Sunday, April 20, 2008


It is often the choices we make
And not our abilities, which
Define who we truly are
So said a great wizard

While he meant it in a context of good vs evil, altruism vs selfishness, and in a realm of virtue over power, even he had not a measure of the magnitude of what he had said. To consider the other parts, when one makes a choice, completely unhindered by peer pressure, familial pressure and other forces which might steer one towards one of the options, (thus making the options more academic and less real) is considered normal, responsible and a person who believes in live and let live.

The ones that don't, however, are those who are branded selfish, self-centered, egoistic and ungrateful. We are raised to be intelligent, knowledgeable, logical people, who, for the most part, think before they act. Yet, most of societies norms go against this very grain and anticipate the person to make decisions based on precedents. The whole purpose of decision making is defeated if one is told to move in a certain direction by others who claim superiority by position, experience, intelligence or ascendancy as an older relative.

Making one's own decision in the face of advice to the contrary is not only one's right, it is also the responsible and courageous way of leading one's life. The idea of analyzing the situation, doing what one thinks is best, and standing by it whenever tenable, is the very essence of liberty.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mea culpa

Here is the time for me to accept a mistake, and cede a little. I have said formerly that without a doubt, Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee. I am having some doubts about this now. Not because I am convinced that he is not leader material. It is not a result of the "bitter" remarks. It is the result of the pseudo-republican fake outrage machine, (known simply as Hillary Clinton.) Her reaction to this is as fake as the bullshit she says about her grandfather who worked blue-collar shifts in Scranton. It was class-A pandering to the working class whose votes she has a predisposition to anyway.
First of all, Barack Obama seems elitist because he made some sweeping remarks about people probably clinging to religion, guns and antipathy in economic woe. Instead of deigning to qualify his statements, Barack Obama should have used this to attack the credibility of the current administration. He should have said that "People will naturally cling to these, as these are the parts of the Bill of Rights that they haven't relinquished as part of the Patriot Act."
The amendments to the US constitution guarantee a person the right to free speech (1st amendment) the right not to have their person or their privacy violated without reasonable suspicion (4th amendment), the right not to incriminate themselves (5th amendment), the right to a jury trial if accused of a crime (7th), the right not to be subjected to cruel & unusual punishment(8th).
All of these rights are obliterated under the garb of national security and this free-market capitalist democracy is giving way to a socialized capitalism where taxpayer money is used to bail out big rapacious multi-billion dollar companies which are filing chapter eleven. What is converting this to a fascist system is that the only rights remaining are guns (2nd amendment), religion and, of course the right to antipathy is mainstreamed whenever there are times of danger.
So, when Hillary Clinton criticizes Obama, she is inadvertently helping Mc Cain so much. Barack keeps accusing her on issues, where she would not be hard done by when (& if) competing against Mc Cain. But Hillary is being extremely republican in accusing Obama, thus giving him a raw deal in the general election. In the Pennsylvania debate, Hillary announced that while Obama & she are fighting it out now, she will make sure that a Democrat will occupy the White House. Somehow she is fighting so dirty that she might ensure a victory for Mc Cain. She needs to mature some and realize that if she wants a Democrat to win, she has to take the high ground.

If however, by pandering to the working class and their misled republican ideologies, she is planning to secure a position in the highest office in the country, and then be the same radical hippie who wants socialized medicine and real benefit for the common people, then I salute her intelligence. Only, I don't think she is that smart or has it in her to take that big a risk.

Here comes my mea culpa. I take back my categorical statement that Obama will win the nomination. I do believe that the average American needs to understand that for the country to work well, he has to hand over the power to a much above-average person. If such a person makes a remark which seems sweeping, let it go or better still weigh it with all the good this man did on the streets of Chicago after graduating from Harvard Law, when he could have landed himself the cushiest of jobs, had he wanted.

Also, let's not forget that Hillary Clinton's popularity is largely because of her husband being president. Let both candidates make good on their statement that a Democrat should become president.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gifted depravity

Morality is a tricky concept. There are a certain number of rules which were framed by people existing well before us. These rules are adapted by contemporary authorities. All is fair and well within the bounds of such rules.
Somehow we paint a horrible picture of those who transgress those limits that were prescribed by the purveyors of morality. It is probably not such a bad thing.

There are and have always been renegades who have shed these shackles of morality and chose to find out for themselves...well...everything.

The most gifted people in this world, intellectually or otherwise, have always displayed an almost contemptuous skepticism of the rules that have been set in moral code. They are often seen experimenting with drugs, alcohol, sex and crime.

One will choose to blame them for their narcissism in believing that they know more. The reality is that, they know they don't know. They also know that knowledge of morality did not reside at the feet of the pioneers of morality. Their desire to experiment comes from the true knowledge which resides in the realization that you know nothing.

People don't understand the strife that the gifted go through. Imagine going through life on the fringes of reality as you know it. There is no shelter of people smarter than you who will provide the proverbial umbrella should the rain come.
The highly intellectually gifted person is extremely frightened. This life is one of ultimate trepidation colored by occasional realizations about certain beauties of life and patterns of nature that simply passes through mundane brains, untouched.
The gifted person has no standards to live by, no goals to strive for and no targets tough enough that they would have to work hard to achieve.

The descent of the genius into depravity is the ultimate challenge. The prodigy challenges himself to climb out of this depravity, unscathed.

