Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review: 151 AMAZING MONEY SECRETS

'151 AMAZING MONEY SECRETS - What the Rich Know About Money and Their Secrets to Success & Prosperity!' by NJ BRIDGEWATER. The purpose of this book is to share 151 quotations from great thinkers of the past, which contain the essential keys to building wealth and prosperity in the modern world. I haven’t included quotations from all of the top businessmen of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Much wisdom from both classical and more recent sources, and quotations about Bitcoin, as well as a few about gold. Chapter 1 is about the mindset, the idea of abundance, and the sense of opportunity that one needs. Next chapter is filled with quotations, introducing the nature of different investments like gold, bitcoin, etc. Which is followed by one containing the definitions of the important variables of making money, like, wealth, savings, talents, etc. A chapter about building one's business, which present quotes about finding one's niche, advertising, marketing, and other aspects is followed by one about the need to focus. And a few more ones about the ultimate success of a gentleman's quest brings the book to a close.
I found this book a light, enjoyable read. Quite motivating, many of the words are, and, given that they are from the best of the brains, these force one to pay attention. A good collection of meaningful 'quips' indeed.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Random smiles

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good, is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him

Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying

My mum told me I should never talk to strangers. I said, It's alright mum, I don't know any

I learn from the mistakes of others who have taken my Advice.

People shouldn't worry about the world ending. It's already tomorrow somewhere in the world!

Why do women like men who are smart, goal orientated and have a sense of humor?
Because opposites attract.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Why there are more theists than atheists?



Why there are more theists than atheists?
For an answer, let us visit the history of theism.
What is theism? What led us to theism? 
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says that theism is “belief in a deity or deities, as opposed to atheism.” There are also other definitions that focus on more specific matters. Theism as a belief not in deities but in God that is different from deities. This is a much less universal phenomenon than supernaturalism/superstition. It has a historical particularity; in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, we can more or less see where Theism begins. It begins with the writing of the first chapter of Genesis, where the author introduces us to Yahweh, who is not just another heavenly being like the sun or the moon, but the sun and moon’s creator.
“First we should distinguish theism from mere belief in the supernatural. The latter, illustrated by ghost-stories, tales of second sight, rituals and sacrifices to prevent the failure of a harvest or a navy, the consulting of the sacred geese, and the throwing of the salt always over one’s left shoulder, is a human universal, and was known even to our Pleistocene ancestors. A more hostile name for this is superstition.” I don’t think this can be right. These observances are now termed superstition, based on certain arguments which are of significance only now. This is as much a matter of faith as the belief in god presently is. Theism is also is nothing but the belief in the super-natural, except that the nature of the supernatural may mark a change.
This should have been clear to anybody with average intelligence or more.
The difference between Theism as belief in God and theism as belief in deities is that the latter can easily be just another variety of supernaturalism. Especially where the deities are small and local enough, there seems little difference in principle between believing in such deities and believing in fairies or ghosts: think of nature-gods like Iris the rainbow-goddess, or Freya/Persephone of the harvest, or Thor the thunder-god. The classical pagan gods were very frequently of this sort, as were the deities of pagan Norway and Britain and Mexico. In another common pattern, pagan deities arose by apotheosis – by the route from being a human hero to occupying yet another alcove in the cluttered and haphazard pantheon of (say) the Rome of late antiquity. This was a route, indeed, that mortal Roman emperors regularly trod. Even Greek generals sometimes took it too.
Further evolution in this manner could have resulted in the present nature god, the creator of both heaven and earth, a close associate of which being Christianity. Not only that the biblical god became huge, despite his anthropomorphism (humankind was created in his image), it was possible for him to become a metaphysical god. Identifying closely the human, passionate and protective character, the gigantic scale of the Judaic god also allowed him to take on the role of the founder and creator of the cosmic order. 
Besides this ‘gigantism’, it was the “human, passionate, and protective character” of the god that continued to work in theism’s favor, notwithstanding the changes felt everywhere.  This brought in a new meaning to all gods, an absolute and eternal entity that was not a mere principle but a great living being, in short making it very easy to be a theist.

For an answer, let us visit the history of theism.
What is theism? What led us to theism? 
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says that theism is “belief in a deity or deities, as opposed to atheism.” There are also other definitions that focus on more specific matters. Theism as a belief not in deities but in God that is different from deities. This is a much less universal phenomenon than supernaturalism/superstition. It has a historical particularity; in the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, we can more or less see where Theism begins. It begins with the writing of the first chapter of Genesis, where the author introduces us to Yahweh, who is not just another heavenly being like the sun or the moon, but the sun and moon’s creator.
“First we should distinguish theism from mere belief in the supernatural. The latter, illustrated by ghost-stories, tales of second sight, rituals and sacrifices to prevent the failure of a harvest or a navy, the consulting of the sacred geese, and the throwing of the salt always over one’s left shoulder, is a human universal, and was known even to our Pleistocene ancestors. A more hostile name for this is superstition.” I don’t think this can be right. These observances are now termed superstition, based on certain arguments which are of significance only now. This is as much a matter of faith as the belief in god presently is. Theism is also is nothing but the belief in the super-natural, except that the nature of the supernatural may mark a change.
This should have been clear to anybody with average intelligence.
The difference between Theism as belief in God and theism as belief in deities is that the latter can easily be just another variety of supernaturalism. Especially where the deities are small and local enough, there seems little difference in principle between believing in such deities and believing in fairies or ghosts: think of nature-gods like Iris the rainbow-goddess, or Freya/Persephone of the harvest, or Thor the thunder-god. The classical pagan gods were very frequently of this sort, as were the deities of pagan Norway and Britain and Mexico. In another common pattern, pagan deities arose by apotheosis – by the route from being a human hero to occupying yet another alcove in the cluttered and haphazard pantheon of (say) the Rome of late antiquity. This was a route, indeed, that mortal Roman emperors regularly trod. Even Greek generals sometimes took it too.
Further evolution in this manner could have resulted in the present nature god, the creator of both heaven and earth, a close associate of which being Christianity. Not only that the biblical god became huge, despite his anthropomorphism (humankind was created in his image), it was possible for him to become a metaphysical god. Identifying closely the human, passionate and protective character, the gigantic scale of the Judaic god also allowed him to take on the role of the founder and creator of the cosmic order. 
Besides this ‘gigantism’, it was the “human, passionate, and protective character” of the god that continued to work in theism’s favor, notwithstanding the changes felt everywhere.  This brought in a new meaning to all gods, an absolute and eternal entity that was not a mere principle but a great living being, in short making it very easy to be a theist.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Last Days of Democracy?



