Thursday, January 31, 2008

Creative intellectual dishonesty

[Capitalism has always been creative. It is inherently creative.
Everything from
apparently mundane pencils and stocked supermarket shelves to obviously complex skyscrapers and personal computers are astonishingly complex artifacts created by human ingenuity unleashed, as only capitalism can unleash it, to experiment, cooperate, and compete. -- Bill Gates Was Creative at Microsoft from Cafe Hayek by Donald J. Boudreaux January 25, 2008 ] 8:25 AM
[It is hard for people to believe, as Karl Marx did, that societies and even modes of production are self-organising systems which no one 'runs' but which are run by a sum total of infinitely many decisions we all take. Some of the actors are big and others small but no one is big enough to buck the system or small enough not to make an impact. This is an insight which came from the Enlightenment, once people stopped believing that God directs the world or signs in the Zodiac do it. They sought an explanation in human action and behaviour. From Adam Smith until the start of the World War I, this was the dominant philosophy. -- LEADER ARTICLE: Enjoy The Ride Meghnad Desai TOI 31 Jan 2008] 8:25 AM
[Religious citizens who participate in political advocacy in the informal public sphere can offer exclusively religious reasons in support of the policies they favor in the hope that they may be translated into nonreligious reasons. But the obligation of translation should not fall exclusively on the shoulders of religious citizens, as the Rawlsian approach suggests. According to Habermas, secular citizens must share the burden of translating religious into nonreligious reasons. In order to do so, they have to take religious reasons seriously and should not deny their possible truth from the outset. At first sight, this proposal may seem less restrictive than the Rawlsian and thus better equipped to enable the political inclusion of religious citizens. -- Religion in the public sphere: Inclusion and accountability in the public sphere posted by Cristina Lafont SSRC Home SSRC Blogs Blog Home] 7:04 PM
Creative, complex, and self-organising which no one 'runs' -- amounts to proposing a definite ontology. Escaping from the responsibility to flesh it out fully just because the argument so allows is intellectual dishonesty. [TNM]

Nothing happened in India 100 years back

[In some contexts, Gandhi still remains supremely relevant. There is little doubt, for instance, that the Palestinian cause would have succeeded far more if it had taken a Gandhian turn. His manner of constructing a fearless and inventive self remains supremely instructive. As the first genius to master mass politics, he remains, to use the defining aspiration of our times, cool. -- Why Bapu matters Pratap Bhanu Mehta Indian Express: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 The writer is president, Centre for Policy Research] 7:29 AM
[Despite his lifelong interest in religious pluralism, Gandhi had not the leisure to work out a systematic treatise on the subject. -- His faith, our faith History Matters Ramachandra GuhaEmail Author HT January 30, 2008 Ramachandra Guha Historian and author of India After Gandhi] 8:05 AM
Columnists, commentators, and historians straddling our national newspapers continue to pretend that nothing happened 100 years back. For them, India before Gandhi is a sort of a Dark Age. All attempts then for the liberation of the country from the foreign rulers are contaminated, and hence not to be discussed.
Sri Aurobindo is fighting a grim battle at this hour in 1908 through his stirring speeches and writings in the Bande Mataram. But even our versatile bloggers are silent about them. Sri Aurobindo will be put in the jail for one year in May. Can’t there be a commemoration at a national scale? [TNM]

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s thesis endorses the Varna system

[Judges are appointed with the intent of serving the political ends of the people appointing them. No more, no less. Trying to assign these complex motivations to judicial selection is like trying to put a dress on a pig. — Posted by Ben Williams, NYT January 28th,2008 4:44 pm] 9:25 AM
[The institutions that command the most respect are the Supreme Court, Election Commission and Army. All three are unelected. We have little respect for the elected and immense respect for some who are not...
The fundamental mark of a democracy is not elections but an institutional framework that lays down the rights of the people and rules of political engagement, and cannot be trampled on by the ruling government. The framework is typically a Constitution... So, democracy stands on two pillars. One is Constitutional democracy, which lays down the rules of political engagement. The second pillar is popular democracy, which elects politicians...
The Constitution created other unelected bodies - such as the Supreme Court and Election Commission — which are the most respected in India precisely because they keep elected politicians in check. Democracy needs unelected positions of power, no less than elected ones. - SWAMINOMICS Democracy depends on the unelected STOI 27 Jan 2008, Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar] 11:23 AM
Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s thesis, in a way, endorses the Varna system. The unelected guardians practicing selflessness and high ethics are of Brahmin temperament while the elected politicians conforming to the incentives system belong to the Kshatriya or Vaishya mentality. [TNM]

Monday, January 28, 2008

We too need more Savitri Eran foot-soldiers

[deploy the marchmen. Europe is boosting its common diplomatic corps, while China is deploying retired civil servants, prison laborers and Chinese teachers — all are what the historian Arnold Toynbee called marchmen, the foot-soldiers of empire spreading values and winning loyalty. There are currently more musicians in U.S. military marching bands than there are Foreign Service officers, a fact not helped by Congress’s decision to effectively freeze growth in diplomatic postings. In this context, Condoleezza Rice’s “transformational diplomacy” is a myth: we don’t have enough diplomats for core assignments, let alone solo hardship missions. We need a Peace Corps 10 times its present size, plus student exchanges, English-teaching programs and hands-on job training overseas — with corporate sponsorship. -- Waving Goodbye to Hegemony By PARAG KHANNA NYT: January 27, 2008] 9:48 AM
We too need more Savitri Eran foot-soldiers spreading values and winning loyalty. [TNM]

