Category Archives: postaweek2011

New Ubuntu Desktop Unity

I was never a Ubuntu fan and I took sometime before downloading Ubuntu and before that I read couple of web articles and if I had been Ubuntu fan, I can very well understand the logic, frustration and criticism of the loyal fans.
I have gone from Redhat to Mandrake to Suse to PCLinux and Mepis and know very well the pain I went through when Redhat dished us out to Fedora Community Project.
After Fedora 3, I gave up and that change in my attitude and experimenting with other distributions even though troublesome was a very good experience.
After all I gave up Microsoft and giving up a distribution was easy because I used to have at least 5 operating system including Win 98 and XP in my computer and switching and testing and falling back to most stable and useful distribution came second nature to me.
In addition it made me to migrate to Live CDs and over the past two years, I have been talking about almost all of them I have downloaded and tested. Writing about their virtues and sore points has become a habit and when I test I have no preconditions attached to the exercise.

No expectations at all.
Testing Ubuntu Unity (which I have in principles supported due to other reasons ) was no different and no strings attached.
I tested it with my old computer (old IBM Netvista) which was disaster by itself and it booted up with graphic images with no fonts.
I came across this problem with several new Linux distributions including PapugLinux, JULinux and Taylor Switch (KVM switch) and knew immediately to exit and boot it with my IBM Think Center and the subsequent experience was totally different and Unity booted up with a beautiful desktop which looked somewhat liked MeeGo (not that elegant) and getting round was a completely new desktop experience and I could not see any familiar features of Ubuntu.

My first need was the workspaces which I am so used to now without them I will have a heart attack.

With some fiddling I found 4 workspaces and I could open and exchange the programs from 1 to 4 (workspace).
Then I wanted to fill the other 2 workspaces and I could not.
I searched the applications but then I had to leave the workspace and that experience was a very bad one, now that I got used to FullMonty nice desktop arrangement.
Then I hit the web browser and went to distrowatch and looked at the latest downloads of Linux distribution and Ubuntu is now sandwich between Mint and PClinux which has climbed up to 3 from 7.
This was a pleasant surprise for me.
I used PCLinux as the gold standard of Live CDs and an arbitrary reference, coined for testing other Lice CDs.
I can understand the reaction of the Linux users but I have some sympathy for Ubuntu and hope their experiment will succeed.
It ought to since tablets are coming to the market thick and fast and all the looks are Ubuntu is ready with this new innovation.

I have decided to give 300 points (for innovation) of my scale which I am revising now with the latest trends in the super highway.
If not I have no way of promoting Ubuntu as a general purpose Linux distribution.
Switching to LibreOffice was good.
It will be a rough passage for them knowing very well we shift our allegiance when our needs are not satisfied by the latest distribution.
That is what I did with Fedora.
Now after 10 more distribution I have switched back to Fedora since it is one of the few that support Sinhala Unicode.
I hope Ubuntu Unity do the same of supporting Sinhala and then I will be promoting Unity with some new found vigour.

Sinhala Linux-Hanthana Linux Included-Debian Update

Reproduction from Distrowatch

(by Dr.Asoka Dissanayake (Medical)

on 2011-02-22 22:52:30 GMT from Sri Lanka)

I have to confess now I support Light Weight Distributions and PCLinux is my my favourite,

But I love its Gorilla (dearly) Edition PClinuxfullmonty too.

I use it (PCLinux) as a Gold standard (not bench mark) for 32 bit hardware and Texstar is about to release the 64 bit version but he is keeping it close to his heart.

Coming back to Sinhala Linux Debian is the winner by neck and half length (horse racing terminology). I downloaded all of the CD and DVD and had a trial run of them and they are pretty good and elegant especially the KDE.

Again I confess I am a KDE fan especially because of its looks and the K3B burner which does not harm the hardware. Before I started using it I used to lose a CD/DVD writers almost every two to three months.

Both PClinucx and SuSe are KDE based. Suse is damn slow like windows but PCLinux is pretty fast.

Unlike you guts I have about 8 distributions in my laptop and I use them in rotation to get best out of them.

I have Debian also and I will tell you now why I use Debian.

It is the only distribution which can cohabit with all the others distributions and arrange the partition table so nicely in the GRUB and boot all the others.

Unlike Windows and Ubuntu, Debian does not fear other distributions.

SuSe cannot read more than 15 partitions and in the beginning they used to have over 60 (I stand to correction) partitions. PClinux some time cannot read FAT partitions and its partition formats are limited.

So I install Debian one before the last distribution and to get a nice boot flash I use PCLinux the last.

Debian make it easy for the PCLinusx to read the partition table.

There are many other strong points about the Debian that is why we use it in the Server Level in the University.

Regarding the downloading of Hanthana Linux I just checked it a few minutes ago with only two seeders it takes 3 days plus.

Fedora 13 (the 6 CDs) version with many seeders it takes little over one day. I will download Hanthana Linux after the Cricket World Cup which is my preoccupation currently.

