doakonsult

Consulting.Philosophy.Travel

  • There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

Archive for October, 2012

Guilty as charged!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 31, 2012

For the first time ever, women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to drive!

In line with the cultural theme of my previous post, I had to post this image.

Talking about western intolerance towards new settlers and their ways, I was wondering whether an American woman who migrates to Saudi Arabia (I know it doesn’t happen much but let’s imagine) can walk around the streets of Riyadh in a Tee and Denims? Whether shes can enjoy a nice tan on the Saudi beach? So why does wearing a Hijab become such a big issue if the French government does not want it? Why do minorities have the right to protest and be heard more that the majority? Why is the selfishly devised scale of moralityand ethics more stringent for developed nations than it is for the rest of the world. I repeat, selfishly devised scale of morality and ethics.

I did laugh when I saw the above image. But slowly it revealed a dark side of this world’s hypocricy and evil. And we are all guilty. Just think about it.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , | 19 Comments »

It takes two to Tango!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 30, 2012

While a lot of people living in western countries have been blamed for racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance towards immigrants, I cannot help feel that they are not the only ones to blame. Social integration is a grave concern across Europe, and is rightly so. New settlers need to recognize their responsibility in facilitating peaceful coexistence. Culture is a collection of traits and activities that have been formed over centuries of living. Several factors contribute to the nature of a society’s cultural ethos. One critical factor is geography. In what climatic, topographical and  conditions a society evolves weighs heavily upon what it eats, what it wears and what it espouses as tradition. Hence, relocation from one’s motherland does not come without sacrificing some of these native habits. Immigration in many cases brings about a change in one’s environment and this demands a change in one’s lifestyle. To expect an immigrant to make this sacrifice is not hateful. It is a practical expectation. Such changes can easily be seen realized in third and fourth generation of immigrants. However, it is the reluctance of the first generation to let go of their cultural identity that creates friction between the settlers and the natives.

The point I am trying to make is clearly highlighted in this joke. Enjoy!

A young Arab asks his father, “What is that weird hat you are wearing?”

The father said, “Why, it’s a ‘chechia’ because in the desert it protects
our heads from the sun.”

“And what is this type of clothing that you are wearing?” asked the young
man.

“It’s a ‘djbellah’ because in the desert it is very hot and it protects the
body.” said the father.

The son asked, “And what about those ugly shoes on your feet?

His father replied, “These are ‘babouches”, which keep us from burning our
feet in the desert.”

“So tell me then,” added the boy.

“Yes, my son?”

“Why the f**k are you living in Bradford , England and still wearing all this shit?” 🙂

Disclaimer: This post does not intend to target any one particular community, nationality or religion. The joke is used only to depict a general opinion.

Comments welcomed.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

100th Post :)

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 29, 2012

This is my 100th post. I didn’t think I would last this long but I have. And I’d like to thank my fellow bloggers from the bottom of my heart. Besides being a great learning platform, blogging has served as an amazing ego-buster! My strongly held beliefs have been challenged and in many cases shaken. At the same time, I would like to hope that I have put others through the same torture. At the end of it, we have all undergone a transformation that seemed inconceivable earlier. I couldn’t think of a better 100th post than republishing my 50th post.

Gratefully yours,

Raunak

My tryst with WordPress: Insights of a new blogger

Last night I published my 50th post. Yes, it is only a number, but a milestone that prompts me to share my experience of living in this man made world. A world where the five elements of nature: words, thoughts, images, comments and ego form the basic building blocks of it inhabitants. So here’s what I have learned and observed two months after I took a travel down the blindside, on this path called…Blogging.

Respect Opinion. Until someone comes up with the Universal Law of Truth, you have to accept the fact that there is nothing right or wrong in this world. Every thought that a citizen of this world shares, has risen out of experience, observation and well reasoned logic. Mind is a multidimensional space. Hence, reasoning can be executed at millions of different levels, each level influenced by a subconsciously embedded experience.  Hence logical reasoning in two different minds can yield two very different results.

Newton’s third law of blogging: For every dumb person on one side, there is an equal and opposite dumb person on the other side. Yes, if you find a post or an opinion downright dumb, the chances are, that the author of that source of idiocy finds your opinion equally, if not more dumb.

