Thursday, September 03, 2015

The irony of the relationship between technology and idleness


One of the purposes of everyday technology (mobiles, laptops, etc.) is to make us more efficient. But we rarely use our 'freed up' time to 'be' but instead occupy it with more 'do'. And in modern city life, this means occupying ourselves with more technology.

Ironic, the thing that was designed to free time is now occupying time (and is quite efficient at it).

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Mixed Race

I always wanted to know why 'brown' people didn't feature in the three/four-race theory. Well it turns out it's because the British didn't know how to classify Indians (and I guess the same would go for the browns elsewhere in the world like Central and South America and other parts of Asia. The races of Indians can be any of the following: Caucasoids (mostly North), Australoids (mostly South), Mongoloids (mostly North-East), Negritos (mostly the Andaman Islands).
Either way scientific racism as such was discarded as a valid framework a long long time ago, and now the we humans are classified into 5000 ethnic groups.
To know more on South Asian ethnic groups: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asian_ethnic_groups

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Principles of Democratic Structuring

DSC_9743
I've been running Sirius Interactive with two of my closest friends for almost 6 years now. Nice to see time pass so smoothly and successfully. More than a company, we work like a cooperative. Three editors with similar skills, pooling our resources and sharing our profits. This month, we're re-thinking who we are and who we want to be. It's quite a tough question, how to stay small (really small) and still make some reasonably nice amounts of money.

These principles of democratic structuring by Joe Freeman are very helpful for who would like to strive for democracy among partners (applies to a whole range of situations):

1) Delegation of specific authority to specific individuals for specific tasks by democratic procedures. Letting people assume jobs or tasks only by default means they are not dependably done. If people are selected to do a task, preferably after expressing an interest or willingness to do it, they have made a commitment which cannot so easily be ignored. 
2) Requiring all those to whom authority has been delegated to be responsible to those who selected them. This is how the group has control over people in positions of authority. Individuals may exercise power, but it is the group that has ultimate say over how the power is exercised. 
3) Distribution of authority among as many people as is reasonably possible. This prevents monopoly of power and requires those in positions of authority to consult with many others in the process of exercising it. It also gives many people the opportunity to have responsibility for specific tasks and thereby to learn different skills. 
4) Rotation of tasks among individuals. Responsibilities which are held too long by one person, formally or informally, come to be seen as that person's "property" and are not easily relinquished or controlled by the group. Conversely, if tasks are rotated too frequently the individual does not have time to learn her job well and acquire the sense of satisfaction of doing a good job. 
5) Allocation of tasks along rational criteria. Selecting someone for a position because they are liked by the group or giving them hard work because they are disliked serves neither the group nor the person in the long run. Ability, interest, and responsibility have got to be the major concerns in such selection. People should be given an opportunity to learn skills they do not have, but this is best done through some sort of "apprenticeship" program rather than the "sink or swim" method. Having a responsibility one can't handle well is demoralizing. Conversely, being blacklisted from doing what one can do well does not encourage one to develop one's skills. Women have been punished for being competent throughout most of human history; the movement does not need to repeat this process. 
6) Diffusion of information to everyone as frequently as possible. Information is power. Access to information enhances one's power. When an informal network spreads new ideas and information among themselves outside the group, they are already engaged in the process of forming an opinion -- without the group participating. The more one knows about how things work and what is happening, the more politically effective one can be. 
7) Equal access to resources needed by the group. This is not always perfectly possible, but should be striven for. A member who maintains a monopoly over a needed resource (like a printing press owned by a husband, or a darkroom) can unduly influence the use of that resource. Skills and information are also resources. Members' skills can be equitably available only when members are willing to teach what they know to others.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rattus Rattus

You often see many rats on the rail tracks in Mumbai. So I started to form a heroic image of them in my head: Rats, the true survivors. Because really, do they really want to hang out in sewers or is it just that they can without being killed!


