Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Commentary on workplace harassment and women's role in it

This commentary got provoked by this video:
Incredible dishonest cutting & editing of Jordan Petersons Vice interview -todoke, 2018-02-24

The content of the video is an interview of Jordan Peterson conducted by VICE news. They heavily edited the original interview, and the uploader has put in commendable effort to show us exactly what they edited out, with a direct before-after comparison.

My comment sprang from an assertion made by the interviewer, which in itself ran counter to his overall argument. And yes, my ending line IS a frustration point for me.

10:10 : "You know it when you see it" >> So you agree  that it is subjective. Now what if different people happen to "know" it at different times? What if the woman dressing and/or behaving provocatively in the workplace manages to fool herself into believing she isn't doing so but her colleagues think she does? If her right to "know it when I see it" is valid, why isn't anyone else's? Conversely, what if the woman is "feeling" that her colleague is desiring her but the thought has never crossed the colleague's mind? Don't women like being seen, like other people getting attracted to them? Doesn't a significant part of their self-worth assessment come from whether they got noticed that day? Haven't women confessed inasmuch in candid times? Isn't our culture and literature replete with that longing? What if a mistaken brush by the body is interpreted by this woman, who's on the lookout for confirming cues, as a confirmation that the colleague IS trying to get at her? Speaking of which, why do women even think that circumstantial physical contact is a viable tactic for men to wriggle their way into their pants, as opposed to a formal proposal for a date? Could it be because they have been complicit in that? [Addendum: Could it be because that's what THEY have been doing, are used to and hence expect it of others?] Could it be because they have been favouring men directly making physical contact and "wriggling in" at the "right opportunity" over and above men respectfully approaching and making a formal proposal?

Addendum: Do you want a harmonious workplace that's safe for both sexes instead of only one? Then imagine a world where women get turned OFF by men who deliberately touch them and try to wriggle their way into their pants. Imagine living in a world where immoral and opportunistic behaviour hasn't consistently been rewarded by women.

And.. here's another comment that came out after finishing watching the video:
Dear Feminsts and SJWs, Jordan Peterson's core argument is : WE DON'T KNOW enough yet to be able to slam ARBITRARY RULES with disastrous real life consequences in workplaces and campuses and dictate from on top what is and isn't sexual harassment. Your position is : You are CERTAIN that each and everything you deem to be harassment and microaggressions is exactly that, depending on only YOUR subjective perspectives. And you are demanding that each and every thing you have claimed be absolutely overturned, else each and every thing you have claimed is absolutely true. You have taken an all-or-nothing extremist stance whereas rational dialogue is all about rejecting the all-or-nothing stance and getting into nuance and specifics. If you don't budge from your extremist stances, you're going to end up with nothing. Workplaces will STOP HIRING WOMEN, period. This is how you will accomplish White Sharia : an absolute division of society along gender lines.

And another:

The top-down application of ruthless laws that have the potential of destroying the lives of innocents, versus allowing society room and time to reason its way through the complex situation [and the rules stick to basics where there IS consensus]. Straight-jacketing versus evolution. That's what this culture war is about, that's what the resistance to militant feminism is about. It's not about legitimizing oppression of females as the SJWs are putting it.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

We need to confront weed pushers like we needed to confront smoking pushers

This twitter post and thread pretty much describes my problem with people on the pro-weed side. It started as a movement against state intrusion into people's lives. Upon reaching critical mass and public acceptance, It's turning into an excuse for more intrusion into people's lives. If smoking pot doesn't make you less of an intrusionist then perhaps its not truly helping you.

Have we considered the possibility that psychoactive herbs may influence momentary feelings, help creative expression, help deal with some toxins, but aren't supposed to be credited with making people better human beings overall? Use your toolbox, don't worship it.

Rethinking series: The things we're doing in the name of Social Justice


Starting this thread on Social Justice off with a video chronicling live cases of what top-down institutions are already doing under the excuse of respecting people's feelings. For many in India, this may look like it's a whole world away, yet try to see these incidents after bouncing them off a mental mirror. 

To me the most frightening part of these cases is : The opposites look terrifyingly identical. I ran and ran away from the one monster I so despised, only to slam face-first into its twin.