Meet the Stalkers: There are certain residents of this world who you will bump into in the “Like” row of every post that you view. Don’t judge them. Some of them truly are avid readers and are contributing tremendously to the goodwill of our world. Yes, a few have motives that only their egos can understand. Over time, you will be able to differentiate the two.

This is a “Thinking Network”: Unlike alien worlds that call themselves “Social Networks”, this world allows you to build relationships that are based on your thinking and not what you wear or what you eat or which fancy car you just bought. Just like on Earth, here too I have acquaintances, friends and close friends. In addition, and most importantly, I have thinkers and contributors. I have made good friends, discussions with whom carry on not only on posts but also through emails. Luckily, this world does not imprison you by limiting your communication channels.

A Number is really, only a number: A venture called “Klout” measures the influence that people have in the virtual world. Their algorithms judge this by not just focusing on the number of connections you have, but on the level of engagement you have succeeded in generating. Rightly So!

A Barking Loudspeaker Gathers No Ears: The key to good living in this world is two way communication. This is not the right world for you if you wish to be a one way broadcaster. Sooner or later you will find yourself alone and suicidal.

No Left, No Right. This is Utopia: The citizens of this world pay no taxes and do not have a government. When down, you will always find someone inspiring you to rise up. Free of cost! We have a one-party political system called Capitalist Socialism.

Etiquette: If a post does not display completely on your Reader, do not press the Like button on your Reader without reading the post. You may not think so, but any person with an IQ over 10 can figure out whether you have done this. If you don’t wish to read the post and still,for some reason known to yourself, wish to like it, at least open the post in a new window and press the Like button on the post page or the home page of the blog. But not from the Reader.

Nothing pleases a Freshly Pressed blogger more than when a new reader makes the effort to read posts besides the one that has been FPed. Do this more often, and add to you good karma count 🙂

And lastly, follow for a reason. I repeat, a number is only a number.

There you have it. Musings of a new and happy resident of the blogging world. Comments welcome.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , | 19 Comments »

Gladiator!!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 29, 2012

such relevant words!

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

The long journey up the corporate ladder

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 29, 2012

awesome depiction of corporate rat race…it is so true! been there and got back just in time…phew!

Just Outside the Box Cartoon

corporate ladder leading all the way to heavenIt would be funnier if it were not true…..

 

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Posted in Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Enlightenment is not a Destination. It is the Journey.

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 28, 2012

While reading Pat’s wonderful post, I was forced to dig deep into my mind and seek my truth. After deep thinking, the only realization that dawned upon me was that my philosophical, sprititual and religious journey has no final destination. The journey on the awakened path in itself is the eternal bliss and joy that I am seeking. A lot of frustrations on this path have arisen due to my inability to reach the ultimate truth. But maybe, I have misunderstood the nature of the ultimate truth. What I have always imagined to be a destination may in fact be the journey.

I now feel that Enlightenment is not a point, but a line. It is not a scalar quantity that can be defined wholly by its magnitude alone. It is a vector quantity that is a combination of magnitude and direction. And in this case, magnitude is represented by logical reasoning while direction is represented by a conscience driven journey.

And I may not be the only one with this truth. Ask yourself if you too find true bliss, happiness and joy by just being on this never ending journey of spiritual and philosophical conquest. This journey has no final destination and realizing this fact can help us overcome the disappointments that we so often come across.

Enlightenment is not a Destination. It is the Journey. Keep walking.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Alternate View: The Great Game behind India’s Partition

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 27, 2012

Partition of India, the biggest migration witnessed by the world, one of the worst ethnic manslaughters on the face of the earth has unfortunately not received the emphasis it deserves in the annals of historic literature. Somewhere between the trauma of the Second World War, the Jewish genocide and the Atomic Bomb, the world forgot the millions who lost their lives thanks to agreements reached by England educated politicians in their cozy rooms.Indians then were not important enough to be noticed. Unlike now, we did not control the software industry then.My father was part of this utterly uncalled for dislocation. While on his way from Pakistan to India, he witnessed uncountable hate crimes and even saw his uncle burnt alive by a mob from the other side.

