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Showing posts from August, 2007

The Power of Scientific Knowledge

Indian culture---which I come from--is full of rites and rituals. There are dos and don'ts for almost every minute of the life. In a multi God Hindu religion (the predominant religion in India) each day of the week is dedicated to one or the other God of the Pantheon. And each God has his/ her rules for the day. Some are carnivorous (Lord Shiva-for Monday), others like yellow food (Lord Brishpat-for Thursday) and so on. Ideally, if you want to please the Gods you would play by the rules. BUT as you grow up in an Indian household you realise most often it is not about pleasing the Gods as it is about pleasing the society we live in. And, so many a traditions continue unquestioned, continuing to give many a folks many an inconveniences. The idea of taking on practices for the sake of tradition numbs the mind, and we become a very unquestioning lot. It is when the general populace is so yielding that a few smart ones become the power-wielders, eventually abusing power as we see so ra…

The Forbidden Apple?

So this is my first blog on an observation, that I think would benefit you too, and indeed this is the event that actually motivated the timing of my blog debut.

I recently bought three 'Red Delicious apples'-----(and that is their category name), at The Food Emporium, a chain of upscale grocery stores located largely in Manhattan and Westchester on the East Coast. I picked the apples at their prime Upper East side location----and paid $4.39 for 3 such apples. At home, I unintentionally left one apple soaked in a bowl of tap water, for an hour (I had started to wash the apple thoroughly as I am wont to, and then got distracted by a phone call, and did not visit the apple till an hour later). And what do I see? The 7/8 part of the apple that was submerged in water, was covered with very queer streaks of white paint like substance. The 1/8 portion of the apple never underwater was still shining spotless red---just as I had picked it from the store. I tried to wash off the whit…

Why I finally resorted to Blogging?

For the longest time I considered blogging another of those web ways of being seen by as many as possible---I confess, something of a cheap gimmick to make oneself 'popular'. I likened it to an attempt to make one's personal diary a newspaper----an act best reserved for the butlers of Lady Dianas, and the White House consorts of ex-Presidents. As I post my own 'personal' thoughts today, I can definitely point to two main reasons for me coming around to blogging, and looking at it from the lens that most earnest bloggers actually do-----the lens of objectivity. The web is a VERY powerful medium, no doubts on that. And the web can thus provide a place for many a serious dialogues that we might as social scientists ( and for being those we don't need degrees--we just need OPEN EYES and OPEN EARS) want to have. The two reasons then were:
a. Having sent numerous never-published letters in response to articles in newspapers (most notably the WSJ in the U.S. and the Hi…