26 Feb 2006

Disconnected

Posted by Oblivion in General | 9:21am


There's a wedding every other day and the loud music and fireworks at the function-hall nearby go on till a good time past midnight. Man is the only animal who has complicated a very simple thing, and invented an institution to frame it. An institution based on everything else except love! Why this deviation from other animals? Where did it go wrong? Everything is loud and fussy about man. 

For every Buddha who understands the delight of life, there are a million people who live with insecurities and never strive to inquire the profundity of life. For every Camus who gives up on hope for human condition, there are another million people who drug themselves with optimism and believe in miracles. Man is the only animal who needs a shrink.

Where does it go wrong? Education? Or is it just how it is supposed to be? Is man inherently a 'below-average' species (with one 'sane' specimen on occasion), with a compulsive liking for regimentation, drugs and delusions? Well... 



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26 Feb 2006

The Killing Field

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:58am


"One saw a bird dying, shot by a man. It was flying with rhythmic beat and beautifully, with such freedom and lack of fear. And the gun shattered it; it fell to the earth and all the life had gone out of it. A dog fetched it, and the man collected other dead birds. He was chattering with his friend and seemed so utterly indifferent. All that he was concerned with was bringing down so many birds, and it was over as far as he was concerned. They are killing all over the world. Those marvellous, great animals of the sea, the whales, are killed by the million, and the tiger and so many other animals are now becoming endangered species. Man is the only animal that is to be dreaded."

- JK



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21 Feb 2006

Partners in Crime

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:22pm


"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing."

- Edmund Burke



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20 Feb 2006

The Power of Toons

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:59pm


12 cartoons. Riots, global unrest, protests, debates, many injured, and a few dead (16 in Nigeria, 12 in Afghanistan, 11 in Libya, and 5 in Pakistan - as of Feb 20). Toons can kill! Or, is it just we?

What exactly was there in the cartoons? 



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4 Feb 2006

Her Story

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:15pm


Her parents broke up when she was nine.
Her father left for Italy, leaving behind a fortune on her name.
She refused to leave her ailing mother to the care of nurses. Her husband thought it was arrogance. He broke up with her.
Eight months later, her mother died of depression.
Her son was a reporter and writer. He was kidnapped by terrorists and beheaded.  The video was put up online. She saw the video. Nobody knew about his body.
Her daughter walked out, swearing she would never return.
She is full of tears. She puts up a smile for guests, friends, and strangers.
She has nobody to live for. Solitude never leaves her.
Past was a wreck. Future is directionless. She moves on.
She looks at the photographs. She looks back at the life that was.
Her son playing a guitar. She smiles with tears in her eyes. He doesn't smile back.
Her mother and father, together. She can't stop tears. Neither offers a hug.
Her wedding. The husband, young and handsome. She sleeps alone.
Her daughter, running in glee on the sands. She caresses the tender feet. The feet don't stop.
Their smiles. She can never see again.
Their hands. Those hands that she held once with care.

She looks at the sky. God notices she wants to ask something. She is ready to trade all her fortune and future for even one of those precious moments from the past. He smiles and vanishes.



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4 Feb 2006

Laws of Average Intelligence

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:25pm


Law of Average Intelligence

Ic = intelligence of a group
Ia = average intelligence of all the individuals that constitute the group
(If a group has n individuals, Ia = (I1+I2+I3+...+In)/n
I
p = average intelligence of the powerful people in the group
Ih = the borrowed intelligence of the past (could be negative or positive, depending on its influence)

Reference measure:
Sane - 1.0
Sensible/constructive - between 0.7 and 0.9
Utilitarian/pragmatic - between 0.4 and 0.6
Insensible/destructive - between 0.1 and 0.3
Insane - 0.0

Ia is the biggest contributor, but is not very powerful in deciding how the group uses the intelligence available. The intelligence of each individual is, in turn, a function of Ih - for, it forms the reference point for an individual to shape his intelligence.