In classrooms, debate panels and cocktail get-togethers in many a Indian households, ill informed people share their “accurate” views that are as unbiased as Fox News itself! While religion is considered the primary force that drove this division, people also lay a lot of the blame on leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah. Some even believe that Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be created so that he could fulfil his ambition of becoming a Prime Minister. Others blame Nehru for not letting Jinnah become the Prime Minister of United India. One aspect that is rarely cited or discussed or even known is the British role in the partition. Did Britain have anything to gain from it? Lets take it a step further. Did the U.S have a role to play in the partition? Maybe.

The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition is a wonderful book written by Narendra Singh Sarila, who at the time of the partition, served as ADC to Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India. He was also the Maharaja of Sarila, a small kingdom in the heart of India. I was fortunate to have been presented this book by his wife, the Queen of Sarila herself. Narendra Singh bases his reasearch on East India Company communication that in recent years has been declassified by the British government. It is interesting to find evidence that points towards British and American collusion in effecting the partition of India.

To strengthen British and US domination in Asia, the English asked Indian leaders if after independence they would allow the British and the Americans to establish military bases in India. Indian leaders including Mahatma Gandhi flatly refused this proposal. They would not compromise India’s sovereignty and also wanted to set an example of Non Alignment in the world. This snub did not go down too well with the British. They then look toward Jinnah and asked him that if they facilitated the partition of India, would Jinnah allow UK and US to use the newly created Pakistan to position strategic military bases there. Jinnah was only too keen to accept. Not only would this help him gain a new country to rule, but American an British presence would safeguard Pakistan’s interests against India. The British and the Americans couldn’t be happier. The location of the proposed land for the Muslims was strategically perfect to influence the politics of Central Asia and most importantly tackle the new enemy, the USSR. Hence, despite opposition from supporters of United India, the English hastily got the two parties to agree to a partition.

The result: displacement of millions of people, ethnic genocide at a scale unimaginable, creation of two mortal enemy states, one blood, two countries. Not that it mattered to the English or the Americans. They had just won over a new ally in Pakistan and had established an invaluably strategic presence in Asia.

I am a great admirer of English and American political thought and wit. Their well thought out, selfishly motivated execution of the Partition does not seem too implausible to me. Does it to you?

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Learning to Cuss . . .

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 27, 2012

beautiful humor 🙂

John R Childress . . . Rethinking

After a long week of travel to the US with even longer days of meetings, I was definitely in need of a “mood lift”.  And thanks to my good friend and fishing companion, John Green from Yorkshire, my week ended on a high of continuous laughter long after I read his email.

So, here is a definite mood lifter from John Green.  Enjoy.

A 6 year old and a 4 year old are out raking the yard.

The 6 year old says, “You know what? I think it’s about time we started learning to cuss.” The 4 year old nods his head in approval.

The 6 year old continues. “When we go in for breakfast, I’m gonna say something with hell and you say something with ass.”  The 4 year old agrees with enthusiasm.

When the mother walks into the kitchen and asks the 6 year old what he wants…

View original post 128 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Good Day for a Laugh :D

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 26, 2012

I’m just pleased that Friday has passed the way it has. No food for thought today. Just plain good old laugh 😆

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

On the right track but on the wrong train!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 25, 2012

Every human being is on a journey. Our purpose maybe different but we never stop our pursuits. Professional, Personal, Spiritual, Religious etc. etc. Life is a journey for everybody. While certain travels are easier to undertake, spiritual and religious explorations can be quite testing. In majority of the cases, we quit and abandon our journeys before reaching our destination. I truly believe that in the spiritual and philosophical domains, journey is more important than the destination. Hence, it becomes more important to question the circumstances that force us to quit. One of the main contributors is despair at not having seen the light at the end of the tunnel. At this point, I’d like you all to ask yourselves whether you have made your journey a “Matter of Principles”. Are you ignoring other paths that could make the journey more enjoyable for you? Is it time you change your path rather than give up the endeavor? Is it time to get yourself a new map?

Ask yourself, are you on the right track but on the wrong train?

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Part 2: Corporate Acquisition 101: Inspired by Niccolo Machiavelli

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 24, 2012

“When states are acquired in a country differing in language, customs, or laws, there are difficulties, and good fortune and great energy are needed to hold them, and one of the greatest and most real helps would be that he who has acquired them should go and reside there.”

