Cybernautic Ruminations | The Daily Star
  • Can Covid-19 make us stronger?

    There is an old saying that “what does not kill you makes you stronger”.

  • The youth of Bangladesh shine on the world stage

    In the last four months, the country has been swept up in the shadowy spectre of the coronavirus, snuffing the life out of our near and dear ones before their time. Lockdowns, sanitisers, face masks and social distancing have dominated public discourses of late.

  • A eulogy for a polymath and a mentor

    The passing of National Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury marks the sudden end of the extraordinary journey of a man who was venerated by thousands of his direct students at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Brac University and University of Asia Pacific as well as thousands more, who came in touch with him through his professional and pro-bono engagements in diverse fields, to whom he was a quintessential teacher, mentor and philosopher-guide.

  • Are we doing enough to combat the coronavirus pandemic?

    On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally declared the COVID-19 outbreak a “pandemic”. With three confirmed cases of the latest strain of the coronavirus, aka COVID-19, diagnosed on March 7 by the Institute of Epidemiology,

  • A daydreamer’s guide to a futuristic Bangladesh

    Late Chief Justice Habibur Rahman traced the origin of Bangladesh as a land that was referred to as “Gangaridai” in Greek travel lore of pre-Christian era known for its untold riches and easy living.

  • Blockchain: Ticket to universality of truths?

    Blockchain technology has been all the rage of late from Azkaban to Zurich, from magical realms to the real world.

  • How to open the floodgates for foreign investment

    Like any other developing nation, Bangladesh puts a lot of emphasis on foreign direct investment (FDI) as a vehicle of growth for jobs, technical know-how and gross domestic product (GDP).

  • The looming climate crisis: Where is our Greta Thunberg?

    The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued its latest warning saying that the world’s oceans are rising twice as fast as they did in the last century due to fast-disappearing ice-sheets in the Antarctic and Greenland.

  • The missing pieces of our tertiary education puzzle

    In 1994, the country had around half a dozen public universities and zero private ones. A quarter of a century later, we now have 135 universities—a large majority of which are private. This growth in the number of tertiary-level educational institutions is certainly a

  • Digital Privacy: Are we giving away too much personal data?

    A mere 25 years ago, we could simply take the receiver off the cradle of the phone and make sure no one disturbed us. Today, with half the global population hooked on Facebook, Hangout, Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, Zoom and myriad other instant messaging

  • The search for excellence

    More than two millennia ago, Aristotle, the great thinker and philosopher of the Socratic tradition prophesied, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” In light of this hypothesis if we ask ourselves, “are we putting in the best we

  • What graduating out of LDC status means for Bangladesh

    It is indeed a seminal event in the history of Bangladesh that the UN last year declared Bangladesh eligible to step up to a developing economy from being a Least Developed Country (LDC). Of course the process is gradual and due to take effect in 2024 with a grace period of three years to wean off the special dispensations of the LDC status.

  • Can robots and humans co-exist peacefully?

    One of the biggest civilisational questions dangling in the air is when will machine intelligence overtake human intelligence.

  • What we can do to keep the train of democracy on track

    Emocracy works only if people who have the right to vote can exercise that right without fear or favour.

  • Curse of the sedentary lifestyle

    Since my wife bought me a Fitbit Versa smartwatch to help me monitor my physical activity (spoiler alert: I am a proverbial couch potato), I astonished even myself

  • The pros and cons of EVMs

    The recent decision by the Election Commission to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) has raised a lot of eyebrows. At the outset, it must be pointed out that EVMs are nothing new—they have been in use in many countries around the world for nearly two decades, and even in our country, EVMs have been used in local elections for several years now.

  • Lessons in unity from Europe

    As we moved upriver on a ferry along Krems, a tributary of the Danube, small villages with surrounding hillsides and cornfields fall away like picturesque view-cards.

  • A case of moral decrepitude

    The senseless murder of a young NSU student, Saidur Rahman Payel, at the hands of the operators of a private intercity bus has shocked the nation to its core. What have we become as a nation?

  • What does Putin have on Trump?

    The whole world is afire since the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki on the 16th of this month. The joint press conference at the summit evidently put on display the peculiar obeisance of the “leader of the free world” towards the successor of “perestroika”—a post-Soviet strongman who wields absolute power in the largest country in the world in terms of geographical expanse spanning 11 time zones.

  • Challenges in bridging the digital divide

    In this age of the internet and social media we are constantly deluged with free information coming from all directions. More than a billion people are frequently making status updates on Facebook, the most popular social media platform today, so much so that more eyeball time now is spent on social media advertising than the same on television, radio and newspaper combined.

  • Is VAT a regressive tax on the poor?

    The share of value-added tax (VAT) in the national exchequer has continuously been creeping up ever since its introduction more than 27 years ago, and has increased in recent years to the point where it is the single biggest slice of revenue collections by the government.

  • The uncertainty continues

    The Myanmar junta, under the façade of a democratically installed government headed by a titular political icon Aung San Suu Kyi, has been carrying out a campaign of brutal ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslim minority in its Rakhine province with complete impunity even though the world community is keenly aware of the atrocities and flagrant human rights

  • Is Digital Bangladesh taking a dive?

    A quarter bigger than the last revised budget, this budget coming in at a whopping Tk 4 lakh 64 thousand crore certainly fits the pattern of double-digit augmentation from year to year with special purse strings reserved for popular mandates like agricultural subsidies, rural infrastructure and social welfare that anyone would expect in an election year.

  • The bittersweet truth about state-owned enterprises

    Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) is a state-owned enterprise (SOE) that is among the remnants of a bygone era when, in a post-liberation war-ravaged economy, the sugar and food manufacturing enterprises left behind by non-resident business owners from pre-independence times had to be taken under the stewardship of the state.

  • Some thoughts on Bangladesh's first full-scale communication satellite

    On May 11 at 4:14pm US east coast standard time, Bangladesh entered the space technology history books as the latest iteration of the Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX took off from the Kennedy Space Center Launchpad 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Top