Monthly Archives: September 2010

Why is our Credibility Gap widening?

Without a doubt our credibility gap is widening but I should point out few of the international characters before coming to our shores with a simple credible story.

 

In the case of Labour party of England, Tony Blair took the party out of the doldrums and made it a new force in the face of changing political dimensions but one mistake he made by trusting the American War Machine made him a spent force in world politics and in the face of an average voter.

 

He lost his credibility out of proportion to his good deeds while in office. 

When history is written I hope he is spared a wee bit in the hands of history writers. 

Once lost even out of office he cannot regain his lost prestige by engaging in peace talks. 

He is no longer a credible politician.

Had he taken the Helen Clerk’s (of New Zealand) pathway of Green and alternative Policy he may have redeemed some of his lost esteem in history. 

But he did not.

He got engrossed in diplomacy filled with lies and counter lies and promises. 

That is the second time he lost his credibility.

As for Helen Clerk, she will be remembered for her credibility and for her commitment to Green Policy even centuries later if she can change the American intransigence (pigheadedness) in changing to greener and alternative technologies and try to change the policies of Obama embroiled in economic downturn and social well fare.  

One credible and one incredible but not credible politician out of office is enough to illustrate my point in global scale of reference.

 

In our scenario where there is in office for life these extrapolation has to be plotted out after natural catastrophes and calamities like tsunami or political tsunami. 

The simple story I have to say is very simple indeed but show how we have lost the credibility in entirety.

I traveled to Colombo by intercity train recently.

When I got in from Peradeniya what looked like a government servant was occupying my seat. 

He was seated with another one who looked like a moronic fat government servant, I had to make a quick decision. 

Have I got to sit with one moronic if I got rid of the first moronic who almost demanded my seat. 

It was not worth the mental exercise, that myself having been a Civil Servant of yesteryear.


I decided to exchange my booked ticket (illegal act by definition) but checked his ticket like an owl (it could be a forged one) before putting it in my purse.

 

That is the story one. 

Story two is more adventurous.

 

Which included a bus journey that took one hour from Narahenpita to Pita Kotuwa (this can be take as a another incredible sub-story). 

I forgot my Umbrella at the Maradana Station and when I realized it and wanted to get back in the train it was pulling up, so I decided to give up sparing broken bones in my body. 

It was threatening to rain, I thought I could beat it by catching a bus from Maradana rather than from Kotuwa.

 

That was an incredible mistake

Of course I thought I will reach there in less than 10 minutes that used to be the case some 30 years ago when I was staying at Barnes Place, Colombo 7 somewhat close to the ex-prime-minister’s residence (those were the good days when petrol was 2 or 3 Rupees a gallon).

 

By the time I reached my destination it was heavy rain and without a decent umbrella I decided to proceed to Kirulapona to buy one. 

The bus stooped at a big government institution with posters of political nature still displaying election propaganda (from our contribution this institution is run, I now hear auditor general is querying its books) I could not find a place to cover my still working brain under this building. 

I decided that this building which does not give shelter to my head might even invite me for lightening (I did not bother to check whether it has installed a lightening protector, anyway) walked across the street to buy an umbrella in heavy rain. 

Having walked a fair distance almost drenching now I could not find a shop to buy an umbrella. 

That was also incredible in some sense.

 

Then I stopped near the 100 Rupee Shop and the man who was waiting to open it told me there are no umbrellas in (mind you one cannot buy an umbrella for 100) his shop and there aren’t any shop nearby to buy one either. 

So Now drenched but not lost senses yet, I jumped to a three wheeler (three before him refused a ride) and told him to take me to a place where I can buy an umbrella. 

This elderly gentleman of course took me to the nearest shop where I could buy one and safely landed me at the place where I wanted to get down with an ambitious U-Turn.

 

If this fellow takes up politics I decided to vote for him without reservation for which he knew how to take a U-Turn in a crowded city in the rain with or without watching policemen.

 

I exchanged pleasantries and a handed over the balance I received after paying for the umbrella. 

He was surprised and happy too.

There are still good guys in the streets of Colombo down to earth and enjoy the little good things they do.

 

I went to see one of my friends who lost his dear wife recently and spend time with him. 

The idea was to cheer him up a bit.

In between our long chat I carefully insinuated that one gets a second bachelorship rarely and said I will be back soon in Colombo. 

