Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Reading at University of British Columbia's bookstore
The conference runs as usual, quietly, without any exciting happenings except the following observations.

1.  Time allocation for each presenter is allocated nicely. Long before the conference, presenters could ask how long he needs the time, but of course with a payment. The longer the time one needs to present his paper, the more costly the payment has to be.

2.  If the presenter is absent, his time will not be filled by others. The time allocation will be left empty. The next presenter in the Session could only present his paper when his allocated time comes. He could not replace the earlier absent presenter.

3.  The organizer seems to not worrying about the absence of the paper presenters, for they have paid the payment for their participation earlier. The organizer only allocates the time for presentation when the payment is made. It is up to the presenter to come or not after that.

4.  The organizer also does not entertain any request for the changing of the time allocation when it is already fixed and printed in the programme book. Prior to that, the paper presenters were communicated both individually and via the conference web, informing the suggested time for their presentation.

All the above arrangements I think are good. It could be followed by ISDEV in the organization of all its future conferences, beginning perhaps with the ISDEV's 6th IDMAC in August, 7th INGRAW in October and 7th IDMAC in December this year, InshaAllah.

The Jeffrey's book
On the way back to our hotel, I bought a book at the University of British Columbia’s bookstore at the Robson Square. The title of the book is The Price of Civilization – Economics and Ethics After the Fall by reknown economist Jeffrey D. Sachs. Jeffrey expressed his worries about his country, America, where economic crisis of recent years reflects a deep, threatening, and ongoing deterioration of the America’s national politics and culture of power. At the root of America’s economic crisis, says Jeffrey, lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America’s political and economic elite.

The price of the book is C$29.95 (about RM90). Yes, it is rather costly as is the cost of living here in Canada. My dinner tonight on rice and fried talipia costs about C$15.00 (about RM45). So are the dinners for Dr Fadzila Azni and Dr Zahri on rice and prawn, which cost about C$12.00 (about RM36) each. I am glad that we would be leaving for Malaysia tomorrow night, the relatively much cheaper country to live, though the cost of living is ascending as is in the west. Is the increasing cost of living a pre-requisite of development that we have to sacrifice?

Holding the fried talipia
Rice with prawns

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