Friday, 19 December 2014

Who will be the next president of Zambia?

Wishing all aspirants to the Zambian presidency the best.
Having good intentions is not a sufficient credential to become president. After all, it is often said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. To understand politics it may be necessary to at least try to psychoanalyse the human desire for higher office or leadership and the voter’s mind that seeks salvation through the ballot by observing what an aspirant might regard as difficult questions. Why would you reading this or anyone for that matter want to be president?

No sensible person who truly understands the challenges of this job would want it. For anyone to stand up and say they want this job, they must either have delusions of grandeur, that innocuous penchant for prestige and  wanting to be “the boss” or “the toast of the town”. A person may not have fully understood the magnitude of this position, is likely to have misunderstood the purpose of this role, or is unable to see how, in rising to this position, the entanglements of patronage, owing favours and limited resources will be obstacles to the majority of developmental objectives in mind. A person may have romanticised the relationship between the limitations of political power and what is truly achievable or have a misplaced psychological messianic or martyrdom complex that makes them desire to sacrifice themselves for a role and purpose they themselves may not fully grasp.

It is likely a leader will only begin to come to grips with this quandary after their first few years in office when they realise that despite all the good intentions, everything they have changed and achieved they are denigrated, despised, opposed at every turn and met with general ingratitude from a fickle and ungrateful public or rabid opposition. This means that the reality is that three quarters or more of the people who offer themselves as presidential candidates “need to be delusional” to desire this role and its limelight. Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of pain?  The beauty or folly of democracy is that being delusional does not preclude a candidate from filing in their intention to run. No single person, even the best credentialed, has the answers to a nation’s problems such as poverty, how to deal with scumbags, unemployment, bad roads, inadequate education, low salaries, slow growth, lack of peace, meagre understanding, conflict and so on. Sometimes the delusions widen into the belief that they themselves don’t need to have the answers, when in office they will simply magically make everything o.k. by being “nice” people. If this is not an option they will find someone, the best brains in the business, a well-educated professional or accomplished person “out there” who will provide the answers, when the truth is nobody living has perfect answers to a nation’s problems in an environment where everything is open for debate. The candidate is highly unlikely to solve the problems he or she proposes to transform from good to bad hence the need for self-delusion to convince themselves they can take on this task.

Finding, choosing and voting for a genuine president is also a difficult task. It has to be difficult. Men and women presidents have been known to ruin countries or transform them into magnificent hubs of industry or leave them the way they found them. Success and failure to manage a country is due to the fact that the best person for the job is the man or woman who truly understands what a president must sacrifice and achieve for his or her people. A president who understands the magnitude of the responsibility of this role must by default reject it, as a child that touches something hot would quickly withdraw the hand; otherwise it is doubtful they can do this job or that they are the right person. Jesus demonstrates that he understood the magnitude of the sacrifice it would take to be called Messiah or King. He does not see the glory alone, but more importantly acknowledges the personal suffering required to be a leader at this level. In so doing he rejects the role. (Luke:22 42) saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." This is the mark of a true leader. First and foremost he or she must understand the magnitude of the task at hand. If this is not the case the wrong person may be elected into office, for instance a leader who eventually becomes crippled by “egonomics”, that is, a leader willing to impoverish a country and see its economy deteriorate simply because their ego is too big to see the faults in their chosen path or ideas; a leader who places his or her preferences and needs before that of the people and therefore choses conflict over peace; a leader who clings to power at any cost to the detriment of the people; a leader who tailors a constitution to personal selfish ambition rather than public good; a leader who fails to deliver on election promises, like a new and just constitution, not because these promises are now outdated, but for fear they may weaken their chances of re-election; a leader who becomes so cocooned in the trappings of power and  a presidency that he or she forgets the discomforts and sufferings of the common person. A president who understands his or her role needs to be prepared for personal sacrifice, to lose popularity, to lose an election, to lose wealth, to lose health, to lose….if this sacrifice is just. This is an important disposition. It is a well-known fact that economies today must be run with a business approach and ideal that is tempered, restrained or “controlled” by human rights and public social responsibility. A nation must be productive, it must be commercial, but it must also have a soul and heart through which the gains of commerce are shared with humanity. Jesus taught about loving your neighbour and sharing, but he also gave many sound and hard-core teachings that it is imperative to manage resources, commerce and productivity effectively. Similarly a president cannot simply want to see the end of poverty without a sound strategy for this objective neither can he or she bankrupt the government to soothe human suffering, he or she must provide the strategy by which justice, commerce and productivity will end human suffering and economic demise. A president who, through debate, interview and public discussion, cannot clearly demonstrate and articulate he or she understands what it entails to soundly transform a country through strategy in productivity and commerce should not be voted into power by voters as this kind of person likely wants the job of president, but doesn't know why they want it.