Incidentally I came to Colombo after almost one year but nothing has improved in spite of lot of promises.

 

I avoided the school rush and it took bus from Narahenpita and I was there at the station just five minutes before the scheduled departure. 

I wanted to go to the station superintendent to see whether the middle class people who traveled with me in the morning had duly handed over the lost property to him. 

No the answer and he had only a plastic bag handed over for the entire day.

Then I inquired him is there is a security post?

He said down there on the left.

I went down but to the left was the rail tacks without protection!

There was no direction to the security post having being security paranoid less than a year ago, 

I went into all the rooms from rear entry without any difficulty and any checks and without an official person to ask. 

Then heard, the train was delayed in Sinhala faintly and I wanted to hear the repeat announcement of it. 

Then there was the Tamil announcement which did not make any sense to me and then the English announcement which stated that the train was canceled.

 

I hit the roof and did not realize the announcer was bad in English.

I rushed back to the superintendent and clarified the issue and he said it is in the yard and would leave bit later than schedule. 

The trains being late is not an unusual issue and was a credible story including Air Lanka which is named UL (Usually Late).

That is why I traveled only once by Air Lanka and that was also to catch a connection to another airline from Bombay (Mumbai).

Then I had a little chat with him and said I was not worried about the umbrella but bit inquisitive of the public behaviour and responsibility rather than his office and his fellow officers. 

I also told that there were so many additions to the fleet but not a single train compartment changed for 35 years after the summit why not introduce a few new and comfortable compartments since I get a backache every time I travel by this incredible intercity train. 

They have added a third class compartment to this aging train and when it is coupled at the rear end on a rainy day the engine cannot pull up the full load at Balana.  

This is what the railway engineers of yesteryear have told me and my passenger experience too.

If there is no public participation in good behaviour and governance no man can change it.

That was by bone of contention and the quest and the inquiry.

 

Then I crossed all the tracks (I do not mind or fear dieing in broad day light now that the war is over and no improvement in my life style and others seen for some years) not protected and went to an office which did not have a distinction of police or security in appearance to my first glance.

If it was police I will not waste my time there.

I asked them is it a police or security post and the reply was negative and made the same inquiry and they promptly asked me to go back to the superintendent but I told them I had been there but I wanted to know whether there is a second option left for a lost property.

 

They did not receive anything for the entire day but there were too many officers doing nothing there.

 

To my mind what the hell these guys doing or paid for where superintendent had only two officers to help him. 

The credible gap is widening.

I decided to ask from the guard of the train at last.

The train at last came and people were fighting to get in the booked seats. 

That was incredible.

In the train I could not go to the guard room due to shoving and pushing and I instead decided to ask the same question from the ticket checkers. 

The ticket checkers came.

They were more like government auditors checking book entries. 

No eye contact or customer consciousness at all.

Even though they finished checking and went pass me after the checking there was no reply to the negative or at least an eye contact or polite smile. 

Incidentally the guy who hijacked my seat was there at the station.
No polite smile or eye contact or semblance of remembering the early morning incident again when we crossed each others pathway.

It is said that this is the nation of smiling people.

It is true we smile that is to drown our own internal sorrow.
Do not be misled.

There is no option left for these people.

So the result is this credible gap output from my computer while waiting for the DVD download of 3GB on the third consecutive day.

In a previous occasion it abruptly stopped at 2.5 GB.

That is the most annoying credible gap for my IT survey.

The good side is you young guys and girls who are are not doing anything to narrow the credible gap of integrity is getting some brickbats from me in posterity.

Asoka 30th September, 2010.

 

I had to delay writing this till I recovered from the backache the train induced on me.
Two Good nights sleep helped me and relieved my backache. 

I will not travel for another year or so till the next budget allocate some funds to refurbish scrap iron queen of our city.


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Biophysics

This is another word I would like to add to English, if it is not there already in existence, this time in Scientific World.

We had an Engineering Exhibition in the University, I do not know what was being exhibited there but what my gut feeling says is that they are all big events for public consumption and certainly not miniature exhibits of biological nature.

I am pretty sure they did not talk about biophysics and nano-technology.

I have been against the Coal Power Project form its inception.

 

I have many reasons including Acid Rain and I have stated that Coal Marketing Board will be as bad as the Paddy Marketing Board of yesteryear and its corruption scale will have to be estimated in time to come.

