Thursday, September 16, 2021

Technology is as good as the people using it: EVM Technology is just a tool. Its user determines the quality of output

Installing cameras for fighting crime and tax evasion, using computer technology for removing corruption, and implementing EVMs for ensuring transparency of election results are all uses of technology to solve problems. However, "technology is as good as the people using it". Utility of a technology is dependent on the ability and competence of people using it.

EVMs will fail in Pakistan because it is more of a management problem than a technology problem

EVM is a much bigger logistics & management problem than a technology problem!
Assuming EVMs are technologically feasible, now please work out the logistics and management issues of manufacturing, testing, transportation, storage, issuance, receipts, returns, installation, post installation testing, quality assurance, maintenance, malfunction detection, repair, supervision etc of uniquely numbered 7 lac devices. Mind you, that all these devices will have to work flawlessly for only two days out of every five years in 100,000 polling stations spread over big cities, small cities, villages in areas spread over a country consisting of mountainous regions, deserts, plains, etc with highly differring levels of roads, internet, communication infrastructure using over 4 lacs polling staff that is conscripted for election duty from government departments for election duty. Each of 1lac polling stations has at least 7 hardware devices; 1 device for voter identification, 1 control unit, two ballot machines for men and 2 ballot machines for women (out of two, one is for NA and the other is for PA), and 1 RTS machine.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

A Drive on a Rickety Cycle and Sufistic Thought by Shah M Ismail Rauf

This is a story/article written by my dear mamoo  Shah M Ismail written around 1953-55. Today September 8, 2021 is his 22nd death anniversary. He retired as Major in 1980s. He was great man who taught me how to love and play with children. 

Father of Faizan Shah, Faryal Osman Khan, Faraz Shah, Fariha Ahmreen, Farid Shah.
Rauf Mamoo as he was called by our entire extended family. Humaira Tariq, Sm Omar, Rabia T Zeeshan,.....Whether those who are be relation his grand daughters or grandsons or their sons and daughters would call him Mamoo. 

He was our companion in Hajj of 1996. What a great memorable 40 days.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Partition, Broken Families, Migration Ethos: Bharat ko Janey Waley by Fatima Khatoon

Farewell picture of my grandfather Abdul Ghani Hyder's return in June 1951 with the extended family. Research for names of those in Pic and labeling them with numbers was done by Khurshid Alim Zaidi, a very painstaking task.
My recitation of the poem

Is Marriage an Imprisonment? Feminism, Relationships and Freedom from Responsibilities

کیا شادی قید بامشقت ہے؟ 
 This post is triggered by FB posts which mentioned marriage as imprisonment with hard labor:
"قید بامشقت"
This post captures the intent of feminist and modern thought which is now focused so much on freedom that it considers "responsibilities" as imprisonment (قید).

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Phuppi Tufail Fatima Care for Family and Parents

My phuppi Tufail Fatima breathed her last yesterday August 23, 2021. She was 103 years of age. Her birth-year (called ism-tareekh  اسم  تاریخ) is 1918 as given in the manuscript penned by her grandfather (my grandfather's father) Syed Ikram Hyder. Her Tareekhi Names derived from the birth year were Ghani Behr e Rehmat (غنی بحر رحمت), Khabeer Zahir( خبیر ظاہر), Khursheed Nusrat Panah ( خورشید نصرت پناہ). She was an exemplary woman who maintained her regimented lifestyle throughout her life till old age restricted her to bed a few years ago. Strict timings for meals, tea, prayers, and housekeeping. She did her BA in 1938 and BT in 1939 from Aligarh University. She taught in the Mauripur base school in 1950-60s. Her care for immediate family and extended family members was exemplary. All through the 1970s she first cared for her mother-in-law during her old age deathbed for around five years, and then her mother during her old age deathbed. Great lady who was worrying even during her last years about taking care of guests when she had forgotten who was who and could barely talk and had lost sense of time, era, and people around. I remember a year or so before when I visited her, she had forgotten who I was but sensed that I am a visitor and wanted to know whether I had had some refreshment. Something she did with all around. 
Inna lillah e wa inna ilaihi rajioon 

 [Ikram Hyder was a forest officer in late 19th century and early 20th century and belonged to the Naqshbandi Sufistic tradition. This excerpt is from his documents/papers collection. The page from which this pic is cropped also contains اسم تاریخ of my uncles. The date of this writing is 1925-30, which is estimated from the ism-e-tareekh of Tufail's brother, born in 1925, and written on the same page using the same pen]. 

