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Saturday, August 30, 2014

​Is Dhoni or Bevan a better finisher in one dayers?

Is Dhoni or  Bevan  a better finisher in one dayers?

For sanity's sake any evaluation must take into credit in any field /walk of activity two vital elements first the inherent attributes/qualities/essence of the thing/art/ person evaluated and second the impact that thing or person has created on humanity.

That's why no historian can ever avoid Hitler or Mahatma Gandhi because people who make history or whose names are etched in history are those who had a very great degree of both, namely inherent quality and impact [we are not judging whether they are good or bad which is relative] and manifested that with conviction and clarity and in great quantity consistently. Same is the case with Madame Curie [ everyone must read her entire biography] Cheiro, Benjamin Disraeli, Swami Vivekananda, Adi Shankara, Ramakrishna paramahamsa etc.

I use to give a small example to all adults when I was teaching I used to ask girls in college to write in a few words something important about the class room all of them would be writing about board, chalk piece, duster, windows must be closed to avoid distraction or must be opened for ventilation, comfortable chairs, paying attention to teacher, teacher must be friendly, teacher must be pleasant in presentation etc but none will mention about learning and teaching. Incidentally a classroom is primarily meant only for that. Then I used to ask them to write about kitchen again all gadgets will be mentioned and not cooking. [I used to say crudely do we lit up the stove to warm up our buttocks? So that they will never again in their life forget to give importance to the vital elements inherent qualities/essence and impact and importance]

This a malady that manifests in all spheres at all levels just two days back when I wrote a rejoinder to another nonsense by TMK here in this link, it is a lesson on  Evaluation 

 Wherein I would like to quote a small paragraph

“For example if one were to evaluate one’s parents should one do so based on whether they [the parents ] had qualities which had the potential to compare them with great film stars/great sports persons/ millionaires/greats artists/ great musicians/great thinkers/great scientist etc. No, not at all, the evaluation must be how they were as parents in relationship to the concerned person in terms love, care, compassion, emotional attachment etc”.

When you eat Dosa what primarily matters more is the taste and the quality of ingredients more than its shape, size, how it is served, the side dishes, table ambiance etc[ though all these things are also important but they are not primary factors]

Why I say this wrong approach manifests in all spheres and at levels is because of this nurtured negative quality or ignored method of evaluation a very well known and respected music critic wrote something in the Hindu and I did not let it go scot free. Here is what I wrote with a link to the article that appeared in the Hindu too.

As grown up we must also grow out of some unflinching loyalty to any prejudice or person if not through knowledge and wisdom at least through experience and the realization of the fact we cannot carry on like that in life.    

Now coming to the subject Bevan or Dhoni, since my humility or false modesty and lack of time prevents me from writing about the relative merits I have decided to just refer three links:-

Two interesting paras of that long and nice article:-
a] ​ “The greats like Inzy and Ganguly were ridiculed for not taking singles and running faster (I salute Ganguly for never grounding his bat, yeah, the bat is for hitting fours and sixes, fuckers).

Due to the success of Bevan, the days of percentage cricket had arrived. Like some actor said in Bollywood, I can dance, I can fight, what if I cannot act? Only 33 percent is missing. Hell, forget the cuts and drives and glances. Just run, motherfuckers, just run. Run, run, run. Run and fucking ground the bat. Why the fuck you want to watch a 22-yard dash motherfuckers? I would rather watch Usain Bolt if I am interested in sprints”.

b] “The sheer fucking idiotic monotony of it just kills me. Everyone is a fucking pundit of the game now. No more suspenses. Just look at the number of overs. Hey, over number between 15-35, oh yes, we are going to watch a lot of risk-free, full of singles percentage cricket. No motherfucker will lift his bat. They will just block and run. 

To restore the game to its glory, we need to banish the spirit of Bevan from it. The game just needs one rule change. Just ban the 22-yard mad dash 1-run. No more 1-run and let's see how you bat then!”

2] Statistical performance analysis since I don't have time to make the graph I am mentioning the links the beauty is even in bowling the economy rate of Dhoni is not far behind that of Bevan 

Research and healthy unbiased debate is always welcome and important.

