Economic and development analysis: Perspectives on economics, society, development, freedom & social justice. Leading issues in Oromo, Oromia, Africa & world affairs. Oromo News. African News. world News. Views.
True Knowledge is wisdom. The Oromo value wisdom to the highest degree: ‘Rather than to be kissed by foolish man, I prefer to slapped by a wise man.’ How is true knowledge acquired? The Oromo proverbs answers: By inference, by study, through suffering, by moulding another person, by heart. ‘ One who does not understand an inference will never understand the thing as it is.. … But the great school of knowledge is experience, long life and old age. … The Oromo proverb offers no definition of knowledge; they are not interested so much in nature of knowledge as the type of knowledge they propose as a model for man-in-society, and it is clearly a knowledge obtained through experience through proximity to the object, as ‘the calf is known by the enclosure to have become a bull.’ See Claud Summer, Ph.D., Dr.h.c (1995), Oromo Wisdom Literature, Volume I , Proverbs Collection and Analysis.
Makmaaksa Oromoo (Oromo proverbs):
Abba hin qabdu akaakyuuf boochi
Abbaa iyyu malee ollaan namaa hin birmatu
Abbaan damma nyaateef ilma hafaan hin mi’aawu
Abbaatu of mara jedhe bofti hantuuta liqimsee
Abjuun bara beelaa buddeena abjoota
Addaggeen hamma lafa irra ejjettu nama irra ejjetti
Afaan dubbii bare bulluqa alanfata
Afaan gaariin afaa gaarii caala
Afaanii bahee gooftaa namaa ta’a
Akka madaa qubaa, yaadni garaa guba
Akka abalun sirbaan boquu nama jallisa
Akkuma cabannitti okkolu
Akukkuun yeroo argate dhakaa cabsa
Alanfadhuuti gara fira keetti garagalii liqimsi
ama of komatu namni hin komatu
Amartiin namaa hin taane quba namaa hin uriin
Ana haa nyaatuun beela hin baasu
Ani hin hanbifne, ati hin qalbifne
arrabni lafee hin qabdu lafee nama cabsiti
Asiin dhihoon karaa nama busha
“Aseennaa natu dide, kennaa warratu dide otoo nabutanii maal ta’a laata”,jette intalli haftuun
Badduun fira ishee yoo hamattee, baddubaatuun niiti ishee hamatti
Bakkka oolan irra bakka bulan wayya
Bakka kufte osoo hin taane, bakka mucucaatte bari
Balaliitee balaliite allaattiin lafa hin hanqattu
Bara bofti nama nyaate lootuun nama kajeelti!!
Bara dhibee bishaan muka namatti yaaba
Bara fuggisoo harreen gara mana, sareen gara margaa
Barri gangalata fardaati
Beekaan namaa afaan cufata malee hulaa hin cufatu
Biddeena nama quubsu eelee irratti beeku
Billaachi otoo ofii hin uffatiin dhakaatti uffisti
Bishaan gu’a gahe nama hin nyaatiin, namni du’a gahe si hin abaariin
Bishaan maaltu goosa jennaan waan achi keessa jiru gaafadhu jedhe
Bishingaan otoo gubattuu kofalti
Boru hin beekneen qad-bukoon ishee lama
Boftii fi raachi hanga ganni darbutti wal faana jiraattu
Bulbuluma bulbuli hangan dhugu anuu beeka
Buna lubbuuf xaaxa’u warri naa tolii kadhatu
Cabsituun tulluu amaaraatiin giraancee jetti
Citaan tokko luqqaasaniif manni hin dhimmisu
Dabeessa uleen (jirmi) shani
Daddaftee na dhungateef dhirsa naa hin taatu jette sanyoon
Dawaa ofii beekan namaa kudhaamu
Deegan malee waqayyo hin beekani
dhalli namaa otoo nyaattu diida laalti
Dhirsi hamaan maaf hin nyaatiin jedha niitii dhaan
Dhirsaa fi niitiin muka tokko irraa muramu
Dugda hin dhungatan, hunda hin dubbatani
Durbaa fi jiboota garaa gogaa lenjisu
Iyyuuf bakkeen naguma, dhiisuuf laphee na guba
Dhuufuun waliin mari’atanii dhuufan hin ajooftu
Diimina haaduun nyaatani,diimaa arrabaan nyaatu
Dinnichi bakka gobbitetti hordaa cabsiti
Doqnaa fi garbuu sukkuumanii nyaatu
Du’aan dhuufaa jennaan kan bokoke dhiisaa jedhe
Dubbii baha hin dhorkani galma malee
Dubbii jaarsaa ganama didanii galgala itti deebi’ani
Duulli biyya wajjinii godaansa
Eeboo darbatanii jinfuu hin qabatani
Edda waraabessi darbee sareen dutti
Fagaatan malee mi’aa biyyaa hin beekani
Farda kophaa fiiguu fi nama kophaa himatu hin amaniin
Firri gara firaa jennaan kal’een gara loonii jette
Foon lafa jira allaatti samii irraa wal lolti
foon lakkayi jennaan rajijjin tokko jedhe
fokkisaan nama qabata malee nama hin kadhatu
Fuula na tolchi beekumsi ollaa irraa argamaa jette intalli
Gaangeen abbaan kee eenyu jennaan eessumni koo farda jette
Gaangoonn haada kutte jennaan oftti jabeessite jedhani
Gabaan fira dhaba malee nama dhabinsa hin iyyitu
Galaanni bakka bulu hin beekne dhakaa gangalchee deema
Gaalli yoom bade jennaan, gaafa morma dheeratu bade
Gama sanaa garbuun biile (asheete) jennan warra sodaanne malee yoom argaa dhabne jedhe jaldeessi
Gamna gowomsuun jibba dabalachuu dha
Ganaman bahani waaqa jalaahin bahani
Gara barii ni dukkanaa’a
Garaa dhiibuu irra miila dhiibuu wayya
Garbittii lubbuuf walii gadi kaattu, warri qophinaafi se’u
Jaalalli allaatti gara raqaatti nama geessa
Gaashatti dhuufuun daalattii dha
Gogaa duugduun yoo dadhabdu saree arisaa kaati
Gola waaqayyoo itti nama hidhe lookoo malee ijaajju
Goomattuuf goommanni hin margu
Goondaan walqabattee laga ceeti
Gowwaa wajjin hin haasa’iin bakka maleetti sitti odeessa, karaa jaldeesaa hin hordofiin halayyaa nama geessa
Gowwaan ballessaa isaa irraa barat, gamni balleessaa gowwaa irraa barata
Gowwaan bishaan keessa ijaajjee dheebota
Gowwaan gaafa deege nagada
Gubattee hin agarre ibiddatti gamti
Guulaa hin bitiin jiilaa biti
Gowwaa kofalchiisanii, ilkee lakawu
Gowwaa fi bishaan gara itti jallisan deemu
Haadha gabaabduu ijoolleen hiriyaa seeti
haadha laalii intala fuudhi
Haadha yoo garaa beekan ilmoo jalaa qabani
Halagaa ilkaan adii, halangaan isaa sadi
Hanqaaquu keessa huuba barbaada
Haati ballaa (suuloo) ya bakkalcha koo jetti
Haa hafuun biyya abbaa ofiitti nama hanbisa
Haati hattuun intala hin amantu
Haati hattuun intala hin amantu
Haati kee bareeddi jennaan, karaa kana dhufti eegi jedhe
Habbuuqqaa guddinaaf hin quufani
Hagu dhiba jette sareen foksoo nyaatte
Hagu dhiba jette sareen foksoo nyaattee
Halagaa gaafa kolfaa fira gaafa golfaa
Hantuunni hadha ishee jalatti gumbii uruu bartii
Harka namaatiin ibidda qabaa hin sodaatani
Harki dabaruu wal dhiqxi
Harkaan Gudunfanii, Ilkaaniin Hiikkaa Dhaqu
Harree ganama badee, galgala kur-kuriin hin argitu
Harree hin qabnu, waraabessa wajjin wal hin lollu
Kan harree hin qabne farda tuffata
Harreen nyaattu na nyaadhu malee bishaan ol hin yaa’u jette waraabessaan
Harreen yoo alaaktu malee yoo dhuuftu hin beektu
Hidda malee xannachi hin dhiigu
Hidda mukaa lolaan baaseetu, hidda dubbii farshoo (jimaa)n baase
Hidhaa yoo tolcha, gadi garagalchanii baatu
hin guddattuu jennaan baratu dhumee jedhe
Hiriyaa malee dhaqanii gaggeessaa malee galu
hiyyeessaf hin qalani kan qalame nyaata
Hoodhu jennaan diddeetu lafa keenyaan hatte
Hoolaan abbaa abdatte, diboo duuba bulchiti
Hoolaan gaafa morma kutan samii(waaqa) arkiti
Ija laafettiin durbaa obboleessaf dhalti
Ijoollee bara quufaa munneen ibidda afuufa
Ijoollee hamtuun yoo nyaataaf waaman ergaaf na waamu jettee diddi
Ijoolleen abaa ishee dabeessa hin seetu
Ijoolleen quufne hin jett, garaatu na dhukube jetti malee
Ijoolleen quufne hin jettu beerri fayyaa bulle hin jettu
Ijoolleen niitii fuute gaafa quuftu galchiti
Ijoollee qananii fi farshoo qomocoraa warratu leellisa
Ijoollee soressaa dhungachuun gabbarsuu fakkaatti
Ilkaan waraabessaa lafee irratti sodaatu
Ilmi akkoon guddiftu dudda duubaan laga ce’a
Intalli bareedduun koomee milaatiin beekamti
Intallii haati jajju hin heerumtu
Itti hirkisaan kabaa hin ta’u
Ittiin bulinnaa sareen udaan namaa nyaatti
Jaamaan boru ijji keen ni banamti jennaan, edana akkamitin arka jedhe
Jaarsi dhukuba qofaa hin aaduu, waan achisutu garaa jira
Jaarsii fi qalqalloon guutuu malee hin dhaabatu
Jabbiin hootu hin mar’attu
Jaalalli jaldeessa yeroo fixeensaa garaa jalatti, yeroo bokkaa dugda irratti nama baatti
Jaalala keessa adurreen ilmoo nyaatti
Jaalalli allaatti gara raqaatti nama geessa
Jarjaraan re’ee hin horu
Jarjaraan waraabessaa gaafa ciniina
Jibicha korma ta’u elmaa irratti beeku
Jiraa ajjeesuun jalaa callisuu dha
Kadhatanii galanii weddisaa hin daakani
Kan abbaan gaafa cabse halagaan gatii cabsa
Kan abbaan quba kaa’e oromi(namni, halagaan) dhumdhuma kaa’a
Kan afaanii bahee fi kan muccaa bahehin deebi’u
Kan bishaaan nyaate hoomacha qabata
Kan citaa qabaa tokko namaa hin kennine mana bal’isii gorsiti
Kan dandeessu dhaan jennaan gowwaan galee nitii dhaane Adaamiin ollaa hagamsaa jiru bara baraan boo’aa jiraata
Kan gabaa dhagahe gowwaan galee niitii dhokse
Kan hanna bare dooluutu sosso’a
Kan hordaa natti fiiges, kan haaduun natti kaates bagan arge jette saani du’uuf edda fayyitee booda
Kan humnaan lafaa hin kaane yaadaan Sudaanitti nagada
Kan ilkaan dhalchu kormi hin dhalchu
Kan namni nama arabsi irr, kan abbaan of arabsutu caala
kan qabuuf dabali jennaan harreen laga geesse fincoofte
Kan of jaju hin dogoggoru
Kan quufe ni utaala, kan utaale ni caba
Kan tolu fidi jennaan, sidaama biyya fide
Kan tuffatantu nama caala, kan jibbanitu nama dhaala
Kan tuta wajjin hin nyaanne hantuuta wajjin nyaatti
Kan waaqni namaa kaa’e cululleen hin fudhattu
Karaa foolii nun hin jedhani jette wacwacoon
Karaan baheef maqaan bahe hin deebi’u
Karaan sobaan darban, deebi’iitti nama dhiba
Karaa dheeraa milatu gabaabsa, dubbii dheeraa jaarsatu gabaabsa
Karaa fi halagaatu gargar nama baasa
Keessummaan waan dhubbattu dhabde mucaa kee harma guusi jetti
Keessummaan lolaa dha abbaatu dabarfata
Keessa marqaa boojjitootu beeka
Kijiba baranaa manna dhugaa bara egeree wayya
Kokkolfaa haati goota hin seetu
Kormi biyya isaatti bookkisu biyya namaatti ni mar’ata
Kursii irra taa’anii muka hin hamatani
Lafa rukuchuun yartuu ofiin qixxeessuu dha
Lafa sooriin du’e baataatu garmaama
Lafaa fuudhuutti ukaa nama bu’a
Lafti abdatan sanyii nyaatee namni abdatan lammii nyaate
Laga marqaa jennaan ijoolleen fal’aanaan yaate
Lama na hin suufani jette jaartiin qullubbii hattee
Leenci maal nyaata jennaan, liqeeffatte jedhe, maal kanfala jennaan, eenyu isa gaafata jedhe
Lilmoon qaawwaa ishee hin agartu, qaawwaa namaa duuchiti
Lukkuun(hindaaqqoon) haatee haateealbee ittiin qalan baafti
Maa hin nyaatiin jedha dhirsi hamaan
Maal haa baasuuf dhama raasu
Mammaaksi tokko tokko dubbii fida tokko tokko dubbii fida
Mana haadha koon dhaqa jettee goraa bira hin darbiin
Mana karaa irra kessumaatu itti baayyata
Manni Abbaan Gube Iyya Hin Qabu
Maraataa fi sareen mana ofii hin wallalani
Maraatuun jecha beektu, waan jettu garuu hin beektu
Marqaa afuufuun sossobanii liqimsuufi
Marqaan distii badaa miti, irri ni bukata, jalli ni gubata
Marxoon otoo fiiganii hidhatan otuma fiiganii nama irraa bu’a
Mataa hiyyaassaatti haaduu baru
Midhaan eeguun baalatti hafe
Mucaa keetiin qabii mucaa koo naa qabi jettehaati mucaa
Muka jabana qabu reejjiitti dhibaafatu
Morkii dhaaf haaduu liqimsu
Nama foon beeku sombaan hin sobani
Namni akka fardaa nyaatu, gaafa akka namaa nyaate rakkata
Namni beela’e waan quufu hin se’u
Namni dhadhaa afaan kaa’an, dhakaa afaan nama kaa’a
Namni gaafa irrechaa duude, sirba irreechaa sirbaa hafa
Namni guyyaa bofa arge halkan teepha dheessa
Namni hudduu kooban galannii isaa dhuufuu dha
Namni mana tokko ijaaru citaa wal hin saamu
Namni nama arabsu nama hin faarsu
Namni badaan bakka itti badutti mari’ata
Namni gabaabaan otoo kabaja hin argatiin du’a
Namni qotiyyoo hin qabne qacceen qalqala guutuu dha
Nama kokkolfaa nama miidhuu fi bokkaan aduu baasaa roobu tokko
Niitiin dhirsaaf kafana
Niitiin marii malee fuudhan marii malee baati
Niitiin afaan kaa’aami’eeffatte yoo kabaluuf jedhan afaan banti
Nitaati jennaan harree qalle, hin tatuu jennaan harree ganne, qoricha jennaan isuma iyyuu dhaqnee dhabne
Obboleessa laga gamaa mannaa gogaa dugduu(faaqqii) ollaa ofii wayya
Obsaan aannan goromsaa dhuga
Obsan malee hn warroomani
Ofii badanii namaa hin malani
Of jajjuun saree qarriffaan udaani
Ofi iyyuu ni duuti maaliif of huuti
Ofii jedhii na dhugi jedhe dhadhaan
Okolee diddu okkotee hin diddu
Ollaa araban jira akkamittin guddadha jette gurri
Ollaan akkam bultee beeka, akkatti bule abbaatu beeka
Ollaafi garaan nama hin diddiin
Ollaa fi kateen nama xiqqeessiti
Ol hin liqeessiin horii keetu badaa, gadi hin asaasiin hasa’aa keetu bushaa’a
Otoo beeknuu huuba wajjin jette sareen
Otoo garaan tarsa’e jiruu, darsa tarsa’eef boossi
Otoo farda hin bitiin dirree bite
Otoo fi eegeen gara boodaati
Otoo garaan dudda duuba jiraate, qiletti nama darbata
Otoo sireen nama hin dadhabiin tafkii fi tukaaniin nama dadhabdi
Qaalluun kan ishee hin beektu kan namaa xibaarti
Qaban qabaa hin guunnee gad-lakkisan bakkee guutti
Qabbanaa’u harkaan gubnaan fal’aanan
Qabanootuharkaa, hoo’itu fal’aanaan
Qabeenyi fixeensa ganamaati
Qalloo keessi sibiila
Qalladhu illee ani obboleessa eebooti jette lilmoon
qaaqeen yoo mataan ishee marge bade jetti
Qarri lama wal hin waraanu
Qeesiinwaaqayyoo itti dheekkam, daawwitii gurgurtee harree bitatte
Qoonqoon darbu, maqaa hin dabarre nama irra kaa’a
Qoonqoon bilchina eeggattee, qabbana dadhabde
Qorichaofii beekan namaa kudhaamu
Qotee bulaa doofaan, miila kee dhiqadhu jennaa, maalan dhiqadha borus nan qota jedhe
Qurcii dhaan aboottadhu jennaan, qophoofneerra jedhe
Raadni harree keessa ooltedhuufuu barattee galti
Sa’a bonni ajjeese ganni maqaa fuudhe
Saddetin heerume jarjarrsaa akka baranaa hin agarre jette jaartiin, salgaffaa irratti waraabessi bunnaan
Salphoo soqolatte soqolaa gargaaru
Saree soroobduun afaan isheef bukoo ykn. dudda isheef falaxaa hin dhabdu
Sabni namatti jiguu irra gaarri (tulluun) namatti jiguu wayya
Sareen duttu nama hin ciniintu
Sanyii ibiddaa daaraatu nama guba
Sareen warra nyaattuuf dutti
Seenaa bar dhibbaa baruuf bardhibba jiraachuun dirqama miti
Shanis elmamu kudhanis, kan koo qiraaciitti jette adurreen
Sirbituu aggaammii beeku
Sii uggum yaa gollobaa, anaafoo goommani ni dorroba inni gurr’uu soddomaa jette jaartiin horii ishee gollobaan fixnaan
Sodaa abjuu hriba malee hin bulani
Soogidda ofiif jettu mi’aayi kanaachi dhakaa taata
Sombaaf aalbee hin barbaadani
Suphee dhooftuun fayyaa gorgurtee, cabaatti nyaatti
Taa’anii fannisanii dhaabatanii fuudhuun nama dhiba
Takkaa dhuufuun namummaa dh, lammmeessuun harrummaadha
Tikseen dhiyootti dhiifte fagootti barbaacha deemti
Tiksee haaraan horii irraa silmii buqqisaa oolti
Tokko cabe jedhe maraataan dhakaa gabaatti darbatee
tokko kophee dhabeetu booha, tokko immoo miila dhabee booha
Tufani hin arraabani
Udaan lafatti jibban funyaan nama tuqa
Ulee bofa itti ajjeesan alumatti gatu
Ulee fi dubbiin gabaabduu wayya
Ulfinaa fi marcuma abbaatu of jala baata
Waa’een garbaa daakuu fi bishaani
Waan ergisaa galu fokkisa
Waan jiilaniin kakatu
Waan kocaan kaa’e allaattiin hin argu
Waan namaa kaballaa malee hin quufani
Waan samii bu’e dacheen baachuu hin dadhabu
