Interrogating inheritance

1829126835-1There have been quiet a few questions that have been bothering me ever since I started looking closely at some of those behaviors that is considered a routine or a norm. I thought it best to record it somewhere.. (These questions are mostly India-centric)

(1) Was Hinduism really a religion? Why did we need a religion and why do we still continue? Is that supposed to imply that we are still primitive to need religion than the original philosophy or wisdom? Has this got any implication to a lack in development?

(2) Why did we happened to stumble upon Magic and forgo reasoning? Why was/is reasoning categorized under witchcraft or is considered to be something absurd? Why haven’t we developed beyond that, even now? Is our brain always skewed and aligned to follow the same old ideology of “Whatever is White is right & whatever from West is Best”? Why are we still Xenomaniacs? Why do show less respect to our own kind most of the time?

(3)Do we have an identity at all? I’ve been trying to hunt down some pattern or norm for identity, but haven’t found anything concrete. If a culture is always evolutionary, then how is it that we beat our chest and shout out that we have a “cultural heritage”? If we are so “proud of it’s rich and varied heritage”, then why are we turning ourselves into the complex mixed “modern” culture giving up the familial system? If we are “transforming” ourselves shedding away ignorance, then why aren’t we ‘thinking” anymore? Why are we blindly following the most common cult? Have we stopped encouraging “questioning”? Read more of this post

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Inspired to Suicide

A few months back, I attended Start-up Weekend Hyderabad in South India to validate a few ideas I had in mind, to meet interesting people and experiment concepts under construction. Well, I’d rate the event’s crowd far below the average start-up crowd in Chennai or Mumbai. We ended runners and it wasn’t so much effort.. but I definitely wouldn’t rate worthy of its registration fee, despite the interesting organizers. They tried pulling mentors, the so-called ‘angel’ investors and a few more Finance guys to help the participants. (In India, the investors are a bunch of MBA guys without much background about Technology or the start-up environment. Listening to them actually made me realize that they meant only money unlike the Valley were a guy investing in a start-up would have had a hands-on experience starting up himself understanding the team dynamics or would have taught the Math/Management behind a start-up in a university or would have raised the VC amount exploring the future potential of a specific market.. but in India, investors aren’t necessarily like the ones in the Valley who also mentor and talk Technology, they were mostly similar to the bankers putting a bunch of Rupees on table into the most explored fields widely. It’s usually a common investment pattern in the e-commerce Service sector or Social Media contexts where they expect to scale with a huge volume. I haven’t met all of them, but this view is based on the few that I’ve met so far in ~3 cities. )

Anyway, apart from the investors disappointment, I started networking with a few guys and found a few interesting people to talk to. One of them was a 19 year old guy from the same city of Hyderabad who was looking for a way to start-up. He was quiet an aggressive networking guy and he wanted to talk to me after doing some due diligence on my background. Looks like he was trying to get into the Thiel Foundation’s 20 under 20 program (now called as the Thiel Fellowship) and I got really curious to know more about him since only a very few in India have known it. So, we sat aside to talk for a few minutes at dinner with my Team Mates. From the few minutes of conversation, I could guess he was smart, was good at networking and was familiarizing himself with the big names in the valley. Then we started talking about his past. It startled me when I started realizing what he had done.

When Admiration roots too deep as Imitation

So, this guy dropped out of college (a decent one) claiming that it wasn’t making sense. He was proudly claiming that he makes not many friends because he was rude and arrogant. He started to mention that he avoided the not-so-bright ones in his circle and would only talk to people who were smart or intelligent because he thought many were a non-sense and would waste his time. He started to mention that he was having a “disruptive” idea to “revolutionize” publishing industry and that he was looking for a programmer/coder. He added that he was good at coding but wasn’t quiet interested in doing it full-time. He was wearing a Blue Jean and a Black Tees (it wasn’t a turtleneck, though). Half way through his story, I realized that he was trying to replicate the life of Steve Jobs. He was so much influenced by the man that he started imitating his entire character and lifestyle based on the versions mentioned in the books. This was when I realized how many such inspired smart minds have killed their own original Character trying to be someone they are truly not.

Having read the biography of Steve Jobs, I could find so many acts of imitations in his attempt to copy Jobs: style of dressing, speaking, self-proclamation of  similar flaws and dropping out in Second Year of College… This guy in his true nature was probably a very good person, but in his fantasized world inspired by Jobs, he was Jobs, the ghastly visionary and so he tried to imitate him consciously every day in every way.

