle peacefully to keep these rights applicable.
  • I am proud that I change my opinion when I find a better one. Never surrender your right to convince me as long as you are wise, funny and light hearted.
  • I do not respect the beliefs of other only, I sincerely believe in what they believe.
  • I strive to learn and share… and to help others to discover their full potential to grow.

Paradigm Differences

Recently, I have been confused. I am struggling to reach the “wisdom” level… i.e. applying my knowledge! I am able to convey information, to learn and convert information to knowledge… but I am finding difficulty applying the knowledge (i.e. become wise!)

Why can’s I make this breakthrough? I understand the paradigm of others well… however I cannot use their paradigm to transfer my knowledge to them…

I hope I can solve this dilemma.

The 3 Management Styles

After attending an agile workshop, I came to a conclusion that there are 3 management styles:

 1- Traditional: which is based on the famous watefall approach. It is structured, sequential with a clear start and end. It is suitable for strategising and long term planning with a year as a basic unit.

2- Agile: which is shorter in nature, allows shifting of objectives when needed and always aligns itself to new initiatives. 30 days is a normal duration although shorter could be considered.

Both of the above methods neccessitates the face-2-face synchrnous meetings.

3- Wiki: is a new concept I like to start investigating. It is based on the famous Wikinomics book. Its premises is a derivative of the Agile Management, however, the teams may or may not know each other and they work in an asynchronous modes. The parameters needs to be identified.

The Bottom Line of the Conflict in Lebanon

What is happening in Lebanon? here is my theory:

First, you need to know little bit about Steven Covey’s theory of paradigm. He believes there are 3 paradigms: dependent (always rely on others), independent (rely on oneself) and interdependent (become productive by interacting with others, even those they differe with).

Lebanon struggle is a struggle between entities of the three types:

(1) Dependent: Amal, Syrian Socialists, Franjieh, Baathist are dependent. They cannot make their own decision. Always they have to follow someone else for their survival. Among them, Amal has a potential of being indepedent, but unfortunately, Berri is a fox who prefer to appear following Hezbolla/Syria because of fear.

(2) Independent: Hezbolla and FPM are independent. They truely believe they can achieve what they want without dependence on anybody. Even financially, Hezbolla can survive even if Syria and Iran stop supporting them! The problem with the independent is that they believe in “my way or the highway”. They cannot tolerate or understand those who differs with them for they have a strong conviction that their way is the only truthful way.
(3) Interdependence: The 14 of March guys have evolved to become Interdependent! If you look at all parties of 14M you will find that each one hates the guts of the other (Sunni against LF, Druze hates Sunni’s and Maronites, The democratic left hates the Future Movement capitalists! Jumayel hates Jeajea, etc…) but they decided to collaborate driving strength from their differences. This is interdependence.

In my opinion, the 1975-2000 civil war was the evolution of Lebanon from “dependent” to “independence”. The present struggle is evolving from  “depednent” to “interdependent”. If 14M prevails, Lebanon will grow in culture and history. If they lose, the evolution will be delayed.

In the same token, the US with Bush Administration is dependent. Europe is independent. Most of the Arab countries are dependent… except for UAE, where interdependence has been practiced since 1991 in Dubai, and 2005 in Abu Dhabi.