Binary Oppositions and the Hard Hard Problem of Solidarity

It seems that these days everyone is saying that the world is undergoing a radical change, and rightly so. It may be that the reasons for saying so and the motivations behind it span the whole of social, political, moral, economic and technological spectrum. It is also widely recognised that this change has been underway for at least two decades now. During much of this period, one has been following discussions on various kinds of forums such as mailing lists, group discussions and open digital publication venues, including blogs.

More recently, one has been following (and to some extent participating in) this particular forum*. Going through discussions like those on this forum on the one hand, and some other usual kinds of forums on the other, one can’t help observing that:

* Don’t form an opinion about the forum based on a couple of posts as there are wide variety of people on it.

1. If the people in a forum are only after totally selfish gains, solidarity consolidates extremely rapidly to the lowest point possible, as if enabled by gravity. It is like collective free fall that does not even harm the people involved in it, as they get a kind of immunity and can say or do things with impunity. It is like leaping down a cliff collectively. Of course, there will be a crash at some point, but things can move from one crash to another as if nothing happened, as long as life itself doesn’t become totally impossible for everyone on the planet.

2. If, on the other hand, the people in a forum are motivated by completely or mostly unselfish concerns, it is extremely hard to achieve even the minimum level of solidarity, climbing against all odds, as if against gravity, a bit like a group of people trying to fly together. Even if a good degree of solidarity is established, it comes at a great cost. And it can fall apart quite easily.

This has become more true in the last two or three decades, as we enter the hyper-digital age. One can think of it as binarisation of politics and of all the social and political (and other) issues of life on the planet. Some examples are given below.

The world, it seems, is divided into binary classes and all you have to do (in fact the only thing you are allowed to do in terms of political decision making) is to perform instant binary classification on all the individuals and groups in the world. Some example binary classes are:

– Those who are against J. K. Rowling and those who are not

– Those who are in favour of ‘fighting the virus’ and those who are not

– Those who are against Putin and those who are not

– Those who are strictly in favour of masks and those who are not

– Those who are against the new Michael Moore film and those who are not

– Those who are against Israel and those who are not

– Those who support Israel and those who don’t

– Those who are in favour of the ‘cancel culture’ and those who are not

– Most importantly, for the last four years, those who are against the Reality TV POTUS and those who are not

These are like binary constraints and after a point it becomes impossible to satisfy all the constraints in any way at all. Everyone is forced into innumerable binary classes, because if you are not in one class (that is, declare yourself into one class), then you are, by definition, in the other class. As a result, the good kind of solidarity becomes impossible. It may still be achieved, but only by collectively ignoring the existence of some or many such constraints and collectively pretending they don’t exist. This naturally implies implicit sacrifice from a large number of people who are affected by these ignored constraints, who are usually already the people most at disadvantag as far as life on the planet is concerned. It should be pointed out that most of the ignored constraints, in reality, are not binary.

There is a name for this phenomenon and it is well known: polarisation. It was always there, but the difference is that, in the hyper-digital age, binaries are not about complicated matters like the interactions between global social welfare, human rights and justice and truth and sustainable growth. They are like being against J. K. Rowling or not and so on.

How do we deal with this hard hard problem of solidarity for unselfish purposes without sacrificing a (large?) number of people? This is perhaps the biggest challenge facing us, if we stick to truth and justice both (not one or the other).

The irony is that this is happening at a time when a consensus is emerging (rightly) all over the globe against a specific kind of binarisation which had existed for ages: Gender binaries.


Why do binaries exist? Why do they proliferate? Why do they dominate?

One can try to answer in common sense terms, using informal logic and common sense psychology.

One reason is a deterministic view of the world, but that alone does not explain it, as even that view allows for non-binaries.

Another reason that seems obvious is along the same lines as why did religions, full of superstition, originate?

In a world that they could not understand and were afraid of, human being tried to make sense of it. As a secular view of the reality became more and more popular and established, this need did seem to decrease with scientific and technological developments. However, these developments, along with social, political and economic developments (or regressions) brought about radical changes in societies.

At this point, in 21C, we have reached a situation where, due to things like Reality Shows and Social Media (among other things) it is more and more possible to manipulate the perception of what is the reality, thus making it difficult to make sense of the world again. One could say more even than during prehistoric days.

So once more we look for certainties where none exist, at least as far as known human knowledge is concerned. Perhaps none exist in reality.

Every belief in total certainty about any non-trivial matter usually gives rise to a new binary opposition, perhaps more than one. Sometimes binary oppositions are created through diktats. When faced with any complicated matter which leads to some kind of fear(s), a perhaps natural response of those in power (i.e., those with the blessings of the materialistic Holy Trinity, even if they claim divine blessings), particularly those with regressive minds, is to issue a diktat. A common kind of diktat is to ban something, to prohibit something, as if by that act alone the problems that give rise to the fear(s) will magically disappear.

Strict binary oppositions are very much like using diktats to ban things, even if the motives are driven by the urge to achieve truth and justice.

So again, in a world full of deadly uncertainties, we seek refuge in creating artificial certainties of our own.

If we are secular, we might even try to use science to justify these artificial certainties, working backwards with logic and evidence.

One way to deal with uncertainties is to abandon all principles and become totally cynical, as some ideologies and their followers do.

