Friday, November 4, 2011

Cool, 99% Problems are solved ;)

Paul Zak's experiments have "Proved" that Oxytocin is the morality molecule...Cool, Let's celebrate as 99% problems are solved...Occupy Wall Streets protesters should demand for regular doses of Oxytocin to 1% rich people so they become generous and share their wealth with rest....Let's distribute oxytocin sprays/injections in areas where Al-Qaida and Taliban are active so they stop killing and instead help to make the world a better place to live; No suicide attacks and all are happy (Sorry Pakistan, for losing strategic depth and sorry Saudi Arabia for losing external arms :(....Most importantly, the jails should be closed as now it is possible to make criminals useful citizen by giving them doses of Oxytocin at hospitals. What about Paul's 5% bastards? (who do not respond to Oxytocin) Well, may be a simple solution be to give them some sort of identification so people could easily identify them and become careful dealing with them (It is a biological prejudice)...Wow, there will be great cuts in defense budgets, downsizing in police departments and more money for health, education and job creation... I think, I am running of imaginations so let me find someone and hug, to increase my oxytocin level to suggest more expected changes ;)

This claim is like, someone claims that Testosterone is love molecule because when testosterone levels are high, individuals feel passionate about their partners or individuals highly tend to fall in love when testosterone levels are high... As male's body produces ten times more testosterone so they are ten times higher at risk of falling in love than than female...This is just absurd....

Click the link below to watch Paul Zak's talk,

Paul Zak: Trust, morality -- and oxytocin | Video on

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Knowledge and wisdom

Have you ever wondered why Philosophy is love of wisdom instead of love of knowledge? Let me compare them and you will undesrtand, why? Knowledge increaeses fears. For example learning about diseases and their symptoms increase fear of diseases. Learning about fallibility of human experiences, reasoning and generalizations increase the fear of becoming wrong and makes one cynic. Learning about human impacts and limits of non- renewable reources increase fear of disastrous future. In short knowledge increase fear and it is the fear of losing that drive men for more knowledge in an effort to stop the losses. In other words men who learn knowledge live in state of fear and hope at same time.

OK, what about wisdom? Wisdom does not come from knowledge but from a thirst and an appetite for truth and of course knowledge is a tool for it. To elaborate it; the difference between a philosopher and a teacher is, a teacher teaches and a philosopher makes one thirsty. A thirsty seeks everywhere and enjoys on finding. So one gets knowledge from a teacher and become inspired from a philosopher.

How we know, whether we are seeking merely knowledge or wisdom? That is really simple, when one set goals, he is looking for knowledge and when one seeks because he can't live in dark, he is seeking wisdom. Of course, we all set goals but then have to face the fear linked to it, fear of not acheiving the goals or better to say, failure and even fear of setting wrong goals or fear of value; whether the goals really worth of our times and efforts?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We are moving towards age of intuition.

Whenever men wanted to step in a new or unwalked land, they have fancied about it. What men fancy may not match with reality but can't survive, if they aren't logical. Philosophers have used and called it thought experiment.
With the birth of classical Science, started the age of reason. A world quite predictable so long mythical traditions left the arena to give space for rapidly growing sciences. It was the time of dominance of "left hemisphere". Though both hispheres are connected and work side by side but the relationship were never have been of equal partners. Just as right handed people use dominantly left hemisphere and left handed people more of right hemisphere so is true about ages in human history. The period of reason or classical science was the period of left hemisphere but it seems and it seems very clear and strongly that we are heading towards age of intuition. So now we are heading towards dominance of right hemisphere.
Principle of uncertinty was one of the biggest challenge for scientists but now by having more in depth understanding of subatomic world, "chaos theory" and "entaglement" are taking root in the aciences. By rapid changes in technology, creativity is getting the biggest shares of market whether it is fictions, games, designs or movies. So unpreditictability is limiting the space for reason to make space for rapidly growing intuition.
The age of reason brought with it economical, social and political revolutions. The systems that have born out of these revolutions competed fiercely against each other. Two world wars and following cold war were bitter consequences of these competitions.
Now that we are entering into a new era, based on our historical experiences, the economical, social and political revolutions are expected. The Arab Spring, London riots, Occupy Wall Street movements and an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness over global economic melt down are preface of these revolutions. The most interesting thing about these new changes is that, unlike age of reason, they do not have intellectual backing. There is Marx nor the gang of Liberterian Philosophers to divide the world for their systems. There is two possibilities, either it is the nature of age of intuition to be anarchic and without any of its own system (unpredictable as it's nature is) or it is too young to have intellectual backing. Let see.......

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beyond persuasion

In ancient Greece, the difference between a sophist and a philosopher was;
a sophist was aimed to persuade and win debate while philosophers were aimed to go beyond persuasion to find truths. It was how sophists were distinguished from philosophers in ancinet Greece. The sophists were making money to teach the art of persuasion and rhetoric to people who were interested in politics and power.
Recently we have witnessed and are witnessing a widespread and global dissatisfaction with both ruling political system as well as economical systems. In fact these systems are winning systems of our time. Just hardly two decades earlier they were proudly declared the ultimate system for humanity and each nation had to evolve culturally and economically to become able to adopt them.Sooner the better. Even the nations were ranked based on their timing in adaptation of these systems and cultures are blamed for slow adaptation. In other words nations with poor culture were slow in adapting these systems. So sometimes "civilized nations" were feeling the need to help in civilizing nations that were inept and showing rigidity in adaptations. Of course sometimes doctors need to do surgery to help the patients. Well that was quite convincing and persuaded very well a lot of nations to westernize rather than to modernize.
Cambridge and Harvard as leading institutions of 'high cultures' were beating their chests for triumphant end of both sleepy spritual East and highly cynical Marxism. And then economical crises of US and Europe burst out of nowhere just to shock these leading institutions.
What they were doing all these years, busy to prove wrong Marxism (to win the debates) and to persuade world for liberterian system (politics and power) was all what ancient sophists were doing. Silently but with vigor we are seeing a lot of people are rereading Marx and are trying to prove that he was right (see still people tend and are interested in job of sophists to find reasons to prove who is right and who is wrong).
Isn't it time that these "highly civilized" and "elite scholars" wake up of their dreamful braggings and instead of insisting and wasting time for proving right and wrong think and look seriously to real problems? I think it is time to stop acting like sophists and lead like real philosophers. If you don't like the word philosophers then replace it by economists, political scientists and all those titles that one could brag louder with.

