White Noise

Confessions of a Human Brain

Archive for the ‘Rumblings’ Category

Democracy

Posted by Joe on August 15, 2010

First of all, on the day of Independence day, I wish you all happy Independence day (I am assuming that you are an Indian).

So we call ourselves the worlds biggest and successful democracy. Before dwelling into our democracy, let us consider why Socrates was murdered.

Feeling I am already going off topic? As a mater of fact I am not. Socrates was murdered as he spoke against democracy. His argument was, just because a person is famous among the people, he can not rule them properly. Only a talented person, who understands the pros and cons of the decisions he is taking can rule the people properly. He was not against democracy per se. But he was against democracy, which gives power to the un-deserving.

Let us fast forward to our times, exactly a short time before India got independence.

Jinnah was so scared of democracy that he was afraid of total domination of hindus over the muslim minority.
He wanted a separate country, so that the minority will become a majority over there. Having non-democratic reason to form the country, they were under military rule for a longer time than under a democratic rule. Even when they had democracy, they fared very badly, as they didn’t let the East-Pakistan majority rule over them.
Pakistan looked at democracy always with a cautious note.

Compared to Pakistan, we can say that we performed marginally better. We have been under emergency only once, where Ms Gandhi had a totalitarian control over the whole country. But look at the state of the politicians we have right now.

More than 50% of our MPs have criminal cases on them.
Almost all of them are crorepathis.

If Democracy on concept denotes ruling of people by people who represent them, I don’t think India is under a democratic rule. I don’t think 50% of our population have criminal cases on them. In fact having a criminal case and entering the court is considered to be a dis-honor to the whole family in many parts of India. I am pretty much sure not even 1% of our population are crorepathis.

So when we boast about India being the most successful democracy in the whole world, what are we boasting of?

Are we boasting Mayawati as one of our CM, when her only qualification is that she is a dalit?
Are we boasting Rahul Gandhi as the next beacon of India, where if he is not born to his father, he would have been a nobody?
Are we boasting Lalu as the best Railway minister we had in history, where he moved Bihar back to stone age?

What have we achieved in this 60 odd years of Independence and 60 odd years of democracy?

Corruption has been steadily increasing, and so is the inflation.
Yes, we can see more middle class people coming up in the social ladder, thanks to IT and related services.
We did test some nuclear bombs and we are ready for any nuclear war if any with Pakistan.

But are these direct results of India being a democratic country?
China has overtaken us by leaps and bounds, even though they are under communist rule.
They have achieved more that what we have in the past 60 years.
Does that mean communism is better than democracy?

How can we accept that fact that the policy makers have no idea about what they are going to do still they get elected?
How can we call guys like M.K.Alagiri, who can not understand anything other than Tamil and Rowdism our cabinet minister?

Forget what we have done till now. But the bigger question is are we heading in the right direction?
The questions are many, but answers are few and far between.
And I like many others am lost in this flood of questions.

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Posted in General, Rumblings | 3 Comments »

Communism

Posted by Joe on July 5, 2010

Don’t search who made the below quote. It is entirely my Intellectual property :).

without communist, the world will be a better place to live

I always had a soft corner for communism.
My dad was a die hard communist, who participated in all the student union activities during his college times.
His name even came in news paper, for leading/participating in a strike.
We bought sputnik instead of readers digest and during election, I remember my dad wearing a red shirt.

But few incidents which happened in my life has completely changed my perception about communism.
The first major change happened when I went to Trivandrum.
I was working with TCS at that time, and Trivandrum, being the capital of Kerala is a hot bed of communism.
Atleast once a month, the work will be stopped due to strike of some sort and harthal is a common occurrence.
But the thing which made me change the complete perception about communist was when we shifted our house and the red shirts came to our house as soon as we finished lifting all our house hold items from the road to our house in second floor and demanded Rs 1000/- as we have stolen their jobs from them.
This started a heated exchange between me and the communist guys, with them even warning me that he will not let me live in the city as I am not in Tamil Nadu any more.
The guys cooled down and dispersed calmly after my sane friend gave them Rs 50/-

This is communism in utmost practicality. Humans are lazy by birth and communism sponsors for it through its principles of equality. Performance incentives are a big no-no and promotions based on talent is blasphemy. In fact in the book “Principles of Russian Socialism”, the author points out that in a socialist society, accumulation of wealth is looked down upon.