Waan uffattu hin qabdu haguuggatee bobbaa teessi
Waan warri waarii hasa’aan, Ijoolen waaree odeesiti
Wadalli harree nitii isaa irraa waraabessa hin dhowwu
Wal-fakkaattiin wal barbaaddi
Wali galan, alaa galan
Wallaalaan waan beeku dubbata, beekaan waan dubbatu beeka
Waaqaaf safuu jette hindaaqqoon bishaan liqimsitee
Warra gowwaa sareen torba
Waraabessi bakka takkaa nyaatetti sagal deddeebi’a
Waraabessi biyya hin beekne dhaqee gogaa naa afaa jedhe
Waraabessi waan halkan hojjete beekee guyyaa dhokata
Yaa marqaa si afuufuun si liqimsuufi
Yoo ala dhiisan mana seenan, yoo mana dhiisan eessa seenan
Yoo boora’e malee hin taliilu
Yoo ejjennaa tolan darbatanii haleelu
Yoo iyyan malee hin dhalchanii jedhe korbeesi hoolaa kan re’eetiin
Yoo suuta ejjetan qoreen suuta nama waraanti
yoo dhaqna of jaalatan fuula dhiqatu
Yoo namaa oogan eelee jalatti namaa marqu
yoo ta’eef miinjee naa taata jette intalli
Feynman stumbled upon a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.
It’s called the Feynman Technique and it will help you learn anything deeper, and faster. The topic, subject, or concept you want to learn doesn’t matter. Pick anything. The Feynman Technique works for everything. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple to implement.
The catch: It’s ridiculously humbling.
Not only is this a wonderful method of learning, but it’s also a window into a different way of thinking. Let me explain:
There are three steps to the Feynman Technique.
Step 1: Teach it to a child
Take out a blank sheet of paper and write the subject you want to learn at the top. Write out what you know about the subject as if you were teaching it to a child. Not your smart adult friend but rather an eight-year-old who has just enough vocabulary and attention span to understand basic concepts and relationships.
A lot of people tend to use complicated vocabulary and jargon to mask when they don’t understand something. The problem is we only fool ourselves because we don’t know that we don’t understand. In addition, using jargon conceals our misunderstanding from those around us.
When you write out an idea from start to finish in simple language that a child can understand (tip: use only the most common words), you force yourself to understand the concept at a deeper level and simplify relationships and connections between ideas. If you struggle, you have a clear understanding of where you have some gaps. That tension is good—it heralds an opportunity to learn.
Step 2: Review
In step one, you will inevitably encounter gaps in your knowledge where you’re forgetting something important, are not able to explain it, or simply have trouble connecting an important concept.
This is invaluable feedback because you’ve discovered the edge of your knowledge. Competence is knowing the limit of your abilities, and you’ve just identified one!
This is where the learning starts. Now you know where you got stuck, go back to the source material and re-learn it until you can explain it in basic terms.
Identifying the boundaries of your understanding also limits the mistakes you’re liable to make and increases your chance of success when applying knowledge.
Step 3: Organize and simplify
Now you have a set of hand-crafted notes. Review them to make sure you didn’t mistakenly borrow any of the jargon from the source material. Organize them into a simple story that flows.
Read them out loud. If the explanation isn’t simple or sounds confusing that’s a good indication that your understanding in that area still needs some work.
Step 4 (optional): Transmit
If you really want to be sure of your understanding, run it past someone (ideally who knows little of the subject—or find that 8-year-old!). The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.
Feynman’s approach intuitively believes that intelligence is a process of growth, which dovetails nicely with the work of Carol Dweck, who beautifully describes the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.
Fayyisaa Lalisaa (Feyisa Lilesa), an athlete from Oromia/ Ethiopia, caught the world’s attention Sunday 21 August 2016 when, at the finish line of the Olympic marathon, he raised his arms in solidarity with the Oromo people in his country. This is NY Times Video:-
Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: #Rio2016 Olympic Marathon: Oromo athlete Fayyisaa Lalisaa has demonstrated his Solidarity to #OromoProtests as he wins silver medal. Oromian Economist August 21, 2016
Oromia: Athletic nation Report: Short poem (Rio) about Oromo Olympian Fayyisaa Lalisaa, the world icon of #OromoProtests (the call for social justice). Oromian Economist August 23, 2016
Traditional economics views humans as robotic machines who make calculated decisions based on logic. In contrast, behavioural economics views humans as irrational and emotional beings who are influenced by biases and experience when making decisions. This infographic takes a closer look at just what behavioural economics is and how it can be used.
Read more at:- https://www.b2binternational.com/publications/what-is-behavioural-economics/
What are we talking about when we criticise the networks of shell companies?
ACI, 8 April 2016
At the latest with the revelations of the Panama Papers, mass media and wider public joined a chorus of outrage over the hidden financial assets of politicians, celebrities and criminal organisations. According to ICIJ, the Panama leaks expose “a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies”. In particular, the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has become one of the main protagonists in bribery and money laundering scandals. These leaked documents disclose internal files that contain information on 214,488 offshore entities connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories.
What are the services of law firms like Mossack Fonseca? What are shell companies, offshore entities and so-called tax havens? Can they be used for legitimate or illegitimate businesses? What does the current legislation say? Here is a brief guide and explanation of what has been going on for decades in the hidden financial world.
To put it simple, shell companies are corporations without any active business or operations, or companies that passively own the shares of other companies. Shell companies are also referred to as international business companies, personal investment companies, or “mailbox”/”letterbox” companies. Generally, establishing a shell company is no different from setting up any other type of company.
There are legitimate purposes for shell companies, such as helping entrepreneurs gain cheaper and easier public listings on a stock exchange despite minimal sales turnover. Another example of legal use of shell corporations occurs in the case of hidden financial interactions between two companies: if “Company A” does not want to be associated with “Company B”, for instance because of its poor reputation, they can create a shell corporation through which the transaction can be concealed.
Nevertheless, this mechanism is being used to hide corruption and illegal financial transactions such as money laundering and tax evasion. Shell companies have the essential characteristic of being able to obscure the true ownership of an asset. By disguising both the ownership of the shell corporation and its activities, it is relatively simple to conceal the true origin and intent of large amounts of funds that might have been obtained through illegal actions such as drug dealing or other criminal processes.
Shell companies are often formed in so-called tax havens. There are dozens of tax havens besides Panama such as Switzerland, or Luxembourg and many countries in the Caribbean like the British Virgin Islands that provide little or no tax liability and financial information to foreign tax authorities.
The debate surrounding the legality of shell companies is characterised by pro-arguments that in particular focus on the distinct use and counterarguments that question the entire system of shell companies asking why a company should be allowed to hide financial transactions and assets.
Does law enforcement clarify the controversy? Here is the key issue of the discussion: law avoidance is possible and legally permitted – law firms like Mossack Fonseca are specialised to “protect” their clients from the law. Often, governments that harshly criticise tax avoidance and offshore finance are themselves beneficiaries of those strategies. In most cases public anger, accusations of being opportunistic or unethical and undermined political credibility bring about accountability of wrongdoings, not the judgement in a courtroom. Current laws do not require the creators of shell companies – such as Mossack Fonseca – to report who actually controls them. Further, the compliance with international anti-money laundering obligations remains low and inefficient since financial institutions may be negligent or incapable to perform due diligence to the appropriate depth. Anti-Corruption International fights for more transparency and less “legal corruption” in order to stop the immoral businesses of shell companies……
In past decades, older generations of Africans had to be tolerant of oppressive governments, which were often dictatorships—if only for their own safety. But the younger generation is more vocal, critical and demanding of their leaders, and unwilling to allow their questions to be left unanswered.
Those higher expectations have been voiced on the streets of African cities from Bujumbura to Cape Town in the last year, but increasingly the murmurings of protest and criticism start via social media apps on mobile phones. And Twitter, with its relatively low bandwidth consumption, good for the slower networks and 3G phones of many African consumers, has played a leading role as a platform for raising political awareness on the continent.
Data from the latest How Africa Tweets report conducted by Portland shows Twitter continues to provide an important platform for political discourse in Africa. The report analyzed 1.6 billion tweets and 5,000 hashtags from 2015 and found that politics-related tweets in Africa, while behind entertainment and commerce, were very much on the rise, and generally topped the rates of political tweets in the United States and United Kingdom.
Gravitational waves: breakthrough discovery after a century of expectation Scientists announce discovery of clear gravitational wave signal, ripples in spacetime first predicted by Albert Einstein
Tim Radford, The Guardian, 12 February 2016
Physicists have announced the discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were first anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago.
“We have detected gravitational waves. We did it,” said David Reitze, executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo), at a press conference in Washington.
The announcement is the climax of a century of speculation, 50 years of trial and error, and 25 years perfecting a set of instruments so sensitive they could identify a distortion in spacetime a thousandth the diameter of one atomic nucleus across a 4km strip of laserbeam and mirror.
The phenomenon detected was the collision of two black holes. Using the world’s most sophisticated detector, the scientists listened for 20 thousandths of a second as the two giant black holes, one 35 times the mass of the sun, the other slightly smaller, circled around each other.
At the beginning of the signal, their calculations told them how stars perish: the two objects had begun by circling each other 30 times a second. By the end of the 20 millisecond snatch of data, the two had accelerated to 250 times a second before the final collision and a dark, violent merger.
The observation signals the opening of a new window on to the universe. Why discovering gravitational waves changes everything “This is transformational,” said Prof Alberto Vecchio, of the University of Birmingham, and one of the researchers at Ligo. “We have observed the universe through light so far. But we can only see part of what happens in the universe. Gravitational waves carry completely different information about phenomena in the universe. So we have opened a new way of listening to a broadcasting channel which will allow us to discover phenomena we have never seen before,” he said.
“This observation is truly incredible science and marks three milestones for physics: the direct detection of gravitational waves, the first detection of a binary black hole, and the most convincing evidence to date that nature’s black holes are the objects predicted by Einstein’s theory.”
The scientists detected their cataclysmic event using an instrument so sensitive it could detect a change in the distance between the solar system and the nearest star four light years away to the thickness of a human hair.
And they did so within weeks of turning on their new, upgraded instrument: it took just 20 milliseconds to catch the merger of two black holes, at a distance of 1.3 billion light years, somewhere beyond the Large Magellanic Cloud in the southern hemisphere sky, but it then took months of meticulous checking of the signal against all the complex computer simulations of black hole collision to make sure the evidence matched the theoretical template.
The detector was switched off in January for a further upgrade: astronomers still have to decipher months of material collected in the interval. But – given half a century of frustration in the search for gravitational waves – what they found exceeded expectation: suddenly, in the mutual collapse of two black holes, they could eavesdrop on the violence of the universe.
Prof B S Sathyaprakash, from Cardiff University’s school of physics and astronomy, said: “The shock would have released more energy than the light from all the stars in the universe for that brief instant. The fusion of two black holes which created this event had been predicted but never observed.” The finding completed the scientific arc of prediction, discovery and confirmation: first they calculated what they should be able to detect, then decided what the evidence should look like, and then devised the experiment that clinched the matter. Which is why on Thursday scientists around the world were able to hail the announcement as yet another confirmation of their “standard model” of the cosmos, and the beginning of a new era of discovery.
