“It’s easy to think that as a result of the extinction of the dodo, we are now sadder and wiser, but there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that we are merely sadder and better informed.”
“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” – Douglas Adams
In 1985, literary genius, Douglas Adams decided to go on a tour with zoologist Mark Carwardine around the world in search of Critically endangered animals for BBC. They goto Bali in search for Komodo Dragons, Zaire to see Northern White Rhinoceros, New Zealand to watch Kakapos, China to witness Yangtze River Dolphins and lastly to Mauritius to watch Rodriguez Fruitbats. Mark’s role, in this endeavor, was to be the one who knew what he was talking about and Adam’s was to be extremely ignorant and to whom everything that happened should come as a complete surprise. This book is written as if he is narrating his incredible and life changing journey, around a campfire to a bunch of his friends. Continue reading
Seventy years since Britishers left us tattered and torn, we have managed to stand up on our own legs. We put a probe in orbit around Mars. But then again, as I found out, there exists an India still under clutches of hoards of superstition and irrational beliefs. Recently as Rahu decided to feast on Moon as a revenge for ratting him out to Lord Vishnu, my mother bombarded me with shitload of data from eminent intellectuals from WhatsApp University on what to do and not to do during these couple of unfortunate hours of Lunar eclipse.
Demon Rahu feasting on poor Chandra. Credits to Chris Mayer for these barbaric images.
Made me ask myself… have we come a long way, since then?
Men are lynched in public on basis of rumors and worse, the murderers get away, casteism is still prevalent even among the most educated Indians, we have politicians calling for astrology to be recognized as valid science, we have leaders spending crores on their own statues, we have posters of film actors being bathed in milk when their films are released, affluent people in flashy neighborhoods have disgusting pile of waste rise up in their backyard mainly due to their own apathy, we have ‘intellectuals’ engaged in shouting contests over who should eat what which is marketed as news debates, we have a media obsessed over cleavages of actresses.
To talk about our thinkers who are supposed to be the torch bearers in quest for knowledge. The Indian Science Congress held annually is marred by many absurd claims, made in an attempt to exalt our ‘glorious’ past. Of flying jumbo jets and more advanced radar system being known to our forefathers, that organ transplantation a thing Indians invented citing examples of Ganesha. Many such pseudo-scientific theories were seen wanting to be passed as science. Continue reading
Early last year, I read an ambitious project proposed by the government that aimed at revolutionizing how Indians drove around town. The report suggested that India is planning to go full electric starting with restructuring conventional Public Transport System to an EV based one running on swappable batteries. Though, idea of swappable batteries was soon scrapped, government’s stance on Electric Vehicles appears to be stronger than ever.
Mahindra E2O appears to be the only EV on Indian Roads, presently.
Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that by 2030, entire fleet of passenger vehicles will be replaced by electric one. Conform or be bulldozed out he threatens.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, sure. And in a gradually dying earth, such measures are significant. But the question is, in a market like that of India, aggressively pushing for such a scheme, a wise decision?
I believe, the government apart from making an unrealistic market forecast, also are in complete disregard for the environmental effects of operating these vehicles. Now, let me make this clear that I am in no way arguing against EVs. They are great alternatives to what we have currently today. I am arguing against going fully electric. Continue reading
With the aathemaar-u* being away for couple of weeks, I suddenly found myself with lot of free time to spare after work everyday, which was inadvertently spent watching reaction videos on YouTube and staring at ceiling contemplating about Life and universe.
After slacking away couple of days in such a manner, marinating in my own mediocrity, it became apparent to me, while watching a Hindi dubbed Telugu film ‘Daring Gundaraj’, that how pathetic last few days have been. I needed to refresh myself. Lord Tyrion’s words reverberated in my head “a mind need books like a sword needs a whetstone if it’s too keep it’s edge”. I decided to give my brain some much needed exercise by indulging in some heavy work of fiction.
–Trivial Details Ends–
Anathem by Neal Stephenson was zeroed in for this absurd task, solely because it was huge and it’s blob contained words like Extramuros. Few chapters into the book, it dawned on me that I have bitten more than I could chew. The alacrity quickly turned into regret as I tried to make sense of an Alien world with its own vernacular that author plunged into starting from the midday Provenor. I was like a Sline who’d been to no Suvins, getting lecture on Hylaen Theoric World, which even after being translated from ancient Orth to fluccish, was incomprehensible much like how the praxis of kineograms would have been to a Millenarial. I reckoned I’d rather have watched some spec-fic Speelies accessed from reticulum on my jeejah. Continue reading
When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution, it was dismissed outright by some of the then leading scientists. But after years of research in field of genetics, biology, zoology and paleontology; Evolution as a fact is established beyond any doubt. So, It is actually a bit farcical that even after so many years, some people still categorize Evolution as an absurd fabricated myth. I did have a friend in my college who told me that my brain wasn’t evolved if I believed in Evolution. He argued strongly that evolution is just a theory and I am closing my eyes and refusing to see the truth that is ‘The Intelligent design’. (Most of his opinions came from a bearded mullah who provides unscientific proofs and quotes non-existent people to put forward his argument). There are news reports everyday which gives credibility to Evolution and here was an engineering student, who is so convinced in his faith so much so that even I was skeptical about evolution for a time being.
What drives them to believe their version is the ultimate truth is not my area of interest. However, I would just want to clarify these people on the actual truth. Evolution is a fact. Continue reading