Ism e Tareekh and Qata e Wafat: How Birth and Death Years were remembered in History

Ism-e- tareekh ( اسم تاریخ) was the name computed from the year of birth. There are numbers assigned to each letter of the alphabet. Sum of the numbers assigned to each letter of birth year name  evaluate to the birth year. See the computations of names of my father, uncles and phuppo by Syed Ikram Hyder Naqshbandi (father of my grandfather) written in 1930s. Typically they were made to evaluate to hijri years and then converted to Gregorian calendar year. Here it shows the names of Tufail Fatima, Syed Ahsan Hyder, Syed Luqman Hyder, Syed Osman Hyder, Syed Ramzan (Sultan) Hyder, and Syed Saeed Uddin Hyder. 
Similarly, year of death was often computed from the sum of numbers assigned to the letters of a verse. Typically four (قطعہ) verses were used by poets and was called قطعہ وفات. These verses and names were used to remember the year of death and year of birth.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Teachers at ICB/IMS

Sitting Sir Manzoor Ahmed Khan (English), Sir Nafees Siddiqui (English), Principal MKA Beg, Madam Shuja Zaidi (Headmistress), Sir Jan e Alam (Urdu), Sir Ghalib Raza (Urdu)
This appears to be editorial board of Sumbul, school magazine

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Self awareness and layers of intentions

Self-awareness is the process of discovering deeper levels of intentions. Whenever we are disturbed and feel an urge to respond or act on a stimulus we need to introspect about what is it that has disturbed me and is giving me this urge to respond. 
Our response should be based on حسن ظن and not being judgmental because the facts may be wrong or our perspective may be faulty. This is highlighted by the three examples given in the Pic. 

But, more importantly our holier-than-thou feeling that produces this urge to respond may itself have deeper issues that require self awareness and self introspection. 

We need to first identify the intention behind any action (or its contemplation). The first reason that comes to our mind represents the first level of intention. Below the first level intention is another level of intention. Below the second level of our intention there may be another level of intention. We need to peel off these succesive layers of intentions before we discover the core intention that is giving rise to upper levels of intentions. This deepest core intention is most often a fundamental, most disturbing, weakness in us, that we are hiding with our upper level (lesser disturbing) intentions.

This is how I analyze each event that disturbs me
Q: I think there is a layer below the intentions which give meaning to reality, or forming a perception, to which we intend to responding ...

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Elegance, Love and Principles in Roman Holiday

One of the most memorable endings of a movie.
I have thought a lot about the emotions and feelings generated by this movie since my early school days. 

First saw this movie in 1971-72 on PTV. Then in 1983-84 on projector at American Center audi (adjacent to Marriott) during classic films festival. Then in 1988 on videocassette checked out from movie collection at UGL in UT Austin, and later at KBVO channel 42. Then a couple of times in early 1990s rented from Blockbuster Videos in Austin. Then bought the videocassette in late 1990s and a couple of times. And watched it several times with each of my children during 2000s. And of course with CDs and now online at least once every other year.
What an experience and what memorable feelings. They don't make movies like this anymore. The delicacy and refinement of the subject, emotions and an everlasting experience. 

Happiness and Forgive and Forget Rule

Forgive and forget rule for happiness! 
The question to ask is whether you want to be happy or not!
اے شمع تیری عمر طبیعی ہے ایک رات 
ہنس کر گزار یا اسے رو کر گزار دے
Holding a grudge and protecting it is like carrying stale foul smelling tomatoes for long periods and not throwing them away despite their stench.

وہ اچھا سلوک جو آپ نے دوسروں کے ساتھ کیا اس کا بھولنا اس    حکمت میں پوشیدہ ہے: "نیکی کر دریا میں ڈال"  اور "احسانمند کے شر سے ڈرو"

لوگوں کا رویہ ہمارے رویہ کا پرتو اور عکس ہوتا ہے
اگر آپ کسی کا رویہ اپنے ساتھ تبدیل کرنا چاہتے ہیں تو سب سے پہلے اپنا رویہ ان کے ساتھ تبدیل کریں!

Covey's 1st Habit "Being Proactive"

نیکی اور بدی برابر نہیں ہوتے- نیکی کا بدلہ نیکی ہے- بدی کا بدلہ بدی ہے- کان کا بدلہ کان ہے اور ناک کا بدلہ ناک ہے- البتہ معاف کرنا زیادہ افضل ہے اور معاف کرنے کے بعد بدی کا بدلہ نیکی سے دینا سب سے زیادہ افضل ہے-

Sunday, July 4, 2021

How to Identify Synthesis in the tables of your PhD Literature Survey

Instructions to my PhD students:
Please note that The taxonomy master and taxonomy detail are only a "structured" way of organizing the information and identifying "codes" and discovering "themes and categories". It is a tool to help you identify the literature support that leads to your PS.

You need to transform this structured information into distilled tables where individual papers at max could be in footnotes.

We discussed in class the tables used by Dr Omar Javaid and Dr Junaid Ansari dissertations tables in the chapter on literature survey. The dissertations are in lms.

You need to design those kinds of tables that fit the thrust of your paper areas.

Most of you have been asked to change/make these tables.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Art of Gentle and Soft Persuasion- Dr Zahir Ali Syed

Dr Zahir Ali Syed, Director of UIT (Usman Institute of Technology), was plucked from us yesterday June 11, 2021, in a murderous event reminding Karachites of how Hakim Saeed was taken away from us in a terrorist murder some 25 years ago. Inna lillah e wa inna ilaihi rajioon!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Fauqul Chacha and Family Help

I knew them both and their father Fauqul Hasan Zaidi. Fauqul chacha will regularly drop at our place for morning tea with my father and mother during his break journey on his way from his home in F-6/1 to his office in the old state bank building which was being used as parliament building temporarily during the 1970s. Had heard wonderful stories of his adventures in Bengal and in Northern Pakistan.

Fauqul Chacha's Family in 1970s. Trying to find Fauqul Chacha's picture

We are greatly indebted to marhoom  Rashid Bhai s/o Fauqul Hasan Zaidi for his great support and help in arranging the logistics of the wedding food arrangements of my two eldest sisters Farida apa n Ghufaira Apa. Farida Apa with Rafi Uddin Haider in 1975 and Ghufaira apa with Misbah Ahmed Zaidi s/o Fiza A Zaidi in 1977. I was in school during those days. There didn't use to be caterers of the type available today who do everything and just deliver the food on time at the event. In those days there used to be only cooks (bawarchi).  It was the responsibility of event organizers to arrange for utensils, gosht, chawal, masalay, ghee,....  Individually each ingredient had to be purchased separately, utensils rented, and cooking burners set up and made available at the site. Cooks would simply come on the day, prepare n ground masalas and cook the food. Food was prepared at site by the cooks.
The entire food logistics of the two marriage functions were supervised by Rashid Bhai the great. May Allah give him the best of abodes in the hereafter. Aameen

Rise and Fall of Dictators and Kings: Delusions of Grandeur by Neocolonialism Forces

Last Shah of Iran

How the kings are installed and propped by the great powers;

Just finished seeing this BBC documentary about the shah of Iran whose pompousness we grew up with. I remember waiting for hours on the Chaklala road to airport in 1967 to catch a glimpse of the motorcade. But, I was too young (around 5) for the wait, and left early and later came to know that his motorcade has passed. Witnessed Murree Road being renamed as Raza Shah Pehalvi Road and after his debacle again being renamed Murree Road. There was such pomp and show in the newspapers about his his 2500 years coronation ceremonies, read about the intrigue and the stories of his previous wives and current wives in Jang. Also, saw the yearly pictures of his heir being groomed to take over his crown. The heir's ascent was short circuited by the Iranian Revolution. The documentary made me recall the story of the womanizer and drunkard dictator of Pakistan peeing in the flower pots during the 2500 year coronation celebrations, and the dictator getting slapped by a lady in the royal feast. I recalled the stories of lavishness of Shah, his blind following of the West, and the wholescale adoption and imposition of foreign culture on the poor Iranians. Western powers that brought him also left him high and dry after the revolution when he was moving in his airplane from country to country till eventually  was sent to Egypt to spend his last days. The daily stories of scores people being shot after the revolution reminded me of the reign of terror in France after the French revolution. 

The king was a fool made to think that he had divine right to rule, propped by US/British advisors, bent upon robbing the aspirations of poor third world countries. How this project of "modernization' at the expense of people's aspirations gets implemented. It reminded me of the puppet Last Emperor of China. How history and reality catches up with reality. Now people don't even remember or recall his artificial glory. 

Idi Amin:

The pomposity with which he came to the Islamic Summit in 1973. We thought as children then that he was much cherished by his people. His rise and fall happened in front of my eyes in the 1970s. His portrayal in Last King of Scotland tells us of the artificial pomp of the dictators, shahs and sheiks propped up by Western powers to satisfy their neocolonialism agenda. When a few years ago I went to Uganda I realized how destructive these stooges are in the developing countries. The plight of Idi Amin in an Egyptian hospital where he breathed his last was well captured by Javed Chaudhry in one of his columns.

Anwar us Sadat


Hosni Mubarak

Saddam Husain

Gen Ayub

Gen Yahya

Gen Zia

Gen Musharraf

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Leadership Style of Imran Khan as Cricket Captain and as Prime Minister

Imran Khan leadership style:
Is IK trying to run the country exactly as he ran the captaincy of Pakistan cricket team?  Favoritism in picking up players, holding of personal grudges against fellow players, and being vindictive against those who dared to disagree with him. Habit of making arbitrary and adhoc decisions, which worked in cricket because cricket is largely a game that depends too much on indidual brilliance. Cricket is a game where a team's spectacular performance is often a chance; a coincidence of glorious uncertainties when a few individuals happen to click together to produce scintillating results....

