Friday, December 27, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Reasons to not use PDF

I'm sharing my experiences with PDF till now.
1. I would recommend formats like epub or txt or docx or odf or just
an 'offlined' html (without the excessive supporting files that a
normal browser Save creates). The pdfs become closed fortresses;
they're good for printing and protecting, for saving to print later;
not for reading and sharing.
2. We can't read them properly on a phone (have to drag left and right
all the time to read sentences). And some kinds of phones can't open
them whereas text files they can.
3. On a new computer and some makes of android devices, you have to
install software to run a pdf; and Adobe which really infests the
system with background updaters is the most prominent one available
(don't expect our target audiences to know about alternative
4. They usually weigh more than the same content would in other formats.
5. The content in them can't be efficiently copied over to quote in
papers and excerpts. We want the content to be open, not closed. I'd
love to see college students copy-pasting from the stuff I'm sharing
and mixing them into their papers and submissions. I want to enable
synthesis here.
6. They're not machine-friendly, so programs can't index them or
extract useful information from them. This is why Project Gutenberg
(largest repository of ebooks in open domain) insists on using simple
text files instead of pdfs. Content going into pdfs is more likely to
be forgotten and lost as compared to other formats.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The invisible religions causing the real harm

There's something I'd like to share regarding organized religions and
the resistance to their domination.
There are some religions that I've noticed only recently, which have
silently taken hold everywhere while making sure that they are not
referred to as religions. Upon some inspection I'm finding them fitting
all the attributes about organized religion that even I stand against.
Mind, I'm not going to slot myself in any box of pro or against
religion; that's another matter.

Coming back to these religions, The alarming thing I'm finding is that
even among people who have since long declared themselves to be free of
any religion, who have spent years advocating against invasion into
people's lives and taking away of human rights on the basis of religion,
I'm finding unquestioned acceptance and loyalty to these religions.
Through their actions, many otherwise very nice people are become
unconscious participants in forcing many fellow humans into
indoctrination into these religions.

This has led me to conclude that these invisible religions are far more
sinister, far more dangerous than Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jewism
and others that have become the favorite blame-target of many
discourses. At many places, I'm finding that even some evils commonly
attributed to the declared religions (like causing wars, for example)
are originally coming from these invisible religions. And by
misdirecting the blame, we're making the invisible religions even more
powerful, all-encompassing while wrongly framing groups of people who
have nothing to do with the evils.

One of those religions is money (in its current form). Another is
compulsory education. And they're both intricately linked to each
other, so they're more like different facets of the same thing.

Why do I think of these as religions? Let me show:

Money is accepted as universally essential for everything. And yet we
don't question or understand properly exactly how it is made, where it's
coming from. At the very root of the chain, there's outright magic
happening (Fed Reserve creates money out of thin air upon creation of a
loan), and even down the chain it doesn't follow any realistic laws
(fractional reserve banking system)

There is a priest-class that creates the money and keeps it going. They
make the rules regarding money, apply them differently to the 'junta'
and differently to themselves... ordinary people can be punished
ruthlessly for violating them whereas those in the order get plenty of
leeway (ex:bank bailouts). They do everything to make sure everyone gets
more and more dependent on this religion. Anyone who tries to make do
without adhering to this religion, is liable to be outcasted and even
attacked and made to comply.

Education is declared and supposed to be accepted as an essential. The
theoretical potential, which practically can never been achieved, is
used to justify the most oppressive conditions. The promise of a
glittering future (structurally designed to be rewarded to less than 1%
of the population) is used to justify destroying the present of the most
vulnerable sections of the population (the children!). Again, those who
oppose it are outcasted and liable to vehement ridicule by all those
around them. Government assistance in certain areas is not extended to
those who do not follow this religion. It is intolerant of non-believers
and declares them inferior, in need of intervention. The priest class
here, ridicules anyone from outside the establishment who dares to
challenge the status quo.

Both money and education seek to separate people from nature. Both are
inherently artificial and do not have much basis in the real world. They
use arbitrary numbers and symbols (GDP and grades, degrees) which have
no real limits, and anything is fair in their pursuit, even wars that
devastate whole countries. Both have proved by now that following them
leads to degradation of society, yet they keep demanding fealty with the
promise of a glorious future.

Both money and education, as they exist today, are well organized. Even
if some components are officially independent of each other, they share
reverance to the same edicts and regulate each other to maintain the
status quo. They have definite origins that can be traced back to
imposition and propaganda by elites. They did not emerge from the
people; they are here not by accident but by design.

