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Monday, August 31, 2015

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is an embodiment of unique brand of humanitarianism.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is an embodiment of unique brand of humanitarianism.

Everybody who is somebody has said something about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for various reasons. So, let us move away from his bio-data and biographical sketches, as they have been well documented by many.

Normally people of extremes grab the attention of biographers, i.e. those who deserve to be vilified or venerated. It is so because of the impact that they create, through instigation or inspiration, with their ability, dexterity, utility etc.

We normally classify all of these under one broad banner as contribution to humanity for our convenience because we do not know and also do not want to take the trouble of learning the art of unbiased appreciation of activities, attributes in terms contextual relevance.

He neither perceived life through the prism of prejudices nor did he comprehend life through the confines of confirmation bias base on any specific ideology be it religious, cultural, social, political, academically anointed isms, national, scientific hypothesis etc but carried on life with a love of life in its completeness with carefree abandon of childlike inquisitiveness, natural humility, unqualified inhibition-free love to learn and share what he learnt with all.


I am cautiously refraining from giving any credits to any of his actions like what he shared was useful or worthy etc because there are several reasons. One we are in a nation imbued with unloving critics and uncritical lovers; people susceptible to be easily emotionally surcharged, all the more surprisingly, because he was not alienated or isolated from or away from any of the big whirlpools of identity mentioned above [namely religions, political ideologies, socio –cultural bias etc] that engulf ordinary mortals or at least entrenches them with its dampness.

He was in the midst of both tall statesmen like political leaders and small political manipulators, in short had to be in the thick of politics but never overtly showed any political affinity not made any political statement.

His cultural interests were influenced initially as they ought to be by regional socio- cultural milieu, religion in which one is born into and the religions that one sees practiced around etc but as he matured with unbiased appreciation and inhibition-free inquisitiveness coupled with  his incisive mind and open heart made his cultural interests to be impacted by aesthetic sensitive in tune with his inherent attributes of  sense of balance and calm disposition that he ventured into learning a lot of  things from other religious texts, various forms of Indian classical music, literatures of different genres and of many languages etc.

Despite all great strides that he has made in the field of science he was never a prey to any fanatical academic fixation preaching that some particular scientific approach as the panacea for all of India’s short comings.


The hall mark of his greatness was his ability to maintain a sense of balance in the midst of all trails starting from the pangs of hunger and poverty to the dealing with delicate obligations of tackling perversions of political world.

By birth, name, charitable disposition, untiring hard working instincts and focused sincerity of devotion and courage of conviction he is a Muslim; by academic qualifications he is a scientist; by  the topmost post he held he is one among the great  Presidents of India; by profession and passion he is a teacher; by some of the things he liked and practiced he is a greater Hindu than most Hindus are, especially his not unduly bothering about the results nor claiming credit for any great result and not bothering about any material possession- a great manifestation of detachment to the fruits of karma as preached in Hinduism; a greater Christian than most Christians are ; by cherishing with pride the greatness of India’s rich heritage and living it by practicing in his day to day life he is a greater nationalist than any of those mere real-estate-expansion venerating patriots or publicity peddlers singing refrain of India’s past glory; his foresight in terms of economic advancement of the nation is commendable because it was not influenced by any imported theories of  economic development but was purely based on our nation’s strengths and requirements- strength are its demography of  youth and vast natural resources and requirements are creating enough opportunities for their education, developing scientific temperament and development of rural life with availability of certain basic vital resources like water, electricity etc. But by the way he lived his life, inspired [especially young children and youth] and loved everyone to live it that way and enjoy life in its fullness and share it with all, he is a highly qualified, sensible, humble and simple humanitarian above all.




His humanitarianism was not one propelled by any blind faith nor any institutionalized publicity posturing nor any NGO funded exhibition but born out of real sensible concern for life in general and the welfare of the great nation which has given him and offers to all sincere souls such unique opportunities. This made him use his discretion and not discrimination for any consideration. He carried on his activities with very high caliber, clarity of thinking, contextual relevance. He did not succumb to sanctions, sermons or diplomatic wheedling. He did not shower any undue favor to anyone on any basis or refuse to help any deserving soul.


He was preaching peace with scientifically enhanced strength through our nuclear power, harboring harmony, spreading happiness, hosting honesty and humble humanitarianism based on care and compassion for other human beings beyond restraints of religions and the constraints communal divisions, of course with recognition and respect for the higher or superior or invisible divine power with the necessity to take care of the economic, material and environmental welfare of the society at large.


