Hafiz Juma

TEDxDar
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Someone is shy

Hafiz hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Comments & conversations

79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
William Golding on the Novel: "Boys do not evaluate a book. They divide books into categories. There are sexy books, war books, westerns, travel books, science fiction. A boy will accept anything from a section he knows rather than risk another sort. He has to have the label on the bottle to know it is the mixture as before. You must put his detective story in a green paperback or he may suffer the hardship of reading a book in which nobody is murdered at all; - I am thinking of the plodders, the amiable majority of us, not particularly intelligent or gifted; well-disposed, but left high and dry among a mass of undigested facts with their scraps of saleable technology. What chance has literature of competing with the defined categories of entertainment which are laid on for them at every hour of the day? I do not see how literature is to be for them anything but simple, repetitive and a stop-gap for when there are no westerns on the telly. They will have a far less brutish life than their Nineteenth-Century ancestors, no doubt. They will believe less and fear less. But just as bad money drives out good, so inferior culture drives out superior. With any capacity to make value judgements vitiated or undeveloped, what mass future is there, then, for poetry, for belles-lettres, for real fearlessness in the theatre, for the novel which tries to look at life anew - in a word, for intransigence?"
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
Art according to Joseph Conrad: art was an attempt to render the highest justice to the visible universe: that it tried to find in that universe, in matter as well as in the facts of life, what was fundamental, enduring, essential. The writer's method of attaining the essential was different from that of the thinker or the scientist. These, said Conrad, knew the world by systematic examination. To begin with the artist had only himself; he descended within himself and in the lonely regions to which he descended, he found "the terms of his appeal". He appealed, said Conrad, "to that part of our being which is a gift, not an acquisition, to the capacity for delight and wonder... our sense of pity and pain, to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation - and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts... which binds together all humanity - the dead to the living and the living to the unborn."
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
In regards to TED as a higher learning institution, Although they have not outright said this, they have alluded to it, and allowed people who frame them as such to get away with it (which is surprising as they are very particular about their brand). I don't necessarily think this view is realistic, but I do think it has credence, and like what I said earlier, should be explained. Particularly in the sense of where do they draw the line between "ideas worth spreading", "ads worth spreading" and "bills worth paying", "agendas worth pushing"? http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation.html http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/ted-talks-online-ivy-league/ http://www.smartplanet.com/people/blog/pure-genius/for-ted-curator-chris-anderson-shifting-the-world-with-great-ideas/5022/
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
Harald, firstly let me explain myself. I am not trying to villainize TED at all. In fact I have a lot of respect for the organization. I am however using the aws initiative as instigation for a much more complicated question. My question, is primarily exactly what you asked, what is art? It is impossible for me to answer that in light of what perceptions of art have become. Does art depend on being seen to exist? If so, then a certain industrialization of art has to take place, which means, that art is inherently supportive of an economic mantra through its very existence. Segwaying into the AWS, I think it conjures a very pertinent question, why are these ads worth spreading? In the about AWS video, the reason was because they are either fun, entertaining, thought-provoking, supportive of a cause, etc. Nonetheless, however, they are still advertisements (key word) that have been further pushed to a convoluted abstraction of content taking precedence over form on one layer, but on a second layer form taking precedence over content. I believe, that as TED further extends its brand, despite having a token position of having 'no road map' (see links below), this is definitely hard to believe, especially, as you said, they have to pay their bills at the end of the day. How does something like AWS relate to that. In the AWS video, it was said towards the end that the hope is for this to foster greater accountability on the part of advertisers (which relates to my previous comment). I think there should also be a level of accountability on the part of TED, in terms of the non-superficial/PR spin of why they do what they do. Again, obviously they don't owe this to anyone, however I think it is only fair. I think of a comparison to the Gates Foundation, which, having a massive endowment of private wealth, has the potential to shift policy of numerous countries, simply through the projects they fund. Yet they are accountable to no one.
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
