Just thought it might be interesting to my fellow jordanians to see what a prince from jordan speaks in US tv talk shows
Here is the wikipedia about the prince
Here is the link to the interview with Jon Stewart(a famous talk show host with huge follower base)
Part 1 http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-march-1-2011/exclusive—zeid-ra-ad-extended-interview-pt–1
Part 2 http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-march-1-2011/exclusive—zeid-ra-ad-extended-interview-pt–2
Part 3 http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-march-1-2011/exclusive—zeid-ra-ad-extended-interview-pt–3
Hello all. I have been thinking about this for a while. while I am not an expert in anyway, however i think the number of arguments and the variety of people I argued with through my life and my analytical perspective in life enable me to create a semi-good list of do’s and don’ts that are essential for any PRODUCTIVE argument. I will try to list them here and explain them. I am really interested in any agreements or disagreements with them.
1: Check your intention
Many times I have seen myself and other people going into an argument to prove that my theory/opinion is the correct one. That’s NOT why we argue. The beneficial aspect of arguing is reaching the correct answer. By nature people hate to lose, and since arguing is considered an art, people hate to “lose” and be convinced by the other person. I know i noticed this in myself that i sometimes present an argument that i know the counter to but i say it anyway in the hope that the other party doesn’t know the counter. this way i will win the argument in public, even though i know in my mind that the argument i presented is weak and counter-able. So before you start an argument, be ready to be convinced by the other person’s opinion.
2:Check the other person’s intention
This is similar to the first one, but it is a bit more tricky for two reasons. First it requires more experience/skill to recognize what is the other person’s intention. The second reason, which is more complicated, that EVEN if the other party is arguing for the wrong reason(s), you can still benefit from his arguments, either by being convinced by them, or at least by knowing what arguments people on the other side use and believe in.
Another thing you need to recognize in other people is that sometimes people argue against something not because they have proof that it is right, but because once upon a time they were hurt by that aspect so they are now fully against it. I would guess most of us seen that in religion and how for example if some people were robbed from their freedom by their parents who claim that’s religion and how these oppressed people become fully against religion. To spot such people i noticed the best way is to count how often they use examples. Many of their arguments will start with “One time i met/saw someone/something doing your way and he/she/it was very bad person/thing”. For those people it is usually a dead-end argument and it might be a very good idea to just stop the arguing and simply listen to them venting.
I will go over using examples in arguments and their strengths and weaknesses, but in general, examples alone are not enough to prove theoretical points, they are more geared to prove practical/realistic points.
3:Declare your stance
It is scary the number of times I witnessed two people arguing AGAINST each other, but for the SAME side. You would think this is an easy point to notice, but it isn’t. Many times people use specific words to describe their position. This causes the other side to think that the first party is against them JUST because they used different set of words to describe the same argument. PLEASE PLEASE notice this as fast as possible and announce it explicitly “we are agreeing with each other” and stop the useless argument from continuing. The best way to notice this by LISTENING to the other side and understanding what they mean rather than ONLY thinking about the literary meaning of their sentences . again go back to point 1, we are arguing to find the correct answer, not to show our skill in arguing or in choosing words.
4: Define what you are arguing about
It is inevitable that argument shift around once it starts. so make sure at ANY single moment that you and the other side know exactly what you are trying to prove. I found it very very useful to announce what you are trying to prove before you present your argument. Example, say “I am trying to prove that flying can be considered part of teleportation; because if i can teleport, i can practically fly by continuously teleporting upward”. This argument could have started from “which is better, teleportation or flying”. The example i presented doesn’t necessarily prove that teleportation is better than flying, it only proves that flying can be done through multiple teleportations, there is a subtle difference.To “win” an argument, you need your opponent to agree on smaller points before jumping to the main point. So you need to make sure the other side agrees to the example you presented BEFORE claiming or jumping to another point. Again announce agreements when they happen, or ask for it explicitly. say, “do you agree that if i can teleport then i can fly?” the answer might surprise you.
So every now and then, take a step back and figure out what you or the other side are trying to prove at that specific moment. Because that’s when people usually argue against each other even though they are on the same side. They started on the opposite sides, but with the shift they became on the same side, but neither side realized that because they are both focused on the whole war rather this specific battle.
5: Define expressions and words
This is really important as well. Many words we use in our life have very stretchy meaning such as terrorist, religious, idiot, smart, rich, generous…etc. Basically any qualitative characteristic is not defined clearly and can easily differ in meaning between two people. So before you argue whether America is a Christian country or not, define what does “Christian country” mean. You will be surprised of how many arguments are solved by agreeing on a definition. Many times i saw arguments of two people who in meaning agree with each other, but since they both have different definition they continue to argue. it happened to me several times before i learned how to detect it.
6:The use of examples
As i have stated before, you need to be careful with the use of examples. Some arguments can only be proved by examples, others it do nothing to mention examples. Proving observations or practicality of something can be proved by examples. If someone claimed that older people don’t enjoy roller coasters. Mentioning the people who you know who are old and hate roller coaster can help you. To disprove this, you will need examples as well. Now there is a common mistake thinking that in practical world you only need ONE counter example to disprove a theory. Unlike math and pure logic languages, real life theories don’t have to be true all the time to be true. It is sufficient to be true most of the time. so if 10 old people hate roller coasters while only 2 liked it. then this shows that the initial theory that old people hate roller coaster is correct.
When discussing logical reasons behind observation, then examples start losing its strength. Like if someone said the reason old people hate roller coasters because the older brains get dizzy easier. Then you have to prove scientifically that is true. Saying that my grandpa said so doesn’t really prove that point since self observations are really inaccurate. It is a tricky line, but i hope i conveyed the general idea. I have to mention one more extremely common example. if someone discussing a religion, mentioning examples doesn’t help at all. Religion doesn’t control the actions of the followers. Examples can’t prove theoretical or logical points like religion or math or any scientific explanation. they can, however, prove that religious people act specific way.
Another important point in examples, that when you mention an example to clarify a specific point by analogy, you are NOT allowed to discuss a different aspects of the example. For example, if you say “this homework is as easy as getting candy from a kid”. The other party is NOT allowed to respond with “But the the kid already licked the candy, so it will make you sick, same thing the homework will make you sick”. I know this is not the best example, but the idea is, the example was mentioned to describe the easiness of the task, you cannot use other aspects of the same analogy. Actually it is strongly recommended to not discuss any part of the analogy/example. After all it was mentioned to clarify a point, not to change the discussion point.
7:Your self observation is usually wrong
This is more specific for arguments about some characteristic you do or do not have. For example if someone said you look fat. You can’t counter this argument by telling them your BMI is not bad, or you are big boned. Same thing goes if someone claimed that you get angry fast. You can’t consider your self-observation as part of the argument because those characteristics BY DEFINITION depends on other people’s perspective of you. So if people say you look fat, then you do look fat. The only valid way to counter this by asking other people. In general, humans are pretty bad at evaluating themselves accurately so be accepting for other people’s criticism.
8: Believe others
To have a useful argument, you HAVE to assume that the person in front of you is not lying or idiot. For example, if someone said “i checked this site and it says the show starts at 8:00” but you checked it as well and it said 7:00. you can’t assume that you are right just because the information came from you. If you reach a deadlock in such arguments, then STOP IT. You can’t prove the site said 7:00 without checking it again. Assuming that the other guy is mistaken because you trust your own eyes more than his is NOT a valid reasoning at all. Same thing with logic, you need to assume that the other person knows what he is talking about to have a constructive argument, otherwise you will never accept any information he conveys if you think he is an idiot thus useless argument.
9:Recognize a deadlock
Not every argument need to be settled. Actually most things in life do NOT have one correct answer. You are ALLOWED to disagree with another person and both be correct. Not everything is black and white. The trick is to know exactly where the difference is and then announce that point as the main difference point, and it cannot be settled then stop arguing. If two people trying to compare what is better, running or biking as a sports. You can mention many points for each, but it might hang on which is funner to do, running or biking and if that was the difference point, then you are in a deadlock and the argument NEED to be stopped immediately even though both sides are correct. There is no right answer of which is funner. I have seen people trying to argue about opinionated points. That’s just wrong. Opinions don’t have right and wrong. It is always better to define words by quantitative values to avoid such issues like “which burns more calories if done for the same specific of time, biking or running”.
That’s the points that i can think of for now. if i thought of any other important points i might add them later. I skipped all the common knowledge points like, don’t insult the other person, don’t belittle the other opinion, listen to the other argument before responding, don’t be defensive and don’t take it personally or scream …etc. I thought those are well known and pretty intuitive.
If you disagree with some of those points or you think you have a useful addition, please share it with us. i am interested to see what other thinks about these.
Well, it is 11:42 am and I am stuck at a statistics class. So I thought writing a post will be more useful. I already missed a class this morning, as no one knows I have a class every morning at 8:30. I know, I do not know how I make it usually to class, well, I do not. The statistics class is worse though, in the last lecture we worked on model of students happiness and number of snacks and number of homeworks. The result turned up that students are happier with less snacks and more homework. This bullshit result only reminds of Mark Twain words: “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Thank god it is Thursday.