The voter on the other hand hears what he or she wants to hear and makes a decision on whom they best believe will deliver undeliverables. Countries, in terms of governance are in an ongoing state of delusion. Marx may have got it wrong, it is not religion that is the opium of the people, the reality is that the delusion is very much a persona of society in its quest for a perfect form of governance without exercising the correct or precise tools by which to test the competence of a presidential aspirant.

Delusional voters are easily swayed by swanky adverts on radio and television that are inherently meaningless when it comes to the criterion by which a presidential candidate is selected. Zambia is very much in its infancy concerning the methodology by which the electorate selects leaders. The electorate has few if any credible tools for determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats each presidential aspirant poses to them and their country. This is a weakness the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must begin to address as one of its most pertinent and important functions. It cannot see its role as simply hosting elections, building awareness  and policing electoral rules while politicking takes place without substance as it does in a banana republic. If the ECZ continues to fail to provide the public with the platform for thoroughly and credibly assessing the competence of presidential aspirants, it is letting Zambia down. It must also develop the methodology by which presidential hopefuls are put on the public stage and assessed as the means by which the public diligently examines potential leaders. Slogans, rallies, adverts and lofty speeches are good for publicity and drumming up support but the electorate must be careful to separate reality from delusion when they make their choice. The only means to do this is for presidential candidates to engage in live televised debates on national matters. How eloquent are they? How do they speak? Have they taken the time to learn about or inform themselves about economics, commerce, business, justice, public health, natural resources, law, governance, politics and so on that are pertinent to the country? At what level is their intellect? How do they react when asked a question they cannot answer or when aggressively pushed into a corner about their ideas? This is like a national job interview that voters must insist on in Zambia. Fine, we enjoy the feistiness of competition, but where is the substance? Presidential aspirants must be seen to take each other on directly in debate. How do they react and perform under pressure? They must be asked both easy and difficult questions on a stage that allows the public to assess the depth of their knowledge, their levels of tolerance, their level of maturity, the reasoning ability, ideas and temperament of a presidential aspirant need to be churned to the surface for the public to see the quality of a candidate. The nation must see and hear who they are electing on radio and television on the battleground of debate, interaction and strong interviews. Interviews are important, but having the candidates subjected to open debate as well as tough question and answer sessions where they are grilled by questions from a moderator and the public is even more important.

 The man or woman who seeks to be president must first and foremost accept that we live in an imperfect world and its imperfections will either prevent you, as president, from bringing about any meaningful change, and by some stroke of luck should you succeed in bringing about positive change these imperfections will somehow seek to unravel it. Only having acknowledged this internally does a man or woman in the developed or developing world become ready to be a genuine presidential candidate because they understand the enemy of true leadership is an imperfect world; something no mortal leader has the power to reverse or change. The first steps out of the mists of delusion is a sound methodology by which the traits of leadership are tested on the public stage for the electorate to adequately decide which leader has sufficiently prepared themselves for the role of head of state.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Mr. Sata, is a leader who showed great promise, he will be missed by a nation that will most certainly feel he was called to the Lord before fully implementing all the good that he wished to see in a country he loved dearly.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pope Francis demonstrates that innocence is not only an object for observation but also a virtue of perception...

Pope Francis leads the way.

15And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Allow little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. (Luke 18:15-17) Many are rebuked and turned away, but Christ calls on humanity to receive others as would a child.
In a world driven to war, hate, desperate acts of violence and misunderstanding as a result of failing to tackle intolerance this gesture is a breath of fresh air. Pope Francis blessing the marriage of couples recently is described as a new openness as reported in the media; however, thankfully, it is not altogether new, Christ himself called this openness innocence. Not only is the Pope inspiring humanity to receive children as innocents, but that by the Church and humanity itself being inspired to receive others with the same innocence Jesus proclaimed many more can be brought to Christ and saved.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Israel and Palestine : Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

Siize Punabantu

The last attempt in Christianity to conquer the world through Jihad or Holy War was the Crusades. The Crusades were the beginning of the unraveling of the attempt by Christianity to create a worldwide religious state or government based on religion in a hope that it would in so doing gain the power to evangelize to the world and bring everyone to Christ. Islam today faces the same dilemma Christianity faced many years ago. Like Christianity, some Islamic movements hope to spread the message of the Holy Koran throughout the world and some believers would hope to do so through a global Islamic government that would be powerful enough to gather the faithful using politics as a tool for conquest. Like Christianity did with the Crusades there are eminent people in Islam who believe the only means for achieving this is through Jihad. 

The Crusades had the reverse effect. They destroyed the institutional fabric of the most powerful organized Christian body at the time, the Catholic Church. Instead of greater power the church attracted great mistrust which contributed to the later resolve in politics for there to be separation of religion and state. There was a time when Christianity visa vie the Vatican held immense wealth, lands, power over political establishments, over governments and kingdoms, even over Kings and Queens in the same way Islam does today predominantly in the Middle East. A consequence of the Crusades and proximity to politics is that Christianity inevitably lost all this wealth, power, influence and territory. Today the Vatican, though a recognized state, is not a political institution, it is the administrative seat of the Catholic Church and its focus has returned to the true and the original purpose of the Gospels, which is to win hearts, minds and souls for Christ. Christianity would have diminished further had it not let go of the Crusades, reinvented itself, relied on public relations instead of militancy and gone back to its original purpose. By doing this the Vatican today is one of the most spiritually stable, wealthiest, most respected and influential Christian organizations in the world with more than a billion faithful. Eminent leaders in Islam can study this process for its leaders gain insights into the strategic management of religion.

