Thursday, January 31, 2013

India loves Pakistan

This is an initiative to build a people-to-people bridge of peace and love between traditionally rival nations, through posters with messages of peace. It started between Israel-Iran and has since spread elsewhere. There was an inspiring talk about this posted on TED.com, you can see it here:
http://www.ted.com/talks/israel_and_iran_a_love_story.html

Check out the Israel Loves Iran facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/israellovesiran

I'm attaching the 2 posters I created, so you can get a feel of this.

So, IF you're interested, here's something you can do:
1. Send me a pic of yours, or a group pic (taking permission of everyone who's in it), and I can make a poster of it similar to the ones I've attached and send it back to you.
2. Upload it on facebook
3. Share it with me (https://www.facebook.com/nikjs - add me!) OR post it on https://www.facebook.com/IndiaLovePakistan (But note, I'm not managing that page)
4. If you're feeling nervous about putting your own pic, you could share a non-personal pic (like the handshake one I've put)

Apart from this, you can spread the love by sharing the posters I've posted on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151435096111934.552341.703751933&type=3

The idea is to spread love and peace among the citizens of our countries. The common citizens : the boys, girls, men, women, grandparents... they are not evil; we all want to live a happy life and don't have any desire to kill or hurt anyone. We can skip over all our politicians, extremist elements and love each other, people to people. And if enough of us do that, then maybe one day we can end hostilities and have peace and friendship!

Additional: In case you're still feeling vary about "the evil enemy", see this short and brilliant blog article by a friend of mine who recently visited Pakistan :
http://ruchi2cents.blogspot.in/2013/01/journey-to-pakistan-whats-pakistan-like.html

Additional: Make your own poster! Download the ppts of these at http://www.4shared.com/dir/JolD5QKK/india_loves_pakistan.html and put your photos in, play around!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eklavya 2.0

After hearing in depth the Eklavya story, nowadays I get pissed off when people bring up the ostensibly honorable Dronacharya-Eklavya teacher-student, guru-shishya relationship. In my view, the story demonstrates the merits of self-designed learning and acts as a stern reminder of the perils of giving too much credence to experts. But whenever it's narrated, I feel like there's this subconscious message being delivered that "caste reigns supreme" or "everyone has their place in society". This story needs a rewriting.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here's
Eklavya 2.0



---- Part 1 : Rejection Nation ----
Eklavya was a bright and talented little boy who was fascinated by archery and really wanted to master it. He found out that there's an ace archery teacher located quite nearby, went by the name of Dronacharya, was famous for mentoring the Pandavas.

enviro-education PJ

Completely irrelevant and illogical and phaltu joke (PJ) which connects the global education swindle with the ultimate macro-consequences of putting products of said education system in positions of influence and authority:

With so many people blindly chasing after degrees,
It's no wonder we're having global warming!

Monday, January 28, 2013

What are we, originally?

Please read some or all of the pages at http://peacefulsocieties.org/ and then come back here...

Over the last few months, I've been meeting people from different corners of the world who are narrating the same insights from their visits to indigenous lands. The same characteristics are cropping up from every continent, from tribes who have absolutely no connections to each other.

No competitiveness right from childhood,
sharing of resources,
community ownership,
absence of hierarchy,
frank and honest communication,
importance on happiness,
nonviolent behavior,
absence of greed,
and more.

In science, when we see the same characteristic showing up from multiple independent samples of a specimen, our diagnosis usually is that we've found an inherent characteristic of the specimen : something that arises out of its basic nature, not externally gained. So go figure :

What are the inherent characteristics of human beings in the natural state?

What are we, originally?

Cheap mobile internet

Here is an ensemble of details and prices by which you can get cheap mobile internet in prepaid without risk of inflated bills - for one user or also on wifi and share among many people.

Opinion-o-phobia

You have to have the guts to form an opinion, to express it, to hold it, and to change it whenever you deem necessary.

The problem with conventional structures is that you fear you will be looked down upon if you change your opinions.

