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| Dear Nikhil |
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Hi! This blog is testament to the fact that the voices in my head are truly out of my control! Rather than going crazy about it, i've decided to channel them constructively!
Friday, June 24, 2011
I've invested as an online zero-profit lender for an Education loan to someone in West Bengal through RangDe
Teach For India - Best place to work, NGO category - ET and Great places to work survey
Dear Best People
Thursday, June 23, 2011
RangDe: Proud to be micro-financing a solar oven assembler!
Ambika Manikandan 's Evaluation Notes
|First Evaluation : Ovens Raise Profits See more evaluations|
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Fwd: Lokpal bill - how to register your protest on Internet
There is a strong back-lash by certain Ministers of the Govt on the inclusion of PM & other senior Ministers in the Lokpal Bill. Actually it is all a hogwash to dilute the bill itself. There is a strong media campaign against the civil society members of the Lokpal bill drafting committee, with character assassination etc . Somehow the looters have always kept the law away from them and taken advantage of the slow judiciary, weakening of cases by CBI. This includes both the bribe givers and the bribe takers.
What therefore is the solution……creating public opinion and giving feedback is a good way of doing so. The Govt of India now has many websites, where you can register your views. There are many NGO's creating on-line petitions…the internet generation can at least spare the time to write to various arms of Govt of India.
They parliament rules in the name of people , but wants civil society out by claiming parliamentary immunity…….....'YOU ARE RULING IN MY NAME BUT I HAVE NO SAY'… I believe this needs a change
Here are 2 online websites
PM of India website. http://www.pmindia.nic.in
At the bottom of the page is 'feedback' bar. You are free to express your views to the PM office directly on the grievance subject.
If you feel strongly on the subject of corruption, please circulate this mail to as many like minded friends as possible.
Wishing India all the best.
(forwared by a friend)
Monday, June 13, 2011
Proven : Co-operation is key to evolution, not survival of fittest
Please check out the link - there's a podcast as well as a video you can watch there which gives all the details. Here's the gist:
RSA KeynoteEveryone is familiar with Darwin's revolutionary idea about the survival of the fittest, and most people agree that it works - but Darwin's famous theory has one major chink. If life is about survival of the fittest, then why would we risk our own life to jump into a river to save a stranger?
Some people argue that issues such as charity, fairness, forgiveness and cooperation are evolutionary loose ends, side issues that are of little consequence. But as Harvard's celebrated evolutionary biologist Professor Martin Nowak explains - cooperation is central to the four-billion-year-old puzzle of life.
Cooperation is fundamental to how molecules in the primordial soup crossed the watershed that separates dead chemistry from biochemistry.
Cooperation is the key to understanding why language evolved, an event that is as significant as the evolution of the first primitive organism.
And it goes without saying that cooperation is the reason that people live in towns, villages and cities. Cooperation can even help to explain the spread of cancer cells and the role of punishment in society.
Join Martin Nowak and Roger Highfield at the RSA as they explore the five basic laws of cooperation - Kin Selection, Direct Reciprocity, Indirect Reciprocity, Network Reciprocity and Group Selection - in order to explain some of the most fundamental mechanics beneath everyday life.
If you can connect the dots together fast enough, this development will blow you away. Everything we had accepted so far, will have to be questioned - the major institutions that rule the world today are suddenly exposed to be completely unnecessary to society.
This mathematically (and by now practically too) proven theory gives credible backing to the argument that existing systems of Capitalism, Game Theory, Communism, Big Government - are all flawed, as they assumed "survival of the fittest" was the most basic evolutionary rule, which inevitably led to selfishness.
Even Communism and now the Big Government systems that run major countries of the world today, assume that people aren't capable of co-operating on their own and so need a big-brother government to keep them from destroying themselves. They fool us into thinking that normal won't take care of the underprivileged, so they tax us and then leech it off for their own ends. Did you know that the Indian government
According to them, the concept of people voluntarily co-oerating with each other, loving and caring for one another, shouldn't exist. If their arguments were to be believed (as they unfortunately have so far), then there is just no explanation for the rise and rise of so many movements all across the world today that want to spread good without any selfish motive other than the practical realization that the only way their children will have a happy life is if everybody's children inherit a better world.
"Economists" (rather waste-onomists!) try to justify, and downplay, the existence of all the benevolent voluntary movements across the world as PR tactics, without even addressing the loophole that if their most basic logic (market economics > selfish motive as prime driver of all human activity) was really true, there would not be any Public around to sell the PR to!
Because of this chasm in logic, this conflict between reality and accepted theories, religious institutions had barged in and claimed that all the good stuff in the world arises from religiosity. There was already enough evidence of organized religious institutions and leaders abusing authority for their own ends in the name of religion, of stifling growth, of dividing people, but because of the claims that everything that is good in this world also comes from them, they were able to justify their existence as necessary and essential to civilization.
The scientific proof of co-operation being inherent in all living organisms exposes those claims and so defeats the monetary, the religious and the government institutions in one blow! If good for all is inherent in us all, if we know that any selfish society will self-destruct by natural inevitability and we have the scientific proof to back it, there is no need for having any competitive system, or any external incentives for good behavior or any big brother to watch over.
Rather, if we probe deep enough, it's evident that bad behavior exists today only because of external incentives that reward it - from genocidal governments to reckless traders to repressive religions to terrorists. To prevent terror, they make more terror, to prevent bankruptcy they create more debt, to prevent vice they end up committing more vice and the vicious cirlce widens. If we got rid of our assumptions and accepted co-operation as our natural state, we won't need the institutions that are causing the mess while fooling us all this time that they were protecting us - we don't need their protection as we don't have any enemies in a world where co-operation is key to evolution!