Another way is to ignore uncertainties and pretend they don’t exist, that everything has been worked out by groups of some seemingly superhuman people with some authoritative labels.

Still another way is to stick to the principles and at the same time face the uncertainties of life. This is much more difficult and it imposes a great deal more responsibility on us.

It is true that such responsibility is too much for us, but the question is should we still face it? Because that is the ‘path of truth’. So far so good, because if we only care for the truth, then it is still relatively easy to make good enough decisions and to act on them. But if we care equally for justice (recognising the fact about the uncertainties even there), then it is much more difficult to make decisions, to act upon them and to explain them and to justify them. This is often called, in the age of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, ‘policy paralysis’. This is supposed to characterise the total inability to act, as if by just taking some action rapidly, any action, even radical action, we would have solved the problem. This is the “do something, anything, *now*!” philosophy/ideology, which has an infamous historical record. It even has a name: Kissingerism, as described> so well by Greg Grandin in Kissinger’s Shadow.

One is not suggesting that all those creating these strict binaries are followers of Kissingerism. The truth is, whether we like it or not, this calamitous ideology has seeped into our global social, political and economic fabric, and is corroding that fabric quite fast. No political faction seems to be immune to this societal toxin. It has affected even arts and literature. One can argue it is not an ideology, but a meta-ideology. And a dangerously fallacious one.

Do something (specific) now is never the only option. There is always an obvious alternative: Do something else. Or do something later. Or both. Statistically speaking, it is common sense to say that if we have a strict binary opposition between doing something or not doing something, then, all things being equal (which is the case when we don’t know *exactly what* to do), doing something (specific) is likely to be more dangerous than doing something. It should be emphasised that not doing something (specific) is very different from doing nothing. You can always do something else. Or do something later. Even doing nothing at a certain moment or duration can actually be sometimes far better than doing anything at all right at that time or duration. It’s true of individuals, but it more true of collectives because collective action has much bigger consequences. This is, perhaps, a lesson for achieving sustainability, as even some regressive people understand. So do many progressive people, but less so now. This common sense should not be mistaken for ‘historical imperative’.

Coming back to well-intentioned people, perhaps naturally (?) we shy away from taking the last way, the most difficult way. And so we take refuge in either cynicality (as opposed to skepticism), or in artificial certainties (maybe for the Greater Good).

But science says there is no justice in nature, doesn’t it? I don’t agree with that. Why? That is for another day.


As I posted the above comment early morning today, a shout of “O Chhakke!” (“Hey *untranslatable*), loud and clear enough for me to hear inside my house today evening, full of contempt, reminded me that my statement about an emerging global consensus against gender binaries was perhaps an overstatement. Or not very accurate.

The *untranslatable* Hindi word (also used in many other South Asian languages) is the foulest word used by homophobic and transphobic people, and it is used very commonly. A bit like ‘faggot’, but more offensive. Some other English words or terms similar to this are ‘fudge packer’, ‘pouf’, ‘fairy’, but they all are unambiguously (less) offensive. The main offence is the knowledge of the impunity that it provides, and therefore the helpless humiliation it causes.

The word literally means a ‘sixer’, which is the cricketing term for when the batsman hits a ball out of the ground, earning six ‘runs’, the maximum you can earn in a single ball. It is a word that can be used in normal conversation, but also as an expletive. Like other common expletives, for example the four letter f* word in English, it has many meanings, and fluid meaning under different circumstance.

It may even be possible to write an academic paper in Linguistics or Sociolinguistics, like that famous paper on the word (?) ‘OK’. Perhaps the word originated in card games, or became common due to them. Or it may have a relation to, yes, the number theory. The logic seems to be this. There are ten basic numbers in the decimal system: 1 to 10. The number six, even though it may be called the first Perfect Number in number theory, it is seen as the middle number. It perhaps then got associated with the ‘middle sex’, or the third sex. That is why the closes translation of this word in English is ‘eunuch’, and its closest synonym in Hindi is also ‘hijra’ (made famous recently by Arundhati Roy in her novel Ministry of Utmost Happiness), which also translates directly to eunuch or hermaphrodite. However, since there were no terms in Indian languages in common usage (as far as I know) for other non-binary genders, these highly pejorative words are used for all people who identify as (which is rare) or are seen as belonging to to any non-binary gender. So, these words are used for homosexuals also and for effeminate men or impotent men.

Apart from the literary meaning, in which it is used rarely, it is more commonly used as a slur, to insult someone or even a whole community. Communities abuse each others with these terms. However, if the word ‘hijra’ is used, then it is clearly an insult, but the c* word can be used in the normal course of a conversation as a dog whistle. Certain kinds of dog whistles are more hurtful and dangerous and actual unambiguous expletives.

In the context of this article, the word can be seen as manifestation of the dangers of having strict binary oppositions. If you don’t belong to one of the two genders, then you are outside genders, or belong to the third gender (or sex). That makes you fair game for everyone. You didn’t join either of the allowed binary categories, so you are a danger to the society and will be treated like that, even more than the members of our opposing binary category (think of misogyny).