“Everything changes as you move through three stages of awareness:
first, that beliefs are the result of conditions;
second, that beliefs are the cause of conditions;
and third, that beliefs are themselves conditions.”
― Eric Micha'el Leventhal

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Media's uselessness

Media is getting buried with the pseudo secularists and the left and it could be one of the best moves of this government because half baked arm chair critics sitting in the comforts of air conditioned media studios and print media houses were acting as know all scholars sitting on judgment over everything combined with on the one hand a selective amnesia towards their pay master political outfits [pseudo secularists] and were blind to their corrupt politicians and also their ideology indoctrinating the left over lefts and never reported their negative contribution to the Indian economy , peace and harmony and on the other hand collective indifference to all the good work that were being done by many outfits political and otherwise. 

Media on the whole was only concentrating in protecting the dubious funders, sensationalism,scandals and all other negative activities against the interests of the nation and harmony among its people. Now their very vital tool of gossips and leaks through power brokers in the corridors of Government of India has been broken and the government and ministers are not engaged in any clandestine deals or oneupmanship activities with deliberate half leaks to the select media houses etc the media is losing its importance and it deserves only this for all the nasty levels to which they stooped against the nation and its people. Modi and co continue in the same vein and push away the popular media houses' relevance as much as possible .They even created a new political outfit [AAP] to split the anti- corruption and anti congress votes and engaged in a relentless sponsored lies in the form of anti -Modi tirade and anti -Gujarath model etc.

Read this latest . 

But I wrote long back the obvious which these petty media wallahs never bothered to notice as they were living the euphoria of heavy pay checks . Not a single media house condemned the Jallian wala bagh of post independent India perpetrated on the innocent people who were sleeping at Baba Ramdev's meeting. The ghost of that poor lady Bala will definitely haunt Congress and the media for many more years and especially those who were directly responsible for that massacre




Evaluations and TMK's blindness

TMK and a study on evaluations.

Everyone has a right to have their opinions, views, perceptions, judgments etc so why should we bother about whatever TMK says? Or whenever he evaluates Carnatic music wrongly?

This nonchalant, nonsensical and newspapers’ [English media’s] latest friend in whom the media houses find lot of scholarship and sincerity on all subjects. Be it his anti-Modi write ups before elections in The Hindu or his proclamation that carantic music is getting confined because of Bhakthi [he needs to define this term-Bhakthi- its intrinsic meaning is sincere commitment with total intensity and intense totality] and the modern philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Commitment is an act, not a word”.

What I find in the people like TMK, most of these people are indoctrinated with a perverted and parochial mode of perceiving everything through the prism of victimhood projecting preconceptions and therefore, naturally creating /inventing/instigating separation and division so that they can debate and deliver some more dull doctrines. This has been the pattern starting from Karl Mark to these self centered, well off leftists worthies.

So they try to look at everything from art, religion, politics, ethics, values etc with this motive and are aware that, “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after” J.R.R. Tolkien and so end up doing  exactly what  Jessamyn West said, “We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions”. They have this tendency to presume some mal intention in everything because of their perversion and they should always be told what Milton Friedman said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their [ presumed-italics mine]  intentions rather than their results”.

We must all understand the underlying scope of politics behind the prejudiced tools and terms of evaluation of these tribes.

Everything has to be evaluated on its inherent merits and not whether it appeals or is applicable or can be put into action by different sections or strata of population of different countries etc. This is doing injustice to the subject [here caranatic music] intentionally, diverting attention from healthy debates on the musical merits or qualities of carnatic music or its aesthetic appeal etc that’s why I wrote this piece as a reaction to TMK’s remark last December season

A very important element or aspect of any evaluation especially in the realm of art is quality. Even in social/political and economic development oriented activities Jane Davidson explains, “how important it is to combine a mix of qualitative and quantitative data with "relevant values" (such as needs) to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions” in his book ‘Evaluation Methodology Basics: The Nuts and Bolts of Sound Evaluation’. 

Any evaluation which deviates from studying the inherent qualities of the thing/person that is being evaluated is unworthy. For example if one were to evaluate one’s parents should one do so based on whether they [the parents ] had qualities which had the potential to compare them with great film stars/great sports persons/ millionaires/greats artists/ great musicians/great thinkers/great scientist etc. No, not at all  the evaluation must be how they were as parents in relationship to the concerned person in terms love, care, compassion, emotional attachment etc

It is peculiar when a great classical art is evaluated as a political activity or in terms of some political ideology it throws lot of ethical dilemmas, politics and lot of controversies which both the media and TMK relish.