Niccolo Machiveli, The Prince

I was reading one of my earliest posts and wondered how it would be if Machiavelli’s golden words could be applied in present day and age. Would it help if President Barack Obama sets up residence in Baghdad and spends three months in a year there? What if the probable next President Mitt Romney builds a million dollar mansion in Kabul and runs the American Empire from there? (no comments allowed on the use of “next president 🙂

I think they should. If the strategy worked in medieval times, I see no reason why it cannot now. Superpowers are capitalist empires driven by economic motives. American presence in Afghanistan and Iraq are examples of territorial conquests, and seeing how much tax payer money has been spent in these wars, it would only make sense to continue in these new acquisitions and get a worthy Return on Investment. I would not expect anything less from such a risky venture.

Below is an excerpt from my previous post. Replace “Corporate Acquisition” with “Territorial Acquisition”, “CEO” with “President” and “employees” with citizens and the message is clear.

Now here lies a lesson for all those consulting or undertaking Corporate Acquisition, especially one where entities from different countries or cultures are involved. Just replace “states” with “companies” in the above quote and the message is clear: The CEO or Chairman or Decision Maker of the company that makes an acquisition overseas, must move his office to the acquired company and run his business from there until Integration of the two entities is truly complete.

Further he wrote, “Because, if one is on the spot, disorders are seen as they spring up, and one can quickly remedy them; but if one is not at hand, they are heard of only when they are great, and then one can no longer remedy them. Besides this, the country is not pillaged by your officials; the subjects are satisfied by prompt recourse to the prince; thus, wishing to be good, they have more cause to love him, and wishing to be otherwise, to fear him.”

Proximity to employees of the acquired company will go a long way in allaying their fears and insecurities. Needless to say, this is of utmost importance when you wish to leverage the resources of the acquired firm to the fullest.

As always, comments welcomed.

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Political campaigns and the inane mainstream news media

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 23, 2012

One of my several roles in life is that of a political campaign consultant. I took on this field because it is one of the very few domains out there that combine logical thinking, statistical studies, psychology, emotional manipulation, power, adrenalin rush,money and greed. Having experienced campaigning in the dirtiest and meanest places, I have gained an understanding that I thought I could never ever attain. And with this, my respect for politicians fighting it out for people’s votes has grown tremendously. It is not easy to be a politician. Especially not when you are fighting elections. The process drains you physically, emotionally, monetarily and forces you to shed every pound of ego from your mind. And the worst, there is no second position in politics. Winner takes it all!

There is one institution that has disappointed me to no end. Media. I hold it solely responsible for ruining the political campaigning process and stripping it of any sense, logic and relevance. The TRP driven, sensationalism espousing news broadcasters have absolutely no interest in the interests of the electorate. At the cost of relevant concerns, only those issues are highlighted that tend to generate “noise”. Self proclaimed political gurus and analysts ask questions that are as dumb as their minds. Honestly, these analysts could not be farther away from ground reality. Yet they dominate discussions and do their bit to increasing the “noise”.

Also, the media loses no chance to pounce upon an error by a candidate and turn it overnight into a scandal. Give me a break! Candidates are human too. While the harm caused by this may not be apparent to the electorate, but it is one of the most injurious acts that weaken our democracy and in fact make  irrelevant. Under constant media glare, which is not necessarily public glare, the candidates become actors. The most honest individuals are forced to become choreographed dummies driven by campaign strategists such as myself. I too transform into a puppet who’s strings are being pulled by an illusory world created by the media.

Why is it that the media (and not the people) refuses to believe that a candidate can change his belief or stand? Why is it that a candidate is held responsible for what he may have said thirty years back and a change of heart is considered a sin? I don’t mind if a candidate has transgressed in his past,we all have. Why can we not elect a representative who is more like us, more human.

Yes we can. But the media does not let us. It fills our minds with attributes that we would never use naturally to elect our representatives. And why does the media do this? Because it, like all of us, needs to survive and prosper. Nothing wrong with that, only that prosperity in media has been replaced by greed and zealousness.

We need to recognize the difference between expert opinion and truth. Many times the latter is what emanates from our heart. Trust that opinion over any broadcasting attempt to sabotage your thinking. In Democracy, we are the experts. Realize this truth and cast your vote.

