Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Need of Approval

The constant need for 'approval' is another distinct feature of humans. It impacts our life in a variety of ways, and is a fundamental need. From the child looking for the approval of parents, to an officer waiting for the approval of the boss, there is no instance of a social transaction, where it cannot be seen. But, I have never come across an incident, where an animal waits for, or asks approval before proceeding with whatever is one's job.  
It plays a significant part in our life. Many a great sage, as well as a lot of big criminals, owe their position, to the encouragement they received or the approval they missed in their formative years. No other want of the humans, be it food, clothing, or shelter, can cause such a significant and long standing effect on one's fortune. What is giving rise to this need? Where does it come from? How is it related to our metabolism?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Book Review: The Evolution Cruncher

'The Evolution Cruncher' by Vance Ferrell: Scientific facts which annihilate evolutionary theory, a collection of facts to help insulate one from the desolating effects of evolutionary theory. 
The author tells in the beginning about the order to Graduate School of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), that it would have to close its doors if it did not begin teaching evolutionary origins and processes in its science classes, is the spark, which led to this book.
Chapter 1 presents the evolutionary theory, and its position of disadvantage, in brief, through crisp statements like, Nothing + nothing = two elements + time = 92 natural elements + time = all physical laws and a completely structured universe of galaxies, systems, stars, planets, and moons orbiting in perfect balance and order. 
Or how, Mendel’s work laid the basis for modern genetics, and his discoveries effectively destroyed the basis for species evolution. The ardor shown by a few opposed to evolution contributed to its fame, he tells further. For example, "Someone inserted various dead microbes, and then covered it over with a surface appearing like the meteorite. The objective was to show that life came from outer space. But the hoax was later discovered". The next chapter is about the Big Bang and stellar evolution, where the elements of that theory is debunked one after the other. Like "The Big Bang should have produced a “homogeneous” universe of smooth gas ever flowing outward with, at best, almost no “non-homogeneities,” or “lumps” such as stars and island universes" Other theories like, the steady state universe, the oscillating universe, origin of solar system, etc are then disproved one after the other.
Next chapter examines the origin of earth. Here, the book lists down a large number of inconsistencies in the observed parameters, like age indicating rings of trees, to make a conclusion that the existing astronomical and other human records do not support evolutionists' data. Chapter 5 and the inconclusiveness of time causing the evolutionary changes, comes next. The production of DNA, how, protein and other essentials of life cannot happen as a random event, mutation, and its limits, etc. are discussed in the next few chapters. How unsatisfactory is the data we have gathered from fossils, the book then shows. Since there is no blending between them, evolution cannot occur today, and it never occurred earlier, it concludes. Finally the book examines the two pillars of evolution and the two laws that destroy them: 
"(1) Evolution teaches that matter is not conservative but self-originating; it can arise from nothing and increase. The First Law of Thermodynamics annihilates this error. 
(2) Evolution teaches that matter and living things keep becoming more complex, and continually evolve toward greater perfection. 
Just as inorganic matter becomes successively more ordered and perfect (via the Big Bang and stellar evolution), so living creatures are always evolving into higher planes of existence (via species evolution). The Second Law of Thermodynamics devastates this theory.

I found this book presenting a lot of arguments based on rather premature assumptions, and not according due allowance to the dynamic nature of knowledge. All scientific theories are consistent only with the known science of the day, anyone can say. A giant leap in one area can alter many things, and such alterations rather than posing a question, should be making scientific views more acceptable. Looked at this way, even if evolution cannot be named as a theory, it is a good hypothesis. Even then, the tone and tenor of the opposing arguments  presented in this book do not do a good job of dethroning evolution from its pedestal of eminence. Most of those express distaste rather than sound reasoning. For example, 
"Dirt + water + time = living creatures." or
"According to the evolutionary theory, life began in this way: 
(1) There was just the right atmosphere—and it was totally different than the one we now have. 
(2) The ground, water, or ocean where life began had just the right combination of chemicals in it—which it does not now have..." 
can at best lead to a scornful smile, on those less aligned with evolution. It is true, evolution is not a theory like the other theories of science. The arguments against it, especially those like the ones presented here, effectively adds mettle to it.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review: The Future of the Internet

'The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It' by Jonathan Zittrain. 
This book confronts the most important issues facing the future of the Net. The author says, "Both the internet and the PC were designed by people who shared the same love of amateur tinkering and love of enterprising" Both platforms are therefore poised to continue its growth during its lifetime, mainly, by relying on their users to figure out what to do with them—and to deal with problems as they arose." Grow, it did, but the future path is not very clear. "In fact rather wholesale revision to the Internet and PC environment is happening every moment. And, since we cannot stop it, let us study it".
The book starts by mentioning the successes that led to Internet and the PC and how the technologies are today in a wholesale shift away from the original chaotic design that has given rise to the modern information revolution. How this will limit its innovative capacity—and, for better or worse, heightening its dependence on orderliness. This needs to be read in the light of current visible tussle in the information highway. And, we need to learn about different possible futures. Part I of the book thus give an overview of the PC's growth so far and way the new technology of information processing capable appliances and consoles are driving people away from PCs. 
Next part deals with the opportunities and challenges of designing appliances that can share the internet. Mentioning about an unusual experiment in tra?c management in Dutch city Drachten, where, the management consisted of replacing all traffic rules with wo rules. One, drivers should yield to those on their right at an intersection, and two, parked cars blocking others will be towed.
 The possibility of a changed cyberspace is then discussed, social editing and wikepedia serving as an example.
More revolutionary changes are then forecasted. With the impetus to innovate experiments in a distributed neighborhood the future is anything but predictable, the book concludes.
A wholesale revision to the Internet and PC environment we’ve experienced for the past thirty years is in the offing, I am sure. Our tinkering nature gave birth to the Web, instant messaging, peer-to-peer networking, Skype, Wikipedia etc. 
Now that these are on the way out, we need to look for alternatives. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018