For the nice religious people, I did not target you; it turns out you were on the right path all along! Using this we can once and for all get rid of the extremist elements in your establishments by exposing their double standards. You won't need to follow made-up stories, rather the most basic principles of empathy, love, caring, are enough as they can be proven by simple logic and don't need elaborate setups like heaven and hell and God and Satan. This co-operation theory represents a path for unification of scientific thought and niceness - we will realize that one is the other and we can have both!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
article: Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study
Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study
UN's climate change science body says renewables supply, particularly solar power, can meet global demand
Renewable energy could account for almost 80% of the world's energy supply within four decades - but only if governments pursue the policies needed to promote green power, according to a landmark report published on Monday.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the world's leading climate scientists convened by the United Nations, said that if the full range of renewable technologies were deployed, the world could keep greenhouse gas concentrations to less than 450 parts per million, the level scientists have predicted will be the limit of safety beyond which climate change becomes catastrophic and irreversible.
Investing in renewables to the extent needed would cost only about 1% of global GDP annually, said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC.
Renewable energy is already growing fast – of the 300 gigawatts of new electricity generation capacity added globally between 2008 and 2009, about 140GW came from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, according to the report.
The investment that will be needed to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets demanded by scientists is likely to amount to about $5trn in the next decade, rising to $7trn from 2021 to 2030.
Ramon Pichs, co-chair of one of the key IPCC working groups, said: "The report shows that it is not the availability of [renewable] resources but the public policies that will either expand or constrain renewable energy development over the coming decades. Developing countries have an important stake in the future – this is where most of the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity live yet also where some of the best conditions exist for renewable energy deployment."
Sven Teske, renewable energy director at Greenpeace International, and a lead author of the report, said: "This is an invitation to governments to initiate a radical overhaul of their policies and place renewable energy centre stage. On the run up to the next major climate conference, COP17 in South Africa in December, the onus is clearly on governments to step up to the mark."
He added: "The IPCC report shows overwhelming scientific evidence that renewable energy can also meet the growing demand of developing countries, where over 2 billion people lack access to basic energy services and can do so at a more cost-competitive and faster rate than conventional energy sources. Governments have to kick start the energy revolution by implementing renewable energy laws across the globe."
The 1,000-page Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) marks the first time the IPCC has examined low-carbon energy in depth, and the first interim report since the body's comprehensive 2007 review of the science of climate change.
Although the authors are optimistic about the future of renewable energy, they note that many forms of the technology are still more expensive than fossil fuels, and find that the production of renewable energy will have to increase by as much as 20 times in order to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. Renewables will play a greater role than either nuclear or carbon capture and storage by 2050, the scientists predict.
Investing in renewables can also help poor countries to develop, particularly where large numbers of people lack access to an electricity grid.
About 13% of the world's energy came from renewable sources in 2008, a proportion likely to have risen as countries have built up their capacity since then, with China leading the investment surge, particularly in wind energy. But by far the greatest source of renewable energy used globally at present is burning biomass (about 10% of the total global energy supply), which is problematic because it can cause deforestation, leads to deposits of soot that accelerate global warming, and cooking fires cause indoor air pollution that harms health.
There was disappointment for enthusiasts of marine energy, however, as the report found that wave and tidal power were "unlikely to significantly contribute to global energy supply before 2020". Wind power, by contrast, met about 2% of global electricity demand in 2009, and could increase to more than 20% by 2050.
As with all IPCC reports, the summary for policymakers – the synopsis of the report that will be presented to governments and is likely to impact renewable energy policy – had to be agreed line by line and word by word unanimously by all countries. This was done at Monday's meeting in Abu Dhabi. This makes the process lengthy, but means that afterwards no government or scientist represented can say that they disagree with the finished findings, which the IPCC sees as a key strength of its operations.
The launch of the report is streamed on the IPCC web site.
For discreditors of IPCC / Pachauri who claim that they were profiteering and lying, they can be told about the official apology that the media companies had to make after an audit proved the accusations wrong. This of course was not as widely publicized as the accusations were.
On 21 August 2010, the Daily Telegraph issued an apology, saying that it had "not intended to suggest that Dr Pachauri was corrupt or abusing his position as head of the IPCC and we accept KPMG found Dr Pachauri had not made "millions of dollars" in recent years." It stated: "We apologise to Dr Pachauri for any embarrassment caused." The newspaper was reported to have paid legal costs running into six figures. Pachauri welcomed the Telegraph's apology, saying that he was "glad that they have finally acknowledged the truth", and attributed the false allegations to "another attempt by the climate sceptics to discredit the IPCC. They now want to go after me and hope that it would serve their purpose."
Join Vinay Pathak and citizens of India and Become a Fool for Forests!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Spilt Milk (Story on how making mistakes is ok and important)
(got this as an email forwdard)
Have you heard of the story - spilt milk? Well, we all know there is no use crying over spilt milk. But this story is different. I would hope all parents would respond in this manner.
I recently heard a story about a famous research scientist who had made several very important medical breakthroughs. He was being interviewed by a newspaper reporter who asked him why he thought he was able to be so much more creative than the average person. What set him so far apart from others?
He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother that occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor - a veritable sea of milk!
When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, "Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?"
Indeed, he did. After a few minutes, his mother said, "You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel, or a mop. Which do you prefer?" He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk.
His mother then said, "You know, what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let's go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it." The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. What a wonderful lesson!
This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment that he knew he didn't need to be afraid to make mistakes.
Instead, he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. Even if the experiment doesn't work, we usually learn something valuable from it.
Wouldn't it be great if all parents would respond the way Robert's mother responded to him?
Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.
(PS: there's no ads or revenue sources of any kind on this blog)