Sunday, May 16, 2021

How Legacy is Transmitted over Generations: Case Study of Ikram Hyder

During lock down I was organizing the old stuff left by my father. In that I found some papers in old dilapidated state, crumpled. On closer inspection I found them belonging to my grandfather's father. Till this time I had only seen a Pic of my grand father's father in a Pic of my father's graduation in 1930s. The person in white beard. On greater inspection I found that he belonged to naqshbandi silsila. in those papers there were his منظوم صوفیانہ کلام dating back to 1880s. The Kalam is in Arabic, Persian and urdu. It has been a great excavation and curating experience. No one in the family today seemed to be aware of this treasure or the spiritual life of my grandfather's father. My father did not share this and we did not ask him. He had been too reticent about his life before partition. It was too painful. But now I could see the connection of ethical and spiritual values of my grandfather's father with the strong character, truthfulness, morals, principles of my father, uncle, and three of my father's cousins standing in this Pic. I could see the strong influence of these values in their life with this lineage. I can now connect many of my personality traits with those spiritual teachings which I stumbled on in these papers. I could see those values alive and kicking within my siblings and cousins....
Life is insignificant (in khasara) except for those who believed, did good deeds, promoted Haq and enjoined sabr. The good deeds and tarbiyat of our parents spreads through our actions and good deeds and the tarbiyat that we do of our children. We may not know the name of our great grandfathers, but their legacy of good deeds got transmitted to our grandparents and from them to our parents and from them to our children and inshallah to our children's children and then on and on, inshallah. Names and places are forgotten by mortals but the good deeds live on and their contribution would be counted and tallied on the day of judgements by the omniscient Allah.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Visit to Baba KhorwaRi Shrine Ziarat

I had experience of meeting someone who predicted the rain fall time precisely. It was 1983 in ziarat, our NED batch mates of 1980-85 were on the study trip of Pakistan. We were around 200 students in three compartments that was attached to different trains and detached at various stations in the city for a few days while we visit places. We reached in July to Quetta and the compartments were detached at the Quetta station. After visiting a few places we went to Ziarat in three buses. We reached there around 12-1pm. As the students were waiting for lunch we started exploring the area. About 5 of us got more excited when we asked about places to visit and someone told us about a track leading to the shrine of Baba Kharwariz. We ventured towards Baba Kharwari's Mazar via mountaneous trek through a forest. We were told that it was a 20 minutes distance rural distance. We went along for 30-40 minutes. Each local wayfarer on the way, we asked how far is the shirne and he would tell us it was just a few minutes ahead. Those few minutes on and on became half an hour, and then another half an hour. It was around 245pm when we asked yet another local who was passing by, he looked at the sky which was then clear and then he looked at his watch. He then advised us to return. He warned us that there would be thunderstorm and rain at 3pm. The path would be filled with flash floods and then it would be difficult for us to return. We ignored him because it was sunny and clear and there were no signs of any clouds. But in around 5 minutes we saw some ominously threatening clouds moving towards us. Another 5 minutes and we could hear their grumbling. We got scared by the thunder and the impending darkness and decided to return. Initially we were just walking, but then it became dark, the clouds came so near, and the lightening and thunder became severe. Lo and behold as we neared 3pm it became dark and we started running. At 3pm there started vicious rain. The trek path soon resembled a stream and then a torrent. We started running as fast as we could. We were afraid of the intensity of the flash floods and were fearful that we would swept by the torrents. Soon we were fully drenched and running for our lives. By the time we reached the road, we were thoroughly drained, drenched, and fighting for breath...
Rest is another story

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Economic Hit of Pakistan: CAD Focus vs GDP Neglect

CAD focus vs GDP neglect (IKnomics Hit) :
"کرنٹ اکاؤنٹ خسارہ" CAD:  ایک صاحب کی دکان خسارہ میں چل رہی تھی- ایک دن انہوں نے فاتحانہ اعلان کیا کہ پچھلے مہینہ انہوں نے CAD خسارہ پر قابو پا لیا! پوچھا وہ کیسے؟ فرمایا "بڑا آسان تھا، بس دکان بند کر دی، تمام ملازمیں کو فارغ کر دیا، تمام ضروری اور غیر ضروری اخراجات بھی ختم کر دئے، کرنٹ خسارہ زیرو!"

جی ڈی پی GDP گروتھ:
ایک صاحب کی دکان خسارہ میں چل رہی تھی- ایک دن انہوں نے فاتحانہ اعلان کیا کہ انہوں نے CAD خسارہ پر قابو پا لیا! پوچھا وہ کیسے؟ فرمایا "بڑا مشکل اور تکلیف دہ تھا، میں نے ایکسپرٹس سے مشورہ کر کے اپنے بوسیدہ سسٹمز کو تبدیل کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا، اس انویسٹمنٹ کے لئے مجھے  قرضہ لینا پڑا جس سے نئے سسٹمز خریدے اور دو سال لگا کر تمام بوسیدہ سسٹمز تبدیل کئے، فضول اخراجات ختم کئے، پراسیسز آسان کئے، اب میرے کسٹمرز بھی خوش ہیں ان کو بہترین پراڈکٹس کم قیمت پر، کم وقت میں آسانی سے دستیاب ہیں، کاروبار میں اضافہ ہوا، نئی پراڈکٹ لائنز شروع کیں، ملازمین کی تنخواہوں میں اضافہ ہوا، نئے ملازمین کو جاب دیں،  کرنٹ خسارہ منافع میں تبدیل ہو گیا!"
Over the last 3 years IKnomics policies has crippled the economy whilst propoganda machine trumpets false economic principles related to magical properties of CAD while denigrating GDP.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, GDP functions as a comprehensive scorecard of a given country's economic health. It encapsulates growth in economy due to growth of business, production, services, and the resultant employment opportunities.