They are very selective in culling facts to engage in logical fallacies while constantly creating the divide between the non –existent victim and the presumed victor in every field of activity, you can see the pattern of this psychotic malady in all their misconceptions. They do with facts what Mark Twain has said, “First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure”.[ here they do it fit their preconceptions] and armed with these selective, filtered and twisted facts they do what Maya Angelou perceived and stated, “There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth”.

That’s why even great research works on evaluation like the bulky  ‘Evaluation: A Systematic Approach ‘ by Peter H. Rossi, Mark W. Lipsey, and Howard E. Freeman first published  get such reviews like ‘There is never any clear instruction about how one should begin an evaluation or how one should proceed’.

The most comprehensive book on evaluations ‘ Making Evaluation Matter-a practical guide for evaluators’ by Cecile Kusters with Simone van Vugt, Seerp Wigboldus, Bob Williams and Jim Woodhill also emphasizes certain factors repeatedly and predominantly they are context/situation, situational responsiveness, stake holders, inherent qualities of the project /program/person being evaluated ,multiple roles, consequence awareness etc
Even this material also throws lot of light on evaluation ‘American Journal of Evaluation-2011-Smith-565-99.pdf’.

In the realm of political decisions and business organizational management methodology etc these types of game play matter, but not in evaluating art, as Messick, S. (1994). Writes in The Interplay of Evidence and Consequences in the Validation of Performance Assessments. Educational Researcher, 23(2), 13–23, “Validity, reliability, comparability, and fairness are not just measurement issues, but social values that have meaning and force outside of measurement wherever evaluative judgments and decisions are made”.

Having said that the best way to deal with sensationalism seeking chaps like TMK who have sunk in leftist ideology is to ignore them.  If we ignore them they will decay naturally in their inhumane ideological cage.

For all people that complain about others that live within their radius, they need to look at themselves first? Self evaluation is quite important.

TMK needs to be given lessons on what is evaluation and how to evaluate everything and everyone? He definitely needs a serious psychological counseling session.

Why TMK can never sing with Bhavam like Neyveli santhanam, with expertise in raga alaphana like Sanjay Subramaniam, with thala nadai excellence like TNS. krishna, with sweet voice like Unnikrishnan because they all are strong in their field and therefore focusing on it with passion and professionalism without comparing it idiotically . Here I am tempted to quote, “Friend to Groucho Marx: “Life is hard…” Grouch Marx to Friend: “Compared to what?”

So TMK stop making irrelevant comparisons and illogical evaluations and instead start doing something other than writing columns in newspapers.

This was also written about evaluation when TMK wrote another nonsense in last year

two more on evaluation 

Careers, Profession

Nowadays any career in any cadre is like this. Recently I was asked to speak at a meeting held for business development managers and HR professionals in software companies. I said in olden days those who sacrificed their family relationships, their time, everything and stayed away in search of increasing their wisdom were called saints and nowadays many do the same thing for earning money and they are called employees, irrespective of cadre . Everyone went into laughter. 

Then I dwelt upon how life , at least biological existence of our life is determined mostly in terms of chronology. What we do with our time? At least 7 hours in sleep, 1 to 2 hour[s] attending to our personal chores like bathing, toilet, dressing up,eating etc 10 to 12 hours work and travel put together. so effectively 21 hours is gone . We are left with just 3 hours at our disposal. How we spend these three hours? With whom? For what? Are we too tired to even think actively in these three hours etc? What are the inevitable social and religious obligations and family compulsions , our passions, our hobbies, our pet entertainment elements which share major part of this 3 hours? Are we left with something called a time for ourselves? Do we have the luxury for enjoying time with others whom we love and wish to consolidate our relationship with like our parents, children , spouse etc ? Time management is all about effective, relaxed , focused and contextually meaningful utilization of these three hours that we are left with. I say contextual because if we have a child or an ailing aged parent or a spouse who is not well they become a priority over everything else. Even our eating and sleeping can be sacrificed for them but we cannot avoid the compulsions of our career because it provides a very vital vitamin for our social and biological survival called money. Life can be rendered more meaningful,comfortable, happy only when we are able to/capable of balancing all these different choices, contexts, shifting priorities based on our natural attributes and nurtured attitudes constantly chaffing away things and issues which are relatively irrelevant at a specific situation or context in our life. For example tasty food and pleasant dress could be the priority when we were young and not when we are 60 plus. All our actions are based on three broad classifications what we want to do, what we can do and what we are destined to do. 

