Observation Makes Change Happen
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I have a problem, when I think of Africa, I instantly think problems. I suspect I am more opens than most, as I have people say to me,
- Why would I go to Africa? -
I am here, they are not… an observation.
Like, why would I go and have problems, AIDS - SIDA - Poverty, Crime, Warlords, Desert, and Black People.
I say the Black People because in the real world people pay attention to color. I do not, but they do.
In Thailand; they put cream on their skin that makes them whiter. I like their brown color and it really annoys me. Then in reverse, I have black people here, which think because I am from the USA or White, I am smarter, nothing make sense. I really do not care what color a person skin is. Or if for some stupid reason, I wanted to be around White People, I guess I would go to some Russian Country, I was going to say Sweden, however I think it is invaded now by Palestine people.
I am slowly understanding, there are not big problems in West Africa. Thailand or the USA has more AIDS or at least a better chance of getting it, as they think they do not have it, and this is the dangerous.
However, being here, somehow, for some reason, my free time for enjoyment is optimized in West Africa, I find I think, and the problem is I think of problems to solve… aagh, I really do not care about all these people on the planet, I just want to enjoy life, yet, by nature, I am a problem solver.
I am having trouble finding any real problems to solve here in West Africa and everyone keeps tell me there are problems. I am starting to say,
- Can you be more specific, where, the exact city, the place, the persons, I want to go and see. -
The Togo people and West Africa people can go into a long story on why they are suffering, it is like a canned speech with the hope of free money. Like the lies a person tells he unemployment office to keep them checks coming.
This is why I say,
- Observation Makes Change Happen. -
The more I observer, the clearer I am on the realties, and the easier to accept, I do not want people to have unsolved problems, I know I am not responsible, but I am good problem solver.
I went and looked up the Scientific Method in the Encarta Encyclopedia, and is seems confused.
I decided to go to Wikipedia.org is anyone can grind and issue into the ground and cover every inch, they can.
- is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical, measurable evidence, subject to specific principles of reasoning.
The scientific method involves the following basic facets:
1. Observation. A constant feature of scientific inquiry.
5. Falsifiability, or the elimination of plausible alternatives.
6. Causal explanation
7. Identification of causes
8. Covariation of events
9. Time-order relationship
Boring, yet essential for a person to work on a problem, I need a game plan.
Number 1 is observation.
I have many suggestions sent to me, posted on the comments of the blog, on pages, and drilled at me.
HOW THIS STARTED
I started on this vein of thinking this morning, and then was refocused on it later today for a funny reason. I was walking back from the Truck Stop area, after eating a Gateau, and making sure to flirt with Bernadette in the Telephone Cabine.
A man that I just said hello to, starts to wave at me, and wants me to look back, at another man, I said hello to about 50 meters back. I looked back before I knew what to think, and then said to myself,
- They got me again. -
I ignored them both, and kept walking, I know they are way too lazy to run 50 meters for the stupid reason they want to talk. I have OBSERVED that 99 percent of conversations are of soap opera value, and from a person I do not know, then there is a 1 in 999 chance of benefit, and about 1 in 10 chance of the start of an entangling problem, the problem is to talk with people who want to talk. I find I need to talk with the people who do not want to talk with me.
On a web page we deal a lot with Permissions, how to grant permissions and edit, delete, and ban. It is annoying, and for sure, India and Nigeria are on the list of countries where just a whole country ban would be easier. They are very creative, and come up with ways of being sneaky and corrupt faster than we can change or alter the permissions and filters.
Observation Makes Change Happen
I need to change, I am from Indiana, we say hello, I say hello to everyone it is my nature. The men and sometimes the women here in West Africa can be outrageously Nigeria and India in nature… Hehehe
I need to set up rules of permission to talk with me, and this is difficult, my Yee Boh - White Man culture says, everyone when coming with respect has a right to talk or I will listen.
Nevertheless, I have OBSERVED and maybe this is why New York people can get cold as ice. When you have a never-ending queue of people trying to get your attention, the easy solution is to ignore all of them.
However, this cold as ice, is not me.
Respect and manners, this does NOT have anything to do with educations and for sure, the most well mannered people I meet in West Africa have the least amount of education. Also probably have the lowest caste of West Africa and nobody listens to them.
I have been observing how Togo people try to get my attention.
