Call it Rathodics, Rathodology, Rathod-gineering, or Rathodistry; chances are high that you will find lot of useless things on this blog. Nevertheless, I thank you for visiting my blogsite, and hope you spend sometime reading the blogs and commenting on them. Further, you can visit me at http://www.unm.edu/~srathod

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Potential application of a research: Civilian or Defense?

As I had said in one of my previous posts, I was at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for training in neutron scattering. Over the weekend, I was discussing this with some of my friends, and the discussion diverted to, in case such an opportunity arises, whether we would be comfortable taking research grant money from an organization involved in weapons development or for a project related to weapons development. I feel that as far as potential application of a research is concerned, it is a very thin line to separate out civilian use and military use. More often than not, most of the research done doesn't have a well-defined, narrow field of application. Research done on a topic might find potential use in both civilian as well as military applications. It might so happen that initially the research might find applications only in the civilian arena, but later on can be extended to military applications. Hence, it becomes increasingly difficult to judge beforehand, whether it is the right step working on a particular topic. Maybe, I am wrong, and that there are well-defined areas of application for each research done. But, as of now, I find it difficult to see that research can not be pervasive.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fatalism and Indifference.

I came across the following paragraph in The Wonder that was India by A. L. Basham.

It has often been said that the scale of natural phenomena in India, and her total dependence on the monsoon, have helped to form the character of her peoples. Even today major disasters, such as flood, famine and plague are hard to check, and in older times their control was almost impossible. Many other ancient civilizations, such as those of the Greeks, Romans and Chinese, had to contend with hard winters, which encouraged sturdiness and resource. India, on the other hand, was blessed by a bounteous Nature, who demanded little of man in return for sustenance, but in her terrible anger could not be appeased by any human effort. Hence, it has been suggested, the Indian character has tended to fatalism and quietism, accepting fortune and misfortune alike without complaint.

How far this judgement is a fair one is very dubious.

Basham provides a few reasons on why he thinks that the above opinion is open to debate, which I won't delve into. However, I can comment that probably this same attitude can be characterized as that of being indifferent. Maybe this is one of the reasons for the 'chalta hai' type attitude prevalent in large sections of the Indian society. This indifference attitude, or should I say this fatalistic attitude, reflects in many aspect of the society - uncaring attitude towards elections for regulatory bodies, unwillingness to check corruption, indifference towards the hardships faced by others, most notably faced by those belonging to the lower stratum of the economic pyramid of the society, and so on and so forth. Again, this is also open to debate, since many now feel that the current generation is an enlightened one and is making efforts to get rid of this attitude. Only time will tell, whether this is, indeed, the case or not.

Arthur Gordon said

Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there's all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it by relieving it of impossible burdens.

Maybe, I am one of that confused person in the above quote. But, I believe that over a period of time, acceptance turns in apathy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

World No Tobacco Day

Today is World No Tobacco Day. The ills of tobacco have been well-known unlike anything else. So, I won't rant about it. Just that I would like to tell some of my friends who do smoke to give a thought to this. Though I know that we live in a free world (sort of) and that they are free to do whatever they feel like, I just thought of doing my part to make their lives better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ughhh... I feel terrible... for what I did...

Back after another hiatus. I had too, since I did something real stupid last week, while I was in Los Alamos. Hurt a couple of my friends by opening my big mouth. I felt terrible then, and still feel terrible... So, I thought I should let the world know about it. Sorry for that, my dear friends.

I was at the Joint School Neutron Scattering School in Soft Condensed Matter and Structural Biology offered by the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It was an excellent school, made some real good friends coming from different parts of the world, had a fabulous time with the above two colleagues, and, maybe, after a long time, had such a good time, till I opened my big mouth.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Back, sort of...

I am back, though I don't know for how long. I have been dilly-dallying posting on the blog, though I had quite a number of drafts ready; but, I got a bit too preoccupied with other mundane things in life.

Michael Learns To Rock is playing in the backgroud, and the song is How Many Hours. The lyrics of this song caught my attention. It starts of as follows.

Mothers giving birth to a little son
crying in the rain of falling bombs
Father he is young but deep and wise
You see the fighter inside his eyes

More words follow till it says:

People selling flowers like nothing´s going on
turning their backs on a world gone wrong
Children play around I guess they found some wheels
You see them running down the naked fields

The words struck me, considering it is March 18, 2006 today.
The part of the lyrics which repeats itself, i.e.

Hold me cover my sight
This is no paradise
Don´t show me
the evil sides of the world

is something which I have felt time and again, not just today, but 'n' number of times, and for various reasons, which I won't delve into now.
Though I said not much above, I thought of just sharing this bit.

Monday, September 26, 2005

More on India's entry to Oscars 2006.

Following up on my previous post regarding India's entry to the Oscars 2006, according to the director Amol Palekar, Paheli deals with a `woman's right to make a choice'. Probably, I completely misunderstand the movie, but, I couldn't see a hint of what Palekar has said above regarding Paheli.

In an apparent justification in choosing Paheli over other contenders,
Vinod Pandey, the Acting Chairman of the Film Federation of India, said, "Paheli has represented the Indian ethos. It is a film based on the Indian language." Naah, I couldn't see that either in the movie.

The other nominations were
Mangal Pandey, Veer-Zaara, Iqbal, Swades, Parineeta, Page 3, Black, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Sachein (Tamil), Anniyan (Telugu), Uttarayan (Marathi), Achuvante Anna (Malayalam), Graham (Telugu), and Kadal (Tamil).

I haven't seen all of these movies. I have seen a few of them, and to tell you the truth, personally, I found Paheli to be the worst among whichever ones I have seen from the above list. But then, as I said previously, maybe, I didn't see the movie from the 'right angle'.

India's entry for Oscars 2006

Paheli is India's entry for Oscars 2006.

More thoughts later.

Monday, September 12, 2005

One law for all Ontarians...

While India seems to dither to put an end to the Sharia law, Canada seems to possess no qualms in rejecting the use of Sharia law in family disputes. Agreed, that the dynamics in these two nations are different, but, when it comes to being democratic, Premier Dalton McGuinty can't be more correct when he said that "There will be no Sharia law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians." However, it is ironic that Ontario has allowed Catholic and Jewish faith-based tribunals to resolve family disputes on a voluntary basis.