anticipated reactions.


The Business of Internet Governance

After concluding my third day at the Telecommunication Policy Research Conference on communication, information, and Internet policy, I’m left with one burning question:  

if not bureaucrats, then who exactly should be writing the standards and policies of the Internet?

 In each session I attended, there were many strong and diverse opinions about the lack of success in conceptualizing, defining, and regulating aspects of the Internet. However, there was no strong consensus about how the Internet should actually be governed, or if it should be governed at all!

In my second session of conference day one, an impassioned comment from the crowd about policy-makers’ damaging role in Internet governance, fueled by their inability to understand the technical infrastructure, sparked a heated discussion. A high-ranking government official--who stated that his opinions were of his own accord and not on behalf of the U.S. Government-- blatantly said that engineers should be writing policies concerning the Internet not lawyers. This statement took me by surprise, not only because bureaucrats don’t usually admit fallibility, but because this misses the crucial point of the entire governance debate--who actually has the power to govern the Internet?

I can tell you with certainty, it’s not an amorphous group of engineers.

 Engineers, such as computer scientists, may have a more intimate understanding of the mathematical aspects of Internet technology. However, they may lack knowledge concerning societal impacts and variables such as socioeconomic attributes, infrastructure, individual use and adoption, or community impact, all details not included in their codes and algorithms. Nevertheless, these engineers are employed by monopolistic corporations like Google, monolithic governments, and international institutions like the IETF. These are the entities with the real power in the Internet governance game.

It is like Mason Craig, a Principal Technical Architect at AT&T said,  “Internet governance is going to mirror the way the non-Internet world works.   It is the businesses, governments, and militaries that rule the non-internet world, human rights are there, people who talk freedom are there, but those conversations don’t dominate. Businesses, governments, and militaries dominate, mainly because there’s nothing to stop them; 1: money talks, and 2: governments and militaries have the power to take control.”
 At first Craig’s poignant remarks frightened me, I thought they diminished the power of the Internet--a medium for the people--but after careful consideration I realized he was right! “The concept of the Internet being a free medium is a false concept, it’s not really free, and it’s going to get less free, it’s becoming more business and politically managed--and that’s why you’ve got the lawyers all over it”. Craig unveiled a key point, which is often overlooked in the Internet governance debate; like in our own complex bureaucratic world, the control comes from above, and the Internet unfortunately exists as a microcosm of our world--heavily micro-managed and regulated by not only capital and power, but the entities that hold both these resources in spades.

 So, it’s safe to say engineers are involved in the process, and are in fact key players in shaping the Internet, but hoping for the disappearance of lawyers? Not a chance, “whenever there’s business, there’s lawyers, you’ll never get the lawyers out of the equation”.


Jonny's GENIUS presidential basketball roster

the best Facebook post I've ever gotten in my life, from one of the coolest guys i know... monsieur jonny heb.

So our conversation about Jeremy Lin and Barack Obama playing basketball got me thinking... how would you assemble an NBA team drawing only from a pool of US presidents? Well... I had some downtime at work and this is what I came up with:

Starting Lineup

Washington, PG
T. Roosevelt, SG
Reagan, SF
Lincoln, PF
Taft, C


Obama, PG
Eisenhower, SG/SF
Ford, SF/PF
Jackson, PF/C

Starting Lineup

George Washington, Point Guard
Every team needs a field-general, and as father of our country (and, you know, an actual field general), Washington is the perfect man to lead the team. First in war, first in peace, and first on the roster.

Weakness: Truthfully confesses every foul to the ref.

Teddy Roosevelt, Shooting Guard
An avid hunter, so we know he’s a reliable and accurate shooter. Can hit a 5-point shot (on deer only).

Weakness: None.

Ronald Reagan, Small Forward
Teams nowadays need an athletic wing-man who can drive to the basket. If Reagan is even half as good at slashing defenses as he was at slashing taxes, he’s got a spot on the team.

Weakness: Dementia makes remembering plays a challenge.

Abraham Lincoln, Power Forward
Possesses good height, as well as a bit of gracefulness. Probably has a veritable array of mid and low post moves, including a sweet hook shot. Dangerous offensive threat who can use his quickness to beat bigger guys, and his height to tower over the smaller guys. Serious mismatch.

Weakness: Needs to learn to keep his head on a swivel.

William Howard Taft, Center
The team is kind of small right now, and it really needs some beefcake to contend with more physical teams. Taft is a little short, but he can use his big body to wear other teams down. Kind of a Charles Barkley type of player.

Weakness: Easily distracted by the smell of arena hot-dogs and nachos.