Still we can see our neighbors China doing fairly well and infact Kerala is one of the most developed state in India. But China still has got its democracy and Kerala has still got its buffer of abundant natural wealth which communist can keep on destroying for the next 30 years or so.

And one more thing, have you ever read any communist magazines?

I got to put my hands on one while I was traveling from Bangalore to Madurai.

The magazine got nothing other than bitching all around. They wanted everything for free. They were against industrial development, as it takes jobs away from normal public, who are not skilled to take the job.
They wanted to stay in the form of a raw animal. They wanted everything to stay with the government, and the government not to focus on making any profit with its institutions, as it will go against the will of helping the public, and still wanted the country to develop.

I think the communist have to come out of their cocoon of Utopian world and face the reality.

Change should start from the top, and for a change, they should tell the government what to do instead of bitching about what they have done. They should focus on making things rather than breaking things, as communist, in my opinion know nothing other than bandhs, harthals, processions, rallys and shouting slogans.

Other than working as devil’s advocate who cries foul about everything going on in this world, I find no use for communist in this society.

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Insignificant

Posted by Joe on April 28, 2010

There is a phase in every one’s life
where he is small and not noted by all.
He is undistinguished and definitely unimportant.
Banging his hands against a wall.

He wants to think he is different
And to his dismay, he finds he is not.
There are same routes and roughly same patterns
Which he is following, as every one in the lot.

He is scared to fall into the trap
Which he knows is really very deep.
He tries to swim away from this hole
Which is deeper than the deepest worm hole.

He wants to break shackles and thus run free.
He wants to be great and be distinguished.
But alas he is scared to break free and run
‘cos he is just another guy, with same old thoughts.

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The daemon

Posted by Joe on January 3, 2010

How will you feel about a person who knows what you think, whom you talk with and some times even direct your money and watch each and every thing you do?
Pervert? Leach? or Google?
Now to those who don’t know about the reach of Google, here are the snippets.

Not many people know any video hosting site other than youtube or google videos. Hardly few people use metcafe.
Yahoo messenger is almost extinct and almost every one in the block use gtalk.
With the release of google wave, which has shown new ways to communicate through webcam, skype is moving almost out of question.
The number of entries in Blogspot – again owned by Google almost completely outweighs the entries made in wordpress.
Google Adsense is definitely much better than Adbrite, even though you have to be a owner of a high traffic blog/website to have one account.
People who were using mozilla are slowly switching over to Google Chrome.
Google has even come out with an OS Chrome OS, which will have nothing other than Google Chrome installed in your computer, and you use your computer just to connect to the internet.
Google Reader, Google Maps, Orkut, Google Docs, Google Calender are slowly taking over our way of life. Even WikiMaps is powered by Google!!

So OK. Google is every where. So is or was? Microsoft. You might ask what is the big deal with Google monopolizing the whole of internet? The problem is that Microsoft asks whether you want to send some information to its server. The problem with Google is that, you have to accept their terms and conditions, which almost none of us care to read, and in some obtuse location, they have specified that they will collect some of your data. The worst part is that Google till now, they haven’t come public about what they are collecting from us.

Yeah Google knows what you type. Google knows what you blog and Google has got even a new OS.

Now coming on to perks.

I think almost each and every one has a gmail account. Now guess what? The button which they have provided as delete is just for beauty. It doesn’t serve the purpose. For the sake of so called efficiency, your data, what ever you store online in gmail is duplicated in various servers around the world and recently Google has come out open saying that they necessarily don’t delete all the content which the user thinks he has deleted.

So nobody knows what is going on inside the black box called as Google. And this black box is slowly taking over what we knew as internet. You could be prosecuted for what you think. As in countries like China, you are not supposed to think in certain ways.

So the gist of the post is that, if you are a believer, pray to God that Google does not fall in wrong hands and become a daemon which it could become 🙂

PS: This is my take on Google. For detailed list of controversies surrounding Google, please check wiki

Posted in General, Rumblings, technical | 1 Comment »

Whats in a name?

Posted by Joe on December 8, 2009

Have you ever met any of your old friend whom you have not met for the past 10 years and his name just pops out of your mouth?
But unfortunately Murphy hardly parts ways with me
as some times, you meet one of your best buddies and you will just forget his name. You will remember his favorite color, crush, mom’s name, dad’s name and even the name printed on his water bottle, but his name.

