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Comment: Only an Idiot thinks that Holland is in Africa! (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#32004974) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

I was asking about what AFRICAN windup clock radio company could benefit from the suggested boycott of cheaper and better overseas products by African customers.
If you got difficulties comprehending the concept, then go and finish grade school before replying.

There is no African consumer goods industry, much less an African car or computer industry.
So the entire suggestion is just bullocks and bullshit!

Comment: Re:What were you doing during your 6month in Ghana (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#32004902) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

I'm not saying that helping a family member is bad. What's bad is the choice of promoting the family over following economics. If a family member sells a product, but a competitor offers better quality at a lower price, buy from the competitor, especially when foreign aid is paying the bill. Capitalism works. Support quality, and quality will improve.

Reading your reply, I truly, really wonder what u were doing during your 6 month stay in Ghana?
That time was obviously not spend learning about the local way of life.
So you say that for a few $ in savings I am supposed to snub a family member who would gladly lay down his life to get me out of trouble?
Maybe you should spend less time reading Adam Smith and more time walking the streets of the slums and shanty towns of Africa.
If my very existence depends in my brothers, cousins and Aunties being there for me on a moment's notice, then I would rather consult a witch doctor before I would follow your advise
Capitalism works you claim?! EVER FOLLOWED THE ECONOMIC NEWS LATELY?
People complain about the havoc your kind of capitalism has created in the western world. Can you even imagine the devastation it has caused in sub-Saharan Africa?
Capitalism doesn't work, its just the best non-working form of economics currently available to us - but that still doesn't mean you should even try to enforce the rules of Wall Street and Wal-Mart in the badlands of Africa.

I've seen Socialism first hand and it works even less than Capitalism. But that still doesn't make Wall Street the savior of the poor and downtrodden.

By the way, when I travel back home, I will *always* prefer the taxi service one of my Aunties owns.
Because I know that with her driver at least I won't end up robbed and clubbed to death in a ditch along the road.
Something that happens quiet frequently to single passengers in taxi cabs - the other reason (besides saving money) why people prefer to share a ride when using a taxi in many parts of African.

You can call that anything you want, I call it "common sense".

Choosing economics over family is also a contributing factor to the public's confidence in a leader.

OK, that does it. IMHO you got NO CLUE about Africa and the Africans.
Taking care of ones family, or even giving them preference in private purchasing decisions, is not the same as corruption!
And in Africa *no* government leader will *ever* win the respect of his people, if he/she does not respect family first.

The equal application of rule of law is the cornerstone of a real democracy.

WRONG> One (wo)man one vote is the cornerstone of Democracy.
The ancient Greeks, who invented Democracy, also had slaves and the British who developed the Western Style Democracy people in the West use as a template today, also have a Monarchy to this very day, where Lords and Nobles are given rights and privileges not offered to anyone else within the realm.

On the other hand, Prussia's Frederick the Great is called "great" amongst historians, because he insisted in the equal application of the rule of law within his domain.
Even in matters affecting the king himself.

You should stop trying to apply dry text book "knowledge" to real life places like Africa and listen to what the Africans tell you.
What the people of Africa (speaking mostly of "my part" of Africa here, as different peoples have different preferences) want from a leader is stabillity and self-restraint.

They don't want a government that changes all the time, but they don't want a tyrannical despot you just can't get rid of either.
Mr. people who are not part of the elites in Africa are STARVING, each and every day.
Education is the answer you claim? Geez, have you ever visited an African school?
A place where most teachers are so poor that they threaten to beat up the children if they don't bring them extra money.

A night watchman has to feed his entire family of an income that is barely enough for 2 sacks of rice per month.
And for that he has to sit in a sweltering palmbody hut all night long.
And then he still has to pay his ruthless landlord the rent from his income - and then comes the school money and the bribe money for the teachers.

You've got an awful lot of butterflies flying around in your head, but not much sense for the harsh reality of African living.

Democracy works well for that. What the leaders actually do is often a moot point.