Yee Bow is the most common, which means White Man in the local language.
Yee Bow said by children, and I listen and pay attention, Yee Bow said by children above the age of 10 and above to 80 and dead, I ignore. Permissions set.
Vra or Va is come here in the local language, I have heard it so many times, and I am able to separate the Ghana from the Togo and Benin versions.
What I have observed, and I am in the Beta Testing of this, is that if I ignore them, they do not get angry, they just think, the White Man did not hear. However, even if I hear, ignoring is a macho thing, and to be more macho, I stare at them and ignore. Second phase.
What they say to get my attention:
Stare at me
Holler until I turn around, then demand I come
Tell someone else to holler at me, which is closer.
This is my list of observations, or I have observed and paided attention, there is this many ways of trying to get my attention and I will continue to add to the list.
I could also list the lead-in for the people who want to ask for money.
- I am a Catholic Priest
- Hands are out to take from me.
- I work for ONG or NGO or this and that.
- Any preacher
- People that want to look at my cell phone
I want to set the enjoyment level of my day; I want to set the standards of how to have an enjoyable day. Well, to do this, I have to first ignore the list of comments, and then my day is wonderful. Funny thing about nice people, they are shy, smile a lot, and do not holler at me.
West Africa is a wonderful place, and I have observed that only about 1 in 30 people I am walking by will demand I come and talk, the normal in the world, is about 1 in 100 in other countries or 1 in 200. Demanding you come and talk is the operative word, I think this is a class system thing, and there is this domination by men, I am going to be get your attention, and you are going to listen to me, like some police in the USA, same kind of crap.
However, part of being Macho is to ignore the small pups, not my nature, but I have observed I need to change and do this, however keep the door open to enjoy the cultures I like here. Truthfully, just to never talk with the men of Africa is a reasonable set of permissions to apply.
Cities do something to the minds of people.
Fun and games in Togo, I am having a great day, because I do more things in a day that make me happy, then things that make me sad. I think the first thing in happiness is the ability to say no, what is left over is great. Note, these people are amateurs compared to India.
I sometimes call this all my,
- Lead us not into Temptation Theory. -
What is operative here in this, I can see that many judgments or thoughts can be overwhelmed to the point of veracity. I hear about the problems of Africa so long, I assume they are correct. I sometimes pay attention to the bad mannered people of West Africa until I forget to notice the majority of nice people.
I observe, then I change, however I need to apply some reasoning, and I am not sure reasoning can be taught. Can I evaluate correctly, there is always self-doubt.
When making an observation, when I finally observe and understand, there is a path to change opened. Life is very good here in West Africa for the people, how long do I have to be here, until I can forget how many people have told me it bad. Life is very good here, it is obvious.
I was thinking, when I hope, it is not important I observe my environment, I have continually adjusted it until it works. This day in day out adapting to changing environments make the powers of observation more keen and sharp.
An observations, I have many people tell me the USA world policy is causing problems. I ask,
- Tell me specifically which ones. -
Normally they have trouble with one, they are just being Parrots, if you want to know how well a person observed something, ask them to list out specifics.
Designing Home in Togo
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I am trying to get my mind around some questions that have been annoying me for years, many years.
What type of room is cooler?
I need to test a couple theories.
Now, what a bag of worms that is, this questions, just me saying the question makes me realize there are hundreds maybe thousands of type or roofs on the planet. I think thousands would be difficult to find. The walls and the roofs rather set the standard for coolness of the room, now in my opinion the windows or the doors are the problems, and people really underestimate the value of a tree with shade.
I may have found a test home, or more correctly, I may have found two of maybe four major types of homes to measure for heat.
I can run a very simple test on the four types of homes.
1. HAVE - Home with steel roof and no dead air space.
2. HAVE - Home with steel roof and dead air space.
3. NEED - Room with concrete roof.
4. NEED - Two story home of concrete with room on lower floor.
Controlling the variables is difficult, however to control the people is a more complicated problem. People in the more primitive countries do not like me to be curious or solve problems, there is not a big hypothetical, what if this, and how do we do this type of person that is easy to find. They exist, but I think the see me coming and hide. I call these people now 0 and 1 people.
I have found a few in my travels who can think in what if terms, and was thinking the other day while looking for some mosquito net material I have slowly developed an extremely valuable skill. I am slowly learning to be and expeditor to find sources in other countries. I can find items to buy or sources of information about 100 times faster than when I started to travel 10 years ago. I will blog this separate.