Following is a summary of download times for your perusal.

Last there (3 days)
1. Bodhi 3 hours
2. Kubuntu 7 hours
3. EB4 9 hours
4. Pinguy 4 and a half days
5. Monty 2 days
and fastest was ArtistX one day and probably Fedora 13 too (also little over one day (according to estimate).
These are facts and not gut feelings,
I am struggling with pixie which has taken one day but still not finished.

Lost Opportunity for Indians-Cricket World Cup

I am made to believe that India is the home for computer experts and it has a home base of IT literate who can dish and dash Linux at the drop of a hat.

I have to reserve that judgment now.

I have been looking at who is grabbing the opportunity that Linux has opened up.

It is not India.

It is not Pakistan.

It is not Sri-Lanka.

It is not Bangladesh.

To my surprise who is leading the field.

It is America.

Obama is quietly but effectively spreading the message of wisdom.

Education, Education in IT.

I won’t tell you how I gather the information.

That is top secret.

Even though, it is not at all significant statistically and in numbers who are the people who visit my blogsite with Linux information.

It is again Americans who top the list.

I have been very vocal and forthright with American diplomats and their way of dealing with international affairs.

 

If one is an American he or she would be very annoyed with what I usually write about Americans but I am glad I have to complement the Americans who would search, gather information and reach for anything that is useful academically.

Then who are the people who disseminate this information to others.

It is again Americans.

It is not these big Universities like Harvard that spread the message.

It is the up and mobile ordinary Americans.

Thanks guys, even though some of your diplomats and politicians are bringing bad name to America you guys are spreading the message of goodwill, especially related to Linux.

Why I say Indians lost a trick.

This is the time all the guys from the West come here to watch cricket and enjoy the warm holiday.

All of them love to carry a netbook or a laptop with them.

Indians could have sold large number of netbooks and laptops to these guys for a very cheap price, if they mastered the Linux Operating System and Utilities.

 

The idea that the operating system is free could have galvanized them and the amount of saving on each buy / or purchase would have made them to buy not one but three for the price of one they pay in their countries.

Once they got the idea of the price and the use of Linux they would be coming back to Asia for bargains for the next 10 to 20 years to come.

 

All they have to do is to entice the buyer with wireless dongle and a Flashy Linux Distribution installed in the laptop or the netbook. If they provided a flashy media player to watch the matches (recording and playback) and the value added would have been infections.

This could have been easily accomplished in India, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka.

But nobody wanted to explore and promote Linux in this part of the world.

In Sri-Lanka the reasons are many and I do not want to waste my time discussing that.

Why Indians lost this trick is my amazement.

There is no incentive to learn Linux in Asia because of pirating of software.

There has been an explosion of Linux utilities from last December to now, to Music, to Guitar, to Video to Graphic Rendering like Maya.

 

If the can at least sell some netbooks with GutaristX installed, that will get the ball rolling, even now.

 

It is not too late, even now but one should sell the hardware for OEM price and show that you are a good an honest businessman.

We are lacking that type of gentleman businessmen too due to pirating.

For the visitors who come to enjoy cricket and holidays I have a warning,

Please do not buy laptops and netbooks with pirated copies installed.

You cannot take them back to your country. You will be charged at your airport of entry. Same for videos and music and films. Watch them, listen to them while you are here but drop them to a dustbin before you leave.

 

But if you get a computer with Linux installed, buy that without any fear or get somebody to install Linux for you here. We have few guys in the University (undergraduates) who can do that for you and most of our Sri-Lankan vendors are clueless as regard to Linux.

But please make sure to install KDE desktops like PCLinux, Suse, Mepis in additions to Ubuntu which is Gnome and perhaps Pinguy for glamor.

 

For information as regard to Linux visit my blogspot at Google (parafox) or WordPress (asokaplus).

 

In the 6 weeks you are here if you can learn Linux (it can be achieved in 4 weeks) that is something that you can take home without any fear.

Good Lick with Cricket and Linux.

Human Destiny

If man needs to survive in this planet with dwindling resources and utmost pollution he has to take major steps.

The WHO culpable for its inability to forecast and foretell the emerging trends. I is is also culpable in not having a sustainable strategy.It seems it is dictated by the rich nations funding it and the cronies employed to effect the rich nations desired plan of inactivity.

They haven’t got an estimate of what is the sustainable population in which the planet can produce food (with a buffer stock.for major catastrophe).

They let the market forces decide the events.

With inflation, the price of food is going up and that is no concern for them.

They haven’t got a plan for food security.

Above all they haven’t a slightest of idea of how the global warming would threaten food security.

Their performance is akin to UNO which is impotent in formulating any viable preposition to this planet except for dividing land, countries and nations to a level desirable for the rich nations to exploit economically.

Their pseudo-economic aid make these poor countries more vulnerable and this is happening in Asia and Africa.

