Creating Happiness.

“Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude”.

Our homes are an extension of who we are: what we do within the walls of our abodes shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our outlook on life. Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives — we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.

It’s amazing how a few tweaks to our daily habits can become a catalyst for meaningful, positive change. Here are a few simple things you can do every day to feel happier at home. I will share with you small things that have helped me enjoy my life and enhance my happiness.

Make your bed. One of the most popular saying by my Dad when I was growing up was “early to bed and early to rise makes someone healthy, wealthy and wise” but when you do, make sure you don’t suck in your first task of day, making your bed. The three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness. When this task is completed, it sets you on a path of completing other tasks,…….. it might be taking a shower, finally leaving the house, attending a meeting and maybe finally signing the contract. (I heard that in some commencement speech, I have forgotten where) And if your day will not be as fun as you anticipated, at least you go back to a made bed. – okey, that was Chimamanda Adichie.

Display sentimental items around your home. One reason that experiences (and memories of those experiences) make us happier than material things is due to the entire cycle of enjoyment that experiences provide: planning the experience, looking forward to the experience, enjoying the experience, and then remembering the experience. Make your home a gallery of positive memories. Items you value most, make sure they are displayed, well where your eye can reach.

Start a gratitude journal. I always say, one problem about journaling is that those secrets that lied safe in your heart are now out in a book, and their safety is threatened. My wife always wants to know what is in my Journal, but that is besides the point. Before bed, simply jot down one happy memory from that day. (If you have kids, you can ask them, “What was the best part of today?”) Reflection is an important part of happiness, and pausing to reflect on a positive event from each day cultivates gratitude. (An added bonus: Later, when your memory is defunct, you will already have all of your meaningful adventures recorded!) Well if the above is difficult for you, just know you are not alone,…..just journal in your own way. Just like me.

If you can’t get out of it, get into it. This tip comes from The Happiness Project. I love the message: The dishes are not going to clean themselves, so you will do it, and you will like it! (Unless, of course, you can outsource this job, in which case I say: Nice work!) Otherwise, get into doing the dishes. Feel the soothing warm water on your hands. Enjoy the tickle of the tiny bubbles. Crank your favorite album at an unusually loud volume, do a couple fist-pumps while shouting “Can I get a hell yeah for the dishes? Hell! Yeah!” and pretend you love it or just maybe, Love it.

Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. In The Art of Happiness, the Dali Lama says “”Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” Wow. What a wise man. I tend to wake up with a strong visceral reaction that says, “Attention human beings: Be afraid of me before coffee. Be very afraid!” Setting a daily intent makes a huge difference. Your daily intent could be something like “be productive” or “enjoy today’s delicious moments” or it could be something more specific like “say thank you to my wife today.” But it should not be another “to do” item on your list. Be intentional.

Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home. Save money for a new grill for parties or a new DVD for family movie night — something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain. Plan a barbeque, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. (And don’t forget to print out the pictures to remember the good times.) I will say this the most nicest way, Internet, that thing that connects you to the world,…..that you are so happy to have, destroys more relationships than it builds. Internet is like the devil crawling at you, and you must master it.

Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. In my case, I am a born again Christian, I read the bible everyday and pray, fasting is not my strength…..I am being very honest so be kind.  Whatever your spiritual beliefs — or non-beliefs — may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. No man is an Island…….that’s from Bob Marley’s song but am sure you get the point. “But thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God, for it is thee that giveth power to create wealth” Deuteronomy 8:18 Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous power of our creator can put some perspective on your life.

Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself, read the bible, pray and have moments of meditation. Enjoy Quiet Personal Time.Take a walk in nature, the one place that connects us to the creator or in other cases the universe. The place of utmost peace, the place if you ask me, that should be everyone’s portion. Write in a journal. Buy flowers, and cherish them, place some art on the walls. Create a sacred space in your home (Or if spirituality is really not your thing,…….try to make it your thing and if 1,2,3,4,5,6 times doesn’t work, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book… are you feeling better yet?) If not, repeat.


