Konza City

Am a skeptic by nature. Life did that to me.

Grand promises and Utopian scenes painted in the future are like a drug that hypnotizes the masses and makes you feel better about your sorry state in the present since things are bound to get better soon.

Myopia is a horrible affliction if you ask me. A friend once asked me if I would rather be a happy ignorant fool without a care in the world or a perennially sad sage who understood all. I thought hard about this and I think I would rather be the morbid guy. I do not like not knowing. It makes me feel naked.

Dr Ndemo , The PS of the ministry of telecom and information has been the most visible proponent of Konza city. This is supposed to be a model technopolis that is to be the heart of tech in Africa. Sounds like another utopian dream but lets have another look.

I think building from the ground up is better than tying to refurbish and retrofit old designs.The planners of the 80’s did not envisage that in 2 decades, Nairobi city would house twice the current population and new fangled technology would need conduits in buildings and in the ground to deliver speed of light comms to buildings. Or maybe they did. Point is the city is not designed for this century. We need new infrastructure. It will be expensive but not building new will be a whole lot more costly in another 10 years. If you really think about it as you drive along the new Thika road, it is actually dirt simple to develop and progress. Thika road is just a simple highway. Yet it saves me hours on a 40km journey. Hours I can spend doing something else. How hard is it to build a city? Why aren’t our engineers excited? Why hasn’t the Engineers Board weighed in and endorsed the project and pledged support? What is wrong with us?  I have just read this article and I couldn’t agree more. In fact It was like he was describing me.

Right now the PS is being bashed for not populating the Sameer business park. I don’t see how this is his problem. Why is the sameer business park management not busy populating its premises? The PS pointed out structural and organizational problems in the construction of the buildings that put off multinationals willing to pitch camp here. No-one has tried to rebuff these points.

All this is noise from those only willing to cover their profitable positions or a re too afraid of new things however beneficial it is to them. Fear rules their hearts. This must be routed out and replaced with the quest and hunger for new frontiers.

Whatever happened to adventure?

Best Linux Distro

I have been reading an ebook by Keith Curtis called After the Software Wars  and couldn’t help but think about how right he was.

One of his arguments caught my eye. He argues that software algorithms are the same as mathematical theories in that as much as credit can be attributed to individuals or companies, the basic idea is not meant to be tied up in patents. Just because you write a function in words not numbers doesn’t mean it is not a form of mathematics.

I have tried to embrace open source software in my work and study and it is gradually yielding fruit. There is opensource GIS softwares, Office productivity suites and a plethora of others such as a clone of the MATLAB computing language that saved my skin awhile back. Windows wants users to pay,pay,pay. Apple is even worse. And then comes Linux. Everything is free, and will remain that way. It’s a modern marvel why it hasn’t become the most popular OS on the desktop/laptop.

There are many “Flavours” of the Linux OS out there and I advocate for only one. Ubuntu. It is by far the simplest to install, work with and to my knowledge the most widely supported. The beauty with free and open software is that any innovation on one distribution diffuses to most of the others since no-one is restricted anyway. Awesomeness right there.

Fedora, Debian (The Mother of Ubuntu) SUSE, etc are also rock solid but they don’t approach the consumer the way Ubuntu does.

I think Ubuntu will win this war . . . Eventually.

Ship Ship Ship!

I have just discovered the reason why all my downloads and internet biashara has been so damn slow on my laptop connecting to the University network. The inbuilt ufw firewall on ubuntu 11.10 strangles the connection to a trickle by default. I suppose that is fair to a neurotic paranoid evil genius but I just want to watch youtube damnit. It is now turned off. For good. Its not like I have mission critical anything on the old bucket anyway.

Aaanyhooo I have become a fan of Seth Godin of late and am pretty sure I should stop being a fan and actually follow his advise(Damn lizard brain). He tends to advocate for people to ship first and fast and fix problems on the go. Being a marketer, he sure sounds like an engineer. Same thing is repeated by Mark, the Facebook dood.

I think as inventors or simple workers we are afraid of presenting a product or service with gaping holes in it. Granted that is a reasonable fear since a product that totally doesn’t work is not a product.  We should still endeavor to deliver. . something rather than tell the client to wait for nirvana in a weeks time.

Back to getting kinky with Python (The language not an actual reptile)

Experts

Exactly what makes anyone an expert?

Is it years of experience? Writing a book on the subject? Mindless obsession or morbid curiosity to the point of being labelled a weirdo by the opposite sex?

I don’t know but am very sure most of the characters parading with these titles are even more clueless

Take the two political experts who show up every week on Citizen Tv to share some of their manly wisdom with us small-minded minions. What exactly makes them political experts? Do they have decades experience leading a country or running a political party? Have they won countless elections and are unanimously adored by the masses? Was the first time you heard of them the moment they were introduced as political experts?

As you may have gathered by now, I do not appreciate people who claim to be smarter than me with no supporting evidence.

Emilio Kibaki is a world-class economist and time magazine back in 1975 knew that. They proceeded to name him economist of the year. Solid evidence. No argument there.  The two characters on the other hand who are not politicians in my estimation and being refered to as experts is rather deceiving.

It would have been better for the former president Daniel Moi to be asked about the political landscape. Chances are he is still the guy running things up in this. He would give a more knowledgeable answer and I would take his word straight to the bank.