Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How come suddenly flight ticket and iphone

Just backup-posting here a common reply to many people disparaging on social media about how some popular social icon is suddenly using iPhone and going on a flight when he's supposed to be poor:

Financial assistance flows in like water after you actually stand up for something that matters. Even many friends of mine who could never afford have received iPhones as gifts to help them with the good work they're doing. And air tickets can be bought FOR you by well wishers. This guy's well wishers aren't just your poor slaves.

Critics, thoda toh dimaag istamaal kiya karo

The Way of the Marathon - by Abhishek Thakur

Re-posting from my friend Kiran's FB post : https://www.facebook.com/kirangul/posts/10153802237647886


There are two distinct ways I have seen people engage in the social space.

The first is like a sprint. There is a burst of energy, like Bolt trying to run his 100 metres. Post a fellowship or a program, you are totally fired up. You realise that the world has burning problems, and you dive right in.

Soon, you have a social enterprise. Or, you are already volunteering 16 hours a day for some cause, relentlessly.

It's all great. You get acknowledgement from the people around. You have exciting stories to tell and feel the throbbing passion.

But sooner or later, burnout begins to loom on the horizon. The wake up call may be through a health crisis or a break up. It could be a parent losing patience or friends giving up on you. But it comes.

And with that comes disillusionment and 'giving up'. There may even be some bitterness – about how things will never change. There's a story about why it won't work or why you will get back to 'it' later.

But there is another way to engage with social change – the one I have seen the elders of this space choose.

This is the way of the marathon.

Just as you prepare to run for a marathon, this involves careful preparation. This preparation is at many levels. At the mental level it is understanding your cause. At the physical level it is taking care of your health. But the most important preparation is spiritual.

Social change can be a depressing journey. Consider your experience. Problems are super complex, solutions may not work and things keep getting worse. There are few blips of success. The work is time and thought intensive. And it is often underpaid.

In this scenario, spiritual practice is the fountain of hope.

After the initial burst of energy has fizzled, life can seem quite directionless. Many of us head back to corporate jobs. Others go for further studies, looking back at their social tryst as a youthful fling. Some save 'social work' for post retirement repentance.

But the way of the marathon requires each of us to care for ourselves. to nurture ourselves as the space through which Life will do its work. This journey is not for years but for decades spanning a lifetime – there is no exit strategy here.

My practices include journaling and meditation. On the path, the company of noble friends helps - these are others who are on the path and inspire me to keep walking. Self care includes eating healthy food, exercising and keeping the brain active.

The way of the marathon also involves preparing those around you to live with your choices. As they say, if you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.

The marathon way is also about learning to live within one's means. Creating a financial 'model' that allows us to sustain work in the long run is as essential.

Finally, there is no better way (or reason) to grow than to serve. Contemplation has to become a way of life.

I am preparing for a marathon (and already running it). And I'm looking forward to a joyful jog all the way to the finish line. Like every generation, we too will chip into the journey of the planet.

The only question is – will we get burned out by it or have a blast while it lasts!"

- Abhishek, our thakur.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The two-pronged team effort required to solve the farming problem

Its a two-pronged team that needs to work together here. 

We have the pioneers like all the wonderful people I've met practicing permaculture / natural farming who like scouts actually get out there, work independently of established systems, figure out the solutions and get proof of concept and relay it back. 

And we have the social workers who have deep connections who need to take this info and relay it to the masses and governments. 

This relaying and receiving of vital info needs some work. 

Many social sector people think the solutions are only for rich folks (who could afford to pioneer) because they see only the rich ones doing it first. (It has to begin somewhere, right? Even the petrol engine was too costly at first! So unfair & demanding to expect only the poor to solve the biggest problems!).

Our pioneers can lose patience after trying to do the social guy's job & failing frustratingly.