When we started talking about Jobs an instant sense of comparison cropped into his face and he began to find excuses to have not become him so far. I could guess he was possessive and he started defending his self-made version of Jobs. He started to talk about how Jobs was lucky to have found an ingenious Steve Wozniak next door to build Apple’s first few versions and that he had the resources closer to him including the universities that worked on incredible stuff. (Also, I am guessing that his choice to work on publishing industry must have been inspired from the same book.)

Suicidal Immolation – Character Immolation

I could very well understand him because I was someone similar a while back trying to race up with inspirations. The intent wasn’t usually the culprit, the mind was commonly that tricky savage. In our mind, we start with an early reference to an inspirational character, then we begin to compare with them, and finally we try to imitate them consciously or unconsciously to improve our self-esteem forgetting the reality that we quash our true self to do that. In this process, we end up living our life like someone else by consciously committing to burn our character in order to accommodate the newly found fascination of another character or identity. A suicide is not only about killing one’s own flesh and blood, but also killing one’s own true character and values. Failing to recognize our true gifts and talents, missing to explore ourselves by killing a sound mind that thinks on its own is definitely a redefinition of Suicide through character immolation or mind-murder by consent.

An inspiration is supposedly a version of admiration of someone when one could relate to that “hero”. When life gives lemon, these inspirations make us more optimistic to walk past that day just like in their history. They are stimulants who encourage us to push beyond our limits. These stimulants in small qualities are good to get away from pain or disappointment but an overdose could cause death to one’s own character, a true self. It takes a while to realize that one is under this addiction till someone asked a question, “Don’t you like you?”. May be they should read this book to realize that there is no hard and fast rule to the commonly acclaimed ‘success’ or ‘inspiration’ and that there are only a few basic principles. It is no book of psychology, but it points out the straight facts that all Great Men were not all having the same ‘Rags to riches’ story and that every person and every character have their own great story. We hear a lot more about Rags-to-riches, because that’s what draws more attention, that’s what the larger mass can relate to and that’s what sells more books for the publishing companies. But in reality, every single person have their own self to embrace, celebrate, to be proud of, to look in the mirror and smile at and probably to write their own biography to be looked at. Originality has far more value than a complete replication.

Steve Jobs’ story is definitely inspirational proving that even a college drop out can create a ‘revolutionary’ company. This explores the possibility of an exception and that there are no rules. Unfortunately, the overly inspired addicts misunderstand this as a rule to imitate, just like this guy. Remembering Oscar Wilde’s quote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness”, one needs to understand that imitation only leads to a proof of mediocrity rather than an attempt to greatness. I’ve come across so many trying to replicate Jobs’ style while on stage and I’ve always wondered where their personal statement or style was and where their imagination was. Have they probably killed it already? It is good to have an inspiration but one needs to make sure to draw a line between admiration and replication so that one doesn’t end up becoming that mediocre copycat. Trying to replicate a hero killing the real hero within us is a definite suicide that we don’t want to regret in our later years.

This guy I met is probably not the only one. He probably has a ton of company in this world of Admiration Addicts. I felt sorry for his state and I really hope that he wakes up soon and embraces his true character. I hope that he doesn’t loose much of his age trying to live as someone forgetting his real character and value. I can only hope and wish.

Note: The title to this blog was inspired from Emerson’s quote, “Imitation is suicide”.

Ordinate Civilization: Our future society

It has never been this easier to get into another man’s mind in a society. Earlier, it took art, song, dance, mythology, etc. to do that. Instilling a Behavioral change needed philosophical energy transmissions through media as strong as Religion when reasoning was just a seed restricted to a few. Now that reasoning has sprout out into a reasonably grown specimen and the necessity of such old media seems questionable with the parallel growth of the little kid next door, Science. Our boy Science has grown so big that we’ve forgotten that he is now a big man taking us for a walk into a completely different world mutating us to a new modified species of human, drawing so many parallels to our known Human History. We are now walking into the virtual dematerialized world without recognizing ourselves. We are changing ourselves into a rather new breed that has dual identity and functionality. One of this identity has been defined by the power of our mind.

