"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals.
We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues"

( JM Keynes, "Economic Possibilities for our Granchildren" 1930 )

Monday, February 21, 2011

How do you say “K.I.S.S.” in Arabic?

A few weeks ago the disclosure of hundred of thousands of Wikileaks files were seen as the herald of a new era in public life: We suddenly became familiar to obscure intrigues, secret deals, embarrassing profiles….etc. etc. The message was that from now on, any politician should be conscious that the expiration date of any “Top Secret” label is closer than ever. “History will judge” became suddenly a rather anachronistic slogan, Present and History became one.

That being said and despite a personal deep respect for freedom of speech and transparency in public life, I got somehow the feeling that Wikileaks became a sort of “Wiki Miss”. The overwhelming quantity of sophisticated information aimed to she light on bad weeds turned to a sort of “the trees that hide the forest” of reality. The on going events in the Middle East were the definitive confirmation for that feeling.

The “wood” as I call it is a synonymous for simple principles and ideas simple and deep at once: For example we all know that Honesty is a virtue, even if we don´t even know exactly why. The same goes with our innate distaste for oppression: The desire for freedom is stronger than any tyranny, brutal force or systematic brainwashing. It can take years, decades, and even centuries but in the end the desire for a better life is stronger than anything else. That simple understanding was the big miss of Wiki Leaks. Or is too trivial that we sometimes forget its validity….

The wood suddenly appeared in the Desert: First they took Tunisia, then they took Cairo, as I am writing these phrases Bahrain is under siege, Lybia is burning …. And who knows who´s next. These events took everyone by surprise: Politicians, Markets models, Dynasties, Swiss Bankers … and even Wikileaks was not able to tell us anything about it. Trees and more trees…. The wood remained obscure.

Who ever adopts the wood vision will not be surprised when millions “suddenly” say “Enough!” and get out to the streets, or even risk their life for something they never knew (most of the population in these countries never knew other regime than tyranny). I would even say that whoever applies that principle will find any “Leak” or confidential information just as a detail, a small tree surrounded by the wood of reality.

That way of thinking is known as the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) . Watch out! That principle is not an encouragement for oversimplification or triviality, it´s just an attempt to but reminder that to too many questions and concerns can be summarized into few and simple principles. Although we are dealing with an English acronym , its seems that it got a good translation to Arabic. Better put , the principle does not need any translation as it is understood by any human being.

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