A Real Quick Update (11 Oct. 2008)…

OK. I know I have not been blogging for a while… A lot of stuff is lying unorganized in my mind and I need to get it together…. In the meanwhile, here we go in a real quick manner—just the bullets (NASA style)

  • About water resources in India. I am going to point out to a document prepared by a government agency, but cannot somehow find it right now on my local disk. Once I do, I will put my thoughts together. But still, briefly, as far as water management goes, groundwater level in India has been going down rapidly, and is a matter of grave concern already. I think a multi-pronged approach is necessary. While the points raised by Arundhati Roy in an article years back in Times of India were right (she spoke about settlement of soil and subsequent reduction in the capacity of the big dams, for what *technical engineering reasons* increasing heights is not always the solution, how more grainstock gets eaten by rats in FCI godowns than goes to poor people with the result that the government is actually is subsiding rats rather than people, etc.), I still believe there is a necessity to have large dam projects. Actually, it should be a mix of a few large, many medium, and numerous small or micro-level dams. There is no alternative to large dams for flood control, and the concentrated efforts undertaken by several NGOs towards educating the public on “groundwater harvesting” is, actually, a ridiculous idea—it is far too inefficient. Smart way would involve what general Indians (outside the government baboos) are poor at: meticulous records keeping. As my new suggestion, you need to ask all the bore-well drillers to submit records of what kind of rock exists at what location, and then, someone (ideally, a business house like Reliance) should use geographical software at a micro level to identify the best places to build both percolation tanks (numerous at micro scale, low-tech versions of them). With a bore-well at an avarage distance of a few kilometers (and in some locations, crowded further together), you will get a much better 3D map of soil layers and water table in different locations than the best maps government has on them today. It’s the typical dull bureaucratic mindset which has (i) advocated drilling more bore-wells, but essentially anywhere people wanted to, and (ii) not asked for records keeping for the millions of bore-wells already drilled. On the other hand, the NGOs seem to think that there is only one way to counter that kind of dullness, which is, to undertake colorful day dreaming and wishing that wherever in whatever urban areas people do groundwater harvesting, it’s going to be the right place to do so. More on all these topics, later. (But since I have been promising for a long time, I had to give at least an indication of what I had in mind.)
  • About the nuclear deal. I am glad that it has, finally, gone through. “Hushhh…” (That is like the “pheww” in the American, and not like the “shoooo”.) The Americans predictably gave talking points to communists and BJP alike, when they did insert, at the last minute, provisions to the effect that they won’t supply uranium for bombs-making in future (i.e., if India tests). The reason I supported the deal is not that I wish to see a weak India. The reason I supported it is because with this deal, a definite formal way has been put in place with which the two countries could talk on the issues. The BJP+’s idea has been to continue doing what they are best at: aggressive posturing. For instance, read Arun Shourie’s full-page articles in the recent times in Indian Express. (There are many in BJP who are not worth taking intellectual notice of; Shourie is rather in a minority in that party.) But sometime, you have to take a realistic stock of the situation in India and ask yourself, honestly, with all the poor population that India has, how further aggressive and strong can the nation at all get? BJP never did permit this thought to come up anytime during their entire six years’ rule. Their whole idea was simply to evade the issue. If the Americans engaged in pressure tactics, sacrificial men like Ajit Jadhav (me) were handy. (I have read Shourie talk about the kind of follow-up he faced in Indira Gandhi’s rule. My question to him is: Will he face up to me—i.e., face up the description of the kind of follow-up that I have suffered when his party was in the rule? (And it’s not just me—my family suffered too, alongwith me.) And what “guaruntees” can he have to offer that the performance won’t be repeated should his party come in power in the next general elections? On what basis? As to the communists, it was not at all surprising that they would oppose any form of cooperation with the Americans. But what this episode showed us was the essential identity of the basic wordview—defined by collectivism, altruism, mysticism and intrinsicism—which is shared by both the left (communists) and the right (BJP). Congress may only be a “muddle in the middle.” Sure. But compared to these two camps, Congress does, indeed, come out far too better—despite actually being a “muddle”. (Very apt description, that was, though I don’t know where and when I read it first. But I loved the expression… In terms of aptness, it competes with, but still is not as delightful as the “teflon” analogy for “nothing [bad] sticks onto [some politician].”) More on this all—I mean, politics and not communication—later. (I need to explain why I say they share the basic worldview, and how. So far, I have only stated that they do—without any explanation.) Pending work…
  • Incidentally, politics really does not interest me all that much. I have been busy with computational engineering and quantum mechanics. But before I come to it, I also want to note, before I forget to mention, that I think it is high time that Sharad Pawar became prime minister. To my mind, he is eminently well suited for the job. Stronger: He would make an extremely competent PM. But the thing that I wish to really discuss is not the question of why he should become a PM. The more interesting question is: Why has he not already become one? Sharad Pawar’s qualifications for the job are so obvious that the second question is far more interesting than the first one. I plan to discuss it one of these days here. And, no, to my mind, this is neither an affront to Dr. Manmohan Singh, nor a lessening of the admiration that I do have for that gentleman. … It also does not mean I give up my right to criticize Mr. Sharad Pawar’s decision or even some of his policies. … The politics in India has sunk to such low levels that one has to issue such clarifications.  But, anyway, I will certainly write on this topic—the second question—one of these days… Hope to find time, though!
  • And, now, about quantum mechanics.  I do have an announcement about a proposed Study Group for self-studies of QM, already posted at my Web site; see http://www.JadhavResearch.info/training.htm

I will expand these points one by one (in no particular order) as time goes on… But I really don’t find time for blogging as much as I would like to…

PS: The results of the test of astrology, conducted by the “Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti,” are out. I had participated in it as an “amateur”—though, as I said here in my blogs earlier, I do not believe in astrology. I do have something to add concerning the nature of the test—it was not a very well designed test, if you ask me. But then, on the other hand, I also have a few further things to add as to why astrology just cannot be a science… More on these things too, later.

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