Sunday, October 3, 2010
Then, one day, after returning from an easter mass(yes, I was an unquestioning christian then) late night(>1am), I somehow ended up sitting in the front eating dinner in front of the TV and the rest of the family were sitting in the dining room(some altercation I believe). I switched to the local cable channel and what do I see ? There is this old man, completely naked, a young lady, completely naked. Both are doing some sort of exercise together. Then my brain corrected, "that's not exercise you dumbass!!", they're all mixed up and into and over each other. It was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen till then. My tiny brain just couldn't comprehend it. I felt like vomiting(This, I hear, is one of the common reactions). I am not sure If I realized it was sex right there or If i discussed it with friends to confirm. But that was my first experience of a pornographic movie, often called BP(Blue Picture ? Bad Picture ?) or Blue film or pondy or a porno or .....
I also remember gathering money to go to Internet cafes just to visit those 'sites' to see what it is like. The curiosity is so overwhelming during those years. I used to memorize the site names that friends told me about, it used to be so scary. There were plenty of other kids like me in the adjoining cubicles, equally(if not more) excited, looking at the computer screen, almost salivating.
Flash forward to present. I hardly know a guy who hasn't watched a porno. A few are sort of obsessed. Some watch them once every few months/weeks(when they're in the 'mood'). I know married people who watch and exchange pornos(they ask bachelors). I have heard of dads who watch porn at night. I know guys who despise pornos but secretly watch them every now and then.
The important thing to remember though is that the way most people have sex is not even remotely the way pornos show it(at least that's what I have heard). Pornos are just one of the safer ways to satisfy the natural,evolutionary urge that men/women have. Too many pornos and you might go over to the darker side, considering females are mere sex objects and that according to me, is just not healthy. I remember hitting the gray border line when I just couldn't talk to females without looking at their boobs(very frustrating).
I am no guru but it seems to me that If you let pornos shape your expectations abt your future/current sex life, you might be in for a shock(alteast a mild one). The experience is totally dependent on the participants. Some like to make sweet love, some like animality and aggression, some have fantasies, some find it disgusting, some treat it as a chore, some have crazy fetishes and what not. I don't know if I can ever engage in what people call "casual sex". Sex is more than just the physical activity(that's the ideal in my head, only time will tell how it will turn out to be), it's about love and giving pleasure to each other and enjoying each other's presence.
Now, the funny part is how most parents don't know that their children watch pornos. Or may be they do and they ignore it ? They probably know all about the 'bad' sites on the internet and magazines and CDs/DVDs. I remember this 6th std kid asking me during some casual chat, "hey, you got any porno CDs". This is why it's so important for parents to have the "sex talks" before their kids get all the wrong information from other mediums. It's so bad that the society depicts sex as some kind of taboo. We, as a society, should be more open and transparent abt sex. The more secretive and restrictive and sinful it is portrayed as, the harder it is for the younger generation to understand it from the right angles.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I used to help the professors manage some of the servers and i had full root access to them :) So, All i had to do was ssh to the machine remotely and start torrents and direct http downloads under rate/size limits(coz there was a system that monitored bandwidth)
(02) I easily get addicted(sort of) to food stuff:
Sugarcane Juice, Wada pavs, Milk drinks, Cashew nuts, Subs.... you name it
(03) I am an agnostic atheist and I am anti-religion.
I am an agnostic because I don't assert the non-existence of a God with 100% surety, but at the same time, practically speaking, I am an atheist because I reject the notion of the supernatural and a creator God with a very high surety level(but <100%).
(04) VJTI was the first place where I actually cheated in exams.
Used to cheat in my mid terms coz I was never prepared. Opening up text books to copy, copying from others' papers, etc. Don't remember cheating in the *real*(the main exams at the end of the term) ones though, but have helped people with answers.
(05) I am very bad with places and routes and directions
I find it difficult to visualize and remember routes and directions. Part of the problem could be genetic coz my bro shares the same problem.