Because of the fear of being looked down upon, we find people taking the safer option of not really holding any opinion on issues that may involve a bit of uncertainty. This attitude then gets labeled as more "objective" or "professional" or "unbiased". We conveniently forget that we have to actually take decisions one way or the other and that the decision can only be made if any opinion is formed at all.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Let's raise our kids the way these peaceful societies do it

We have much to learn from the way these cultures raise their children, which ultimately leads to a society free from violence and abuse. One major factor I'm noticing: The absence of any sort of competitive behavior or competitive games.

http://peacefulsocieties.org/Society/Jadar.html

Think twice before blaming freedom of speech


When I shared my last article on the factors that lead to acceptance of eve teasing, I got a comment: "freedom of speech! the two-edged sword"

So I want to tackle this thought. Here's my reply:

wrong. satellite TV has been purposefully pushed because it is the best way for the state to homogenize the country. wired cable networks, given time, would have evolved to make their own local channels and have regional oriented content and discussions delivered - people to people. They couldn't be monitored by the govt. That's the real reason why they were closed. Now any content to be aired has to go thru the govt-industrial complex that controls the satellite broadcasts. They cut off voices from the communities which would have tackled these issues at a local level.

cross-posting: letter to Mukesh Ambani

Cross-posting from https://www.facebook.com/FinalWarAgainstCorruption/posts/110631422450611
because I liked the directness of it, and this stuff needs to get out there. It doesn't matter who wrote this, because much of what's in it resonates inside me as well. Motives etc all come later.. the stuff, the mudda needs to get out.

Public's tolerance of eve teasing leads to rapes. But what leads to eve teasing?

The Justice J S Verma committee, which was formed to suggest ways to make rape laws stronger in India, submitted its report. A key suggestion in the report was to begin treating eve-teasing/stalking as serious non-tolerable sexual offences.

How would you react if you see a woman being 'eve-teased'?


My comment on that:
there was a time when child marriage was treated as natural. It took great efforts to drive in that it's not supposed to be tolerated; and now in many places if not all, it's not tolerated. Same thing needs to happen with eveteasing also : even if it seems "natural" to many, we will have to collectively educate ourselves and the next generation that it's NOT natural and it's not supposed to be tolerated. This is good: It shifts the focus from the victims to the aggressors. We have to target a whole generation of men and make it clear that "ab yeh nahin chelga"

See the conversation on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151457730694257&set=a.412535254256.195409.389272039256&type=1

poster:pale blue dot



a poor-man's attempt to make a poster. Used open office's presentation (powerpoint). This one, to use as cover photo on facebook.

Inspiration: http://zenpencils.com/comic/100-carl-sagan-pale-blue-dot/

Book: Deschooling Society

A seminal work by Ivan Illich, "Deschooling Society" that laid the foundation for several alternative education and unschooling movements. The way he has differentiated institutions from networks is amazing. And for a chap in 1970 to foretell a universal education network that's taking shape right now, that's something. You can read the full book on http://ournature.org/~novembre/illich/1970_deschooling.html

Game Theory

Would Prince of Persia 3/4/whatever, or any adventure / role playing
game be as much fun if from the start everything was fine and there were
no problems, no issues that threatened to wipe out everyone and
everything we've known and cared for?

No. It would be totally boring. You'd probably deliberately fail
missions or kill your own people just for the sake of doing something
out of the ordinary. Let's face it : we need something big at stake to
really get ourselves to push forward and DO stuff... and to have fun
doing it.

Make a fair comparison

A conversation with a friend in Swaraj University. She has taken the
huge step of not continuing after 12th to any degree course, and instead
joined Swaraj Uni. There are genuine worries about the future and
whether she will be able to be on par with formal qualification holders
in the fields she aspires to work in.

So I have this to say: If you want to compare yourself with someone
who's done engineering or arts or commerce, then fine. But then please
take into account these factors:
First, in your comparison, do not take yourself as you are right now.
Rather, consider what your skill levels will be 3 or 4 years down the
line. Look at how much you've grown as an individual in these few months
just since your 12th exams ended, and now extrapolate it. Because you
should compare yourself with your ex-classmates who will graduate 3/4
years from now, not with people who have already graduated.

Next, estimate the total financial expenditure that your average
college-going comparison subject is going to do till the time she/he
graduates, which you will not be doing.

need to blog

I haven't blogged in a long time. And that's because there's sooo much
stuff happening!

But life is precious and unpredictable. I do want my experiences,
thoughts, ideas etc to get out there. So I better get over this
bloggers' block, drop some high standards and get back to simply
expressing myself. Images and proper formatting be damned!

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