Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Last few days

I dont know the exact date I will leave IITK but I do know that the number is in single digits. Isnt it amazing that we spent four years here and time just flew by! The first time I came here, I thought to myself, "four years, thats a long time". Little did I know that time is such a dangerously slippery eel that one could never expect to hold on to.
My exam was on the first day of the end semester exam schedule. So, I had the privelge of having to finish my exams before anybody else! Now, I see people running around, mugging and I reflect on the days when I would miss all this... The last minute cramming that IIT Kanpur has inculcated in us is a practise we never did at school. for school exams, the last minute was earmarked for the fifth revision (or something like that). here, revision is something only a weirdo like Rahul Kumar would do (no offence to Rahul).

Goodbye, IIT Kanpur

Friday, November 12, 2004

That funny feeling in your stomach...

Spending the last few days in IIT Kanpur (again) is not such a great way to end the year. You reminisce all the good times and all the wonderful times you had in this place. Yes, you might wonder about the bad times too but you really do not want to think about it.

Yesterday, the msci guys left the wing on a trip to Delhi to write the dreaded AGRE. So, I was not woken up by Daddu's clandestine visit to my room to check mail. This semester wasnt so bad as I had Adi and George for company but I definitely missed all my ex-wingmates who are scatterred all over the globe...

Yes, this is the end of an era where friendship was the most cherished relation of all. Out of this place and into the cruel world of deadlines and arbit coding. Yes, it will be something that I may come to enjoy but I will definitely miss being a student in IIT Kanpur. Some might wonder why. To them, I cant really explain why... Where will I ever find a bunch of such fine guys and gals ever?

I hear the words of "Final Countdown" being played on some music system in Hall 1. It is as if my thoughts have gained some material form and have influenced some other guy out there. I am getting poetic and that is an indication of how I feel right now. There is a thin line between being sentimental and being maudlin, or is it a thick line? I dont know but I do know this, the guy lost the train of my thoughts and is now playing "brasil...."

We all want a place of our room, dont we? We all think that at some point in our life, we will find it and we will live thereon in the comfort of that cubicle. I have been optimistic all my life (and my preceptive friend recognises that) and for the past few years that optimistic frame of mind has mellowed a little and a bit of cynicism has crept in. So I believe that it wont be so bad out there and I go in with no hope.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Profile Picture

Check it out!
I just made it... I think it is nice. Let me know what you think of it.

Bush wins :((

Just read the report on Bush winning the election narrowly. As it is I have increasingly given thought to whether Democracy is the best way of governance and this result only makes me tilt towards the viewpoint that democracy can work only with a responsible media and once the media is bought by one party, it can be really difficult unbalanced fight.
The recent General elections in India made me think that maybe democracy does work. But that is because that I interpreted the result as a vote against the ruling BJP party and NOT as a vote for Congress. I personally think that Congress has been as communal as the BJP but at a more subtle level. The congress has had its chance for 50 years and I think there has to be a shift in the approach to governance. Sadly, there is no responsible and popular leftist party in India. It is time for the leftists to organise themselves and fight for democracy.
Alrighty then, let me get back to the US elections. How dumb do you think the US electoral procedure is? If you win more votes than your opponent in a particular state, you win all the seats of that state! I learnt that today and frankly, that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. George (my friend, not the US prez) agrees and he feels that he could not have conceived of a more stupider thing than that, even if he tried his best to. I wonder who thought it up? If that is the case, then there is no chance for an independent to affect the presedential elections at all! I wondered at the independent candidates (Thats right, there are independent candidates(!) and there were four this time) who stood for this elections and they didnt win a single seat because of this ridiculous electoral system. That means that they have no say at all. I personally feel that some of these independent candidates were better than both Bush and Kerry.

Ralph Nader (born February 27, 1934) is an activist who targets large American corporations on environmental and consumer rights issues. He is an independent candidate in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. He also received the Reform Party endorsement. His running mate is Peter Camejo.
He was also the U.S. presidential candidate of the Green Party in 1996 and 2000.
In 1965 he released Unsafe at Any Speed, a study claiming many American automobiles, especially those of General Motors, to be structurally flawed. GM tried to discredit Nader, hiring private detectives to investigate his past and attempt to trap him in a compromising situation, but the effort failed. Upon learning of this harassment, Nader then successfully sued the company for invasion of privacy, forced it to publicly apologize, and used the winnings to expand his consumer rights efforts. Hundreds of young activists, inspired by Nader's work, came to DC to help him with other projects. They came to be known as "Nader's Raiders" and, led by Nader, they investigated corruption throughout government, publishing dozens of books with their results.

Michael J. Badnarik (born August 1, 1954) is an American software engineer and political figure. He is the Libertarian Party (a third party) nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 elections.

David Keith Cobb (born 1963, San Leon, Texas) is an American lawyer and activist and the current presidential candidate of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).

Maryland lawyer Michael Anthony Peroutka (born 1952) is the founder of The Institute on the Constitution and once held a position in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He is the Constitution Party candidate for president of the United States in 2004. He is running on a platform of "God, Family, Republic", emphasizing the Bible, the traditional family, and the need for a more constitutional government in his campaign. His running mate is Baptist minister Chuck Baldwin.

Even though, I would never support three of these four for some of their views, I would still have preferred them over Bush or Kerry as they would not be corporate sellouts. The genius of the presedential elections is that the vote would be effectively split between Kerry and Bush, and the independents would not matter at all (well, they might affect the result due to Vote splitting but not in the long run as they will never have any say in the governance). Both the Democratic and republican parties have been known to be two parties with similar agenda and similar track record. They have always been corporate stooges who have helped their capitalistic friends more than the layman, and they have both been known to place Pax Americana ahead of the world. In many ways, it is true that US has really a one-party system.

I dont know how biased the US media was but all indications from past reports and statements from highly respected people there is that there definitely was a tilt towards Bush. Also, it would explain why there is practically no support for Bush anywhere in the world except in the US. If the elections were to be a worldwide event, Bush would not even be close! So why are the americans supporting Bush? The answer may lie with the media's role in influencing the voters. Consider this, a few days before the elections, two news reports are released.
1. A tape with Osama "looking healthy" threatening to make 9/11 look like a firecracker. Apparently, the tape was sent a long time ago but was released now as they were first verifying the "authencity" of the tape.
2. A sattelite picture of a "weapons" site in Iraq is released with two trucks parked outside it. The picture was allegedly taken two days before the invasion. Though the report said that there was no evidence that any weapons were moved, there was a clear indiaction that it could have been simply by the mention of the possibility! This is a mischevious report as it makes the viewers speculate about the possibility that the weapons were moved, not just at this site but at other places too. And it takes no genius to guess whom this report favours!
The Bush government, along with the Blair administration, have been shown to have misled and in many cases blatantly lied to justify the invasion of Iraq. WODs figure prominently in these lies. Bush has based his campaign on this fear of the "dirty bomb" and the Al-Qaeda. Isnt it very interesting that these two news reports, which would strenthen this fear, are released just before the elections...

I am tired of Bush and US. I have come to regard that country as a country of dumbfucks, who have benifited immensenly by the WWs, which brought the cream of the world to that country who contributed in making it the richest country in the world. How could any one want to live in a place where the media and the people dont make the sensible and logical choice and where the electoral processes are fishy is beyond me. I certainly do not want to go there. Shoot me if I do...

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