Monday, September 11, 2017

Vivekananda's Speech in Parliament of Religions, Chicago

11-September, 1893 is the date when that important gathering in Chicago happened where Vivekananda made that famous speech. To my surprise, there is no mention of the famous phrase "Brothers and Sisters of America." Here is the speech in toto, as found in the book Chorus of Faith which has captured the proceedings from the event.

It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome that you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world: I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.
My thanks, also to some of the speakers on this platform who have told you that these men from far off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to the different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true. I belong to a religion into whose sacred language, the Sanskrit, the world exclusion is untranslatable. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. We have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites a remnant which came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: "As the different streams having their source in different places all mingle their water into the sea, O Lord, so the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear crooked or straight, all lead to thee.
The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in Gita: "Whosoever comes to me, through whatsoever form I reach him, they are all struggling through paths that in the end always lead to me." Sectarianism, bigotry and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have possessed long this beautiful earth. it has filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for this horrible demon, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But its time has come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death knell to all fanaticism, to all persecutions with the sword or the pen, and to all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

Friday, July 14, 2017

SBNs and their numbers

Currency Notes in circulation.

As of March 2016, Rs. 1000 notes in value = 6326 Billion = 6326 Million pieces
As of March 2016, Rs. 1000 notes in value = 7854 Billion = 15708 Million pieces

Assuming all the notes were returned, total notes to be counted, 22034 Million pieces.

A good note counting machine like below can count 1800 notes per minute and can count 24x7 for multiple years. It costs $ 450.

Let's do some math, with the machine above, it would require (22034*10^6)/(1800*60*24) Days for one machine to count all the notes. That is equal to 8501 days for a single machine to count. Given that this was a mammoth operation, and even a simple bank branch seems to have a couple of these machines, RBI could have easily arranged 100 machines and could have counted all the notes in 85 days.

Also given the fact that all the notes are printed by RBI and there would be data available on its weight and volume, they could have just weighed the notes and given an approximate figure. Nobody really cares about the last few hundred crores.

Friday, July 7, 2017

A story of Indian Masalas

As I woke up today, received a WhatsApp forward from one of my friends with following picture.
It just sounded bizarre. The very first things that I did was to search it myself and I found that the image is accurate. This is what Google returns. The first question that came to my mind, is it a problem with google's algorithm or there is something else. So just to be sure, I decided to do the same search in other search engines.




It is clear, all the search engines, at least the prominent ones give out the same results. This seems to be the reality of the internet. This is the problem I have with proponents of things like AI. You can create an alternative reality if nobody is paying attention to.
Content available on the internet as it is crawled by all the search engines gives this impression. If you are looking at North Indian Masalas, it is predominantly showing you spices while when you look for South Indian masalas, it is showing pictures of ladies. Unfortunate but that's the problem with algorithms, it is so easy to mislead them and create an alternate reality for them.