You, however, have the the to option to join one of the categories. Since the third (or fourth or fifth, or a scale-based) category is not allowed, you can save yourself from social condemnation and censure (abuse, even violence) by joining one of the categories (as per your ‘biological gender’) by going through the necessary ritual: getting married. Once married, you are, so to say, one of us. This is why the criticism against J. K. Rowling has a validity. But cancelling her is another matter.

How does it concern me personally? That is a long story that has to told some other time.

I understand personally how this word (or any other word like this) hurts. Should the word be banned? I think it is counterproductive. If you send ideas — dangerous idea — underground, they have a way of coming back at us in unexpected ways and then we may not have any defences against them. Just as words like the c* word reduce a human being to a single trait or tendency, a binary based on whether someone uses this word or not will also reduce people to a single trait or tendency, and is not a good idea. Something similar applies to J. K. Rowling, in spite of her latest defiant action of announcing her new novel as a kind of revenge (or justification?) for the criticism against her.

If we ban certain things, people are likely to find ways around them. It takes time for deep seated prejudice to *really* go away. The c* word has multiple senses and it is hard to ban it as India is a cricket crazy coutry and hitting a sixer is like the ultimate momentary action in a game, like getting someone ‘out’ on a ball. It invites the loudest cheers. This point is related to the idea that it is perhaps impossible to ban dog whistles, because they are born out of ambiguity of language and interpretation of linguistic expression. It is also about one way that impunity works.

Even though we can’t ban the above, it is still offensive and hurtful. People still need to realise this. Related to this is the point about how widespread homophobia and transphobia are in our region.

Even so, while the strict gender binary still continues in some places, those most vociferously fighting against this binary are also creating their own strict binary oppositions, believing in often non-existent certainties. When you do that, you force those people who don’t fit neatly in either of the binary categories into a catch all ‘illegitimate’ category, just like in the case of the c* word.

The Will

Here I am in 2020. And here The Will that was written in 2009:

(Damn Hitchcock. May he rot in hell, eternally. Perhaps he is.)

मरने के बाद क्या होना

Hope someone volunteers to be the faithful executioner of The Will. If you do, please stick to the letter and spirit of the document, kind of poetic though it is. Hope you don’t mind it: the poetic part.

Two minutes silence not necessary, but if you insist … get it done at the drain where the The Will is fulfilled. Better still, cheat on the two minutes. And steal a laugh or two, as one knows from experience it is difficult not to do so.

It could be any drain. The more stinky, the better, unless you can’t bear that smell. Or those smells. In that case, please just find the one you can bear, i.e, as stinky as you can bear.

Signed in full sanity,

Anil Eklavya

Dated: 30th June, 2020

Place: Varanasi (not really Kashi, but there is no harm in pretending, if you so wish)

(But The Will applies to any relevant place.)

Note: This is a serious document. Don’t take it lightly. That is, if you volunteer to be the executioner of The Will. Otherwise, of course, you can. That’s your freedom of expression, short of gaslighting.

An Easy Proof of Behaviourism

The Experiment

Confirming that stimulus and reward change behaviour.

Participant (Subject): Consent not necessary, as it avoids chances of bias.

A Human Lab Rat


Waking up early based on the stimulus.


Holding a gun to the head of the participant and threatening to shoot him/her if they don’t wake up at the pre-decided time.


The participant wakes up. It may not happen the first time, as they might not understand or believe that the threat is real. But ultimately, as it is made clear to them that the threat is, indeed, real, they will ultimately wake up on the intended time. The intermediate steps might involve hitting them on the head with the gun with increasing force or frequency with each passing day.


The hitting on the head is the reward. The ultimate reward is shooting in the head. This is useful if you have spectators, either physically or virtually. These are negative rewards (punishments). There might also be positive rewards, which could be anything. One low cost reward can be designed like this:

Hit the participant on the head arbitrarily at any time of the day. Rewards can mean decreasing the force or the frequency of this hitting on the head.


The participant (subject) wakes up on providing the stimulus.


The above is a crude experiment, a kind of thought experiment, as it is possible only in certain settings such as physical concentration camps. A more realistic experiment is given below, which has become possible with the latest developments in technology, as we move towards the technological Utopia of the 2030s.


The Realistic Experiment

Confirming that stimulus and reward change behaviour.

Participant (Subject): Consent not necessary, as it avoids chances of bias.

A Human Lab Rat


Waking up early based on the stimulus.


Holding a ray gun that produces painful levels of radiation (radio frequency, electric field, magnetic field or any combination of these: ionizing radiation should be avoided, but can be used in exceptional cases) or physical Dog Whistles based on untrasound or infrasound  to any part of the body of the participant and pushing the button on the emission device if they don’t wake up at the pre-decided time.


The participant wakes up. It may not happen the first time, as they might ascribe the pain and the discomfort to some illness or other transient problem. They may blame themselves or their bodies. Even when they finally realise the cause, they might not understand or believe that the threat is real. But ultimately, as it is made clear to them that the threat is, indeed, real, they will ultimately wake up on the intended time. The intermediate steps might involve radiating them (with electromagnetic or sonic pulses) with increasing intensity/power or frequency with each passing day.


The electromagnetic or sonic radiation on various parts of the body is the reward. The ultimate reward is *__redacted__*. This is useful if you have spectators, either physically or virtually. These are negative rewards (punishments). There might also be positive rewards, which could be anything. One low cost reward can be designed like this:

Hit the participant on any part of the body or the whole body with radiation (electromagnetic or sonic) arbitrarily at any time of the day. Rewards can mean decreasing the force or the frequency of this hitting on the body or body parts.


