Saturday, April 5, 2014

Facebook Interaction Ideas: How to raise our children

In respond to one of my Facebook acquaintances who wrote:
As parents (or future parents in my case at least) we should understand that religious indoctrination is nothing more but child abuse.

We are essentially cutting off diversity by imposing our thoughts over the new generation's thoughts. Thus harmful to us all, by attacking the evolution of human mentality and “teaching” them things like young-earth creationism and that homosexuality is unnatural and purely a choice.

Alternatively, we should teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with us. In my opinion, even the most intense religious indoctrinations can be overcome.
I replied:
You are absolutely right. We must be careful not to make your approach another "intellectual" indoctrination and indirectly influence on our children our "liberal" points of view. For this reason, it is essential to bring them up on "Mustapha's Premises on Steroids": we should prepare them to learn, unlearn, relearn and to think collaboratively (the steroid) at a very early age. This could be achieved in promoting the values of flexibility, adaptability and tolerance. Then let them build their own personality, as you said, through thinking [collaboratively with others] for themselves. Once they reach this stage, then they are free to indoctrinate themselves in any paradigm they choose. This is the "food for thought" I fed my son.

PS: 1. To clarify collaboration vs cooperation. Cooperation is synergy among individuals of the same paradigm. While collaboration is synergy among individuals from different paradigms.
2. Thank you, Mustapha Hamoui: for enticing this discussion. Valuable thoughts.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Breakfast in Amsterdam

[replicated from my personal blog]

I had a delicious breakfast in Amsterdam this morning. I discovered few new tricks that would add gourmet flavour to common breakfast food:

1- for scrambled eggs, add a dash of French dressing (mustard based) and the eggs will taste energizing.
2- sauté half tomatoes and when done, melt a thin slice of Swiss chess on top, a drop of lemon and a dash so salt! Heavenly
3- on a slice of herb cheese, put small diced mushroom (sautéed with butter) and dash of pepper then roll and eat...
4- instead of putting mushroom in the scrambled egg, separately sauté them with butter and have them on the side of the eggs... To replace the potatoes...

All the above are delicious and fulfilling without ruining the all protein diet...

I love Amsterdam!...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Excerpts I Found Interesting

"It is through the past that humanity views the future. This is a mistake, We should instead be critical of the past and build the present for the future, rather than build the present on the basis of the past" ~unknown

"For every truth, there is an opposite truth which is equally true" ~Sidartha

"People prefer things to be well defined, well framed, limited in a way, in the image of their own mind".

"All fears of strangers is a proof of primitive level of civilization".

"We should regard four levels: infinity, our creator, human society, individual."


Monday, July 15, 2013

Dependent and Independent thinkers

[copied from my personal website for archiving, safe keeping and preservation].

In a dialogue I had with couple of my dear community, we reached to an interesting concept that can direct  the way we raise our children. We have noticed, as parents, that our action and attitude towards our kids can promote one of two types of thinkers: the dependent thinker who strive to collect their thoughts, ideas and knowledge by absorbing them from others. The independent thinkers is those who create their own ideas by themselves through observations, interactions and reflections and they do not wait for others to show/dictate/ them how.
Relating the above to sociological dynamics, the first type, i.e. the dependent thinkers, are the "believers" who follow tradition and the norm of their community of practice or culture. The second type, i.e. the independent thinkers, are the "scientists" who rely on observation and analysis of patterns around them to create their own understanding the parameters of life.
Unfortunately current religious practices, especially in Islam, convert the believers, or the dependent thinkers, into a lower form of thinkers. Al Jabiri calls then: the resigned thinkers. I.e., those who disassociate reality from reason completely and just follow what the devious elders set as the route of life.
Creating independent thinkers happens when parents get  less involved in the upbringing of their kids between the age of infancy and toddler-hood. By letting them free to discover their world on their own while providing: love, support and a set of values that governs their principles.
In my case, the set of values I provided my son during his youth were: (1) Don't spend money unless you earned  it, (2) Don't get involved in any act that renders your reason faculty useless, (3) Don't be involved in activities that might result in loss of life and (4) Make mistakes, but never do the same mistake twice.
Reflecting on my son, I find that he has added many values to the  above set. If I choose one from his set to add to mine, it would be: (5) Be compassionate.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

16 Things about my son... written by him when he was 17

I copied these words from my Son's notes on his Facebook notes page. He wrote them when he was 16 years old and I wanted to immortalize them here. I am always proud of the wisdom he manages to dig from his experience in life:

16 Things About Me


(Sidebar: -- I think my title for this Note is so creative. I know it might not be, but I still choose to bask in its creativity)

1. I always retype my comments on Facebook if I make a spelling mistake, delete the DEFECTED post, and pray to god that the people involved do not get email alerts.

