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Archive for August, 2012

Waterfall and blossom

 

Greenery in the midst of clear sunlight with light pink blossom in the foreground and behind it amongst the trees, the waterfall.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p-NVA2YYv0&feature=plcp

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“Money, money, money…in a rich man’s world.”

So goes the famous Abba song.

Image source: Billboard.com

This was, or should I say still is, one of their most famous songs. Though the pop group sang about money, now something very historical is being debated in the band’s homeland of Sweden. Earlier this year there was discussion in the media about Sweden possibly being the first country on earth to abolish not “money” but money in the form of cash.

Image source: bbc.co.uk

Let me quote from a CBS article from around 5 months ago on this subject.

“Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it’s come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

 

“I can’t see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore,” says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970’s pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

 

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

 

In most Swedish cities, public buses don’t accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

 “There are towns where it isn’t at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash,” complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden’s National Pensioners’ Organization.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57399610/sweden-moving-towards-cashless-economy/

The article then continues and mentions that for example the ABBA singer, Bjoern Ulvaeus is campaigning for a cash-free Sweden and one thing which has led him to thinking that this is the best thing for the country is that his own son has been burgled three times. One of the arguments in fact for abolishing cash, is that it decreases crime.

 

Bjoern Ulvaeus, the former ABBA singer and now advocate of a cash-free Sweden.

Image source: Blick.ch

There are other arguments including the claim that it will also make corruption more difficult as all financial transactions will be traceable. Corruption with the syphoning of money and other things has led to severe European economic problems with countries like Greece having their economy in tatters. In fact Sweden only has 3% of its financial transactions in the form of cash. I do not expect that percentage to increase, rather decrease especially in the Iphone, digital phone age.

Is it a good idea?

Once Sweden does it, then perhaps other countries will be tempted to follow suit. At the very least it is not something that can be dismissed as the delusional rantings of internet posters or others but something which is practised in the country that gave us SAAB, Volvo, Ikea and other giant companies famous across the world.

A modern SAAB car.

Image source:

 

Another car giant, Volvo.

Image source.

I am completely against it. Though it can make life far easier and more convenient and can decrease burglary which can be a very horrifying and traumatic experience for those who undergo it, I feel that it comes at a far greater risk or loss and that is of our personal liberty.

The state is becoming increasingly more and more powerful and more and more we are losing our ability to be private individuals with the increase of modern technology, for instance the mobile phones that we use can easily trace as to whichever part of the world that we are in. For the state to have the power to find and monitor every single financial transaction that we carry out is very worrying, especially if the state is an undemocratic and illiberal one. Even in democracies themselves, many complain that the elected politicians are nothing but liars or even in some cases corrupt thieves coming in to power to enrich themselves and their friends.

Money to an extent defines us, and if not us, our current situation. By defining I do not mean that it is a valid measurement of your worth as a person or you morally, but it defines what you can and cannot do, or what you can do in your current circumstances. For the state to know how much money you have and everything you do with it they know far something far more important and fundamental than what food you eat, or what socks you wear every day which we would generally consider to be an invasion of privacy.

There is also the question of what happens if an electronic virus wipes damages our IT system, when people can hack in to NASA or the US defence department’s systems they can also damage other things. Making the world more and more IT-dependent is risky because as they say “do not put all your eggs in to one basket” and if we are reliant on IT alone then we suffer devastation if IT-based systems are damaged or destroyed. The recent blackout of 0.6 billion people in India (less than 10% of the world’s population) shows the damage that can be done in the modern electronic and technological age that we live in.

0.6 billion Indians without power in July 2012.

 Image source. 

 

Image source.

For me the abolition of cash is something reminiscent of George Orwell’s classic work, 1984 which depicted the horrifying scenario of an all-powerful state.

George Orwell’s famous masterpiece, “1984” which has had a huge cultural influence on modern society, with terms such as “Big brother” coming in to our every day lexicon.

Image source.

However this is a huge topic and much more can be written.

Thank you for reading.

– Jahan

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The tide.

The tide washes in to the sand from the clear blue sea with the light blue sky above.

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From now I will be regularly (at times almost daily) posting pictures which I find either wonderful, interesting or inspiring. They will mainly be from my facebook friends, if there are any pictures which have copyright issues, please contact me.

 

A polar bear with its white fur contrasting with the purple flowers in the setting.

 

 

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Earlier this year, I set myself a target of writing 34 blog posts in one month.

Here is the blog where I said this:

https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/target-34-posts-this-month/

 

Did this prove to be a mission impossible and just empty talk or nonsense?

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission:_Impossible

No, I actually managed to achieve this goal so it was “Mission accomplished”!

Image source: http://anrieff.net/

You may be wondering where is the proof…yes?

Image source: http://exerciseforacause.org/prove-your-water-warrior-worth/

Well here’s the proof: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/34-blogs-this-month-mission-accomplished/

1. So I achieved my goal of 34 blogs a month.

2. In that month, February, I doubled what I had done in January which was 17.

3. I doubled my blog output but increased the views to my site by 4 times. So a 100% increase in work and a 400% increase in hits.

4. I could not write less than 300 words.

5. Everything had to be original content and not copied from elsewhere.

6. It had to be beneficial to my readers.

Though I imposed a minimum of having to type 300 words on myself, with me having to be type material which was completely original and beneficial, I did not have to type with my legs hanging from the ceiling, like Tom Cruise did in the film “Mission Impossible”!

Image source: http://www.appleshirts.com

I am  now going to blog more regularly and not impose any minimum-word limit for my blogs. This is a very liberating feeling. I can increase the amount of new blogs that I produce thus increasing the number of visitors I get as each blog will be about different topics and contain different search words. This frequency of output and content also means that my visitors will keep on coming back for more and more as they know that there will always be something new, and hopefully interesting, useful or fun (you decided if it is not me), for them to read.

This will also  include posting more pictures and readers and my blog followers will  become accustomed to seeing more new nice pictures on my blog every day.

So the point is you do not necessarily have to have super-duper long Phd-style articles to get people visiting your blog, even short posts or “micro-blogging” can do the trick and this is what I will be demonstrating in the month of September, in the same way that in February I demonstrated that the only way to success is hard work, hard work and more hard work.

Have a great day.

– Jahan Choudhry

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About 2 months ago, I wrote that I had achieved a result of 50,000 views of the site, https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/over-50000-views-on-my-blog/. I have since then increased this to over 65,000. The proof is here, please click to see a larger image.

In any business a 30% increase in the space of 2 months would be positive. However I could have achieved far more had I been more active on the site, which I was unable to.

Let’s say however I merely repeat this process and achieve another 30% increase in the next two months, 30% of 65,000 is  I will reach 84,500 views by late October. However I do not wish to do this, but actually achieve 84,500 views by next month.

Can I do it?

 

Yes, I can!

Image from http://libart.files.wordpress.com

Am I all just talk or can I achieve what I say I can, well YOU CAN BE THE JUDGE.

 

Please visit this site again in late September or the 25th September to be exact and see if Ihave achieved my goal or if I have failed.

Have a great day everyone!

– Jahan

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