The news you won’t hear, to let you know you’re being played, is that US is bombing Syrian civilians,

I don’t think that many people know what’s actually going on Syria. I don’t claim to be knowledgable myself, but here’s what I’ve gathered.

The four main ground forces in Syria are the current regime – Assad’s dictatorship, the rebels (some secular, some fundamentalists), the extremist ISIS and the Kurds. But there are also Backers, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia and the US.
In the meantime, Russia has moved in Nuclear weapons and the US is leading  multi-national air strikes on Syrian soil, mainly against ISIS. Years to come, this will be called World War III. Just wait for it.
Thing is, there are no good guys in this war. the innocent Syrians need to choose between a cruel dictatorship or an oppressing fundamentalist rebels.
4 million people (fifth of the population) fled out of Syria and another 8 millions are displaced within. Out of the four million, 1.1 million reach the neighboring Lebanon – a country of 4 million people. Now imagine the economic strain on that country.
It the past few days, there has been numerous reports of massacres in several different Syrian cities (rumored to be fake, actually) that call for international intervention. and that concern me. would sending more army forces into this swap be helpful in any way? There’s are no good guys in this war that we could route for. There is no best-scenario outcome.
If you want your country to help – help the refugees and the displaced. that simple, fair and square. as for that damned blood-spilled land, I believe there should be an international agreement to sanction every import of Weapon, money and experts into the region. Drain it. Let them run out of bullets
In this regard, the UN security council should be thought over as its five countries unrebuked power is a major blocker in the peace process. Once one of these countries sides with one of the fighting factions, the war becomes unstoppable, to the dismay of the innocent victims.
I wonder, as a theoretical game, what would happen if the UN would sanction any war-mongering country, let’s say prohibiting any import/export of military equipment and weapons to and from that country. It would definitely annihilate Israel’s economy. But it would also leave the US in a very weird place as it currently pride itself to be the free world’s police offer and peace-keeper by bombing people in Somalia. And that’s the biggest problem with world’s politics. There are plenty of hypocritical self-righteous SOBs out there that you’ll need to deal with, one way or another.
Well, good luck people of Syria and the people of the rest of the world who are soon to follow.
I recently read a blog post by a climate-denier about the need to recycle and it infuriated me. I write his claims in bold:
I called the recycle cooperation and the environmental ministry and they couldn’t justify why is it important to recycle
Well, I apologize in behalf of and I feel sorry for people who work in places because they need a job and not because they’re all knowledgable eco-freaks. That’s how life works
OK, so they’re uninformed, but why do we recycle plastic then?
Before its recycling campaign started, Israel was a very filthy place. People used to throw their plastic everywhere and you could see wherever you go. So even if it’s not so economic to recycle the plastic, the campaign is about keeping the place we live in clean, which is priceless.
The sea, any sea, is insanely polluted by all plastic being dumped into it. How much waste? enough so you could see it from space. Enough so 90% from all sea-birds have plastic in their stomach. and plastic isn’t healthy.
OK, so what’s wrong with landfilling the plastic instead of recycling it?
Plastics naturally deteriorate and break down to microscopic fragments that are toxic and dangerous. It still find it way to the sea and to our underground water reserves.
Our natural resources aren’t depleting, otherwise how can you explain their dropping price?
Well, it’s a known fact that oil has already peaked, but you wrongfully measure quantity by end-user costs. What has the price soared? because from the hole from which it was extracted to the point to you pay for it, it went through so many intermediaries that you unknowingly subsidise with your tax money, it only seems things are getting cheaper because their true costs move to all sort of externalities. A simple example is the security for oil that was previously privately owned by the oil manufactures, is now the responsibility of the army, which then out-sources it to a private company; that’s a different story. point is – it’s your taxes that absorb the price increase.
We have enough space to have more landfills
The average American household create a enough waste to fill a football field each year. How many American families do we have?
It’s so wrong to say we have “spare” space. We don’t. Every inch of ground Man hasn’t already consumed is actually being used by nature. There’s life dependent on that unsullied piece of earth. And this is even before we begin to talk about your lack of desire to live next to a hell-stench smelly and rodent infested landfill.
We don’t have to cut down the rainforest to get paper. There are plenty of other forests
True, there are more forests. what are you trying to say? you do know that these forests are homes to some endangered species, right?
We can spend our money in ways much more productive than creating expensive recycled paper

True, when you’re the business owner and you don’t need to care about the environment you can spend the money to buy a yacht. ain’t that just great? Sure, why not, let someone else spend the money to clean after you, or cut down another rainforest at some distant corner of the world you never heard of. Sure, it’s much cheaper, but as long as you don’t pay for it, who cares? right?

