Ebola: Wake up call for open science.

The outbreak shames the scientific society. All of us, the doctors, engineers and scientists; can delude ourselves to take pride in what we do. That the product of what we do helps people. To think about the fact that whatever you are doing is always measured, thereby controlled by someone in terms of wealth and not by the advancement and improvement of human society, suggests quite the contrary.

J.C. Bose said that he won’t patent his inventions because patents will only appeal to someone wealthy to invest only to harvest more wealth and that he wanted his work for the benefits of the whole human society.

It is sad how he ended up in the shadows while thieves who managed to spin a stolen scientific invention has their legacy sealed by giant corporations. i.e Bell labs.

Aaron Swartz’s death did not bring any change to the way science works. Inventions in computer science and physical sciences are already taking up the open science platform making a real difference in the world of science and engineering that shapes up humanity. Open learning platforms like coursera, codeacademy and mit ocw are opening up knowledge channels that are previously reserved for a certain group of people. If someone breaks through such reservations, it was only through their sheer intellect. The transcendence of such an individual through layers of society was only an upward mobility. What that is, is a segregation algorithm that puts barriers across the layers of society and the upward mobility only helps to keep the structure of this social segregation process intact.

It may work fine but see what outbreaks like Ebola can do to such society. There wasn’t any headlines, not this much, up until the disease was confined within the borders of Africa. As if the humans living there deserve less than what we can have here. I am not talking about just the USA. Observe the world’s reaction to Ebola before and after it reached the shores of the first world. This is what I mean by social segregation. The way we are conditioned to look at a fellow human and judge what he can have and what he can not have.

Open Science:
As I said earlier, computer science and physical science is promoting the open science platform. What about biological sciences? Most of the bio-research facilities are owned by governments that are very keen about protecting the information acquired and pharmaceuticals that are only interested in the monetary value of the research. This creates a very specific environment that often shapes up the personality of the individuals associated with the industry.

The comments of the Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is very different from his contemporaries in Computer Science and Physical sciences. You can see his interests in protecting the medical industrial complex behind his supposed scientific comments. I don’t see such negligent comments from an AI researcher say Andrew Ng of Stanford.

This brings us to my point. The overall morale of a society is often screwed up. An average scientist’s morale is compromised by his investor’s idea of morale. A society is a spectra of personalities and what you consider as normal behavior is just the mean value of this spectra. It may still be cruel which will only bite the society in its back. A sort of correcting mechanism, I might cruelly say. It is time for us to think for ourselves. As the men and women of science, technology and medicine; we may have to redraw the lines of our morale, individually. In my humble opinion, Open Science is a way to start this wake. Honestly, I don’t believe the combined ability of our mental prowess would be outwitted by a microbe, any microbe.

On the other hand, think about where this society, in its current path might lead to. Only the wealthy will lead a healthy life while the rest of the society is condemned to rot. I am not pleased with that future.

p.s: I am not saying the open science movement is ignored by the bio-chem, medicine community. I am saying they should have been the leaders of this movement.
P.P.S: please take a look at the #Ebola tags in twitter. See how it flares up only after the patient zero in America dies and other 2 cases reported. Now twitter is a far better place than our media so just imagine how general public’s reactions are before Ebola reached here and after Ebola reached here.. https://i.imgur.com/9rEZVhJ.gif

Deity Complex

One of our national character is to celebrate someone.

Its a complex psychological process. Generally, people project their dreams or their emotions upon someone else and then create this morbid relationship with them. It happens to everyone at some point. Its a part of psychological development. A self identification process. Then the self realization draws the boundaries as to where the ego lies and where the self exists. The problem is that us Indians become emotionally invested in this someone else and then it becomes this whole other behavioral characteristic which can only be expressed by what I regard as a deity complex.

God complex:

By god complex I mean a high functioning psychopath. Ray Pensador of dailykos describes the high-functioning psychopaths as follows. “characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness; high functioning psychopaths tend to rule the world.  They rise to the highest levels of power in politics, and business”.
Most of the high functioning psychopaths are achievers and are generally the top dogs such as a senior police / military official, dean of medicine, CEO etc.. See how all these positions has the power to make or break someone? That’s what that attracts a high functioning psychopath.
Now mostly these people are responsible for ensuring our survival as a species but they also have no remorse or empathy towards other people in their wake. They could be ruthless and have no remorse and morale, and be indifferent to another human’s suffering.

Self :

Carl G. Jung identifies this as a process in a 4 stage self realization. In any great hero sagas (written or played), you could observe 4 basic elements to a degree.

* A young, high potential, egoistic young man.

* Meets a humiliation or sustains a loss. Then meets a guru or a spiritual guide or a master (and trains under him.) It could be his father as well.

