At the turkey table…

Here is a poem (and some comments) I have for now!

At the turkey table

America discovers

Wonderful husbands

And wonderful wives!

And family!!

And family values!!!

Wooooo  Wooooooooo Wooooooooooo!!!!

[…Guitars, drums, please!!!!]

…Oh, how nice! Oh, how wonderful!! Oh, how beautiful!!!

… Etc.

[This is supposed to be a song—even music, for that matter.]

Yes, I am intelligent.

PS: It had nothing to do with the country known as the USA. But, our opinions may differ.



Haptic, tactile, virtual, surgery, etc.

Three updates made on 24th March 2016 appear near the end of this post.

Once in a while I check out the map of the visitors’ locations (see the right bar).

Since hardly any one ever leaves any comment at my blog, I can only guess who these visitors possibly could be. Over a period of time, guessing the particular visitors in this way has become an idle sort of a past-time for me. (No, I don’t obsess over it, and I don’t in fact spend much time on it—at the most half-a-minute or so, once in a while. But, yes, check, I certainly do!)

Among the recent visitors, there was one hit on 6th March 2016 coming from Troy, NY, USA (at 11:48:02 AM IST, to be precise). … Must be someone from RPI, I thought. (My blog is such that mostly only academics could possibly be interested in it; never the people with lucrative industrial jobs such as those in the SF Bay Area. Most of the hits from the Bay Area are from Mountain View, and that’s the place where the bots of Google’s search engines live.)

But I couldn’t remember engaging in any discussion with any one from RPI on any blog.

Who could this visitor possibly be? I could not figure it out immediately, so I let the matter go.

Yesterday, I noticed for the first time an ad for “several” post-doc positions at RPI, posted on iMechanica by Prof. Suvranu De [^]. It had been posted right on the same day: 6th March 2016. However, since recently I was checking out only my thread on the compactness of support [^], I had missed out on the main front page. Thus, I noticed the ad only today.

Curious, I dropped an informal email to Prof. De immediately, almost more or less by cognitive habits.

I am not too keen on going to the USA, and in fact, I am not even inclined to leave India. Reasons are manifold.

You, as every one else on the planet, of course comes to know all that ever happens to or in the USA. Americans make sure that you do—whether you like it or not. (Remember 9/11? They have of course forgotten it by now, but don’t you remember the early naughties when, imagining you to be just as dumb and thick-skinned as they are,  the kind of decibels they had pierced into your metaphorical ears (and in fact also in your soul)? Justifiable, you say? How about other big “controversies” which actually were nothing but scandals? Can’t you pick up one or two?)

Naturally, who would want to go to that uncivilized a place?

And even if you want to argue otherwise, let me suggest you to see if you can or cannot easily gather (or recollect) what all that has happened to me when I was in the USA?

So, the idea of trying to impress Dr. De for this post-doc position was, any which way, completely out of the question. Even if he is HoD at RPI.

And then, frankly, at my age, I don’t even feel like impressing any one for a mere post-doc; not these days anyway (I mean, some 6 years after the PhD defense, and after having to experience so many years of joblessness (including those reported via this blog)). … As far as I am concerned, either they know what and who I am, and act accordingly (including acting swiftly enough), or they don’t. (In the last case, mostly, they end up blaming me, as usual, in some or the other way.)

OK, so, coming back to what I wrote Dr. De. It was more in the nature of a loud thinking about the question of whether I should at all apply to them in the first place or not. … Given my experience of the other American post-docs advertised at iMechanica, e.g. those by Prof. Sukumar (UC Davis), and certain others in the USA, and also my experience of the Americans of the Indian origin (and even among them, those who are JPBTIs and those who are younger to me by age), I can’t keep any realistic expectation that I would ever receive any reply to that email of mine from Prof. De. The odds are far too against; check out the “follow-up” tag. (I could, of course, be psychically attacked, the way I was, right this week, a few days ago.)

