So finally, I have overcome that obsession. This theme & layout are simpler & hopefully more pleasing to the eye. Your frank feedback is certainly welcome.
But most important announcement – I have updated my blog roll. I had to work very hard towards it. I have not merely enlisted the blogs, but also tried to point out what I like about certain blogs and bloggers. Also, I have tagged each blog with broad genres that the posts tend to fit in. Additionally, for almost all blogs I have added two posts that I had remembered as having impressed me the most while drafting the blog roll.
Apart from serving as a guide to readers who want to explore new blogs, through this blog roll I want to convey my heart felt thanks to the enlisted bloggers for enriching my life, giving me new things to think about or feel.
I have tried in the past, but I do not know if I could convey this clearly enough. The people I have mentioned make me think of this World as a better place to live in, and thus, this life more worthy of living.
Those who can believe my sincerity behind saying all this, and can understand what it means for a cynic like me, will appreciate that it is one of the highest compliments I can pay.
You can go through the blog roll by clicking on ‘Blog roll’ button below the header, or alternatively by clicking here.
If you feel like commenting on the blog roll, kindly do so on the blog roll page itself.
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
On pushing, Jill couldn’t control her laughter.
Despite having my feet literally firmly grounded, I’ve seen more humans, their humanity & its complements – indifference, deceit & cruelty – than you ever could have.
…Wait! Don’t think it’s another philosophical drivel only ‘cuz I choose to speak through Ketan’s blog! How many weighing machines’ life-stories you’ve heard?
I used to like kids standing on my feet. Their big eyes would further widen when I’d make faces – my blinking lights & rotating disks – they’d chuckle, not bothered by their weight at all! They loved me – their entertainer. But now kids find my antics silly Why won’t they? Having seen smart cards & ATMs, the idea of feeding me a coin & see me come to life no longer excites them.
But not just kids, even grown ups have changed. In those days, they were not bothered by the printed number. Except if too big, they would call themselves “healthy”, smile & get down happy. But later on, no number could satisfy them. Most wanted it to be much smaller. They always left dejected.
Somehow I’d always wished that everyone be happy, & none be sad ‘cuz of me. So I started showing 5% less weight. Some people got happy, but not others. So I started reducing 10%. This made many happy. They started praising me, wishfully calling me truthful, but that’s not what I was! I longed to be known as nice! It was ironical that weight I showed wasn’t accurate, yet I wanted the praise to be!
Once, I overheard a doctor explain something about BMI & how overweight people suffered more from heart attack & stroke. He also said obesity was an epidemic & was killing Indians at younger age. I was shocked! I wanted to mend my ways. But having got used to people’s praise, I couldn’t regain the courage to be truthful. I still showed reduced weight.
Then one day, a mechanical mechanic failing to understand I also had feelings, reported that my spring wasn’t yielding enough ‘cuz of corrosion & I must be taken away for showing wrong weight. Like all non-humans that die at the end of autobiographical school-essays, I too wanted to. But his boss reminded him of profits, & how his promotion hinged on it. I now understood the true purpose of my life.
Partly inspired by Insignia’s post (click)
1. Bhishma Pitamah at #PriceRiseRally: Khud ka pet nahin paal sakta, biwi-bachchon ka kya hoga! Main brahmacharya ki shapath leta hoon
2. Buffalo at #PriceRiseRally eats up dice thrown by Shakuni after wrongly hearing “chaar” as “chaara”. Denies its name is Lalu
3. Ms. Roy at #PriceRiseRally scratches private parts vigorously. Thinks of lice in Dantewada jungle: “Bloody *internal* security threats!”
4. Duhshasan indecisive at #PriceRiseRally as Draupadi didn’t wear saree as a cost-cutting measure
5. Ahmadinejad bans #PriceRiseRally, then retracts on learning the rally is being held in India (via @bharkadatta)
6. Ahmadinejad while parting from #PriceRiseRally: Holocaust & price rise are same things & they never really happened
7. Ahmadinejad rephrases #PriceRiseRally statement: HollowCost & price rise are same things & they never really happened
8. Michelangelo plans sequel to ‘Fall of Man’ – ‘Rise of Price’; joins #PriceRiseRally for inspiration. Promises to show Katie Price & protestors fully clothed
9. Voyeuristic Katie Price fans at #PriceRiseRally hope to have some upskirt fun when Price is raised
10. MMS in face of #PriceRiseRally didn’t let Katie Price sleep the whole night citing “Early to bed, early to rise”. Doesn’t reveal how he kept her awake