With the number of liberal democracies in the world now stagnating; with many third wave democracies deteriorating in their actual democratic performance; with human rights abuses persistent and even increasing, it is time to introspect. 
Why did democracy fail?
Did democracy fail? Well, the evidence in the affirmative appears to be mounting. If we look beyond the form of democracy—a form that is increasingly expected by world culture and organizations—we see erosion and stagnation offsetting liberalization and consolidation. Liberal democracy has stopped expanding in the world, and so has political freedom more generally. If we take the liberal content of democracy seriously, it seems that the third wave of democratic expansion has come to a halt and probably to an end. 
We may or may not see in the coming years the emergence of a few new electoral democracies, but a further sizable increase seems unlikely, given that democratization has already occurred in the countries where conditions are most favorable. In the coming years movement to electoral democracy also seems likely to be offset by movement away from it, as some fledgling electoral democracies in Africa and elsewhere are either blatantly overthrown (as in Gambia and Niger), squelched just before birth (as in Nigeria), or strangled (more or less slowly) by deterioration in the fairness of contest and the toleration of opposition (as in Peru, Cambodia, and some of the former Communist states). Even in established democracies like USA, India, or UK, undemocratic deviations are being tolerated widely. In these circumstances more and more countries may seek to satisfy ritually the expectation of ‘democracy’ through its most hollow form, some type of pseudo-democracy.

When expansion in the number of democracies and the overall level of democratic-ness in the world halts for a sustained period (say, five to ten years), it seems reasonable to conclude that a democratic wave has come to an end. At least, this marks the end of a ‘short wave’ of democratization. 
Why?
I think we all need to look at the decisions, or conclusions we drew in the past. On all matters that can be examined objectively, namely, physical science, medicine, etc., each one of the principles, theorems, or explanations, we used to hold is high esteem is turning out to be incorrect. Why can't we think that on all other matters we are not able to observe such ambiguities only because we are not able to make an objective assessment? Had we been able to, we would have found, just like the erroneous notions of physical entities, which we are now correcting often, we are holding on to wrong ideas in other areas like governance, which we now need to set right.
When governments fail, or when unsuitable leaders take over control of countries, rather than pointing to certain specific causes like external interference, or a temple, we need to understand that as another sign of the imminent failure of democracy.
It is known, the presence of many nonmagnetic atoms (even the strongest magnet won't have 100% atoms, magnetic), cannot prevent the magnet from acting as one.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Review: Life

'Life' by Laurentiu Mihaescu briefly chronicles the journey of Matter, Evolution, Consciousness, and Intelligence.
"It was a very long journey", the book says, "It all started with the granular fluid and its special mechanics, with those hydrogen atoms that filled the space about 14 billion years ago" and tries to answer some of the pertinent questions, one may have.
Are we able to offer coherent answers to some specific questions related to our existence, such as:
Where do we come from?
Who are we, the humans, in fact?
Are we a unique kind of life form?
What is the purpose of our existence?
The author's perspective is very clear on these matters and involves just the fields of reason and science.

It formulates our exact "address" in the Universe as: Planet Earth, Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Laniakea Super-cluster, and goes ahead with the definition of life. Here it asks a question that I myself found relevant. "Can we, the humans, analyze and understand our own life?"
Further chapters examine Evolution and adaptation, followed by Principles and rights, where the follies committed by the human race since time immemorial are recalled. "We have paid a great price because of the animal that existed within us, because of our initial ignorance. The evil things done over thousands of years by the religions and their fairy tales, the crimes made by the followers in the name of their "faith", all of these will be forgiven and forgotten, and the humanity will take the path of normal, pure scientific knowledge, which only involve the human reason." The book also propose a desired path for human race to progress further. Like the following three principles.
"1. The surrounding environment is purely material, at any scale it would be regarded. All structures, alive or not, and all their interactions bear the unique feature of materiality.
2. Human knowledge is simply possible, to any extent. We have no other objective limitations, beside the well-known ones: the space and time.
3. The good can be identified with the prosperity of each human, with the perpetuation of our species in general, with its growth and peaceful development up to the cosmic scale."
The book hopes that our race could travel even farther, on the way to the starlight, leaving behind all their inner contradictions and becoming a normal, real cosmic civilization.
I liked the book, it asked certain questions that is pestering me often, and is resulting in many of my books. Unlike all those who dwell on these topics, the author has successfully avoided abstract discussions.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Book Review: They’re Coming For Your Internet

'They’re Coming For Your Internet' by Nate Levesque discusses the issue of net neutrality, a hot topic these days. In six heads, namely, Beginnings, The ISP Problem, Profit and Control, Second-Class Data, Traffic Control, and If the Internet Falls, the relevant issues are touched upon. That this isn't a problem with the Internet as a whole, while the backbone of the Internet is fairly competitive, the relatively few companies control the last-mile (the connection from you to a backbone provider) networks. 
Tracing the origins of high speed communication networks to Samuel Morse and telegraph, the book tells us how, in the initial days itself, communication made its presence felt -  by swinging the presidential the election due to careful control of what news about the candidates spread. Next, the book talks about the Internet landscape. How acquisitions have folded many service providers into a few large regional and even national providers, leading to the network becoming centralized again. Also, of the threat faced by established companies from disruptive innovations, which the upstart, smarter companies will adopt quickly, leading  the big players to look for fresh ways to secure their position. That all these put net neutrality in jeopardy, one can easily see.
What will happen if net neutrality is repealed, the book asks. The answer is also ready. The 'on-line' is in for a change. ISPs, who are already violating neutrality by selling low caps, zero-rating, and throttling as solutions to imagined network congestion shall get emboldened. They may also push for legislation to prevent cities from building their own Internet providers—called municipal networks—which usually offer better, faster, and cheaper service. Many more imaginative throttles to independence of net communication are then discussed.
I liked this book. It opened my eyes to many things I had no inkling of. The book issues a real warning. Our ability to be informed, to express ourselves, and to run a healthy democracy hang in the balance. It’s hard to imagine a company interfering with an election as Western Union once did in the case of the above mentioned presidential election. Even with the necessary safeguards, there are many instances where the suspicion is on media manipulation. It may become a real threat, the possibility of ISPs take control of what’s available on-line is too dangerous to be ignored.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Random Quotes..