Bike Riding Karura Forest.

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I have cycled to the mountain top, through the Aberdare National Park, I have cycled on the crazy roads, in the City of Nairobi, 50 km everyday for five days. I have cycled downhill in record speed, sometimes, many times thinking that my heart could pop out, could stop. I have cycled to the lake, and beside Longonot, down the rift valley in the pouring rain, and I couldn’t stop. I have been in places that has changed my life, I have been here and there, cycling down Florida road to Moses Mabhida, to Durban Waterfront.

Cycling is now a way of life, NO, its my way of life. Its not something I plan to do but something I have loved doing. Being on a bike is everything for me, almost everything, I live there and I am happy there. Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to explore nature and experience the world that we live in as well as a pleasurable, environmentally friendly and economical way to get around, get exercise and to meet people or to become closer to friends and family.

Traveling through towns or into the country at bike riding speeds is invigorating and allows you to cover more ground than you could by walking and to enjoy and explore the world more personally and in more detail than you could by driving in a car. This is the spirit I woke up with today. I have a bike rack that makes it easy to carry my bike on my car, so the dark days I believe are behind me. Today, am going for the forest, but first its a drive to Karura forest,…….the place where magic lives.

Karura is a place I have failed to master, when i am here, I just look at the bike track and speed, cutting through the wind, my bike taking on the earth and roots and still being able to conque. What gives me the most enjoyment or pleasure from bike riding is, of course, going to be personal and will be dependent on your own riding style and preferences. As for myself, I love nature, being outdoors whenever possible and a long bike ride on a beautiful day. The love of bike riding is the wind on your face and the sweet smell of flowers in the spring as you glide down a gentle hill.

In summer……like today, it’s finding and exploring new places, the cooling effect of a gentle breeze as you ride through a canopy of trees, a bike path bridge over a stream or even the sound of thunder and the smell of the coming rain. The love of bike riding is a fast ride along a winding bike path, the smell of dried or burning leaves, the color of the trees in the distance or right alongside the bike path that you are on and a scenic sunset at the end of a long ride. This is what makes this day special, because Karura gives you all that.

The first time i biked here, I met two guys and together with my wife, who then was my girlfriend made great memories together. It was a long day for us trying to find the waterfall, the caves which we couldnt find despite them being a walk away from the waterfalls….a real walk away. So we asked, for the way….and that helped. But everytime I come here I discover something new, something I havent seen, and I have always wanted to keep it that way. I don’t need to master where everything is, I want Karura to remain a mystery, that place that is different everyday I bike here.

So for my day out today, for the first time I used the Kiambu road gate, 15 minutes into my cycling I way in the caves, peaceful and quiet, it was also cool very cool. The trees were tall, very tall. The walk down was steep very steep, at some point I had to carry my bike. I crossed different bridges…small and tiny. The the waterfalls was infront of me, infront of my eyes, and it was all new to me. I had approached it from a different point, and that did not remind me the last time I saw it.

Then I had to make it to the picnic field, where food, cold drinks and water was waiting, and event with that motivation, I still got lost….in the woods again. That is why I have to keep coming, not to master the forest but to get lost, because I love being lost…….

when i am lost….that is when I find myself.


Drought and Hunger hits parts of Kenya.

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My last article was about spicy food, something i am really passionate about. Then came my post on Facebook, “Hunger is now a national disaster, all this time we’ve been telling hungry people to register as voters”. One of my friend wanted to know more about that, and since I could not have explained it in a few words, I decided to write this article.

Over 80 per cent of Kenya’s population of 40 million derives their livelihoods from agriculture and pastoralism. Four million small farm households produce three-quarters of the country’s food. Yet Kenya’s farmers face massive challenges. Their landholdings are small, productivity is low and most have little access to inputs, financial services and markets to sell any surplus produce. Poverty and hunger remain deep and persistent. Around 48 per cent of Kenyans, especially subsistence farmers and pastoralists, live in poverty and over 40 per cent – around 16 million people – lack sufficient food. This is graphical I know, but true.

