We will have to save our world

 

This kid is telling us, adults with brains, about climate change because we apparently forgot how to think and shut our eyes to see ! And then when I listen to those adults denying climate change, my jaw drops; specially those big fat ones in the parliaments of various countries, from even specifically including the self-proclaimed world police withdrawing from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Most parents are raising their kids; most adults are basically hating their jobs, in coming days probably won’t even find jobs; some adults are trying to invent every form of entertainment so that they can escape the reality – it seems like everybody already deluded each other believing that we are going to live in the same world that we were born somehow. We are living in the fourth but the biggest technological revolution- the internet, the social media, the money revolution, the artificial intelligence, mars exploration in one hand, on the other hand the decimation and destruction of our own planet and atmosphere by our own greed. Parents have no idea that the schools, colleges they send their kids probably won’t help their kids find any jobs as the way Google, Amazon are developing Artificial Intelligence and the automation is taking away jobs from human hands and our schools have no clue about future but to teach the same books they taught our grandparents, and then on our lands on which we build our homes, probably the most habitable lands, will no longer be available in most areas due to natural hazards resulted by climate change. Countries are still trying to steal oil from each other, fossil fuel industries are still lobbying so that they can make some extra dollars by going against green renewable alternatives, rainforests are being destroyed so that the overpopulated earth can eat more and more; but then when the cyclones and tsunamis will rise from the ocean, when the earthquakes will just decimate acres of lands, displace millions of people and force them to migrate and cause wars and battles as our vague nationalism and capitalistic self-cyclic greed are just making us more selfish and self-righteous and less compassionate day by day; when the melted ice and glaciers and the consequent sea level will just level everything within few decades; I don’t know where will all these entertainment politics and mudslinging and worrying about the smallest little things, fighting over the silliest topic on the outdated television channels will go. To be pessimistic, may be, the nature will just blow up the earth with all our interesting circus inside; just like a cruel boy uses his cruel lazy feet to destroy an ant colony that those small, little, hard working ants have built little by little, after sweating for days and nights. To be optimistic, I guess, we will have like some child genius activist like this school kid who will motivate all of us to do the right thing, to take the actions necessary, to start loving our planet, to enjoy living together peacefully with all the other species. I don’t want to live with horrors, rather I want to live in a world full of optimism and energy and with the sense that I am working towards making the world better than the world I was born. I was not aware before because I didn’t have the information, I didn’t know how our world is shaping into a nightmare because of climate change. This little kid talks about how she doesn’t want to be a climate scientist to discover another issues for the future that will not exist because of what we are doing now and now and now. We can change and we will have to change. She shows how we can change, how we can take actions to save our mother earth for our own selves. And it starts by understanding what we have done wrong, and how we can do right- like may be, we should reduce burning fossil fuels, may be we should not elect politicians who are ignorant about climate change, artificial intelligence, may we should start using electric cars to try to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, may be we should start using renewable energy sources, so that the new renewable energy companies can florish, may be we should be vocal against industrial farming so that the greenlands, forests, rainforests don’t get destroyed, may we should take care of our ecological niches, may be we should go vegetarian or vegan so that we consume less animal products, which will reduce industrial farming which is a significant cause behind greenhouse gas emission, may be we should rethink about other kind of jobs which can employ people who are dependent on the jobs that again are destructive towards our planet. We should live in the world of today and enjoy it in a way so that the world can florish. May be, we should learn to love our world. Please educate yourself about climate change.

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A conversation without conclusion

(scene: Student standing at the front of Professor’s office. Thinking about knocking.)

(knock knock)

Professor: Come in. Take a seat.

Student: Thank you. How are you Professor?

Professor: I’m doing well. How are you? You seem a little bit disturbed. How may I help you?

Student (bit nervous) : Yeah! You are right. I am. It’s the end of the semester and also the course.  I really want to thank you for doing a great job in teaching some really difficult concepts. But… But. I came here to talk something that I am really unhappy about, somewhat different if you are interested. I respect your time.

Professor (With smile in his face, stood up, moved the curtain to allow more light through the window into the nicely arranged well-scented room full of books in the shelves and some green plants in the corner, came back, took a seat in a more relaxed mood and smiled) : Yes. What is it?

Student (now bit confident) : Though I am a big fan of your teaching style in class, I am quite disappointed with the evaluation process. Actually.. I am upset with not only how you evaluate students, but actually how we are evaluated in schools in general. I am quite upset about it. I was thinking a lot, and I felt like to have some perspective from someone who is executing these process. Is it okay if I ask you some questions?

Professor: Ok.

Student (He opened his bag, brought out his exam paper which have been already scored): As you can see I scored very low. But I didn’t come here to talk about my scores. I definitely did very bad in the exam. But do you think I don’t understand the topics?

