Sunday, December 29, 2019

Faulty BISP Beneficiaries Analysis. Use of Proxies in Data Analytics

Faulty assumptions of BISP research led to faulty conclusions:
We must need to question the faulty research assumptions of BISP Benazir Support Program Research Study that is being promoted on social media without requisite critical analysis. Over 8lac people have been identified that are being classified as "rich"  without the necessary and rigorous research methodology and analysis. The research has used some raw data plucked from random sources without rigorous analysis, validation and triangulation of the data. 

The use of data analytics,  however,  is a good beginning and like all tools need to be used with care and proper training. This is a good case study of faulty research assumptions for MPhil/PhD researchers that often lead to faulty conclusions:. 
بے نظیر پروگرام ریسرچ مفروضہ-1:
کیا NADRA کے ایگزیکٹو سنٹرز سے cnic بنوانے والے سارے امیر لوگ ہوتے ہیں؟ کیا آپ نے وہاں مزدور نہیں دیکھے؟ کیا غرہب، بیمار اور بوڑھے لوگ لمبی خواری سے بچنے کیلئے ایگزیکٹو سنٹرز نہیں جاتے؟ 

بے نظیر پروگرام ریسرچ مفروضہ-2:
کیابیرون ملک سفر کرنے والے غریب مزدور نہیں ہوتے؟ کیا واپس آنے والے سارے مزدور امیر ہو جاتے ہیں؟ کیا آپ نے ان کے استحصال کی دلخراش کہانیاں نہیں سنیں! جن سے وہاں بیگار میں سالوں کام کروایا گیا؟  میں کئی لوگوں سے ملا ہوں جو کئ سال بعد واپس آئے ہیں یا واپس بھیج دئیے گئے ہیں، اور اب اپنی ذندگی دوبارہ شروع کر رہے ہیں- کچھ ساز و سامان انہوں نے اچھے وقتوں میں خرید لیا مگر بدلے ہوئے حالات میں کرائے کی ٹیکسی چلا رہے ہیں-

بے نظیر پروگرام ریسرچ مفروضہ-3:
کیا ہر موٹر سائیکل خریدنے والا امیر ہوتا ہے؟ کیا موٹر سائیکل خریدنے والے مزدور یا فوڈ ڈلیوری والے نہیں ہوتے؟ کیا موٹر سائیکل 2ہزار روپے مہینہ قسط پر نہیں ملتی تھی؟ کئ لوگوں سے ملا ہوں جنہوں نے کسی طرح موٹر سائیکل خرید لی ہے اور اب اس کے زریعے معاش تلاش کر رہے ہیں- آج کل موٹر سائیکل ٹھیلے کی جگہ بن گئ ہے-
Do you think that all Food panda/Bykea riders are rich? Do you think all taxi-drivers/rickshaw drivers are rich? Do you know what is the daily rent that a yellow cab driver pays to the owner of the yellow cab/rickshaw? Do you think the Uber driver who drives professionally is rich? Many of them may have brought the car/bike on installments. 

There can be similar critique of other parameters selected in this study:

The collected data is known as proxy data. Please ask any econometric and social science researcher how this data needs to be qualified with other demographic data before it could be gainfully used to pluck out those unworthy of government support. 

This measure indicates also that it is deriving Sadistic Pleasure from stopping the paltry amount of 1500-2000 rupees being disbursed to over 8lac people. Just see the ridiculousness and shameful irony:
بے نظیر انکم پروگرام سے ملنے والی دو ہزار روپے ماہانہ کی "خطیر" رقم پر "عیاشی" کرنے والے لاکھوں  لوگوں کا ناطقہ بند کر کے حکومت اب بیرونی قرضوں پر لات مارے گی، موج اڑائے گی

What a shameful sadism. 

Dr Irfan Hyder

Sunday, December 15, 2019

What Economic and Political Circumstances Led to Secession of East Pakistan

Pakistani Decision Makers should have their Skin in the Game




Decision makers and opinion makers need to have skin in the game to face the adverse implications of their decisions. It is easy to design frameworks and solutions when consultants and fly-by-night solution providers do not have their skin in the game and they have no concern because they are not going to feel the pain of costs and failures of their decisions. Pakistan history is replete with people who enter, make monumental decisions and vanish without feeling the adverse pain and implications of their decisions.

Shaukat Aziz simply vanished after plunging the country with huge spiraling energy costs due to imported consumer electrical appliances and vehicles. These energy shortages would plunge the country in severe blackouts for the next 5 years. General Kayani is now safely immune to the fall out of his 6 years as chief. Gen Musharraf is safely secluded in Emirates.

Where is the skin in the game of Hafeez Shaikh who vanished with Gen Mush. What is the skin in the game of Zulfi Bokhari, Raza Baqar?

In contrast. we have most politicians whose skin in the game with their properties, families, businesses and a great stake in the future of the country. The Bhutto family paying with their lives of ZAB, BB, Murtaza Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto. Bilawal et al are here with personal stake. We have Zardari spending years in prison under Mush's rule and fighting for his property and businesses in the courts today. We have NS with his business and properties at stake in the court cases. Their skin is in the game.

A Book Review on Skin in the Game by Nassim N. Taleb (New York, NY: Random House), 2018

Skin in the Game is a book about asymmetries in life, in society, in history, in beliefs. Written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a former options trader turned probability thinker via his own skin in the game, the book is also about the consequences of such asymmetries. It explores four main topics “according to how deep the author wants to go into a topic, not to make life easy for the critics to write reviews” (p. 44). The main topic is that of symmetry in human affairs, expanded into a second—related—topic of symmetry in information sharing in market-type transactions. A third topic is the exposition of a survival-bound definition of rationality. The fourth—and most overarching—topic is uncertainty and knowledge reliability, especially in regards to risk management in the marketplace, war, business, etc.