On the other hand, Current Account Deficit or CAD is the difference between the money coming in due to exports and the money going out due to imports. It is no where in world  used as indicator of economic health of country. CAD only tells you about the ability to service external debt, as such it is only in Pakistan's IMF dictated "IKnomics" that CAD was used for measuring health of Pakistan economy during first 3 years of IK with disastrous consequences.

The single minded focus on IMF CAD related policies were responsible for the crash of GDP from 5.8% to - 0.4%, reduction in jobs over the last three years by over 5 million, and increase in inflation (too much money chasing too few goods), and hemorrhage of economic sentiments.

IK should have curtailed luxury imports without impacting raw materials for our production. Instead of clamping down hard on smuggling and significantly increasing duties on luxury items, IK tremendously increased the exchange rate and utilities costs while simultaneously going after the small and micro businesses, which resulted in decrease in production and increase in prices of all  the inputs, increasing the prices of outputs, reducing the viability of many businesses and their shutting down. 

Ability to service debt is measured as a percentage of the productivity of economy (i.e GDP). A country with high GDP growth can sustain larger debt. This is similar to a person earning 100k can service a larger debt than a person earning only 10k. There are several countries with higher debt to GDP then pakistan but that is not a problem for them. For example Japan has around 200% whereas Pakistan is around 50%. Over here IK increased the policy rate to 13.5% that made the local debt servicing the largest single item of our expenditure around half of all expenditure even more than military expenditure!

One must read the history of how government investment in infrastructure (GDP growth ) got USA out of the global Great Depression. This came to be known as Keynesian Economics that is taught in every Economics 101 course in the chapter on overcoming recession. See this

Friday, May 7, 2021

EVM Voting Machines- Is Technology a Panacea: Technology is as good as the people using it

کیا صرف ٹیکنالوجی لگا دینے سے ٹرانسپیرنسی و شفافیت حاصل ہو جاتی ہے؟

My dear PM, technology in itself is not a panacea. Technology is as good as the people using it! 

Taking on Challenging Responsibilities vs Trying to be a Superwoman

What is the problem with the following advice:
"Don't get too proud, she said, of your capabilities at handling anything — or soon people will expect you to handle everything. The world is always eager to find someone who can handle everything (because the world is lazy, and doesn't want to do the work) and soon you will be responsible for more than you can manage. You will be doing more than what is fair, or even sensible — and you will be doing thousands of things that you were never designed to do.

Don't get seduced by the idea that you are some kind of Superwoman — as much as the world wants to put that honorific upon you. (Telling women that they are superheroes is a trick the world has always played, for making women do all the work.)

Trying to be a super woman

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Power of Psychological Assumptions in Matchmaking Processes

Power of assumption?
Match-making processes would be markedly different for society that assumes "you are mentally ill unless proven healthy" vs the society that assumes "you are healthy unless proven mentally ill".
This is similar to the power of assumption in law:
"You are innocent unless proven guilty" vs "you are guilty unless proven innocent" through due process.
The impact on behaviors, societal norms and management processes differ tremendously in societies using the assumption "innocent unless proven guilty" (simpler open fast processes of developed countries) vs 'guilty unless proven innocent (complex convoluted opaque tedious processes of developing countries like Pakistan).

Monday, May 3, 2021

Hill Park Karachi over the Years and Social Networks of Old Familiar Faces

ھل پارک 1975, PECHS, Karachi
 I went regularly in the mornings during 1995-2012 when my children were growing up. Feeding the ducks and climbing up and down the hilly slopes was the nearest to tracking/hiking children could get in Karachi. I also frequented it during 1980-86 during my engineering and MBA days, and even used to study there too . I still go there some times.
My Khaloo was a regular visitor of Hill Park with his children from 1970-88. While on visit from Islamabad to Karachi and staying at Khala's place in PECHS has some very interesting time there.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Branding, Consumerism and Islamic Principles of Trade

مغربی کیپٹلزم کی اشتراکیت کو ضم کرنے کے بعد اس سے بڑی کیا کامیابی ہو گی کہ اس دو سو سال سے لڑنے والے مزہبی پیشوا خود کیپٹلسٹ کنزیومرزم کے سب سے بڑے داعی بن جائیں-