Also, I never really understood why i was being made to study geography during school days, hated it and nobody corrected my impression(a wrong one) that it isn't essential. So, in general by spacial cognition sucks because I also find it difficult to imagine certain things and need to write/draw them to make sense.
(06) I am shit scared of public speaking
Always been scared of it, still am. Just before i am about to speak, it starts with the loud heart beats, as if its gonna beat its way out of my ribs. Then, a while after the initial start, my throat and lips go dry. In rare cases, my cheek muscles twitch involuntarily in weird ways. eye contact was tough earlier, but now a days i kinda manage(like a sprinkler :) ). and then rarely, i go *completely blank*[ i have no clue what to say next] for a few seconds.
(07) I used to shamelessly copy assignments while @ VJTI.
Once, I remember copying the roll number and the name of the person who gave me his assignment to copy :D
(08) I was afraid of dogs and insects till abt 2 years ago, now not as much.
Now i love killing roaches and barking back at dogs :)
(09) I cant talk comfortably on the phone
I find it awkward to talk on the phone with strangers and with people i am not close to or ppl with whom i haven't talked to in a while or people i don't like talking to. I hate the awkward i-'ve-got-nothing-to-say pauses, exchanging pleasantries,etc. I hate the way the ears get warmed up while talking on a cellphone.
(10) I find it difficult to talk to chicks[comfortably], particularly when i find them attractive.
Junior college and early engg colg days, i had to consciously make sure i don't look at their boobs at regular intervals. lips and the forehead are weird places to stare at, so now I'm trying to aim for the eyes and am getting good at it.
(11) I've never had a close female friend in my whole life(except may be one)
(12) I harbor this feeling(like every other guy?) that i am never gonna find a women i like and hardly any women is ever gonna like/understand me.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I am not sure what it means to "tolerate" a religion ? Recognize it ? Respect it ? Not be distasteful in public about it ? .....
OK, lets try to look at it from the perspective of a deeply religious person. Wouldn't it be difficult for a person, who *literally* believes every word in their scriptures, to respect other religions? Most religions dictate their god to be the "real" god and the others to be false ones. Each one has their hell. All Christians are going to the Islamic Hell and All Muslims are going to the Christian Hell :) Whenever a devout Muslim looks at a Christian or a Hindu, he/she thinks he/she knows they are wrong, they are all Kafirs or Infidels to him/her. Same is the case for Christian nut cases, they want to "save" everybody from the Christian hell by helping them accept Jesus as their savior(conversions?). And given their belief systems, it is absolutely OK for them to think so because that's what their scriptures say and they believe every word of it. But most religious people aren't like that, they pick n choose. Is there a Christian who can claim to obey all the 10 commandments to the word ? Don't we all lie sometime or the other? So, can you be devoutly religious and still be tolerant/respectful of other religions?
Now, for a non-religious person / non-believer, most supernatural religions appear the same. They are organizations showcasing blind faith, superstition that usually expect unquestioned respect for authority. But the underlying question is, Do we need to respect every possible idea/belief that people come up with ? Don't we laugh at people(at least a little on the inside?) who think eclipses are evil or black cats crossing your path can fuck with your future or who believe in tantriks or who claim to see ghosts? Do we respect the idea of religious terrorism? or that women shouldn't be educated and shouldn't enjoy equal opportunities? or the idea of child marriage ? We know some of these ideas are silly, some are just not worth our time, some are bad and some are good. We know terrorism is a bad idea because its destructive and violent and has no rational justification. Do we want to live in a society where individuals are allowed to murder? rape ? Of course not! and that's how we come up with some of the basic laws(trivial way to explain, i know). We come up with our morals with a similar process. Some of it is innate. Some of it is part of the Zeitgeist, i.e, it keeps on changing as time passes. It was *ok* to have slaves in earlier times, not now! Of course, not all decisions are that easy, but my point is that we have been doing it ourselves, because, we can!, as a society. So, what's so special about organized religion?, its just another idea(a redundant and dangerous one, ready to be misused). Why give it this untouchable position if all other ideas can be contested, scrutinized, criticized and be laughed on when needed. Can you, as a believer in the supernatural, reason logically about your belief? If you can't, you ought to be subjected to the same criticism that all ideas are subjected to.