Anyway, once thus grown curious about the subject matter, I then did a bit of a Web search, and found the following videos:

The very first listing after a Google search (using the search string: “Suvranu De”; then clicking on the tab: “videos”) was the one on “virtual lap band – surgical simulation”: [^].

Watching that video somehow made me sort of uneasy immediately. Uneasy, in a minor but a definitely irritating way. In a distinctly palpable way, almost as if it was a physical discomfort. No, not because the video carries the scene of tissue-cutting and all. … I have never been one of those who feel nervous or squeamish at the sight of blood, cuts, etc. (Most men, in fact, don’t!) So, my uneasiness was not on that count. …

Soon enough (i.e., much before the time I was in the middle of that video), I figured out the reason why.

I then checked out a few more videos, e.g., those here [^] and here [^]. … Exactly the same sense of discomfort or uneasiness, arising out of the same basic reason.

What kind of an uneasiness could there possibly be? Can you guess?

I don’t want to tell you, right away. I want you to guess. (Assume that an evil smile had transitorily appeared on my face.)

To close this post: If you so want, go ahead, check out those videos, see if it makes you uncomfortable watching some part of an implementation of this new idea. Then, the sin of the sins (“paapam, paapam, mahaapaapam” in Sanskrit): drop me a line (via a comment or an email) stating what that reason possibly could be. (Hint: It has nothing to do with the feely-feely-actually-silly/wily sort of psychological reasons. )

After a while, I will come back, and via an update to this post let you know the reason.

Update 1:

Yahoo! wants you to make a note of the “12 common mistakes to avoid in job interview”: [^]. They published this article today.

Update 2 (on 24th March 2016):

Surprise! Prof.  De soon enough (on 18th March IST) dropped me an email which was brief, professional, but direct to the point. A consequence, and therefore not much of a surprise: I am more or less inclined to at least apply for the position. I have not done so as of today; see the Update 3 below.

Update 3 (on 24th March 2016):

Right the same day (on 18th March 2016 about 10:00 PM IST), my laptop developed serious hardware issues including (but not limited to) yet another HDD crash! The previous crash was less than a year ago, in last June  [^].

Once again, there was  loss of (some) data: the initial and less-than-25%-completed drafts of 4+ research papers, some parts (from sometime in February onwards) of my notes on the current course on CFD, SPH, etc., as well as some preliminary Python code on SPH). The Update 2 in fact got delayed because of this development. I just got the machine back from the Dell Service last evening, and last night got it going on a rapid test installation of Windows 7. I plan to do a more serious re-installation over the next few days.

Update 4 (on 24th March 2016):

The thing in the three videos (about haptics, virtual surgery) that made me uncomfortable or uneasy was the fact that in each case, the surgeon was standing in a way that would have been just a shade uncomfortable to me. The surgeon’s hands were too “free” i.e. unsupported (say near elbow), his torso was stooping down in a wrong way (you couldn’t maintain that posture with accuracy in hands manipulation for long, I thought), and at the same time, he had to keep his eyes fixed on a monitor that was a bit too high-up for the eyes-to-hands coordination to work right. In short, there was this seeming absence of a consideration of ergonomics or the human factors engineering here. Of course, it’s only a prototype, and it’s only a casual onlooker’s take of the “geometry,” but that’s what made me distinctly uncomfortable.

(People often have rationalistic ideas about the proper (i.e. the least stress inducing and most efficient) posture.  In a later post, I will point out a few of these.)



A Song I Like:
(filled-in on 24th March 2016)

(Marathi) “thembaanche painjaN waaje…” [“rutu premaachaa aalaa”]
Singers: Avadhoot Gupte, Vaishali Samant
Music: Shashank Powar
Lyrics: Ravi Wadkar (?)

[An incidental note: The crash occurred—the computer suddenly froze—while I was listening to—actually, watching the YouTube video of—this song. … Somehow, even today, I still continue liking the song! … But yes, as is usual for this section, only the audio track is being referred to. (I had run into this song while searching for some other song, which I will use in a later post.)]

