Game of Thrones : The Andal Invasion

I’m a big Game of Thrones fan, team John Snow …

As any respectable GOT fan, i was curious and researched a bit the history of westeros…
I came across the event called “The Andal Invasion”.

Here’s a small video that explains it in a simple way:

While i was reading the article in the Game of thrones wiki, i came across this passage:

Given that author George R.R. Martin has said that the story loosely parallels the War of the Roses in fifteenth century Britain, the Andal Invasion is loosely comparable to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. Just as the First Men were able to stop the Andals from expanding to the North in Westeros, the Celtic people living in Scotland were able to repulse Anglo-Saxon expansion from the south. However, the real-life Anglo-Saxon invaders followed a polytheistic religion and destroyed the Christianized Romano-British society that existed in Britain up to that time. In an inversion, the Andal Invasion introduced the pseudo-Catholic Christian “Faith of the Seven” which supplanted the polytheistic, nature-worshiping religion of the Old Gods.

I have reasons to believe that the Andal Invasion is comparable to an entirely other invasion, so let’s start examining my points:

The Andals were a tall, fair-haired race whose original homeland was located across the Narrow Sea on the western coast of the continent of Essos, in a region known as Andalos.

First, Andalos sounded very familiar to my ear, and for a reason Andalus is considered the peak of the Islamic expansion, Andalus is the name given by the Muslim invaders to the territory they controlled in modern day Spain.

Then there’s 3 small points that poked my curiosity:
– Andals were a tall fair haired race, thus a different phenotype from the 1st men.
– The Narrow Sea, thus there was a sea separating the 2, and the invasion happened from the narrow part.
– Westeros sounds a lot like “West” Essos like “East”
Arabs were the opposite to the above phenotype description, and the Muslim invasion happened from the narrow sea between Morocco and Spain. It seams that GRR Martin just flipped the image. It’s not that surprising from someone who names a dragon : drogon !!

then there’s this part:

According to Andal legend, the God of Seven revealed itself to them in the Hills of Andalos, and from this they developed a new religion, the Faith of the Seven. Not long afterward, spurred on by the zeal of their new faith, the Andals set sail across the Narrow Sea to conquer Westeros.

Andal God revealed himself in the hills, a bit similar to the Islamic first revelation that took place in a cave on a hill near Mecca.

The Andals developed a new religion that rapidly expanded, spurred by the zeal of the new faith. Again, Islam is the only religion that after it was developed rapidly expanded, spurred by the zeal of the believers. And another point, Islam expansion, is the only conquest that was really motivated by religion.

So here we go, i think the Andal invasion loosely parallels the Islamic invasion rather than the Anglo-Saxon one.

matrix-434036_960_720

Do we live in a Simulation ? Are we in a Matrix?

 

If you are in your 30s – 50s you must have heard of the matrix trilogy , in which the hero, Neo discovers that the world he’s living in, is nothing else than a computer simulation, allowing machines to harvest the human energy in the most optimal and efficient way possible.

For me, and until recently, i never looked at it in a way other than a metaphor, to the global system of things.

But recent remarks by some individuals i highly admire, made me reflect on the subject, could we be really living in a simulation ?

Elon Musk the founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Paypal … said: “I’ve had so many simulation discussions it’s crazy,” Musk said. Citing the speed with which video games are improving, he suggested that the development of simulations “indistinguishable from reality” was inevitable. The likelihood that we are living in “base reality,” he concluded, was just “one in billions.”

 

Matt Damon the actor and the founder of Water.org said on the Mit commencement speech referred to a debate in which physicians and scientists debated about whether the universe is a computer simulation … and the scientists were unable to rule it out!

 

the debate:

But seriously, should we ignore our senses, i mean everything feels so real, these guys are simply putting out some weird theories, or are they ?

Well, according to Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman we do not experience the world as it really is!

In other words the theory of simulation might be the real deal …

I let you watch the videos and make up your own mind.

Europe do not want immigrants : Immigration need Reforming

I have written some articles previously about immigration and refugees in Europe : immigration to Europe , Syrian Refugees problem … or even Reverse Human immigration.