Most organized religions based on the supernatural have a notion of a supernatural creator God. But the funny part is that, God is something that doesn't even have precise and a commonly agreed upon definition. Every religion, every sub sect and every person has a different view(Don't think so? read the "God & I" column in TOI or just ask people around you). Even without a precise definition, its an idea that has no real reasoning, let alone proof. The assertion of the existence of such an entity opens up a chest of many more questions that are unanswered. The problem is that we still don't fully understand our own existence and the universe in which we exist. Our early ancestors were incapable of explaining it conclusively(even we can't do it). They needed something or someone to shoulder the responsibility of explanation because the human mind is at peace when it's convinced that it understands things around it(even if really doesn't). They applied analogies like "Every complex thing we make has a designer(us), so the nature and us are probably designed too?". They invented all sorts of supernatural beings to explain stuff. What they didn't know was that they were just transferring the responsibility, they haven't really explained anything. So, the religions we now have, are just refined versions of the guesses and stories that our ancestors could come up with. That's the best they could do. But we have a much better idea now - Big Bang ? String Theory ? Chaos Theory ? A-bio-genesis ? Evolution by natural Selection? Multi-verse ? It's our job to discard old mistakes and embrace new ones and be ready to invalidate these new ones if need be.These old ideas might have spread as a side effect of certain behavioral changes that had survival advantages. For e.g childhood obedience. but that's a different topic altogether.
I also got replies from a colleague of mine who noted that religion is not what is dividing us and that religion has no correlation with intelligence. As an example, he mentioned Euclid, who was a great mathematician despite being very religious. I haven't looked that up yet, but the general idea is that "Even Intelligent people can be devoutly religious, so Religion has nothing to do with intelligence". I am not really sure about that primarily because Intelligence is an umbrella term for a lot of things and we don't have a conclusive way to measure it yet. There are all sorts of un-categorized intellectual capabilities that we still have no idea how to measure. So, Euclid might have been a great, uber "intelligent" mathematician, but he failed in applying his reasoning abilities on his own belief system. So, I might not understand euclidean mathematics even if I devote every minute of my life, but I (and millions of other people in the world) are better than him at the ability of applying rational arguments to one's own internal beliefs. And I am not saying that religious people are dumb people with no intellect, they just fail to apply it on their internal data structures, that's all.
Another point of discussion was whether it was ok to judge people based on their beliefs. We judge people all the time in all sorts of random, crazy ways that sometimes even we aren't aware of. skin color, facial beauty, physical/sexual attractiveness, body language, communication skills, social status, perceived intelligence, taste(music, food, ...), social behavior, ...so on, the list is endless. And, our behavior is often biased, based on the results of this elaborate judging system, no matter how hard we try not to, it's just built into us(for evolutionary reasons). So, beliefs and ideas and convictions are just another way to judge people. What I mean by judging is sorta like what happens when a post is submitted on reddit. You upmod for all the good stuff and you downmod for all the not-so-good stuff. So, for e.g , in Euclid's case, for all the mathematics and intelligence => Upmods, for not applying it on his own beliefs => downmods.
Another interesting point was whether atheism is itself a belief system. I don't think so. What is Atheism? Its just a rejection of a belief system that talks abt a mysterious creator dude in the sky. Its not an ideology, a philosophy or a world view. Identifying yourself as an atheist is like being being an aghostist or an afairyist or achildmarriageist. Its a word that, ideally, shouldn't exist at all, like all those other made up words.Also, Isn't it kinda arrogant for a person to assert with 100% surety that you know the answers to Life, Universe and Everything, when you hardly have anything to bolster that claim ? When I deny the existence of the supernatural, I deny it with a probability. Since the people who claim to know of the existence of the supernatural for sure, don't have any evidence/proof/reasoning to back their claim, I consider the probability of the same to be very close to zero. It's foolish to assert complete knowledge of anything.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Once can see that Homosexuality is getting a lot of attention these days. Many of us are disgusted by the idea, some couldn't care less, some are neutral, some think its as normal as heterosexuality and some think its a disease(Ram Dev Baba ?) which can be cured. When you see two males/2 females holding hands or giving some indications of PDA(Public Display of Affection), you do tend to have a few observers jokingly(if not seriously) utter the slangs "homo" or "lesbo" or "gay" or "fag", at-least in their minds.