Astronomers have already exploited visible light, the infrared and ultraviolet, radio waves, x-rays and even gamma-rays in their attempt to understand the mechanics of stars, the evolution of the galaxies and the expansion of the universe from an initial big bang 13.8bn years ago.
Thursday’s announcement was the unequivocal first detection ever of gravity waves. The hope is that gravity wave astronomy could start to answer questions not just about the life of stars but their deaths as well: death by collision, death in a black hole, death in some rare stellar catastrophe so fierce that, for a few thousandths of a second, the blast is the brightest thing in the universe.
Even before the Ligo detectors in two US states reopened for business late last year, researchers were confident that a detection would follow swiftly. The announcement came after months of speculation, and decades of theoretical and practical work by an international network of more than a thousand scientists and engineers in Britain, Europe, the US and around the world.
Professor Kip Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology, and one of the founding fathers of Ligo, said that until now, astronomers had looked at the universe as if on a calm sea. All of that had changed.
“The colliding black holes that produced these gravitational waves created a violent storm in the fabric of space and time, a storm in which time speeded up and slowed down, and speeded up again, a storm in which the shape of space was bent in this way and that way,” he said.
Prof Neil Turok, director the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics at Waterloo in Canada, and a former research colleague of Prof Stephen Hawking, called the discovery “the real deal, one of those breakthrough moments in science”. Not only had the detector picked up the collision of two enormous black holes across a distance of almost a billion light years of space, it recorded the distinctive “chirp” as the two spiralled towards each other.
The discovery, he said, completes a scientific arc of wonder that began 200 years ago, when the great British scientist Michael Faraday began to puzzle about how action was transmitted across the distance of space; how the sun pulled the Earth around. If the sun moved 10 yards, very suddenly, would the Earth feel the difference?
He reasoned that something must cross space to transmit the force of gravity. Faraday’s reasoning inspired the great British mathematician James Clerk Maxwell to think about how an electric force travelled, and arrive at an understanding of light and a prediction of radio waves.
“Einstein, when he came to write down his theory of gravity, his two heroes were Faraday and Maxwell,” said Turok. “He tried to write down laws of the gravitational field and he wasn’t in the least surprised to discover that his predictions had waves, gravitational waves.”
The Ligo discovery signals a new era in astronomy, he said.
“Just think of radio waves, when radio waves were discovered we learned to communicate with them. Mobile communication is entirely reliant on radio waves. For astronomy, radio observations have probably told us more than anything else about the structure of the universe. Now we have gravitational waves we are going to have a whole new picture of the universe, of the stuff that doesn’t emit light – dark matter, black holes,” he said.
“For me the most exciting thing is we will literally be able to see the big bang. Using electromagnetic waves we cannot see further back than 400,000 years after the big bang. The early universe was opaque to light. It is not opaque to gravitational waves. It is completely transparent.
“So literally, by gathering gravitational waves we will be able to see exactly what happened at the initial singularity. The most weird and wonderful prediction of Einstein’s theory was that everything came out of a single event: the big bang singularity. And we will be able to see what happened.”
1. Seek to successfully demonstrate and repeatedly practice each of our five factors of personal resilience. Success is a powerful learning tool—Just do it! If the challenge is too large or complex at first, start by taking small steps in the desired direction. Don’t try to achieve too much at first. And keep trying until you succeed. The first success is the hardest.
2. Observe resilient people. Use them as role models. Human beings learn largely by observation. Frequent venues where you can watch people exhibiting the skills you wish to acquire. Read books about people who have overcome obstacles similar to those you face. Call or write them. Ask them to share their lessons learned. Their successes will be contagious.
3. Vigorously pursue the encouragement and support of others. Affiliate with supportive and compassionate people who are willing to give of themselves to be supportive of you.
4. Practice self-control. In highly stressful times, myriad physiological and behavioral reactions occur. Physiologically, people experience the fight-or-flight response we mentioned in Chapter One. This cascade of hormones such as adrenalin better prepares you to fight or to flee a threat. They increase your heart rate, muscle strength, and tension. They dramatically improve your memory for certain things while decreasing your ability to remember others, and they cause your blood vessels to shift their priorities. This often results in headaches, cold hands and feet, and even an upset gastrointestinal system. The most significant problem, however, is that this very basic survival mechanism also tends to interfere with rational judgment and problem solving.
Shiller, a behavioral economist, closely tracks investors’ feelings about the market. He believes that emotions can hold the key to market movements. When I saw Shiller late last week for an interview about his new book on the economics of deception (“Phishing for Phools,” written with Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s husband George Akerlof), he told me more investors are worried that the market is over-valued than at any time since the peak of the dotcom bubble in 2000.
“Interest rates have been at zero” for a long time, says Shiller. “The economy has been viewed as sluggish, and yet [corporate] earnings have been growing and prices have been growing at a rapid pace.” That kind of “irrational exuberance,” says Shiller, is exactly what bubbles are made of.
So, why haven’t we seen a major sell-off, one more lasting than the dip we saw a few weeks back, after which the markets quickly rebounded? Because, says Shiller, investors are caught between two dueling narratives about the market.
First, there’s the “New Normal,” story, which is that we’re in a period of low interest rates that will last a long time, and that’s what’s kept markets up. This creates a sense of unease that our recovery isn’t real, but has somehow been genetically modified by central bankers.
“The aggressive monetary policy, which developed as kind of a new approach to managing [the economy] and was largely international, brought us these very low interest rates,” says Shiller. What’s more, “long rates are low, which represents some kind of public attitude that this [new normal] is going to go on for a long time.” As I have written many times, long periods of easy money always create bubbles. Meanwhile, says Shiller, “there’s another not so commonly-raised factor in connection with understanding the market: concern about inequality, which is rising, and also related to that a concern about information technology replacing jobs.”
Both of those things add to the sense that there is bad news lurking underneath those seemingly strong corporate earnings data of the last several years. That makes investors jittery.
But there’s another narrative. America is still the prettiest house on the ugly block that is the global economy. Where else can people park their money, if not in U.S. blue chips? Shiller adds that the growing sense that bad news may be looming can also “encourage people to accept high prices for houses and the stock market because they need to have something for the future.” Rising markets are supported by investors and consumers whoneed them to rise, because it makes them feel richer. “And they’re not going to say, “Oh, this price is too high, I’m going to consume this,” says Shiller. Rather, they accept the higher and higher asset prices – until they don’t anymore. That’s when the bubble bursts.
Those two dueling narratives may be one reason that markets have been volatile of late. People who hold equities have earned a lot of money — the stock market has gone way up. You could conclude, says Shiller, “I’ve got so much money, let’s go on a cruise! Let’s have a lark.” That sentiment drives consumer spending at the higher level. “But maybe you don’t because you’re worried. You have the sense that [things could change] — or maybe you’re worried about your children,” says Shiller. “In 20 or 30 years, I don’t know what they’re going to be doing. I’m just worried. Or maybe they’ll be doing horribly. So let’s keep that stock.” That in turn buoys markets. It’s a somewhat bipolar cycle that fits with the level of volatility we’ve seen all this year, which is much higher than last.
So what happens now? At some point, the market will receive some important new signal. It could be a rate hike from the Fed this week. Or it could be another raft of bad news from China. At that point, we’ll likely see another sell-off. The question then is whether it becomes a stampede. There’s no metric that will answer that question for sure. Emotions, as much as data, hold the key to what the markets will do. No wonder Shiller won the Nobel for saying as much.
Oromia Insight Prof Asafa Jalata Oromo and Oromumma
Oromia Insight Prof Hamdesa The mythical Ethiopia and the real Ethiopia Part One
Oromia Insight (OVR): PART-2 – Conversation with Legal Experts Dr. Awol Allo and Tsegaye R. Ararssa on the Speech of Abay Tsehaye & Implications
This week (23rd February 2015), Aliye Geleto, the host of OVR English Program, Oromia Insight, talks to two Special Legal Experts: Dr. Awol Allo and Tsegaye R. Ararssa on the Speech of Abay Tsehaye & Implications.
Dr. Awol Allo is LSE Fellow in Human Rights at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Department of Sociology. He holds degrees from Addis Ababa University (LLB) and the University of Notre Dame (LLM, International Human Rights Law), and completed his PhD at the University of Glasgow; and Mr. Tsegaye R. Ararssa is Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Graduate Research Student at the University of Melbourne. http://advocacy4oromia.org/2015/02/25/oromia-insight-ovr-conversation-with-two-legal-experts/
A basic mantra in statistics and data science is correlation is not causation, meaning that just because two things appear to be related to each other doesn’t mean that one causes the other. This is a lesson worth learning. If you work with data, throughout your career you’ll probably have to re-learn it several times. But you often see the principle demonstrated with a graph like this:
One line is something like a stock market index, and the other is an (almost certainly) unrelated time series like “Number of times Jennifer Lawrence is mentioned in the media.” The lines look amusingly similar. There is usually a statement like: “Correlation = 0.86”. Recall that a correlation coefficient is between +1 (a perfect linear relationship) and -1 (perfectly inversely related), with zero meaning no linear relationship at all. 0.86 is a high value, demonstrating that the statistical relationship of the two time series is strong. The correlation passes a statistical test. This is a great example of mistaking correlation for causality, right? Well, no, not really: it’s actually a time series problem analyzed poorly, and a mistake that could have been avoided. You never should have seen this correlation in the first place. The more basic problem is that the author is comparing two trended time series. The rest of this post will explain what that means, why it’s bad, and how you can avoid it fairly simply. If any of your data involves samples taken over time, and you’re exploring relationships between the series, you’ll want to read on.
Two random series
There are several ways of explaining what’s going wrong. Instead of going into the math right away, let’s look at a more intuitive visual explanation. To begin with, we’ll create two completely random time series. Each is simply a list of 100 random numbers between -1 and +1, treated as a time series. The first time is 0, then 1, etc., on up to 99. We’ll call one series Y1 (the Dow-Jones average over time) and the other Y2 (the number of Jennifer Lawrence mentions). Here they are graphed: There is no point staring at these carefully. They are random. The graphs and your intuition should tell you they are unrelated and uncorrelated. But as a test, the correlation (Pearson’s R) between Y1 and Y2 is -0.02, which is very close to zero. There is no significant relationship between them. As a second test, we do a linear regression of Y1 on Y2 to see how well Y2 can predict Y1. We get a Coefficient of Determination (R2 value) of .08 — also extremely low. Given these tests, anyone should conclude there is no relationship between them.
Now let’s tweak the time series by adding a slight rise to each. Specifically, to each series we simply add points from a slightly sloping line from (0,-3) to (99,+3). This is a rise of 6 across a span of 100. The sloping line looks like this:
Now we’ll add each point of the sloping line to the corresponding point of Y1 to get a slightly sloping series like this:
We’ll add the same sloping line to Y2:
Now let’s repeat the same tests on these new series. We get surprising results: the correlation coefficient is 0.96 — a very strong unmistakable correlation. If we regress Y on X we get a very strong R2 value of 0.92. The probability that this is due to chance is extremely low, about 1.3×10-54. These results would be enough to convince anyone that Y1 and Y2 are very strongly correlated! What’s going on? The two time series are no more related than before; we simply added a sloping line (what statisticians call trend). One trended time series regressed against another will often reveal a strong, but spurious, relationship. Put another way, we’ve introduced a mutual dependency. By introducing a trend, we’ve made Y1 dependent on X, and Y2 dependent on X as well. In a time series, X is time. Correlating Y1 and Y2 will uncover their mutual dependence — but the correlation is really just the fact that they’re both dependent on X. In many cases, as with Jennifer Lawrence’s popularity and the stock market index, what you’re really seeing is that they both increased over time in the period you’re looking at. This is sometimes called secular trend. The amount of trend determines the effect on correlation. In the example above, we needed to add only a little trend (a slope of 6/100) to change the correlation result from insignificant to highly significant. But relative to the changes in the time series itself (-1 to +1), the trend was large. A trended time series is not, of course, a bad thing. When dealing with a time series, you generally want to know whether it’s increasing or decreasing, exhibits significant periodicities or seasonalities, and so on. But in exploring relationships between two time series, you really want to know whether variations in one series are correlated with variations in another. Trend muddies these waters and should be removed.
Dealing with trend
There are many tests for detecting trend. What can you do about trend once you find it? One approach is to model the trend in each time series and use that model to remove it. So if we expected Y1 had a linear trend, we could do linear regression on it and subtract the line (in other words, replace Y1 with its residuals). Then we’d do that for Y2, then regress them against each other. There are alternative, non-parametric methods that do not require modeling. One such method for removing trend is called first differences. With first differences, you subtract from each point the point that came before it: y'(t) = y(t) – y(t-1) Another approach is called link relatives. Link relatives are similar, but they divide each point by the point that came before it: y'(t) = y(t) / y(t-1)
Once you’re aware of this effect, you’ll be surprised how often two trended time series are compared, either informally or statistically. Tyler Vigen created a web page devoted to spurious correlations, with over a dozen different graphs. Each graph shows two time series that have similar shapes but are unrelated (even comically irrelevant). The correlation coefficient is given at the bottom, and it’s usually high. How many of these relationships survive de-trending? Fortunately, Vigen provides the raw data so we can perform the tests. Some of the correlations drop considerably after de-trending. For example, here is a graph of US Crude Oil Imports from Venezuela vs Consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup: The correlation of these series is 0.88. Now here are the time series after first-differences de-trending:
These time series look much less related, and indeed the correlation drops to 0.24. A recent blog post from Alex Jones, more tongue-in-cheek, attempts to link his company’s stock price with the number of days he worked at the company. Of course, the number of days worked is simply the time series: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It is a steadily rising line — pure trend! Since his company’s stock price also increased over time, of course he found correlation. In fact, every manipulation of the two variables he performed was simply another way of quantifying the trend in company price.
I was first introduced to this problem long ago in a job where I was investigating equipment failures as a function of weather. The data I had were taken over six months, winter into summer. The equipment failures rose over this period (that’s why I was investigating). Of course, the temperature rose as well. With two trended time series, I found strong correlation. I thought I was onto something until I started reading more about time series analysis. Trends occur in many time series. Before exploring relationships between two series, you should attempt to measure and control for trend. But de-trending is not a panacea because not all spurious correlation are caused by trends. Even after de-trending, two time series can be spuriously correlated. There can remain patterns such as seasonality, periodicity, and autocorrelation. Also, you may not want to de-trend naively with a method such as first differences if you expect lagged effects. Any good book on time series analysis should discuss these issues. My go-to text for statistical time series analysis is Quantitative Forecasting Methods by Farnum and Stanton (PWS-KENT, 1989). Chapter 4 of their book discusses regression over time series, including this issue. *Tom Fawcett is Principal Data Scientist at Silicon Valley Data Science. Co-author of the popular book Data Science for Business, Tom has over 20 years of experience applying machine learning and data mining in practical applications. He is a veteran of companies such as Verizon and HP Labs, and an editor of the Machine Learning Journal.
In fact, my standard advice to graduate students these days is “go to the computer science department and take a class in machine learning.” There have been very fruitful collaborations between computer scientists and statisticians in the last decade or so, and I…
This talk describes the motivation for developing mathematical models, including models that are developed to avoid ethically difficult experiments. Three different examples from the field of human health are presented.
