Saturday, October 24, 2009

Who Must Start Blogging? - People Like Nishan

Anyone can start a blog. But some people must start a blog. If you are any one of the following and haven't started a blog yet, you should immediately start one, for the sake of the blogosphere.

  1. Travelers:
    If you travel. Be it anywhere. Your own city, foreign countries. Any time, any number of times. Be you young, be you old. Doesn't matter whether you travel a lot or have just gone for one single summer trip this month. If you travel, you must blog. It is not for you, it is for others. Others who like to travel, who like places, who like to know cultures.
    So the next time you travel, make sure that you start a travel blog and post detailed stories about how you made the trip, how you felt, what you saw. And add a lot of pictures and stuffs.
  2. Professionals:
    Do you work? You should blog about the special moments you had while doing what you do. If you're a doctor write about patients, and special cases, and miracles. If you're a teacher blog about children. If you're an engineer blog about your next assignment and how you're going to do it.
  3. Innovators:
    Do you often get ideas that come out of nowhere and seem just fantastic? You are an innovator like in the IBM ad. If others don't notice your ideas, then you should blog them because there could be people whom you don't know desperately in need of those ideas. And if others do notice your ideas, then you should blog them too because there will be people who you don't know who will benefit from those ideas.
  4. People who always finds something interesting (the born bloggers):
    People think there's nothing else to talk but you find something else, always. You are the kind of blogger who just fills his blog with all types of interesting things ranging from sports to movies, politics to philosophy, anything and everything.
  5. Writers:
    You noticed a name in the title and didn't understand what I meant? Nishan Ansari is the literary secretary of my school. He writes fantastic essays, poems, stories, book reviews, anything you can imagine of. But we must wait for the next edition of our school magazine to read him. Is this anywhere near fair? Such beautiful words must immediately reach readers. What he and others like him must do is this : immediately start a blog and let the creative juice flow. Don't wait for others to pick you up or think that nobody will read you, when you have it in you, and you decide to do it, you will automatically ascend the stairs of popularity.
Well this list is just a beginning. Anyone who feels like blogging must try it. Because blogging is awesome fun. And fifty years from now, when you're looking back at your life, won't you wanna say you got into blogging long back in the 2000's?

So you've agreed about it and trying a hand. Here are some basics. You are reading this and you know what a blog is. Blogs can be self-hosted like other websites, or hosted at free providers like google, wordpress, etc. Blogger.com is the blogging platform I'm using and I recommend it to you too. But wordpress is also a good try. Once you go to these sites, they are designed in such a way that any layman can start blogging. (It's just the motivation part, which I've given)

And when you start blogging and become successful bloggers (which I'm sure you will), don't forget to link to me and get me some reputation and traffic. Wish you all the best in your blogging adventure.

Don't forget to check out my other posts about blogging.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Imagining Nothing


What if there was nothing?
No me, no you, no blogs, no people, no life, no planets, no stars, no universe, no nothing.
It is beyond imagination. Imagine nothing. (What? Imagine OK but nothing? How do I imagine nothing?) Of course you can imagine the lifeless planets. But you will have to remove them from the frame too. And then you will have to remove the frame from the frame. There is nothing. And there is no one to know that there is nothing.
You can try to imagine because you exist. But what if you never existed? What if no one ever existed? Who would witness the universe? And what if even the universe never existed? There is nothing to witness and there is no one to witness. But what is that? Nothing? What is nothing?

Quite incomprehensible? Thinking about nothing is an excellent way to pass time. But the real fun is after it. Once you think about nothing, everything you think about later in life will start seeming "nothing" to you.
The whole universe would have been meaningless unless someone ever existed to witness it. And you? You are one of those who have been privileged to witness the universe. You are the meaning of this universe.
Everything that happens between these privileged people is meaningless compared to how meaningless it would be if there was no one to witness this universe.
The fact that you exist is the most important thing. There is nothing more important than it. No problem, no war, no question, no answer, nothing is even equally important.

You are here. And nothing else matters.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What if the PM directly orders the District Collectors? (and technology assists them)

I just found a solution for corrupt politics. If I can get one great Prime Minister, I have made a plan to rescue India. Consider:
There are only around 600 districts in India. Assuming that all of them have one and only district collector we will have around 600 district collectors. All of them are highly educated, highly qualified IAS officers and therefore most probably sincere to their professions too. A district is quite a manageable area for a single person to administer efficiently. So, District Collectors can efficiently look after their respective districts. But what they lack is sometimes the power to make laws and sometimes the support of a minister concerned with what he's trying to do (that is what we mean by a corrupted government)
Now assume that we have one great Prime Minister. And around 50 % good collectors (i.e. 300 of them). Let all others be corrupted. All the ministers, all other executives. We just need 301 people on our side.

The PM after being elected conducts a grand conference. On day 1 he talks to district collectors from one state, about the problems the state is facing and about what they can do. He asks them about the hurdles they are facing in nation development. He lends them complete support for anything that they are undertaking (provided all the collectors from that state agree). He promises to help them out of any complications that are being imposed on them by state ministers or other central ministers. He gives them high class security.
And he gives them an email id and a phone number. Any collector can at any moment contact him directly and talk to him and ask his permission and if needed ask his help in dealing with a troublesome minister or such.

This is done with every other state. And within a month every collector in the country is connected to the Prime Minister. And the collectors can do reforms that were previously impossible due to interventions by others.

What I mean is virtually a parallel government. But this one is legal.
Instead of the Members of Parliament (We do have MPs, but they are not acting in between the PM and Collectors), we have District Collectors. It is not true democracy, but it seems like it is better than democracy as it is in India now. The PM acts directly through the Collectors. So there is no time lag. There is no efficiency drain. Corrupt politicians are no more a problem.

One great Prime Minister and India will never be the same again.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Gandhiji Best Expressed

I am really really busy today, but I have to make a post to mark this very special day too. So I thought rather than telling about Gandhi, I will tell what Gandhi told. Here are my favourites among His quotes:

  • A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
  • A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
  • Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. 
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.  
  • A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
  • Be the change you want to see in the world.
  • First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
  • God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist.
  • Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.
  • An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
  • An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. 
  •  Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. 
  • Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.  
  • Faith... must be enforced by reason... when faith becomes blind it dies. 
  • Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion. 
  • I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.  
  • It is any day better to stand erect with a broken and bandaged head then to crawl on one's belly, in order to be able to save one's head. 
  • It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.  
  • My life is my message.
  • Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment. 
  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. 
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
  • Fear has its use but cowardice has none. 
  • You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
  • True brahmacharya is this: one who, by constant-attendance upon God, has become capable of lying naked with naked women, however beautiful they may be, without being in any manner whatsoever sexually excited.
  • Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
I was thinking about how easy life becomes when we practice truth. How we are justified no matter what we tell or do. How people start believing you. How people hear you. How you can talk anything without any preparation. How you don't need to remember what you told. How you can finish conversations very quickly. How people understand your behaviour. How you can explain things easily.
Its a whole lot easier than when you dwell on false prepositions.

Try it. Tell the truth. And feel the difference.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pale Blue Dot


Can you see a tiny little dot in the above picture. That is our good old earth. Just that it was photographed 3.7 billion miles away from the home of anyone reading this. And the famous Carl Sagan gave the following words relating to that little speck:
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
There's nothing more I can add to what Sagan said. Just see that picture once again and take a few breaths.

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