Hawkish politicians and reckless bankers never face the consequences of their actions – but they should, according to this arresting book

Skin in the Game is Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s fifth book. He presents it sometimes as part of a triptych with his earlier works The Black Swan and Antifragile, and at other times as a continuation, each book “just as Eve came out of Adam’s ribs”, seeding the central idea of the next. The Black Swan, a soaraway success praised for its prophetic power and intense relevance, looked – just before the financial crash of 2007 – at “high-impact, unexpected” events; at those disasters that result when you underestimate the complexity of systems and, at its simplest, when you assume that because you’ve never seen one, black swans don’t exist.

Antifragile, which had more of a pop-philosophy feel, advised how to take advantage of modern randomness and volatility. Skin in the Game has more in common, in the way its ideas are structured and their application, with Black Swan. Yet a style runs strong and consistent through each of the three books, trenchant beyond all imagining, and is its own kind of wit. Every economist, journalist, book reviewer, professor, anyone who is not part of an “active and transactional life” is an inveterate idiot, unless he or she is one of a handful Taleb respects, who also seem to be his very close friends. “I am never bothered by normal people,” he says, though given the emphasis he puts on his “fuck-off” wealth, the reader might be permitted to wonder how many normal people he engages with.

“It is the bull***tter in the ‘intellectual’ profession who bothers me. Seeing the psychologist Steven Pinker making pronouncements about things intellectual has a similar effect to encountering a drive-in Burger King while hiking in the middle of a national park ” Taleb is riotously discourteous and extremely thin skinned, still taking issue in his footnotes with the negative review he received in this paper for Antifragile. The effect is arresting: it can be extremely good fun. The combination of fearlessness, self-belief and immodesty adds up to charisma on the page; Taleb is the festival messiah you’d follow into a river until the drugs wore off.

The argument of the new book is also immediately attractive: if you have no skin in the game, you shouldn’t be in the game. “If you give an opinion, and someone follows it, you are morally obligated to be, yourself, exposed to its consequences.” Hawks in the White House should not be taking decisions about bombs in Iraq when they will remain in their air-conditioned houses with their 2.2 children whatever the result. Bankers are in the “Bob Rubin trade”, named after the former secretary of the US Treasury, who “collected more than $120 million in compensation from Citibank in the decade preceding the banking crash of 2008. When the bank, literally insolvent, was rescued by the taxpayer, he didn’t write any cheque – he invoked uncertainty as an excuse. Heads he wins, tails he shouts ‘Black Swan’.”

There are fools of randomness and crooks of randomness, but Taleb’s corrective is the same: they must have skin in the game. This is needed to ensure they think well, so that they learn from their mistakes, and because systems learn and species evolve by weeding out failure. Those who don’t succeed must face ruin, or death (this dances around a bit, as correctives will when you’re ranging freely in your references between a lecture agent who once pissed you off and the ancient text of Hammurabi); whatever, something bad. So far, so appealing: most sensible people have agreed for some time that bankers need personal liability if they’re going to make responsible choices.

Perhaps already it sounds too broad; yes, doctors have skin in the game, having professional pride and reputation, severe legal consequences for error, a deep understanding of complex systems, and centuries of accrued ethical standards. But the proposition that bureaucrats, being separated from the consequences of their decisions (no skin in the game), are the ultimate social ill is hard to sustain; if you accept that systems are complex, then subsidiarity – devolving decisions down to the lowest civic level at which they can be made, where everyone’s skin is involved – can only be a partial solution. The statement that “the most egregious contributor to inequality is the condition of a high-ranking civil servant or tenured academic, not that of an entrepreneur” is very easily falsifiable by referring to the real motor of inequality, the distribution of profits between capital and labour, driven by chief executives and shareholders who want values maximised – people whose skin is very much in the game of driving down wages. There’s a case to be made for balance. You wouldn’t want homicide law to be written by the mother of a murdered child.

It’s in this book’s details that the flaws reveal themselves. “Prince Andrew,” we learn, “took more risks than ‘commoners’ during the Falkland [sic] war of 1982, his helicopter being in the front line. Why? Because noblesse oblige; the very status of a lord has been traditionally derived from protecting others.” If this gels with nothing you’ve ever thought or heard about Prince Andrew, it’s because it’s not true. He did fly a helicopter, so it was certainly more dangerous than not going to war at all; but the Argentinians had scant anti-aircraft capability. The ground was far more fraught with risk.

A section on how a whole population can submit to the preferences of a tiny, stubborn minority is fascinating only from a great distance. Taleb hypothesises a family of four in which one member will only eat non-genetically modified food. It is easier for the whole family to go that way; soon, because of barbecues and whatnot, the neighbourhood starts to buy non-GMO to accommodate them, the shop starts to sell only that food, and so on. The least flexible dominate the most, because the former will only eat some things while the latter will eat anything. Then we learn that in the UK, “where the (practising) Muslim population is only 3% to 4%, a very high proportion of the meat we find is halal. Close to 70% of lamb imports from New Zealand are halal. Close to 10% of Subway stores carry halal-only meat (meaning no pork), in spite of the high costs of losing the business of ham eaters (like myself).”

In fact, New Zealand produces halal lamb almost exclusively (98%), because of trade deals with the Middle East, and Subway’s halal stores are part of a policy since 2007 to take account of the local demographic when opening, resulting in 200-odd stores in north-east London, Birmingham and other places where the average Subway shopper is far more likely to be Muslim than 3%. Taleb’s conclusion – via some other observations on tolerance, religion and politics – that the “West is currently in the process of committing suicide” is just silly. More saliently, it goes against his own precepts: every idea that sounds as if it might work in the abstract fails in the particular, and more to the point, he has no skin in this game. He’s not the one who has to get on a bus wearing a hijab and be yelled at by some partially educated thug who didn’t want his rogan josh to be halal.

In one section, Taleb reveals the best advice he ever received, which was not to have an assistant: it is slightly incongruous, neither reinforcing, exemplifying nor adding complexity to his argument. But it is enlightening in one sense: it might help if he got one.

 Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life is published by Allen Lane. To order a copy for £17 (RRP £20) go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.


