Jan 2, 2018

Quotes vs arguments

I don't like quotes. I rather prefer well-developed arguments. Look up my entire profile since 2008 and you won't find a single quote, except one by Nietzsche, which isn't really a quote but an existential question, and another by Malalai, which is an argument.

Quotes weigh more, or entirely, on the fame, sacredness or charisma of the subject of attribution, and hence, they are trying to make people regard them with reverence, awe, and respect, than to genuinely prove an accuracy or truthfulness.

Arguments are faceless, heartless, respectless, string of reasonings being developed into the shape of an opinion, which is accumulated on the previously proved opinions (theorem). Unlike arrogance of quotes, modesty is a virtue of arguments', which is the result of it, whereas errors are always probable during the course of reasoning

Dec 31, 2017

"I don't care about brands!"

I have heard this statement so many times more often from people with anti-capitalist, socialist, or post-modern attitudes. (Yeah, I know, these aren't the same terms, but you know what I mean.)

Such a statement is contradicting with the human nature of trying to avoid loss and hence evade risk. Also, there is a contradiction between action and word here in a sense that you are paying much less for a non-brand product while you should pay the same price should you really not care about brands!

When you buy a product, you don't just buy a piece of physical material or an intangible service. You typically buy a package, at the heart of it is the product, but it's not limited to that. The package extends from the moment you decide you want something at time t-1 to the moment you are transferred with the product at time t, to many days, months, or years thereafter, which we can denote as t+1. In such a process (t-1, t, t+1), you want to have control over the parameters, which affect the involved variables. In an indirect way we can say, you pay for information.

Brands are in a sense credible sources of validated information. You value them because of exactly that, and you are willing to pay for it. You pay for integrity of their PR activities + their corporate social responsibility + their quality products + customer service + ... and you pay because you are certain of these values. Brands are credible.

In absence of such credibility, you are taking risks of incurring losses, hence you make a compromise by reducing the price you are willing to pay for a non-brand product.

Let me make an example with used car market though it's not exactly brand and non-brand but it should establish the point, which isn't really about prestige or other probable factors to valuing brands more. The price of used cars aren't for example one-fifth of the same cars that are new because they are performing bad. The reason you are willing to pay a much lower price is because you don't know exactly what losses you are incurring by buying such a car. There is an "asymmetric information" level about the used car between you and the seller, so to speak. (This is also referring to the "Law of Lemon.") There is no credibility.

I don't care about brands, either, but to a point, where I can afford incurring a loss.

Oct 14, 2017

Behaving like a human

It seems behavioralists are finally winning minds. It's been a few decades they are struggling to persuade the neo-classical theorists, and are rejected, that there are more to the market than "individuals rationality" and "market efficiency". Richard Thaler is often called the "father of the behavioral economics". He has been awarded the Noble Memorial Prize 2017. (If you are not that much into economics, you may remember him in the movie "Big Short", who was explaining "synthetic CDO" in a Las Vegas casino, along with Selena Gomez!)

The basic assumption behind rationality of the market participants is in this that individuals are following Expected Utility Theory (EUT), based on a set of axioms initially established by von Neumann–Morgenstern ("VNM axioms") in their decision-making processes. Behavioralists, however, have been testing the actual behavior of individuals in the market and have found out that there are deviations from the EUT while the individuals are making economic decisions.

Among the pioneers of the behavioralist approach in economics were Daniel Kanheman (also a Noble Laureate 2002) and Amos Tversky (1979), who established the framework of the so-called "Prospect Theory", where "loss aversion" was among the most important factors that cause such deviations from rationality.

In addition, the Noble Memorial Prize in 2013 was awarded to Robert Shiller, who also had major contributions to our understanding of the behavioral aspects of the market.

May 15, 2016


When people, who have given their votes to a president to be elected, express their demands, the president should be all ears, so to speak. Or at least, he shouldn't tell them, they're upset because they haven't been given any "chowki" (official position).

I gave my vote to this guy because I was told he is an educated individual. I was told he's modern in manner and wouldn't behave like a "qomandan" (militia commander).

His guards beat a citizen of this country in a foreign land in front of tens of journalists' cameras.