* Somehow he is no longer bound to the master figure. (death of the master, betrayal, awakening from false virtues). The hero now fights to prevail, often killing the villain.

* He is a hero now. But the biggest feat is to fight his ego and to become more of an empathized individual which means he not only kills the villain but everything the villain is made of. This is the becoming.

If you are observant enough, you could see this process happening within you, often at a microscopic level.

In pop culure, there is Neo in Matrix, Skywalkers in Star Wars Jaden Smith in After Earth, Rajinikanth in Annamalai or Sivaji (you name it).
This 4 stages of the becoming can better understood by comparing the process with the antagonists in Star Wars, Man of Tai Chi, Ong Bak, Batman Begins, Superman, Tron legacy, Ninja  Assassin or Constantine.. take your pick.

By analogy, high functioning psychopaths could be described as a set of people who are often stuck in the third part of the self realization cycle.

Now that we know how the self identification process works, lets move on to the topic.

Deity Complex: (This is completely my observation and I could very well be wrong.)

As opposed to the god complex, us Indians suffer from Deity complex. Having been stuck in the second part of the self realization process, our emotional quotient often identifies itself with someone else, fictional or not, and becomes entangled.

This often happens because of our social structure. A father can almost never let go of his control over the son and a son is often bound by principles to not to go against his father. Son doesn’t move out of the family as soon as he is able to. It often happens after he is married and that is way too late and way too committal to go through the rest of the self identification process. Times may be changing now as an average Indian starts earning at 21 and moves out of the family to work for a corporate. The trick here is that, there is usually another authoritative figure, a manager perhaps, who would continue to play the part of the father hindering the psychological development of his wards.

Let me explain. Compare corporate life to the self identification process Carl Jung has described. The master (manager) is supposed to help the student to get into touch with his inner self and to help him develop his skills, techniques and ideology so someday he becomes independent. That is moving on to the third part. That also means providing room for mistakes and encouraging the ward to take more responsibilities, explore new methods and allow self-teaching, provided that he is right on top of the learning curve. Now we know what an average Indian manager would do.

This is often not the case with an American individual. The family ties never hinders him to do what he wants..  it doesn’t warrants him to shut up even if he knows the father is wrong. This sets up a foundation for what follows next. Americans often speak up against authority to do what they deem right and are encouraged to take risks with or without assessments. The result is an uninterrupted flow of the self identification process which often yields a leader or a hero. Meanwhile our social structure often stops us at level 2 or level 3 promoting a huge population of listeners not leaders.

Effects of deity complex:

So remember how the self identification process messes up and we end up identifying ourselves with the heroes, fiction or not? For some of us, it is lord Anjaneya, viz a viz Rajinikanth, Modi, [insert: any hero]. Almost all the Indian literature and myth is about praising the heroic figure and somehow it has contributed in culturing the deity complex. We developed a pathological need to celebrate this someone else beyond rationale. It has become necessary for us to raise these individuals to a godly level and give them a status so sacred that he or she can get away with almost anything.
Remember Salman Khan’s charges? There was at least hundreds of thousands of people who taught Salman Khan should not be jailed even when they knew for a fact he did kill someone in a drunk and drive stupor. Some people even tried to rationalize it by showcasing the “Being Human” initiative, which is a pathetic PR technique that would shame goebbels’ techniques in propaganda.

IMHO, when you hear about an individual who self-immolated himself to death because Actor Vijay’s movie has trouble releasing, you know this has gone too far.

A more common example:

We all know someone who can not handle criticisms against Rajinikanth, Modi, Sachin Tendulkar or Lord Ram. It is actually their ego defending an attack on themselves. Their self-identification has entangled itself with their heroes so bad that an attack against their heroes passes as an attack on themselves. What happens when someone is injured? They either break down or attack back. These attacks sometime ends up in fans killing each other.

//Personally, I would consider this as evolution’s trick to check itself from being counterproductive. Evolution would have woke up one day thinking, “Whoa.. I somehow missed to weed out a gene and now this bunch of people are bringing down the mean IQ of the world’s population parallel to the x axis. Let me fix it.” Later that day two different fan clubs take out each other.//

I feel the most important problem India will be facing in this generation would be the deity complex that I have described here.

Understanding the self and ego is more of a social problem rather than a personal problem. In a society where anything or anyone unconventional is attacked viciously, there could only be a small proportion of people who can risk it all anyway.

If the situation should change, when a son could defy his father to follow his dreams and still continues to get love and support; when a student could challenge a professor over a scientific process or ideology and still continues to get unbiased academic attention and benefits; when a junior engineer could defy his manager over adapting a new technology and still continues to get promotions and salary bumps as same as everyone; then there lies a society where leaders will not be butchered but nurtured.