I met one of my old friend Sreedhar, who became close to me after he broke open a part of my skull with a stone. Even though we were not on talking basis for a long time, sharing leaked question papers brought us together. I lost contact of him after my 10th, and after meeting some unknown stranger in a restaurant near to our office, I realized that, the guy in formal shirt and pant sitting in the very next table is in fact Sreedhar.

Some times, brain really amazes me. Some times, I get frustrated with it too.
This happened with my another friend whose name, I can’t remember even now. Blame it on the ‘Sutha Kathiri’ (Spoiled brinjals) which became his nick name in 11th and 12th standard. You know what the worst part is? He will remember your name and will call you with the same. And trust me guys, it is really tough to act as if you can remember his name without actually remembering it.

My brain has not helped me with this cause even when I was in my MTech course. I was the maintenance secretary of our hostel and I play cricket on regular basis. the down side of this is that many people know me, but I don’t know them. The real trouble happens when you go to the mess to eat, where the guy standing before/behind you will start talking with you as if he is a close friend. During the initial days, I politely asked them their name. I stopped my habit after realizing that I can not remember any of their names.

So seriously guys, what is in a name? Person as a person is more important than a person as a name rite?

I finish with a modified version of a dialogue from Matrix Revolutions.
“Love is just a word. What matters is the connection the word implies.”

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Devil’s advocate

Posted by Joe on September 21, 2009

I have one basic question in my mind.
god-devil
Why do we always think that God is all good and devil is always evil? I think it is a great prejudice against the devil. In fact, the question should be is God all good for you, as you can see in many religions, whether it is Christianity or Hinduism, we can see God taking sides and you being on the wrong side of God. The religion teaches us that God can in fact hate you.
Take the example of Ravanan in Ramayana or Egyptians in Christianity. God took the side of their enemies and helped their enemies to destroy them.

Theist put forward the theory of “Greater good”. I interpret Greater good as good for others and not for you. This can be seen through the example of Bhisma in Mahabarata. He was killed as he was in the side of Kauravas so as to uphold a greater good. But still if you consider Bhisma’s perspective, God has been against him.

One thing is true for sure. Every thing depends upon the perspective.

But consider this scenario. If the God is all good, then if something bad happens to some one, then God doesn’t like that person at that particular time, or he has fallen from the good will of the God.
So here comes the question of is good really good? What if God just wants to play with his favorite pet and is spanking him just for the fun of it? Definitely he will throw some biscuits at the end of the day for sure.

One more thing to consider is whether you really want the good as which is considered in the conventional terms. Consider the story of Jonas. A great saint once promised Jonas that if he walks around the world a thousand times, the doors of the heaven will open to him. So the very day, Jonas started his walk. But unfortunately he died before he could finish it.
Even after his death, he became a spirit and continued walking. One fine day, he completed his quota and the heaven’s doors opened. So with great joy, he went through the doors of heaven. But alas. Heaven was not what he expected heaven will be. He felt the expectation of seeing heaven was better than the heaven itself. So he asked Peter, the great angel who was guarding the gates of the heaven to open the gates again for him if he walks around the world a thousand times more and he left the heaven and is still walking. The crux of the story is, Jonas didn’t want the good as considered in conventional terms.

What could be considered as a good life could be frowned upon by another sect of people. Rock music entices some and creates headaches to some other. Classical music can bring tears to some and sleep to some other. Good food could bring ecstasy to some and agony to size zero models. Heaven could have been amazing to angels and boring to the devils.

So there is no absolute good and bad. So is absolute good God and absolute bad devil.

But if the devil is good for you, then most probably you are bad 😉

PS: The story of Jonas is a modified version of story told by Doestovsky in his novel “The brothers Karamazov”.

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Dont Jaswant me!!

Posted by Joe on August 20, 2009

13jas
With BJP removing Jaswant Singh for praising Jinnah and pointing the negative points of Nehru, BJP has shown the whole nation that it is still in its dark ages.
The act of BJP can be compared to that of Bloody Mary – a tyrant Queen who ruled over England. She became famous for burning people on the stake for heresy.
BJP is almost following the same principle by removing whomsoever analyzing the situation and coming up with an academic view of any issue.
The hold which RSS has on BJP and the fact that BJP is just the political face of a religious fanatics has been put out in the open through this issue.
I am sure BJP will go nowhere sticking on to a stupid concept which is called as Hindutva.
In a secular nation which has got some 1.2 Billion people, they are really stupid to assume that the majority will be fanatics who just worry about whom they are worshiping over their daily bread.
I am sure if BJP carries in the same way it is carrying its affairs now, it will pass on to oblivion in a record breaking time.

