Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meanwhile Wozniak's predictions for 2075

Wozniak's world in 2075: 'bigger' Apple, Google, Facebook — and we'll be living in deserts
" New cities. Deserts could be ideal locations for cities of the future, designed and built from scratch, according to Wozniak. There, housing problems will not exist and people will shuttle among domed structures. Special wearable suits will allow people to venture outside, he said."

Drought in South India

Second of the articles South India's Drought Part 2: Chennai slum dwellers forced to beg for water, authorities remain helpless via Naked Capitalism.
Similar news from Ravi Kumar's wall about parts of Prakasam District: "ప్రకాశం జిల్లాలో సగం మండలాల్లో కరువు.
తాగు నీరు కోసం
ఇతర ప్రాంతాలకు వలస పోతున్న జనం.
సమస్యలు పట్టించుకొనివాళ్ళకు ఓట్లేసిన పాపం అనుభవిస్తున్న జనం."
About ten years I visited I.S.I. Campus for a few days. Women were queuing for water near taps when water was available just opposite to the campus. Inside the campus, we had 24 hour water service. Many of these institutes are deemed essential services and I have seen this in other cities too. Unless the conditions are extreme, there are not many reports even on Facebook. Are two indias developing like two Americas ?

Caste lives on, and on

By Prayaag Akbar I think these messages have to be repeated. My own guess about the stability of this system is whatever the origins, it gives men 1) status without working for it, and 2) wives again without struggle as in other societies. And a lot of time and effort is spent trying to preserve these unearned privileges. I do not see any hopes of Indian society improving without caste weakening somehow.

From Kevin Slavic six years ago

Appreciation from a nephew

Who I met after a long time "I wish more people would say "I don't know" like you do. I find it refreshing. I tend to plead ignorance a lot myself, but that is held against me more often than not. I've lived all of my life amongst people that have the answer right away. They're just bullshitting - both me and themselves."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Environmental memories

Two science reports

Little girl smiling after the Aleppo bus attack

Possibilities of collapse

How western civilisation could collapse in contrast to the previous article how we act and react depends on our limited abilities and inexorable forces we do not understand. With in this limited understanding "The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth. Should that forward-propelling motion slow or cease, the pillars that define our society – democracy, individual liberties, social tolerance and more – would begin to teeter. Our world would become an increasingly ugly place, one defined by a scramble over limited resources and a rejection of anyone outside of our immediate group. Should we find no way to get the wheels back in motion, we’d eventually face total societal collapse."

A long read on knowledge

Long read. Perhaps we have to look for 'peace that passeth all understanding'.
"As long as our computer models instantiated our own ideas, we could preserve the illusion that the world works the way our knowledge —and our models — do. Once computers started to make their own models, and those models surpassed our mental capacity, we lost that comforting assumption. Our machines have made obvious our epistemological limitations, and by providing a corrective, have revealed a truth about the universe.
The world didn’t happen to be designed, by God or by coincidence, to be knowable by human brains. The nature of the world is closer to the way our network of computers and sensors represent it than how the human mind perceives it. Now that machines are acting independently, we are losing the illusion that the world just happens to be simple enough for us wee creatures to comprehend.
It has taken a network of machines that we ourselves created to let us see that we are the aliens."

Alien Knowledge: When machines justify knowledge

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Just finished writing

a draft of mathematics paper. I worked on it for about six months last year while revising an old draft. Suddenly some new results started appearing which were mildly interesting and seemed to clarify the earlier unpublished paper. But I could not quite work out the new results and their proofs. Then I went on a trip and did not feel like working on the stuff. But during the last month or so, some of the steps and arguments kept appearing. I would just sit in the garden, think about other things too but never wrote any thing down. I just let them soak and tried to see what would emerge. Then one day all of them seemed to fit together and it took about half a day to write the draft. It still seems to make sense. I am hoping that it is my last mathematics paper since other stuff seems to interest me more than mathematics. But I have spent nearly sixty years in mathematics. Sometimes, it seems to come without much effort whereas I used to struggle and work day and night until I more or less collapsed of exhaustion. So it goes in retirement.
May be doing research at 76 like me is not such an anamoly. One of my daughters Lalita sent me this.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

More on 'The Deep State'

Peter Dale Scott on 'American deep state'