He was an example of a person with unique aesthetic sensitivity, scientific temperament who presented a more polished psychology of human personality; chemistry of human rhythm which moves the inner self in perfect  harmony with the outer world because such souls do not take a stand and stand put there forever; but understand the importance of contextual relevance to effect the necessary changes; these attributes anoint an attitude wherein it creates a physics of gravitational force of love and supplies a sociology of inter-human contours and proper perception of philosophy of life.

Serendipity is an invisible angel who favors this great nation, against all odds, listening to concerned minds through clairaudience and cares for the silent pleadings of the collective consciousness of the nation and invariably sends souls to it in suitable situations or to create suitable situations. So it was no surprise that A.P.J. Abdul Kalam chose and was chosen by groups/people with mutual understanding and good intentions of the nation above everything else.



I made a twitter slide after his demise, not with a photo with him, but the following message which I thought needed no elaboration. However, as I have been asked to write a short biographical sketch I decided to write what all needed to be etched from his life in our hearts. I am sharing the script of that twitter slide more to make people learn the art of appreciating the appropriate greatness of great souls with  appropriate frames of reference- a useful link to one such essay of appreciation is given in the end.

Script of my twitter slide below sums it all.





Laughter






There is a vast scientific literature out there on the health benefits of laughter,why we laugh and the neurological processes of laughter etc.




This writing is not meant to pander to confirmation bias. So, we shall as
ordinary human beings with humility, not like the academic struggling to
explain by squeezing jargons as to why we laugh, observe what makes us
laugh.


If we observe, the consciously aware human species likes or is subjected to too
much of two behavior patterns, the inevitable polarity principle, one is
repetition/routine/normal /expected activities and another is
anomaly/abnormality/unexpected/ unusual activity/actions/ any deviation
from the normal/usual way . Let us not get into their relative merits or
demerits.



These two behavior patterns, for the sake of brevity and convenience we shall
classify them as repetition and anomaly. They predominantly pervade our
lives on:-




1. Physical plane [inevitable/pleasant repetitive actions we perform] when there
is some deviation/contortion/uneasiness/uncouthness in performing such
physical activities they trigger, as anomaly, humorous feeling and we burst
into spontaneous peals of laughter. These are portrayed as visual humor that
appeal to all very easily and many great films, plays and circuses use these
effectively.




2. Mental plane – this includes a wider area like language based communications, emotional interactions, socio-cultural exchanges [most of which we carry on repetitively either with seriousness or out of habit or necessity or hypocrisy or to fit into our scheme of confirmation bias] when there is a manipulated /mutilated usage of language, perverted or surprising twist in emotional expression or unexpected socio-cultural exchange etc again they evoke laughter because we encounter some anomaly away from expected/repetitive behavior.


If we observe closely all actions, reactions, situations etc which have caused us to laugh we would notice this.

Most emotions, actions, reactions, thoughts etc manifest in varying degrees of intensity two vital emotions Love and Fear;


Similarly, most behavior patterns are manifestations of either Repetition or Anomaly.
As various manifestations of fear are negative and the emotion of love provides the much needed anodyne.


Repetitions and routines on the one side keep us in our comfort zone and pamper us in our status quo addiction and also help many rituals, rules, healthy routines and traditions to be retained and replayed with rejuvenated celebrations. These very same repetitions on the other side bore us, burden us or by their sheer familiarity or seriousness do not instill any great enthusiasm nor create any great impact so we go about them very mechanically.


Whereas, when we encounter any anomaly or abnormality it attracts our attention and has a greater impact. In a way, laughter is a spontaneous acknowledgment of happy feeling created by unexpected, new, unusual, abnormal, exaggerated manifestation of actions/speech/expressions/usage of language/picture etc.



However, not being the rule laughter is the most important side dish to the main menu of monotonous life. I purposely say it is a side dish because it is a surface phenomenon/manifestation/ outward reaction of some feeling felt deeply inward.



Though there are many new trends like laugh your way to health, laughter the best medicine etc. If we observe without bias laughter has often been associated more with things which were considered frivolous, negative and/or weak.