© 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

See Also:



A Jog Down the Memory Lane

A Jog down the memory lane

Yesterday I took a stroll down the fields on the farm in Tumair. Moving from the small cozy cottage on the east side of the farm land towards the north-west corner where the work was in progress to build a water reservoir. This is barani land, where people have been growing crops such as corn and wheat for ages. These crops only require the seasonal rain pattern. As the farm lodgings begin to take shape we are still groping for a water solution. Without water, landscaping and growing of the plants we want is difficult. Although, rain in Islamabad is plentiful, the water needs to be stored in reservoirs. [2007-04-28]

As I reached the north-west field of the farm, I passed across a whole bunch of keekar trees. Keekar is a tree that is full of thorns with tiny leaves mingling with the thorns. This is spring time. Keekars are in their full bloom, laden with flowers with an intoxicating fragrance. The bushes all around are strewn with wild flowers. These flowers are also small with very tiny petals of yellow, orange and red colors giving a beautiful kaleidoscope. The sweet fragrance brought to my mind memories from the fragrance from the line of Keekars some thirty years ago on the road that curves around what used to be Ayub Khan's house in G-6/2. I was jogging from the edge of F-6/4 on Embassy Road and going towards Margalla hills. I was in intermediate and studying hard for my board exams. My day typically started early in the morning with jog to the foot of the hill and back to our place in 27/1 F-6/4.  That Spring the lines of the keekars were yet young trees and the fragrance from their small yellowish green flowers was enchantingly refreshing. How I soaked myself in that beautiful morning with the invigorating morning breeze. Ah, I can't forget.....

The sound of dozer brings me back to Tumair Farm. Grass is now growing wildly in the fields at this time of the year where it should have been wheat fields ready for cutting and thrashing. We have not grown wheat in the fields as it is no longer economical to do it while sitting in Karachi and controlling the operations from afar. Few of the fields around have fully grown wheat that is being cut and thrashed. People say it is difficult to get a laborer because they are all occupied in this business of cutting and thrashing the wheat. In the distance I can see the land that was once fields growing wheat during rabi and corn during khareef. However, bull dozer has now been plowing on these fields, flattening them, removing the beautiful natural contours and meandering and winding water ways into straight land with crisscross of small roads. These beautiful fields are now destined to become 5 and 10 marla plots sold to new city comers and there soon would be shanty housing with little civic amenities.

As I thought about it, my heart filled with fear. I could see that the land adjoining our farm may itself convert into these shanty dwelling not so far in future may be just a couple of years. All through the night I could hear the dozers working in the far. In the morning I found out that the noise of the dozers was coming from the other side of this beautiful hillock on the south side of our farms. They must have put the dozer on to level the beautify terrain that I saw when I climbed up the hillock with my kids three years ago. The beauty is going, going and gone.

The tractror was moving from one end of the field scraping the earth and dozing it to make the wall. The wall is now beginning to take shape. Around this field, stand a number of ...


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How I learned the Craft of Book Binding

I learned book binding جلد بندی from my relative Ehtisham Haider Chacha (منّو چچا) . I went with him to Raja Bazar, Rawalpindi  in 1975-76 when I was in 8th class and living in Islamabad. He helped me buy the needle, thick thread, and glossy paper sheet, scissors etc. He then taught me how to prepare home made glue (میدہ کی لئی ), make holes in the book, thread the book with needle, attach thick card from used  hard binding of copies,  tie it to the thread, cut it, put the spine cloth, glue it and paste the glossy paper. I used this skill to bind hundreds of books in my home collection. I still have a few of those bound books with me. Unfortunately I could not get the opportunity to graduate to the finer art of جزو بندی which is a more involved craft requiring sewing with fine thread different parts (جزو)  of the book.
See the sewing of one of the binding that is exposed of this book

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Where to Download Books for Free and Legally


45 places you can download tens of thousands books, plays and other literary texts completely legally for free

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In an increasingly digital world, literature is evolving. Sales of e-readers continue to rise, yet the cost of digital books and texts has not necessarily decreased to the extent to which many initially predicted. With authors’ incomes collapsing to near “abject” levels, and with public libraries under threat from swingeing public spending cuts, we felt honour bound to provide our fine readers with some valuable resources that could help save valuable money.

While we of course advocate supporting your local independent book store – and independent publishing houses – and would urge you to purchase copies of your books where you can afford to, below you can find a collection of 45 websites where you can download tens of thousands of books, plays and texts for free. Oh, and these sites are also all completely legal, of course!

Browse works by Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Joseph Conrad, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Edgar Allen Poe and other famous writers here.