Jeffrey J. Heys is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Montana State University. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1996 from Montana State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1998 and 2001,respectively. His research area is computational transport and computational fluid dynamics in biological systems with an emphasis on fluid-structure interaction and multiphase flows.
There’s always going to be space for reading, curating and cheering on others’ work. But there should also be a space for building on it and creating stuff of one’s own. Each of us has something to say, and we have the responsibility and privilege of adding to the discourse. It’s up to us to find and nurture the right balance and feel inspired by—not intimidated by–the work that others do. After all, everything is a remix.
I have a lot of ideas in my head. And for the most part, that’s where they used to stay.
In my head. Where other people couldn’t see them, interact with them or build upon them. Where they were safe and untested and uncriticized. All mine.
Sure, I’ve created some. Some might say I’ve created plenty. But that’s only because they can’t see what I’m not creating. For example, this very post sat dormant for at least a month while I pondered, waited and nitpicked at it.
It’s called if-then planning, and it is a really powerful way to help you achieve any goal. Well over a hundred studies, on everything from diet and exercise to negotiation and time management, have shown that deciding in advance when and where you will take specific actions to reach your goal (e.g., “If it is 4 p.m., then I will return any phone calls I should return today”) can double or triple your chances for success.
How effective are these plans? One study looked at people who had the goal of becoming regular exercisers. Half the participants were asked to plan where and when they would exercise each week (e.g., “If it is Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, then I will hit the gym for an hour before work”). The results were dramatic: weeks later, 91 percent of if-then planners were still exercising regularly, compared to only 39 percent of nonplanners!Similar results have been shown for other health-promoting behaviors, like remembering to do monthly breast self-exams (100 percent of planners, 53 percent of nonplanners), and getting cervical cancer screenings (92 percent of planners, 60 percent of nonplanners).
Why are these plans so effective? Because they are written in the language of your brain—the language of contingencies. Human beings are particularly good at encoding and remembering information in “if X, then Y” terms, and using these contingencies to guide their behavior, often below their awareness.
A native African language has been brought to the pages of children’s textbooks for the first time by a Melbourne educator. More than 40 million people speak the Oromo tongue but, until now, it’s been largely passed down by word-of-mouth.
Current physics can’t explain what happened during the Big Bang
The new theory combines general relativity with quantum mechanics
The equations found that quantum particles can never meet or cross
‘Since different points in the universe never actually converged in the past, it did not have a beginning,’ Professor Saurya Das told Dailymail.com
The model also has the potential to explain dark energy since the quantum particles create a constant outward force that expands space
Our universe, according to Einstein’s theories, is around 13.8 billion years old and formed from an infinitely small point during the Big Bang.
While most people accept this model, scientists still can’t explain what happened inside this tiny point – called a singularity – or what came before it.
Now, two tphysicists have put forward a radical new model which suggests the Big Bang didn’t take place – and that our universe has no beginning and no end.
‘The math and the Big Bang theory itself break down because of the infinities,’ Professor Saurya Das at University of Lethbridge, Canada told Dailymail.com.
‘In other words, the theory predicts its own demise. It also does not explain where that initial state, came from.’
The scientists began with equations created by physicist David Bohm (left), who in the 1950s attempted to use quantum theory in place of classical equations. They then combined this with an equation by Professor Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri at Presidency University (right)
They then combined this with an equation by Professor Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri at Presidency University, in Kolkata, which described a fluid of small particles that pervades space.
This fluid is the quantum version of gravity, which has dubbed a graviton by Professor Das and co-author Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University.
They showed that unlike classical trajectories – which are paths of particles going into the future or past – the quantum particles can never meet or cross.
‘As far as we can see, since different points in the universe never actually converged in the past, it did not have a beginning,’ said Professor Das.
‘It lasted forever. It will also not have an end…In other words, there is no singularity.’
But if there was no Big Bang, what is the history of our universe?
‘The universe could have lasted forever,’ speculates Professor Das.
‘It could have gone through cycles of being small and big.
‘Or it could have been created much earlier.’
The theory may also potentially explain the origin of dark matter and dark energy.
‘As far as we can see, since different points in the universe never actually converged in the past, it did not have a beginning,’ said Professor Das. Pictured is a star cluster that popular cosmology believes formed following the Big Bang. The current research suggests stars such as this always existed.
These elusive substances constitute respectively about 25 per cent and 70 per cent of our universe.
‘We showed that a giant Bose-Einstein condensate of gravitons may have formed very early on, have lasted forever, and which accounts for both dark matter and dark energy,’ said Professor Das.
In the late 1990s, astronomers found that the expansion of the universe is accelerating due the presence of a dark energy.
Their model has the potential to explain it since the fluid creates constant outward force that expands space.
And when the team set the mass of the graviton, they could make the density of their fluid the same as the universe’s observed density of dark matter.
‘It is satisfying to note that such straightforward corrections can potentially resolve so many issues at once.’ Professor Das said.
Featuring Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo) People: Northernmost Cushitic Oromo People
January 8, 2014 (kwekudee trip down memory lane) — Celebrating our African historical personalities,discoveries, achievements and eras as proud people with rich culture, traditions and enlightenment spanning many years.
The Raya Wollo people, sometimes called Raya Oromo are agricultural and music-loving Cushitic Oromo people but now mixed with small amalgamated Tigre and Amhara bloodlines living in the Debubawi Zone of the current Tigray Regional State at the eastern edge of the Ethiopian highlands in Ethiopia.
Historically, the Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo), with the Yejju Oromo, are the northernmost groups of the Oromo people and are a part of the Wollo Oromo Tribe. Their women especially are known by their distinctive hair-braiding styles and facial tattoos.
The Wollo Oromo (particularly the Raya Oromo and Yejju Oromo) were early Oromo holders of power among the increasingly mixed Ethiopian state. The later north-to-south movement of central power in Ethiopia led to Oromos in Shewa holding power in Ethiopia together with the Shewan Amhara. “In terms of descent, the group that became politically dominant in Shewa – and Subsequently in Ethiopia – was a mixture of Amhara and Oromo; in terms of language, religion and cultural practices, it was Amhara.
Currently, Debubawi Zone/Raya-Azebo woreda (county) is bordered on the south by Alamata, on the southwest by Ofla, on the northwest by Endamehoni, on the north by Hintalo Wajirat, and on the east by the Afar Region. The administrative center of this woreda (county) is Mersa; other town in Raya-Azebo includes Weyra Wuha.
Despite their historic resistance against dominance (read any literature on Ethiopian history, the Raya Oromo revolt given below is mentioned as the first revolt against the Teferi government as early as the late 1920′s and as the predecessor of the Bale Oromo revolt), Raya’s ties with the rest of Oromia have weakened due to years of wars in that part of the region. Today, the challenge should be given to Oromo artists to produce music of the Raya in Afan Oromo; music serves as a cultural ambassador as well as a path to reconnect to one’s historic past (heritage). It’s also paramount that the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) set up a session during its annual meeting to deliberate on the history of Raya Oromo and on ways to bring about the renaissance of Oromummaa in Raya.
Why the name Raya Wollo?
Wollo was an historical region and province in the northeastern part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Dessie. The province was named after the Wollo Oromo, who settled in this part of Ethiopia in the 17th century. An older name for Wollo is Lakomelza.
Following the invasion by Britain that toppled Italian colonial authority in 1941, the provinces of Amhara Sayint, Azabo, Lasta, Raya Province, Wag, and Yejju were added to Wollo. A number of peasant rebellions rocked Wollo, which included the Woyane rebellion in 1943, and revolts of the Yejju Oromo in 1948 and 1970. With the adoption of the new constitution in 1995, Wollo was divided between the Afar Region, which absorbed the part of the province that extended into the Afar Depression; the Tigray Region, which annexed the northwestern corner; and the Amhara Region, which absorbed the remainder of the province in the Ethiopian highlands.
Northern Marginalization under Shewan Rule
The northern provinces of Gonder, Gojjam, Wollo and Tigray are the heartland of the “core” culture of Ethiopia — the Ethiopian Orthodox church, the Amharic language and script, plow-based agriculture, and many elements of the social system of the country derive from this historic region. Most of the Emperors also came from here.
At the end of the 19th century, the center of power in Ethiopia decisively shifted from the north to Shewa, with the assumption of the title of Emperor by Menelik, King of Shewa. Menelik was an Amhara, from the dynasty that ruled Manz, at the northern tip of the modern province of Shewa. The majority of the inhabitants of the rest of Shewa were Oromo — as is the case today. In terms of descent, the group that became politically dominant in Shewa (and subsequently in Ethiopia) was a mixture of Amhara and Oromo; in terms of language, religion and cultural practices, it was Amhara. The northern Amhara regarded the Shewans as “Galla” (the pejorative term for Oromo), and together with the Tigrayans and some of the Agau and Oromo people in Wollo, resisted the new Shewan domination, which led to their economic and political marginalization.
Revolt in Wollo
Between 1928 and 1930 there was a rebellion — or a series of rebellions — in northern Wollo against Shewan domination. The specific political cause was support for Ras Gugsa Wale, a northern Amhara lord with a strong claim on the throne, against the Shewan Ras Teferi (who crowned himself the Emperor Haile Selassie after defeating the revolt). The government suppression of the revolt led to quartering soldiers with local people, interrupting the salt trade, and involved massive looting and confiscation of cattle. Combined with drought and locusts, the result was famine. Haile Selassie ordered the importation of grain from India to supply Addis Ababa, but there was no relief for north Wollo. Political measures were taken after the revolt, including the replacement of much of the administration, which formerly had local roots, with appointees from Shewa; and the joining of the rebellious districts to the province of southern Wollo, which was ruled with harshness and venality by the crown prince. These helped to contribute to the further marginalization of the area, and the series of famines which plagued the area up to the fall of the Emperor.
The cumulative impact of imperial misrule and the petty tyrannies of local landlords created an atmosphere in which development was extremely difficult, as described by two consultants investigating the possibility of starting livestock projects:
Wollo is virtually impossible … there is such an obscuring weight of disbelief, suspected innuendo and antagonisms; such a mess of mis-government at petty levels, and such a
lading of landlords that there is almost nothing to start with and nowhere to start that
will not go wrong or sour … [there is] the smothering welter of the weeds of an
entrenched and stagnant society.
The Weyane in Tigray
Following the restoration of Haile Selassie after the defeat of the Italians in 1941, there was a revolt in Tigray. Known as the Weyane, this was the most serious internal threat that Haile Selassie faced. An alliance of the Oromo semi-pastoralists of Raya Azebo, disgruntled peasants, and some local feudal lords, under the military leadership of a famous shifta, Haile Mariam Redda, the rebels nearly succeeded in overrunning the whole province.4 British aircraft had to be called in from Aden in order to bomb the rebels to ensure their defeat. While some of the aristocratic leaders, such as Ras Seyoum Mengesha, were treated gently and ultimately allowed to return and administer the recalcitrant province, there were reprisals against the ordinary people. Most notably, the Raya and Azebo Oromo were subjected to wholesale land alienation, and much of their territory was transferred to the province of Wollo. This area was badly hit in subsequent famines, partly as a consequence.
Tax Revolts in Gojjam
Gojjam treasured its independence for centuries, and did not submit willingly to Shewan rule. The issue around which opposition repeatedly coalesced was any attempt by the central government to measure land and tax it. Taxation was not only resented as the imposition of unjust exertions by government, but was feared as the means whereby the traditional land tenure system would be undermined, and the farmers’ independence destroyed.
In the 1940s and ’50s there was a series of attempts to measure land in Gojjam, prior to taxation. In the face of peasant resistance, including violence, all attempts failed. In the early 1960s, only 0.1 per cent of the land had been measured, and Gojjam, one of the richest and most populous provinces, paid less land tax than the poor and thinly populated province of Bale. In 1950/1 there was armed resistance, including a plot to assassinate Haile Selassie. However the most serious revolt occurred in 1968, in response to the most systematic attempt to levy an agricultural income tax to date.
In February 1968, in reaction to the arrival of parties of government officials accompanied by armed police, the peasants of Mota and Bichena districts resorted to armed resistance. After months of stalemate while much of the province remained out of government control, Haile Selassie sent troops to Gojjam in July and August. The air force bombed several villages; it burned houses but its main task was probably intimidating the resistance. Several hundred people died, according to contemporary accounts, but the Gojjamis remained defiant.
Finally, in December, Haile Selassie backed down. He visited Gojjam in 1969, cancelled all tax
arrears, and made no serious attempt to collect the new taxes.
Famines in Wollo and Tigray
In 1974, the Emperor Haile Selassie became notorious for his attempts to conceal the existence of the famine of 1972-3 in Wollo. This, however, was only one in a succession of such incidents. Prof. Mesfin Wolde Mariam of Addis Ababa University has documented how the famines of 1958 and 1966 in Tigray and Wollo were treated with official indifference, bordering on hostility towards the peasants who were considered sufficiently ungrateful for the divinely-sanctioned rule of Haile Selassie as to allow themselves to defame his reputation by dying of famine.
There was severe famine in Tigray in 1958 which went without significant government relief. In 1965/6, reports of famine from Were Ilu awraja in Wollo arrived at the Ministry of the Interior in November 1965, one month after the situation became clear to the local police, but no action was taken. The information took a further 302 days to reach the Emperor, who then requested the Ministry of the Interior to act — which it did by asking officials in Wollo to send a list of the names of the people who had died.6 A small relief distribution was then authorized.
The only consistent response to famine was to regard it as a security problem — famine created destitute migrants, who needed to be prevented from entering towns, particularly Addis Ababa.
Both the 1958 and 1965/6 famines killed tens of thousands of people.
The famine that struck Wollo during 1972-3 played a crucial role in Ethiopian history:
“the revelation of that famine by the British television journalist Jonathan Dimbleby played a key
role in precipitating the downfall of the rule of Haile Selassie. Between 40,000 and 80,000
people died.” The famine also led directly to the creation of the Relief and Rehabilitation
Commission (RRC), the powerful government department mandated to prevent and ameliorate
future famines, and to coordinate international assistance. The 1972-3 famine was the last one
in which there were no functioning mechanisms for the delivery of large-scale humanitarian
The Wollo famine was popularly blamed on drought, a backward and impoverished
social system, and the cover-up attempted by the imperial government. These factors were all
important — though it must be remembered that specific actions by the government, especially
after the Ras Gugsa and Weyane revolts, were instrumental in creating the absence of
development. In addition, forcible alienation of resources and violence also played an important
The group that suffered most from the famine were the Afar pastoral nomads of the
Danakil desert. Famine had already gripped them in early 1972. The Afar inhabit an arid semi-
wilderness, utilizing pastures over a large area to support their herds. In times of drought, they
are forced to move to areas which they do not normally exploit. Traditional drought reserves
included the Tcheffa Valley, on the rift valley escarpment, and pastures along the inland delta of
the Awash river where the waters dissipate into the desert. In the 1960s the Tcheffa Valley
became the location of commercial sorghum farms, and small farmers from nearby also began
to use much of the land. Meanwhile, large cotton plantations were developed along the Awash.
By 1972, 50,000 hectares of irrigated land had displaced 20,000 Afar pastoralists.
