The Dreamer and the Dream

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” That’s Carl Jung (1875 – 1961). Wiki says, he “was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies. . . . Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and extraversion and introversion.”

A few quotes follow.
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Aakash, the “iPad Killer”, Vaporware has Evaporated

Aaskash, the “iPad Killer”, vaporware that the idiot Kapil Sibal promoted, has quietly evaporated in March 2015. Hindustan Times reports “India’s low cost ‘Aakash’ tablet project closed in March
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Open Thread: Ask me anything

h l mencken_1Long time since we had an open thread. This is an “Ask me anything” post. What’s on your mind?

Apropos nothing, let’s read Mencken. Mencken was insightful. For instance, he noted the “basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.”
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Socialism, Competition and Politicians

This piece is a brief response to a twitter exchange I had last month.

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In his tweet, Mr @falleneconomist questions my assertion that socialism impoverishes countries. He implies that my claim cannot be correct and lists two facts (no doubt limited to only two because of the 140-character twitter limit) to support his contrary position: first, that China is doing well despite it being a socialist country; and second, “most politicians in capitalist USA are fabulously rich.”

It’s true that China is a socialist country. It has been socialist/communist ever since Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China in Oct 1949. His Communist Party of China (CPC) undertook “The Great Leap Forward” between 1958 and 1961 to transform China’s agrarian economy into an industrialized one through collectivization. The result was the horror of mass starvation that is known as “The Great Famine.” Chinese government statistics put excess death during that period at 15 million but independent observers estimate the death toll to be between 20 and 43 million.
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Swami Vivekanand: To the 4th of July

My friend Kanchan Banerjee shared this poem by Swami Vivekanand. Kanchan wrote, “In 1898 Swami Vivekananda went to Kashmir, where he stayed on a houseboat on Dal Lake. While travelling in Kashmir with some American and English disciples, Swamiji wrote this poem on 4 July 1898, as a part of a celebration of the anniversary of the United States’ independence and asked it be read aloud during that day’s breakfast.”
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No True Islamic State

I listen to public radio quite regularly for some excellent programs such as Fresh Air, This American Life from WBEZ Chicago, the Commonwealth Club of California, and many many more. I love public radio but as I am not a news junkie, I avoid news programs. However, at the top of the hour, many programs throw in a 4-minute long news update from NPR (National Public Radio produced in Washington DC), or the BBC in some cases. What I have noticed in these news bits is the mealy-mouthed equivocation when it comes to referring to the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS, and ISIL. In the news, they never call it “the Islamic State” but qualify it as “the self-proclaimed Islamic state.” Why they indulge in this silly idiocy is revealing.
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PJ O’Rourke: Every government is a parliament of whores

From PJ O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores:

“Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.”

And a bonus quote:

“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”

I believe that most of those in government today — everywhere, not just in third world countries — would test positive for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.

Happy 4th of July.