One sad thing that I've seen happening in repeated cases is that at the village where the pioneer is doing their very-unconventional farming, most if not all of their neighbors are attacking them from day one. And yes, the neighouring farmer may be piss-poor but he/she will trash-talk the pioneer's efforts with all the arrogance of a spoilt king : it happens! It's a default reaction, a knee-jerk one. The Pioneer, by their very nature, is not equipped to work under such conditions and hence more often than not has to react defensively and build the separation needed from their neighbours to protect and nurture their work. And yes, this separation too needs resources.

What both sides need to realize is that the pioneers and the social change-agents  need to work as a team. Which means not doing the same thing but doing different and complimentary things. One prepares the medicine while the other prepares the patient to be able to take the medicine effectively.

The pioneer has to be by definition disconnected, hence she/he is unable to connect with and convince even the neighbouring villagers to adopt the solutions she/he has innovated. In fact a lot of their energy will be spent in just fending off the neighbours and protecting their experimental work from being destroyed.

The social worker has to be by definition connected and occupied in firefighting constant crises, hence she/he is unable to think outside the box and innovate solutions. And they need to work hard to build a good standing in the population's eyes, meaning they cannot afford to indulge in experimentation that can fail or be assumed to fail if results are too slow (which is why the pioneer is needed to do it).

One side can innovate but not scale or defend their solution in face of attacks by the mainstream. 
The other side can scale up and push the solution long enough to make it mainstream, but cannot innovate.

By working together, they can innovate AND scale.

The two shall complete each other. Yin and Yang shall join forces and that's how we're going to solve the farming problem, and turn every micro-region of this planet into self-sufficient in food, turn agriculture into a net CO2 sink, restore the ecological balance and earn back the stewardship of our home planet.

Note: I have seen cases of people being both pioneers and social change agents; or they are a team or husband-wife pair who can do both things. But that is rare and even they can have problems if doing things alone only.

Links for further reading:
Amoeba model of cultural change

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why so much hatred for Kejriwal?

If you are curious to know why so many whatsapp fwds are going overboard with their hatred for Arvind Kejriwal, simply spend some time reading posts on this: https://twitter.com/ArvindKejriwal or this: https://aapdelhidiary.wordpress.com/

Kaam theek se karo toh opposition maaf nahin karegi :)

What's an UnConference?

This wrote itself this morning while I was trying to figure out a mailer for an unconference event we're doing next week here in Pune.
I'm separating the lines here to make it more readable.

What's an UnConference?

Imagine your last time at a conference, with a captive audience of everyone having to listen to one expert up on the podium, wishing you could get some more time to talk with the new friend you made at tea break. 

An unconference, also known as an open space event, decentralizes to multiple simultaneous breakout sessions where smaller groups can interact more intimately around a chosen topic. 

It liberates participants to go seek out what they're most interested in, with full freedom to move

It empowers participants to host sessions on topics they're interested in even if they're not experts but just curious

And, if you just want to talk at length with one or two people or play with kids or catch a nap, we encourage you to bunk sessions and do that! 

With that, we have a mela-like atmosphere with stalls and common spaces for random interactions. 

We also try to make the schedule have maximum room possible for unstructured interactions while still keeping a structure. 

We have an opening circle for settling in, orienting ourselves and planning the day's sessions, and a closing circle at end of event for regrouping and reflecting on our experiences.

Further reading: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources/how-run-open-space-event

>> Howzit ?!

For reference, see details about our event here. And below is the timetable we're following for this event:




9am onwards

Find the place, walk in and registrations

9.30 - 11.00 am

Opening circle

11.30 am - 1 pm

Breakout Session 1

1 - 2.30 pm

Lunch & Mela

2.30 - 3.30 pm

Breakout Session 2

3.30 - 4.30 pm

Breakout Session 3

4.30 - 5 pm

Tea & snacks

5 - 6 pm

Closing circle

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Invite for PUVU-4, Saturday 30 April 2016, 10am-6pm, @Yerwada (Pune Urban Village UnConference)

Hi Friends,

Inviting you to a fun-filled Saturday for yourself and the family, at the Pune Urban Village UnConference!

A day of celebration of our authentic selves, a day of sharing, caring and co-creation.
RSVP here!

