Isaac Newton, last of the magicians:

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A good thought to start the next week with:

 

“Newton came to be thought of as the first and greatest of the modern age of scientists, a rationalist, one who taught us to think on the lines of cold and untinctured reason. I do not see him in this light. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago.”


– John Maynard Keynes

Isaac Newton, last of the magicians:

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Times New Roman’}

A good thought to start the next week with:

 

“Newton came to be thought of as the first and greatest of the modern age of scientists, a rationalist, one who taught us to think on the lines of cold and untinctured reason. I do not see him in this light. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago.”


– John Maynard Keynes

washing the dishes and taking out the trash

So usually we have a bai who comes home, twice a day. She comes every morning around 7:45 a.m.

She starts by bringing in the clothes from the clothesline. Then she turns off my fan (very annoying, if I’m still in bed — she loves traumatizing me, I sometimes refer to her as the ravenous bugblatter beast of traal) and then heads on to the kitchen, where she does the dishes. Then she starts dusting around the house, sweeps and swobs, and takes out the trash. She finishes her work in about an hour and a half.

She comes again in the evening, to do the dishes once again; and then the routine begins again.

The point is, we aren’t really cleanliness freaks. We like a clean house, and so it’s a routine that we follow, (claims of labor rights and payment aside. I dunno what we pay her, but I assume we don’t scrimp on it.) and the house is pretty well maintained.

So when I hear the Pakistan foreign minister saying that he would like to see proof of the involvement of Lashkar or any other terrorist organization within their boundaries, before taking action against them, it ticks me off.

You don’t need your neighbor coming on over, knocking on your door, and telling you that there’s a right nasty stench emanating from your home, (coming in under his door and through his window, and he knows this for sure because the forensic guy he called to investigate said so) before you take out the trash, do you?

It can’t be all that hard to turn off Animal Planet, or whatever TV you’re watching, put the kebabs and faux Coke or whatever down on the table for a minute, get your ass up, and take out the trash, can it?

Same goes for the Indian Government, and the issues we’ve got in-house. I mean, stop finding reasons things CAN’T BE DONE. Impossible is only the lack of imagination, incentive, and most importantly, intent.

The Challenge of Terrorism?
Organized Crime?
Education?
Vaccination of kids?
Basic Provision of Food, Clothes and Shelter to each Citizen?
Protection of the Human Rights of Citizens?
Prevention of Violence and Crime?
Development of Infrastructure?
Promotion of a Diverse, Progressive Society?

Does any government actually have to be TOLD to do this? Doesn’t it come as a part of the job description? Does the Indian Government have to have it’s ATS chief assassinated before it figures it should invest in giving the police proper bulletproof vests? Does the Pakistani Government need proof of the actions of what it acknowledges is a terrorist organization, before it takes action against it? Shouldn’t acknowledgment of the nature of the organization be enough?

the existentialist’s burden

I must confess, that U2’s Pop album has always been my favorite. It had the panache of Achtung Baby and Zooropa, tempered with the memory of the innocence of The Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum. Pop was genius, it was also a spectacular show.

The fault lines of the self, only glimpsed in early U2 were laid bare in Pop. It was an almost Nietzschean rejection of all that came before, and in that sense, probably a catharsis that the late ’90s demanded, before they rebooted, with All that you can’t leave behind and How to dismantle an atomic bomb.

Within that record, Please has always been my favorite. I like to call it the existentialist’s burden. How does one become an existentialist? Most of us are engendered into some religious way of thinking, long before we ever engage with Sartre or Camus or Heidegger or Kierkegaard. Please raises an interesting question, in that; whether you take Camus’ endless dances of master-slave relationships, or go back to Nietzsche’s unflinching embrace of life; you more-or-less do away with the notion of ‘faith’. The Lion of “I Will” defying the Dragon of “thou shalt”. Love on the other hand, is best explained with a grounding in faith of some form, faith being integral to its constitution. On the one hand, Camus didn’t see a problem with it; on the other, Sartre did, and went along a rather destructive path of the unflinching deconstruction of the various forms of it.

Nothing profound, just an observation.

 

Please, U2, Live at Rotterdam

lyrics:

Please stop fighting, please

Let’s talk, please

So you never knew love

Until you’d crossed the line of grace

And you never felt wanted

Till you’d someone slap your face

And you never felt alive

Until you’d almost wasted away

You had to win, you couldn’t just pass

The smartest ass at the top of the class

Your flying colours, your family tree

And all your lessons in history

Please, please, please

Get up off your knees now

Please, please, please Leave it out

So you never knew how low you’d stoop

To make that call

And you never knew what was on the ground

Until they made you crawl

So you never knew

that the heaven you keep You stole

Your Catholic blues,

your convent shoes

Your stick-on tattoos,

now they’re making the news

Your holy war,

your northern star

Your sermon on the mount

from the boot of your car

Please, please, please

Get up off your knees now

Please, please, please

Leave it out

‘Cause love is big and love is tough

But love is not what you’re thinking of

September, streets capsizing

Spilling over and down the drain

Shards of glass, splinters like rain

But you could only feel your own pain

October, talk getting nowhere

November, December Remember,

are we just starting again

Please, please, please

Get up off your knees now

Please, please

‘Cause love is big, it’s bigger than us

But love is not what you’re thinking of

It’s what lovers deal,

it’s what lovers steal

You know I found it hard to recieve

‘Cause you,

my love,

I could never believe

Please, please, please

Get up off your knees now

Please, please, please Please, please, please Please

on false positions

we often tend to develop a not completely thought through understanding of social and cultural systems around us, and the movements in play at any given time. the lack of understanding might not necessarily be due to lack of information or ignorance of an issue on our parts; but rather in the failure to understand the absolutes of the situation–the ramifications of our thoughts and actions within a broad sense. i like to call positions that are based upon this form of understanding–i.e. understanding without realizing the implications of that knowledge, as false positions.

the popular position on reservations, i believe; is one such false position.

one needs to understand not just the social dynamics of caste; but also the political, economic and cultural implications of casteism and its reversal. the implementation of reservations at any level rather a failure to understand inequities. the concept of reservations is like balancing an equation. if on paper, LHS=RHS.

social inequality however is not a linear equation; and reservations are the wrong approach to start with–they are the false position that i am talking about here.