But I cannot wrap this post without expressing my utter dismay at the end of today’s presidential debate. It was the first debate that I saw live at 5:30 am local time. Under normal circumstances, I would have never woken up that early to waste an hour of my life, but this morning at 5:00 am I got a call from my logistics company saying that my car had arrived outside my house. What!Who in this world delivers a shipment at 5 am! Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of bed and once the car was safely parked in the garage, it hit me that it was debate time. So I watched. I cringed. And then these lines by DMX ran in my mind in response to what the leaders were saying:

Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in HERE, up in here 
Y’all gon’ make me go all out up in here, up in here 
Y’all gon’ make me act a FOOL up in HERE, up in here 
Y’all gon’ make me lose my cool up in here, up in here

That’s it.I’m done.

Posted in Political Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

[Repost] Benedict de Spinoza:More Transparency in Both Government and Corporations

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 22, 2012

“It has been one of the songs of those who thirst after absolute power that the interest of the state requires that its affairs should be conducted in secret…But the more such arguments disguise themselves under the mask of public welfare, the more oppressive is the slavery to which they will lead…Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evils secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens.They who can treat secretly of the affairs of a nation have it absolutely under their authority; and as they plot against the enemy in the time of war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.”- Benedict de Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

One of the things that have always intrigued me is why Cabinet meetings of our ministers,that discuss important issues and Bills, are held behind closed doors and hidden from the view of the very public that those legislative actions are going to affect. Are they plotting against the citizens during time of peace?

Lets extend this argument to corporate big-wigs.Several strategy decisions are made in secret and for obvious reasons. One, to prevent sensitive data from reaching competition. Agreed. However, an arrangement should be made to video record these meetings and display them to the shareholders once the results of the decisions have been fully realized in the public domain. Shareholders, like citizens in a democracy should have the right to view the decision making process of the executives they  pay huge salaries to “protect their interests”.

After 60 years of Independence, India finally has a Right To Information Act. A bittersweet case of better late than never; generations from now it will be recognized as the one legislation that saved democracy in this country.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Will the real Indian please stand up!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 21, 2012

No! There is no one real Indian. We put the “D” in Diverse.  In fact, we put the I,V,E,R,S and E as well. But its not easy being us. Every time we travel abroad, we come across stereotypes that have absolutely nothing to do with us. The first time I did, I was left wondering how in the world did they get that impression of us. And then it hit me that there are million types of us. I am an Indian, but only one type. The general characteristics which differentiate the types are region, language, looks and food. In addition to being an Indian, I belong to a particular region, I speak a particular language, I look a particular way and my food habits too categorize me into a certain type. So far so good.

But things get very irritating when a set of Indians belonging to a particular combination of the above characteristics give rise to stereotypes that are extremely embarrassing for the rest of us. For example, I do not put coconut oil in my hair nor do I shake my head when I mean to nod. Yet, I am an Indian. I do not have a heavy accent nor do I walk holding my friend’s hand. Yet, I am in Indian. I am not an IT Programmer nor a help desk executive. Yet, I am an Indian. I can be a Punjabi and not have to wear a turban. I can be a Kashmiri and yet be a Hindu.

Every wave of immigration carried with it a different type of Indian to the world. And we still have many more headed to a neighborhood near you 🙂

 

Posted in Philosophy, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Oh no…not again!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 20, 2012

17:00 The train came to a halt. I picked up my bags and rushed to my compartment. Before boarding, I read the reservation chart and breathe a sigh of relief when I see my name on that list. I knew my ticket was confirmed but my mind has been tuned into being stressed till I see the proof inked on that dreaded chart.  Next, I glance at the passenger names around my seat. I am going to be spending the next 28 hours of my life with them, and I like to be prepared for what is coming. The only column that interests me is the Age/Sex column. 82/M, 52/F, 55/M, 57/M, 46/F ; oh no…not again! None of my co-passengers belong to my age group. Why does this always happen to me! I look at my Kindle and can’t help think “Just the two of us.”

17:30: Train starts moving. I bid an emotional goodbye to my favorite city, not knowing when I will return.