During the years of good rainfall, the loss of the drought reserves was not noticed by the
Afar, but when repeated drought struck, they found that a necessary resource they had utilized
sporadically for generations had been alienated, without compensation. Famine among the Afar
was certainly caused by drought — but by drought acting on a society that had been deprived of
the means of responding to that threat.
Official indifference to the plight of the Afar is illustrated by an incident in 1974, when
the flood waters of the Awash river were directed to the Dubti valley in order to irrigate cotton
plantations. The resident Afar population was not informed, and 3,000 lost their homes, while
100 were “missing.”
Mobility is crucial to survival among the Afar. Nomadic in normal times, the ability to
move freely over large distances becomes a vital concern when resources are short. In the early
1970s, the Afar’s mobility was further restricted by the flow of weaponry to their nomadic
neighbors and competitors, the Issa (who are ethnic Somali). The Issa themselves were
suffering from the alienation of much of their pasture and restrictions on their movement. The
result was an attempt by the Afar to appropriate wells formerly used by the Issa. This led to
widespread armed clashes, especially in 1972. One Afar reported “Many people die. Disease is
the first cause but the Issa are the second.” Meanwhile, a survey done among the Issa reported
that homicide by the Afar was a major cause of death. The famine also resulted in large-scale
armed clashes between the Afar and their Oromo neighbors in Wollo.
The second group which suffered severely from the famine included farmers in a narrow
strip of middle-altitude areas of northern and central Wollo. Those who suffered most were
tenants. The Raya and Azebo Oromo had been reduced to that state by massive land alienation
after they participated in the Weyane revolt against Haile Selassie in 1943. Others were forced
to mortgage or sell their land by the stresses of repeated harvest failures in the early 1970s.
Landlords took advantage of their tenants’ penury by insisting on the payment of large rents,
often in kind. This demand could be backed up by force, as most influential landlords had a
retinue of armed guards. The enforcement of crippling tenancy contracts in time of shortage had
the effect of taking food from the hungry. Thus, during 1973, the famine area exported grain to
the provincial capital, Dessie, and to Addis Ababa.
The famine was much less severe in Tigray province, despite the drought affecting both
provinces. The difference can be largely accounted for by the different modes of land tenure —
in Tigray, most farmers owned their own land; in middle-land Wollo, most were tenants.
Finally, the Emperor Haile Selassie considered that the peasants and nomads of Wollo
were shaming His reputation by starving, and resolved to ignore them. Reports of famine were
consistently ignored or denied. In response to a report by UNICEF documenting famine
conditions in July 1973, the Vice-Minister of Planning retorted: “If we have to describe the
situation in the way you have in order to generate international assistance, then we don’t want
that assistance. The embarrassment to the government isn’t worth it. Is that perfectly clear?”
Though the governor of Wollo, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, was both greedy and
incompetent (at the time of the famine he forced the closure of commercial sorghum farms in
the Tcheffa Valley by engaging in litigation, claiming their ownership), Haile Selassie was
never in ignorance of the conditions in Wollo. A UN official visited him in early 1973 and
found him well-informed — his attitude was that peasants always starve and nothing can be
done, and that in any case it was not the Shewan Amhara who were dying. On belatedly
visiting the province in November 1973, his one remedial action was to announce that all who
had sold or mortgaged their land in the previous year could return and plow it during the coming
season, only leaving it to their creditors afterwards. Even this minimal and tardy gesture was
The 1975 Northern Rebellions
The Wollo famine contributed to the downfall of Haile Selassie, not because the hungry
peasants and nomads revolted and forced him out, but because the issue gained political
currency among the students and middle classes of Addis Ababa. However, that is not to say
that the famine, and more generally the eight decades of political marginalization and economic
stagnation that preceded it, did not have serious consequences at the time of the 1974 revolution
and the years following.
In the early 1970s, “peasant risings in various provinces [were] an even more closely
guarded secret than the famine”. These revolts intensified in during the revolution, with a
series of rebellions led by feudal leaders in each of the northern provinces. In Wollo, there was
a revolt by a feudal lord, Dejazmatch Berhane Maskal. In March 1975, he destroyed an
Ethiopian airlines DC3 at Lalibella. In October, he rallied supporters after a spree of killings of
former landlords by peasants and government security officers. Dej. Berhane’s ill-armed force
of 5,000 was defeated by government militia and air force attacks near Woldiya in December
1975, but he continued to cause problems for the government for years. Another feudal leader,
Gugsa Ambow, had brief military successes in northern Wollo, before the army foiled an
attempt to capture Korem in mid-1976, reportedly causing 1,200 fatalities among Gugsa’s
peasant army and local villagers.18 Other smaller revolts occurred in Gojjam and Shewa.
The most significant rebellion started in Tigray. This was an insurrection led by the
former governor, Ras Mengesha Seyoum (son of the governor at the time of the 1943 Weyane).
Ras Mengesha fled to the hills with about 600 followers in November 1984, when the Dergue
executed 60 officials of the previous regime. Ras Mengesha combined with other members of
the aristocracy, notably General Negga Tegegne (former governor of Gonder) and formed the
Ethiopian Democratic Union (EDU) in 1976. They obtained encouragement from western
countries. With Sudanese military assistance, the EDU occupied the towns of Metema, Humera
and Dabat (all in Gonder province) between February and April 1977,19 but was defeated by the
militia force sent to the province in June-July.
The EDU remained active in Tigray, where two other rebel groups were also
operational. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was set up in February 1975 by a
group of left-wing students and peasants, incorporating the Tigray National Organization,
created three years earlier. Prominent among its early leaders was Berihu Aregawi; later the
front was headed by Meles Zenawi. In 1978, the TPLF set up the Relief Society of Tigray
(REST), headed by Abadi Zemo. It espoused a mix of Tigrayan nationalism and socialist
transformation. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP), after defeat in the urban
Red Terror (see chapter 6), retreated to a base in rural eastern Tigray in mid-1977.
The EDU was rent by divisions between its leaders, and its aristocratic leaders failed to
gain popular support among their erstwhile tenants. Crucially, it suffered defeat at the hands of
the TPLF.20 The EPRP was also defeated by the TPLF and driven into Gonder, creating lasting
bitterness between the two organization.
After the ill-fated Peasants’ March of 1976, the government launched a series of five military offensives in Tigray: November 1976, June 1978, October-November 1978, March-
April 1979 and May-June 1979. Small towns such as Abi Adi changed hands several times. By
1979, REST estimated that 50,000 people in Tigray were displaced on account of war.
Refugees from Tigray and Gonder began to arrive in Sudan in early 1975. By May there were
34,000; by 1978 there were 70,000. In February 1979, the Ethiopian army invaded Sudanese
territory at Jebel Ludgi, forcing the evacuation of the nearby refugee camp of Wad el Hileui.
Dates and Event of Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo) people
1929: Oromo peasants and nomads in Yejju, Raya or Wajerat districts of present southern Tigray and northern Wallo revolted against the rule of Haile Selassie and refused to pay the heavy taxes imposed on them. The government dispatched troops to put down the revolt. The peasants with few arms they possessed were able to defeat the troops and capture a large quantity of arms and ammunition. Additional arms were obtained by the nomads from the Red Sea coast in Tajura.
1929: The Oromo fighters of the revolt in Yejju and Raya controlled a large part of their area and closed the trade route that connected Dasee, the capital of Wallo, to the south. In a battle with the government forces in October 1929, the Oromo fighters captured 2,000 rifles and 12,000 cartridges.
1930: Tafari Makonnen, throne name Haile Sellassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God and Emperor of Ethiopia, succeeded Zawditu to the throne.
1930: A large government force, led by the war minister, Mulugeta, arrived in Yejju and Raya regions. The Oromo fighters put up stiff resistance. The Oromo resistance was finally put down, although temporarily, mainly by the use of airplanes. It was the first time airplanes were ever used in a war in the Empire.
1931: The first constitution of Ethiopia was introduced. In this document the term “Abyssinia” was dropped in favor of “Ethiopia,” thereby defining Abyssinians and all the colonized peoples as “Ethiopians.”
1935/1936: Oromo of Raya and Qobbo were fighting Haile Selassie’s army. At one point, on April 3, 1936 near Ashange Lake, they almost trapped Haile Selassie himself fleeing from the Italians. He never put his feet in this area again after that. During the same period, the Oromo guerrillas attacked the retreating Ethiopian army led by Ras Mulugeta and inflicted heavy casualties. They revenged his earlier (1930) aerial attack on them by killing his son; he himself narrowly escaped. One of the reasons for the attack was, the Ethiopian army on its way to the war had looted the property of the Oromo communities.
1943: The Oromo uprising in Raya was temporarily suppressed with the assistance of the British Royal Air Force stationed in Aden. Many of the leaders of the Oromo movement were also implicated in the Woyane revolt in Tigray in 1943.
1947/1948: The Raya Oromo rose up in arms again. Again after they had liberated a large area of their land, the movement was stopped when the British Royal Air Force in Aden, at the request of the Ethiopian regime, bombed the Oromo guerrilla positions
January 6, 2015 (Dazeinfo) — Amid all those talks of an overwhelmingly large majority of people (83%) wanting to make the right to access the internet at affordable prices a basic human right, most of us do not bother to look beyond getting connected to the net. Without undermining the importance of being connected to the internet, there is no doubting the need to ensure freedom over the internet.
Sadly enough, internet freedom has fallen for the fourth consecutive year in wake of more and more countries introducing belligerent and often offensive online censorship measures while others tightened the noose and made their existing measures in regard to the same more rigorous.
The fifth annual Freedom on the Net 2014 report released by Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization, tracks the developments between May 2013 and May 2014 and observed that out of the 65 assessed countries, 36 have shown a negative trajectory in 2014.
Key Findings of the Freedom on the Net 2014 Report
It has been observed that an increasing number of countries are now giving legal sanction to laws that curb internet freedom, in total contrast with the previous government policy of controlling the internet using invisible strings.
Expressing dissent with the government policy or not toeing their line in the online space can invite legal action now, due to which more and more individuals and media outlets are under pressure to either censor their online behavior or face legal action and, in extreme cases, even arrest.
That is in addition to blocking and filtering of content which are among the most common means of online censorship. Imprisoning those who put up ‘undesirable’ content is being seen by governments as a deterrent and, according to them, encourages self-censorship.
At the same time, the use of physical violence against internet users ‘appears to have decreased in scope,’ says the report.
Of the 65 countries being assessed, 36 showed a decline in the degree of Internet freedom since May 2013.
Five countries with the most and least internet freedom were depicted in the form of a chart by the online statistics portal, Statista:
Iran, Syria and China were confirmed as the worst abusers of internet freedom in the world- a dubious honor for them! Countries wishing to impose more restrictions (like Iran, Belarus and Uzbekistan) often cite China as an example!
Iceland was ranked as the country with the highest degree of internet freedom. Five more countries which were appreciated in this regard are Estonia, Canada, Australia, Germany and the United States.
41 countries passed or proposed new laws to penalize expressing of views over the internet, to increase the surveillance capabilities of the governments or to increase the powers of the government to control the content which get published online.
Very few countries recorded an improvement in the degree of freedom over the internet.
India and Brazil were among those few nations where some curbs were taken off. Belarus also eased some restrictions.
Concern was shown over both democratic and authoritarian governments seeking to curb the freedom of the internet.
Penalty for online expression in some countries is worse than for similar expression off the internet.
19 countries passed new laws to increase surveillance or to restrict user anonymity.
The number of people detained or prosecuted for their online behavior touched a record high, surpassing all previous figures.
Among those prosecuted, online journalists and bloggers covering anti-government demonstrations were among the prime targets.
Women all over the world “face immense cultural and socio-economic barriers to ICT access, resulting in significant gender gap in ICT use.
The LGBTI community also faces great threats and harassment over the internet.
With more and more internet users beginning to guard their online privacy, “malware attacks against government critics and human rights organizations have evolved to take on a more personalized character.”
Shocking Instances of Curbs on Internet Freedom across the World!
There have been many instances of internet freedom being curbed all over the world. And it is not only surprising but also shocking that even the so-called ‘democratic’ countries have not been liberal with their internet access policy. Some incidents which sent shock waves across everyone’s spines during the period covered by the report are:
The Russian government enacted a law to crack down on all online media which criticized the Vladimir Putin’s policy toward Kremlin without any judicial oversight. Three major news sites were blocked within six weeks as a result of this law.
One of the worst offenders, Iran, does not allow its citizens to access social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Those promoting Sufism online were made to serve long prison sentences. Six Iranians who recorded a video of them dancing to Pharrell’s song “Happy” and posted it on YouTube (the video later went viral) were punished with 91 lashes each and six months of imprisonment. The director was ‘awarded’ a full year.
A new law in Ethiopia allows the government to snoop into computers, networks, internet sites, social media platforms, television and radio stations “for any possible damage to the country’s social, economic, political and psychological well-being”, citing that blogs, social media sites and other digital media have the potential to “instigate war, to damage the country’s image and create havoc in the economic atmosphere of the country.”
Governments in Turkey, Thailand, Russia, Kazakhstan and Italy allow agencies controlled by them to block content with no judicial oversight and with little or no transparency at all.
Uzbekistan passed a law requiring owners of cybercafés to record browsing history of customers for three months.
The draconian ‘bloggers law’ passed by the Russian government in May 2014 increased government surveillance of social media users by making it mandatory for anyone having sites or pages which draw more than 3,000 daily views to register with the telecommunications regulator.
A blogger in Ethiopia was sentenced to an 18 year term while six more await a trial for expressing dissent over government policies or actions over the internet.
News site editors in Azerbaijan were arrested and implicated under charges of hooliganism or drug possession.
Kavita Krishnan, a women’s rights activist in India, was harassed online by someone using the handle @RAPIST.
Mukhlif al-Shammari who posted a YouTube video about mistreatment of females in Saudi Arabia was jailed for five years.
Egyptian government used an application called Grindr to track and prosecute men belonging to the homosexual community. Russian and Ugandan governments also usedonline tools and malware to lure people belonging to this community and then harassed them.
In June 2013, a woman in Pakistan was stoned to death by local men after she was found guilty of possessing a mobile phone by the tribal court!
Iceland, which boasts of a 97% internet access, has no restrictions over the use of social sites and the government does not block any content was presented as a noteworthy example.
Sanja Kelly, Freedom House’s project director for Freedom on the Net, explained that governments are finding new and less detectable manners to control free speech online
“As authoritarian rulers see that blocked websites and high-profile arrests draw local and international condemnation, they are turning to murkier – but no less dangerous – methods for controlling online conversations”, says Sanjay.
Though it is important to ensure that the internet becomes accessible for a larger number of people, mere access to it will be no good if the government makes it an additional channel for snooping over its citizens or the users are threatened, harassed, discredited, punished or imprisoned for not bowing to the rulers’ diktats.
Read more @ http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/36-out-of-65-assessed-countries-show-decline-in-internet-freedom-41-passed-or-proposed-new-laws-to-curb-it/
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the Web Foundation, has called for the Internet to be recognised as a basic human right. Sir Tim noted that in our increasingly unequal world, the Web has the potential to be a great equalizer, but only “if we hardwire the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, affordable access and net neutrality into the rules of the game.”
In order to reverse this slide and leverage the power of technology to fight inequality, the Web Foundation is calling on policymakers to:
Accelerate progress towards universal access by increasing access to affordable Internet and ensuring that everyone can use the Web all of the time, safely, freely and privately.
Level the playing field by preventing price discrimination in Internet traffic, and treating the Internet like any other public utility.