 

Suffice is to say that most of the Coal would wind up in undesirable places and the scale of corruption will be covered by black soot. 

How black soot will effect our children’s chest physiology and sporting outcomes are a different kettle of fish. 

I have voiced these concerns with scientific data but they are under the carpet of power politics now.

 

One pertinent question our energy planners not addressed is that these coal power plants are operational 24 hours a day and the interruption of nocturnal terrestrial cooling effect that is necessary for air circulation and water condensation and the night rain pattern that we used enjoy that invariably purified the air of soot, dirt and chemicals is going to be disturbed due to constantly warm air that is not circulating. 

The effect of this is going to be phenomenal.

 

As long as the rain is there even infrequently and with disturbed patterns then there is some reclamation. 

But think of the scenario for some reason or the other if the rain fails for a period of two years with drought. 

Then we have to be using more and more coal power to generate power, the conditions are conducive for catastrophic events.

 

The nocturnal cooling effect is negated for a prolonged period of time and the pollution it created is of clinical scale. 

We see this pattern in Kandy even without the warming effect discussed above and that is why Kandy is the most polluted city of the country when rain fails the nocturnal cooling draft fails and the pollutants remain for considerable length of time in the lower atmosphere. 

We have now cleared our rain forest to less (33% is the critical value) than the sustainable level for natural rain and ecological balance. 

We can see the effect of acid rain in less than 5 years after a period of prolonged drought.

 

I will talk a little about the miniature life of biological nature that can mop up some of the CO2 created by the mega projects like Coal Power Plants. 

But more than thousands of other chemicals that are emitted which cannot be made safe and some of them causing cancer (are the projects for future studies) in the air not diluted due to stagnation and failing air circulation.

These are mega events and banning cigarettes has no ameliorating effects once these chemicals are in air and in circulation and when we have to breath them 24 hours a day.

 

The algae I had been interested in are tiny but common in nature and their contribution can be very significant if properly harnessed but the experiments done on them are very few an far between.

I gather in Germany they are working on them to mop up CO2 emitted by coal power units.

What ever big or small engineering feats it may be whether it is motor car or a rocket no engineering feat can bring about more than 33% efficiency or throughput.

 

In biological system this is scaled down to less than 3 to 4% and even though the process is very slow by the shear numbers of biological beings and the multiplying cells the process of conversion is made good with eventually.

 

Problem with engineering feats is that they are not cost effective or efficient. 

The rate of conversion is fast and the rate of production of pollutants and poisons are also fast.

 

This is what I used to argue with my fellow engineering students at the campus many moons ago and also asked why they used heavy metal to built cars (that also not stainless steel) that is subjected to resistance or impedance or inertia of motion and why not aluminum like in aircrafts.

 

They will give some answers and I will give counter arguments while playing bridge (which I learnt from them) and this goes on with new themes added.

Years went by we parted and departed from ivory towers we built and went into real world and domestics. It is sad now I cannot find somebody to talk ten words in analytical English on a scientific topic or discussion.

Even, people like Prof. Carlo Fonseka talking and taking partisan in bizarre politics in their twilight years sadden me most. 

I am not saying that he not entitled to it. With his reputation if he makes a mistake his ardent followers are left astray.

 

What has happened to their scientific inquiry and what has happened to their inbuilt instincts.

 

We were fed a good and healthy dose of inquiry and free discussion then and now there is paucity of inquiry and query, question or rationalistic views about world around us living and inanimate (Physics).

I dearly remember Prof. Osmond Jayaratne and his investigation into lightening.

There was Prof. Rnjith Ruberu with beautiful exposition of Botany and Biology.

I am not talking about Chintanaya Professors with mathematical talents.

I never talked about biophysics then since all medical stuff including biochemistry was boring for me.

 

Now that I am somewhat of an independent thinker my argument of biophysics start with a simple relationship (not Newton’s equal and opposite reaction).

This is where I have element of disagreement with Buddhist practices, too.

Why only animals are sacred?

Why not other living things, the plants that all animals depend directly and indirectly?

To me plants are sacred too.

Without plant life the world cannot exist.

This is where my thinking is at variance with even Buddhist tenets.

Why there is only a law for animals?

Is it only animals with brains or nervous system that is important to Buddhists?

I have not found a answer for this in Buddhist scriptures.

So I am entitled to my own analysis in a biological sense.