The participant (subject) wakes up on providing the stimulus.


Many experiments have been conducted based on the second design and they have produced (and reproduced) the expected results with exceptionally high accuracy. The results have been released in certain forums. The forum membership is strictly by invitation only. The results may be released publicly at an appropriate time.




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B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior

A Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior by Noam Chomsky

Wireless Power Transfer

Stanford Scientists Are Making Wireless Electricity Transmission a Reality

Kipling’s As Easy As A. B. C.

Skinner’s Walden Two

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Demonstration of a High Average Power Tabletop Soft X-Ray Laser

Ultrasonic laser soldering

Physiological and Psychological Effects of Infrasound on Humans

The Influence of Infrasounds on the ElectrocardiographPatterns in Humans


(You just have to trust them. There is no reason not to if you have nothing to hide. Moreover, if the happy healthy Scandinavians are planning this, it definitely could not be a bad thing.)







Zersetzung 21C Journal

Radiation Logs

Songs for Walden II

How we Gravitate towards Evil, Collectively

The same results can be obtained even after reversing the genders.

And the results are far more diabolical when the individual mademoiselle is replaced with a collective mademoiselle. Or monsieur, or whatever other gender on the spectrum, because the phenomenon is gender-neutral.

The results are already quite diabolical due to the effect of the collective gravitating towards the individual evil, but they become exponentially more diabolical when the evil itself is collective and even bigger collective gravitates towards the collective evil.

The above is an example of the malignant type of this phenomenon.

In a highly organised social collection of individuals, as we have in our world at a global scale, individual evil is (at the worst) like a cancerous cell. There exists what we call cancer only when there are a very large number of such cancerous cells. Individual cancerous cells can’t do much damage.

Even a small group of cancerous cells is usually benign. Unless, of course, the collective gravitates towards it.

Here is benign type of the same, that is, some of the seeds of it, lest we forget completely, shown in a very much sanitized version:

We all carry some seeds of individual evil: some more, some less. Most of these seeds are supposed to lie dormant and they often do. They are there, at least partially, for evolutionary reasons. There are more than enough technologies of power (in the Foucauldian sense) to keep individual evil in check (but also keep individual good in check if it conflicts with the interests of the powers that be).

The problem is, these same technologies of power create and facilitate collective evil and/or make the collective gravitate towards it for reasons of their own (such as The Greater Good or The Higher Cause, whichever way these causes are defined, which may not be really good or higher).

So, yes, in that sense it is more a political matter, less a psychological matter.

Who decides what is Good or Higher? Who decides who decides? The collective? Those who represent the collective? Those who claim to represent the collective? Those who have the power to decide on behalf of the collective? Those who have the power and just pretend to decide on behalf of the collective? Those who convince the collective that they are deciding on behalf of the collective or for the good of the collective?

To convert a mainly political matter into a totally psychological matter has always been a tactic dear to socio-political establishments to maintain their power and to maintain the status quo (or to change it to their interests), particularly to totalitarian systems such as the Stalinist Soviet Union or the Maoist China or Nazi Germany. That is what the Re-education Camps and Gulags were for, in terms of the justification given for their existence.

There is no reason why a Capitalist Establishment can’t or won’t use this tactic.

We do know for sure about the use of medical ‘treatment’ for gender-related ‘illnesses’ or ‘disorders’ or ‘diseases’. That is not a Conspiracy Theory. The people — good people, nice people — genuinely hated and dreaded the people with such ‘illnesses’ or ‘disorders’ or ‘diseases’, to the extent we hate pedophiles, for example. In many societies, such gender related phobias (is that the right word, considering what I just said about the psychological and the political?) are still the norm. Not just phobias (or whatever is the right term), there are still laws applying them.

The one below is a less benign case of the same phenomenon, hinting towards the malignant form:

This one, as the others, shows the pushes and pulls (well, technically only pulls) of gravitation between entities, both good and evil, whether in the same person or not, and also (more importantly) between the individual evil and the collective evil. The political here is much more explicit. The psychological is just what humans are. The political is what humans have made for themselves, collectively. That last one is the keyword.

In that case, are there some Special Ones or Chosen Ones, or is the Higher or the Good for everyone?

In the fight between good and evil, the evil always has the upper hand. This is almost a cliche. But also in the fight between the individual evil and the collective evil, the latter is a guaranteed winner.

The collective just brushes aside the individual good. And it crushes the individual evil as a giant can crush a little thing. It does that only when the interests between the two don’t align well. Otherwise, they can get along just fine. That is part of how the world works.

There is less evil in a room with a view. A room at the top, however, is a very different matter. The evil there is immeasurably more.

The room at the top is the control centre of the technologies of power. An evil Mademoiselle or a Monsieur is just the kind of asset that they need there.

Only as long as the interests align.

A room at the top comes, not only with a view, but with much evil, with or without the Mademoiselle or the Monsieur.

Just a Trailer

Ever since our fabulous victory

And after that a repeat triumph

We have been working very hard


But what you have seen so far

Is just a small trailer, a teaser

The full movie is yet to come


That kick you feel in the stomach

That sent you all reeling for long

Accompanied by a hit on the head

As well as our aim for the jugular


Is all just one of our action scenes


Don’t you know that poem?