18:00: I assume a quiet posture in my seat, eyes glued to my kindle, ears catching every sound wave from the surroundings. Three of my co-passengers are related. 82 year old father (I will refer to him as grandfather) of the 52 year old aunty who is married to the 55 year old uncle. In India, any lady more than 20 years your age is referred to as “aunty” and any man “uncle”.

18:15: Aunty starts slicing apples and passes them on to uncle and Grandfather. And then what I dread, she offers them to me. I courteously refuse but in India you know its not going to work. I soon had four slices of apple in my hand and one in my mouth. Honestly, these were the most delicious apples I had had in a long time. I knew what this meant, I was now obliged to spend the next 26 hours chit chatting with this family. I looked at my Kindle, “Goodbye, mon ami!”

19:00: Grandfather turns out to be the most interesting man. He was a retired Railways official and his postings across the country endowed him with great wisdom that comes with traveling and age. Fortunately, he loved talking and sharing this worldly wisdom. I was all ears.

20:00: The family unpacks its home made dinner and not surprisingly, I am offered their food. By now I am only too glad to accept the invitation. Fried potatoes in a red curry accompanied by Indian bread…heaven!

21:00: By now we have discussed the state of our nation more than the Cabinet ever has. The latest scandal involving the son-in-law of the country has been analyzed from every possible angle. Quality of railways food has been blasted in every sense possible. The danger Walmart poses to our entrepreneurs has been debated thoroughly. Best ways of investing savings have been pondered upon and almost all religious stereotypes existing in our country mentioned at least once.

22:00: We all wish each other a pleasant sleep and retire to our berths. I pick up my kindle and start reading “Business As Usual” by John Childress.

The next day is a repeat of exchange of gossips, food and jokes. In no time, I reach my destination and bid a grateful farewell to grandfather, uncle and aunty. Grateful for filling 28 hours of my life with such enriching information, wisdom and experience. Grateful for sharing their travels and teaching me a great lesson, “first impressions can be very deceiving indeed.” The next time I look at the reservation chart, I’ll look for an 82/M listing.

P.S: Highly recommend “Business As Usual” by John Childress. 5 stars!

Super  Pants lived up to their expectations yet again 🙂

Posted in Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

[Repost] Utopian Government: Plato…of Desire, Emotion and Knowledge.

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 20, 2012

” Like man, like state…governments vary as the characters of men vary…states are made out of the human natures which are in them.”- Plato

One of my favorite ideas of Plato is the one where he puts forward the drivers of human behavior. Plato categorizes these drivers as desire, emotion and knowledge and sorts the populace of a state based on varying degrees of each driver in an individual. Clearly for Plato not all men are alike and these drivers are the scales for measuring their suitability for the role they would play in the state.

Desire(appetite, instinct, impulse) is associated with the loins and is heavily influenced by sexual needs. Emotion rests in the heart while Knowledge rules the head. These drivers and qualities are present in all men but to varying degrees.

Men that are ruled by Desire are bestowed with ambition and a lust for luxuries.Such men must comprise the industry of the state. Those that are passion personified due to high levels of emotional drives that instil courage in them must make up the armies and navies. The remaining that seek delight in knowledge and understanding must guide the nation.

“Ruin comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted up by wealth, becomes ruler.” Wouldn’t be wrong to call Plato one of the earliest Communists.

Posted in Political Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

azoic..paleozoic..mesozoic…….technozoic..zuckerzoic..stupidzoic..zombiezoic……

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 17, 2012

Azoic

Age of rocks formed before the appearance of life in the geologic sequence.

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Paleozoic

A time of dramatic geological, climatic and evolutionary changes. Fish, arthropods, amphibians and reptiles all evolved during the Paleozoic.

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Mesozoic

An interval of geological time from about 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago. It is often referred to as the Age of Reptiles because reptiles, namely dinosaurs, were the dominant terrestrial and marine vertebrates of the time. The era began in the wake of the Permian-Triassic event, the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history, and ended with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, another mass extinction which is known for having killed off nearly all dinosaurs, as well as other plant and animal species.

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Technozoic

A period of revolutionary technology advancements in automation and communication. This phase saw the development of incredible computing devices and a world wide network called the “Internet”. The latter would bring about a paradigm shift in way homo sapiens interacted across the globe. Simultaneously there was evolution of satellite communication and mobile phones. This period was distinctly noticeable by the increase in noisy chatter that emanated from Earth.