Short version:
Event: Pune Urban Village Unconference, 4th edition
Date: Saturday, 30 April 2016
Time:  10am to 6pm
Venue: Thoughtworks, 6th floor, Binarus building, Deepak Complex, Deepak Nitrate Road, Yerawada, Pune.

Entry is free; for lunch by caterers charge is Rs.100/plate. You can bring your own food or get it from thela's outside the building's gate.
Click here : RSVP / lunch booking
Join the FB event page

Contact persons:
Urmila Samson, +91-9422-330-377
Nikhil VJ, +91-966-583-1250, nikhil.js [at] gmail.com
(please try to SMS/Whatsapp first)

10 am onwards
Find the place, walk in and registrations
Opening circle and sessions planning
12.15 - 1 pm
Breakout Session 1
1 - 2.30 pm
Lunch & Mela
2.30 - 3.30 pm
Breakout Session 2
3.30 - 4.30 pm
Breakout Session 3
4.30 - 5 pm
Tea & snacks
5 - 6 pm
Closing circle

Special activity : Dariya Dil Dukaan! Please bring gifts that you would like to share with others!

Bring and put up posters about your initiative / organization!
Stalls : Most welcome. Contact us to let us know. Come on Fri 29th 5.30pm onwards to set up your stall. If more stalls, pls be accommodating to share table space. Note: footfalls expected : 100 to 200 ppl; no fees but no guarantees on sales either.

Directions: From Yerwada, take left at Gunjan theatre. After a chowk, along Golf course east wall , turn right at Sates tax office. Take left gate opp thela's, find tall office building 100m in.
by Bus: Route 24 from Katraj/Swargate/Station going towards MH housing board, get off at Sales tax office stop, after Netaji chowk. Cross the road to right side. Alternately, take a bus going towards Nagpur Chawl. See bus routes here.

Poster: (pls share among your networks!)

The Long Version:

Welcome to PUVU 4;  A day of celebration of our authentic selves, a day of sharing, caring and co-creation.

Please do bring family, friends, elders and children along. Everybody is welcome.

(Note: all of the below will be adequately explained at the opening circle as well, so make sure you catch it!)

What's an UnConference?
Imagine your last time at a conference, with a captive audience of everyone having to listen to one expert up on the podium, wishing you could get some more time to talk with the new friend you made at tea break. An unconference, also known as an open space event, decentralizes to multiple simultaneous breakout sessions where smaller groups can interact more intimately around a chosen topic. It liberates participants to go seek out what they're most interested in, with full freedom to move. It empowers participants to host sessions on topics they're interested in even if they're not experts but just curious. And, if you just want to talk at length with one or two people or play with kids or catch a nap, we encourage you to bunk sessions and do that! With that, we have a mela-like atmosphere with stalls and common spaces for random interactions. We also try to make the schedule have maximum room possible for unstructured interactions while still keeping a structure. We have an opening circle for settling in, orienting ourselves and planning the day's sessions, and a closing circle at end of event for regrouping and reflecting on our experiences.

Further reading: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources/how-run-open-space-event

Dariya Dil Dukaan
Bring your stuff, we're having a big one!
Dariya Dil Dukaan emerges as a space to share and pass on things (clothes, books, jewelry, music, accessories, toys, just about anything) that we have enjoyed and now feel the need to give away/pass on/share. Many times we have these wonderful things that we don't feel the need for anymore or simply want to now give away. So, instead of selling or gifting away to people who may not really need or have any use of it, we offer it up in space where people come to give and receive such gifts. In the process, we also aim to move away from consumerism to conscious living by recycling instead of wasting. There is no keeping track of who gives what or who takes what but a lot of sharing of stories and love. We give and receive in joy and gratitude.

Further reading: http://udaipurtimes.com/dariya-dil-dukaan-shopping-without-money/

Timetable shared at top. Learning from previous puvu's, we want to value everyone's time and be punctual. We'll start dot on time, and finish at 6pm sharp so no one has to miss the closing circle.

