Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

Kurzgesagt - In a NutshellThe internet is incredible in every sense of that word, defined variously as “so implausible as to elicit disbelief; not credible; astonishing, extraordinary; surpassing the possibility of belief as to what is possible; unimaginable; inconceivable; too extraordinary and improbable to admit of belief; marvelous; fabulous; amazing;  awe-inspiring; profoundly affecting” etc.

But of course the internet is not literally incredible today — because it actually exists and therefore is not a matter of belief. However just a few decades ago it would have been incredible in the literal sense of the word. If someone had claimed as recently as the mid-1980s that in a few decades the average human would be carrying in his hands a device (costing a couple of hundred $$) which would be more powerful than the existing supercomputers (which cost hundreds of millions of $$), and that he would have access to a vast store of audio, video, text and graphics information, and have the ability to communicate with billions of others in an instant for practically zero (marginal) cost, that someone would have been considered slightly nutty, if not outright delusional. The revolution in computing and communications technologies have transformed the world beyond anyone’s imagination. Continue reading

Anuj Dhar’s talk on Netaji Bose @ Pune, Sep 23, 2017

“Who Killed Bose: Mystery behind Netaji’s Death”.

Public talk by Anuj Dhar. Author and researcher of events connected to Netaji’s life and times. Students, professionals and anyone interested in the history of post-independence India are welcome to the talk.

About Anuj Dhar (wiki): Indian author and former journalist, Dhar has published several books on the death of Subhas Chandra Bose which (according to official and academic views) occurred on 18 August 1945, when a Japanese plane carrying him crashed in Japanese-occupied Taiwan. Dhar claims in his books that there was no air crash and that Bose actually died in the 1980s after living as hermit monk named “Gumnami Baba Bhagwanji” in Faizabad. Dhar is also the founder-trustee of New Delhi-based not for profit organisation Mission Netaji.

The event is free.

Sep 23, 2017, 10 AM to Noon.
Venue: Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies [SIMS]
Range Hills Road, Khadki, Near Military Hospital, Pune – 411020, India

This public service announcement brought to you courtesy of Loknath Rao.

Post script: I have no interest in the matter. Perhaps NSCB died in 1945 or maybe he did not. I am not familiar with Anuj Dhar’s work. But I am mystified by one thing: why would NSCB do what Dhar claims he did? If he indeed was alive all those decades when Nehru and his spawn ruled India, why did he not oppose their misgovernance? For all the effect he had over those years that Dhar claims NSCB was alive, it basically amounts to the same thing as he having perished in a plane crash. In fact Gamnami Baba Bhagwanji appears to have had the same impact on India as I had over those years — namely zero.

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine

One of the best ways to “capture a web page as it appears now for use as a trusted citation in the future” is the Internet Archive Wayback machine. It’s an awesome handy tool. You’ll be glad you know how to use it.

Publications sometimes change their minds and “unpublish” pieces. It is often under government pressure and sometimes under public pressure from special interest groups. When a publication retracts an article or an opinion piece, it is usually because the management (editors and owners) realize that they have published something that on second thoughts they should not have — the equivalent of “oops, did I say that aloud?” The way to do a hurried retraction is to delete the piece from the website. This happens quite frequently in the twitter world. But the incriminating evidence remains if some people do a screen-capture of the relevant tweet.
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Justice for Preeti Rathi #acidattack #cbimustinvestigate

Preeti Rathi was the victim of an acid attack on May 2nd at Bandra Station in Mumbai. After excruciating pain and suffering, she died on June 1st. I signed the justice for Preeti Rathi petition. Please consider adding your support. Thank you.

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The 2012 Transit of Venus

These few weeks have been exciting for celestial phenomena. First there was the annular solar eclipse of May 20th a couple of week ago. I took some pictures of that one. I will post those as soon as I download them from the trusty old camera. Second, yesterday there was a partial eclipse of “the strawberry moon” — so called because during June they harvest strawberries. I missed it (not the harvest but the moon) because it has been cloudy and raining around here. In any case, here’s a video explaining the strawberry moon eclipse.
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Online course on game theory at Stanford University

Besides being very useful, game theory is fun. A broad liberal education should include at least the basics of game theory, just as it should include the fundamentals of microeconomics. Indeed, game theory is one of the most important tools in the study of microeconomics and political science.
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