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Month: January 2021

22 Jan 2021
Manahel Thabet

Governing the Digital World!

To begin with, let’s imagine that we are on a plane in the sky, sitting comfortably, some of us eating, some of us drinking, some of us playing, some of us falling asleep, and some of us thinking about the actions that we will take when it comes down, then suddenly we discover, through a message recorded in the loudspeakers, that the undercarriage bay is empty, then the autopilot leads us to an airport that is still being planned, and whose construction has not yet been completed! This picture may be frightening, but it expresses the absence of governance we are experiencing in this digital world. We are afraid of the absence of governance, and before that, we are afraid of not knowing what we can face tomorrow in the light of this absence.

The immersion in the experience of a complete transformation towards digital worlds has become imminent, and it is close to the horizon, or below the inclusiveness of all aspects of life, and its trends, reinforced by the process of social distancing imposed by the Corona pandemic, and what is emerging every day of its consequences and effects.

In any case, everything we find now will be reformulated to accommodate the data and means of technology, starting with the forms of social, economic, educational, cultural and media dealings, and all areas and trends of human life.

If the current situation has imposed on people to withdraw from the tracks of social life, then this withdrawal also requires, at the same time, the departure to more spacious tracks through other tools, which are the tools of technology, even if the traditional markets have geographical boundaries that man has no ability to cross. Easily, the transformations, first due to the pandemic, and without it, after a long time, have forced immersion in a new experience of its markets in a dimension that has no geographical boundaries, meaning that success now in this experiment represents global success in one way or another. Because the context of these dealings is considered an open context, and competition in all fields exceeds the boundaries of the place that we have been accustomed to in traditional forms, and has become limitless, had it not been that the essential difference that distinguishes the traditional local level from the new alternative that is characterized by globalism, and which lies in the existence of regulations that frame and organize the movement, then everyone is equal in the opportunities they get, just as they are equal under these regulations, in terms of their rights that are guaranteed to them, and the duties that they have.

As it appears, the most that governments do today is try to force technology companies to violate the privacy of customers and users to serve their purposes and objectives as per the existence of texts and legislation that frame the movement in this open, virtual world and secure the users and visitors to it, and those working in its fields, in a way of responsibility and commitment, so that they have rights and duties. This is what the digital space generally lacks.

Activating cybersecurity in this digital space constitutes an important point in the context of searching for answers to the reasons for the absence of governance, and this may mitigate the burden of the lack of awareness in digital practice in all its diversities and fields. If awareness is absent, then some governance must not be absent, at least, to complete the formal details of the institutions governing the digital world around the world.

Human civilization has not flourished at any time, except through the integration of three pillars that work together in parallel and in one context, the first of which is the availability of governance tools and binding laws, then the presence of tools for creating awareness, education, and knowledge, and finally self-awareness and accountability; neither can any corner be effective, nor mentioned in a context independent of the three pillars being consistent with each other, and for this reason, it is not possible to talk about any renaissance in the digital world or technology in the absence of governance and the human awareness which knowledge creates. And to talk the rest.

Author : Manahel Thabet
Published December 22, 2020
Al Bayan Newspaper

14 Jan 2021

There’s roughly $140 billion of inaccessible bitcoin right now – or 20% of the world’s limited supply. Here’s what could happen to it.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts praise bitcoin’s decentralized nature. Yet the imperfect methods used to secure the digital tokens are pulling millions of bitcoin out of circulation with little hope of recovery.

Bitcoin owners hold private keys necessary for spending or moving tokens. These keys exist as complex strings of data and are often stored in protected digital wallets.

Those wallets are then typically protected with passwords or authentication measures. While their complexities allow owners to more securely store their bitcoin, losing keys or wallet passwords can be devastating. In many cases, bitcoin owners are locked out of their holdings indefinitely.

Roughly 20% of the 18.5 million bitcoin in existence is estimated to be lost or trapped in inaccessible wallets, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing data from Chainalysis. That sum is currently worth about $140 billion. These bitcoin remain in the world’s supply and still hold value, but they’re effectively kept from circulation.

Put simply, those coins will stay trapped indefinitely, but their inaccessibility won’t change the price of the cryptocurrency.

“There’s this phrase the cryptocurrency community uses: ‘not your keys, not your coins,'” Jimmy Nguyen, president of the Bitcoin Association, told Insider.