They have no strategy to make Africa a food basket of the world.

Asia cannot sustain food security due to population explosion in India and China which are following a death trap of new open economy.

For the first time India was not able to produce onion which is not an essential commodity.

But what about the staple diet. It is no different. Up until now soya had been filling the gap. While supplementing the staple diet it was a buffer for the poor nations.

Now with bio-fuel taking precedence this commodity is becoming the rich nations darling exploits.

Wind up with water security.

It is common knowledge that this planet is abundant with water and even can submerge some low lying nations with glacial melting.

But we do not have ample drinking water.

The man continue to pollute the rivers and their origins and basins with industries that should be banned for the benefit of mankind.

China, India and Ceylon are good examples.

In Ceylon all our rivers are neglected and allowed to contaminate with dangerous agro-chemicals from up country to low country of the North and North East. The rain forest is gradually destroyed and and disappearing fast and some rivers are actually now drying up in dry season.

The government priority was the war and making the economy running somehow but not having a sustainable plan to protect the forest and the rivers that are the live wire of our wellbeing.

In fact we do not have water security.

In the mean time some politicians are getting ready to sell the last resource we have. That is water for money to foreign capital. That plan is still in the drawing board and with two third majority even that is sold to a company or companies for generating money. I am not surprised judging by the level of intellectual capacity in the parliament. It.is possible in the distant future for the water to be be sold to foreign capital, however much they deny that there are no plans to privatize water industry.

That is a big lie!

Human needs and his Destiny

It looks likes human needs take paramount importance to all the other needs of living beings on this planet.

 

Human needs are not measured by bare existence but by uncontrolled desire, greed and exploitation of the very environment he lives in.

He is not very responsible but very erratic in behaviour.

He explores and expand both in numbers and the spheres of influence.

When the going is good he expands and when the going is bad he perseveres at the expense of all other beings.

Human is the only species known to eats its own beings and all the other edible beings.

He does not spare anything that this earth can offer,

 

When the going is good it is Lancashire hotpot with lamb but when the going is bad it is only potato hotpot.

His culinary desires which includes cannibalism speaks of his destructive nature.

How can we say he is a rational being?

Only rationality is his own existence at the expense of sometimes his own fellow beings.

Rat race and nothing but rat race.

That is the virtue of all powerful capitalism, power and wealth.

There is something wrong in this simple equation.

Expand, exploit and try to gain control at every advantage point.

He does not learn lessons from the past,

40 years ago in 1973, when oil price hike followed after the Middle est conflict he was ill prepared.

I saw what that meant for our children.

Thousands and thousand of children died of starvation and illness.

We are not ready for its repetition.

This time it is the global warming which is going to precipitate it.

40 years ago it was oil and energy and thereafter the food crisis.

When there is scarcity we tend to invest more on the same resource instead of changing to alternative resources.

In fact after the last oil crisis we had being using oil at a rate far more energetic than before.

We were not ready for the global warming.

In fact we did all to precipitate it.

Then there is a Youth Bubble too.

The rich dictators were not receptive to the needs of the poor while piling up money for their own fantasies.

How can we say man is rational.

His greed dictates the front line.

The ones who are behind the line or sitting on the bench have no say.

Unfortunately this equation is going to change.

Be prepared the human, the stupid exploiter.

Lottery

No sane mind
Buys a ticket
Without a wish
For winning

But
The logic of lottery
Or the statistical chance
Of wining is
Inversely proportionate
To number of other wishes
Of the same kind

So every other wish
Of the same kind
Make one less likely to succeed
In wining a lottery
Just like everyone else
Wishes
Peace
Freedom
Harmony
And in turn
Gets war and hate

The logic of democracy
In matters of peace
Does work like
A simple lottery
Unless of course
One is prepared
To use force of nature
And combat

Then when one wins
By force
The peace become
Meaningless
To the loser
But to the victor
It is like a handsome
Win in a lottery

In real sense
Dhamma included
Wining or losing
A lottery
Just only an act
Of coincidence

But one does
With money won
If benevolent
Acquires merit

But it is
Usually the case
With a win
Lust and crave
Increase in leaps and bounds
Along with demerits

This is in essence
The virtue of war and peace
Whether it is
On this land or in any wonderland
But what is lacking is the consistency
Of making a policy viable and lasting

Monty Python and Python Programming Protocol (P.P.P.)

I never thought Linux has any relationship to Monty Python’s playacting and his scripts.

Now I discover python language’s name comes from his acting skills and not due to any programming language as long as a reptile called python.

In my case any programming language is a python to me whether it is C or C++ or Java or Beans (they never spell or spill the beans or code in anyway comprehensible to human mind but to computers only) and sometimes with cobra venom installed in them and any sane guy start hating them.

All these changed when I discovered Linux. Whether you like or not one needs to know few starting scripts and rooting responses, booting and Grubbing files, if one wants to embrace Linux.

So I did.

