Thursday, September 11, 2008

God doesn't play dice

N calls me his brother from another mother, and I take the title seriously. We even get a little silly and emotional about it at times. N & I booked our cars on the same day. We got adjacent even numbers on the plates. We drove our cars at almost the same time out of the showroom, had the tanks filled at the same pump and even had it blessed by the same Ganesha. Two months ago, a huge jackfruit fell on my car totally mutilating the roof and windshield (and somebody stole the fruit while I was examining the car but that's another tale). And in a conclusive demonstration of the profound order that rules the universe, this morning, a coconut landed on N's car. His turn to hurt and mine to see the funny side of the story that he kept trying to make me witness.

What are our personal obligations toward the environment?

That is such a hard question to answer. The freaks tell you to go back to the stone ages. The freaks on the other end dare not even entertain the question. In the end, most people are stuck at a relativistic position that roughly translates to setting the bar at precisely the lifestyle that they themselves are leading. It's not unlike the law of driving "Anyone who's driving slower than me is an idiot, and anyone faster is a maniac". This is when the economists' detached unemotional approach is so refreshing to read. Found this really interesting. The comments are great too.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Deppe Reccommends - 5

I started Guenter Grass' The Tin Drum on May 15. The narrator is 30yr old Oscar Matzerath, a mentally challenged midget. His account is set during the second world war. The incongruence of Nazi germany is beautifully captured in symbolisms and Matzerath's vague attempts at comprehending whatever transpired, but the book just did not engage my fancy beyond a point. Exactly 3 months after I started reading it, I noticed I was still on the 300th page. I kept it aside and my reading rate has returned to levels I'm content with. So, it's time for yet another edition of Deppe Recommends.

Fiction: The Fall by Albert Camus
The narrative is a monologue in the form of a confession. As the protagonist lays his soul bare I got persuaded into some really intense reveries from my own life. In the end I was sighing at the meaninglessness of it all. Sartre called this Camus' best work and I can see why.

Short Stories: Dark Side by Guy de Maupassant

Here's a little excerpt from The Horla that I really liked
"Jul 14th: The French national holiday. I went walking in the streets. Fireworks and flags still delight me just as much as they did when I was a boy. Of course, I realize that it is quite idiotic to rejoice on certain dates fixed by government decrees. Ordinary people are a silly herd, sometimes stupidly docile, and sometimes fierce and rebellious. When they are told: "Enjoy yourselves!", they enjoy themselves. When they are told: "Go and fight your neighbours!" they go and fight. When they are told: "Vote for the Emperor!" they vote for the Emperor. And when they are told: "Vote for the Republic!" they vote for the Republic.

Those in charge are also fools, but instead of obeying other men, they obey principles that can also only be inane, sterile and false just because they are principles, that is to say, well-established, certain, immutable notions in a world in which we can be sure of nothing, since both light and sound are nothing but illusions."

Non Fiction: Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley.

Song: GnR's cover of Sympathy For The Devil.