DEEP- ROOTED customs, though wrong, are not easily altered, but, it is the duty Of all to be in form for that which they certainly know is right - JOHN WOOLMAN.
HE often acts unjustly who does not do a certain thing; not only he who does a certain thing - MARCUS ANTONINUS.
EVERY duty we commit obscures some truth we should have known - JOHN RUSKIN

Sunday school class. The topic for the day: Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Christ.
“What did Jesus do on this day?” There was no response, so here ia a hint: “It starts with the letter R.”
One boy blurted, “Recycle!”

If nobody likes your selfie, what is the value of the self?

Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is God one of man’s?

“Any man who is not a socialist at age twenty has no heart. Any man who is still a socialist at age forty has no head.” 
"On the sixth day God created man. On the seventh day, man returned the favor.

God creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. 

Answer wrote by one little  Negro  schoolgirl  wrote  when  asked  by  the  teacher  to  write an  essay  on the  punishment, Hitler should be subjected to:  “Dress  him  up  in  a  black skin  and  make  him  live  in  the  United  States.” 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review: Political Economic Realities of Today’s Capitalism

Political Economic Realities of Today’s Capitalism, by NORALV VEGGELAND, consists of ten articles, all of which have been published earlier separately in different journals, but never as a contribution to a coherent approach making political economic realities transparent and understandable as path dependent stories. The book analyzes todays' capitalistic world based on research conducted across European markets and European politics. 
It starts with a study of Neo-Liberalism, which in fact is a flow of management decisions and political actions deeply influenced by a deregulated free market concept. While examining the roots of which in leaders like Ronald Reagen and Margaret Thacher, the compulsions of present day international politics and the resulting threat to the traditional welfare state model is discussed here.
What follows is a commentary on 'The Political and Economic Realities of Present Day Capitalism'. Here, deviations from the Keynesian model, and the changes it brings to the administrative strategies, are analyzed. Next paper sums up how, 'Sustained and Focused Control Exercised by a Public Agency on Activities that are Valued by a Community', the essence of regulation, go along with the earlier discussed. Which in fact is a magnificent proposal - A Government that Works but Costs Less! It further illustrates the metamorphosis of such thoughts into New Public Management (NPM), how this idea has stormed the whole world, what essential safeguards are there, etc.
Birth of New Accounting Techniques became a necessity for the public sector to keep pace with NPM, the book explains. Next paper discusses the need for new modalities and accounting strategies for seamlessly accounting welfare budget and actual expenditure. Which is followed by a paper dealing with a very popular, rather enigmatic topic - social capital. Examining many welfare states, this paper analyses the impact of the new global view on the changing atmosphere in the welfare states - how, competition and intervention go hand in hand. The one following this, 'Capitalism in Crisis', caught my full attention. It seems, to get through current difficulties, governments are resorting to budget cuts and saving programs. This will reduce market demand, which can boost the crisis further. Here Keynesian principles need to be adopted in a  different framework of state intervention, which can be named neo-interventionism, the book says, while describing a couple of concrete proposals in this regard.
I liked this book. It answered many questions, I as a layman used to have on the economic front. Sadly, while incorporating principles of neo-economic realities, many states are leaving out the concepts of neo-interventionism, I think. Perhaps this idea needs more explanation.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

About Indians, by Herodotus

When we are eager to block films even for an unsuitable name, how can we accept the following extract from the history by Herodotus, where Indians can be seen in extremely poor light? Like practicing cannibalism?
"..whenever any of their tribe falls ill, whether it be a woman or a man, if a man then the men who are his nearest associates put him to death, saying that he is wasting away with the disease and his flesh is being spoilt for them:  and meanwhile he denies stoutly and says that he is not ill, but they do not agree with him; and after they have killed him they feast upon his flesh: but if it be a woman who falls ill, the women who are her greatest intimates do to her in the same manner as the men do in the other case. For in fact even if a man has come to old age they slay him and feast upon him; but very few of them come to be reckoned as old, for they kill every one who falls into sickness, before he reaches old age."
"..they neither kill any living thing nor do they sow any crops nor is it their custom to possess houses; but they feed on herbs, and they have a grain of the size of millet, in a sheath, which grows of itself from the ground; this they gather and boil with the sheath, and make it their food: and whenever any of them falls into sickness, he goes to the desert country and lies there, and none of them pay any attention either to one who is dead or to one who is sick."
"The sexual intercourse of all these Indians of whom I have spoken is open like that of cattle."

Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: The Exploration of the World

'The Exploration of the World' by Jules Verne describes all the explorations made in past ages, but also all the new discoveries which have of late years have greatly interested the scientific world. That is, from about 500 BC to about 1600 AD. Chapter I talks about the celebrated Travelers Before the Christian Era - Hanno, Herodotus, etc. It begins with the story of the first traveler of whom we have any account in history, Hanno, and Herodotus, who visited places like Egypt, Lybia, Ethiopia, Phoenicia, Arabia, Babylon, Persia, India, etc. describing each journey with its high points. 
For example, Herodotus mentions about the population of India, that it is larger than that of any other country, and he divided it into two classes, the first having settled habitations, the second leading a nomadic life. "Those who lived in the eastern part of the country killed their sick and aged people, and ate them." He also mentions about attempts to circumnavigate Africa, a most hazardous one of which was made in B.C. 146, by Eudoxus of Cyzicus, a geographer. After many such adventures of the ancient days, Chapter II describes the celebrated Travelers From the First to the Ninth Century - like Pausanias, Fa-hian, Soleyman, etc. There is mention of the travels of Fa–Hian and the society, he saw. Whose observations of India, which he calls "a happy kingdom, where the inhabitants are good and honest, needing neither laws nor magistrates, and indebted to none for their support; without markets or wine merchants, and living happily, with plenty of all that they required, where the temperature was neither hot nor cold," reminded me of my history class. Says he, "This happy kingdom was India" The book also have extensive descriptions of other explorers, like those who visited Palestine during the first centuries of Christianity. Chapter IV is dedicated to Marco Polo, who during 1253-1324 took many a journey.
Thereafter, the book describes great and not so great feats undertaken by many, John and Sebastian Cabot, father-son duo, taking the lead. Says Sebastian Cabot, in a narrative preserved by Ramusio, "a great desire and a kind of ardor in my heart to do myself also something famous, and knowing by examining the globe, that if I sailed by the west wind I should reach India more rapidly, I at once made my project known to His Majesty, King Henry VII, who was much satisfied with it".  1493, John and Sebastian Cabot prepared the expedition at their own expense, and set out at the beginning of the year 1494, with the idea of reaching Cathay, and finally the Indies. Discoveries of John and Sebastian Cabot, with the Anglo–Russian Company did many expeditions, a notable one here being about the Land of the Seven Cities, or Brazil.
From the period of the taking of Malacca by Albuquerque, as the book says, the Portuguese conceived that a new world extended to the south of Asia. Their ideas were soon shared by the Spaniards, and henceforward a series of voyages were made on the Pacific Ocean, to search for a southern continent, of which, the existence appeared geographically necessary to counterbalance the immense extent of the lands already known. 
To conclude, as the author puts it succinctly, "if all the travelers of whom we have just spoken are not strictly speaking discoverers, even if they did not explore countries unknown before, they all have, in various degrees and according to their ability or their studies, the merit of having rendered the countries which they visited better known."
This book is too interesting. There is mention of old cities of India and the world, and of known and unknown facets of the good old world. These and many other things in this book can add to what we already know about our history. I wonder why I have never come across a commentary of these early views, like that of the living style of people of the countries described. I also liked the reason, the author mentions, for many of the expeditions into far pacific; to investigate into how, the globe balances itself!
I have never come across these ideas in any of the later books. The world, it seems have taken a conscious decision to overlook these observations.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: Gandhi: Racist or Revolutionary?