Now I hear suddenly from nowhere ‘A’ Level students are made to learn python in schools and act like Monty Python of BBC.

BBC Basic was the first language I started learning before Sinclair’s Basic and long time before I discovered there is something called C and later Unix.

By the way, the language is named after the BBC show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and has nothing to do with reptiles.
Making references to Monty Python and acting skills are actively encouraged by the Linux community.

Some of Python’s notable features:
Uses an elegant syntax, making the programs you write easier to read.

Is an easy-to-use language that makes it simple to get your program working. This makes Python ideal for prototype development and other ad-hoc programming tasks, without compromising maintainability.

Comes with a large standard library that supports many common programming tasks such as connecting to web servers, searching text with regular expressions, reading and modifying files.

Python’s interactive mode makes it easy to test short snippets of code. There’s also a bundled development environment called IDLE.

Is easily extended by adding new modules implemented in a compiled language such as C or C++.

Can also be embedded into an application to provide a programmable interface.

Runs on many different computers and operating systems: Windows, MacOS, many brands of Unix, OS/2.

Is free software in two senses. It doesn’t cost anything to download or use Python, or to include it in your application. Python can also be freely modified and re-distributed, because while the language is copyrighted it’s available under, an open source license.

Python is an easy and powerful object-oriented programming language. It was originally created back in the 1980’s, but saw it’s first public release in 1991. After the release of Python 1.0 in 1994, it quickly became one of the preferred programming language for the creation of web applications in the Internet, alongside with Perl and PHP.

It’s creator, Guido van Rossum has played a major part in the Python development from it’s first release and has a central role in deciding the direction of the Python development.

Python is often used as a scripting language for web applications in combination with the “mod python” module for the Apache web server. Python’s easiness of use and ability to integrate with different SDKs allows the creation of many different programs for Windows, Linux, Маc ОS and other operational systems.

This is what Eric Raymond gas to say about Python

I had already heard just enough about Python to know that it is what is nowadays called a “scripting language”, an interpretive language with its own built-in memory management and good facilities for calling and cooperating with other programs.

So I dived into Programming Python with one question uppermost in my mind: what has this got that Perl does not?

Perl, of course, is the 800-pound gorilla of modern scripting languages.

It has largely replaced shell as the scripting language of choice for system administrators, thanks partly to its comprehensive set of UNIX library and system calls, and partly to the huge collection of Perl modules built by a very active Perl community. The language is commonly estimated to be the CGI language behind about 85% of the “live” content on the Net.

Larry Wall, its creator, is rightly considered one of the most important leaders in the Open Source community, and often ranks third behind Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman in the current pantheon of hacker demigods.

To say I was astonished would have been positively wallowing in understatement.

It’s remarkable enough when implementations of simple techniques work exactly as expected the first time; but my first metaclass hack in a new language, six days from a cold standing start?
Even if we stipulate that I am a fairly talented hacker, this is an amazing testament to Python’s clarity and elegance of design.

There was simply no way I could have pulled off a coup like this in Perl, even with my vastly greater experience level in that language. It was at this point I realized I was probably leaving Perl behind.

Now Guido van Rossum who has a major role in development in Python will join the elite three mentioned above.(Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and Larry Wall).

It is not easy to master a computer language but one who has background knowledge and basic understanding of several language would benefit from it.

Jumping into it straight away may not be the best way.

Learning C and Unix, Linux and how scripting done and modules used to take advantage of Linux kernels is necessary before embarking on this adventure.

In any case Linux is the winner.

It is an object oriented interpretive language with graphic capability may be better than Visual Basic but if one needs to advance in programming language one need to know the code and syntax behind the ant graphic interphase.

There are lot of language wrapped behind the Linux kernel and scripting. It is far better to master Linux and simple commands and scripts before delving.into an advanced language with powerful capabilities.

I still prefer to call it a python with reptilian image because it is a very very long language behind the big modules.

Enjoy Linux and one will enjoy Python too but do not let it wrap round your neck and squeeze your wind pipe and suffocate you.

Better learn few piping tricks in Linux and put the python inside a pipe and tame it.

Unsophisticated Rural Youth, Disenchanted Urban Folks, Emerging Global Trends and the Digital Divide

Introduction
We are a country never seems to learn from mistakes of the past. This is especially relevant to youth and their activities. Up to the school age young are doctored to believe that if one studies well and get good grades the life is going to be rosy. They are not allowed to question the wisdom of their fathers or forefathers. Leave alone school eduction even after university education only a few are trained to take risks, become creative, be analytical and be able to solve problems without help. Above all, to be independent and emerge victorious in a society which demands skills that are for beyond their potential needs and character.
We tend to promote what I call the Mega Star Image.

How many of them can dream to become a cricketer and represent the national team?

Is there a development program where once the skills are recognized they are nursed with the correct balance of other educational skills including communication and become successful after the retirement instead of becoming a list MP?

Even in a professional training programs they are highly successful in a theoretical problem solving and paper tests, but given even a simple problem in real life the graduates struggle to find the solution.