  1. Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte.
  2. The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania hosts this book search and database.
  3. Project Gutenberg: This famous site has over 27,000 free books online (in fact, a lot of the books listed in subsequent sites here can be found at PG – yet we list the others as users may prefer different site’s interfaces, while the others below also help tailor searches for specific types of books or plays).
  4. Page by Page Books: Find books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, as well as speeches from George W. Bush on this site.
  5. Classic Book Library: Genres here include historical fiction, history, science fiction, mystery, romance and children’s literature, but they’re all classics.
  6. Classic Reader: Here you can read Shakespeare, young adult fiction and more.
  7. Read Print: From George Orwell to Alexandre Dumas to George Eliot to Charles Darwin, this online library is stocked with the best classics.
  8. Planet eBook: Download free classic literature titles here, from Dostoevsky to D.H. Lawrence to Joseph Conrad.
  9. The Spectator Project: Montclair State University’s project features full-text, online versions ofThe Spectator and The Tatler.
  10. Bibliomania: This site has more than 2,000 classic texts, plus study guides and reference books.
  11. Online Library of Literature: Find full and unabridged texts of classic literature, including the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain and more.
  12. Bartleby: Bartleby has much more than just the classics, but its collection of anthologies and other important novels made it famous.
  13. us:Fiction.us has a huge selection of novels, including works by Lewis Carroll, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Flaubert, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.
  14. Free Classic Literature: Find British authors like Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, plus other authors like Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and more.
  1. net: Here you can read plays by Chekhov, Thomas Hardy, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and others.
  2. Plays: ReadPygmalionUncle Vanya or The Playboy of the Western World
  3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: MIT has made available all of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories
  4. Plays Online: This site catalogs “all the plays [they] know about that are available in full text versions online for free.”
  5. ProPlay: This site has children’s plays, comedies, dramas and musicals.
  6. Public Bookshelf: Find romance novels, mysteries and more.
  7. The Internet Book Database of Fiction: This forum features fantasy and graphic novels, anime, J.K. Rowling and more.
  8. Free Online Novels: Here you can find Christian novels, fantasy and graphic novels, adventure books, horror books and more.
  9. Foxglove: This British site has free novels, satire and short stories.
  10. Baen Free Library: Find books by Scott Gier, Keith Laumer and others.
  11. The Road to Romance: This website has books by Patricia Cornwell and other romance novelists.
  12. Get Free Ebooks: This site’s largest collection includes fiction books.
  13. John T. Cullen: Read short stories from John T. Cullen here.
  14. SF and Fantasy Books Online: Books here includeArabian Nights,Aesop’s Fables and more.
  15. Free Novels Online and Free Online Cyber-Books: This list contains mostly fantasy books.
  1. The Literature Network: This site features forums, a copy of The King James Bible, and over 3,000 short stories and poems.
  2. Poetry: This list includes “The Raven,” “O Captain! My Captain!” and “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde.”
  3. Poem Hunter: Find free poems, lyrics and quotations on this site.
  4. Famous Poetry Online: Read limericks, love poetry, and poems by Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Lord Byron and others.
  5. Google Poetry: Google Books has a large selection of poetry, from The Canterbury Talesto Beowulf to Walt Whitman.
  6. com: Read poems by Maya Angelou, William Blake, Sylvia Plath and more.
  7. com: Rudyard Kipling, Allen Ginsberg and Alfred Lord Tennyson are all featured here.
  8. com: On this site, you can download free poetry ebooks.
  9. Banned Books: Here you can follow links of banned books to their full text online.
  10. World eBook Library: This monstrous collection includes classics, encyclopaedias, children’s books and a lot more.
  11. DailyLit: DailyLit has everything fromMoby Dick to the more recent phenomenon, Skinny Bitch.
  12. A Celebration of Women Writers: The University of Pennsylvania’s page for women writers includes Newbery winners.
  13. Free Online Novels: These novels are fully online and range from romance to religious fiction to historical fiction.
  14. net: Download mysteries and other books for your iPhone or eBook reader here.
  15. Authorama: Books here are pulled from Google Books and more. You’ll find history books, novels and more.
  16. Prize-winning books online: Use this directory to connect to full-text copies of Newbery winners, Nobel Prize winners and Pulitzer winners.

 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Dismissals of Civilian Prime Ministers in Pakistan by DoN Doctrine of Necessity Godfathers

Doctrine of Necessity (DoN) sword had been used to repeatedly dismiss civilian prime ministers of Pakistan prematurely, since 1950s. The DoN godfathers have played the role of 1st umpire, 2nd umpire and 3rd umpire interchangeably in ensuring that the civilian prime ministers are never able to complete their terms peacefully. These dismissals have now been documented in several places such as History of Judiciary of Pakistan and also in books by several generals.

The objective of neocolonialism is to keep the third world countries perpetually in ICU so that they are never able to challenge their hegemony and remain a pliant consumer of their produce. None of the third world countries especially the Muslim Countries have been able to establish strong democratic credentials that can help them serve their people. Today's Pakistan is now totally subservient to IMF/World Bank and their tool FATF and once again in the service of its neocolonialism masters.
Judiciary (J), Bureaucracy (B), Establishment(E) taking turns as 1st, 2nd , 3rd Umpire for keeping Pakistan perpetually in ICU.


References (Being Updated): 

Year
Dismissed PMs
1st Umpire
2nd Umpire
3rd Umpire














Tuesday, November 5, 2019

How to Build Confidence in Children: Climbing the Trees and Getting out of a Hole

This must be around 1965-66. I am around 4-5 playing in my next door neighbor's house with my friend Umair, and somehow I had managed to climb up a large shahtoot (mulbery) tree in their courtyard. I could still feel my exhilaration that I felt as I went up and up from one branch to another. We have not yet started going to school and it was morning time before noon. Umair's mother was in the kitchen. Other siblings have gone to school....

We were living in 57/2 Wavell Lines, right in front of the Chaklala Railway Station. This was where I was born in 1962 and spent my early years. These were old British era barracks which were used as temporary accommodations for government servants waiting for the new construction in Islamabad. My father was in government service and had moved in to this Chaklala barrack home from Karachi, when the capital had shifted to Islamabad in 1960-61. Each barrack block had been converted into three separate units for family accommodations with three rooms each, with a veranda, kitchen and bathroom. There were only trees and empty ground between the railway station and the barracks where we were. Now this area has all been encroached.
Front side of Wavell Lines Barracks 50 years later in 2011.
These barracks were torn down in 2017-18

Friday, October 11, 2019

Covey's First Habit Advice to Proponents of Corruption Eradication First

Stephen Covey's first habit advice to anti-corruption proponents:
First habit of highly successful people states that focusing on circle of concern is counter productive. Instead focusing on your circle of Influence will cause it to expand, and this expansion will eventually take care of your concerns. "Process Efficiency" is in your circle of Influence and "corruption" is in your circle of Concern.


It is not corruption but incompetence and inefficiency that is the fundamental problem of third world countries

Had corruption been the cause of our problems, then IK's "clean" govt's anti-corruption drive should have been showing better results. IK's "clean" govt has falsified the hypothesis that Pakistan's plight is because of corruption! It is the inefficiency and incompetence, stupids! Incompetence, not corruption, is responsible for our woes and problem.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Be Sensitive While Paying for Pizza (expensive meal) through a Domestic Worker

Did you order pizza (or an expensive meal) and asked your door man (ملازم،چوکیدار) to pay the bill which ran into thousands (typically Rs 3000 or even much more) to  the home-delivery rider? Did you realize that you sent a message to your چوکیدار that you are willing to spend one half or one third the amount of his 30 days day-night salary on a single time meal? This door man's salary is a subsistence for his 4-6 member family surviving somewhere in the interior.