How can he ever justify that?! For god's sake, why we Afghans deserve all these sorts of political "leaders"?

Feb 14, 2016


Anita, my dearest, this is the second valentine we are celebrating together. I feel so happy and proud to have you. I love you forever, and ever. 

Sep 11, 2014

Apple Watch

There is something wrong about ‪#‎AppleWatch‬. I love Apple products. They are convenient and look beautiful. The Apple Watch may be convenient but not beautiful for sure. Watch is not just for convenience. I already have two smartphones in my hands but still wearing a watch as I like to check the time there.
Watch is a piece of fashion. I believe (as a non-expert) fashion is about originality. It's hard to believe that electronics can offer such originality.
I may wear Apple Watch one day, but that would be when I am also wearing jeans and t-shirt. Or, I may buy it as a gift to a teenage relative of mine. I wouldn't wear it with suits.

Aug 25, 2014

Artists in politics

Artists taking part in politics, believe me, doesn't look good. They may even sound stupid. Politics isn't everything. Let its professionals do that.

Aug 21, 2014


On Tuesday, my fiance and I had a great time watching the movie Transcendence (2014). We enjoyed it a lot. Both of us are so much into the theme of the movie, Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is debated in this movie. The story is ended with the deaths of Dr. Will and Evelyn Caster. Dr. Will Caster, who has invented an intelligent computer brain named "PINN", dies from cancer. Evelyn wants to bring back his husband to life through restoring his memories using the AI technology that Dr. Caster has invented. There are groups of people who are against these creations and want to stop them. Finally, they succeed to stop Dr. Caster, who is then an intelligent computer brain, by injecting a computer virus through the body of Evelyn. Evelyn gets shot and dies and Dr. Caster can't save her. Both die lying next to each other...

Artificial Intelligence, as a philosophical or ethical concept, is not a new thing. There are those, as depicted in this movie and also in another movie named "Her" that I have also recently watched, who believe AI is ethically questionable. At any point of time, man can hesitate and think about the ethicality of AI, or other somewhat similar concepts like "In vitro fertilisation" (IVF). From the view of man however, the righteousness license of these developments and breakthroughs are not issued by and from a meta-physical existence. Man quite a while ago decided on his own that exploring the nature is "OK" once he said "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am). Nature is not any longer a sacred place full of magic, driven by meta-physical forces, where the entrance is not permitted. Man allowed his imagination to indefinitely explore the horizon of possibilities. Such a brain can travel thousands of years, with a speed of light, into the depth of the sky. And, that brain is also truly able to create a god, as it is best put by Dr. Caster, "Isn't this what man has always done?"

Aug 20, 2014

Pakistan: A Hard Country

I am reading "Pakistan: A Hard Country."

This book is especially recommended for those who angrily curse Pakistan without any hesitation or thought about why Pakistan, and by that I mean many different political, social, and religious fractions living together in this land, behaves the way it does. I am barely half the way through the whole book, but even now, I have realized how I was mistaken with my perceptions about Pakistan, the government, the army, its geopolitical environment, the past and the future, and many more things.
The author of the book, Anatol Lieven‬ writes, "Pakistan is quite simply far more important to the region, the West and the world than is Afghanistan: a statement which is a matter not of sentiment but of mathematics. With more than 180 million people, Pakistan has nearly six times the population of Afghanistan (or Iraq), twice the population of Iran, and almost two-thirds the population of the entire Arab world put together. Pakistan has a large diaspora in Britain (and therefore in the EU), some of whom have joined the Islamist extremists and carried out terrorists attacks against Britain."
According to the author, it is true that the government of Pakistan supports the Afghani Taliban and by that it promotes extremism, however, it may also be the first stand against it.
Pakistan is made of many contradicting groups, fractions, ideas, however that won't be a cause for its collapse, if one wants to argue that. What may destroy the Pakistani system though will be the "flood and other ecological disasters" on the scale like that of the 2010.
You must read this book.

Aug 18, 2014


Extremism can only be resolved by providing chances for participation of isolated groups and fractions in the society. I don't expect politicians to understand this fact.