Gandhi: Racist or Revolutionary? by Pieter Friedrich is a book attempting to portray Mahatma Gandhi as an individual undeserving of the epithets, he is showered with. To justify this, the author has plucked a few paragraphs from some of his writings as well as those of a few contemporaries. Given the scanty nature of the chosen letters and anecdotes from a huge collection, the author has put his point well. I mean he has shown only those references that are quite relevant to his view.
But the books available on Gandhi shows a very different man. I have had the opportunity to go through Gandhi's collected works, as well as a few biographies like the one penned by his foster son. True, I did find a few paragraphs, among many thousands dealing with a wide variety of issues, show such a narrow viewpoint. But those were quite far and few, and mostly pertaining to Mahatma's early years. Also, there are far too many places in later writings, where, what is visible is a totally different outlook, especially on issues like caste. True, he was a vehement opponent of reservation. His writing is very clear on this subject, he wanted the Hindu society to amalgamate 'Harijans'. (For this, he had also made some suggestions that was widely resented.)
The thoughts I expressed through my book, Caste - the Unexplored Territories, in fact has it's origin in Gandhi's views. Not only that nobody has understood the philosophical plane of manifestation of caste, but also all are moving away from learning the truth, by constantly pondering deeper into the 'class' aspect of caste, which effectively dismiss other aspects.
About the other indiscretions mentioned in this book, I think one can see those as some form of idiosyncrasy always associated with those who excel anywhere.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Irrational, again

November 14, 2017 issue of Scientific American tries to  explain the Global Rise of “Dominance” Leadership. Political pundits, commentators and average citizens continue to have trouble accounting for the rise of populist authoritarian leaders across the globe. A common question batted around continues to be how leaders such as Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicol├ís Maduro, Recep Erdogan, and Narendra Modi could become the standard-bearers of democracy for countries like the US, Hungary, Philippines, Venenzuela and Turkey and India.  Much of the writing has concentrated on the west, and specifically the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president.  The suggestions tendered have ranged from a backlash against the first African American president, the rejection of insider fat cats, or a rebuff of Washington policies. But narratives like these fall short of explaining the rise of authoritarian leaders globally, the magazine says.
It tries to study this phenomenon empirically.  Attaining social rank within society, the author says, follows two paths: dominance and prestige. People all over the countries prefer the dominant ones to the ones of prestige, especially in hard times. But, when citizens experience economic uncertainty and its accompanying loss of personal control, when they look to dominant leaders, are they going to be benefited? I doubt. Since, as the study then finds, it is unclear why they would be motivated to reduce the threats that got them into office, once they occupy the seats of power.
I think my theory is being proven right again, the decision to go for this form of leadership need not be a well considered one at all. We are only heading fast, to 'the age of the irrational'.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How do we see the past? And the Present?

Why is it that we diligently examine the many sides of an issue, when it is about the present, and overlook the ambiguities equally well, when it is about the past?
Let me elaborate.
The golden days of our past’ is an expression,
We hear often,
Wherever we make a mention of time,
Beyond recollection
How do we see the past?
Imagine reading the morning newspaper, a couple of centuries from today. Let us say there is a column with the title “Three Hundred Years Ago”, which, on that day carried the news item of people being slaughtered for vague reasons, like ‘looking greedily at a cow’.
What do the readers do?
The first reaction from the readers would have been to label that era, say as cow age, and enumerate various characteristics of the times. Like the popularity of cow-milk, and its products. And, the imaginative use of all types of rejected matter originating from the cow. Also, the proliferation of institutions of rest, relaxation, and recuperation, dedicated exclusively to cows.  Perhaps the presence of paintings and sculptures depicting similar looking creatures would also act as proofs. This period of ancient history could become a favorite area for research, and many scholarly articles would have been adorning the current literature.
Without thinking any further, I can say that the above-mentioned description of the future is quite fitting and is highly probable. The opinions we make these days about the ancient days, especially those extolling the wonders of the glorious past, is not much different from this. To make this point a little more clear, think of the occasions, where we take efforts to pen down something. Primarily, all those occasions are those, where, something did happen out of the ordinary.
(I think it is also generally acknowledged that we are moved, more by unpleasant events than by the pleasant ones, since, all good events lose its shine soon. Thus, even though the future will find much evidence of buildings, roads, dams, and other signs of civilized life, those people are likely to be moved significantly by the traces of extraordinary sights, which are today in abundance. The theory of diminishing marginal utility comes to our aid in understanding and appreciating such phenomena better)
What am I getting at?
Our history weaved from the surviving bits of memorabilia of the past need not point to anything concrete. The inscriptions, documents or other remnants of the past we have succeeded to unearth, which we think of as authoritative sources, could be as misleading as the newspaper that was mentioned above. All that is recorded in various historical documents of the past would only be showing us, the local non-uniformities present in a society, of that era.
To better understand the above-mentioned imbroglio, let us see what would have been found in the remnants of the present times if examined many years later. And what would have been the conclusion drawn thereafter?
What do we find?
I think the most prominent find would have been the news items, which are widely seen, remarked and repeated. Incidents like Lewinsky affair, demonetisation, certain cartoons, suicidal missions, or various anti-science movements could feature here. Plenty of scandals, ill-treatment of the female sex on a global scale, and other undesirable elements of society would have been proliferating, whatever the form of memorabilia one landed with. When contrasted with the signs of space travel, organ transplant, or sub-atomic journeys, quite a bit puzzled, would have been the reaction from every reader. With such confusion all around, a conclusion that our times was the ‘age of the irrational’, seems to be the most likely result.
Supporting such a find, interesting and incredulous news snippets would fall from the repository of old papers, every moment if they are to pursue the past. Also, the remnants of the statues and buildings of gigantic proportions and the tracks left by various god-men will add to it.
We know how misplaced, such an assessment is going to be. Well, something similar is happening now. Looking at the relics of our past, we are always reaching the conclusion that our ancestors were geniuses. Moreover, we are molding ourselves to see golden tinge in whatever they did. We also overlook the fact that, in that process, we do not mind bringing great harm to ourselves, at least as long as it is harming others more.
What does it lead to?
Why can’t we see the ‘golden tinged’ pieces as nothing but the only things that stood out? Shouldn’t it lead us to the thought that the natural proclivity of those people was to things insignificant (rather, the things that we think as insignificant today), and a few streaks of brilliance took place to hold the future generations enamored?
(I have examined the reasons for this dichotomy, that is, our desire to be rational to the core, when it comes to real things, and our penchant for the irrational, everywhere else. https://hubpages.com/education/realandtheabstract)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: Designing the Future


