« WEF Middle East - Second day | Main | Blog Interrupted »

June 01, 2007


Ezry Keydar

Dear Shai

We must remember that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only a fraction or a micro cosmos of a greater conflict between west and (mainly) Muslim blocks. Basically, there are two main aspects to this conflict – economical and cultural.
Reasonably, the economical aspect is depended mainly on fossil oil (no one can turn his eyes away from the American/western interest in the Iraqi or Iranian oil) but economical conflict could have been solved noon harmfully if it wasn’t so deeply interleaved with the painful cultural conflict.

What the region needs is education for peace to make a real conscious change, along with vast investment in peace oriented targets rather than in arms. Changes will always being within the individual. Countries or governments cannot compel a mental change but can and should support it in the right direction.

Shai, I’ll appreciate it deeply if I could exchange few words with you over an email. Write me if you may : [email protected]

Rick Bullotta

I had the pleasure of listening to Colin Powell speak this week on similar topics, and interlaced in his message were a number of domestic and international themes, notably that we MUST find ways to change our mindset now that we collectively lack any significant "common enemies" such as we did in the cold war, that we can no longer think in isolation if we want to be part of the global community, and that we want to be open to attract to brightest and best minds regardless of their national origin.

I thought it quite enlightening as well that his primary domestic concerns were our failing K-12 education (a passionate cause of mine as well) and his support for immigration reform.

On the education front, if the rest of the world continues to develop passionate and creative scientists and engineers while the US churns out more and more attorneys, tectonic shifts in economic power are inevitable...

A woman and her little girl were visiting the grave of the little girl's grandmother. On their way through the cemetery back to the car, the little girl asked, "Mommy, do they ever bury two people in the same grave?"

"Of course not, dear." replied the mother, "Why would you think that?"

"The tombstone back there said 'Here lies a lawyer and an honest man.'"

Oded Roth


Although many Americans share the opinion attorneys have no backbone, heart and brain but sleek snakeskin, attorneys are no different than any human being with their vices and virtues.
As any human being, and even attorneys if counted as such, not all scientists and engineers are motivated by care for public purpose rather than self interests. What is more important and dangerous is the abuse of tools created by engineers and raw material revealed by scientist. Alfred Nobel is rolling in his grave for this reason. There are endless examples relevant to the “Long Tailpipe” forum with this context, such as: The use or abuse of cars. Balance between the freedom of movement supplied by vehicles and environmental harms. The social price of a SUV or a limousine as public road volume consumers. The environmental price of a filthy small moped that carries poor household feeder.

The proper use of science is “social engineering” which learned at Law Schools. Unfortunately the skills of discern between right and wrong is many times abused, manipulated and maneuvered by canny politician and advocates. Maybe the main problem of affluent society is not too many educated people, but the ability of society to absorb too much new knowledge and facilities without shattering the moral foundations.

Oded Roth, an attorney, who tries to advocate a vision to enhance optimal use of transportation innovation.

Rick Bullotta

There's a few good attorneys out there, but I maintain that our society produces far, FAR too many lawyers, which results in a substantial amount of unnecessary litigation, which directly affects economic competitiveness.

As long as our political leadership continues to be culled from the ranks of these litigators, no reform is possible.

I would much rather see our universities demonstrate some of the "care for public purpose", "moral foundations" and "social engineering" that you discuss in your post - by graduating more students that add measurable value to society rather than creating a "circle jerk" of litigation that drains the economic life (and bright people) from our nation.

Don't even get me started on Wall Street, which used to be more a vehicle for capital creation than an online casino, where insiders get to peek at the cards and decide which hands they want to play long before the rest of us... ;-)

Rick Bullotta

Another nail in the coffin of the hybrid?


Bring on the EV's...

Rick Bullotta

Another nail in the coffin of the hybrid?


Bring on the EV's...

Rick Bullotta

Good news/bad news from Tesla Motors. Bad news is that their EV will not achieve its original targeted range of 250 miles, good news is that it will still exceed by a large margin what other EV's are aiming for. By comparison, the Chevy Volt has a 40 mile range with a gas/ethanol backup.

More info at:


Amir Idan

Thank you for blogging about your experience at the WEF. I have to say it has been surprising at times, enlighting and most of all - inspiring. I now share newfound hope for the future of the middle east.

Oded Roth

An interesting site about: “World's first zero carbon, zero waste city in Abu Dhabi”.


Mark Dalton

Hi Shai,

I have a quick comment on your first question, at the end of you post:" If the Middle East discovers that freedom is the key to competitiveness, and social agility becomes the true asset (post the current oil-boom), which countries will be willing to turn the key and open a door early to the new society, and which will stay behind in protective states?"

This question is based on a condition. (As an ex-Enterprise Apps guy, you know that there are too many conditions to take into account at any one time.) The real question seems to be: how can freedom be articulated in a way that shows the power of social agility? The existential notion of freedom, without real world applicability, will invariably lead to the continued cycle of violence that haunts the middle east. The world needs leaders to articulate a message, and show demonstrable results.

Just a thought.

Thanks for the postings, I enjoy your thoughts.

Mark Dalton

Avi Shaposhnik

The actual acknowledgment of the “big picture” conflict or as it was described, by greater and smarter then me, a clash of civilization, is a thought and understanding that I share with Mr. Keidar, but in sight of such acknowledgment find it reasonable to draw the opposite conclusions.

To continue that line, I would like to rephrase the reasons the conflict is based on and call them Economics and Religion, when each of them serves as a main guide for the two opposite sides. The Western side mainly, but not totally, influenced by the Economic reasons, when the Muslim is mainly, but not totally, influenced by religion (this is even the source of its name). The economic side is fairly easily resolved – if it was the core of the problem (and as Shai said: “sounds capitalistic but who said capitalist pigs can’t produce great bacon?”). On the other hand the other side of the equation is getting more and more complicated as time goes by. As the Muslim society is growing more fundamental and radical (not only in the region but globally) combined with inflated population growth and increasing socioeconomic problems, the possibility of a solution vanishes on the horizon, if it still exists al all. From this point one might say (as Mr. Burg suggested) we all should get some “other” passports, but true understanding will show that the process is global and our migration will not solve the problem.

The naïve conclusion that the investment in arm needs to be shifted towards education for peace and “peace oriented targets”, is completely unrelated to the reality in the world and especially in the Middle East. Even if we ignore the painful lesson we had to learn about 70 years ago, we can not ignore the warning lights today.

The only thing that we as a country that is interested in any kind of future, must do, is to create/gain a competitive advantage that will assure our survival in the world – not only today (investment, creation and use of arms will assure that) but tomorrow too – creation of the world’s dependency on us. At this point I would like to touch Shai’s electric car project, and ideas as of more then just as “save the world/environment” or even a pure business venture (and I can see the points and future of both) but as a possibly strategically important project on the national level. If Israel will be able to become the new “energy god” of the world, its bright future will be secured for generation. WE NEED THE WORLD TO NEED US!

Sorry for the Zionist preaching or whatever you may define me… just some stuff that came to my mind…


Ilse Pauwels

Yesterday I spoke to Tom Pfister from SAP. I used to work for SAP in the Benelux region. Today I am working as a marketing & alliances manager for a local ICT Consultancy company Ordina. I am currently organising an "innovation trip" to the USA. Main topic will be "clean technology". Seen your latest initiatives, I would like to get in touch with you! I really hope this will work!!!!!

The comments to this entry are closed.