Sunday, June 26, 2016

An example of structural violence: slum demolition and then vengeful pursuit by govt in Dharamshala

Forwarding an email from a friend regarding demolition of slums in Dharamshala. Pay special attention to points 4 and 5. 

It would be far more honest if the government simply lined up all the 1500 people (esp the aged, disabled, women and children) and summarily executed them. But they have outsourced that job to brutal circumstances (which will obviously claim the aged, disabled, women and children first). This is Structural violence 101 : the end result is the same but the people causing the carnage get to conveniently avoid any accountability.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

On handling paramparaa / traditions

Imagine you get a big, old box/chest that was used by your
predecessors and now it's in your possession.

You open the box.

Inside the box there are several kinds of things. You enjoy your time
sifting through them, checking them out. Many interesting things. Many
of the things seem to also have a higher purpose of reminding about
what is important in life, what should be kept in mind, etc. There are
also some papers, letters in the box, written by the previous handlers
of the box, with some having explanations about some of the
constituents of the box.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Boiling down to the details

When discussing contentious topics, I've found that the best way to avoid going wrong is by avoiding taking any of the extreme positions, and boiling down to the exact components to check one by one for any real disagreement.
Example about boiling down to the details:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Call for Facilitators @DLRC - Urban Farming, English & few more

From Ajay Dalmia
Subject: Call for Facilitators @DLRC - Urban Farming, English & few more

Thanks to the Community for responding to our last call for facilitators. We have been been able to fill many positions. Following are a few that we are still actively seeking the right resource. Please respond or forward to individuals interested in the DLRC model of learning and facilitating:

Pune: Bootcamp 25-26 june, Hackathon 8-10 july on public transit and water supply

Smart City Maker's Fest 2016, Pune

Statement by Parliament of World's Religions on Orlando Massacre

Forwarded below. In case you can't see it in this email, please see it here:

My take:
What I love about this Statement is that it exposes the old tactic of responding to one form of hatred with another, while at the same time not falling for the opposite trap of appeasing or over-protecting any side. It calls for some serious accountability, self-examination and reform among the sides in whose name atrocities are being committed or perceived to be so : Something I've seen irresponsibly lacking in most secular bastions till now especially in India.

Who knows? If we didn't have so much appeasement and hypocriisy on one side then maybe it wouldn't have triggered the blanket hatred that has emerged in reaction to it on the other (keywords: "sickular" "pseudo secular" etc). Now please don't take off on a tangent; scroll down and read the mailer that I have forwarded to you also; those words are much better expressing what my own stand is while what I write is usually too open to misinterpretation by peers. <3

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Parliament of Religions

Monday, June 13, 2016

About Russia

Sharing from a newsletter, someone recently visited Russia and shared
these points about the place:

Pretty much everything was contrary to to typical Western
expectations, but contrasting in a positive way:

- The ship was relatively newly renovated, clean and well managed
- People are generally reserved and well behaved, very far from a
general Hollywood image of heavy drinking boisterous Russians. Downing
copious amounts of vodka and inevitably smashing the glasses against
the wall..)
- The quality of food was excellent. Not spectacular in a "haute
cuisine" way, but healthy home cooking with fresh and high quality
ingredients. Especially notable the aromatic taste of fresh
vegetables, salads, tomatoes and potatoes.
- Service was always attentive and friendly even though nobody
speaks more than a few words of English as a general rule.
- Cities are very clean compared to Western cities. People do not
drop rubbish everywhere. They don't seem to be munching something all
the time like you see in the West. If you inadvertently drop
something, people will discreetly alert you to pick it up. This s like
Switzerland must have been in the 60s.
- Supermarkets, even in smaller provincial cities, are full with
quality food including fresh produce of good taste and quality.
- What struck me is how well behaved and un-neurotic the children
are. Must be the healthy food and a much lower load of vaccinations
and sugar. There were lots of kids on the ship and they were busy
playing hide and seek and all kinds of games WITH EACH OTHER and not
getting on parents' nerves all the time or throwing tantrums like I
see it all the time with Western children. But also parents don't seem
to get on childrens' nerves that much.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Nonviolence royally screws materialism

At its core, non-violence is a tacit violation of the materialist paradigm.


An acceptance of supremacy of materialism leads to the 'might is right' concept : the parties that manage to acquire greatest material wealth and control over physical existence, get to decide things for others. Violence - direct or structural, is the way that supremacy is asserted and implemented. Ideas like "the meek shall inherit the earth" don't make any sense at all for a materialist worldview, because materialistically that's impossible: 'survival of the fittest' meaning most materially powerful is the rule.

So materialists do violence, or materialists accept violence. Violence is the way supremacy of the materialist paradigm is enforced. If you are a true materialist (as the mainstream academia wants everyone to be) then you have to accept that violence is what ultimately works. My ability to kill you at will confers upon me the power to control how you live and what you do (in my service) while you live, hence tipping the 'survival of the fittest' scale in my favour.

BUT... hold your horses (or lumbering biological robots as the materialist paradigm asserts)... what if the materialist worldview is not everything that is?

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