Saturday, May 26, 2012

Panorama creation using Dermandar

Wow, this thing is FAST!

I took some pics with the mobile, transferred to comp, selected them here and in a few seconds a 360 degree view was ready!

I got confused at the next step as there was an 'Upload' button as well as 'Save As' and I was thinking that what the heck, I have already uploaded the pictures. But actually, the website creates the panorama on our computer itself without doing any uploading. (I'm impressed!)

So now I press Save As and download a big stitched image file to my comp, and after that I press Upload, next screen it takes the panaroma's name and details. And THEN it takes a long time to upload the whole thing.

So, check out this address:

And.. we can embed it!

edit: changed to another higher res panorama we made later in the day

This panorama was made out of 9 photos, one of which is below:

use the Flash embed option instead of the default HTML5... the default one isnt working on my tiddlyspace at present.

more articles from the web.. on how we can create virtual tours..

Poor man's virtual tour with Dermandar

Remember, this is all for FREE!

Monday, May 21, 2012

India’s male-female ratio crisis and an out of the box soution

Pre-requisite: please first watch the Satyamev Jayate episode on female foeticide that aired on 6th May prior to reading this. The link will lead you to its webpage.

I want to illustrate, using just bare numbers, how serious is the crisis arising from rampant female foeticide in India is in terms of there being a shortfall in women for men of marriageable age.

When we take the absolute countrywide numbers, they’re too large to immediately make sense to us, so let’s scale it all down to this scenario:

Imagine a small island nation with a culture identical to our own. Meaning that there is a “rule” that marriage by the marriageable age is a must, plus the cultural trend of preference for boys over girls. Take the present Indian sex ratio and imagine that every year there are exactly 1000 boys and 914 girls being born. For the sake of simplicity we imagine a 0% population growth rate.

The table below charts the yearwise progress of the island’s numbers of girls and boys. Imagine that everyone gets married at some age like 25, but we’re calculating how many couples will form and how many will be left single right from year 1.


From the first year, (ie, 25 years on), 86 boys are left single.

For year 2, there are not 1000 but 1086 boys available for the 914 girls. Here we will assume the same trend of Indian culture of a preference for older boys by the girl’s parents (and increasingly by the girls themselves), with the usual immediate advantage of an older boy being more well-off, more mature and more able to provide for the girl. So, all 86 of the boys carried over from the previous year get married to 86 girls from year 2. As a result there are now 172 single boys left from year 2.

These get carried over to year 3, and again the same circumstances. So now there are 258 boys left single from year 3.

This number of boys being left single increases year on year, and at the 11th year, the number of boys left single has crossed the total number of girls that will be born the next year. Also worth noting for the guys is that by year 11 (+25), of the 1000 boys that were born, only 1000-946=54 boys are able to marry girls from their own year. If there is just one school and college, this means only 54 of the 1000 boys will marry girls who they studied and graduated with. Remaining 946 have to wait for their juniors.

And from year 12, the extras literally spill over. There are now more boys staying single than those that will be born the next year. From year 12 onwards, NONE of the boys will marry their batchmates, plus 32 of their seniors will join the singles club with them. Of course, with the cultural preference being as it is, these 32 will definitely get married in year 13, but there will be even more boys from year 12 who will remain single even in year 13.

Now, of course we don’t marry off the kids at birth, meaning that the surpluses that started from year 1, are only observed from year 25 when parents seek to get their kids married and settled. Till then, imagine that this imbalance has gone unchecked, unobserved by the population of the island. Where is the chart at year 25 when the first shortfall of 86 unwedded males is physically felt by the people of the island?


By year 25, there are a whopping 3064 boys for the 914 girls…a factor of more than 3! 2150 boys … 70.2% of the total boys, including all of the boys born that year, are destined to be left single by the time the people of this island nation actually realize that they have a problem on their hands!

And this is what has happened in India. Sure, there are variations limiting the number of boys available for coupling including deaths and diseases, singledom, homosexuality etc. But the same variations affect the total women per generation as well, and seeing the distorted numerical relationship, even a minor offset in number of available girls translates to big offsets overall. It’s like the case of a scarce commodity causing major issues when it decreases even by a little. And even if one argues that of course girls will marry older boys, Duh, just shift the girls column up a few notches (so year 1 boys are to be paired with year 5 girls, suppose) – the end result is unchanged. There will still be a widening that will increase year on year.

The effects are already all around us. Haven’t we all witnessed an increase in large age gap marriages somewhere or the other among the people we know? 7~8 years difference between the bride and groom’s ages (guy being older) are no longer uncommon. But the same thing flipped (girl being older), is still very rare. This age gap has only widened over the past decade and it is because those men could not find anyone their age. For a whole gamut of other problems arising, the Satyamev Jayate episode covers them very effectively and I won’t go into them here.

I’m a solution oriented guy, so I’m not going to just bray about the crisis here.

So let’s go back to the island. In which ways would a solution be sought?

We could of course bring the sex ratio back to 1:1. Imagine that this process has already begun. But seeing the nature of things, this is a slow solution, will probably take a whole generation to work out, and does nothing to address the immediate problem which will get truly disastrous by the time the first balanced generation comes of age. I want to explore, what can be the immediate solutions?

1. War : Start a fight with some neighbours, start a war, use the excess males in the population as cannon fodder. Very evil as well as dangerous option, this can very easily result in mass casualties of even the women if the enemy managed to break the defenses. And this is just plain unethical. So, war is a strict No.