Sam Walton, ‏Ghazali's Ihsaan in ‎معاملات ‏ ‏and High-end Expensive Brands

There are several types of price setting strategies such as Cost Plus and Demand Driven Pricing. Walmart's success was built on cost plus pricing model. Sam Walton was the founder of the retailing giant of 1990s-2000s. In his autobiography "Made in America" published a few months around his death in 1992, he mentions the example of a toothpaste he was selling at around 2 dollars. He found a vendor who offered the same quality at around 55cents. Managers advised him to sell at around $1.20. Their logic was that Walmart buyers are used to buying this tooth paste at around 2 dollars. $1.2 is a significant decrease. However, he declined. He decided to sell at around 70 cents. His logic was that his CSR is providing consumers with lowest prices. Walmart slogan is "Everyday Lowest Prices". He said around 10% margin is as per his mission. The toothpaste was sold at 70 cents. He writes in the autobiography, while he was suffering from terminal cancer, that this book will come to haunt those who will try to meddle with his legacy. He was writing in the context of the question that what was his contribution to the social welfare of people. He said his mission was to provide his customers with the lowest price anywhere. This mission had made life easier for millions of mass consumers of USA. The benefits of cheaper prices that he had passed on to Americans is unparalleled.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Why Leaders Fail to Recognize their Own Incompetence: Bureaucracy and IK

Why People Fail to Recognize Their Own Incompetence.
Incompetence of the "competent authorities" of pakistani government bureaucrats. And belief of PTIans in competence of IK. 

Dunning Kruger-Effect: Why Unintelligent People Don’t Learn?

Economic Hit of Pakistan and Illusion of Monetary Policy's Independence from Fiscal Policy

Central Banks are required by law everywhere to manage and control monetary policy or value of money. There is nothing "natural" about value of money or forex rates. Monetary policy (always artificially crafted) works in tandem with fiscal policy and international policy to establish value of money. Tools used by fiscal/monetary policy include (1) interest rate changes, (2) unemployment rates, (3) inflation reports, (4) gross domestic product numbers, (5) manufacturing data, and (6) commodities. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Imran Khan's Tabdeeli- Change Management and BPR

IK got elected on the slogan of "tabdeeli" (change). He doesn't know ABC of change management or how BPR (Businesses Process Reengineering) achieves substantial and visible "tabdeeli". BPR is about reducing the complexity of Inter departmental processes by eliminating 60-80% steps and increasing efficiency by up to 80%, and resulting in substantial reduction of corruption as seen in CNIC process of NADRA, passport process or CDC system for share purchase and sale processes.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Growing up with Magazines

In 1969-70 I was 7 when I started reading Taleem o Tarbiat and other magazines. We had almirahs shelves full of magazine issues going back to early 1960s and to even mid 1950s. 

First Makeup Experience: Impact of Childhood Experiences across Time and Space

Vividness of childhood experiences and the distance it travels across time and space. As I am going through the letters, papers and other documents of my parents dating back to the days before their marriage (1940s, they married in 1951), I come across the clues to their personality that I observed during 1966-2003, time of my conscious interactions with them till before their death. Your post reminded me of a page from my mother's diary where she writes about an incident of when she was around 10-12 ( 1946-47) about makeup.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

History of PKR Pakistani Rupee

چمڑی جاۓ پر دمڑی نہ جاۓ

دمڑی نہ جائے چاہے چمڑی جائے۔
دمڑی کی بڑھیا ٹکہ سرمنڈائی۔
دمڑی کی بلبل ٹکا ہشکا ئی۔[1]
دمڑی کے تین تین۔
دمڑی کی آمدنی نہیں گھڑی بھر کی فرصت نہیں۔
دمڑی کی ہانڈی گئی کتوں کی ذات پہچانی گئی۔
اونٹ دمڑی کا اور دمڑی بھی پاس نہیں۔
دمڑی کی ہانڈی لیتے ہیں تو اسے بھی ٹھونک بجا کر لیتے ہیں۔
دمڑی کی دال بوا پتلی نہ ہو۔[2]

Saturday, March 27, 2021

My First Brush with Philosophy: A Tribute to Sir Nafees Siddiqui of ICB/IMS

I remember Sir Nafees Siddiqui who used to teach English at ICB/IMSB, G6/3,Islamabad. He didn't teach our class but we had the opportunity to be taught for a couple of class sessions when he came in to fill in for the absence of our regular teacher. Sir Nafees Siddiqui gave us our first introduction to philosophy and its terminology. He drew a vertical line at the center of blackboard to divide it into two columns. On left side he wrote physical, temporal, mundane, real, objective ... and on right words like metaphysical, transcendent, spiritual, abstract, subjective ,.. And then explained the terms and their difference which were instrumental in raising my awareness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