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Religious?

Posted by Joe on July 29, 2009

Has anyone though about the positives and negatives of all the religions?
Wait Wait.. I don’t want to start a debate on which religion is superior or which religion is bad. Each and every religion has its mixture of good and bad.
If you are a heavily religious person, you would most probably argue that your religion does not have any faults or defects, but accept it. Nothing can be perfect right. More over, I am no religious scholar. So most of the comments which I make might be or most probably amateurish. But I feel, I being an amateur, I can give an unbiased comments on good and bad of the religions.

I will start with Christianity, the religion which is followed by many countries all over the world. But the problem with it is that more than half of its holy book – The Bible is dedicated to Jews. So as a christian, you should first ask yourself is this the right religion for you. Even in new testament, there are references of non Jewish being treated as second class citizens. The best reference of the same is given in Mathew 15:26, where Jesus says “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” to a Canaanite woman. Even though Jesus told this to test the faith of the woman, prejudice was still there. I don’t think he would have said the same to a Jewish woman.
But, if you just look at Christianity as a whole, you can realize that Christianity, like many other religions, tells us to follow the path of righteousness and universal brotherhood.

Next, we come to Islam – my favorite religion. Favorite because it almost always gets into the middle of some controversy. It could be the most misunderstood religion in the world. But thinking about the time Islam came into existence, you can say that the ideas given in Islam was really radical. But unfortunately, in Islam, women are not given equal importance as men, and slavery was still accepted in Islam.

Then we come to Hinduism – The religion followed by the majority of Indians. Hinduism also preaches the righteous way of life, but unfortunately, caste system is a part of it. Considering Brahmins to be made from the head, Kshatriyas from shoulders, Vaisyas from thighs and Sudras from feet itself shows us the caste discrimination which is shown in hinduism.

Buddhism, followed by few in Tibet and many in Srilanka is the most softest religion in the world. May be Jainism can come in contention with it. But the way Sinhalese are treating tamilians in Srilanka, I am not so sure Buddhism has reached its objective.

So as a whole, you can see that almost all the religions have its drawbacks. Then if you consider that being atheist is a better option, just see how Stalin murdered millions of his own men in the wake of his crazy principle.
I think it is better to choose the things which you feel are right for you and for the society and just follow them, instead of just sticking on to a single religion.

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A Robot’s love – Chapter 2

Posted by Joe on July 15, 2009

“It has gone mad”

“It is just a robot you see”

exclaimed the inmates of the house when T2000 broadcasted its love to the inmates of the house.
Even Donald told him that he has gone crazy.

In the mean time, T2000 named his lady love Rosie. The name occurred to him out of nowhere.

T2000 was unable to understand the latest changes in the house. Every one was encouraging T2000 to fall in love and now, they are against his own love!!

Donald took a different spoon in his hand and asked “Are you in love with this spoon?”
T2000 replied a simple and stubborn “No” because he know that the spoon in Donald’s hand is not Rosie.

“This spoon looks similar to what you have in your hand right?”
“Might be, but I am not in love with that spoon in your hand, but with Rosie.”
“What if I mix your Rosie with 1000 of other spoons? Will you be able to find out your Rosie from the mix?”
“When I see Rosie, my heart will tell me that it is Rosie” beamed T2000.
Donald ended the conversation saying “Let God save you my child”

Similar to normal lovers, T2000 and Rosie spent hours together. Even though it was a one sided conversation, T2000 just accepted the fact that Rosie is dumb. He learned to love the negatives of Rosie. The inmates tried to reason him, cajole him and force him to come out of his infatuation which is no way realistic or sane. But T2000 just sticked on to Rosie.

Remembering his conversation with Donald about mixing up of Rosie with objects similar to her, he never ever went into hibernation again. He remained in powered on state through out the day, talking with and spending time with Rosie. The occasional glint which Rosie gave to him was good enough for him to hold on to Rosie. Even though all the spoons reflect light in the same way, he felt that only Rosie can talk with him in this way. He was totally in love with Rosie.

