Mar 3, 2014

Looking like Gandolf

Movies that are made about the historical religious leaders always portray them handsome, tall, masculine, with long beautiful hair, and awesome beard that made their faces look kind and like an angel. Well, considering their lives and thoughts, it's natural that we imagine their faces as such. But did they really look like that? I don't know!

But the thing is, regardless of these great men's thoughts, not all of them look like Gandolf. That I am positive about.

A hypothetical test: Line up all the great men in all professions and subjects in the history. Count the number of those among them who look average, according to the perceived standards of a good-looking man, and not even look like Gandolf.

Conclusion is yours to make.

Feb 25, 2014

Stylish candidates

It appears some of our presidential candidates in Afghan Elections 2014 have a tendency of using their Facebook photos for their campaign materials! They are dressed up in different formats, styles, dressing codes.

That's bad! It may imply they don't have a stable character. They get into different shapes and styles as per the voters' expectations. Whilst that can be considered a progress in the Afghan political sphere, whereas the practitioners are beginning to pay more attention to their people, but it looks dishonest as well. Voters may not trust candidates who look pretentious.

At the same time, having so much attention to appearance is a negative attitude for a leader. President Obama always wears black or blue because he says he don't want to be distracted by these things. In a different profession, Einstein wore always the same color or type of clothes, so did Steve Jobs.

Having a neat look is a complement for a leader, while having less attention to it is a virtue for them.

Feb 2, 2014

Karzai

Angrily, unforgivably, and openly, they curse Karzai, and then, call him "dogmatic!

Karzai is a genius. I have never had, in recent years, the faith I had in him when I voted for him the first time, nor even as much as I believed him when I voted for him the second time, just in a hope that the other candidates wouldn't win. He has shown times and times the level of tolerance and flexibility, practically and explicitly, I have never seen in any other Afghan politicians. He has shown a level of professionalism of which you never find a second example in the Afghan political history. He doesn't respond of course, he just ignores! What else could have you expected from a leader to survive for twelve years in a highly radicalized society like that of Afghan's?! That of course makes the rest of us angry!

He had no solid ethnic basis to leverage for political gains, nor a firm support from the U.S. during Obama.Yet, he never gave up negotiating. He consistently demanded more either domestically or internationally, empty-handed.

Does he seek personal interest? Who doesn't! In an amateur political environment like the Afghanistan's, where the politicians are comprised of murderers, pedophiles, smugglers, or charlatans formerly called "intellectuals", he appears to remain the only one who can stay rational and seek the national interest, as well as his personal.

BSA? I have said this before. There are more to this game than meet the eye. We want to sell our country, but for a better price! Stay patient!

Jan 19, 2014

Alexis Kamerman

When I remember her lovely face and her beautiful smile, I can't stop crying!

For god's sake, we have the right to live, we have the right to breathe, to learn, to go to school, to go to restaurant, to walk on the street. We don't want to kill anyone, We don't want the people of the world hate us. We want them to love us.

Taliban! We don't want you! Leave us, please!

Jan 11, 2014

Legal sex

It seems far from feasibility in Afghanistan, for many reasons. But if it was possible, I would vote for legalization of prostitution in this country.

It appears it has raised many controversies in Germany between the for and against the legalization. The people who is in the pro side believe that legalization has protected many, whom otherwise would be exploited without anyone informed about it. The opponents of the legalization however believe that prostitution is basically against the human rights and dignity. They are mostly comprised of feminists, social activists, and religious groups. I see in both groups ethical bases. The first is based on a utilitarianistic ethics, while the second, a deontological one.

I don't have any access to stats and data on this field, but it's just a hypothesis: Sex and sexual desires are factual demands in an environment, called the "market". Right? So as long as they exist, so exists the supply side. No one is to blame. It's just the market and how it works, which is so humanistic (that I have faith in).

If you illegalize the supply of prostitution, it's a sure thing you can't de-exist the demand side. The demand continues to nurture itself in any possible way, including unprotected, the already illegal sex. where the illegal practitioners no one formally knows about, has no data about, nobody cars about, nobody protects them. If it is legalized, maybe it appears that it would foster prostitution, which is not a desirable thing (that I should've mentioned it earlier) but I doubt any apparent increase in the number of professionals in the field is the direct result of increases in demand, because of the legalization. There would be increases in the supply side but perhaps because there have been potential hidden demands for it, in advance.

Legalization of prostitution is no factor for demoralizing the society, not saying that prostitution itself is not. It protects people who would be unprotected otherwise.

Gender-based violence

I've never believed in feminism and its historical male conspiracy theories. As a businessman, I believe in productivity when it's about women, rather than gender mainstreaming brought about by international NGOs in Afghanistan.

However, my definition of gender-based violence is rather all-inclusive, i.e. I believe violence is not limited to physical hardships of murder, torture, sexual abuse, etc. but it encompasses all types of intentions, actions, policies, laws, customs, traditions, cultures, that stops, in one way or the other, passively or actively, the belief, action, or imagination of a female to develop.

And, I don't know what exactly "development" could mean here; and actually, I don't intend to provide any definition either.

Jan 5, 2014

Quality

What determines quality of a product? Durability, Sustainability, Low Price, the so-called Snob Effect?