ICB/IMSB Teachers Autographs 1975-80

Tribute to my school teachers who laid the foundation for my learning at ICB (Islamabad Model School for Boys) G-6/3 near Covered Bazar/Melody. 
Autographs from 1975 and 1980:
Sir Ghalib Raza (Urdu) 
Sir Hanif Tahir (Maths) 
Sir Subhan Ullah (Geography)
Sir Rafique Malik (English)
Sir Jan e Alam (Urdu)
Sir Sabir Raza (Urdu)

I regret not having taken autographs on this autograph book from some other great teachers like Sir Saleem A Khan (Physics) , Sir Tanveer (Chemistry) , Sir Wajid Nawaz (Pak Studies) , Sir Muhammad Ahmed, (Technical Drawing), Sir Zafar Zaidi (Chemistry), Sir Arif Husain (islamiat) , Sir Shabihul Hasan (Biology)... But I do have reports with their comments and signatures 😊..

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Social Media and Medium is the message

ٹیکنالوجی نے اب اتنی زیادہ ترقی کر لی ہے کہ عام عوام نے کتابیں "پڑھنے لکھنے" کی صلاحیتیں چھوڑ کر 1435 کی گٹنبرگ پرنٹنگ پریس کی ایجاد سے قبل کے زمانے کی عوام کی طرح صرف "دیکھنے سننے" کی صلاحیتوں تک محدود کر دیا ہے!
انسٹاگرام ٹک ٹاک جنریشن کو مبارکباد

FB is not a medium but message itself? tiktok is not a medium but message itself? Instagram is not a medium but message itself? Is technology value neutral or does it bring its own values?

"Medium is the message" Marshal Luhan observed this phenomenon in TV, radio, movies, newspapers. Now this observation is clearly visible in different media now available such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
McLuhan in his 1964 book uses the term 'message' to signify content and character. The content of the medium is a message that can be easily grasped and the character of the medium is another message which can be easily overlooked. McLuhan says "Indeed, it is only too typical that the 'content' of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium". For McLuhan, it was the medium itself that shaped and controlled "the scale and form of human association and action".[4] Taking the movie as an example, he argued that the way this medium played with conceptions of speed and time transformed "the world of sequence and connections into the world of creative configuration and structure".[5] Therefore, the message of the movie medium is this transition from "lineal connections" to "configurations".[5] Extending the argument for understanding the medium as the message itself, he proposed that the "content of any medium is always another medium"[6] – thus, speech is the content of writing, writing is the content of print, and print itself is the content of the telegraph."

There is substantial research now which indicates technology brings its own values and it rejects the earlier notion of technology being value neutral. For example you can say things on Facebook which you will not say in an email. And you can write certain things in chat which you will not write an email. Also you can say things in an email that you will not say on phone call. There are things that you can say in phone call which you will not say in person.
Similarly, what you can see in a youtube video, you will not see in a cinema hall,.....

 what Marshal Luhan says is that the medium is so impactful that voice of the content is drowned by the medium

yes that's why I said it is part of context.. and effects the message, intended message precisely BUT not the message per se.. You see same has been true in retrospect in all times.. For eg writing on bones with charcoal to writing on tablet with quills, then on paper with fountain pen, then ball point... All methods and media brought substantial changes in handwritings, and hence also carried noticable effects on message because handwriting reflects the inner psychological context of the writer.. like body language carries in verbal communication.. Jab bhi to log ye hi kehte the email typing mein wo bat nahi.. Because handwritings personal touch is gone.. TRUE.. اب ye to ہوگا.. but saying medium is the message is misleading in my opinion.

there is substantial research now which indicates technology brings its own values and it rejects the earlier notion of technology being value neutral. For example you can say things on Facebook which you will not say in an email. And you can write certain things in chat which you will not write an email. Also you can say things in an email that you will not say on phone call. There are things that you can say in phone call which you will not say in person.
Similarly, what you can see in a youtube video, 
you will not see in a cinema hall,.....

Medium is the message. SMS/texting is only suitable for short messages that were exchanged via telegram like short messages that have urgency such as informing about death, arrival, departure, rendezvous, change in meeting time, an emergency, hospitalization, congratulations on success, death info, condolence, receipt, acknowledgement of communication confirmation , etc. It is totally inappropriate for sharing your profound thoughts, intense grief, expectations, disappointments, future plans, major life decisions, etc.

People are getting their love accepted, getting committed and even great break ups through SMS, this cannot always be misinterpretation :) many hidden love affairs are also making love through these messages. We can't call them misinterpretation completely

Mohammad Ayub Latif my point is that medium
 being an overpowering message will dilute and misconstrue your deeper messages. Why do you think the Hidaya Academy students were sitting on the floor during the awards. The medium (seating structure) through which you go for the award is an overpowering message. Similarly, SMS has its intrinsic message which overpowers what the content means. It is constrained by the structure of device, word count limits, sequence in which you see the messages, the hierarchy of display etc is similar in impact to whether the talaba are sitting on floor or on chairs/sofas

People are getting their love accepted, getting committed and even great break ups through SMS, this cannot always be misinterpretation :) many hidden love affairs are also making love through these messages. We can't call them misinterpretation completely

Irfan Hyder yes boss agreed and I think the floor seating shows more of learning attitude and also gives the message that asatza and akabareen are Afzal 
Q: But Sir why then writing on social media books npapers etc has such profound effect even tweets, even official matters even arguments by lawyers to great extent, but when it comes to messages why we deem it so useless...

