Whistleblower's musings... Then some trivia. Write to me at ranjanyumnam@gmail.com

Saturday, December 31, 2005

The final countdown

As the year draws to a close, we are subjected to the mandatory top 10 lists. As the year draws to a close, we are subjected to the mandatory top 10 lists. From top 10 movies, books, writers, chefs, plumbers, florists, there is a list for every field! Do top tens mark the death of mass culture? Quite possible, considering the fact that we no longer share homogeneity of tastes and habits.
So, not surprisingly, bloggers to tabloids are dishing out their own lists, which make perfect sense to, well, themselves! We will go one step further and make our own top 10 list of top 10 lists and celebrate the unprecedented choices at our disposal.

  • Top 10 sting operations: Sting operations were dime a dozen in 2005. Some were cast from the couch, and others, from the wallet.
  • Top 10 celebrity patients: Thanks to Amitabh Bachchan's hospitalisation, we know about diverticulitis in graphic detail...
  • Top 10 natural disasters: From Tsunami, Katrina to earthquakes, nature bared its fangs in full glory.
  • Top 10 Men of the Year: So many honourable men, but so few prizes. But then there are so many magazines... for everybody to get their share.
  • Top 10 fashion weeks: How many fashion weeks are there? No clarity. Every city seems to have one.
  • Top 10 bloggers' meets: There were many bloggers' meets in Delhi, perhaps, just perhaps more than there were bloggers?
  • Top 10 cricket controversies: She loves me/she loves me not... was replaced by Dada is in/Dada is out.
  • Top 10 celebrity reunions: It was a Karismatic year, where celebrity break-ups were passe and reunions were in...
  • Top 10 bad sex writers: It was the year when writers from the land of the Kamasutra marked themselves as clumsy writers of sex.
  • Top 10 corrupt MPs: This is the only list that threatens to become the top 100 list.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Is laziness good for society?

Here's a wonderful article on the business of slacking. Imagine a world in which nobody has to work and the factory is where you get free love. Believe it or not, Marxists were the pioneers of this idyll. Read this in your leisure.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

"There's plurality in the Indian media"

Ted Turner, media mogul, on his charity work.

What motivated you to start the UN Foundation?
I founded the UN Foundation in 1998 to help improve the social and economic conditions of the impoverished people of the world. I have earmarked one billion dollars from my personal fortune for this cause and decided that tying up with the UN would be the best option.

Why are you focusing on South-East Asia?
That is because S-E Asia has the largest number of people in the world.

What major programmes are you going to launch in India?
Already the UN Foundation has invested about $28 million dollars in projects like eradicating polio, AIDS/HIV prevention, conservation of natural resources and developing clean energy.

Why have you chosen Narayan Murthy as a member in your board of directors?
There are lot of similarities between Murthy and myself. He started with seven colleagues, and I with 35. He set out with 250 dollars and I with one more. But seriously, he is one the best minds in the world and he can give a terrific representation for India to the Foundation.

Being the founder of CNN, what's your view about the Indian media?
When I founded the CNN, there were very few media outlets, but things have changed and the competition is stiff. I can see a plurality in the Indian media akin to the US scene.

The foolishness of Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design was doomed to be a failure from the very start. Now, the verdict is out that it is what it is: another name for creationsim. Judge Jones in a scathing pronouncement said that the theory was unconstitutional and it was at best a religious view. Meanwhile advocates of ID vow to continue the fight in higher courts, with a detremination that is akin to 'missionary zeal'. ID Design is dead, long live ID Design ? You can read the verdict of the judge Jones here.
Here I am reproducing my conversation with Michael Behe, the propounder of the bogus theory, to give you a hint of the depth (or lack of it) of his fictional theory:

If God designed the universe, who designed the

By ID's own arguments, a designer capable of creating irreducible complexity must also be irreducibly complex. Unlike with religious creationism, where the question "what created God?" can be answered with theological arguments, this creates a logical paradox, as the chain of designers can be followed back indefinitely, leaving the question of the creation of the first designer dangling. The sort of logic required in sustaining such reasoning is known as circular reasoning; a form of logical fallacy.

Michael J Behe responds: “It's a theological question and I'm a scientist. What's more, we don't have to address that question. To illustrate, let me ask two questions: 1) Who designed the first airplane? 2) Who designed the person who designed the first airplane? To answer the first question, we don't have to have an answer to the second question. The second question is separate. We can recognize that the airplane had a designer without getting into the question of who designed the designer of the airplane.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Delhi Times anniversary coming soon

The Anniversay of Delhi Times will be out on 23rd of December. The interactive special pull out will feature 11 achievers of Delhi in diffrent fields like business, sports, academics and so on. Readers will vote for the winner among them through sms. It's shaping up to be great treat fior one and all.