11. Media stays away from #PriceRiseRally. “We only cover matters of *gravity*. Nothing that ‘rises’ is important”
12. Protestor ‘Tara Singh’ faints in the #PriceRiseRally. Aamir to make a movie – Tara Zameen Par
13. Sheila Dixit points to south Indian movie artists in #PriceRiseRally in Delhi: See, those are nonstate actors!
14. Pickpockets join #PriceRiseRally. On further query, holding wallets in their hand just say, “SurPrice!”
15. AnDy Tiwari joins #PriceRiseRally to pep up his sex life. Reveals he renamed his Rambo to ‘Price’
16. Mulayam at #PriceRiseRally whistles at ladies from decent families. Defends: I was just being a whistle blower
17. Pak president Zardari joins #PriceRiseRally, says he has nothing much to do back home (via @bharkadatta)
18. Mayawati at #PriceRiseRally: My cash garland isn’t worth much now, thanks to inflation. Hence joined the protests (via @bharkadatta)
19. Genelia D’souza at #PriceRiseRally says she’s here to try out her new sunscreen lotion! (via @bharkadatta)
Atheism (lack of belief that God exists) depends on definition of (attributes assigned to) God. Deism & ‘Randomly behaving God’ are not falsifiable. But one of the prerequisites to admit any proposition as possibly true is, it has to be falsifiable. For instance, if I say, “there exists a force between 2 balls such that it is directly proportional to the product of their masses, & inversely proportional to the square of distance between them”, & call it theory of ‘mystical gravity’, then such a statement is NOT falsifiable as I have not specified the direction of force. Such a statement cannot be disproved by actual or thought experiments. If we conduct an experiment with Newton’s original theory as hypothesis, then it is falsifiable. How? If you place two balls in a frictionless environment, the (UNIQUE) prediction is that they will be attracted with predicted force & will accelarate (with predicted value) TOWARDS EACH OTHER for ALL combinations of mass & distance. If any of these do NOT occur (say, balls move away from each other), then Newton’s theory would be proved wrong. But the mystical theory cannot be falsified (as it gives MULTIPLE predictions), because irrespective of how the two balls move in each others’ presence, I can always say, “see, force is predicted, but we do not know which component of force is acting in which direction”! Thus, one would have to acknowledge existence of a (directionless) ‘mystical force of gravitation’ independent of how balls behave.
Analogy from mathematics: any REAL function must yield a unique value ‘y’ (dependent variable) for any given value of ‘x’ (independent variable). Why? As we want to derive a “law” that would be able to PREDICT the outcome (‘y’) each time we are given a defined situation ‘x’ (e.g., distance between two particles of constant mass). Now, most of the definitions of God are such that they do not give a unique result (“God’s ways cannot be known” or “God only knows”) for any given situation. So, any reasoning based on such a God’s involvement would be like an unreal function.
Most of the concepts of God are like
mystical theory of gravitation. You can claim God exists (like mystical gravity), but cannot predict how God will behave (undefined direction of force).
(of language) not objectionable, especially in terms of avoiding offense based on race, gender, religion, ideology or any other social grouping such as disability.
…sometimes (also) extended to cover political ideology and behavior, curriculum content, and many areas affected by law, regulation, and public pressure, and is often used pejoratively.
-Wikitionary definition of ‘politically correct’ (PC).
Many internet users euphemize and generalize, not to avoid causing offense, but labels of “commie”, “Godless” or “Internet Hindu”. The critic or perceived offender is then expected to counter a volley of criticisms of the category he is boxed into. The ensuing defensiveness causes indiscretions like: “all religions teach us love and tolerance”, “all religions are (equally) bad”, “all politicians are (equally) useless”, etc.
This approach is wrong on at least two levels:
1. PC-statements are partial truths or completely false. One can conclude all religions teach love and tolerance only on deliberately overlooking or distorting available facts. This is dishonesty. This behavior follows from the flawed idea that pot must not call kettle black. No, both pot and kettle must call the other black, if relevant, and if possible, without contempt. For, the blackness cannot be removed without showing and acknowledging it.
