Distracted by Technology

Internet has such a drastic change in the way we acquire and leverage knowledge. Indian schools of the 80s and 90's encouraged rote learning aka "mugging" stuff for exams. An Open book exam is unheard of by my generation in their school days. but what did we learn in that set up? How a well read person of 90s is different from today.

I believe that reading fiction in your teens encourage empathy; rags to riches stories provide motivation; fiction set in the past of your own country stimulates fervent patriotism. Proliferation of cable Television meant that it takes effort from parents to make their children read. Children who grew up without reading a motivational fiction now seek solace in self help authors.

Presence of internet means that explicit knowledge can be easily researched and understood. But the same cannot be said for the things that require practice. Easy availability of information has suppressed the hunger to acquire information. Technology advances in personal communication is ruining letter writing skills in young adults. 

  1. How do we cope up in this endless mind toggling?
  2. Read fiction
  3. Read fiction in multiple languages (if you are multi-lingual)
  4. Don't watch TV with a regular schedule. Watch TV at different times of day and max out your time watching TV when you do
  5. Go to sleep before 9 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

Long live the Kaliyuga!

Our ancient scholars and warriors failed us. They denied modern technology to us. Their knowledge was useless and their spirituality ridiculous. But still, our history books are getting filled with our glorious past. Our inability to defend ourselves against middle eastern invaders and later western colonialists were conveniently ignored. Our kids were taught that British took control of India through cunning schemes and devious plots.

But what were our rules and warriors of that age doing? Aren't they supposed to be the brave or shrewd ones. Well, they blame the lack of technological advancement of Western military. We were defeated by cannons and gunfire, we were taught. Okay. Why did we not invent cannons or gunfire. What were our scholars doing? Aren't they the intellectual geniuses of that age who had exclusive access to knowledge? Well they were busy oppressing the common man.

Our ancient scholars and warriors failed us.

Now, we are in Kaliyuga, the age of vice. It is prophesised that in Kaliyuga, Brahmans will not be learned or honored, Kshatriyas will not be brave, Vaishyas will not be just in their dealings.

But simple kaliyuga ideologies like "anyone can do any job with proper training", "all are same" are transforming millennia old Indian culture. Today the coveted Civil Services job like (IAS, IPS..) are actually Kshatriya jobs; services (software, manufacturing) are all Sudra jobs; banking and entrepreneurship is traditionally reserved for Vaishyas. The outcastes of the modern India are violent criminals. We are starting to see the slow destruction of social stratification. After all, we are all turned into "job seekers". It is almost funny to see that the mad scramble to get jobs and acquire material possessions is an unthinkable crime in caste dominated India, just a century ago. Not anymore.

So, long live the Kaliyuga!
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

100 years: World War I


Today is the 100th anniversary of the start of First World War.

 Eclipsed only by the Second World War in terms of casualties, WW1 has a deeper impact on the collective human psyche. WW1 is the forgotten war.

People often claim tactical advances like trench warfare, tanks, usage of chemicals as major legacy of WW1. Textbooks frequently deny the WW1 its historical significance by reducing it to merely a precursor to WW2.

The biggest legacy of WW1 in my opinion is to diminish  perception of the scale of all the wars preceding itself and raising the bar very high for future wars to be regarded as deadly. In 2014, we are in the middle of over 10 major wars but we just don't see it., thanks to WW1. There are many direct history lessons that could be learnt from WW1.

End of overt empires and the beginning of covert ones
Emergence of Female labour force
more on these later.

In the mean time, here is a creative version of events that happened in ww1

Saturday, June 28, 2014
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

Wrecking of family system by "Independent" women

I have written vaguely about impending break-down of family system in the west  in the past. Is India better off? The answer is a resounding NO. We are just getting there. So what happened to the West? How did they get there? In our quest to imitate western culture, where are we being dragged to?