This is just the beginning

Of our love affair with you

You just wait and watch to see

What is still waiting to happen


Merit-Credit Competition

I will scratch your …

I mean your back

You scratch my …

… I mean my back


I will give you a Like

You give me a Like

I will give you a Thumbs Up

You give me a Thumbs Up


Online, offline, be it wherever

These are the rules of the game


I am OK, you’re OK; both healthy

And all is well with the world

Even though losers go on and on

About the problems in the world


We play by the rules, and so


My merit will go up

My credit will go up

Your credit will go up

Your merit will go up


Together, both of us

Will win the competition

We will earn the position

That we don’t deserve


I mean, yes we actually do

Deserve on our very own


Then we will go pay our respects

To the billionaire, God bless him

For giving us all his all blessings

May he prosper forever and ever


And may he bless us in the world for

Doing well in all adult competitions


All Hail the Gods of Meritocracy!


Let’s launch a #hashtag as an offering

In his honour, so he gets eternal glory

We all get our prasad and our lollipops


After the fall of the causality frontier

Just as punishment determines crime

Our success also determines our merit


That is why we have the word loser



Updated on 25th August, 2019.

Weaponizable Technologies


Weapon are devices

That can harm people

Can also harm property

But that’s less important


Weapons are technologies

Not necessarily physical

As in the Foucauldian sense


In that sense,

They can also

Harm society

And culture,


Humanity itself



More importantly

The very idea of

What humanity is


In the Foucauldian sense, they

Can generate chain reactions

Just like nuclear technologies

And they can destroy humanity

Just like fission-fusion weapons


Weapons or technologies

Are not tied to a particular

Ideology or even a religion


In the Foucauldian sense,

Conventional technologies


Are clandestinely

Or benevolently

Developed, and

Are weaponized


They are proliferated

Then are exposed

Are opposed, and

Then, gradually

Are normalized

Are assimilated

Into our social fabric


The protests against the weapons

And weaponized technologies

As in the world we have made

Not necessarily in the world

That we could perhaps make

Are very predictable phonomena


They can start out very strong

Then they become a shadow of

Themselves, or even a parody


At best they can become, and

Exist for a longish time, even

Perhaps with ups and downs


With limited longish term achievements

Or with very impressive short term ones

Or with no effect on the status quo at all


A connoisseur’s delight

They often are reduced to


At worst they may become

Freak shows on the fringes

As Kipling showed in a story

Even if they are genuine

Not the fake ones: A part

Of Manufactured Dissent


A protest is like a lot like a balm

A protest that is for a single issue

Or, at most, a few such issues

For the people who are hurting


In that sense, they are a good thing

But pardon me, for I feel duty bound

To spoil the positivity with some

Unallied and honest bit of truth


For they are mostly just balms

That give temporary relief

From the symptoms only


They are necessary, but not sufficient

They are not cures in the end

And they come at the expense

Of some other people, who are

Also very much hurting, and

Their issues, symptomatically,

Can be very much different


In fact, they can be the exact

Contraries of the issues of the

First set of people who are hurting


The powers that be are apt to play

The one against the other, and

The little or large bits of evil

In all of us, ensures that we play

That game, of our own volition

Collectively, so that none feels guilty


On our own initiative even, or

So we might convince ourselves


Weaponised technologies then

Not just weaponizables ones


Are morally

And ethically

And legally

Sanctioned finally


That means that

They are approved

By general society


And they become

An integral part

A necessary part

Of the civilization


They are never

Ever sufficient


They become fait accompli

Which is a terrifying phrase


After enough time

They are taken

For granted

Are not even

Noticed in our

Everyday life


Most of us forget what they mean

Or what they are, how they work

They become part of our natural

Reality, our very natural universe


Who can use weapons?


Anyone can use them

If they can get access


To them, somehow, anyhow


And they will be used

Later on, if not sooner

Over there, if not here

At least in the beginning


The good guys can use them

Or those who claim to be so

We all know what that means


The bad guys can use them

The ugly guys can use them

The evil guys can use them


Individually evil can use them

Collectively evil can use them


More likely the latter


Anyone anywhere anytime on

The whole political spectrum

Can use them, if less or more

Individually or collectively


More likely the latter


There is absolutely

No guarantee that

Any of the above

Or indeed all of them

Can’t use them at all

Ever and anywhere


But can the weak and the meek

Or the tired and the poor

Use them as much as the

Strong and the powerful

To the same extent, even

For the purpose of self-defense?


Can single individuals use them

As much as the collective

To the same extent, even

For the purpose of self-defense?


First they are used over there

On those we don’t care about

Then they are used over here


And when that happens

There are fresh protests


We all care about ourselves

Even if we don’t about them


Once again, they

Are exposed: For us

Are opposed, and

Then, gradually

Are normalized

Are assimilated

Into our social fabric

Our very own life


Excluding them over there

They are already included

We still don’t care about them

We still care only for ourselves


Like before, again

They are morally

And ethically

And legally

Sanctioned finally


This time, however

For us, not just them


Some weaponized technologies

Are so totally unthinkably evil

That their existence is not even

Acknowledged, for preserving

Collective sense of being good


Such technologies are only used

Clandestinely, outside all records

So they leave no evidence at all


Who do they mean to target?