For one needs to descend for the purpose of ascending when one has no ascent remaining.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Intellectual rape

Cut to a well lit room...rows and rows young adults perched on desks. There are a few people monitoring them and making sure there is no foul play. No, it is not National Sudoku Championship. It is the main entrance test to the hallowed portals of technical education, running amok, pot-smoking, vodka guzzling, cruise through coursework as a result of extremely above-average intelligence, or simply put, the IITs. In one corner, we can see an eighteen year old guy frowning over his question paper, scratching every body part socially non-reprehensible struggling over a sum involving calculus applied to gravitation and surface tension all at once. Don't feel too sorry for him though; in four years, he will be at best, at MIT or a corporate finance genius, or at worst working at a high post in a smaller company. Well, he is smart and bright, so why not. But, oh look at the struggle writing this exam! Unbelievable! There is however another student who will catch your gaze: a cool customer, casually staring at his Tag Heuer watch, with the wrinkles in his Levis premade and the cluster of gold rings on his fingers making him uncomfortable. There is a shiny certificate near his hall ticket: a non-creamy layer certificate bought for the price of one meal at Noorani. It is this certificate that makes him so cool. How? Well, the odds arranged his way make the same complex head scratching question turn into, "How many toes do you have?"

The Indian Supreme Court has done it again. Bent over and let the minorities have their way with it. It has granted a 27% quota for OBC students at the prestigious IITs and IIMs. It is a very old statistic that IIT on an average, spends Rs 1 crore on each student. I am sure that the number has increased now. When I invest money in something, I would like it to be something that has the best chance of success. I am a little crazy that way! Why stop here? Let us give the entire IIT to the OBC, Scheduled Castes, Schedule Tribes, Nomadic Tribes and anyone else who wants an admission in a way other than merit. Earlier, identifying someone as an IITian automatically conferred upon him an appearance of intelligence. It was mostly justified too. There were some exceptions though. By exceptions I mean those students who were prenatally studying for their entrance so that by the time the exam dawns upon them, they know nothing other than the syllabus, and every possible question with its answer by rote. They represent a form of debased scum that should be despised too. But at least they earn their admission by an honorable form of trickery...hard work till you drop! Even that is better than walking in with pride just because your great great grandfather was not allowed to study by the persecuting Brahmans, after which he started a business which has prospered and allows him to employ the descendants of those very Brahmans.

In short, if you are driving down personally to your exam center and getting a short-cut into IIT, there is a grave miscarriage of justice. I know what you might say, what about those backward students who are studying under a municipality lightbulb? Well...all I can say is that let us subsidize their education upto XII. After they pass that, they are on their own. We will give them scholarships and fee waivers if they get in, but they are on their own until they get into IIT. But, who listens to me rave and rant? There is an idea though. We can start a private college which takes people in based on their aptitude and their willingness to pursue a particular course. Something like the universities which ask you to provide a personal statement. Most of all, we need an intelligence test and the government must promise to hire the very best who graduate from such a college and pay them competitive salaries. Just ask the netas set aside one month's worth of the money they scam from the people! Should be enough. If you want to build bridges that won't fall, or want a drainage system that won't collapse after short burst of rain (quite akin to the tears Lata Mangeshkar sheds when you hint at building a flyover anywhere in 3Km radius around Pedder Road), you will need to hire the top students from the technical schools. Earlier that job was slightly easier as the good colleges only admitted you on merit. Just head to the reputed college and start interviewing. You will find some people to your liking. Now, with colleges being forced to open back doors to "backward classes", there are no guarantees. All these charades are done to remove any hint of caste bias from our minds. In fact, the very target of this should be leveling the playing field so that no one will even think of which caste a person is.

The irony is that this rush of reservation has caused the following conversation:

A: What college did you graduate from?

B: IIT Delhi A: open quota? B (almost inaudibly): OBC

A: Oh!

And this will lead to the ultimate intellectual rape of the IITs and actually level the playing field between IIT and that paanwallah college you pass by while going for your favorite vada pav!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My posts: an analysis..wandering away into incoherence

Most of you who bothered to look at my blog might wonder as to what kind of deviantly possessed demented brain could come up with this shit...yet some stuff I write may make you nod...some others make you roll your eyes...well...writing is amazingly as spontaneous as farting.
Now many will cringe and ask me why I had to demean a noble act by lumping it with an objectionable one. The truth is people are prejudiced. We always say there should be zero tolerance for prejudice...but the truth is prejudice is one of our most primitive reactions.
Don't tell me not to judge a book by the cover...why else would a book have a cover? Would it not begin with index or the first chapter directly...or is the cover present to protect the sanctity of the book's interiors from the kanjoos people who try to read a book without paying for it at flora fountain or the "hip" kanjoos people who do the same at Crossword...sitting on velvet sofas reading away like it was the British Council library!
Back to prejudice and lumping two things together, where one questions social decorum and the other is treated by people as normal.
I believe that writing and farting are spontaneous and should be compared as they are really similar.
I could go into details but there is a certain master plan I set out to abide by when I started this
blog. I could elaborate, oh I wish to, but there is an alter of me which controls the shit I say...Now I know what you are does not look like there is anything controlling what i say, but trust me, if you looked into my fucked-up thoughts, you would realize that there is a filter in the brain and it is working overtime!
I am going to concede defeat to those prejudicial people who hate my comparison, but I would retire with one statement...writing is not such a bad thing!