A: Problems are often too complex. For example, Twitter is simply a soundbite. When you reduce a complex issue to a tweet of one sentence consisting of max 280 letters, you have to reduce the complexity arbitrarily to a simplicity which does not do justice to the problem and you are forced to come up with slogans or simplification that can not withstand the complexity of real life. This is what happened to Trump's messages and also IK's messages. They were forced to reduce complex problems to simple soundbites that they were not. Extremist and fringe thoughts of populace pulled the message in their direction. Message got reduced to satisfying the simplistic mind. Nature of Twitter medium focusing on count of subscribers and count of likes forced the message to be  reduced to satisfying the simplistic mind only. Once in power, reality exposed the impossibility of their soundbites! 1 crore jobs, 50 lacs home, Mexico border wall.... See the devastation in both countries

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

How many taxpayers are in pakistan

فائلر ہوں، چور نہیں ہوں:
ہر پاکستانی GST,WHT دیتا ہے، 
صرف FBR فائلرز 1% ہیں
مگر 13 کروڑ فون، بجلی پر ٹیکس دینے والے بھی فائلرز ہیں!

It is a blatant lie that there are only 1% tax filers who are supporting the taxes of the whole country. Government has files of taxpayers who are giving huge amount of indirect taxes, they must be called filers too!


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Shajra Taxonomy of Sufi Tassauf Terminology

 شجرہ معرفت الہی و حقیقت روح و صراحت عالمہائے ظاہری و باطنی و طریقہائے تصوف متعلق نور ایمان

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Ausaf Husain and His Sincere Frankness

Syed Ausaf Hussain Marhoom: On 18th January, 2012, Ausaf Bhai left for his heavenly abode. A wrangler in the true sense and a man of high principles. With the way he carried himself, no one could gauge his true age. I remember sharing an anecdote with us that he once visited a Hakeem. Hakeem sb as per practice took the pulse and asked what was Ausaf Bhai age. Ausaf Bhai replied either 72 or 79, I cannot remember. Hakeem sb got furious and told him not to joke and that Ausaf bhai must be in 50's. A solid person upon whom you could rely in times of need. Irfan, Sara, and Khurram can dwell more on Ausaf bhai personality. May Allah grant Jannah to Ausaf bhai and buland his darajats. Ameen
Ausaf Husain with his mother

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Depressive Thoughts and Poetry- How Poetry Mellows and Enriches Social Interactions

What is the relationship between depressive thoughts and poetic expression? How poetry enables us to face hardships in our lives. 

What a mournful separation of the family members after the partition is depicted through poetry. Note the following message of eid Mubarak and its poetic response by members of the family across the divide. Also, note the level of education in the 1950s and the ability of the educated to express through poetry their feelings and experiences. Today educated can't even read poetry, let alone compose it. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Elegy on the Killing of PM Liaquat Ali Khan by Shah Abdul Shakoor Faridi

مرثیہ ترجیح بند در شہادت لیاقت علیخان
بر بند سعدی علیہ الرحمہ
از شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی، مانک پور

یہ مرثیہ ایک ١٩٥١ کےخط میں ملا جو کہ شاہ عبد الشکور ساکن مانک پور کا بھیجا ہوا تھا-
 شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی میری والدہ کے نانا تھے- بڑے بزرگ تھے- ان کے منظوم ملفوظات میرے پاس کچھ موجود ہیں- ان کے مزار پر اب بھی عرس ہوتا ہے- ان کے کئی خطوط میرے پاس ہیں- پارٹیشن کے بعد ان کے خاندان کے اکثر لوگ ہجرت کر کے پاکستان آ گئے مگر انہوں نے اپنے آباؤاجداد کے قصبہ کو چھوڑنا مناسب نہ سمجھا- وہ وہاں اکیلے ایک دو افراد کے ساتھ رہ گئے- ان کی ایک بیٹی عائشہ فریدی(میری والدہ کی خالہ) ان کے ساتھ رہا کرتی تھیں جن کے تواتر سے دلخراش خطوط میری والدہ کے پاس آیا کرتے تھے جو کہ ان کے انتقال  1967-68 تک آتے رہے- ان خطوط میں شاہ عبد الشکور فریدی کے منظوم ملفوظات بھی ہوتے تھے- ان کا کچھ دیوان ہمارے ایک عزیز کے پاس ہے