The demonized are targeted

Mentally-ill may be targeted

Truly subversive freethinkers

May be targeted, selectively

Misfits and loners can also

Be targeted with these ones


And, above all


The uncontaminated

(Unalloyed, if you like

Or unallied, if you like)

The incorrigible

Truth seekers, As

They may be called

Justice seekers also

Unalloyed or unallied

Can be targeted with

These unacknowledged

Weaponized technologies

In the Foucauldian sense


For The Greater Good

Seems they are called

Coal Mine Canaries

Freelance Test Rats

They may not be paid

May not even consent


They don’t even know this

That have been made that

This is the most evil part

Of the scheme, in which


All “schematism” had to be avoided


So they can’t even share

Without anyone at all

Let alone lodge a protest


They become Dead Canaries

If they come uncomfortably

Close to the truths that matter


In fact, these technologies

Are, by their very nature

Made only for selective use

Personalization is their

Key feature, their identifier


One of them had even

Got put on the record

Perhaps due to naïveté

It was called Zersetzung

It specifically recorded

Naïvely, as it turned out

It specifically wrote down


This kind of weaponised technology

Is a collective, organised and mobilised

Version of what is called gaslighting


A later version of it was called COINTELPRO

Who knows how many different versions of it

Exist today in how many places

Officially or unofficially

Recorded or unrecorded


In the original version called Zersetzung

All “schematism” had to be avoided

Because that would make opposition

And protest against it easily possible


It being: The collective using it?


Individual simply can’t use it

Not to the same degree and reach

Not anywhere remotely close


Or the technology itself only?


Or why not both of them?


But we had better not forget

Technologies are the means

Religions and ideologies are

About the ends, not the means

For them, practically speaking

Ends always justify the means


Even if they are, unthinkably

Unredeemably, only pure evil


However, we are all endowed with

The extreme powers of self-deception

Individually yes, but also collectively


So we still manage to think that they

Are still for them, over there, not us

They are within our society, never us

They are still for them, not over here

Over there can be much nearer now

But it is still over there, and for them


Thus, once more magically

They become fait accompli

With a very different context

But actually the same context


They are always necessary

So it is claimed, benevolently

But they are never sufficient


This is a universal theorem

If you like to be very precise

Then it is at the very least

A pretty likely conjecture


And so we march on forward

Or even backward oftentimes

Or sideways, if necessary

Which can be very effective

If you know what I mean


In search of new weapons

And ever new technologies


That can be weaponized

Easily and yes, inevitably

Even if you don’t believe

In Inevitabilism at all


What really is inevitable

However, is the fact that

Some weak, or the meek

Or an isolated individual

Perhaps crazy, perhaps not

Will use them occasionally

Usually after provocation

But sometimes without it


Or some collective

Rogue or not rogue


A matter of definition


Will also make use of them

Regularly or occasionally


That is a great opportunity

A motivation for finding

Implementing and using

Ever more lethal weapons

Weaponized technologies

And some non-lethal ones

In the Foucauldian sense


We find new evils

We define new evils

We create new evils


We get new weapons

To fight newest evils

Which creates even

More ever new evils


Thus the circle of evil

Closes in upon us all

Over there, over here


So what do you think about it?


Originally published on 14th August, 2019. Updated on 20th September, 2019.

Punishment Determines Crime

Crime and punishment

Are highly correlated


Humanity doesn’t need to live

In the chains of causality

The final frontier for humanity


Causality requires us to understand

The whole continuous bi-directional

Network of effects and their causes




To free humanity from the chains

Of complicated tangled causality

Punishment determines the crime


What was the crime

Based on which

And how much

Was the punishment




In order to reduce crimes, you can

Catch someone: anyone, anywhere

And make sure to punish them well

This can be done: is easily achievable

With near total, complete certainty




If you are someone being punished

You must have committed a crime


Even if you don’t remember it

Even if you think you know

That you haven’t committed it


You surely must have committed it

Why would you be punished

If you hadn’t committed the crime?


It is not logical in a world that has been

Liberated from the clutches of causality


Therefore, for example


All military aged males over there

Wasted in our Double Tap strikes

Are, by definition, *bleep, bleep*

A Great Lesson from History

One of my favourite lessons from History, now in the form of a three part documentary:

Of course, it is not just about alcohol (or any other intoxicant). It is about any moral, ethical or legal issue. It is about unintended consequences. It is also about politics and meta-politics and the influence of religion, race, money etc. over it. It is about racism and anti-immigration. It is about religious bigotry. It is about gender bias. It is about organization and mobilization. It is about rural versus urban life. It is about conservatism versus liberalism. It is about the proletariat versus the bourgeoisie. It is about solidarity. It is about crime and punishment. It is about Human Nature. It is about what is radical in a time and place and what is not. Finally, it is about economics.

All these are connected in real life. The Great Dilemma of real world politics is, however, that the lesson from it seems to be that single issue politics is most likely to succeed in the short term.

But an opposite lesson is that it is also guaranteed to fail in the medium or long term. That’s one of the reasons why real political change is so difficult to achieve.

