Saturday, April 21, 2007



Why do fundamentalists restrict social activity?

Ever wondered why fundamentalists are against all kinds of entertainment? They are against music. Videos and images are a strict no-no. Painting is frowned upon. Nobody should even mention drama and dancing.

Ever wondered why?

That gives people more time to spend on religion. Since religious activity is already controlled by fundamentalists, this translates into spending more time listening to religious tirades.

Cool, is it not?

That is why they also target economic activity -- tourism, trade, businesses run by non -- natives in an ethnic area, anything which makes the public dependent on them, at least, render the common man unemployed or under employed. The less than optimally employed people then turn to these organisations, and all the economic difficulties faced by the victims is of course, put on ``others''.

Monday, April 16, 2007



Upgrading Sid!!!

Of late, Debian's sid was getting boring -- no breakages, no -- uninstallable packages, no broken dependencies, no unstable packages, no excitement. Life was getting a bit dull and dreary.

And then it happened -- Etch was released. That means the ``testing'' -- sym link is moved to point to ``stable''. Which means ``testing'' and ``unstable'' aka. Sid are ready for developers to play around with. A stable release is the time when major upgrade to ``sid'' happen.

And I having been using Sid for a looooong time now - close to 7 years. the usual procedure has been to install a minimal ``Woody'' package and edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file to point to Sid. And I had to reinstall once - two years back, when at 2.00 am, I did a sudo rm /root/ * -rvf (yes, I still remember the command; and if you have not noticed, the problem was caused by the space before the *). That was the only problem with Sid I could not manage.

Right now, I did an apt-get update, and find that Sid now has version 2.5 of GNU libc6. And that means major updates to several packages are in the offing. Indeed, version 2.6.20 of the Linux kernel is in, which promptly installed and rebooted into. There is a marked improvement in performance -- this a PIII chugging along at -- 800 MHz with 256 megs of ram!!

And yes, major updates means an occassional broken dependency, which may last for a few weeks even, and that is likely to break several things, and I am keeping my fingers crossed - I never had a broken system due to broken dependencies, and hope I will not have a broken system now.

If you want to know when you installed your Debian, do this:-

 luser@desktop:~$ ls /var/log/installer*

And this is what I get:-
 -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 95871 2005-06-19 02:49 /var/log/installer.log -rw-r--r-- 1 root root  3401 2005-06-19 02:49 /var/log/installer.timings 
That should tell you a couple of things about your install process!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007




I was reading an article about rise of religious fundamentalism in Pakistan in the ``The Hindu'' Magazine today, For some reason, the article reminded me of a post on a mailing list about the large proportion of religious fundamentalists among the ``nerds'' a.k.a. scientists. The post on mailing list was a forward from this blog entry.

What is common between the two?

I will attribute both behaviours to lack of social awareness.

The society is made up of individual human beings. Individual human beings are imperfect. Therefore, the society will be imperfect. This is a fact which most people (even me, till about 10 years back) will find very difficult to digest. Scientists live and work in a very small, tightly knit, and most importantly, homogeneous, community, among similarly thinking people, with similar education, social and cultural values. And yes, they are an isolated lot. Isolated from the society, its diversities, imperfections, chinks and all.

Fundamentalism, irrespective of caste, creed or religion it stands for, too breeds in a similar background. Whether it be in the numerous ``shakhas'' or ``madrassass'' or wherever else the training is imparted.

Uniformity, regularity, homogeneity, and singularity tend to be very efficient --- in the short term. In a society consisting of imperfect human beings with diverse needs, these qualities will quickly breed factionalism and bigotry.

That is what Pakistan is suffering from ever since their Independence. It was first the ``West"" versus the ``East''. Then it was about the ``mohajirs'' - the muslims who migrated from India hoping that Jinnah would actually deliver. Then it was between the shias and sunnis.

And this is the fate that will befall India if we succumb to religious dogmas.

You will first support your religion.

Then they will say that you do not belong to your religion if you do not attend the weekly meetings.

Next, you will be told that you have been following the wrong religion because you do not worship ``<ideal god>''.

You may be be able to hold our against a few more distinctions. Then, ultimately, you will be told that you, like ``them'', will have to leave the country.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]