This is true in IT industry too which I tend to delve deep over the past two decades or so.

This does not mean we do not have creative youth. On the contrary there is plenty. Most of them are untapped since our rigid, structured educational system in primary, secondary, tertiary level and in the university screen them out of the system and hinder their creativity. If you do a study countrywide sample of youth who do computer hardware and software work, over 90% of them never had any formal training in the field while in school. Their shear creativity has led them to the computer field and excel in their field and not due to the massive government school structure and the mushrooming Tuition System run by half baked trainers.

I will start with a simple example of a talented such person. One of my computers suddenly packed up with me being unable setup the BIOS. After three nights of fiddling round I manged to get a warning signal from Linux Console (fast computer) which said in a fraction of a second that the problem is with the cooling system and the computer switched off itself immediately with BIOS turned off. All along I was worried that it was due to a BIOS virus, since I bought a secondhand SATA hard disk and fixed it up, few weeks ago to upgrade its capacity.. Immediately I went to a young chap (now very mature) whom I new for over a decade (one of the first few computer shops that were started in Kandy in the late nineties) and told him the story behind and his younger brother nail it down to the cooler fan and fixed it with few rubber pads on which the processor and the cooler sit and the job was done. Had I gone to a professional shop not only they would have ruined the motherboard, I would have had to pay the workmanship too.

In retrospect what actually happened was an Electrical Surge that went across the UPS and hit the mother board had burned the rubber pads.

I am not at all saying our youth are not talented, quite the opposite but our education system fails them by inaction and lack of proactivity.

Lot has to be done if we want to keep our bright and young remain in this country or to prevent future repetition of calamities.

The introduction is in defense of the youth and not to do patchwork or ad hoc repairs to the existing system or structure that needs reforms well thought of and designed.


That is the job of the administrators holding big posts but my intention is to highlight where we went wrong not only nationally but internationally. I won’t go into the two unsuccessful youth rebellions both in the North and in the South and I believe volumes have been written but lessons not learnt and leave it for a political round table to dilly dally.

Demographic structure of the youth and their migration
The patten of demographic structure is basically dichotomous. In the developing world it is the Rural Youth and the Urban Youth. In the developed world it is the Digital Divide (the disparity between individuals who have and do not have access to Information Technology (Wilhelm, Carmen, & Reynolds, 2002). Unfortunately there is also gender bias in this context and I prefer using the sophisticated youth and the not yet sophisticated youth instead (add English and Ethnic harmony also into this equation for our youth to complicate the matters even worse for our educationalists pondering over this issue) to make digital divide somewhat invincible. The youth who are migrating for education and job opportunities to the commercially viable parts of the city invariably fall into at least two categories. The unsophisticated ones takes the security jobs and the sophisticated ones get to the service jobs.

To this add the group that had been slowly but surely growing. It used to be only drug representatives and insurance brokers who made the bulk of this category. They neither carry laptops nor ipods ( like in the developing countries-I sometime call them gullible vultures) but they wear ties and have a company vehicles. This category is an aberration in the third world and most of them are from rich families who failed both in IT as well as academic capabilities but have powerful vocal cords beyond the capabilities of some of our younger politicians.

They simply do not contribute to the economy and they do not fall under my radar.

For one reason or the other, I sympathize with the semi-urban (not the urban rich who will fall into some worthwhile category including the salesman category above or family business) youth for no faulty of their own victimized and marginalized by the area base selection to higher education and unable to rub shoulders with the new elite to get into the system without some influence. Some of them sell family silvers and go abroad and struggle in their education both financially and due to lack of proper English (French or German) proficiency and do menial jobs to survive and fail miserably in their educational achievements abroad. This was not true when I was abroad. The second generation children fared extremely well compared to the locals some of whom were neonaziists.

Majority of them remain here and they fall into the disenchanted lot. This category percentage wise and in numbers are large and do not fall into the cheap job seekers category above security personal level but the next level of repetitive jobs (nurses and laboratory assistant, clerical). Their dream of going to higher education is muted by the wrong policy of selection and going abroad is aborted by the economic reasons. This makes the bulk of this uneasy lot. If we do not have a system to look after this, lot of the middle class (it is almost non existent now) or the slowly upwardly mobile stratum of the demography we have a big problem in our hands. Simple rhetoric want help them. Either government (I do not see them doing it) or the business community should engineer this potential work force into the national grid in some tangible way. Of course with some prior training in skills appropriate for employing them or absorb them to new entrepreneurship such as mass (material) transport and / or delivery system in a subsystem of big companies, import and export business (call it outsourcing if you may) or new creative ventures outside the traditional system.

Fattening up the 20 to 30 giant conglomerate companies as we see presently will lead to lack of competition and monopoly. Lot of medium size or even better international level medium size ventures with branches abroad should enter inter the market. Failing which this fraction will swell and the reciprocal events that is happening abroad will catch their spirits and their youth.