The militancy of the Crusades dealt a tremendous blow to the quality, spread, power and wealth of Christianity. If the Crusades had been avoided and the focus of the tremendous wealth and power at the time had remained on winning the hearts, minds and souls for Christ for example through charity, tending to the poor and disadvantaged, investing in profitable businesses to improve the lives of the community and in ventures that would raise funds for the disadvantaged there would be far more Christians in the world today.  It should be understood that the damage created by the militancy of the Crusades wreaked havoc on Christianity and it is the very same kind of damage that militancy of Jihad will have on Islam. The Crusades teach one very important lesson.  The power of religion is not in having direct control of government; in fact religion should distance itself from political power and political office and should swear never to desire it. Religious institutions on earth are the ambassadors of faith, they are essentially public relations institutions (PR) between mankind and God. This means they work to win hearts and minds, which is PR in itself, which is the work of religion. Each individual has the right to choose which belief or faith they dedicate themselves to, consequently winning a soul for God is not the responsibility of religion but the onus of the individual. When a person chooses to be a Moslem, a Christian or Jew, this is their personal decision. The role of religion is not to force people to believe, but to continuously strive to magnanimously win their hearts and minds to God regardless of their denomination or faith by teaching and preaching the holy scriptures. Consequently intolerance, especially religious intolerance practiced by any faith is a blasphemy. It is unacceptable in faith as it entails that the ambassador, in this case religion or the church ignores the rights of the individual and no longer represents the will and motives of the One who sent them to establish the requisite PR on earth. 

Hamas in Palestine, the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt, Isis in Iraq, bombings in Kenya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, war in Syria show that like Christianity during the Crusades, Islam is spending immensely on power, wealth, political influence and on militancy. Leaders of Islam around the world need to observe what happened to Christianity as a consequence of the Crusades and ask themselves, is this the right strategy for us? Will this strategy strengthen Islam or weaken Islam in future as it weakened Christianity. The true power of religion resides in winning the hearts, minds of humanity of which war, fear, insecurity, intolerance and conflict become blasphemous to the purpose of religion as an ambassador of God’s holy word. These are the exact opposite pursuit and should remain the preserve of politics which is more suited to handle and subdue these vices. Intolerance is inimical to religion as it is an attempt to stifle individual liberty. God desires mankind’s love as a willing choice of the individual, not a coercion that subtracts from the sanctity of one’s faith; which is antagonistic and draws in distrust. Islam and those who wield its wealth in an attempt to finance militancy and influence the world should try to avoid making the same mistakes Christians made through militancy observed in the Crusades. It is a strategy that provides small gains, but significantly greater future losses that may eventually erode the gains of a religion. Changing strategy and reinvention is vital for survival and self preservation. Leaders such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela would have failed to achieve their objectives against oppressors had they not understood this and changed course. Eminent leaders of Islam similarly, need to re-evaluate the path chosen to spreading the holy word and its tenets as the path that espouses militancy may eventually be inimical to Islam.