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Zuckerzoic

A “path breaking” innovation changed the meaning of relationships forever. “Like” became the most frequently used word of the English vocabulary. Humans began living in an illusion, confined in the spaces of their tiny rooms, yet in the company of hundreds of illusory friends. The noisy chatter spiked! Every new innovation was targeted towards making the users of this divine platform happy. Every gadget began being evaluated on the basis of its contribution to this social platform. All brilliant minds around the world were trained to focus their brilliance only towards social media. Everything else was neglected and discouraged. This also gave rise to a new breed of gadgets called the “Smartphones”.

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Stupidzoic

Right towards the end of Zuckerzoic, the world witnessed a sudden drop in intellect and logical reasoning. Thinking was no longer a given. Special efforts were required to trigger the human mind into thinking on its own. This period also saw a mammoth rise of “Ignorance”. Humans stopped noticing. “Quality Life” was replaced by a new parameter, “Speed”. Everything had to be done faster and faster. Speed outranked Logic in importance. This period is also referred to as the “Age of Smartphones and Tablets”.

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Zombiezoic

God migrated. Eden went barren. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil wilted. Intellect extinct.

 

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Random: This should be our Office Mantra

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 17, 2012

I just love this mantra! If only we all could live like this.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Part 2- Humility Is Not A Virtue:Spinoza

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 16, 2012

“Humility is a sadness which arises from the fact that a man considers his own lack of power.Moreover, insofar a man knows himself by true reason, it is supposed that he understands his own essence,his own power. So if a man,in considering himself, perceives some lack of power of his,this is not because he understands himself but because his power of acting is restrained.

Humility is pain arising from a man’s contemplation of his own weakness of body or mind.”

-Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics

In an earlier post of mine, I used this proposition to explore the differences between western and eastern philosophy and attempt discovering the reasons behind their varied approaches. Today, I wish to delve into the reasoning behind this proposition. It is one that challenges a belief I have held on to for a long time and to encounter a theory that labels one of my traits as a “pain” and weakness can be quite disturbing. Unfortunately, Spinoza does not expand on his statement and leaves a lot of the interpretation to the readers.

From where I sit, if I look towards the East I see cultures that have forever celebrated humility and exhibit it in their daily interactions, both personal and professional. If I look towards the West, I observe behavior that exudes extravagance, outspokenness and unbridled confidence. And both are doing just fine. The more I analyze Spinoza’s words, the more I come across logical evidence that supports, as well as negates his argument. It truly is one of the few propositions of his that have been highly influenced by the environment in which he grew up. I am sure if Spinoza was in 17th century India or Cambodia, his views about “humility” would have been quite the opposite.

So at this very moment, and on this very issue, I will lean towards the East and beg to differ with one of my favorite philosophers. Maybe its the ego in me, but I would like to attribute my humility to a spiritually guided thought than to a weakness of body and mind.

Which side are you on?

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Interesting Similarities

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 15, 2012

In Hindu mythology, puranic texts mention the story of a great flood,wherein the Matsya Avatar of Lord Vishnu warns the first man, Manu, of the impending flood, and also advises him to build a giant boat. In Genesis, Noah is instructed to build an Ark.

                 

The first man in Hindu Mythology is called “Manu”, while the English word for a male is “Man”. In the Bible, the first man was “Adam”, while the Hindi word for a male is “Adami”.

                 

Ancient Persians on account of their language aspirated the “S” sound and pronounced it as an “H”. Keeping this in mind it is interesting to observe that while “Ahura Mazda” is the Avestan name of a divine being in Zoroastrianism, “Asuras” are considered demons in Hindu mythology. The terms “Ahuras” and “Asuras” are linguistically related. With the passage of time, Ahuras began to be considered as higher beings in Avestha, while in Hinduism the Asuras began to be considered lesser beings.

                 

In Genesis, the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh:his days shall be 120 years.” The Vimshottari Dasha system of Vedic Astrology considers a human being’s life to be 120 years long.

                 

I love it when I come across instances in one culture that I can relate with similar stories in other cultures. Some of these similarities are due to cultural exchanges and ancient travelers. Others are mere coincidences. Above are the ones that come to my mind. Would love to know of ones that you can think of.

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