Saturday, July 15, 2006

Syd Barrett R.I.P.

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now theres a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the
Steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend,
You martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the
Steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper,
You prisoner, and shine!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

V for Vendetta (The movie)

Written by the Wachowskis and directed by James McTeigue V for Vendetta is the movie adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore with the same name.

This is the story of V (Hugo Weaving) an aesthetic warrior, fighting against the right wing fascist government in near future England. V rescues Evey Hammond (Natalie portman) from thugs working for the government, Evey is taken to an underground mansion which is kind of a cultural museum, V calls it the Shadow Gallery. Evey is told to live in the shadow gallery with V for one year, until the conclusion of his mission to destroy the parliament as a symbolic attack on the dictatorial government.

The plot essentially follows the comic book with a little tweaking here and there which was necessary to give a Hollywood feel to the movie. Even if you miss the meaning of freedom politically, socially and aesthetically as portrayed in the movie V for Vendetta is still a great revenge movie.

Actors have done a great job in the film. Hugo Weaving uses subtle body language and changes in accent to convey emotions. It must have been difficult to act behind the mask for the whole movie but he does the work superbly and you never feel the need of seeing his face in the movie. Natalie Portman also shows that she has matured as an actor and I hope she gets roles like this in the future. Evey's character undergoes drastic changes in the movie from the time she first meets V and asks if he was a crazy person to the point when she discovers the meaning of freedom and Natalie adapts to this beautifully.

I guarantee you will enjoy these two hours whether you have read the book or not.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Finally the Brahmins are happy...

So finally we have at truly pro Brahmin government in UP, after the misdeeds of Mayawati government when the brahmins were treated as second class citizen in their state we have Mulayam Singh the messiah of brahmins the one who have made the Brahmin community proud by overthrowing the tyrannical Mayawati and most importantly declaring a holiday to mark the occasion of sri parshuram's birthday.

Since Mayawati came to power the Brahmins were not allowed to celebrate the birthday of their lord Parshuram, and those who dared to go against her wishes were delt with strictly. Now those dark days are over Mulayam Singh has arrived and he will lead the Brahmins into an era of prosperity, their lost glory will be restored and soon we will have holidays to mark birthday of all the brahmins who sacrificed their life fighting that Mayawati.

I hope politicians in bihar and other states will build on the ground work by Mulayam and drive India to a prosperous future.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Religion - the origin

Religion as we now know it is actually organized religion which has evolved over the years from a primitive and purer form. The ancient man realised that society was critical for his survival and must have felt need to worship the society. The idea of worshiping something as abstract as a society is disturbing so to solve the problem various symbols representing the society were identified and the man started worshiping them instead.

The idea of worshiping the society may not be very appealing today but if we see the world through the eyes of a Neanderthal man he was totally dependent on society for his survival. Man needed to hunt in group, it was ensured he was well fed even when he was unfit for hunting and the it was made sure all his desires were satisfied. Society was nothing less than what we call GOD today for the primitive man.

We can call this form of religion pure not only because this is the most primitive form but the forms which were to evolve from this model were actually adulterated by man to incorporate the idea of moral and laws. Its true that norms and values are integral to any society and law and morality are derived from these very norms but the use of religion to enforce the law and even moral values corrupted it to the extent that people were made to obey supernatural being.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Population and its Environmental impact - a biased perspective

In order to understand the population problem lets refer to the founding father of population studies T.R. Malthus. Malthus gave us three postulates
1. Growth of population is limited by means of subsistence
2. Population has a tendency to increase much faster than means of subsistence.
3. What had happened in the past is likely to happen again.
These seem to be very obvious conclusions but they were revolutionary thoughts in 1798. At a time when it was believed science will put an end to all miseries and vices like hunger, sex etc. it was believed that development of science would lead to an egalitarian society a statement predicting shortage of means of subsistence was indeed revolutionary. The second statement was made after study of agricultural growth and population growth in the USA .

The last statement is interesting one. If we consider that population grew at a rate of 1% since man first walked on this planet the current population would have been much higher, so there must have been some checks along the way. These checks controlled population by increasing the mortality rate and are called positive checks. The various positive checks in the past have come in form of epidemics, famine etc. and these are likely to happen again.