An interview from 2014 with alink to part 2. Both together form ' new introduction to the paperback version of The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy, Updated Edition (copyright 2017),'
More about him at
He is also on Facebook
Via a comment in MR How to think about "The Deep State"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Coming water problems

Community based rice banks

Anaj Bank frees Dalits from fear of hunger in Bihar "
Community managed rice banks in several areas of Patna district in Bihar have released hundreds of Dalit families from the exploitative practices of powerful landlords by ensuring food during the lean season."
From the article:
"Kumar, who leads Pargati Gramin Vikas Samiti and started the Anaj Bank with support from Action Aid on 2005, said groups of women in each village have been running the Anaj Bank with their own support system. “Action Aid has stopped its support in 2013,” he told “Since then, groups of women in dozens of villages have been managing it successfully without any support from outside.”
For setting up the Anaj Bank, a group of women in each village was initially given Rs 5,000 cash to purchase rice and Rs 2,500 to purchase big drums for storage. “Every year during January, February, and March, people return rice that they have taken on credit as per its terms that enable us to store enough rice for giving again on credit during the lean season,” Kumar says.
More than 500 women are associated with the Anaj bank in dozens of villages. “In each village, 10 to 15 women have been doing community farming. They have taken 2-3 acres of land on lease. It is a new phenomenon in this locality.”
The Anaj Bank was set up in 65 villages — 30 in Bikram, 20 in Pali and 15 in Naubatpur. According to Kumar, no hunger deaths have been reported in these villages of Dalits after the Anaj Bank started functioning."
This is where Non Resident Indians can help. Locating local organizations which do this kind of work takes some effort since there are also bogus NGOs and also many whichsoe are using for promoting their own careers. With some other established organizations, lot of the contributionsgo to the salaries of the personnel and only a small fraction actually goes to the poor.
After about ten years, I have found some organizations both formal and informal which seem reliable. But some of them do not last as people get weary after years of dreary work.

Lawrence Wilkerson on Korea

Not much fuss about this in the west

Lists of books from pseudoerasmus

 More frivolously assembled lists of books and it has links to his previous lists. I have read some of the books from this list and tend to read such books. I am not sure now how well non-English, American writers are represented. I would add Emmanuel Todd and other writers like Ramachandra Guha  but they may be some somewhere in the lists. In addition Razib Khan often discusses a subset of similar books in his blog.
There is a new series of 'expository' tracts from AMS which are free online.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Common-law country

From a comment in MR in a post about new Supreme Court order about 500 metres from highways for bars
"First, India is a ‘common-law’ country like the UK, US is, as opposed to a ‘civil law’ country. This matters because the “spirit of the law” must be obeyed in a common-law country, not the “letter of the law”. What this means is that having a “zig-zag” of 500 meters is not in accordance with the “spirit of the law” (contrary to AlexT’s title), but only with the “letter of the law”. In a “civil law” country, this ‘trick’ would work so that the shopkeeper can serve alcohol, but not in India. That’s the theory. In practice, in these developing countries there’s only one law: the golden rule. He who has the gold, rules. So a quick bribe to the local official in charge will solve any problem. That’s probably how the shopkeeper in this story got around the law in India. 
Internet: Common Law Countries: The United States, England, India, Canada Civil Law Countries: EU, pretty much everywhere else."
It also links to this article with nice pictures.

Why women don't report sexual harassment

Economies of scale

Ghantasala modulates the same phrase in several ways
'Emanene' said in so many ways. As 'barago' says, once as question, then with anxiety, soothing and agitation.
More about the film here

A Ghulamm Mohd. Song

George Monbiot reviews a book on alternative economics
Tosards a new economy, articles from Dissent
The current ways, at least in USA "67% of the US economy is dependent upon Americans spending money they don’t have on shit they don’t need."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nalband mutation

In The Hindu Interpretation of a malady: how scientists zeroed on one family's rare and crippling disease
From the summary of an earlier research by Suvrat Kher"3) The findings indicate that there is a larger amount of genetic variation between Indian groups than there is between say European groups. This the authors suggest is a result of a small number of individuals founding different ethnic groups that then remained endogamous and therefore genetically divergent. This has important medical value as recessive diseases may correlate with ethnic groups."

Some India related posts at MR