Love and lust

Love is a subject talked by all and yet undestood lest or better to say misunderstood the most. Love is the cornerstone of spirituality and intellectuality, doesn't matter the source . Buddhism, Christianity, Philosophy and others do not have much in common in terms of origin but none can stand without notion of love. So where lies the problem? Why it is lest understood? The reason is that emotions are blind and we think of love as formless and dimensionless feelings while it is not true. Were it true we wouldn't have the categories of liking, loving and falling in love. And we wouldn't have the division between lust and love. I want to make clarify here that lust is not just physical but also intellectual. Intellectual lust become integrated almost in all major industries through media and it has silently addicted people.

I was saying that emotions are blind. You can attach it to anything and it will stick well to it. I don't think that it needs an illustration but still one is good in case needed. Gambling for example is something irrational but if one invest emotions in it, it will stick very well. Animosity is another example. All know the consequences, doesn't matter how weak is the enemy, but investing emotions let you go to irreversible exteremes.

So just loving is not enough but knowing what to love is also very important. Now that it is somewhat clear let's categorize love so we distinguish it from others.

To me selfishness stand at one end and selflessness stands at other end. Selfishness is lust and selflessness is love. We are mostly confused because we are mostly lying somewhat in between. As much as one is close to selflessness that much one is clear that what he does and what he wants and as much as one is close to selfishness that much one think and act under urgencies, fear and immediate needs and benefits. Liking is not always lust but mostly it is. So going from liking to loving (in loving selflessness dominates but it is still fragile because selfishness is still there and fear is ready to take advantage of any developing circumstance) and to falling in love is a long process of character building in which one overcome fears and become a person who is daring enough to stand selflessly for what he understands clearly.

Only self stands to suffering

Whether you take the path of Buddha or a pathless way of Jiddu Krishnamurthi, there is no escape from suffering. Whether you engage actively in social life or choose an ascetic life style again suffering is there. If you are looking a way to escape from suffering, it is as you try to live without food or work without any break. This desire is basically foolish as it contradicts with an existing fact. A better desire is to build a capacity for absorbing suffering or foraking it easy to take ad it comes and that is nothing else as accepting it openly as part of life. Sufferings to spirit is as pain to body. Pain, though is unpleasant but is an alarm system to protect the body. Similarly suffering is an alarm system to spirit and your personality. But keep mind that anything that goes out of your control will control you. So responding to suffering when it is under control is key to it's acceptability. Self is a truth bigger than reality of body. It is the only healer of self so during suffering, looking outward for heals is just looking for immediate solutions while leaving the causes at place. Let the self grow from what it like to fall in love with them and it will grow strong enough to endure all suffering. It requires time and care. While going through process one needs to be careful that one can't fool the self. Self is the most cruel judge so while going from liking to loving one needs to consider the main factors; rationality, ethics and aesthetics.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

گرعشق زبانی داشتی

این خموشی را نبین
که غوغایی است در کمین

مستی با نا گفتنی هایش
زخمی زده بسا شیرین

گر هیچ نگویی زحال دل
بسیارم گفت اخم جبین

گشتم همکلام ستارگان
که مهتابم ننگرد به زمین

حرفی زن که این قافله گذراست
بعد ما جماعت بیخبر است آن و این

گرعشق زبانی داشتی
بسیارت میگفت اسراررحزین

این خموشی را نبین
که غوغایی است در کمین

Friday, October 7, 2011

ما را جز شهود چیزی ناید پسند

چون او شنفت صدای این دردمند
سبکبال آمد تا رهایی ام دهد زبند

تا که خواستم حسابخواهی کنم
لبخندی بزد، گفتا نکن چون وچند

تو بگردی که یابی عالم وجود
ما را جز شهود چیزی ناید پسند

تماشایی بیش نیست این برو بیا
که تو را پیش ماست نشیمن بلند

ناله مکن، این حجاب باریک است
که کمی شنیدند وبسیار گفتند

آرام باش چون پیکر گل در دل شب
و با شبنم روحت به صبح بزن لبخند

Saturday, October 1, 2011

After International Day of Protest…

In response to call of Hazara Democratic Party for an “International Day of Protest against Hazara Killings in Quetta, Pakistan, today (October 1st, 2011) Hazaras in New York, USA,… Sydney, Melbourne, Perth , Adelaide and other cities of Australia,…. , Toronto, Canada, Vienna, Austria,… Stockholm, Sweden,…. Istanbul, Turkey,…. Rome, Italy,…. Oslo, Norway,… Quetta and Islamabad cities of Pakistan took to streets to protest and have appealed to UN for action to stop massacre of Hazaras. Hazaras of Karachi in a press conference demanded for an international probe into Hazara killings in Quetta, Pakistan as the government is showing no interest for protecting its citizen.

Of course, it was a turning point for Hazaras to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters beyond the bounds of international borders and their ideological affiliations. After formation of the Hizb E Wahdat, when first time in their history, Hazaras practically showed their oneness, this was the second milestone event in history that Hazaras have showed their oneness. Hazaras showed that nothing can break their national identity, neither geographical borders nor ideological affiliations. For long, I was hearing the voices that were showing concerns about immigration of Hazaras. The main concern was the loss of identity and Hazaragi. Today’s protest was a practical answer to these concerns and Hazaras showed that history can drag them anywhere and ideologically they can be secular or conservative (Or what some like to joke as Babu/roshanfikar Or Akhond/Hozai )but they will always remain HAZARA….

I take this opportunity to appeal to Hazaras who are drawing lines based on their ideological differences that ……Please open your eyes and ears, watch and hear that Hazaras across the world wishing for oneness of you all and Please do not make your ideological differences an excuse to not extend a hand of brotherhood towards each other. If you are a conservative/religious stick to your ideology and if you are a secular, stick to your secularity but you both can’t refuse of being Hazara. I am sure you all stand on these two points,

- While I am ideologically conservative/secular but I am a Hazara
- When it comes to my national interests, I put aside my ideological affiliations and stand for my national interests….