By end of 2016, five coast counties were ravaged with drought and hunger. The situation threatened 1.3 million lives in Kenya, according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). Kilifi had been identified as having the severest vegetation deficit. Kinango in Kwale and Lamu West sub-counties are also in the severe vegetation deficit band. But thats where it all ended, today, this figures are a reality.

Today, more that 2 million Kenyans are facing hunger and starvation because of prolonged drought. People and animals’ lives are at risk because they have not had a chance to recover from drought in 2014 as rains were also poor in 2015 and 2016. The 2016 long rains were poor, leaving 1.3 million Kenyans in need of food aid, according to the government, which has started distributing maize, beans and rice to hungry people in the worst-affected northern and coastal regions.

Generally, responses to drought or crisis are too little and too late, it can take several months for emergency aid to reach people on the ground. Most of the worst hit area have poor road network, None if not little access to communication, and very limited representation. Kenya has declared the ongoing drought affecting many parts of the country a national disaster, calling for aid to counter the situation which is posing a major risk to people, livestock and wildlife.

The Kenya Red Cross estimated about 2.7 million people were in need of food aid after low rainfall in October and November, with the next rainy season not due before April. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called for “local and international partners to come in and support the government’s efforts to contain the situation”.

Out of Kenya’s 47 counties, 23 have been deemed to be facing disastrous drought. Early this month, residents in drought-struck northern Kenya said at least 11 people were killed and a tourist lodge torched due to conflicts when armed cattle herders flooded onto farms and wildlife reserves. Our nation has faced this situation before and efforts to create a permanent solutions have not yielded fruits.

With a score of 21.9 in Global Hunger Index, Kenya is ranked among the top 50 countries failing to provide their people with enough food. Kenya is ranked marginally ahead of conflict-prone Iraq which has a score of 22 and is outpaced by Egypt with a score of 13.7 which has in recent years been faced by conflict.

Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it’s up to all of us that we set the priorities right to ensure that governments, the private sector and civil society devote the time and resources necessary to meet this important goal. I feel sad when I witness what is going on in our nation, my soul and prayers goes to those affected and in my little way, I contribute with kindness to the people affected.

We continue to hope, We continue to pray and we continue to fight.


My BMW Is for Sale.

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If you are planning to buy a BMW, you should read this article. I have always had this strong thoughts that “my BMW is not for sale”. That thought has changed. My 1988, 520i M20 Engine went on sale in December 2016. It was 29 years old, out of those, nine years under my custody. I was the third owner. A car this old if it’s driving  Europe they say “it’s living on borrowed times”. If it’s driving in Africa, it has it’s whole life ahead of it, just like the road.  I will admit that I knew very little about BMWs except for the fact that “the Germans make car”, good cars.

While living in Mombasa, I got a tender to supply stationary in one of the leading hotel which had one policy, that they would not accept any delivery if you didn’t show-up in a car. Cars were not common then and deliveries made using other modes of transportations were very common. I desired to have a car, and living in the Henry Ford dream, I wanted a car I could afford, and that would be a beetle.

If you have been around for awhile, you might be enjoying the luxury the auto industry provides today but to speak the truth, when cars were made, the VW Beetle sent out a good statement. The need for this kind of car, and its functional objectives, was formulated by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country’s new road network. Hitler contracted Ferdinand Porsche in 1934 to design and build it. Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design. The influence on Porsche’s design of other contemporary cars, such as the Tatra V570 and the work of Josef Ganz remains a subject of dispute.