We cannot have a control or choice over the last one but we can and must have clarity regarding the other two and make our choices depending upon what we want in life. Career options are all about that . They need not necessarily be confined to social image or pay check alone. While I like and do undertake many such psychological tests on a regular basis to console myself that I could be branded as sane as per these evaluations I feel what is best is the following combination which leads us to our choices namely what our gut feelings prompt us through experience and life's urge to live rather than merely survive at every context/situation and this tempered by common sense and rational outlook for a normal and happy life . 

This does not exclude the spirit of adventure, the impulse of social service, attending to others and help them in whatever way we can , pursuing our passions and natural talents which may not have a role in our career path. So ultimately these three factors what we want to do, can do and destined to do decide with varying degrees of their manifestation or predominance at different times what we are and how our life is. For example a sudden accident or disease can upset the whole process of life either for good or bad. There are only few who are lucky to have immense talent which is also a passion as well as their profession and career like great sportsmen, artists, scientist etc. These blessed souls are few, nature or evolution or God wants it that way so that human race does not get intoxicated in pleasure and happiness and forget to enhance growth of civilization.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

what is there in a name ?

What is there in a name?

Very interesting read indeed. Unfortunately the administrators and politicians who decide on various factors do not have time and respect for research, which is there in Europe, nor do they bother about etymology which also is almost venerated in Europe.

Names do carry lot of meaning, history, story and etymology all of which are either obvious, inferred and in some cases esoteric representing a concept.

But for these interesting aspects, long back the world would have listened to this very logical suggestion [1-very useful and interesting]

There is poetry, history and romance to every name.

There could be several reasons for any name primarily etymological and then to remind or perpetuate some ancestral link to any particular tradition, religious significance, mythological reference, culture, family name, profession, geographical location, particular clan, specific attribute of some of the either physical or psychological of the ancestor, sometimes also indicating some extraordinary contribution made some ancestor, sometimes mock name etc. In some culture numerology, astrology etc are also given importance.

We, Sanathana Dharmis were a bundle of contradiction here as in the case of preserving our treasure house knowledge [wherein we claim , rightly so the credit for many things but without enough documentary historically recorded evidence]. In the case of names we were highly philosophical at one end of the spectrum declaring what is there in name and form and  never bothered in general about labels and names, except in some religious arena and hence it was left to whoever wanted to do anything with any name and at the other end of the spectrum to every God which we represented with a form manifesting it as a symbolic representation of a particular attribute or concept and also gave thousands of names for examples for Ganesha,Vishnu, Shiva , Saraswathi etc and we also ensured to imbue each name with lot of meaning sometimes with highly esoteric meanings ensuring that each name manifested the various dimensions, degrees of the attribute represented by that particular God or Goddess.

For example the following book which was published as not for sale book by Maa Amirthananda Mayi trust by a family which was well versed in Lalitha shasranamam exposition for more than 3 generations. I was fortunate to get one among the only 1000 copies released initially free of cost now I think it is priced more than 1000 Rs . The book is titled ‘The Thousand Names of the Divine Mother Sri Lalita Sahasranama with Commentary by  T. V. Menon’. One would be surprised to know the inner meaning of several names there as there are lots of esoteric meaning to the verses in Soundarya Lahiri.

Fortunately we are sticking on to family names and some traditional aspects connected with that like the 'kar's of Maharastra,[gavaskar, tendukar] or ' jee's of  west bengal like mukherjee, chatterjee etc, or 'padyayas' of UP like chatopadyaya etc all these too had something to do with the name of the place from which a particular ancestry originated or the recognition of how many vedas a particular ancestor was conversant with, in south India it was  both family name, caste name  as well as place name like chembai vaidyanatha bhagavathar, manakal rangarajan, lalagudi jeyaraman, semmangudi srinivasa iyer.  

