Feyman Lectures on Physics

May 27, 2014

loksatta pune, 18-05-2014 : An Architect of Modern India
Remembering Nehru. His description as "strong nationalist", and his strategic vision of "well-preparedness in Defence" is a view novel to many people.
Nirmala says no to FDI in multi-brand retail - The Hindu

May 17, 2014

Thomas Friedman in NYT: The Square People; part-2 

The problem is: In Ukraine, there are square people who want to align with EU, and there are square people who want alignment with Russia. Square people do not always forget their cultural/historical/religious identities.

Fifth Column: Why Modi won | The Indian Express | Page 2

Fifth Column: Why Modi won | The Indian Express | Page 2

If India voted for stable govt, I respect that: Javed Akhtar - Hindustan Times

If India voted for stable govt, I respect that: Javed Akhtar - Hindustan Times

My Scribd Account hacked

My scribd account has been hacked, "padalkars" has been changed to "somebody". Although my various collections of books there are yet visible in the name of "somebody" when accessed from this blog, I am not sure about their continuity.

Shashikant

May 16, 2014

2014 elections: AAP performance

(Edited Post of VJTI1977 blog 16 May 2014)

I was not surprised by AAP results, because none of the pre-poll surveys and exit polls that I knew were giving them double digit seats. I never believed that they will win any sizeable number of seats. Their job was to undercut Congress votes; and in my understanding, at some places, they did it splendidly.

We must remember, Jana Sangh formed in mid 50s and its avatar BJP
took almost 60 years to reach this stage. AAP will have to build up their organization painstakingly, persist with their efforts tenaciously, and replace the feudal and corrupt ways of Congress. They are nice people and deserve a chance, if not immediately at least in future. Their anti-corruption crusade and opposition to VIP culture is quite necessary today.

Spying and Arthashastra


(My post on VJTI1977 group (16 May 2014) as a time-pass till the election results poured in).

Spying has been practised by states since ancient times. Kautilya's Arthashastra (KAS: circa 350BC edited till 400CE) devotes two separate Chapters - chapter 11 and 12 - for spying and its institutions. This more than 2000 years old voluminous Sanskrit treatise
of "political management" (15 books, 150 chapters, and 6000 shlokas) is quite amoral in the deployment of spies even within its own state.
.
As a sample:

Book-I, Chapter12: < A poor but clever Brahmin widow can make her earning through spying by being part of "King's harem". She shall frequently visit King's senior ministers (for spying and extracting information) >. The amoral nature of KAS in general and spying in particular is quite obvious here.

Spies can be deployed within state to guard against mutiny and externally to guard against aggression. However, KAS differentiates between friends and foes. In its concentric circle theory friends and foes alternate in concentric circles by following the maxim - your enemy's enemy is your friend. This conceptual arrangement breaks when Kingdoms (Janapadas) want to grow into bigger Kingdoms (Mahajanapadas) or into imperial Kingdoms (Samrajyas) by aggression. In the medieval past, the ambitious kingdoms used to grow by defeating neighbours (natural foes) and making them part of their own kingdom. An imperial state as such could deploy as many spies as it can blurring the boundaries between friends and foes in the process of growth. It follows the age old dictum "might is right"

KAS has been an extremely influential ancient treatise. Its political management is quite detailed and had served as a model for many medieval monarchies.

However we have to remember two things:

(a) KAS differentiates between friends and enemies when the kingdom is stabilized even though its spying institution is basically amoral in nature.


(b) KAS is applicable to monarchies - to monarch (king) and his feudal network. Strictly speaking it is not applicable to modern liberal democracies.

The very fact that even today most of the countries have their own spying agencies and some countries spy on frinds as well as foes has its own story to tell.

(General Source: Kautilya Arthashastra, translated by R. Shamasastry, Bangalore Government Press 1915)
Indian General Election 2014:

Something unprecedented is happening in India. Modi may or may not get US visa, but Indian people have given him visa to shape their destiny.

May 15, 2014

Motion Mountain (MM):

This physics book (uplinked in the blog in 6-volumes) is remarkable for its case studies and applications though it puts forth some speculative theories. I am not sure if Volume-6 (Strand Model) can be treated as physics considering its speculative nature. MM's extremal models of GR and Quantum Theory where minimum action and maximum force forms the axiomatic basis need to be vetted by the main stream physicists though the author himself has a PhD in physics. On the whole this 6-volume book is quite interesting - the name "Advanture of Physics" is quite appropriate.
Vasudeva Manana:

I uplinked "vAsudeva manana" (Marathi) written by Tembe Swami. When I read it few months back I was struck by the brevity as well clarity of this small booklet. This prAkRRita-vedAntasAra is as good as (in fact may be even better than if not more exhaustive than) the original Sanskrit Vedantasara of Sadananda Yogindra (15thC).
What The Buddha Thought:

Skimmed through Richard Gombrich's "What the Buddha Thought" (2009) this week. I noticed that he had zeroed on the process-centric nature of Buddha's philosophy in the very first chapter by declaring that according to Buddha "Everything is Process" (page 10). I remembered, I had noticed that way back in 2002 when I came across then recently published Delanda's "Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy". I had mentioned the same in my 2004 article "Ontology of Process" that was put sometime on 2008-2009 on scribed.

Gombrich provides the genesis of Bauddha karma theory and its comparison with Vedic and Jain Karma model quite well.

May 11, 2014

In-Islam-woman-returning-to-earlier-faith-can-end-marriage-if-she-likes-Delhi-high-court

Old laws can be interpreted correctly. Sometimes they can also be amended or changed after due deliberations.

May 5, 2014

AAP-demands-sacking-of-maharashtra-home-minister

Caste menace - This is not the progressive Maharashtra of Shahu, Phule, Ambedkar. It is going backwards!