Democracy at work in Africa:
1) Elections are being called out - most common folks neither understand the party platforms (as they can't even read the damn ballot), nor do they care.
2) Poverty is rampant, power failures are as common as the flies on the meat sold along the streets.
3) The most corrupt politician with the deepest pockets gets to purchase almost all the meager resources that are at hand (including journalists). Leaving everyone else stranded.
4) The frustrated opposition starts to resort to violence. Harsh reprisals follow immediately.
5) As closer it gets to election day, as more unsafe the streets become. Gangs of hoodlums march through the small streets of downtown, threatening anyone who doesn't support *their* candidate with an array of unpleasant retributions.
6) Finally election day has come and gone, and most commoners are just glad to hope that the violence may now stop.
7) The loosers start to scream "rigged election" almost immediately.
8) The guy now in power plays deaf, makes some high & mighty speech about "Democracy and the rule of law", heads for the Presidential Palace and plans to spend the next few years forgetting that he was ever part of all that misery and poverty in the slums.
9) The loosers swallow down their pride and keep accumulating their stock pile of weapons until they think they've got enough to take a closer look at that Presidential Palace themselves.
10) Folks like you find yet another occasion in the news to lecture Africans about their supposed shortcomings and how to cure them.

It doesn't always work out that way, but in my experience it works more often this way than the other one around.

Regarding the inflammatory statements about various atrocities, what's your point?
Do you think it took too long for 197 disparate countries with different views to agree on what to do?

Those were not inflammatory, but historically accurate to the point.
And we are not talking 197 countries here, because last time I checked the list of countries whose people can afford to buy blood diamonds is a lot, lot shorter.
The same goes for the plundered raw materials of the Congo basin, the Sudan or whatever other place in Africa is devoid of the rule of law and still manages to export massive amounts of goods, as if Warren Buffet himself would be financing the operation.
Its Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and now also China who are the prime customers for Africa's stolen treasures.
All they have to do is to apply the damn law and stop looking the other way when goods arrive at their shore which could not possible have been exported legally.

But then of course, that would hurt their own pocket book. Giving smart alek advise on the other hand is free of charge.

The UN is not, and should not be, an empire. I don't know anybody who views genocide as "little children quarreling",

Educate yourself on the subject, damn it!
Read up on Charles Taylor of Liberia, Foday Sankoh and the RUF wars of neighboring Sierra Leone.

Foday Sankoh was a bona fide war criminal, forced out of jail by UN negotiators who, as usual, refused to accept the notion that Africans know damn well who the bad guys are amongst them and instead always approach each and every conflict there with the notion that "everybody is equally guilty".
  Just as if arbitrating between quarreling children in kindergarten.

In "my part" of Africa UN "peace keepers" are notorious for the prostitution they promote, their trafficking in little children, donated aid and the corrupting influence their presence has on the whole of society.
The UN is a corrupt, broken institution which is only good for cheap, ineffective PR stunts.
They want to help fix problems which in many cases wouldn't even exist if the UN had kept their promises in the first place - RWANDA ANYONE?!!

Comment: While I refuse to PowerPoint (Score 1) 233

by TimurLeng (#32001980) Attached to: PowerPoint of Afghan War Strategy

I work as a Systems Admin and Landscape Manager, very often being responsible for 1000+ server landscapes and millions if not billions of dollars invested in the same.
In my specific field of Client/Server CRM and Enterprise Entity Software, there are no "fall back options".
If my systems go down, the entire company goes "bye bye", often affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

For all the reasons mentioned in this article;
http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0001yB&topic_id=1

I simply flat out refuse to put certain topics in Power Point format. Even at the risk of angering the very, very higher ups.
I found that in this day and age the attention span of most in top management equals that of a 5 year old.
But topics like "Backup and disaster recovery", or "System Safety and Potential Points of Attack" and even things like "Expected performance changes over the lifetime of the System" can not be squeezed into 3-5 line page "tweets".

Entire books have been written on these topics, designed to be read by EXPERTS in the field, and I am to explain the same to someone who doesn't even understand the difference between a Database and a Flat File Store in under 6 lines?

