Monday, March 28, 2011

The Unsettling Quest

I'm in perpetual awe of all that we know collectively. There is so much of information that we as a body are aware of and that certainly makes all of us a very formidable force, in unison!

But on the other side, there is so much more that we do not know and that undoubtedly is much larger in proportion in comparison to what we know! What baffles me, no end, is whether we'd ever reach that state of knowing everything that can be known!

How therefore, with such trivial knowledge, do we emphatically claim superiority in any respect?

I begin this week, asking the very question that perhaps intrigues us no end on how it is that we categorize our knowledge as one that deems fit to be termed as knowledge in the very first place, given the fact that our ignorance is certainly much larger in proportion to what we claim to know! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Balls to Unity

That a country so divided like India could be strangely united in one voice over a game of cricket is both unique and ironic. And the irony is in the sense of oneness that departs almost immediately after the game is completed.

For starters, yesterday began with a feverish excitement of the upcoming knockout game between the Australians and the Indians. There was a sense of enthusiasm one does not otherwise see or attribute to one's passion for work, let alone excellence! The almost minute by minute rumination of any and sundry made one ardently believe that the soul of the Indian-kind was kindled and warmed by bats, balls, wickets and bookies!

Therefore, it was not very unexpected when the afternoon was blocked off as private time with dozens streaming the ongoing mêlée on their desktops, thanks to that freely available hi-speed connectivity, which assuredly, in many cases, is not put to good use or for the very purpose that it has been provided for!

For the uninitiated, (read: the outdated my kinds), the remainder of the day was as if cloistered in a curfew! Telephones unanswered and people no longer accessible, one would not need a lot of thinking to assume whatever happened to official emails that were marked 'for urgent response.'

Now, as if that wasn't surprising enough, one stepped off work to find the roads almost deserted, public transport systems, for once, un-chaotically easy to ride! Shortly thereafter, electrically charged, blood curdling screams in unison told of India's victory, much anticipated, though on a nail-biting finish, I gather!

Surely, if one may want to represent to the world the ubiquitous sense of Indian unity, there perhaps couldn't be a better way than writing a book titled "Balls to Unity."

No pun intended, I assure! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Where theres a way

There are ways and there are ways! Some exist, yet others are created by an undying urge to move forward, assisted greatly by a sense of determination known to us as the power of the will, more so of the mind, in tow with an immense sense of hope, greatly in anticipation of the future to be a better destination than the present whereupon one has arrived!

While some trails offer scenic views of life, some others are fraught with anxiety and privation, perhaps as a manner of being a potent master to ensure lessons well learnt. So the question arises, does one look for cause and effect within? Quite as if by pattern, every one of us seem to tread either walkways in some measure that leaves a lasting dint.

Pace, time and consequences of happenstances are not quite the attributes one often happens to have any control upon and hands go up in awe or tedium as the case may be. Wagons creak by as the road turns bumpy and high on the hill there is light, teasing one to believe in what is almost certainly a ruse. Sounds from distant drumming bring some fleeting recollections of the past, gone in a flash, and there is a yearning from deep within to relive a certain moment of time that is now bygone, almost forgotten, roused momentarily by a déjà vu.

In the ensuing passage of time that is surely galactic and myriad, I walk along wondering, what it is and where the what is that the why has always been in search of. How, is so far away and unknown to comprehend, let alone be able to come to terms with!

Do all questions have the same answer? 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan Today

With over 10,000 lives lost, several hundreds more unaccounted for and monumental concerns surrounding one or more instances of nuclear meltdown, it is very difficult not to remember Japan and pray for its people.

Last on the wires; "Almost 2 million households were without power in the freezing north, and about 1.4 million without running water."

Redefining Oblivion extends heartfelt condolences to the families of the affected and hopes that the situation in Japan is addressed by the collective strength and efforts of the international community, which has serious responsibilities in this case. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blocking out the Blogger

Never mind if the Government of India drags its feet on the Foreign Universities Bill, Surrogacy Laws, Legislation related to Public Interest Disclosure, et al. At the peak of this summer, the Indian Parliament will be ensconced in palatial comfort putting its time to urgent use, and without dissent, in order to hurriedly enact the Indian Bloggers Control Act 2011 (pun intended)

The information and communications (monitoring) arms of the Government have, without reason, and rather inexplicably assumed that the blogging community has become a serious threat to its machinery, supposedly because of a perceived potential to expose many an unknown fact that may cause serious embarrassment and worse - change of guard at the helm of affairs, thanks to a wave of public awareness blitz that this medium is fast generating.

"There is an over-emphasis on the activities of blogs and bloggers; vast and vague reasons for blogs to be blocked or shut down; and above all, there is a specific rule on ‘due diligence on intermediaries’, which, in the context of the internet, can include readers who post comments."

Sounds hideously undemocratic? Or does that make one 'rightly' wonder if the babudom and netaland (bureaucracy for the uninitiated) is mighty worried about the pro-democratic outpour of the ongoing Jasmine Revolution that has transformed many a nation?

Anyone here whose read George Orwell's 1984?

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Pale Blue Dot

Image Description: This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed ‘Pale Blue Dot’, is a part of the first ever ‘portrait’ of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The spacecraft acquired a total of 60 frames for a mosaic of the solar system from a distance of more than 4 billion miles from Earth and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic. From Voyager's great distance Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Coincidentally, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the Sun. This blown-up image of the Earth was taken through three color filters – violet, blue and green – and recombined to produce the color image. The background features in the image are artifacts resulting from the magnification.

Some excerpts from Carl Sagan's book, Pale Blue Dot, which have to be read after one leafs through the image and its description mentioned above.

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.


Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Content Reference: Google Books

About the book;

Title - Pale blue dot: a vision of the human future in space
Author - Carl Sagan
Publisher - Ballantine Books
ISBN - 0345376595, 9780345376596
Length - 360 pages

Friday, March 04, 2011

Out goes the Outlaw

In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.

-- Albert Einstein

Reading about the eviction of the Central Vigilance Commissioner by the Honourable Supreme Court of India reassures one that the power of the judiciary may not altogether be lifeless in this great nation.

Yet once again, a sense of merit and justice fostered by the Apex Court has prevailed well over the mired echelons of political and executive offices and enshrined the principles of justice as etched by the Constitution of India.

Let there be no doubt, therefore, that the Rule of Law shall be upheld, enforced and proven at all times irrespective of what could be a very well orchestrated exertion of force by bodies with a vested interest, unified in purpose to constantly attempt subversion of this very righteous effort.