Recycled paper is more expensive – not because its production is more expensive rather than because it’s a niche where businessmen exploit the eco-friendly people by charging them more money as they’re willing to pay that extra-money to save the environment. So our market became twisted – industry gets subsidies for clearly non-efficient and eco-harmful methods and products because that’s why people are used to be while the eco-friendly products are pushed to the eco-freaks in a high price and push everyone else away from these products.

I can go on about this forever, but that should do enough for now. And all this to say that I’m actually against recycling – I think people should simply stop producing and consuming garbage. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remove”. Stop buying plastic bottles with liquid sugar in them and switch to glass bottles that are cheaper and simpler to reuse (reuse is better then recycle) and let peace come to the earth.

Replying to your brave post and since you asked, here is my inexperienced opinion about eating-disorders.

I should start with a little background, though. I used to eat carelessly a lot of crap with the mindset of “Salad is waste of space in my stomach, good thing I have an extra stomach just for sweets”. But then I broke my jaw and for eight weeks I had to eat through a straw. Beyond the fact that once you drink a chicken, you can drink anything, I not only lost 15kg in this experience but I also lost the sense of hunger. Even though I doubled all my meals (and then blended and sifted them), I was constantly hungry; always carrying this feeling of void in my stomach. Having my hair shaved, at the end of those eight weeks I can testify I looked like a holocaust survivor.

But then I realised that we, in the developed country, hardly ever eat because we’re hungry – we eat because it’s time; we eat because of social obligations; we eat because we’re bored and we eat because we’re all a little bit oral and would like something in our mouth to play with (small tip: I eat dates and keep the pit in my mouth for that reason). Food had lost its original meaning of survival-necessity and turned into leisure. What we eat, how and when is ingrained in our culture, along with the perpetual reminder to keep our weight in toe.

I personally believe that weight is not a good indicator as muscles are heavier than fat. Yes, much like everyone else, I would like to look in the mirror and like what I see – but skinny isn’t necessarily pretty. That’s just a crude reduction. “Fit” in our society is a better description for what we consider pretty, or even “curvy” for girls. I’m not saying we should all become addicted to sports as any kind of addiction isn’t healthy.

What is addiction anyhow? Addiction is something you cannot live without. it’s part of your identity. We are addicted to our family and friends, we’re addicted to the sun and we’re addicted to air. Addiction on its own isn’t bad, it only becomes bad when it actually hurts us or others.

Anorexia is bad, I’m not insinuating otherwise, but one thing should be said on behalf of those who suffer from it – they have an incredibly strong will-power. it’s stronger than those small temptations, and in the context of the highly praised marshmallow experiment it says a lot. Anorexia is a mental disease in the sense that it distorts reality and those who suffer from it cannot objectively perceive their own weight and appearance, but if you put that aside – you see what a strong character they have. And they should know that.

Like most problems, admitting of having a problem is a key-component for its solution. I was addicted to computer-games and chocolate and I’m still addicted to sugar and certain dairy products (in my failing attempts to go vegan), so I cannot give an educated or experienced opinion but my solution to my addictions was awareness and following that – moderation. I won’t play computer games and I wouldn’t bring home foods that I consider ״poisonous”, but would still eat them occasionally when going out on weekends. And during the week? I eat food, preferably vegetables, if not legumes, nuts or fruits.

Many people who are conscious for their weight eat “calories” instead of actual food. These people don’t live longer. It only feels like eternity. I would personally go by Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat Food; Not too much; Mostly plants”, which seems rather simple and straight-forward (and yet he wrote an entire book to explain this sentence).

We live in a crappy society in which people, especially girls, are being judged by their appearance and the most predominant theme is “be thin”. This is wrong in so many layers as it devalues and dehumanise women into superficial sex object women want men to desire. Yes, aesthetic is important and personally I do consider flabbiness to be a turn off but you wouldn’t believe how sexy would a genuine smile be, or confidence or stamina or simply positive approach to life.

That digital device you have in your pocket? you should call it a “mobile” (or “Handy” as the germans call it). But calling a “cellular phone” is ridiculous. Last month I spent 6 minutes of talking on the phone and 500mb of data, and I might be an extreme case but I assume I’m not the only one. Let me tell you why phones are obsolete.

First, they require an immediate response. Unlike texting of any form, to which you can reply whenever is convenient, phone call must be answered right now. Let’s say someone wants to give you an important message. you gotta answer that, otherwise you’ll miss it. True, you can have a voicemail box. but the original voice message is actually translate to a “you got mail” notification which will force you to actively connect to the voicemail service and listen to the message (hence, requiring one more step). True that with a simple data app we can reduce this step into a PTP (push-to-talk) voice message, but usually that’s not the case. and even so – it means harnessing new technology to support old infrastructure.
In that sense, text-messaging is great, as you can answer whenever you can or wish. No real pressure for immediate response. Plus, it’s much more easy and acceptable to reply while doing other things (like watching a movie) as listening is much more engaging than reading short texts).

Phones are spammer’s paradise. Unless you decide not to answer phones from undisclosed number- you’re bound to have annoying soliciting or harassing phone calls. Adding a caller ID was a necessary step to resolve that. First it just showed you the caller’s number and if you recognise it (because people back in the 80s used to remember and recognise 9 digits phone numbers, today why bother?) you could filter desired phone calls (but no real help with unidentified numbers). Of course, very quickly came the caller’s option to hide us number, giving the spammer the upper hand. Unidentified numbers issue can easily be resolved if instead of numbers the phone infrastructure would convert to meaningful string, like an email for example. and it would allow people to block calls from lisa@gambling.com. but what about jenny.maccarthy@gmail.com ? should you answer a seemingly innocent yet completely random phone call? so it still seems we’re trying to keep a technology alive, while it really wants to die.
And lastly, phones encourage awkward smalltalk. It’s not a real face-to-face conversation to become a real small-talk but asking directly would be extremely unsociable. For example, let’s say you want to ask Berry from accounting if he plans to go to the company’s picnic (and if he does, whether he could give you a ride). so you can text him a single message: “Hey what’s up bro? are you going to the picnic? can I come with you?” and his answer would be a simple “sure thing!” and that would be the end of it. Text messages are far more concise. While if you go to Tim you would actually engage in a conversation when you’ll eventually get to ask “oh yeah, hey, are you going to the picnic?”. Phone calls are pretty similar, but much more annoying to handle as you don’t see the other person, whether he’s actually to busy or occupied to have this conversation with you right now.
I think that the interesting bit was that phone exists for merely 100 years and are you publicly only for about 50 years. cellular phones became popular only 20 years ago (that’s nothing compared the the length of time men has used pigeons to deliver news). Meaning to say, we managed for a very long period  with the need to audio-only interaction, and I truly believe we outgrew to betters forms of communications (emojis and memes anyone?)
The decision of moving from cellular devices should come into affect with the packages the service providers should offer. Personally, I’d go with a package with little to no voice minutes but a large data plan. If need may be, I can always use skype or other voice-over-IP solution in order to have free conversation anyhow.
Less importantly it should with the hardware itself. not so much for its supported technologies rather than its branding – I would rather buy an Ipad with 4G capabilities than an iPhone – which are technically the same thing – but represents completely different mindsets.
As the US election are playing in the background, I’ve been stacking my popcorn supply and getting myself ready to see the world burn, I thought about the ways we elect our leaders and whether we can come up with some better way. Processing it through, I’ve classified most system into only 4 categories. Here it goes:
1. The first party. Public election, or so it seems. The people vote, the most popular candidate wins. Whether it’s the winner takes all or absolute majority, it makes no substantial difference. People may vote for a person or for a political party. That’s still ok. The biggest risk of “first party system” is that it’s actually a “third party system” in disguise. That’s the biggest trick, isn’t it? to let the people have a sense of control over their lives…
2. The second party. That’s when a person became a leader simply because he chose so. He probably used some power or violence to overthrow the previous leader, but not necessarily. he might have crowd-surfed his way to the top, being energised by the people love and faith in him. It’s still not a first party system, as it wasn’t structured. And that is the key ingredient of the “Second Party” systems – this is no structured mechanism to replace the leadership.
3. The third party. Fairly simply, we have someone to select the leader for our – an elite of sort. It may be the richest few, like in the US; It may be the tribe’s elders, like some tribal societies; It may be the most hight people in power – like the Vatican or China. All of these systems roughly says the same thing -The leader, not matter where he came from, must have the approval of the elite. The question remains, though, whether this Elite is open or not – can anyone join the elite? In most societies – yes, it’s possible but it depends on the individual’s ability – to get extremely rich, or climb up the bureaucracy hierarchy, or may live to old. Some societies are closed – picking their elites from some Aristocrat families. But if anyone would like to scale it down, we can actually give a score from 0 to 100, about the individual’s ability to join the elite group and decide his or her own fate.
4. No party. A no party system is the most objective system – we simply take the oldest, smartest, richest, strongest. We take the one who could life the hammer or pull the sword out of the stone. There is a test that anyone can challenge and once passed – he or she will become a leader. It’s not a second party’s revolution because it’s foresight agreed that the person who has the best score in the agreed criteria is the winner.
I find this classification fascinating as you can classify almost any system of governance using these four groups. But one must ask – can we think outside the box? about another kind of election-mechanism?
Let’s take Switzerland for example, that is the closest thing to a healthy no-leadership system operating today. The Swiss vote themselves on all major issues (sometimes in contradiction to ethics and international law. that’s true). Well, some of the Swiss do, at least. The Swiss are organised in communities which build cantons, which build the state. The leader is merely the representative of the people, rather than the monopoly of power.
But Switzerland isn’t perfect, as it gives immense power to the citizens which are heavily influenced from the media, which is controlled by the elite. So is it a first-party or a third-party? not much of neither. But it is a perfect proof for the existence of other governing system that what we’re set to think. can you think of other ways to choose your leader or govern?