2. Import brides from elsewhere. Now imagine that there is no other place to import from since all other countries have the same crisis going on, or that this island is simply not an attractive enough option! Plus, such a huge addition to the island’s population will doom everybody, zero population growth must be maintained.

3. Throw out the excess males. Yeah, right. Where will they go? And who decides whom to throw out – the richer, older singles or the young, poorer ones who aren’t at fault? This too is an unfeasible option and could very well lead to genocide, if not direct then indirect.

4. Make mass clones of the women. Sure… suddenly the war seems like a far better option. Will the nerds fantasizing about whom they’d want to clone pause to consider that what makes a grown person isn’t just size of body parts but the combined experiences as a human being she’s had growing up over the years? The men will be marrying clones, not women!

5. Force most of the men to be celibate. IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? And whoever suggests that ought to lead by example!!

Have you noticed that all of the above have something similar : They’re all about either eliminating excess or adding more to make up for scarcity. It’s like in a thali there’s not enough vegetable (sabji) available for the rotis you have, so you’re either adding more vegetables or throwing away the excess rotis. One way you’re hungry and the other way you’re over-eating! And the last option is as dry and pointless as having only rotis. This isn’t a sustainable solution! What else can we do to make do with what we have? How can we solve this crisis without any elimination or addition?

And this takes us to the logical conclusion : In the thali, we alter the amount of roti that we take with each piece of sabji in order to balance things out.

It is said that the simplest solution, even if most controversial, is often the best one.

Ready? Here goes….

We have to let the women have more than one husband.

At the same time. With full respect to women’s rights. Not extra-marital, but totally legitimized.

How.. where.. why… well, take a look at the latter part of the Satyamev Jayate episode above and you will know that if we don’t do it legitimately and respectfully, its going to get done illegitimately and extremely disrespectfully.

There are several factors that would go into and result out of this, and the consequences are all ones that I like … most importantly it will once again restore gender equality.

I don’t have the time to go into this right now, but heres a link to a note on my web notebook where you might find some material I collect randomly until I can find a way to put it all together.[[Opinion%3A%20We%20need%20to%20accept%20women%20having%20more%20than%20one%20husband]]

Inviting your views as well.. please leave them in the comments here (and for God’s sake do not put them on the link on facebook that just vanishes off in a day!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Videos on self-perception and love

Here's a list of things I want you to see and this concerns love as well as how we perceive ourselves.

I'm linking to the people who delivered these talks so you can read their brief description and get an idea of what they'll be saying, where they're coming from. The videos of their talks are then on the right side of the same page. Even if you can't watch, do read what's there on those pages. - makes a call to men everywhere: Don't act like a man. He pretty much sums up all the issues I have with people of my gender. - studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Her talks turned my perceptions of weakness and strength upside down and resolved several nagging doubts I had. - gives an awesome insight into love and relationships. I STILL think it's just not fair and some things need serious thought and work.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Digging into the roots of gender discrimination in India and busting myths held about women

This topic is in ongoing development here:[[Discrimination%20against%20women]]

Found this in the Arvind Gupta readers library.

Read it from page 10 onwards (chapter 3)

It has a detailed account of the origins of discrimination between men
and women in Indian history, and shatters many long held myths along
the way.

On the web, here is a link to the same, though I found the pdf more
readable than the doc.


Anti-Feminine Statements
The denunciation of females as a group began with aspersions cast in
the Vedic literature: ".. .the mind of woman brooks not discipline.
Her intellect hath little weight.. .with woman, there can be no
lasting friendship..." (Upadhayaya, 1974: 159). Though Buddha
reluctantly allowed women- to become Sisters, establish convents and
join the order, he considered them inferior to the males. In his death
bed conversation with his favorite pupil Ananda, Buddha outlined a
principle for behavior toward Women, instructing that Buddhist monks
should avoid them because, "Women are soon angered, Ananda; women are
full of .passion.. .envious.. .stupid.. .women have no place in public
assemblies..." (Coomarswamy, 1928: 164). Mahabharata enjoined women to
refrain from studying Vedas. The Epics went to absurd lengths to
portray women as carnally insatiable lewds. 'They are inconsistent,
irreligious, licentious, fickle, crooked, ominous catalysts of
conflict leading to the destruction of families, cities, and nations'1
(Jayal, 1966: 228-230). The vituperations of Manu set the tone for the
denunciation of women in Indian literature. After a token tribute to
the need for honoring them, Manu portrayed women as base and ignoble
subjects. No woman, Manu recommended, should attempt to be
independent, even in her own house. In childhood, she should obey her
father, in youth her husband. If her husband dies before her, she
should defer to her sons. Single, married or widowed, at no point in
her life should she make her own decisions (Buehler, 1964: 147-151).
Literature between 600 and 1000 A.D. continued to reflect the tone of
Manu in its antifeminine stance. Even the poets of bhakti-kaal, an
otherwise enlightened group of folk writers, denounced the female as
the gate to hell, more poisonous than vipers and worthy of severe

Asceticism (Women as the Source of Evil)
Asceticism, particularly the doctrine of brahmcharya, placed an
unusual emphasis upon the desirability of freedom from sexual desires.
The female, as a source of pleasure, was depicted as a temptress.
According to this image, women lacked the moral strength of men. The
scriptures are full of anecdotes in which deceptive women act as
decoys to distract the ascetics from their higher spiritual pursuits.


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