I am an immigrant myself, so don’t accuse me of being racist, xenophobe etc … I am from what i call “imported immigration”, i was given a scholarship to do my masters in France by a french governmental organization, and that’s why i went to Europe 12 years ago, then one thing led to another … i ended up few years later marrying a women from another EU country, then we moved to her country.

12 years ago, immigration was kind of under control, there was a lot of unskilled illegal immigrants, there was some skilled legal immigrants, some unskilled immigrants granted residence due to family ties, and last a bit of imported immigration like in my case.

That was 12 years ago, now, immigration is out of control, illegal immigration is very high.
And unlike in the past, now many of the immigrants are hostile to Europe itself, some are even members of terrorist organizations …

Integrating an immigrant in a local economy is very very hard and require a long period, integrating the recent immigrants culturally is even harder.

But What is really frightening is that the current immigration and refugee wave is breaking Europe, and is making life harder for Europeans.

The Swiss, for fear of becoming a Mecca for immigrants rejected  a proposal to give a universal basic income (UBI) of around $2600 to every citizen, with almost 77 % saying ‘no’ vs 23% in favor.
Let me rephrase it for you, a population was offered the possibility to no longer worry about food shelter and bills, and yet they said “no thank you”, and the simple reason is that they know that this will trigger a huge immigrant invasion, not only from the non European countries but also from within Europe.

The British, are really considering exiting the EU and shoot themselves in the leg, just to be able to stop the huge influx of immigrants -From Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

The situation is no longer such that immigrants are disliked, now it is more like they are not wanted!

Imagine you are sitting on a dinner table with your family, you invite some guests,  you are happy with that. [ selected or imported migration]
Now imagine these guests bring some people with them, you are annoyed.[family reunifications ]
Now imagine, you invited no one and your neighbor decides to come eat on your table, you might tolerate him, but you are not happy.[illegal immigration ]Now imagine, you invited no one and 3 neighbor decides to come eat on your table,you are not happy at all.[current illegal immigration + refugees + inter EU immigration ]
Now imagine, you invited no one and 3-6 neighbor decides to come eat on your table every day ,you should be angry.[ Current EU status with no real solution to immigration ]

Immigration needs reforming:

Yes, many people search for a better life, but immigration should be a matter of supply and demand, it shouldn’t be a matter of competing on the same jobs, competing on the same jobs lowers the standard of living for the host population.

Also lets get this out of the way, refugees should have the exact same treatment all over the EU, with no money offered, but rather: education for kids + providing food and shelter for all.
So choosing the host country,should be only a matter of taste, not a matter of economics, thus if they want to stay in hot weather they should stay in the south, but if they prefer a specific country they move to it.
Because refugees are temporary, any attempt to treat them as permanent immigrants will create backslash, which we are seeing all over Europe, how can you explain to a EU citizen earning less than $400 for an 8AM to 5PM job,  that in other EU countries refugees will get more without having to do anything.

Either way, immigration needs reforming, when i was a student in France, and launched a profitable startup 9-10 years ago,  i wanted to create a company to officialize it and make my startup grow, but i couldn’t legally do that, as i was a foreign student and the system did not allow me to launch a company, but the same system allows me and any other immigrant to be hired!
The system allows immigrants to compete with locals for jobs, and often forbids them from creating jobs for locals (or at least in France’s case).

 

 

 

The ideal government structure

We are in 2016, everything is changing fast from technology to individual rights …

Many countries around the world are trying to include more and more women in government, but still government compositions are still far from being ideal.

Here, i will try to list how governments should be composed:

1- Gender Equality: Half any country population is made up of females, so there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to not offer equal number of seats to women.
Let’s be honest, politicians are not really selected according to their specific skills, so women and men are both equally qualified to serve their populations.

2- Minority Representation: The government should be representative of the people, if there’s 10% of the population that belong to a specific ethnicity, then they should have 10% of the politicians, and they should choose their own politicians.