DESIGNING THE FUTURE BY JACQUE FRESCO is a book about making our future more user friendly. 
It begins with an overview of the need, and the many questions that may come up. According to many polls, a majority of scientists think that the human race is on a “collision course” with nature. We face common threats that transcend national boundaries: overpopulation, energy shortages, water scarcity, economic catastrophe, the spread of uncontrollable diseases, and the technological displacement of people by machines, to name a few.  What has been handed down to us does not seem to be working for the majority of people. With the advances in science and technology over the last two hundred years, you may be asking: “does it have to be this way?” 
Next chapter reiterates the inevitability of change. Over the centuries, we seem to have developed a consensus that when it comes to matters of personal safety, we will go with the science rather than the magic. Why is that? Probably because it works, and everybody can see that it does. Then why don’t we do that when it comes to planning our societies: our cities, transportation systems, agriculture, health care, and so on? Because, "our social structures evolved with no overall global planning", the book says.  The existing human myths that the Earth has abundant resources and our practice of rationing these resources through the use of money is an outdated method which causes much suffering. 
It is not money that we need but the intelligent management of the earth’s resources for the benefit of everyone. We could best work towards achieving this by using a resource based economy. The book introduces here a host of revolutionary concepts, most  of which can be thought of as technological dreams, many capable of bringing in unthinkable changes.
The book then talks of things that are happening today that could be signs of the collapse of present system. Like, the industrialized nations of the world installing more and more automated technology in order to compete with low prices in the global economy. As a result of this new technology, more and more people lose their jobs and can’t take care of themselves and their families. With automation, outsourcing and cyber-nation used to their fullest potential, machines replace not only industrial workers, but also most professionals. Consequently, fewer people are able to buy the products that automated factories turn out.  

Hence we need to think of a saner future. A future, where, unlike in a monetary system most people live near their work with a house, car, and lifestyle they can afford, people shall be living a fuller  life. And unlike us, who are free, only as much as our purchasing power, those people shall follow a socio-economic system that reflect individual and personal interests.
The book then talks about the benefits, future society shall have. Parents will have adequate time for their children, and will not be stressed by ever-rising medical bills, insurance payments, educational expenses, and cost of living expenses.  
I agree with the book. If we design our society such that people are free to choose their own interests, develop formerly hidden potential, and pursue dreams without government intervention or financial constraint, most profound benefits await us. Except one difficulty: the practical process involved in this is very clear, more as a dream than otherwise.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: The Future of Ideas

'The Future of Ideas: THE FATE OF THE COMMONS IN A CONNECTED WORLD',
 by Lawrence Lessig, speaks about the rebirth of technologies of control, as institutions “dis-intermediated” by the Internet learned how to alter the network to reestablish their control. "The forces that the original Internet threatened to transform are well on their way to transforming the Internet" Too much dis-intermediation, which can interfere with collective governance, and excess of mediation, which can regulate our lives, are equally unhealthy; some balance is needed. 
In part I, the book examines the environment of the Internet that we are observing now alter the balance between control and freedom on the Net. How today, those who prospered under the old regime are threatened by the Internet and how they react.Further chapters tell us how, the environment created by the mix of technical principles and legal rules operating upon the telecommunications system paralleled an end-to-end design at the network layer. This mix of design and control kept the telephone system open for innovation, and, it was that innovation, which enabled the Internet.
 The book goes on to discuss the nuts and bolts of 'free' functioning. How networks function as a commons. It is a resource that is made available generally to everyone connected to the network. Of course, everyone on the network must request permission to use the resource. But this permission can be content neutral. Liberating the other significant element of making such networks, spectrum, from the control of the market is then outlined. A discussion about the benefits from commons, decentralized innovation, and the way that can create the opportunity for individuals to draw upon resources without connections, permission, or access granted by others is then covered.
Next part starts with the examination of constraints, contrasting the physical world of things, and how we addressed the issue of creativity versus patents, with the world of cyberspace, which perhaps need a different treatment on this respect. With those changes, both government and commerce increased the ability to control behavior in cyberspace. Technologies were being deployed to better monitor and control behavior, with the consequence, for better or worse, of limiting the liberty of the space. As the architecture changed, the freedom of the space would change, and change it did. Something similar is occurring with respect to innovation too, the book says. Here, the architecture of the space is changing, interfering with the features that made innovation so rich. And the consequence again will be a decrease in this value that we thought defined the original Net.Next and last part is about the constant race between those who are used to controlling the society and all its parts, and those who are enamored by the beauty of free growth, they witness in cyberspace. 
The book ends with a rather sombre note. "We move through this moment of an architecture of innovation to, once again, embrace an architecture of control—without noticing, without resistance, without so much as a question. Those threatened by this technology of freedom have learned how to turn the technology off. The switch is now being thrown. We are doing nothing about it.I agree with the author. The hindrances the new technology is introducing in our life, in the form of sophisticated restrictive mechanisms, is far more than the productive use, we are putting such technology to. We are blindly accepting many practices of restrictive nature, merely on the strength of anecdotal evidence. Or rather our inability to convince those traditional, of the desirability of experimenting. Perhaps we ourselves are not that sure of what the future has in store. For example, two companies—AOL Time Warner and Microsoft—will come to define the next five years of the Internet’s life. Neither company has committed itself to a neutral and open platform.8 Hence, the next five years will be radically different from the past ten. Innovation in content and applications will be as these platform owners permit. Additions that benefit either company will be encouraged; additions that don’t, won’t. We will have re-created the network of old AT&T, but now on the platform of the Internet. Content and access will once again be controlled; the innovation commons will have been carved up and sold.
I have mixed feelings about this book. How well placed is the lamentations we see throughout the pages, that we are more comfortable with shackles than without, is a debatable issue. It is true; the technological innovations of the times shall get appropriated to the times. Those are interdependent.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Right!