Before ending, I want to thank from depth of my heart, all those Brothers and Sisters who came to streets and showed their solidarity…. And besides I want to give a message to my young brothers and sisters,
Laura Lopez, was the former Vice President of Coca Cola Company and she says, “Leadership is not a role. It doesn’t matter where you sit (in your organization), you could be a leader”…….. Extending her message, I would say, it doesn’t matter, what you do and where you are living, you could be a leader when you take action….So, please do not complain for lack of leadership as you are a leader. Just come forward……………

Monday, September 19, 2011

A good beginning doesn’t mean a happy ending (Terrible journey)

Waiting is stressful (boring, some may like) and to avoid stress, there is nothing more than getting busy (We don’t need a nod of Psychologists for this). When I looked to gaps between my flights, I got a little bit nervous (12 hours of waiting at Quaid E Azam airport, Karachi – Almost 4 hours of waiting at Heathrow Airport, London and 10 hours and 20 minutes at Washington Dulles Airport, originally I had to wait for 5 hours but because of “technical fault in Airplane, our flight delayed for more than 5 additional hours :( …. There is nothing more practical than reading a book at airports or airplane (esp, if you are sitting along with someone who forgets speaking during travels and even makes an angry look of *Shut Up* to polite request for giving a passage to go to washroom) and additional benefit is that books don’t run of charge. But there are two main problem with books, if it is boring, it will add to your boredom and if it is too much interesting, you will be absorbed that you may forget timing and may miss the plane (if it is too much interesting, it may not last to the end of journey), so I was in need of a book of medium grade in terms of flavor and size (easy to handle and yet last till end of travel)….It took me almost an hour to select a book….being happy that I will endure easily the long waiting hours my other only concern was weather. I was expecting that it would be hot at Karachi and Dubai and chilly at London and Binghamton and I do not like to have too much in my backpack (I had bad experiences at Past. Last year, when I wanted to go to Seattle, I checked weather on internet and it was saying that weather would be fair but when I came out of airport it was really chilly so I had no other choice other than buying a pair of coat. Karachi is quite opposite, I was expecting that being a coastal city, Karachi would have a fair weather but first time that I came in a domestic flight, it was so hot for me that I couldn’t bear it and I left the city as soon as I done with my exam). This time, Karachi had a really nice weather cloudy and breezy (because of monsoon) and there wasn’t any problem in waiting. I feared of spicy food and that was solved by homemade chicken sandwiches. The travel time from Dubai to Heathrow airport is 7;25 hours and from Heathrow airport to Dulles airport is 7;50 on tickets but it takes somewhat longer so I had planned to watch movies. I watched four movies, three Bollywood movies and one Hollywood movies so everything was fine, until I reached Dulles airport. It took 3 hours to pass through security and after passing through security I found that there is another problem and that was a technical problem in the hanger of airplane so I had to wait additional 7 hours. 7 hours would be easy, but the promises just killed us. The first announcement was that flight be as scheduled so at the time when we were mentally ready to go, another announcement for half an hour delay but then a series of announcements after each half an hour. I reach my apartment 2;00 in the morning instead of 7;30 pm (I didn’t mention that my luggage was also didn’t reach so I had to file a claim) and then I reached my apartment, I found that the new tenants had just moved in. I stayed the night with one of my old neighbors and next early morning my landlord rented me a one bedroom apartment (You can dispute my argument “A good beginning doesn’t mean a happy ending” by arguing that the end was nice as at the end you got saved of shared apartment).

A father’s lesson

I am not alone in believing that Philosophy is the work of the highly learned people. Actually it is a general belief that has roots since the inception of popular Philosophy in the ancient Greek times. What really puzzled me, just happened this morning (September 15th, 2011). My father was talking to my youngest brother who is an eighth grader (He is an intelligent and curious boy, always have some thoughtful questions for me. Besides, he got first position in his class. At least he is doing much much better than me in school. It never happened that I get first position in school until University),
“If animals got instinct so do I” reasoned my youngest brother
“Animals have instincts and a lower conscious to satisfy their instincts. Human also have instincts but on contrary have higher consciousness. With higher consciousness comes responsibility. If a dog steals a piece of meat to satisfy its hunger, no one would call it a thief. If a dog kills another dog in any case, no one is going to call it a murderer. It is because their consciousness is low enough to just satisfy their instincts. On other hand, if a human steals, kills, cheats or does anything wrong to satisfy his instincts, he would be called a thief, a murderer and cheater because he got a higher consciousness which makes him able to judge between wrong and right. Because of higher consciousness man is responsible for his actions. Keep in mind that with higher consciousness comes, responsibility and as much as your level of consciousness grows so is your responsibilities.”…My father was advising him…
I said to myself, wait a minute, this line of reasoning looks familiar to me. Isn’t he is talking like a Philosopher? Frankly, it was the most amazing piece of Philosophy I have ever heard and more than that, he was not a University Professor but a father who have not read any other book except Holy Quran. The only thing that he reads is newspapers (Sometimes magazines). What really surprised me that He was teaching EXISTENTIALIST Philosophy?
I am 100% sure; he doesn’t know anything of what we call Philosophy. What he has heard of Philosophy is that there were some highly wise persons by names of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle so you can hear him advising you, “Don’t take too much time in making decisions, you are not Plato” or “It is really simple, you don’t need to consult Socrates in figuring it out” or “Do you think of yourself as Aristotle that you pass judgments on others?” and phrases like these ones. It is just his reading loud his own thinking as he doesn’t know anything about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle other than their names.
I am saying all these because he never got a chance to attend school. The way he learned reading and writing is really interesting. In his youth time, he was working in a textile factory in Haiderabad city of Sindh Province. In the evenings, after work he was buying tea and cake for a shoemaker and in return he was teaching him to read and write. That is all of his schooling but he got a reading habit of reading every day, newspapers and occasionally some magazines. When I was young, he was reading me loud some of the interesting stories from magazines. I loved his accent and was feeling proud when I was making some corrections to some lengthy or hard to read words.
But this morning, he really impressed me. Frankly, if I had to explain a deep Philosophical question to an eighth grader, I would make it very difficult for him. I didn’t interrupt him (to inform him that, what he is explaining, known as existentialist philosophy among learned people). He was asking my youngest brother,
“Does a dog feel itself responsible if a man is in misery?”
“No, I don’t think so” replied my brother
“Does a man feel responsible if a dog is in misery?” My father put another question
“Definitely, he does” answered my brother
“See, the man got higher conscious, so he feels responsible while the dog has lower conscious so it doesn’t feel responsibility. Both man and dog have instincts but they satisfy their instincts differently just because they got different levels of consciousness. You go to school to raise the level of your consciousness. The higher is learned a man, the higher is his responsibilities”………
I was totally puzzled as I was witnessing in flesh and blood what I was always imagining of Socrates. He is not a learned man to the eyes of world but he holds more wisdom than a lot of learned people…….