[Some editorial touches, other than the planned update, are possible, as always.]



The 2015 Physics Nobel, the neutrino, and the quantum entanglement

Okey dokey, so…. Quite a few important things have happened since I wrote my last post. Let me jot them down here, in the order of the decreasing importance:

  1. The teaching part of our UG term has (finally) ended.
  2. The QM papers mentioning Alice, Bob, entanglement or Bell’s inequalities did not get the Nobel recognition, not even this year—and if you ask me, for a very, very good set of reasons, but more on it later; I am not done with my list yet.
  3. Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald did get the Physics Nobel for this year, “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.” The official popular explanation is here [(.PDF) ^]
  4. Youyou Tu got half of the Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine this year, “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.” The press release is here [^]. … Is it just me or you too failed to notice any “China-tva-vadi” thumping his chest in “pride” of the ancient Chinese medical system?

OK. Now, a few personal comments, in the reverse order of the list.

Given my interests, the list could have ended at point no. 3 above. It’s just that, given the emphasis that the supposedly ancient “vimaanashaastra” happened to receive in India over the last year, I was compelled me to add the fourth point too.

I don’t understand Kajita and McDonald’s work really well. That’s why the link I have provided above goes only to the popular explanation, not to the advanced information.

However, that doesn’t mean that I knew nothing about it. For instance, I could appreciate the importance of the phrase “mass eigenstates.” … It’s just that I don’t “get” this theory to the same extent that I get, say, Dan Schechtman’s work for his 2011 Chemistry Nobel.

That way, I have known about neutrinos for quite some time, may be for some 25 years or more. In fact, there also is a small personal story about this word that I could share here.

If you are an Indian of my generation, you would know that it would be impossible for you to ever forget the very first radio which your family had got (it probably was the one on which you listened to your Binaca Geetmaalaa every Wednesday evening), the first (and probably the only) bicycle your father bought for you (the one which you were riding in your bell-bottoms, when the thoughts of somehow having to impress that first crush of yours passed you by), the first PC that you bought…

Oh well, I am jumping ahead of myself. Correction. It should be: The first PC whose OS you installed. …

Chances are high that you got to install—nay, you had to re-install—DOS or Windows on your office or lab machine quite a few times, and chances are even higher that you therefore had become an expert of Windows installation way before you could save enough money to buy your first PC…. You can’t forget things like these.

So, in my case, while the first time I ever touched a PC was way back right in 1983 (I was in the EDP department at Mukand back then—a trainee engineer), the first time I got the opportunity to format a HDD and install a fresh OS on it was as late as in the late-July of 1996. (I happened to buy my first PC just a few months later on.) I was already a software engineer back then. The company I then worked with (Frontier Software) was a startup, and so, there were no policies or manuals concerning what names were to be given to an office PC. So, I was free to choose any which name I liked. While some others had chosen names like “koala” or “viper,” or “bramha” or “shiva,” when it came my turn, as the VGA-resolution screen on a small (13”) CRT monitor kept staring at me, the name I ended up choosing in the heat of the moment was: “neutrino.”

“`Neutrino’? Why `neutrino’? What is `neutrino’?”—the colleague who was watching over my shoulder spontaneously wondered aloud. He had been to California on company work some time earlier, and therefore, my guess at that time was that he perhaps could be guessing that “neutrino” could be some Mexican/Spanish/Italian name or expression. I, therefore, hastened to clarify what neutrino really meant (already wondering aloud why this guy had never heard of the term (even if he would maintain that he was into reading popular science books)). … No, he wasn’t thinking Mexican/Spanish/Italian; he was just wondering if I had made up that name. Alright, following my clarification that some billions of these neutrinos were passing through his body every second—even right at that moment, sitting in the comfort of a office, and right while our conversation was going on… Hearing this left him, say, dazed, sort of.