I read a lot of proud pro PP statements from "professional power pointers" in here.
But have you ever stopped to ask yourself if that glazed over look in the eyes of your audience is not caused by the reflection from the projection screen, but their "tilt" light going into overdrive?!

Comment: Re:One laptop per child (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#31993082) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

That XO concept was a ludicrous publicity stunt.
Utterly incompatible even with most other Linux distros and woefully short on computing resources.
What good is a laptop for every child if all that kid can use it for is banging nails into the ground?
Real hammers are even cheaper than that.

Instead of wasting money for a silly concept like that, invest in community centers and equip those with real computers.
Mark every system as property of the community center, equip it with a tracking device and hire a local, trustworthy person to guard the equipment against theft and abuse through corruption.
Then students (what the heck do little children need laptops for anyway?) can use real computers to do real studies on them.

Comment: Re:In Africa, it's not that simple. (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#31992626) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

The only real solution is for large regions to band together, decide they want to enter the modern world, and campaign to convince their people to improve their ethic. The first thing to go must be the nepotism. Work should be done to benefit the country as a whole, not just the family. Next should be the appearance. Africans must not be afraid to show what they need, and should strive to achieve mediocrity before greatness. Once the example road doesn't need to be inspected for perfection, corruption can be more easily reduced. Finally, with enough money going where it's intended, the infrastructure can improve, and Africa can finally harness its natural resources.

You complain about the prime allegiance of Africans being to their family.
Let me tell you something about family in Africa.
When I was a teenage boy I traveled home from my place of study in Europe and promptly had the return portion of my round trip ticket stolen from me by a fellow passenger on the plane.
"Naturally" that part of the ticket turned out to be non-refundable, even so it had not been a bargain rate ticket.
And no, even so I had presented my whole ticket (still paper at that time) during check-in, the airline simply refused to issue me a new return ticket.

Now we are talking a lot of cash here, because "back in the days" there were nor tourist charters available to that part of Africa.
And even so my Uncle wasn't poor, he was no millionaire either.
Yet upon hearing about my troubles, he simply volunteered to buy me a new ticket and wouldn't accept "no" for an answer.

There were no accusations, no angry words, not even a childing.
He just picked up the phone, made a few calls, had the money transferred and I didn't even had to go back downtown to the travel office.
They send us the new ticket by courier.

Now that is what family does for you in Africa Mr. They save your ass when nobody else will - and they don't even give you one angry look for it.
You might think that is something to scoff about, but Africans will tell you that this is what they are most proud about in their culture.

What Africa needs most has nothing to do with any of your suggestions and yet it is as plain as the light of day.
Africa needs much less interference from western do goodders and much more rule of law internally and externally.

*Every* time the dreaded United Nations "negotiate" (aka "force") a peace between a corrupt war lord and his victims, yet another signal is send out to all Africans that crime does pay.
Whenever no-nothings like George Clooney advocate on Capitol Hill for the bombing of Sudan to help "those little, cute black babies over there" Africans only shudder at their ignorance.

Leave African problems to Africans, stop pumping the place full with weapons and IMF advisers and insist on the equal applications of the rule of law.
Not every African country needs to be a Democracy (how do you run a Democracy anyways if over 2/3 or a country can't even read what's on the ballot?)

But what they all need (what *every* country in the world needs) for stable development is accountability.
That dreaded tendency of those in the West to view any conflict in Africa through the lens of "they are just like little children quarreling with each other" is what let's warlords and corrupt politicians of the hook again and again and again.

How long did it take for Charles Taylor to finally face justice? Or his henchman Foday Sankoh wo was forced out of jail by the UN, so he could keep murdering again.
And the countless war lords of the Congo basin, who are still in business to this very day, selling the raw materials openly on the international markets from places they only control through brute force - with no legal mandate what-so-ever.
How can they even find customers for materials they can make no legal claim of ownership to?

Why did it take decades until Western Nations finally agreed to combat the blood diamond trade?
Was a simple small laser marking, invisible to the human eye, really such a big price to pay for a little peace on earth?

Don't give us money, but give us the rule of law !