Moreover, this defensiveness is a tacit acceptance of guilt merely by being born in a community or supporting an ideology. I am not responsible for misdeeds of others born in same community as me. I am not answerable for deeds of the ideologue, unless his ideology I support is the cause.
2. PC causes intellectual laziness. By saying “all politicians are same”, I am discrediting the better ones. Through such generalizations, I would shy away from obligation to minutely analyze the available data before infering. PC will prevent incremental improvements in politics enabled through noticing and acting upon subtle differences between politicians.
I avoid and disapprove of PC, though I use some out of fear of physical harm and violating law, and those not doing even that can certainly hold me in contempt. I greatly admire two honest and courageous (for using their real identities) persons – Atanu Dey (click) and Marvi Sirmed (click).
What afflicts Modi is that he is not looked at as a normal man with attendant limitations of inefficient, opaque and lethargic bureaucracy, local governments and their agencies like the police force. This polarizes us into “lovers” and “haters” – making us prone to exaggerating whatever he does, be it purportedly “good” or allegedly “bad”. There is only so much he can do working with limited material and human resources. Not to forget, challenges faced by any sincere administrator are numerous and grave – high population density; resulting apparent and disguised unemployment; illiteracy; struggle for basic resources that makes common man take recourse to ‘socially accepted taboos’ like bribery, nepotism and “cutting of each others’ throats” in any kind of competition; ignorance and gullibility of citizens that are exploited by misguiding mass media; corrupt subordinates/peers/superiors; and obligation to compensate those financing election campaigns.
Somehow Modi has started working on basics by: promoting education (specially of girls); raising public office-bearers’ accountability; efficient use of available resources; clearly separating religion and tradition from state policies (demolition of numerous temples for road works and making teaching English compulsory from class 1) and countering strife by encouraging investment in industries. He has rightly realized that it is not agriculture (largely, disguised unemployment) but other industries that should and will be major sources of employment as reflected in gradual urbanization promoted by him.
What we need is not one Modi whose power and efficiency would spread thin by becoming the Prime Minister, but many such administrators at all levels who could sincerely and with foresight try to solve India’s problems.
My admiration for him lies not so much in the results he has shown which can anyway be undone by a single year of ‘regular’ leadership, but a crack of hope he has been able to create in my hardened cynicism that “yes, it can be done”.
In response to a few comments, here.
Click, S.I.T. back and enjoy the Indian Mass Media in its naked glory – where fact and fiction blend seamlessly, as if made for each other, for the benefit of the voyeuristic viewer.
“The purveyors of untruth failed even to think that March 21, 2010 happens to be a Sunday and a public holiday.
These purveyors of lies even did not once bother to check whether the key SIT officers, who are appointed by the Supreme Court, were present in Gujarat on March 21, 2010.”
– Narendra Modi in his open letter.
For those click-unhappy (on lines of “trigger-happy”), pleasure yourself with the finest act of self-despicatory stand up comedy (click):
The Hindu broke the (false) story (that Modi was summoned by the SIT on March 21) on its web site, beta.thehindu.com, at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday. The exclusive was immediately picked up by television channels, news agencies, and other websites without crediting the original source.
Cute clowns, I say. Coochi coochi coo
Elsewhere, NudeX(XX) asked their viewers “if questioning of Narendra Modi is a democratic process”. A vast majority of democracy-bots – 75 %, felt “yes”. I was heartened that at least rest of 25 % were still humans, and had retained their natural sanity not supplanted by “artificial intelligence” borne out of meticulous news programming. Which means justice has become democratic. Who should be questioned, who should be punished would depend not on evidence available, but whims of button pushing bots wielding the power of TV remote and cell phone. And this is the highest form of democracy and justice Indian media has envisaged for its citizens! Reinforcing this vigilantism and lyrical lynching, little enthusiasm was shown in reporting that SPS Rathore had offered to undergo narcoanalysis, a fact that would disturb the systematically constructed tyrannical, cabalist image of the retired police officer.
Known to few, Bareilly has attained sovereignty independent of India, a fact, respecting which major news channels determined that 13 day-curfew in face of communal violence there was not news-worthy, but garlands and honey bees were.