Harald, please don't get me wrong here. Perhaps I am being overly harsh to TED. It is definitely not my intention to villainize anyone. In fact, I have plenty of respect for TED. I suppose I am using them as an example for a much more complicated question. To respond to your first question, that is my question. I am trying garner different people's interpretations of exactly that, what is art, in light of it the ad initiative? Is art only art when a commodity. Is it simply the industrialization of creativity, meaning, if art has to be seen, by default, practically it has to operate within a economic structure to do so. Is that something that we should accept? Secondly, even though TED hasn't necessarily positioned itself as "the higher-learning institution", it is more and more being perceived as such. While I think this is an exaggeration, I think it is worth considering when TED starts an initiative like this. In a recent interview, Chris said that there is no road map for TED, however, that is hard to believe with these constant extensions to the brand. (see links at the bottom). Finally, I agree, TED has to pay the bills. This was initially done through traditional sponsorship and ad revenue. By now putting a spotlight on these ads, does this relate to TED's sustainability or seeing a real value in the Ad's they are promoting. The comment about ad's enhancing accountability, that was directly lifted from the video on what aws was. Watch it again, it may clarify what I was trying to say. http://www.smartplanet.com/people/blog/pure-genius/for-ted-curator-chris-anderson-shifting-the-world-with-great-ideas/5022/ http://umagazinology.jhu.edu/2011/02/25/from-that-ted-guy/ http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/ted-talks-online-ivy-league/ http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation.html
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
@ M.A.L.G., thanks for commenting. I don't mind at all. Harald's point is definitely relevant. Something that I've been thinking about is the notion of accountability. If the aim of aws and the 'forward' thinking advertisements they promote is to create a greater level of accountability, what does that do the notion of universal suffrage? Meaning, ultimately, no matter how well intentioned we want to think of an advertisement, it is still a device for enhancing brand equity and translating into profits. Looking at organizations corporate social responsibility program is a perfect example. Nonetheless, the private sector has proven to be better suited than government in a lot of areas, particularly social services. Is aws a subtle nod towards this notion of private sector led policy and development by creating a culture and medium for critical engagement and accountability? Even if this is only a by-product, it is great that it will push the private sector into being more accountable. That said, who will they be accountable to? I am assuming customers or prospective customers. Even if the 'emergent markets' (the people who are exploited for their limited purchasing power) are one of these potential customers, inevitably, those who are bigger customers, with greater right to being accountable to will be calling the shots. So maybe we will have a say, but some people a bigger say than others? ....capital democracy
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the new TED initiative of "Ads Worth Spreading" worth supporting?
I definitely agree that TED deserves the benefit of the doubt. The two fundamental questions still remain though. How do we feel about art as industry and commodity? Secondly, in light of TED attempting to embark on a project of becoming the modern-day higher-learning institution, does the content it broadcasts (its curriculum) require justification in relation to its politics and economic values?
79961
Hafiz Juma
Posted over 3 years ago
Is the Gates Foundation really out there to engage in development in effective ways?
@tms ruge, thank you for joining the conversation. It is deeply alarming that Africa, one of the safe havens for non-industrialized, non-mechanized unprocessed foods is throwing this away to join the 'modern' world and the 'new' way of growing food. Yes, our own governments should be criticized for perpetuating this, in fact the deal with Tanzania was signed behind closed doors in Davos. However, those that are complicit, those that encourage this move towards what is perceived by some as development should be also recognize their responsibility. This continued victimization, dependency and sense of supremacy and knowledge that the Big Boys espouse should be called what it is. Nothing more than the tendency that stems from capital exploitation during colonialism and self-help structural readjustment in the post-independence period. Foucault, who I tend to agree with, has shown that the state of life, local and global, is defined by deeply structural relationships. For organizations like BMGF and the like to act as if they don't know this and pretend that they are actually working for the greater good simply reflects on their perceptions of the people they are 'helping'. The status quo helps these organizations exist and any attempt to refute this or demonstrate otherwise is insulting. There is a conflict of interest at play. We can see this. Please don't treat us as though we are ignorant. Also, it should be known, good intentions don't necessarily yield positive results. Quite often the contrary as it turns recipients of aid into victims and providers into saviors. One form of bondage replacing another.