So my simple theoretical aspect of biological relationships especially the biophysics is that there is infinite relationship one to one and one to many in every biological cell or biological system.

There is no distinction of pant life and animal life whatever the form it may be.

They are all life forms in a constant web of actions and reactions.

As far as we know they can be seen with definite evidence only on this planet.

This planet is the only planet we know of and I am not extrapolating to any other heavenly objects with life or without life in this universe.

Ever since the life began in this planet this biological or biophysical relationship continuously existed without a break.

There is either positive or negative relationship but this relationship is such that it was never to destroy or eliminate one or the other.

 

Continuity of life existed uninterrupted in spite of major physical catastrophes.

 

If this would not have being the case various new forms of life would not have emerged in evolution.

There was competition but never extermination by living thing by living things.

That is my bona fide or the compelling argument.

All life forms are important including mosquitoes whether they carry infectious agents or not.

We cannot argue that world should be without insects including mosquitoes.

There my argument and tent converge with Buddhism.

All life forms be happy!

It is the physical catastrophes that eliminated species lock stock and barrel but never simple biological competition.

This theoretical aspect had very interesting convergence when I saw my fish dieing in the open including the Guppies.

First I thought it was the algal bloom and the lack of oxygen.

It is the very simple and straight forward plausible explanation I can give.

But when this happened again and when I checked with the internal digital temperature it was not strange coincidence that the temperature was above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

It was the global warming (atmospheric temperature) that killed the fishes, other factors were contributory.

 

Interestingly high atmospheric temperature encourages mosquito breeding.

 

Every ton of coal (when it is burnt 24 hours a day) we burn will increase the number of mosquitoes by billions!

Single physical change, the temperature alone can kill animals.

Humans can die of heat stroke and why not fish.

There is a protein called heat shock protein even in bacteria and our cells also have it in a different form and all animals too have this protein to overcome stress.  

Heat is a stress.

That system can easily be damaged.

Yes most of the fish who are kept indoors especially the mollies cannot live above 86 degrees.

 

It was only algal bloom and lack oxygen alone the some fish could come up and breath at the surface or produce young ones before dieing but this did not happen.

 

The biological relationships I propose in theory could not keep pace with the adverse temperature which is partly man made.

There was no time for evolutionary adaptation.

The other relationship is human population expansion.

I believe we have come to the optimum population of 6 billions.

The earth cannot sustain 9 billions.

This extra 3 billion will upset the balance of biophysical relationship that come into equilibrium in the microscopic levels.

The mega level is man and his megalomaniac beahviour.

Earth cannot sustain its biophysical relationships with the rate at human population is expanding and consuming all the limited resources.

Biophysical barrier will break down soon.

Then calamities after calamities would occur.

Gloom, bloom and doom unless we arrest the population expansion and the rate of use of easily available energy resources.

First we have to arrest the population growth.

Second we have to have a food security.

Third we have to prevent the made made causes of global warming.

Even in this country the priority is on energy and its use and its expansion and not conservation.

We got our priorities wrong.

We will loose all the biodiversity and elephants in no time.

We do not have neither the master plan nor the vision.

We do not have philosophers.

We do not have scientist of international caliber.

We only have politicians of various shades and colours but without a distinction.

23rd September (Poya)

Linux100-ElpicX-2.0-105

Electronic Linux Professional Licentiate in Linux (Elpix-2.0) is a very good distribution sitting in the archives and gathering dust in the shelves like books written in English in our universities (nobody to read them). 

I was extremely disappointed that it is relegated to archives.

I downloaded it from Distromania archives.

It is a very good distribution not one actually two in one CD.

It has Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (long term support) as default Live as well as install.

It also has Fedora 9 KDE (I gave it up at core 3) Live and Install which is pretty good.

Both connects readily to the internet and elpicxs (German and English).

Its lessons are pretty good for a newbie.

This distribution should wipe its dust and come out of the shelf sooner than late.

I was hesitant to download the 1.4 GB thinking that I will get an old (not live) installable CD and my decision to have a go after 100 was a gutsy attempt (I am getting bit fed up with Linux now) and my gut feeling were culinary satisfied.

There is another worthwhile point there which I gathered, like the CD / DVD of the Linux Bible from Christopher Naegus bundling number of Live and Installable CD versions in a DVD saves lot of time for us SriLankans who has to spend over 24 hours to download one DVD.

Very few will go abroad like me and download a few to bring home on a holiday abroad.

