Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Resolution for the New Year - I will not be afraid

I resolve that in the new year i will not be afraid anymore.

I will not be afraid to think, I will not be afraid of letting my brain - my mind roam free, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid to question stuff, I will not be afraid to be curious about things, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid if someone challenges my beliefs, I will not be afraid to challenge others' beliefs, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid to speak up when I see a wrong being done, I will not be afraid to help others, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid to go with my gut feeling - my instincts, I will not be afraid to take a quick decision, I will not be afraid of the consequences, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid of accepting the truth, I will not be afraid of speaking the truth, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid to accept my own flaws, I will not be afraid to work on those flaws, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid of being alone, I will not be afraid of making commitment, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid of my past, I will not be afraid of my future, I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid of dreaming, I will not be afraid of pursuing those dreams, I will not be afraid.

I'm Not Afraid, by Eminem:

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Four (atheist) Horsemen

Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens discuss all things religion, only from an atheists' standpoint! This is one of the most thought provoking discussions on the topic that i've ever had the opportunity to attend. For anyone who seriously finds himself/herself questioning faith/belief/religion/prayer/worship should watch this.

The Four Horsemen, hour 1 of 2:

The Four Horsemen, hour 2 of 2:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Raising Awareness, 'The Yes Men' way

Ever heard of 'Culture Jamming'? I hadn't, until i watched 'The Yes Men Fix the World'. Irrespective of their methods the awareness that they raise about the issues that make people, especially the corporations and governments, uneasy, has to be priceless. This is a must watch, if not for the message, then for the entertainment value alone.

Here is the link to the website:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What exactly is Wikileaks about?

I have wanted to understand for a while now as to what exactly Wikileaks is about. The recent developments as regards to the release of the "confidential" diplomatic cables by Wikileaks only precipitated this urge to learn more about them. After spending some time on the internet i came across a few different videos (including Noam Chomsky's comments on Wikileaks' recent reveal), and a (archived) blog/diary of sorts of Julian Assange. There is also a very impassioned plea by Ron Paul, a Republican Representative in the lower house of the US, for the establishment to start thinking straight about Wikileaks and what they are doing. I think these few videos and Julian Assange's blog/diary describe what Wikileaks does, and what the mindset/philosophy of the these guys is, beautifully.

1. Here is a video of a ~1hour presentation that Wikileaks made at the 26C3 (the 26th Chaos Communication Congress) held at Berlin, Germany last year. Irrespective of the opinion you have of Wikileaks, of what they have done, and of what they continue to do, I invite you to watch this video in its entirety - if nothing else then for its entertainment and informational value alone.

2. Julian Assange, the public face of Wikileaks, was interviewed earlier this year at TED!

3. For some further insights into the mind of Julian Assange you can read some of his (archived*)blog/diary entries here. Some of his entries are really thought provoking.

*Found this trove via Huffington Post and then Open Topic.

4. **Noam Chomsky talks to Amy Goodman about Wikileaks and their recent reveal of US Diplomatic Cables. He provides some interesting insights into what the Wikileak's recent reveal of the US Diplomatic Cables tells us about US Foreign Policy.

Part 1:

Part 2:

** Sourced from 'Democracy Now' of course.

5. Here is one of the Republican Representatives in the lower house, Ron Paul, trying to talk some sense into the US political establishment regarding the ongoing reveal of US diplomatic cables by Wikileaks:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Ultimate To-Do List, and prioritized at that

Bjorn Lomborg makes a really good case for being smart about prioritizing our collective priorities. Bjorn delivered this talk at a TED event in 2005. The priorities that he lists in this talk are from the 2004 Copenhagen Consensus. The latest Copenhagen Consensus was reached in 2008, and the list of priorities from that can be found here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Modern Man - by George Carlin

George Carlin deconstructs 'The Modern Man' in this cliche' and platitude laden recital. The transcript of this bit of his monologue is right below the video - say it along with Carlin, and have fun.

"I am a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist, politically, anatomically, and ecologically incorrect. I've been uplinked and downloaded, i've been inputted and outsourced. I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I am a high-tech lowlife. A cutting edge state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker, and i can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.

I'm new wave, but I'm old school, and my inner child is outward bound. I'm a hot wired heat seeking warm hearted cool customer, voice activated and biodegradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I'm interactive, I'm hyperactive, and from time to time I'm radioactive.

