Friday, May 31, 2013

Protesters march against Monsanto across the globe | The Hindu

GENETICS or knowledge about genes, is portrayed as another feather in the cap, worn by the Modern West. This knowledge similar to that of knowledge of atoms, and their applications are retrograde.

The following event reported in The Hindu, is  a revolt/resistance by people against, these kinds of LATEST 'knowledge' and its applications. - Surely this is a reminder that humankind  or society has'nt progressed 'a wee bit' !!!!!!

The protests marches reminds me of The Bhagavad  Gita verse 4:17, about  the correct knowledge about 'karma'. The West does not have a full perspective of Karma, Akarma & Vikarma !!!!

Protesters march against Monsanto across the globe | The Hindu

'VI-KARMA' - Invasive foreign tree species in forests gets the axe | The Hindu

Commercial Plantations are  one among the many 'stupid' ideas of the WEST !!!
Actually, it turns out later,(here within 150 years) these type of cultivation come under 'Vi-karma', ie. actions that should not be done.

Invasive foreign tree species in forests gets the axe | The Hindu
Foreign tree species which made an entry into Indian forests more than a century ago, have become a serious threat to the movement of wildlife as well as the growth of native plants.
Forest officials say among the alien species, wattle was a major problem which would automatically get re-generated in several areas.
Until 2009, the Forest Department systematically cleared these invasive tree species. But, in 2010, the Department recommended to the government that the wattle should not be removed. Due to this, the clearing of wattle in forest areas was stopped. Within the next two years, this invasive species has spread across several thousand hectares in the Western Ghats. Another problematical species is the eucalyptus.
The State government recently issued orders to clear wattle trees from various forest areas across the State. In Kodaikanal forest division alone the invasive wattle and eucalyptus have covered nearly 22,000 ha.
D. Venkatesh, District Forest Officer, Kodaikanal, said the invasive species will not allow any shrub or the local species of grass to grow around it. Additionally, they grow densely, leaving little space for the wildlife to pass through. Above all, a resin type of material will ooze from the tree during rainy days, which will turn the soil acidic.
As the invasive trees are not deep rooted, they get uprooted during windy days and fall on the road, creating problems for road users.
Mr. Venkatesh said that with the dense growth and absence of grass for feeding, the Indian gaur population from the wild had migrated to the town in search of fodder. “This is becoming a major problem in areas such as Kodaikanal town, Periyakulam, Thadiyankudisai, Thandikudi, Pannaikkadu and Kumbarayur.”
The Forest Ddepartment had earmarked five hectare area each in seven Forest Ranges in the Kodaikanal Forest Division. They were stacking the dead and wind-fallen exotic tree species. So far 452.4 tonnes of dead and wind-fallen wood were removed and the Department had earned revenue of Rs. 2.29 lakh, he said.
A senior Forest official said the Department did not stop with mere clearance of the invasive species. They also planted Shola tree saplings in the cleared area. The Department cleared invasive tree species from 35 ha of area in Kodaikanal, Berijam, Mannavanur and Poombarai in Kodaikanal forest division. Similar effort is being taken in the Nilgiris South and North forest divisions, said a senior Forest official.


The Tamil Nadu Green Movement cautioned that less expensive, proper techniques, established and proven methods for clearing invasive tree species did not exist and the restoration of habitat required patience and long-term commitment. It was suggested that a scientific probe has to be done in an experimental plot and its outcome should be measured before starting a large-scale removal process.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sixty years of a DNA world view