For now, the adage holds true. Some exchanges such as Coinbase have some emergency recovery measures that can help users regain access to forgotten keys or passwords. But exchanges are less secure than wallets and some have even been hacked, Nguyen said.

The bitcoin community is now at a crossroads, where members are split on whether bitcoin should keep its rigid security methods or trade some of its decentralization for user-friendly safeguards.

Nguyen lands in the latter group. The cryptocurrency advocate argued that mechanisms should be created to allow users to recover inaccessible bitcoin in cases of forgotten passwords, estate transfers, and incorrectly addressed payments. The absence of such systems maintains a barrier between cryptocurrency enthusiasts and the population that hasn’t yet warmed to bitcoin.

“If I hold the keys to your house, it doesn’t mean I own the keys. I might’ve stolen the keys to your house. You might have lent me the keys,” Nguyen said. “It doesn’t prove who has ownership of that property or that asset.”

Maintaining the current method of storing bitcoin also cuts into its value, both as a new form of payment and as a security, he added.

“There is an inconsistency, if not downright hypocrisy – among the bitcoin supporters, because they want to advance this narrative that you must have the private keys for the coins to be yours,” Nguyen said. “If they want the value of the coin to grow because it’s growing in usage, then you have to adopt a much more open and user-friendly approach to bitcoin.”

Source: Market Insider

08 Jan 2021
Manahel Thabet

The Booming Season of Digital Currencies!

No system thrives without necessarily being compatible with its prosperity and the collapse of another system, or systems, and there is no prosperity for any commodity that is not necessarily compatible with the collapse of another commodity or commodities.

The beginnings of digital currencies were ad hoc beginnings, ones similar to the beginnings of the computer, which was used exclusively by specialized engineers until the emergence of the “Interface” to become accessible to everyone. Digital currencies were limited in their beginnings to mining operations, and “blockchain” was used exclusively to record the accounts of mining operations.

And this remained so until the year 2008, which marked the beginning of the important global launch of digital currencies, and the popularization of their uses, and it can be said that it was the beginning of its recognition as well.

The steps of the prosperity and the development of digital currencies continued to proceed in a normal way, similar to the usual steps of any product, and so on, until the Corona pandemic; to the extent that this pandemic caused a recession for the traditional economy and people’s businesses, the more digital currencies, and even the digital economy as a whole, flourished, and perhaps here the largest inference can be found: it is the peak that Bitcoin reached against the dollar recently, as it reached in recent days the price of 30 thousand dollars per bitcoin.

Here it can be asked: If the value of digital currencies continues to rise more than it is now, then what is the fate of the traditional economy and its financial currencies?

We must agree that there are two scales in the global economic balance at the present time that can be clearly seen through the news of the economy and its renewed data every day. One is the scale of the traditional economy, the other is the scale of the digital economy, and the more the collapse of the traditional economy, the lighter its scales, and in turn the greater the boom of digital currencies. Its scales have increased, which means that the digital economy grows deeper and ends more penetrating in all aspects, and so forth, until the traditional economy and all its manifestations disappear, and the digital economy takes its place in all its manifestations, with those aspects that we have known as tools and means of the knowledge system.

We can foresee the future through the current data regarding digital currencies, as Bitcoin will represent the hard currency that corresponds to the dollar in the traditional economy, and the next bitcoin of digital currencies will also be difficult currencies, but in a hierarchy, with Bitcoin imposed by the marketing and advertising activities that Bitcoin enjoys.

As for the rest of the digital currencies, while each country in the world will have its own digital currency, which is what many countries have now legalized, the value of these special digital currencies cannot withstand the hard global digital currencies that will become a standard in global economic transactions, and a standard that is traded. In and through the economy, just as it has always happened with the dollar, and to the extent of the economic strength of any country to the extent that its own digital currency is worth a large value against Bitcoin, the strength of its economy can be measured through this criterion. And to talk the rest.

Author : Manahel Thabet
Published January 08, 2021
Al Bayan Newspaper

07 Jan 2021
Manahel Thabet

Soft Power is the Civilized Alternative

In one of my previous articles, I mentioned details about the importance of intellectual reclamation as one of the methods used to confront knowledge scarcity, and how to address research backwardness, to stimulate the power of the knowledge economy, and to revitalize it. I dedicate this article to discussing the soft power alternative in detail and expand upon it.

Soft power does not differ much in cases of individuals or societies, and we can approximate the meaning of its concept through individual cases, and what can be evoked as an example is the saying of George Washington Carver, who recommended writing on his tombstone: “No person, no matter what, can descend me to a degree, make me hate him or envy him.”