Why Are You Even Here You Dirty Statist? Lauren Southern at Anarchapulco 2017 -Anarchapulco, 2017-11-04

PS: Not offended yet? Check out more posts from my Rethinking series

Friday, February 23, 2018

Rethinking series : Feminism, Masculinity, Patriarchy

Holy crap, It's me again ;)

I'd like to invite you to a story.
Imagine that your whole life as a child you had to live inside the jaws of a monster.
Then when you came of age, you peeked outside and saw a much better world.
You got out and got as far away from that monster as you could.
Your focus was now on making sure you avoid / push back that monster come what may.
But you didn't notice there were other monsters around too.
Because you had experienced only one, you assumed that there was only one monster in the entire world. Or maybe you just haven't given it much thought yet.
And while doing your best to avoid the one monster you really, really want to keep away because you know it, 
You don't notice that you're stepping into the jaws of another monster.

What happens when a binary mindset collides with a multi-layered perspective of reality?

This BBC Channel 4 interview of Jordan Peterson by TV journalist Cathy Newman kind of broke the internet recently. 
Having personally experienced and also acted in the phenomenon of wholly misrepresenting something by "so you're saying that  ________ <insert the worst thing you can possibly imagine>", I totally loved it.

Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap, campus protests and postmodernism -Channel 4 News, 2018-01-16
(30 mins)

By the end of the interview, the links between the gender battles and liberty-authoritarian face-offs just come tumbling out.

And in the middle he does a "jab dil pe lagegi, tabhi toh baat banegi" moment too which brings home the importance of freedom of speech especially when we don't approve of the speech.

Here's an NVC-types lady talking about the interview, linking it to feminism and dialogue. Bit weird but made a lot of great points:

A Psychologist and a Former Channel 4 Producer Discuss Cathy Newman -PhilosophyInsights, 2018-02-04
(11 mins)

One phrase from this that stuck in my mind:
"Blind projection of rage"

Side-track: It ties in loosely to my problem with leaderless movements.

One more video, a follow-up interview of Peterson, talking about the first interview:

Cathy Newman Thought She Won The Debate -H3 Podcast Highlights, 2018-02-03
(i frankly disagree with the title; the content is about more than that)

PS: When it says "Rethinking", that's what it means.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Stable Government

The meaning of stable government

You are getting screwed by the system : overcharges by utility, refused pension, property document not given, road, water connection not happening, scholarship fund never came, subsidy not being released, reimbursements not coming, bank account got emptied, trees getting chopped for no reason, whatever. You go to various offices with your issue:

Local corporator(s): Go f**k yourself
MLA: Go f**k yourself
MP: Go f**k yourself
Police: Go f**k yourself
Courts: Pay our lawyers all your money, spend decades and then go f**k yourself.
NGOs: Did we tell you to vote those assholes into power? Go f**k yourself.
RTI: Apellate authority seats are lying vacant! Go f**k yourself.
Jan Lokpal : Doesn't exist because you didn't care. Go f**k yourself.
Mohalla Sabha: Doesn't exist because you thought a GREAT leader at the top was the magic bullet for all problems. Go f**k yourself.
PM's citizens portal : There's a billion of you. What did you expect other than a 1:1billion lottery system? Go f**k yourself.

That's STABLE government. It's MONOPOLY, re-branded. What you wish for and what's advertised may be any other thing, but this is what it boils down to. Stable government = monopoly.
So, apni life toh dubaa di screensaver se impress hokar. Do you want your children also to live under a "stable" government? Or would you prefer a stable citizen's democracy that must, by definition, mean unstable, competition-based political uncertainty.

Unstable government = Stable democracy.
Dimaag ladao, Desh bachao.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Just heard of the term today, in a series that did amazing explanations on the money system. I've only started to watch these, but thought of sharing the links.
The Crypto Revolution (Bitcoin Documentary) & Hashgraph - Hidden Secrets Of Money Ep 8 -GoldSilver (w/ Mike Maloney), 2017-12-18
What is HashGraph and is it replacing Blockchain? Programmer explains. -Ivan on Tech, 2018-01-05

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Why linking Aadhar with Voter Id will not prevent voter fraud but increase it

The aadhar database has lakhs of fakes and repeat-enrollments. Everyone from terrorists to mythical figures have aadhar numbers. It's impossible to audit to weed out all fakes, as the probability maths of fingerprints means that at any time some % or so of all the fingerprints will come up as identical even if they belong to different people. The more the number of people in the pool, the more the faux matches. If you tighten up the probability parameters, that leads to the same person's fingerprints on different days not matching with each other and renders biometric identification impossible. This probability complication makes Singapore (a city-state) much better placed to use biometrics than India (a sub-continent).

