Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Some help needed

Some people do read my blog. So, dear reader,  the stats of my blog say the pageviews for my blog has suddenly gone up 10 fold or more. Usually, when I do not post much as is the case in the recent past, I get bout 400/500 pageviews, and when i post often, I get 1200/1500 page views per month. Suddenly this has become 7000 per month  and about 200 daily, even when I don't post anything. This is just unbelievable. I am not sure if it is just error in stats or some malware. Hence I appeal to anyone who can tell me if there's some malware activity and should I worry about it.

Monday, 9 January 2017

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/watch-meryl-streep-accept-cecil-b-demille-award-golden-globes-2017-961510

A speech by Meryl Streep about Trump. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

I watch a TV series called Blue Bloods. It is about the New York police. The latest episode has a point that has always worried me. It is about recruiting into the NYPD, the questionaire asks if the potential recruit has ever fired a weapon on another person and if so, did he or she feel remorse. If the answer is "Yes", he may not be recruited since it is not desirable to recruit into the police force, a local gang member who has killed someone and not even regretted it.
However, there are soldiers who after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, are now discharged from the military and are applying to the NYPD to join as police officers. They are trained to kill the enemy and not feel remorseful for the killing. That's their training. So these young men lie when answering the questionaire.
Now this is of course fiction. But it is a serious issue that I have always worried about. The army trains its men to fight enemies. To kill any enemy without hesitation. To shoot first, and not think about it. That training is essential to stay alive and active in the army. This training is very good and deeply ingrained into soldiers at a young age.
But when the government uses these same men to fight inside the country, to fight their own people, it is expecting these men to forget their training and act otherwise because you do not want them to shoot first. How can you expect them to undo training which is designed to be not undone?

The police are supposed to be trained differently, to ask before shooting, to look upon miscreants as their own people, albeit criminal, to not shoot except as a last resort. They must be trained well in crowd control, in detective work, in managing people, in minimising fallout of disputes in preventing mishaps, in traffic control etc etc.
Just as the police cannot do the work of the soldier, the soldier must not do the work of the police.
Governments must stop using the army for police work. It is harmful to the country, to the army and to the people.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Whatsapp forwards are in their own universe. Some of them are totally bizzarre, but some are half right with a twist given to them that makes them dangerous. Most of the so-called scientific forwards use enough jargon to make them sound real. People believe them and children are going to grow up learning science from Whatsapp forwards.
The more dangerous ones are of course the hate messages, rumours etc.

Monday, 12 December 2016

experts

After listening to many people talk in recent times, I have come to one conclusion.

I am a Chemist. It took me many years of hard work to acquire a moderate level of proficiency in Chemistry. Therefore, I am very sure I am not proficient in Mathematics since I have not put in any work in that area. I would straight away refer to a mathematician if I ever needed to solve a mathematical problem in any of my endeavours. Similarly for Biology or Economics or any other field.
But people who have not put in that kind of work in any one area, feel that experts are just people who talk a lot and do not know much more than they themselves do. They feel they can be as proficient as the experts in any field they care to think about. We get people who think they are environmentalists, economists, historians ....They truly believe they have the expertise. This is because they do not know how the real experts have acquired their expertise; how much work they had to do in order to acquire it.
It is quite fine when this attitude is limited to shouting at Sachin Tendulkar in the TV on how he should have hit that last delivery, but not when it come to serious matters that impact other's lives.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

There's a WhatsApp fwd that's about the conspiracy to suppress Deepavali and other festivals because of the campaign to reduce or stop crackers. First fireworks are a Chinese invention. My great grandfather would not have burnt crackers, which is about 100 years ago. Even my father says in his childhood they used to make rudimentary fireworks with "sulfur and something else".
I am proud to say that there was a considerable reduction in firework frenzy this year in Hyderabad.  Cheers to Hyderabadis ......a long way to go, but we are on the right road.
Getting back to where I began, Deepavali tradition in the north is to light lamps and do Lakshmi puja. In Tamilnad we celebrate early morning before sunrise by having an oil massage, nelangu, bath, wearing new clothes, eating sweets at 5am and eating Deepavali lehyam (like a Churan ka. halwa) to compensate.
Fireworks not mandatory. So where is this supposed conspiracy in discouraging fireworks?


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

An article about  proposed courses in JNU on the philosphy of Yoga "two courses (Yoga and Philosophy and Indian Culture) that were brought for approval to the AC by the Special Centre for Studies in Sanskrit (SCSS)...". The academic council asked that the course content be reworked.

 A comment on the course content was "it did scant justice to the depth and vastness of Yoga philosophy which has been evolving and developing in many directions for over two millennia..." and "One of the untenable assumptions of the course was that Yoga philosophy culminated in Patanjali (400 CE), though it was after this period that varieties of Yoga developed and proliferated..."

A Sanskrit department that does not know that there were different schools of Yoga! It may shock them that some of these ancient philosophers were agnostic-- those who believed in the Samkhya school of thought.