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Faith, selflessness, and courage are the three aspects of our religion

[under the Roman Empire there was material development, there was industrial progress, but industrial progress and material development did not bring life to the Nation. When the hour of trial came, it was found that these nations which had been developing industrially, which had been developing materially, were not alive. No, they were dead and at a touch from outside they crumbled to pieces...
You will have no complaints to make against others, because then you will not need any leader. The leader is within yourselves... A lecture delivered under the auspices of the Bombay National Union by Sri Aurobindo to a large gathering at Mahajan Wadi, Bombay, on Sunday, the 19th January, 1908. Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > Bande Mataram Volume-01 > The Present Situation] 8:17 AM
[If Pakistan is an example of a failed state, Britain is a curious example of a faltering society. There is a lesson in it for us. Unless political liberalism is supplemented by robust and rooted social values, a nation can easily lose its head. -- SWAPAN DASGUPTA Break from the past STOI 27 Jan 2008]
[So, democracy stands on two pillars. One is Constitutional democracy, which lays down the rules of political engagement. The second pillar is popular democracy, which elects politicians. Popular democracy dominates our attention. Yet, Constitutional democracy is more important...
The framers of the Constitution did not face such perverse incentives. Members of the Constituent Assembly were not elected, and did not face re-election... They could focus on creating independent institutions that would provide checks and balances, limiting the discretionary power of politicians.
On Republic day, we need to remember with thanks those framers of the Constitution. Ironically, they contributed greatly to Indian democracy precisely because they were not elected. The Constitution created other unelected bodies - such as the Supreme Court and Election Commission — which are the most respected in India precisely because they keep elected politicians in check. Democracy needs unelected positions of power, no less than elected ones. -- SWAMINOMICS Democracy depends on the unelected STOI 27 Jan 2008, Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar]
Courage their armour, faith their sword, they must walk. Heroes and soldiers of the army of Light... ~ Sri Aurobindo. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga -]
Faith, selflessness, and courage are the three aspects of our religion. The Indian experience will show the way to a recession-ridden American economy. But before that we shall have to put our own house in order by banishing the clowns who have maneuvered to clamber up the power ladder. Savitri Era Party promises to do that. [TNM]

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Multiple symbolisms and Market stimulant

[The spectacular Republic Day parade that will troop down from the imposing Raisina Hill and onto Rajpath this morning marks the 59th such event since free India became a republic and gave itself a detailed Constitution with the most unexceptionable and normative objectives. There are multiple symbolisms associated with the day itself, going back to January 26, 1930, when the Congress party sought full independence from Britain and the more evocative moment of January 26, 1950 when Rajendra Prasad became the first president of the republic. Over the years, the event has become mega in more ways than one and the pomp, military pageantry and precision complemented by the addition of state tableaux and the participation of schoolchildren makes the Indian Republic Day parade a spectacle without peer.
It is also an occasion to pay homage to the oft forgotten martyrs and it is indeed fitting that the prime minister leads the nation in laying a wreath at India Gate. The grand finale is marked by the poignant Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on January 29, where the massed bands of the armed forces leaven music with marching to enthral the crowds. And when the lights come on almost magically to illuminate Rashtrapati Bhavan, the entire visual spectacle embellished by caparisoned camels silhouetted on the ramparts of South and North Block, it is that 'lump-in-the-throat' moment, however many times one has attended the ceremony.
I am personally an ardent votary of military ceremony and the Republic Day parade is an all-time favourite. Before the advent of television, it was estimated that up to 5,00,000 people flocked to see this spectacle and it was common to hear about thousands of aam-aadmis without the privileged chhabbis janvari pass spending the night before in the unreserved enclosures to find a place to see the parade. But now in its 59th year, when the spectacle still arouses enormous enthusiasm and fierce but fleeting patriotism, one would venture to suggest that the time has come to give the Republic Day parade a final farewell in its 60th year, that is in January 2009.
There will be many angry protests and some may even see this suggestion as blasphemous, but an objective review and a national debate is called for. Spectacle as related to the power of the state serves a deeper societal purpose and from imperial Rome through the Soviet experience to present times, the historical continuum provides the contextual relevance. -- LEADER ARTICLE: An Unnecessary Ritual C Uday Bhaskar TOI 26 Jan 2008]
[The Ecology Narrative is different. It starts with the premise that investors and borrowers cooperate and compete in a complex ecosystem. Everyone seeks wealth while minimizing risk. As Jim Manzi, a software entrepreneur who specializes in applied artificial intelligence, has noted, the chief tension in this ecosystem is between innovation and uncertainty. We could live in a safer world, but we’d have to forswear creativity. -- Op-Ed Columnist Two Cheers for Wall St. By DAVID BROOKS NYT: January 25, 2008]
"Spectacle," not only "serves a deeper societal purpose," but also functions as fuel for the financial and economic engine of a nation. Carnivals accentuate "tension between innovation and uncertainty." [TNM]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

