I’ve been observing that many of my friends have been signing petition and sending mails to TRAI in support of Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’, most of them are unaware of the implications of their mails. Facebook’s Free Basics is a direct threat to net neutrality in India. On the paper, it appears that intention of Facebook is noble which aims at providing few services free for people who don’t have internet connectivity at present.
But, there are few important things which FB won’t let you know and get your sign in disguise.
1. Facebook is using the bandwidth which belongs to us actually to provide services of certain kinds only. It’s very selective in nature and threatens the basic idea of net neutrality. You don’t have the luxury of of accessing the websites based on your will. Imagine a system where you can access Facebook only but can’t access Wikipedia or YouTube because Facebook doesn’t want so and apparently FB is controlling that bandwidth.
2. Facebook claims that every content or service provider is free to come and join this platform. So nice! But major services and content providers won’t ever like to join this because nobody would want their customers virtually owned by Facebook. Remember that Facebook is providing this platform where all would come together.
3. Facebook is putting full page ads in newspapers and spending millions on PR to persuade people for supporting this. Do you think that any corporate company would spend so much for charity? Let’s agree for a moment that Facebook wants to provide free internet to poors. Then let’s give, say 300MB data every months to an user and let him use in the way he wants. Let him browse whatever wants but Facebook won’t do so. Facebook wants people to be slave of certain websites.
4. Facebook is trying to build Social Media Operating System and trying to kill its every competitor. The rival of Facebook is neither Twitter nor Snapchat but Google. What Google is trying to do in terms of connectivity, Facebook is trying to do in data collection. Data is one of the most precious things for companies at present era and Facebook is trying to gain control of it. What Android is to Google, Free Basics is to Facebook. You can understand now why Facebook is trying so fiercely for it.
5. Facebook claims that more than 30 countries have agreed to implement Free Basics. Rubbish! Who are these countries? Countries from African continent who are wretchedly poor and their internet network is still in nascent stage. We know how to use our bandwidth effectively.
Don’t fall for the campaign of Facebook. Use your brain then sign the petition. Net neutrality is your right and don’t let anyone snatch this right from you.
The fervour of Christmas is making the surrounding pleasant but a very basic question has bothered the world for years and that’s the controversies around the birthday of Jesus. The argument given by Roman Catholic Church to justify that Jesus was born on 25th December is very childish. Winter Solstice occurs on 25th March and Christians believe that world was created on this day. As world was created this day, Mother Mary must had conceived Jesus this day and nine months are added from this date to determine the birthday of Jesus. Anyone can easily examine the fallacy in this logic of church. What if there was a premature delivery? That’s very possible case.
When we examine the history of Christianity, we find that before the Council of Nicea which took place in 325 AD, very little documents are available today. This sort of scarcity is limited only to documents related to Christianity as we find plethora of documents related to other fields and historical figures prior to this day. It appears as if it was a deliberate attempt to fabricate the documents and either wipe out it or keep away from public reach. It was the Council of Nicea in which Jesus was declared to be divine.
The more plausible explanation for selecting 25th December as birthday of Jesus won’t be accepted by Catholic Church ever. Roman pagans used to worship Saturn as God of Agriculture. The celebration used to start on December 18 and end on December 25. Roman emperor Constantine I accepted Christianity in 312 AD and it was only after that event when Christianity started spreading its wing under the political security provided by Roman empire as Christianity was declared as official religion of Roman empire. Now, you get the reason that why December 25 was declared as birthday of Jesus. To make Jesus more accepted among Roman pagans and convert people more easily. People who are aware with the history of Christianity know the subtle ways invented by Catholic Church in proselytizing people.
As a society, we remember birthdays and death anniversaries of every mundane and corrupt politicians but we seldom honour people who contributed enormously in field of Science and Mathematics. It is birthday of Srinivasa Ramanujan today. It’s true that he didn’t get the honour which he deserved due to colonial rule but situations are no different in present also.
We’ve completed the formality of declaring his birthday as National Mathematics day. We have never tried to teach our children about a genius who was far far ahead of his time. Without any formal education in Mathematics, his contribution to Mathematics is unparalleled in this world. Ramanujan made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis , number theory , infinite series , and continued fractions. During his very short lifetime, he derived around 3900 results and most of them are proven correct although some were already known.
In the Scientific world, there are conventional research where we make small contribution in existing pile of knowledge and very few are able to change the paradigms. Ramanujan had started from zero and his results were so complex that there was a missing link which differentiates him from other Mathematicians. There lies a difference between proof and insight. Ramanujan’s works were mostly based on insight. He acknowledged the role of intuition in major scientific breakthrough which shakes the very foundation of dogmatic science which relies heavily on abstract reasoning, logics, and deductions. British Mathematician, G H Hardy compared him with Euler and Jacobi. His achievements were fully understood much later, ultimately, after his death in 1920. His work on ‘Composite Numbers’ started a whole new line of investigations in theory of such numbers.
Ramanujan was a highly spiritual and religious man with pleasant manners. He often said, “An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.” As we love to forget the contribution of such genius, it won’t let fade the importance of his theories. Ramanujan didn’t had resources so that he could have advertised himself like APJ Abdul Kalaam who established himself among people as a genius although his scientific temper was very mundane as compared to that of Ramanujan, C V Raman, or Satyendranath Bose.
A very very happy birthday to the man who knew infinity!
People who whine about intolerance complain that we were never abused and criticised for expressing our opinions in past as we’re experiencing today. Yes, you weren’t criticised in past because people didn’t had any medium to express their opinion. Their opinions about your stupid comments with some hidden agenda were restricted to coffee shop debates only. They’ve got a tool to express themselves now which you can’t tolerate. How can you easily let go the status which you’ve enjoyed for decades when your words were considered as the words of God? Your stature of being above criticism is falling like pack of cards as they can’t accept your lies anymore.
For you, tolerance is all about having the prerogative to utter anything yet nobody should dare to either criticise or counter you. Tolerance means giving your opinion utmost respect even if it’s mediocre. As those days are over now, you feel that intolerance is rising in India. Intolerance is rising in India if you mean tolerance is all about accepting your opinion only. Unfortunately, those golden days are over for you now.