சத்தம்

“தனித்தனியாய் அலைந்து கொண்டிருந்த சத்தங்கள் சேர்ந்திசைந்து அபூர்வராகமாய் ஆனந்தபெருக்காடுகிறது. பறவைகளும் சிறகுகளும் காற்றுவெளி எங்கிலும் கவிதைகளை எழுதி எழுதி…. என்னமோ பிரமிள்.”.

சத்தம்:

என் விரல் வழி காதல் வழிய 
உன் நரம்புகளில் ஒரு சத்தம்.. 
உதடு குவித்து காற்றில் கொடுத்தாய்
தடதடத்தது நெஞ்சில்.. அது ஒரு சத்தம்..
ஏதோ சொல்ல வாயெடுத்து விக்கி நின்று
வார்த்தைகளை என் கண்ணுக்குள் தேடினாய் போல..
சத்தமே எழாத அது ஒரு சத்தம்.. 
கண்ணில் நீர்மல்க குரலு(ம்)டைந்தாய்
அதுவும் ஒரு சத்தம்..

ஏனோ..

இப்படி இங்குமங்குமாய் பொறுக்கி எடுத்து
நானும் நீயுமாய் நடந்து திரிந்த வீதிகளில்
சில சத்தங்களை காற்றிடை தருகிறேன்..
அபூர்வராகம் தான்.. 
 

Genocides and perverts..

You know the time when some of us were confused about how a genocide can happen right under our nose? Back in 2008?? It finally dawns upon me.

Our morale need not be that strong to fight for humane reasons. But we Tamils didn’t even fight for selfish reasons as such as a sense of brotherhood.. How puzzling!!

After looking at some part of this Tamil society, supposed elitists, acting so far right, that even other rightists of different ethnicity would be ashamed of, I see our society for what it is. Authoritative casteism at its utmost ugliness.

Right now I am looking at all these posts about Israel’s atrocity and you know what.. Fuck you.. I have had enough. If you only look out for another human because he is of the same religion, same caste.. Fuck you.. And fuck your faith system. A dead child is a symbol of perversity no matter what religion the child belongs to.

And yeah.. Of course I am only talking about the hypocrites and I strongly condemn Israel.. Even after knowing the fact that they bailed us out in two important wars with neighbors.

If you support a killer or choose to raise your voice only against one form of genocide, you are the source of the problem.

I really wanted to see which god is up there watching all these people killing each other.. And flick a finger at him..

For my record..

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Of the biggest democracy in the world: India’s general election 2014

The most expected outcome of the 2014 general election is here. Prime Minister Modi.

US’s policy making and intelligence bureaus would be considering this election results as their failure in recognizing PM Modi’s candidature in the past. The visa issue will be settled now but it will further undermine America’s stand against Human Rights violation.

Indians definitely showed some real love for the democracy. Yet there are several implications to this election results that we should never forget to pursue.

* Fourth Estate’s compromised integrity.

* Minorities should not lose hope. Together we stand.

* All the corruption charges and their channels should be legally scrutinized and all the perpetrators must be penalized.

* Share market and INR would be prospering for a while. Make money.

* What that happened is all water under the bridge, PM and GOI should strengthen their relationship with the US.

* Hindu extremists should shut the fuck up and let this country be better than it was.

* Major policy revision towards Sri Lanka.

I am super glad that Indian National Congress is destroyed. It is more evident that Rahul would neither be the prodigy nor the successor. Lack of leadership in second tiers takes any future hope from INC for now. My wildest dream of seeing Sonia tried for crimes against India’s integrity is still far away. Personally, the fact that INC has not won any constituency in Tamil Nadu gives me a certain hope about the solidarity among Tamils. Defeating Karthi Chidambram and taking away any of his premature glory is the best thing that happened in TN. I have previously stated that this is the first time in recent history, the state and the head of state are representing each other.

What happened to AAP is what AK warranted to happen. In this country, leaders are not seen as humans at all. They were symbolized as an icon to a greater future. As an icon of great power and infallibility towards their enemies. AK.. I am sad that you let down a super critical set of supporters anyone else would kill for. I am saddened that you might have set the wrong example. I am furious that you won’t even recognize these mistakes.

To err is human but to do that in Delhi, with this critical mass(of a supposed chain reaction) and no second tier leadership is self destruction. RIP AAP..

Minorities, especially my Muslim brotherhood, please do not consider this as a sign that India is against Muslims or that they dont care for Muslims. Hindu radicals will consider this victory as Hindutva’s, don’t join them in this fallacy.