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The return

لو پھر ہم نے باندھ لی رخت سفر
جدھر سے آئے تھے, جائینگے ادھر

خوش ھے تھوڑی سی یہ، ھے مگر ملال بھی
کہ جان لی اور بھی محشر ھے قبل از محشر

مانا کہ غضب کی ھیں ساقی کی آنکھیں
ڈھونڈھتی ھے وہ کوئی بڑے سے بڑا سوداگر

دل تو بنئیے ھیں, اسکو سودے سے غرض
یہ نہ جانے اس سے بھی کوئی ھے بڑے غارتگر

جس طرح ھے ھاتھ خالی، کاش ھوتی دل بھی خالی
رب ھے ساتھ مگر ریال مانگے, کعبہ ھے جدھر

Years ago, I decided that I am going to leave the practice of writing poetry (It is thought that a poet needs someone worth to be the subject of his/her poetry....Hmmmm, I don't know whether that was the cause of my decision or not? Don't take it serious, it is just a joke:(.....) and gifted my younger brother (who likes poetry) dozens of pages of my English, Urdu and Persian poetry. Now I am feeling that in every person, there is a sleeping poet/poetess that once woken up, seldom sleeps again. So from time to time this Poet forces me to write some creepy Ghazals. As "The Argus" is my diary, so I am going to mess up some of its posts whenever this Poet harassed me :(

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Things that we learn, by growing up…….

“We will remain as children in the eyes of elders”
I was sitting with one of my senior teachers that one of the friends came in and asked me for mediation in their issue. My teacher burst in laughter and while tapping on my shoulder said, “Hahaha, I never thought that you have grown up enough to resolve the issues!!!”. The puzzlement was evident in all his expressions. Frankly, I felt a little embarrassed. As my father used to say, “No matter, what you become and what others say about you, I always see you as a child”. That is a compliment as well as a warning (There is a famous saying….If you are the Alexander the great, it is not wise to go in wilderness without the company of an old man (an experienced person)…. An experienced person! Hmmm, that is an essential commodity that is shrinking, most probably because of the arrogance of our generation. Most of us think that our judgments are sufficient and in most cases better than those of experienced one (Well, I think that is just the matter of time. Realizations! Perhaps, some that we do not like make us to realize that basics of life are common to all generations). I think I have improved in this regard a little bit. Over years, I have learned that we grow together. I appreciate a lot of things now that I wasn’t able to see before.
“One never learn to relax without experiencing at first hand the pains of losses by rushing”
RELAXATION, I think, Psychologists and Yogis have defamed this term. We all learn to slow down over time by our experiences. Becoming relaxed in our responses and reactions are the pretext for the mental relaxation that Psychologists and Yogis preach and teach. I tend to rush into things and sometime to disappoint myself. By seeing the relaxed elders, I have learned that in a lot of things rushing ends in kinds of losses that can’t be repaired. Learning about people and building trusts can’t be done only with good intentions and sincerity. It requires time and timing. Sometimes early means too amateur and other times late means too late!!!.... In facing strange people, you may get mocked, get treated in uneasy ways and it is also possible to be insulted. These are all possible, if the people don’t know you well. So over time, I learned to listen more to myself than others. If I know that my intentions are good then it doesn’t matter if others question them (I know they are just showing their ignorance….in that case, I can only feel pity on them…or they just rushing…Well, in that case just showing their inexperience and that is what we must overlook to give them time to grow…Please, don’t get confused in pronouns …like, you, we, other, I, you, he, she, as we fit in all these pronouns (except gender one from time to time…)…. In short, I know better myself than other and I know very well, what my intentions are, so it is better to focus on means of delivering or expressing them (Most of the flaws are here so needed a constant attention to improve)…
“By opening ourselves we increase the free space for our activities”…
The other thing that I think, I have improved a little bit in is, “Opening Myself”. If I have the authority to expand my world then why suffer from running spaces? I was very reserved in talking about myself. Over time, I have learned that I am not different from rest of people, so there is no need to be embarrassed to accept “Who I am”. The positive sides are, “reflective learning”, “improving faster by accepting growth as a natural process”, “realizing that I am a not a born saint, great man and all sort of these “like titles” that make us to retreat into our shells”, “make others feel comfortable about us”, “not shocking others and disappointing ourselves by “Wikileaks” or “Mirzaleaks” and most importantly give us courage to face ourselves and others with “courageous honesty”…………
“Understanding is more important than learning”…….
I think, I have the legitimacy to give an “expert opinion” on this topic but perhaps it is not a good place for it (Opps! I can’t write articles within article) as I have to admit that I have learnt a lot of things without understanding them and later, I have unlearned them in order to understand them. Learning becomes a pleasant and very easy process once one starts understanding. I have not to give examples to our generation as they read almost every day in headlines of newspapers or watch analyses in the news channels about failure of “experts…those who have learned but haven’t understood” in economics, politics, managements and so on. Going across the disciplines and observing beyond the relevant fields, expand the horizon of understanding and this is a lesson that I have learned the hard way.
“Gold rushes do not last long”…….
I think, it didn’t take me long to realize that gold rushes do not last long. It is natural to get impressed by those who are blessed by being at “right place” at the “right time”. People gamble their lives, relations and so on for right place and right time but I have learnt that the “right person” and the “right people” are more important than “right place” and “right time” as gold rushes do not last long. Of course, it is counterintuitive but my personal experience says that gold rushes don’t last long but the people who you have to live with are “always” there or somewhere to be with you. My uncle used to say that “lucky is one who is surrounded by wise people”. We usually get impressed by a lot of things but what last long is the “wisdom” (Seems a line from Sadhu’s book ;)
“A baby learns walking by falling many times”….
Falling is painful but we realize over time that the pains we get by falling during our efforts never hurt but it really hurts to remain safe by choosing not to try. Once I decided to show some of my writings for an advice to an expert in literature. I was a little bit hesitating in doing so, so I went to a senior student in literature. I told him about my decision and then told him of my fear, “What if he turns down to look at them?”…… “What you lose then?” he asked me back. “Nothing” I replied. It took me some time to learn to reconcile with myself over pains of falling and not fearing them anymore….
I think, this is not going to end so why not to write the rest in another Post (Thanks Khudadad for the break :)….

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How much fat makes one addicted?

When Uzbeks came to Delhi to pay a visit to the King Babur (who was also an Uzbek from Fergana Valley), they were served with rice and meat cooked in Central Asian style (Called “Pulawe”, originally Persian style of cooking rice but in Central Asia, the amount of fried fat added at the end is higher) in the King’s guest hall. The Uzbeks sat on the ground having their boots on and started eating with their hands. When they were eating, their hands were soaked in oil of rice that were dripping back in the dishes. After serving the meal, the Uzbek visited the king in his court. The king asked them, “Tell me if you have any trouble here in Delhi?”. One of the representative replied, “Everything is fine except the food.”….”What is wrong with the food?” inquired the king in puzzlement. “The rice doesn’t have enough oil in it”…..
Though South Asian consumes a lot of oil, sugar and spices in their food but they don’t use much fat or oil as compared to Central Asian people. The consumption of fat by Central Asians look amusing to South Asian people but it is also amusing that South Asian food is too greasy for Westerners. I found several times; my landowners are warning me of eating too much oily foods, while I was skimming the fatty or oily part of my food. Chinese are still more economical in using fat as compared to westerners. The main point is that people are becoming fat and sugar conscious but I think it is more related to fashion and culture than health. Everybody knows that there is no other alternative in the taste and flavor to that of fat (In fact no spice or anything else can match with fat, Fried foods or notoriously popular across the cultures), so it is natural to become addicted to fat. In cold places, people consume higher amount of fat so they are highly addicted to it and in hot places where people sweat a lot, people tends to use spices (and lesser fat) to balance the lost minerals.
Three food items were problematic but their inflation by industrial revolution gave them popular recognition and those are Fat, Sugar and Grains. These three food items are addictive and their addictions are more harmful than cigarettes (They are killing more people than wars and diseases caused by cigarette). They are more dangerous than cigarettes because cigarettes are condemned by culture but they are promoted by culture. The overconsumptions of Fat and Sugar in South Asian sweets were promoted by culture and now the whole region is addicted to it. The use of grains in Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food as bread and pasta were promoted by culture and now the whole region is addicted to the grains. Nobody can think of eating something without bread. It is an essential part of the food in these regions. You might get amused to see some people eating rice with bread. Similarly rice has become a dominant part of food in the Sino-Chinese region.
The reason that I brought all these things is my recent experiences of observing, the rapidly changing trends in eating in our part of world. Consuming Coke and other soft drinks were fashionable at times but seeing widespread use of green tea was a pleasant surprise for me. Similarly the replacement of dry fruits and fresh fruits to that of sweets, pastries and milk tea are another big surprise for me. Though this Eid was a sad Eid because of suicide attack on Hazaras of Quetta, yet increasing awareness gives some hope.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not too much sophisticated to match, Christine Lagarde’s call

Christine Lagarde, the former French finance minister and new managing director of the IMF has presented a bold list of to-do-things to the gathering of central banks including a warning, “The world economy, she said, was entering a “dangerous new phase” driven by a sense that “policymakers do not have the conviction” to take decisions that are needed. " The Economist has a report on it (
I am like majority of people is not sophisticated enough to fully understand what it really means to live in “dangerous new phase” except fearing the worst but I can recall what happened after 9/11 terrorist attack. Before 9/11, Hazara Town was not as “glamorous” (Some like to call it this way) as it is today. It was a place that was offering affordable housing for people with lower incomes. Carpet weaving became very popular especially among women and children that were trying to have a hand in supporting their families. A lot of shops and houses turned into mini-factories of carpet-weaving. These hardworking children and women who were dreaming to weave their future beautiful just like those beautiful carpets, never thought that the threads of the lives are woven somewhere else in the world. They couldn’t think that they are part of global economy.
The 9/11 terrorist attack was a shock to the whole world but it was a double shock for those women and children. Soon after 9/11 attack, the carpet industry collapsed. A lot of these carpet weavers lost their jobs and the rest were forced to work on unthinkably lower wages. Nobody in the rest of world has heard of the economic shocks to these children and women. Who would care for these voiceless children and women in a changed world (Of course, the world had entered into “dangerous new phase”)?
When I read the warning of Christine that the world would economically enter into a new dangerous phase, I am not sure what it means to the rest of world except of increasing taxes and lesser benefits in social services and increasing cost of living but of course people who are sophisticated enough to understand all these would prepare themselves for worst (In case it happens). What I am sure that majority of people who are connected to world economy but don’t realize it will suffer most…
I am not offering any solution. Whether economists warn us or not, we tend to prepare ourselves for unexpected challenges in life and one common thing that we do, is saving. I come across an interesting classification by John Fenton (How to sell against competition, P.130-140) in saving behavior. It is amusing to learn it,
“ You know, going through life and meeting as many people as I do, I have found that when it comes to saving money, there are only two kinds of people.
One kind of people tend to spend their income on whatever they need or want to buy, and if they any left over after that, they might think about saving it, or investing it (illustrated in by left circle, the red part showing saving)

The other kind of people tends to put some money aside before they start spending, to save or invest. (Illustrated by right circle, saving is illustrated by red part)
And the funny thing is – these kind of people (the left-hand circle) always seem to finish up working for these kind (the right hand circle.”…………………
I don’t exactly remember where I read this but a woman in her article was advising that “the first bill that one has to pay is saving”. That is the one of the option that is within our reach to give ourselves a little comfort in economic meltdowns……..