At the time of enrollment, there is NO WAY for the UIDAI to reject a new Aadhar enrollment on the grounds of the fingerprints being repeats, because of the same probability mathematics mentioned above. You cannot reject 10,000 genuine citizens for the sake of keeping one fake out.

Filtering down by area or name etc is useless as fake voters are by definition people who are from other areas and are giving fake names. It is highly likely that career vote frauds will have several different aadhar numbers made for themselves from different places with different addresses. Some vote frauds will probably boast in their resume about having one aadhar number registered in every constituency by now. But the probabilistic mathematics of biometrics mixes the fakes in with a crowd of genuine people. You cannot delete 10,000 genuine voters off the voter rolls in the drive to remove one fake voter.

Aadhar FACILITATES voter fraud. 

Q: So how then to prevent voter fraud?
A: A far better way of voter authentication (or even pension or PDS for that matter) is to organize ward level public meetings (or even MLA constituency level can do: after all your MLA is supposed to know every society or chawl in your area!) and weed out the duplicates through tapping into localized collective knowledge. Your local shopkeeper deposing in front of a crowd and being recorded on camera will give a much more reliable list of real voters and real beneficiaries in the area than any aadhar database.

It's simple. Use your people's brains, not their fingers, to secure your nation.

Of course, technocrats who have a deep-seated hatred for everybody and are irrationally biased towards techno toys will hate the real solution. I challenge their assumption that they're smart : I think they're dumber than the average person.

Dimaag ladao, desh bachao.

Proof that Aadhar biometrics-based authentication CAN be hacked : ration shop caught using digital duplicates
2 Surat ration shop owners held for biometric security breach
Traders buy biometric data for Rs 15,000, run scam; held

"The Titanic is Unsinkable", they said.

Simple technical reality : one has to send fingerprints or iris scans or whatever over to UIDAI in some digital format, and even UIDAI needs to store them at their end in some digital format. And that can be archived and duplicated anytime. Digital tech was invented FOR ease of duplication and transmission. So to keep things authentic there is like tilting a bottle downwards and praying the water doesn't spill out. It's because of this that passwords and 4-digit pin codes are considered more secure than biometrics : you can keep changing your password if you suspect it was duplicated at last use.

Combine this with the fact that ALL biometrics (including iris!) change over time and drop out of the probability tolerance window (change being much faster for youngsters and seniors), and if you widen the tolerance window then many other people's fingerprint/iris can be accepted as yours, and we'll soon have a situation where only the archived digital fingerprint copy will match and the real fingers won't.. so senior citizens esp will have to pay bribes to crooks to get their pensions etc. (by the way because of cataracts and other ageing effects, iris recognition simply can't be used on senior citizens)

My solution? Screw centralization of authentication. It was an inferior technology to begin with : a red herring that set us on a wild goose chase. Give the local residents committee (as practiced by Hiware Bazar nr Nasik, see the TED talks) the responsibility of authentication, still keeping it all digital and properly logged (like your netbanking logs your a/c withdrawals) but keeping the crucial yes/no decision decentralized to the local people's body. Or at least decentralize it to the MP or MLA level if nothing else. If they do fraud then they only will suffer by losing out collective quotas (and a smaller bucket makes the missing water more visible) and votes in next election, so there's an automatic incentive for honesty. Whereas centralized systems with large pools incentivize frauds.. kaun notice karega. Decentralized systems is what even Bitcoin runs on. The only "disadvantage" there is that anonymous babus sitting in Delhi won't have a huge database in hand to sell off to exploiters and foreign intelligence agencies.

And here's a challenge for those desperately seeking to dismiss this as a one-off : If a small ration shop can pull this off, what makes you think a Saudi-funded terrorist organisation can't? What makes you think a CIA-backed foreign agent can't? Remember that several of the companies and suppliers to whom handling this biometric data was contracted out to, have foreign connections and many of the companies whose fingerprint reading devices were bought have also worked with US intelligence agencies. You know from the Snowden leaks that US intelligence agencies have back door access to several privately owned companies' systems that they make lucrative deals with, and the same goes for Chinese made devices, which is why even our Army bans soldiers from using many China-made mobiles in sensitive areas. What makes you think NONE of them bothered to keep a digital copy of the valuable-as-gold data that passed through their systems? What makes you think a criminal gang making black political donations can't pull this off? Kidhar gaya tera nationalism? Do you not care about your country? Where does your loyalty lie : to India or to Aadhar?

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