Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

Saw an interesting TED talk on happiness – says we work to achieve happiness – more pay, bigger house, etc etc – but research shows that the goal posts keep moving, so we never quite get there. The trick is to be happy first – and suddenly everything else gets better – including work – as you’re more productive, open to opportunities, and so on. The positive brain is more productive, smarter, creative, open to learning – the list goes on.

Some ways to apply this:
– Write down a positive experience every day in a journal. This allows your brain to relive it, and over time you learn to remember and and look for positive things every day – seems are brains are wired to remember mostly the negative things.
– Random acts of kindness – as simple as writing a nice email to someone
– meditation

Bangladesh finally starts up war crime tribunals for 1971

A blast from the past, from the 1971 past that is, where another Pakistan Army, which has moved on to raping entire governments not just it’s own women, did this:

“Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed an estimated 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions to flee their homes. Pakistan has disputed the allegations.”

Wikipedia has lots more... sadly there aren’t many easily readable books on this period, but Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” is a good start to get interested in what happened then.

It is also interesting to note that members of Jamaat-e-Islaami, Pakistan’s largest Islamic party than and now, are behind bars for raping and killing their fellow citizens. Not surprising, because the Jamaat is still active in these areas, but still jarring to note that the Jamaat’s war against Pakistan dates back so long and is so consistent- from fighting against Jinnah, to using all the dirty tricks in the book to screw over East Pakistan, and nowadays supporting myriad terrorist organizations.

Senator Rehman Malik on wives, girlfriends and killings

“According to my personal experience in Karachi, if, let’s say, it is said that 100 people have died in target killings, when I did the investigation, I found that there were only 30 target killings,” Malik said.

“Seventy per cent were those people who wanted to be rid of their wives and girlfriends or girlfriends who wanted to be rid of their boyfriends. All the figures are with me, they killed them,” he added. #

Senator Rehman Malik. The truth published in Pakistani newspapers is often far, stranger than fiction.

Internet slowdowns, it’s not just your bad connection

I have noticed something fishy while using Google+ in Pakistan, over three different ISP’s in both Karachi and Lahore – that web browsing slows down a lot sometimes, and google+ especially crawls in fits and starts.

I suspect it’s something to do with Pakistani routers as turning on a VPN everything is blazing fast again. Of course, once the Pakistan Internet Ministry figures out how to slow down VPN links, they will do that too, until they decide to ban encrypted links all together!

Maybe VPN links are prioritized or ignored by the magical routers run by the wizards at the PTA as they solemnly inspect every internet packet for blasphemous or anti-state or anti-army or porn or anti-PTA or anti-Altaf bhai content? The list which they inspect is very long indeed.

It must be said, on behalf of the PTA, that they are doing an admirable job fending of the yobo’s at the high courts and supreme court who keep passing judgements to block ALL porn sites, facebook, and just about every other site on the internet where you might find blasphemous or anti-state content. Hence websites like rolling stone return this sad error message:

Access Denied

You don’t have permission to access “http://www.rollingstone.com/” on this server.

Reference #18.3a2a287c.1311324507.3b365b6c

It’s a fine line, blocking enough sites to keep the internet stone age morons at the courts and government happy, while not actually restricting internet usage. A happy fiction for all, though not for the rolling stone magazine, which I’m sure sells at least one copy a month at the Saeed book bank in Islamabad to the one music loving diplomat posted there.

In the future barter economy, who needs internet links anyways?

some blasts from the past on the same topic, which despite being old old pieces are still sadly valid today:

Zulfiqar Mirza on the MQM

Was he drunk? Is he a non-closest bigoted raciast? Does he suffer from delusions of grandeur? Has the PPP lost even the little control it had over it’s many stooges, most of whom suffer from delusions of not being stooges in the first place? Is Zulfiqar Mirza a lion to Zardari’s whimpering poodle hiding in a corner behind five rows of containers and concrete barriers, as well as about ten percent of Pakistan’s security forces?

I think the answers to all the above questions is yes.

What is clear is that the gentlemen in the video above has upstaged Rehman Malik, the gentlemen who searches for terrorists and miscreants using google maps on his ipad while calling them “characters from star wars”, all without a internet connection on his ipad or even an app to connect the many security camera’s around Karachi.

 

The culture that is PIA

Midair, the flight hit some serious turbulence that panicked my wife and children. When she asked one of the male stewards how long the turbulence was expected to last, she was answered in a low tone ‘Not to worry… I’ll hold your hand throughout the journey if you like’.

From the comments on an article complaining once again about the Pakistan national airline wasting money.

Continue reading The culture that is PIA

Ahmadi’s and shades of Nazi Germany

“And thus I clothe my naked villany

With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ,

And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”

_Shakespeare – King Richard III (I, iii, 336-338)_

The evil which men do lives long after their deaths, and shades of Nazism are alive and kicking in Pakistan, evil clothed in odd ends of holy writ, brandished about by the Taliban and much of the mainstream media in Pakistan.

Nazi Germany started presecuting their Jewish citizens slowly, with many steps along the way like banning their employment in Government in 1933, than in 1935 banning them from the Army, in 1936 declaring them non-citizens of the state and banning them from all professional jobs. Only half the Jewish population of Germany had emigrated by the start of WWII…Than there was the holocaust during WWII…

Pakistan is well along the Nazi playbook for getting rid of the Ahmadi’s – they’re already for all practical intents banned from government and military service, and back in 1974 Pakistan passed a law declaring them a despised minority – heck it’s part of the Pakistani constitution. This not being enough, in 1984 even more draconian laws were passed, which in short make it a jailable offense for Ahmadi’s to live life as they would like to (some of the punishments carry the death penalty).

Continue reading Ahmadi’s and shades of Nazi Germany

And that was Sultan Kot

Pasted here for future reference… from 2010 sometime when doing volunteer work after the 2010 floods in Sindh.

Sultan Kot Proposed Medical Center

Summary: No need to go there. For the long version, read on!

It’s a small hospital + maternity clinic, set up in 1936 by a english missionary lady. She ran it till 1976, at which point she left. The place was built by her, presumably on missionary funds. In those times it was the only hospital, so was much needed. The property belongs to the missionary, or to her church.

While it ran, it was the most english of institutions, with her wandering about a strict purdah town in her skirt and umbrella. She also taught english to the local notables, which means the Aghas, as they are the only notables in Sultan Kot.

Sultan Kot was founded by the orginal Agha who had run away from Afghanistan and given this area by the local bigshot at that time whose name I don’t remember any more. He had aspirations to be a Sultan, hence the name Sultan Kot, which is a new town he built. The Aghas own all the surrounding area – about 60,000 acres irrigated land and assorted non irrigated. The total population is about 15,000 people in all of this area spread over 20 villages.

Continue reading And that was Sultan Kot

Afridi: Why are Pakistani’s so against India?

The captain of the Pakistan cricket team:

He asks why are Pakistani’s so against India when they watch Indian movies, every house watches Indian drama’s… so what’s the thing they’re against? He’s the most popular sports figure in Pakistan which everyone seems to like, so it’s good people like him are talking about such topics.

Interesting thing is that the reports covering him keep trying to divert him from this and back to we hate India!
Continue reading Afridi: Why are Pakistani’s so against India?