System T and Model T

[The unveiling of the Tata Nano is something for which Ratan Tata and the Tata group should be applauded. Yes, there are detractors galore, whining about the environment, congestion, road safety and so on. What they are missing is that this car, soon to be followed by numerous others, is another step in the economic development of the country. This is similar to the introduction of the Ford Model T or the Volkswagen, which led to the building of highways and autobahns, and to the creation of thousands of jobs. -- Avinder Bindra]
[The system T was originally investigated (with the name T) by Gödel ([Gödel, 1933]), (as reported in [Lemmon, 1957, p179]). This system was investigated independently, also under the name T, by R. Feys in [Feys, 1937] (as reported in [Lemmon, 1957, p179]). This system was independently investigated under the name "M" by G.H. von Wright in his book "An essay in modal logic" von Wright, 1951, appendex II, p85-90] (as reported in [Lemmon, 1957, p179])
Bolesław Sobociński proved "M" and "T" to be the same system in "Note on a system of Feys - von Wright", in The Journal of Computing Systems, v. 1(1953), p171-178 (as reported in [
Lemmon, 1957, p179])...]
Thirst for new systems and models must last for ever. However, accessing the power of perceiving the underlying unitary principle would receive priority. [TNM]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Creativity, community, conversation

[Historically we are at a point where information is so rapidly and easily exchanged that artists can no longer afford not to speak for themselves, and students, educators, and critics of the music can't afford not to listen. The field is so exceedingly diverse and the technology is so exceedingly simple to make the kind of idea-sharing and community building that's only been dreamed of in the past a definite and immediate reality. -- WHY WRITE? Posted by Kris Tiner at 2:57 PM Labels: , 4 comments: 8:38 AM]
Where are the artists and architects, actors and dancers, musicians and photographers belonging to the Savitri Era fraternity? Where is the dialogue? Where is the community? Surely, we are busy pushing the frontiers of art and creativity; must spare some time for conversation, nonetheless. [TNM]

What transforms the water of the brain into the wine of the mind?

[William James disavowed any scientific method that tried to dissect the mind into a set of elemental units After all, the real paradox of the brain is why it feels like more than the sum of its parts. How does our pale gray matter become the Technicolor cinema of consciousness? What transforms the water of the brain into the wine of the mind? Where does the self come from? Reductionism can't answer these questions. Misreading the mind If neuroscientists want to understand the mystery of consciousness, they'll need new methods. By Jonah Lehrer LAT Home > Op-Ed: Sunday Current January 20, 2008 7:47 AM]
[Mental and Spiritual Development:
The great Indian sage Aurobindo divided psychospiritual development into 12 progressive stages. His work falls within the great philosophical and spiritual traditions, East and West, that identify an ascending development of consciousness reaching from a survival-based instinctual life, through progressive levels of mental experience to the highest attainment of direct spiritual experience. This final apotheosis transcends all previous levels of cognitive mental experience. Main January 22, 2008 Notes From a Fellow Traveller
Elliott S. Dacher, M.D.
author of Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing]
[Intelligent Stupidity in the Age of the Descending Curve
by Gagdad Bob This is a subtle point, but when a man lives in mere "thought," his habitual thoughts eventually wear grooves in the psyche in a manner described by Sri Aurobindo. As a result, something curious happens, a kind of "erosion of truth. ...
One Cosmos -
Where William James leaves off, Sri Aurobindo delineates in his The Life Divine. [TNM]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sensex trouncing Hang Seng may not be that distant

[Another Volatile Day: Sensex ends down 875pts BS Reporter / Mumbai January 22, 2008
The Sensex opened with a negative gap of 721 points at 16,884 after the 1,400pt fall yesterday on weak global cues. The index hit the 10% lower limit at 15,889 within minutes, and trading was suspended for an hour. The index staged a dramatic recovery on resumption of trading, and zoomed to a high of 17,069. The index was unable to hold gains as a fresh round of selling saw it slide to a low of 15,332 - down almost 13% (2,273 points) from the previous close.
Fresh buying in the last one-hour of trades saw the Sensex recover once again and finally finish with a loss of 875 points (5% ) at 16,730 - a recovery of 1,398 points from the day's low. The NSE Nifty slumped to a low of 4,449, down 14.6% (760 points), recovered and ended with a loss of 6% (310 points) at 4,899. Business Standard] 2008-01-22 10:36:48 Source : CNBC-TV18
Union finance minister P Chidambaram said the economy is expected to grow 8.5% next year and 8.9% this year. So there is "no reason to allow the worries of western world to ovewhelm us, our economy is very strong," he reassured, adding that liquidity is not an issue.]
An analyst on TV advised the investors to remain calm and composed. The Finance Minister counseled nonchalance. So, to be a successful investor, one, it seems, must be a kind of yogi. For, booking profits by selling one's holdings on such days can be construed as immoral. Enduring the burden of notional loss for sometime ahead is rather virtuous.