For those who do not know, the owner of this proposed epitaph had many reasons to grow up in the desire of taking revenge on this world, for he was of negro origin, he grew up an orphan, did not have the opportunity to go to school, and he grew up in an environment that is less than what can be described as fanatical, and yet he was able to create and become, by soft power, what any person dreams of, and for his losses to become profits. He is the founder of agricultural chemistry, and the first to work in the field of synthetic fibers, plus the United States owes to him one of its most important wealth producers, its sixth highest production commodity of “peanuts”, also of inventions comparable to those of Edison.

It is a sublime model of the usefulness of soft power and what it means at the level of individuals and at the level of nations. Soft power means that the state has spiritual and moral strength through the ideas, principles, and morals it embodies and through support in the fields of human rights, infrastructure, culture, and art, which leads others to respect and admire this method, then follow its sources.

Japan found that the best alternative for rebounding after the war was the soft power alternative, making it the most economically powerful country in the world in a record time of only 50 years.

Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The whole world gives way to a person who knows his destination.” That is what can be said about the Japanese experience in this context, because the world has already given way to it, where Japan knows its destination and knows its way.

Religious pluralism in Japan did not prevent her from being distinguished internationally and people did not differ among themselves because of that pluralism. Likewise, it issued a set of legislation related to education, obligating it and limiting reproduction for fear of population density that might hinder the development process, hinder the reforms it adopted, and hinder the methodical plan that it adopted at all levels.

The issue of soft power was the subject of great controversy and suspicion in Japan, and in early 2003, a brilliant gesture took place, as the great and famous Japanese artist, Miyazaki Hayao, was awarded an Academy Award for the cartoon movie known as “The Kidnapped” or “Chihiro’s Journey”. Since that time, Japanese officials and intellectuals alike, have been claiming that the global fame of anime and manga, that specialize in its production in Japan on a large global scale, has enabled Japan to possess “soft power.” The term soft power was used in the eighties by Joseph Nye, a professor of science. In fact, a careful look at the main, relevant Japanese magazines, white papers, and the like will reveal to what degree the idea became popular after 2002.

Not only did the Japanese artist Miyazaki Hayao obtain the Oscar, whose works are all characterized by a peaceful character who renounces wars, but he refused to come to receive his award in response to the Iraq war because the honor was given in the United States. With this, Miyazaki wanted to convey an eloquent message about the usefulness of soft power and the need to spread it and replace hard power with it, and with this message, any knowledge economy can flourish, that is, when its message is sublime and purely human.

China used soft power through cheap manpower, its economy blossomed and became a world power, and India was like that with yoga.

The Arabs used soft power in the past, and they ruled Europe through the sciences of Ibn Sina, Al-Farahidi, Al-Khwarizmi and many others.

The other model that can be talked about is the Emirate of Dubai, for this city is ruled by the maker of civilization His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who knows well what are the real foundations for the rise of any human civilization: support the knowledge economy on which it was founded, support the infrastructure, human rights, culture and the arts As well as those principles and ethics that this city espouses, which have made it among the greatest cities in the world, civilized and economically sound, this development continues to grow and grow every day more and more, for which the world cannot do anything except tip its hat to see a leader who has surpassed the meaning of soft power.

Supporting scientific research and knowledge of all kinds, interest in rehabilitation and training institutions, support for young talents, cultural institutions, arts, human rights, and the search for talented people in all fields, is an expression of the soft power pursued by any country and makes it an example of advancement and a civilized model for all countries of the world. 

Author: Manahel Thabet
Published September 18, 2017
Al Bayan Newspaper

05 Jan 2021
Manahel Thabet

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans

Perhaps the great seriousness about the future of artificial intelligence and its applications was apparent in the great importance that the United States placed, at the end of 2016, in order to discuss it, as it held a special conference in the White House dealing with the future of artificial intelligence applications; reference, however, to the future of humans in the era of artificial intelligence within the conference was a vague signal, and it was not comprehended in the papers, nor did the outputs address it.

Before talking about the applications of artificial intelligence, let us first agree that there is a civilizational renaissance, and a great leap of science that has begun and formed since the early years of the last century, meaning that it is almost 100 years old. With every new decade during this century, new sciences have appeared, including Management Science and Financial Engineering, Human Development Science, and Computer Science, and its associated sciences, and in the last two decades, there has been a lot of talk about artificial intelligence and its applications as a science that may create a new destiny for humans.

