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News That Shocks

October 5, 2010

It has been a day of news reading after a long time. And I discovered that some news still has the ability to shock me. Or some are so absurd that you are glad it was printed/published.

The article on WSJ today about Indian women opting for a particular time for cesarean birth so it would be an ‘auspicious time.’ I wonder what exactly is happening to urban India. The more choices we are given, the weirder we get. I recently read another article somewhere that stated ‘medical tourism’ in India now  included ‘surrogacy pregnancies.’

In other words, baby factories. Yes. The nation, which has the reputation of being one of the most conservative and populous, is now manufacturing babies for those who can afford to pay from abroad. And now this practice is legal too! I maybe get the need for a couple to want a surrogate mother. But is it morally right for them to invest in a woman who really doesn’t have an option, keeps this pregnancy a secret from everyone else, lives literally under house arrest for 9 months and gives them a baby at the end of it? The women were quoted as saying they would never mention this outside that compound or really want to see the baby. This is yet another kind of a sweat shop and I’ve a feeling that if this ever gets out to those women’s families or neighbours, they would be ostracized. And the Indian government is actually sponsoring this?!?!

***
Sergent Calvin Gibbs.

For those who are unaware, he is one of the American soliders currently under trial for killing Afghan citizens for sport when he was on military duty in the region.

The story has been going on for so long that it was buried deep in my memory. But I read an account on the NYTimes today, where his friends are defending the man. Is he guilty? That is for the courts to decide. A lot of misconduct did occur in Afghanistan and I’m sure there are plenty of people responsible. It is the Courts’ jobs to decipher who and how.

But I do wonder what makes a person treat another human so horribly? I read about child soldiers in Somalia, in India. I read about soliders in Iraq killing and torturing other people for ‘sport’ and I wonder How. These are people who came from normal families in whatever country. Does holding a gun make them feel invincible and gives them the power to grossly abuse their powers?

***

Facebook. Google. The Social Network. Mark Zuckerberg cleaning up after himself.

Yes. Read it all. And the more I read about it, the funnier I find it. The man seems more and more to be an egomaniac. I remember watching this movie – Revenge of the Geeks – when I was in high school. The title says it all. And it was kind of cool then to see the underdog winning. And then Bill Gates happened, and the geeks/nerds got their ultimate revenge.

So when Mark Zuckerberg happened, geeks had mostly lost their ‘aww’ value. And Zuckerberg can be quite… unreal and greedy, which was annoying. At least Bill Gates was just giving you software to run your computer. But Zuckerberg takes your most private information and then says “hey you have to tell this to the world so I can make more money” and then tries to push you into believing that this will what the world will be – everyone spilling their dirty secrets in public. Is this his interpretation of ‘world without boundaries’?

Everyone has secrets and skeletons in their closets. And even when i’m sharing a bunch of that not-so-scary skeleton with the world, I would like to keep that to a small section of the world. My secrets. My vote to say who gets to share it. Maybe I do not want to tell Zuckerberg about my liking for… yellow slippers. Silly but hey! My wish, right? Wrong is what he has to say.

Facebook has a bug. You cannot block Mark Zuckerbug. Actually, I’m not sure if it is a bug or if they fixed it since it was reported.

And now the fears are Google might do the same. Facebook has information you intentionally revealed. Google has bytes of everything you ever did on the internet. Did you google for ways to kill a rat? Your boss? Google owns the world with its browsers, mail, chat and whatever else. True, so far they haven’t seemed aggressive in using your information to sell ads or tell you outright that they’ll use whatever you post on Picassa or email people or chat or whatever and sell that information to marketeers to make a pot load of money.

But maybe they do. They have an algorithm that picks out words from your email and conversation and displays those ads on your task bar. Notice what ads are being displayed on the top of your Inbox the next time you log into Gmail. So maybe they aren’t stating it out loud yet, but when Facebook is being aggressive (or you could call it the stupidity of youth) you have to be careful about what the giant Google could do, more softly and more dangerously.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. BarkingNJ permalink
    October 14, 2010 11:11 am

    Caesarean at ‘auspicious time’ seems like a load of bull to me. I mean Sergey Brin or Steve Job’s mom wouldn’t have consulted a fortune teller before giving them birth, still they are kicking butt in what they are doing. They can reverse engineer softwares, they shouldn’t try reverse engineering fortune, it simply does not work. I wish I can make them understand it takes lots of hard smart-work to make a fortune.

    Personally, if I ever get married, I would do it on the date that fortune teller asks me to do it on, but that would be for other people’s happiness. But again, my Indian mate often argues with me that all the people in western countries get married without consulting fortune teller for the right date to get married on, still their marriages work.

    • October 14, 2010 11:36 am

      Yup. this is exactly what is shocking about modern India.

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