This category is the one who did not turn up at the polling stations and would not turn up next time around too.

There is somewhat similar category abroad who put Obama into high office and Obama has not got a recipe for them. I myself believe Obama jumped the gun too early and he should have let Mrs. Clinton come into office and with perhaps Mr Clinton in shadow would have taken the country out of the financial trouble what the Republican (the war chest is huge and we have some similarities here but with some difference) have left them The Republicans took part of the American youth to war and remaining subcategory was left disenchanted.

In here too the war took a section of the youth to war front the other sections were left to their own devises. There is a category of youth in America who do not like the war but would prefer the resources would have been better vested and channeled on youth empowerment at a time of economic crisis (that includes the students that come from abroad).

This is why I feel Obama got stuck with the war machine whether he liked it or not, the inevitability of the trap left behind by the previous administration and he should have let Mrs. Clinton do the job of rehabilitation (what Obama has to do now is to disregard the powerful youth movement who backed him irrespective of colour prejudice).
They did a lot of internet propaganda for him to win.

Had he made his presence in the second time round after Mrs, Clinton with youth reforms which was probably in his mind, he would have left a powerful image in modern history but he was too hasty to come to power and now all Republicans and some grumpy Democrats are undermining his efforts. He was put to economic front instead of the reform front and medical reform is not what the youth are worried in their age.

The demographic structure of the Stubborn Old Age
This is where I want to emphasize how in the old generation in the West are pushing through their agenda disregarding the youth. The survival of the aged (unlike in the East) is increasing in the West. The proportion of the pensioners are increasing and some of them want to continue in employment and business as long as possible depriving the youth an entry point. They are the ones who consume most of the health benefits and with the stock market crisis the governments are unable to fulfill their service commitments and pension funds are frozen due to debt crisis.

Who are the ones who makes the decisions in the legislature?

The old people are in the box seat.

They get their golden hand shakes and youth are left high and dry. This is why in France there were protests. But failed. In UK burden of education is put upon the youth and who wins again, the old gentlemen in the legislative. They know youth protests are transient and sooner or later they pass the age of agitation if the old held the momentum long enough for them to succumb. The belief is that there is no coordination in youth activity but the old in the decision making machinery are not only stubborn but powerful too.

My question is how long the old can deprive the youth?
How long the youth will will stay calm?

My answer is simple. Until the numbers are sufficient to make pressure groups powerful enough and will hold the balance of power in numbers in politics. The numbers are going to swell up over the next 3 to 10 years and that is when the problem will emerge in full force. All the current trends are showing this tendency. Cost of education is going up. The repayment of education loans are getting defaulted. Cost of living is going up. The average take home salary is going down. Job satisfaction is diminishing and moving to alternate rich countries are becoming difficult.

Old are blocking the entry points at all level since they are themselves a struggling lot with loans and health bills. The youth are trapped in a vicious cycle.

A good recipe for an uprising in various forms. Early signs are emerging but politicians are complacent as always they are.

Like the bubble burst in 2008 another bubble is going to burst.

This time it is the Youth Bubble!

I do not believe American Youth will have the same backing come nest time round to Obama. However they are patient that is why the wave that is going in UK and France did not engulf America. Unlike Americans the British youth are the inpatient lot and their demographic structure is not very different from us almost homogeneous. Lot of them supporting WikiLeaks and the band wagon illustrates the problem in UK. The WiKiLeaks may be the catalyst they were waiting for. Nobody likes powerful rich governments dictating terms. This happened in China in Tineman Square but but the Chinese changed outlook significantly from that point. Now it is the time for it to happen in Capitalist World. The older generation did not care for the future of their youth except their own greedy agenda.

Current trends and recent Analysis
I did a web search on youth and their activities and to my amazement I could not find a single article highlighting the current trends or any worthy analysis. That is why I thought of penning down my own analysis having been abroad as a young person when things were quiet and both elderly and youth were happy. I want to drive a point of warning at the youth who are emigrating looking for better pastures, the one who is going out without some basic qualifications to support themselves. They should do some basic serious career ground work (if not a degree) and at least lay some minimum foundation before they leave for abroad. With internet providing lot of services that can be accessed from here it is not that difficult unlike 20 years ago. Once you enter the stream of one’s choice in theoretical aspects and minimal practical competence, that is the time one should look for places abroad.

Do not rush and do not let your enthusiasm ruins your future prospects.

Most of our youth are not ready for the hard times. I have personal communications from whom I have help to go abroad (IT industry) for further education. It is not like 10 to 20 years ago. Things are changing fast and cost of eduction is spiraling .up. It is difficult to stem the tide. Everybody is in the rat rate to beat the other.