Friday, August 26, 2011

The unhappy children and the rise of Korea…

We became friends at bus stop. He was a Korean. We became friends because of my interests in Korea. Koreans are part of our extended family of Turko-mongols (The last stretch of mixed race of Central Asia). Korea is facing a historical competition from China and Japan so her people are used to live in a highly competitive environment and have developed a culture of competition. Most of our talks were around recent movie serials (Mostly showing how their historical heroes achieved their goals by their work ethics and dedication to their goals) that South Korea has produced and become very famous in our part of world like, “Jumong”, “The land of winds”, “Jewel in the Palace”, “The Emperor of Sea” and “The trader of Zhoushan (read as Chusan; It is a city island in Archipelago, part of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China)”….Watching these movie serials one can also understand the historical basis of current Korean conflict (between north and south)…………
It was Saturday (Weekend, just to remind you) and University had a summer festival. In rebellious souls of youth, we can see the lively life and of course one can see them unveiled on such days. To borrow some, I wanted to be part of festival and I was at bus stop around 2 pm to catch the bus to school. There, I found my Korean friend with his school bag. I became puzzled and told him, “It is Saturday!.. And there is a summer festival at University??”…. He calmly smiled, “I know,… I am going to library to study until evening”….
It was first time that I realized in true sense that my friend is a Korean. I think that Koreans have evolved to be hardworking people as it is part of their thousands of years’ old culture. Frankly, this encounter gave meaning to all those Korean historical movie serials that I have watched to have an insight into Korean society. Today’s Korea facing even tougher competition than ever from mighty China, Japan and Asian Tigers (Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia), so the Koreans have to work even harder than ever.
Historically, education was the only means of climbing social ladder in the Korea, The competitive exam for Civil Services was a mean to escape lower social classes so Korean parents were always ready to do anything to make sure their kids become highly educated. It is natural to see parents push their children to work harder in their education. Pakistanis (especially Professor Attaurahman) look to Korean rise because of their focus on education. Professor wishes Pakistanis to follow the role model (forgetting that it is not going to happen as Pakistan lack the historical culture that Koreans have. The cultural conflicts in Pakistan, is the biggest obstacle in the way of dreaming to rise as an educated nation).
Some think that Koreans have gone too far in the pushing their children for education. The students go to academies after school time and take extra tuition in English, Mathematics and musical instruments until 11 pm which is an hour after legal limits of 10 pm (The students are busy from 8:30 am to 11 pm at night and it makes some to claim that Korean parents want others to educate their children and this extra-education give them free time). The expenditure of education has forced parents to have lesser children and also youths to marry late. Korean society is ageing. The ultra-preparation and ultra-competitive environments have caused Korean children to become in social skills and also get depressed. The rate of suicide has increased especially among third year of high school students that prepare for University entrance examinations.
Though the ultra-preparations are costing on parents, giving kids hard times but it also making them to get to best Universities at US and other prestigious universities and make them able to get their share out of global job market and pay back to their parents in their old ages. It also pays the students themselves to have better lives. Of course every system has its own problems. Do at your liking type of education systems, of course, make students to explore their creativity but the creativity pay less if work ethics is not embedded in it. A stress on fun-centered education system and fun-centered life make students the victim of fun by making them, addicted to fun. Of course fun should be integrated in education system to make students enjoy their studies and their work but not at the cost of work ethics. At the end of the day, satisfaction comes from works that one have done. Fun for fun makes fun boring and leaves one at despair.
What I get from all these that one’s perspective changes, depending on his position. If one lives in part of world where there is less competition, having fun is no problem but living in a part of world where you have established competitors, the ultra-preparation is the only choice. I like the Korean case as it resembles to our case. Though in our part of world tuition outside of schools become necessary because of poor performances of schools and also it is an extra-burden on parent and give students harder times yet, this ultra-preparation is necessary to live in a suffocating environment where survival depends on your ultra-competitiveness. The ultra-preparation is the best answer to omnipresent discrimination and prejudices.

Khudadad's Picks...!....!...!

~ The Confucius must be happy to see that the societies following his golden rules are dominating the World, especially in economy and technology. Now, the parents of such societies are taking pride and saying the world hey, we are Tiger Moms :)

~ Do you think that West will sit silent over drum beatings of Tiger mom. She has her own effective weapon, The Mighty Science to retaliate. Here is a "Scientific counterattack"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Simple things that are hard to understand…

We can divide things in life into those things that are priced and hence easy to understand their values and those things that are priceless and are counterintuitive to understand their values. If you walk into a hotel, it is really easy to get the type of service that your pocket allows. The prices are printed along the list of the foods in the menu. If you want rent a room in a hotel, again you know the room’s rent and the cost of room services. You get what your pocket allows. It is not only commodities that are priced. These days the advice, “The professional advice” are priced too. We see the flourishing businesses of consultancies, from preparation for job interviews, finding and locating jobs to education (especially scholarships) to marriages and to solving problems in administration, literally everywhere and at every stage of life. In short it is easy to be clear about the type of services and commodities one can get when they are priced. However, not everything in life is priced. There are a lot of things that are priceless and they make us to get puzzled in determining their values. Here things get tricky as only thing that compensate the missing prices are sincerity. No one can price them. It is not just a tradition but a need, a human need. Take for example the services and help that we get in home and from friends. They are priceless. No one ever ask or expect anything in home or among close friends. They do and get because they have to.
For long times, Biologists try to explain these priceless services in terms of altruism. They have devised game theories to determine their prices. I am not saying that these studies are none-sense. They make us understand a lot of behaviors yet they aren’t able to explain satisfactorily as there is no unit of measurements (genes lose their meanings where higher cognition is at work)……….
Coming back to our original discussion that priceless services and attachments are hard to understand and a lot of times are confusing so it is expected that even highly educated people mess up from times to times in their lives. In fact the messing up has increased as we are losing the practical education that we used to get from our traditional ways, through our families, culture and traditions. The elders were the sources of wise advices (and of course free of cost and were always availability), mediations and in times of need taking the charge to manage things. By coming of Google, these traditions are eroding. When we think that we are wise enough that we can deal efficiently with priceless things or relations, we are only deceiving ourselves. It is no something that you do research and become a Guru. It is something that you need to learn their values through life experiences as they are counterintuitive.
We have lost the tradition of old mastership where the teachers were aware, how to teach the value of priceless things in life. They were aware that it is not going to come from books. It comes only from experience so in cases that they were finding their students are undervaluing the priceless things in life; they were making their students leave them. Of course it was hurting their students. It was even hurting the teachers (whoever were playing the role of teacher; an elder, may be a guardian). But they had to suffer in order to learn that there is no price that compensate for it.
We find it in modern literatures also but we mostly ignore to learn from. Let me not recommend an easy and enjoyable one. If you haven’t watched the movie, “Undefeated”, I recommend to watch it. It is the story of a boxer who climbs the ranks very fast and think that the only worthwhile thing is money and find at the end that there are things in life that have no price. Of course the literature is filled with such kind of stories however, the real lessons that we get, come from life itself.
In nutshell, it is not recommended to use calculators in things that are priceless as there is no calculator that can tally their value…………

