June 24, 2020
Bhuta and Daiva
Sometimes some official forms ask me to fill my religion. But they do not have Animism as an option. While interesting that a recent research on my ancestral belief is from a Japanese researcher.
Panjurli (boar spirit deity) headpiece used by dancers. (Image from Wikimedia)
Generally, Bhūta rituals are treated derogatorily by intellectuals and outsiders. However, local people worship ghosts, the dead, ancestors, heroes, animal deities, forest deities, mountain deities, earth deities, and tribal guardian deities. They are important and intimate objects of worship for the locals. In some situations, Devas, the god worshipped by higher class, are mixed or coexist with the lower rank deities called Daivas or spirits called Bhūtas. During rituals, pāddana narratives on the origin myth or historical story of the Bhūtas and Daivas, are chanted before the main rituals, most of which are filled with tragic atmosphere. Often the emotions of envy and grudge are also chanted about, depicting complicated historical background.
Link: Bhuta and Daiva: Changing Cosmology of Rituals and Narratives in Karnataka
June 19, 2020
Quantum Country is a new kind of book. Its interface integrates powerful ideas from cognitive science to make memory a choice. This is important in a topic like quantum computing, which overwhelms many learners with unfamiliar concepts and notation.
Link: Quantum Country
June 11, 2020
Longing for the early days of the web
When people long for the days of the early web, the glorious idiosyncrasies of personal sites and forums, they are really longing for a time and a space where people were free to communicate their own values. Now that space is owned and rented to the highest bidder. A site like LinkedIn wraps you up into a tiny, uniform package, sets you in an enormous data warehouse next to millions of other tiny people just like you, and sells the lot of you.
Link: Ruminations on outsourcing our values
My feelings are same too. I miss the chaotic days of personal homepages.
June 9, 2020
Forced Social Isolation Causes Neural Craving Similar to Hunger - Scientific American Blog Network
The need for connection– to form and maintain at least a minimal number of positive, stable, intimate relationships– is a fundamental need that affects our whole being, permeating our entire suite of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. While voluntary solitude can be great fodder for creativity, and being alone doesn’t necessarily indicate loneliness, what happens when people are forced into isolation and are severely deprived of this fundamental human need?
Link: Forced Social Isolation Causes Neural Craving Similar to Hunger - Scientific American Blog Network
June 2, 2020
Layers of a city
I stumbled upon a podcast episode discussion the making of the movie Saint Jack in late 1970s Singapore. Skip to around 9 minutes.
The Plot Thickens: Bogdanovich, The Misunderstood
May 3, 2020
The canary in the black ink
What book is this (I have not blocked the title, this is the way it appears in the bookshop)? Usually, this time of the year, I am in Rangoon. This book cover brings back memories of the 1990s Burma; sometimes, we would see magazines or newspapers with such blocked out articles or pages thanks to last minute visits by the censors. Either the editor could not find a harmless replacement article, or it was some brave editor who let the blocked section go. It was akin to the “Canary In The Coal Mine” that sent a signal that some controversial incident had taken place.
Still, looking for the book? Clue: The author worked as a police chief in colonial Burma.