alochana

yes Gods are crazy

Archive for August 2008

Ayas

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Aggressive Atheism –> Fanatic Proselytism

Aggressive Feminism –> Polygamist Societies

Aggressive Liberalism —–> Totalitarian Regimes

Aggressive Alpha-male determined societies –> Stone-Age

Irony, that’s one natural resource that we will never run out of!

Written by kowsik

August 22, 2008 at 10:19

vac

with 2 comments

Contemplating on the self, Ambi had warned me once, is the brachistochrone to self-destruction. Contemplating on the self, or something in that ballpark, is often quoted to be the path to enlightenment. From these two preceding lines, should I infer that Ambi is disagreeing with the quoted others (that would make these people disappointingly normal), or should I infer the opposite (according to some this is obviously true)?

Clearly, I am bullshitting because I have no idea of what ‘enlightenment’ is. This brings me to the often depressing inquiry of “what fraction of my life is spent on not bullshiting?” I had started off by wondering about the fraction of time spent on bullshitting but realized that, by definition (of bullshit), it would be impossible to answer it (this topic looks like one of those fractal stuff). I am sticking to the Harry Frankfurt definition of bullshit here, ‘bullshit is when we don’t even bother to verify whether what we say is true or untrue,’ that state of apathy to what comes out of our mouths (or should it be the diaphragm?)

Now that I begin to think of it, to be not bullshitting, one must understand the meaning of the words that one utters. Effectively every word that denotes any feeling, every adjective & adverb (and so on) requires to go through this ‘if-loop’ before it is said or written down. But what do we compare these words with in order to decide whether they should be used or not? Clearly, cursory knowledge of the synonyms of a word is not sufficient for its usage to be cleared of the bullshit label, if we apply this constraint strictly, how many words are left for our usage? Words that we can use honestly. May be this filtering would spare only those words that we have learnt the earliest in our lives.

Written by kowsik

August 14, 2008 at 11:00

swarna

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I’ve just been diagnosed with Pedora: my foot is firmly in my mouth. The only consolation is that it is one of those disciplined guys in the opening ceremony:

Abhinav Bindra

Abhinav Bindra beat Olympic champion Zhu Qinan to the gold

Abhinav Bindra became India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist when he claimed the men’s 10m air rifle shooting title on Monday.

Athens Games champion Zhu Qinan of China won the silver and Henri Hakkinen of Finland took the bronze medal.

Bindra finished with 700.5 points, to edge out Zhu who had 699.7 points for the silver. Hakkinen got the bronze with 699.4.

Britain’s Jonathan Hammond could only manage a lowly finish of 29th.

“It can’t get better than this, can it?” said Bindra.

“I know India was waiting for this for a long time and so was I.

“I narrowly missed a medal at Athens so I knew I would be in with a chance if I focused on the job.”

India, winners of eight field hockey gold medals, had never won an individual Olympic title before Bindra’s feat.

The previous best was trap shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore’s silver at Athens, while there were bronze medals for wrestler Khasaba Jadhav (1952), tennis star Leander Paes (1996) and woman weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (2000).

Written by kowsik

August 11, 2008 at 11:38

Posted in life

wtf?

with 3 comments

Just when we start thinking that we know what to expect, we are shown that “No, we don’t!” There are so many things that are wrong with this news item that I don’t even know where to begin:

Slipshod India cuts sorry figure in Olympic opening ceremony

Amlan Chakraborty
Beijing, Aug 8 (PTI) A slipshod India cut a sorry figure in the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony with the female members of the contingent making it a veritable go-as-you-like with their contrasting outfits that made them look completely misfit for the occasion.

With Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore carrying the tri-colour, the contingent looked good from far, as the male members decked out in off-white sherwanis. But as they came closer, things looked hardly impressive.

The tennis duo of Sania Mirza and Sunitha Rao, attired in black trousers and practice jackets, looked completely out of sorts and the contrast was even more jarring to the eyes as going side by side was Delhi paddler Neha Aggarwal who chose a greenish saree for the occasion.

Though the generous crowd at the Bird’s Nest stadium roared to greet the Indians, it was a shoddy fashion statement by the Indians.

The moment they entered the Congress President Sonia Gandhi was on her feet and waved at them and the athletes also reciprocated. PTI

I don’t know who is worse, the sports persons, or is it this particular journalist? Neither seems to be aware that the key-word here is: discipline.

