Thursday, 26 June 2014

Our Pleasantville time warp lives

Pleasantville is a metaphor for a place where people preferred to live in a time warp. When Bud and Mary Sue are transported to the 50s, at first they find it difficult to accept the 50s. Then they started changing the mind sets of the people. Then the Mayor brought out a manifesto for the people which banned all change from their comfortable existing norms like no colour only black and white, etc. finally all the folks rebelled and changed Pleasantville forever. But Bud returns to the present (90s) in through the TV.

The movie was rated very high. Roger Egbert rated it 100. It was a satire on the staid lifestyles of the pre 1950s and also on communist regimes. Now if we rewind to so called most exciting phase of human civilisation ie today. We are indeed in the midst of a hi tech society where technology has transformed the lives of most urban population, high energy intensive metropolises, cars, mobiles.

But all this highly wired society guzzling energy is facing terrible climate change signals which like frogs in water vessel being heated gradually meet their ends because they are lulled into staying in the water till it's too late to escape. There is an interesting article from New York Times by Paulson a former US Treasury Secretary on inaction on climate front

We are all like in Pleasantville unwilling to change. In the movie they were unwilling to move ahead, but now our society is faced with the reverse truth. We need to roll back our high tech and energy lifestyles to a more simpler and earth friendly existence. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Impermanence of life....

Life sometimes is most cruel. It's impermanence is truly scary but the ultimate truth. On one hand the advances in medical sciences have prolonged life for a select elite few. On the other hand the havenots which outnumber the haves by over thousand fold, do not have access even to basic medicines and hygienic living conditions. These havenots are scattered in all continents, with the highest concentration being in Africa, Asia. This is not to say the havenots are not present in affluent economies in appreciable numbers.

Recently saw a few movies, like Blood Diamond, The Constant Gardener, etc. where the abject poverty of the downtrodden is so very depressing. In India too the picture is not much  better.

The fate of stray animals in India is most pitiful, recently in my compound two of the resident stray dogs died sad brutal deaths, killed by their own siblings. The root cause is overpopulation. This sibling killing is a Malthusian phenomena. Increase in dogs in the apartment complex which may be capable of supporting a certain number of canines who can live optimally off the waste food of 550 flats. Wish we could have sterilised the dogs and curb the indiscriminate multiplication of their tribe.

Earth is bearing twice as many humans today since Mother Earth's resources are finite at any point of time. We are over plundering the dwindling resources. Added to it is the fury of Climate Change which is impacting nature's cycles, crop patterns and output.

Coming back to the Malthusian theory, there are 50 MN people who have become refugees due to war. There is a definite need to curb population growth and eventually stabilise population around five billion. Along with this curb and reduce the retail weapons of mass destruction like cars, airconditioners, etc. The entire market driven consumption oriented get rich bigger faster best orientation must be reversed.

Inspite of the impermanence of life, humans want to gather wealth endlessly and bequeath to their offsprings. Everyone wants to go up the so called social ladder. The ladder is strewn with milestones like cars, houses, bigger cars and houses, endless consumer durables and electronics, status, travel, alcohol, grandeur...... But finally death is the ultimate reality. So basically humans are killing the planets for most transitory and ephemeral pleasures and pride.

Hence urgent Need for yoga, less energy intensive life styles. Life in any case is transient, but let there a peaceful coexistence on this planet while we are here. Let's not trample on nature to satiate our energy intensive desires. Need to evolve a New Grammer of Living. A bare outline of New Grammer of Living has been presented in this blog. We need to work together to live the New Grammer of Living. 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The LIE bubble getting bigger....

The past decade has seen witnessed a massive financial meltdown in 2008, out of which most of the world is yet to emerge unscathed. The crony capitalism fraud between the Wall Street bankers and investment bankers, the SEC, credit raters, FED, big industry has hurtled US into a long tunnel of recession alike the one Japan entered in early 90s after over thirty years of unprecedented growth and prosperity during which time it become the second richest nation on earth. We see a lot of parallels between both the super rich nations soft landing entering into long term recession.

The other mega industry in US which is also throttling the growth of US is the healthcare industry which at $ 2.7 k bn constitutes about 20% of the GDP. there are scams galore in this segment. There is an unholy alliance between the hospitals, doctors, surgeons, pharma industry, FDA, drug testing, etc. about $ 272 bn is being syphoned off by unscrupulous doctors who write fake prescriptions for addictive drugs which find their way to the black market and sold at multiple prices. Apart from this there is the issue of delays in providing medical assistance.

The CEOs of the above companies still get mega salaries with stratospheric bonuses. This more sickening in the case of the banks which are yet to gain back the pre 2008 health.

There seems to be an unreal sense in the world economy. Everyone is trying bravely to give the impression that all is fine and soon all would be normal, whereas actually the rot does not seem to be improving. It is as if everyone is ensconced in a giant bubble of deceit and lies which instead of being    corrected is permitted to bloat further. Dow Jones at historic highs. Interest rates almost zero. Mega banks being penalised again. But the show goes on with the lie bubble getting bigger and bigger.

Post Covid World

Covid has suddenly thrust the planet to the inflexion point. It is a final wake up call for humanity. Civilisation has been on a suicidal ...