These postulates point that in order to grow man has to increase the means of subsistence and this is achieved by putting pressure on the natural resources. If we go by this theory then most damage to the environment is done by the fastest growing countries and incidently all of them belong to the category of underdeveloped nation. So, the responsibility for environmental conservation should also be shouldered by them, well most of the western countries believe and thats why they invited India to remind it how its increasing population is destroying the environment.

Seems reasonable enough, before drawing any conclusion lets see another theory. If we can quantify Affluence and Technology then the Impact of population could be represented by the equation :
E = PA/T
where E is Environmental Impact , P is population and T is Environment friendly technology.
(Paul Ehrlich use E=PAT , where T is technology. My modified formula has no experimental basis but it looks more correct in the age of environment friendly technology, besides it also tilts the balance towards the Developed countries). With this formula in mind lets see the following stats:

An American consumes as much energy as :
2 Japanese
6 Mexicans
13 Chinese
31 Indians
128 Bangladeshis
307 Tanzanians
370 Ethiopians
Even if we forget that America doesnt follow Kyoto protocol and the Environmental engineering has not had much effect yet Bangladesh would have to grow at a rate atleast 12 times more than that of America to have the same environmental impact.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Yes, God do exist.

Some of us spend half of our life trying to logically contradict the existence of a supreme power by giving some stupid logical arguments(there is a whole page on wikipedia full of this shit) . There are many of them and all are equally laughable, the one below was randomly chosen from wikipedia.

The "no motivation" argument states that if god is omnipotent, then he would not be motivated to act in any way, specifically creating the universe, since God would have anything God wanted in infinite amounts and would have no desires since there is no reason for God to have any. Since the universe exists, there is a contradiction and an omnipotent God cannot exist

while the other group compete to be crowned the biggest moron of all by giving theories about the existence of god which are even more laughable

morality cannot exist without God.

Since the universe's order and complexity shows signs of purpose , it must have been designed by an intelligent designer, i.e. God

Well both the groups failed to prove any thing so God decided to settle the matter once and for all and he showed up, he chose the final of the Uefa champions league to settle the argument. Those of you who were not fortunate enough to witness the final live should catch the repeat telecast, Liverpool were 3-0 down at half time and then in the second half they scored 3 goals in 6 minutes to tie the game. Well no big deal, but these goals were scored against Milan a team which can play the whole season without conceding a goal and they let in 3 in space of 6 minutes and if you add schevchenko's(the best striker in europe) shot taken 6' away from the goal being blocked by Dudek(the worst goalkeeper u can imagine) to that then you will realize this was no ordinary match.

If u compare the way liverpool played in those 6 minutes with the rest of the match it wont take long to realize that some thing beyond comprehension occured at Istanabul and I see it as an act of God. I dont know if God is he or she is it good or bad (liverpool and Milan supporters may have differing opinions) but some supreme power had to be involved in those 6 minutes cause I know for sure that those Liverpool players cant play like that even in their wildest dreams.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

The power of Movies

Movies are a powerful medium of forming public opinion and I am not the first person to say this. Psychologists will agree that messages conveyed by moving images reside in some corner of the brain longer than those conveyed only by voice, mere text or both combined but I am in no mood to discuss this trivial fact today.
Some of the movies force you to sit back and think, these are the movies which can force you to form and sometimes change powerful opinions. Though many such movies have been made but I choose The Godfather because I have just finished the trilogy and cant think of any thing other than the Godfather. The Godfather with great actors, one of the best screen plays and the genius of Francis Ford Coppola do make you to sit back and think.
The character of Michael Corleone starts as a war hero, a rebel son but ends up being the head of Mafia family, this completely changed how I viewed life. I thought the main problem of life was the many choices it gives us, the different roads to take at each and every corner but now it seems the most difficult phase of life comes when it gives us no choice, there is only one path to take whether one likes it or not.
If one look back and analyze the character of both Vito and Michael after watching the first and the second movie one has two pictures to choose from, in one of them the characters are painted as ruthless Mafia dons while in the other they look like reasonable men who are in this business to protect their family. Most of us who watched these movies would love to accept the second picture but if we happen to meet these very characters in real life which picture will we choose to judge them. It takes actors like Al Pacino, Brando and the genius of Coppola to make us love a gangster but no medium other than movies can force us to do this.