Over the last week, there have been several articles celebrating the passage of 60 years since James Watson and Francis Crick published their paper in Naturedescribing the double helical structure of the DNA molecule. It unleashed a genomic worldview and led to the central dogma of genetics and biology, the linear flow of cellular information from DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to RNA (ribonucleic acid) to protein within cells, which seemed elegant in its simplicity, captured the imagination of many and is by now enshrined in science. Ever since, largely through miscommunication by many parties, “there is a gene for condition xyz” has been taken to mean, “the gene causes xyz and the gene alone causes it.” This idea has trapped the general thinking on genetics in numerous ways, building an edifice for a molecule that supposedly unzips all by itself, self-replicates, has the blueprint for all the components of a single cell and organism, causes all diseases and defines all characteristics. Its power and hold are strong also because the idea and its implications fit like a glove within culturally inscribed, fatalistic beliefs of all hues and shades in different societies.
The strength of this acceptance is so extreme that these days it is quite normal to hear people refer to some of the deeply engrained practices within an organisation, in a business, or even in a community, having nothing to do with genes, as being “in their DNA.” Nevertheless, this popular notion of DNA being the central and the only player in cellular and genetic information is quite flawed and scientists have known this for a long time even as new evidence continues to mount opposing the perception of DNA as the master molecule. It is also no longer a simplistic genes vs environment argument, nor do genes provide a map or blueprint that is merely set off one way or another or slightly modified by the environment; indeed “what is a gene?” is a hotly debated and unsettled question in science.
Scientific observations
The linear model of the central dogma got slashed bit by bit when we learned that DNA molecules don’t do anything by themselves; their expression is controlled, modified and regulated at different levels by proteins, RNA, chemicals in the cells, other genes that may be close by or far away, and by the environment over time in multiple ways, and in different stages of growth, development and disease. Genetic expression is quite plastic and the effects of multiple genes cannot be added up. While monogenic diseases, those that are controlled by a single pair of genes, make up a handful of all existing diseases, the living conditions of organisms and numerous, perhaps hundreds of genes, are implicated in each of the common health conditions.
That genetic tests claim to be able to predict or add value to one’s health by testing the probability of common health problems such as heart disease or diabetes or tailor one’s diet and so on and so forth is false or highly exaggerated. Prof. David Goldstein, writing about gene variants and disease in The New England Journal of Medicine says that the effect of small variations to the DNA sequence is limited so that a very large portion of the genome is needed to explain a disease. This leads to pointing at everything in the DNA as being responsible for a health condition, which is the same as pointing at nothing. Other scientists find that contrary to earlier thinking that there were distinct locations for individual genes, most genes are overlapping. Based on their understanding of RNA and their role in gene expression they believe it might be time for a new definition of a gene to be put in place.
Scientists, who have been concentrating on mechanisms of inheritance and expression not related to DNA sequences, a system called epigenetics, think that we should be concentrating on gene networks. Furthermore, the architectures of cellular components other than DNA and RNA are also perceived as important, and the trajectory that is selected by a cell and organism under environmental stresses is deemed to play a big role. Still others are working on different ways in which epigenetic inheritance is taking place and realising that these are not rare and are likely to be numerous and part and parcel of normal development. These kinds of cellular networks and mechanisms may turn out to be the missing elements in predicting disease.
Paradigm shift
This complexity in our understanding of inheritance and genetic networks challenge various applications, including our ideas on evolutionary selection and how this might actually occur on whole organisms and molecules. The point is that this debate appears to bypass the world at large and is seemingly not bringing about huge changes in applications or the fanfare surrounding DNA. Perhaps these shifts occur at a different pace in various fields of inquiry. More importantly, the central dogma, and the genetic horoscope theory have a lot invested in them by the genetic industry of testing, genomic medicine, plant genomics and funding priorities by major government and private donors. If we changed our approach and were to study cellular genetic networks, the effects of epigenetics, the changes and effects of the environment or even the rare mutations that lead to large effects, perhaps we will learn more about our health and free ourselves from the age of DNA determinism.
(Sujatha Byravan is a biologist based in Chennai. She was president of the Council for Responsible Genetics, Cambridge, Massachusetts.)


The popular notion of the double helix being the main and the only player in cellular and genetic information is quite flawed

Sunday, May 12, 2013

KARMA GONE BAD OR VIKARMA !!! -An Indian winter - The Hindu

An Indian winter - The Hindu

"These outrageous assertions run against the laws of established science, which have conclusively shown that greenhouse gases trap radiation. More gases will cause more warming sooner rather than later and we are adding carbon to the atmosphere at least 10,000 times to the long-term natural rate of the carbon cycle.
BK
These assertions also run against the laws of capitalism. Its inherent tendency is one of accumulation, profits and growth, the environment and people be damned. The roots of global warming — and many other ecological and other ills thrust on the poor everywhere — lie in this systemic economic logic. The oceans and the atmosphere are just capitalism’s largest waste dumps. Notwithstanding the energising political developments in Latin America and elsewhere, we are hardly being able to undermine capitalism’s essential economic logic on the scale necessary. Nor will we be able to do so in the foreseeable future. Global warming, alas, is here to stay, the new normal. Unsubstantiated assertions are neither a good way to tackle it nor sound bases for healthy debate."