Enter Ordinate axis to real life: from Abscissa towards Ordinate

Complex Conjugate Planes

Complex Conjugate Planes

Remember the movie Matrix where they talk about parallel worlds with existence of an alternate world purely controlled by the mind? It isn’t completely a fiction. Our world is marching much closer to that on the graph of existence. Our identities are now including a new y component from the Ordinate (y) axis’ additional bits and bytes of data. We are entering new world of complexities where we virtually are another entity in that world with internet: an explorer, an adventurer, a trader, a spy, a governor, a teacher, a learner or even a rebel. Mind you! We are not so much of the same character in the physical world. We have been evolving from the rather crude barbaric past to a ‘civilized’ future weighed additionally by a new coordinate called the ‘intellectual identity’. This projected axis from the mind is similar to that of the ‘Imaginary axis’ in the old complex conjugate planes. Remember this figure from school math?:

We are now discovering Societies resembling Complex numbers where an identity begins to have both real and imaginary(virtual) components. As we enter our Planetary Phase of Civilization, the impact or the effect of the ‘i’ axis (Ordinate axis) is beginning to take stronger effect on us. This simple Sociological transition’s analogy:

[] Real Part ‘x’ – Our physical presence in the real world made of flesh and blood

[] Imaginary Part ‘y’ – Our virtual digital identity based on our mind’s behavior(which is not negligible anymore)

[] Complex number ‘z’ – Identity of a person in today’s world

[] Absolute value ‘r’ – The net value of a person put together

[] Argument ‘theta’ – The degree of inclination of a person away from the Real world

In this analogy, the component ‘y’ is beginning to become larger and larger with time and our inclination away from the real world is also increasing. We are now seeing a large number of people whose identity is turning dual. With newer generations and newer additional members into this world, the Sociology is about to change further and it’s existing virtual environments are about to begin to change.

In layman’s terms, we are now witnessing the rise of a new kind of a civilization. This is one of it’s kind unlike any from our past. This civilization includes every mind of the same species with the highest connectivity ever seen or felt before. The most documented or recorded version with immense data available yet incapable of being completely understood with re-definitions and re-imaginations to everything that was well-defined before. So, we are indeed entering a phase towards an intense growth exponentially, thanks to our new civilization’s absolute records with words of information..but how are we going to live in that world? Are we likely to be any different? Are we going to be more altruistic and free than ever before or are we likely to pretend to be so? Looking for answers, I started digging History believing that History repeats itself  on the Wheel of time. I started reading about the Evolution of civilizations in the past from the Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarian ages and found some common patterns and analogies. I also began imagining a few parts for explanations that I couldn’t find. It was quiet fascinating to draw parallels. This is no Scientific Paper. This is just a blog rendering a piece of my mind’s perspective. So, please do excuse the crude nomenclature.

Settlements towards ‘civilized’ Structures

In our ancient time, we had a humble beginning as hunters and gatherers. We went out, fetched food, ate them and survived. We didn’t begin to fancy living. However, Read more of this post

Justice? Good Joke

LAW Blind

To experience every Damn place on earth, I was pushed into a circumstance to visit the High Court Bench to sort out a Civil case. It has been ON for nearly 20 years. The case is as old as me! This is when I realised how Pathetic the law of the Land was. If any lawyer is reading this, I am sorry, this is out of mere frustration & annoyance that I experienced all through these years.

No matter how strong/true your case is, it makes NO sense here. Its all about the size of your pocket. You demand justice?  Good joke! Read more of this post

Million new dreams

After so many years (10 years 5 months), just visited my old school for re-living so many incredible memories. It’s an incredible feeling to be remembered – to be remembered after almost a decade by an ‘Aaya amma’ (nanny in Indian schools) is incredibly moving; especially to remember a name of just-another-kid in a class of ~300 students even after 10yrs feels so special! The love, affection and care of teachers is just such an incredible gift. Most of the teachers who took class for me right from when I was ~12 yrs old remembered me. Especially, the Physics teacher with whom I share a cosmic connection, a Math Teacher who remembered me, my gang and my cheekiness to try to finish problems ahead and also not to mention the Chemistry teacher who recognized me even before I realized she was around! It’s such a gift to have been through a school that made an emotional connection to this level! Not sure, if I got super-lucky or that sheer cultural combination of our ancient Guru-Shishya respect. I’ve had not-so-good profs/teachers later, but my fundamental schooling was definitely filled with Lady teachers who truly connected with us, cared for us and really did/do remember us so very well! It felt like those “To Sir, With Love” moments.

This is not some super-fancy school in some big metro-city; mine was a simple school run by an old bank with a reasonably big campus and hadn’t changed much in the decade – except that I could see smart boards. (Super excited about the Smart Boards; now everyone can learn things much faster!)