Invest in high-quality public education for all to ensure that technological progress doesn’t leave some groups behind.
Promote participation in democracy and protect freedom of opinion by reversing the erosion of press freedom and civil liberties, using the Web to increase government transparency, and protecting the freedoms of speech, association, and privacy.
Create opportunities for women and poor and marginalised groups by investing more in ICTs to overcome key barriers in health, education, agriculture and gender equity.
Internet freedom in Africa: Ethiopia and The Gambia most repressive; South Africa and Kenya freest
ETHIOPIA, The Gambia and Sudan are some of the most repressive places in Africa for online freedom, a new report by watchdog organisation Freedom House indicates, while South Africa and Kenya are the among the most free for internet users in the continent.
But the 12 African countries surveyed show a worrying trend – the majority are becoming more repressive compared to last year. Just South Africa – the best ranked – Kenya, Uganda and Malawi have maintained the same score as last year; Nigeria, Angola, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Ethiopia have deteriorated. Zambia and The Gambia are new entrants on the list this year.
The negative trajectory in internet freedom is mirrored around the world – the report states that in 36 of the 65 countries surveyed, internet freedom scores have become worse, as governments become increasingly nervous about their national security, and more sophisticated in surveillance and control.
“Very few countries registered any gains in internet freedom, and the improvements that were recorded largely reflected less vigorous application of existing internet controls compared with the previous year, rather than genuinely new and positive steps taken [by governments],” the report states.
Although most African countries do not explicitly censor content much, there has been an increasingly harsh manner in which users are targeted for the things they say online – in some countries, Freedom House reports, “the penalties for online expression are worse than those for similar actions offline”.
A higher score means a more repressive environment. Source: Freedom House
In July 2013, for example, the Gambian government passed amendments to the Information and Communication Act that specifically criminalised the use of the internet to criticise, impersonate, or spread false news about public officials. Anyone found guilty could face up to 15 years in prison, fines of roughly $100,000, or both—significantly harsher punishments than what the criminal code prescribes for the equivalent offenses offline.
The report reveals that breaches in cybersecurity are also eroding freedom, as government critics and human rights organisations are subject to increasingly sophisticated and personalised malware attacks, documented in 32 of the 65 countries examined.
Low internet penetration, state monopoly
Ethiopia comes out as the worst place in Africa for internet freedom. In the first place, lack of telecoms infrastructure, government monopoly and oppressive regulation means that internet penetration is just 2%, one of the lowest in Africa.
A law enacted in November 2013 gives the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) carte blanche to inspect private online activities without oversight. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and CNN were inaccessible for 12 hours in July 2013, while the number of permanently blocked webpages also increased.
In the Gambia, as well as setting out punitive new laws, internet cafe registration regulations were tightened in September 2013, requiring operators to provide thorough details for a license, as well as mandating the physical layout of cafes and the signs that must be displayed.
In Nigeria too, cybercafés have to keep a log of their customers – although the mobile revolution means that these attempts at controlling internet use will become increasingly irrelevant.
But if you can’t control access, then persecution and punishment becomes the next measure – and African governments show remarkable sophistication here.
In Ethiopia, the government launched high-tech surveillance malware against several online journalists in the Ethiopian diaspora and dissidents in exile; six bloggers of the prominent Zone9 blogging collective were arrested in April 2014 on charges of terrorism.
This year shows a more repressive environment than last year in many countries. Source: Freedom House
The same was observed in Angola, where “insider sources” affirmed that a German company had assisted the Angolan military intelligence in installing a sophisticated communications monitoring system on a military base, the report states. Further evidence, as of November 2013, found that at least one major ISP hosts a spyware system directly on its server.
In Rwanda, a growing number of independent online news outlets and opposition blogs were intermittently inaccessible in Rwanda in the past year. The Law Relating to the Interception of Communications enacted in October authorised high-ranking security officials to monitor email and telephone conversations of individuals considered potential threats to “public security”.
In Sudan, a localised internet service disruption in June and a nationwide blackout in September corresponded with large anti-government protests; the blackouts were reportedly directed by the government.
Even in the countries ranked as relatively free, harassment and intimidation of journalists and bloggers – and even ordinary citizens – is a widespread form of internet control. In Malawi online journalists are “periodically detained and prosecuted for articles posted on news websites”.
Most recently, Justice Mponda, a correspondent for the online publication Malawi Voice, was arrested in November 2013 for allegedly “intimidating the royal family” in an investigative story about former President Banda’s connection to the theft of millions of Malawian kwacha from government coffers in a scandal known as “Cashgate.” He was later acquitted.
Mugabe’s digital ‘death’
But it’s Zimbabwe that has had some of the most bizarre persecutions. An editor at the Sunday Mail state newspaper, Edmund Kudakwashe Kudzayi, was arrested in June on accusations of running the Baba Jukwa Facebook account, an activist page of over half a million followers harshly critical of the government. In July, the government took down the facebook page, and Kudzayi’s case remains unresolved.
It gets crazier – in January 2014, teenage Facebook user Gumisai Manduwa was arrested for allegedly insulting the president after he posted on his Facebook page that President Mugabe “had died and was being preserved in a freezer.” Manduwa was released on bail two days after his arrest. His case remains on the court’s docket as of mid-2014.
And another court case, this one against 21-year old Shantel Rusike is still being dragged through the magistrate courts in Bulawayo as of mid-2014.
Rusike was arrested on December 24, 2012 and held for four days after she was reported to the police for sending an image depicting President Mugabe “in a nude state” via WhatsApp on her mobile phone. Rusike faces charges of “causing hatred, contempt or ridicule of the president”.
Internet Freedom Status Not Free Not Free
Obstacles to Access (0-25) 22 23
Limits on Content (0-35) 28 28
Violations of User Rights (0-40) 29 29
TOTAL* (0-100) 79 80
* 0=most free, 100=least free
Population: 89.2 million
Internet Penetration 2013: 2 percent
Social Media/ICT Apps Blocked: Yes
Political/Social Content Blocked: Yes
Bloggers/ICT Users Arrested: Yes
Press Freedom 2014 Status: Not Free Key Developments: May 2013 – May 2014
• Telecom services worsened, characterized by frequently dropped phone calls, prolonged internet service interruptions, and slow response times to service failures (see Obstacles to Access).
• Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and CNN were inaccessible for 12 hours in July 2013, while the
number of permanently blocked webpages also increased (see Limits on Content).
• A law enacted in November 2013 gives the Information Network Security Agency (INSA)
carte blanche to inspect private online activities without oversight (see Violations of User
• The government launched sophisticated surveillance malware against several online journalists
in the Ethiopian diaspora and dissidents in exile (see Violations of User Rights).
• Six bloggers of the prominent Zone9 blogging collective were arrested in April 2014 on
charges of terrorism (see Violations of User Rights).
Ethiopia continues to have one of the lowest rates of internet and mobile phone connectivity in the world, as meager infrastructure, government monopoly over the telecommunications sector, and obstructive telecom policies have significantly hindered the growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the country. Coupled with highly repressive laws and tactics aimed at restricting freedom of expression and access to information, internet freedom in Ethiopia is consistently rated the worst in sub-Saharan Africa and among the worst in the world.
Despite the country’s extremely poor telecommunications services and a largely disconnected population, Ethiopia is also known as one of the first African countries to censor the internet, beginning in 2006 with opposition blogs.1. Since then, internet censorship has become pervasive and systematic through the use of highly sophisticated tools that block and filter internet content and monitor user activity. The majority of blocked websites feature critical news and opposition viewpoints run by individuals and organizations based mostly in the diaspora. Surveillance of mobile phone and internet networks is systematic and widespread, enabled by Chinese-made technology that allows for the interception of SMS text messages, recording of phone calls, and centralized monitoring of online activities. The government also employs commentators and trolls to proactively manipulate the online news and information landscape.
During the report’s coverage period, internet freedom in Ethiopia worsened due to increasing restrictions on access to social media and communications tools, such as Storify, and the temporary blocking of Facebook and Twitter in July 2013. A new law passed in November 2013 gave the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) carte blanche to track private online communications and investigate electronic devices without oversight. In addition, a number of diaspora journalists and exiled dissidents were targeted with surveillance malware, demonstrating a growing level of sophistication in the government’s effort to silence critical voices that extends beyond the country’s borders.
In 2014, the Ethiopian authorities increased their crackdown against bloggers and online journalists, using the country’s harsh laws to prosecute individuals for their online activities and quash dissent. Most alarmingly, six bloggers from the critical Zone9 blogging collective and three journalists associated with Zone9 were arrested in late April 2014 on charges of terrorism, which, under the Telecom Fraud Offenses Law and anti-terrorism proclamation, can entail a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if the bloggers are found guilty. The Zone9 case was repeatedly stalled by the courts throughout 2014, leaving the bloggers in pre-trial detention for over six months as of late-2014. Meanwhile, two online radio journalists were arrested and detained for a week without charges in August 2013, and the prominent dissident blogger, Eskinder Nega, and award-winning journalist, Reeyot Alemu, continue to serve lengthy prison sentences, despite international pressure for their release. The overall crackdown has had a major chilling effect on internet freedom and freedom of expression in the country, leading to increasing levels of self-censorship among online journalists, bloggers, and ordinary users alike.
Obstacles to Access
In 2013 and 2014, access to ICTs in Ethiopia remained extremely limited, hampered by slow speeds and the state’s tight grip on the telecom sector. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), internet penetration stood at a mere 1.9 percent in 2013, up from 1.5 percent in 2012. Only 0.25 percent of the population had access to fixed-broadband internet, increasing from 0.01 percent in 2012.Ethiopians had more access to mobile phone services, with mobile phone penetration rates increasing from 22 percent in 2012 to 27 percent in 2013 though such access rates still lag behind a regional average of 80 percent. Meanwhile, less than 5 percent of the population has a mobile-broadband subscription. Radio remains the principal mass medium through which most Ethiopians stay informed. While access to the internet via mobile phones increased slightly in the last year, prohibitively expensive mobile data packages still posed a significant financial obstacle for the majority of the population in Ethiopia, where per capita income in 2013 stood at US$470.8 Ethiopia’s telecom market is very unsaturated due to monopolistic control, providing customers with few options at arbitrary prices. Prices are set by the state-controlled Ethio Telecom and kept artificially high. As of mid-2014, monthly packages cost between ETB 200 and 3,000 (US$10 to $150) for 1 to 30 GB of 3G mobile services.
The computer remains the most practical option for going online, though in 2014, personal computers are still prohibitively expensive. The combined cost of purchasing a computer, initiating an internet connection, and paying usage charges makes internet access beyond the reach of most Ethiopians. Consequently, only 2 percent of Ethiopian households had internet access in their homes in 2013. The majority of internet users rely on cybercafes to log online, leading to a growth of
cybercafes in recent years, particularly in large cities. A typical internet user in Addis Ababa pays between ETB 5 and 7 (US$0.25 to $0.35) for an hour of access. Because of the scarcity of internet cafes outside urban areas, however, rates in rural cybercafes are more expensive.
For the few Ethiopians who can access the internet, connection speeds are known to be painstakingly slow. For years, logging into an email account and opening a single message could take as long as six minutes at a standard cybercafe with broadband in the capital city.12 According to May 2014 data from Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report, Ethiopia has an average connection speed of 1.2 Mbps (compared to a global average of 3.9 Mbps). Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s broadband adoption (characterized by connection speeds greater than 4 Mbps) is less than 3 percent,14 while the country’s narrowband adoption (connection speed below 256 Kbps) is about 20 percent among those with access. Numerous users reported that internet and text messaging speeds were extremely slow during the coverage period, with services completely unavailable at times. Frequent electricity outages are also a contributing factor to poor telecom services. Despite reports of massive investments from Chinese telecom companies in recent years,17 Ethiopia’s telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Africa and is almost entirely absent from rural areas, where about 85 percent of the population resides. The country is connected to the international internet via satellite, a fiber-optic cable that passes through Sudan and connects to its international gateway, and the SEACOM cable that connects through Djibouti to an international undersea cable. In an effort to expand connectivity, the government has reportedly installed several
thousand kilometers of fiber-optic cable throughout the country over the past few years. Construction of the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) was completed and launched in July 2010, but its effects on Ethiopia have yet to be seen as of mid-2014. The space for independent initiatives in the ICT sector, entrepreneurial or otherwise, is extremely
limited, with state-owned Ethio Telecom holding a firm monopoly over internet and mobile phone services in the country. Consequently, all connections to the international internet are completely centralized via Ethio Telecom, enabling the government to cut off the internet at will. As a result, the internet research company Renesys classified Ethiopia “as being at severe risk of Internet disconnection,” alongside Syria, Uzbekistan, and Yemen in a February 2014 assessment. During the coverage period, one Renesys report found that 40 percent of Ethiopia’s networks were down for a few hours on July 18, 2013 as a result of a disruption on the SEACOM network, though the exact reason for the disruption was unknown. In September 2013, a number of cybercafe owners in Ethiopia reported an increasing trend of unpredictable internet connections and speeds beginning in June that resulted in a significant decline in business, with internet connections reported as unavailable for up to 15 days in a month. Mobile phone networks—also completely centralized under Ethio Telecom—are similarly vulnerable to service disruptions and shutdowns by the government, which often occur during politically sensitive times. During the coverage period, there were frequent reports of dropped cell phone and landline calls, complete network blackouts in many parts of the country, and overlapping voices in calls. The latter phenomenon led people to suspect government engagement in a widespread eavesdropping scheme (see “Violations of User Rights” for details on surveillance). Meanwhile, cybercafes are subject to onerous requirements under the 2002 Telecommunications
(Amendment) Proclamation, which requires cybercafe owners to obtain an operating license with Ethio Telecom via a murky process that can take months. During the coverage period, Ethio Telecom began enforcing its licensing requirements more strictly in response to the increasing spread of cybercafes, reportedly penalizing Muslim cafe owners more harshly. Violations of the stringent requirements, such as a prohibition on providing Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services, entail criminal liability. Despite repeated international pressure to liberalize telecommunications in Ethiopia, the government
has not eased its grip on the sector. In June 2013, the prime minister publicly affirmed that the government would maintain a monopoly over the country’s telecoms. In the meantime, China has emerged as a key investor and contractor in Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry, and in July 2013, the government signed a US$1.6 billion agreement with the Chinese telecom companies,
Zhongxing Telecommunication Corporation (ZTE) and Huawei, to upgrade its broadband network to 4G in Addis Ababa and expand 3G across the country. The networks built by the Chinese firms have been criticized for their high costs and poor service, though the partnership has enabled Ethiopia’s authoritarian leaders to maintain their hold over the telecom sector. Furthermore, the contracts have led to increasing fears that the Chinese may also be assisting the authorities in developing more robust internet and mobile phone censorship and surveillance capacities.
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) and the Ethiopian Telecommunications Agency (ETA) are the primary regulatory bodies overseeing the telecommunications sector. These two organizations were established as autonomous federal agencies, but both are highly controlled government bodies. Limits on Content
During the coverage period, over a hundred websites remained inaccessible in Ethiopia, with a greater number of online tools and services targeted for blocking. A June 2014 report affirmed the government’s efforts to recruit and train progovernment citizens to attack politically objectionable content online.
