Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Visions of a parallel world: 3rd Tlön Conference on Uqbar Management and Orbis Tertius Economics edition

Here at the Riddled High-Energy Experimental Literature Laboratory, we were impressed by the following cast-list. It appears to have been constructed from a list of delegates to some international meeting, re-assembling surnames and forenames and patronymics into novel combinations, creating a Pynchon-manqué quality in the process from the polyglot and promiscuous intermingling of nationalities.

It is in fact the Editorial Board at the Academy of Global Research or AGRresearch.org ['research' is so important it's in the name twice!], and cries out to be sung to the tune of Widdecombe Fair. Some of the members have even acquired institutional employment! It is good to see so many universities valuing Diversity, and recruiting and promoting staff without a narrow-minded requirement of physical reality.

Dr. McMahon Edward, (PhD). Chair of Scientific & Review Committee, Academy of Global Research.
Professor F. A. Bajwa. Professor, School of Management Sciences, Imperial University PK. (Conference Coordinator)
Professor M. A. Rahman. Professor, National Textiles University, Pk (Co-organizer)
Dr. Ahmad Raza Bilal, (PhD). Editor & Conference Coordinator- Academy of Global Research, Main City, UAE
Professor Dr. Zafar Ahmad (PhD). Syracuse University, New York, USA.
Dr. Philiph Kovar, (PhD). College of Computer Science and IT, Michigan State University, USA.
Dr. Bilan Winer, (PhD). Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya – Kuala Lumpur.
Bruce Rasli, (PhD). School of Biological Science, (SBS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Dr. Kieu Li Nguyen, (PhD). Flinders University Australia.
Dr. Douglas J Turskis, (PhD). Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.
Dr. Lopatin Brown, (PhD). School of Management Sciences, (SMS), Aix Marseille University France.
Dr. Simon Johnson, (PhD). School of Business Studies, The University of Warwick, Philippines.
Professor Farooq Ahmad. School of Business Administration, Imperial University, PK.
Dr. Natalia Van Duyne, (Ph.D). Department of Economics and Finance, Humboldt University of Berlin.
Prof. Svitlana Bouillon, (Ph.D). School of Natural Science, (SNS), Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich Germany

Artist's impression of Prof. Edward
Professor Doctor McMahon Edward in particular is such an engaging literary creation that one can only regret his lack of real-world existence, given his stellar career of expertise and accomplishments and public service. As recorded in the introduction to his Keynote Address to the AGR-sponsored 2013 Global Conference on Multidisciplinary Academic Research in Business Psychology, in Manila:
Dr. McMahon is professor of economics and strategic management research at Flinders University Australia. Dr. McMahon initially attained the bachelor degree from Australia. Subsequently, he obtained his degrees on Master (MPH) and Doctoral (DrPH) from Flinders University Australia. He also attained MFOM from Ireland. He was then inducted to the department of management sciences Flinders University Australia. He also acquired Fellowship (FAGE) and economic certification from Harvard Business School. In 2008, in recognition of his services, he was conferred the Excellence Service Award by the ministry of Australia.
He also attained the Best Session Presentation Award from the International Conference on Global Trends in Academic Research 2008 and International Conference on Innovation Challenges in Multidisciplinary Research & Practice 2013. He had also chaired sessions in the International Conferences. He has affiliations to various organizations.
During his earlier stint, he served at various governments educational institutions. He previously held office as the Director of Finance Committee (ministry of finance Australia), member government audit wing, advisor to minister of finance and commerce and edition of various financial and economic international research journals.
Plating a boiler
Although Edward has much in common with Professor A.R. Bilal, to the extent that a Conference Message delivered by the latter to MARBP in 2013 as AGR secretary was recycled by the former for FCEG, in Paris 2015. Boiler- plate text, as it were, such as one addresses to boiler-platers.

It is not entirely clear how these keynote speeches were delivered. Perhaps a less existence-challenged surrogate was employed, or a video link to an alternative time-line in which these persons do exist. AGR offers a gallery of photographs from these earlier symposia, documenting the large numbers and general satisfaction of the attendees and the sumptuous facilities provided, but they were of little assistance, for checking them with the Goofle Image Search was like taking a whirlwind tour of the globe, from an architecture meeting in Sydney to the Goose Specialist group in Beijing. Almost as if low-life shitweasels had harvested the images from some other, less grifty grove of Academe.