The result was one of the first rear-engined cars since the Brass Era. With 21,529,464 produced, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made. My dream to own one of this beauties did not mature and on January of 2007, I managed my first ever car, 1988 BMW sedan, it was a 520i with an M20 engine. I was the third owner. The BMW E34 is the third generation 5 Series, launched in February 1988. It had a stiffer body and was more streamlined than its predecessor.

The E34 was among the most reliable luxury cars on the market, earning the best-in-class ratings from Intellichoice in 1991, and still considered one of the most reliable BMWs ever made. It was also one of the safest cars on the road during its production, providing airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, and a very rigid body structure to protect occupants in the event of an accident. It was also equipped with automatic stability control (ASC) or traction control (ASC+T) in later years on higher-specification variants.

The past nine years behind the wheel of 5series have been full of emotions, we traveled the roads together.  We went East, where the sun wakes up with a smile, bringing the earth to life. We went West, where the sun goes to bed handing over duties to the moon and the stars and the hungry wolfs. We went North, to the mountains, the mighty and not, the Soysambu Conservancy touching the dry grass, and the rocks a head and the dust to the horizon. We went south, to the beaches, to where God put all the waters of the earth. We have been together during the day and during the night, with the sunroof open the sun kissing my head and in the middle of the pouring rain. This old folk son of a beach, has been faithful.

Are there some disappointing days? of course yes, a few of them. Like when she blew the fuel relay and I couldn’t figure out what. The accident at 4am when she couldn’t remember home because I was drunk. The day I picked up pieces of my broken shock 300 km away from home. The overheatings, sometimes on traffic, sometimes on the highway, sometimes early in the morning and sometimes late at night. But all the same, am sorry to say that this has been a good experience for both of us, we took care of each other. We were faithful friends. So today “Kasuye” as I have often called her IS FOR SALE and the next buyer is looking forward to create his memories, just like me.

But for you out there, if you are thinking of buying a BMW 5 series, please read this article. The 5 series BMW’s second best-selling model after the 3-Series (where I am headed next) and in 2010 produced about 50% of the BMW’s profits. I do not know if I will come back to the 5 series again only time will tell, for now I want to experience what is in store for 3 series club members and when am done here an SUV would be my ideal choice of the future.

One day a friend of mine told me that I love my car too much, I give her too much attention, and too much time. I believe men who invest in toys have mastered the art of praising their toys. But my answer to my friend was that “when you own the same car for nine years, you become companions.

 


Ending the Debate.

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With the widespread adoption of the 29er mountain bike in manufacturing and the mountain bike community, the growing debate of 29er vs. traditional 26″ mountain bikes is getting hot amongst riding groups. If you are in the market to upgrade your current mountain bike or get into the sport, your options are wider than ever which is a good thing for the sport but can be debilitating when looking to purchase a new rig.

For  years, I have been riding a 26″ while wishing for a 29er, it has been a long journey taken considering the fact that I wanted to be sure before I blew the bank for my next purchase. A road bike has never worked for me, and our roads are not polite to her……trust me, when you are on a road bike in Nairobi, half of your ride will be filled with sadness. I am an adventurous person, I like to be in the woods, cycling into Karura forest, Arboretum and to the Gilgil hills, many times I commute to work on my bike between 30km to 80km, depending with the errands.

After a test on different bikes, ..you can name them, my body and my heart settled on the 29er, my body because am a tall guy, I wanted the luxury the 29er provides for guys like me. My heart because am passionate about cycling, I commute a lot on my bike and trust me, when you are sitting on a 29er, you get this feeling that you are on top of everything, you are under control, the bike gives you control. When confronted with the woods, the rocks, the roots and the sliding floor, the 29er is on top of it all, helping you manage the task at hand. I do not mean to say that the 26″ can’t do this, don’t get me wrong, but when you are on a 29er, the terrain belongs to you.

In the short travel and hard tail mountain bike market, the 29er mountain bike has almost completely taken over. This recommendations are used in conjunction with the height recommendations below.