Another proof for my theory that female is the stronger and healthier of the species. US NTP study into effects of cell phone use has found incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats (who lived longer!), but not in female rats.
https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/major-cell-phone-radiation-study-reignites-cancer-questions/

Monday, November 13, 2017

About the Age of the Universe

I find it difficult to comprehend the age of the universe. To overcome this difficulty, I find it helpful to think of time as a varying dimension.
Time I think originates from our sense of passing intervals, which we are forced to notice, because these intervals reappear rather regularly. We derived the idea of time from the most noticeable one, earths revolution, and made it a universal dimension. Are we entirely right?
If we lock the idea of time to the period of revolution of earth, things seem to be becoming easier to follow. When the big bang took place, all its products would have started spinning at an incredible speed. 
Billions of such revolutions might have taken place, during which, cooling and solidification into all the matter in the universe took place. And the initial speed gradually reduced to the present, rather stable, level.
So also, with all other objects.
It is then true, the universe is billions of years old, but each year take lesser and lesser time, as we go back in time.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

All My Books

Caste : The Unexplored Territories
Why caste, a relic of the dark ages, did not evolve into a modernized version in the natural course of events, though other remnants of that era gave way to modernism. Why it didn't whither away, though there is nobody who does not earnestly say that they want to see its' demise. This book is trying to answer that by taking a unique approach the problem. Although what is vogue is to consider caste as something imposed from above, sufficient reasons are given pointing to the contrary and explaining why people would have been in more or less consonance with this system.
http://www.amazon.com/CASTE-Unexplored-Territories-continue-exist-ebook/dp/B00N5E3EDS    

The Unsure Male
The unsure male reveals how, female species across the board happen to civilize Male, and for what benefit. Also, what makes the male willingly go for it. How and why male learns to stretch, whatever may be of interest, to its limits, and immerse in it. How that led to formalities, niceties and all forms of extremism, including the few that are a grave threat to happy living, and the many that are helpful, enjoyable or life saving.
(When writing this book, I never thought the ideas presented here in a lighter vein will prove to be of great significance, more so to the present global happenings)
http://www.amazon.com/Unsure-Male-male-always-Hurry-ebook/dp/B00UYDTWZM

GlympsesOfAutobiography
Autobiographical anecdotes written by a "common man with an uncommon family"
http://www.amazon.com/Glimpses-Autobiography-What-going-write-ebook/dp/B00TZHRTQM

Hubs that Provoke
A non-fiction philosophical collection, intended to provoke, even infuriate the reader at times. Observations about libido and gender, discussions on religion, contrasting the material and the spiritual worlds, views about terrorism and extremism, reviews of GMO crops, chemical fertilizers and organic farming, many facets of global warming with discussion about how, differing philosophies may see the phenomena as something to adapt to rather than to attempt to curtail, are some of ‘touchy’ the topics covered here.
http://www.amazon.com/Hubs-that-Provoke-fully-right-ebook/dp/B01DS6H7BW
Homo-Posterus
A SciFi novel, about an inventor who travels to the future. He goes to 3000 AD and meets with our successors. He happens to learn certain horrible stories of our coming years before reaching the point of no return.

email me for a free e-copy roytjames@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Celebrate Unhappy Times

What is the real cause of unhappiness? Unhappiness, I think is a natural part of life, a default property. Let us see how.
Pleasant and unpleasant experiences constitute our life. When experiences are pleasant, we moderate our speed, thereby letting the current ambience to continue longer. 
When those are unpleasant, we strive hard. And we can say, this results in an increase in the entropy of life.
In case of the former, as we continue happily with the current ambience, it starts to stagnate. This gives result to a persisting feeling of unease, which we identify as unhappiness, tiredness, or simply, boredom. Or, life loses entropy.
In the latter case, both pleasant and unpleasant experiences flourish in intervals. There is no specific feeling of universal stature, since the experiences continuously vary. Hence, though there can be many unpleasant events, the overall feeling is an endearing one. And there is no loss of entropy.
Thus We can see, the real cause of unhappiness lies in the stagnation of feelings, which is a direct result of the reduction in activity, mostly brought in by pleasant events.
Or, both happiness and unhappiness keep occurring in our lives as a direct result of the way we confront life, not because of the pleasant and unpleasant experiences one may get, as it is widely perceived. In happy times, we loosen our guard, inviting unhappiness. And in unhappy times, we limit our experiences, inviting more unhappiness.
We need to celebrate unhappy times!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Book Review: HOW WE THINK

'HOW WE THINK' by John Dewey examines the many facets of thinking, something that signifies everything that, as we say, is "in our heads" or that "goes through our minds".
"Thinking is not a case of spontaneous combustion; it does not occur just on general principles", the book tells, beginning a review of the process of thinking. There is something specific, which controls the occasions and evokes it appropriately. General appeals, whether to a child or to a grown-up, to think, need not work. It is possible for a grown up, or a child, to engage oneself in thinking, if and only if the difficulties that troubles one and disturb one's equilibrium, are properly addressed. Next chapter examines the possibility of training somebody to think. How we are not actively engaged in effective thinking always, the default being to be attracted to the bright. Which is why, logical attainment in one direction is no bar to extravagant conclusions in another. How thinking differs from absolute consistency, is then examined. How concentration is not an act of fixing or arresting the flow of suggestions. It means a variety and change of ideas mixed sensibly into a something of a unified conclusion. "Thoughts are concentrated not by being kept still and quiescent, but by being kept moving toward an object, as a general concentrates his troops for attack or defense."
The general problem of the training of mind is then discussed, dividing the complete act of thinking into identifiable steps and prescribing necessary conditions. Next is the interpretation of the results of thinking and arriving at a judgment. How our judgments get colored, sometimes killed, by both internal and external forces, like dogmatism, rigidity, prejudice, caprice, passion, and flippancy. We are then introduced to different types of thinking, the concrete and the abstract, as well as the empirical and the scientific.
To end, the author mentions of the importance of play activity or aimless fooling, as a part of our daily interactions with thought. A balance of playfulness and seriousness is the intellectual ideal, since exclusive interest in the result alters one's existence, or work, to drudgery.
I liked this book. It in fact is replete with some ideas dear to me, like the equal importance deserved by all our faculties, and whether we use those for thinking or not. In 1910, there existed good clarity of thought, about thoughts, this book can definitely show. And I agree with the author. Ardent curiosity, fertile imagination, and love of experimental inquiry, which is present in all instances of thinking, is very near, to the attitude of the scientific mind. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Another truth of the Times

I have never faced any reprisal from a bad satanist for not believing the devil. But I keep getting violent reactions from devout people, for not believing in their god.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Good Sign?

