I Think

The Last Question

Read a nice short story “The Last Question” by Asimov here. Supposedly his best short story. I was cautioned not to look the ending which turned out to be pretty good advice, hence passing the same.

P.S: Thanks to Aravind and Raj for pointing it.

I Think

Re:Oh my god!

This my response to my friend karthik’s post here http://karthiknaga.blogspot.com/2007/12/oh-my-god.html . I have to applaud his insightful writing. before i comment, i have to say i am certainly not well read as some of you(those who have commented) seem to be and my ideas are quite raw. esp. i enjoyed the discussion between nk and sabresan and the short excerpt from kay-k is eye opening and somewhat close to what I think, unfortunately i dont know what/who H2G2 is, i would certainly love to read.

I have always believed Agnostics/Atheists are always so by choice, but being religious or to have faith in a “Personal God” as u name it is often not by choice. It is either by birth or some form of proselytizing in the modern sense. As richard dawkins bravely responded to a college student’s simple qn “what if what you are saying is wrong? what if god exists” he says “u r a christian by chance because u were born in england”. So to say we are hindus cos we were born in india. I’ll leave him at that, I am not a strong advocate of the theory of evolution either. Our faith in a personal god so to speak is purely by chance. If the BJP were in the US they would be the republicans or if they had been in germany they would have been religious fascists.(ok that was a bit too much). So as such it doesnt seem fashionable to stick to a particular belief and all the customs tagging along. So you say you want to defend your faith with the placebo effect: faith is a psychological game. So in effect the existence of faith and god is to just induce a positive effect, to me that is not substantial. I cant believe the majority of the world has to have faith to do that. Esp. when most of us can understand and give fancy names to these “effects” why should we still have faith?. Oh! so everyone needs to be positive and make an effort. So umpteen religious therories evolved to establish this. If thats the case then it has all gone the wrong way. I dont think religion is doing anything good to the world. To state it more clearly, is man incapable of positive thoughts and deeds without the idea of belief or faith? Just because we can’t disprove that god exists as we are flabberghasted by the wonders of t(his) universe and we are making an audacious “scientific” effort(that fails) to understand it, does it mean something inexplicable exists ? It could be that our methods to explain are false. We think the way we are trained to think, therein lies the paradox. I also believe religious faith exists to establish discipline in an uncivilized unsociable scenario. It was more likely created for small societies and all the problems started when cultures interacted when each culture defended its own beliefs and the allying benefits. Voltaire said “if there is no god, create one”. Such a simple yet profound statement asserts that faith is a good placebo. But what actually matters to the intellectuals who are willing to ponder over this is, do we need a placebo? Is it still relevant in the modern world when education and knowledge of various cultures are vastly interconnected? Can everyone defend their faith or should they?; now that it has gone to ridiculous extremes. Or is the placebo effect just a makeshift theory? It is a constant battle between our undiminishing faith in a superior miraculous existence and the intellect. However the intellect and faith are friends between themselves, the battle is only in our minds. You can say the world is a paradox, or you can be humble and say we are jack asses.


IP, poetry, vogon

Curbing IP

All this time I have been blogging about meaningless things, frivolous matters of zero significance, but today I have decided to remedy all that and talk about a serious issue that is affecting everyone, or rather everyone who uses the internet, I am going to talk about the greatest problem that each of us surfers face, the IP management problem, and by IP I am not referring to Intellectual Property, neither am i talking about Internet Pornography, but the more serious issue of Internet Poetry. The growth of the Internet and Blogosphere in particular has given every individual a platform to shout and be heard. But then it has also spawned a number of Internet Poets who post what comes to their mind in their blog and call it poetry.

Before I proceed, let me put a disclaimer message, I am ordinary when it comes to interpreting and appreciating poetry, heck i cant even appreciate a nursery rhyme. Just the other day I was totally enraged to hear from a kid about a couple of other kids who were mortally injured while doing a perilous household chore without adult supervision. I was about to set out in search of their parents and give them a piece of my mind, before someone assured me that it was just a rhyme and that Jack and Jill were entirely fictional. But still, it did not stop me from writing to the director of NCERT asking him to post a warning message under the rhyme asking children to report any such incidents by calling the child help line. And there were a couple of times that I made a fool of myself misinterpreting another rhyme. First time, this little girl walks up to me and sings ‘Mary had a little lamb…’ and I unwittingly asked her ‘Was it for luncheon or supper dearie?’ and the second time this another kid comes to me and sings the same, ‘Mary had a little lamb…’ and I corrected him, ‘no… no… kiddo, Mary had a baby boy who later grew up to be the son of god’. Given such a case, what I am about to say may seem unfair criticism but considering that the world has more of us lesser mortals than intellectuals who can appreciate poetry, I think it is perfectly fair on my part to go ahead calling for regulation of Internet Poetry.

The thing that drove me to join the battle against internet poetry was a blog entry I read a couple of days ago. The poem was about how a girl thought that her boy friend was cheating on her and despite the guy proving his innocence, the girl continues to be insecure and paranoid and chooses to whine endlessly. My first reaction was this ‘Why dont you start consulting a shrink you pathetic psychotic bitch?’, but before I posted this reason caught up with me and had the following to say, ‘1. Its a free world, anyone can post what they want.. 2. Remember the time you were shouted at by an anonymous commenter, have you forgotten how bad it feels? 3. And by the way, are you free from such insecurities?’. Well, I have to admit that I also suffer from such paranoia time to time. I was reminded of the time when I was the last to leave the house and how I never trusted the integrity of the lock, the whole scene flashed before my eyes…
one, two, buckle my shoe,
three four, shut the door,
five six, lock until it clicks,
seven eight, pull until it breaks,
nine, ten, buy a new one.. and this went on until somebody else came back home. But still, no one was affected by such incidents(if anything, the local locksmith made a good profit selling locks that day and earned enough to feed his family for weeks), compare this to the number of headaches that internet poetry has caused.

To all the budding poets out there sitting in front of your terminals, here is a small request, before you press that Post button, sit back a second and just make sure that your work is at the very least on par with this piece of Vogon poetry.

“Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits
On a lurgid bee.
Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
And hooptiously drangle me
With crinkly bindlewurdles,
Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,
See if I don’t!”