Easily Offended People Are Retards


Thought Catalog

Alvaro German Vilela / Shutterstock.com Alvaro German Vilela / Shutterstock.com

I was recently absent from school for a couple of months. When I got back, people asked me where I’d been. “The psychiatric ward,” I’d answer.


“Because I’m fucking nuts.”

This is an easy way of saying that I have a vast number of polysyllabic conditions that suggest I’m unstable. Saying that I’m fucking nuts is easier and less pretentious than listing off diagnoses. Simply saying that I went to the hospital because I’m nuts robs psychopathology of its credit, which is yet another reason to ignore the diagnoses and simply cut it down to “I’m crazy.”

Of course, this isn’t what the anti-ableist would say. Just as, “He isn’t black, he is a man who is black”—as if the use of the word “he” does not already explain that he is a man—someone is not supposed to say, “He’s crazy,” but rather, “He…

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Accomodation problem in tertiary institutions of Ghana


Tertiary education in Ghana has become extremely expensive. Parents are hustling to get their wards into higher institutions because of the high cost of tuition that is increasing each year. Currently, admission into the University for an undergraduate student will cost not less than 1,000 GHC excluding accommodation. This means the number of students coming to stay home after high school is way higher than those who can afford the cost of getting higher education. So with this system, I keep asking myself if it is necessary for us to value tertiary education in our country in the first place when foreign students are paying their way into our universities. It is unfortunate that our university system is heading in the direction of total failure. So many issues to talk about concerning tertiary education but for now those are not my main reasons for writing this article. The reason am putting this article together is to address an issue which is not new, yet a problem that students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, including myself, have been complaining about for years now: The issue of accommodation.

The university recently terminated its in-out-out system where first years get the opportunity to reside in a hall of affiliation provided by the university, which the cost is included in their fees for an academic year. However, only last year this programme was aborted and students now have to look outside for accommodation in the first year since the university cannot accommodate everybody. So you can imagine a young naïve student who doesn’t know anywhere in Kumasi looking for a room to rent just to find a place to lay his head and study. It a very daunting and risky experience if you have never been through it.

The hostels are very expensive and moreover they probably may have already been sold out by the time your money is ready for payment. This is due to the high demand for accommodation especially in areas around the university environs. Someone who can afford to pay more is given the room and your money is returned back to you. You have no option than to find what they call a homstel. In case you are wondering a homstel is a smaller place you can find that is not comfortable or secured as a hostel. However, some may be in good condition depending on how much you are willing to pay.

When it comes to accommodation on campus, there are three different classes: the higher class, the middle class and the lower class, not forgetting our dear friends the perchers. In case you don’t know who the perchers are, they are those who share beds with friends, or sometimes sleep on the floor while other roommates occupy the beds. A percher as they say on campus is like a beggar who has no choice. You can only sleep when your roommates have all slept because you know they will be using the little space available in the room until they all retire to bed.

Now coming back to the classes, the higher classes are the most expensive and secured hostels you can find around on campus. They however are not only expensive but very difficult to get due to the protocol attached. Such hostels can cost between 1,000 to 1,600 GHC depending on number of room members. The middle class hostels are quite expensive but moderate and affordable to some extent. They can cost roughly between 500 to 800 GHC depending on number of room members. The last category which is the lower class stands for the homstels and hostels that are far away from campus. Though the prices for these hostels are cheap, your safety is not assured and the distance is another challenge you will have to deal with.

The problem is all about security. If not, students will be staying in these nice hostels farther away from campus, which are cheaper than those around campus. However, students do not feel safe lately on campus how much more living somewhere farther away from campus. It is a risk that only the bold can take.

Coming back to the main issue, what are the university authorities doing about it? Well, I have no idea but when you find yourself in an institution where not even government can dictate to you what to do, you find things quite complicated. Numerous petitions have been addressed to all stakeholders who matter, from radio stations to government agencies. Yet no one is willing to come to the aid of these students who are living in fear outside campus.