AGRresearch might potentially be linked to a glittering array of respectably non-fraudulent organisations. Perhaps not in this universe, but the Multiverse is large enough to accommodate all possibilities.

Of course there is nothing original about scammy little mockademic conferences. They are the inevitable outcome of pressures and incentives in the education environment, where administrators demand some simple, easily-quantified metric to let them decide on staff promotion and retention with minimal effort on their part... metrics like "networking" and "peer participation". An entire vibrant ecosystem of disguised travel agencies evolved to meet that demand. No, it was the exuberant inventiveness of AGRresearch that singled it out from the competition and brought it to the attention of Riddled, as we now bring it to yours! Though we aren't sure whether to applaud and encourage that creativity, or try to quash it -- for if there's one thing we learned from Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, it's that excessive exposure to knowledge of an alternative reality brings artifacts from that reality irrupting into our own, then its history and culture and physical laws, displacing all that is familiar.

But don't go yet, there's more! The 'Partners' link at its website informs us that AGR is linked to the International Organization for Research and Development, an august, globe-spanning noble-intentioned body lending its authority and granting its gravitas. The IOrd has a logo and everything, which appears on the Proceedings of many another Conference, placing its imprimatur on diverse organisers; also a Mission Statement [see later].

Given its unimpeachably lofty ideals, it is disappointing that the one quality lacking of IOrd is any non-fabulated existence: even the domain has lapsed, on account of the registrant neglecting to pay the domain renewal fee. For some unfathomable reason, the logo was filched from a Tucson manufacturer of temporary tattoos.

Also listed as partnering AGR is the “Journal of Management Sciences” at jmsciences.com... which has gone like tears in rain, its erstwhile domain having lapsed through the registrant's negligence. Only fragments echo on within Goofle Cache, bad luck for the suckers who paid to have their papers hosted there.
Not to forget the Academy of Science and Technology. Despite being
created in 1986 to recognize outstanding achievements in science and technology and to serve as a reservoir of competent scientific and technological manpower across globe. Current membership is 345 academicians from across world, grouped into the following divisions: Business and Management, Finance, Economics, Agricultural Sciences, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences, Computer studies, Engineering Sciences and Technology, Health Sciences and Social Sciences,
Would look good on a red shirt
and having a logo evidently modelled on the emblem of Starfleet, its grip on existence is precarious indeed, with not so much as a website constructed on its domain.

This is where things get interesting [for sufficiently small values of 'interest']. These more-or-less fictive, more-or-less disparate entities turn out to be linked, like the multiple bodies of a Rat-King, with the domain registrant -- one farooqanwar79@gmail.com -- as the knotted tail they share in common. That is to say, Dr Farooq Anwar Bajwa -- token Real Person among the AGR Editors -- set up the domains for the IOrd, AGRresearch, J.Man.Sci., and AST. Carried away with enthusiasm, he went on to register the Eurasia Research Institute or ERI, a.k.a. eurasiaconferences.com; and academicconferences.org (although the latter domain expired and all that lingers of the site is its dim reflection on Wayback).

"providing a classy paltform for the researchers across the globe."

ERI was another bite at the conferencing cherry, its credibility enhanced by endorsements from AST and IOrd and JMS... although it succumbed to inertia and incompetence, and is currently soliciting contributions to the August and December 2015 performances of ERC-2015.

For the sake of completeness, we should also mention the “International Research Conference on Business, Economics and Social Sciences”, for this organisation is affiliated with the usual suspects, and attendees are regularly promised a Welcome Address from Prof. Dr. F.A. Bajwa (the domain is registered to a Khalid Chauhdry, perhaps the IT technician).

Rather confusingly, each year’s IRCBES is a moveable feast, performed at multiple venues around Asia at roughly fortnightly intervals. For further confusion, and to increase the market, these IRC meetings are variously branded and sold through yet more buttocks of the communal bum: the Academy of Business Management Conferences, and through Global Research Conferences.

Less creativity has gone into these sites, and the academics who are listed on the Advisory Board mostly seem to exist (though if they are aware that their names have been enlisted for this purpose, they are doing their best to conceal the fact).