In European language we can even know the anatomical structure of ancestors through names like le grand[ referring to tall people], la fesse [referring to people with pronounced buttocks ] etc Russian names have tags of words referring to wolves, water, goat  and many Jewish terms too indicating the jews who tried to escape. In fact the place very much in news  Ferguson and many people bearing that name in the USA again refer to Jews who escaped and while being allowed inside USA ports they were just asked to declare their names and in order not to be identified as escaping Jews from Germany  when they were asked their name they said in German '  vergessen ' meaning 'forgotten' which the auditory sharpness of Americans recorded as 'Ferguson' though wikipedia gives different version unconnected with this version and also many history text books record it as the derivation of FERGUS- a mythological figure of Ireland/Scotland. There is a website which attempts to give references to some name though

Many years ago Babujee’s student, Gopu’s friend in TVS  and later on Rekha’s boss [Iyer] asked me to do a study of surnames for a German portal for which I did lot of homework and I think I may have the files in some folder. If by any chance I happen to find out I shall share that. In fact it ran into more than 1000 pages.

The Germanic people in Kent in UK indicated Saxons from different directions as Essex, Sussex, Middlesex, Wessex [ nothing to do with sex]. From North there weren’t many so no Norsex.

[1] Hearing Places

Architect Stedman Whitwell thought it illogical and confusing that different towns sometimes have the same name. He suggested assigning a unique name to each location based on its latitude and longitude. He published this table in the New Harmony, Ind., Gazette in 1826:

Insert an S to indicate south latitude and a V for west longitude; omit them for north and east. Thus New Harmony (38°11′N, 87°55′W) would be rechristened Ipba Veinul; New York would be Otke Notive, Washington D.C. Feili Neivul, and Pittsburgh Otfu Veitoup.
What these names lack in poetry they make up in utility: a traveler given the name of a town can immediately infer its location. Unfortunately, Whitwell’s scheme never caught on — and today the United States has 28 Springfields, 29 Clintons, and 30 Franklins.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Foundations of Indian Culture

"Foundations of Indian Culture" by Polymath Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh.
If ever you thought of spending worthily six sessions of 3 hours each totaling 18 hours of worthy listening to a great speech to know intellectually many fundamental aspects /factors of Foundations of Indian Culture rendered marvelously by the scholar DR.R. Ganesh.
Excellent collection of six 3-hour lectures in English by shatavadhani shree Dr.R.Ganesh ji overviewing, explaining Indian culture, principles, traditions, practices, touching on many contemporary issues also and answering many questions and doubts that people do raise here and there. It has taken almost two weeks for me to listen to the whole series in bits and parts.
Here are the six
Series of 6 lectures on "Foundations of Indian Culture" by Polymath Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh.


Lecture summaries and recommended reading can be found here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Art -Its evaluation and survival

Why we prefer “BIG BANG THEORY” over Bollywood nonsense?

We Indians suffer from unloving criticism, more virulent if it is combined with xenophobia, and uncritical love leading to hero worship of worthless fellows in Bollywood.

I have read lakhs of quotes on art and criticism but this one I feel is more appropriate here as in the very title the great Oscar Wilde injected both terms ‘The critic as Artist, 1891’ wherein he says, “Science is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon eternal truths. Art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever-changing. To morals belong the lower and less intellectual spheres”.

Let us study art in very general terms based on mere observations rather than any expert analysis.

Any form of art is expected to provide entertainment, education, enlightenment [if that also can emerge].

What art is? How it emerges and how various art forms impact a variety of human beings?

In the process of doing this it manifests the attributes and attitudes of the society to various aspects of life in different ways trying to capture the various dimensions/facets of life and perceptions and the many methods through which human beings try to deal with different situations and contexts that they force themselves into or forced to face due to fate.

Art does these things broadly  through abstract representations; surrealistic presentations; exaggerated and/or twisted humor; if it is visual media visual comedy too;  either superficial or in depth critical analysis of many social practices and issues; aesthetic appeals, deep devotions, or sometimes produces unbelievable masterpieces  which are the result of revelations to the soul or through the soul of the some artists, we label them as prodigies/geniuses etc who are otherwise ordinary mortals in all other aspects like the rest of human beings; sometimes certain artists seem to come out with certain unbelievable creations in a state of trance to which they are transported either through devotion or drugs or other hitherto scientifically unexplainable and unexplained means [there are many examples and vast scientific literature too available for this facet of art].