Guy Murchie in his The Seven Mysteries Of Life writes, “Although laughter is widely accepted as the supreme outward expression of human pleasure, a little thoughtful research shows it can just as often be the surface manifestation of escape from a hidden conflict. Or, as Freud explained it, the humor that sets us laughing is a benign device for mastering our forbidden urges. And a modern psychologist might nod and say, "Indeed: like a cork on a bottle of potentbrew."…. “And no less delusory, if a lot grimmer, is the weird disease called kuru or "laughing sickness," whose obvious symptom is anything but a laughing matter, for it has been found only among members of the obscure Fore tribe in eastern New Guinea where, to those who catch it and laugh, it is 100 percent fatal”… “There is even a spot in the septal area of the brain called the pleasure center, where, if delicate electrodes are implanted and just the right electric current applied, the delightful satisfaction imparted (according to one estimate) is "greater than the satiation potentials of all other known appetites combined."




As Michael Graziano writes, “Laughter is supremely irrational and crazily diverse. We laugh at clever jokes, surprising stories, the slapstick of people tripping and falling in the mud. We even laugh when we’re tickled on the ribs. According to the ethologist Jan van Hooff, chimps have something like laughter: they open their mouths and make short exhalations during play fights, or if someone tickles them. Gorillas and orangutans do the same. The psychologist Marina Ross compared the noises made by different species of ape and found that it was the sound of bonobos at play that comes closest to human laughter, again, when play-fighting or tickling. All of which makes it seem quite likely that the original type of human laughter also emerged from, yes, play-fighting and tickling.” http://aeon.co/magazine/science/should-we-ever-take-a-smile-at-face-value/






However, let us also treat ourselves to some good quotes on laughter here:-

However, all said and done, a life without laughter will be really boring.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Media's decade of decadence

Decades of decadence of Media that I have been observing and its mafia and menace is reaching a saturation point that naturally people will discard them like they have done to some political outfits.


Let us wait and watch the fun but be ready with appropriate elegies for individuals who have contributed to this decadence, do not forget to use your choicest epithets appropriate to their profile, their petrified prejudices, putrefied projections, puerile perceptions, selective amnesia, collective indifference, cemented confirmation bias etc.


I shall try to collect and present here the many links that I have written about media menace for a longtime.






















Divinity' s presence

Divinity is a presence that operates, perhaps, in many ways in and through everything and everyone, of which all have not been able feel, accept, understand etc

The problem of lack belief in God seems to be the result of these two factors i.e. Religions and Identity fixation [discussed in detail in the links given below with their positive and negative influences and impacts].

These two with all their concomitant restraining factors prevent anyone from even attempting to have a personal, unbiased experience of God coupled with lack of easily available tangible proofs.

Though all of us must be humble enough to acknowledge that there are many forces that influence and impact our lives of which we hardly know anything much less even aware of.

We must also accept that all explanation of anything or everything cannot be tailor made to enable everyone to understand and also the fact that everything need not be proved or can be proved empirically.

However, any rational, unbiased, contextually relevant propositions must not be stifled by deep held prejudices, pre-defined ideologies, traditionally held belief systems and all other such constraining conditioning.  
  
Human beings are the last species to refuse any benefit for their survival and living from any god or many gods, or for those who unwilling to use the label of God; call it nature or supernatural phenomena, universal energy etc  

But at the same time human beings cannot forever be expected to worship the unseen and unknown, not unknowable or perennially invisible.




Religion - the entire gamut of it

Evolution, metamorphosis, change are the three important and inevitable dimensions of time.

Everything has been and is always evolving into something else. Everything and everyone is involved in constant metamorphosis. The moment something becomes static then it indicates lifelessness.



The whole problem is institutionalizing religion or due to institutionalized religions and their insistence that they need to have a say or play a part in every aspect of everyone's life or every domain of activity when for obvious reasons religions of that sort have lost their relevance and are therefore trying to seek attention desperately by intruding into ever changing aspects of life.




Anything be it religion, politics, ideas of economic development, social systems etc that attempt to homogenize the inevitable variety of nature/in nature is obviously going against nature and therefore not likely to survive forever and not likely to be enjoyed or liked by everyone.
























Thursday, August 27, 2015

Inter related, inter connected and interdependent



‘Main mantra’ or ‘Important Truth’ is that everyone and everything  are  interrelated, interconnected and inter - dependent.

We can understand this through any subject or frame of reference by means of which we try to understand the dynamics of life or the web of life.

How we relate and what for we relate with others and things manifests in our thinking, actions and reactions and sometimes reveals in the consequences or results as well.

Our inherent attributes, acquired attitudes and contextual relevance determine the ultimate outcomes of our actions, thoughts and reactions.

Often our identity oriented living and various types of indoctrination/conditioning  may prevent us from seeing the truth of the ‘Main Mantra’ or ‘Important Truth’. Or  powerful projection of polarity principle as divisive or opposed to each other may distract us from seeing this fact.

