Of Prizes and People

Prize
First Prize

We humans instinctively categorize, especially people. We are amateur primitive set-theoreticians. There are infinite ways to categorize people since humans have a humongous number of characteristics.

Consider the categories of people who award prize and people who win prizes. In my view, people who institute prizes belong to the most prestigious set. I order the sets as:

  1. People who institute prizes.
  2. People who win prizes.
  3. People who don’t win prizes.
  4. People who award themselves prizes.

For example, Alfred Nobel belongs to the first set; Einstein to the second set; ordinary grunts like us, who never come within shouting distance of any prestigious award make up the majority of humanity, belong to the third set. We are mostly harmless and generally unimpressive. Continue reading “Of Prizes and People”

Fast Food Enlightenment

Markets work. That’s the “First Law” of the Extended Order of Social Interactions. I just made up that EOoSI bit but the ‘markets work’ bit is a genuine law in the sense that it expresses an observed regurality in human societies.

What does it mean? Among other things, it means that when the need (the demand) for something arises, the market spontaneously figures out a solution (the supply) without the need for some controlling authority passing orders to get that need met. Those who address the needs of people are sometimes referred to as entrepreneurs. These are the people who look around for unmet needs and figure out some way of meeting those needs.
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In Love, Losing is Winning.

On my way to Ahmedabad last week on Saturday, at Mumbai airport, I saw a poster which had increased the number of sri’s in Sri Sri Ravishankar. It proclaimed Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar. But I think I will stick with the SSRS short form instead of updating it to SSSRS.

One of the perils of reading newspapers in India is that you are exposed to some rather mindless nonsense. Sunday morning in Ahmedabad, I recklessly picked up a newspaper. It was the DNA Sunday. To my horror but not to my surprise, there was Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar’s hirsute image atop a column titled, “In love, losing is winning.”

losingiswinning2
Continue reading “In Love, Losing is Winning.”

Ramachandra Guha on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Longings for a Nobel Prize

It’s been a while since I wrote a post on SSRS. To remedy that neglect, here’s something about the man.

Ram Guha wrote a funny entry in his Oslo diary with the title “Nobel Longings.” (Thanks to Sushant for the link.)
Continue reading “Ramachandra Guha on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Longings for a Nobel Prize”

Two letters related to Sri^2 Ravi Shankar

Did you know that this blog features prominently in search results on Sri (repeat n time) Ravi Shankar? Without intending to, I have stumbled upon a subject that simultaneously delights and enlightens. Aside from the usual hate mail, I quite frequently get mail from people who want to share their experience of the Art of Living and their opinion on SSRS. I will share two recent one’s with you.
Continue reading “Two letters related to Sri^2 Ravi Shankar”

His Most Exalted Holiness Sri Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudevji Bhagwanji Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji, I presume

Time for a little diversion, don’t you think? Of late this blog has been too involved with serious matters and I think it is time for something entirely different. Many of you regulars know that SSRS — a.k.a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a.k.a Param Pujaniya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankarji, a.k.a His Most Exalted Holiness the Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudev Bhagwan Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji, etc etc — is a favorite diversion for this blog. As luck would have it, another of His Most Exalted Holiness Sri Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudevji Bhagwanji Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji’s (henceforth shortened as HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM) devotees has deigned to write me a note instructing me to mend my ways.

[I know that this naming of the man is getting a bit out of hand. Previously I had been persuaded by his worshipers that the proper title for the man should be “the Supreme Commander of the Universe out of whose Nether Regions the Sun shines in all its Splendor” which for convenience one should write as SCOTUOOWNRTSSIAIS. So I say, take your pick — use HMEHSMHPGBSSSRSM or SCOTUOOWNRTSSIAIS — whichever you fancy, until of course another embellishment comes along to do proper justice to the amazing abilities of this god on earth.]
Continue reading “His Most Exalted Holiness Sri Maha Param Pujaniya Gurudevji Bhagwanji Sriman Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji Mahadevji, I presume”

The 2008 Post on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Some readers have been asking, “Atanu, when will you write more about SSRS?” As luck would have it, I got an email from someone who has actually met the man. He wrote me a very nice email saying that he has read all the SSRS posts patiently and then proceeded to inform me that he disagrees with me. That is not the least surprising as I am sure that an overwhelming majority of people won’t agree with me on anything of substance. That’s because my point of view is different from that of the majority, and the difference in the point of view is the result of differing life experiences. I merely state my opinion and note the differences and move on. Differences are good because otherwise it would be rather boring if we all had the absolutely same opinion.

Anyway, here’s my response to the gentleman, for the record.
Continue reading “The 2008 Post on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar”

SSRS Asks

“Does the breath have any religion,” asks His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “Is the air we breathe around us Muslim, Christian, or Hindu?”

No, I did not make it up. That is what is reported in a recent rediff article. The questions are so profound that I found myself moved to ask such questions. Mine are modest efforts, naturally, as I am not blessed with the immense holiness of SSRS. I am sure that you can also add to the list I present here.
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Yet Another SSRS Letter

In a few days, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living will be right outside my door for an entire week. The AoL is having a huge gathering not just within Magarpatta City but in the common area in front of the building I stay in. I will have a bird’s eye view of the proceedings from the balcony of my 11th floor apartment. Lucky me.

SSRS’s followers continue to send me unsolicited mail. Lucky me once again.

They don’t seem to understand that I express my views on my blog; I don’t write emails to people I don’t know forcing my opinion on them. So if they want to express their views, there are dozens of options in terms of blogs. They should avoid sending me mail. Else I publish their idiotic rantings just to underline my case that some of SSRS’s followers are brainwashed retards that don’t have a clue and are clearly unable to comprehend written material.

Here’s one that I got yesterday, posted in its entirety for the record.
Continue reading “Yet Another SSRS Letter”

Another SSRS Letter

Since the last few days, I notice that this blog is getting a lot of visitors from esatsang.net, a site devoted to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I am not sure why but my blog does get a lot of attention from the followers of SSRS. It is interesting that my knowledge of the Art of Living organization and its leader is only impressionistic. I never studied the organization or its head. I had a general idea that SSRS was one of the many gurus that India produces fairly consistently. There are many to choose from, if you are so inclined — Sai Baba, Satya Sai Baba, Osho, Baba Ramdev, SSRS, even a genuine medical doctor-turned-guru Deepak Chopra–the list goes on. In my opinion, they are useful, whatever their personal failings or their motives, because they help in promoting Indian thought globally and make the world a little better place. Like the purveyors of physical goods, these gurus compete in the marketplace of ideas and their successes indicate that they do produce something that the market values.
Continue reading “Another SSRS Letter”