Thoughtworks' regular catering is providing full thali of healthy cooked food, at Rs.100/plate if you register in advance. We need to get a headcount to avoid wastage or shortage, so kindly register here by Thursday 28th night. Our volunteer will take payment in cash and give you your lunch coupon on Saturday morning.
You can get food from home and also share with friends! You'll get plates, cups, spoons to use and can heat things in the microwave. Also, there are regular thela's outside the campus so you can step out during lunch-break and eat there too.
For walk-ins who want to have the TW catering's food, there is usually extra food cooked. If available, you can buy your plate after 1.45pm at Rs.150/plate (pay at counter). This is to make sure the people who registered aren't left without food, hoping you understand! Best to register now.

This beautiful venue is very generously provided to us free of charge, and on weekdays is an active office space. So please help us in cleaning up properly at the end of the day if you can stay back for a bit after 6pm.

  1. Venue is disabled-friendly? >> Yes.
  2. Toilets? >> Plenty, and clean ones. It's an IT company.
  3. Venue is Indoor/outdoor ? >> Indoor, air conditioned IT company space. Sorry, no real grass or trees though.
  4. Stalls? >> Most welcome! Please contact us directly. Please come to the venue on Fri 29th Apr, 5.30pm to set up your stall.
  5. Can I schedule and announce a session in advance? >> You can announce, but you can't schedule it. The very essence of this event is that the people who have gathered co-create the day together. What you're planning, might very well get grouped with something similar someone else has planned. So please be patient till the opening circle is done. Also, note that the sessions have to be two-way interactions, not monologues. Please use the FB event page to announce your intention of doing the session and get others interested.
  6. Can I screen a film?  >> No, not this time, sorry. We really want us to disconnect from technology/consumption-mode and talk to each other, do hands-on things together. Please choose some other event for your screening, or collaborate to do a screenings mela sometime! You can do short clips as part of the session, but we'll leave you to hook up screens etc yourself.
  7. Can I access the wifi? >> No. If there's a special need, please get in touch. The computers in the session rooms usually have net on.
  8. Can I shoot photos / videos? >> For sharing with everyone, yes! We need you! If taking something focused or shooting a session, please take your subjects' prior permission. If kids, please take their permission for sure and locate their parents to share with them.
  9. Breakout session? >> Literally! There will be around 6 spaces available, so in that one session slot, upto 6 parallel sessions with different topics can be happening. We'll have a central board where info will be posted. Check out some pics to get an idea.
  10. What topics will be covered? >> That's the catch: even we don't know yet, as they gets co-created in the morning circle! Expect topics around alternative life paths, wellness, healing, learning, societal issues, sustainability, ecology, current events, emotions, life experiences, hands-on activities, etc.
  11. What about my kids? >> Kids are the kings and queens of the unconference! They'll have all the common spaces to play to their heart's content, and there will be activities and games going on to participate in. We also want the kids to get free from parental supervision and create their own experiences with peers. On safety: last 3 events, no major incident. That said, do take care. Do you want to host a hands-on activity? Please contact us!
  12. But my child is a baby / toddler >> The venue also has a creche room for toddlers. Check out pics on our FB page! A lot of babies have come and enjoyed all past PUVU's, there is space for diaper changing etc, helpful people all around and very clean washrooms.
  13. Snacks? >> On gift economy basis, we'll collect contributions during the day for buying snacks (probably samosa) for everyone. You can also bring snacks from home and share. Humbly requesting to minimize plastic waste. We also hope there'll be stalls selling delicious things to munch on during the day!
  14. How can I help make this awesome? >> Please contact us immediately! We need volunteers for decorations, chart-making, timekeeping, registrations (best way to get to know everybody!), note-taking, recording, etc
  15. I have filled registration form, but did not get any confirmation? >> Of course you're confirmed.. we invited you! We're not stopping anyone from coming. The event is free for all by default (but bring an ID for the security check at the gate!). By RSVP'ing, you have confirmed that you will come. Still, let's check if we can do some automation here to send an auto-confirmation email...
  16. If I call you up when the event is just starting, or just few hours before to ask for directions to the venue or for any other clarifications for which I have not bothered reading the FAQ's properly, then will you answer my call? >> No. Because there will be 10 others like you calling at the same time. We can answer your queries, or we can do the event. Not both. Besides, see what's written at top: please try to sms/whatsapp first.