To understand that we need to understand what is different between India and West and how that is changing. The view of Hinduism and Christianity on forming a stable family is not that different. Also, over half a century ago, family system was strong in the west as well. But in the past quarter-century or so, certain things happened

  1. Social Security
  2. Women entered workplace in hordes

If you are a young couple in the United States, there is not incentive to put your child's welfare ahead of your own. Government will take care of you, no need to bank on your children. Fathers buy expensive cars, mothers buy expensive clothes. Once a kid reaches teens, they get plenty of opportunities to work and buy cars and clothes for themselves. By 18 or so, they just move out and try to start a family of their own. When these kids become parents, the cycle repeats.

Women who entered workplace in the later half of the century changed the whole male psyche. They realized that they are no longer dependent on men. They can be as promiscuous as possible in their younger age and can rely on government to take care of them once they become older. Nothing stops them.

This subject is debated and discussed by these guys ->Captaincapitalism, ElusiveWapiti, DalRock, all of them are interesting reads.

If you are Indian and thing that collapse of family system is a thing of West, be warned. Ours is under attack too. Just look at the divorce rates. How many were filed by well educated, working women? Apparently, "independent women", is a goal-oriented, money-craving, promiscuous sl*t. No one delivers this message in big screen better than the legendary Super Star. Watch it for yourself.

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan


If Bush were still President and had snapped a selfie at Mandela's funeral, CNN would not call it a "lighter moment".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

Congress routed in State Elections... from a Congress POV, what's next?

The verdict is loud and clear. India is tired of Congress and its leadership. Contrary to popular belief, the Grand Old Party of India is not expected to be bogged down and fade away after this defeat in the semifinal-elections. The party has too many politicians. This in addition to the fact that Congress is still in power poses various possibilities for India's future in the near term. What next?

1. Impose Emergency

With media focus working against the Congress, I have no doubt that this option might have crossed the minds of the current leaders of India. But at this stage, declaring emergency has too many unknown consequences for Congress. They are probably saving this as a last ditch option

2. Strengthen regional alliances

A much more predictable response. I am sure one wing of Congress would want to loosen its grip on UPA and create more power centres. This option calls for almost reckless formation of alliances in all the states with one goal, increased vote-share. Given the fact the most of the political parties are shameless in their alliance-forming-policies, this is actually a good move for Congress. The only downside is that the coronation of Rahul Gandhi could be a bit messy, if the coalition manages to hold on to power. Given the fact that this is the direction India is moving in the past 20 years or so, most likely and most logical option.

3. Change the rhetoric

Signs of Congress changing the rhetoric is already visible. One of the most awkward defences against the defeat is Sonia Gandhi blaming Inflation. What a ridiculous comment? The party in power for 10 years blaming a key economic indicator coming back and hunting them down. Who is responsible for keeping Inflation under check? It just exposes how out of touch Congress is with the concept of Governance, let along good Governance. Sadly, Congress has mastered this art. The art of changing the tone and style of communication and putting spin into mundane events. Remember 2004 elections and Tehelka tapes? I expect a lot of this in the near future.

4. Take a break, concede defeat and wait for a BJP-led goof-up

Considering the fact that Rahul Gandhi is hiding behind and is not officially named as the PM candidate, this though crosses many a minds. Highly unlikely...

Your comments are welcome...

Monday, December 9, 2013
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

RIP Nelson Mandela


South Africa 's former president Nelson Mandela, the country 's "black history" died on Thursday at the age of 95.

Mandela was home when he passed after suffering from a series of lung infections the past two years. He has been described as on his “deathbed” in recent days. He was attended to in his final hours by his wife Grace Machel, and some of his three children, 17 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

How did you feel when you heard of Mandela's passing?
Friday, December 6, 2013
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

Will US declare war on Syria on September 11?

The date is a strange coincidence. All the sabre rattling just ahead of the impending US attack on Syria positioned for a key decision on this "strange" day of the calendar. I will be a much relieved man if no major declaration or incident happen on next Wednesday. But history refuses to think so.

Monday, September 9, 2013
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan

Writer's block!!

I have heard about it, read about it. Writer's block is very difficult to explain. Of course I am not going to try to explain it.

Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan
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Cohabitation - Breakdown of family system

The title of this article sounds like yet another crazy conspiracy theory against capitalism. This article is a hypothesis which is lingering in my mind by observing the influence of media on the family (rather lack of) values in the west.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Posted by Srinivasan Natarajan
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