The power of memes

The power of meme networks

Ideas or memes can gather momentum rapidly through social networks. For example, an idea that is sent to 7 people who embrace it has generated a meme momentum of 8 (=7+1). If each of the next 7 send it to 7 people who embrace it, and this reaches 7 levels, we have a Septakhin, or meme momentum of 960,800.

Similarly, an Octakhin is the momentum of a meme that is sent to and embraced by 8 people, each of whom then sends it to 8 people who embrace it, and this reaches 8 levels deep. The Octakhin has a momentum of 19,173,961.

A Decakhin, built around 10, has a momentum of 11,111,111,111, which is greater than the current human population of about 7 billion.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Aiwzd0evtro5dDZXaGxUZEhEcXRZdDFSems5YmhDNnc&output=html

Advertisements

Indian Constitution highlights

Indian Constitution highlights

Organized in 291 pages in the 2nd pocket edition, 2003, it is available online from India’s central portal. This guarantor of the rights of the citizens of India is something of a landmark for the reins of government and coercive power by the rulers. The Constitution of India appears to have been one of the best kept secrets of the Republic of India.

The Constitution consisted of 399 Articles ordered in 22 Parts. There have been 19 Amendments. This takes us to Page 197. There are then 12 schedules (p. 198–259), that further clarify the aforesaid 399 Articles. For example, Schedule 1 shines layer upon layer of clarifying light to demonstrate the sharp wit and keen eye of the writers and reviewers of Articles 1 and 4.

Continuing, five Appendices taking up a further 31 pages (p. 260-291).

PREAMBLE

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949.

PREFACE 

Part I   The Union And Its Territory    Art.( 1-4 )

Part II Citizenship       Art.( 5-11 )

Part III             Fundamental Rights    Art.( 12-35 )

Part IV             Directive Principles Of State Policy    Art.( 36-51 )

Part IVa           Fundamental Duties    Art.( 51a )

Part V The Union        Art.( 52-151 )

Part Vi             The States       Art.( 152-237 )

Part Vii            The States In Part B Of The First Schedule     Art.( 238 )

Part Viii           The Union Territories             Art.( 239-243 )

Part IX             Panchayats      Art.( 243-243zg )

Part IXa           Municipalities             Art.( 243-243zg )

Part X The Scheduled And Tribal Areas         Art.( 244-244a )

Part XI             Relations Between The Union And The States           Art.( 245-263 )

Part XII            Finance, Property, Contracts And Suits          Art.( 264-300a )

Part Xiii           Trade,Commerce And Intercourse Within The Territory Of India     Art.( 301-307 )

Part XIV           Services Under The Union And The States     Art.( 308-323 )

Part Xiva          Tribunals         Art.( 323a-323b )

Part Xv             Elections          Art.( 324-329a )

Part XVI           Special Provisions Relating To Certain Classes          Art.( 330-342 )

Part Xvii           Official Language       Art.( 343-351 )

Part XVIII         Emergency Provisions             Art.( 352-360 )

Part XIX           Miscellaneous             Art.( 361-367 )

Part XX            Amendment Of The Constitution        Art.( 368 )

Part XXI           Temporary, Transitional And Special Provisions        Art.( 369-392 )

Part XXII          Short Title, Commencement, Auth. Text In Hindi And Repeals         Art.( 393-395 )

Part III

16. Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment on account of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them,

17. Abolition of Untouchability

Part III.19.(1).(e). All citizens shall have the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.

25. Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion

The State can make any law:  (a) regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice; and (b) providing for social welfare and reform or the throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.

It seems that U.P. is among the first states to break the monopoly of the Congress and BJP parties, in the state legislative assembly, where political leadership in the crafting of new laws has been in the hands of parties that have been founded post 1965, a watershed year for humans, when bills for new civil rights were introduced in the US Congress and UN General Assembly, leading to the 1987 international law ratified by 98 countries:

Continuing with Cultural and Educational Rights…

29. Protection of interests of minorities.—(1) Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.

30. All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

292. Borrowing by the Government of India extends to borrowing upon the security of the Consolidated Fund of India

293. Borrowing by States extends to borrowing upon the security of the Consolidated Fund of the State within such limits, if any, as may from time to time be fixed by the Legislature of such State by law and to the giving of guarantees within such limits, if any, as may be so fixed.

(2) The Government of India may, make loans to any State and any sums required for the purpose of making such loans shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

(3) A State may not without the consent of the Government of India raise any loan

CHAPTER IV.—SPECIAL DIRECTIVES

350A. Facilities for instruction in mother-tongue at primary stage.—It shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the State to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups; and the President may issue such directions to any State as he considers necessary or proper for securing the provision of such facilities.

