This day is one of the most important days of my life. But not because it’s National Relaxation Day in the US. Everyday is a relaxation day for me, anyway.
I know that Aug 15th is publicly celebrated across India as “Independence Day” but that, to my mind, is totally idiotic because Indians are not independent even 75 years after India became “independent” of colonial rule. Indians are still under colonial rule — the difference is that instead of foreign colonial rule, now the rule is by domestic colonial rulers. This is actually worse than what it was before 1947. At least the Britishers were foreigners. But now Indians oppress their own. They enslave their own. Pitiable. Continue reading “August 15th — National Relaxation Day”
In a previous post, I laid out a method for the restitution of properties that have been taken by invaders. In it I argued among other things that “all property that have been acquired through plunder should be methodically auctioned, and the proceeds from them be distributed to every citizen, regardless of whether they are the descendants of the plundered or the plunderers.”
That principle of restitution is simple enough to provide guidance in matters that relate to compensation for harm caused by historical events. One commentator to that piece raised a question. His comment outlines a scenario I paraphrase as: Continue reading “Restitution Revisited”
Creativity, innovativeness, inventiveness — all fine and necessary characteristics of any prosperous and flourishing people. The US has heaps of that good stuff, evidently. But then those same characteristics are also necessary for being a good con artist. The US has also has had loads of them.
One of the best of the lot was portrayed by the superbly talented Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Catch Me If You Can. It was based on the book “Catch Me If You Can: The Amazing True Story of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit” about Frank Abagnale, Jr.
I enjoyed the movie. Just recently I came across a June 1978 episode of Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show in which there’s the real Mr Frank Abagnale telling his story. His story is not fictional — because fiction has to be believable. Only a real story can be this unbelievable. Here’s a prediction: I bet you will have a big smile on your face, or even burst out laughing at the genius of the guy. Here it is. Continue reading “Fun Con”
Two facts about our modern world: one, human-created technology reveals to us a universe that is beyond human imagining and comprehension; two, nearly all of us are either totally unaware of what we as a collective are discovering or, even if we catch fleeting glimpses of what is being discovered, we are so blasé about it that it does not move most of us.
That attitude of being uninterested in the modern marvels is understandable because we really don’t have the time. We have stuff to get done. However, though getting mundane things done matters, it is also important to take a bit of time to pause and wonder at the the vision of the universe that lies beyond, and which technologies like the James Webb Space Telescope enable us to see. What are we capable of seeing today has not been seen by anyone ever. Of the countless trillions of living things that have ever lived on earth, we — the present around 8 billion humans — are the only ones who have that opportunity. Continue reading “JWST”