Why the security concerns

Through my personal observation, it has come to my realization that the reason why there is so much criminal activities like robbery in Kumasi which students are affected is economic hardship. Kumasi is one of the cities in the country that have experienced massive rural- urban migration in the last few years. Most of the young men in the city have moved to the capital city of Accra to find better jobs. There are no good paying jobs in Kumasi for the young uneducated men who will do anything to get money. As a result, they move to the city hoping to get better job opportunities. Those still around are forced to engage in criminal activities as a way to meet their basic needs. This however is to the peril of other innocent civilians who work so had to get what they earn. These criminals take up arms and attack innocent civilians for their belongings.

Now, what has made things even easier for these criminals to operate is the fact that guns are very easy to acquire. Locally manufactured pistols are easy to get without a hassle. Kumasi is noted for its big car assembling site popular called Magazine where all different metal scraps can be found. These cheap metals are used for these locally manufactured pistols. So when these weapons get in the wrong hands you and I know the ramifications. Well, I had my fair share of the experience on the morning of 15th October 2012 when I was attacked in my hostel at gunpoint. That was when I realized how serious the whole issue was. I could now relate to the crime stories I was hearing all around campus.

Students need security on campus and outside campus most especially. I can only pity the first year students who are so naive and ill-informed about these accommodation and robbery issues when they step foot on campus. Because the school authorities care little about what happens outside campus, students are left to fend for themselves. Meanwhile the university says it has no room for students on campus yet tuition is increasing each year. How do you expect students to study and pass under these conditions. It is a shame how the authorities cover up these robbery cases against students to save the reputation of the university. However, I believe the right thing must be done regardless of how much pain it will bring.


Nice one but not for my money.

A new shopping mall

“A new shopping mall complex, what for?” I asked myself the first time I heard it. Well, the argument continued till this day, and now in few weeks’ time the new facility will be inaugurated. Hmm, some leaders we have. I don’t know how the new complex is going to benefit students when there are supermarkets in every hall on campus. Atleast, the few things you will need you can find at the supermarket why go to the mall. Well, if not for personal interest, I don’t know why this redundant structure will be put up when students have nowhere to sleep. The money could have funded two or three new hostels on campus for students. This is a sad situation and no matter how long we complain little is being done about it.

The way forward

There are many solutions to this accommodation problem. However, fearing they will lose students coming to their private hostels the authorities are refusing to the right thing. Fine, if the money isn’t there, can’t we find private investors to come in and build them for their own profit if our leaders are not willing to it. It is very complicated because government cannot meddle in the university’s affairs that easily. But as said earlier, there is always a way out. The chancellor can do something about it. His Royal Majesty Otumfour Osei Tutu, who has always been a father to the entire Ashanti Kingdom, will not sit for his grandchildren to suffer like this when we are only here to study. I will urge on the government and the Ministry of Works and Housing working on the affordable housing projects at Ayigya, Kumasi to allocate some of the apartments for students since there is little hope for students to rely on the university authority to provide accommodation anytime soon. I hope some individuals or corporate body come to the aid of students in desperate need of help as soon as possible. Students are living in danger, risking their lives for a degree.


Harold Owusu Amoo


The Power of Information to Our Generation


Couple of weeks ago, I heard over the news, the Turkish president has banned twitter in Turkey following his alleged dissemination of propaganda message against his government. Well this sounded funny the first time I heard it. I thought to myself, so now we find ourselves in an era where the government is scared of information more than weapons overthrowing government. Look at how the power of information incited the youth of the Arab world to fight for the government of their choice. Egypt, Algeria and Libya had all experience this modern revolution. These are clear examples of how much information can incite society to cause massive change in the lives of its citizen.

In today’s world we drink, eat and breathe information. Information can save lives. Information can lead someone to the gas chamber. It is both the devil and an angel to man depending on what side you find yourself. Information leads a man to betray his best friend to satisfy a selfish ambition. Well, the story goes on and on. Information some say is what make the world go round. We know how the likes of C.I.A (Central Intelligence Agency) consider information so critical. This explains why some political acts of smuggling classified information to enemy power are sometime punishable by death. This was common during the Cold War era of the 1960s between America and the Soviet Union. During this period, spies were trained to syphon classified information through undisclosed contacts, which mostly contained nuclear weapon, missile programs and military training programs of the enemy power. This was the most dangerous profession at the time. Because it had two ramifications: either you succeeded stealing intelligence information and got honored as a hero by your home country, or you got busted by enemy power and faced death penalty. So it was seen as a dangerous profession to be a spy in those days, betraying and stealing information from one country to another. However, these people were specially trained and they knew how to go about their job.