350B. Special Officer for linguistic minorities.—(1) There shall be a Special Officer for linguistic minorities to be appointed by the President.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under this Constitution and report to the President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may direct

351. Directive for development of the Hindi language.—It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani.

Our Struggle For Power

When we interact with another human, that individual can come away feeling strong or feeling weak, depending on what occurs in the interaction. For this reason, humans seem to take a manipulative posture. No matter what the particulars of the situation, or the subject matter, we prepare ourselves to say whatever we must in order to prevail in the conversation. Each of us seeks to find some way to control and thus to remain on top in the encounter.

We must face up to our particular way of controlling others. We learned this way in childhood to get attention; this style we repeat over and over: it is our control drama. It is always in relation to our family that we develop our particular dramas. Once we recognize the energy dynamics in our families, we can go past these control strategies and find a higher truth. We can move on from here by bringing this control drama into consciousness.

There are four types dramas: intimidator, interrogator, aloof, & poor me. Everyone manipulates for energy either aggressively, directly forcing people to pay attention to them, or passively, playing on people’s sympathy or curiosity to gain attention.

 

INTIMIDATOR If someone threatens you, either verbally or physically, then you are forced, for fear of something bad happening to you, to pay attention to him, and thus give him energy. The person threatening you would be pulling you into the most aggressive kind of drama.

 

INTERROGATOR People who use this means of gaining energy, set up a drama of asking questions and probing into another person’s world with the specific purpose of finding something wrong. Once they do, they criticize this aspect of the other’s life. If the strategy succeeds, they’ve pulled the person into their drama. The other person starts becoming self-conscious and paying attention to what the interrogator is doing and thinking about, so as not to do something wrong that the interrogator would notice. The psychic deference gives the interrogator the energy he desires.

 

ALOOF We get vague and distant, trying to say things in a way that would get attention but not give him something to criticize. The  interrogator is dodged with aloofness.

 

POOR MEIf someone tells you all the horrible things that are already happening to them, implying perhaps that you are responsible, and that, if you refuse to help, these horrible things are going to continue, then this person is seeking to control at the most passive level, with the poor me drama.

The ROLE OF LOVE has been defined in many ways. I define it as an experience: connecting with energy feels like excitement, then euphoria, then love. Finding enough energy to maintain that state of love certainly helps the world, but it most directly helps us.

Study, concentration, renunciation process

We must reexamine our particular way of controlling others. We learned this way in childhood to get attention and repeat this style over and over. It is always in relation to our family that we develop our particular dramas. Once we recognize the energy dynamics in our families, we can go past these control strategies and find a higher truth.

Once we become conscious of our control drama, then we can focus on the higher truth of our family that lies beyond the energy conflict. The process of finding your true spiritual identity involves looking at your whole life as one long story, trying to find a higher meaning.

Begin by asking yourself, “Why was I born to this particular family?”  What might have been the purpose for that?  Every human being, whether they are conscious of it or not, illustrates with their lives how he or she thinks a human being is supposed to live. You must try to discover what your family taught you and at the same time what about her/his life could have been done better. What you would have changed about your mother is part of what you yourself are working on.

Evidence, inference, experience process

Try to experience that feeling of closeness, that no matter how far away something is, I can touch it, connect with it. And then breathe it in.

The words you have habitually willed through your head in an attempt to logically control events stop when you give up your control drama. The way of consciously relating, in which everyone attempts to bring out the best in others, rather than to have power over them, is another variant of the Golden Rule.

The pawpaw/sugar apple family

The Annona Genus Annona is the genus of flowering plants in the pawpaw/sugar apple family, Annonaceae. While it has over 100 species, the most popular ones are the sugar apple, atemoya, cherimoya, ilama, pond apple, soursop, custard apple, and soon America’s own pawpaw.

The sugar apple, Annona Squamosa, also known as sweetsop and sharifa, is the most widely grown of all the species of Annona. The compound fruit is nearly round, ovoid, or conical; 2 1/3 to 4 inches (6-10 cm) long; its thick rind composed of knobby segments, pale-green, gray-green, bluish-green, or, in one form, dull, deep-pink externally (nearly always with a bloom); separating when the fruit is ripe and revealing the mass of conically segmented, creamy-white, glistening, delightfully fragrant, juicy, sweet, delicious flesh. Many of the segments enclose a single oblong-cylindrical, black or dark-brown seed about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) long. There may be a total of 20 to 38, or perhaps more, seeds in the average fruit.

The atemoya,  Annona Atemoya, is a hybrid of two fruits – the sugar apple and the cherimoya – which are both native to the American tropics. The first cross was made in 1908 by P.J. Wester, a horticulturist at the USDA’s Subtropical Laboratory in Miami. It is one of the more popular Annonas.