Written by kowsik

August 11, 2008 at 04:32

Posted in life

prakruti/vikruti?

with 6 comments

I find this post marginally insane. For once I have a problem with every single paragraph of a post. For God’s sake… sorry, its author belongs the the ‘God Delusion‘ school, so why bother! In any case, coming to Postdoc’s post:

The entire article is about mother nature being this chaste virgin and how humans, through their industriousness, have been violating mother nature. I know, it’s not a new theme, but when the dude appears to begin to lose it, it is a thing to be arrested, or at least ticketed. I also know that Postdoc should have the freedom to go on a rant every once in a while, this my corresponding counter-rant.

Nature is beautiful in NatGeo. But when you are out in it, it is– as Murphy puts it– ‘a bitch’. When you are out in the wilderness/nature, it is a battle for survival, much as it is in the concrete jungle. The average man is spared the Freudian guilt because, not only has he (thankfully) no access to Disney/NatGeo but also because, he is enduring the battle for survival every day. Only when you are asked to live up to an ideal do morality & guilt come in, this is one such case. I find the attitude in this post to be in the same league as that of most doomsdayers and moralists, damning the entire mankind by comparing it with a dream, obviously we fall short– what chance has reality got against a dream?

As to the balance in nature: I don’t think there is one, if we are talking of a balance that ensures that any perturbation will bring it back to the initial state. I don’t even see the need for such a balance to exist– if it were not for some of the ‘spoiling of the nature’ level destabilizations, mankind would never have come up.

While it is patently absurd to argue that perturbations to the existing nature happen only due to humans, one might still argue that some of the perturbations are due to humans. I agree, but one should understand that perturbations happen, if not by us, by the nature in our immediate vicinity, or at higher levels (nature, as the dinosaurs found out first, is the entire universe). Here is where I find the biggest contradiction in the post. For some one having (not just ranting) serious problems with religion’s views like creationism, the author takes a condescending on the ‘lowest common denominator’ (‘lcd’ from here on). As far as I understand history, human civilization evolved in the same way that life evolved on our planet, survival of the fittest. If we want the religious people to accept and internalize this knowledge in their world-view, how hypocritical would a denigration like ‘lcd’ be? As to whether ‘lcd’ is bad for us, it has been the way evolution happened, and for some arcane (is it?) reason that has been the way progress in most aspects of our civilization has been. In short, if we want this ‘ugly’ ‘lcd’ to go away, we have to give up the present civilization and be ready to live in the forests and deserts (not oceans, of course). Incidentally, all the so called ‘cruel’ cultures happen to be the cultures living closest to nature, so I am not sure if any of us would want to take that risk. While I feel some pain when I see the deserted concrete houses and stuff like that,  a sensible/fitter way would be to try to find a way to avoid that (alternative to concrete?), rather than blame the ‘lcd’s. I am taking so much offence at the word ‘lcd’ because I am one. And I think that art is as much of a luxury as soap-operas are, that’s some red pill that I wouldn’t mind if taken by Postdoc though I am sure he thinks his pill is redder than mine.

Now to the most politically correct condemnation ever: religious intolerance. My only disagreement here is about the effect of religion. Religion does not divide, in fact it has been the most successful unifying mechanism ever. The only problem seems to be our missing the forest for the trees. With religion, you have <10 broad divisions on matter of faith, without it, the number will be much more. If we can’t find a way around <10 broad divisions, how can we manage to do any better in the absence of religion? As to intolerance, it has always been there. Sistine Chapel was in a region and period where there was no intolerance because the other groups were wiped out. Is the author ok with a state of tolerance and high-art if it is attained through a wave of intolerance? ‘IED’-art? Mirabai was a victim of intolerance, I almost fell through the beauty in that line. That’s another probem with beauty, most of the time it is rhetoric, the same thing that the author accuses religion of.

In short the author sounds like a character out of ‘American Beauty’. I believe this is the age of the market forces, we ‘lcd’s deserve better. On a serious note, I think attitudes like those exhibited in the post of interest are the ones that lead to totalitarian regimes, all the while condemning it in letter.

PS 1: I have serious problems with the abuse of the word ‘beauty’, in a way not much different from Postdoc having problems with the abuse of nature– just as we are a part of nature, part of beauty lies in our gray matter.

PS 2: In my opinion ‘art’ is a corrupted spelling for a word that should be pronounced with f-silent. We all know what they say about opinions, we can leave it at that

Written by kowsik

August 3, 2008 at 09:13