This instance conclusively proves that I have always known about neutrinos.

My “knowledge” about them hasn’t changed much over the past two decades.

… Anyway, my knowledge of QM has…  Two things, and let me end this section about neutrinos.

(i) If they could hunt for just a few (like just tens of) neutrinos out of billions of billions of them, why can’t they build a relatively much less costly equipment to test the hypothesis that the transient dynamics of the far simpler quantum particles—photons and electrons—isn’t quite the same as that put forth by the mainstream QM? [I have made a prediction about photons, and even if my particular published theory turns out to be wrong, any new theory that I replace it with will always have this tiny difference from the mainstream QM, because my theorization is local, whereas the mainstream QM is global.]

(ii) Can photon have mass? … Think about it. It’s not so stupid a suggestion as it may initially sound. (Of course, this point is nowhere as important as the first one concerning the transient dynamics).

Many, many people have been at least anticipating (if not also “predicting,” or “supporting”) a physics Nobel to something related to quantum entanglement. By “quantum entanglement,” I mean things like: Bell’s inequalities, or Clauser/Aspect/ Zeilinger, or Alice and Bob, … you get the idea.

I am happy that none of these ideas/experiments got to get a Nobel, also this time round. [Even if a lot of Americans were rooting for such an outcome!]

No, I have no enmity towards any of them, not even Bob; I never did. In fact, I carry a ton of a respect for them.

My point is: their work (or at least the work they have done so far) doesn’t merit a physics Nobel. Why?

Because, Nobels for the same theoretical framework have been given to many people already, say, to Planck, Einstein, Compton, Bohr, de Broglie, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Pauli, Dirac, Born, et al. The theoretical framework of QM (and unfortunately, even today, it still remains only a framework, not a theory) as built by these pioneers—and as systematized by John von Neumann—already fully contains the same physics that Bell highlighted.

In other words, Bell’s principle is only a sort of a “corollary” (rather, an implication of the already known physics)—it’s not an independent “theorem” (rather, a discovery of new fact, phenomenon, or principle of physics).

As to the experimentalists working on entanglement, if you take the sum-totality of what they have reported, there is not a single surprise. Forget surprise, there isn’t even an unproved hunch here. For a contrasting example, see what Lubos Motl describes in case of neutrinos, here [^]. Unlike neutrinos, when it comes to quantum entanglement, there literally is nothing new. There has been nothing new, over all these decades—except for the addition of a lot of “press,” esp. in the USA, and esp. in the recent times. [Incidentally, you may want to note that Motl supports string theory—which, IMO, basically has always been, and remains, a post ex facto theory.]

The Nobel committee has once again demonstrated that it has a very solid grasp of what an advance of physics means.

An advance of/in physics is to be contrasted from “mere” deductions of corollaries, no matter how brilliant these may be.

About a century ago, they (the Nobel committee members back then) had shown a very robust sense regarding what the terms like “discovery” and “physics” mean, when they had skipped over the relativity theory even in the act of honoring Einstein—they had instead picked up his work on the photoelectric effect.

The parallels are unmistakable. Relativity theory was “sexy” those days; quantum entanglement is “sexy” today. Relativity theory was only a corollary of James Clerk Maxwell’s synthesis (at least the special relativity certainly was just that); quantum entanglement is just a corollary of the mainstream QM. And, while Maxwell had not pointed out relativity, entanglement indeed was pointed out by Schrodinger himself, and that too as early as before EPR had even thought of writing down their paper. So, the parallels—and the degradation in the American and European cultural standards over time—are quite obvious.

Still, what is to be noted here is the fact that the respective Nobel committees, separated by about a century, in both cases chose not to be taken in by the hype of the day. Congratulations are due to them!

And of course, as far as I am concerned, congratulations are also due to Kajita and McDonald.