So, in brief art emerges out of the emotional feelings, intellectual perceptions, spiritual vibrations [for those who are not willing to believe or accept such terminologies] or from realms beyond the physically tangible, emotionally felt and/or intellectually perceivable.

Art while doing these, sometimes soaks the sentiments and emotions through high levels of pathos through projections of insurmountable physical discomforts, emotional troubles and mental problems etc; sometimes transports the human spirit away from all seriousness into a realm of enjoyable humour that makes us forget everything and swim in the ocean of laughter; sometimes appeals to the aesthetic sensitivities of human beings; sometimes slides us into our basic sensuous sensations through great romance; sometimes strikes a chord with the spiritual dimension of human being wherein it takes both the artists and the audience/spectator/reader/fan into realms beyond the normal cognitive consciousness.

Human beings generally are easily attracted to various art forms or various standards of productions within a particular art form as the impact of art is piercing and powerful because art permeates directly into the three major aspects every of individual human being emotional and/or physical, intellectual and spiritual manifestations of three vital parts of human life body, mind  and soul/spirit [ this aspect of our life itself is abstract we can neither see it in mirror nor grasp it with our  intellect].

Art is able to do these because it is by nature a spontaneous expression of creativity/enjoyment/devotion so it neither tries to convince any intellectual correctness nor bothers about social/traditional acceptance nor overburdens itself with the necessity to synthesize with any ideology/specific culture/socio political view etc.

From these above indicated exalted inherent credentials of arts we are expected to enjoy it, get engrossed in it or engulfed by it, exported into aesthetic arenas, get enlightened etc.

Still nothing prevents us from evaluating, critically analyzing or trying hard to synthesize with our pet socio cultural perceptions. We shall now see why we do all these?

Why we evaluate art, critically analyze it and try to synthesize it with socio cultural standards/perceptions?

What has happened to art that we all try to evaluate it rather than enjoy it? What has happened to art that we subject it to critical analysis rather than getting engrossed in it? What has happened to art that instead of getting enlightened by it we try to synthesize it with our views and practices of life/life styles/cultures etc or seek syncretism with our various belief systems or social acceptance etc?

As in every evolution, in art too, there are many art forms which have evolved into something more polished and sophisticated able to withstand different onslaughts of socio-cultural changes and there are many art forms which have become extinct too.

The process of evolution throws everything to test, art being no exception, into the huge cauldron of all these:- socially emerging or constantly changing value systems, scrupulously strengthened traditions, petrified ideological indoctrinations and psychological conditionings, political power centers, commercial considerations, carefully cultivated and devotedly developed edifices of religious morals and belief systems, factors of basic human urges, impulses and instincts, the constantly  emerging expectations  of rational thoughts and scientific vindications, socio cultural acceptance, the ever changing trends , taboos etc

After throwing into this huge cauldron and subjecting it to constant churning there emerge or float lots of stuff, everything liked and useful for different set of people or sects of society with varying degrees and intensities of appeal, impact and/ or influence etc.

In the evolutionary churning process various methods are adopted ranging from the very sane to the incorrigibly stupid; from the profoundly philosophical to the silly superficial social engineering; from the time tested value system benefiting the human beings and the environment to the vacillating trends of vacuous inanity; from the very scientific methods to superstitious beliefs and so on and so forth.

In any age or era in the inevitable evolutionary churning process any artistic expression and/or creation or scientific discovery and/or invention has to necessarily and primarily to ensure its own survival then work towards or do things to attract attention and acceptance.

Why only some arts, scientific discoveries and sport events survive and are supported more and why?

Only those art forms and scientific discoveries/inventions that accepted this reality of floating to capture attention survived and sometimes eventually got glorified as well.

That is the reason many works of art, literature and science which survive and impact humanity were sponsored, supported and sustained by kings and emperors, religious leaders and political leaders for various reasons which again is a vast subject by itself and forms a major part of controversial history. Artist could create great arts; scholars could write great pieces of literature; philosophers could propound great truths; scientists could discover and invent many things; saints, sages and enlightened souls could spell out wisdom but all these required attention and support for continuation of survival.

