Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Media - Not liars, but selective truth-tellers

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"A half truth is often more dangerous than a whole lie"

The Indian media is becoming more and more aggressive with each passing day. In the Kargil war, it was said that the Indian media was largely responsible for boosting the morale of the Indian soldiers, which was a key factor towards Indian war - Something that was apparently missing in Pakistan (Source: Wikipedia - Kargil War)

The media went on to fight for justice in the Jessica Lall case. However, by then, the media started going off course. While the media was doing a good thing in fighting for a cause - where many cases normally get buried due to the influence of the rich and powerful, many journalists including Karan Thapar and Sagarika Ghose started showing signs of prejudice (and stupidity, with all due respect) which can be clearly seen in these videos - Karan Thapar and Sagarika Ghose

As you can see from the videos above, the media starts with the assumption that one person is wrong and starts attacking them. Now, this person could be wrong, as was probably true in the Jessica Lall case. However, in the Aarushi murder case, the media was completely off mark. They made humiliating accusations and insinuations on her parents and others - Whether or not these originated from the media, they should have been thoroughly verified before broadcasting to the whole nation! In the end, it turned out that the parents were completely innocent... But imagine what kind of a blot comes on the miserable parents who not only lost their child but were also inflicted with unbearable pain from the media due the allegations levelled.

If the media were barking up the wrong tree without any repercussions, that would have been alright. But they have the ability to sway the whole nation. And they do it. The media seems to have developed a tendency towards taking sides and giving too many unsolicited opinions. A great example for this is Times View by Times Of India - a newspaper's job is to give news, not opinions. It is very bad when a newspaper or other forms of media does this. Take for example the Commonwealth Games - While several photos of how the games have let Indians down have been posted, including beds with paw-prints, and dirty toilets, not one photo of the fantastic developments done there posted. It's only now that an email is doing rounds to bring up the spirits of all Indians who have, by now, developed a mind-set that the organisers were utterly corrupt, and the games are a complete flop. (Interestingly, it turned out that the organisers in this case were indeed utterly corrupt :P But you get the idea in general)

Now, part of that IS true - But that's where the main problem lies... The media shows us only one part, and that prevents us from getting a complete image. We start seeing it with jaundiced eyes, where only negative things are shown to us. Artistick attempts to explain the disastrous effects of this kind of attitude, with a slight humour
[Click on the image to enlarge]


Therefore, it is up to all of us to start thinking independently of the facts that the media provides to us, because we are now aware that the facts provided, though true, are not necessarily the complete or actual picture. Don't jump to conclusions based on this.
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(Interestingly, I had spoken against the prejudice of media long back, but then it was made out to be my way of getting back at a certain newspaper because they refused to post my comment against them... Now we see that Swami was right then and now :P Yeah, I told you so)

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You may also want to read...

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Comments from Buzz

Adarsh B - "A half truth is often more dangerous than a whole lie"...this had always been one of my fav....

vinayraj govindarajan - oh well swamiji u have posted an interesting idea......but i have a few questions:
1.why s the media taking a prejudiced stand after all? aren't they well aware of what they r doing? or are they?
2.why does the whole nation swing to the tunes played by the media? aren't v educated enough to take an unbiased stand?
3. is it because of the consumerist,globalised,"modernised" look that INDIA has to exhibit to the world?
4.isn't the US media too the same way?
i am sure u know where my statements r indicating to :)


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Top 6 Services List (In Bangalore, according to me)

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"In this day and age where we have a million things to browse from, we need services to merely search through them"

Today, we have an information overload. For anything that you want, there are different places where you can go. If you want to buy a book, you have so many stores, and online book stores etc. If you want information, there are several websites that specialise in that field or a general encyclopedia. So I thought that it would be good to create a list of useful services that I use.

Top 6 Services List (In Bangalore, according to me)

Justdial
Justdial is perhaps one of the most useful services being provided. Whether it is information about restaurants, schools or gift shops, Justdial gives it all - Telephone numbers, addresses, everything. And they remember you, and greet you warmly everytime you call them, unlike certain pathetic customer care services. Some times they even directly connect you to the store.

Phone Number - 080-23333333

Road Guide (LatLong)
A brilliant service for people who have a tendency to get lost, Road Guide is a very useful service. All you need to do is send an SMS with from location and to location to their number and they reply with a detailed route, distance, landmarks, auto fare - the works. The website also has maps.

E.g. Send an sms to 9008890088: Jayanagar 4th block to Forum Koramangala

Website - www.latlong.in
Phone Number - 9008890088

India Book Store
If you are an avid book reader, you definitely invest a lot of money into books. And many times, you run out of money just when a book that you want to buy comes up. If you want the best deals available, use this service. It is linked to several book stores. A simple search engine interface, enter the name of your book, and it provides a list of stores that have the book, along with the price at which they are selling. You can pick the best priced book, directly click on their links, and place your order.


BMTC Info
Many times you keep wondering which bus to catch, and where to catch it from. Or the route that a particular bus takes, or for that matter, any other information that you seek, BMTC has a solution for you. As much as BMTC is a high priced service, you have to admit that they are leading by a large margin when it comes to offering the very best.

