skerp

steeds deur die krake val stukkies diamant
dit skommel in my binneste rond
en sny my ingewande aan elke kant
nader al nader aan my hart

die diamantjies wil nie uit nie
dit bly steeds
onwillekeurig
dit wil nie uit nie

vleishart word kliphard, kliphart
sag van buite, hard van binne

beheers deur vrees

– Francois van Dijk

Stephen Seminar Number 3: Pessimism of the diagnosis and optimism of prescription.

Timbuktu manuscripts of an old Astronomy Table

Today the Stephen Seminar was hosted by two speakers on African Philosophy. The first speaker went on to talk about truth and that an important part of truth-value is situated in the self. 


He mentioned Timbuktu as an example of just advanced Africa was in a sense. Timbuktu a small place that sits in the void away from everything and everybody, associated with nothingness, is busy compiling a library with text dating back as far as 8900BC. 


This just goes to show that the intelligence of Africa should not be underrated as it now has from in the form of ancient Arabic texts that it has in fact got an academic background. This also places Timbuktu in a sphere of universality in the sense that it now engages with the world on academic level from its individual level of truth. 


The second speaker talked about perception and how it can really blind a person if he does not explore the situation for himself. He mentioned Ethiopia as an example and went on to say that when Ethiopia comes up in any conversation that the first thoughts running through our minds are of starving kids famine stricken. 


This is again a perception because very little people with an academic background have been in Ethiopia and are aware of a 40-year plan to relief the situation. This plan is on the scale of HIV/AIDS and is getting allot of attention. This action plan has in mind to develop new ideas for energy efficiency, creating jobs, and land reform. 


In essence the speakers both had one forthcoming message; that opinion should not be made public unless it is an informed opinion.  

Stephen Seminar Number 2: Frank Nieuwenhuizen on ‘How Social Structures Influence Formal Organizations’

This week the second of the Stephen Seminars took place on the campus of the University of the Freestate.


As I rushed passed our Main Building on my way to the Seminar I saw several youth rioting for some unknown cause. In class it was assumed that the rioters was part of the ANC Youth League demanding something unknown from Jonathan Jansen.




With that in the background as campus politics the Seminar started. Frank Nieuwenhuizen talked about social structures within society and how the methods of effective communication is shifting.


He took Albania as the playground for his argument posing the question whether the ‘Top Down’ way of communicating was still effective given the environment of non profit organizations within Albania, versus a myriad of networks without structure, for effective implementation of a given cause.


In it all it came out that Frank is very much for the idea of something like Facebook and the ‘Virtual Office’, ideas which has not been winning ground in Albania. This must be seen in the context that until 1992 Albania was still a communistic state and anything outside of the ‘institution’ is looked upon with eyes of skepticism.


A good metaphor that he employed was that of an ice cube. He said that the environment should be like an ice cube in that it should have structure but that structure should have the ability to flow as well and change into new ideas and adopt different forms, but it still remains water. Thales would have liked this.


He then posed the question whether these to types of communication can be merged into something effective? The rigid top down structure of the old together with the loose flowing network of the Facebook phenomenon.


This was left open.


The internet has only been around for roughly the last thirty years and it is still becoming something unknown and expanding evermore, with this in mind, it should be seen as something reletively new and to adopt that into ways of official communication will be a mean feat to say the least.


Cheque needed signature,
Debit card require pin code.


Will the Ice Cube flow?