I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.
I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty, and that the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms….
I believe in complete freedom of thought and speech – alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.
I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. I —
But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.
Mencken quoted in H L Mencken: The Joyous Libertarian by Murray N Rothbard.
The Indian education system is in distress. It is critically in need of reform since it is inefficient and ineffective. What exists today is something that was designed to serve the needs of a different era with different objectives and compulsions. For sustainable development of India, the country needs a new system which is economically efficient, socially equitable, functionally effective, and consonant with the altered needs of the present.
Today I was at the bank depositing some cash when the teller discovered that one of the Rs 500 bills I gave her was fake. Visual examination did not reveal that the bill was counterfeit; only under UV light can one make out that genuine bills have a silver line which glows while the same line on a fake bill does not glow.
One of the simplest ways of undermining an economy is to introduce a huge amount of fake currency. From time to time, one hears of counterfeiting operations in Pakistan. I suppose the Pakistani terrorists operating in India get paid in fake Indian currency. What a wonderful way to kill (sic) two birds with zero stones. And I presume that some of the billions of rupees of fake currency circulating in India is brought into the country via the bus and train service between Pakistan and India.
I don’t have any proof, but my suspicion is that certain political parties in India gain from this sort of transactions.
In any event, please pass the word along that accepting Rs 500 (and perhaps Rs 1000) bank notes may be risky. If people are vigilant, the fake bills will not be able to enter the system.
The theory of computation studies a class of problems called ‘NP Complete.’ These are problems that are considered computationally hard in the sense that all known algorithms to solve them require a non-deterministic Turing machine polynomial orders of time. The traveling salesman problem is a classic example of this set. They all share one characteristic – indeed it is the test of membership in the class – that they are all isomorphic. An algorithm that solves any of the problems would therefore solve all of NP Complete problems.
Today’s poem is one of the saddest I have read in the English language. It is by W. H. Auden, dated around 1945. The last line encapsulates deep despair and sadness. I think it is best to read it when things are fine and life is not turbulent. Continue reading
The cost of living is high in India, as I mentioned the last time.
The dominant theme around where I live in Kalyani Nagar in Pune is one of massive construction. Multistoried residential buildings, shopping centers and office complexes are sprouting with astonishing rapidity. Despite the increase in the quantity supplied of floor space, the quantity demanded is growing even faster. This is evidenced by the fact that the price per square foot of built up space is growing at an astonishing 30 percent or more per year.
The delightful story told in an earlier post Thoughts Without a Thinker must be followed by the story that Amar was kind enough to point me to on his blog. Go read Tat Tvam Asi (That Thou Art).