Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some women...

Well, it seems women can do technology... Whoever knew that the female species can actually be smart & successful? 

On a serious note, look at Sheryl Sandberg, an example of a feminine, cute voice have such loud resonance. Hint to some feminists, a woman does not have to act like a man to prove she is better than a man..

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Opinions vs facts

"Everything is unsettled, everything is argued about, and very few things are ever totally resolved on the Net." David Weinberger 

I've been thinking for a while about the whole amount of information (whether accurate or not) available on the internet. I forgot where I read it, but if we want to read everything that is available online up till today, well it would take us... maybe a century or so. 

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said famously "Everybody is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts,"

It's really nice and awesome that the digital era, is actually the "everyone has an opinion, can express his/her opinion, will be read by few or many, and possibly influence them into action or a different line of thought." But as every important tool, it's a two edged sword

 It seems to me that the world is so chaotic—and that we are so limited by our own perspectives—that the most likely way to advance is through the clash of different perspectives, different data sets, different prejudices, different blind spots. 

Even though, clashes, difference of opinions, prejudices, bad news, natural disaster, nuclear threat, politics, terrorism, hunger, poverty, climate change, the variety of educational systems and whatever comes out of all this... even though it's sad, tough, hard to deal with, unfair, and just a bitch sometimes... it's the world, it is what is and if there were no bad things, no good things will exist. Yin yang... 

The only way to think of good things, of scientific advancement, of ways to improve, to help, to think of the other, to become less selfless, to be a hardworker, to be creative, to stretch your mind into as much as you can, to challenge yourself... is driven by the existence of less interesting things, of sad events, of difference of opinions and of hard situations. 

If we were all to live in a comfort zone, no... the world will not be an ideal place, will not be perfect. It will simply disintegrate... to survive, it's going to need the black and the bad.

Yes, we want all people to realize that x is bad, and y is good and z is the right thing to do. But then what? and who says that we're the right ones?

This post is inspired by this article "What is the future of knowledge in the internet age?" on Scientific American. About a project:

"an attempt to build a computer model of all the social, economic, ecological and scientific factors at play in the world"

Too many factors, too much complexity, how much can you trust a machine that is based on our own knowledge, erroneous one might I add. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

82nd birthday - 21/12/1929

Yesterday, I felt very blessed with the family and friends I am surrounded with. I know I sound high and not like myself. But when you are surrounded by awesome and kind people, you cannot but feel the same as well.

I want to keep this under one place. My brother Pascal Assaf dedicated this poem to me (yes it made me cry)

كنت في العاشرة من عمري، عندما جاءني ملاك في المنام، 
وهمس: "غداً تكبر ويكون الشعر قدرك". 
في الصباح أيقظتني أمي بابتسامة،
وقالت: "هذه أختك الصغيرة"
وكانت أول قصيدة أعشقها.

كل عام وأنت أجمل الأشعار.

Then my brother Roger, wrote this:
I know I can't write a better poem, not even a sequel 
But in the end of the day, u know that our love 2 u is definatly equal :)

Then my mom Marianne wrote this:
في عيد الميلاد تزين الشوارع والمنازل بأحلى زينة وأنت يا ابنتي زينتي حياتي عند ولادتك! كل عام وانتي بألف خير

And that is not all, my dad Nafez (different time zone since he lives in the US), wrote this in reply to my reply that my brother's poem made me cry:
بكائك يا حبيبة العمر أفرحنى و ريحنى فى غربتى فقد تاكدت انه لى ثلاثة اولاد بقلب واحد الله يخليكن لبعض و عقبال مية سنه و مية قصيده

My family is just amazing, isn't it? I am so blessed. This year was very different, I usually don't like to make a fuss out of my birthday, since after all, everyone on earth is born... what makes it so special? But still, to see all those people happy that I was born 31 years ago, is quite overwhelming in a good way. My friends dedicated crazy videos and wrote touching messages to me, making me smile and laugh and go O.o sometimes. Some practical gifts (yes, I always need a Pajama, I do :D) and the toilet seat O.o :P And of course ... of course... (the picture you see above)

Blessed I tell ya, blessed!