I want to believe again!

I am a great fan of Jawaharlal Nehru, he was India’s first prime minister, a die-hard nationalist and an atheist. While I was reading his ‘The Discovery of India‘ something caught my eye.

disc

Now, this requires some context. This was around 1935 when the British had passed the ‘Government of India Act‘, which put in place ministers from the Indian National Congress in some positions of power but still under the oppressive reign of British Governors and the Viceroy. These were the days when they fought against the tyrannical rule of imperialism, people bled for democracy and freedom. The whole nation believed that Democracy can change their fate; they believed in Leaders; they believed it was the answer. In a country of hundred religions, where people killed each other in the name of god, an atheist became the first democratically elected Prime Minister! That was the respect and devotion that people had for politicians and politics.

What happened?

Populist politics, Caste vote, violent coercion of voters, instigation of religious riots, walkouts from the parliament sessions which is paid for by taxes, corruption, scams and things that on mention makes you shudder in disgust;  I’ve spent the larger part of my life in the 21st century and all this seems too familiar now , a very sad realization indeed. When was the last time you heard an intelligent and educated youth talk good about politics? The mere mention of the word brings a feeling of repugnance to the listener. Why has this happened? Why wouldn’t this happen? I’ve never known a politician whom i can adore, whose honor i am willing to defend.

Indian-Democracy-Political-Cartoon-Gandhi-08_04

I am deeply disturbed and saddened by this. We don’t understand the domino effect of this disbelief. The general contempt and aversion that the people hold towards the politicians echo across the spectrum of governance. People trust NGOs more that the governments they voted for; and when the faith in the government falls, people’s faith in the currency falls, people even stop exercising their right to vote. People lose faith in democracy! It is easy to be is heartened and to become a cynic; and as of now we are not short of reasons to lose hope.

young_girl_20080124I love this country and its people, I want us to do great things. I want a politician who defies the current meaning of the word. I want somebody to love and trust. I want a secular non-partisan idealist. I want to believe that the government is good again. I want to be a nationalist. Give me hope!

I wanna believe in democracy again!

I want to be a Patriot!

Top 5 Places to Get Your Daily Dose of Science

If you are a Science enthusiast(Read: Geek) like me then you’ll probably have a Nerd-gasm after reading this. We all know that the Internet is a treasure trove of all things good, bad and sometimes very weird but science is the one subject that gives you all three and makes you a tiny bit more knowledgeable that you were previously. If you are the sort of person who watched Discovery channel and NatGeo when you were a kid and still do, here is a map to all things science in every single format possible.

1. Facebook

Let us start with the biggest social media platform available on the internet. Facebook is not just for sharing  cat pictures and your intentionally ambiguous words of wisdom, sometimes you can learn something while you are stalking somebody. There are hundreds of Facebook pages that are dedicated toward science but some of them stand out because of the content and for the quirky  humor.

IFLSWhen Elise Andrew, a biology student from the University of Sheffield in England created a Facebook page out of boredom and humorously named it “I fucking love science“, she would have never imagined the heights the page would reach. In the one year that the page has existed, it has garnered a whopping 4.2 million fans. 

 

RDF-TV-iTunes-logo-125What is life without a little controversy, if you are looking to pick a fight or spew some righteous anger, “Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science” page is just for you. Initiative by the famous Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawking and like-minded individuals, this page gives you the latest in the skirmishes by and against science. Religion, Politics, you name it… they are fighting against it in the name of science.

 

Continue to source article at Durofy.com

Lean Startup Machine – Let your ideas run wild!

LSM

Every single thing that ever changed the world was once an inkling of an idea in the back of someone’s head. Facebook, Twitter and Google were once ideas that came out of dorm rooms and garages. Companies like SpaceX which has privatised space, Planetary Resources which is planning on mining asteroids and Tesla with their gorgeous electric cars were once similar to the crazy ideas that you have. But Ideas themselves do not change the world; you have to breathe life into them.