Besides, there is the patriotism angle also. Just as the soldiers are guarding the country's borders, civilians having disposable funds must stay invested to protect the frontiers of our financial might. And then, Sensex trouncing Hang Seng may not be that distant. [TNM]

Savitri Era Party stands as a distinct alternative to Hindutva

[The Hindutva movement in the US from DesiPundit by IdeaSmith
Arzan Sam Wadia highlights
the rise of Hindutva in US universities and campuses.
With the victory of people like Narendra Modi and the slow rise of Hindu nationalistic movement in all walks of life, this news further sanctifies the push that Hindutva is making.
A few years ago, one of the Indian associations here in the US wanted Modi to come over and address them at their annual convention. Thanks to a huge outcry both here in the US and in India, the US Government did not issue Modi a visa on the basis of his human rights violations.]
Savitri Era Party, owing allegiance to The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, stands as a distinct alternative to Hindutva and invites students and young people to work for it. [TNM]

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weeds and cobwebs; Wiki and Diwali

One person who alone symbolizes the spirit of new India is Sam Pitroda. It is a matter of great disquiet that his ideas at the National Knowledge Commission are being resisted [8:52 AM]. Kaushik Basu points out that the Industrial Disputes Act “is hurting workers” and urgent reforms are necessary [9:13 AM]. But the Government at the Centre seems to be in limbo thanks to the Left physicians.

All our laws including the Constitution need to be rewritten. In the age of Internet this can be done by grassroots participation in the Wiki model. All corporate bodies, similarly, should throw open their manuals of rules and regulations for public scrutiny and suggestions. Weeding out outmoded installations and removing cobwebs should be an annual feature in the Diwali spirit. Let it be institutionalized by celebrating a particular day of the year. [TNM]

Sunday, January 20, 2008

No one has attempted a rebuttal of the thesis presented in The Life Divine

[final thoughts on The God Delusion from Indistinct Union by cjsmith: On the better side, all I can positively say for the book is that it makes me want to read a whole series of other books that he cites (that sound much more interesting)–including his own earlier works on evolution (minus the anti-religious tirade), e.g. Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow, etc.
I can also appreciate his point that there is no evidence for a supernatural God designer figure. Since I don’t believe in that, that’s not particularly bothersome to me. On the dark side, the most obvious criticism is that the book is not so much an argument as a tirade. It’s like an adolescent smug temper tantrum.
The most unintellectual aspect of the new wave of writings on atheism is that they are all targeting the Judeo-Christian conception of God, which obviously has logical loopholes. It is a matter of surprise why no one has attempted a rebuttal of the thesis presented in The Life Divine. This is an open challenge. Any takers? [TNM]

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bharat aptly denotes the nation's future role

[Last updated : Jan 19, Sat 2008, 4:39 pm पर्थ में हारा ऑस्ट्रेलिया, भारत ने चुकाया बदला
भारत और ऑस्ट्रेलिया के बीच पर्थ में खेला गया मैच भारत ने 72 रनों से जीत लिया और ऑस्ट्रेलिया के विजय रथ को उसके घर में ही रोक दिया।]
[On the same line but on a much higher plane, the great freedom fighter and a seer, spoke on the day of our Independence at length about his dreams about India’s future... Sri Aurobindo’s words, though appear to be too dreamy and high-brow, befitting a true seer (Yugarshi), are too weighty and meaningful to be brushed aside. Every line of his provides a deep insight regarding India’s past, present and future. -- Posted by Barada Charan Sharma at 10:17 PM Monday, January 14, 2008 LET THERE BE LIGHT: A NAMING PROBLEM]
[Have you the other strength in you? Have you realised what Nationalism is? Have you realised that it is a religion that you are embracing? If you have, then call yourselves Nationalists; and when you have called yourselves Nationalists, then try to live your Nationalism. Try to realise the strength within you, try to bring it forward, so that everything you do may be not your own doing, but the doing of that Truth within you. Try so that every hour that you live shall be enlightened by that presence, that every thought of yours shall be inspired from that one fountain of inspiration, that every faculty and quality in you may be placed at the service of that immortal Power within you... *A lecture delivered under the auspices of the Bombay National Union by Sri Aurobindo to a large gathering at Mahajan Wadi, Bombay, on Sunday, the 19th January, 1908. Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > Bande Mataram Volume-01 > The Present Situation
How long should we have two different names of our country? Bharat is a much more inspiring name than India and aptly denotes the nation's future role within the global community. [TNM]

A whole new stock of vocabulary that can truly be ascribed as Indo-European

from "Tusar N. Mohapatra" date 19 Jan 2008 09:44
Your work at Ancient Sanskrit Online deserves tremendous commendation, and it is inspiring to know that there are people who have dedicated their lives to the cause of exploring the treasures available in Sanskrit.

Sri Aurobindo, through his The Secret of the Veda, has imbued immense hermeneutical implications to the notion and nuances of ancient Sanskrit expressions. Although "there are no basic criteria available to look into the formal aspects of his work," it can easily be said that, Sri Aurobindo has been successful in building a whole new stock of vocabulary that can truly be ascribed as Indo-European. Vladimir of Auroville is an expert on the subject.
Dr Gyanchandra is a keen student of Sanskrit with very unorthodox views. May I also introduce you to Dr. Harekrishna Meher at . Thanking you, Fraternally, Tusar

Friday, January 18, 2008

Subordinating universities to every purpose but the cultivation of the intellect

[The drive towards a uniform syllabus for all Indian universities is symptomatic of the dangers that afflict the system. Such a move undermines the very integrity of the concept of a university. The very core of the idea of a university vanishes if it cannot, within some constraints, control who it can teach, what it can teach, and how it teaches. It is a community of professionals accountable to students, peers, and a sense of vocation...
The decline of Indian higher education can be traced to that peculiar combination of the Congress and the Left that dominated higher education in the seventies. It killed higher education through a combination of state control, populism, patronage and subordinating universities to every purpose but the cultivation of the intellect. The combination continues: Pratap Bhanu Mehta One size can’t fit all Home > Edits & Columns > Indian Express: Monday, January 07, 2008 The UGC proposal to standardise curriculum will destroy creativity. The writer is president, Centre for Policy Research]
It came as a rude shock when Pratap Bhanu Mehta chose to resign in a huff from the National Knowledge Commission, where he had the opportunity in contributing to implementation of ideas. His noble pleading for “the very integrity of the concept of a university” amounts to a cruel joke when we look at the stranglehold of Marxist Professors in top universities like JNU and DU. [TNM]

