Archive for January 29th, 2011

Thinking or Doing?

January 29, 2011

Gideon Rachman asks in the FT of 25th January: ‘Where have all the thinkers gone?’

He is making an interesting discovery on the basis of this year’s list of the Foreign Policy magazine re the ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers‘  (of 2010).

He notices that the top ten in the list are quite more famous as doers (rather than thinkers).

‘…The 1861 rankings could have startd with Charles Darwin and John Stuart Mill….then you could include Karl Marx and Charles Dickens. And that was just the people living in and around London. In Russia, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were both at work, although neither had yet published their greatest novels….’

After naming a few reasons that may account for the above difference between the thinkers of the past century and the doers of our days he concludes:

‘ ….there is a final possibility. That, for all its wealth and its gadgets, our generation is not quite as smart as it thinks it is’.

 

Probably Gideon Rachman is right. Probably we are less smart despite the tools we use to ‘make’ us smarter (i.e. smartphones?). Or, it is probably our epoch that requires us doing rather than thinking. If thinking is not reflected upon doing then what difference can it make? And, I believe, ‘doing’ has a taste, while ‘thinking’ may be just a nostalgia of a possible ‘doing’…..

 

Hyper time, hyper activities

January 29, 2011

Tim Weber reports from the recent World Economic Forum at Davos upon the high usage of smart phones during the Davos’ sessions. The Hyper-connectivity is an undoubted reality and the question is how people will be able to deal with myriads of info and their great challenges.

‘….in nearly every session at least a dozen participants surreptitiously or openly use their smartphones, laptops or tablets…’

The report also sets the question whether the learning process requires full devotion to the subject studied, full concentration and uninterrupted mind-organisation. I still remember my father being bothered by my brother any time the latest was reading a book or doing his homework by listening to the radio at the same time.  ‘You cant’ do that …’ my father used to say…’…you have to do either the one or the other…’. What my father would actually say now when reading a newspaper, tweeting and checking your inbox can be activities that can take place almost synchronously?? The era of Hyper-time has come!

 

 

Dear Egyptian government…

January 29, 2011

One of the main topics that attracted this week’s interest is the protest in Egypt against President Mubarak that followed similar protests in Tunisia. The fear for a domino effect in Middle East is not an unrealistic one. But, it seems that the new victim of those protests is the Internet connection, the ability of the people to be connected and to use the social media-necessary tools for the organization and mobilization of their actions.

The Net activities in Egypt started to be very problematic since last Tuesday with Facebook and Twitter and further mobile services non responsive, and the users in an effort to discover alternative connection mechanisms. Needless to say,  that the official government denied any responsibility at the very beginning.

Governments that claim that they promote free speech should know that nowadays by ‘free speech’ we mean ‘ being, talking, and acting online‘. Cutting down the online services is not about restoring order in a violent crackdown. The more immediate the response of a government re cutting down online services the higher the chance to be called authoritarian.

Dear governments: On line means also In line (with the contract signed between you and the people).

A New Year full of promises?

January 29, 2011

A wish for 2011: Promising blogs, interesting comments, world events that welcome interpretation but trigger smiles, happiness and satisfaction. Health, Happiness and Love + Action for the Humanity.