The cherimoya, Annona cherimoya, originally from the Andes of South America, is a fairly dense, fast-growing, woody, spreading tree or shrub 5 meters (16 ft) to 9 meters (30 ft) tall. Large green conical or heart-shaped compound fruit, 4-8 inches long and 2-4 inches in diameter, and weighing 8-40 ounces have skin that has overlapping scales or knobby warts. It is one of the more popular Annonas. Photo Credit: http://www.rayner.us/our_bungalow/gardening/propagating_cherimoya.htm

The ilama, Annona Diversifolia, native to Central America, fruit is about six inches (15 cm) long and may weigh as much as two pounds. There are two types of ilama, green and pink. The green type has a flesh that is white and sweet, while in the pink type, the flesh is a rose color and has a tart taste. Photo Credit: http://www.rarefruit.org/magicgallery02/ph02.htm

The pond apple, Annona Glabra, is native to Florida in the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and West Africa. The fruit is 3-4 inches long, with sweet-scented flesh. More often used as a rootstock for Sugar-apple or Soursop. Photo Credit: http://www.crfg.org/g2/main.php?g2_itemId=5589

The soursop, Annona Muricata, is native to the Caribbean and Central America but now popular. Dark green, prickly (or bristled) fruits are egg-shaped and can be up to 12 inches long, with a moderately firm texture. The flesh is aromatic, juicy, and slightly sour. Photo Credit: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/soursop.html

The custard apple, Annona Reticulata, also known as  bullock’s heart, is native to central America, but now cultivated and naturalized in many parts of the world including, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and West Africa. The size of the fruit ranges from 1-3 inches and the flavor is sweet and pleasant but it is less popular than other Annonas. Photo Credit: http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm/gifs/custappl.jpg

The pawpaw, Asimina Triloba, is the only temperate member of the tropical Annonaceae (custard apple family) and is the largest tree fruit native to the United States. Pawpaws grow wild in 25 states in the eastern United States ranging from Florida to Ontario (Canada) and as far west as Nebraska. It is now becoming commercialized. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/09/29/140894570/the-pawpaw-foraging-for-americas-forgotten-fruit

India’s Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, India!

India gained independence from the Britain on this day 65 years ago as a nation with 12% literacy. It has come a long way: 74% literacy, 900 million mobile subscribers and 125 million Internet users to mention just a few changes. India is a confident nation today.

The joy of freedom was marred by a rush of 14 million people moving across newly created borders. About 5 million Muslims moved from India to West Pakistan, led by politicians — with their division of assets from the Indian Civil Service, Army and Police , to rule a brand new nation made up of 93% illiterates. The 35 million Muslims who remained in independent India had to learn to live with the 7 million refugees from newly minted Pakistan. It was the shock of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in January 1948 that brought a halt to the senseless violence and bloodshed that raged in North India. According to the Pew Research Center, India had 177,286,000 Muslims — 11% of the world Muslim population — as of January 27, 2011.

Let’s pray for peace between India and Pakistan, home to a fifth of the world population and 22% of Muslims. I was glad to see that some efforts have been reported about joint celebrations.

Independence-Day-No-borders-for-celebrations

Germany’s occupation of Poland is one of the darkest chapters of World War II. Some 6 million people, almost 18 percent of the Polish population, were killed during the Nazi reign of terror that saw mass executions, forced evictions and enslavement. It is little known that 14 million “Germans” were displaced after WW II. Yet Germany and Poland are in the EU and have open borders. To move rapprochement even further, experts from both countries are developing a history textbook meant to teach high-school students on both sides of the border a common narrative.

Paying with Life and Limb for the Crimes of Nazi Germany

 

India’s dependence on coal

Power blackouts hit north and east India twice in two days, leaving more than 640 million people without electricity.
India relies on coal for more than half of its electricity. Although it has large deposits of coal, figures from the BP Statistical Review show that it has been a net importer of the commodity since 1981, when it produced 130.1 million tonnes (mt) and consumed 130.7 mt. Coal production increased to 335 mt in 2000, but consumption was 365 mt, thus requiring 30 million tonnes to be imported.
In 2011, production increased to 589 mt, but demand was 782 mt, which required 193 million tonnes to be imported.
http://www.bp.com/statisticalreview

Meanwhile Coal India, the world’s biggest coal miner, says that the Indian government has set the price of coal at 50% of international levels.
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/21392/coal

Price controls by a masssive central planning bureaucracy in India may account for the vast difference in national income measures. According to the CIA World Factbook, India had a Gross Domestic Product of $1.676 trillion in 2011, going by the official exchange rate. Using the purchasing power parity method developed by the World Bank to compare national economies more realistically, India’s GDP was $4.515 trillion, the 3rd largest, after the US and China.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html

With a nation as large as India and a bureaucratic structure inherited from the British Raj, with Indian Administrative officers transferred every three years, originally set up by the Mughal Emperor Akbar (in the 16th century) to prevent the formation of fiefdoms, it is high time for structural reforms.

But who will make the necessary reforms?