I beseech all my friends to curtail and bridle your extravagance, show-off at every level, especially in front of the have-nots. The dwindling economy, rising prices, increasing unemployment is creating unrest and discontent that is projected to increase for at least the next 3 years. With millions getting unemployed,  we are now sitting on a power keg which is ready to explode.

I am not saying that you don't enjoy pizza or an expensive meal. I am simply saying that you make the payments for pizza without involving the door man (چوکیدار یا ملازم). The door man will feel bad that you are consuming in one meal that which he earns in ten days of day and night work or half of his salary, or some times even full salary. Or do share a slice or two of the pizza with him.

You must create a share of at least one have-not in every meal you have,  or you don't make ostentatious display of your consumption. Be sensitive to the feelings of the havenots.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Strategic Issues for Universities in Pakistan

During a strategic management meeting on last Sunday (29th September, 2019), a leading industrial group chairman gave the following advice to the higher management of the universities:

The future outlook is bleak. Don't expect any investment or industrialization during the next 3 years. We are in the process of investing about Rs 4 billion in an industrial venture in collaboration with a foreign concern in Malaysia. The cost of investment rose from Rs 4 Billion to Rs 7 billion driving out all our projections of the feasibility. Forget about any FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) coming in. The unemployment is going to increase and the jobs available for graduates is going to decrease substantially. Hence the only option is to focus on entrepreneurship.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Javier Poncela-Professor from Malaga Spain who Taught us Selfless International Collaboration

Very sad. It was very sad to learn that Dr. Javier Poncela, a Professor at the University of Malaga, Spain had passed away. Dr Poncela was a well known personality in the electrical engineering departments of the universities of Sindh. He became a popular academician in Pakistani community and was routinely invited for the conferences in Pakistan and he too invited and hosted several professors and students in conferences in Spain. He supervised numerous PhD and MS Pakistani students in Pakistan and at Spain. He had played a pivotal role in many European Union Projects in Pakistan including Erasmus Mundus.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Only an Idiot does not take a U-Turn- Proud to be the Prime Minister of U-Turns

"I am proud to be the Prime Minister of U-Turns. Only an idiot does not take a U-Turn."
He has the audacity, impertinence and insensitivity to say this in Moharram when everyone takes inspiration from Hazrat Hussain who sacrificed his life and every thing but did not take the U-Turn offered by Yazid.

IK is the person who said "only an idiot does not take a uturn" during Moharram. By saying this he eulogozed Gen Niazi and slandered the sacrifices of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, Maj Tufail, Rashid Minhas and other shaheeds who did not take a U-Turn and gave their lives. He slandered Hazrat Imam Husain's sacrifice too.

(Irfan Hyder Sep 16, 2019, 7:55 PM)

Ghotki Rampage and Crowds Clamoring for the Head of 5000

Ghotki rampage occurs when government supporters encourage harassment and lawlessness. What do u expect from PTI juveniles who promote street killing of thousands on suspicion without trial, due process of law! During the run up to elections and till a few months ago. The pumped up juvenile brigade of the لونڈے، لپاڑے were vociferously promoting hanging and shooting of 5000 on mere suspicion of corruption without due process of law and without trial or charge or verdict from the courts. This has developed the mentality of rioting, vandalism, violence that we saw in the crowds on rampage in Ghotki. In this post I am talking about the mentality of street violence promoted by the likes of loud mouthed Faisal Vawda, Murad Saeed and others including our prime minister IK.

Supported by such frenzied and pumped up brigade, NAB went on a rampage incarcerating and imprisoning hundreds without trial, without charge, without due process of law, without considering constitutional rights of article 10A. They have shackled professors, not sparing even vice chancellors, some have even died in custody without trial.

The country is being ruled by CJPs since 1950s who have been godfathers of Doctrine of Necessity (DoN) another name of "might is right". Our current CJP and his "Conjoined twin" ex CJP Saqib Nisar as well as CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry and several others were DoN PCO godfathers. They legalized breaking of law and constitution by dictators at the altar of "might is right" DoN Doctrine which states "Necessity makes lawful that which is unlawful"! The most illustrious of CJP’s was Justice Munir who became the original DoN godfather in 1954-55 judgment.



Irfan Hyder updated his status.Sep 17, 2019, 5:10 AM

Work In Process

Examples of How Children Fail

In "How Children Fail", the acclaimed author John Holt describes how children stop using their mind, and fail. It is quite evident from the example pic below that the child was using his mind. Unfortunately, the teacher was grading "mindlessly" from the key that he had. This example is not an isolated case. There are scores of examples in the book and of various subjects where this occurs. With these kinds of wrong answers to wrongly phrased/formatted questions, the child learns that it is dangerous to use his mind. It is much better to be solving the problems "mindlessly" to get good grades, instead of "mindful application" which can often result in wrong answers. There are just too many students' papers to check by the teacher, and too many questions in each paper to give space to the teacher to drill down into the thinking of each child for each answer to see whether the logic in child's mind was correct or not. Too many failures like this and child stops thinking, and starts resorting to mindless application of formulae which also results in random grades. The child realizes that whether I use my mind or not, my grades are random. It is dangerous to use my mind, the child concludes. This is "How Children Fail" and we see so many people around us proudly proclaiming "I hate maths".

There are always going to be multiple interpretations of a question. But the teacher doesn't have time to evaluate all the student's answer as per the student's particular interpretation. Too many students, too many interpretations, and too little time with the teacher to check all the students. Hence, standardized tests and confusion of students who use their minds.

If you have children, it is criminal of you NOT to have read John Holt's books " How Children Fail" and 'How Children Learn".
This has been my advice during thousands of parental counseling sessions for the last 10 years.

Sep 19, 2019, 5:58 AM 

WIP: Examples Continued

Historical Metaphors and Our Personality

عصائے کلیمی، رسم شبیری، جادو سامری، رسم سلمان و اویس قرنی، در خیبر، کار خلیلی، بحر ظلمات میں گھوڑے، لیلی' بھی ہم نشیں، پیچ و تاب رازی، غزنوی کی تڑپ، زلف ایاز، طرابلس کے شہید، سوز و ساز رومی، لالہ صحرائی، عطار ہو رومی ہو رازی ہو غزالی ہو، مدار قوت حیدری، وہ غازی وہ تیرے پراسرار بندے، قتل حسین، مرگ یزید، بدر و حنین، آب رود گنگا، حور و قصور، آتش نمرود، ساقی کوثر، .........
Aah!
Can you feel the resonance of these metaphors in your heart?
Those who forget history, are forgotten by history!