On a different topic, I went with my friends camping in the desert last weekend, I will post the pictures soon-ish. It was freaking cold, but it was a clear sky with a full moon. The original plan was to camp in Hatta, which is a mountain area in the eastern part of UAE. However, it turned out that we needed to past through Oman to get there. So without passports, we head back with no clue at 10 pm looking for another place to camp. We had a small outing book and we checked it for the nearest camping site, it was called Big Red. Big Red as the name gives out it was the desert as in big dunes of sand. It was awesome. However, it turned out that people go their to drive crazily in the desert. So all we saw were big pickup trucks and SUVs climbing dunes. Our driver was not experienced enough so we got stuck twice and we needed help to get it out. It was a funny disastrous trip.
Recent travel plans, I am planning to go to Spain in June. I am coming home in mid March. Also, I might go to Sweden for a environment summit in May. I sound busy, but i am really not.
only half an hour gone, damn it, half an hour to go. I am playing facebook poker.
So, in 11th grade they decided a good step to be taken towards widening our cultural horizons was through improvising a new Drama class. We were to choose between that or painting. Needless to say, all of them guys chose the drama thingy. This drama class might ranks, without a shadow of doubt, amongst the richest sources of tales of yore. I have selected one that involves a friend of ours that is officially declared MIA.
On our very first Drama class, the teacher thought we needed some sort of exercise, game, that would help us get started + help us meld together into a teamworking form for whatever was supposed to wait next. So, we were told to form 2 parallel lines facing each other just at the edge of the stage. It should be noticed that the class took place in what was then considered the school’s official theatre. Back to the two lines of students facing each other at the edge of the stage; a random student was picked at random and was asked to run across the stage and dive-jump in between the 2 lines.
I cannot remember who the first one was but it was kinda fun, especially when it takes place after 5 hours of routine classes. So, more people volunteered, one by one, to take the run and jump. Soonish afterwards, the heavier students were compelled to give it a try. I remember Slvador running towards us with that crazed laugh on his face and started thinking this might be getting lamer by the minute. We absorbed the shock of his crash, somehow. To our astonishment and horror, or more precisely, astonishment-by-horror we saw Deya’ charging towards us. I’m not about to describe Deya’. He escapes description through words. Few steps away from the edge of the stage, every single one of us realized that no just God would require a mortal being to concede such a sacrifice and unanimously decided to step out of the way.
Two seconds later we had a raging lump of meat panting on the ground swearing vengeance upon all those who failed to face the harrowing of the first Drama class. And thus, started the escapade of a whole class from what was later known to be Abu Sheera.
“على الأرض حيوان، له قامة طويلة، و أذرع قريبة الشبه بأذرع الشيمبانزي، أما الساقان فضامرتان و في نهايتهما أقدام عريضة، أما في القمة فكتلة صلبة مغطاة بالشعر، و فيها ثقوب عديدة، في المقدمة و على الجانبين. و هذا، الحيوان يستخدم الثقب الأمامي، و خاصة العريض في أسفل الكتلة الصلبة، في القرض و الغناء و الصفير، و أيام الشتاء يستخدمه للتنفس، أما أيام الرعب فإنه يستعمله لغرض واحد فقط، و هذا الغرض لم يعرف له اسم محدد بعد، قال بعضهم للدفاع عن النفس، و قال آخرون للقتل، أما الكثرة الغالبة، فتؤكد أن الاستعمال الوحيد لهذا الثقب في زمن الرعب، يكون للقتل أو الانتحار!
هناك اعتقاد واسع أن هذا الحيوان سوف ينقرض خلال فترة قصيرة، و في حال انقراضه ستحتفل الحياة، لأن ذهاب هذا الحيوان بداية السعادة الحقيقية على الأرض!
متى نشأ هذا الحيوان؟ كيف نشأ؟ لا أحد يعرف. أفاقت الحيوانات، ذات يوم، فإذا بها تجد نفسها أمام شيء جديد، لم تألفه من قبل. و قد حاولت كثيراً أن تقيم صلات عاقلة مع هذا الحيوان. وافق في البداية، لكن مع الأيام، أخذ يوقع بينها و يقتلها، و قد تسبب في انقراض أعداد هائلة من الحيوانات الرائعة التي كانت تعيش على الأرض، و لما تكشفت نوايا هذا الحيوان الجديد، ابتعد عنه الجميع، ذهبوا بعيداً و تركوا له كل شيء، لكنه لم يكتف، بدأ يحاصر الحيوانات و يقتلها في كل مكان، و لما يجد شيئاً يقتله أخذ يقتل بعضه. و هكذا بدأت المجازر، بدأت منذ آلاف السنين و لم تتوقف. و لذلك يعتقد أن انقراض هذا الحيوان، أصبح وشيكاً خاصة و أن الطرق التي يتبعها في القتل الآن تطورت كثيراً، و أصبحت فعالة بحيث لا تخطئ أبدا!.”