For Hamas, intolerance directed toward humanity is intolerance all the same. There is nothing to be gained from showing intolerance for Israel or Jews made through clinging blindly to statements such as “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth” or that a Palestinian State and Israeli State cannot live side by side; this is childish, inhumane and it goes against the values of genuine religion – it is therefore not only inhumane it is anti-Islam and will undermine Islam. Therefore, it is not a strategy a wise leadership would follow or encourage. It fosters fear, fear encourages conflict and war is inimical to a true religion as it runs counter-productive to the life-blood of true religion which is to win hearts and minds. Black people do not take kindly to being discriminated against, often they are quick to anger, but this is due to their history. Similarly, Jews do not take kindly to being threatened with violence or oppression, often they are quick to anger, but this too is due to their history. The question here is not – how many times Hamas and Palestine have petitioned the United Nations, or how many times you have complained to the UN Security Council. None of these appeals will be what secure peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people. Hamas needs to ask itself - what has it done to win the hearts and minds of Jews and the Jewish nation of Israel? This is what faith teaches you. One might say why ask Hamas this question? Is Israel not the more powerful military and aggressor who must be asked such a question? But you are mistaken. Israel is not more powerful than the rest of the world combined.  Sometimes there is great strength in being weak and there is significant moral authority in being small. Martin Luther King had to win the hearts and minds of his protractors, Mahatma Gandhi had to do the same, Nelson Mandela achieved victory not through militancy but by winning the hearts and minds of his perceived protractors. Mahatma Gandhi had faults. Scrutiny of some of his writings does reveal that even a person as accomplished, disciplined and apparently broad minded as he was can fall into the trap of conventionalism that finds it fashionable to harbour racist and discriminatory attitudes to those they believe are their lessors be it by race, caste, ethnicity or class. It is dangerous pitfall to say and believe you love everyone except Jews or Blacks or Asians and so on. To this day people and institutions continue to fall into this trap. It is this kind of emotive pitfall of conventionalism where even respectable people and institutions practice discrimination like a fad that needs to be avoided. We have learned enough about Gandhi to know that he would certainly have retracted many of the inappropriate comments he made in order to rise above them and we ourselves should not stoop so low as to believe nothing can be learned from his legacy or that his attitudes could not change. Similarly, Hamas and the Palestinian authority need to avoid conventional attitudes, strategically rise above themselves and learn to genuinely win the hearts and minds of Israel and the Jewish nation as in doing so they will inadvertently win over the hearts and minds of the international community. Palestine cannot allow itself to view Israel as its “enemy” and must understand this genuinely; in the same way Nelson Mandela did not allow himself to view the Whites in South Africa as his enemy. The enemy for Nelson was Apartheid, not White people. In doing this he liberated his people. He was smart and intuitive enough to make this distinction and consequently played a key role in leading his people to liberty. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority need to do the same with Israel. When two children run to their mother to complain about how the other is being abusive, their mother cannot indiscriminately side with one child against the other. Similarly the UN often finds it difficult to solve this protracted conflict. Israel and Palestine can live side by side as political states in peace and prosperity, but  it is Hamas and the Palestinian Authority that need to reassess their PR to develop a charm offensive, not one pushed indirectly through the UN, but directly at Israel and the Jewish people; to genuinely win their hearts and minds. If Hamas and the Palestinian Authority do this they will discover peace and prosperity that will be permanent and eventually most of their demands will be handed over willingly by Israel. The strong wind like an aggressor or Jihadi will make a man cling ever more strongly to his jacket, while the strong sun with its PR will make him take it off gladly, so says Aesop. Israel also needs to begin to support making economic independence in Palestine and the Gaza strip a reality; as long these territories cannot fend for themselves they must look for a benefactor. If that benefactor continues to desire aggression then the rockets being fired into Israel will never cease. Israel therefore has to prioritize the economic growth, development and economic emancipation of these territories allowing the two states to one day cooperate economically. This mutual economic coexistence is fundamental for long term peace since it reduces any negative external interference in the regions peace and prosperity. As neighbors and regional custodians of Jerusalem there are innumerable ways Israel and Palestine can work together economically, religiously and politically without either nation losing its strong identity. However, to get there they need a whole new approach, a new mind-set, a new way of thinking, new trust, new strategy and to be genuine in what they seek. A Palestine in continual conflict with Israel does not help the Arab or Islamic world gain influence in the region or further its interests, neither does it help the international community find peace.

Jerusalem is the birthplace of Christ. Christ is an important prophet of Islam. He is also of Jewish descent. By 2020 there are expected to be 2.6 billion Christians in the world, each one of them longing for the opportunity to peacefully and safely see the birthplace of Jesus. Israel and Palestine are geographical custodians of this treasure of Christianity, and it is not by chance. PR requires that the beliefs of others be tolerated, respected and understood for what they mean to those who have made a choice to walk the path they are on. God is love, and tolerance is one of the greatest expressions of this emotion any individual, organization and government can espouse; Israel, Palestine and Hamas are no exception. The conflict and misery you bring about is by your own hand, your own limited way of thinking, your own intolerance, your own inability to sit at the table with your perceived enemy and see that between you, you have in your possession one of the most coveted gifts, an invaluable boon for tourism more lucrative than oil, gas, gold and silver, a geographical asset many nations have not been blessed to have custody of. By allowing others to take the road their faith has taken them on any religion, organization or government is inadvertently winning hearts and minds to itself. Leaders with insight will know this. Palestine today should be one of the wealthiest states in the Middle East, its citizens should be enjoying a standard of living equal and even better than that enjoyed in Switzerland, better even than that enjoyed by residents of Dubai. Their lives should this very day even as you read these words be the envy of the world. This wealth has already been placed in your hands. The same peace, wealth and prosperity would be enjoyed by Israelis today. But you yourselves first have to open your eyes and learn to see that two wrongs do not make a right.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Open Skies: Easier Access to Space Travel and Flight for the Masses

There was a time before Ford built the Model-T that owning a car was considered the preserve of the wealthy. At that time many believed this would remain the status quo indefinitely. However, improvements in technology and mass production processes introduced to manufacturing revolutionised road transportation making cars affordable to the masses. The same revolution is yet to take place when it comes to the skies.