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday the 30th!
PUVU-4 Organizing team

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Swaraj University Course Design Questions

Swaraj University Course Design Questions
Designing a course syllabus is all about choices. Things to think
about when working on syllabus:
1.      What are the main topics you would like to cover to introduce
someone to the field? What are you choosing to exclude?
2.      What is the history of the field?
3.      Who are the important authors / pioneers / experimenters in the
field and what ideas have they contributed?
4.      What are the trends happening in the field?
5.      What are the innovations happening in the field?
6.      What are the key debates that are going on in the field?
7.      What are interesting projects / experiments / organizations going
on regarding this topic around the world?
8.      What are key learning materials in terms books, articles, videos,
exercises, games, models, frameworks, websites, etc?
9.      Talk to your mentors, what do they suggest?
Extra Questions:
1.      What kind of homework will you give?
2.      How will you evaluate the learners?
3.      How will you get feedback on your course?

(had a tough time hunting this down just now, so making a backup on the blog)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Interesting links for March 2016

Interesting links for March 2016

Tips on cleaning your data for mapping

Offering a few tips for teams that want to put their data on a map:

1. Bring your data to a flat excel table. Avoid having any merged cells in the header. Keep the headers in the first row only; from row 2 onwards your data should start. Example: If you had a super-header of "Expenses", and sub-columns of 2011 & 2012, then turn that into two distinct columns titles like "Expenses_2011", "Expenses_2012".

2. Even for the data rows, please clean this up. Un-merge the cells, repeat common information or delete that column (like, first column in your file is useless - there's only one state right?).

3. Make a new latitude column and a longitude column in your table. You have to assign lat-long to each row.

4.For bulk finding lat-long, this tool might help:
Copy-paste the locations column in the textbox, and it searches with google maps and takes the lat-long of the top match. Disclaimer: zero guarantees for accuracy! Note: wait for it as it cycles through each location. Once it's done, you can copy-paste the output CSV textbox and paste>import wizard in excel, or save as a .csv file and open it in excel / calc, etc.

5. To manually find lat-long of a location by clicking on a map, here's a good tool: http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html

6. Once your data is simplified and ready to be machine-readable, you can now upload the excel/spreadsheet to a mapping service. I'll recommend two: CartoDB : http://cartodb.com, and Google MyMaps: https://www.google.com/mymaps/

Example: Recently for Pune we got a little data about accidents, and some entries had lat-longs. So I was able to use my free account on cartodb.com to make this: https://nikhilvj.cartodb.com/viz/25be79a2-ed62-11e5-9bf6-0e8c56e2ffdb/map
Its nowhere near publishing levels because the data we've gotten isn't proper. But this could give you an idea.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

[Rethinking] Why we shouldn't rely on corporate media reportage of Panama Papers leak

Don't get satisfied with our media dangling just a few celebrities' , dons' and businessmens' names.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/04/corporate-media-gatekeepers-protect-western-1-from-panama-leak/ (article copied below)

Further links:
Video: What I learned from the Panama Papers - Corbett Report
>> illustrates how the coverage is predominantly targeting America's opponents only with little to no direct evidence; while the status quo remains untouched.

Video: The Largest Leak In History, What You Need To Know About The Panama Papers by WeAreChange

Article on zerohedge on how tax havens are shifting to the USA

Here Are Some Of The Americans In The "Panama Papers"

‘US pretends fighting tax havens while creating its own’

'Who’s funding this?’ CIA & MI5 whistleblowers question credibility of Panama Papers coverage
...While neither Vladimir Putin nor any members of his family were mentioned in the Panama Papers leak, most Western media chose to break the story with the Russian president’s photo.
...Meanwhile, both experts question the speed with which the information contained in the papers is being released, calling on the news outlets to make all of the information public instead of holding on to it, creating a mystery where there shouldn’t be one.
“There is an obligation for the people who hold these documents to release the full text. I would caution people that the main points are not out [yet] – all we see so far is what the corporate media selected for us to see, while certainly [there are] people in the US who do not want [everything] released until after the presidential primaries,” McGovern stressed.