Integral = Indra

[This evolution, this process of heightening and widening and integralisation, is in its nature a growth and an ascent out of the sevenfold ignorance into the integral knowledge.
heightening = Agni
widening = Vayu
integralisation = Indra

Humility, not hubris

It is abominable to see Gautam Adhikari rush in to educate the readers, of the difference between “leader articles” and “editorials” so condescendingly, and then go on to threaten, “you don’t have to buy the Times of India if you find it a repulsive banana newspaper, whatever that means. Just don’t try to intimidate us by ridicule or threats.” This is insolence and hubris of the worst kind. He seems to be oblivious of the notion that both producers and consumers are stakeholders.

Newspapers are one of the most prominent blessings of modernity, and each country has created a few favourites. The role of Gautam Adhikari is nothing but a speck in the 170 years’ history of the Times of India. His name indicates that he is eminently entitled to be pervaded by light and knowledge. Fine, but why should humility is a casualty? [TNM] 2:30 PM 5:07 PM

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Potentiality of Auroville Universal Township as a new kind of United Nations

[Trains and roads of a global city serve as the neurons of a city but to create the urban experience they need to carry the ebb and flow of a city's culture. Actually, make that cultures. Global cities are able to take a million sub-cultures, each insufficient in itself, and create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Rome perhaps, was the first global city. It had the pull that could draw in an Israeli charioteer or a Spanish slave seeking their fortunes. That is perhaps the one identifying mark of a global city—it is a magnet to fortune seekers from all over. Will a Vietnamese doctor come to work in Mumbai, or will an Iraqi shipping magnate want to set his base here?...
It is essential to realize that all global cities resemble the last few overs of a one-day match. They carry an air of the unexpected about them. Walk into any of these cities and it is easy to believe that anything is possible. This comes from attracting a huge variety of people different cultures (world-view) and who possess differing skills: banking, musical or even culinary. In a smaller city, the worlds of these different skills would have never come together. A global city is able to use its open spaces, heritage structures and ethnic enclaves to tumble wash different subcultures and create a new experience. This is a luxury smaller cities do not have because even while they try and attract different ethnic groups, difficult as it is, they also need to appear culture neutral as well. -- Pravin Palande Small cities at global crossroads ET 31 Dec, 2007 ]
[Some things are really interesting; first of all, for example, I would like each country to have its pavilion, and in the pavilion there will be the cooking of that country ― that is, the Japanese will be able to eat Japanese food if they want to, etc. But in the town itself there will be food for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and there will also be some attempt to find the food of tomorrow...
I would like an experimental kitchen, a kind of culinary laboratory for experimenting. People would go to one place or another according to their tastes and inclinations.
And they don't pay for their food, but they should offer their work or their produce: those who have fields, for example, should give the produce from their fields; those who have factories should give their products; or one gives one's labour in exchange for food...
There is one thing I wanted to say: the participation in the well-being and life of the town as a whole is not something calculated on an individual basis; that is, this individual should give so much, it is not like that. It is calculated according to the means, the activity, the capacity for production; it is not the democratic idea which cuts everything up into equal pieces, which is an absurd machinery. It is calculated according to one's means: one who has much gives much, one who has little gives little; one who is strong works hard, one who is not strong does something else. You see, it is something truer, deeper. That is why I make no attempt to explain now, because people will start to make all kinds of complaints. All this must come about automatically, so to speak, with the growth of the city, in the true spirit...
All who live there will participate in its life and development according to their capacities and means, not mechanically ― so much per unit. That's it, it must be something living and true, not a mechanical thing; and according to each one's capacities: that is, one who has material means, such as those provided by a factory, should give in proportion to its production, not so much per individual, per head...
It is a sort of adaptation of the communist system, but not in a spirit of levelling; according to the capacity, the position― not the psychological or intellectual, but the inner position of each one. 30 December 1967 Page – 272 Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of The Mother > English > Words Of The Mother Volume-13 > Early Talks] 10:13 AM
[India is inspiring European nations: Hungarian PM January 16th, 2008 - 5:17 pm ICT by admin - Email This Post Thaindian News Gurgaon, Jan 16 (ANI): Visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany today said that India’s success in preserving its culture and national pride, while modernising itself is acting as a source of encouragement for the European economies.“We are using India and China’s success as an argument for encouraging new reforms shaping our own economies and societies,” said Gyurcsany, while addressing the inaugural session of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Partnership Summit here. Page – 272]
[India showing the way: Hungarian PM Special Correspondent The Hindu NEW DELHI: “We are using India and China’s success as an argument for encouraging new reforms shaping our own economies and societies,” Hungary Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said on Wednesday.
Addressing the inaugural session of a Partnership Summit 2008 in Gurgaon, Haryana, he said India’s success in preserving its diverse culture, history and national pride and, in parallel, modernising itself was a source of encouragement to European economies.]
[The world lives in falsehood, all relations between men have until now been based on falsehood and deceit. Diplomatic relations between nations are based on falsehood. They claim to want peace, and meanwhile they are arming themselves. Only a transparent sincerity in man and among nations can usher in a transformed world.
Auroville is the first attempt in this experiment. A new world will be born; if men are willing to make an effort for transformation, to seek for sincerity, it is possible. From animal to man, thousands of years were needed; today, with his mind, man can will and hasten a transformation towards a man who shall be God.
This transformation by the help of the mind ― by self-analysis ― is a first step; afterwards, it is necessary to transform the vital impulses: that is much more difficult, and especially to transform the physical. Every cell in our bodies must become conscious. This is the work I am doing here; it will enable the conquest of death. That is another story; that will be the humanity of the future, perhaps after hundreds of years, perhaps sooner. It will depend on men, on nations.
Auroville is the first step towards this goal. February 1968 Page – 274 Location:
Home > E-Library > Works Of The Mother > English > Words Of The Mother Volume-13 > Early Talks] 10:13 AM
['The Davos Question': A 6-minute video re Auroville, by Aryadeep
ronjon on January 11, 2008 12:55PM (PST) I recommend watching this video. Imo, it's a good example of the spirit and vision shared by many Aurovilians. ~ ronjon
A 6.37 minute video pointing out the potentiality of Auroville Universal Township, especially of the International Zone, as a new kind of United Nations, has been posted by way of answer to [the]Davos Question on the You Tube, thanks to timely intimation from Jack Alexander, a former Aurovilian and a close friend of Auroville from USA. Link to the video:
The highest videos will be shown and discussed at the World Economic Forum starting from 23rd January. ... more » Leave Comment Permanent Link] 10:13 AM
Savitri Era Party resolves to play a catalytic role while aspiring to "have an absolutely transparent sincerity." [TNM]