2. If you do something to piss me off. My instinct is to hold a grudge and never let it off my mind. I still hold grudges from Improv. -- Thankfully, I can control my instincts

3. I've liked Britney's music ever since "Oops I did it Again", and it was her music that taught me how to sing the way that I do.

3. When I sing Top 40 in my room, my mind automatically commands me to sing the harmonies.

4. If I need to care for myself. I will do just that, and tune everyone else out, when this happens, nobody can get 100% sincere attention from me. Rarely happens. I think its fair.

5. I try NOT to put down things that I've done in the past. No matter how embarrassing stories can get, they are a part of what formulated me, and if I do seem to speak negatively about them, I'm really showing off about what I've learned and how I've learned it.

6. I am rlly content with my life. Great friends; Amazing parents. And when I have a bad day, just a reminder that "Life's good [L.G.]" can bring it up again.

7. I always forget that I've written a book, and end up appearing flustered when I'm asked about it.

8. I love having conversations with people about what their definition of life is, whether it consists of mutual contribution, or just listening. I cannot stand when it turns into a "prove-U-R-wrong" debate. 

9. In my head, I have compassion for everyone, but I don't always know how to show it. This is something I want to change.

10. I secretly believe my hips were made for dance.

11. I've overcome worrying over what people think of me. This took a lot of practice and patience, but it’s made life so much easier. Thanks Dad.

12. I worry that I might lose the imagination that I had when I was younger.

13. I absolutely love when people take the time to come up and talk to me, and I do my best to show them I appreciate it, as well. But sometimes forget that I can start conversations, too.

14. I want to inspire. Speaking with the Dr. Clark kids occasionally dominates my mind, and makes me want to do it again.

15. I hate when people blame my successes on me being a teacher’s pet. I work hard on my essays, and put a lot more thought than you might think into scenes in Drama. 

16. I dance when I'm alone.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Life of Pi -3: Reason

The parents are very different than their culture. The people around them are believer who like to follow tradition. They rely on belief and they are ready to follow what their ancestors told them to do. The parents, on the other hand, believe in reason, rationality and science. Pi is born in the middle and boundaries of these two opposing paradigms. This is what makes him unique. He had to balance between the two. According to the father, if Pi can find a good solution through reason and rationality, that would be great. If he cannot find the balance, then Pi must choose one, only one, and stick through belief rather than be confused in moving between many.

In conclusion the parents gave him the following formulas:

Reason=Thinking Rationally=Science=Doubt

References with comments:

Science =reason, it has the knowledge of what is out there (20:24)
Religion=believe (opposite of reason), it has the knowledge of what is inside

Believing in everything at the same time is like believing in nothing at all (19:50) = the keyword is believing, if you want to believe, believe in one think... otherwise use science and rationality to understand the world

Start with reason, science has taken us further than religion did in 10 thousand of year (20:05) = science is source of knowledge, religion source of ignorance

I'd rather want you believe in one thing I disagree with than to accept everything blindly (20:32) = think rationally

There are far more than this that address parenthood and relationships

A mouthful of water will not harm you, but panic will (5:16) = fear and panic kill.

Life pf Pi -2: God

In this post, I will discuss the issues of God and Religion. These are apparent topics in the movie/story


A case of number: The very first idea I grasped from watching the movie the first time was trying to give some explanation to God. Clearly the movie relates that the Gods of all religions is one and same. Each manifest him in their own way. Using the name Pi suggests that math has to do with it. One major difference between the different religions is the number of God they worship. Islam worship, Christianity worships 3 in one, while Hindus have many. Does the number have to do it? Is this why the author used Pi as a name? Is it symbolic that Math (aka logic) can explain it? Is this why the father suggested that if you want to have a belief it should be based on rational thinking (aka logic?)

Each one makes his own God: One obvious conclusion about God is that God is perceived as the individuality wants to perceive Him. This was obvious at the end when Pi asks the writer "Which story [of the two versions] you prefer? (1:56:30)  The writer replies: "The one with the Tiger, That's the better story". And Pi replies: "Thank you" (indicating he made it up and he is proud of his creativity)... "and so it goes with God!" So, people tend to choose the version of God that makes a better story for them. We choose the God that suits us... powerful message.


Religion is counterproductive: To him, religion is darkness although it advocates light (14:30). Religion is a link to the past (15:05). Both anecdotes indicates that religion blinds because it focuses on the past.

Believers must have guilt feeling: In his argument, religion promotes guilt feeling. God sacrifice the innocent to save the guilty (17:05).

Each religion has its own benefits  Hinduism =knowledge, Christianity=Love, Islam=serenity and brotherhood (from 17:48 to 19:00).