Our world today is shaped by how much information is at our disposal. To succeed in anything you must be well informed with the right information. To learn how to use a new phone or television, you must read a manual. To learn how a system works you need to be equipped with information. Basically, everything works and is understood by man by way of how much information about it is available. We cannot ignore the fact that information plays part of our daily lives


The blessing of information to our generation

Luckily for us, we find ourselves as part of a generation that is way advanced and ahead of its time due to technological inventions. The world today is called a global world. What one country does in a corner of the globe affects or influences the lifestyle of the people of an isolated island somewhere on the planet. This has made humanity more civilized and aware of opportunities within its environment. All this can be attributed to the power of information. The sophistication of information today has even made it far easier to access and disseminate it with less stress. Talk of emails, social media, fax, kindles, text messaging, etc. Through these means information can spread so fast around the world with the twinkle of an eye. Currently the most advance means by which information circulates is the internet. However, we cannot deny the fact that this advancement has led to disadvantages. The promotion of social vices is spreading so fast on the internet. Gambling and pornography. A BBC research showed that Devon Police force in Britain’s computer systems prevented access to pornography nearly 700 times and gambling more than 2,000 times between June and August 2013. So information comes with its good and bad side that society has to handle.

Information and the Internet

When asked what was the most important invention of the 20 century? 7% said the telephone, 11% said the television and 80% said the internet. Currently, there are over 1.5 billion people connected to the internet, sharing or receiving different kinds of information. Information is what makes the internet what it is today, without information there will be no news, advertisement, career opportunities, etc. The amount of information running through the internet is so much that it causes what we call information overload. With the increase in globalization, more people are connected to the internet each day. This has led to the traffic or jamming of information processing, as more people are using it for different purposes like social media, blogging or research work. In 1997, study showed that over 5O % of management of fortune 1,000 companies were disrupted more than six times an hour by the emails they were receiving. This shows how much information is circulating today on the internet on daily basis.

A way of making money?

Do you know about this? Hundreds of billions of dollars are being made annually through the circulation of information online. Currently, over 80% of the world’s richest people of the 21st century made a fortune by manipulating information. Known as Information Technology today, people have taken great advantage of it to create a fortune for themselves. Just by disseminating, packaging, sharing and sophisticating information, people are able to transform their lives within months. When you talk about Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, names like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin crop up. All these people had a common dream, to use the power of information to transform lives. Today, we all attest to this life transforming experience by how much we enjoy Facebook, Google etc. for our business and social activities day in day out. Yes and we owe a lot of gratitude to the individuals who made this a possibility through their sacrifice and ingenuity.

Information controls our world today



Information deficiency and dealing with it

It is said that the amount of information circulating a popular newspaper today is almost equal to the information an average man was exposed to his entire life in the 16th century. My point here is, with all the information this generation is blessed with, why should people complain about economic hardship or financial problem when information, as rich as it could ever be is within our grasp, as a generation and we are refusing to take advantage of it. Currently, more than 90% of self-employed people own their own online businesses and they are making a lot of money just by working with information through the internet. Talk about e- commerce, network marketing and advertisement, blogging, social media and the like. People have realize that information is all that matters in this generation and therefore getting it to the right people at the right time is all one can do to make money in today’s competitive global economy.

So after thinking about it, I have come to understand that the true barrier of development between developed and developing countries is not the resources or military power but the amount of useful information that is readily available to society. Why do I say this? It is simple, have you tried getting information about how something work and you really struggled to get the very little. How frustrating that is. Our leaders have suppressed the information and are unwilling to share with us. We live in a part of the world(Africa to be specific) where people are unwilling to share their secret to succeeding in all aspects of life with society because they fear their ideas will be stolen or imitated, and they might lose their source of income or integrity should they release such personal information. This is totally wrong because, this is what has transformed the western world. I was amazed how much people share their business ideas, knowledge, skill and expertise for free just for others to benefit as open information easily accessible to all. One example I can clearly recollect, a top CEO’s YouTube video I saw the last time. It was very inspiring to see such a noble and successful manager, filming himself in his car on how to market your business to get the right customers to buy your goods. This is what the difference is between us and the developed world. The free sharing and access to the right information for the lay man to access and transform his personal life.