A hidden property empire grown with Mussolini’s millions - The Hindu

A hidden property empire grown with Mussolini’s millions - The Hindu

"

With money from the dictator for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929, the Vatican used tax havens to create a £500m international portfolio"


Medicine is too much with us - The Hindu

Medicine is too much with us - The Hindu

"Just as the industrial revolution did a lot of damage and is still doing, drugs and irrational modern medicine will do the same if left unchecked. For most of us, it is safer and profitable to go with the flow but if you have the good of the common man at heart, it will pain to know the truth about modern medicine — a golem, indeed!" 

Monday, May 6, 2013

MACHINERY IS EVIL !!!! - Gandhiji. -KARMA /WORK ANALYSIS !



Introduction.
Work extracted through Machinery is evil. That is why modern society is caught in the quagmire of EVIL, since machines of all kinds are extensively used.  The West  addresses  this problem  of doing away with  social evils, with  technology and more and more machines.  Eg. The equipments for security and  surveillance and the ubiquitous  camera that you see everywhere. But then the problems do not vanish and it redounds with multiple and complex negative effects, threatening biological life on this planet . Thus it  is evident that the WEST does not fully comprehend the  human  spiritual, mental and physical constitution, essential for  devising  effective and long-lasting solutions conducive to peaceful living and happiness.  Their incomplete knowledge  of human nature & processes prevents them from conceiving  BENIGN Management /Work  Theories and Practices, essential for harmonious living. The deficiency of the West stems from its lack of understanding of the COSMIC process. Their Cosmology is weak and erroneous.

A chunk of modern machines run on electricity. Though businessmen and management experts consider the  chronic power shortage in Tamil Nadu  to be a bane, it  should be considered as a boon in disguise. People are inadvertently being conditioned to reduce power dependency and thus are weaned away from machinery.

Western Machinery Fetishism

In  the blog-posting  'PAUL & THE RIGHT TO BE LAZY' , it had been pointed out that Paul Lafrague had blundered badly, in advocating more and more industrial machinery to rescue the working class from drudgery.  Further  he had advocated the duration of work to be limited to  maximum three or four hours a day. And to  dispense off with manual labour  he  suggested the desirability of inventing more and more machinery. This was in the year 1883.

 In 1908, Gandhiji  wrote  The Hind Swaraj, a very fundamental work  , touching  all aspects  required of  peaceful national living.  In 1921, in  the foreword to a  later edition of the book ,  Gandhiji has said that the book was written  “in answer  to the Indian School of violence  and its prototype  in South Africa” (The full text of 'A Word of Explanation' by Gandhiji is provided in the scanned images in the blog-post).  According to Lord Lothian, a Britisher,  what Gandhiji was trying to teach India and the world “now lay in the germ in that little book which deserved to be read and re-read in order to understand Gandhiji properly”. One chapter of Hind Swaraj addresses the 'evils' due to machinery.

TO THE ‘MODERN’ WORLD GANDHIJI PRESENTED ‘MODERN’ ARGUMENTS AGAINST MACHINERY.

Gandhiji was not advancing na├»ve  arguments against MACHINERY. His reasonings against Machinery  are sound, and today we  experience  that, it had withstood the tests of TIME.  Gandhiji  appeared very candid, when he said that “the impetus behind  it  all(machinery) is not the philanthropy to save labour, but GREED.”   Paul Lafarge also desired  more and more machinery for rescuing humans from drudgery (saving labour) without worrying about its negative consequences. But  Gandhiji  is  more  pragmatic  with his total understanding of  human nature . Further  it was Gandhiji’s caution that machinery will help concentrate the wealth in the hands of a few. This is very conspicuous today, and  frequently we read in the media  about the trillionaires list and the FORTUNE 500 companies.

