ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Archive for January 2018

Political Discussion: Something people are avoiding

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avoidGiven that open discussion is the essence of democracy, it’s scary to find that people today avoid discussing about politics. I found it at the college campus at least. Given the polarized times we live in, it’s hardly surprising. Lack of discourse is something that makes the election results seem surprising and makes the society even more polarized.

It is the cardinal rule of human emotions, if we keep things pent up inside, they tend to blow up sooner or later. Same goes with discussion about politics.

Society has become so fractured that people have started living in their own silos. Everyone think his/her own beliefs are the absolute fact and others are wrong. For example, let’s compare a Hillary and a Trump supporter. There is so much hatred for each other that real issues and need for discussion goes out of the window.

Hillary is the evil or Trump is the devil. It’s either or with nothing in between. If we think rationally, we would realize it’s not practically possible. Each person Hillary or Trump will have mixed personality, some good, some bad with shades of grey.

But given the broken communications and deep hatred, no one is ready to discuss the details. People are only concerned about the headlines, which are binary. What newspaper you read, will decide what news you get. If you read CNN, you would feel that Trump is an abomination. If you watch Fox news, Hillary is the personification of Satan.

If the media is so polarized, then what would you expect of the common folks? It’s time for some open and honest discussion to make democracy strong. If Trump does something wrong, call him out and do the same with Clinton. If they do something good, that must be acknowledged too.

To begin with, people should boycott biased media such as CNN and Fox. Once they lose eyeballs, they lose everything. If we aim for balanced news, they discourse will become balanced.

Else the democracy is in peril and it is because we are running away from discussion.

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Written by arpitgarg

January 19, 2018 at 3:16 am

Posted in Media, Political

Tagged with , ,

The charm of Star Trek

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star-trek-crewEven after 50 odd years, the charm and fan following of Star Trek is ever growing. Apart from the general attraction of sci-fi and the lure of the unknown, what is it about the Star Trek in particular that attract the fans?

The answer is not so simple. It comes from the 60’s, the race to the moon, improved film technology etc. The characters that Star Trek created and the format of space travel with a new adventure every week, was something that made Star Trek unique.

If you go back to The Original Series (TOS) from 60’s, even today you won’t find it too dated. And the credit goes to the issue based stories that Star Trek told. With the sci-fi genre, the series explored concepts of gender equality, racial discrimination, existence of God. It also gave cool new gadgets in phasers, technology such as transporters and the chance to meet the other intelligent organisms in the vast cosmos.

And the charm is still strong due to the fact that however advanced we have become, we still are bound by the speed of light and haven’t been contacted by any alien race. Thus, the attraction of meeting a new alien race in each new episode still sounds fresh.

The characters that were created are still fresh, be it Kirk, Spock or McCoy. Specially Spock, the pointy eared logical being was nerd of the nerds. No surprise that he is adored by nerds all over. An outcast and intelligent being, not able to understand that emotional people around him.

The flirty leader Kirk, the nagging McCoy, the loyal Scotty, all characters were rooted in stereotypes and hence easy to follow.

The era of race to the moon made common people informed about space. Star Trek came at the right moment. It monetized that curiosity and created a generation of space enthusiasts, many of them went on to become great scientists.

My advice to all developing nations is to have such shows on public broadcast regularly. It might be just the thing their nation needs to generate scientific curiosity amongst the children who will eventually help in nation building.

Written by arpitgarg

January 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , ,

Blockchain for novices

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Disclaimer: This is an over simplification of blockchain concept. Just for starters.

blockchainSince the story of bitcoin has picked up, there is a rousing interest in blockchain technology. I have put together a quick write-up for the novices.

Stop feeling intimidated, block chain is a very simple concept just like the concept of internet. Practical uses of that concept are something that makes blockchain awesome.

What is blockchain?

It is noting but a chain of blocks. Wasn’t that simple! For people having no knowledge of algorithms, consider 10 boxes, each box containing some data, and each box stacked on top of one another. This is blockchain in non-technical term for you. This information can be anything we store in a computer file. Or in terms of bitcoin, can be a digital currency.

If it’s just a chain of information. What’s so unique?

Well, the idea to make the digital information non-duplicable. Consider you have a file on your computer. If you copy and then paste that file, it creates a copy of that file. With blockchain, all information about a particular record is incremental. Which means the size of the file keeps on increasing with every passing second and every passing transaction (grows into a large chain of blocks). And the information is all in public domain visible to millions of people (just like a Wikipedia article). Ever tried putting some bogus information on any Wikipedia page. It gets corrected soon enough by one of millions of users just like you.
Block chain uses a similar logic, keeping data in check.

Use in bitcoin

Bitcoin uses block chain technology. When the digital currency was first visualized, problem was how to stop someone from copy-pasting the digital file. It was solved via blockchain. The information/transaction of a digital currency keeps getting added as a chain to the original file. Over the years bitcoin blockchain size has grown over 100GB in size, with every transaction being verified by millions of users on a distributed network. It still can be corrupted if we copy paste the entire 100GB file, but it’s very difficult due to millions of eyes checking and being in public domain.