Psychology of Sweeping Generalizations

کیا سب چور ہیں
اگر آپ کو ہر انسان غلط لگ رہا ہے تو پھر یہ دیکھیں کہ کہیں آپ تو غلط نہیں
This is a basic principle. A person who is a habitual liar can not concieve of any one except being liar. This is the problem with sweeping generalizations. If someone claims that "everyone" is corrupt then (1) "everyone' also includes him and the person making the claim must by definition also be corrupt, (2) not only that but the sweeping generalization also indicates the person's psychological state where his mind is corrupted to an extent that he can't find even a single person in the whole country (200million+) who is not corrupt! The latter is a more problematic psychological state. Hence,
جھوٹے کو سب جھوٹے لگتے ہیں، دھوکہ باز کو سب دھوکہ باز لگتے ہیں، وعدہ خلاف کو سب لوگ uTurn کرتے ہوئے نظر آتے ہیں, اور چور کو ساری عوام چور نظر آتی ہے

Case Study of Economic Hitmen of 2018 Pakistan

DoN Godfather Saqib Nisar n NAB led this government as Economic Hitmen: Their witch hunt of greatly respected Dr Saeed Akhtar PKLIC, Dr Ismail Shah PTA, Dr Umar Saif PITB, Engr Imran Shaikh PSO and others represent very carefully selected targets to create a mass disillusionment of leading professionals in public and private sector and stultify the fundamentals of infrastructure growth and maturity.
  • Dr Saeed Akhtar was hit because of his leadership in health sector, his great respect in medical professionals and his deep links in the philanthropic expatriate resourceful community of doctors in USA and West.
  • Dr Ismail Shah was selected to cripple and stultify the technical bureaucracy and highly qualified professionals in private sector working in telecommunications sector.
  • Dr Umar Saif was selected as a target based on his excellent e-Government initiatices in public infrastructure for e-stamps, e-property registrations, e-monitoring of public education schools, teachers as well as public health and hospitals and e-tracking of medicines supply chain, dengue control dashboard connected with all government hospitals providing instantaneous figures, etc. Each such initiative was instrumental in providing efficiency in government and improving service delivery, and was being acquired and implemented in other provinces.
  • Engr Imran Shaikh was selected because of his great respect in engineering sector and his commendable achievements. His humiliation at the hands of DoN PCO Judge Saqib Nisar was a perfect hit to demoralize the energy sector professionals who tirelessly worked to overcome the severe energy shortages of 20 hours loadshedding in 2013 to energy surplus in 2018

Work In Process:
  • Economic hit on infrastructure of roads, motorways, Metropolitan mass transit......
  • Economic hit on large scale manufacturing through the narrative of castigating and destroying the base of 80% revenues.....
  • Economic hit on infrastructure of micro and small enterprises of shanty shops, hawkers, پتھارے,....
  • Economic hit on infrastructure of philanthropic social service in the absence and abdication of government social services such as......

Monday, September 9, 2019

Myth of Science and Technology as Panacea for our Backwardness

The mythology that has been sold to the entire Muslim world and especially in Pakistan is that our backwardness is because of our backwardness in Science and Technology. Hence, S n T became the holy grail for progress and development. Everyone is willing to invest in Science and Technology, whether it has been Zia's government and Dr. Mahboob ul Haq's drive for S n T scholarships, or whether it is the political governments of the 90s or the Musharaff era (1999-2008) when Dr Ata ur Rahman was at the helm of S n T and HEC. Funds were lavished on S n T. The underlying assumption behind this myth was that the society would magically transform itself when we have x-thousand S n T PhDs; y-thousand professors with high impact factor; n-thousand Thompson Reuters IFJ publications and z-thousand state of the arts labs spread all over the country. After spending of hundreds of billions of tax payers money we find ourselves back to the starting point.

Covered Drains of Moenjodoro

Myth of Bigger Infrastructure Means Better Education

Myth: Bigger Infrastructure Means Better Education:
We were told that only high quality universities should be allowed to come up. Primary criteria for high quality was the size of the campus, covered area and other brick and mortar facilities. HEC, SHEC, PHEC, CIEC and their institutional proformas are replete with questions about the size of the campus, size of the offices for Deans, Faculty and other officials. They ask about playgrounds, auditorium, hostels etc. The conventional wisdom started suggesting the private sector universities starting in rented bungalows somehow will not be able to provide quality education. This argument was sold in spite of knowing about the history of many of our big universities now.

We all know how Aligarh University came up as MAO College in 1875. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan collected donations through the dancing girls that was much criticized at that time. Later in 1920s, the college became Aligarh Muslim University and eventually led the establishment of Pakistan.

We are told how Karachi University started its operations after the partition from the house of its first VC. A "taat" rag (from a sack) was used as a divider to separate the household from the office of the university. The university started with departments having no more than a couple of teachers.

More recently LUMS started in 1980s in a couple of rented bunglows and now boasts one of the more impressive campuses in the private sector spanning over hundred acres. There are so many examples in the private sector going through such transformations who had started their existence from humble beginnings.

FAST NU, UMT, MAJU, CUST and so many other universities all started from rented banglows.

A university is determined not by its buildings and infrastructure but by the commitment of its teachers and efficient and equitable processes.

This myth equates better quality with a ranking criteria that is biased towards the funding priorities of the donor commission. Actually the donor agencies would like to feel good about the funding that they are making and would like to justify their existence. There is a conflict of interest somewhere in such rankings.

They are purported to be quality ranking, but are actually "quantity" rankings because they are just counting the following:

– Bigger buildings (brick and mortar)
– More equipment
– More budget
– More faculty
– More numbers

The myth is perpetuated by measuring the input and not the output. Because the figures of the output are quite disturbing.