  • HT and 100mm travel and under: 29er or 650B
  • 120mm to 130mm: 29er or 650B
  • 140mm: 650B (27.5) or 26″
  • 150mm to 160mm: 650B (27.5) or 26″
  • 160mm+: 650B (27.5) or 26″

While on my honeymoon in South Africa, I visited this small restaurant at the Durban WaterFront, its home for cyclist and dog lovers. While  enjoying coffee, I picked a flyer for a bike shop that was literally five blocks from where we were staying, and I visited them. Good news is that it was christmas and they had something on offer, something I was looking for, a 29er bike. The moment that followed was just me trying to get financing for the bike and since my wife is also the family accountant, I had to go through her. I left Durban with my bike and managed to send it to Nairobi before I left South Africa, and sixteen days later, it arrived.

I have since assembled the bike ready for its maiden ride, I can tell you, everything is worth every Rand I put on the bike. The Giant 29er comes with all the comfort and performance that a cyclist would love and want to enjoy. It’s luminous green colors makes you visible from a while distance, the tyres keeps you on the ground and with the wide handlebar, your control is not compromised and if you enjoy the benefits of being tall, cycling a 29er gives you room for your height and comfort.

As mentioned before, 29er mountain bikes do take more to maneuver through tight single track. If all of your riding is filled with tight turns in trees, you will want to try out a 29er on your own local trails before making a decision. On the other side of the spectrum, if your trails are more open and rocky, the 29er wheel size can really excel and bring more speed as you can hit sections faster.

As of 2016, the 26″ wheel is seeing its way to the “remember when” category. 27.5″ wheels have essentially taken over that market to the point that you rarely even find a 26″ tire on a long travel bike. We’ll now just refer to the 26″ tire as the size dedicated to Walmart bikes. With 27.5, 27.5 plus and other new standards, the 26″ wheel is officially dead.


Emerging green workspace

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United Nations Office at Nairobi

Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya. I am back to my small desk in Westlands, for those who like scheduling holidays and travel, you will agree with me that there is the beginning and the end. And the end is always filled with memories and both good and bad experiences. In case you are wondering, you are not alone. To bring myself to speed being back, I took a tour that was pending – visiting the United Nations Office at Nairobi. I am not new to this place but I hoped that this tour will be an educational one for my future of 2017.

The main point of interest for me then became the environment. The office sits on a hundred and forty six acres of land donated by the government of Kenya. It neighbours Karura forest and the United States Embassy. Its surrounded by the love of trees, fresh air, birds and water. If that would be the requirement for a healthy working space, I would say, UNON have succeeded. The environment created to encourage living and working in a clean, renewable and sustainable. My ‘icing on the cake’ of the tour was the United Nation Environmental Programme office, which also houses the UNHABITAT. While every other new building in town prides itself on being the latest to add green features, it is only prudent to find out how UNEP’s own headquarters in Nairobi have been designed as a model for other buildings.

What strikes you upon entering the new offices in Gigiri are the airy walkways full of plants, coupled with natural lighting coming down through the central atrium that runs the entire length of the building. This is made possible due to the building’s North-South orientation that not only helps it achieve maximum light intake but also mitigates against solar gain. About 6,000 square metres of solar panels that cover the rooftop are able to generate enough energy for the building’s 1,200 users. The water features at the entrance of each block are fed by harvested rainwater from the roof. Excess waste water is treated at an on-site aeration facility that is then used to maintain the expansive gardens. “This building is beautiful, comfortable and efficient. But more than any of that, this building is a living model of our sustainable future,” were the words of Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary General, on the official opening of the building.

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Countries all around the world are powering towards a low-carbon future by embracing solar, wind and geothermal energy. Thanks to its unique geography and commitment to environmental preservation, small but mighty Costa Rica meets a huge amount of its energy needs (99% in 2015!) using hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind, and other low-carbon sources. Next on the horizon: Costa Rica aims to be entirely carbon-neutral by 2021.

