Hello from New Brunswick, NJ

I got here last night from Washington DC. I love being around New Brunswick, the home of Rutgers Univ. Lots of fun times and lots of heartaches. Khalil Gibran’s words best describe how I felt when I moved to California from here many years ago. “Nay not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.”
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Readings: A Few Home Truths for Indians

Dateline: 29th Sept, 2010.
Washington DC.

The US is the world’s most powerful country. That’s clear enough to the casual observer. What should also be clear is that the US does not hesitate to use its power. Very few would disagree that the US does not always use that power responsibly, nor is it always successful in whatever it sets out to do militarily. No nation — even the most successful — is ruled by the infallible and the infinitely wise. Infallibility and infinite wisdom can only be claimed by the dynastic rulers of third world countries such as North Korea and India.
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The Importance of Considering a Spherical Cow

In the post — “Don’t believe everything you hear–even on TED” — I instinctively rejected the claim that it takes the energy equivalent of a lump of coal to transport one MB of data on them internets. I said that I would do the back of the envelop calculation upon request. Here it is for your kind information.
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The Perverse “Right to Information”

In a comment to a recent post, “The Games Built on a Cesspool,” the commenter Eroteme says, “We help elect a govt., sit on our hinnies and then find faults with whatever they do. Much like the opposition. Why don’t we demand accounts for all the projects embarked on, all the promises made, all the measures planned to address situations?” and asks, “How many RTIs were filed in the past 7 years demanding to know how well this CWG thing was progressing and where each and every rupee of ours was going?” The question is interesting in what it reveals.
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Innumerates of the Times of India

Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to speak nonsense. That one is a favorite quote from a computer science guru John McCarthy. To it I would add that those who are incapable of reasoning are doomed to being innumerate. The ability to reason is a prerequisite for knowing how to do arithmetic. Let me give you a shining example of innumeracy arising from an inability to reason.
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The Games Built on a Cesspool

No one can escape the huge amount of press on the ongoing disaster called the “Commonwealth Games” in New Delhi. There is little doubt about the train-wreck — it’s inevitable as the locomotive has long left the track and is speeding towards a chasm dragging a long train behind it. The only point of conjecture is how damaging will be the eventual crash. The action is happening so fast that estimates of damage vary widely. But it will all be over soon enough and it will be a very long time before India recovers from the ignominy and shame.
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