This DVD with two distributions well tested, I recommend without any hesitation and I believe it should come out of the shelf (shelf life of of Linux is changing very fast) sooner than late.

Linux100-ALT-Desktop-4-104

Longtime ago when I knew only a little about Linux and learning it myself without a Guru I was looking for any Linux distribution I could lay hands on. 

 

Then I had Debian (6 CDs and Redhat 8, DemoLinux and probably Mandriva 9).

 

There was nobody in my city of Kandy except Anuradha (I only knew him through others and by then he had left Kandy) and when I entered a KIOSK and asked a young guy whether he had Linux CDs (he was doing hardware work (installation and menial jobs) he showed me ALT Linux probably a Redhat derivative then installed in one of the computers. 

I asked him a copy for money and he did not have (then a rewritable CD ROMs were rare to find) a CD writer to copy.

I had it at home though.

After months of delay he gave me one.

That did not work because it was written on Microsoft by Nero.

Later I found another clever guy in Colombo who used to go to Singapore to get CDs including Linux.

His copy also I could not mount and I was looking for a copy for a long time and gave it up since by that time I had host of Linux (and books which included Joy of Linux- written the style of Joy of Sex) to play with and learn.

This Colombo guy got it for me from Singapore.

The guy from Kandy went abroad and I gave him good reference and advice that included don’t bother to send me an email and do not come back to Sri-Lanka.

He followed my advice to the letter and I have lost track of him.

If he happens to read this Hello, How are you in U.K?

 

Then next thing I knew about ALT Linux was that there is a Russian distribution. 

I download a copy in Singapore and unfortunately that was also Russian,

Then they had 4 GB odd English version only which I could not download in Sri-Lanka.

Hear this, yesterday I downloaded two CDs (now three) from biblio.org and they are pretty good.

Military style clean and organized, KDE 3 with Flash plugging.

Unfortunately it cannot mount or read Ext 4 partitions.

I expected somethings like gcompris and the like but they were not there.

Today i tested the light version live and it is almost similar to the Desktop version and in my definition and criteria it is not at all light and over 650 MiB.

But it is sleeker than the the desktop version.

Anyway I am extremely happy and now onwards I am promoting this in Sri-Lanka

Linux100-liveCdXen.3.2-LiveCD-103

This is another light weight live CD a derivative of Debian.
It is fast to boot and connect to internet.
It a sleek attactive distribution that come with 64 bit edition too.

Updates on ALT Linux- English Version

With much trouble I finally found a Live CD in English.

Currently I am downloading it and I’ll be with you soon.

This is a distribution that Russian Guys and Girls are using in schools.

I want to promote this in SriLanka and in our schools.

I have been in touch with the Russian Webmaster too.

 

I am not an Old Communist Guard but I love Russia for the leadership it gave some decades ago

Our old communists (Sri-Lankan politicians) are bum sucking here and impotent I may have to do it alone.

Only way the Russians can catch the old prestige is to master English and develop this distribution with scientific inputs and promote it in the third world.

I know Russian politicians with money are corrupt and I also know average Russian consumes a lot of Vodka but 99% of Russians are nice guys unlike Americans with or without money.


You still have lot responsibility to contribute to this world like protecting us from Hitler and Stalin.


We do not want leaders Like them in the third world emerging and eating the social fabric what we we proud of.


It is nice to see the English edition is coming from United Kingdom.

Well done Guys and Girls.
Desktop 4 is a good one and I will have a separate entry.

This CD iso I found in biblio.org.

Thanks Guys and Girls at biblio.og for keeping an Archive Copy.
I had trouble finding old copies of PCLinux.
Luckily a web Linux friend found me an alternative site.

I am a collector of old versions for posterity!

I saw some instructions coming from PCLinux not to download from biblio.org its packages.

Where else can we find an old copy to download from?

You are doing a great service.

Linux-French–NutyX

I am currently downloading NuTyX which is in French.
I can read and write little French (not speaking though).
Beauty of French is it has very little vulgar language unlike English.

Anyway the name Nutyx little nasty and vulgar as a name for Linux.

I hope they find an attractive name Enchanter!
I’ll be with you soon after the download.

It is painfully slow in this country.
I am afraid this is not a Live CD but only installable.
I have to wait for it’s Live CD,
If the French read English. this is for You.

Vous comprendez Vous?