Think where we stand and what we can do to bring about the changes! A minute of thought and some actions can make the world a better place to live.
Posted by danzinde on April 16, 2008
Posted by danzinde on April 9, 2008
Lately, I came across an interesting perspective of looking at cultural dimensions of the world according to Dutch Prof. Geert Hofstede; an Emeritus Professor at Maastricht University.
He classifies mainly five views or dimensions in which he views a society or a nation (see reference)
Power Distance Index (PDI) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that ‘all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others’.
Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word ‘collectivism’ in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world.
Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’. People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions.
Long-Term Orientation (LTO) versus short-term orientation: this fifth dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth. Values associated with Long Term Orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one’s ‘face’. Both the positively and the negatively rated values of this dimension are found in the teachings of Confucius, the most influential Chinese philosopher who lived around 500 B.C.; however, the dimension also applies to countries without a Confucian heritage.
some interesting country specific graph according to Hofstede, relevant to me are:
Notice the MAS (Masculinity) differences in these 3 countries: Holland has less Masculinity, I am not sure if this immediately implies high Feminity, but for sure it means a large space for womenhood, family values, her rights and respect, which we definetely need to make the world more beautiful 🙂 and dont forget Netherlands is a country of flowers 😉 , the best way to express our emotions to our dear women 🙂
In my own view, it is interesting to classify a nation on an average tendency of people but my experience of living abroad (Germany and Holland) as well as traveling makes me know a person more at individual level or based on personal characteristics, for i believe in one of the anonymous sayings:”every person is a window to a world in itself“. For example a stereotyped German image could be different than a person of Germany might reflect in his/her personal characteristics, at the same time personal characteristics are different contrasting the image of Nation as a whole, for example if we see the world with the eyes of Geert Wilders, the Dutch would sound way too different and intolerant contrasting the dutch society as a whole; the Netherlands is fairly an open country as known world wide, people are multilingual in general, and so far even i feel according to my personal experience, that i agree to the world view of this country. Furthermore working in an international settings, I feel an ambassador of my own cultural background (India), the difference leads to people’s curiosity in me and i am quite often a person of reference when we stumble upon a discussion on cultural differences and contrasting Indian perspective on western values in Ape Cage. The people’s diversity in culture is one of the most interesting aspect of humanity. Positive traits would mean to respect, value and love others at the same time keeping your own personal identity (i meant here personal characteristics not a cultural or nationalistic stereotypes).
I am reading a bookcalled “A whole new mind” by Daniel Pink, where he contrasts metaphorically the people who are left-brainers (hemisphere) and who are right-brainers (hemisphere). Briefly:
The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities -inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate. That’s the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times.
A trigger for the time being, but my views on it would be my another post 😉
Posted by danzinde on March 26, 2008
Posted by danzinde on March 26, 2008
A friend of mine invites me to sign the petition against illegal US detentions of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Myself giving high value to human rights I definetly did so. Here is your chance too. Lets [Tear it Down]
Amenesty international is leading a project to counter terror with justice . If you still ask Why should we care?
some facts to be known:
- Because lasting security and real justice for the victims of terrorism cannot be achieved without real justice and respect for human rights.
- Because those illegally detained in US custody at Guantánamo and elsewhere must be released unless they are to be charged with recognized crimes.
- Because those held at Guantánamo and elsewhere, including in secret detention centres, are human beings who haven’t seen their homes or families for years and have faced torture and other ill-treatment.
- Because indefinite and secret detentions are a blight on human rights and are against international law.
- Because each day that illegal detention at Guantánamo and elsewhere continues is a day too long.
Posted by danzinde on March 19, 2008
Drop.io allows you to drop files, notes, voice in your drop box. A useful service to drop your things or ask someone to drop things and pickup or ask someone to pickup. You/anyone can add your files, notes, voice, photos etc. using the email, phone and web. small [demo]
A private place for exchanging photos, video, audio, notes, docs, and more. Each is accessible only to those whom you tell exactly where to look. No signup and no account.
Add to each drop via:
- the web (drop.io/thedropname)
- email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- phone (646-XXX-XXXX ext. XXXXX)
- privately sharing pictures & video
- transferring files to yourself
- sharing documents with co-workers
- creating ‘instant’ collaboration space
- posting your resume privately
if you want to drop me some files, photos, vidoes, links just do it : My Drop Box
Posted by danzinde on March 12, 2008
my “bloggie” is now 2 years old. naming just to cutify my “blog” :o). I guardianed and nourished it carefully for a while and now i am slowly realizing that my own blog is becoming a way to reflect myself (my interests, my knowledge, my work, my impressions, my social connections and to some extent my personal competence). After making the claim as a [hardblogging scientist], i took efforts to sincerely reflect my web presence and give insight of my work experiences. Over the time i feel my blog has emerged (1) the way it looks to you and myself; a centralized view of my different associations (2) the way it is internally structured for my own view; a mental map. For example, there are many blog drafts unpublished, there are many bookmarks, pictures, knowledge and experience which are unshared, but still useful for me, this way i preserve the right to present myself. I perceive now that after email, blog has eventually become a “contextualised mirror of my mind“, which means it reflects how things in (real-world) have associated in my mind over the time of 2 years in a given context(work, travel, associations and impresssions) and ofcourse my social connections. What is interesting to know now is, does my blog help me to “learn” and make me self-organised?. Atleast, i am making effort to enrich it extensively with features and consequently it would become a “home” for me where i would keep all “bits” of my digital presence which flows in the “veins” of web. I envision a day would eventually come when i would ask my “bloggie” to serve me with my(“learning goal”, “journey itinerary, “traces of globetrotting”, “interests”, “associations”, “materialistic necessity”, “spiritual quest”, and what not…). All at one place, anytime and always immortal. Do you agree to me ?
Posted by danzinde on February 21, 2008
I am self surprised to claim my first close experience with mountains (Alps). I was over ambitious to go for snowboarding :-), never realized even sledging can be hard maneuvering ;-). I had some lebensgefährlich erfahrungen aber na ja war sehr kooool ;).
Posted by danzinde on February 17, 2008
I am spending a week long Tencompetence Winter School in Innsbrück (Austria). We arrived today from Rotterdam in an hour and 10 min flight to Innsbrück. It was exciting flight with an amazing view over the Alps. We were lucky to see clear blue sky and white mountain peaks, simply awesome!
We took taxi to arrive at Grillhof, dropping our bags and leaving directly to the woods for a hike. Tomorrow would be an official start and much people would pour in. The challenge is to keep the people involved in conference when the surroundings and weather tries to seduce you… we will see, . Tim is flickring using his iPhone…stay tuned for some impressions soon.