Good analysis, covering both what the papers confirm (that the world's financial system is rigged to help the wealthy avoid taxes legally), and the questionable intentions behind targeting only of those who have defied US and Wall Street hegemony.

Video, by WeAreChange again: Panama Papers Psyop, Complete Inside Job by Real Elites

Newsletter from Local Futures / Economics of Happiness
... But while the media has focused mostly on individual cases of wrong-doing, it’s far more important to change the corrupt system that enables all of these abuses to occur.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that "much of the leaked material will remain private."
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named "International Consortium of Investigative Journalists", which is funded and organised entirely by the USA's Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include
Ford Foundation
Carnegie Endowment
Rockefeller Family Fund
W K Kellogg Foundation
Open Society Foundation (Soros)
among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.
Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny "balancing" western country like Iceland. A superannuated UK peer or two will be sacrificed – someone already with dementia.
The corporate media – the Guardian and BBC in the UK – have exclusive access to the database which you and I cannot see. They are protecting themselves from even seeing western corporations' sensitive information by only looking at those documents which are brought up by specific searches such as UN sanctions busters. Never forget the Guardian smashed its copies of the Snowden files on the instruction of MI6.
What if they did Mossack Fonseca database searches on the owners of all the corporate media and their companies, and all the editors and senior corporate media journalists? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on all the most senior people at the BBC? What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every donor to the Center for Public Integrity and their companies?
What if they did Mossack Fonseca searches on every listed company in the western stock exchanges, and on every western millionaire they could trace?
That would be much more interesting. I know Russia and China are corrupt, you don't have to tell me that. What if you look at things that we might, here in the west, be able to rise up and do something about?
And what if you corporate lapdogs let the people see the actual data?
Hundreds of thousands of people have read this post in the 11 hours since it was published – despite it being overnight here in the UK. There are 235,918 "impressions" on twitter (as twitter calls them) and over 3,700 people have "shared" so far on Facebook, bringing scores of new readers each.
I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

PS: Sincere apologies if you got multiple copies of this email. And, here's the obligatory Disclaimer.

Monday, April 4, 2016

What if we need some disobedience of rules to survive?

Here's a thought arising from seeing something about the nature of water (read the full post here).
Although water (H2O) is a liquid, it breaks nearly all the rules that liquids are supposed to follow. It just doesn't behave the same way that the liquid forms of other elements or compounds behave, and it has characteristics that are totally unique; inapplicable to any other element or compound in existence.

Life on planet Earth is possible because of water.
It is precisely the law-breaking, rule-bending characteristics of water, and its unique properties, that make life possible.
If water followed all the rules obediently like the other liquids do, then life on Earth (and probably elsewhere) would not be possible.
In a system as ruthlessly rigid, unrelenting as physical science, because one little compound decided to chuck the rules, life became possible, sustainable, thriving.
In what other systems in our lives : relationships, love, friendships, education, healthcare, jobs, governance, finance, technology, science, law, justice... can a little breaking of the rules be existentially essential to making life possible, sustainable, thriving?
And mind that even in physical science, if all the elements and compounds went about breaking rules in an unthinking way, that would make life impossible as well. So I'm not going there; I hope you don't either. The "little" word is key. Besides, water's antics don't seem chaotic or unintentional to me; there's something holistic and positively constructive about it. It's not a rule breaker in the negative sense.

But let's look at the other extreme. What if, by going overboard on strictly and absolutely applying all the rules down to the very last detail, without any allowance for any exception at all, we will end up making life unlivable?
If that is so, then should this inform the demands by social movements, democracy, transparency, accountability campaigns, activists etc? Can they make room for this in their advocacy and proposed reforms? Can they figure out where to draw the line?