Ip is the factor that decides the 'functional intelligence' (the bank of intelligence that is actually used) of the group. If a society has twenty Buddhas or Russells, the cumulative and average intelligence  would look impressive, but it has little effect on the functional intelligence. This is dependent wholly on the intelligence of the people in power. So, a society with twenty enlightened people would be easily rendered useless by one dictator. The residual intelligence (only the utilitarian part) of the sane people would add to Ih and is passed on to future.

Ih is most variable. New ideas - not necessarily better than the old ones - replace the old. While it can never be brought down to absolute zero, it is prone to abrupt dips by events like War. A ruthless War might make the most intelligent individuals disillusioned and lose hope in mankind, ensuing in a complete rejection of the better part of Ih. Its value can be negative too.

Observations (for heterogenous groups):
1.Intelligence of a group is always less than that of a sane individual.
2.A group can, at best, be pragmatic. A sensible group is a rarity. Most groups achieve pragmatic level.
3.A group can never be sane. Only an individual can.

Natural selection wants the species to be efficient. It doesn't care for sanity. Thus, sanity is not in the genetic interest of the species. 'Sanity genes', for this reason, don't get passed on across generations. So, it's only an individual who can be sane; a group can never be. Besides, sane people, in most cases, do not leave behind any descendants, so the likelihood of the survival of sanity genes is slim. Even if they are passed on, it isn't likely that they sustain even for one generation.     



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2 Feb 2006

What is Your Secret?

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:21pm


Bernard Levin: Krishnaji, what is the secret? What do you know that the rest of us don't know?

K: Oh, I don't know about that!

BL: But you must know something. Look at you--serene, realized, content, with no conflict--how have you managed it? What is it?

K: I have never had conflict in my life.

BL: No conflict? You must be almost unique among human beings if that's so.

K: It's not because of circumstances, because I was protected, because of any outside influence that kept me safe. I think it was a realization that conflict destroys not only the mind but the whole sensitivity of awareness. So I've never had conflict; which seemed quite natural to me, it wasn't an effort not to be in conflict.

BL: Well, for most of us it is an effort, so how can we conquer it?

K: I think it comes really when you have a direct perception that conflict destroys human dignity, a human sense of depth. If you have a deep insight into that, it stops immediately--for me.


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1 Feb 2006

Karachi Fiasco!

Posted by Oblivion in General | 7:20pm


1.The margin - 341 runs. The biggest victory for Pakistan. One of the most humiliating defeats for India - second heaviest defeat by a runs margin in their Test history.
2.For Pakistan, seven batsmen in a line-up sans Inzamam scored half-centuries or more. For India, none in the top five (Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar and Ganguly - one of the most enviable line-ups in the world) managed a half-century.
3.Only twice in 37 tries has a team batting fourth been bowled out.
4.Tendulkar's off-stump uprooted - in an innings that needed, badly, at least a century by him - by a bowler not even half as good as Wasim or Waqar. Not a pretty sight that! He was unlucky, for the ball kept low, but for his talent he shouldn't have got castled so easily. Sehwag and Laxman lost their middle-stumps to the same chap.
5.Their bowlers stuck to the line. Our bowlers bowled it short, wholly destitute of common sense, and gave so much width that would have helped even Kenya to pile up a good score.
6.Tendulkar. What's up with him? If Ponting, Hayden, Jayasuriya, Lara, Inzamam, Dravid and Kallis still get centuries and dominate bowling attacks, what's wrong with him?
7.Akmal is no Gilchrist. But our bowlers made him one!
8.There are victories that you fight for and earn, and there are victories that are gifted by the opposition. India gave it away. Without even a semblance of a fight.
9.All this after Pakistan was reeling at 39/6 in their first outing!
10.It'd have looked less worse if our batsmen got out to Shoaib.

Not that one fails to appreciate the great turn-arounds in cricket, but this was nowhere there. The second innings of the match was as if it was between Australia and Bangaldesh.

Chance? Lack of common sense? Poor strategy? Downright silly stuff? Well, whatever that was...



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