Sam and Leslie are a old couple in the home. They have been together for the past 62 years, and married for the past 56 years. They are one of the few people who didn’t need the services of T2000. But now, they were kind of irritated with the talk going on through out the old age home about T2000 and his new love. Even though their experience told them that all talks will come to and end and the old people will definitely find some other topic to talk about, they wanted to end the stupidity which T2000 has got himself into.
May be they were a bit concerned about T2000 too, but didn’t want to accept that fact out in the open.

So one fine morning, almost 2 weeks after T2000 has found his lady love, they went and sat next to T2000.
As usual, T2000 was holding Rosie in his hand.

“Will you introduce your lady love to us?” started Leslie.
“Sure. Rosie meet Sam and Leslie and this is my girl friend Rosie”
“Rosie is not saying hi to us!!” frowned Sam.
“No No she wants to tell hi to you two. But unfortunately Rosie can’t speak”
“She cant speak! OK then how you communicate with her?” added Sam.
“You see she smiles at me at times and I have just started teaching her how to speak.”
“She smiles at you?? Is she smiling now?” said Sam in a satirical tone.

Unfortunately for the innocent T2000, it was not able to find out the satire in Sam’s voice, even though it was programmed to find out the same.

“I will check right now” said T2000 and she turned Rosie inside out and outside in.
But as the room was quite dark, Rosie was not able to reflect any light to show the glint of her emotion.

While T2000 was trying real hard making Rosie speak, the couple gently rose from the seat while Sam added “Teach her some language which even we can understand.” and walked slowly out of the room.

Even though the old couple were walking at their regular pace, it seemed like eons for T2000. It was ashamed of himself and Rosie. He thought Rosie lacked the basic manners. No No. she has the same, but she is not able to express herself properly.

“I will definitely make her learn the simplest of the languages” promised T2000 to himself.

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Air travel

Posted by Joe on July 6, 2009

aeroplane
I know. I know.. Lot many people have written their posts about the same topic.
Well with this post, I too join the group of bloggers who have written a post about how they used to love Aeroplanes and how they hate it now.

When I was a kid, I, like any other kid in India, used to run out of their home, or stop playing cricket if we are already outside, and raise our heads to have a look at the mighty aeroplanes cruising through the sky. While we were kids, we even had our industrial visit to an aerodrum, and we were awed to see that big monster from a distance. Almost each and every kid opened their mouth with wonder when they saw the aeroplane taking off from the runway. We followed the silver stream of mist, which was left as a trail for jet flights, and flying in an aeroplane or atleast touching it was definitely one of the wish each and every kid had at that time.

Personally, I was pretty awed when I took the flight for the first time. I was on the phone, constantly updating my mom how the interiors of the plane looked, and after landing, called her again to brief my experiences of my first flight. It was such a roller coaster ride.

After 3-4 flights, the jerk given during take off and the impact of landing stopped amusing me. Watching large buildings transform from large buildings to kid’s toys too didn’t entertained me any further. I stopped telling my mom how the world looks from a plane, and other than a small short call telling her that I have reached safely and that the pilot has not screwed up with the landing, I didn’t elaborate on anything else.

Now with 25+ flights under my belt (whew), I hate the waiting time in the airport and I hate the fake smile provided by the hot air hostess. I hate the same old rehearsals done by the air hostess and I hate the horrible food they provide in the middle of nowhere. The small cramped seats, missed baggage, security checkup too didn’t help me either. The thing which I hate the most in the air travel is the fellow passengers.

It is really easy to start a conversation with a fellow passenger, provided you are in a train. But in a flight, most of the guys will be indifferent. Indian girls normally show some attitude. In a flight, the attitude gets multiplied with the altitude.

Still there are some good things with air travel.

The sunrise and sunset which you see from some 10km above the sea level is still exciting. The view of the hills when you take a flight from Kolkata to Guwahati is still enticing. The sea line which you can see when you come take the Kolkata-chennai route is still beautiful. You get to talk with some CEOs and general managers of big companies only if you are taking a flight.

So as a whole, even if you hate air travel, it has become indispensable part of our lives. Travel to UK or US is a matter of hours than weeks because of air travel. You get to have a glimpse of the fake world (fake smiles, fake good food, fake courtesy and fake people) when you travel by a plane.

So do travel by plane if you get a chance 😉

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