Nov 2005 BLOG

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9 Nov 2005: In Kansas they have agreed to introduce teaching "intelligent design" once again and question the theory of evolution. Reading this made "interesting" reading on the backdrop of the fact that many Californian's (California being one of the most "Right"ist states along with many other coastal regions around the country - as well as being costly) - or more correctly Americans in California - are migrating away with Kansas city (and Bush's Texas) being among the popular choices. The hearings in the case that pitted intelligent design against evolution concluded recently in Pennsylvenia and a verdict in the juryless case is expected in Jan. Meanwhile the board members in that PA school who had introduced ID have been voted out of office.

I wish the ID followers read about blind designing (in Richard Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker"). Until then, it seems likely that computer programmers in Kansas may have to announce at the start of the output of their programs involving Genetic Algorithms that "since the evolution theory on which these algorithms are based is in question, the output of these programs is likely to be much more questionable."

14 Nov 2005: Watched Atul Pethe's "surya pahilela manus" on Rudra's VCD. It is a very laudable effort to bring some quality philosophy to Marathi theatre. Dr. Lagu starts a bit uncertainly, but like a good innings, quickly settles down and delivers monologues that could stun even Grace. The writing (Makarand Sathe) is itself a mishmash of two streams: the backbone is the translation of original writings (Plato's "apology" for instance) and brief intertwinings of four characters who have been thrown in to the "shadow world". That correspondence is not great though. Perhaps just a situation where someone is telling his grandchildren about how timeless (or at least ancient) some philosophies are, may have been better. But perhaps it would have lost any originality in terms of material. Socrates
Apology by Plato
15 Nov 2005: After letting the Grizzly population in Wyoming grow by puting them on the endangered list, the federal government is convinced that there are enough of them now and have taken the species of the list of endangered ones. Soon limited amount of hunting will be allowed to keep the numbers in check. Heard a very interesting argument on NPR today: by allowing legal hunting, the hunters aid conservation by opposing poachers who otherwise illegally kill Grizzlies. While the argument is fascinating, does one take it to mean that unless hunting is allowed, these legal hunters will NOT aid conservation efforts? Also, if the poachers kill some other animals, will these people say nothing about it? At least I see it that way. delisting
delisted (NYT)
delisted (WP)
20 Nov 2005: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released a couple of days back. Jay obviously wanted to see it as soon as possible. Dreaded to do that on the first sunday after release as surely there would be many children tugging their parents along (or, if one is to believe the number of adults one sees reading the book, people trudging their children along) to see the movie. Judging by the growing interest in ID decided that one good shot could be when many God fearing people are worshipping. Sure enough, there were hardly any takers when we got to the Paseo half an hour before the noon show. (When we got out, there were several dozens in the queue for the show that was an hour away). We were pleasently surprised to be heralded in to a hall that would house about 700. I did not know one such existed here. Got good seats.

Much of the magic in Harry Potter is gone partly because it is pulling tricks from an old hat, and partly because it is clearly going the way most good books turned movies do. One feels like watching highlights of a good match. No time to "develop" anything - you just jump in to it. While not as bad as the movie version of Dune, but fairly close. And this I can say without even having read the book! Well, go and watch it anyway.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
26 Nov 2005: Played ungame for the first time. It is good. What was best was that even the children stayed glued while the game was on.

The game makes you think, muse, turn your thoughts inward rather than outward, towards others, or against others. Even when others are taking turns, you keep thinking - something that does not happen very frequently these days due to the pace of life.

Ungame

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