Rural Youth
Rural youth are in the worst dilemma possible. If they remain in the village their scope is limited. If they move to the city there is no proper accommodation and city life is expensive. They have to either commute to the city daily or to run parallel processes (study while working) to support their ventures which is not easy. Only a few can succeed doing two things at the same time. The lack of English competence and lack of computer competence is to their disadvantage. They just survive the day but progress is slow. Ultimately without any preparation go abroad with a big loan at home. Same disadvantages but at much detrimental level holds him or her to the abject poverty there too. This vicious cycle continues since our education failed to instill the basic survival tricks and needs except passing examinations.

Youth in disarray
I will jot down few of my personal experiences for completeness sake. I should also state that this analysis is not any way comprehensive but a sketch for somebody who wants to delve deep into research of the current trends. It is a waste to go into past and proclaim big and global theories. Youth is a dynamic force. They are able to sustain and overcome any obstacles and mature unlike the adults who are stubborn, inflexible and fails to adjust to global changing needs and challenges. What we have to give them is the correct and unbiased direction..
Not give them same old advice if you get a degree everything is alright.
There are many who do not have degrees from a prestigious college or university but are successful in many excellent ventures.

If you have a dream go for it before you are too old!
Down to Earth Stories
Once I met a cleaning lady (they are called women though-but they do an honourable job) who was sick. She could not stand on he feet. I have already decided to give her two weeks paid leave and went into her story a bit at length. She had a kid under five and she was doing there shifts a day in three different places. She was underpaid and 12 hours over worked. The story is similar with security guys. They also do three shifts and that is why you often find them sleeping in their seats. The story is similar when you talked about the unskilled nurses in the private sector. They are paid even less. No revision of their minimum salary scale for over a decade. This is one reason I left the private sector; the last revision was when I was actively campaigning for them with the little political connection I had.
Other story is a more down to earth. This was a guy who was a drug addict. He came from a village after a some family dispute and was a good worker. Soon the boss who was dealing with both drugs and construction got him hooked to the addiction. All what he earned returned back to the boss. This practice is almost universal now. It is high time sociological students do some qualitative (not quantitative) research hiding their real identity in all the fields I have mentioned under down to earth heading.
I will wind up with some skills that are important for success in any profession.

Skills that Youth should possess
1. Cognitive Skills
2. Technical Skills
3. Analytical Skills
4. Strong Work Ethics
5. Ability work as a Team Member
6. Communication Skills

The cognitive skill is the comprehensive understanding of theory and practice of any skill. The technical skill is the skills each trade or profession excels in practical application of it. Last three are the most important but seriously lacking in both youth and adults. I will illustrate a simple example.
I used to carry in my front pocket a tiny folded schedule card (weekly). In fact this card is like a torn off page of a week in the diary but on a folded stiff paper. It fits in nicely in the my front pocket. Once it is over like in a card deck it goes to the bottom and the new one comes off the top of the pack. Unlike electronic schedule, I never miss an appointment for five years. Suddenly the printer in the Kandy Press stop printing this. Probably I was the only one except the printer himself using this form of weekly schedule. In fact I could say I picked his habit up. I was left high and dry but since I used it regularly for five years and I was less busy
I used to carry this weekly schedule mentally instead on paper. I must say I hate carrying diaries.
Then I was busy again I needed somewhat of a light weight solution. After some search in Colombo, I mange to find one in Pettah. This time with bit of an improvement. I found relatively small (but juts out a bit from top) but with covers of different colours..Red for urgent. Green for current and blue for over an done with it or canceled. This I continued and this year I could not find the red colour cover. I went to the shop (available in Kandy) for three times but I could not find a red one. The printer has decided to prune red edition.
So I was expecting the sales man to say “Sir Giya Awruddhe Cover Eka Danna Ko” (Put the last year’s cover over the new one) and sell another one to me.
This is what I call outsmarting the customer.
I did not. tell him that is what I am going to do now since I get a chance to tease him next time round but bought a brown coloured one and put the last years red cover which was as good as new (come to think about it being an election year I never had any emergency plan of exit). I had a slight problem though. It was a bit tight but I somehow squeezed it through without trimming at one end. Even at the tinniest level there were two elements. One was at analytical other was at the selling (technical) level. The cognitive level has no operative will here. I need not elaborate on all but the correct balance of at least two or three skills are necessary at operational level.
But for completeness sake I should state a phrase I picked up from somewhere. It goes like this. Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress but Working together is success. Sadly that is what is lacking in this country we have become so selfish that working together has become anathema.
It is nice to read “Rich Dad and Poor Dad” for inspiration.
PS.
It looks as the currents trends unfolding in Tunisia and Egypt may be a manifestation of this pent up youth energy. We must not let Americans and the West to manipulate this to their advantage and promote their hidden agenda in the name of pseudodemocrasy!.

Yes Man’s Luck and the Pedigree Dog’s Exit

You might not realize that the pelican’s misadventure with our yes man has resulted in some interesting chain of events.

He turned up immediately at the heaven’s doorstep with a certificate not signed and left blank by our pelican.

It was soon checked to see whether it was authentic and was found to be a true copy given by our pelican.