Nicaragua saw renewables comprise up to 54% of all electricity production in June 2015. How’d they do it? In 2007, the then-president began emphasizing renewable energy investments. By 2012, Nicaragua invested the fifth-highest percentage worldwide of its GDP in developing renewable energy. Next on the to-do list: The country is aiming for 90% renewables by 2020, with the majority of energy coming from wind, solar, and geothermal sources.

Over the years, the UN have turned their working space to be clean and sustainable with the GREEN ONE UN House being an important component of the UN’s climate change advocacy. Professor Wangari Maathai said “In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now”.

#RenewRecycleReuse

 

 


Wedding Day

 

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Enkishon Garden – Limuru

Friends of mine from Europe and other places not Africa have always asked to know about the African Wedding. I am not sure about that, but for me, a wedding is just a wedding. There is not much difference, if you are doing a wedding in Africa or in Europe or somewhere in Asia, the plan is that the groom gets to leave with the bride. So my friends where here for my wedding, Hagen, Christine and Joerg, and it was a wonderful time.

By many standards, our wedding was really simple. By simple i mean that we tried as much as possible to do everything within our budget and since we are not rich, trust me, that was simple enough. The last week of the wedding is usually very busy for the couple, I spent my week touring around in and out of Nairobi. The day before the wedding we went to Stella’s house, my sister…..and for the time we were there attended a Garmin workshop by Joerg…….(not a real workshop) played Bao game with hagen and carried the table to my apartment. Then we went to the Helipad of Jomo Kenyatta Convention Centre, and we could see from far how fast the rain was running towards the city. I later went for a shave, which ended up taking a lot of evening time which is always a problem when you have white people around you and are not sure about the time estimates.

I woke up at 5:45am to the singing of the birds, what a day. It was a wet morning and the earth was still recovering from the pour of last night. My errand of the day  mainly to get married that day, but there were challenges I needed to win to get there. First I had to return Stella’s car, I have been using it for some days and this day she needed it, which meant I was without transportation and I had to look for alternatives. I also needed to know how my mother will get to Westlands, the place where she was supposed to pick the lady I was marrying. I needed to be in Limuru without defects, the venue of my wedding and for some reason, everybody’s eyes were staring at me so I had to be at my best behaviour.

I always want to keep my head busy, especially on a day like this being busy takes my mind out of stuff. Today, I chose to be in my leaders meeting, which for a reason is being held in Limuru. I was surrounded by love from many people as I prepared for this day. Breakfast, prayer and fellowship started the day. Then I was in my suite with my best man, best friend on my side and when I looked outside I could see the car carrying the bride parked. A few steps outside was the grounds, looking amazing and decorated, and the guests were starting to walk in, others already seated. So I had to do a loong walk to the altar,before the bride could follow later.

There infront of people we exchanged our vows, and we were married. Together with our loved ones we enjoyed a day of dancing, eating and talking, something really common in an African wedding. So when you ask me how an African wedding is like, am still not sure, not different from Asia, or a village in South of France or downtown Zurich. For me, a wedding is just a wedding. I have been married seven days now, I have an early morning flight tomorrow for my honeymoon so please, allow me to catch some sleep.

 

#NaomiWedsDavid


#StillWaitingForMy29er

David longed for a bicycle like his other friends but he knew that his family was poor and they could not afford it.
One morning, while going to school, David saw a boy coming on a bicycle. As the boy turned around a corner he hit an ice-cream cart. Crash! Splash! The boy and the bicycle fell into a dirty ditch. David ran to help the boy. He recognised the boy as the prefect of his school, William. William was badly hurt and would need to see a doctor.
 
Thinking quickly. David picked up the bicycle and rode to the hospital. Soon the ambulance arrived to take William. David rode the bicycle to school inform the school of the accident. Everyone praised David’s quick thinking. William was discharged after two days. He thanked David for his help and to the latter’s joy, William presented him with a lovely new bicycle on his birthday, later in the month!