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bipin Chandra vs. Bipan Chandra

[Sri Aurobindo, Bankim Chandra Chetterji, Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal offered a national significance to religious signs and festivals. They were of the opinion that the basis of Indian nationalism is indisputably linked to the ancient Vedic . The revivals of the Ganapathi worship and Shivaji festival in 1893 and 1895 were in tune with this ideology. Bipan Chandra wrote:
“Many extremist leaders like Aurobindo Ghose, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Raj used Hindu symbols, ideas, and myths in their political speeches and writings. India was often referred to as Mother Goddess or compared with Kali, Durga and other Hindu Goddesses. The early revolutionary terrorists swore by the Gita and Kali and some even saw in the Hindu tinge a revolutionary feature, many leaders of the anti-partition of Bengal agitation tried to give a religious colour to the boycott movement in order to popularise it among the masses” (Communalism in Modern India)...
Sri Aurobindo came up with the theme of nationalism being the personification of immortal religion. . He says: “I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it moves and with it grows” (Sri Aurobindo, collected works). -- Iqbal and the Advent of Pakistan 16 January 2008 CE KALIM AHMED]
It should be remembered that the political activities by Sri Aurobindo were part of his strategy to mobilize people with the objective of fighting against the British rule. [TNM]

Savitri Era Religion is a much evolved alternative

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The Mother and Sri Aurobindo have not prescribed any fixed psycho-physical practices as part of their teachings. Devotees are completely free to choose their own method and mix without being anchored to hegemonic diktats. Young aspirants, therefore, must exercise caution before enrolling into liberal-seeming New Age parlors. Savitri Era Religion, on the contrary, is a much evolved alternative. [TNM]

Vedic symbolism of the struggle between Death and Immortality

[If on the other hand this is a symbolism of the struggle between spiritual powers of Light and Darkness, Truth and Falsehood, Knowledge and Ignorance, Death and Immortality, then that is the real sense of the whole Veda...
Our object is only to see whether there is a prima facie case for the idea with which we started that the Vedic hymns are the symbolic gospel of the ancient Indian mystics and their sense spiritual and psychological. Such a prima facie case we have established; for there is already sufficient ground for seriously approaching the Veda from this standpoint and interpreting it in detail as such a lyric symbolism. -- Location: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > The Secret Of The Veda Volume-10 > Summary Of Conclusions]
That the Veda is poetry as well as philosophy has been proved by Sri Aurobindo beyond any dispute. To read it on the same footing without harboring inhibitions of rupturing a scripture is the most prudent approach to profit by it. [TNM]

The challenge is how to negotiate with the future

[Yes - one should always have one's look turned forwards to the future - retrospection is seldom healthy as it turns one towards a past consciousness. -- Sri Aurobindo (Letters on Yoga, Page: 1726)]
As in yoga, so in life. In the writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo we get to read a lot of references to historical events which transport us to the past. But the challenge is how to negotiate with the future by being armed with their insights while forsaking the yoke of literalism. The sum of activities at Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville do not constitute the whole of the vision of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Galvanizing a substantial section of people at a global scale would spell the right impetus for a Supramental fermentation.
Savitri Era Religion and Savitri Era Party will act as public education outfits at the mass level. Multi-mode media intervention is also a basic requisite for success in this ambitious venture. Disabusing people of deep-rooted prejudices and resistance towards reading the works of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo is an uphill task. Savitri Erans of all hues must come forward to contribute their mite in this epochal adventure. [TNM]

