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The HAES Science-Technology-Engineering-Math-Sports-Art Fair (S-T-E-M-S-A Fair) is an educational and interactive event that seeks to engage young people as well as adults in our communities in various learning activities that demonstrate the links between Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Sports, and Art in our culture in an interesting and fun manner. This will occur via presentations, hands-on activities, exhibitions, games, and competitions, with the goal of stimulating thinking and building knowledge for greater academic achievement amongst youngsters, and greater appreciation amongst the adult population, while inspiring all to consider how to better our communities and our world through these endeavours.

Presentations and demonstrations of solar and wind energy production technologies will be a focus because of their increasing use in today’s world, and their importance in decreasing climate change. Presentations and demonstrations of remote controlled Vehicles, robotics, and rocketry will help attendees to understand the principles behind each of these fields, and the important role that they play in modern society. Computer tutorials  in internet surfing, security and protection against viruses, and software applications are also contemplated because of their usefulness in everyday life.  Presentations and demonstrations of topics in environmental science will help attendees to understand the impact of climate change and industrial pollution on the survival of planet Earth and how they affect our own existence. Math games and competitions will provide activities for having fun while demonstrating the importance of math skills. Sports presentations, demonstrations, and activities will be approached from a scientific and technological viewpoint. The links between art and science and technology will be explored through presentations and demonstrations.

These activities reflect the mission and the vision of the Haitian-American Association of Engineers and Scientists, which is to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as forces in our culture for advancing the well being and prosperity of our communities.

 
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HAES Journal                                                              Volume 1, Issue 3, Winter 2015


A SOCIAL CONTRACT FOR HAITI:
THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACHMireille_Sylvain-David
By: Mireille Sylvain-David, Sociologist

 

In defining a social contract for Haiti, it is important to go back to the history of the country and analyze the inhuman slavery system under which the country emerged from in the beginning of the19th century. Before 1804, the African slaves on the Island of Hispaniola were focusing to free themselves and at that time the only social contract plausible was the unity to revolt against slavery.       Even though after the successful independence war of 1803 when the indigenous army defeated Napoleon Bonaparte and his best world’s army, none of the valiant generals were ready to  face the needs of the new born nation.    None of the freedom heroes knew that the starting point for most social contracts was an examination of the human condition toward a social order.   Thomas Hobbes termed that order the "state of nature."  In this condition, a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up his or her natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order.

In 1804, in the island of Hispaniola there was no state and social ideology.   Indeed, how could the former slaves switch from being controlled, beaten and kept illiterate suddenly developed laws advocated to reliable public administration to guarantee a national commitment of public polices adapted to their needs.     Many scholars reported that the only social contract in Haiti at that time was the revolution and its success.   It took the new free nation a  great  time to realize that the colons had taken with them the public policies such as administration and accountable resources of information  established in the island as resources  of development.     Haitian forefathers, namely Toussaint L’Ouverture, J.J. Dessalines, and A. Pétion had indeed freed the nation, but they had not left a substantial social contract in Haiti.     Haiti was not a nation yet, and the new leaders have no antecedents of social contracts notion or a model that they can follow on the authority of the state over the individual.  The quality of public service and the desire to meet the basic needs of the population, to fight corruption and be totally committed to the welfare of the majority were inexistent.

Nonetheless, the new leaders were busy ordering the reparation of the agricultural fields destroyed during the revolution; they were also busy regulating the   separation of properties left by the colons.     Some scholars argued that Toussaint Louverture had left an army, but after the Independence in 1804, this army was busy controlling a probable return of the colons and also busy gaining their former masters’ properties.

“La petite histoire” mentioned that   in 1804, Dessalines had a social contract made and this was the reason why he was so brutally assassinated.      Thomas Hobbes ‘s theory   could have been famously applied in the case of Haiti:   “In the state of nature, human life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". “In the absence of political order and law, everyone would have unlimited natural freedoms, including the "right to all things" and thus the freedom to plunder, rape, and murder; there would be an endless "war of all against all."    To avoid this,  Hobbes said that:  “ free men contract with each other to establish  political  community and  civil society through a social contract in which they all gain security in return for subjecting themselves to an absolute Sovereign, one man or an assembly of men.”   Rousseau's political theory differs in important ways from that of Hobbes.  Rousseau's collectivism is most evident in his development of the  "luminous conception" Rousseau argues a citizen cannot pursue his true interest by being an egoist but must instead subordinate himself to the law created by the citizenry acting as a collective.   In the case of Haiti, it could be argued that   people are living and are still living in a “state of nature” as Hobbes describes.

It is important to get out of this state for the sake of the country.    Everyone needs to be aware of what a social contract is and how governments have to treat the people who elected them.   Social anthropologists and sociologists defined social contract theory, “nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live.  In Antique Greek, Socrates used something quite like a social contract argument to explain to Crito why he must remain in prison and accept the death penalty.”      However, social contract theory is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory and is given its first full exposition and defense by Thomas Hobbes.

After Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best known proponents of this enormously influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory throughout the history of the modern West.      Based on the social contract theory of  Hobbes,  we can assume, here, that  the aim of the contract is to create social order, ending the state of nature and making it possible for people to cooperate and produce social goods.  In order for the contract to best achieve its aims, it is important that everyone, or nearly everyone, to be part of the contract; otherwise, there will always have chaos and conflicts.

I can argue that in Haiti, the central assertion of social contract approaches is that law and political order are not naturally and collectively kept, but are instead individual creations.      But the main problem in Haiti is that Social contract and political principles are interrelated, therefore, creating a chaos on how to separate freedom of the people with authority of the rulers.   Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their remaining rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory.

Haitian leaders have to take onto themselves to resolve the problems that were laid since independence and   that are still challenging Haiti in the midst of the 21st century.      The  prominent classes  will  demonstrate   dominance, power, control and authority  over the underprivileged   discriminated classes which are poor, uneducated, unemployed,  malnourished;  therefore, in such an unjust and discriminatory  condition,  violence and anarchy are very common  when frustrated people are voicing their anger and  legitimate concerns as citizens.

As citizens, Haitians need to be aware that there are things that are basically necessary for the survival of any society.     An organized society needs short terms and long terms plans: schools, farms, hospitals, police, technicians, teachers, engineers, health specialists to work as a whole not for a small group of people but for the collectivity. An organized society needs to have a social contract based on its immediate needs and based on the new millennium’s globalization of the social institutions.

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References

Hobbes, T. (1909). Leviathan. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

Locke, J. (1947). Social Contract: essays by Locke, Humes and Rousseau. London, England: Oxford University Press.

Rousseau, J.J. (1762). Le contrat social. Retrieved online on September 24, 2015 at http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/Rousseau_jj/contrat_social/Contrat_social.pdf

 



 
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HAES Journal                                                              Volume 1, Issue 3, Winter 2015


RURAL ELECTRIFICATION: GOOD OR BAD POLICY?Sevigne_Castor
By: Sevigne Castor, MBA, BEE, BE

 

The blind faith placed in rural electrification during the 1960s and 1970s as being a key to energy development policy has been questioned in recent years by many.  In decades past rural electrification was perceived by some experts as a magical force which would transform poor areas into highly productive regions.  Advancing power electrical lines into poor rural areas was synonymous with providing the necessary infrastructure for quickly bringing them into the twenty first century. Communications, lighting, productivity increases, reduction in birth rates, the elimination of traditional customs blocking modernization, and many other benefits would flow from a reliable supply of electricity to the rural areas.  Electricity obviously and indeniably plays an indispensable role in modern society and modern life; that a society could progress without a substantial commitment to rural electrification seemed almost incomprehensible to the early planners, as it does even today.  Certainly electricity is a prerequisite for attaining the level of productivity and quality of life experienced in developed countries.

If this is true, then what is the controversy over rural electrification?  Why are there questions regarding the priority rural electrification should have in development?

The early optimism over rural electrification have been clouded by more recent and accurate reports from a number of developing countries indicating that the anticipated development effect of rural electrification has been very slow in materializing and prospective customers in electrified villages and communities are not adopting electricity at the rate envisioned.  When fewer people in rural communities take advantage of available electrical service, there is less chance that electrification programs can have an impact on rural productivity and quality of life.  And since most rural electrification projects in developing countries are subsidized, lagging demand for electricity may be a substantial financial strain on the utilities, whether public or private.  Concerns also have been raised regarding the equity of rural electrification investments and subsidies.  Since only the better-off villagers may be able to afford to adopt electrification, rural electrification may worsen the gap between the rich and the poor.

The early studies of rural electrification supported it as having favorable consequences for socioeconomic development.  A study conducted in Columbia in the late 1970s indicated that rural electrification could act as a catalyst in the development process.  The study found that household consumption of electricity is related to high household income and educational levels, it improves product quality in service industries, and it enhances the feeling of security in rural communities.  For economic development, electricity was found to be important for crop production and food processing industries, and apparently, it did not substitute for existing labor.  An other study conducted in the Philippines in early 1970s, was equally positive.  For the most part, its findings were very similar to those of Columbia study; electricity use was found to be associated with higher incomes and education.  In general, these early studies are glowing accounts of the benefits of rural electrification.

Despite the positive findings of the early studies, questions could be raised concerning whether the associations were a cause or an effect of rural electrification.  Higher income households will have higher levels of education, and they also have the purchasing power to adopt electricity.  Consequently, it is difficult to determine whether rural electrification or income was the main reason for the significant associations.  As a consequence of the early studies methodological drawbacks on the issue of causality, rural electrification was wide open to charges by critics who advocated a change in rural energy policy.