There are many sub-lessons too, for example in the way the Women’s Suffrage movement thought about Prohibition before and after this great mistake.

Still, in spite of its relevance, we have to keep in mind that times have changed in some very fundamental ways. Just to give a small example, we have no H. L. Mencken now. Nor F. Scott Fitzgerald. Nor even an FDR.

The Mainstream Media has transformed, across the political spectrum, into something I can’t express without using some very very derogatory words. There is widespread TV now, which is far worse than even the Mainstream Media.

Not to mention the technological and economic changes.

And the core specific issue is going to be super-relevant because a whole new generation of intoxicants are on the way. And they are coming from the top, not from the immigrants, but the local heroes of the New Global Establishment. You won’t be able to stop them. You will only be able to regulate them, if you don’t want to repeat history catastrophically.

Have you started thinking about that?


It is not really now. It was aired in 2011. And it was aired on PBS, which is part of the Mainstream Media. Even so, PBS is somewhat special case. Sitting here in India, it seems very special.

The Prohibition itself (the 18th Amendment) started in 1917 and ended in 1933. Till recently, it was not that unusual to see such programs on Mainstream TV almost 80 years after the whole affair ended. To some extent, on some channels in some countries, it still happens. Could it have been made (and shown) before 1933?

In the coming years (or months, or days, who knows in these times) even this kind of History lesson may become hard to get because now History is being re-written like never before, at least since Enlightenment.

Where will future generations find the truth (as much as it can be found, even with best efforts). Some Select Few might still have access to it, but even that does not seem certain now.

How long will PBS last as it exists today?

Big Data and Big Information and Smaller Knowledge and Tiny (or Zero) Understanding. And what is Wisdom? Back to thousands of years ago, perhaps.

What will politics mean then? What does it already mean? Have we reached a point of no return?


But what about Prohibition of the original intoxicant: alcohol? Is it gone forever, or at least everywhere? Not at all. It still exists in many places. Just as it did in the US back then. And it is following almost the same trajectory. And in these places, it can cause even more problems, if not for any other reason than simply because of poverty and the stigma.

Even in the past, Prohibition has been used politically in many other countries. For example, it was used (the movement of it), perhaps not that rigidly, but still as a rallying cry for reform by someone as illustrious as Gandhi. And most Gandhian (or those who call themselves Gandhian: the gap is getting larger as with any other ideology), still argue for it in some or the other form.

In places where it is still used, the reasons given (often very valid ones) are almost the same as for Prohibition in the US. The biggest similarity has been, perhaps in all cases of Prohibition, the support of women, particularly rural women. That support is based on just as valid grounds as the one in the documentary. Another big similarity is that, for similar reasons, it can swing elections. Many politicians have once again realized the political utility of it. Most probably they have known all along, but they didn’t believe it could swing elections.

A party in existential crisis in 2015 won the state elections by promising Prohibition and kept that promise. Seeing the success, others also started talking about it.

Same valid reasons, justifications and grievances. The same disastrous results. The same long term positive effects. Or may be not the last part, may be not in all cases.

I personally have little to do with it. Strange as it may sound, as alcohol use is widespread in India even with the enormous stigma, I hadn’t actually even seen an alcoholic drink till the age of around 25 or more likely 27. It wasn’t till the age of 38 that I had tried out one spoonful out of a glass that someone in a celebration had ordered. Now I have been to many conferences where there are (usually paid) banquets where liquour is served and I have tasted a glass or two several kinds of alcoholic drinks.

However, it is almost embarrassing to admit that I still haven’t developed a taste for such drinks. Not that I have ever been against alcohol as such. Nor do I have anything against those who drink.

One reason for me is that they are so bitter (particularly beer) and we don’t like bitter in India! We like sweets, lots of sweets. Very sweet. Too much sweet. The kind a westerner might taste and say (perhaps silently, Ugh!).  I did too (liked sweet, that is). I still do, but not the ‘sweets’ themselves, just the taste sweet. Moderate sweet. Have I become Europeanized. That is, to some extent, a fact worth taking for granted for all those who are ‘well-educated’ and live in urban areas.

There is a very large number of Indians that drinks, so they must like it for some reasons, but I am not sure whether bitterness is one of them.

I am sure there are many many people in India who have actually never tasted alcohol in their whole life, as they consider it a sin, as did so many people the world over and throughout history.

But I can’t resist repeating again. The world is changing radically. In fact, the word radical isn’t even enough to describe that change.

For both who drink and those who don’t drink. Or those somewhere in between, like me.

Search Query as a Weapon

Sometime after I started this blog, I looked up the stats page to see how was the viewership. I didn’t expect large numbers, but I wanted to check if anyone was reading it at all. It turned out that, at least officially (in a way that would register in WordPress stats), not that many were (except for short periods), considering that even personal Facebook pages or single (personal) YouTube videos can often have very large viewership. At the same time, a lot of people seemed to be aware of what I was writing, because either the content of my posts or the blog itself were often referred to in my conversations with other people. That’s a different story, which I am not going into today.

I also noticed that on the stats page, there was a place where you could see the search queries that were put in the Search box of your blog (blog-specific queries, not web-wide queries), which is supposed to help people find content in a specific blog. It seems only I use this box for this purpose. Because, what I saw was that most of the searches were completely irrelevant to the blog. They were not attempts to find content in the blog at all.

