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Showing posts from August, 2013

New York Times and DNS Hacks

As long as we use the Internet, we have to have some basic understanding of how this behemoth works. We cannot just pretend that we are technologically-illiterate. All of us have to be somewhat technologically literate. The attack on the domain is a good opportunity to educate ourselves about how to pull such a trick. Of course, the idea is not that EVERYONE should then try to pull similar tricks but just educate ourselves about HOW STUFF WORKS. Here's the Washington Post explaining the attack on the NYT. Here's one more technical look at the whole fracas.

Redefining Marriage

A huge majority of Indians appear to be stuck in some 19th century mindset when it comes to marriage and sex. I do not know why that is so. Whether it was the British or the Moghuls who made Indians into such boring conservatives or it is a legacy of the Hindu religion. At any rate, it's time to change the rules of the game. No more 'arranged marriages' between a guy and a girl who do not even know each other. No more parents 'deciding.' No more idiotic 'horoscope matching.' No more looking at caste equations. No more dowry negotiations. I propose that marriage be made 'temporary' rather then its present 'permanent' form. Let us have 'stations' in life at various intervals where you can choose to 'get off' the bus or train if you so wish. Let every married couple have the 'option' and the right to leave a marriage at the 1-year interval, then at the 2-year, 3-year, and 5-year intervals. If people stick to ea

Let Jagannath (And Other Gods Too) Go To Hell

In a nation where millions of children have to work to 'earn' a living rather then going to school, the banality of discussions about 'God' and temples is breathtaking. Also, it baffles me that the so called 'educated' youth of India continue to believe in outdated ideas such as 'God.' I wish people would attempt to WAKE UP from their deep slumber and realize that this is the 21st century!! God and religions are responsible only for too much trouble, hatred and bloodshed in the world. What good is God? I do not see anything 'good' about God. If anyone argues that we get our moral bearings from God/religion, well, then there would be no need for an IPC and a criminal justice system and police.

Top Universities of the World

This is not new but nevertheless no less cringe-worthy for an Indian. Here are the Top 500 University rankings for 2013. You have to search hard ... REALLY HARD ... to find an Indian institution on the list. IIT Bombay and IIT Roorkee are there towards the end. Look for institutions from Asia and use Ctrl+F and type 'India' and you will be able to locate. Indian institutions are languishing somewhere outside of the top 200 institutions. Is not this truly cringe-worthy? Look at the nations featured in the Top 100. All sorts of nations feature in the Top 200 list: Belgium, Taiwan, Singapore, Sweden, Israel, Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Ireland, Korea and so on. Of course, Britain, France, Germany, and Japan feature there by default. The Guardian does some nice stuff with the rankings. One more place where you can find the rankings.

Economic Troubles and National Mindsets

I put a long, somewhat rambling comment on a Newslaundry article . Enjoy! The 'anger' in this article may be well-founded but it perhaps mangled the economics in comparing India with Greece and in using debt-to-GDP ratio as a barometer of a nation's overall economic health. I don't know how Britain and Japan managed to have such high debt-to-GDP numbers but they are among the most developed and richest nations on Earth — both being members of the G8. How do or did Britain and Japan manage to become so extraordinarily wealthy? Well, the history aside, in the 20th century and after the Second World War, they have been at the cutting edge of various kinds of technological innovations. While Japan has been the center of the automobile revolution in many ways, Britain is home to British Aerospace, Rolls Royce, and many similar companies. I bet if we look at the data of per capita number of doctors or engineers in those countries, the ratio would be better than in Ind

News Roundup on Independence Day Eve

So what's making the news around the middle of August 2013? Here's a random summary. The staggering corruption being committed by the Gandhi family in general and Robert Vadra in particular is back in the news as Mr. Khemka's official response to the Haryana government has turned up in the media. Here's a news round-up of all articles related to Robert Vadra . Clearly, officers like Mr. Khemka deserve much appreciation from the Government for his extraordinary career of exceptional uprightness. What about a National Award such as a Padma Sri or Padma Bhusan? Clearly, if cricketers and other worthies can be so awarded, it'd not be out of place to confer honest officers with such awards.

Reflections on a Death

So much must have been written by better writers than me about death that it is probably superfluous for me to try and add anything on the matter. But of course I will go ahead and add my two cents worth. After all, everybody has babies and everybody wants to experience the 'joys' of parenthood and sex and so on. Probably we won't all perish suddenly and unexpectedly when something happens at the center of our Milky Way with the supermassive black hole though those black holes do spin at crazy rates and generate a huge amount of x-rays which are no good for living beings like us. We are probably lucky that the Sun is about 30,000 light years away from the center of the Milky Way. We live in the boondocks  or the suburbs. The threat of a nuclear Armageddon in a third world war has pretty much disappeared as well. So, we'll all probably live out our lives and slowly fade away. So the question that arises is: what is the right time and manner to do so