Earth Day ride

Check out my ride on Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1525212645/shareable_images/map_based?hl=en-US&v=1524413964

Advertisements

Africa Writes 2016: Nawal el Saadawi

I don’t listen to podcasts usually but I enjoyed this one too much. It is great. Saadawi is awesomeness personified.

I like her comments on middle east, on identity politics, on academia, on post modernism, on being a doctor and an author. In short, I am, for lack of a better word, in love. I am going to look for her work.

This podcast comes highly recommended.

On African time

Many times I have heard visitors to Africa and even educated Africans complain about our seeming inability to keep time. All these complaints are born of ignorance of the African and their conception of time. It should be understood, as Mbiti writes in African Religions and Philosophy (1969), that time is simply a composition of events which have occurred, those which are taking place now and those which will immediately occur. In our conception, the future is virtually absent because events which lie in it have not taken place, they have not taken place and cannot, therefore, constitute time.

For us, then, time has to be experienced in order to make sense or to become real.

How, then, do we reckon time? We reckon time for a concrete and specific purpose, in connection with events but not just for the sake of mathematics. It is for this reason we had phenomenal calendars, in which events or phenomena which constitute time are reckoned in their relation with one another and as they take place writes Mbiti.

It is for this reason, therefore, it doesn’t what time the sun rises- whether at 5am or at 7am- as long as it rises.

For the technological mind, time is a commodity which must be utilised, sold and bought; but in traditional African life, time has to be created or produced. Man is not a slave of time, instead, he makes as much time as he wants.

As I said in the beginning of this post, many foreigners when they say Africans are always late or wasting time, they are talking from ignorance of what time is in Africa. We are not wasting time, we are either waiting for time or are in the process of producing time.

Next time you are visiting Africa or scheduling an appointment with one, don’t depend too much on your wrist watch, relax. We are never late. Morning is any time between sunrise and midday so be sure we will honour that appointment.

Here is a case of educated African reckoning time linearly ūüôā

Clerambault: The story of an independent spirit during the war

I am no Clerambault, but I agree with most of his declamations against war. He is no blind pacifist. But he sees war as a waste of humanity, which I think it is. There are those of you enamored by big military complexes. For me, they represents the greatest of human folly. You can argue all day, if you wish, that militaries have made some very useful and great inventions, that maybe be, but it still a monument to human folly. Arming itself so it can spread peace, democracy and whatever else they convince the common people to believe. To each their own, anyway.

I don’t think I can do the book any justice by reviewing it. It is enough for me to say that I liked it. I disagree with Romain on his reference to Africans as savages. I don’t think he could find Africa on a map. His views on women can only be excused to have belonged to that time in history.

What I can do, however, is to share some of the passages that resonated most with me. I have shared some previously.

About the Buddha,

It would not be enough for me, and I cannot content myself either with the wisdom of a selfish Buddha, who sets himself free by deserting the rest. I know the Hindoos as you do, and I love them, but even among them, Buddha has not said the last word of wisdom. Do you remember that Bodhisattva, the Master of Pity, who swore not to become Buddha, never to find freedom in Nirvana, until he had cured all pain, redeemed all crimes, consoled all sorrows?

On warring people

Why do they not see the imbecility of their conduct, in face¬†of the gulf that swallows up each man that dies, all humanity with¬†him? These millions of creatures who have but a moment to live, why¬†do they persist in making it infernal by their atrocious and absurd¬†quarrels about ideas; like wretches who cut each other’s throats for¬†a handful of spurious coins thrown to them? We are all victims, under¬†the same sentence, and instead of uniting, we fight among ourselves.¬†Poor fools! On the brow of each man that passes I can see the sweat of¬†agony; efface it by the kiss of peace!

On fate

A man’s fate is made every day by¬†himself, and none knows what it will be; it is what we are. If you are
cast down, so also is your fate.

On the secrets of life

He who has deciphered the secret of life and found the answer, is no longer bound on the great wheel of existence, he has quitted the world of the living. When illusion vanishes, nothingness resumes its eternal reign, the bright bubble has burst in infinite space, and our poor thought is dissolved in the immutable repose of the limitless void.

On anti-natalism

Why bring children into the world, if it is to butcher them like this?

On freeing others

You cannot set others free, in spite of them, and from the outside;¬†and even if it were possible, what good would it do? If they do not¬†free themselves, tomorrow they will fall back into slavery. All you¬†can do is to set a good example, and say: “There is the road, follow¬†it and you will find Freedom”.

On life or meaningless of life

Since he who is destroyed, suffers, and he who destroys has¬†no pleasure, and is shortly destroyed himself, tell me what no¬†philosopher can explain; whom does it please, and to whose profit is¬†this unfortunate life of the universe, which is only preserved by the¬†injury or death of all the creatures which compose it?”

If you have time to spare, this books for light reading. You can add it to your reading list as recommendation from yours truly.

in this day and age when there is so much information

I find a comment such as

The terrifying truth is that all living writing systems in the world come from TWO inventions, one in Mesopotamia and one in China. Of course people have customized and extended and fiddled with these systems to produce Japanese, Arabic, Ge’ez, and many others but the truth is that to develop writing from scratch is an incredibly rare event — and even then it doesn’t always stick.

the question itself has racist undertones.