The Ethiopian government imposes nationwide, politically motivated internet blocking and filtering that tends to tighten ahead of sensitive political events. The majority of blocked websites are those that feature opposition or critical content run by individuals or organizations based in the country or the diaspora. The government’s approach to internet filtering generally entails hindering access to a list of specific internet protocol (IP) addresses or domain names at the level of the Ethio Telecom-controlled international gateway. A more sophisticated strategy of blocking websites based on a keyword in the URL path, known as deep-packet inspection (DPI), was detected in May 2012 when the Tor network—an online tool that enables users to browse anonymously—was blocked. In January 2014, an independent test conducted by a researcher based in the country found 120 unique URLs that were inaccessible in the country, 62 of which were Ethiopian news websites, 14 of which were political party websites, of which were blogs, and 7 of which were television and online
radio websites. During the test, some websites opened at the first attempt but were inaccessible when refreshed. The test also found that select tools and services on Google’s Android operating system on smart phones were inaccessible at irregular intervals but for unclear reasons. A separate test on over 1,400 URLs between July and August 2013 by the OpenNet Initiative in partnership withHuman Rights Watch similarly found 62 websites blocked altogether and numerous others intermittently inaccessible. International news outlets were increasingly targeted for censorship. Al Arabiya, a Saudi Arabia-based media outlet, and both of Al Jazeera’s Arabic and English websites were intermittently blocked during the coverage period. In July 2013, websites belonging to Yahoo and CNN were reportedly inaccessible for about 12 hours. Facebook and Twitter were also targets of the short-term July 2013 blocking. There was no evident impetus or reason for the short-term blocking, and other major services such as Gmail and new outlets such as the New York Times remained accessible. Nevertheless, the incident further increased worries over reports of government plans to block popular social media tools completely. Facebook and Twitter platforms were otherwise generally accessible, although some individual Facebook groups belonging to opposition individuals remained blocked altogether, particularly when accessed via the unencrypted (http://) URL pathway. Meanwhile, the social media curation tool Storify—first blocked in July 201241—remained blocked during the coverage period, while the URL shortening tool Bit.ly was inexplicably blocked in late 2013.
In the past few years, the authorities have become more sophisticated in their censorship techniques, electing to block select webpages as opposed to entire websites. Critical online news articles are usually targeted, such as an August 2012 Forbes article titled, “Requiem for a Reprobate Ethiopian Tyrant Should Not Be Lionized,” which was blocked for criticizing the local and global praise of the former prime minister’s debatable economic growth achievements; the article remained blocked as of June 2014.44 A July 2013 YouTube video of the anti government Muslim protests that occurred from 2012-13 was also blocked as of late 2013.
International blog-hosting platforms such as Blogspot have been frequently blocked since the disputed parliamentary elections of 2005, during which the opposition used online communication tools to organize and disseminate information that was critical of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. In 2007, the government instituted a blanket block on the domainnames of two popular blog-hosting websites, Blogspot and Nazret, though the authorities have
since become more sophisticated in their censorship techniques, now blocking select pages such as the Zone9 independent blog hosted on Blogspot, as opposed to the entire blogging platform. Nazret, however, remained completely blocked as of June 2014. Circumvention strategies have also been targeted, with the term “proxy” yielding no search results on Google, according to an independent source. Meanwhile, the terms “sex” or “porn” are still searchable.
In addition to increasing blocks of online content, politically objectionable content is often targeted for removal, often by way of threats from security officials who personally seek out users and bloggers to instruct them to take down certain content, particularly critical content on Facebook. The growing practice suggests that at least some voices within Ethiopia’s small online community are being closely monitored. Some restrictions are also placed on mobile phones, such as the requirement for a text message to obtain prior approval from Ethio Telecom if it is to be sent to more than ten recipients. A bulk text message sent without prior approval is automatically blocked. There are no procedures for determining which websites are blocked or why, which precludes any avenues for appeal. There are no published lists of blocked websites or publicly available criteria for how such decisions are made, and users are met with an error message when trying to access
blocked content. This lack of transparency is exacerbated by the government’s continued denial of its censorship efforts. Meanwhile, the decision-making process does not appear to be controlled by a single entity, as various government bodies—including the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), Ethio Telecom, and the ministry of ICT—seem to be implementing their own lists, contributing to a phenomenon of inconsistent blocking. Lack of adequate funding is a significant challenge for independent online media in Ethiopia, as fear of government pressure dissuades local businesses from advertising with politically critical websites. Local newspapers and web outlets receive their news and information from regime critics and opposition organizations in the diaspora. While the domestic Ethiopian blogosphere has been expanding, most blogging activity on Ethiopian issues still originates in the diaspora. Few Ethiopian journalists work for both the domestic print media and overseas online outlets due to the threat of repercussions. Increasing repression against journalists and bloggers has had a major chilling effect on expression online, particularly following the arrest of the Zone9 bloggers in April 2014 (see “Violations of User Rights”). Fear of pervasive surveillance has led to widespread self-censorship, and many bloggers publish anonymously to avoid reprisals. Notably, users on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter seem to practice a lower degree of self-censorship, which may be due to poor awareness of privacy settings, or the perception that posts on social media are anonymous or more secure. Despite extremely low levels of internet access, the authorities employ progovernment commentators and trolls to proactively manipulate the online news and information landscape. Acrimonious exchanges between commentators on apologist websites and an array of diaspora critics and opposition figures have become common in online political debates. There was a noticeable increase in the number of progovernment commentators during the coverage period, as confirmed in a June 2014 report by the Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT) that detailed the government’s efforts to recruit and train progovernment citizens to attack politically objectionable content online. According to the ESAT report, hundreds of bloggers who report directly to government officials had been trained on how to post progovernment comments and criticize antigovernment articles on social media platforms. As the country prepares for the upcoming 2015 National Election, the state media has stepped up its campaign against the press in general and the use of social media in particular, claiming that foreign agents and terrorists are using social media to destabilize the country. Consequently, many civil society groups based in the country are wary of mobilizing against the government, and calls for protest come mostly from the Ethiopian diaspora rather than from local activists who fear the government’s violent crackdowns against protest movements. Nevertheless, over the past few years, Facebook has become one of the most popular mediums through which Ethiopians share and consume information. Social media services have also become significant platforms for political deliberation and social justice campaigns. For example, in September 2013, a group of young Ethiopian bloggers and activists based in Addis Ababa launched a Facebook and Twitter campaign on the occasion of Ethiopia’s New Year celebration to share their vision of a better Ethiopia, using the hashtag #EthiopianDream.52 In November 2013, Ethiopians responded to the Saudi government’s crackdown on undocumented Ethiopian immigrants in Saudi Arabia by organizing the online campaign, #SomeoneTellSaudiArabia, to protest the abusive treatment of Ethiopian immigrants. Netizen activism was particularly pronounced and widespread following the arrest of six Zone9 bloggers and three journalists for their alleged affiliation with the Zone9 collective (see “Violations of User Rights”). Ethiopian bloggers and social media users flocked online to spread the #FreeZone-9Bloggers hashtag in a campaign that quickly swept across the social media sphere and garnered
widespread support from around the world. Within five days, the #FreeZone9Bloggers hashtag had been tweeted more than 8,000 times. Unfortunately, the international campaign elicited no response from the government, and the imprisoned bloggers and journalists are still awaiting trial on charges of terrorism as of late-2014.
Violations of User Rights
During the coverage period, the Ethiopian government’s already limited space for online expression continued to deteriorate alongside its poor treatment of journalists. A new proclamation passed in November 2013 empowered INSA with sweeping surveillance capabilities without judicial oversight. Sophisticated malware was launched against online radio journalists and dissidents in exile, while repression against bloggers and ICT users in the country increased notably. Six bloggers of the critical Zone9 blogging collective were arrested for their alleged terrorist activities. The 1995 Ethiopian constitution guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and access to information, while also prohibiting censorship. These constitutional guarantees are affirmed in the 2008 Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation, known as the press law, which also provides certain protections for media workers, such as prohibiting the pre-trial detention of journalists. Nevertheless, the press law also includes problematic provisions that contradict constitutional protections and restrict free expression. For example, media outlets are required to obtain licenses to operate through an onerous registration process that applies to all outlets, regardless of size, though it is uncertain whether the press law’s broad language encompasses online media. Penalties for violating the registration requirement and other restrictions on content, such as defamation, involve high fines and up to two and three years in prison, respectively.
In September 2012, the government codified specific restrictions on various telecommunications activities through the passage of the Telecom Fraud Offences law, which revised a 1996 law that had placed bans on certain communication applications, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)60— including Skype and Google Voice—call back services, and internet-based fax services. Under the new law, the penalties under the preexisting ban were toughened, increasing the fine and maximum prison sentence from five to eight years for offending service providers, and penalizing users with
three months to two years in prison. The law also added the requirement for all individuals to register their telecommunications equipment—including smart phones—with the government, which security officials typically enforce by confiscating ICT equipment when a registration permit cannot be furnished at security checkpoints, according to sources in the country.
Most alarmingly, the Telecom Fraud Offences law extended the violations and penalties defined in the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and 2004 Criminal Code to electronic communications, which are broadly defined yet explicitly include both mobile phone and internet services. The anti-terrorism legislation prescribes prison sentences of up to 20 years for the publication of statements that can be understood as a direct or indirect encouragement of terrorism, vaguely defined.64 Meanwhile, the criminal code holds any “author, originator or publisher” criminally liable for content allegedly linked to offenses such as treason, espionage, or incitement, which carries with it the penalty of up to life imprisonment or death. The criminal code also penalizes the publication of a “false rumor” with up to three years in prison. In 2014, the Ethiopian authorities increased their crackdown against bloggers and online journalists, using the country’s harsh laws to prosecute individuals for their online activities and silence dissent. Most alarmingly, six bloggers from the critical Zone9 blogging collective and three journalists associated with Zone9 were arrested in late April 2014 on charges of terrorism. They were accused of “working with foreign organizations that claim to be human rights activists… and receiving finance to
incite public violence through social media,” though the arrests had occurred just days following Zone9’s Facebook post announcing plans to resume its activism. The blogging collective had been inactive for seven months as a result of “a considerable amount of surveillance and harassment” the bloggers had suffered at the hands of security agents for their writings and social media activism. Despite widespread international condemnation of the Zone9 arrests, the detainees were denied bail in August and remained in jail as of fall 2014, awaiting trial. Meanwhile, the well-known dissident journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega is still carrying out an 18-year prison sentence handed down in July 2012 under the anti-terrorism law. Numerous other journalists and media outlets—both online and print—were targeted for arrest and prosecutions during the coverage period, including Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed who were arrested in August 2013 for their work with the online radio station, Radio Bilal, which is known for its extensive coverage of the 2012-13 anti government protests organized by Ethiopian Muslims.
They were released after being held for a week without charges,71 but the arrests were in keeping with the government’s concerted efforts to silence the protests. Given the high degree of online repression in Ethiopia, some political commentators use proxy servers and anonymizing tools to hide their identities when publishing online and to circumvent filtering, though the ability to communicate anonymously has become more difficult. The Tor Network anonymizing tool was blocked in May 2012, confirming that the government has deployed deep-packet inspection technology, and Google searches of the term “proxy” mysteriously yield no results. Anonymity is further compromised by strict SIM card registration requirements. Upon purchase of a SIM card through Ethio Telecom or an authorized reseller, individuals must provide their full name, address, government-issued identification number, and a passport-sized photograph. Ethio Telecom’s database of SIM registrants enables the government to cut-off the SIM cards belonging to targeted individuals and to restrict those individuals from registering for new SIM cards. Internet subscribers are also required to register their personal details, including their home address, with the government. In 2013, an inside informant leaked worrying details of potential draft legislation that seeks to mandate real-name registration for all internet users in Ethiopia, though there are no further
details of this development as of mid-2014. Government surveillance of online and mobile phone communications is pervasive in Ethiopia, and evidence has emerged in recent years that reveal the scale of such practices. According to 2014
Human Rights Watch research, there are strong indications that the government has deployed a centralized monitoring system from the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, known as ZXMT, to monitor phone lines and various types of communications, including mobile phone networks and the internet.73 Known for its use by repressive regimes in Libya and Iran, ZXMT enables deep-packet inspection (DPI) of internet traffic across the Ethio Telecom network and has the ability to intercept emails and web chats. Another ZTE technology, known as ZSmart, is a customer management database installed at Ethio Telecom that provides the government with full access to user information and the ability to intercept SMS text messages and record phone conversations. ZSmart also allows security officials to locate targeted individuals through real-time geolocation tracking of mobile phones. While the extent to which the government has made use of the full range of ZTE’s sophisticated surveillance systems is unclear, the authorities frequently present intercepted emails and phone calls as evidence during trials against journalists and bloggers or during interrogations as a scare tactic. In November 2013, a new Cyber Security Law expanded the surveillance powers of the Information Network Security Agency (INSA)—the government body established in 2011 to preside overcurity of the country’s critical communications infrastructure. According to reports, the law states that “social media outlets, blogs and other internet related media have great capabilities to instigate war, to damage the country’s image and create havoc in the economic atmosphere of the country”—
setting the logic for expanding INSA’s duties to include developing offensive cyber capabilities and ICT tools. The proclamation also empowers INSA to investigate computers, networks, internet, radio, television, and social media platforms “for any possible damage to the country’s social, economic, political and psychological well being.” INSA reportedly uses sophisticated spyware, such as the commercial toolkit FinFisher—a device that can secretly monitor computers by turning on webcams, record everything a user types with a key logger, and intercept Skype calls—to target dissidents and supposed threats. A leaked document confirmed that the UK-based company, Gamma International, had provided Ethio Telecom with the FinFisher surveillance toolkit at some point between April and July 2012.80 In addition, research conducted by Citizen Lab in March 2013 worryingly found evidence of an Ethio Telecom-initiated inSpy campaign launched against users that employed pictures of the exiled prodemocracy group, Ginbot 7, as bait. There has been an increasing trend of exiled dissidents targeted with surveillance malware in the past few years. In April 2013, Tadesse Kersmo, a senior member of Ginbot-7 living in exile in the United Kingdom since 2009, came across the above-mentioned Citizen Lab FinSpy report and noticed that one of the spyware campaign’s bait was a picture of himself. He contacted Citizen Lab to have his computer examined and found that FinSpy had been active on his computer over two days in June 2012. The spyware may have transmitted any or all of Kersmo’s emails, chats, Skype calls, files, and web searches to a server based in Ethiopia, which could have provided the authorities with names of contacts, colleagues, and family members still living in the country. In February 2014, Privacy International filed a criminal complaint to the UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit on Kersmo’s behalf, urging them to investigate the potential unlawful interception of communications.
In the same month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a similar suit in the United States on behalf of another Ethiopian dissident (and American citizen) identified publicly under the pseudonym Mr. Kidane. Kidane’s computer had also been found infected with the FinSpy malware sometime between late October 2012 and March 2013, which had secretly recorded dozens of his Skype calls, copied emails he had sent, and logged a web search conducted by his son on the history of sports medicine for a school research project.86 The FinSpy IP address was linked to a server belonging to
Ethio Telecom. Recent Citizen Lab research published in February 2014 uncovered the use of Remote Control System
(RCS) spyware against two employees of the diaspora-run independent satellite television, radio, and online news media outlet, Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT), based in Alexandria, VA.87 Made by the Italian company Hacking Team, RCS spyware is advertised as “offensive technology” sold exclusively to law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, and has the ability to steal files and passwords, and intercept Skype calls/chats. 88 While Hacking Team claims that they do not deal with “repressive regimes,” the RCS virus sent via sophisticated bait to the two ESAT employees made it clear that the attack was targeted, and researchers have strong suspicions of the Ethiopian government’s involvement.
