Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pakistan needs Epistocracy rather than democracy

An epistocracy would try to copy what makes democracies work, but do it better [1]. For the past 70 years, we had tried democracy with the exception of few decades in military dictatorships. Although, we consider military dictatorship as an evil form of governance but democracy has also not provided benefits to the people.  Researchers have shown that Pakistan has progressed economically better in military dictatorship than civilian democracy [2]. Democracy provides the right of voting equally to everyone. An uneducated person’s opinion is considered equal to the opinion of Ph.D. for the selection of the best person who can govern the country. In Pakistan, education has not remained a priority for the civilian governments [3] because it is easy to buy the vote of an uneducated person than the educated person. Instead of falling back to military dictatorship due to the continuous failures of the democracy, we should try Epistocracy in Pakistan. In epistocracy, more knowledgeable citizens’ vote count more [1].
Jason Brennan has challenged the morality of democracy in his recent book [4] and has created the debate on democracy vs epistocracy worldwide [5][7]. Epistocracy is different from technocracy where Government is done by some bureaucrats.  As described in [1], Technocracy revolves around “what the government does rather than who the government is” [1]. Epistocracy is similar to the ideas of an ancient Greek philosopher Plato who was the student of Socrates and was the teacher of Aristotle about restricting the governance to the knowledgeable [6]. Unlike, restricting the governance to a small elite that can abuse the power, Brennan presented many strategies in his book to improve the quality of the electoral system.  Brennan divides the citizens into three broad categories, namely Hobbits, Hooligans, and Vulcans and has shown that majority of people do a poor job in considering political issues. Hobbits have no interest in politics and have very little knowledge. Hooligans do possess political knowledge but they see only through their party lenses. Vulcans are the ones who have great knowledge of political issues and consider each issue on merit. As Hobbits and Hooligans use to be in large numbers as compared to Vulcans, and carries equals right to vote, the biasness of democracy tilt in their direction. The epistocracy makes sure that fate of the knowledgeable should not be drowned by the many ignorant [6].
Due to lack of education in Pakistani population, we see that majority of voters in Pakistan fall into the categories of Hobbits and Hooligans. The poor masses of Pakistan fell into the category of hobbits. For them, surviving a day in this expensive world is more important than selecting a good politician for a country. They easily sell their votes to the corrupt politicians and destroy the fate of educated people in Pakistan. Therefore, there is a need to look into our electoral system and improve it.  We should experiment with epistocracy that should be closer to the idea of Johan Stuart Mill. Johan Stuart Mill was the English philosopher in the nineteenth century and was considered as the most influential thinkers in the history of liberalism. He was of the view that extra votes should be given to the people with university degrees. However, in [8], Harisan Nasir has argued that by just giving extra votes does not necessarily overcomes the number of ignorant people. Nasir was of the view that Universal inclusion must be ensured as it enables adequate feedback and not result in marginalization. However, in our Pakistan context, we have seen that Universal inclusion has not brought positive results and have added dent to the image of democracy in the eyes of people. Instead of giving extra votes to the people with university degrees, the right of votes should be restricted to the people with the university degrees. This will encourage governments to invest in education to increase their voters. I am of the view that educated person can provide better feedback than the uneducated person and can take care of goodwill of uneducated one along with himself. Although, no system can be perfect but epistocracy has signs that can improve the fate of Pakistan as compare to democracy and military rule.  What is your point of view?
[2] M. N. Hayat, K. Fatima, U. Mukhtar, and S. Bano, “Economic Performance of Pakistan Under Democracy and Military Regimes,” Journal of Economics, Business and Management, Vol. 4, No. 12, December 2016


Monday, August 25, 2014

Sentiment Analysis on Tweets of Pakistani Journalists

The edited version of this blog is published on Express Tribune on October 27, 2014

The events taking place around us affect our feeling. Our feelings affect our conversation during normal life.  In the last three weeks, major event of Azadi March is happening in Pakistan. This event is affecting the feeling of average Pakistani on the road. Being related to data mining and text mining field, I carried out a little experiment to check out the feeling/sentiments of Pakistani journalists who are reporting the current event in Pakistan. I took the journalists as test case because people listen to them and are affected by their feelings.

 Twitter data is normally used for understanding the feelings of the people. Researchers in USA have used twitter data to understand the feelings of the people during Presidential election. To understand the feelings of the Pakistani journalists, I used the Sentiment analysis technique on the tweets of the journalists from the last three weeks.  I used twitteR library of R-software to extract the tweets and Datumbox twitter Sentiment analysis API to rate the sentiment of each tweet as positive, negative and neutral depending upon the context. I used the last three week tweets of Cyril Almeida, Fahad Hussain, Fereeha, Hamid Mir, Iftikhar Ahmad, Jasmeen Manzoor, Javed Chaudhry, Kashif Abbasi, Moeed Pirzada, Mushtaq Minhas, Rauf Kalasra, Raza Rumi, Shahzeb Khanzada, and Talat Hussain for my experiment. Due to limitation of time, I wasn’t able to conduct experiment on other journalists.   

The results obtained from the experiment are very interesting. Moeed Pirzada and Fahad Hussain sentiments are obtained as most positive among all of their peers. Mushtaq Minhas appears up as the one who tops in negative sentiment. For neutral sentiments, Hamid Mir tops the group. Not only his neutral sentiments were on the top but positive and negative sentiments were too low that it appears that he can hide his feelings more than among his peers. Similar is the case with Iftikhar Ahmad, Rauf Kalasra, and Shahzeb Khanzada. Amount of positive sentiments remains higher than negative for Fahad Hussain, Hamid Mir, Jasmeen Manzoor, Javed Chaudhry, Moeed Pirzada, and Raza Rumi. Cyril Almeida, Fereeha, Jasmeen Manzoor, and Kashif Abbasi try to balance their sentiments in their tweets as a result their neutral sentiments remains lower than their positive and negative sentiment. Mushtaq Minhaz neutral sentiments were also lower than positive and negative but that is due to the fact that most of his sentiments were judged as negative. Cyril Almeida, Fereeha, Kashif Abbasi, Mushtaq Minhas, Rauf Kalasra, and Talat Husain comes up as the journalist who are spreading negative sentiments using their tweets. The results of the sentiment analysis are shown in Table 1 and Figure 1.

In the future, if I will get time, I will conduct an experiment to read the sentiments of the people replying to these journalists to understand how much affect people are taking from the sentiments of these journalists. How they are replying back on getting the implicit sentiment from journalists in their tweets. Till then kindly reply back to me that do you agree with the Datumbox twitter sentiment analysis  engine results about the sentiments of the journalists or not?

Figure1: Graph of Sentiment Analysis Experiment
Table 1: Results of Sentiment Analysis Experiment
Cyril Almeida (@cyalm)
Fahad Hussain (@Fahdhusain)
Fereeha (@Fereeha)
Hamid Mir (@HamidMirGEO)
Iftikhar Ahmad (@jawabdeyh)
Jasmeen Manzoor (@jasmeenmanzoor)
Javed Chaudhry (@javedchoudhry)
Kashif Abbasi (@Kashifabbasiary)
Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj)
Mushtaq Minhas (@mushtaqminhas)
Rauf Kalasra (@KlasraRauf)
Raza Rumi (@Razarumi)
Shahzeb Khanzada (@shahzebkhanzda)
Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Halalgoogling: the constructive feedback

If I were white, I'd get less criticism: Lenny Kravitz. The same principle applies with the newly launched search engine "Halalgoogling". If it was not "halalafied" or "for muslims", it would have got less negative criticism. Express tribune have recently published a blog criticizing the search engine. The focal point of aforementioned blog was to target the name of the blog by showing that search engine is not able to filter few  so called "haram" words. Is the criticism on "halalgoogling" constructive, I don't think so.

Criticizing the search engine for not being able to filter few not commonly used words, is not justified. The blog published in Express tribune shows that author was more in a hurry to write the blog than to read what the developers have said about the limitations. According to the developers of "halalgoogling" in their blog, if anyone finds objectionable word that is not being filtered, should report or suggest  them. Therefore all the criticism so far on the search engine is already answered by the developers.