On minding the minder

On minding the minder

Investigations, over the last year, have examined possible collusion and manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“Libor”). The Libor is used as the basis for settlement of interest rate contracts on many of the world’s major futures and options exchanges as well as most over-the-counter and lending transactions with an estimated value of U.S. $350-$400 trillion contracts, instruments and transactions referencing it. It is a primary benchmark for global short-term interest rates.

The U.S. dollar-denominated Libor was set as follows until recently: On a daily basis, the 16 participating banks are surveyed by the British Bankers Association and submit sealed quotes which answer: “at what rate could you borrow funds just prior to 11:00 a.m. London time?” The Libor is then computed by averaging over the middle eight quotes and disregarding the four highest and the four lowest.

   Barclays PLC and Royal Bank of Scotland was involved, among other banks, in rigging the benchmark interest rate used to set interest rates on an estimated $800 trillion of borrowings and derivatives: $605 million fine for these two and counting as other banks are fined. Many of the banks implicated in the Libor mess have also been targeted in the various municipal bond bid-rigging investigations. UBS AG, Wachovia Bank, JP Morgan Chase,  GE Funding Capital Market Services, Bank of America, etc. have been fined for cartel activity of price-fixing and bid-rigging in the municipal bonds derivatives market – $745 million fine.

That the Royal Bank of Scotland (the taxpayer owns 82% since 2008) was fined $233 million comes with brazen irony. Libor manipulation is a crime that already robs the public to create bonuses for bankers. By artificially lowering interest rates, the banks caused cities, towns, countries, and other public entities to receive smaller returns on their variable-rate investment holdings. Now it turns out that taxpayers will end up paying the fine for RBS’s crime of robbing taxpayers.

The US justice department is also investigating and this time bank fines and law suits may result in tens of billions in bank liabilities.

The age old question of “Who minds the minder?” needs a new answer in this age of communications.

Recent corporate fines/settlements for collusion/fraud

2012:

Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc and banks that issue their credit cards have agreed to a $7.25 billion settlement with U.S. retailers in a lawsuit over the fixing of credit and debit card fees in what could be the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history. The settlement, if approved by a judge, would resolve dozens of lawsuits filed by retailers in 2005. The proposed considerations are a far cry from the $50 billion in swipe-fees paid each year by U.S. retailers.

   Barclays PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland was involved in rigging the benchmark interest rate used to set interest rates on an estimated $800 trillion of borrowings and derivatives;  CEO and COO resigned a day after its chairman said he would step down: $455 million fine.

UBS AG, Wachovia Bank, JP Morgan Chase,  GE Funding Capital Market Services, Bank of America, etc for cartel activity of price-fixing and bid-rigging in the municipal bonds derivatives market – $745 million fine

   Microsoft fine from 2004 upheld by EC – $1.07 billion.  If Microsoft does appeal, and the appeal fails, that would mean Microsoft would have to lay out a total of $2.04 billion for this antitrust suit.

Johnson & Johnson for hiding dangers of anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, deceptive marketing – $1.2 billion

   Furukawa Electric Company, Yazaki Corporation, DENSO Corporation, etc. for cartel activity of price-fixing and bid-rigging in auto parts – $750 million.

   Science Applications International Corporation to resolve “the single biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the city of New York.” $500 million

   MetLife Inc. because it didn’t provide life insurance benefits to some of its policyholders – $500 million

UBS AG, Wachovia Bank, JP Morgan Chase,  GE Funding Capital Market Services, Bank of America, etc for cartel activity of price-fixing and bid-rigging in the municipal bonds derivatives market – $745 million

 

2011:

Google – $500-million fine for running Canadian pharmacy ads

Procter & Gamble and Unilever for coordinating Laundry Powder prices over a three-year span – €315.2 million fine by EC

   22 air cargo carriers for price fixing (2006 onward) – $1.8 billion by DOJ, €800 million by EC

Merck for wrongfully marketing its former hit painkiller Vioxx (1999 – 2001) – $950 million fine

 

2009:

  Intel for anticompetitive measures intended to squeeze out rival AMD – €1.06 billion

Pfizer for illegally promoting uses of painkiller Bextra, Geodon; an antipsychotic; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an anti-epileptic drug – $2.3 billion

 

2008:

   Siemens settles a long-running worldwide bribery and corruption – €2.5 billion in lawyers’ and accountants’ fees and fines

UBS caught red-handed by the United States government offering tax evasion strategies: $780 million penalty

 2007:

   Siemens and 11 others for price-fixing in gas-insulated switchgear – €750 million by EC

1999-2002:

BASF, Hoffman-La Roche, Rhone-Poulenc (now Sanofi-Aventis) and other vitamin manufacturers fined for cartel activity of price fixing (1989-1999) – DOJ imposed fines of over $910 million, EC over €855 million; also Canada, Korea and Australia.