“A man may die, Nations may rise and fall, but an Idea lives on” – John F Kennedy

An Idea which is not put to good use is nothing but a useless fleeting thought and sooner or later somebody else will come up with it. So, take a stand, make your idea work, and bring it to life. With the advent of internet and social networking, things that only Governments were capable of, is now under grasping distance of a few highly motivated individuals.

Continue to source article at Durofy.com

The Last King

Art from DeviantArt.com by Joe Roberts

Art from DeviantArt.com by Joe Roberts

It was a dark day,
When the youngling found the last king
Scared he was, when he heard the demon sing.
He rued the day he followed the whisper
Only to realize it was his final whimper.

Crimson and red with a hint of yellow,
Mighty as he was, still seemed mellow.
When he stood tall, he would’ve burned kings
Men would’ve gone mad, at the sight of his wings.

But now, he was nothing but frail.
Unable to move his mighty tail.
Last bit of life inching out of him
His lifeless eyes rather grew grim.

Scars from a long lost battle
Gone are the days he devoured men and cattle.
What’s left of his life, trying to cling
About the demon king, bards would sing.
It was a dark day,
When the youngling found the last king.

The world around him grew solemn and sad
It was strange and he did not understand
For it was the brother he never had.

Tears rolled down from his eye,
As he watched the last dragon die.

The Butterfly Effect

I want to tell you a story. Since this is a real story, we will have to wade through a bit of history first, bear it with me. Jean-François de Galaup, Count of Lapérouse was a French Naval officer from 1756 – 1788. He was an explorer and he even fought in the American Revolutionary war. After the 1783 Treaty of Paris, he was appointed as the Minister of Marine by the then King of France, Louis XVI. As a result he embarked on a scientific expedition around the world.

Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse

Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse

He left France on August 1 1785, he sailed towards Chille, on April 9 1786 he reached the Easter Islands, and then he traveled to the Hawaiian Islands. Then he traveled to Alaska, his men visited with the Tlingit tribe; did not murder them like European sailors used to, then went on to sail towards California and reached San Francisco. Then he crossed the Pacific Ocean in a 100 day journey toward East Asia and reached Macau. He visited Japan, Russia and then Australia on 24 January 1788, exploring and observing the environment throughout his voyage. He wrote that he expected to be back in France by June 1789 but neither he nor any of his crew was ever seen again. Although Swords and Cannon balls from the ship surfaced all around the world from time to time, the actual shipwreck was never found adding to the mystery of Lapérouse.

Among his crew were a Mathematician, an Astronomer, a Botanist, a Geologist, a Physicist, a Naturalist, three illustrators and various other scientists. Even his chaplains were scientifically schooled. The man had a penchant for the scientifically educated, but that is not my point. In total there were 114 members in his crew and everyone liked him.

One of the men who applied for the expedition was a young 16 year old second lieutenant from Paris’s military academy. He was a Corsican and was very much interested in serving in the navy where his proficiency in mathematics and artillery, both valued skills on warships would be put to better use. He made the preliminary list but was ultimately not chosen for the voyage and remained behind in France. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon Crossing the Alps

Napoleon Crossing the Alps

Napoleon Bonaparte is considered to be one of the greatest military generals in history among legends like Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. He shaped history, from the Napoleonic wars to the Napoleonic Code, which has been a major influence on many civil law jurisdictions worldwide. Imagine a world where there was no Napoleon, it is not quite possible; too many things have changed because of him. His actions will echo throughout the time civilization exists; He is a fixed point in time.

Do you know about chaos theory? Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including physics, engineering, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the Butterfly Effect(also a movie starring Ashton Kutcher, exploring the implications of this very same principle). Imagine a source of light, now imagine that you have an object of a definite size in the field of illumination of the source, the size of the shadow the object casts depends on the proximity of the object to the light source. Closer the object  the larger the area that is in the dark. Likewise in chaos theory, a small change in the initial conditions will result in a disruptive change in the end.Lorenz_system_r28_s10_b2-6666

In a deterministic system there is absolutely no randomness. If one such event, as small as, not being selected for a voyage can drastically alter history, there would have been multiple such events. Every single event in history from landing on the moon to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were set in motion by one such simple and insignificant act. These fixed points in time have created reality as we know it. We all know that the whole universe and time was created from a singularity of infinite energy, The Big Bang. What if it was the first domino and everything else is just a reaction to it? Every single molecule and atom in your body is made up of the same elementary particles found elsewhere in the Universe; just because you are arranged in a seemingly complex manner, you think that you are the one doing what you do, and it cannot and will not happen any other way? Even your defiance is the norm. Every single thing you’ve done, doing and going to do, determined 13.8 billon years ago, can you believe it? Do you think you have free will?

