using technology to solve problems in developing nations.

This multipronged framework will use information technology as its core driver to enhance lives of those in developing nations. It provides a framework so that those living below the poverty line are able to get access to basic needs, health care and create awareness to the international community. This model is not new but it does have some personal input to its viability and sustainability. This will create avenues for crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Before we continue, we must first define the three triangles. Working in the ‘rule of three’ keeps a systematic process simple and its simplicity to handover.

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your business partner. your friend. your family.

Every hand shake, every nod on the street and every interaction; may all lead to social capital.

Have you ever noticed someone consistently as you routinely traveled to your coffee shop for a nice cup of Latte and many months later happen to meet that same person a networking event? -And of course the obvious choice of topic will be the wonderful coffee served at that particular coffee shop. That in itself is social capital accumulation! Our basic interactions in our everyday lives tend to fuel future economic transactions. But how does family bonding fuel economic transactions?… Well, besides the obvious example of family businesses; when your family goes for family gatherings or dinners at a restaurant that a family friend had recommended, that in it self is a great example of how the effect spirals and fuels economic transaction, as one may argue that one who has no family would not normally go out for a family dinner. Continue reading

social capital: at what point does it hurt.

….Continued referencing from the Manpower research; social capital has always existed and been the driver of economic prosperity. Some argue that it can not exist without the provision of certain rights that institutions provide. But was there not a period where there was no such institutions in place and we were forced to trade based on ‘trust’ or ‘social capital’?

“…In the Human Age, we have become all-day networks, able to act or respond immediately to many different situations. A business deal that begins in Tokyo on a Monday for a global corporation may continue uninterruptedly for days and involve employees and consultants from multiple time zones. Ideas may come from one-time economic outposts or collaborations between people who never meet but know each other virtually…” Continue reading

technology advancing faster than the human mind.

Could it be that technology innovation is increasing at a rate faster than that of the human mind? We can all agree that there are constant innovations all the time when is comes to technologies. But can engineers and institutions that teach engineering keep up with these technology advances? A recent study released by the Manpower in Singapore has revealed that we are moving to a human age and illustrated the importance of technology advancement, especially in the realm of Social Media. Continue reading

mode. transport.

there is so much talk out there about climate change and how we humans are the cause and effect of these changes. Although, there is some argument against climate change altogether. What do we believe?

Well, as a Keynsian Economist would have it; “does it really matter when we are all going to die in the end?”

If the world and the new age society are so adamant about future generations and their lively hood. Are there not bigger issues to worry about? What about the protein shortage in the world? Let us tackle one problem at the time as a unity. Of course, this is not an option by states! Who would want to work together? If it were that simple maybe there would not be as many problems.

In hindsight, our differences also make us unique and in many cases strive for the betterment of their own region.

This life that we are living now is a ‘mode of transport’… we start at birth and end at death.

We can choose to drive the car that may not be the most optimal, pollutes and kills its environment, drive over almost anything -and gets you to the end faster…

or

Ride a bicycle, a nice leisure ride through pastures and greenery… enjoying the breeze of life and the wonders of mother nature and the environment!

so… which mode of transport have you taken in life?……

television/radio vs social capital. a social trade off

In 2006, Benjamin A Olken wrote a paper;

Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages

The link to the paper is here. For those with a thirst for knowledge and detail, please go ahead and read it. For general readers, please continue reading!

This post is not to discuss the credibility of the model or criticise the article. Instead let us have a discussion about how watching television and/or listening to the radio frequently may affect our communities. Social capital in this context does not directly mean intelligence, but instead the idea of community awareness, trust, governance and social group settings.

The article presents findings that there is a negative correlation between an increase number of television and a social community in Indonesia. As the number of TV channels increase, the number of social groups reduce. [On average, for every 1 more channel of TV increase, leads to a 7% reduction in social groups (Statistically significant at a 5% level – for you econometricians).] What does this mean exactly? -well, isn’t in logical? the more time you spend watching TV or listening to the radio at home, the less time you are going to spend in external social groups! After all, we only have 24 hours in a day!

Thus it is imperative that we consider how much time is spent watching TV and listening to the radio. Or in retrospect, how much opportunity cost has been incurred on your social life for every extra one hour spent in front of your black box.

The paper doesn’t stop there, it reveals that TRUST is also affected from this concept! You must be thinking ‘how in the world is trust affected from watching TV?!…’ -Well, again in can be logically presented that the less amount of time spent in social groups and community, one tends to dis-associate themselves with community norms and aspects of such nature. So when you ‘return’ to your social group and realise that there are a bunch of new faces, it is a natural human instinct to question the ‘trust’ one can provide. [Although only columns 1 and 3 are significant at the first row, we can see that the second row reinforces significance throughout all the columns except 5 -but perhaps that can be dis-regarded as you wouldn’t really have your president attending your social group meetings. Another feature to take note of is that all the coefficients are negative -I am sure that counts for something…]

If you are still reading by this stage, perhaps this table may also interest you. The author extended the realm to religious and non-religious groups as well! The results were consistently negative as well.

With all this said, causality is not affirmed here, however, correlation is apparent. The notion is a negative correlation between TV/Radio and social capital is very much logical as well. Is it not apparent that over decades, our devices become our ‘social group’ and we tend forget community awareness and values that come alongside with it. For instance, YOU. You are sitting right in front of your screen reading this post, as much as I am sitting here writing it. -to some extent we are secluded from the physical community beyond the parameters of your surrounding. -do you think social capital is important? Do you think that perhaps we should just shut off the screen and reinstate the previous norms of community values that bring trust and belonging?

What is the value of your social capital?

life goes on.

“…when the Global Financial Crisis Hit… the world was hit… unemployment rose… people lost their homes… families were torn apart… debt rose beyond the extent of paying back…”

“…People were committing suicide…”

“…the middle class become non-existent… one could not afford to fall sick and miss work…”

“…some of the rich became richer, whilst some of them became homeless and jobless and even lifeless…”

“…it was difficult to see the light at the end of this tunnel… lifestyles had to change… people had to be homeless and suffer, even now…”

“…of course, there are some that are still surviving… those that new what was coming… those that have skills to weather any storm…”

“…those that have been in a financial crisis their whole lives…”

“…for us, it is just another day of surviving… and dammit, we appreciate every single day of trying…”

“…for us… life goes on…”

student voices

http://vimeo.com/36173303

A tastefully done video by a friend about the views on the Egyptian Revolution.

The video shrewdly captures the what students know and understand about what is going on around the world. We can see that depending on the students background, their version and depth of knowledge about the subject varies!

Enjoy the video!

Credit for this video goes to Lidia Nikon and. B Raya

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