Professor: That’s hard to tell. Given that you are way below the average, as you can see there are more than half of the students  who performed better than you in the exam.

Student: Yes. Exactly. So, an exam is about performance then. Performing on this specific questions that you have put during a fixed time, right?

Professor: Yes. Definitely. But because it touches different topics that I taught in the class and you did in the assignments, if you can answer them correctly,  that means you have command over those topics.

Student: Ideally yes. I agree. But I think you know that you also have some patterns in putting same questions in the exam. One of the questions are just a little bit of modification of last year exams. And students who solved those questions, I know, are the students who are the high scorers. So, before exams, preparing for the exam is necessary which, for most of the students, mean to solve past year questions. But even, that is not what I came to talk about. Now that we all have scores, half of them are below average and half are above. What is it measuring actually? Does it not just tell that the students with high scores practiced more than the others? Does it really reflect how much we have learnt from your teaching?

Professor: Yes. But practice is also very important. If you don’t practice, you forget what you have learnt.

Student: So, when we get a bad score, what exactly we should feel? I am confused about it. I think I can regret about not practicing more. But I think I started also doubting about my knowledge itself. And I think you also doubt that I haven’t learnt much given this score only. And I think that is not true. I reviewed the topics and I think I understand them very well. It’s just that I didn’t prepare myself for performing good in the exam. Exams just don’t drive me. I hate going in one hour exam rooms. I freak out. It’s like sports, football or baseball or soccer. All players in both teams know how to score a goal in a soccer game, but one team eventually wins based on their performance. But you need to have two teams in the first place for one team to lose for sure, if not draw. Yeah, not that always the same team is gonna win. And if the loser team gives a good fight, people will also appreciate. But I think we all know a win is a win, a loss is a loss. After even the hardest fight, the loser feels emotionally devastated. That loss might make him work even harder to not do the same mistake and win eventually in future in one hand, or completely destroy his confidence. And these two scenario vary a lot based on individuals. But I am not talking about the game itself. Each game is set up in a way to determine the winner and cheer for them and make the loser sob and weep. Isn’t it? So then is education in schools are also like games. Finding and sorting out winners? Making a good resume? Showing how much you have performed? Being a winner in life? Then if that is the case, you need a looser on the other hand. Someone needs to be defeated, someone needs to lose to have the perception of winning for the winner and others. Is it not then set up for some to lose?

Professor(now raised his eyebrow, thinking.., taking his time): Hmm. Then how else you propose to evaluate?

Student: I don’t know. I just can see something is wrong here. Is everybody incapable of seeing it? Or, are they just happy with what it is? And I even didn’t bring out so many personal, emotional reality a person might have been going through during the time of his performance.

Professor: That is why we sometimes do open book exams or take home exams. The whole point is to make you, students, work hard to learn more. If you didn’t have an exam, you wouldn’t work hard, right?

Student: But you are missing my point. If the ultimate goal is to learn, we are all learning. Some who have interest for some specific material or some who just want to perform really well or some who want to win, is going to perform better. But the evaluation tag that you put on everyone, that tells very less and very void of what the ultimate purpose it should be. Sometimes I feel like may be you all are too lazy to change things for us. Or may be just want us to go through the same grinder you have gone through. But you don’t realize the world outside is so different than the world you have experienced in your age. May be you just want the same world.

Professor: Hmm. I can’t say you are not right.

Student: You are driving us for what professor? You want me to solve the differential equations, the other professor wants me to draw a large heart of an amphibia, the other one wants me to measure the percentage of water in the rock, you criticize us when we are not accurate, when we make mistake. It seems like you all know everything, want us to know more, and don’t want to do mistake. But then we just feel like being dragged, pressured. My friend is leaving school, don’t know what he wants to do. My other friend had her parents divorced on the day of final exam. If you open the google news today, the absolute buffoon Donald J Trump wins the election. What is going on? Why does everything seem so wrong, if we or you know everything for so sure.

Professor: Don’t you think you are thinking too much?

Student: Yes, I am Professor. Yes I am. Thanks for listening.

(Student leaves and the Professor starts thinking..)