It seems the announcement that women, long barred from public sports or games, would be granted access to stadiums in Saudi Arabia, and the lifting of ban on women’s driving, are widely hailed. The moves were designed to project Saudi Arabia in a favorable light at a time, when it is seeking to attract foreign investment.
But I am surprised to learn of Qatar. Is Qatar, another country with numerous restrictions associated with Wahhabism in the kingdom, already moving in this direction? For example, Qatar boasts one of the world’s highest women’s participation in the work force.
No, I think these are examples of incongruent dimensions of the future. Deviations from the norm, a staple part of tomorrow, shall be a regular feature, where, extremes of both tolerance and intolerance shall inundate our societies.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Book Review: Men and Women can't Be Friends

'Men and Women can't Be Friends: Honest Relationship Advice for Women' by Oliver Markus Malloy sounds true. "..imagine if the heroine in the book was much better at ironing than you, and reading about her perfect ironing skills made you feel pretty inadequate by comparison. That, in a nutshell, is what it's like for a man to read about the super-romantic fictitious men in romance novels", and author begins his task.
Starting with  the meaning of life, author goes on to explore the many facets of man woman interactions, like monogamy, cheating by men, man's sexual drive, etc., to pick up the non conforming. And presenting it in a unique style. Like men and women are not equal when it comes to sex. There is a very big difference between the sex drive in us men, and the sex drive in you women. “Desire is in men a hunger, in women, only an appetite.”
I found this a simplistic approach, though in the right direction. Many of the findings of this book, like "human beings are clearly evolved for sex lives featuring multiple simultaneous sexual relationships. Men, especially, are designed by evolution to be attracted to sexual novelty and to gradually lose sexual attraction to the same partner in the absence of such novelty", do touch serious issues concerning us, but only superficially. There are ample instances where scholarly comments, like "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place", describe the human race in a nutshell. However, the analysis following those need more depth. (Had the author persisted with the study, I am sure, the ideas expressed would have included some of my thoughts.)

I liked this book. This book conclusively, and in better words, explain the primacy of sexual signals in social interactions. With good real life examples, it makes the human behavioral paradoxes plain and simple. However it does not attempt to notice and explain, the easily seen peculiarities of male female interactions. Or provide reasons for the particularities, the book attributes to sexual urge. For example, why, among all the forms of life, only the human male shows a higher level of desire, when it comes to mating?


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review: Avoiding a Mark on History

'Avoiding a Mark on History' by Peter Rodman. This tiny book begins with a declaration: We all are destined to leave nothing to show that one ever existed. Those who think otherwise will have to take efforts necessary to bring in changes to this. Getting well ahead (to become wealthy or powerful), making a mark (to be remembered for an accomplishment), leaving something behind (often, too many children), or be a famous one (to be mourned when dead), are only some ways. Thereafter, the book examines many ways of achieving this. For example, one can make a mark, either by discovering something helpful, or by killing an important person/many unimportant ones, or by creating original art, literature, music, or philosophy, etc. If one is not a genius, only theft, fraud, greed, duplicity, cruelty, murder, guilt, and egotism remain as tools, else you will be lost in the historical chaff of simple, decent people.
I found this an interesting look at human nature. Greatness is good, only because it is hailed at all times. Mediocrity is not very popular, only because it is despised beyond imagination. Though it is not good for the welfare of our race, we live thus. That is, extolling the great, to it's limits, and demeaning the common, in a limitless manner, proliferate in our midst. Why? (Another thought that supports my views!)


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Book Review: EDUCATION AGAINST EXTREMISM

'EDUCATION AGAINST EXTREMISM'  by Lynn Davies is about another solution to the question of extremism. "There are political and military solutions to extremism – sometimes more extremism, or extremism disguised as liberation", the book says, " but I want to look at educational strategies".  It begins with two questions. One, How do you prevent individuals joining extremist or violent movements? and two, How do you enable people to make challenges to extremist or violent movements or to extremist or violent governments?   The book identifies the link between religion and terrorism is a complex one, with the state sponsorship of extremism being the core issue.
The book analyzes how, education can act as an expedient. It can produce three significant effects. One, to give children a secure, but hybrid sense of identity, so that they are less likely to be drawn to membership? of single identity, single-issue, ends-justify-the-means groups;  
Two, to demonstrate and act out fair and non-violent ways of achieving justice; and 
Three to give skills in critical appraisal, critical values and critical action.
The book ends by telling us of a likely news report, which tells us why, politicians and religious leaders cannot be taken seriously.
"Math Teacher arrested at airport 
New York: a public school teacher was arrested today at JFK international airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square and a calculator.  At a morning press conference, Attorney Alberto Gonazales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement.  He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.   "Al-gebra is a problem to us" Gonzales said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes and sometimes go off at tangents in search of absolute values.  They use secret code names like x and y and refer to themselves as unknowns, but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval, with coordinates in every country."   
When asked to comment on their arrest, President Bush said "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes."  White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent and profound statement by the President."

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book Review: Religious extremism: the good, the bad, and the deadly