Gandhiji also believed that machinery will atrophy the limbs of man, and will encroach upon his individuality. This aspect of machinery we are experiencing constantly, in our daily life. Not only our limbs, but our intellectual  faculties are atrophied. Our privacies are invaded and personalities distorted. The machines are ruling our life, in our house as well as in the work-place  For primary needs of man  like food and clothing (ploughshare and needle ,spinning wheel and sewing machine)  Gandhiji was agreeable  to  the usage of limited machinery.
 








ULTIMATE VIEW ABOUT MACHINERY & GITA  18 : 11

Gandhiji   likens his body to a most delicate piece of machinery. At a very personal level, as a Indian, he understands that the body stands in the way of  salvation, ie absolute liberation of the soul.  Gita 18:11 states that One who is in embodied form cannot fully dispense away with KARMA (action/momement/work).  And  Gita 18:48 , says that all KARMAS have negative side-effects,  the degree of NEGATIVITY depending on the KARMA, ie. good or bad.  Non-karma, ie perfect stillness represents the state of Moksha. Negative-karma ie Vikarma generates Vasanas or tendencies, which will lead to further karma. Whereas positive ( as per shastras) karmas burns up one’s  karma-generating-vasanas from this life as well as previous lives, helping in advancing in the steps towards liberation.

This above tallies with  Gandhiji’s constant refrain that one cannot  or it is IMPOSSIBLE  for one to realize perfect Truth and Ahimsa, so long as one is imprisoned in this mortal frame.  Gandhiji  had fully understood the MATHEMATICAL  EQUATION provided by the Gita  with respect to realization of perfect Truth and Ahimsa. Once again consider Gita 18: 11 & 48. Embodiment =Body =Karma=Negative Consequences.  Gandhiji had equated the body to a delicate machinery. Body=Machine=Karma=Negative  effects (karma-bandham), which hinders the liberation of the soul. If body itself is  a hindrance, what about Machines, which mostly  contributes to increase in NEGATIVE  KARMA in GEOMETRIC PROPORTION. ? Today the world is in the grip of excessive negative karma, facilitated by MACHINERY of all kinds. Any thinking and feeling person cannot totally ignore this fact !!

Like our body , Gandhiji says that Machines are inevitable and is a NECESSARY EVIL.  Neverthless all should strive for transcendence. That means first we have to limit the use of  Machinery and totally dispense with it. This  will ultimately prove to be good for the individual as well as society/nations. This  represents  SANE Management /Work  practice.
                                       ---------------------------------

Quotes  from the book ‘The Hind-Swaraj  about Machinery & Scanned Text --(References)

GANDHIJI "IDEALLY , I WOULD RULE OUT ALL MACHINERY........
In the ‘PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION’  published in 1938, there is a conversation recorded, that happened  between Gandhiji and a 'questioner'. (Pages 74 and 75, scanned pages provided). This was his response about machinery " Ideally, I would rule out all machinery, even as I would reject this very body, which is not helpful for salvation, and seek the absolute liberation of the soul. From that point of view I would reject  all machinery, but machines will remain because, like the body, they are inevitable.  The body itself , as I  told you, is the purest piece of mechanism; but if it is a hindrance to the highest flights of the soul, it has to be rejected." (p.75)

Further, in A WORD OF EXPLANATION written by Gandhiji himself  for the 1921 edition of Hind Swaraj   his views about MACHINERY were  ".................I am not aiming at destroying  railways or hospitals, though I would certainly welcome their natural destruction. Neither railways  nor hospitals are a test of a high  and pure civilization. At best they are a necessary evil. Neither  adds one inch to the moral stature of a nation. Nor am I aiming at a permanent destruction of law courts, much as I regard it as a 'consummation devoutly  to be wished'. Still less am I trying  to destroy all machinery and mills. It requires a higher simplicity and renunciation than the people are today prepared for."

Chapter XIX of THE HIND-SWARAJ is titled  MACHINERY.