Hence, we see that neither the output nor the process being emphasized by the HEC Criteria for ranking. We would not find any of the following elements in the published ranking criteria:
– Processes
– Systems
– Culture
– Quality of graduates

For example, we still see many big universities inserting news items in the newspapers that they have announced the results! The fact that it becomes a news that the university has announced its results indicates that their processes are still in their infancy. For them announcing of admissions is also a news. Admissions and results announcements are not news, they are part of a process that should be automatic, predictable and scheduled events.

Our policy makers in Islamabad scramble for a foreign yatra whenever they get funds. Coming back from such trips they bring presents like GATT, WTO, Washington Accord or QS rankings to justify these visits. There may be some good ideas in there but the whole package should have been processed and thoroughly internalized through courage, time, effort and research to develop our own nationally relevant versions of such criteria. We talk about ISI research publications, but follow no such methodology in implementing such imported ideas. None of these systems before their promotion, implementation and adoption are passed through an impact factor ISI research that establishes their relevance to our context. We do not conduct any pilot studies, or study of the reliability and validity of the standards and criteria. We have seen how through WTO we were forced to let go of all the subsidies to our local market but when the time came for European nations and USA to let go of their subsidies, they dragged their feet and never did away with their own local subsidies. The result was that our whole economy got rocked in the process. However, when eventually those countries realized that they may have to do away with their nationally relevant subsidies they actually stifled the whole initiative and moved towards bilateral and multilateral agreements, jumping out of the WTO bandwagon that was designed to stifle the economies of the blind followers of the third world countries.

I suspect there is a clique of our intelligentsia in Islamabad that sits down, brainstorm and come up with a copy of some international system that will involve lots of money being spent, contracts being given, hardware being acquired and boxes being bought with only a cursory mention of the output generated through these investments.




________________________

This write-up is an extended rehash of the ideas presented in a talk on "Five Major Myths of Higher Education" made at the CIO Conference, March 2009 at Sheraton, Karachi. See another link



This is the 4th of the Five Major Myths of Higher Education in Pakistan:
  1. Our backwardness is because of science and technology 
  2. There is mushrooming of educational institutions in Pakistan 
  3. Public universities cost lower than private universities 
  4. Bigger infrastructure (land, building, equipment) means better education 
  5. Impact Factor research measures real impact



Traditions of Eid: Reflections of Past Eids and Future

This is a time to reflect on our traditions and culture of Eid. I am wondering how many of Pakistanis are still experiencing these. There are some disturbing posts on facebook and through some of my interactions that tell me that it is not only time to reflect but also to rekindle them through a sustained effort. Here I reflect on my life and learning over the last 55 years with many of these traditions

Eidi

  1. Visit to graves of loved ones
  2. Visit to relatives esp elders
  3. Visits from younger relatives
  4. Ziafat for guests
  5. Giving of eidi to children
  6.  Use of perfume
  7. Wearing of good dresses
  8. Distribution of sweet dishes
  9. Preparation for EID prayers
  10. Going to an open ground for EID prayers
  11. Eid embrace with guests, relatives, neighbors
  12. Celebrating EID. Not just sleeping through the EID days
  13. Exchange of EID Mubarak cards/messages

See also:

My war hero of 1965 War: Major (R) Shah M Ismail at Chawinda Tank Battle.

My hero of 1965 War: Major (R) Shah M Ismail at Chawinda Tank Battle.
Rauf Mamoo (as known in the family) related to us of his experience at Chawinda battlefield in the 1965 India-Pakistan war.
Major Shah M Ismail

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Dr Salim Mehmud and my Brush with SUPARCO during the 1980s

I spent 6 months in SUPARCO in 1987 before resigning and leaving for US for PhD. They were trying to design for several years a signal-filter chip that was available for a few hundred rupees in Saddar. We had nothing to do in the Computer Department where I was working. The commute time from City to Factory in Somiani was about 1.5hrs. Vans will come and pick us up early in the morning before 6. We were pretty tired and sleepy as we reach the factory at around 7am. Often the department employees would spread the packing material and sleep in the corners behind computers in the chilled computer center. The enterprising among us would sit on Autocad and design fun machine diagrams such as Space Shuttle (only its drawing, not the technical construction). The higher management was busy in making indents for purchasing materials and equipment. Their interest appeared more to be in commissions than in the usage of equipment. One could see expensive equipment lying around rotting.  Ran typically as a bureaucratic organization, the objective of the top management was not to allow people to work. So everyone was doing nothing but looking busy. Chairman was Dr Salim Mehmud, who was at the helm of affairs for around a decade. I think his mandate was neither to do any thing nor allow any one to do anything. Once in early 1980s, much before joining SUPARCO, while I was still a student of engineering and was a regular member and visitor of American Center, Dr Salim Mehmud was invited as a guest speaker at American Center Science Club. After his presentation there, I asked him a question. The question was based on science articles by Mr Azeem Quidwai in Dawn that I used to read regularly. Around that time, I had read some articles about the satellite slots allotted to Pakistan, which if not utilized, would be lost. The question that I asked was given that there is only limited space available for geostationary satellites,  why Pakistan had not occupied the 3 spaces allotted to it. Pakistan had at that time already lost some allotted space or was about to lose some. He got angry at my question, and instead of replying effectively shut me down. At that time I was too young (around 21) to understand what was in the question that irritated him so much! It was much later that I realized the question was actually pointing out his key weakness. I recall we were left with only one last space in 1999-2000. I remember Mr  Salman Ansari, Advisor to Dr Ata Ur Rahman, managed to get a dying satellite moved to this space just to fill and occupy the space up till such time a worthy satellite could be acquired and moved into that slot.
Dr Salim Mehmud

DoN Quixote PCO CJP Saqib Nisar who godfathered Sancho Panza Imran Khan

DoN Quixote and his Sancho Panzas tilting at the windmills.
1: DoN Quixote tilting at the windmills, through the Sancho Panza 2018-2023. Fighting the enemy of states: poor street vendors, irregular shops, all sectors of economy, auto sector, energy sector, real state sector, and the tax chor 99% of Pakistan population, lower class, middle class, rich class, politicians... .