While the government’s stronghold over the Ethiopian ICT sector enables it to proactively monitor users, its access to user activity and information is less direct at cybercafes. For a period following the 2005 elections, cybercafe owners were required to keep a register of their clients, but the requirement has not been enforced since mid-2010.91 Nevertheless, some cybercafe operators revealed that they are required to report any “unusual behavior” to security officials, and officials often visit cybercafes (sometimes in plainclothes) to ask questions about specific users or monitor user activity themselves.
Government security agents frequently harass and intimidate bloggers, online journalists, and ordinary users for their online activities. Independent bloggers are often summoned by the authorities to be warned against discussing certain topics online, while activists claim that they are consistently threatened by state security agents for their online activism. Bloggers from Zone9, for example, reported suffering a considerable amount of harassment for their work, leading them to go silent for several months. Shortly after the blog announced on Facebook that it was resuming activities in April 2014, six Zone9 bloggers were arrested and sent to a federal detention center in Addis Ababa where the torture of detainees is reportedly common. The active Gmail accounts belonging to several of the Zone9 bloggers94 while in detention suggests that they may have been forced give their passwords to security officials against their will.
Read more @ https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/FOTN_2014_Full_Report_compressedv2_0.pdf
ETHIOPIA: ‘BECAUSE I AM OROMO’: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA
In today’s busy world, we’ve become a people obsessed with productivity and “work hacks.”
Getting more done in less time allows us to get ahead, and even gives us more availability to do the things we love outside of work.
The problem we run into is that it is easy to get motivated, but hard to stay disciplined.
Most of us look at productivity in the wrong way: task management tools are shiny at first and then go unused. Being chained to your desk is as unhealthy as it is unproductive.
Achievement isn’t about doing everything, it’s about doing the right things–productivity means saying no.
Focus and consistency are the bread-and-butter of being truly productive. Right now, we’ll take a look at the science behind how the brain works in the synthesis state, and what changes you can make for the better.
The first thing to acknowledge in the pursuit of getting more done is the mountain of evidence that suggests willpower alone will not be enough to stay productive.
According to research by Janet Polivy, our brain fears big projects and often fails to commit to long-term goals because we’re susceptible to “abandoning ship” at the first sign of distress.
Think of the last time you went on a failed diet.
You stocked your fridge with the healthiest foods and planned to exercise every day… until the first day you slipped up. After that, it was back to your old ways.
To make matters worse, research by Kenneth McGraw was able to show that the biggest “wall” to success was often just getting started. Additional research in this area suggests that we’re prone to procrastinating on large projects because we visualize the worst parts; the perfect way to delay getting started.
According to researcher John Bargh, your brain will attempt to “simulate” real productive work by avoiding big projects and focusing on small, mindless tasks to fill your time.
“Big project due tomorrow? Better reorganize my movie collection!”
Perhaps worst of all, numerous studies on the concept of “ego-depletion” have provided some evidence that suggests our willpower is a limited resource that can be used up in it’s entirety. The more you fight it, the more gas you burn. An empty tank leads to empty motivation.
With all of that stacked against us, what can we possibly do to be more productive?
In order to figure this out, one of our best bets is to observe the habits of consistently productive people.
The habits of productive people
If I were to ask to describe the practice regiments of world-class musicians, you’d probably envision a shut-in artist who plays all day long and then tucks in their instrument at night.
Amazingly though, research by Anders Ericsson that examined the practice sessions of elite violinists clearly showed that the best performers were not spending more time on the violin, but rather were being more productive during their practice sessions.
Better yet, the most elite players were getting more sleep on average than everyone else.
How is that possible?
Subsequent research by Anders reveals the answer: the best players were engaging in more “deliberate practice.” You’ve heard the term, but beyond the hype, what is it all about?
It’s nothing more than spending time on the hardest tasks, and being better at managing your energy levels.
Think of it this way: If you were trying to get better at basketball, you’d be much better off practicing specific drills for two hours rather than “shooting hoops” all day long.
Since deliberate practice requires you to spend more brainpower than busy work, how can you implement it without draining your willpower?
The first answer isn’t very sexy, but it’s necessary: the best way to overcome your fear of spending a lot of energy on a big project is to simply get started.
The Zeigarnik Effect (mentioned above) is a construct that psychologists have observed in numerous studies on “suspense.” One such study gave participants brain-buster puzzles to complete, but not enough time to complete them. The surprising thing was, even when participants were asked to stop, over 90% of them went on to complete the puzzles anyway.
According to the lead researcher:
“It seems to be human nature to finish what we start and, if it is not finished, we experience dissonance.”
It’s the same thing that happens when we become engaged in a story in a book, movie or TV show: we want to see how it ends.
You can use this knowledge to your advantage by just getting started on that next big project; in the most basic sense, don’t focus your motivation on doing Activity X. Instead, focus on making Activity X easier to do.
Start the night before. Is your to-do list already written up? Is your place of work ready for you to get started? Break down barriers of friction before relying on willpower.
On working like an expert
A multitude of research has shown us that discipline is best maintained through habits, not through willpower.
According to Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, most people hold their productivity back by not rigidly scheduling work and rest breaks throughout the day.
Since most of us are worried about willpower, we don’t push ourselves to maximum output: instead of “giving our all” for brief sessions, we distribute our effort throughout the day, leading us back to busywork to fill our time.
What should we do instead?
Schwartz often cites a research study conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration that revealed how short breaks between longer working sessions resulted in a 16% improvement in awareness and focus.
Research from Peretz Lavie on ultradian rhythms matches up with these findings: longer productive sessions (of 90 minutes) followed by short breaks (of no more than 15-20 minutes) sync more closely with our natural energy cycles and allow us to maintain a better focus and higher energy level throughout the day.
Both of these studies on energy management match up with the practice schedules of the violinists: the most common regimen for the cream of the crop players was a 90-minute block of intense practice followed by a 15-minute break.
The moral of the story is that it’s hard to be productive while trying to maintain high energy levels through your entire day.
It’s much easier to work intensely when you know that a break is just around the corner, not at the end of the day. Instead of trying to conserve energy for hours, break big projects down into smaller chunks and plan a recovery period right after.
For projects done on your own time, try scheduling blocks of 90-minute work sessions with a planned cool down time of 15 minutes directly afterwards. When you know a break is on the horizon, you won’t try to “pace yourself” with your work, and will be more inclined to dive into the difficult stuff.
While great for tackling the toughest parts of large projects, this technique doesn’t really address many problems related to discipline, an important part of staying productive for more than just a day or two.
The art of staying disciplined
One segment of the population known for struggling with discipline are those who are addicted to hard drugs.
Given their disposition for being unable to commit to many things, you might be surprised to find that during an experiment testing the ability of drug addicts to write & submit a 5 paragraph essay on time, those who wrote down when and where they would complete the essay were far more likely to turn it in.
These findings have some interesting correlation with those related to discipline in other people: in a study examining the ability of average people to stick with a strict dieting plan, researchers found that those participants who rigorously monitored what they were eating were able to maintain far higher levels of self-control when it came to maintaining their diet.
Last but not least, Dan Ariely and colleagues conducted a study involving college students and found that students who imposed strict deadlines on themselves for assignments performed far better (and more consistently) than those who didn’t.
These findings were especially interesting because Ariely noted that students who gave themselves too generous of a deadline often suffered from the same problems as students who set zero deadlines: when you allot yourself too much time to complete a task, you can end up creating a “mountain out of a molehill.”
Since we now know that tracking our progress is a key component of productivity, how can we implement this practice into our daily routine?
One method is to use an accountability chart to track what work you’ve completed during your 90-minute productive sessions, similar to how the dieters tracked their food consumption.
To easily implement one, simply create two-columns on a piece of paper, Google Docs spreadsheet, or even a whiteboard.
Column 1 will list the time-span of one of your productivity sessions.
Column 2 will list what tasks you’ve accomplished in that limited time-span.
Don’t include any columns for your 15-minute breaks, as those times are for your own sake and means to replenish your willpower.
This works well for 2 specific reasons:
Dr. Kentaro Fujita argues that tracking your progress in this way is helpful because you’ll be exposed to the work you’ve actually accomplished, and not the (inaccurate) assumption of work you might construe in your head.
Forcing yourself to write down the fact that you spent 2 hours on YouTube isn’t about shaming, it’s about awareness; you’ll be less likely to do it again.
Progress tracking is also a known strategy for stopping yourself from engaging in robotic behavior (also known as busywork), a habit that researcher John Bargh describes as the #1 enemy of goal striving.
Productivity and multitasking
With a work schedule, an energy management strategy, and a task-tracking system in place, the last challenge we have to face is that of multitasking.
According to a 1999 study, we have a tendency to view multitasking as effective, even when it isn’t.
However, researcher Zhen Wang was able to show that on average, multitaskers are actually less likely to be productive, yet they feel more “emotionally satisfied” with their work—creating an illusion of productivity.
“We were absolutely shocked. We all lost our bets. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking.”
When working on the computer, the best thing you can do is turn on Airplane Mode; no need for temptation when you can’t even access the web. If you’re unable, help yourself with tools like StayFocusd to block distracting sites.
The next best strategy is to create an evening planning ritual where you select a few priority tasks to accomplish the next day.
The reason this method works far better than planning your daily tasks in the morning? Research from the Kellogg Schoolhas shown that we miscalculate the amount of focus we’ll be able to maintain in the future. We strongly believe that we’ll be able to quickly plan our day the next morning, but when tomorrow rolls we stumble off track.
You can create an evening planning ritual with a simple pen & paper or use an online tool like TeuxDeux each night. List only priority tasks (the “big 5”) for the day.
Instead of listing “Work on research project” as a daily goal, try something like “Finish introduction” or “Find additional sources” as a task you can actually complete.
The instant replay
Let’s play that all back real quick:
Willpower alone is not enough: Your productivity shouldn’t be reliant on your sheer force of will alone. Mental toughness will go a long way, but in order to stay disciplined you’re better off relying on systems.
Give yourself the ability to go “all-in”: Working harder on the stuff that matters is going to drain you mentally & physically. Don’t be afraid of giving yourself multiple breaks throughout the day. It’s better to “chunk” productivity sessions into 90 minute periods (in order to keep yourself sharp and to alleviate the stress of pacing your energy throughout the entire day.
If it’s not worth measuring, it’s not worth doing: Tracking has been proven to be the best way to stay diligent about your progress. Create an accountability chart to list what productive things you’ve gotten done throughout the day. You’ll see how much you’re really accomplishing.
Multitasking is your enemy: Treat it as such. Block out unwanted distractions and as Ron Swanson would say, “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.” Plan your day the night before so you won’t get consumed with the wonderful distractions of the internet when you start your day.
Read from its source @ http://qz.com/315903/how-to-get-more-done-and-in-less-time/
While you may think of YouTube as a place to check out the latest in funny animal videos, there’s a lot of content that caters to the brain rather than the funny bone.
We’ve found the best and brightest videos for you to enjoy when you need to stretch your mental muscles. These cover a variety of topics, but they’re all guaranteed to make you look at the world around you at least a little bit differently.
Dan Gilbert: Why Are We Happy? Why Aren’t We Happy?
Scientist Dan Gilbert has made some surprising discoveries about happiness. For example, lottery winners and paraplegics both have about the same level of happiness one year after the event that changed their lives. How is that possible?
Gilbert explains how our long-term happiness is not on based getting what we want, but how our brains react when we don’t get what we want. And he demonstrates this by way of Mick Jagger, Monet and amnesiacs. Confused? Watch this 22-minute video as he talks about exactly how this works based on his scientific studies into the matter.
Stephen Hawking: Questioning the Universe
One of the most brilliant scientists of our time not only discusses how the universe began and the probability of alien contact, but how that information determines how we should proceed in the future. Given mankind’s selfish and aggressive expansion, Stephen Hawking makes a case for space exploration so that we can continue to thrive on other habitable worlds.
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
If you are pursuing creative endeavors, either professionally or personally, this talk by the author of best-seller of Eat, Pray, Love is for you. She questions the assumption we all have that creativity and suffering go hand-in-hand, and challenges creative people to look at their work and their life’s passion to create in a different, more positive light.
Colin Stokes: The Hidden Meanings in Kids’ Movies
Father of two, Colin Stokes wonders aloud, “Why is there so much Force in the movies we have for our kids and so little Yellow Brick Road?” By that, he means films aimed at boys tend to teach them that violence is the answer and a woman is their prize (i.e. Star Wars.) And films aimed at girls tend to teach them to work together and make allies to overcome problems (i.e. The Wizard of Oz.)
The question he has: why aren’t there films focused on gaining allies and solving things diplomatically aimed at boys? Why aren’t there more films that teach young men not to objectify women and treat them as the reward they are entitled to? Most importantly, Colin talks about what we as parents can do about it.
Amy Webb: How I Hacked Online Dating
Is there an algorithm for love? Statistician Amy Webb analyzed not only what she wanted out of a potential husband, but also what men she liked were looking for. Using this process, she altered her online dating profile and it caught the eye of the man she would end up marrying.
This is not just a story about how to find the ideal mate, but how to approach any passion in your life in a way that gets you what you want in a smart way designed for success.
Randy Pausch: The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
Though the “Last Lecture” series at Carnegie Mellon University is themed around what the professors’ last lectures would be, for Randy Pausch, who had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, this would literally be his last lecture. But don’t think this video is a downer because Pausch is dying: He’s in good humor, and you’re guaranteed to crack a smile while watching his inspirational talk about how to live life to its fullest.
Told through Pausch’s reminiscing, his lecture focuses on achieving one’s childhood dreams and, even better, how to help others achieve their dreams. At over an hour in length, it’s well worth your time.
Steve Jobs: Stanford Commencement Address
Several years before his death, the Apple CEO gave the commencement address to the graduates at Stanford University. In it, he talks about his own life: He dropped out of college after six months, unable to see the value in whiling away all of his parents’ savings. He didn’t know how at the time, but he hoped it would all work out — and if you know anything about the story of his life, it did.
His message of believing in yourself and following your own path is full of humor and insight. It isn’t to be missed and only clocks in at a little more than 15 minutes.
Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts
We live in a world that doesn’t always cater to the needs of introverts—a personality type that accounts for a third to half of all people and tends to prefer quiet over loud, isolation over socialization. Cain, an introvert and the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts, offers a thought-provoking argument that suggests introverts have as much to offer the world as their extroverted brethren.
One of the more popular TEDTalks, The Power of Introverts runs just under 20 minutes and may make you see a new side of yourself or those around you.
Eli Pariser: Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”
Don’t know what a filter bubble is? It’s a phenomenon unique to the Internet-era in which our interests and preferences tailor the kinds of content we see on search engines and social channels. And while it can be helpful in directing us to the information most relevant to us, in this nine-minute TEDTalk, Eli Pariser explains that it can also prevent us from seeing opposing viewpoints.
Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is well-known as a business leader who’s been outspoken on the subject of women in the workplace. So it’s no surprise that when she spoke at a TED Conference, she gave a 15-minute passionate argument for why we need more women leaders in the world. She also focuses on the messages we send women about working and the messages we send our daughters as well.