This victory is on Indian National Congress and their corrupt, inadequate, sycophantic and nepotistic regime. This victory is on the media, paid or not. This victory is on the general rule of mass propaganda, a classic example of ad-hitlerum for it is the Joseph Goebbels’ (Hitler’s minister for propaganda) model.

This victory is not against Muslims. I cant even fathom the injustice that is done to Muslims during Gujarat riots. I cant have a possible explanation or consolation of any kind. It is a severe slur cast upon the psyche of an Indian Muslim since Babri Masjid. But we need to stay together and prosper in this great country. We need to build an understanding where no human would target another human for having a different set of beliefs or the lacks of it.

A division in India is not going to happen. The only solution we need to think of is to call this election results for what it is and reject anyone who calls this as a sign of Hindutva. See what happened in Tamil Nadu. There is no modi wave. If there is a scale of hatred towards Indian National Congress in an Average Indian, an Average Tamilian hates congress in multitudes. He didn’t turn towards Modi though. He had a leadership that understood his emotions. The leader, Amma aka Ms. Jayalalita, had her flaws but she recognized the ways to gain the trust and love of the people she represents and that impulse gave a channel for all of us Tamilians to forget whatever happened in the past. This is synergy now and it will only get better. I am inclined to think that she will continue to be the strongest and the most loved leader of her times. The elections and results will always reflect this phenomena. Her coalition to the state and the center is also an example we need to follow. She shows the ways of democratically representing your people towards a common goal and peaceful coexistence. I would love to see this happening within Muslim brotherhood as well. Tamil Muslims, please stop sharing and following vehement articles, especially the one that involves PJ. This man can never be a leader. I am still yet to see a Muslim criticizing PJ for his radical and sometimes inhumane views.  However, for us to move past all the differences, people like the Hindutvas and PJs must be rejected.

An elusive poem..

To love you like I love you is the absolute freedom. It defied construes that I built for myself. It defied the construes everyone else built for me. Then the most beautiful paradox, true to its nature, is born. It defied the construes you built for me as well. To love you is to free myself from my past and to free yourself from your past.

To love you like I love you takes everything away from me, yet stacks me up with you and there is a certain coziness in this nakedness. The nakedness that was an act of freedom I sought from myself.. and you.

It wasn’t always about me. In fact, the way it is about me is because to be me is to be you and what you do to me will be what that makes us. It wasn’t always about me.

You dont trust me? I will certainly call you up and tell you that I found a smile that is more addictive and masochistic than the one your smile has got on me right now. I want to take all this suppression out on you. I then want to make a poem for us.

I want to tell you that the smile that finally choke holded this addictive smile of yours, is in fact yours, but just that this smile smiles at me now. At my love. At your love for me. Thats when I will tell you, with a sense of guilty pleasure, that there is a smile that just freed me from this slavery your smile has got on me. The smile that will light up your face, light it up all the way that I can see it burning in your eyes.

I want to get lost in that moment, just forging that image of you smiling at me, at us, in every single neurons I have got. I would summon them all up, to light me on fire, bringing up the same smile on my face and I want that to be my moment of death.

You know how to add beauty to my death? Its by giving me the memory that would light me up on that last breath of freedom. Then I want to be free from you, as I slowly fill everything thats living inside me, with you. And that would be my freedom. You will get it. That the part that is most alive inside me, is you.

Until then, I would get caught and be slaved by every little thing thats you, only to be freed by another little thing that is you as well. I would only get freed from your smile to be slaved by your eyes. Then it would be your frowning. Then it would be your laugh. Then it would be your eyes again. Your lips. Your beautiful fingers with a stupid nail polish. Your hair in the air. Your naughty smile. Your scent. And then its just you. The summation of everything that frees me and slaves me. The one that literally rocks my world.

You know what happens to me as I look at your smile? Those lips, how quick they dance from being sensual to be quite to be naughty and to be bitten by your teeth as you frown, you know what they do to me?

I love you. I love everything that is you. I want you to have the freedom you graciously gave to me. Here.. Its with me. You have seen it. You just need to take it. You can take it and go away. Come back again if you will. But when you do, you’ll find me searching for this elusive poem that I wanted to make. Then you can take that poem, decorate it with words, may be a kiss for I am greedy and then it would be us and ours. You will be my poem but you won’t be elusive anymore. I will be growing old but I won’t really be old because I have got a poem that would stop time for me.

We would grow old anyway, at least to others eyes, and then there will be a day when I say this to you again. That I love you. However strong the word is, then you will know that what I feel is much stronger than that. We both know words can’t die and I guess something that is even stronger won’t even grow old.

You know why I am being so cocky? Because you know.. me being is to be you is to be us. Its actually me thats elusive, if you could think about it. You will think about it..