The Bullshit Artist

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory.

I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullshit, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analysis. I shall not consider the rhetorical uses and misuses of bullshit. My aim is simply to give a rough account of what bullshit is and how it differs from what it is not, or (putting it somewhat differently) to articulate, more or less sketchily, the structure of its concept. Any suggestion about what conditions are logically both necessary and sufficient for the constitution of bullshit is bound to be somewhat arbitrary.

This may sound pleonastic. No doubt what Black has in mind is that humbug is necessarily designed or intended to deceive, that its misrepresentation is not merely inadvertent. In other words, it is misrepresentation. Now if, as a matter of conceptual necessity, an intention to deceive is an invariable feature of humbug, then the property of being humbug depends at least in part upon the perpetrators state of mind. It cannot be identical, accordingly, with any properties either inherent or relational belonging just to the utterance by which the humbug is perpetrated. In this respect, the property of being humbug is similar to that of being a lie, which is identical neither with the falsity nor with any of the other properties of the statement the liar makes, but which requires that the liar makes his statement in a certain state of mind namely, with an intention to deceive.

It is a further question whether there are any features essential to humbug or to lying that are dependent upon the intentions and beliefs of the person responsible for the humbug or the lie, or whether it is, on the contrary, possible for any utterance whatsoever to be given that the speaker is in a certain state of minded vehicle of humbug or of a lie. In some accounts of lying there is no lie unless a false statement is made; in others a person may be lying even if the statement he makes is true, as long as he himself believes that the statement is false and intends by making it to deceive. What about humbug and bullshit? May any utterance at all qualify as humbug or bullshit, given that (so to speak) the utterer’s heart is in the right place, or must the utterance have certain characteristics of its own as well?

It must be part of the point of saying that humbug is short of lying that while it has some of the distinguishing characteristics of lies, there are others that it lacks. But this cannot be the whole point. After all, every use of language without exception has some, but not all, of the characteristic features of lies if no other, then at least the feature simply of being a use of language. Yet it would surely be incorrect to describe every use of language as short of lying. Blacks phrase evokes the notion of some sort of continuum, on which lying occupies a certain segment while humbug is located exclusively at earlier points. What continuum could this be, along which one encounters humbug only before one encounters lying? Both lying and humbug are modes of misrepresentation. It is not at first glance apparent, however, just how the difference between these varieties of misrepresentation might be construed as a difference in degree.

There are two points to notice here. First, Black identifies humbug not only as a category of speech but as a category of action as well; it may be accomplished either by words or by deeds. Second, his use of the qualifier especially indicates that Black does not regard pretentiousness as an essential or wholly indispensable characteristic of humbug. Undoubtedly, much humbug is pretentious. So far as concerns bullshit, moreover, pretentious bullshit is close to being a stock phrase. But I am inclined to think that when bullshit is pretentious, this happens because pretentiousness is its motive rather than a constitutive element of its essence. The fact that a person is behaving pretentiously is not, it seems to me, part of what is required to make his utterance an instance of bullshit. It is often, to be sure, what accounts for his making that utterance. However, it must not be assumed that bullshit always and necessarily has pretentiousness as its motive.

This provision that the perpetrator of humbug is essentially misrepresenting himself raises some very central issues. To begin with, whenever a person deliberately misrepresents , he must inevitably be misrepresenting his own state of mind. It is possible, of course, for a person to misrepresent that alone for instance, by pretending to have a desire or a feeling which he does not actually have. But suppose that a person, whether by telling a lie or in another way, misrepresents

something else. Then he necessarily misrepresents at least two things. He misrepresents whatever he is talking about i.e., the state of affairs that is the topic or referent of his discourse and in doing this he cannot avoid misrepresenting his own mind as well. Thus, someone who lies about how much money he has in his pocket both gives an account of the amount of money in his pocket and conveys that he believes this account. If the lie works, then its victim is twice deceived, having one false belief about what is in the liar’s pocket and another false belief about what is in the liars mind………..