Barack Obama, Point Guard
To have a good team, you need a good point guard who can pick out good passes, and distribute the ball to his teammates. While campaigning in 2008, Obama professed that he wanted to “spread it around a bit,” which some interpreted as a socialist plot, but I view as a willingness to pass the ball and get everyone involved on offense. Should lead the team in assists.

Weakness: Too worried about impressing fans... needs to go out there and just play his game.

Eisenhower, Shooting Guard
An all around defensive specialist, who can be expected to shut down opponents the way he shut down the German war machine in WW2. Defends the perimeter like he defended civil liberties in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Weakness: The military-industrial complex.

Gerald Ford, Small Forward/Power Forward
Kind of a utility man. Not really terrible at any thing, but not really good either. A former Division football player, Ford is picked mostly for his athleticism and his genuine team-spirit. Every team needs a good locker-room guy like this.

Weakness: “Jerry Ford is so dumb he can’t (play basketball) and chew gum at the same time.”

Andrew Jackson, Power Forward/Center
Adds some more height and strength to the team. Has a nasty streak; he is willing to go out and goon it up if need be, hacking opposing big men and spending fouls. Seriously, a real bastard.

Weakness: Not a team player.

Just missed the cut

John F. Kennedy
NBA great Wilt Chamberlain claimed to have slept with over 10,000 women. Over/under on JFK?
Weakness: Can’t win in Dallas.

George W. Bush
Miraculously won a second term, even after a disastrous first four years, so we know he’s good at rebounding.
Weakness: Low basketball IQ. Low everything IQ, actually.

James A. Garfield
Has some height (6’0”). Not afraid to take a shot.
Weakness: Not afraid to take a shot.

Not invited to tryouts

James Madison


my Pakistani taxi man.

Quite an eventful night in the District! i could spout off some random words like (jazz, fun, coffeee, boyzzz) or something dumb like that, but all the events of this evening pale in comparison to my TEN DOLLAR taxicab ride home.
by the way, am I the only one in the world that calls it a taxicab?

Anyways, my taxicab driver's name was Mohammed.
he started asking me about my life, what I study, etc. and so i naturally inquired about his life as well. He told me he was from Pakistan, and i immediately began to tell him about my research on the Middle East, and my imminent trip to Turkey.

I think that really sparked his interest, so I told him about my near obsession with the country, specifically regarding nationalism and the ways secularism and other harsh implementations of western ideology has affected "Turkishness", or Turkish nationalism.
In his attempt to discover if i was an imperialistic "American", he cautiously asked me what I thought about "this secularism".
(disclaimer: i made sure he knew that i'm Canadian)
my brutal honesty pleased him and he opened up completely, he started telling me about his experiences in Pakistan and his distaste for secularism in general, with comments about America and its contradictory policies on religion and its intersection with politics.

sidenote: Mohammed has a master's degree, nothing infuriates me more. I experienced this alot while working at the International Rescue Committee during the summer of '09. I would meet men who were doctors, businessmen, and lawyers back in their home countries, yet were struggling to find a minimum wage job in America (something needs to change here).

From there we talked freely about Merve Kavakçı, a previously elected-MP of Istanbul for the pro-Islamist Virtue Party. Kavakçı's devotion to veiling complicated her win--because veiling policy is a highly contested issue in Turkey. Kavakçı was prevented from taking her oath at the National Assembly solely based on her refusal to remove her veil for the ceremony. Following this, her Turkish citizenship was revoked (she was also an American citizen, which was a justification for the actions taken).
This disgusted Mohammed as much as it bothers me. Although, his take was much more emotional. He did not speak with anger about the Turkish government or even secularism itself, he spoke about the loss of identity and the importance of nationalism.

See, much like me Mohammed believes that culture and nationalism are so deeply ingrained within us that they ultimately come to define us.
basically, our cultures are inescapable. (arguable structuralist argument)

After more discussion on the absolute horror of someone being stripped of their nationality, culture, and identity he began to talk about himself once again, telling me about his love and forever devotion to Pakistan, I will never forget what he said:

"i'm Pakistani, and i will always be Pakistani, I was born Pakistani and I will die Pakistani, i could live for 500 years in America, and still be Pakistani, my home is Pakistan, my culture is Pakistan, and my soul is Pakistan, and if I said otherwise I could not be trusted"

All the theories that are pushed into my brain, all the examples of nationhood, cultural heritage and pride repeatedly enforced in every part of the world i study, was brought to life. The tone of Mohammed's voice alone affirmed the words of Renan, Gellner, Foucault, Williams, and Anderson (to name a few favorites).
and I can't imagine anything more inspiring than that!

for once this is not an exaggeration.
it was probably one of the most beautiful experiences i have ever had.
unforgettable too.
So thanks Mohammed, for re-affirming my nerdy love of everything culture.


