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Google’s tribute to Alexander Calder

Pushkar Sane Friday, 22nd July, 2011 Tags: , , , , Roots No comments

Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Alexander Calder who invented Mobile (not the mobile phone) almost 80 years back. All parents should thank this man as this simple invention has kept most infants engaged and it still fascinates them.

I love some of his quotes:

Out of different masses, tight, heavy, middling—indicated by variations of size or color—directional line—vectors which represent speeds, velocities, accelerations, forces, etc. . . .—these directions making between them meaningful angles, and senses, together defining one big conclusion or many.

Nothing at all of this is fixed.

Each element able to move, to stir, to oscillate, to come and go in its relationships with the other elements in its universe.

It must not be just a fleeting moment but a physical bond between the varying events in life.

Indus Languages

Pushkar Sane Wednesday, 29th June, 2011 Tags: , , , , Roots No comments

Recently I came across a very interesting TED presentation by Rajesh Rao on how to decipher the 4000 year old indus script. He presented his point of view at TED 2011 and explained how he is using modern computational techniques to read Indus language. While his presentation was certainly interesting it made certain assumptions that were primarily driven by the history written by the British during rule in India. He made a reference to Indo-European and Dravidian languages in his hypothesis. I don’t how he arrived at a conclusion that the British classification was true 4000 years back. There is no evidence to prove the Aryan theory and in my opinion there was division between so called aryan and dravidian languages. The entire aryan and dravidian theory was created to cause internal rifts in the Indian sub-continent and unfortunately we still suffer from the same division.

While I commend his effort of finding meaning from the stone inscriptions but to me it looks half-baked. Because he neither knows the context nor he has the complete information. So while a computer can form patterns based on the information available we don’t know how much of information is missing. Additionally the only available source of context are ancient Indian scriptures which are ignored while studying archeology.

Here is the TED video:
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