Yes and no! All these factors and more are significant factors in determining the quality of a product, good or service, one way or the other. But how can we measure the durability of a haircut or sustainability of an air travel? Or, what does the low price have to do with a Lamborghini? And the snob effect has nothing to do with the quality of the product! Quality is not merely a perception, it's real! But are we able to draw a general outline for a quality product? How would that product look like then?

Quality means Convenience and Control translated into the various aspects of a product utility. The experiences you are pleased and gratified with through the moment you make your mind to have/buy the product to the moment you're practically using/having/receiving it, and beyond. Saying it again, it is about the total experience of control and convenience you have over planning, purchasing, using, and recycling the product.

Today morning, it took me five minutes to open the package of a set of AAA battery. FIVE MINUTES! For god's sake, that product has little quality to me! Yesterday, I was pouring water into my Siemens iron. When I was closing the lid of its tank, it had a sound like I broke the lid! (It didn't broke.) Although it's a good iron and I have been using it for over a year now, but I am not going to recommend it to anyone else!

Dec 14, 2013

Afghan violence

That is correct that in any society you can find cases of violence, but when it is becoming so frequent that some refuge to religion to justify it, we should really be concerned.

By nature, people tend to minimize contradictions between their behavior and their opinions (cognitive dissonance). I am confident there are little or no grounds one can base Islamic teachings for the widespread violence against women that are happening every day in any corner of the country. It was so unjustifiable for me to hear arguments of Afghan men talking on a BBC radio program on the topic, where they were making up various accounts of hadith justifying violence against women. First of all, the reliability of any hadith in that regard would be questionable having a logical analytical mind, if we of course believe in any logic in religion. Second, any religious basis, including Islam, would be questionable legitimizing such violence. It would be also hard for one to find any biological bases in Afghan male genetics leading to such tendency of committing violence against women.

I believe in though cultural bases legitimizing violence of many kinds, including extreme cases of violence like murder, torture, sexual abuse, to less violent forms, such as street harassment, organizational gender discrimination, family gender discrimination, legal gender discrimination and so forth.

As much unacceptable as violence against women is, it is illogical to think we can change it over a night. It is deeply rooted in our culture. Merely imprisoning the perpetrators would not be a solution to eliminate violence, especially whereas in the society any perpetrator can be also seen as a victim. However, the wave of repulsion against such violence, among Afghan public diaspora, would be an awakening moment in our cultural life.

AUAF Job Fair

On the Job Fair day at AUAF Thursday afternoon, the recruiting companies had little idea what they were doing. They were advertising their products rather than recruiting, which is understandable, but not even in an informed, targeted way for the best students in the fields over the country.

If I were leading the company's recruiting team, I would take advantage of the great opportunity grabbing away the best talents in the fields through providing an idea of what it is like to working at my company, talking about the vision, mission, culture, and life. Clubs, sport teams, food, parking lot, etc. are also attractive topics to talk about. Posters, pictures, and videos would help a lot. I would also talk about why should the student wish and plan to join us after graduation and what career prospect and personal development plans would await him/her in a few years down the road working at my company. I will talk about the compensation advantages, as well.

I would not idly wait for the opportunity of students approaching my stall. For that matter, I will make my stall attractive and different from others' to grab attentions, dragging visitors to that, in a welcoming and appreciating manner. Companies should never forget that their most important asset is their employees, and so, it is vital to develop ever-creative ways to recruit new blood to the vessels of the organization.

You may say, "Oh, this is Afghanistan! We don't have to be concerned about these issues, because they would have to join our company anyway. Because they are poor, etc. etc." Well, you are partly correct. But is that really your vision for your company and for your country, Afghanistan?!

This is an open discussion and your ideas are much appreciated. I may be wrong about the specific ways to attract potential employees, as I mentioned above, but the point I want to grab the attentions to is the significance of the issue, first for our university administration to plan and coordinate better such events, and second for the companies to put more resources into this.

Dec 6, 2013

Big Data

Determining probability of occurrence of events and the temptation of finding correlations between the events have been the aspirations that statisticians have been following during centuries. To accomplish those aspirations, the underlying assumption was that a sample of a population represents that population, within some standard errors.

Big Data, an evolving phenomenon thanks to the information age, online social networks, and information systems, is going to radically change these calculations. Data on customer behavior are collected through systems such as CRM, ERP, etc. in helping businesses predict market trends. Social networking websites are also invaluable tools following customers' footprints ubiquitously. The mobile industry, rising on the ashes of cameras and computers, helps the Big Data get bigger. The to-be released Google Glass is a product generating data, ubiquitously, and has been generated out of the mere concept. The Big Data also opens concerns and debates over privacy issues.

The radical difference between the conventional statistical methodologies and the emerging, ever-growing Big Data are in the concepts of sampling populations and explaining events. Whereas statistics is unable to study the whole population, and contents itself with samples through precise measurements, the Big Data does that instantaneously, though, with less precision. On the other hand, statistics tries to explain events through clarifying positive/negative correlations and predictor-variable relations. In other words, it tries to find out the Why. The Big Data, due to its nature, is incapable of doing that, but it rather focuses on the How.

The new world of business is not a battle between ideas, but a greater war between how you implement the ideas. You don't fight the Big Data, which sounds absurd, you embrace it to win!