We can go on and on, but basically I hope that when we do talk about the
harmful effects of religions, these invisible religions also get taken
into account. Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Jewism, etc... these are
not playing the major role in causing the major problems of the world
today. It is the invisible religions we should be taking a stand
against. I invite all atheists and those opposed to religious harm, to
introspect and find the hidden religions they're unknowingly following.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Art of Distraction

The Art of Distraction : Manufacture a crisis that's so obviously
against-the-best-interests-of-the-people, such a no-brainer, that's so
in the open, so plainly ain't-gonna-happen, that the nation's attention
is totally fixed there for weeks; meanwhile you can quietly do anything
else : pass draconian laws, bury other happenings, let the outrage over
other scandals die down, get rid of evidences and get clean away while
the people are focused on something else.

So let's see what the Indian govt secretly does on the side while the
media is blanketing us with supreme court verdicts on matters that are
nobody's business.

Greed - a natural consequence of Scarcity

Excerpt from Charles Eisenstein's book "Sacred Economics", CHAPTER 2 : THE ILLUSION OF SCARCITY

Greed makes sense in a context of scarcity. Our reigning ideology assumes it: it is built in to our Story of Self. The separate self in a universe governed by hostile or indifferent forces is always at the edge of extinction, and secure only to the extent that it can control these forces. Cast into an objective universe external to ourselves, we must compete with each other for limited resources. Based on the story of the separate self, both biology and economics have therefore written greed into their basic axioms. In biology it is the gene seeking to maximize reproductive self-interest; in economics it is the rational actor seeking to maximize financial self-interest. But what if the assumption of scarcity is false—a projection of our ideology, and not the ultimate reality? If so, then greed is not written into our biology but is a mere symptom of the perception of scarcity.

An indication that greed reflects the perception rather than the reality of scarcity is that rich people tend to be less generous than poor people. In my experience, poor people quite often lend or give each other small sums that, proportionally speaking, would be the equivalent of half a rich person’s net worth. Extensive research backs up this observation. A large 2002 survey by Independent Sector, a nonprofit research organization, found that Americans making less than $25,000 gave 4.2 percent of their income to charity, as opposed to 2.7 percent for people making over $100,000. More recently, Paul Piff, a social psychologist at University of California–Berkeley, found that “lower-income people were more generous, charitable, trusting and helpful to others than were those with more wealth.” Piff found that when research subjects were given money to anonymously distribute between themselves and a partner (who would never know their identity), their generosity correlated inversely to their socioeconomic status.

While it is tempting to conclude from this that greedy people become wealthy, an equally plausible interpretation is that wealth makes people greedy. Why would this be? In a context of abundance greed is silly; only in a context of scarcity is it rational. The wealthy perceive scarcity where there is none. They also worry more than anybody else about money. Could it be that money itself causes the perception of scarcity? Could it be that money, nearly synonymous with security, ironically brings the opposite? The answer to both these questions is yes. On the individual level, rich people have a lot more “invested” in their money and are less able to let go of it. (To let go easily reflects an attitude of abundance.) On the systemic level, as we shall see, scarcity is also built in to money, a direct result of the way it is created and circulated.

The assumption of scarcity is one of the two central axioms of economics. (The second is that people naturally seek to maximize their rational self-interest.) Both are false; or, more precisely, they are true only within a narrow realm, a realm that we, the frog at the bottom of the well, mistake for the whole of reality. As is so often the case, what we take to be objective truth is actually a projection of our own condition onto the “objective” world. So immersed in scarcity are we that we take it to be the nature of reality. But in fact, we live in a world of abundance. The omnipresent scarcity we experience is an artifact: of our money system, of our politics, and of our perceptions.

Obviously there's a lot before and after this that will answer most doubts that may come up. I recommend you read the book.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Man in Africa who recovered from AIDS using an "orgone zapper"

Excerpt from an ebook shared on

In recent months the case of Mr Nathan Kagina has created some excitement in Uganda. He was on the brink of dying from AIDS when he started using an orgone zapper (a Don Croft Terminator). Within 6 weeks, he had recovered completely and is now responding to blood tests as HIV negative. His case was published in all major Ugandan newspapers, and has led the Health Department to acknowledging the zapper as a legitimate treatment for HIV/AIDS. Nathan Kagina is a Ugandan citizen who recovered completely from full blown AIDS, using one of our zappers. Here is his story:

Yes, I am Nathan Kagina and I did promote the Terminator on National T.V., Radio, and Newspapers [here in my home country of Uganda]. The response and requests for more information and availability is overwhelming. Uganda has a population of about 30 million people and 20% are now living with HIV/AIDS and need this treatment. The government chemist, Minister of Health, Dr Grace Nambatya Kyeyune, has now included the ZAPPER for HIV treatment in Uganda, officially, on the basis of my own research, testimony and case study.