One of the advantages of driving cars is the ease of operation. Cars for the most part move on flat surfaces and maintain contact with the ground. This makes them easy to steer and control. Planes on the other hand rely on dynamic lift created by wings. They float on air and tend to use engines that generate thrust using air, a precarious substance to remain afloat on that requires a significant level of skill to navigate through, the mastery of which creates pilots. Unlike the road surface the atmosphere is always in a state of flux and pilots; be they for helicopters, airplanes or octocopters must learn how to keep an airplane afloat on a dynamic medium. Consequently, flight that depends on the lift generated by wings is likely to face significant hurdles making it difficult to open the skies to the masses.

There are two areas of human endeavour in technology and investment that I believe will shape the near future. One of these is cheap, affordable energy. The other is open skies created by new technologies that revolutionise access to flight bringing the ability to operate and own vehicles capable of flying to the masses. Congested roads and highways and the need to cover thousands of kilometres quickly will continue to generate the pressure required for the creation of personal flying vehicles that people buy as easily and readily as they purchase cars. What has been lacking in this domain is the technology. Several years ago I challenged myself with what it would take to design a machine or device that would generate lift and allow vehicles to take flight without the use of air or wings. Though it took a few years, I was actually disappointed by how easy it was to design this. Lets refer to it as the Gyroscopic Lift Device (GLD). I want to explain how this simple device works, what it does and how it compares to modern alternatives in common use today, such as the jet engine.

Gyroscopic Lift Device (GLD)

In comparison the GLD I designed in this example would weigh about 45Kg excluding engine that drives it. It consists of a cylindrical harness with two weights suspended and allowed to slide along a metal rod. The centre of rotation of the metal rod is displaced from the centre of the cylindrical housing or harness. It can be driven by any conventional petrol or electrical engine, for example a 1.8 litre petrol engine found in most conventional cars. A diagram of the GLD is explained below:

Stability would be maintained through counter rotation.

How the GLD generates propulsion and lift is explained below.

The GLD concept is an efficient method for converting torque generated by a petrol or electrical engine into thrust for propulsion. It could even outperform the horsepower transmitted by a conventional drive train from the clutch, through the axel to the wheels. The diagram below shows the basic force ouput expected from the GLD.

This video extrapolates the potential thrust that this simple gyroscopic device could generate. The construct for this example is as follows: Each weight weighs 25Kg, the maximum radius is 30cm and minimum radius is reconfigured to 0. This means the 30cm harness used in the video is assumed to be capable of capturing 100% of the energy generated through the rotation of the rod. The rate of rotation or rounds per minute (rpm) is 1,000rpm to 5,000.  At 1,000rpm the device would be expected to create 82,246.7N or 8,386.83kg-force. At 5,000rpm it would be expected to create 2,056.17kN or 209,617kg-force. The device is estimated to weigh 45kg excluding the engine which would be required to drive it to these rates of rpm.

The GE90-115B engine fitted on the Boeing 777-300ER recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds most powerful jet engine has a thrust of 569kN, this much simpler and mu ch smaller device would have the potential to generate 3.6 times more thrust than the Boeing engine. Considering that each harness contains two weights entails that the thrust output of each device can be doubled, making it 7.2 times more powerful than the most powerful engine in the world.

This video simply extrapolates the potential thrust generated by the device which uses Newton's third law of motion. This thrust or lift force is referred to as levitation here because rather than forcing air out as jet engines do it is created by capturing the momentum of the weights by manipulating centripetal and centrifugal forces to act as the equal action and reaction that produces movement. This movement is captured through the circular harness for propulsion. An additional advantage is that it would not take a very powerful engine to rotate the device to 5,000 rpm.

GLD can offer Propulsion for diverse Environments.

Since the device harnesses momentum as the source of propulsion it can be used in diverse environments.The GLD offers propulsion by land and asphalt roads like a car, over water like boat, underwater like a submarine and by air like a plane and in the vacuum of space like a space shuttle.

The Fastest Aircraft and Most Powerful Jet Engine

Best practice requires that we look at the competition in the arena of propulsion, flight and thrust. The fastest aircraft in the world today is the North American X-15 built by Boeing. "The North American X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as part of the X-plane series of experimental aircraft. The X-15 set speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. As of 2014, the X-15 holds the official world record for the highest speed ever reached by a manned, powered aircraft. Its maximum speed was 4,520 miles per hour (7,274 km/h)." (Wikipedia 2014). For its engine and fuel the NA X-15 "Early flights used two Reaction Motors XLR11 engines. Later flights were undertaken with a single Reaction Motors Inc XLR99 rocket engine generating 57,000 pounds-force (250 kN) of thrust. The XLR99 engine used ammonia and liquid oxygen for propellant and hydrogen peroxide to drive the high-speed turbopump that delivered fuel to the engine. It could burn 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg) of fuel in 80 seconds.The XLR99s could be throttled, and were the first such controllable engines that were man-rated." 