In the USA for example, access to information has contributed to the development of the human capacity. Today, the lay American has a basic idea about almost everything. From how to drive to how to fold a neck tie. They call is educate yourself, forget about politicians and government. Websites like Wikihow, Answers.com, Wikipedia, YouTube are but a few of such information resource centres that people post tutorial lessons, videos and other very useful information on how to live and do basic things in our day to day life. So you realize that the little kid on the streets of New York is so well informed and has a fair knowledge about basic things about life due to the amount of information he or she is exposed to.

This is a different story here in Africa, and Ghana to be precise. People don’t even read to get informed. We just live by how the day comes and go. We are ill informed about basic things that are very critical to our daily survival: history, culture, education, health, etc. People are dying of curable diseases because nobody informs them about an NGO that provides free medical healthcare. Students are unable to further their education because nobody informs them of a scholarship program being offered by a higher institution. Businesses are collapsing because nobody informs these managers about what right steps to take to succeed. Yes that is the world we find ourselves in. A world where information is almost non-existent and inaccessible to the lay man. For the lack of information our people perish. Information that could save lives, improve living conditions and create a better future for us all is being suppressed by the very people who claim to be our leaders.

In conclusion

We must resolve this disease of ignorance, break barriers of free flow of information and we must transform our society by getting everybody informed. Our leaders must share their ideas and knowledge with the youth. Let us learn from each other by getting informed and informing others. Let us create the platform that will allow us to receive and share information that will improve lives and make our world better more convenient place to live. Thank God for the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who is introducing internet.org in the next few years to help developing countries like ours to access the internet for information on basic healthcare, education, social life and economy at very affordable price. Let us take our own steps and initiatives to transform our society today. Let us take advantage of this age of information technology to create a better generation that is well informed. A developed society is an informed society!

Harold Owusu Amoo

our true potentials are still unearthed….

“Unearthing your true potential is your spiritual right.”

I have always believed in the innate ability that man is endowed  with. the yearning mentality to know more, exploring beyond horizons to reach greater heights that all men aspire.”- Harold Owusu Amoo

Nature has never been biased. In life you always get what you are and not what you want. Who are you, what do you know, where are you, who knows you,how does your life influence others. I am not in the best position to answer this question. In fact no body does but you. Success has been defined by great philosophers as not how much wealth a  man amass to himself but how much he help and influence the lives of others. Yes this is why billionaires like Bill Gates and Donald Trump have set up numerous charity programs where they donate millions of dollars of their wealth to the less fortunate. That is the true meaning of success.


“The two most important days of your life is the day you were born and the day you knew why”

You must understand that life is passing by and each day you live, your actions and thoughts are creating a future for you. People are wasting their time through procrastination and other unhealthy habits giving the excuse of making things right tomorrow. However, they forget that today was yesterday’s tomorrow. Act now make the right choice for your life today. A choice that will ensure you reach your ultimate impact in life through hard work and………. to be continued.



Internet access is a basic human right: A Q&A with Keren Elazari


TED Blog

Keren Elazari speaks at TED2014. The day she gave her talk, we spoke to her about TK. Photo: James Duncan Davidson Keren Elazari speaks at TED2014. The day she gave her talk, we spoke to her about the shutdown of Twitter in Turkey. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Two weeks ago, hours after Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to “wipe out” Twitter, his government blocked access to the platform across the country. It was just weeks before a hotly contended election, and Erdoğan was upset about tweets accusing him of corruption. A judicial ruling in Turkey called for Twitter to take down the offending links, but when Twitter did not comply, the Turkish government opted to block the site. (Since then, the courts have deemed the ban illegal, but the government has yet to lift it — and instead banned access to YouTube as well, reportedly due to a security leak.)

Other governments have also tried to block access to parts or all of the Internet in the past…

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