Thursday, January 05, 2017

Fake News Menace

There was something that I posted on facebook a couple of days ago.

The past couple of years has shown me that a huge proportion of the country will believe anything about anyone if it's posted on a somewhat news-looking website and shared on Facebook.

One of the persons who is ultragullible "liked" it - I wonder if he will understand the amusing coincidence!

Not even 2 days, a bad imitation of a supposed "London newspaper" that has a lot of slang and terms used by Indians has been shared by a "political" facebook page. It is just peddling a conspiracy theory that the former CM of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha was poisoned by Sasikala (referred to as Mannargudi Mafia in Tamil Nadu by those who hate them.)

It doesn't matter that the quality of newsprint, the language used doesn't look like something published in London, it also doesn't matter that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can print anything from their basement and these people will assume it is true. Neither does it matter that just because it is published in London doesn't make it true - otherwise Daily Mail and Sun would be considered paragons of journalism!

Update in 30 minutes: that fake news gained more pixels while spreading through another facebook political page!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Desis and bargaining

What is it with desis and bargaining? I am selling a few lightly used surplus furniture on Craigslist. and the desis calling me ask for half of the low amount that I already posted. If I'm selling something for half the price of a new item's market value, desis ask for half of asking price!

The Chinese and white people I deal with seem to just pay the asking price unless I mention "or best offer"

It has got to a point where I may have to increase my asking price just to lower it!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Vijay Mallaya - Passport

I read in a news article that Vijay Mallaya's passport was cancelled. When that happens to common man, it means that the only travel document available has been cancelled, so the person is unable to travel anywhere. The government might've cancelled the passport due to the reason that Mr. Vijay might've had another country's passport. India does not allow dual citizenship, hence India's passport was cancelled. This is just a technicality and does not hinder his travel anywhere on his potential second country's passport. If the government really wanted to nab him, there would've been a red corner notice through Interpol for him to be arrested by any other country's police. Kindly note that this did not happen.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Books damaged in a library in a multi-cultural town in progressive New England

The town I live in is great, people are helpful, respectful (mostly), and tolerant of others' beliefs. Still, there are some people who get their knickers in a bunch when they see something in a public space that they don't like! Over a period of one year, I found severely mutilated books and vandalized books in my town library.
Damaged books in a Connecticut library

  • Pages torn up and strewn behind a rack - "Good Life Good Death: A Doctor's Case for Euthanasia and Suicide"
  • Someone had written the words "EVIL FALSE FAKE GOD" in a very neat handwriting on a book about "Hare Krishna."
  • A Bengali language book was also thrown behind a shelf, maybe because the text "looked satanic?"
 It looks funny how books about something they don't like has to be damaged to protect their beliefs!

Obama's Trip to India - keeping track of my half-baked thoughts

On January 25, 2015, I predicted what might happen after Obama's historical visit to India.

post-Obama visit - India will change its patent laws, increase wiretapping citizens for their own protection, remove a ton of restrictions to FDI, more investments in infrastructure by US energy companies - most likely, the project to cover canals with solar panels will, and the project to extract methane from Cauvery delta. I hope I am proven wrong on all counts.

On February 8, 2015, Indian court ruled for Gilead in its case against the Indian Patent Office.

Good to know that the meeting between Indian PM and US President produced atleast one successful outcome! -

As of March 11, 2016, the "application for renewed patent" is still ongoing -

On April 24, 2015, PM Modi proposed in one of his speeches that India's patent laws have to change -

On February 25, 2016, WTO ruled against India in the solar panels 'local sourcing' requirements disputed by US manufacturers. -

This by itself is not an indication that India didn't plead its case properly. Countries win, countries lose, it's part and parcel of WTO litigations.

On March 8, 2016, Allegations surface that Indian government has "privately assured" trade lobby that the practice of compulsory licensing will be avoided (or is it stopped altogether?) - hard to interpret what "would not invoke 'compulsory licensing' for commercial purposes" mean. --

All that remains from my prediction are the fracking case in Cauvery delta region, and increase surveillance. So far, fracking is not going forward, but that doesn't mean it has gone away.