 


Dead Sea

pollution

 

My article today is inspired by my facebook post of 1st November, 2016 ” With the raising diesel emissions in Nairobi everyday, trust me, I don’t desire to live here longer”. I was consoled by some of you who encouraged me to be here at least for one month. So am staying. But thats not all, I have a lot of questions concerning the quality of the life am living. David S. Landes in his book The wealth and Poverty of Nations illustrates how countries have used their different background to raise into great metropolis. Many still try. Since the early times we have been dependent on the natural resources as a means of survival and sustenance. We have also used this to develop areas which we have occupied. Today, Man still uses his brain and knowledge to push the limits of life.

 

We are always looking for other places apart from the earth, where we can live and work. Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight that landed humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours later on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth.

 

Its 46 years since the Apollo 11 landed on the moon, we have not been able to make it our next settlement, build skyscrapers and sip wine on the shores of lake moon. The construction and operation of a space station has had both positive and negative impact on our economies. Countries that have been enemies have shared the space vision and tried to work together, ignoring all their differences at least for the space sake. While in space, blowing up millions of dollars, they have taken a new citizenship of space while wearing the flags of the countries they represent.  Today, Space is a luxury of space scientists and the rich and famous, who are soon plotting their exodus on a million dollar expenditure. The sad note is that, with all the discoveries, be it in science or whatever, there has not been any other home than the earth, the dwelling of mankind.

 

If this is the dwelling of mankind, why has man allowed it to die? The world today is supported by only three rain forest, The Congo, The Amazon and Indonesia. Indonesia for example is one of the poorest most corrupt country on earth, Congo on the other hand has been at war with itself for many years. The warlords have smuggled timber from the forest in exchange for firearms and other equipment to support the war. But thats not the only problem, Individually we have had a negative impact on our environment, the way we live, on what we eat, what we wear, how we get to our work places. Over 50% of our flesh water has been used to produce beef, clean oil and irrigate our plants. Most of that is lost, never to be found.

 

The third world countries have taken their frustrations to the environment. With no means of sustenance, we have misused our great resources to benefit the needs of the few. We consider planting trees for timber as opposed planting trees for medicine. This trees end up consuming all the water from the streams leaving them dry and we, looking for other sources of water. In Nairobi for example, tall towers have sprung from the wetlands, places where water was stored during wet days to be used during dry days. We do that while not considering we still have shown our intention not to leave our culture. We cultivate land, big and small, Nairobi still has a National Park seven kilometers from the CBD and its still a place you meet with Maasai grazing their cattles.

 

The damage we have done to the sea is already enough, and this is the reason why I have come to my desired conclusion. I maybe here, but not for long, I want to be somewhere where life still exists, where the environment is not crying for its creator and where nature and man are in a harmony with each other. Am sorry to say that that place, is not in the cities. The realisation of the danger we have created has come 50 years too late. The reaction is slow, we still want to live that life without adjusting and making sacrifices. So the degradation continues. The earth is getting hotter and the sea are raising as a result of greenhouse gasses. Human activities is having a great negative impact to the environment. Man has pride himself in how he has created financial district from the earth. Cement, sand, water, e.t.c all put together to create what we call today the concrete jungle, his dwelling place. As sung by Bob Marley “where the living is the hardest”.

 

Let’s listen to the earth as it cries, and lets listen to our later generation’s desire to inherit a world that is not a poison to them but a source of life. One of my favorite commencement speech also one of the shortest said “Ladies and gentlemen, we have left you a perfect world. Please don’t screw-up” For me, this might not be the case if I decide not to do something. But if we sit and watch how the world is falling apart, the next shortest commencement speech will be, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have screwed-up the world, so deal with it”