But contextually relevant merger of data and technology with critical thinking will lead to clarity of understanding the fact of  ‘Main mantra’ that everyone and everything  are interrelated, interconnected and inter – dependent. 

I would  like to emphasis that contextual relevance is of paramount importance  even when presenting  data in appealing visuals.


Reality of ‘Main mantra’


Entire gamut of what identity orientation can do?


Divisive  distractions of polarity principle


Contextually relevant merger of data and technology with critical thinking will lead to clarity of understanding the fact of  ‘Main mantra’.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Context is everything',‘critical thinking’ is a very important thing and synergy with ‘clarity of perception’ makes a great combination

'Context is everything' and critical thinking’ is a very important thing.

Along with these, if there is synergy with ‘clarity of perception’ based in relevant frames of reference specific to the subject/ issue/ problem then the marriage between data and technology will enhance our understanding of life and bear fruitful results.

Yes context or situation is of vital importance
Contextual priorities are of great importance

MORALITY itself is only contextual  


Contextual analysis of all controversies will give greater clarity

Everything happens in a particular context or helps to create a particular context



Terminological aberrations are the result of context

I have even a Face book  group called ‘Situational and / or Contextual’

Emphasis on ‘critical thinking’ to make optimum utilization of Data

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Education conundrum

As usual Professor R. Vaidyanathanji [link of this short interaction given at the bottom link no 3]. This interaction though brief and bereft of his  pleasant humorous interludes once again throws open debate on some  thought provoking ideas that are much needed especially on education.

I have been writing to many global educational research institutes about the necessity to look at what for we get educated?

That is to look into the purpose /meaning/role of education rather than getting into philosophical/verbal debates about defining ‘What is education?’

What are/what must be the components of education which need to be prioritized according to situation/context? 

What are we going to do with the education that we impart or get?

What are the aspects of life/society/nature etc that education must focus on? 

How are we going to include creative thinking, experimentation, observation, clarity of thinking, curiosity to learn etc in the education system ensuring once again all these are according to contextual relevance?

How can we inculcate the importance of value and process of marrying data with technology as a tool to decipher many areas of human life and understanding the dynamics of life as a whole?

How are we going to ensure better preparedness of human beings to face the ever changing challenges in many spheres of human activity?

How we are going to educate even young children to be street smart and politically wise both in terms of understanding politics and playing politics as these are becoming not only very important but sometimes indispensable survival skills?

The importance of literacy and certain level of formal education is a fundamental basis or a given or a premise. But then we need to decide as to what are the subjects that need to be included in this process? And what are the things that need to be chaffed away, churned out/in, continued, carried out as the most important etc?

Practically  I feel it must include awareness; method of observation; using relevant frames of reference to evaluate anything or anyone; making everyone understand the importance of reason and logic in terms of contextual relevance; imparting knowledge about how everyone and everything are inter connected, inter related , inter dependent and interactive etc; importance of how therefore we must relate with everything and everyone; all these will include acquiring enough knowledge about our body/health, mind, social awareness as it is existing not as envisaged and idolized by some ideology or ism; appropriate utilization of  natural resources; importance of relevant attitude to ensure collective survival in comfort and life in peace and harmony; awareness about what we must consume as food, how much, and what are the edible commodities grown/cultivated/available near one’s place of living etc.

Inclusion of  all these and many more aspects as part of education needs to and leads to drastic changes in the methods of teaching/learning etc and how are we going to generate all those ?

Are these too many to start off? Not at all because data and easily accessible technology offers vast area of synergy with which we can actually address these, if not all, at least many of them.  
Neither certain basic material aspect of life nor political influence /impact can be ignored in any sphere of activity. So they need to be factored in as part and purpose of education without pronouncing any hypocritical idealistic preaching against them. Children observe and they see through the hypocrisy of elders.





Politics of science and/or politics in Science

           Politics of science and/or politics in Science





This article dated 19th August given in the first link below is a bit disturbing as it can back fire and be counterproductive for all stake holders.

I stand partly vindicated about what I wrote some days ago about global warming politics given in the second link below. 


Unfortunately too much of politics is preventing everyone from making well educated, unbiased and scientific understanding of nature and the whole of life.

These types of politicizing leaves the common man more confused and vulnerable to take a stand which may or may not be in the interest of either the environment or economic developmental activities necessary for human beings and can hamper enhanced understanding of life on the whole.


Understanding life better and improving life on the whole of all species and the whole of environment must be prioritized over anything else.