BTW, Einstein does not become a lesser physicist because he never got a Nobel for the relativity theory. [And people do argue that he didn’t invent the relativity theory either; cf. Roger Schlafly.] So what? Even if relativity couldn’t possibly have qualified for a Nobel, Einstein sure did. He did a lot of work in quantum mechanics. He explained the photoelectric effect; he explained the temperature dependence of the heat capacity of solids using the quantum hypothesis; he didn’t merely explain but predicted the LASER using the QM decades before they were built (1917, vs. 1947–52). If you ask me, any single one of these achievements would have amply qualified him for a physics Nobel. I don’t say it out of deference to the general physics community. You can see it independently. Just put any of these advances in juxtaposition to some of the other undisputed Nobels, e.g., Jean Perrin’s demonstration of the molecular nature of matter (a work which itself was motivated by Einstein’s analysis of the Brownian motion); or de Broglie’s assertion that matter had a wave character; or Bohr’s “construction” of a model that still went missing on two very obvious and very crucial features: stability of orbits and the nature of quantum transitions. (Come to think of it, Einstein also was the first to assert a spatially finite nature for the photon, a point on which all physicists don’t necessarily agree with Einstein, but I, anyway, do.)

So, to conclude, (i) much of Einstein’s best work wasn’t as “sexy” as E = mc^2 or  the “relativity” theory; (ii) the physics Nobel committee showed enormously good judgment in picking up the photoelectric effect and leaving out relativity theory.

Just the way relativity didn’t deserve a Nobel then, similarly, nothing related to quantum entanglement deserves it now.

It doesn’t mean that Bell wasn’t a genius. It doesn’t mean that the experimental work that Clauser, Aspect, Zeilinger, or others have done wasn’t ingenious or challenging.

What it means is simply this: they have been either (very good/brilliant) engineers or mathematicians, but they have not been discoverers of new physics. Whenever they have been physicists, their work has happened to have remained within the limits of testing a known theory, and finding it to be valid (within the experimental error), again and again. And again. But, somehow, they have not been discoverers of new physics. That’s the bottom line!

To conclude this post, think of the “photogenic” apparatus that helped nail down the issue of the neutrino oscillation (e.g. see here [^]). Then, go back to the point I have made concerning accurately measuring the transient dynamics of QM phenomena (whether involving photons or electrons). Then, think a bit about how relatively modest apparatus could still easily settle that issue. And, how it happens to be a very foundational issue, an issue that takes the decades of mystification of QM head-on.

If someone told you that all local theories of QM are BS, or that all theories of QM lead to the same quantitative predictions, he was wrong, basically wrong. The choice isn’t limited to confirmation of the mainstream QM in experiments on the one hand, and creative affirmations or denials of QM via arm-chair philosophic interpretations (such as MWI) on the other hand. There is a third choice: Verification of quantitative predictions that are different (even if only by a very tiny bit) from those of the mainstream QM. The wrong guy should have told you the right thing. Too bad he didn’t—bad for you, that is.

A Song I Like:
(Marathi) “saavaLe sundara, roopa manohara”
Lyrics: Sant Tukaram
Singer: Pt. Bhimsen Joshi
Music: Shrinivas Khale

[May be one (more) editing pass is due for this post (and also the last post). Done with editing of this post. Will let the last post remain as it is; have to move on. ]




Indian matrimonials sites and Indian women

This post is about an experience at a leading Indian matrimonials site. At least for the time being, I will omit the part as to who the parties involved are, or at which matrimonials site. My objective in sharing this story here is more from the pathological sort of a sociological-cultural angle.

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

Here is the background.

He has a profile at an Indian matrimonials site. He is an Indian. He has kept his details open (at least to those who communicate with him), including his complete real name, mobile number, links to his Web presence, photo, not to mention other details. He is highly educated (with a PhD in engineering), 52, and based in India. He comes from a middle-class background. He is a divorcee of a brief marriage 25 years ago, without any kids. By birth, he is from a Kshatriya caste. He has a paid profile. [I don’t know if a girl with an unpaid profile can write him or not. I think yes, once he accepts her interest (or if he sends an interest on his own).] His profile makes it clear that he is serious about marriage.