Quote "When I read Mr.Dutt's  Economic History of India, I wept; and as I think of it again my heart sickens. It is machinery  that has impoverished India. It is difficult to measure the harm that Manchester has done to us. It is due to Manchester that Indian handicraft  has all but disappeared......

.........Machinery  has begun to desolate Europe.  Ruination is  now knocking at the English gates, Machinery  is the chief symbol of modern civilization ; it represents a great sin.

The workers  in the mills of Bombay have become slaves. The condition of the women working in the mills is shocking. When there were no mills, these women were not starving. If the machinery craze grows in our country, it will become an unhappy land...........

Reader: Are the mills, then to be closed down ?

Editor (Gandhiji) : That is difficult. It is no easy task  to do  away with a thing that is established. We, therefore say  the the non-beginning of a  thing  is supreme wisdom. (Is Gandhiji considering 'Sarvarambha-parithyagi' of Gita 12:16 &  14:25 !!??)...............

........Machinery is like a snake-hole which may contain from one to a hundred snakes. ..........I cannot recall a single good point in connection with machinery.
..Do not, therefore, forget the main thing. It is  necessary to realize that machinery is bad. We shall then be able gradually to do away with it. Nature has not provided any way whereby we may reach a desired goal all of a sudden. If, instead of welcoming  machinery as a boon, we should look upon it as an evil, it would ultimately go.




























Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THE RIGHT TO BE LAZY !!!! ---- KARMA

Introduction
“Modern Management Science” is a Western Innovation. Did the West ,understand the basics of  WORK ? The answer  is a big NO. !!!! From foundations made of sand they have built-up this pseudo-science. (Many Indians have clouded their intellects after being indoctrinated with this fake science.). And the consequences have become very frightful for the entire world. Lacking sound philosophical foundations, the Western intellect is unsteady and wavering. The following product , ie the book “The Right to be Lazy” is the result of such wavering.


PAUL  & THE  RIGHT TO BE LAZY !!!!   -----KARMA

This is about  Paul Lafargue (January 15, 1842 – November 26, 1911), who  was the Cuban  son-in-law of  KARL MARX, having married his   second daughter  Laura. He was a French revolutionary Marxist socialist journalist, literary critic, political writer and activist. His famous and best known work is  “THE RIGHT TO BE LAZY” written in 1883. This book can be  freely  downloaded from the  the net, one of the links being http://libcom.org/library/right-lazy-paul-lafargue .  Quote from the book is given below, which highlights  how representatives of a section of the population in Europe  viewed  WORK (karma).

Laura 

“Chapter I - A DISASTROUS DOGMA.
A strange delusion possesses the working classes of the nations where capitalist civilization holds its sway. This delusion drags in its train the individual and social woes which for two centuries have tortured sad humanity. This delusion is the love of work, the furious passion for work, pushed even to the exhaustion of the vital force of the individual and his progeny. Instead of opposing this mental aberration, the priests, the economists and the moralists have cast a sacred halo over work. Blind and finite men, they have wished to be wiser than their God; weak and contemptible men, they have presumed to rehabilitate what their God had cursed. I, who do not profess to be a Christian, an economist or a moralist, I appeal from their judgement to that of their God; from the preachings of their religious, economics or free thought ethics, to the frightful consequences of work in capitalist society.” (http://libcom.org/library/right-lazy-paul-lafargue-1)

 
The BIBLE & WORK
In this first chapter of Lafargue's book , it is interesting to note, how Lafarge who is a materialist (MARXIST), draws attention to the views from THE BIBLE   relating to WORK. In the  paragraph quoted above,  he had already said  “….they have presumed  to rehabilitate what their God had cursed.”  Here he  is referring to Genesis 3:17-19, where work (labour) is a punishment from God.
He  strengthens his argument for laziness by quoting Mathew 6:25-33. “Jesus, in his sermon on the Mount, preached idleness: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."  -Jehovah the bearded and angry god, gave his worshipers the supreme example of ideal laziness; after six days of work, he rests for all eternity.” (Chapter 1 of the book 'The Right To Be Lazy'))