Comment: Re:Shipping to Africa is as safe as wiring your mo (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#31992222) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

Hey Mr.

I am from Africa and I wouldn't want to do business online with Nigerians.
They are notorious for their schemes and even in the rest of West-Africa people view many Nigerians somewhat like Ferengi with dark skin.
The problem is the Nigerian legal system, which is so clumsy that it effectively blocks prosecution for most online criminals.
The country is just too huge for its ineffective police force and judiciary.

Please notice: There are many honest, hard working Nigerians. But the bad apples just have such an easy time that they spoil it for everyone else.

Comment: Re:Take it from an African - For the record (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#31992008) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

Definition of "boorish":
adjective - like or characteristic of a boor; rude; awkward; ill-mannered

I think it fits like a fiddle. Even if the name for dutch, land grabbing motherfuckers of the previous centuries was "Boer", they were and still are "boorish" in nature.

To be honest, I don't give a damn what they call themselves. Given the fact that, after what they did for centuries to the locals in South Africa, the whites are still allowed to keep the lion share of wealth in SA to themselves and that under an ANC government of the 3rd generation, I got no patience for any boorish Boer coming in here and bad mouthing his own, fellow black countrymen with racist slander that could have come straight out of Goebbels vocabulary.

If blacks would have been committing such crimes against whites for centuries, they'd been exterminated as a whole as soon as whites would have gained the upper hand.
So what is that musmax moron complaining about again? Ah, yes. That he won't enjoy the soccer world championship as there are too many black guys around.
Got a problem with all the blacks surrounding you musmax? The cure to that one would be LEAVE AFRICA NOW!

Comment: Re:Clones (Score 1) 183

by TimurLeng (#31982124) Attached to: Looking Back at 1984 Report On "Radical Computing"

They were not clones. I know as I used to work with one of those machines.
They were simply US systems that had been bought by Soviet agents, then repackaged, had their name plates stripped and their casings altered and then got smuggled into the SU and were re-branded as Soviet manufactured goods - just as to fool the common IT worker who wasn't allowed to peek behind the curtain.

Truly Russian technology was about as advanced as a rusty razor blade.

Comment: Re:Except that we were using efficient functions t (Score 1) 183

by TimurLeng (#31982100) Attached to: Looking Back at 1984 Report On "Radical Computing"

but they are not necessary for solving engineering problems well.

No real engineer would claim that in the 21st century you could design *any* piece of complex machinery w/o the help of computers.
Thus Occam's razor demands that this statement comes from someone who is not working in this field himself.

Comment: Re:Eh. (Score 1) 183

by TimurLeng (#31982054) Attached to: Looking Back at 1984 Report On "Radical Computing"

No, no, no and no again.

Your logic is similar to the one used by people who argue that if the big meteorite wouldn't have hit earth, that Dinosaurs would still rule the planet.
But both of these overlook the fact that the competition had already been waiting in the shadows, hoping for a change in environment to achieve dominance.
I for one have seen "Russian Tech" close up during my younger years and many of you folks who are so fascinated with paper articles got no clue how utterly primitive Russian "high tech" was.
The most likely reason why Russian ternary logic never made it into mass production was that they couldn't get it working right themselves.

Binary circuits are simply to built, ever school kid can do that with a soldering iron.
Binary logic is likewise simple to understand, again kids do that all the time.
Binary circuits are stable, if build right.
Binary values are easy to distinguish from each other. 5V vs 0V (or whatever voltage levels you take).

Have you forgotten that in the West they also had Analog Computers competing with Binary Systems at the time?
Binary won the day, simply because it is a superior concept - not because some evil conspiracy suppressed the genius analog competitors.
 

Comment: Re:Security through obscurity? (Score 2, Interesting) 1015

by TimurLeng (#31981932) Attached to: Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

So any threatening species would be dealt with, likely well before they became destructive upon an interstellar basis.

In your world view the cow is more advanced than the wolf and the lamb more sophisticated than the lion.

I once read a very interesting Science Fiction story in which an advanced civilization had reached earth and judged the human race wanting.
But the UN replied, "wait, don't destroy us just yet. Give us time to negotiate our differences away and achieve global peace".

