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Showing posts from October, 2007

The Principles of Uncertainty

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NYT's has a video on Maira Kalman's talk at NYPL.
Watch it, it's quite fun.

Yoga

Thanks Shamnad for the comment and link to your article. This helps put the debate in more context, than just that Yoga is being patented. The article is below.


The latest move by the government of India “to lodge its protest against yoga-related patents issued by the US Patents & Trademarks Office” prompted a number of emails to me this morning. Some even went to extent of suggesting: “Surely, if the government is taking this up, there must be some merit in this case”.

If you really want to believe that a naked emperor is adorned with the finest clothes, be my guest!! It’s all a matter of perception anyway, and as our good old sages rightly intuited: the world is nothing but “Maya”-- an illusion!!

Metaphysical musings aside, given the fact that governmental interventions in matters of this sort cost time and money (tax payers, of course), I think it’s important to think through these issues carefully and not fall prey to a trigger happy attitude. Shwetasree did an excellent post re…

Our Inherited Brutalities

Tehelka has a powerful story of our Inherited Brutalities. In India, tradition is a mask for tyranny. Collective violence is unleashed upon all those who defy it. Thanks Marginal ALien for the link. A very disturbring article, that challenges the notion of shinning India, when lynchings, murders and collective violence is being perpetuated all around.


Most people do not realise that society can practice tyranny and oppression against an individual in a far greater degree than a government can. The means and scope that are open to society for oppression are more extensive than those open to the government; also, they are far more effective. What punishment in the penal code is comparable in its magnitude and its severity to excommunication? — BR Ambedkar


Willing cops In Bihar’s hagalpur, policemen tied a man to their motorcycle and dragged him in front of live television cameras. The crowd egged them on.
A CONSERVATIVE SOCIETY, enforcing its dictates with an iron hand — that is who we a…

Copyrighting Knowledge Systems

An old oped (May 7th) by Suketu Mehta in the NYT discusses the patenting of yoga asanas, often by Indians in the U.S. He counter poses that by stating, India gave the U.S. yoga for free, so life saving Aids drugs should be given free to Indians. I do not disagree with his argument. The owning of Knowledge systems is what makes the West able to impose conditions on the East. For the East to develop it needs to create it's own knowledge systems.

I GREW up watching my father stand on his head every morning. He was doing sirsasana, a yoga pose that accounts for his youthful looks well into his 60s. Now he might have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he teaches the secrets of his good health to others. The United States government has issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks. There’s big money in those pretzel twists and contortions — $3 billion a year in America alone.

It’s a mystery to most Indians that anybody can m…

Gap Kids and Child Labor in Delhi

Sepia Mutiny reports that Gap Kids is using child labor to make their clothing. I am sure this will generate a lot of heat in the marketplace here.

One of the items that has been getting votes on the News Tab today is the IBN Live story (thanks, Raprasad) on The Gap’s decision to pull a contract with an Indian contractor that had been using bonded child laborers in horrific sweatshop conditions in Delhi. (By a strange irony, the clothes the children were working on happened to be destined for GapKids. Oy.) The decision by The Gap was prompted by an excellent article in the UK Observer, which was in turn the product of an undercover investigation. The part that bugged me in the IBN article came at the end of the following passage:

The Observer quoted the children as saying that they had been sold to the sweatshop in Delhi by their families. The children, some of who worked for as long as 16 hours a day sewing clothes by hand, said they hailed from Bihar and West Bengal. They added that t…

good night

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exhaustion

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kiwi

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the birthday Girl

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toddler time

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mama and baby

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umbrella

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papa n green baby

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papa n baby

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mama n baby

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Musical Birthday Party

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Skeleton

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or this

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I am so not into this

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painting pumpkins

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Hair

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Spider woman spells

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Patchwork Applique Quilt

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Princesses

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bee

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jester

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spiderwoman

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costumes

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