Topics that one can't write about.....

There are topics that despite of urgency, we can't make ourselves to write about (Because writing don't change anything) However, sometimes people come out that you respect from deep down and you want to write to show your solidarity with. Pakistan is the country of my birth and the love for place of birth is natural but it seems that Pakistanis don't belong to Pakistan. As much mouth is there so are the number of claims and no one is ready to make any concession and move from their current positions. In simple words, all citizen belong to this country and the country belongs to no one.... We read everyday, people are questioning what went wrong that we all became aliens....there are many answers but none is satisfying...

Dr. Attaurahman's answer is definitely convincing. It is the ignorance that have alienated the people from the country. How can one expects to have a mature and educated nation when the country is spending only 1.2% of her GDP on education? Of course where there is big gap in demands and supply, the black marketers fill the gap and so are happened in Pakistan. The religious extremists filled the gaps by funds from Middle East and turned the minds that had to serve this country into extremists that are determined to enslave this nation to their ideology.........

In comparative study of economical growth, the Professor compares Pakistan's exports to that of a company (Nokia). Nokia's exports are twice that of Pakistan's total export. Nokia is a Finnish company and only Karachi (A port city of Pakistan) has a population four times bigger than that of whole Finland... This is an astonishing comparison....

It is not only small European nations that surpass Pakistan's export; Singapore an island, city nation that is very small to that of Pakistan both in terms of population and area has 18 times bigger export to that of Pakistan. In 1960's South Korea's export was 32 million US $ and now it is 466 Billion US $ while Pakistan's export has seized at 20 Billion US $. The main reason is education, South Korea's University Students has increased from 5% of 1960 to 95% up to date and Malaysia spend 30% of her GDP on education.

Not only Professor's these comparisons are eye opening, he rightfully suggests solutions to Pakistan's main problems. Don't just focus on your resources (Some foolish Pakistani "expert and leaders" looking to natural resources as Messiah that will save Pakistan)... the main solution is to Educate the nation by increasing expenditure on both quantity and quality of education and also by making availability of speedy justice to People.......

The truth is that Pakistanis need education and speedy justice at urgent basis....otherwise all those who have the ability to serve this nation will escape and those who don't will remain to suffer from a cycle of to eating each other...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Class Struggle VS Generation Struggle

It seems that the time of near end of colonization is back. The rebellion is widespread from Arab Spring in Middle East to London Riots to ethnic and ethno-religious conflicts in North Africa, South Asia, and Central Asia and somewhat in Sino- region…. From beginning to the last quarter of previous century most of rebellions were explained in terms of class struggle. People were struggling to come out of poverty either through political revolution via Communism and Socialism or through competition in Free Market Economy…. By collapse of the Communist Block and unipolarization of world order under umbrella of free market economies, it was thought that the class struggle is over…. That doesn’t seem to held true anymore as Free Market Economies not only failed to cure the poverty of the world but they themselves started trembling… The economic meltdown in USA and Europe, the hometowns of free market economies have left the world wonder….What is the real world order?…Is there, the rule of Chaos?....
Yes, that’s true. In previous century poor people were struggling against poverty from alternative platforms of socialism and communism and the rich ones were giving hope by demonstrating their rise. So there was somewhat hope either in revolution or in competition…. In today’s world both have lost their credibility so what is next?
In absence of any option, some intellectuals are trying to provide a platform (or an explanation to current events); Generation Struggle… The Arab Spring and the London Riots are the forerunners of Generation Struggle. The current generation doesn’t have the chances, choices and privileges of education, job availability, housing, car and family that previous generation had and famously called BABY Boomers Generation…. Currently, the previous generation is in authority and are deciding what suit their generation (It is what these intellectuals claim), so young generation is struggling for more rights and the denials by old generation results in Arab Spring and London Riots……….
How real is the Generation Struggle and where it is leading? I think in absence of a solid ideology and how to go for it, it is more of Chaos (As young generation doesn’t know what they want? And how to solve their problems) than a struggle……………

From my Old Diary

I took these two paragraphs from my old diary...they aren't great but they were the thoughts filling my mind at times....

A gift from parents to kids,
Definitely, we all face problems in our lives. Firstly we try to solve them on our own however, sometimes we prefer to use the experience and wisdom of the elders. And the first ones that we seek help from are our parents. They are the persons that we don't hide anything from and trust most.... My own experience is that the kids take very serious what their parents say or write...Believe it or not they take more serious what their parents write than what they say....We like to have parents on our sides all time however, it is not possible all the times. To me, if parents write about problems that they faced and the way they dealt and solved problems would be a life time gift to their kids... I ask my parent that have a documented gift for least in form of videotapes...

One is nobody without a cause.... If you want that people around you grow and feel themselves then ecourage them to work for some humanely cause beside what they do... A small amount of time spending on such causes will enrich their life and give meanings to what they do...Believe it or not a Taiwanese vegetable seller woman by name of Chen Shu-chu is ranked 18th in the Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential people.

I like to add this report on Chen here,
"TAITUNG, Taiwan -- A female vegetable vendor in southeastern Taiwan's Taitung City is ranked along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton on U.S. Time magazine's 2010 list of the 100 most influential persons in the world for her philanthropy.

Chen Shu-chu ranked eighth in the “heroes” category of the 2010 Time 100 list.

