Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On atheism, god, life, intelligent life, and the existence of this universe (and more)

Those among us who don't believe in the existence of an omnipotent and omnipresent god (myself included) cite science as one of the reasons for their disbelief. Since god is typically associated with magical/supernatural phenomenon, scientists routinely deny the possibility of presence of god.

A thought just crossed my mind - isn't the very existence of
  1. The universe
  2. Life on earth
  3. Intelligent life, in the form of human beings
magical enough or supernatural enough to make the (possible) existence of a god less magical and less unbelievable?

Should (or shouldn't) the skeptics, including me, look at the world around us, the life in little babies and chicks and puppies, and the intelligent life in homo sapiens as a real-life demonstration of the supernatural, right in front of us, making the very thought of the existence of an all-powerful entity more believable?

Related content: Why God Did Not Create the Universe, WSJ, Sep'10

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In India, Dabur doesn't sell many 'flavors' of Vatika Enriched Hair Oil that are available abroad... Sad!

I remember that when I was in South Africa, and one day we went to Fordsburg, I was surprised to see some flavors of Dabur Vatika Enriched Hail Oil that I had never seen in India. Presence of Arabic language on the bottles instantly indicated to me that these had been - presumably illegally - imported/smuggled from the UAE.

Four flavors of Vatika available at DXB and Fordsburg, but not India

Fine, but why doesn't Dabur - an Indian company - sell these in its home country? Despite my close to 2 years of experience in the Market Research and Business/Strategic Consulting fields, I'm unable to think of the reason why Dabur doesn't.

Anyways, I bought one bottle of the Cactus flavor from Fordsburg and happily use it these days :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I don't like the word 'Commonwealth'. It constantly reminds me of the devastating British rule in India

The media in India might have gone crazy about the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi, but I don't like this very word 'Commonwealth'. To me, it's a reminder of the atrocities committed by the British on innocent, powerless Indians. The very group Commonwealth of Nations is a constant reminder of the British Empire, and the sufferings given to millions and millions of people all over the world. My mind doesn't want to adopt this word. I'm least willing to read news stories about the Queen's Baton reaching somewhere, or articles telling me that Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth.

Fifty-four countries still headed by the British Queen (even if ceremonially)?

Thanks, but no thanks. Give me a Head of the Commonwealth from Bangladesh or Botswana or Cameroon or Ghana or India or Nigeria or Pakistan please (or from any other Third World country).

A related Facebook post by me is here [alternative].

A representative of British atrocities in India (source)

Heat makes me go crazy!

I've observed this about myself for many years now - heat makes me go crazy! It makes me needlessly angry and perpetually annoyed, and makes me bark at others for no apparent reason. This observation about myself finally got set in stone over the last couple of weeks, with high temperatures and zero rain experienced in Ludhiana (Punjab, India). I barked at everyone and I was annoyed most of the time and I didn't feel like working till the noon, and my behavior would change dramatically as the dusk grew and the temperature fell.

Screenshot from 'A Few Good Men'

I need to take note of this fact-about-myself in the future. I need to ensure that I keep myself cool during the hottest days in India (or elsewhere), and don't let my composure or productivity fall.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What frigging right does the US have to impose sanctions on another country (outside of the UN)?

When I read news stories such as this, this, this, this, this, and this, my blood boils and turns into lava.

Can someone please explain to me what fugging right does the US have to unilaterally impose sanctions on another sovereign state? Why are these sanctions passed as "laws" in the US Congress, instead of the UN headquarters? Who the hell is this Barack Obama dude?


Laughably, how in the frigging hell can the United States pass a law in its (troubled) homeland which bars other countries from exporting refined petroleum to Iran (among other things)? And why are these "other countries" so impotent as to accept these laws and sanctions? Why is the UN impotent as well?

No matter how much I try, I fail to understand (and tolerate) this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

France has no right to ban Muslim veil... (and thoughts on Britain and Spain)

...claiming that the scarf is symbolic of suppression of females (and other blah blah blah). What about those Muslim girls or women who want to wear the veil? Will they have to carry a legal document certifying that they're absolutely okay about wearing a veil? Is France regulating what Muslim women can or cannot wear?


IMHO, and ironically, it's anti-democratic to not allow Muslim ladies to wear the Islamic veil. When did the intent of secularism change from respecting the harmless beliefs of different religions' individuals, to imposing your own views of the world on everyone - including on those who probably oppose it?

Updates (19-Jul-10 and 27-Jul-10):
  1. French ban on the veil - a garment purportedly supported by Islam - will do more harm to the image of the Western world in general, and France in particular
  2. I support the rejection of a ban of the Islamic veil in Britain (link 1, link 2), for the reason they've cited - tolerance
  3. A funny part of France's ban and Spain's consideration of a ban on the veil is that these guys call the veil degrading to women. First, is France/Spain to decide whether those Muslim women feel degraded with the veil, and liberated without it? Second, what irks me is that for some odd reason, wearing extra clothes has come to be regarded as degrading, while a public show of nudity by French and Spanish females (see here, here, here, and here) is not-degrading, is not sexual-objectification of females, is not corrupting the youth, and is instead a demonstration of liberated, modern women? Tough to digest
  4. What about the prostitution industry of France? Is that not degrading to women? WTF!
  5. The ban on veil has less to do with liberating women, and more with reinforcing the stereotype of Muslims as backward