 

 

 

A political revolution to come soon

Bernie Sanders. I like him. He seems to be the only politician in this country, who really understands what changes need to be brought to fix the mess American middle class family are suffering from. Look at his issue oriented camoaign:
a ) His staunch position for making people aware of climate change due to irresponsible human activities. I have no clue how all the Republican candidates can deny the scientific consensus and still run for the most important position on earth and how so many people can also blindly support them.
b) His opposition against wall street and desire to break the “too big to fail” banks. After the economic disaster and the controversial bail out, if anybody has read former managing director of Goldman Sachs and whistle-blower Nomi Prins, they can understand these banks are again constantly crucifying and bringing disaster for economy with their selfish greed and the strategy of quarterly profit maximization.

c) Tuition free public college is a wonderful idea that has already been implemented by several countries. It’s really nonsense to make profits from educational institutions the way it is currently operating around the country. Student debt has literally crushed so many students’ lives.

d) Campaign finance reform is his another political agenda. I think every sensible person knows that how super pacs and billionaire endorsements are influencing policies and how democracy is being threatened. I think Bernie, by avoiding super pac, has the highest credibility to effectively reform.

e) He wants to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollar per hour which I think is a great idea to improve so many workers’ lives and will definitely increase satisfaction. And in fact people will actually spend more which is also good for the economy.

f) He wants to fight for women’s right. In a civilized world like ours, we still have income inequality based on gender which is unacceptable. He wants to provide paid leave which I have no idea why we already don’t have. How on earth, a parent can leave their new borns to work.  LGBT community right is also important that he wants to focus on.

g) Institutional racism is another big issue. Initially Bernie was looking at the race issue with the lens of income inequality issues and employment opportunity imbalances. But I think now he is strategically reaching towards different race groups and expressing his earnest desire for change. He was part of civil right movements and I totally believe that he will really bring real changes.

If Bernie wins 2016 election and can really gather people for a revolution to change against all oppositions, it will really be a great achievement for contemporary human history. I am gladly waiting to see the next 9 years how america goes through the changes under President Bernie. If what he is promising can be achieved, that will bring hope to lots of countries where political changes are really required. Let’s hope for a better future.

Capitalism, Communism, Fascism, Socialism- The concepts

I had insufficient ideas about Capitalism, communism, Fascism and socialism. Throughout human history, we have seen different types of governance, economic systems in different part of the world. Political and economic policies very often were shaped by the ideas of these four systems. I liked the brief summary in this article from an English Course at University of Idaho which gave me a general idea about them. Trying to make a contrast  just to keep track of my reading these concepts.. Will try to read and write more.

No.

Characteristics

Capitalism

Socialism

Communism

Fascism

1.

Ownership of

the means of

production

Privately owned

Owned by central state

Owned by

community

Primarily owned by a dictator

2.

What determines

the investment of capital?

A free market, rather than by state. Profit driven system.

State, rather than by free market.

Community requirement etc.

Will and desire of the powerfuls.

3.

Public property/Privatization

In pure capitalism, no public schools, no state owned or maintained roads and highways, public works, welfare, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, social security benefits etc.

Everything is privatized.

State owns or maintain  roads and highways, public works, welfare, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, social security benefits etc. In a pure socialist state, state owns and operate the means of production.

Communities owns or maintain the means of production.

4.

Religion

Humanism

Humanism

State sponsored

Any

5.

Personal Growth, Individuality, Creativity

High as individuals can earn status

Low personal growth. Individuals are not focussed.

Low.

Low as everything is for him and him only.

6.

Power/Governance in hands of

Upper class/corporations

Elite/people

Low/middle class

Elected congressional members

7.

Centralized control/ Centralized Banking

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

8.

Historically

America

Western Europe

Soviet Union

Nazi Germany, Italy, Rome

9.

Equality-Freedom in general

Low equality – High Freedom

High(somewhat) Equality- High Freedom

High equality- Low Freedom

Low Equality- Low Freedom

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Reposting some interesting part of the article.

“These are complex concepts concerning both economics and government ….. these concepts are not always mutually exclusive (most modern states combine elements of more than one)…. some of the terms refer strictly to economic systems (capitalism) while others (fascism) also refer to government and economic systems (communism and fascism). ”

United States is a Constitutional Democratic Republic that has long embraced both capitalism (free markets) and socialism (public schools and universities, and public works – parks, roads and highways, sewer and water, dams, harbors, as well as social welfare, such as worker’s comp, unemployment insurance, social security etc.).

Capitalism

An economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated, the investment of capital and the production, distribution and prices of commodities (goods and services) are determined mainly in a free market, rather than by the state.

Socialism

  “State ownershipof common property, or state ownership of the means of production.  A purely socialist state would be one in which the state owns and operates the means of production.

Communism

Most generally, communism refers to community ownership of property, with the end goal being complete social equality via economic equality.  Communism is generally seen by communist countries as an idealized utopian economic and social state that the country as a whole is working toward. Fundamentally, communism argues that all labor belongs to the individual laborer; no man can own another man’s body, and therefore each man owns his own labor.  In this model all “profit” actually belongs in part to the laborer, not, or not just, those who control the means of production, such as the business or factory owner.  Profit that is not shared with the laborer, therefore, is considered inherently exploitive.

Fascism
   “A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”

Other interesting Tables: http://texags.com/forums/16/topics/1386979