The Roti Riddle

One link on one of the most frequent tags on this blog:

Kafka’s Castle is collapsing

And on a (slightly) different note:

Love in Sunnyvale

And to complete a trio (one for all, all for one), a sociological and ecological riddle with just a little bit of mathematics:

One man eats 1.9 meals a day and three rotis per meal. He leaves half a roti thrice a month, which gets thrown. Another man eats 2.9 meals a day and eight rotis per meal. He only leaves one roti once every three months, which he religiously feeds to a stray animal or to a beggar. Which one of the two men is more socially and ecologically responsible? The sizes and weights of the rotis remain the same for both.

Five Fingers

The phrase ‘too clever by half’ was coined for such things.

Take Twelve Monkeys as an antidote to this poison. If there is not enough improvement, take Brazil too.

In case of side effects from the above double dose, Burn After Reading might help. But be sure to know your allergies before you take it.

For preemptive, I mean preventive, purposes, it is advisable to periodically take The Quiet American. Beware, however, that you have to take the 2002 version, not the 1958 version. The latter is prescribed by many quacks who practice intellectual euthanasia.

As a final resort, you should take the Mr. Neutron episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. If that doesn’t help, I am afraid there is not much hope.

The Powerful Powerless Correlation

For the last few days, there has been strange correlation. As I start watching some Howard Zinn video (apart from the video becoming unavailable and other network problems) on the Internet, there comes a long unscheduled power cut.

The institute here has its own power station. And the power goes in some places in the institute, not in others.

Sounds like paranoid? Of course, it does.

A cut in electric power supply for me means no tea, no food, no fans during that period. And it’s already really hot in the beginning of March, a time that used to associated with spring in other northern cities.

And no computer after the battery runs out.

The correlation suggests a powerful powerless strategy to deal with dissidence and dissent, even of the most mild kind.

Howard Zinn

Another man done gone. But just the body. The Howard Zinn I knew (even if only slightly and not personally) and lot of others knew, is not going to die so easily, in spite of the manufactured consent and the manufactured dissent (of the Caine and Melnyk kind, not the Michael Moore kind).

I am not mad about meeting people, even great ones, but I wish I could have met him and told him that I have translated one of his articles in Hindi.

Still, I might translate more.

In case you don’t know anything about him, his is the book to find out about the American (US) History: A People’s History of the United States. But he didn’t just write. He participated in as many movements for justice as he could and faced beatings and arrests. He could do that because he didn’t have to juggle for maintaining a privileged place in the establishment and also a place as an acceptable honorable dissenter. Some of you might be disappointed now if I mention that he served as a bombardier in World War II and was no loony hippie.

Here is one of his recent interviews and below is another:

(It seems to have suddenly become unavailable here, though all other videos are working. You can still read the transcript here)

And you might also be able to watch, or rather listen to (unless that too suddenly becomes unavailable) readings from parts of The People’s History of the United States by Matt Damon. I am adding the first part below, from which you can navigate to the other parts: