Mysore city “Public Eye” project: a few thoughts

Let me begin by stating the obvious: probably nobody from the Mysore city police force will read this, but I will make a few notes here nonetheless.

What we need is not — at least not most of the time — an elaborate online form to make complaints. Like me, I am sure half of the human population hates forms. Call me irresponsible, but I have no idea if a priority-B control centre number exists; it would help spread out emergency calls and increase efficiency of police functioning.

The police in New Zealand, for instance, have a *555 FREE dialling order in place. The idea is that non-life-threatening calls are made to *555 FREE and top priority emergencies are to be reported at 111 — their equivalent of 911, 999, 100 etc.

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Today I was published in the Deccan Herald

My article was published in the Deccan Herald today. It is a national newspaper. And it does call for an enthusiastic celebration.

Titled (originally as) Congress’ defeat: a lesson in marketing, the article was an examination of how the Hindu nationalist political party — the RSS backed BJP — used several proven strategies all too familiar to ad men, successfully, to win the 2014 Indian election in a landslide.

If you are interested you can read it online too (if the embedded pdf below carries text too tiny for its own good).

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The soft bigotry of low expectations

I will throw this out there, so never blame me if it seems sudden or unplanned. As I sit here at my desk, a strange mass of words comes to me: the soft bigotry of low expectations.

What does it mean? Often, what we hear in our minds is nothing more than what we have once heard aurally. I set out to find the origin of this — almost weird — phrase, and I managed to track it down to a little speech that the former U.S. president, George W. Bush, had delivered at a National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) convention.

So what did Mr Bush — or his speechwriter — mean by this? He was speaking in reference to the education system and these words gave rise to several opinions, all based on similar lines.

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Air pollution

On one of my recent travels, as I was driving over lush, green mountains I happened to spot a pillar of thick smoke rising in the distance. On approaching it I was horrified to find a line of bushes on fire.

It was clearly a raging fire that had died down by the time I came near it, but one look at it would make anybody guilty of even driving a car. The pollution, the black soot, the suffocating heat — they were all sickening.

And behind the orange flames and heat waves rising from the ground on a gloomy, 18°C morning, I spotted the worst of the lot: forest rangers.

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Precursors of a World War III

Since recently I have been thinking about the direction the world, as a whole, is heading in and, for better or worse, it seems awfully familiar.

How all wars begin

I think that wars are fundamentally a consequence of strong identities. People of nationality X believe that their identity is superior to that of nationality Y, so they stoop down to physical violence to make their point.

Secondly, there is the question of rightful land ownership. Immovable property conflicts that happen so often in the interiors of a nation happen with just as much – or even greater – ferocity along national borders.

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Thoughts on Minimalism as a lifestyle

Minimalism is a big word. And it is not what you think it means.

A lot of people I know have caught onto minimalism from my religious adaptation of the philosophy how much ever they may want to deny where it stems from.

Minimalism is not about having little; minimalist design is not about having only what is necessary. Quite the contrary: minimalism is about having lots but presented with careful thought so it does not appear overwhelming. Minimalism is serving you ample food while not making you feel overfed.

To all those who follow a minimalist principle, the least I can do is urge you to read Edward de Bono’s book, “Simplicity”.

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Why I quit Svbtle

There is something of a privilege and a gold class with having exclusive access to things when you are on the blogosphere.

Back when I was writing pre-launch reviews of TV shows, having been chosen as a blogger to publicise shows (I think they went by how many readers we reached — I do not remember now), I received more than a few emails asking how other bloggers could get onboard.

It was humbling to say I had been chosen by invitation and that it was not an application procedure. But things have changed since then.

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