Further investigation into the evolution of the city rat, led me to the lesser highlighted information of our genetic cousins:
Social intelligence
A 2011 controlled study found that rats are actively prosocial. They demonstrate altruistic behaviour to other rats in experiments, including freeing them from cages. When presented with readily available chocolate chips, test subjects would first free the caged rat, and then share the food. All female rats in the study displayed this behaviour, while 30% of the males did not.[19]

And if they write this (the below) about rats, I wonder what could be said about the humans :)
Rats as invasive species
When introduced into locations where rats previously did not exist they cause a huge amount of environmental degradation. Rattus rattus, the black rat, is considered to be one of the world's worst invasive species.[38]As part of island restoration some islands have had their rat populations eradicated to protect or restore the ecology. Hawadax Island, Alaska was declared rat free after 229 years and Campbell Island, New Zealand after almost 200 years. Breaksea Island in New Zealand was declared rat free in 1988 after an eradication campaign based on a successful trial on the smaller Hawea Island nearby.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Flora"

images
dance technique
skin grabbing your bone
intensive
changed perception of body
what is dance, movement
went to darkness
in london
born blind, blind at 18
how to teach dance to blind
how to understand their own body
started reading philosophy
black box
camera obscura
4 m by 2 m
interviews with people with different eyesight
see only
how does it affect your life
what do you think reality is?
musician do add
sound track

An exciting start to curation for The Story of Light

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

paul

Jaya:

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_piff_does_money_make_you_mean#t-137501
i really hope i can push economic inequality as an agenda for my freaking country to take up!

Paul:

Large inequality is indeed one of the things having most known negative externalities to a society. Therefore income taxes and progressive wealth taxes are needed to collect money and then distribute it to the less fortunate.

The extent of this egalitarianisation does have a limit though. Money may make people mean, but taking away all inequality will take away all incentves for people to do their best. Luckily we are all wired is way that something in us wants to do better than our neightbour. If that 'doing better' will not be translated anymore by money, people will start to dustinguish themsleves to the more powerfull in a different way, creating the crony, corrupt and kleptocratic systems we have seen in history so often and still see.

So there will need to remain a link between risk and reward. People who will use their talents and take risk will be better off than people who choose not to do that. Taking that incentive away is recepie for disaster.

But we are a greedy selfesh bunch and I believe that we want more all the time. When the bankers got bonusses of 1mln per year and they saw their peers got 2mln, they felt fucked over, when Chaves had done its 8 years of dictorial socialism he changed the law to be able to stay in power longer, putin will not stop stealing land after the Crimea invasion. If we think we can get something we want it and will take it and our brains will tell us it is our right to have it and that our cleverness got us there. Because our brain is wired this way we survived for so long and are now the most powerfull species on the planet.

So because we can't help ourselves we need some help. We need the governement to take away some of our income and capital and give it to the weak abd unfortunate. The governement needs to ensure the weak are protected by a propperly functuning legal system. They need to ensure all have access to propper education and healthcare. They need ensure governance of markets is healthy including transparency, sound supervision of law abiding business and force excesses out of the system by laws (for example cap bonusses).

Its not just governement though trying to cap our animal instincts. It should also be us customers influencing the good in the world by making the right choises. Our brains have a limit overseeing the consequences of the decisions we make, and if we are aware of the consequenses we rarerly rationally weight them. That is not because we are inherently unethical selfish or lazy, it is just bounded rationality. So each time we make a decision we should be reminded of the consequences. If we buy clothes we can include the condition of the Bengal laborer in our decision, if we buy meat we know how the cow had lived and how he was slaughtered, if we buy cigaretes it should show dying people to remind us we are killing ourselves, if we go fuel up our car at Shell we should have to do that standing in 1 meter of water reminding us about the global warming consequences. We humans just need to be helped sometimes a bit in our decisions. Read 'nudge'. Increasing transparency in markets and products will hugely help.

We are not bad people, we sometimes just do bad things. The systems around us can curb that for the better.

X

Monday, April 07, 2014

"the other"

"my other half"
i liked that about the first one
"the complementary whole"
i like that about the second one 
in both
i is immersed in the other
the separate between the together
the discrete within the continuous

Friday, February 07, 2014

Moving

I am not living in a forest.
The world has moved on.