Over the period of last 15 years, I have maintained several websites, one being my personal webpage (now defunct), one an activist website (Hindi version of ZNet, now defunct), a website for an Open Source toolkit that I had developed (also defunct) etc. I was maintaining these at my own expense and now I can’t afford to.

On all these, I noticed the same pattern. No queries to actually find content. They were all either insults hurled at me in this oblique and anonymous manner or sometimes they even sounded like threats. I even mentioned this to some of my colleagues.

As a result, when I joined post-doc in 2012 in another country, I was already aware of weaponization of local (e.g. blog-specific) search queries.

Right from the day I arrived in that country, I had strange experiences. At the workplace, no one would even talk to me (except one Indian post-doc who joined roughly at the same time and occasionally one or two others who seemed to be sympathetic to me, all girls, or as we say in India, ladies), or when they rarely did, they were not really talking, there were doing something else. More about that later.

There was one person (younger than me, but relatively high in the hierarchy of the lab). When we passed by, he would make what sounded like unsavoury comments clearly directed at me, because there was no one else in sight except his friend(s). He would look at me so I knew he was commenting about me.

One day, while I was coming to the office, perhaps a day I was not feeling well or was somehow not in a good mood, he and one of his friends passed me by (no one nearby again). He looked at me and sort of shouted something like ‘le pouet a vendu’. I could guess the meaning, or at least the word ‘vendu’, but still when I reached the computer, I typed in the sentence into Google Translate, according to which the translation was ‘the squealer (or squeaker) has been sold’. This was soon after I had joined the job. Right now, today, I tried again after all these years and Google now says ‘squirrel’.  I positively remember the word ‘pouet’, not just because I heard it used near me many times again, but also because I was so fed up with it that I once put it in one of my passwords. It is probably an ambiguous colloquial word.

When I had joined, I was given a copy of the contract and I was asked to go through it, which I did quickly, as I can read fast. What caught my attention was that it clearly mentioned the fact (in 2012) that various ‘tracking devices’ were placed in various places and the activities of the employees will be monitored. This was not very surprising in itself to me, but the fact that it was clearly written was. This was a government research centre. I had already experienced online and other kinds of surveillance.

So, that day, that comment really got on my nerves and finally I thought I should respond in some way, but what could I do? I was in a foreign country. I needed the job and I had not even yet received my work permit (which is another story). I had no friends there. So I remembered the weaponized queries which were being used against me even then. I had also once been to a Google office and had seen Google search queries being displayed on a large board in the welcome room. I then opened a Google search page on my work terminal and typed the following (perhaps not exact words, but very close):

Why does X alway keep yapping at Singh? What has Singh ever done to X? Is there a secret history between them?

There is also a story behind why I used ‘Singh’ and not my first or second name, or both. There is even a story behind why I used the word ‘yapping’.

The office of the head of the lab was right in front of my room and from where I was asked to sit for work, I could clearly see him through glass walls. I could even see his computer, which was in a corner, though obviously I could not read what was on the screen from that distance. He could see me too and perhaps that was the point of making me sit there.

Barely a minute after my typing in the query, a person (also a post-doc, I think) whose responsibilities included working as kind of systems administrator for the lab, came to the head’s office and said something to him. I was expecting something like this to happen, because I already knew how things work in places with total surveillance. From where I was sitting, it seemed he was reporting to him something about which something should be done. He asked the head to go to the computer and have a look at something. The head did that, read something. He too seemed concerned, but he basically shrugged his shoulders.

From that moment on, person X never made any comments to me any more. He never even acknowledged my presence. Not that the people there started treating me any better. In some ways, it only got worse.

This was not all. When I was nearing the completion of my contract, I went to my supervisor and asked him if my contract will be renewed. He evaded the question first, but then he said he will tell me sometime later. Later, when I asked again, we had a long conversation (which is also worth going into later), where he gave various reasons, but clearly said that my work was not the problem. Finally, when I countered all his arguments, he said in any case he will not be associated with the lab soon and X will be in-charge of the lab.

He then said, I can’t see you working together with X. I had never mentioned  X to him or to anyone else.

I never even had a conversation with X. I had never said anything to him, nor even commented back at him, except that search query. There was no reason why anyone would say that my relations with him were bad (or good). In fact, there were no relations of any kind, as far as I was concerned and, if he had talked to me and wanted to work with me, I would most probably have agreed, even after that. After all, I did not really have relations (good or bad) even with my supervisor. We just discussed some research questions, mostly over email.

I did respect him (the supervisor), though. He is a seasoned and very good researcher and certainly not a bad person. The same goes for the head. X is also an accomplished researcher, although I hesitate to say that he is a good person.

Did that query cost me the extension?


A couple of days after I started keeping the Zersetzung 21C Journal on my blog, there was this local query in my blog Search box:


Although I have no idea what it means, it (the first one) is clearly not a genuine query.


And this when I had gone to my home town where my parents reside:

Search Query Abuse

Is it (the first one), as it appears to be, just vile abuse? Or is supposed to be some kind of twisted sermon in vile abusive language (and with the same kind of sick thinking). Is it also a some kind of Skinnerian or Zersetzung device?


Updated on 13th August, 2019.

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