The Zapper is amazingly the most important scientific discovery since the Atomic Bomb but based on laws of magnetism.

In just six months of using the Zapper my viral load fell from millions per sample to an undetectable level.

This is bad news for the drug cartel and good news for millions living with HIV/AIDS, world-wide.

Thank you for your quick response and for your offer to give me a couple of Terminators.

Attached, find photos taken on the point of death (a memory photo with my wife and children) then the second photograph, after recovery.
Thank you DON for saving my life!.
Kind regards,
Mr Nathan Kagina, P.O. Box 16264
Kampala, Uganda
Email: nathan_kagina [at]
Tele: +256782690197 "

So, invitations to the skeptics out there to cross-check this. I've been looking into this more than just this case and have made my decisions on what to believe and what not to.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Questions about CNG

Comment on

Thank you for this article. I'd like to point out an observation : I
fear that this article carries in it an unexamined assumption that there
is infinite amount of CNG available without any cost or hazard. I
request that you also bring in an analysis of where the CNG is coming
from. It's natural gas.

How is it extracted?

If I'm seeing widespread protests in the world's most industrialized
countries against natural gas extraction through fracking; if they don't
have the technology to do it cleanly and without tremendous damage, then
what are we doing?

What happens to stored CNG when a natural or manmade disaster strikes?

Is India's infrastructure more advanced than theirs, or China's where a
massive natural gas pipe explosion killed scores of people in a city

CNG is a fossil fuel, and using isn't doing anything to repair the
dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere. Are we solving the problem or are we
exchanging one problem with another?

Truth of Gujarat

Good Site!

From subject-ship to citizenship

Really liked this article.

"If you ask me for an overall caption for the AAP movement, it would be,
from subject-ship to citizenship. People who think they can demand
things of their rulers, people who believe they have certain rights, who
are not becharaas (the helpless) who are not to be taken for granted,
and that the rulers are not mai-baap. And that's a very major transition."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Unexamined assumptions behind UID

I feel that there are some unexamined assumptions behind the whole citizen ID card thing.

One is that the top decision makers in government and the govt machinery are foolproof, infallible people who will never betray their citizens for their personal advantage.

Another is that the way to solve the problems of the day is by having maximum control over everything... by id'ing, tracking everything and everyone, and that we all need a perfect someone on top to keep a close watch over everything.

And yet another assumption is that the problems facing society originate from the population at large and particularly from those at the bottom of the societal/financial pyramid; and not from the elites and rulers at the top of the pyramid. We feel that all the poverty, hunger, deaths, child malnutrition, separation, pollution, disempowerment, discrimination, negativity etc is because of those sneaky people running away from unforgiving debt or fleeing persecution because of sexual orientation or life partner choices or being evicted out of their ancestral lands.... we think these people on the fringes of our society have no right to be burdening our infrastructure and clogging our welfare services. So they're the problem and they should all be tracked, ID'd, denied any basic human dignity because they can't prove that they're one of us, criminalized for not being "proper", and stamped out.

And then again... we make the assumption that finally we'll be able to devise a heavy, sophisticated system that will be able to ensure that despite having unlimited funds, extensive mafia links and questionable ties with the ruling elites of our society who are running this system, no "terrorist" can manage to fake his way through.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Surprising Healing Qualities of Dirt

Here's something I'm reading which I'm personally experiencing as well recently:

The Surprising Healing Qualities ... of Dirt

A doctor discovers exposure to healthy farm soil holds keys to healthy bodies

Some excerpts:
While soil scientists are busy documenting these soil-to-food links, immunologists and allergists in Europe are working above ground to uncover another intriguing soil-health connection, the so-called "farm effect." Why is it that children raised on ecologically managed farms in Central Europe have much lower rates of allergy and asthma than urban children or those raised on industrialized farms? Once again, almost everything points to microbes—in manure, in unpasteurized milk, in stable dust, on unwashed food and, yes, in the soil. In one study, researchers cultured farm children's mattresses and found a potpourri of bacteria—most of which are typically found in soil."
But what if our own immune cells are simply a backup mechanism to a more sophisticated first line of defense—our resident microbes?
And what if a healthy and diverse soil microbiome can foster a more diverse and protective human microbiome?"
"A group of French microbiologists were among the first to document this game of pass-the-gene when they identified the exact same sequence of DNA in two different Bacteroidetes bacteria species, one living on seaweed and the other in the intestines of Japanese people. They concluded that the marine bacteria had hitchhiked their way into the human gut via sushi and other seaweed dishes and passed their seaweed-digesting DNA on to resident microbes of the human host. The end result of this exchange is that many Japanese—and possibly people from other seaweed-eating cultures—have acquired a greater ability than the rest of us to extract valuable nutrients from their nori."
"Thinking of a healthy body as an extension of a healthy farm, and vice versa, is a paradigm shift for many of us. But when we consider that all of our cells get their building blocks from plants and soil then, suddenly, it all makes sense. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say: We are soil."

Nelson Mandela quotes that you won't find in mainstream media

  1. "A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens."
  2. "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings."
  3. "The current world financial crisis also starkly reminds us that many of the concepts that guided our sense of how the world and its affairs are best ordered, have suddenly been shown to be wanting.”
  4. "Gandhi rejects the Adam Smith notion of human nature as motivated by self-interest and brute needs and returns us to our spiritual dimension with its impulses for nonviolence, justice and equality. He exposes the fallacy of the claim that everyone can be rich and successful provided they work hard. He points to the millions who work themselves to the bone and still remain hungry."
  5. "There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like."
  6. “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
  7. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
  8. “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
  9. “No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.”
  10. "If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don't ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers."
  11. “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
  12. On Gandhi: "From his understanding of wealth and poverty came his understanding of labor and capital, which led him to the solution of trusteeship based on the belief that there is no private ownership of capital; it is given in trust for redistribution and equalization. Similarly, while recognizing differential aptitudes and talents, he holds that these are gifts from God to be used for the collective good."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The project in teaching that I wasn't able to do

Sharing a part of an email to a friend. TFI stands for Teach for India :
an educational NGO that I worked with in 2011-12 and where I publicly
walked out of in protest.. that's another story.

What you mentioned... " TFI classrooms to have absolute autonomy in
their curriculum, evaluation, instruction"...well well!
Long before my walkng-out, this is exactly what I had proposed to Pune
city team one month into my Fellowship when I was pulled up and
reprimanded for my poor performance. I shared with them Astra taylor's
talk on unschooled life and some other resources I'd found, and gave
them a challenge that for the next 2 units (ie, 3 months), I wanted
complete autonomy and freedom from TFI, esp the weekly testing ,
tracking regime. In exchange I offered that I won't take any salary or
reimbursements for the next 3 months. That way if I screwed up, TFI
could simply end my fellowship, say I wasn't even with them for last 3
months, and wash their hands off the case.

I challenged them that after that period they do their assessments and
see how far the kids have come. My plan (only in vague form in my head
at the time) was to let the class be, and using the free time gained
from not having to do so much deliverables after school, and the energy
gained from not having to control the classroom during school, I'd do
one-on-one or one-on-two tutoring with each kid after school hours. I'd
found that I could easily help them master an entire week's or more of
maths/english lessons in an hour when working with them alone, but this
worked only when I didn't have any other workload.

Naturally, the proposal was immediately shot down, ridiculed, with the
logical argument that I had no right to play around with the children's
futures (apparently they held the monopoly on that). My failures to
prove effectiveness in following their system so far were used to assume
I wouldn't succeed even in my own. In hindsight I think I'd have
probably failed to prove anything (because our systems used to measure
the learning of the children were themselves flawed), but I really
wanted the kids and myself to get a breather from the onslaught and
wanted to see how they can develop if allowed to talk and interact with
each other all day.

Why am I sharing this? Because I'm quite sure a LOT of teachers out
there have considered this and are too afraid to talk about it out of
fear of being ridiculed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decentralized communication network network
Hoping something like this project really comes about soon!

Commotion is an open-source communication tool that uses mobile phones, computers, and
other wireless devices to create
decentralized mesh networks.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The decline of empathy

Haven't you noticed it too, in your college or workplace? If empathy is indeed what makes civilization, then clearly we're on the path of destroying it right now.

Gift Economy

Would you like to show your appreciation for this work through a small contribution?

(PS: there's no ads or revenue sources of any kind on this blog)

Related Posts with Thumbnails