Behind the eight ball ahead of the curve riding the wave dodging the bullet pushing the envelope. I’m on-point on-task on-message, and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in the moment, on the edge, over the top and under the radar. A high concept, low profile, medium range ballistic missionary. A street wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps, and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big foot, slam dunk, rainmaker with a pro active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rage-a-holic. Out of rehab, and in denial.

I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up, you can’t dumb me down, 'cos I’m tireless and I’m wireless. I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers.

I’m a non believer and an over achiever, laid back but fashion forward. Up front down home low rent high maintenance. Super sized long lasting high definition fast acting oven ready and built to last. I’m a hands on foot loose knee jerk head case. Pre-maturely post-traumatic, and I have a love child that sends me hate mail.

But I’m feeling I’m caring I’m healing I’m sharing. A supportive bonding nurturing primary care giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds, I watch trash sports. I’m gender specific capital intensive user friendly, and lactose intolerant.

I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the F-word in my emails and the software on my hard drive is hardcore, no soft porn.

I bought a microwave at a mini mall; I bought a mini van at a mega store. I eat fast food in the slow lane. I’m toll free bite sized ready to wear, and I come in all sizes. A fully equipped, factory authorized, hospital tested, clinically proven, scientifically formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-washed pre-cooked pre-heated pre-screened pre-approved pre-packaged postdated freeze dried double wrapped vacuum packed, and I have an unlimited broadband capacity.

I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean. Cocked locked and ready to rock. Rough tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide, I got glide in my stride. Driving and moving, sailing and spinning, jiving and grooving, wailing and winning. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hardy, and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hanging in, there ain’t no doubt, and I’m hanging tough, over and out."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Punjabi Poetry at its best - Anwar Masood's Lassi te' Chaah

Here is Anwar Masood imagining a conversation between Lassi (buttermilk) and Chaah (Tea - the one made with milk).
This poem is plain brilliant, and all of it makes sense. If Lassi and Chaah were to argue with each other, this is definitely how it would have gone! If, unfortunately, you do not understand Punjabi, don't sweat it. I am trying to translate the poem and shall put it up when its ready.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kumar Vishwas - some select Hindi poems

A Very Happy Diwali to everyone everywhere. Here are some select Kumar Vishwas poems. Enjoy.

This is one of my favorites, 'Toh Teri Yaad Aatee Hai':

Another nice one:

Bhaav soochi bhavon ki:

A very unique presentation of one of Kumar Vishwas' poems 'O Mere' Asmaan' - is set to music. Actually Zubeen A. Virgin sang this poem and gave the music. Very enjoyable.

Baansuri Chali Aao:

Maang Ki Sandoor Rekha:

Mein Tumhen Dhoondne', Swarg Ke' Dwaar Tak:

Thanks to the original posters who furnished them on youtube.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kumar Vishwas in his element - at Indore, India

I learned about Kumar Vishwas and his "brand" of poetry/satire/stand-up just by happenstance. But, for once i did not regret having spend time surfing internet unnecessarily. Here is what was going through my mind while i was watching this performance of his:
1. Hindi poetry is beautiful - i wonder why i failed to do well in Hindi in school, and always hated that class and the poetry books we were made to read and understand. I wish this guy was my Hindi teacher then.
2. This guys is in the same league as Surinder Sharma (another prominent Hindi poet/satirist). This guy beats the George Carlins and Russell Peterss of the world hands down, and too that without so much as making a single reference to any part of human reproductive anatomy! I wish those guys understood Hindi, and could listen to what Kumar Vishwas has to say.
3. The lovers of Hindi poetry, shayaree, mushayara, kavi sammelans, hasayaras all over the world will relish this.

Of all the videos i could dig up of Kumar Vishwas' various performances, these were the ones of best quality, and included many of his poems and "jokes" all in a single performance. So i decided to spend a little while to put them together on a single page where one doesn't have to spend time searching for it too much. I hope you enjoy as much as i did. There are certainly other performances of Kumar Vishwas' which contains stuff different from this performance, but you'll have to look for that on your own! And i look forward to hearing from you as to your thoughts upon watching Kumar Vishwas. Have fun.

Kumar Vishwas at Indore - 1

Kumar Vishwas at Indore - 2

Kumar Vishwas at Indore - 3

Kumar Vishwas at Indore - 4

Kumar Vishwas at Indore - 5