He had to stay till pelican returned from earth from his routine rounds for further verification..

In the meantime the Maha’s Assistant let him sort out the mail and the documents for the next round of delivery.

His demeanor was very appealing to him and asked the yes man whether he could be an assistant to him for three or four days till pelican returns.

 

True to his nature he said yes, yes.

 

Eventually pelican returned and when he was asked whether he knew about the yes man.

 

Or Yes he is my yes man and when I asked him whether he is ready to die without any hesitation he said yes and that was why he had to abruptly stop his training in mid air.

 

Given some training he could fly any plane anywhere with at least three more pilots provided that he does not manipulate the flying gear but coordinate his actions with the air hostesses at the rear at meal times was his reply.

 

With this recommendation Maha’s Assistant was very impressed.

 

When Maha gave a call from vacation to ask how the things are at heaven, assistant told him the story of the yes man and asked whether he could take some leave and appoint the yes man in his absence.

 

Maha asked why not leave altogether and return to earth and learn some tricks from Paraya dogs so that you can follow suit just like the clever Paraya dog who attained Nibbana with no entry request.

 

Besides. you have been very helpful to me and this is the longest vacation I have had in all my life and you have found a suitable candidate to take your reins, I have no more questions from you and said Good Bye and Good Luck till we see again from earth may be in about 15 years time.

 

Our pedigree dog turned Maha’s Assistant soon afterward call our yes man and asked him whether he is ready to take over.

 

He promptly said yes.

 

Just before he left he told him, you are Maha’s Assistant and nothing more.

 

I knew it from the very beginning Sir he said.

How come?

You never took responsibility and let others take responsibility of your actions and that is the type of job I was looking forward and comfortable..

 

I could never take responsibility on earth and neither in heaven too, he said.

 

You are too good to be here and this arrangement is mutual and when you do come back here I will say yes to anything you ask including the job back.

 

No dear, I now have a better strategy than that but I have to learn the finer points from a Paraya dog.

 

The last Paraya dog whom I met was so clever before I could ask any help he was gone with the wind.

I have to meet some of his relatives in Sri-Lanka and will be back soon in about 15 years.

Till then Good Bye.

As he went he heard somebody saying Yes Sir!

Pelican Story

He was an ex-income tax officer who was seen as good choice for help for Mahanabrahma’s Assistant not only as a Flying Officer but also as a delivery man. Pelicans are known to deliver babies to mums at least when the second one arrives unexpectedly and the first one born asks the silly question from where the hell the second one came.

The pelican come into operational requirement of mothers often in the West but not so much here in Sri-Lanka.

In this context as a delivery man he does not have to deliver babies but all what he has to do is to drop baskets full of documents to sea often containing false declarations made by expectant candidates for their next round of birth and to get favours from Mahabrahma’s Assistant.

 

When he thinks something is cooked up especially coming from Sri-Lanka, the assistant delvers them to the pelican to be dropped to sea so that the ink and all the forgeries are wiped out by the ocean currents ( the ocean can take any rubbish come what it may).

 

On his return pelican has to pick few of them back to heaven and the assistant checks to see if any merits are left tangled with the soggy paper and if not delivers them straight to Appaya (AI) International with a tag number for prompt action.

At AI the soggy paper is irradiated with UV light and then a special black ink is sprayed and that is when all the Papa Karmas are exposed for my equation to take cognizant and automatic reprisal by Apaya authorities.

 

Unlike in the heaven my equation has to be modified when new crimes like that are committed by American investors and speculators are discovered.

Very severe scrutiny is done unlike the Federal Regulators of USA.

The pelican is the go between the Apaya and the Heaven.

In some cases when the documents are landed on high ground or floating ice there is a chance some might escape the sea currents and get a respite but if they are discovered on a subsequent birth it is not the pelican who is punished but the holder of the certificate.

Pelican has no jurisdiction in matters of merits and demerits but only a go between and a mechanism of delaying merits or demerits so that backlog is prevented at the  entry point be that it may be Apaya or Heaven.

 

Pelican navigation skill are considered to be complimentary to the operational mechanics.

 

How he became a trainer Flying Officers was purely an accident by meeting our crab and the tortoise at the lake side.

 

He was offered foreign currency initially by the Air Marshal but when he decided to pay that in Sri-Lankann equivalent of Rupees he really got annoyed since neither Apaya nor Heaven recognize Sri-Lankan Rupees.

 

That is why he deserted the Flying Operations in mid air.

 

I have suggested to remedy this situation soon with a plastic card that automatically converts itself of the credit balance to the currency type moment the airspace of the country is entered but there are few navigational glitches / hitches when the pelican decides to stay in border zones like Palk Straight and the likes.

 

It is currently worn around the pelican neck and it has dual responsibility of location guide and a currency convertor. Once it is tested to Apaya satisfaction it will be used by our pelican and he may decide to return to his substantive post on Earth but that is all at his discretion.