(East Timor, June 2012)

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Aazaadiyan - Udaan (2010)"




Pairon ki bediyan khwabon ko baandhe nahi re, kabhi nahi re
Mitti ki parton ko nanne se ankur bhi cheeray, dheere dheere
Iraade hare hare, jinke seeno mein ghar kare
Woh dil ki sune kare na darre, na darre

Subah ki kirno ko rokein jo salaakhein hai kahan
Jo khayalon pe pehre daale woh aankhein hai kahan
Par khulne ki deri hai parinde udh ke choomenge
Aasman aasman aasman

Subah ki kirno ko rokein jo salaakhein hai kahan
Jo khayalon pe pehre daale woh aankhein hai kahan
Par khulne ki deri hai parinde udh ke choomenge
Aasman aasman aasman

Aazaadiyan, aazaadiyan
Maagey na kabhi, mile mile mile
Aazaadiyan, aazaadiyan
Jo cheenay wahi, jee le jee le jee le

Subah ki kirno ko rokein jo salaakhein hai kahan
Jo khayalon pe pehre daale woh aankhein hai kahan
Par khulne ki deri hai parinde udh ke choomenge
Aasman aasman aasman

Kahani khatam hai ya shuruwaat hone ke hai (hone ke hai)
Subha nayi hai yeh ya phir raat hone ko hai (hone ke hai)
Kahani khatam hai ya shuruwaat hone ke hai (hone ke hai)
Subha nayi hai yeh ya phir raat hone ko hai (hone ke hai)


Aane wala waqt dega panha hai
Ya phir se milenge do raahein
Khabar kya, kya pataa

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Stilbaai"

My hande is wakker
My oë wil slaap
My kop is in Stilbaai
My hart in die Kaap

My hands are awake
My eyes want to sleep
My head is in Stilbaai
My heart in the Cape

Ek staan op die grens
Van die dag en die nag
En my kop weet nie meer wat
Om te doen met my hart

I stood on the border
Of the day and night
And my mind knows not what
To do with my heart

Ek voel soos n skip
Wat lê langs die kus
My toekoms wil reis
My verlede wil rus
My woorde wil stil wees
My stilte wil praat
My hart wil jou vashou
My kop wil jou laat

I feel like a ship
Which lies along the coast
My future would travel
My past wants to rest 
My words would be quiet
My silence would speak
My heart wants to hold
My head wants to leave you

Die storm en die stilte
Die son en die maan
Daars altyd twee kante
Wat in ons bestaan

The storm and the silence
The sun and the moon
There's always two sides
To our existence

Die verlange wil waai
Die angs wil hier bly
En al sluit ek my oë
Dit gaan nie verby nie

My longing wants to blow away
My fear wants to stay here
And if I close my eyes
It's not over

Ek voel soos n skip
Wat lê langs die kus
My toekoms wil reis
My verlede wil rus
My woorde wil stil wees
My stilte wil praat
My hart wil jou vashou
My kop wil jou laat

I feel like a ship
Which lies along the coast
My future would travel
My past wants to rest 
My words would be quiet
My silence would speak
My heart wants to hold
My head wants to leave

~Stef Bos

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Almost 2014

I've been a bit crappy on blogging in 2013, but 2014 is a new year, just around the corner.
In sum: 2013 has simply been dedicated to love.
This is Ann, preparing for her Cambridge Proficiency Exam:


Friday, August 23, 2013

Spiti & Ladakh (in wide)

Also some useful places to stay: Leh: Shashipa Guest House, Chubi -- Great, great place to stay. INR 600 for the top room. Excellent view. Great food. 01982-251251, 9906993801 Srinagar: HB Rolling Stone (House Boat), Nig'een lake, Sudrabal -- Lovely houseboat, old and charming. INR 1000 per person per night including breakfast and dinner. INR 15000 (for one room of 2) if you want to stay for the month excluding breakfast and dinner. Uncle is a bit strange but very nice. 01942423620. His son Hilal also drives 9906405076

Thursday, July 11, 2013