If we are really sincere to give feedback, we should give constructive feedback that should help the developers to improve their work. I can summarize the following points regardings the search engine that should be asked from the developers.

  1. Why i should use "halalgoogling" instead of google with safe search? You people have done some really good work technically. However, I don't find any reason to use your search engine. Selling your product by attaching the religion with it, is a recipe to fail. You have numerious examples of such products in a Pakistani market.
  2. The length of the name "halalgoogling" is also an obsticle for me to use it. Have you ever wonder why "Yahoo", "Google", and "Bing" were so quickly adopted by the people all over the world? The length of the name "halalgoogling" will certainly become obstacle in adopting your search engine.
  3. The word Google is not a synonym for the word "search". It is a "aween" word and now a propritey name for a search engine company.  You have used their name in your search engine name. why?
  4. Will I get better search results through your search engine? Do you have developed a new "Search algorithm"? If so, when you are going to  patent it? Might be Google purchase it from you as they also paid 336 million US dollars to Sanford University to use their patent algorithm "PageRank". The Google got more popularity than the other search engines in 1999 and 2000, only due to the strength of PageRank algorithm to produce better results. Does your algorithm is comparable to PageRank?
  5. Why there is no credits to real search engine in the results if you are just using filters over someone else search results? If you are using "Google Api" you must mention it somewhere. On one side, you are attaching religion and on otherside you are not giving credit to the real search engine company. Doesn't it contradict with the islamic values?
  6. The performance of a filtering system goes down with the increase in the filtered word list. How you can convince me that I don't have to wait longer than the renowned search engine? What will be the value of a search engine if i have to wait for longer time for the results?
  7. Menu bar is not stable. The  login link  appeared after i search some words. The link didn't responded at all. It just disappeared when I moved back to the first page. This should not happen in a professional website or a search engine.
  8. Is my privacy safe on your "halalgoogling" search engine? Do your search engine keep history of my search results? What is the purpose of "login" in a search engine if you donot store my personalized searches? If you store the searches, how should I be sure enough of my privacy? Will you target my thoughts using data mining techniques to judge my behaviour and likings?

To summarize all of the above, I would say that "halalgoogling" is a good effort but not convincing enough to force me to use it. The developers should present something other than the religion, to sell their product, otherwise, negative feedback will keep on rolling towards them.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dr Hoodbouy Test for waterkit car is wrong

Dr Hoodbouy is going to be insulted by the self claimed Engineer Agha Waqar and the media very soon. I am claiming this based on the validity test demanded by Dr Hoodbouy in his recent article in Express Tribune. Dr Hoodbouy had asked him to prove the working of his water Kit by fitting it with the electricity Generator.  Agha Waqar had shown this on Television and Dr Hoodbouy might not have seen that program.  Really has Dr Hoodbouy demanded the wrong test?

Agha Waqar claim is not intentional fraud as claimed by Dr Hoodbouy but overall working cost of water kit will soon going to be proved more costly than the cost of oil saved by his method. As a result those who will buy his kit will become victim of unintentional fraud.

Dr Qadeer and many other people from Pakistan Science foundation are also on the wrong foot. Reason, they are only looking at the moving car and not the force which is moving the car. Unfortunately Dr Hoodbouy has demanded only the working of engine and these people will soon start insulting him as this is going to happen.

To clearly understand why Hoodbouy demanded question is wrong, we have to look at the working of engine via CNG. CNG is injected in the air intake pipe of a petrol engine where spark plug ignite the gas similarly as that ignite petrol and that provide the energy to move the engine and so as the car. Here in this case, instead of CNG, hydrogen, which is going to be produced via electrolysis of water, is being used. As hydrogen is also combustible just like CNG, so theoretically it is going to work.

So now question can come that where goes the law of thermodynamics of which Dr Hoodbouy and Dr Atta-ur-Rehman were talking about. Dr Atta-ur-Rehman had clearly mentioned that in Hammid Mir program that everything will be cleared when the car will run for some time (say 1000 miles as mentioned by Talat Hussain in his article as well).

To clearly understand why Agha Waqar claim is against the law of thermodynamics, we have to look at the complete working cycle of his water kit car.