وصف استوقفني كثيراً كتبه الشاعر عبد الرحمن منيف في مستهل روايته “شرق المتوسط”. وصف و على الرغم من تكوينه الخيالي يقترب حد التصوير من الكائن الموصوف، ارتأيت مشاركتكم إياه في أولى محاولاتي التدوينية على موقعكم، ربما لما تركه من بالغ الأثر في نفسي عند قراءته أول مرة و لكثرة ما استحضرت جوانب تشابهه مع أحداث حياتنا وحياة أحداثنا.
سعيدة بانضمامي لموقعكم و أتطلع لمشاركة أكبر في المستقبل القريب.
As any muslim in a western land, the question about islam demeaning women is a constant subject whenever religion topic is discussed. The first word that any typical muslim would say is” no, islam is not sexist”, but the the argument goes into hijab and adultery and often the muslim guy will be on the defensive. On top of that almost always all the current data/news will be against the muslim. Many will, then, resort to mentioning prophet time and how things were awesome for muslim women then, but usually people are not convinced by history examples or convinced that old tricks will work now.
I thought about this long and hard. Thinking about this more and more, i came to the conclusion that we ARE indeed sexists, and actually big time sexists. The trick is, our sexism happens by sexist selection of advice, not by sexist advice itself. like some people practically force their daughters to wear hijab, or prevent them from playing sports since there is no good islamic sports clothing for women( never understood why no one thought about that actively yet). These will be hard to strongly counter islamicly without adding stuff like , “weeeeell, islam doesn’t REALLY force women , it just recommend it very heavily, or women can play sports if so and so and so and so conditions apply.” These kind of sentences make it sound like that islam is what preventing the women and NOT men from playing sports. But in actuality, there are rules for sports for btoh men and women, same thing with dress code. While the rules might differ, but they exist for both. The REAL sexism comes from the fact that the people doesn’t care if a man/son abide by these islamic rules. when was the last time you heard a father preventing his son from going out wearing shorts, or when was the last time people complained about the soccer shorts being over the knee. Of course the other famous sexist example is the boys who dates girls are alright as long as the girls don’t date boys; I never truly understood how that logic works, yet our people somehow made it possible. We were able to indict women for an act, by definition, has to be done by men and women.
The problem lies within our culture. We are, like most people in the world east and west, sexist. It differs in levels, but all in all, we are all little bit sexist. Islam didn’t put down women, but we only try to implement islam or any other restrictions on women and not on men, that’s where the apparent islamic sexism come from.
I do have to admit that law-wise, there are some gender laws in our countries(not islamic), but they are not by any count the main factor of the sexism in our countries. It is the people, and ONLY the people.
I think we need a culture revolution to stop singling out women for implementing rules and restrictions. Unfortunately I have no idea how to do that except by giving the same amount of permission to the sons as much as the daughters, curfews, rules, privileges…etc.
Do you have another idea?
Hello all from AD,
So I have been here for 4 months now and I am starting to feel used to be here…which is not easy. Masdar Institute is pretty interesting in concept, but in reality it is an unfinished project that needs a lot of work. The #1 description of projects in UAE in general is DELAY. Everything gets delayed, whether for technical difficulties or mismanagement. The institute is pretty cool, it runs on renewable energy and it has self driven vehicles. I will upload picture in a different post.
I am working on systems optimization of hybrid solar/wind systems. Basically it is creating math models and solving it with different programs. It is pretty cool in concept but I am starting to realize maybe all of this is just bullshit. I do not know. I am trying to figure my next step but it is vague at this point.
Dubai is awesome. It is a city from the future. Forget about all that showing off. Having a city in the middle of the desert resurrected is awesome. I recommend visiting it.
This is a short catch up, i will try to bring more to the table
This took place sometime in our freshman/sophomore year at college. It was a hot Summer morning and I was in the company of Yanal as we strode the lengths of the science square during one of our mutual breaks. Boredom led us up the stairs of the physics department and onto its roof.
There, we found an empty flask that has been cast away for some reason and left to the tear and wear of time. Our first instictive reaction was to have a kick at it. After several gentle kicks and sweeps, we decided it qualified for more brutal beating. To our greater astonishment, the flask retained its structural integrity through the constant bouncing off the walls and ragged floor of the roof. It became kinda childish delight trying to experiment with this thing to assess its limits. Nothing we did, that wouldn’t attract the attention of those below, managed to break the damn flask!
In our thrill, we decided to name it the flask of eternity. This was a major breakthrough in non-academic activities that can be done in between lectures in such a place as JU. So, I carried the flask off the ground, walked to an area just behind the door of the roof, there to safekeep it for next rounds of joy. So, I dropped the flask to the ground just to have it splash into a multitude of tiny crystal shards.
In a sense, the Arabic crowds are similar to the Flask of eternity. Just when they thought we could take all sorts of humiliation, we burst in righteous fury.
The Flask of Eternity story is a real-life story.