Friday, August 21, 2015

Polarity principle

What a coincidence or serendipity that on 18th August I posted a small piece in my FB page in a hurry as a reply on the polarity principle 


and on 19th as I open the center page of TOI Chennai edition there this article is excellent article is written


and incidentally on 19th night I happen to read one of Paul Brunton’s notebooks [ most his notebooks of 8 volumes are under my cot for light reading before going to bed ] here is a link to what I stumbled upon on that day which  I found today only today http://paulbrunton.org/notebooks/26/3

Here is one from another favorite author of mine Neale Donald Walsch


The list of words denoting opposite are themselves very interesting to study as a part of semantics of linguistics.

Go to www.powerthesaurus.org one of the best in business and you will get to know the multiple meanings of opposite, contrary, contradictory, different etc and paradoxically each one of them is again having sometimes totally different connotation and used in complete contradictory terms. Just type the word ‘contrary’ in the site and you can spend a few days reading all the meanings of all the words.

Read these excellent quotes to spice up or enhance understanding of polarity principle

Then there are of course some interesting links and materials which will further dispel all doubts we may have about polarity principle





I have written earlier once the following in my blog post

In a way Advaitha [Oneness], polarity or dichotomy [Dwaitha/duality] and Triad are all perhaps the manifestations of attributes of the self or what is perceived by the self. This is one of the many reasons for contradictions in every serious search for truth or Reality.

Contradictions are also because of human psyche’s penchant for generalizing variety, oversimplifying the complex, sometimes confusing the motives to be either the means or meaning of the quest, justifying all means, fear of various kinds, predominance of certain types of thinking, passing everything through a prism of some popular or prevailing liking, seeing things with jaundiced vision and prejudiced views, presuming that we need to judge everything and everyone, applying irrelevant metrics to evaluate everything rather than evaluating anything through its inherent merits and so on.

Contradictions are very often camouflaged as dichotomies and dichotomies are the indoctrinated and engraved part of many domains of life as Dudley Lynch puts forth very nicely, The brain forever has dichotomies on its mind-The ancient Taoists did it with yin/yang. Religious types with good/evil. Philosophers with mind/matter. Particle scientists with wave/particle. Psychologists with nature/nurture. Law officers with good cop/bad cop. On and on and on. You just had to know that it was only a matter of time before “dualism”—or … harrumph! … co-eternal binary opposition—infested neuro discussions like kudzu” and continues “Maybe, as one thoughtful observer has suggested, even as old dualisms get knocked down, “it seems that there is something about the wiring of the brain that leads to new dualisms springing up.” Talk about Whack-a-Mole! That was certainly what the late George Kelly, the father of personal construct psychology, thought. “Our psychological geometry is a geometry of dichotomies[italics mine] rather than the geometry of areas envisioned by the classical logic of concepts, or the geometry of lines envisioned by classical mathematical geometries.” (Double harrumph!) in his blog [1] {do not miss to read the comments about George Kelly in the link as well }

But when we transcend these fallacies, avoid getting struck at the seams or joints and instead effect a transition to transformation we can easily infer and perceive with greater clarity.

As Sherlock Holmes declares, “From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagra without having seen or heard of one or the other. So, all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a link of it.”

"The spirit of Advaita is not to keep away from anything, but to keep in tune with everything." - - Swami Chinmayananda.


MSM pessimism is a cancer








Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Language debates and English

1.   Unending language debates



2.      Language its limitless limitation




3.  Language and human beings



4.     Evolution of language


5.  Sounds and words


6.     Language must be alive and kicking


7.     Benefits of English


8.     The 26 letters that rule the world


9.     Macaulay made a great gift to India why? 

10.  Impact and importance of English


11. Language and its DNA


 12.  The Treasures of English adjectives

or

13.  Enjoy word associations/groups/clusters


14. Words - how they evolve, grow or get mutilated


15. Language, meaning and context


16. Context and contextual priorities matter more than anything else


17. Languages and language teachers


18. Thoughts and language


19. Language fanaticism, Linguistic fanaticism



 20. Language hegemony



  21.   Sanskrit- Why it is a great language?


22Why only few words for smell in most languages?



23. WORD INCLUSION IN ENGLISH -JUSTIFICATION



24. Terminological aberrations and importance of context



25. Telugu -its greatness




26. Language a very interesting article


27. Spelling reforms in French



 28. Literature’s Impact


 29. Language and language teaching methods



  30. Words evolve how and why?



 31. Length of a sentence




32. Elaboration is indeed important-why?


       

 33. Why only few words for sense of smell in most languages?