Website - http://www.bmtcinfo.com/
Route Search direct link (The link below can be found in the link above as well)
http://www.yulopindia.com/bmtc//index.php/bus/redirect_to_route_search

Burrp
Feeling hungry? Looking for the best restaurant around you area? Then Burrp is the best solution for you. It is the best restaurant guide that you can have, period. Just pay a visit, and you will see what I mean. You can search based on locality, price and quality.

Website - http://bangalore.burrp.com/

BookMyShow
The most popular among booking movie tickets, Book My Show easily is the most accessed website. The main advantage is convenience. No more standing in lines, just make an online payment and you are done.

Website - http://in.bookmyshow.com/

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These are just the top 6 services that came to my head. There may be many more. If you have any service that you would like to share, do post a comment.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Of Observers and Observations

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Some times, the same observations lead to different conclusions or interpretations"

This is a very interesting discussion that took place on Google Buzz. It all started with a profound question by Gurudatha Pai and a conversation follows...

Is observation independent of the observer??

Shrinivas Bhat - nope it cant be... there will always be little bit of observer in the

Nikhil Baliga - Lisa Simpson (from Simpsons) said - If a tree fell in the woods when there was nobody there, does it make any sound?
She also asked if you can clap with one hand...

So, no, if there is no observer, there can be no observation. And an observer is not an observer until he observes an observation


Gurudatha Pai - So, in any observation, there is a bias introduced by the observer? seems logical? So then, how scientific is science?

Nikhil Baliga - Well, I would say if the same glass is shown to two people, one might observe it as half empty and the other might observe it as half full. These are two observations and vary, and thus are dependent on two people.

Also, observations are dependent on the observer's abilities - Like, some attentive people are more observant to the same things shown to them, and might be able to fish out more information.

Science is the truth - The quantity of water in the glass continues to be the same. It is up to you to find out the exact nature of it by being more observant


Gurudatha Pai - "Science is the truth ......"
That's where I am not necessarily differing but unsure, I would say. Yes, I do agree that absolute science is truth but do we have absolute science? I guess not! What we have is an observation of science. My observation of what is in the glass is (at least slightly ) different than yours and from the truth, what say?


Shrinivas Bhat - There cannot be absolute science. And science cannot explain every thing. if you look at the history (of science) there are few science theories/findings which were regarded as one of the best invention/findings (of the time) have been proved wrong later.

Gurudatha Pai - Those are "theories" by your own comment, and some experimental evidence that the theory has some truth that explains the observation but the converse may not be true. That is, it may not be possible to explain every observation by a single theory... so..
I don't know if I am making sense here.. i will think how i can rephrase that!

Nikhil Baliga - Yeah, we both are saying the same thing Guru... We both agree that there is an absolute truth, and reaching it may or may not happen through observations - Might be because of insufficient observation or incorrect observation or lack of knowledge to conclude exactly what that observation was. This will clearly tell you why something that was agreed as truth at one point was disproved later. It will also explain why Newton's laws were a specific case of Einstein's laws, etc.

It depends on the complexity of the problem. If I ask you - What is 1 + 1? You will say 2, and so will I, because the number of parameters involved are less, and chances of error or deviating from the path is close to zero. However, with advanced concepts, the number of parameters involved go up, and there are chances of making mistakes in observation at every level, thus leading to different conclusions.

Some times, the same observations lead to different conclusions or interpretations - As in the glass of water. Like for example, take Advaitha, Dwaitha and Vishishtadwaitha - All of them observed things around them, but have different conclusions. There can be an absolute science that would point towards the absolute truth, but do we have an observer who can point us towards it? Krishna was there, I don't know if we will have another :-)


Priyanka Murthy - This maybe abrupt, but to draw another parallel regarding same observation and different conclusions~ the observation that this whole world is an illusion is supposed to make us happy and feel liberated according to spirituality but the same observation in 'inception' has such a depressing effect!

ramesh m.r - Reminds me of Matrix .....The world is what is we see around us ... thts it .. If there is a building ... what is behind it ? Logic says there is something ... There might be an airport there ... If you ask someone to go there ,see and tell you ... He might actually be lying .. you are the only thing which is real .. everything around are objects of your imagination ... Too much of philosophy is dangerous to health ... :-P

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The discussion is ongoing. If you have any comments, do add them and we can build a longer thread :-)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Theory of Jam

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Take a slice of bread, put jam put on one side, and put another slice on it. You get a sandwich. But if you move the slices apart, the jam is always stuck to the first slice, not much to the second slice, except when the first slice is torn apart"

If you perform this simple task, you will find that this is a fact. What Swami Gulagulaananda is trying to say here is this - Things that are with you from the beginning, always override the latter. It also indicates the direction of loyalty in a situation that involves mutually exclusive forces.

The two bread slices indicate mutually exclusive forces, each trying to pull the one caught between them towards the other side. But, the slice which originally had the jam will have a higher chance of retaining it than the other way round. This is true with people as well. Just open your eyes and look around, and you will see that the quote holds good always, except when the first slice of bread has been torn apart. Bread being torn apart, indicates bad relations.