The idea doesn't disgust me as such. Male to male, may be a little bit odd, but as a guy, I can never be disgusted by the idea of 2 girls making out :D . This of-course comes from somebody who is/thinks heterosexual. I can never know what "homosexual" attraction is like and I am sure i don't want to know.
If you think from a slightly different POV, the normal act of heterosexual human reproduction itself is quite weird. Here are two people who claim/think they "love" each other, and what is the ultimate expression of their love (often called "making love") ? => one individual(the male) repeatedly sticks/stabs a temporarily blood inflated rod like extension into the opening of the another individual of a different type (female), in an attempt to deposit these tiny swimmers into the female, out of which ONE(in most normal cases) gets to parasite the female for the next 9 months, to produce another individual will do the exact same thing with an other individual when they are ready. And because the whole process is so so pleasurable(almost every time to the male), the male wishes to do it(and does it) very often, even when he doesn't want his swimmers to turn into small, mutated clones of himself.
Now, contrast that with one individual(male) doing the same thing with an individual of the same type(male). But, this time its a completely different hole, the one that disposes waste from their body, coz the males don't have any other. It certainly looks like a deviation from the "normal" stabbing process in the sense that the intent is only pleasure and not to release swimmers and hook them onto the other individual.
Of course, Sexual reproduction is not the only way to reproduce. There are millions of organisms on earth who still survive beautifully with asexual reproduction(cloning, fission) from tiny bacterias to ants to some plants. We do it probably because the method of reproduction of our ancestors(way way before) was itself under the pressure of natural selection. Sexual reproduction might have helped our ancestors survive better. The clear distinction that we think we now have between males and females might have been absent in the early times. Richard Dawkins has explained this beautifully in "The Selfish Gene".
Back to Homosexuality. Its currently known that sexual attraction is not as black and white as homo or hetero. Even bi-sexual, bi- curious isn't quite right. Its more like a percentage. Most "normal" ppl are largely attracted to the opposite sex(>90%) . Bisexuals are 50%-50% and on the other side of the spectrum , we've got homosexuals (e.g 90%-10%)
Now, imagine the first few generations when homosexuality just arrives at the scene in the form of some early mutations. After a few generations, when the percentage(of homosexual attraction) is significant enough, individuals will be first confused(since heterosexuality is what is all around them). Some might communicate it to others, most will be suppressed, laughed at, or even punished. So, these individuals, with non-negligible amounts of homosexual attraction live(or try to) their lives as false heteros. They are capable of reproduction since they are still attracted to the opposite sex or at least are able to engage in the act of sexual intercourse as per the demands of the time. Now, there wont be any selection pressure against these genes (that increase the attraction towards the same sex) since they are not detrimental to survival. These genes will be passed on generation after generation. In some generations, they will be switched off, but they might be suddenly activated in the next(like any other gene). Somewhere down the line, the number of people reporting homosexual attraction would be large enough for orthodox heterosexual leaders/influential people to declare homosexuality as an abomination or may be even a crime with death as punishment. Hence, it is suppressed even more and homosexuals(with varying degrees of attraction to the same sex) continue to reproduce heterosexually and pass on their genes.
Now, fast forward to present when homosexuality is slowly getting accepted, albeit with a lot of resistance. Imagine that, after a few generations, everybody(almost) learns to accept homosexuality without any attached social stigma. It becomes normal to be homosexual. So, the homosexuals in that generation wont pass on their genes to the next(Assuming we don't figure out a way for homosexuals to reproduce). Whenever the suppressed genes become active in any future generation, those individual pair up with their kind and end the run of their genes. So, the more the people come out of the closet, the lesser the chances of them passing on their genes(including the homosexual genes) to the next generation and slowly, the prevalence of homosexuality will probably reduce considerably. It might return, but again will be wiped out as long as it is accepted and as long as the individuals cant reproduce.
