Season

What a season it has been!

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Congratulations to the champions, and better luck next season to others! At the start of the season, I could only vaguely hope that Antonio Conte would make some magic happen at Stamford Bridge. I couldn’t have predicted this outcome. Everyone thought that Chelsea had over-performed to become champions in 2014/15. But look at this team now!

I guess it’s right what they say: true grit is getting back up every time you fall down. And that’s why I like this team: they have grit. They fall, they stumble, they get up. They play with courage, ready to charge down shots, and create moments of magic that I can not see elsewhere. Slick football is nice, but what counts outside of it is courage.

This season has been a special one, even without the Special One. This really reminds of Chelsea’s heydays from 2009/10. What grit, what magic! To think a defender ousted for being not suitable to the premier league comes back to give one of the most memorable centerback displays! To think, that a tactical change at a crucial time of the season changes its plot! And, a diminutive midfielder becomes a modern legend!

This will forever be remembered as the magical 3-4-3 season. The season Antonio Conte arrived in Chelsea.

 

Well, that’s a long break.

I thought I would write something, but things just kept on piling up. Things need to be dusted, otherwise you get sootsprites hovering over it.

Sootsprites, if you don’t know what they are, are japanese yokai, thought to dwell in unused, decrepit buildings. You’d know them from Ghibli movies.

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They also appear in My Neighbour Totoro. I love their representations. They are that invisible, unseen, unexplained boundary between reality and fantasy: we make them up because we can’t see in the darkness. But darkness isn’t something malicious or dangerous or somthing to be afraid of. Darkness is absence of photons. Darkness is fluffy and harmless, just something that wants to find a home where nothing else lives.

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Well, I will have to open up the house now. And let these susuwatari wander off into the night. Adios!

 

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The road goes ever on and on

Well, I’m back.

That’s how Lord of the Rings ends. I was fascinated as a 12 year old at the whole experience that was Lord of the Rings. I read up on the history, the society, and all the other things Tolkien left us to ogle about. I could have greeted you in Sindarin and Quenya, and spoken quite a bit in the languages. Strangely, without use, those skills have withered.

That was when life was still full of choices. Hopes and options were abound. That was Shire. And then all of a sudden, I now find myself in an adventure that I didn’t want to be a part of. I have no idea where I am going. But, after a little relaxation in Lothlorien, I am back.

I hope to have a similar ending.

Homomorphisms of Peace

There are lots of limitations in life. For some people, it’s their genes. Genetics, which is to say nature’s random gambling joint, has handed them lemons, without a glass to make a lemonade. We are, after all, a function of our genes expressed through the right environmental conditions. The same genes would go on to give us Huntington’s disease or some random cancer.

For me, it’s perhaps my awesome social skills. In a cursory glance, I can tell I have none. No, I can’t read between situations; no, I don’t know what wrong actions I have taken; no, I don’t know what customs you are talking about. I need to learn. Learn things, like most people need to learn physics or a programming language.

And, by the way, most of your customs are a set of actions that have descended as an identification of your group of people. It’s your code. It’s not mine; I don’t know it. It’s like me writing in Python and you go on harping about Java. We don’t have the same compiler. So, we need to make homomorphisms, for the lack of a better word (I go into group theory), between my actions and your actions, and we’ll see that we are all just saying Hi, or just saying bye, or all the other things in between. These are all part of our ideas of communication.

There you go. Homomorphism: a perfect mathematical idea that you have no idea about unless you learn mathematics. Go on, google.

There is no need to take offense when people rebel against ideas.

But if humans could almost always do this, then why do we fight? What are the irreconcilable differences between two people, and how do they arise? Why can’t we put stuff on experiments and get us a completely scientific answer? Nothing’s that easy.

In some science fiction, novel methods of society have been looked into, and we have seen such experiments (in thought, or otherwise) crumbling down like the Tower of Babel because of this unique tendency of ours to break up into bands and tribes and speak our own tongues. In one sense, it’s so perfectly beautiful, that the same organ in every human can produce such myriad of sounds and meanings. In the other, does it not divide us, like the original biblical tale? Aren’t we a sundered folk, like the elves of Tolkien?

Not if we see the homomorphisms in between us. And, you know what, in whatever random selection you do out of all the human beings in the world, you’d find it. Only if you try. Only if you acknowledge the fact that there is such a possibility, can you remove the greatest limitation of the human species: conflict and war.

So, on this International Peace Day, even though I am posting a day late, that’s my two cents. Find the homomorphisms in between people. That’s the best solution mathematics can give you.

Peace out.

Honk Honk Honk

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I am reading “Dance Dance Dance” by Haruki Murakami. Although the early eighties novel has almost nothing to do with horns, I find its central concept to be very concurrent with the title of this post.

Waste.