What if we are a runaway experiment?

If you can do anything, what would be the hardest thing to do?

I will give you any super power you want, what would be the toughest thing to do?

I will grant you omnipotence, what would be the most difficult thing to do?

Transcendent by Yogendra Sethi

Transcendent by Yogendra Sethi

Nothing – Try doing nothing! Can you do absolutely nothing irrespective of all your might? Can you desist yourself from doing something in spite of your new found power? I’m not talking about staying away from the public eye or maintaining a secret identity. Can you see people in misery, know that you can help them and just walk away? Can you resist that curiosity to try something just once? Can you overcome the greed to take anything and everything you want? If you can save lives with just a gaze, can you look the other way?

You should neither help nor harm.

You can bend time and space but you should not. You can hear the cries of every single being in misery but you should not flinch. You can bring people back from the beyond but you should not answer the prayer of an orphaned child. You can make everybody in the world happy and hopeful but you have to choose to let them despair. You can indulge every single one of your fantasies but can you refrain from doing exactly that? Sounds awful, doesn’t it?

I reckon that this would be the hardest thing to do, to not do anything.

If there is a God, whoever he maybe, it may very well be a she,  is doing something very difficult; nothing. He sets the stage, makes the rules and leaves us alone. He lets things play out naturally. He lets us make our own decisions and live with its consequences. When you have the power to change reality, it is not easy being a witness. Perhaps it takes a God to stand back and watch the clowns fight. What if he has no intention of interfering in our matter and never has?

Einstein said “God does not play dice with the world”, maybe he does not even want to play; maybe he just wants to watch.

Now read the title.

Inspired by a conversation with a friend.

11 Things you can do to make your life suck less!

  1. Register for NASA’s Spot The Station mailing list. Go to your roof when the say, look where they ask you to look and just see how f*cking amazing humanity is.
  2. Start using twitter usefully and not just for Shits And Giggles! Follow people who inspire you, organisations that you love and please stop tweeting pictures of your food, pet and feet?! I mean, whats up with that?!
  3. Install Rescue Time and a week later I guarantee you, it will remind you the sober reality of how much time you waste looking at cat pictures and “some other stuff” – you know what I mean.
  4. Read a damn book. Just one! Anything would do. You will not seem like a Neanderthal to yourself and probably other people too. Language and printing press were humanity’s greatest invention, don’t spend your life without knowing why.
  5. Find out what is lucid dreaming, try it. You are going to have some fun times once you get going.

    The life is like a tightrope walking. by Adi Holzer 1997

    The life is like a tightrope walking. by Adi Holzer 1997

  6. Start a ‘SparkFile‘, those crazy brain farts and ideas you some times have, write them down before you forget; date and number each entry; review them periodically. Great ideas were one similar brain farts.
  7. Practice writing with your other hand, start eating and doing regular things with that hand. With enough practice you can fancy yourself as ambidextrous. The next time they ask why they should either admit you or hire you for something, you bet your a$s that there isn’t an ambidextrous person in that list.
  8. Moderation is the key, anything and everything.  Alcohol, YouTube, Food, Facebook, Family; you name it, moderation is the rule of thumb.
  9. Some quiet time please, quiet time is severely underrated. Spend some time with yourself, no audio-visual inputs. Block out everything. Just sit there and think for once in your life.
  10. Relationship advice, don’t give any or take any; every single person on the planet is a complex individual and there is no general theory depending on your gender, county or colour. So, stop stereotyping! Treat people how you would like to be treated.
  11. Finally to quote one of the legends,

Stop being sad and be AWESOME instead!