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

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

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

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

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? 

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

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.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

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
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.     

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Ilaiyaraja

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.

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

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...

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

30 Jan 2006

Confessions of a Bigamist

Posted by Oblivion in General | 5:52pm

Silence is my beloved
Speech, the mistress
I am married to both
I am Life

When errands are done
It is to the beloved
That I must return to
I am Life

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

30 Jan 2006


Posted by Oblivion in General | 5:45pm

IITians form political party

All the very best!

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

27 Jan 2006

The Magic of First Love

Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:26pm

Listless moments of sweet uncertainty
Hankering of an unreasonable heart
A life that rested at her mercy
All now gone and vanished
Where to and why, I wonder

Days of easy mirth and tender tears
When a glance made all the difference
Between delight and gloom
All now gone and vanished
Where to and why, I wonder

Words whose mere utterance was musical
And made life a rapturous prose
Laughter that my ears treasured
All now gone and vanished
Where to and why, I wonder

Smiles that filled the days with joy
Tears that shattered the world
A world meant for only two
All now gone and vanished
Where to and why, I wonder

Tresses that danced with the breeze
Flowers that longed to adorn her
Are all gone, leaving behind
A frigid heart and memories ethereal
Why this had to be so, I wonder

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

27 Jan 2006

Beyond Jingoism

Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:54am

Another Republic Day, with its characteristic pomp and hype, is over. Impressive phrases, exaggerated statistics, inane talk-shows, lopsided analyses - overall, a good PR exercise. Somehow, it works. Year after year after year! For how many more years, I wonder?

If at all we care for India, we should lift the bedecked curtain and be honest enough to acknowledge its sorry state -

"You see a big, big shift within the Indian elite in terms of what its priorities are. Something in politicians, the way they abase themselves before the United States, is quite shocking; if you remember that it was India which had pioneered non-alignment and independent foreign policies."

If reality matters: Interview with Tariq Ali

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

23 Jan 2006


Posted by Oblivion in General | 8:47pm

Perched aloft the leafless branch
He looked into the distance
And beheld the flight of many a bird
Shaken, devastated and homeless
Grim looked the sky
The road strewn with blood
The blood of his kin

Play wouldn't amuse him any more
Leaving behind the leafless branch
Days of promise and opulent home
He reached for the skies
To embrace languid melancholy
And embark on the journey to nowhere

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

21 Jan 2006

Stroll With Camus

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:12pm

"It is true that we cannot 'escape History', since we are in it  up to our necks. But one may propose to fight within History to preserve from History that part of man which is not its proper province."

- Albert Camus

"He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool."

- Albert Camus 

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

11 Jan 2006

Group Dynamics

Posted by Oblivion in General | 11:57am

"Performance appraisals impede genuine feedback, and there

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: ---

5 Jan 2006


Posted by Oblivion in General | 3:12pm

Happy New Year 2006

Current Mood: Happy
Current Music: Yanni
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