Thursday, January 28, 2010

Interesting article here about the banning of burqas in France -

Could there be a topic more touchy? In the Western & Eastern worlds, Islam and all its associated artifacts from towers in Netherlands to burqas in France, whip people into a frenzy normally reserved for sporting events or political rallies. So, I thought the author here made an excellent point where the presumed intentions, the showy rhetoric and the final consequences do not line up - to say the least. If the aim is to facilitate the liberation of Muslim women, banning the burqa - partially banning the burqa, I must add - seems like an easy, ill thought out tactic - geared more to populist stance than any real aim at reform. Of course, real reform is not easy, it is not good politics - as Mr Obama has well learned. So perhaps, this might be the best and wisest any politician can do. Is it good enough though?

Its a scenario I've watched unfold several times in my smaller sphere - mostly at work in different companies. The problem is too big and too hairy - solving the real issue would take too much sacrifice and long term focus. So, people take the easiest route - knock down 1-2 things, create some new names and make a big announcement and then - its back to business as usual. Metrics are carefully chosen (rigged, dare I say?) to reflect progress and ensure fat year end bonuses. If you are a thinking and analyzing person, things can get discouraging real fast. All this to say, I do not have a solution to the rampant populism and short term-ism, of course. What I do have is an eye for spotting BS and calling it out in whatever forum I can. The challenge is to keep my job and my integrity - and so far, to the credit of people and companies I've worked for, I've kept both.

Now, if you are truly looking for some innovative thinking to solve a real world problem, take a look at this chicken coop designed for the urban farmer - beautiful and practical. Perhaps we need more "real" artists in the world - and certainly more of them in politics and business.


  1. The chicken coop is a really cool one ;)

  2. I'm a mom, a blogger, and a Ph.D. student, and I need your help. I'm doing a study about why women blog, and you have been selected at random to participate in a short survey about what motivates you to blog and what you get out of blogging.

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    Gina Chen
    Ph.D. student
    S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
    Syracuse University