Saturday, October 22, 2005

Timepass for Demented Souls ....................

Supposedly studying for an exam scheduled on the third sunday next month, I keep thinking about how greatly I overestimate the innate efficiency of my own work. The efficiency that has allowed me to scrape through courses with minimal effort and minimalistic (rather shady) output. But, then a burnt child might dread fire, burnt morons are eternally antracites whose sole purpose is to keep burning. I don't know why I sphew such insipidity here or elsewhere but I have this urge for vomitting crap that is the exact antithesis of what Dave Goreman experienced while charting Googlewhack. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this termThere it goes and my inherant nothingness that snowballs into a pleothra of activities which are wholly non-productive and to be precise are actually counter-productive.

So I am describing one such adventure just to tell people how productive??? your's truly actually is. A few days ago, I watched a show of a certain Dave Gorman talking about googlewhack. And on a certain afternoon I just recollected it and tried to see if I could find any of the googlewhacks on my blog. Incidentally I tried the title itself. And lo ! there it was....................I had a googlewhack. On my own website and the title itself. I start playing Bryan Adam's cloud number 9 till reality strikes back. The google wahck rules. And another Waterloo. It says one out of six possible matches not just a single match. Then again the title is one word not two words which are required. The title is not in any dictionary cause its purely the creation of the inherant grey cells (or the lack of it) of an idiot. And many more serious issues which raise serious questions to the credibility of a genuine discovery. But then who cares. The only thing I have followed religiously (albiet being an athiest) is breaking pseudo-moral,ethical rules. So one more addition. Big deal...........One gotta enjoy the short pleasures in life. And that amorak player is looking good too. Add to it the ultimate game "Potato Guy", the most difficult and entertaiing game ever made. The kind that only esteemed people can make upteen attempts to understand. The SuSE icon looks cool and the only feature lacking is perhaps it feasting on a frail looking, four coloured butterfly. Maybe next-time....

Friday, October 14, 2005

The senselessness within

The following post is a bad attempt at what depicting how I spend my day (as if it matters). Its painful and hopelessly boring so reader is at his/her own discretion to move forward or "close the tab".

Sometimes these days, I become extremely depressed. Not just with what I am doing with my life but the way our whole world runs. I tend to be pessimistic and cynical over each and everything. I just can't stop this particular way of thinking. And I just know from where does it exactly stem. Its a collective burst of various emotions that I somehow manage to keep under the warps. But every now and then it seems to slip out in the vastness of universe. My own failures (ya I have to reconcile and term them sometime or the other ) seem far to insignificant and hopeless in the wider spectrum of the world. And I seem to be using a lot of what I term "Goopedia". The combination of Google and Wikipedia is deadly. I just read a simple news on the web and before I know it I have tonnes of information sphewing out from my firefox. A classic example of what transpires between the confines of 231, Ganga is like this: Yesterday I saw a documentary by BBC on Modechai Vanunu. Now this Dimona technician was actually nominated for the Nobel peace prize from 1988 to 2004 by a knighted Nobel-Laurate till his eventual death. And I still get goosebumps as to how Somon Peres actually won the award and which ****ole nominated him. Now I don't want to get into the (sordid) details of all that. Help yourself with Goopedia for that sake. But then from Vanunu I went to "cindy" and then to people who are expert at hunting down criminals (or whom they consider so). So the journey led me to Adolf Eichmann. The deeds he meted out to jews during the Holocast, his escape to Argentine post Nazi dominance and his eventual kidnapping (I am not sure about the correct term here), trails and death in Isreal. Then I got directed to top Nazi hunters. Even to the activities of Mossad, especially its adventures outside Isreal. The most famous of all being the entebbe operation. Then I came back to the familiar RAW and ISI. Coming to think of it, somehow it dosen't make sense. I am a-would be engineer and all these worldly matters serve no use to me as such. Not in a quantifiable term which is what people worry about in institutes like the one I am in. "If it ain't gonna appear on your CV then it ain't worth it" is the classic attitude here. And still I spend more amount of time reading this than my notes (or atleast the notes of those who write). Somehow at the end of the day I am more pained than I was initially. And more than anything it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. The realization that I am helpless to change or even be a spectator to one is killing. For no change is happening in the correct direction. It seems we are all going back. The balance between government and its subjects is increasingly becoming turbulent. As democracy flourishes (even if in a handful of nations) the people become more and more demanding. Sooner or later there will come a time when people will want to have no authority. Now as far as civilised people go, there is no need in general. But the vagarities of human nature. Once off the hook even the best are suspect to become culprits. So there has to be a government but the degree of its authority varies from time to time.Now the two extremes of anarchy and dictatorship are a strict no-no. But even well within the limits its a difficult task to acess the amount of control that should be imposed on citizens by their respective governments. According to me, initially in any nascent or a recovering country (a la Iraq ,Afganistan), the amount of controal has to be high. But gradually the government has to ease out and let citizens have the true benefits of being free. This is where the trouble begins. As society/people become more and more civilised (or whatever) they begin to ascertain themselves more and more. Therby reducing the goverment's role. Now the situation is dicey. Its tough for the goverment to yield more and more. At the same time its right under the nose of these people that the government has to work. And when this balance of power fails what it results into is precisely a Vanunu. And why has the problem caught up with seemingly more organized or developed countries? Well these are the countries where if such a thing happens there will be certain amount of smoke. What can one expect in a la Zimbabwe where there is too much of fire for anyone to bother about the smoke....................