'THE TRUE BELIEVER: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements' by ERIC HOFFER
 is a book dealing with some peculiarities common to all mass movements. While discussing this, the author comes with a lot of gems about our society in general, and its volatile state, in particular. I give below a few of those as examples to this fertile mind. (I myself have felt like this, though not in so many words)

"Those selfish are particularly susceptible to frustration, since, the more selfish a person, the more poignant his disappointments. It is the inordinately selfish, therefore, who are likely to be the most persuasive champions of selflessness.
 The fiercest fanatics are often such people who were forced, by innate shortcomings or external circumstances, to lose faith in their own  selves. 
Unlimited opportunities can be as potent a cause of frustration as a paucity or lack of opportunities. A feeling, “All that I am doing is chicken feed compared with what is left undone”, results.
One of a minority bent on assimilation, is at a disadvantage. The individual stands alone, pitted against prejudice and discrimination, and deserves greater assistance from the majority.
Mass movements not only need their daily bread, but also their daily illusion.
There is perhaps no surer way of infecting oneself with virulent hatred toward a person than by doing a grave injustice to that one. That will cause the other one to have a just grievance against us, and that is a more potent reason for hating them than that we have a just grievance against them.
Every religion generates a strong feeling of guilt, which promotes hate and brazenness. Thus it seems that the more sublime the faith the more virulent the hatred it breeds.
We tend today to exaggerate the effectiveness of persuasion as a means of inculcating opinion and shaping behavior. Whereas, the fact is, propaganda serves more to justify ourselves than to convince others."

I am sure, one can agree with the way this book portrays the present state of our societies. There cannot be a better assessment of the social fabric of in all countries, and its disarray. Every contentious decision that goes on at various planes of governance of the society, like those of religious matters, or of communication, of social balance between conflicting groups, or of the establishment of defence, can find an easy and logical eplanation here, I am sure. 
(Author, however does not offer an explanation regarding the origins of, say, nonlinearities of our society that should be accounting for the above. I notice that my theory, the unsure male, fits here well, since I offer a valid reason for the perennial and widespread occurrence of frustration, the root cause.)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Stray Thoughts

All of us tend to go irrational, though we would like to identify ourselves as rational beings. Sometimes it is nothing but stretching a rational idea to the irrational extent. Sometimes the idea itself is irrational, but we invent imaginative excuses. Or it can be a combination of these. 
Then we take different ways to amalgamate the irrational with our life. One popular way is to choose paths like benevolence, religion, or violence(terror), where there is no need for prior preparation. Some stick to more complex ones like unknown or imaginary entities (if those turn out to be right sooner or later, they get rewarded immensely in arts or science), which perhaps involves considerable efforts, and  also are resource intensive. But the easiest way is to go for terrorism. Where extremes of anything is a good fit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018




This Python snake is not yawning, 
It's got its teeth hooked on the steel wires!

Could you get away if this one bit you?
Note: The wires are 10 inches apart.



                 WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS!



Book Review: In the Light of Evolution

In the Light of Evolution, Volume VII: The Human Mental Machinery, by National Academy of Sciences. 
The book begins with a good discussion about our current idea of human mind and how it evolved. The ruling theories about consciousness and its applicability to nonhuman species are some of the areas covered here. This is followed by chapters about the evolution of memory. Memory is seen as a homologous trait shared by humans and nonhuman primates, although our species is unique in aspects like inner speech. Differences in social behavior between various species and its link to neuroanatomy is examined in the next couple of chapters. Which also discuss memory structures and its manifestations like episodic memory.
The next chapter is about evolution of the sense of justice. Although it is absent among nonhuman primates, comparative studies show its origin well behind the early humans. Evolution of the idea of co-operation, and its immediate successor/predecessor, reputation, is analyzed. As the author points out “For direct reciprocity you need a face, for indirect reciprocity you need a name" What follows that is the neurobiology of musical cognition, and how we mastered the art of looking for things.
Next chapter is about the evolution of our idea of beauty. A functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines how, systematic variation in contour impacts aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions, outcome measures of interest to both architects and users of spaces alike. How different appearances, like curvilinear, rectilinear, etc., impact our decisions. Neural processing and its part in our aesthetic choices is discussed in the last chapter. Different regions of the brain and its performance is experimentally determined in activities connected to (i) reward/pleasure and emotion, (ii) judgment/decision making, and (iii) perception.

I found this book a bit heavy. Though it dealt with some of my most beloved topics, most of the discussion went over my head. I have decided to come back to the book after updating my brain, a little more about brain.

Featured post

All my Books and all my Hubs

Sometimes I wonder , how is that each one of my friends happen to be so memorable a character? One among them, who is also a little mor...

Quick Look..