What Should New Students of a University Must Consider: Essentials of a University Education

Why Education and Why Higher Education

  • What is the Purpose of Education
  • What does it mean to be well educated and what is our mission
  • What is Higher Education
  • What is Impact can you create
  • What Impact on Society
  • What Impact on Industry and Economy
  • What should be your personal Impact 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

5 Challenges for Designing your Professional Lives

Faculty, Parents and my dear students:
As I look at your beaming faces full of hope and aspirations and great expectations of your future after four years of university life, I first invite you to try to soak in this environment of this marvelous infrastructure at IoBM. You are sitting in the building which is name after the founder president of this institute Mr Shahjehan S Karim who left for the hereafter two years ago. This campus, which is spread over 10 acres and consists of several buildings like this one, is a concrete realization of the dream of Mr Shahjehan S Karim, who envisioned IoBM to be one of the the leading institutions, nationally and internationally, renowned for its contribution to education and society. Please note that he envisioned this around 25 years ago in 1994, after he had retired from a long illustrious service with the government! Mind you, the age of 60 is the time when most think of retiring and folding up their lives with reading or writing. SSK starting a new professional endeavor and working vigorously into his 80s should be an inspiration for all of us. If he can envision such a grand project at 60 and bring it to realization over the next 20+ years, you can also dream big and work for its realization. You have much more time and energy, you are in your youthful late teens and early 20s. You are about to embark on your professional life. You too can create a similar vision and work for its realization over the rest of your life. As I say this, I am reminded of my start, some 40 years ago at NED in early 1980. For me those last 40 years have passed within a blink of an eye. I wish my professional education would have started with a concrete inspiration like this vision. But, as Mr Shehjehan S Karim's life tells us, it is never too late. [Sep 7, 2019 Orientation for Fall 2019 Intake at IoBM]

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Far From the Madding Crowd, Hardy and Me

Today I got off from the board meeting early and my flight was in the evening. I had a few hours to kill with nothing to do. I chanced upon a YouTube video snippet of Bathsheba Everdene and Sergeant Troy's sword scene of 2011 remake of Far From the Madding Crowd. I didn't like it at all, there was no mystery, no suspense and no thrill that I remember experiencing when I first watched the scene in the original 1967  British movie starring Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Peter Finch and Terrance Stamp. Knowing me, YouTube presented the Terrance Stamp interview recorded just before the remake. He had played Sergeant Troy in the 1967 BBC movie. The interview opened a flood of memories flashing across my mind of the various times of my life when i had seen the movie and the times that I have read the book. It brought to my mind my struggle to derive meanings of various scenes. My first viewing was at a time when I had limited understanding of what was happening as our exposure to the themes discussed in the book were not discussed openly in my time. The book itself dealt with these themes in a roundabout manner making it difficult for school boys to fathom. I first saw the movie around 1977. I started going through the various scenes being presented by YouTube and connecting them with my earlier stage. Terrance stamp was saying that the original 1967 team involved in the movie consisted of luminaries of British Film making and were the who-is who of the British cinema. He predicted that it would be really difficult for the remake to break the spell weaved by the original. How true was that:

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Forthright and Courageous Gentleman-Col Raza Kamal at KIET

Col (r) Raza Kamal from 17 Baluch (2 Sind). A thorough gentleman and a great colleague. His commitment and dedication as Director College of Management Sciences at PAF KIET was exemplary. I had a long 10+ years association as Dean n Vice president of PAF KIET with Col Raza Kamal. It started during KIET's initial years at Korangi Creek Base Campus. I had joined in Feb 2001 after leaving IBA. This time was about six months after KIET had moved to its PAF Base campus from its city campus location on Shahrah e Faisal. The campus had been vacated by CBM. KIET got the contract with PAF after after obtaining the charter. 

Col Raza had been with KIET since its inception in a Sindhi Muslim Society Banglow in 1997. When I joined PAF KIET, he was HoD of Management Science department. HoD Computer Science department was Mr Adnan Manzoor. A few months later there was a change in higher management and Air Commodore Khalid Husain took charge as the President from Mr Adnan Arabi. 


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Dynamic Role of Abstract in Guiding the Flow of Writing of a PhD Dissertation

Abstract is the first thing in a dissertation that is read, and is often the last. A dissertation is at most read by 1.6 people from end to end, including the author [1]. PhD dissertation is written to enable a researcher to find all information necessary for replicating the results and understand the thesis. Hence, the detail. However, most readers are only interested in finding out a few items about the research which are typically provided in the abstract. These include the problem statement, thesis statement, contribution, and significance. Details of what a dissertation should contain has been amply documented elsewhere. In this post, I will discuss the role of abstract in guiding the flow of PhD Dissertation during its writing stage. 

Islamabad Think Tanks Running Out of Options

"Think-tanks" have yet again run out of options when IK exclaimed in the joint session of parliament:
ہم کیا کریں؟ کیا انڈیا سے جنگ شروع کر دیں؟
This indicates No "think", only "tanks"! It is pathetic that there are No out-of-the-box thinkers!

Is there a severe قحط الرجال and dearth of thinkers in scores of Islamabad "think-tanks"? Do these think tanks only consist of visionless ex career bureaucrats and ex generals whose distinctive qualification is often their career promotions based on a system that only rewards obeying orders diligently? What great distinguishing accomplishments of enterprising, creative, innovative breakthrough and out-of-the-box ideas in successful execution do they have in their testimonials?


They stand blinded, listless and clueless the same way they stood after 9-11 when threatened by US, and capitulating on a single call from Assistant in State Department.

  • اسلام آباد تھنک tanks میں قحط الرجال: 
    sycophants جن کو جنگ اور آدھ گھنٹے کے مظاہرے کے درمیان کوئی out-of-the-box اسٹریٹجی نہ سوجھی
  • PTI Think Tanks:
    معیشت میں 4 مرغیاں و 1 مرغا، کٹے سے شروع ہو کر IMF تک- اب diplomacy میں جنگ سے شروع ہو کر آدھ گھنٹہ مظاہرہ تک