One subject one blog post, the secret to making money on the internet, or one of them…. In addition, a good way to stop getting annoying emails from readers. An adaptation of diary idea, and really is good.
People can be dangerous and annoyingly difficult, to allow me walk into their home and say,
- Can I read the temperature of your room? -
Well, it become a circus of silly and annoying complicated, overwhelmingly difficult to solve culture problems. To walk into a home owned by a Mina person, which is made of clay adobe, and leave a thermometer in the room long enough to read correctly at exactly say 3:00 in the afternoon is a taxing mental cultural frustration for me.
The simple way is to be a bully, but not the polite and I think they say, Gentil way.
Yes, this is the Gentil way in the French language or the kind and nice way of collecting information. This takes the skills of a trained diplomat and a double in negotiations with Colombian Kidnappers Then with the knowledge of a carpenter and research brain push of Thomas Alva Edison
I am thinking of that movie with Russell Crowe here gets that man out of Colombia and almost does the wife.
I am doing some extensive reading on the Scientific Method or maybe … just terms. I am trying to understand and identify the one variable of a solving a problem that is 100 percent needed to solve the problem. The one problem that is the lodestone to solve the complete problem the one specific issue that stops or starts all problems and solutions.
Malaria is a killer, I am guessing, but I think it kills more than AIDS or SIDA, and I am hypothesizing that all the geese are flying the wrong direction. I am arrogantly under the suspicion that all the Malaria or Paludisme research has failed to solve the one missing piece to this puzzle, that would stop malaria on the planet or bring to a Tuberculosis level end.
The world has solved MASS problems of Malaria and knows how to treat Malaria, however the remaining residual number of deaths by Malaria remain to be very high, yet difficult to say a big world problem, however maybe bigger than AIDS.
Malaria now does not make world headlines, as it is an old issue; a new issue is what world shattering news becomes. Global Warming, which in my opinion has not killed anyone is news, while Malaria an everyday killer and car traffic deaths, probably the number one killer are ignored. Cars are dangerous, they are killers.
Ok, this is the hypothesis in a non-thought out and lacking in clear explanation.
I believe that people in Tropical climates and where Malaria, Paludisme is most prevalent, in these areas there is a short list of small changes needed to alter in house designs that would solve maybe 50 percent of the now existing deaths from Malaria.
My ideas revolve around one specific idea or problem. I think people do not use Mosquito nets because the are difficult, awkward and too hot. I observe that the average traveler or 99 percent of travelers in Malaria areas do not carry a Mosquito net. There solution is medicine, they believe they will either meditate to avoid or medicate to solve.
There are so many dynamic problems to solve to stop Malaria, so many that the people who contracts malaria just stops trying.
I tried to buy a Mosquito Net yesterday, two hours of work, and no net in my outrageously persistent hands. The one shop wanted 26 US dollars, the only one I found, and the Hospital Store was closed on Saturdays, I now need to check on Monday or Tuesday, maybe again Monday is a holiday. To stop malaria a person in a village, with no electricity and no education one needs to just stop the mosquitoes with very simple methods, I think they do burn and make smoke Amlame, Togo was full of smoke. I am not sure the goal at the Hospital, do they want the poor person on the Danyi Plateau to come here and buy one?
The obstacle involved in using a Mosquito nets are so overwhelming against me using a Mosquito net, that unless I am being bit every 10 seconds, I do not set one up. I on the other hand set up one if there is a way and I get one mosquito bite. However, maybe the truth is when the no-see-ums bite me, I set up the Mosquito net quicker. I truly despise the task of setting up a mosquito net. In a room with hooks, made for a mosquito net, it is very simple, however this room is only about 1 in 100 rooms. I enter of hotel rooms in Tropical Malaria prone areas of the planet daily. I can however, strangely in Africa, find a room with screens on the window in easy in West Africa, easy, however NOT in South, Central America, India or Asia, they do not have screens.
This is a never-ending thread of thoughts to explain.
The most comfortable home for me, would be a home made like a very fully screened in porch, with a roof that does not turn into a green house, every wall a screened in porch. I am not sure, I think the tents in Iraq, have flaps that go up, I am not sure about the mosquito nets or having the sides with screens, but somewhere along these lines, an open air room.