  1.   Energy from battery is being used in the form of electricity to break the water molecule in hydrogen and oxygen. Some energy will be lost in the form of heat and some chemical reactions if water is not pure.
  2. Hydrogen will be injected in the engine just like CNG to move the engine. Energy will be lost here as well due to heat and friction.
  3. Due to the motion of the motor, alternator will be operated as a result electricity will be produced that will be stored in battery. Here as well, much of the energy is usually lost due to the friction and electrical resistance.

According to the law of thermodynamics, energy used from the battery in point 1, should be much larger than what the battery receive in the point 3. If both become same, than this whole cycle is a perfect perpetual machine which is not possible as it is opposite to the law of thermodynamics.

So In my view, Dr Hoodbouy has asked the wrong question that is just to show the working of point 2 in the above mentioned cycle and Agha Waqar will clearly pass this test.

The test for Agha Waqar should be to show theoretically making the calculation that on average how much energy (electricity) is being used to do the electrolysis in point 1(say for one liter of water) and similarly how much energy (electricity) is being stored again in battery in point 3 (by the engine running on the hydrogen generated by same one liter of water). If both are equal than his claim is correct.

All the previous claims of running cars on water, ended in fraud as the cost of charging the battery again and again had proved to be more expensive than the cost of oil saved in those methods.

Summarizing all the above, I will say Dr Hoodbouy should ask the correct test otherwise most of the people will lose money and big scientists like him will be humiliated. Test should be to check the law of thermodynamics rather than testing the movement of car or working of engine.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Electrolysis and Pakistani Media

Almost every other day, a story use to pop up in a Pakistani media that a technician in some part of Pakistan has developed a method to produce electricity by burning water or have developed a method to run a car using water as a fuel. Recently Hamid Mir a renowned TV anchor have broadcasted a TV show on similar conceptReally is it possible to use Water as a fuel?

Water is not a fuel and it doesn’t burn but hydrogen is. Water is a combination of Hydrogen and oxygen.  Unfortunately hydrogen is not freely available. To use hydrogen as a fuel, water molecules have to be broken down. Most common method of breaking the water molecule is renowned as electrolysis. Electricity is used in this method to separate Hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Every matric/FSC student tests this method in their school labs. Now these people are using electrolysis to generate hydrogen which is then provided to the engines via air intake pipe just like CNG to burn hydrogen and run the engine.

But wait a minute, what is the actual source of energy which is running the engine? It’s the electricity.  Without electricity, water molecule will not be broken down; hydrogen will not be produced and will not be burned in the engine. From where this free electricity comes from and at what cost? You are using electricity to run engine or generate electricity.

Pakistani media is extremely strange and it is evident that instead of doing the cost analysis of the electrolysis process, TV anchor Hammid Mir tested the system by driving the car and do you expect what he said

“Ye to bilkul normal gari ki tarah chal rahi hay”
(It is running like a normal car)

What do you have expected, should car have to fly with water or hydrogen fuel. As it was running normal so you have declared it the cheapest method. You and those technicians should be given Noble Prize.

According to Hammid Mir, Oil industry is not allowing to use water as alternative fuel. In my view it is not correct. Its the over all cost (including maintenance cost) of cars running on electrolysis which is not allowing them to be used as alternative.

The inventor Agha Waqar, challenged Dr Atta ur Rehman in another show, hosted by TV anchor Talat Hussain,

“Ager battery dead bi ho, app Dhaka laga k gari start ker lain to battery to charge ho jati ha“

So, according to him, battery will never be consumed and it’s a complete cycle where more energy will be produced with less energy consumption. But this is not true, we have to look at the complete cycle in this case to understand what is happening behind it.

Car will run on gasoline to run the car’s motor. Energy will be lost due to heat and friction and its alternator will be operated due to the motion of the motor which result in creating electricity and that will be stored in battery. But again energy will be lost during this process due to friction and electrical resistance. Electricity from the battery will be used to separate hydrogen using electrolysis. Energy will be again lost in the form of heat and other chemical reactions if water will not be pure. Hydrogen will be then used to run the engine instead of gasoline.