"artists, as people are limited…art is limitless" - "Eoghan Ryan"

my friend clifford showed me this AMAZING Dali painting, "the anthropomorphic cabinet".
the painting exactly embodies the title, which I find interesting because Dali's paintings and his titles are usually so ambiguous, like the ever so famous:

"the persistence of memory"

or one of my favorite paintings, that I still struggle to understand:
"dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate"

if someone can explain this one to me, without context, just with pure perception, I will be forever indebted to you.

Anyways, i digress... which makes me think of Holden Caulfield, which makes me want to digress again, so i will.
to steal Mr. Darcy's words, "you have bewitched me, body and soul", Holden Caufield.
never have I met a more complex, and interesting character in a book, he heavily rivals Gatsby himself.
my current mission is to find someone to "chew the fat" with, all about Holden. interested?

ANYWAYS, back to my point "the anthropomorphic cabinet", so powerful right?

So, as I learned back in my AP art history days, there are many ways to understand a painting, and as much as you research, and analyze you may never know the true meaning of a work.
but that's a given.
it's the same with literature and music, you can appreciate a composer, like Beethoven (i recently saw the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform his fifth symphony, so Ludwig's on my mind) and even completely know a piece of music. for instance Fur Elise, all the notes, the dynamics, and chords, everything memorized. (p.s. i'm describing myself here). Looking at the title, you can assume that the piece is "for elise", but scholars have NO idea who elise is, there is even talk about the music being transcribed incorrectly.

Basically, I personally believe that as much as you know about a piece of art, music or novel you will never fully understand its meaning, its purpose, and the reason it was created.

I think that's what I love about it though, the ambiguity. I had "woman with flower head" on my wall for the entire year and would see something new almost every time i looked at it. I would sit on my bed and just stare at it, and talk with friends about its meaning. (nerds)
we never came to a conclusion.

i digress, again. my goodness.

ANYWAYS, back to "the anthropomorphic cabinet", I did some research to see if I could attempt to understand its meaning.
1) the title itself, anthropomorphic means an object that shows human characteristics. a cabinet is a cabinet. Thus, a cabinet that shows human characteristics.

2) Dali did a lot of works with cabinets, why? I found out he was influenced by Freud, he said:
a)"they are kinds of allegories destined to illustrate a certain complacency, to smell the innumerable narcissistic odors emanating from each one of our drawers," and more precisely later, "The unique difference between immortal Greece and the contemporary epoch is Sigmund Freud, who discovered that the human body, which was purely neo-platonian at the time of the Greeks, is today full of secret drawers that only psychoanalysis is capable of opening."

That is the most specific research I could find on this work (if i'm missing something, tell me please!). So yes, now we know he was influenced by Freud and believed that humans have these intrinsic drawers that remain closed unless an outside source (in my experience) forces them open. but why did he choose to picture a "woman", sitting the way she was? where she was? what is it exactly coming out of the middle drawer (looks a little bit like guts, but why?)? why are the contours of her body painted so delicately or even manly? why is she shielding her face with her hair? is her arm outstretched because she is attempting to hide her internal cabinets from the outside world?
i can see that this work is Caravaggio-esque, it exhibits some characteristics of chiaroscuro (one of the only words I remember from my art history days), a shading technique that plays with contrasts between light and dark, but why did he use this technique? why are there six cabinets? and why are there different locks and knobs on the cabinets?
granted i'm a bonafide overthinker.

I could go on and describe what i really think about this painting, but I think i've said enough.
I found a really interesting take on this theme that solidifies my belief that the beauty of art lies in its ambiguity.
the ability for people to explore knowledge and to attempt to understand the world through a piece of art is one of the most powerful educational tools out there today.
interesting blog post (if you were interested at all in my post):

I dunno, i find surrealism insanely interesting, and i find Dali specifically so interesting.
again, anyone interested in "chew(ing) the fat"? telling me your perception of the painting?



wannabe nomad.

I don't think it's widely known knowledge that i am of CARIBBEAN descent. i'm "nationalistically" Canadian, but my "roots" lie deep in the islands of Trinidad & Tobago--land of the great (actually known as land of calypso and the steel drum). every single one of my extended family members live in that tiny island kitty-corner to Venezuela, (except my immediate family, and a small smattering of cousins, and an uncle).

i've been thinking about this a lot, especially with all the research i've been doing on nationalism.
I am a part of this entire other culture that I barely understand (besides food, and traditions).
I represent an identity that I don't necessarily feel connected to...

Well, when I lived in Canada, my family would take a grand vacation down to Trinidad and visit my dad's oldest brother, every year. taking in carnival, a GIGANTIC cultural festival with music, floats, and costumes that basically shuts down every street. I even have a costume myself!