Now days, energy in general is coming under closer scrutiny because of the necessity to make adjustments in light of rising oil prices, criticism of rural electrification for development became a serious public policy issue, and the pendulum began to swing away from rural electrification.  Two critical reports published by Critical Alternatives and Robert Nathan Associates concluded that electrification was a "doubtful priority" for rural development and there would be very little chance that the goals of rural electrification projects could be attained.  Similarly, other critics adopted the position that rural electrification programs basically were uneconomical and unproductive, and alternative energy programs should be adopted instead of rural electrification.

In the space of almost two decades, the pendulum swung from an almost unquestioning acceptance of rural electrification as a necessary development input to a questioning of whether it has any worthwhile socioeconomic impact.  One should not be too critical of the benefits of rural electrification, until those involved in the controversy, not only determine the efficacity of it, but also determine when, where, and with what complementary conditions rural electrification has the most impact.

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HAES Journal                                                              Volume 1, Issue 3, Winter 2015

 



E-VOTE: A SOLUTION FOR ELECTIONS IN HAITI?

What do you say?

E-Vote_Pic-2

Countries using forms of e-voting include the US, Brazil, Belgium, Estonia, the Philippines and India. The term “e-voting” includes online voting where electors can cast their ballot from any computer using a secure ID. E-voting technologies are being used in some of the biggest world democracies for more than a decade. E-voting is being piloted in more than 40 countries. Why not have e-voting in Haiti?

CLICK HERE:  Take our E-Vote Poll

 

E-Vote_Pic-1


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REFERENCES

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/26/john-bercow-online-voting-2020-general-election

 

http://www.ec-undp-electoralassistance.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=170&Itemid=176&lang=en

 

http://people.howstuffworks.com/e-voting.htm

 

https://estoniaevoting.org/

 

http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs181/projects/2006-07/electronic-voting/

 

http://www.smartmatic.com/voting/electronic-voting/?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=evoting&utm_campaign=AdwordsJG

 

http://www.vote.org/voting-by-phone-foundation/

 

https://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/voting/ivote/background

 

http://civix.ca/blog/an-update-on-online-voting-part-four/


 
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HAES Journal                                                              Volume 1, Issue 3, Winter 2015

 


CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGEMEM_executive_pics_001a
by: Dir/Chair Max E. Massac, P.E.

   Greetings to all, and welcome to our Winter 2015 edition of the HAES Journal! On behalf of the Board of Directors I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2016! Hoping everyone had a great 2015. In this issue of The HAES Journal we have a special focus on how engineering and technology can contribute towards the advancement of democracy and society in Haiti and elsewhere in the world. We also have an election process underway for the 2016 HAES Board of Directors, where we use e-voting to allow for high and efficient participation.

As a membership based organization we continue to strive to increase our membership, as well as to get our current members to be more active in the evolution and growth of our organization. Via this, the HAES Journal, we are providing an evolving platform that allows the communication of interesting information and thoughts that have the potential to inspire solutions to pressing problems. I thank all the authors for their articles, and encourage the submission of more articles from others that can be used in future issues of the Journal.

During 2015 we had several activities geared towards promoting the organization, and fundraising via festive events such as the Jamboree and Gala. These events did not have the participation levels that we anticipated for various reasons, for which I take responsibility as chairman for not being able to plan better, and to inspire more contributions in terms of participating in the planning and execution of these events from our membership. We also attempted to hold a Tech Fair/STEM event which had to be postponed due to issues beyond our control with the venues that had originally been confirmed. Given more support and proactive participation by our members, these activities could have turned out much better. We are open to constructive criticism and proposals for improvement, and encourage active involvement from all to strengthen the organization.

Looking forward, the HAES is partnering with several sister organizations via the CIASTH (Congres des Ingenieurs, Architectes, Scientifiques et Technologues Haitiens), which consists of ADIHA (Association Des Ingenieurs Haitiens et Americains), SHEAB (Society of Haitian Engineers and Architects of Boston), AIHC (Association des Ingenieurs Haitiens au Canada), CNIAH (Collège National des Ingénieurs et Architectes Haïtiens), to undertake projects of mutual benefit, including organizing an international gathering of our organizations in a conference in 2016, and participation in the development of the "PiGraN" (Pôle d'innovation du Grand Nord) project by Grahn-Monde. We continue to also support and participate in the activities of organizational networks such as HAPC (Haitian American Professionals Coalition), and NAHP (National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals). Pooling our resources together towards achieving common goals will allow much to be accomplished.

Being that organizations such as ours rely on its membership in order to be successful, I urge all of those who think that having the HAES continue to exist as a network of professionals promoting engineering, science, and technology for the betterment of our communities and inspiring our youth to pursue careers in these fields to please include in your new year's resolution to become more active in the HAES, and take initiatives to help make the organization better and stronger.


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