Saturday, 28 March 2015

An insanely sick society…we are all lubitzes..

this is as surreal it can get. a plane load of passengers hurtling towards certain death in minutes. nothing to do but wail away. say prayers...think of loved ones...death is a certainty for all in its own time...except here...someone has decided by choice to take lives of 149 people with his own.

there have been innumerable incidents where one deranged person takes the life of many. these demented people want to go out in a blaze taking many with them. maybe it gives them a sense of power or maybe they like being together with many at their end to feel that they are not alone. we have indeed reached a surreal inflexion in human mind history.

this can pan out in so many ways....train and bus drivers...policemen going far all loved seeing these in movies or reading in books only...but now it’s for real...already in most places these have become recurring themes.......schoolboys,,, psychotics…loners and so on...with guns being so easy to get...mass shootouts like mass hysteria ....terrorists are also in the same for dying with many....surreal ….no it’s a high surreal….magnified...multifold…manifold options of the 
the root cause of most of these happening is depression. It is gradually taking a stranglehold over the global population. As society becomes more complex and has greater threshold values for success, etc, many are not able to cope with these insane norms of a society which is run on similar insane principles. These drop outs become depressed. Again depression is very difficult to diagnose. Many of them are intelligent and are able to camouflage their depression well.

but if we truly introspect…at a deeper and fundamental level…we are all murderers…murder need not culminate from the barrel of a gun…or bombs…or a crashing plane…murder can take on so many insidious hues…murder which can kill silently and slowly over time…sometimes taking decades…take the life of its victims…slowly…as deliberately…in that sense we are all lubitzes…and hitlers…all of us are contributing to mass genocide in the most gentle and indirect ways…killing them softly…

if we all analyse all the so called sane and non murderous activities in the world…on the surface most of them seem like human friendly and value creating…innocuous..almost humane..maybe even kind…the milk of human kindness…but the list is indeed endless….and all of us are directly or indirectly involved in these industries / activities (of mass doom and annihilation) …as either perpetrators or victims or both… using then…enjoying their benefits….

1.      Food industry: where antibiotics, hormones, steroids are pumped into cattle, poultry; fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid disease resistance genetically modified seeds are uses for cereals, fruit, vegetables; chemicals, lurid colours; cancer inducing foods like GMO cereals, refined sugar and flour, diet foods, hydrogenated oils, processed grain fed meats, microwave popcorn, grilled charred meats, farmed fish.
2.      Carbon emitting entities like ACs, fossil fuel, fridges, cars…
3.      Armaments industry, weapons of mass destruction, guns….
4.      Plastics…
5.      Alcohol, heroin….the former is legally acceptable though it has the most harmful threshold.  
6.      Urbanisation…which is energy intensive…
7.      Religions which spread hatred, terror
8.      Modern lifestyles…which are comfort seeking…and again energy, technology, internet intensive…
9.      Healthcare industry which in the name of health is actually exploiting the patients and sucking money out of the system
10.    Capitalism with its insane profit motive which is forever replacing labour by machines..and creating a large under privileged class…
11.    Hyper competition…for survival…excess capacity…giving birth to dying companies, industries….unemployment…
12.    Entertainment industry which insidiously plants the seeds of wanting to become like the celluloid characters…forever reaching out towards a lifestyle which is vapid…meaningless….

So basically all of us subscribe to values, products, lifestyles, aspirations, gadgets, consumer durables, transport systems…the list goes on…which are inherently detrimental to the healthy future of the human race…all of us are mass murderers and rapists…carrying out genocide….killing mother earth…and the future of our children…

Its indeed a very sick society we are part of. Hence in a way depression is perhaps a much more widespread malaise than most of us can ever imagine. It’s like two time bombs are ticking close to each other…human madness and mad society created by humans…both are intertwined…feeding upon each other…a most toxic and malevolent combination indeed…. 

indeed depression is the new normal....we all love it in so many ways...wallowing in it is the new zombies we all need our daily fixes of modern societies...wonder toys..gadgets..amazing varieties of food which melts in our mouths.....oral large composite we love watching the murder thrillers...violent games on screens...indeed mass murder instincts are wired within each of us.... 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

True Wealth of Nations – redux

True Wealth of Nations – redux

 Why do we all aspire to be rich? Most would say I guess is to be happy. Strange but true the richest nation is US but not the happiest! As per the recent surveys, Panama, Switzerland, Denmark and even Bhutan have been ranked as the happiest nations in different surveys. One can also say, why not transcend happiness and be in a state of satori, or transcend beyond the duality of happiness and sadness into nirvana, but that is another state of being and story.   

So far the prime measure of a country’s development has been GDP. As an indicator, it conceals more than it reveals. The world and the countries today are no longer simple economic units which can safely be expressed as a single number. Hence, over time GDP has become an inadequate indicator of a country’s development status. Therefore, there is certainly an imperative need for a multi dimensional composite index which can faithfully and holistically mirror the various facets of the complex economic entities. Time has come to add more dimensions for judging a nation’s wealth and well being.

It is certainly possible for two economies to have the same GDPs, and similar per caput GDPs. This does not mean that these two countries are equally better off. They could have disparate societies where one society may have greater well being among its populace, whereas the other may be rife with inequalities, violence and environmental issues. There could be so many points of divergence which would make it difficult to pronounce which is better, unless there is a systematic comparison of detailed similar attributes with weights assigned after factor analyses. Hence there is an urgent need to evolve a model which can arrive at some integrated index as to which country is better off based upon some objectives of global better-ness emerging from an integrated set of factors.

With a view to arriving at an integrated index to measure the best country in the world, NGL is in the process of designing an integrated composite index. The broad high level indicators of the model are:

  1. Financial
  2. Environmental
  3. Social
  4. Individual
 Some of the sub indicators (provisional) under the various broad level high indicators listed above are:

1.      Financial:
a.      Average GDP
a.      GDP standard deviation
b.      Income Gini Index
c.      Unemployment %age
d.      Debt / GDP
e.      Fiscal deficit / GDP

2.      Environmental:
a.      Pollution
b.      Average temperature change
c.      Carbon emissions
d.      Flora decline over past 50 years
e.      Fauna decline over past 50 years
f.       Deforestation over 50 years
g.      Energy usage per head pa
h.      Cars
i.       ACs
j.       Natural disasters

3.      Social
a.      Health – medicine usage
b.      Mental health – reported cases
c.      Allopathic medicine usage per head pa
d.      Lifestyle diseases (BP, sugar) per 100,000.
e.      Murder rate
f.       Rape rate
g.      Prison popn per 100,000.
h.      Literacy rate
i.       Processed food

4.      Individual
a.      Happiness index
b.      Yoga rate
c.      Divorce rate
d.      Joint families
e.      Singles above 30 %age

The above is an outline of a multi parameter weighted rank score model. Over a period of time appropriate weights can be arrived at through factor analysis.  

This purports to be only a humble start in creating a holistic True Wealth of Nations model which can capture wealth in all its dimensions. Wealth is not only about money. Wealth is also a summation of peace of mind, happiness, good health, trust, love and so many virtues human beings value. At the end we leave everything behind and go, as we have arrived. Money is important up to a certain extent, but not the be all and end all. When the great Alexander died at the age of 32, he had willed that he should be taken to his last resting place in an open carriage with his hands on either side – empty and facing up – signifying that even the great Alexander left penniless. His soldiers were instructed to shower on the crowds on both sides all his jewels and coins.  Hence the true wealth or health of nations cannot be based upon GDP figures alone. As the Beatles sang “Money can’t buy me love”. 

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 ...