Labels, labels, labels – adjectivizing the world.

Labels have always had a place – behind the collar and on cartons. That’s where they belong and that’s where they ought to stay. Make fashion statements out of them and we’re heading for big trouble. Because labels have a way of sticking beyond their life. Would you still call India “Third” world? See, the label just won’t go away.

Example #1 – Hybrid Design.

As though we don’t already have enough confusion around understanding “Design” – designers and non-designers both – our propensity for labels is adding clutter to the chaos. This recent Fastcompany article “Beyond Design Thinking: Why Hybrid Design is the Next New Thing” thrives in the romanticism of stating the obvious.

From the post … {an attempt to enlighten that fails to impress} Continue reading

Uncapitalistic “Glacial” Innovation

Now this is innovation,

– disrputive, passion driven and socially responsible, sustainable & non-capitalistic – not what management gurus are touting.

Chewang Norphel, Director of the Leh Nutrition Project.
Chewang Norphel, Director of the Leh Nutrition Project.

Glaciers are the sole source of fresh water for the Buddhist farmers who make up more than 70% of the population in this rugged range between Pakistan and China. But rising temperatures have seen the icy snow retreat by dozens of feet each year — to find evidence of global warming, the farmers simply have to glance up from their fields and see the rising patches of brown where, once, all was white. Knowing no alternative, they pray harder for rain and snow.

But Chewang Norphel has gone beyond prayer. The 73-year-old civil engineer has come up with a solution that won’t exactly save the ancient glaciers, but it could stave off a looming irrigation crisis.

Norphel has created artificial glaciers, frozen pools of glacier run-off perched above the farmers’ fields … [read the full article here].

Highlights:

  1. His innovation has been hailed as an elegantly simple and cheap [I’d substitute this word by ‘cost effective’]solution to a devastating problem.
  2. Only local materials are needed, and the villagers themselves can build and maintain them.

I’m so inspired …

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What do Birth control and Literacy have to do with Climate Change

The Pioneer plaque.

Image via Wikipedia

Now that you’ve fallen prey to my catchy title, don’t be fooled – the connections are not so remote as they appear at first glance. For those who have guessed, don’t spoil the fun.

Going by all known accounts, research information and the seemingly urgent political summits on the horizon – no points for guessing – climate change is being caused and accelerated only by one single species, humankind. So if stricter birth laws could be enforced, less human beings would be allowed to come into our planet and therefore would do less damage. (This would not hold if you included investment bankers and Nobel economists as being a part of humankind).

Here’s a sample from my proposed enactment
“The Birth Control and Literacy for Climate Change Act, 2009”.

Article 12: Whereas the minority religions of the world seek to remove all obstacles (including, but not limited to, the outdated institution of marriage) for bringing into this world;
(a) by conscious,  unconscious or accidental act of momental ecstasy, and

(b) performed between two or more persons of same (Section 377 of IPC) or opposite sexes; and  

(c) through physical or artifical means,

such an occurence may be permitted a maximum of 2 times in the lifetime of each of the persons involved, jointly or severally without exception.

And as for my literacy angle, it’s simple enuff … really! Continue reading

Climate Change Bollywood ishtyle

Kyoto Protocol

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s use the standard Hindi movie formula of circa 1980 to script our earth’s climate story. Enter Superstar  US. The virtuous, street smart, Robin Hood inspired protagonist of our story, replete with his coterie of jazz dancers. And then there’s the poor guy, India. Always trying to emulate the “hero” and competing with him for the “herione’s” attention in college settings. Let’s throw in some masala – subplots, love triangles and the very popular song and dance sequences – with the extras doing their own thing while they dance in the third row.

Quick Gun Murugan

Now compare this with whatever we’ve been seeing in the Climate Change discussions. See the script accurately playing itself out? (Nobody seems to want to ask mother Earth for her point of view). Call it clairvoyance or just plain sensitivity, some of us have been seeing it coming since the mid nineties. Even we couldn’t have guessed the speed of deterioration, although fully knowing the bounty hunter tendencies of the US, we should have been able to. Easily. Shame on us!

Some simple facts from Prem Shankar Jha’s Tehelka article, An Earth On Edge.

1. Till as recently as five years ago, abrupt climate change was on the unthinkable fringe of possibilities predicted by climate scientists. In March 2009, 2,500 scientists from 80 countries assembled at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The congress concluded that the findings of the IPCC were out of date. The evidence collected since its fourth report was compiled showed that global warming was ceasing to be human-induced and was becoming self-reinforcing. Continue reading

Printed money, Gloom to Doom

First we go throw money at the financial crisis and then when we run out of it, we print some more. Great idea but who’re we trying to fool? We don’t need Nostradamus to tell us that, do we?

Orrin Woodward (celebrated Author of Launching a Leadership Revolution) wrote this on his blog yesterday …

Today, with a heavy heart, I will share breaking news on the immoral monetary activity of the Federal Reserve. Money supply must be tied to economic output of a country or the printed money is merely paper only good for starting fires. …

I am an American patriot and very proud to be called an American.  Today is the saddest day for me as an American.  The following graph clearly displays that America has chosen to inflate its money supply without real wealth to back the paper money and money credits.  This is immoral in the highest degree.  This is no different than if I owed someone a million dollars and I only had one hundred dollars so I handed him Monopoly money and told him that it was legal tender.  Money should be like a promissory note and that is the true origin of paper money – a promised note to redeem the above legal tender with gold at the owner’s discretion.  This is no longer the case and has proven to be to great a temptation in the hands of our quick fix political leadership. Continue reading