Friday, December 12, 2008

Jordan when oil runs out

I was thinking the other day about how the gulf states will probably be screwed when the oil runs out. I based this line of thinking on the fact they still depend on foreign labor and the fact that their local labor is largely incompetent.

That is when I started to ponder what would happen to Jordan 25 yrs from now when there is no more oil. The picture did not look good, despite all the talk about nuclear energy and using tar sand(which is very bad environmentally), I do not believe that we are doing enough or perusing the right combination of energy technologies. I talked about this a lot in previous posts.

The other area that got me worried is the fact that we have 13% unemployment while more 400000 Jordanians work abroad, mainly in the gulf states and send money back home. This money almost makes up one sixth of the Jordanian economy. What would happen 20yrs from now when these jobs and money are no longer there.

Jordan has to think long an hard about this and find a way to create jobs at twice the normal rate. Personally, I think that we can do it(yes we can;) A couple of weeks ago, there was a first page news paper article about factories in the QIZs closing or giving people the pink slip because of the situation with the global economy. It got me thinking about the fact that we import cloths from Turkey and China while at the same time exporting the same to the US. If the US as market is closed at the moment why not use this production capacity to satisfy the local market, instead of importing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Internet Bandwidth

I previously wrote about the need to increase internet bandwidth to make the internet more usable and provide the Jordanian internet surfer with more access to media rich content from all over the world.

Today I was looking at the websites for three ISPs in Jordan to see if they actually increased the bandwidth since they were "upgrading the servers" last month. To my horror, I found out that they actually decreased the bandwidth by 30%.

There is actually a trick here. Yes they did increase the maximum possible internet speed more than 400%, but at the expense of the reduction in bandwidth.

To put things in perspective, let us say that using my 1mb/sec ADSL account, that I want to watch two talks everyday. Each talk is approx 1 hr, so this amounts to approx 250mb. Based on a bandwidth limit of 7Gb, I would run out of Bandwidth on the 25th of each month.

I am not sure what the people in charge of strategy in these ISPs do, but it would appear they have never seen a proper plan or road map. Or maybe they did, but their plan involved internet speed but not bandwidth.

In any case, I think this sort of set back will not help Jordan progress, assuming it wants to. I really think that Jordan is more in need of internet bandwidth than it is in need of speed. What good is an 8Mb ADSL line if you run out of bandwidth after 8hrs of continuous downloading.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Serandomity, on embracing randomness in life

On the one hand there is the concept of Serendipity whereby one finds something fortunate while looking for something else that is usually unrelated in the first place.

On the other hand there is the concept of randomity which means "The state or quality of being random or "An instance of randomness."

So what if a person is using randomness to experience or find new stuff. For this purpose I decided to coin the term serandomity.

Serandomity probably existed for a long time. One example is people throwing a dart to a map on the wall and then traveling to that place.

What is interesting now is that it has become much easier to embrace serandomitous than at any other point in history, thanks largely to both computers and the internet which allows the person to randomly experience new music, books, movies.

The formost example that comes to mind is which allows a great level in randomness of exploring the internet. One can also chose a random book to read using and listen to random music using

That being said, I would like to point out that serandomity as a way of life is not limited to technologically related stuff. Yes it is easier to do it technology. Nonetheless one can do it the old fashioned way, do a random act of kindness, go to a random restaurant, order a random dish, pay a random amount, and even say hi and good day to random strangers.
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