She creates a profile at the same site, but with a pseudonym. Her profile says that she is 49, has a PhD (apparently from humanities field), is successful in her profession, “beautiful”, etc. She too is an Indian, but currently working in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on a temporary visa. She comes from a “rich” family background. By birth, she belongs to one of the better sub-castes among Brahmins (the Maharashtrian Deshastha Rigvedi, to be precise). She has never been married before. She has an unpaid profile. She has all her contact details hidden—even from those to whom she expresses her interest. Her profile indicates that she is, or would be, visiting India soon, possibly to return to the US in August. However, it is not clear where she is currently.

Now, here is what happened, in the chronological order.

  1. 2015.06.17: She views his profile. She contacts him, expressing interest in him.
  2. 2015.06.17: He accepts her interest. This would allow her to view all his contact information without paying her paying anything.
  3. 2015.06.17: He writes a somewhat lengthy message saying how he is “honestly surprised” to receive an interest from someone like her. He asks her to let him know her name, contact information, and more details about her education and family background. He continues on the being surprised line, and lets her know that he doesn’t feel anything if something doesn’t work out, or if she drops out, but about the only thing that still gets him irritated is if a girl expresses interest on her own (or accepts the interest sent) and still doesn’t say anything further. [No further communications from their side. No replies. Nothing. Only an acceptance of interest!]
  4. Between 2015.06.17 through 2015.06.22: She logs in at least twice. Reads his message. [This is routine feature of that site.] Still, she does not respond with anything. Even if she doesn’t have a paid profile, now that she has all his contact information, she could have: (i) sent an SMS, (ii) called on phone, (iii) emailed him, (iv) contacted him via his Web presence, etc.
  5. 2015.06.22: In a brief (three line) message, he first writes a brief line enquiring how things are going at her end. He then notes that he still doesn’t know her name. Finally he asks asks exactly when she would be in India.
  6. 2015.06.24: By this time, she has logged in once again, and read the new message too. She still does not communicate anything via any route: message exchange at the matrimonials site, SMS, phone-call, email, etc.
  7. 2015.06.25: He tells her that he is going to block her, but that if she wants to, she can still reach him via SMS or email. To express his irritation, he wonders if this is a Brahmin female’s research project to see how non-Brahmin profiles react to Brahmin women or something like that. He also tells her that he may be contacting the support staff.
  8. 2015.06.25: He discusses the issue in a chat with the support staff. They tell him that they cannot force her to reply to him. He agrees, and then tells them that he has already blocked her on the site anyway, and the reason he is contacting them is because he wants them to ascertain whether this is a genuine profile or not, whether they information she submitted while creating her profile at least sounds reasonable or not. They promise to get back within 24 hours.
  9. 2015.06.26: She logs in again. Reads his message. Since she is blocked from his profile, she can view his profile but not write to him (even if she were to be a paid member). However, since she already knows all his details (the earlier messages revealing his details are available to her and indeed a copy has been delivered to her email ID), in case of mere error or misunderstanding, she could have still contacted him via SMS, phone-call, or email. Even if only to inform him that she is no longer interested. She does not do so.
  10. 2015.06.26: 24 hours have elapsed since his complaint, but the matrimonials site has not come back to him.
  11. 2015.06.27: 46 hours have elapsed since his complaint, but the matrimonials site has not come back to him. He initiates another chat session. Repeats the information. The support staff expresses regrets, informs him that a team is working on the issue, and confirms him that they will sure get back to him. He tells that he is forwarding the chat transcripts to his email ID. He then asks when they will come back. The support staff again says within 24 hours.
  12. 2015.06.28: 72 hours after original complaint, and 24 hours after the repeat complaint, the support staff has still not come back.
  13.  2015.06.28: She logs in again. She still does not write anything to him via any means.
  14. 2015.06.28: He unblocks her for a moment, so that he can write her once again. He reminds her the essence of the story: “I am interested in you for communications from marriage point of view, but I won’t tell you who I am.” He informs her that he has contacted the support staff. However, they seem to be rather supporting her than him. He closes the message after a little sarcastic remark that this site seems to be a match made for her, not him, so that she could continue merrily in her way. He forgets to block her again.
  15. 2015.06.28: Immediately within an hour, she logs in again, only to cancel her interest in him. Now, he cannot write anything ever to her: all her details have always been hidden.
  16. 2015.06.28: He does not expect the matrimonials site to ban her. Here is why. Once, in May, a similar story had unfolded: A girl had expressed interest to him; he accepted; she didn’t reveal who she was; he contacted the support staff asking whether he can decline her interest; they had told him that since he did write some/any communication with her, now, the system did not allow him to cancel his acceptance of her interest. A few days later, the girl had cancelled her interest.