More damningly, the site designers display an unhealthy fondness for Algerian typefont.

At the present rate of growth, grifty mockademic conferences will soon be Pakistan's #1 industry.
Disappointed at the loss of inventiveness in these latest literary artefacts, we console ourselves by reading the encomium where Bajwa wrote himself into the narrative, introducing himself as Keynote Speaker to (and Head of Organising Committee of) FCEG 2015. It reaches unmatched heights of autohagiography, and may give some picture of his many achievements and capabilities.
Professor F.A. Bajwa is Dean of Research at Imperial University, Pk. He is regarded as a leading international researcher and known consultant of financial issues in academia. His contribution for promotion of research excellence and work on handling of financial challenges are recognized at international level. Prof. Bajwa has been in leading positions formerly across many countries including Malaysia, Thailand, and UAE and have been involved in research and development activities with various other global level institutions. He is among the main advisors of Academy of Global Research. His research contributions are wider and impactful for the scholars and researchers in the multidisciplinary fields. He is among the top advocates of promoting multidisciplinary research and practice for better service of humanity. He is on the advisory boards of several countries for development of psychological empowerment, organizational mistreatment and innovation infrastructure to help in growth of knowledge based economies. His 20 years of rich academic and research experience along with visionary leadership for innovation and excellence makes him an ideal scholar to share his thoughts regarding financial and management challenges in fields of business practices and research.
Unusually for lecturers on Management Science and organisers of conferences thereon, Bajwa has actual management experience, at a Sizzler Grill and a Fort Restaurant... although the LinkedIn and FaceBonk entries that recorded these experiences were recently removed from public view, presumably out of modesty, shortly after the inquiring commenters at ScholarlyOA began exploring the whole backstory.
International Organization for Research and Development (IORD)
Since its founding as a nongovernmental organization, the International Organization for Research and Development (IORD) has been established with the mission to facilitate, guide, fund and render all other services to the research community in general and different research institutes in Asia and Europe particularly to promote the Research culture especially among developing countries.
Within the framework of these objectives, the International Organization for Research and Development (IORD) organizes national and international conferences, seminars, panel discussions and lectures for specific groups either directly or through any of its affiliate organizations. Currently 34 affiliates are associated directly or indirectly with IORD. Another feature of the organization is to provide different fundings to the students at different levels to enhance the quality of education in less developed areas around the globe. IORD, for instance, has sponsored more than 25 students in developing countries to pursue their PhDs in different domains.
The Association is also active in the field of publishing. Among its publication affiliates are majorly, Academy of Science and Technology, Journal of Organizational studies, Journal of Management Sciences. The Association maintains library and documentation facilities which can be consulted freely.
The International Organization for Research and Development (IORD) cooperates actively with government institutions, non-governmental organizations and scientific and political institutions across the globe. This cooperation enables the Association to organize a variety of national and international conferences with contemporary challenging and unique themes. In addition, the organization assists other governmental and non Governmental organizations to organize and implement the projects relating to the core issues being faced in one particular territory or a region in general.
The independence, autonomy, and the transparency of the International Organization for Research and Development (IORD) is safeguarded by the Board of the Directors, comprising of mainly, the donors, researchers and renowned academicians from different parts of the world.
UPDATE: It appears that Dr Iman Ul Haq -- a second person on the AGR / IRC payroll, co- convenor and frequent Keynote Speaker -- is also non-fictitious (with Pr(exist) > 0.95), to the point of requiring an air ticket on the company account when flying to resorts. No insult was intended!


H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

I'm J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock, and I approve this message.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I'm sorta disappointed that there's neither a Dr Hugh Jass nor a Dr Rama Butt (note: real name) on the list. The best real name I've ever encountered, bar none, is Mojo Muckleshoot... another one for the list of not-imaginary luminaries.

Smut Clyde said...

I'm J. Peasemould Gruntfuttock, and I approve this message.

The first draft of this post, as a Julian-&-Sandy dialog written entirely in Polari, was not a success.

Dark Avenger said...

The gentleman who wrote about my honorable ancestor here has an interesting name.

Smut Clyde said...

my honorable ancestor
Inspector Quincey definitely deserves to be the protagonist of a series of detective novels.