As the video shows the GLD is a smaller design yet at just 5,000rpm it is likely to be capable of generating 8.2 times the thrust or force of the XLR11 engines used in the X-15. The X-15 is hungry for fuel to sustain this level of thrust (6,804kg in 80 seconds) whereas the GLD can achieve and exceed this level of thrust on a simple four stroke car engine, sustain the same thrust for 5 hours burning only as little as 70 liters of conventional petrol.  Since it generates 8.2 times the thrust of the XLR11 engines, under similar conditions it is likely to be able to exceed the X-15's world record mach 4 speed of 7,274 km/h and sustain hypersonic speeds for hours using very little fuel.

On the other hand most powerful jet engine in the world is the Boeing GE90-115B which peaked at 127,900 pounds-force (569 kN). The housing length is 7.29 meters long, the housing diameter is 3.429 meters long, the fan is 3.251 meters wide. The engine's dry weight is 8,283 kg. The GLD at 5,000 rpm generates more thrust than the GE90-115B, would be significantly smaller and would require much less fuel. 

Advantages of GLD propulsion

The GLD offers a universal source of propulsion that can be applied in diverse environments. As depicted in the cartoon on the youtube video above it can drive cars on roads, boats on water, submarines underwater, fly through the air or through space using the same basic design. This means a vehicle able to withstand these environments could be fitted with a GLD and be able to travel in any of them. 

The GLD is an effective method for transmitting torque. A device of the size in the example illustrated above would only require 40rpm, for instance, to generate the same level of thrust a car engine requires 6,000 rpm to produce. 

The GLD has the potential to revolutionize public and personal transportation. Aircraft and personal cars would be able to drive on roads, rise vertically from asphalt roads into the air and travel at hypersonic speeds as high as or higher than mach 4 traveling long distances using very little fuel. Journeys of thousands of kilometers that today take many hours can potentially be reduced to minutes. There's really nothing mysterious about how the device works either, as shown above. It does not require immense resources to build making it readily accessible to poorer countries and a much wider market.

Improvements in Air Safety

The GLD would not use air currents to gain lift. It would withstand being buffeted by strong currents, be highly maneuverable and very easy to fly as the direction of propulsion can be determined by a simple gyroscope. As shown above the device is of exceptionally simple design allowing it to be built anywhere in the world making this kind of travel cheaper and more accessible to the public. It offers the potential for much safer travel involving flying that would avoid many tragedies that occur in air transportation.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Here's to A Great World Cup Hosted by Brazil!

Looking forward to 2018!

Congratulations to the Brazilian people and Government and to FIFA for putting together yet another fantastic world cup! Congratulations to Germany for besting the competition and scooping the coveted cup! 

The world cup was great fun to watch. When it comes to football the final matches between Brazil and Germany then Germany and Argentina are a classic example of technical issues in soccer that FIFA may need to address concerning the beautiful game. The game between Brazil and Germany was way more exciting than the game between Germany and Argentina. I personally loved those 8 goals scored, not because Brazil lost or Germany won, but because of the number of times they made me and everyone in the room scream with abandon. In my view, for any sport that goes on for 90 minutes to end without any points or goals scored is an indication that there are technical problems with the game itself - its rules, not the players; that is the design of the game and how its played. Adding 30 minutes to a game with a 0-0 scoreline is not the solution to this problem. Furthermore. penalties do not come across as a fair way of determining the best team; penalties are more like Russian roulette.

FIFA will have to conduct research in order to find a formula for making serious changes to the rules of soccer by which it is virtually impossible for a game to end without goals being scored. It will have to change the rules and aspects of the game then apply these new rules to teams in order to test the effectiveness of the new rules and ensure the desired outcome of no goalless games is achieved.

For example, FIFA could introduce a rule that at the beginning of each game the kick-off must be performed or assisted by the two goal keepers and no other member of either team. Why is this potentially useful as a new rule? Its useful because it means at the beginning of each half there is no goal keeper in goals and when the two goalies kick-off there is an immediate weakness in either team that players have seconds to exploit as a goal scoring strategy. After kicking off a goal keeper could either sprint for their lives back to their goal posts or form a strategy of play with his or her team-mates that will best exploit the new rule. By introducing this new rule FIFA would create a situation where there is nail biting panic, anticipation and immediate excitement at the beginning of every game the audience will buy into. Teams will have to plan their method of attack knowing that they must exploit and defend for this weakness simultaneously. This means that from the very onset of a soccer match there is intense excitement.

FIFA should ideally begin to view the goal keeper in soccer like the most valuable chess-piece. Force this piece to move around and the excitement surrounding the game changes completely.