So whatever great arts, scientific discoveries, philosophical thoughts, spiritual wisdom that exist, impact and influence us are not necessarily the best or the greatest but those that managed to survive and get supported.

The supporters and sponsors whether kings or religious institutions or leaders or political leaders had their own vested interests, prejudices, hidden agenda, lurking motives etc to which these arts and sciences had to necessarily confirm by making some compromises or at least minor adjustments.

In the present age the sponsors and sustainers are the economic powers, commercial interests and supporters are the products of prevailing socio-cultural trends.

In the present age, besides all these, arts and sciences have to cater beyond geographical, linguistic, national barriers to be more successful.

So it does not require a rocket scientists to know why Grammy award winning music albums have a greater publicity though they need not necessarily be the best music; Why Hollywood awarded movies have a greater viewership though they need not necessarily be the best movies; Why BCCI sponsored IPL cricket is the most popular cricketing event though it need not necessarily be the best cricketing event; Why European club football has greater viewership of all football events though it need not be the best football event; Why Australian Master chef is the most viewed culinary event though that need not necessarily be the best cuisine.

So any artistic creation or scientific discovery does not survive purely and/or only due to its inherent quality or greatness or utility but due to all these multiple factors explained above.

Therefore to make any dissection and analyze any work of art through any specific ideological bias, or moral or cultural policing or doctrinal discrimination or social engineering and worst of all media based judgment peddled by ultracrepidarian[A person who gives opinions and advice on matters outside of one's knowledge.] pretentious know-alls who revel more nowadays on scandals, sensationalism and gossip rather than on any concrete content based evaluation of anything on inherent merits.

So as an ordinary mortal aware of and taking into consideration all the factors I would prefer to continue to enjoy “BIG BANG THEORY” with all its purported bias and hidden agenda because beyond all these it offers great humour to those who have sense of humour.

These sitcoms are far more humorous, entertaining, educative than the stupid stereotyped Bollywood movies and sickening Indian teleserials imbued with mother in law daughter in law duels or the social engineering of victimhood portrayals, poverty parading and preaching on national integration and communal harmony.

Above all these sitcoms have certain inherent merits that one preferably need to look for in sitcoms and films or any audio-visual production in general namely good to great acting, good to great cinematography, crisp dialogues, curt replies, marvelous editing, many useful information of the subject that they deal with rather than masking everything with a masala mixture of veiled vulgarity and preaching with a long dialogue from pedestal even in moments like chasing and  shooting a villain as they do in Indian movies.

From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘House’ we can learn a lot of interesting facts about human anatomy and modern medical practices.

Serials like ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘Castle’ can be used in training sessions for detectives and police force.

Serials like ‘Friends’ have excellent and sharp verbal humour.

While discussing about pay check do not get distracted by passions, career satisfaction, dreams, ambitions, how far is your place of work, who are your co employees etc though all these are important not when you are bothered and discussing only about paycheck .

I remember a Chinese Proverb which says, “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills”.

I would be happy to be one among these categories listed by you below, that you seems to mention with derision, in this part, “No wonder that shows such as The Big Bang Theory are talked about in social circles which include teenagers, newly adults and veteran adults, who pride themselves on being members of the global community having left behind their antiquated ideas and morals about right or wrong.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thoughts and language

There are many things/factors/ideas that impact, initiate, influence, impel and/or condition our thinking process.

Whether we like it or not language [ which is supposed  to be a tool to communicate our thoughts] also incidentally supplies, supports and shapes our thoughts.

These have been very excellently explained  by Steven Arthur Pinker in his popular books.

Through excellent examples and in depth analysis he has argued that the human faculty for language is an "instinct", an innate behavior shaped by natural selection and adapted to our communication needs. He is the author of six books for a general audience. Five of these, namely The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate(2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007) describe aspects of the field of psycholinguistics, and include, among much else, accessible accounts of his own research. The sixth book, The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), makes the case that violence in human societies has in general steadily declined with time, and identifies six major causes of this decline.

[Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-born U.S. experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist,linguist, and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind].

Of these books The stuff of thought and How the mind works are really gems that everyone must read. .

Also read Harold Waldwin Percival [a Theosophist and writer] his magnum opus Thinking and Destiny a very detailed book on thinking running to some 1000 pages.

You can also spice up these with Le Comte de Nuoy's 'Human Destiny' another great book.