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Extremism Moderatism ??????

Suddenly seeing that people are going crazy over cracking CAT, I too decided to do something productive. Now the only thing I could come up with was to read newspapers. Despite being served with Hindu, that has become as symbolic of my southie experience as idly/dosas., I grumbled a lot before accepting that I had no other choice. I have tried TOI but then two things prevent me from repeating the mistake.

I actually hate reading the print version after I have read it all on the website. It’s a serving that is as stale as maybe the apples they (ne phantom and company) serve in mess.

Secondly I have a grudge for NewsCorp. that is comparable to what Finnish geeks have for Redmond. Now what has that to do with TOI. Well just about everything. I hate that Rupert Murdoch organization for reducing the whole concept of newspapers to tabloids. And to me TOI represents the ultimate mainstream tabloid in India.

I actually do not mind giving the readers what they demand. But then why is everything in extremes these days. All people these days seem to have a very severe or strong view of whatever ideologies/beliefs they have. It’s like we have “extremist extremism” or “extremist moderatism” Now this sounds vague and frankly crap. Because extremism is perceived to be extremist and moderatism has to be moderate. But then world is not that simple a place. Let’s see this same example of TOI and Hindu. Rarely has TOI had an edition without some beauty gracing its top left corner on the cover page. And with all the useful information that it supposedly provides, it has ample amount of “Page 3” content. Alas a single page is too less for the times group. So virtually every page is coloured ( am an anti-Sam so an extra “u” ) and every story spiced up that leaves little space for serious journalism. And then a cursory glance at Hindu is sufficient to experience the exact opposite. It’s the blandest newspaper that I have come across. A glossy image is a far cry as most images are just B & W. The articles are really good and it has ample amount of content to satisfy a serious reader. But then the presentation is so pathetically boring that it even a Paul Krugman column can invite a yawn. Not because of the content but the sheer anatomy of the paper. This is what according to me represents the two views I stated early. TOI is what defines to me the extremist extremism and Hindu the extremist moderatism. Now let me make it clear I am not in any way commenting on the ideologies of these newspapers, political or otherwise, but the appearance, content-priority and like. TOI is extremely brash and outspoken, something like a spoilt brat who the “moral police” (I really like this term) will condemn as an unwanted influence of the so-called Western Culture (another term that I like). Hindu on the other hand represent the good old son of the land , immersed in “Indian Culture” (or whatever). Just to distance myself from this analogy that is actually as preposterous as Karmalkar Sir’s, I will present another one. Today as an actual demonstration of my new found love for reading dull drab newspapers, I encountered an article about “encroaching on individual freedom”. Now the author was piqued about the nuisance that some people create in the name of “moral policing”. Well most sane people are for that matter. But then the author deviates from the point and goes on demanding an all out freedom to do whatever an individual deems inappropriate. People should always keep in mind that “Common sense is not so common”. If left to itself, most of organized society will be reduced to anarchy (extreme moderatism). Agreed authoritarian regimes (extreme extremism) are certainly unwelcome, but then it does not mean we have to resort to the other extreme. Why are people so hopelessly obsessed with extremism? What has happened to the thing called just “moderatism”. The moral police represent the extremist extremism but then those who oppose them always want extremist moderatism. No one is preparing to budge. Just to impress upon the fact and to show how hopelessly extremist people’s thinking has been reduced to I will quote from the article itself.

“To say that Anna University dress code barring jeans and T-shirts in all its affiliated colleges applies to both men and women is to miss the point that the appearance of men does not change significantly whether they wear jeans or plain trousers. It is the appearance of women that dress codes aim to regulate”

Now to me this Anna University has always been “an extremist (adj.) moderate (n.)”. Banning cell phones, dress codes and banning cold drinks even before the parliament banned them. There seems to be a competition among one and all to be the best (read extremist) in whatever they do. So this university is always giving indications of being the numero uno in “extremist moderation”. I am glad IIT does not fall in that category. And to be fair IIT will (according to me) fall in some alien category. It’s just damn difficult to classify it here.

So where does all this leave us with. I beg to differ, but there is no such thing as moderatism today. That precisely explains to me the difference of opinion I share with almost all around me………………………….

P.S. Just to reconfirm myself as an Indian, I will open my closet a bit. Despite all my bashing of TOI , The only good source of information/news as far India is concerned is the TOI website. It has the usual mix of glam-sham crap, but I cannot stand the bland Hindu website. Now that’s an eternal hypocrite in general, but speaking truly just a short-of-resources lazy guy.