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

To Nano or not to Nano

[Not surprisingly, there are many who have expressed concerns about the prospect of the masses accessing personal automobiles. The issues they raise range from the impact on oil prices and a concern for global warming, to traffic congestion. Most such commentators have not been known to eschew their personal automobiles, or other modern conveniences, but have no qualms in frowning upon the masses enjoying some of the same benefits. This desire to keep others off the life-boats of their standard of living is a common feature of many who claim to have social or environmental concern in their hearts...
Also as more Indians learn to drive, the appreciation of basic road rules and etiquettes will improve, as drivers begin to realise that the purpose of the rules are not to hinder movement, but to facilitate it. -- Barun S Mitra Tata Nano: Small car, big vision, stained by Singur Liberty Institute India 12 January 2008 Author: Mr Mitra is the director of Liberty Institute, an independent think tank based in New Delhi]
[By calling the economy ‘human’ we insist on putting people first, making their thoughts, actions and lives our main concern. Such a focus should also be pragmatic: making economy personally meaningful to students or readers, relating it to ordinary people’s practical purposes. ‘Humanity’ is a moral quality, implying that, if we want to be good, we should treat other persons, people like ourselves, kindly...
If you have some money, there is almost no limit to what you can do with it, but, as soon as you buy something, the act of payment lends concrete finality to your choice. Money’s significance thus lies in the synthesis it promotes of impersonal abstraction and personal meaning, objectification and subjectivity, analytical reason and synthetic narrative. Its social power comes from the fluency of its mediation between infinite potential and finite determination. -- The human economy from The Memory Bank 3.0 by keith] 6:01 PM
Till the time consumerism ceases to be a pejorative epithet in India, let's learn to play by the rules and with fellow-feeling. [TNM]

Savitri Era Party favours a free market place of ideas

[It exposes an inherent hypocrisy in our political system where in spite of an embrace of the free market, we still feel a need to bow before the altar of socialism. It’s time we shed these double standards. -- TODAY'S EDITORIAL: We're All Socialists The Times of India 15 Jan 2008]
[We are a ‘liberal’ newspaper in the classical sense of the term. Our job is to offer you a wide variety of opinions to help you reflect and form your own views...
Yes, we have a motive. It’s to stick openly and steadfastly to liberalism. Unfortunately, the poli-tical landscape in India leaves little room these days for the play of liberalism as we understand it. Our liberalism compels us to be socially tolerant and economically as well as politically ‘free to choose’. That’s why we are neither socialists nor extreme nationalists. And that’s why we support market forces, which are all about choice, while continuing to believe in an effective role for the state as regulator, facilitator and provider of security for life and property so that, with good governance, we can lead peaceful and prosperous lives in an interconnected world.
Strangely, in an age when you might presume it’s improbable in a modern democracy, it’s actually difficult to belong to our bandwidth in the Indian political spectrum. It isn’t only because the extremes of a fiercely Hindu nationalist right and an obtusely Neanderthal left, with the Congress party being a muddle in the middle, leave little space for reasoned debate along classically liberal lines. In fact, a party professing market-oriented liberalism can even be termed unconstitutional. As we have argued in an editorial next to this article, you cannot under the Constitution register a party that debunks socialism or, for that matter, secularism...
All that Goldberger wanted to emphasise was that freedom of speech must be defended, even when the beneficiaries of such defence were not the kind of individuals we would associate with out of choice. And that’s the kind of liberalism we in the Times subscribe to. So, we defend the right of Taslima Nasreen to write what she likes, perhaps angering Muslim fundamentalists, as well as M F Husain to depict Saraswati as he wants, infuriating Hindu bigots, while impressing upon the state not to interfere by banning expressions of art, which are viewpoints. -- Gautam Adhikari LEADER ARTICLE: Where We Stand The Times of India 15 Jan 2008]
Savitri Era Party wholly agrees with Adhikari's impatience with the "Hindu bigots" and the "Neanderthal left." But when he complains of "little space for reasoned debate along classically liberal lines," we disagree. The Times of India, under the aegis of "the gang of four," has systematically banished intellectual discourse from its pages. A book like, A Secular Age by Charles Taylor should have stimulated wide ranging debate in our media. Savitri Era Party favours a free market place of ideas. [TNM] 3:58 AM

Ratan Tata should be awarded Bharat Ratna for his in(a)novation

[Orissa CM seeks Bharat Ratna for Biju Patnaik Hindustan Times - PTI: Lobbying for Bharat Ratna continued on Monday with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding that the country's highest civilian award be conferred on his father late Biju Patnaik.]
[Nano to breed innovation in accessory market Economic Times - NEW DELHI: Time was when people were riled by their rides. Public transport in India is no joie de vivre. Time will be when they may get pride in their rides.]
Ratan Tata should be awarded Bharat Ratna for his in(a)novation. [TNM]

Evolution is the aim, and transformation is the utility

The whole debate on humanities is based on eclipsed learning. The earliest text of humanities is the Veda wherein evolution is the aim, and transformation is the utility. Without reading the book, The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo, it is futile to make any comment. [TNM]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rules vs. principles

