The Moorish Wanderer

My 2012

Posted in Wandering Thoughts by Zouhair ABH on January 1, 2012

How I would like to spend my New Year’s Eve in Vienna…

Some other time (or life) perhaps…

2011 – what a turnout! It is as though providence allied itself with the random walk of history to provide me with a host of opportunities, meeting interesting people from all walks of life, and important individuals as well, whose encounter would have been near impossible otherwise. Every time I met one of these famous and powerful individuals, I felt awkward and humbled. But every-time I had the most lively conservation ever, truly exciting indeed.

I have to make some resolutions for 2012 apparently. An obvious one that keeps coming back every year is to read more books. Every year passes and I feel like I didn’t read enough; that there is always one more interesting book, one more appealing author or subject I haven’t touched upon yet, one additional reference a friend advises as a must read. That inextinguishable hunger to read is fed with books, for my pleasure, and I hope for my readers’ as well. Ayn RandKarl Popper,  Robert P. Warren and Bruce Bueno De Mesquita are at the very top of my list – for as long as my personal finances and space in my room can allow for.

Pay more attention to the rigorous proofs in the economic models I study. This one is a bit nerdy, but it relates somehow to the content of this blog; The last time I had to go back on basic proofs dates back to prep school; this year, the fully fledged research student that I am still finds it odd to build step by step a given model in economic theory, state its assumptions, verify them and then proceed. Brushing up my mathematics and statistics was a bit of a process, and now that things have settled down a bit, I can carry on with the real stuff: rigorous proofs for economic models. I am thinking of writing on non-parametric estimates of business cycles – my tutor says it is very new (and controversial) and has a promising potential for further research.

Some articles on my blog look erratic with hindsight: I mean, the results still hold, but they look to me now as though I was not clear enough, as though I was only giving the big picture – on income distribution and business cycles for instance, a better understanding of the tools I proposed to use could have produced a clearer, more precise explanation of my argument. I hope 2012 will be more inspiring in my quest for the rigorous modus operandi I claim to argue my opinions.

Be more ‘technocratic’: I feel the “Makhzen” label is going to stick (and stink) a lot more with that resolution; the thing is, there are now plenty of dissidents around, some who even take to the streets every Sunday. The way I see it, there are enough voices touching upon the soft side of dissent.

I would like to present the reader with alternative opinions; I cannot tire from repeating it: change has a lot more chances to occur within institutions, and whether we like it or not, from Annahj to AWI, all dissenting political powers have accepted the basic rules set by incumbent institutions. The rebuttals served within an established institutional framework, with verifiable references and a documented body of evidence not only imposes on the regime the standard procedure of established opposition, but benefits as a political education – learning the ropes of government policy from outside so as not to repeat past mistakes when the wheel turns; I firmly believe that if and when a progressive, liberal-radical political force seizes power through free and fair elections, understanding the nuts and bolts of government policy will be a lot more useful than regular attendance of Feb20 demonstrations.

I believe friends like Larbi have chosen their course on good faith, and I applaud their commitment; I suppose our views differ fundamentally on only one thing – the time horizon for genuine reforms.

Blog in Arabic and/or French more often: perhaps the most difficult thing for me is to recognize both my weakness in producing substantial writings in Arabic, as well as my increasing disillusionment with French culture and miscellanea. Blogging in Arabic would only prove one thing; it would be my Bona Fide that I am no elitist, that blogging in English is not snub – but a useful exercise I undertook 3 years ago to improve my chances at the GRE. I reject the claim that Arabic culture has some kind of superiority in making Moroccan culture, and it remains, in my opinion, a foreign language just like French.

As for French language, I feel their domestic politics have turned France into a nasty, institutionally xenophobic and unable to renew itself. I must confess my disillusionment. Still and all, one must try to express their opinions in different languages – since I am free of any obligation to speak for any particular community, I can do as I please.

As for the usual, I hope I will retain my regular posting with the same level of passion and involvement with the issues I care about. I only hope I can get the readers, regular or newcomers, interested enough to retain their attention for just one more post.