“Out of her modest living, Chen, 59, has managed to donate nearly NT$10 million (that's US$320,000) to various causes, including US$32,000 for a children's fund, US$144,000 to help build a library at a school she attended and another US$32,000 for the local orphanage, where she also gives financial support to three children,” the magazine states.

Chen, who did not complete elementary school because of poverty, said that she doesn't know anything about the Time 100 list.

“I feel kind of embarrassed ... but I appreciate all the concern shown to me,” she said, adding that she was never informed about the Time magazine honor until being informed by reporters.

Chen began working by selling vegetables at a traditional market in Taitung City when she was only 13 years old to support her six siblings.

Almost five decades later, she continues to earn every penny the hard way, getting up at 3 a.m. to prepare for her workday. In the market, her stand is always the first to open and the last to close.

“What's so wonderful about Chen's achievement is not its extraordinariness but that it is so simple and matter of fact in its generosity,” states the citation in the magazine, which was written by New York-based Taiwanese film director Ang Lee.

She was quoted as having told a newspaper that “money serves its purpose only when it is used for those who need it.”

According to Time Magazine, she is planning to establish a NT$10 million fund to help the poor with education, food and health care.

“Amazing, but of all she has given away, her greatest gift is her example,” the citation states.

Other people on the Time list in the “heroes” category include former U.S. President Clinton at No. 1, followed by South Korean Olympic gold medal skater Kim Yu-Na in second place, former Iranian Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi in third place, and Chinese kungfu actor Jet Li who is 18th.

In March, Chen was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the 48 heroes of philanthropy from Asia.

In addition, Chairman J.T. Wang of local computer maker Acer was ranked along with U.S. President Barack Obama on the list of top 100 leaders,

Wang, 55, was cited for his farsightedness in making an early foray into the notebook computer market and providing low-cost PCs for more people. Other international leaders on the same list include Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva."

Report source,

In the city of strangers

Live Show of Natural Selection,
Some are born travelers. Perhaps I am not because I am more interested in people than buildings (I think it is people that are the sources of everything...if people aren’t glorious, how they can think of and work for glorious constructions?....that would a great contradiction). When I heard that Islamabad is the city of strangers, I got more interested to see how the people interact with each other. The reason of interest is a historic one. I am not an exception in taking interest in the people of this region. Anyone who is interested in cultural evolution would take interest as this region is a live laboratory as well as a museum for cultural evolution. One can see the vicious competitions among cultures that most of the time becomes very violent (I think if Darwin was living in our times and he was aware of what is going on in Karachi and Balochistan, he wouldn’t give much importance to fossils as there are live shows of Natural Selection…Fellow citizen kill each other and try to harm each other’s properties in every possible manners…Perhaps it is the real nature of humankind that in times of peace are covered under fake layers of religion, humanity and so on)…..
Cultural Amazon,
Yes, I was saying that the reason for my interest is historic. This region has seen many invasions from major nations of the world in different times and has absorbed the cultures of the invaders, so we see much cultural diversity in this region. IF YOU CALL THIS REGION AS “CULTURAL AMAZON”, I think it would not be an exaggeration (The amazon is famous for its ecological diversity)….The language (URDU), Music (One amazes when see the diversity of musical instruments, vocal varieties and the details of musical nodes…it is much detailed than western musical nodes)…I must acknowledge that I am not expert of music but even an laymen can have a sense of the diversity of the music of subcontinent… Religion, Life styles (From ancient tribes of Sindh that live around isolated lakes and have preserved the relics of ancient Sindh Valley Civilizations to remnants of the Greek invaders in northern areas and diversity of different tribes that still kept alive ancient Iranian, Turkish, Mongolian and Hindu cultural relics with them)… and so on….
Looking for a senior driver,
If you have all these things in your mind and you step in the city of strangers, you would wander among the faces, the way they walk, talk, and behave and of course the way they live. It wasn’t my first time (It was my sixth visit) that I was visiting the capital city of Pakistan but I was more excited this time. The main reason was the intensification of the competition among different tribes and nationalities of Pakistan. Islamabad is called city of strangers because one can see the people from around the country living in Islamabad. So the first thing that I did was to look for a senior driver who have seen the expansion and growing of Islamabad so I could learn something from him. Many drivers came to me but I was looking for a senior one. A driver with reddish brown colored hair and short white beard approached me. “For how many years, you are driving in Islamabad?”....I asked….He looked a little bit puzzled and then replied, “It is almost 20 years that I am driving”…he answered.. “OK, good, show me your city then”….
Revolution in Pakistan?
He was originally from Lahore and came here at the age of 11 to then newly built Islamabad in search of a good life… however, Islamabad didn’t have much to offer him. He was broken and angry and was telling me again and again that revolution is near and people will snatch the wealth from wealthy rulers who aren’t willing to share their fortunes with their fellow countrymen…. Though I couldn’t agree with him but I didn’t say anything to let this old man say what a lot of old men say (I wasn’t agreeing with him because he whole life was limited to Rawalpindi and Islamabad. If you live in Islamabad, you can think of revolution because most of the residents are educated and are strangers who came in hope of a better life here….But people who have seen Karachi and Balochistan know very well that this country is deeply divided and people are more interested to fight with each other than to fight against the key issues like poor governance, poverty, diseases, illiteracy, lack of essential infrastructure, rule of law and so on…Revolution…that is only a crazy person’s dream…Chaos; Yes that is what we can see on the ground and everyone is working hard to spread it)….
This post became tool long…so I leave it the rest for another time :(

Let's beat the drum!...!...!...!

Yeah, Let's beat the drum...In month of Ramadan, some people beat the drums going street to street to wake up the people in predawn time...I was always fascinated by their jobs; they wake up people from sleep in a time when they are in deep sleep... Socrates were thinking that most of us are in deep sleep like that of predawn time, so he was going from street to street in ancient Athens and cross-questioning people to show them that their lives are un-examined...When we do not analyse our beliefs and world views then it is like living in sleeping mode...The stronger the certainty in unexamined worldviews, the deeper is the sleep.......

As there is no Socrates to stop us on the streets to cross-question our worldviews, keeping diary is way to open yourself for your examination (it is famously known as self-accountability) here I have started beating the drums...let's see how much I am going to be committed to my diary :)