And in the last paragraph of the book (Chapter 4) , Paul draws attention to the image of Jesus climbing Calvary with the wodden cross. Quote “Like Christ, the doleful personification of ancient slavery, the men, the women and the children of the proletariat have been climbing painfully for a century up the hard Calvary of pain; for a century compulsory toil has broken their bones, bruised their flesh, tortured their nerves; for a century hunger has torn their entrails and their brains. O Laziness, have pity on our long misery! O Laziness, mother of the arts and noble virtues, be thou the balm of human anguish!”  - This last sentence resonates with the fact that nascent Christianity was addressed to the slave population of the Roman Empire, until the time of Constantine.



Jehovah Taking Rest
Frankly The Bible is not of much help to Paul. GOD takes rest, on the seventh day. Does that mean he stopped working thereafter permanently or takes a one day break, after six days toil, and repeats this six day cycle, till the end of time ?  Or does the curse mean that God takes rest for eternity and that men will have to toil for eternity because of  HIS curse.? The Genesis story is not clear and leaves room for ambiguity. Paul  wants us to believe that Jesus,  Son of God, sermonizing to the masses, tells them they could afford to be lazy (idle) quoting the examples of birds and the lily. Though Jesus wished to be idle, later he was forced  to behave like a slave and this image is vivified by his carrying the wooden cross for his crucifixion. Did Jesus wish to redeem men from the curse of his father ? Was he instigating people against HIS FATHER.? And did the Roman authorities wish to chain Jesus and his followers to the status of slaves, though Jesus preached idleness? If Jesus preached idleness , what should we think about the proverb, that an idle mind is devils workshop.?
Considering the above messy possibilities , we have to admit to ourselves that the Indian concept of WORK (KARMA) is the most scientific, practical and noble one. 
The GITA & WORK
The Gita  expresses the fact that one is forced to move/act/work ,as per one’s own ‘Swabhava’ (character), and Swa-bhava is a product of the Gunas of Prakriti.  ie There is no freedom for the individual and each is under the effect of the Gunas. Further ‘Iswara’ or God here, never stays idle even for a fraction of a second. ‘Swa-bhava’ influences or decides Karma, whose effects add up and influence the Swa-bhava in the next birth. Thus a deleterious cycle of birth and death (Samsara) manifests, and the way to get out is to understand the reality of the cosmic process and to regulate one’s karma accordingly. Regulated Karma is done to exhaust one’s ‘vasana’s’ (tendencies or inclinations to movement/action) acquired from previous as well as this birth. (Ref. Chapter 3, Karma Yoga)

THE SOLUTION OFFERED BY PAUL LAFARGE TO THE PEOPLE OF EUROPE
After  extolling the virtues of being lazy, and citing examples  in its favour from The Bible,  empathizing with the working classes of Europe and also reminding all of the consequences of over-production, Lafarge offers  SOLUTIONs  to emancipate the above class  from drudgery . One amongst them is the law forbidding any man to work more than three hours a day. Then there are other recommendations impacting the social and hierarchical plane, which are ‘revolutionary’. But the one which is very significant  and of much interest to Indians is his advocacy of  conquering the new mechanical forces for social production.ie encouraging and providing an environment for the invention of more and more MACHINERY for production thereby relieving the proletariat from manual labour.
In recommending this solution, he had blundered badly. One of the consequences of development of industrial machinery is the concentration of wealth  about which Gandhiji had warned us in advance. An example is Bill Gates (software for machines)
 


 LAFRRGUE DISOWNED BY  "THE ORIGINAL  MARXIST"  AND HIS DEATH.
 At the age of 69, he and 66 year old Laura died together in a suicide pact.
Lafargue was the subject of a famous quotation by Karl Marx. Shortly before Marx died in 1883, he wrote a letter to Lafargue and the French Workers' Party leader Jules Guesde, both of whom already claimed to represent "Marxist" principles. Marx accused them of "revolutionary phrase-mongering" and of denying the value of reformist struggles. This exchange is the source of Marx's remark, reported by Friedrich Engels: “what is certain to me is that ,if they are Marxists, then I am not a Marxist".
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