The history of artificial intelligence applications goes back to when, in the mid-twentieth century, scientists began to explore a new approach to building intelligent machines, and, based on recent discoveries in neuroscience, plus the development of cybernetics through the invention of the digital computer, machines were invented that could simulate the process of human computational thinking.

In 1956, the modern field of artificial intelligence research was established when a conference was held on the campus of Dartmouth College. Among the most prominent leaders of artificial intelligence research were Marvin Minsky, Herbert Simon, John McCarthy, and Ellen Noel. Then, at the beginning of the nineteen eighties, artificial intelligence research witnessed a new interest through the commercial success of expert systems, which are considered artificial intelligence programs that simulate the skills and analytical knowledge of one or more human experts.

Artificial intelligence achieved tremendous successes in the 1990s and early 2000s. Artificial intelligence is used for data mining, logistics, technology, industry, and medical diagnostics.

Artificial intelligence is one of the branches of computer science and it is defined with specific characteristics and behavior that are formulated by computer programs that make it simulate human mental abilities and patterns of work: Smart clients. They are used in a wide range of fields such as: expert systems, medical diagnostics, Internet search engines, natural language processing, video games, stock trading, law, image recognition and analyses, children’s toys, scientific discoveries, automated control, and voice recognition.

The patterns of unusual jobs in computer applications, from which artificial intelligence emerged, had begun to crystallize when programmers in a simulation method transferred models from the minds of distinguished human beings in the world, especially from some scientific and mathematical fields, such as the game of chess (for example) in which programmers were able to transmit some thinking patterns of some players and their way of thinking, like the Russian world champion in the game of chess, Kasparov, and other distinguished players, so that other players could play with them through the computer without any doubt that he was in front of the greatest players in the world and in their presence (as well as in football, and other games) that computer applications were programmed with.

‏The idea itself, after the development, threatens to exclude people from their jobs. The machines that are programmed in the world of artificial intelligence perform the human function perfectly, and even perform it without the slightest complications or costs. Therefore, its acceptance is inconceivable, and the demands of businesspeople are intense and eager. One machine can take the place of five employees, or more, without salaries, without permits, without disrupting workflow, and without job allowances.

What is really terrifying about the matter is the fate of Man in the midst of this great leap of science, for dispensing with human power in exchange for absorbing the machine and computers has become evident, and it also makes thinking very difficult about the type of work that people may work in, and for Arabs, in particular, the educational material in schools and universities is not updated to suit the changes and developments of the era, and not compatible with the development of artificial intelligence applications which accommodate the changes that occur at all times, and reserve them accordingly.

Soon, the world will witness the real emergence of unusual functional patterns in many areas of life through the application of artificial intelligence that will make the future of human beings obscure and make predicting it very difficult. A few days ago, robots were announced that would perform many medical functions, including the task of drawing blood from patients with high accuracy that surpasses the ability of human doctors to reach the main arteries, that is, without those complications that cause harm to patients.

Among those functional patterns are “industrial” psychologists who are responsible for developing appropriate working environments for networks. Genetics consultants are also responsible for analyzing genetic codes to predict the healthy future of individuals and embryos, or big data analysts, who work on analyzing huge amounts of data and making recommendations based on results, or observers of solar or cosmic gamma rays, as well as programmers of private robots for homes. All these unusual job patterns and more will soon be provided by artificial intelligence applications and will ignite the labor market with a different competition from what we have seen in the past decades.

The applications of artificial intelligence have evolved to the extent that its programmers in their advanced stages are unable to understand the dimensions of the capabilities of these machines that they invent or develop and program, and this contradicts what we have known about the inventors of machines throughout the history of industries, and other inventions, so that they knew well the nature of their inventive work and can easily explain the work of those machines and creations.

The time has come for change in our world by adopting the best economic methods to develop the fields of education and economics, to raise generations capable of understanding reality and facing its challenges, and this may happen through the learning of our children via foreign hands, so that we have a share in the global knowledge economy, whether in the aspect of manufacturing artificial intelligence applications and developing them in a way that adapts to our cultures, or in the aspect of innovation and creativity, which makes the global need for our products both as an income and as a competitor, as well as being less precautionary than what we may face in the future of changes in the world … And talk has the rest.

Author : Manahel Thabet
Published September 11, 2017
Al Bayan Newspaper