3- Field of competence: Each one of the civil servants and politicians representatives should work in the domain that he/she is competent at. let’s see some examples:
Minister = secretary of state = member of government in-charge of a department.

so Minister of health, should be someone who have worked long in the health sector: doctors etc …
Minister of education, should be a teacher, professor …Interior Minister, should have worked in police or secret services …
Foreign Minister, should be someone that have lived in more than 1 country …

Reverse Human Migration

This blog post belong to my contrarian thinking series …

Humanity have successfully built a system to motivate individuals to work hard, and that’s good, except the majority of the human population have fell victim to this system, and this system is based on money and land ownership.
Earth is a planet that belong to all it’s creatures, no one creature can claim ownership of a specific part or terrain, from this perspective all states/countries and land ownership are fictitious.

This land have existed for millions of years, and it is capitalistic absurdity to even imagine that a person or a group of people have ownership on a land, region or country.

We are just a bunch of evolved monkeys that have migrated throughout the world and claimed ownership on the lands we inhabited, then some of the smarter ones appointed themselves kings, or declared themselves owner of the lands …

Then the next generation of smart monkeys, printed papers and convinced us to use them for trade, and the newest generation of smart monkeys realized they do not even need to print money, and are creating fortunes through the bank systems.

Have you noticed anything wrong with this picture? it’s all fictitious…

Let’s get back to the migration topic:

Past migrations / Early migrations:

The modern man originated from Africa, he migrated throughout the world in search for better environments, the modern man encountered a lot of humanoids, they mixed together and sometimes competed and fought.

below map shows the migration of the homo sapiens sapiens – or modern man
Spreading_homo_sapiens_la.svg

Another Early migration that took place is actually a reverse migration: when Eurasian farmers migrated to Africa 3,000 years ago –article

Hundreds of migrations have taken place since then, human migrations were initiated due to different reasons.

Current migration:

Current migration has some similar causes like the previous ones, mainly wars, and the search for a better life.
And, thanks to fast spread of information, these days migrations are often more polemic…
for example immigration to Europe , Syrian Refugees problem

 

Reverse migration:

Logically, the human should be searching for a better life, and that does not mean only better salary, but also means a better climate, and a less stressful nature, from this perspective you would understand why most of Europe’s Rich people go to live in Spain and the French riviera, while most of the US rich establish home in Florida, California and co …
What i find strange though is that very few people -not rich- decide to go live in countries where the weather conditions are favorable, especially when these people go to retirement.

It might not make sense for a family with kids to leave a rich European country to establish home in a poor African country, there are usually a lot lacking compared to the Western standard of life.
But it would make a lot of sense for an early 40’s or late 40’s couple to do that, i mean the money they have would be more than enough to live the rest of their lives in many African countries, or even to launch a profitable business, but there are some problems …

Establishing home in Africa is not that easy, as a white person you are immediately assumed to be rich, and probably you are, compared to the local standards, and that is an invitation for trouble, meaning, being mugged, robbed or even killed by thugs or criminals.
This was the case for example for many westerners and also for Lebanese communities in some African countries, where political events led to chaos and led to attacks on the Lebanese businesses and communities 1 2
So the problems are thugs and criminals -criminals are everywhere in the world- , and sometimes political instability.

But the fact that there are Lebanese communities and more recently Chinese communities, should be an indicator that reverse migration is a viable option.

How to implement Reverse migration:

If the reverse migration becomes a trend, sooner or later we might see a reaction from the local population, wherever the local population is … People feel threatened of losing their jobs or competition stealing their clients …
The best way to implement and regulate reverse immigration is through bipartisan agreements,
for example there are a 400.000 Moroccan in France, thus the Moroccans should allow at least 400.000 French in Morocco … and so on …
This way, local populations know that the foreigners are here in an equal number as their nationals in the foreigners country, that would be fair and reasonable.

Side effect: that would reduce racial tensions between communities, as when an immigrant goes to a country, he is allowing a foreigner to go to his country, which is a fair trade…

 

objectifying women

Advertising Companies will always be objectifying women

When it comes to advertising, anything that can create buzz is and will always be used !!! I know because i happen to run an advertising company with it’s Buzz creating and PR sections.

So that would seam weird for people in the industry, to hear that an Ad agency -none the less- is waging war against objectifying women in ads … But from the basic principle of PR, you would immediately understand that the campaign goal is to hijack feminists agenda, for indirect self promotion.

here’s the video by the agency:
They basically searched on the internet for ads objectifying women throughout the world …

I am not saying it is ok, to show women in every ad, but it seams that the image of sexy women is way more effective to attract the attention of MEN, and that’s why agencies have been using the image of women since ever, also that’s why they hire more female receptionists, and why modeling agencies hire mostly female models  …

Reality is, humans operate on basic instincts, especially when in automated mode, breeding, hunger and fear are huge factors in our decision making, even-though most of us don’t even realize that. Read the emotional role in advertising.

That’s why Sex sells when it comes to advertising, and when it comes to business and capital, what works is often reproduced and considered a rule of success.

It’s true that in some cases the agencies are rude and highly unprofessional, for example this agency in Singapore that made this Burger King ad , got probably a lot of negative press. But they say all press is good press.

bk_blow_ad

But then again, the views are what interest the agencies and the customer, so you could see why Car’s Jr Superbowl Ad featured a naked woman, well because if it didn’t they would have to work 30-40 times harder to make the ad get the same attention and viewership, and that’s 30 time the budget of the ad …

Objectifying women, is not going anytime soon, simply because it is effective in selling stuff to men! But then again, the only way that would happen is if you go to live in Saudi Arabia or other religiously strict countries, were laws forbid this type of ads, or if laws are passed to block the use, but that would be a challenge to the freedom of speech.

-On a side note, as a man, i am sorry, but we men, are too rough, except for flagrant mistakes like the Burger King ad above, most of us see nothing wrong in featuring a sexy woman in an ad –

 

What career should your kids choose?

I came across the below data, made available by the US census bureau,
In general it shows that Asian households income is way superior to the average,
there’s of course the factor that people of Asian origin are recent immigrant compared to the people of European or African origin,  and thus they are either themselves, or descendants of people, that worked hard or were well off to be able to come to this far country, so by definition they belong to a higher social class than the average American …

“Indian Americans continuously outpace every ethnic group socioeconomically to reach the summit of the U.S. Census charts. Indian Americans, along with other Asian Americans, have attained the highest educational levels of all ethnic groups in the U.S. 71% of all Indians have a bachelor’s or higher degree (compared to 28% nationally and 44% average for all Asian American groups). Almost 40% of all Indians in the United States have a master’s, doctorate, or other professional degree, which is five times the national average. Thomas Friedman, in his recent book, The World is Flat, explains this trend in terms of brain drain, whereby the best and brightest elements in India emigrate to the U.S. in order to seek better financial opportunities.[40] Indians form second largest groups of physicians (3.9%) after non-Hispanic whites as of 1990 survey, and very likely much more like 10% in 2015.”

incomein the us
But then, i realized an important factor, which is education, but not simply education but specific type of education, that is known to be in demand and to bring a descent living. Like for example physicians. A study by NCBI shows that some races are more likely to work in less favorable regions – aka making less money, hence some people do it as vocation by some do it for the money.

The idea is simple, some jobs make more money, and in some cultures they push kids to go after these jobs, especially when you are in a foreign country, where there’s a shortage.

For example, when i was a small kid, like many others the choice of future careers were: fireman, policeman, teacher, doctor, lawyer, engineer … but as i grew my society and parents had some kind of invisible pressure that pushes kids towards mainly 3 fields: lawyers, doctors and engineers …. then of course people end up doing different things when they grow up, but still many become lawyers, doctors and engineers, so in my small country we had too much of all 3 of those…

In Europe i sensed a different approach, i noticed that parents just want their kids to be happy, do whatever they want in life and be happy -be an artist, musician, teacher, …-.
The difference is mainly due to the fact that in developing countries you will need to find a good job that can feed you for now and for when you grow old and retire, as often retirements plans are not a good insurance for old age …. In developed countries it’s not the case, in developed countries it’s better to have minimum responsibilities and be able to enjoy life when you are still young and able to.

So eventually it comes down to that, whether you want financial stability or happiness for your kids, sometimes both are possible, but with employment there is always the financial risk of losing the job, or company going bankrupt…