Encrypted Email to Defeat Mass Surveillance

Alan Turing - A Heroic Criminal
Alan Turing – A Heroic Criminal

One of the benefits of living in a security-state aka mass surveillance state or Big Brother State is that one is constantly under the threat of being put under the microscope and dissected. Benefit? Nope. For those who love freedom, mass surveillance is a cancerous evil that should be resisted.

I came across a May 2015 article You’re a Criminal in a Mass Surveillance World – How to Not Get Caught by David Montgomery. It’s immensely long. But its length is absolutely required to get across the important issues it deals with — how to live in a society where mass surveillance is the norm. I am extracting a bit from that article. A small step toward freedom from Big Brother is to get a secure email channel. Here’s how.  Continue reading

Why India Needs a Third Party

Leaders Emerge

Leadership is endogenous to the system which selects them. Leaders emerge from within the system and gain legitimacy through the acceptance of the people within the system. Thus there are two components: the people and the system. Both are causally related to some extent but can be considered separate for analysis.

​Bad leadership cannot emerge out of a good system with good people in it. Conversely, good leadership cannot emerge from a bad system and bad people.

That leaves two other scenarios: good people, bad system; and bad people, good system. My conjecture is that in both of those, bad leadership is very likely to happen.  Continue reading

Anuj Dhar’s talk on Netaji Bose @ Pune, Sep 23, 2017

“Who Killed Bose: Mystery behind Netaji’s Death”.

Public talk by Anuj Dhar. Author and researcher of events connected to Netaji’s life and times. Students, professionals and anyone interested in the history of post-independence India are welcome to the talk.

About Anuj Dhar (wiki): Indian author and former journalist, Dhar has published several books on the death of Subhas Chandra Bose which (according to official and academic views) occurred on 18 August 1945, when a Japanese plane carrying him crashed in Japanese-occupied Taiwan. Dhar claims in his books that there was no air crash and that Bose actually died in the 1980s after living as hermit monk named “Gumnami Baba Bhagwanji” in Faizabad. Dhar is also the founder-trustee of New Delhi-based not for profit organisation Mission Netaji.

The event is free.

Sep 23, 2017, 10 AM to Noon.
Venue: Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies [SIMS]
Range Hills Road, Khadki, Near Military Hospital, Pune – 411020, India

This public service announcement brought to you courtesy of Loknath Rao.

Post script: I have no interest in the matter. Perhaps NSCB died in 1945 or maybe he did not. I am not familiar with Anuj Dhar’s work. But I am mystified by one thing: why would NSCB do what Dhar claims he did? If he indeed was alive all those decades when Nehru and his spawn ruled India, why did he not oppose their misgovernance? For all the effect he had over those years that Dhar claims NSCB was alive, it basically amounts to the same thing as he having perished in a plane crash. In fact Gamnami Baba Bhagwanji appears to have had the same impact on India as I had over those years — namely zero.

Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings

श्री वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्य कोटी समप्रभा निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्व-कार्येशु सर्वदा॥
Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam KuruMe Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥
“O one with the curved trunk and immense body, one with the brilliance of ten million suns, please do remove obstacles to all my actions always.”
The translation lacks the poetry of the Sanskrit verse but it would have to do.

Continue reading

Road Trip report: Aug 15th, 2017

Aug 15th holds special significance for me. It was on a 15th August that I landed in the US so many years ago. The day is also a friend’s birthday. This year’s August 15th has seen two new things: first time I am in South Dakota and first time I crossed the North American continental divide by road.

If you are wondering where yours truly is, I am on the road. Last week Thursday, I left San Jose CA and visited Courtenay and her family in Oakland CA, the first stop on my journey. Friday evening we all drove to Grass Valley CA, about 140 miles to the north. We were visiting Saundrine and her family. .

The next part of the journey was from Grass Valley CA to Salt Lake City UT on Saturday. I had driven that road some years ago for visiting the Yellowstone National Park.  It was past 10 PM when I reached SLC. Continue reading

AMA – Extreme Stupidity is not Natural

I don’t believe that extreme stupidity is natural.

We are cognitively endowed by nature to, say, learn our mother tongue without instructions but reading and writing are unnatural because it is a learned skill. So also it is natural to be about average in intelligence (and therefore about average in stupidity) but extreme, off the chart stupidity is not natural. It has to be learned. I am guessing that one has to be immersed in some pernicious ideology to achieve a level of gross stupidity the mere observation of which makes your head hurt.

With this lead in, I am giving you fair warning that the YouTube video below may damage your mental health. So here goes.   Continue reading