This preamble is for all of us to get rid of our illusions thinking that our thoughts  are the result or the cause of our intelligence/intellect/knowledge etc and also the dispel the presumption that some superior wisdom exclusively privileges and directs our thoughts.

It is bad indeed  to give great importance to the thoughts of merely academically qualified people without any wisdom, worse still to those who have merely held positions doled out to them by virtue of their political sycophancy and worst of all if it emanates from a opinion platform of a newspaper like The Hindu [ where opinions are filtered through the highly hypocritical sick Indian brand of left over leftist ideology  whose proponents owe their livelihood and suck  for their survival  the very institutions and ideas that they virulently and vociferously criticize].

These opinions/thoughts expressed by these worthies  cannot do anything else but support the wrong causes.

Their only qualification is that they can sandwich their stupidity in pleasant language and through a putrefying platform like The Hindu.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fate, Freewill and Humility

Whether it is being in echo chamber or being alert like a Gecko without ever blinking. A.K. Bhattacharya has well expressed simple fact and  inevitable truth below in the book review but what intervention that anyone seeks is determined again by many factors like culture, divinely predetermined disposition of the inner self otherwise called natural attribute, indoctrinated or carefully nurtured  attitudes of reactions and all these leading to ensuing actions. 

For example imagine the plight of all non Shias in Iraq in the past two months, whatever has been happening is defying all logic, rationality etc and even the option or luxury of sanely choosing any intervention is not available. So very often the intensity of the crisis and inevitability of circumstances determine our recognizing, resorting to and respecting intervention along with again the unwillingness of human beings to be humble enough to accept that there are plenty of things that happen / can happen which are beyond the ken of human intellect, knowledge, understanding, logic, science, and all other known resources that we are used to and are comfortable employing to counter difficulties.  

All human beings may be unwilling to be humble but resort to all sorts of remedies in times of extreme crisis which are either belief based, ethnocentric culture oriented, traditionally tested and tried, faith oriented etc sometimes much against their long held convictions too because survival counts above everything else for all human beings except those with suicidal tendencies.

Life mostly is lived and perceived in the Time and  ​Space conundrum but happens beyond these two. That's why sometimes when things happen in a jiffy when the human mind is not even given options of dealing with it in Time and Space, physical lives just end as it happened recently to the Malaysian aircraft passengers or as it happens during big natural calamities like earth quakes etc

Any deliverance be it delightful events or damage and destruction does not depend on anyone's belief system, faith, intellectual capacity, logical perception etc. Everything happens not necessarily as definable by any belief system or logic. Events happen that's all not necessarily as definable by any belief system or logic. Persons behave in very nice ways as well as nasty and inhumane ways not necessarily as definable by any belief system or logic. It does not mean that we must sit passively and witness everything happening around us or everyone acting the way they want in any helpless manner cocooned in our fatalistic attitude but we can and are empowered to always use our freewill to deal with all these events and persons in wherever we can. 

Growth of life is led by a staircase made of the horizontal and vertical planes of fate and freewill.


Not so curious

A.K. Bhattacharya of  ‘Business Standard’ has reviewed a book written by Shri. V. Krishnamurthy, former Chairman of BHEL, Maruti and SAIL, etc. The book may not have anything new and it may be the case that Mr. VK’s close connections to Mrs. Indira Gandhi and then her sons, etc. helped him. But, it is interesting to note that Shri. VK has mentioned twice how his religious beliefs helped him come out of tight situations.

What is difficult to understand is Mr. AKB’s observation in the end about the ‘curious explanation’ of the author’s religious beliefs helping to rehabilitate him. What is so curious about that?

In difficulties, all people run into the limits of both rationality and their abilities. They seek some intervention. In India, most people seek divine intervention. In fact, limits of reason and ability are always evident except that we do not have the ability nor the humility to accept that.

What is reinforced – yet again – is the not-so-curious case of some members of the Indian English-speaking public not being in touch with India. No wonder the rest of India does not take them seriously as much as they themselves do. That is why they are way out of touch with their election forecasts, predictions, analysis and advice. They remain in their own cocoon.

No. Make that ‘echo chamber’. They live in their own ‘echo chamber’. It is noisy and it is a nuisance but they hardly matter to the lives of rest of us.