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

We (you and me) may never come to know who exactly had created that profile. Also, we (you and me) would also know enough to know that since this is a woman-vs-man thing, both Americans (esp. Democrats) and Indians (esp. South Indians) are going to side with her—not him. So, an investigation into the possibilities of a cyber-crime would never get seriously entertained by the authorities in either country. However, in case you wish to know what photograph had been used (or possibly even abused), well, it should be available.

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

Anyway, so, what’s the essence of the story here? Let me give it a shot.

Here is one: A well-educated single Indian woman to a well-educated single Indian man: “Will you marry me? I am a stranger, and intend always to remain one.”

OK. That might be a bit too over-stretched. How about this one: “Why don’t you tell me what you think of me—in the context of a marriage, that is. I am a stranger, and I intend always to remain one.” … Nah, too complicated. … The wording should be simpler…

How about this one: Woman to man: “I am here looking for marriage, and you seem interesting. Now, talk to the wall.”

Yeah. That seems just about right, what say?

And, how would you characterize it philosophically? Super-duper Platonic expectations? I mean, something like an over-over-overblown version of the Elizabeth Browning and Robert Browning story?

Not quite. Because, here, you see, Bob does not know who Alice is, even if the interceptor does. And the interceptor here refuses to either tell Bob (the paid member) or support him, even while he allows Alice (the unpaid member) to go ahead and possibly contact even more paid men in her own merry ways. … In any case, on the second thoughts, it’s not Platonic. Not even in a super duper way.

How about absurd-ism? Is there a philosophic stream like that? Could be. But wouldn’t Camus and all that be a bit too general to be fitting here? It has to be something more specific. Something befitting those Bangalore people. [I don’t know, but am guessing, that at least the support staff and the managers if not also the site owners reside in Bangalore.]

Sorry, I cannot figure out the particular philosophy operative here. And, sociology and all is not an area even just an exposure to me. So, I don’t know how to characterize it sociologically either. I mean I can tell that it’s pathological in general, but I can’t tell anything more specific than that, from a sociological angle either. And, I even refuse to speculate about the psychology of that woman. Or of the support staff/managers.

See if you want to give it a shot. Though I can understand if you don’t want to. After all, it is pathological. Only a professional of the relevant area(s) could maintain an interest in such things.

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

Anyway, let’s get back to better things.

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

A Song I Like:

(Hindi) “sandhyaa jo aaye, man uDa jaaye…”
Music: S. D. Burman
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

[Once again, this is one S.D. song that sounds so much as if it had actually come from R.D. Not just the orchestration (you can’t miss the bongo of R.D., the violins, or the tempo) but in fact even the tune itself. It sounds much more like R.D. than S.D. Of course, it could still have been S.D. It’s just that it sounds like R.D.’s… [On the second listening, no, the tune itself does sound like SD’s.] Anyway, it’s a beautiful song… I ran into once again only last earlier this year, after a gap of decades.]