In each cycle, lot of energy will be wasted. Each time, battery will be charged less due to losses and as a result, less hydrogen will be produced. After some time, battery will have to be charged again via gasoline or some external method.

On an average 5x electricity is consumed to generate 1x electricity via this method.

1000 m3 of H2 will generate 1MWh of electricity and 1MWh of heat.

In the last but not least, making water distilled also consume energy mostly in the form of electricity or burning of oil.

Agha Waqar misconceptions:
1. Sound system in cars also consume battery power, so what's a big deal ? Bahi, sound system is only the consumer of energy, in your system battery power is the starting point, without electricity whole system will not work. Both of them are two separate things altogether.

2. It will save millions of rupees as import of oil will be reduced. How, than who will charge the batteries. For charging the batteries, you have to burn oil or any other method. Oil will still be required and at the same time, due to heavy usage of batteries, their prices will also shoot at the same time.

3. Very little battery power is being utilized. Ok, but how much. Have you calculated that?

4. Car is moving so the method is the best. Sorry unless you will not show that overall cost of using kit is less than the cost of oil saved by this method, this can not be said that it is a cheap method.

Missing points:
As the discussion is getting long I will not explain the other missing points which are not being addressed in the media about this method. Like, cost of electricity for electrolysis, life time of electrodes being used in electrolysis process and their cost, cost of distilled water, effect of hydrogen burring on engine efficiency etc etc. At the same time Hydrogen is odorless gas, so it is very hard to detect incase of leakage which brings the safety expects in concern as well.  If you bring all this into account than one can assume that this is not cheap method at all.

To summarize all of the above I would say, media should study before presenting something as free energy source. It is good that many technicians and scientists are working for alternate source of energy but electrolysis or water is not a free source of energy or alternative fuel unless you prove theoretically as well that overall cost of this kit is less than the cost of oil saved in this method.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fed up with Bolta Pakistan ‘s Imran Khan Phobia

News anchors have to be neutral but this is not the case in Pakistan. This is evident by exploring the Bolta Pakistan facebook page. Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq minhas are extremely biased against Imran Khan and PTI. Reason for this is completely unknown or you may guess.

Just have a look at the post they had published on their facebook page. One wonders if they have any moral values or not.

As a result, they are getting too much attention and abusive comments from the youth of Pakistan. In return, they are also fighting like Kids. The following post demonstrate their childish behavior.

Showing their childish behavior they do not forget to do personal attacks on people complaining against their behavior and PTI by using extremely abusive language.

Every day they come up with some post against Imran Khan and PTI. They also abuse Imran Khan with the name “Adolf-Khan”.  Is it ok for the journalists to abuse any politician openly? Where are the moral and ethical values of the journalists? Are they really journalists or not?

It seems to me that it is their program policy to abuse Imran Khan and PTI. There could be number of reasons behind that.

Get High Rating:
 As Imran Khan and PTI are becoming popular with a rapid race, they are trying to attract the attention towards them. By abusing the Party, more and more people will respond and their program will get attention.

Defending their Political Parties: 
Sometimes it seems that Nusrat Javed is working for PPP and Mushtaq minhaz is working for PMLN and their only assigned task is to defend their political parties rather than to work as journalists. They show no sign of neutrality. This is against the ethics of journalism but who follows the ethics in the era of corrupted journalism.

Defending Malik Riaz’s Money:
Not a single politician had openly spoken against Malik Riaz except Imran Khan.  At the same time both anchors of ‘Bolta Pakistan’, Mushtaq Minhaz and Nusrat Javed are accused of getting bribes from Malik Riaz. Their only defense so far against this money is similar to what Mubashir Luqman said in the leaked video “Give me that money”.  It also seems that Malik Riaz money is active behind abusive comments and posts of ‘ Bolta Pakistan’ against Imran Khan.

All the reason could be wrong but they way they are active against Imran Khan and PTI, have made me sick. I am totally fed up with their posts and comments.  Journalist should not become a party at any cost and should remain neutral. There should be some code of ethics for the journalists otherwise soon all the politicians will become TV anchors and journalists.

What do you think, what is the reason behind ‘Bolta Pakistan’ madness ?