Beyond all that, when you get to peek into the Science Expo that students and teachers together put-up, you’d realize how much of history is getting made by science – the degree of inspiration to let loose all those creativity and to begin talking about all those crazy Science Fiction “stuff”! I wasn’t a super-big fan of space for some time – to be honest, I was one of those ignorant ones who would prioritize Space a little below considering my then-understanding of unfavorable economics and that some of humanity’s fundamental problems needed solutions first. (Yet I still couldn’t control myself from spending odd hours learning and loving relativity theory back then..) As much as I wanted to be excited, I wasn’t entirely sure if space was the best investment of time, effort and cost. Then, slowly as one begins to look for answers for some of the most complex problems on the planet, you start looking more exhaustively; then, it hits you that both by economics and solution-possibilities, space is one of the most inevitable necessities. We’ve got to build those “Enterprises” – because with those advancement comes all these incredible alternate solutions for our fundamental problems. And now, I don’t refrain myself from calling me a “Trekkie” or sharing true excitement when a Rover lands on Mars or when a Mangalyaan gets onto the Martian orbit! It’s an incredible feeling when you realize that we made something walk around on the surface of another planet so far away! You can never stop from appreciating how much a cave-man evolved within this short time after  Mr.Science just knocked on the front door! Such an incredible moment defining the possibilities that a “normal” set of human minds can create together!

What is even more incredible is the possibility of what a sheer ~75 million$ investment of a developing country could do. It could not only seed the imaginations and excitements of millions of kids across the billion-people country but also open up the aspirations to whole new generation!

When you go to these School Expos you can draw parallels. I found the excitement similar to the excitement of American kids back in the ’60s when Armstrong & Buzz set foot on moon – still remembering Dan Barry’s & Yvonne Cagle’s stories of how/why they decided to become Astronauts – watching Armstrong set that one foot on moon and dreaming bigger! It’s historic events like these that inspire to make many more historic moments.

When you get inside a Physics department’s expo – it blows your mind as to how even a small school in a small corner of the world can instill to dream big just because a country decides to understand Mars up-close and that it is important; important enough to prioritize this over other fundamental needs of the poverty-fighting billion. The country is definitely looking at an uphill battle towards winning over poverty with all the optimism rising around the existing Government. We sure hope that the new billion rises to make sure each of this billion would care for the 6 other human on the planet. This way we can take care of the entire humanity more easily.. 😉 (Better than fiction, right?)

A few favorite pictures from the visit:

Space Dreams: ...& more Mangalyaan

Mangalyaan’s Orbit

Space Dreams: ...& more Mangalyaan

Space Dreams: …& more Mangalyaan

Space Dreams: ...& more Mangalyaan

Space Dreams: …& more Mangalyaan

Space Dreams: ...& more Mangalyaan

School/life on Mars!

Space Dreams: ...& more Mangalyaan

When you enter Science Expo’s Physics Room

Martian colony + settlements

Martian colony + settlements

...& more Mangalyaan (behind the scenes)

…& more Mangalyaan (behind the scenes)

Renuka Aaya Amma!

Our math teacher who had to put up with us!

We used to learn real basics yet it was fun!

Computer Lab – still hasn’t changed a bit!

Enter into the World of Science! 🙂

Borrowed line from David Brin's status... MOM - Mars Orbital Mission

Borrowed line from David Brin’s status… MOM – Mars Orbital Mission

Me close to the Martian version of my school!:)

Me close to the Martian counterpart of my school! 🙂

& some comic for fun!

& some comic for fun!

Solar system on the ceiling!

Solar system on the ceiling!

PSLV rocket mock-up

PSLV rocket mock-up

My Physics teacher!

My Physics teacher!

Parts of the Space Orbitals

Parts of the Space Orbitals

Polystyrene mock-up of the Mars Orbital

Polystyrene mock-up of the Mars Orbital

Satellite made from Toy's motor + bathroom's gully

Revolving satellite made from Toy’s motor + bathroom’s gully

My School in Mars!

My School in Mars!

Tamil Drama Team

Tamil Drama Team!       (They did pretty well on U.Ve.Sa)

Botany corner

Botany corner

Sharing the world with animals

Sharing the world with animals

En route to the Science Expo

En route to the Science Expo

New Smart Boards

New Smart Boards

& some bio-decompose based electricity

& some decompose power!