(I recently learned about Oxford comma, hence the title)

Malcolm walked into a grocery store in hope to find a decent spaghetti sauce. they only had one brand, which Malcolm didn’t like. You see, when there’s a single option – you either take it or not take it. it’s that simple as your spectrum is binary. So he went to another store that not only had several brands available – they also had free samplings. So he checked a few and eventually decided on the brand he like the most. Because when there are option, you would pick the one you like the most. it makes sense.
Dan, however, walks to a jeans store. there’s a variety of jeans he could pick from. But there wasn’t a single brand he particularly liked so the threshold of making the purchase is higher for him. It was very frustrating for him. Eventually he gave up and left. On his way home he found another store that, fortunate for him, had only one model at his size. And he liked it so he picked it.
I read an interesting comics regarding different relations people might have beyond the classical 2-humans that might or might now be with other people. Sure, why not a trio? or a small commune with no particular coupling within it, and it made me wonder if the new available relationship models are a good thing, like Malcolm’s case or bad, like Dan’s story.
First, it’s important to note that “not buying” a product, or “not being” in relationship is a valid option, although for Dan, Malcolm and traditional society would consider this as “lose”. Modern-day society will be far more forgiving and accepting people who, for their own reasons, don’t want spaghetti sauce at all. it’s not the end of the world. You can try one sauce. You can try some. I think you should try, but it’s perfectly ok to say “no,spaghetti sauces are not for me, not matter how much water you added”.
Malcolm dealt with this narrative: there are so and so companies selling sauces. A single company wanted to expand its market share. it first tried to find the ultimate sauce that most people would like but eventually decided to fragmentise the market so everyone could buy the tomato sauce they like – from that particular company. So if their market share before was 50%, now it’s 70%. But did the market actually grow? Did these additional 20% didn’t buy tomato sauce at all before?
Maybe the reason for the increase wasn’t really more people enjoying spaghetti sauce – rather then Dan’s paradigm in which a customer couldn’t decide which company’s mushroom-flavoured spaghetti sauce he should buy so he ultimately gave up. This means that introducing the models didn’t increase the market – rather than by killing the competition reduced the market!
With the introduction of new relationship-types, by how much did the market expand? I don’t think that by much, (pseudo-) monogamous relationship were quite a mainstream to begin with, although if you ask about their happiness or well-being that’s a completely different game. Yes, I strongly believe the new options allowed more people to find happiness and I doubt the new options overwhelmed anyone from choosing his lifetime partners. Personally, I’m all in favour for not settling only one the single couple-relationship, rather than rebuilding the concept of community (aka village) we once had as I believe the social safety net a community can provide is better than a single spouse can provide, but I admit that this doesn’t necessarily means that individuals are less likely to stay alone – not only out of choice, but also because they still cannot find the right relationship that is good for them.