So, for the people who wanna get rid of Homosexuality(for whatever reasons), the best way is to encourage more and more homosexuals to come out of the closet and live the way they want to live.
Now, the assumption that i make is that Homosexuality is passed on via genes. But, I think its probably a safe one, because it certainly isn't memetic.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Proponents of intelligent design believe that certain features of the universe and of living things are too complex to not have been designed by an intelligent, supernatural agent, such as a god(s). This contrasts with the naturally directed, impersonal processes described by the theory of evolution
The Kansas Evolution Hearings were a series of hearings held in Topeka, Kansas May 5 to May 12, 2005 by the Kansas State Board of Education and its State Board Science Hearing Committee to change how evolution and the origin of life would be taught in the state's public high school science classes
On February 13, 2007, the Board voted 6 to 4 to reject the amended science standards enacted in 2005.The definition of science was once again returned to "the search for natural explanations for what is observed in the universe."
Excerpt of the letter from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster to the Kansas School Board:
........ Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.
It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.
Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease. ...........
Imagine our children fighting in their class rooms on which god(out of the millions mankind has conveniently created) "intelligently" created our universe :D ....
Monday, September 22, 2008
A Jew, A Catholic, and an atheist are rowing in Lake Erie when their boat springs a huge leak. The Jew looks skyward, and says “Oh, Adonai, if you save me, I promise I’ll sail to Israel and spend the rest of my days trying to reclaim the land you gave us.” The Catholic looks skyward, and says, “Oh, Jesus, if you save me, I promise I’ll fly to the Vatican and spend the rest of my days singing your praises.” The atheist says, “Oh, guys, if you pass me that one life preserver, I promise I’ll swim to Cleveland.” “And how will you spend the rest of your days?” the Jew and the Catholic ask. “Well,” says the atheist, “I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing: I’ll never go rowing with other atheists.”
Atheist: What’s this fly doing in my soup?
Atheist: Very funny. I can’t eat this. Take it back.
Waiter: You see? The fly’s prayers were answered.
An atheist buys an ancient lamp at an auction, takes it home, and begins to polish it. Suddenly, a genie appears, and says, “I’ll grant you three wishes, Master.” The atheist says, “I wish I could believe in you.” The genie snaps his fingers, and suddenly the atheist believes in him. The atheist says, “Wow. I wish all atheists would believe this.” The genie snaps his fingers again, and suddenly atheists all over the world begin to believe in genies. “What about your third wish?” asks the genie. “Well,” says the atheist, “I wish for a billion dollars.” The genie snaps his fingers for a third time, but nothing happens. “What’s wrong?” asks the atheist. The genie shrugs and says, “Just because you believe in me, doesn’t necessarily mean that I really exist.”
An atheist was rowing at the lake, when suddenly the Loch Ness monster attacked and grabbed him from his boat. He panicked and shouted "God help me!", and suddenly, the monster and everything around him just stopped. A voice from the heavens boomed "You say you dont believe in me, but now you are asking for my help?" The atheist looked up and said: Well, ten seconds ago I didnt believe in the Loch Ness Monster either!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Its about time we take it one step further and hit the rehab to wean ourselves from this drug called "geriniol" ( also known as "gerin oil" ) from our system, our lives.
P.S. I love anagrams.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while having existed in secrecy for hundreds of years, only recently came into the mainstream when this letter was published in May 2005.
With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshipers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents - mostly fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs.
Some claim that the church is purely a thought experiment, satire, illustrating that Intelligent Design is not science, but rather a pseudoscience manufactured by Christians to push Creationism into public schools. These people are mistaken. The Church of FSM is real, totally legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental.
They get a lot of hate mails ( LOL ).