So they negotiated and negotiated among themselves and after entire weeks of sleepless arguments they finally returned to the threatening aliens and told them: "no more need to unleash your wrath upon us. We've achieved global peace. All weapons will be abolished and all armies of ours dissolved!".

The alien was quiet puzzled at this development and started to look upon the human ambassador with pity.
"You misunderstood my meaning. We did not find you wanting for your lack of peacefulness. The galaxy is filled with the bones of the defenseless civilizations we had conquered before yours. What we found you people lacking was the urgency, the furor to fight until either victory or death. We seek out warrior nations like ourselves,to recruit them as auxiliaries for our own wars. W/o weapons or armies, w/o the will to fight in wars, your species is utterly useless to us. Prepare for your destruction human!"
----------------
But I for one think much more highly of us as a species.
I think we have proven in our treatment of each other (the Firelanders, the North American Indians, Australia's Aborigines, the Armenians, the Jews under Hitler, Rwanda's Genocide and so on and so on), that we have what it takes to become a Galactic menace.

So I think its the aliens who should be scared shitless of us.
Just image the devastation we could cause among them if we'd send our TV preachers and missionaries out against them!
We'd destroy their entire civilization in one round, w/o even having to fire a shot! :-)

Comment: Re:Take it from an African (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#31978586) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

If that musmax moron thinks he's an African, then I think we can nominate the resurrected Cecil Rhodes for leadership of the African Union next.
I used to have a lot of sympathy for the plight of the Boorish, but *every* time I read or hear from them directly, all that goes just straight out the window.
While many British have actually tried to improve the lot of the people in their adapted homelands, the Boors never had anything else to offer but racism and disgust for their host nations.

Time to get rid of them and deport 'em all back to the Low Countries.

Comment: Re:Take it from an African (Score 1) 146

by TimurLeng (#31977892) Attached to: Bridging the Digital Divide In Uganda, By Freight

I'm an African, a white one that is. My progenitor arrived in the Cape of Good hope in 1697, the latest family register counts the member of white descendent of my family close to 6k, the number of brown/black descendants are unknown, those that kept the original family name and are classified "coloured*" are a 1000 or so, but I digress. Africa is indeed fucked up, this is primarily due to Africans, not Europeans or "Colonialists" but africans themselves. Africans are not simply less fortunate white people with black skin. They have fundamentally different world views and cognitive abilities. I cannot compete with a black African digging a ditch, he can keep at it for hours and hours, the last 30 years has seen most of the Olympic track and field go to black Africans. The average black African cannot plan or appreciate cause and effect to the degree that another member of the species would find to be "common sense". I believe this to be a wetware problem, not simply due to culture or lack of education or opportunities. This, of course makes me a racist, or at best, or a white supremacists. I have grown comfortable with that label. I'd rather be that than delusional.

I've also realised that most non african whites simply have no clue or opinions worth considering when it comes to race related matters. You have no clue, have no real experience dealing with people significantly more different than yourselves. Come to South Africa for the Soccer World Cup, you will gain what you lack. You might not like what you may become.

* Americans note: Your president is "coloured", not black, regardless of what he claims to be. If Africa had 10% of the calibre of Obama's the continent would be a unstoppable superpower. But be not alarmed, barring a mind-enhancing super virile pandemic mind-enhancing air-borne virus, infecting every african, your position is save.

Mr. you sound like a white boorish motherfucking a*hole and are about as African as Heinrich Himmler was.
To you I sing a "one settler, one bullet" any time of the day or night for free !

Take this from damn *real* African, who can trace his family tree back at least as far as you do and can show African freedom fighters in each and every generation of the same.
And I come from a country that had the nick name "white man's grave" during the colonial era - and I just love that one :-)

My Grandfather, Father, Uncles were/are *all* Engineers, Doctors and Academics of international acclaim.
I myself have managed 1000 server landscapes for international fortune 500 companies on 3 different continents.

You think your freaking white skin color makes you my better? I'll eat you up for breakfast and spit you out for lunch!

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