There are 60 million refugees today. that’s a lot of people who cannot go back home for fear for their lives and are usually unwelcome anywhere else. But this horrific number is not only growing every day (which kinda makes me wonder how many more refugees can Syria “produce”), I believe it will keep on growing as the root causes are not diminishing rather than increasing. How long can Lebanon – a country of 4.5 people can support 1.5 million (!) refugees (1.1 out of which are Syrians, others are Palestinians) before it will collapse and its own citizen will flee from atrocities to Turkey, who already has 2.5 million Syrian refugees, thus creating a domino effect at the doorsteps of Europe.

Shutting that door would prove futile as much like the inevitability of the economy’s collapse, people’s displacement is not only here to stay – it’s going to be a prominent part of our lives, along with falling governments as people are losing their trust in the political structures and turning toward fascism and other unfriendly solutions.

“People’s Displacement” is a global issue should be handled by world countries together in order to be resolved, ease the tension and prevent more countries from falling. it’s wrong to think it’s the western world fault or responsibility. Those who think that are still trapped in the colonialist thinking that native people cannot resolve issues on their own. When a person says “but just look how the Syrians are killing one another!”, he clearly didn’t think who provided the Syrian with the ammunition. At times it seems the west are trying to put out a fire by pouring oil over it.
Trying to heed the call of Shawn Achor and Malcolm Gladwell to find out outliers, I think it’s an interesting question to be asked regarding refugees – is there an ideal refugee? can we identify trait in refugees that makes their lives any easier? How well do entrepreneurs dwell in refugee camps, compared to engineers, military personnel or people who comes from nomadic cultures? do religious people fair better? positive-thinkers? people who come from lower socio-economic class (who therefore didn’t have much to lose when fleeing)?
Now it appears I’m not the first person to ask this question, as it’s actually more important than simple hypothesis. It reflects on the policy of dealing with refugees. If refugee camp is “chaos”, it’s the western world to put it into order by any means necessary. But if a refugee camp is collection of unfortunate people – maybe what they need is is just another chance.
look at a community of refugees – can we use their teacher to teach their own children? can we provide their engineer the tools to rebuild their camp into a town? can we use their law-enforcement? their own shop-keepers can run their shops. I think that if we that the sooner can help bring back normality into their life – the sooner we’ll dismantle the crisis from one of its great atrocities.
Another point that must be addressed is the stress on the countries hosting the refugee camps. The cannot and should not handle this burden alone. The status of “displaced” should be handled (given or removed once the person has settled) by the UN and not by each individual country and its arbitrary criteria. Once a person was declared as such, it is the responsibility of the UN to take care of his well-being. I understand xenophobic and racist lots who feat different cultures invading their countries and diluting their blood but once we accepted that this is a global problem that concerns us all, each country will be required to choose between letting refugees assimilate, allocating space for the UN’s displaced cities where people could build new lives for themselves or financially supporting countries that agreed to accept refugees. This leaves us only with the segregationists to handle – those who believe this is not their problem. how do we handle them today? countries which refuse to cap their CO2 emissions or ban usage of environmentally-disastrous substances? Well, we don’t. but that’s the topic of state-level enforcement is a subject for a future post.