Forcing the goal keeper out of the goal area at strategic times of the game would prove very useful in increasing excitement in soccer and opening up vulnerability of the goal post that increases goals. For instance, when a penalty takes place in the opposing teams half of the field, a new rule could be that it must assisted or be taken by the goal keeper. What this means is that though a team may benefit from a free kick near the opposing teams goal post or in the opposing team's half, it is at the same time weakened by the fact that its goal post is no longer protected by the keeper. The team facing the disadvantage of having to face a penalty gains the advantage of an empty goal with no keeper to protect it as he or she is required to assist or take the free kick.As a result penalties become double edged swords. Teams would then have to adopt new strategies for defending the goal post while the keeper is indisposed. Introducing this kind of vulnerability to soccer may not only increase the excitement, tension and difficulty of the game itself but may also ensure that more goals are scored. Forcing the keeper to leave his or her posts to perform duties on the pitch is a wicked strategy FIFA can use to make soccer explode with excitement and ensue there are greater opportunities to score goals. The goal keeper should increasingly be viewed as one of the players whose role is not simply to stand at the goal post and prevent goals from being scored, but who consistently has to be involuntarily forced out of the goal posts deep into the field such that genuine fear is induced in the game and the spectators. FIFA can ensure that the rules of the game require new strategies where more is demanded of the goal keeper than just standing at the goal posts to prevent goals when what the game needs are more goals. 

Also, if the pace of the games is to improve, then a two touch rule can be introduced. That is, when the goal keeper passes on the ball to team-mates on his or her half of the pitch players are only allowed two touches of the ball after which they must pass it on to a team-mate. Violation of this rule is a free kick. If the free kick is in the enemies half of the field it must be taken by the goal keeper who then is forced to leave the goal exposed. This would force players to bring up the ball to mid-field to immediately pass the ball on to team-mates when it's received thus forcing the players to work more closely together to pass on the ball and move it quickly beyond mid-field.  Passing such as this show cases the skill of the players, and the ball moving around more quickly raises the excitement experienced by spectators. The best approach to use, as mentioned earlier, is to arrange games with adjusted rules to then assess the impact of these changes on players and the game.

Games ending without goals that make the crowd begin to doze off and yawn because nothing exciting is happening on the field should not be allowed to take place in football, and really its FIFA's role to ensure that soccer remains the beautiful game.

Once again kudos, a wonderful world cup - looking forward with anticipation to 2018!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Amandla! Victory for All! Let's get the South African economy moving again....

President of South Africa's Association of Mine workers and Construction Union Joseph Mathunjwa
In what is no doubt a victory for the South African Government, Mine owners and Mine workers the longest work stoppage in S.A history has been declared officially over. In the long term the only way to ensure better earnings for Mine owners and ever improving wages for Mine workers is through collaboration and to begin to focus seriously on the operations environment to understudy, improve efficiency, quality and implement best practice throughout this strategic industry. Amanlda! Our final struggle in Africa is to utterly defeat poverty.

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Need for African Governments to begin to Backstop Strategic Operations

Siize Punabantu

After the Vedanta boss, Anil Agrawal "speech-gate", it may still not seem to make economic and political sense for the Zambian Government to talk about taking over a business such as Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). Above and beyond Agrawal, it brings up an even bigger question concerning how prepared governments are in general for major economic eventualities involving over-dependence on foreign management of strategic businesses.  For instance, the mines in Zambia are such an important strategic national asset that government should ideally begin to prepare and safeguard against any kind of trauma; even that of an investor simply giving up a strategic mine and making a run for the hills. Every nationally strategic mine in Zambia requires a government initiated understudy system. An understudy system that needs to be managed by a centralized authority that requires the establishment of a national operations resource center or system.

It has been proven that the nationalization of the mining sector doesn’t work. It has also been shown that knowledge transfer approaches such as localization, black empowerment or Zambianisation (as it was termed after independence during the Kaunda era) are fraught with real limitations. This is due to the fact that knowledge transfer using this model can be imperfect, incomplete and will not necessarily continue to proceed to new generations of citizens. The problem of how a nation manages its assets in the best interests of its people needs to re-thought. There is a third approach that is more efficient than nationalization and more pertinent than localization that governments have as yet not tapped or applied.  This approach does not concern itself with who runs or owns the mining or natural resource sector, but more importantly focuses on the precise details and machinations or operations of these sectors and the precepts of how these entities are managed. 