Written by arpitgarg

January 14, 2018 at 11:32 am

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with , ,

Introspection

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introspection.jpgHave you ever wondered that you have already encountered the feeling that you are experiencing right now? People called it déjà vu. I call it cyclicity of life, borne out of out innate nature. It happens to me time and again and I start facing similar dilemma, similar choices that I have already faced few years back. I used to wonder why.

It is due to our characteristic behavior. We make certain decisions, take certain steps in our life which lead us to a certain point. And since we are the same person, we would come to the similar point in life if we keep taking similar decisions, making similar choices.

Question would be why as humans are we not able to change. Well the answer is not so simple. We keep on learning things, we feel we are changing, but not so much. We are born with certain genetic makeup which is not susceptible to change, however much we try. It’s true for us common folk at least. And it seems there is not much we can do about it.

So, what can be done? I think the best we can do is to take time out and introspect. Most of us get so caught up in the rat race of life, we never take a pause and recollect what we have done till now. It helps a lot if we do. It might not change that subconscious setup of ours, but would give too much fodder to build upon. Faced with similar choices, we might be able to tinker little bit and diverge from “what could have been”.

More than our deeds, the postmortem of the actions is useful. If we make it a routine to introspect, it would help us grow.

Written by arpitgarg

January 14, 2018 at 7:17 am

Posted in General/Society

Tagged with ,

याद

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yaad.jpg

आज भी याद है मुझे वो दुपट्टा तेरा,
सुनहरा था रंग, दिल गया था मेरा,
उस पर से झबरे से तेरे बाल हाय,
क़त्ल होना ही बस बाकी था बचा|

बचपना तेरा, हर बात पे हठ करना,
जाने कब तेरी बातें अच्छी लगने लगीं,
जाने कब मुलाकातें सच्ची लगने लगीं,
क़त्ल होना ही बस बाकी था बचा|

आँखें तेरी, पल्कें झुकना औचक,
तीर सा मेरे सीने में आके लग जाना,
बिन काजल भी तू थी मृगनयनी,
क़त्ल होना ही बस बाकी था बचा|

साँसों का साँसों से टकराना उफ्फ,
याद है मुझे नशे सा, न भूल सका में.
आह और चाह का सफर दूभर,
क़त्ल होना ही बस बाकी था बचा|

छमक छमक चलना माशाअल्लाह,
और मिलना बचके नज़रों से सबकी,
वो चेहरे पे मुस्कान से आती सिलवट,
क़त्ल होना ही बस बाकी था बचा|

न जाने क्यों किस्मत रूठी सी थी,
न जाने क्यों हिम्मत छोटी सी थी,
जो हाथ छोड़ा, और तन्हाई ओड़ा,
क़त्ल होना ही बस बाकी था बचा|

Written by arpitgarg

January 12, 2018 at 6:48 am

Posted in Hindi, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

चुनावी हवा

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download.jpg

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
जनता ने पूछा कि कहाँ गया विकास,
तुमको देना होगा २२ साल का हिसाब,
ये सुन, झांके बगलें, ढूंढें जुमला साहब|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
जनेऊ पहन मंदिर जाने की लगी दौड़,
तिलक लगा के शहर भर में छा गया,
हो जाओ बगल, नया पुजारी आ गया|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
चौबेजी बनने चले जो, छब्बे भी न बन पाए,
हुंकार जो मिलकर बोली आंदोलन की,
सत्ता के विष ने, सबको जा लीला|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
क्या चाचा भतीजा, क्या बेटा क्या बाप,
अपना सुख नापें, सब आपों आप,
हाथ किसी के न आया कुछ भी|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
वादा था, सब घोटालेबाज जाएंगे जेल,
पर शब्दों का मोल सत्ता ने हल्का नापा,
सब एक ही है परिवार, बच्चे मम्मी पापा|

चुनावी हवा कुछ ऐसी चली पिछले दिनों,
जितना कर लो विश्वास, टूटना ही है आखिर,
सत्ता के सब भूखे हैं, आत्मा से सब सूखे हैं,
है रीत पुरानी सदियों से, क्यूँ रोये तू||

Written by arpitgarg

January 12, 2018 at 6:28 am

Posted in Hindi, Poetry, Political

Tagged with , ,

Destiny is what we build

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destiny

Why I feel lost so much,
Why I am holding a grudge,
Where has the direction gone,
What is it that I mourn.

Seasons change round the year,
Phases of moon obscure clear,
Why I feel am in slump,
What is it that I grump.

I hate to make people sad,
I somehow feel myself bad,
Where do I find the way,
What is it that I betray.

Root of it all is in me,
Pathetic shield I cannot see,
Like a ship on auto mode,
What is it that I unload.

I have to get myself out,
Won’t help just to shout loud,
Bear in mind it might be tough,
Take a stand, enough is enough.

Day and Night, Night and Day,
Act now, don’t just sit and pray,
Destiny is what we build,
All dreams to be fulfilled.

Written by arpitgarg

January 9, 2018 at 1:14 am

Posted in Literary

Tagged with , ,

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