Here are some pictures of Trinidad's carnival:

So, as you can see it's a very diverse, hectic, fun and colorful affair, (much like trinidad is itself). It is the island that we visit to have a good time, to party, eat, drink, hang, shop, and go to the beaches (which are crazy party centers as well). I left Canada in 2000 (when I was around ten), and I haven't gone back since (to Canada or Trinidad). This is one of the only cultural traditions that I have real knowledge of, other than certain Trinidadian takes on world-wide holidays.

I loved visiting trinidad, port-of-spain.

One of the most vivid memories i have is from maracas beach. the waves were stories high, the water was so clear, and i ate a "shark and bake" on the shore.
here's a picture of the only beach in the world that i like, in my limited travel, (i have yet to leave this hemisphere):

We would also visit my mom's family in Tobago, the serene island. beautiful beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscapes, flowers everywhere, genuine people, everything is just so wonderful theree. the main thing i remember is climbing up this mountain to get to the house my mom grew up in which sat right at the top. other than that trek, our visit was mainly relaxing.

I guess what i'm trying to get at is that my connection is nothing more than what any tourist would have. I'm sure when I was eight I felt truly trinidadian, but now that i'm twenty and it's been more than ten years since i've been back, i've lost that association. I guess i've used this blog post to re-ignite my trinidadian-ness, to make me explore my past, because Trinidad & Tobago is a place i can move to, even if just for a year. it's where all my family is, it should be my "home", or whatever. i physically have over five homes, but I have yet to find a "home" where i actually feel at home.

that was the roundabout way of explaining my title. i wish i could be a nomad, moving from place to place, gathering memories and experiences, and ultimately finding a home within myself.
but that isn't a reality for me, i could go into my whole "harry potter relates to every day life soap-box" and say, like voldemort's horcruxes, the pieces of my soul lie all over the Western hemishphere. but instead i'll say i have many homes, who says home has to be singular.


new words, and a new song.

HELLOOOO WORLLDDDDDDD, guess who's back? back again? kalyah's back, tell your friends! (sorry, momentary lapse of lameness).

Well, it's may in 2010 and I don't think i've updated my blog since early 2009.
This is truly a crying shame because that means i've been using other virtual portals to express my thoughts, interests and emotions.
the culprit: twitter.
(, shameless advertising)

The point is, I miss blogger, I miss the whole words floating around in cyber-space phenomenon that accompanies a public blog.
I think the main reason I stopped blogging was because I was tired of using "anticipated reactions" as a teenage cry-baby diary.
Now, i'm in my early twenties, twenty to be exact. I have been kicking school's and life's ass, (still single though). and i'm just wiser in general.


well Obama is still the president, no fatalities or impeaching to speak of. Although, his name is slandered almost everywhere you look. A sad reality that I guess is the result of vast change.
He has made plenty of great changes, but most notably HEALThCARE PASSED! that is bound to piss people off, unfortunately on both sides. Through my Canadian eyes this is a non-issue, every human has the right to healthcare, every human has the right to get access to the best medicines and doctors, i always thought that life wasn't a partisan issue, sadly, i'm wrong.

AHH not to shift, but I just recalled my post from last year about NOT going abroad, and I wanted to share that I AM going to study abroad in Istanbul, Turkey for five months, doing field research and taking classes at Bogazici University. My interest in Turkey started around late 2009 while looking at their veiling policy, most recently I became interested in Istanbul: all the architecture, art, culture, people, tradition,and religion; this entrepot city embodies culturally relative modernity, to me at least.
SOOO many commas, at least that hasn't changed.

Hmm, my musical tastes have evolved during my hiatus, but it was mainly rediscovery, listening to bands I hadn't really given a chance to in the past as well as exploring and LOVING jazz-- i even started a jazz blog last summer (another reason I abandoned "anticipated reactions").

I started learning french, oui, and I absolutely adore the language.
Of course I started learning french when I was six years old, living in Canada, but it was all forgotten once I started learning spanish in highschool, c'est la vie, vrai?

I absolutely cannot think of anything else to say, so I guess keep a look out, and hopefully I will get my place back in the blogging world!

I am currently back in georgia, so i MUST share this version of georgia on my mind, by billie holiday. This version attacks every aspect of my feelings on this state (i hope you can hear the melancholy in billie's voice as well):


you'd be so easy to idolize, all others above.

i'm a year older and none the wiser...

but, i had a fantastic hallows-een. One that made me realize i'm not crazy and that there are people out there that could be "easy to love".
not to be so cliche, but I don't want to forget that.
now i can't think about anything else, ughh my over-thinking brilliant mind.

<< "Let's Begin. by Ella

story of my right now.