The approach that I would recommend for natural resources dependent countries like Zambia, South Africa, Angola and so on is the establishment of a National Agency for Strategic Operations (NASO). The role of this agency is to annually understudy, document and simulate operations in each individual business engaged in the natural resource sector by continuously understudying all the workers and departments in each business and how they function including: the board, human resource management, procurement, sales, finance and accounting practises, information technology, operations, corporate social responsibility, local and international financing, local and international partnerships, support staff and so on specific to each business and its yearly experiences. NASO incorporates each of these areas within itself, that is, it mirrors the professional and non-professional experts and departments who then create research and best practice models of the businesses NASO understudies. NASO then has ongoing best practice research which it applies to simulate what adjustments to the present operations of national strategic industries  can increase profits, output and growth. On the flip side it anticipates or simulates potential problems such as strikes, the loss of any staff member and works out in advance how to quickly resolve these problems. The purpose of this continuous research or understudy is to gain and document extensive and intimate knowledge of the day to day operations of each specific strategic national business unit until this knowledge can be used by means of specifically developed tools, such as software to simulate the operations of a strategic business that is of national interest, its activity, the work done by staff, linkages and the time based role of every individual and each department in the organization including the relationship with external partners, funders, purchasers of what is being produced, pricing and how financing is obtained and sustained. Using this database and simulation even a person entering the business for the first time through NASO’s support would know precisely what operational function they need to implement to achieve the business’ objectives; including the key person contacts and timelines which define when specific actions should normally take place. NASO would simulate and plan for  contingencies then immediately offer solutions which foster continuity to government, management and staff. This knowledge and the database it produces becomes the electronic operations manual or operational process database  for each individual business mapped by this ongoing research. With NASO functioning efficiently it does not matter who runs the mines, whether it is government, locals or foreign investors; the operational knowledge base of NASO provides each business with the intimate know how that empowers anyone who manages it with the complete repository and repertoire of local and international contacts, skills and processes to run it. This in turn ensures that the national economy will not falter and rapid solutions will be found in situations where workers strike, the price of copper, oil, gold, diamonds, copper etc suddenly decline, foreign investors pull out or other kinds of industrial trauma. NASO simulates these, predicts the costs, and prepares solutions in advance based on history and research. The faster solutions are found, the better off government, workers, management and the national economy will be. 

Rather than nationalization which threatens industry or basic knowledge transfer to locals who may not be able to pass on skills, the People, Government and President of a country are assured that the foundation of operations is gathered and maintained by the NASO which will ensure perfect continuity regardless of the management and ownership scenario of strategic industries. Transferring this knowledge to individuals alone often proves inadequate as they may leave the business for greener pasture, retire or expire taking their expertise with them. Instead the nation is assured that the knowledge, contacts, expertise, methodology and operations are maintained by NASO and offered as a support facility to whoever manages a business that is of national strategic interest. From the CEO to financing, to mine shaft personnel, all the way to the Janitors NASO can map and predict the impact of the loss a worker and their expertise at any time and immediately provide whoever occupies any position with the information they need to immediately sustain continuity. NASO efficiently and effectively operationalizes the roles they are meant to play as well as demonstrate the interconnectedness of each individual inside and outside the business.

 In other words understudying operations allows a country’s strategic industries to function on a knowledge base rather than a weak and faulty base that becomes over-dependent on one person or entity. By NASO also running simulations of potential crises and formulating how to resolve them in advance the economy is protected from operational problems. With this system in place the President and his or her government is assured that existential continuity is guaranteed whether these strategic businesses are in local or foreign hands. A handful of experts at the NASO in diverse professional or vocational departments would serve the national interests of numerous businesses that are of national strategic interest by understudying their operations in the country and holding this operations database for them. They maintain the databases and information required for continuity. The systems created by NASO for strategic national business interests are a management failsafe that can support any important sector operationally at any time regardless of who occupies a position; what operational problems it faces, whether it is in private or public hands. This function is in national interest, not only does it improve a government’s position, but also places the country in a stronger economic position in the eyes of the rest of the world since knowledge based economic stability is ensured through a National Agency for Strategic Operations.  Under the ambit of operations the understudy process includes recording, researching. improving, disseminating and applying every activity related to these strategic industries leaving no stone that impacts the knowledge base unturned. When this is achieved a country becomes permanently self sufficient in efficient and effective productivity that fosters wealth management. This is what Zambia needs. NASO needs to be driven 

The NASO Motto:

Leave no stone unturned.  [Every national and international aspect concerning how national strategic businesses in the country function must be understood - without fail]

The NASO Vision

Give a nation fish,and you feed its people for a day;   [we do not want a nation trapped in dependency]
Teach a nation to fish, and you may feed only one prosperous generation; [empowerment of a handful of people can only feed a handful of us for a day]
Record and improve operations concerning how to fish for all generations, [Learn how to run our national strategic industries effectively, efficiently, profitably and effectively operationalize this knowledge and the entire nation will prosper]
And you will build a wealthy nation that will prosper forever. [this kind of prosperity will last forever]

The role of NASO does not have to be isolated to economic sectors. The NASO approach can be used to operationally map and build a working database of every procedural area of activity that is important to government. For instance it can map the operations of Ministry of Education, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and so on such that when reshuffles take place and people are moved around staff can consult the NASO expertise and database which furnishes them with operational knowledge that allows for perfect continuity. Any office bearer’s role can be operationally mapped such that when a person enters office they immediately have access to operational knowledge of their role specific to the organization they serve anywhere in the country. Should they encounter any bumps in the road or protocol based issues through the NASO system or database they are able to immediately know how a similar issue was dealt with in the past or the best approach discovered by simulation and what appropriate action should be taken to quickly resolve the problem ensuring there are no delays or breaks in efficiency. 

When it comes to operations there is a need to stop thinking vertically and start thinking laterally, to stop depending on people or individual investors and start depending on knowledge. Both people and investors themselves depend on a knowledge base in every sphere of their operations. It's time to begin to invest in that knowledge base first then through it the people, the national economy and investors gain rewards rather than the other way round.