An advanced capitalist society loves to produce it. Our brief existence on the face of this planet has left more of its resources useless than ever before. I’m pretty sure chemical processes in nature figured out what to do with dead stuff, but ever since we began to hack into them, producing plastic mugs, thugs, and what not, we have left nature with little time to do anything about it. Trillions and gazillions of bacteria are scratching their pseudopodas wondering what to do about your silicone breasts (that you no longer need, of course).

This specialization in waste spills down into our lives. We love to waste time. We love to waste megatons of energy. For example guzzling many gallons of fuel in an SUV only to go to a gym a kilometer away, to run on a treadmill for half an hour, covering two kilometers ( and a lot of gossip). Of course, who runs on sidewalks? Pooh. Plebs. Another example would be the atomic bomb, that our countries love to guard with even more grandeur, wasting away time and money in what could be used elsewhere.

It also spills into our streets. Honk Honk Honk. Despite our colossal waste of time, we can’t bear a minute on the street. We are children of impatience. I wonder if any of our religions were considerate enough to give it the status of a god. In its troubling disequilibrium, our advanced capitalist hearts beat to rhythm of the traffic; our impatient fingers punch out the rhythm of life into the one thing it can. Horns.

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I finished Dance Dance Dance not a few moments ago as I write this. Whenever I point out the obvious facts of these various wastages, I get called impractical. Oh well, if you don’t spill out waste from somewhere, you aren’t doing productive work. That’s what it’s about. Dancing. Dance, until the music is on. Keep on moving to the tune of the times, and you’ll do well. Or, at least you’ll give off the effect of doing well.

What is truth is not what we see, but what we see we assume to be true. How true is it? You tell me in the scale of one Kardashian arse to a Unicorn horn.

Or a silicone breast.

Whatever floats your boat man (in the case of the breast, it will sink).

So that’s why we honk so loudly? Giving us the illusion of movement. I’ve got a place to go to, the horn screams. You bloody pleb! You are no one to stop me. So move! Move Move Move! Dance Dance Dance.

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I find this everywhere. Our patience runs thin. We don’t care about ambulances, about beating hearts. Maybe, in whatever macabre dance we find ourselves caught in, we forget to see the beat of other’s lives. We can only hear one beat; we move one limb at a time. And then, when push comes to shove, we all start honking about our legs.

They could do something practical, couldn’t they? Like limit the decibels of the horn? At least my ears would be grateful. Maybe the birds, even. Patients in hospital wouldn’t feel the dredge of urban ennui around them. But, like I said, we can only hear our beat. And even though we do so, we seem not to hear our horns.

They begin right at the signal, impatiently waiting. Even before the signal turns, their fingers move like a reflex. See it’s nothing personal: I’m not really causing this pseudo traffic jam because I want to listen to the Beatles singing Let it be. There’s a goddamn signal there! But they don’t listen. They are acutely aware of people taking up space. It’s all a game of space, and we have been tuned by our advanced capitalist societies to take up the hidden spaces in our lives. Make it work; integrate it into our economies.

So people continue. Their absolute convalescence comes about only in the flip of the traffic light from red to green. Oh what a relief. The dance is back on; I can finally get on with my life. Such goes the thinking. In that split second of surreal relief anger builds up. The guy in front of me isn’t moving, how dare he! Honk Honk Honk.

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Such goes life. Well, someone’s honking at me right now. I’ll just start moving. I just wished they’d be their practical selves and wait out the signal. Maybe, lower their horns a bit. Maybe, they’d only give it a little jab, and let out a spike of warning, instead of pressing it hard and loud, all over Facebook and Instagram. If only they would wait. I’d go to the side if I could, but I am caught up in a current. A current of horns, honking honking honking.

Even I in my dance would probably continue to honk honk honk.

That burning sensation

Fire is holy. Fire represents force; the first sign of human progress which has ultimately led us to conquer this planet as a species. Fire represents purity; where all that is full of sin and devious of nature is burned and returned to the supreme whole.

Hindus don’t go inside kitchens wearing shoes because (apart from hygiene) we consider fire to be a god. It is to him all the yajnas and sacrifices are given, and burned and taken to heaven. 

Not sure if this is what they had in mind when making the rules of gods. 

And it’s not just tires that Indians burn: we burn tetra packs, medicines, syringes, any plastic that we think is a clutter, old decaying leaves: basically anything that is lying on the road and we think is dirty. Fire is supposed to clean everything up, right?

I imagine the frustration of the chemists who invented recyclable tetra packs, and the anger they must feels seeing their invention burn. If can’t lose our ways of the old, how do we expect to live beyond the present and beating our current problems, live a prosperous future?

The stupidity of human kind baffles me. Why on earth would you burn tires? Just make swings out of them. 

Oh right. You cut all the trees.