Check these out for more research:
Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for "practical wisdom" as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.
(this talk gave some of the first disruptions in my own thought processes, challenged what I believed to be right, and made me question some things I have been standing for since long)
John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on youtube : many of his episodes focus hilariously on the vastly shitty consequences in various fields in the US of what Barry Schwartz is talking about.

PS: Sincere apologies if you got multiple copies of this email. And, here's the obligatory Disclaimer.

4th phase of water : Dr.Gerard Pollock

4th phase of water : talk and research by Dr.Gerard Pollock


Opens up a whole lot of questions, thoughts, and possibilities about water, its connection with light, what role it plays in our bodies, and this might call for a fundamental re-learning of what water is, and (indirectly, as an outcome should you choose to apply it) offers a fresh perspective to relook at the traditional practices of holy water, therapies using water, etc.

Quoting excerpts from the second link:

nothing short of ground-breaking. The fourth phase of water is, in a nutshell, living water. It's referred to as EZ water—EZ standing for "exclusion zone"—which has a negative charge. This water can hold energy, much like a battery, and can deliver energy too.

"There's a famous website (www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/) put together by a British scientist, Martin Chaplin. Martin lists numerous anomalies associated with water," Dr. Pollack says. "In other words, things that shouldn't be according to what we know about water...

The more anomalies we have, the more we begin to think that maybe there's something fundamental about water that we really don't know. That's the core of what I'm trying to do. In our laboratory at the University of Washington, we've done many experiments over the last decade. These experiments have clearly shown the existence of this additional phase of water."

"We found that if we put a simple tube, like a straw, made of hydrophilic material, in water... there's water flow through the tube at high speed. This happens spontaneously. But it shouldn't happen spontaneously. The common idea is that if you want to drive fluid through a pipe or tube, you need to apply pressure. But we have no pressure here. There's no pressure difference between the input and output. But flow builds up spontaneously, and it keeps going.

Recently, we found that if we add light, the flow goes faster. It means that light has a particular effect; especially ultraviolet light, but other wavelengths as well. It speeds up the flow. We think that somehow the exclusion zones (EZs) are involved because inside those tubes, there's a little annular ring of exclusion zone, and inside that is an area full of protons... It seems that the exclusion zone and the pressure of these protons are driving the flow."

From Charles Eisenstein's essay:

Let me emphasize that this is not a New Age book by someone of questionable scientific credentials. This is a book on chemistry, albeit one easily accessible to lay people. Pollack is a highly decorated professor at the University of Washington, author of numerous peer-reviewed papers, recipient of the 2012 Prigogine Medal, and editor of the academic journal Water. I mention this because in a field fraught with what some call pseudo-science, but what I'll politely call speculative inquiry unburdened by scientific rigor, paradigm-busting theories attract an inordinate degree of hostility.
One would think that after two hundred or more years of modern chemistry, something as fundamental and seemingly simple as water would be thoroughly understood by now. Before reading this book, I took for granted the explanations my high school and college textbooks offered for evaporation, capillary action, freezing, bubble formation, Brownian motion, and surface tension. Everyone else assumes the same thing, which may be why the conventional explanations are seldom scrutinized. However, as The Fourth Phase of Water demonstrates, a little creative scrutiny reveals severe deficiencies in conventional explanations.


The website www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/ does a great job of listing all the ways water doesn't behave like a textbook liquid, and one would be amazed to see how this *cheating* of the laws governing most liquids by water makes life on this planet possible.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

expressing a little about my recurring pattern in matters of love

I'm feeling angry at myself, and sad, for keeping on falling in love,
at various times, with a woman who it turns out will never want to
love me back, while completely ignoring that there is at least one
woman in my life at that time who would gladly love me back if I just
paid her a little more attention. I usually find out only much later,
when she has moved on.

The communication paradox

Sometimes it feels like I can get my point across to any person on
earth except the one person I really want to communicate to.

Gift Economy

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