'Religious extremism: the good, the bad, and the deadly' by Laurence R. Iannaccone and Eli Berman, appeared in a special issue of Public Choice.
This paper begins by acknowledging the link between religious extremism and terrorism. Religious extremists are willing to murder because they embrace theologies that sanction violence in the service of God.  They have no sympathy for their victims, because they view those victims as enemies of God.  And they readily sacrifice their own lives because they expect huge and immediate afterlife rewards in return form “martyrdom.” But upon closer examination, theological explanations raise more questions than they answer.  
Where We see religious behavior as an instance of rational choice, rather than an exception to it, economists have analyzed religious behavior as an 'effective response', where, supernaturalism emerges as an alternative technology – a natural, understandable, and perhaps even fully rational attempt to enhance individual and collective welfare, in spite of the limitations imposed by scarcity. "Demand for the supernatural can be viewed as a reasonable response to 
inescapable scarcity, insatiable wants, and irrepressible hope", the book says.
About the role played by our governments in fostering extremism, the book says, "Had each European government not enlisted the aid of a single sect (and returned the favor by suppressing all other competing sects), there would have been “a great multitude of religious sects.”  Competition would then have induced moderation, rather than the furious, fanatical violence, we are saddled with.
An open religious market is what the paper suggest, which shall encourage religious moderation by facilitating the entry of numerous competing religious groups, virtually none of whom can hope to benefit from government control of religion. 
Religious radicals, then are less likely to flourish and less likely to embrace violence when there is strong competition from other fields, like education, health care, poverty programs, and political representation.  This paper poses many fundamental questions. If theology is so important, why are most terrorist organizations not religious?  And if afterlife rewards are key, why has a nonreligious group – the LTTE “Tamil Tigers” – been responsible for more suicide attacks than another other organization?  Why is suicide bombing associated with all sorts of theologies but just one style of religious organization (best described as “sectarian”)?   And why do most militant sects devote much of their energy to benign and noble activities, such as running schools, health clinics, and social services agencies?   
If religious militancy is most effectively controlled through a combination of policies that raise the direct costs of violence, foster religious competition, improve social services, and encourage private enterprise, why the country which has an exemplary society of that sorts is a top target?
I think this paper is right, there is more to extremism than religious fundamentalism. I find it difficult to agree, when the book puts religious extremism and religious militancy as totally different. Also, the book merits religion of promoting group activities, intense commitment, long-term relationships, loyalty, exclusivity, contribution-based financing, and collective goods. I think all human institutions do this, whether of arts, sports, or culture. Though the mechanism of conflict in religion is well analyzed, the question, why religion leads to violence, remains unanswered. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Review: Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth

Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, by Michel Foucault. This is a collection of all of Foucault's published texts (prefaces, introductions, presentations, interviews, articles, interventions, lectures, and so on) that are not included in his books.  
The first chapter of part one of this two part book examines the the link between knowledge, pleasure, and truth in the satisfaction it carries. As well as the other extreme, the happiness of theoretical contemplation. Various philosophers have reached altogether different conclusions about this, the book says, like Nietzche's idea that knowledge results from the interplay of instincts, impulses, desires, fear, and other emotions. Subsequent chapters examine the penal system and the establishment of punishments by a society, psychiatric power, mental instabilities and the society's role, as well as, the need for reforms.
The second part is about ethics. How men think that the idea of their submitting to another man, especially of being under another man in the act of love, would destroy their image in the eyes of women. Which is the reason for heterosexual encounters to be considered superior to homosexual, the book posits. Intellectuals are more tolerant toward, or receptive to,  different modes of sexual behavior than other people, as they can appreciate the 'drives' better. Sexuality is  a part of our behavior, the book says, and it's a part of our world freedom.
The book conceives sexuality as  a general type of behavior whose particular elements might vary according to demographic, economic, social, or ideological conditions. It tries to analyze sexuality as a historically singular form of experience, and treat sexuality as just another normal experience, while trying to explain, how, in Western societies, a complex experience is constituted from it. What is then analyzed is the many facets of philosophical thoughts, like humanism and its forms like Marxism, discourses of Kant, etc.
While reading this book, what attracted me most was the question, the author poses. "If one wants to behave rationally and regulate one's action according to true principles, what part of one's self should one renounce? In fact this question hides the seeds of certain shortfall we all feel, which is what led to all of my books, primarily 'The Unsure Male'

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: How Much Joy Can You Stand


"How Much Joy Can You Stand? How to Push Past Your Fears and Create Your Dreams": by Suzanne Falter, is a book about the creative process, the engine that drives one's dreams.
If one is trying to pursue any kind of dream, one can't help but get run over by obstacles once in a while. Hopefully, armed with enough information and clarity, one can dodge those and, this book in an attempt to prevent further road kill.
'We're basically a doubting, disbelieving breed', the book tells. People cling to more lies that render them absolutely powerless, believing these lies will keep them gloriously afloat. Forget this and start being creative. There is joy available to all of us, forever and ever, says the book. All great success stories through history, every one of them came about because someone was dreamy enough to think they could actually do something in their own weird way. 
Some of us may not know yet what our dream is. And may think that if we don't know exactly what we want to do in life, we're doomed to failure. To locate our dreams, we just have to drop the histrionics and self-criticism for a while, and allow ourselves to simply explore, says the book. That is, there are going to be impulses, some of which lead to major discoveries and successes, others of which lead to nothing. We need to choose to act on those impulses and craft dreams from them.
Book then talks about commitment, not some coat one puts on and take off as desired, but, a promise one need to make to oneself that must be renewed every single day, and always in the context of work. About failure, the book says, "There really is no such thing as failure. There is only the rearrangement of plans, and the surrender of ego. There is only the twist in the road we never expect. As long as we remain true to our vision and ourselves, we simply cannot fail. That is all we have to remember."
This is an isnspiring book, whatever one might have experienced, failure, success or, indifference, this book can give one loads of arguments as to why, one must go ahead with one's dream. As the author mentions in the beginning, "If this book does its job properly, you'll be up and running in no time".



Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review: Designing for Emotion

 How to make, what we make, remarkable? How can we make our work to stand out from the rest. 'Designing for Emotion' by Aarron Walter
 is a book about such questions. In the first chapter, Emotional Design, author examines the path human progress took through industrial revolution, and how the presence of human hand in everyday objects slowly faded. Thereafter comes the principle to be kept in mind: 'people will forgive shortcomings, follow your lead, and sing your praises if you reward them with positive emotion'. How, emotional design can turn casual users into fanatics ready to tell others about their positive experience. A chapter about the psychological firmware we share and, how to make a foundation on which we can build emotional design strategies, then follows.
 which describes the use of various techniques to adapt to our environment, like contrast. The influence shown by our unique qualities and perspectives we possess, also referred to as personality, is what is covered next. Quite intuitively, how to correct if we make mistakes here, is then covered. As all brand personalities may not accord the liberal use of say, humor. there are times where we need to resort to different emotions. The last chapter looks so natural, I wonder why I haven't been able to see it elsewhere. It explains how to express your failings without losing the goodwill of your audience.
I found this a very interesting read. Simple principles, quite logical explanations, and a plethora of real life stories for validation. It made one thing amply clear to me: preserving the human touch and showing ourselves in our work isn't optional: it’s essential.
 And it is all written in this book.

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All my Books and all my Hubs

Sometimes I wonder , how is that each one of my friends happen to be so memorable a character? One among them, who is also a little mor...