[The United Nations should establish a monitoring unit devoted not to elections, but to the work of election commissions. -- Observe Early and Often By EDWARD P. JOSEPH, NYT]
[I think some people on some occasions do tend to interpret laws, rules, regulations differently. This brings me to a larger subject the philosophical debate of principles based regulations and rules based regulations. Everybody seems to be arguing against rules and in favour of principles. But you talk to people at middle levels and compliance functionaries and they will tell you that they want the rules to be written out in all the specificities because we are the guys whose heads are on the chopping block and our higher management might talk about principle based regulations. A healthy compromise between those is what we are attempting. -- 'Brokers, FIIs, banks will comply better if the writing of regulation is a consultative process' SEBI chairman M. Damodaran In an interaction with Express staff, Date: 13-Jan-2008]
[Regulation succeeds market; else it would kill the market. If you grow a market in size, one individual will not have a disproportionate influence in the market. There is an element of investor protection in this. -- M. Damodaran 'India's first self-regulatory organisation within a year' ET 14 Jan, 2008]
Should the regulators be elected by the people, considering the clout they acquire as the market expands? [TNM]

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Subjectivity is always-already distributed

[To define ourselves in relation to others, ultimately, causes us to invalidate them, simply because we can’t fuck two people at once, even if we pretend that we can. Hence, in essence, we favor one over the other, because that is what comparing does, and this is what defining ourselves in relation to others amounts to, in practice. Relating isn’t about self-defining, but collaborating. Relating is about showing face rather than putting on a mask—which is what self-defining is, unavoidably. Failing to self-define who we are causes us to project ourselves onto others. Self-defining is the result of inquiry; self-defining is how we become aware of our own bias, assumptions and denials. Self-defining is a necessary step in the transcendence and inclusion of ourselves, as a person or a collective of people. Self-defining in relation to others is a boundary violation, from which suffering is born, because no one other than us can define who we are.
We continuously define ourselves by talking, but most of the time we do so without taking ownership of it, because self-defining comes at the price of bearing our own responsibility. Exclaiming that we don’t matter or that we are just an illusionary construct is a cheap way to absolve ourselves of our own burden; refraining from self-defining is counter-productive to relating, meeting, merging and being seen. -- Second-Tier Community—Or the Myth of Unity January 13th, 2008, posted by christoph]
[As Badiou so nicely articulates it, ontology will be the science of multiplicity qua multiplicity without any identical terms or unities pre-existing these multiplicities. The aim will be to explain how we move from these inconsistent multiplicities to consistent multiplicities…
This leads to a paradox in which social agents simultaneously produce society and are produced by society. The social is nothing but the activity of the individuals that produce it, yet the relations composing society exceed the intentions or mastery of any single individual…
Luhmann treats social systems as autopoietic systems that are operationally closed and which reproduce themselves in time…It is not the outside that determines the system, but rather the organization of the system itself determines itself…Luhmann’s theoretical premises lead to a very pessimistic view as to the possibilities of social change through any sort of activism, because each system and sub-system is operationally closed and only relates to its environment through the mediation of its own code.
That is, under this model we will not have any ultimate unities or identities, but rather it will be multiplicities all the way down, where one multiplicity constitutes another multiplicity as a unity for itself…
The idea of a discrete subjectivity is a myth or optical illusion of sorts… As thinkers such as Lacan and Deleuze and Guattari teach us, subjectivity is always-already distributed in the sense that subjects are always already individuated within a social field…Territories of Music: Distributions, Productions, and Sonorous Individuations by larvalsubjects 8 December 2007]
[Individually we know so pathetically little, and yet socially we use a range and complexity of knowledge that would confound a computer. -- Knowledge and Decisions Thomas Sowell]
Does the Myth of Unity correspond to Ontology as the science of multiplicity? [TNM]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Causal linkage between signifier and signified in the Vedic sound system

from "Tusar N. Mohapatra" 11 Jan
Thanks for responding in such detail and the courtesy. Please pardon me if I am impolite in my reply.

1. Today is the first day of the rest of your life and the future is not an extension of the past. You have already undertaken Herculean burden to acquaint yourself with a road map.
2. Up till now that was necessary. Many people are impressed with that perseverance, and have started to look up to you for direction.
3. But, if by virtue of that hard earned credibility you end up with misguiding people that would be a colossal loss.
4. It is also debatable whether you are searching for the truth or simply interested in producing comparative commentary. For, comparing Sri Aurobindo's system with others is hardly helpful.
5. The Secret of The Veda is Sri Aurobindo's most original work, in which he emphasizes that signifier and signified are causally linked in the Vedic sound system. This clue is highly significant for consciousness studies.
6. Innumerable hints of similar nature lie scattered in the writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo that need serious attention. Persons like you should take up such challenges with undivided loyalty.
7. Then you are able to guide others in the right manner instead of adding to the confusion.

I think I should halt my sermonizing here. With best wishes, Tusar

Markets are a discovery process

[Markets are a discovery process, with firms and investors learning as they try new ideas and react to changed conditions. What markets need is a stable regulatory environment, in which every dip in the market does not produce a new set of rules. -- Andrew P. Morriss, Professor, Institute for Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois Market Correction Competition is a Discovery Procedure from Cafe Hayek]
[So why is the umpire being left behind? There are instances where technology could have changed cricket record books — Derek Pringle’s appeal of LBW against... Should technology replace umpires? Economic Times, India - 10 Jan 2008]
Even the best of regulators and umpires are vulnerable in the absence of an Archimedean Point. [TNM]