Everyone is so pre-occupied with AC or Climitasation, they forget to design first a house that functions, there is a reason Frank Lloyd Wright was famous… hehehe
Non-Cooked clay bricks are not the best to make a screen porchs, concrete, the new worlds building material is better; a combination of steel re-rod and concrete could maybe work. The solution needs to cost less to build than the normal design and needs to be five times more comfortable than their present design. Then be easier to make, wood is scarce of expensive I think, these homes need to have screened window whereby you can attach screens… Termites? The bigger problem is thieves, home are probably built first for protection and later for comfort.
Connecting a screen to concrete. I discovered yesterday that screen here in Atakpame cost 300 CFA or about 75 Cents US per meter - yard and this is cheap, however still one days pay. This may be cheaper than the mosquito nets… ? Hmm…
I think in the end all is about fashion and trends, people build home to be fashionable or to rent to make money. They will build the absolutely cheapest and easy to build home, and rent it. I know a person now that is renting a room for 12,000 CFA per month or 25 US dollars, then has a room for shower outside and she goes to the hills for a toilet. She don not have the electricity connected because I think she cannot come up with the installation fee. The bottom line though is she does not care, she has many clothes and a cell phone. She doe have lights,(Kerosene Lantern) she may want a fan, she needs a solar power fan… hehehe
The end of this for now.
The world is this, I need to eat dinner, please call me after dinner, I am busy now, and I know 100 percent you know how solve all my problems,
Note when doing research in Africa, the biggest problem is the library is in the USA, and I am in Togo. The GPRS Cell Phone internet connection may be a world changing research device. A person can go to the problem, and still have the library with them. I was told Boy Genius for India that BGAN may start giving unlimited internet access for a set fee, I have yet to get or bleed the details from him.
I was hollering a guy the other day, piss down hill, not up, strange how long it take to learn not to piss into the wind or up hill for the general population of the whole planet and especially including the USA. Without a toilet, they would be helpless.
Edison, Scientific Method, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Heuristic Reasoning, Problem Solving, Paludisme, Malaria, Mosquito Net, Mosquito. Research, GPRS.
Designing Home in Togo
Africa is Doomed
Lome Togo West Africa
Saturday, June 2, 2007
I would think, many people would say yes, or agree.
I am learning to how to love listen to Volunteers in Africa, as they explain their experiences and their projects. I now see there is an epidemic in Africa of “Confirmation Bias.” The volunteers, ONG, NGO, and other project workers, the well intended ones tell me stories, and I try to be kind, yet I am thinking, where in the world did they come up with that one, and I think, they read about West Africa before they came, now they have found what they read.
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.
Confirmation bias is an area of interest in the teaching of critical thinking as the skill is misused when rigorous critical scrutiny is applied to evidence supporting a preconceived idea but not to evidence challenging the same preconception.
Decision-making and behavioral biases
Many of these biases are studied for how they affect belief formation and business decisions and scientific research.
Bandwagon effect — the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour, and manias.
Bias blind spot — the tendency not to compensate for one's own cognitive biases.
Choice-supportive bias — the tendency to remember one's choices as better than they actually were.
Confirmation bias — the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.
Congruence bias — the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direct testing, in contrast to tests of possible alternative hypotheses.
Contrast effect — the enhancement or diminishment of a weight or other measurement when compared with recently observed contrasting object.
Déformation professionnelle — the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one's own profession, forgetting any broader point of view.
Endowment effect — "the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it".
Focusing effect — prediction bias occurring when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.
Hyperbolic discounting — the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are.
Illusion of control — the tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly cannot.
Impact bias — the tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.
Information bias — the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.
Loss aversion — "the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it". (see also sunk cost effects and Endowment effect).
Neglect of probability — the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
Mere exposure effect — the tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
Omission bias — The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).
Outcome bias — the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
Planning fallacy — the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
Post-purchase rationalization — the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.
Pseudocertainty effect — the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.
Reactance - the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to reassert a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.
Selective perception — the tendency for expectations to affect perception.
Status quo bias — the tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same (see also Loss aversion and Endowment effect).
Von Restorff effect — the tendency for an item that "stands out like a sore thumb" to be more likely to be remembered than other items.
Zero-risk bias — preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.
NOTE: Africa is not doomed, it is actually in great shape.
Africa is Doomed