Laws are designed to suppress the downtrodden

“When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous”–Tacitus

Ayn Rand There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers.

How true ! This is what exactly seems to be happening in India.A wonky system of law-making ,derived from an antiquated British jurisprudence,which thrives on making laws the breaking of which is designed to warm the pockets of the guardians of law. If you do not wear a helmet while driving a motor cycle you end up losing Rs.50 as a bribe to the cop instead of getting deterred from committing the same crime the next time .Somebody gets a six years rigorous imprisonment for possessing a gun for two days merely because the law concerned says so. The rules keep multiplying as long as the civil servants who are again of the same stock as our British erstwhile masters can dish out chaste Victorian prose trying to envision all sorts of criminal possibilities .

John Cage’s 4’33” -music of the silence

John Cage‘s most famous musical composition is called 4’33”.It consists of the pianist going to the piano, and not hitting any keys for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. (He uses a stopwatch to time this.) In other words, the entire piece consists of silences — silences of different lengths, they say.

On the one hand, as a musical piece, 4’33” leaves almost no room for the pianist’s interpretation: as long as he watches the stopwatch, he can’t play it too fast or too slow; he can’t hit the wrong keys; he can’t play it too loud, or too melodramatically, or too subduedly.

On the other hand, what you hear when you listen to 4’33” is more a matter of chance than with any other piece of music — nothing of what you hear is anything the composer wrote.”

http://interglacial.com/~sburke/stuff/cage_433.html

James,Oscar Wilde and Aesthetic Culture”-book by Michele Mendelssohn

In this review by Mark Fisher ,one gets know,if it is true, that Oscar Wilde’s genius is that of a clever plagiarist .He borrows heavily from the contemporary as well as the classical authors including Shakespeare,John Donne,Lord Byron,William Morris and “sixty more” His famous witticisms are a part of his borrowed wisdom ,that is what the author says.”I have nothing to hide except my genius” is the declaration he had made to the New York Customs.Perhaps he had to hide it in order not to appear to have stolen it from others.

http://living.scotsman.com/books.cfm?id=1648862007

Is the community’s forgetting a reality ?

The advantages of amnesia – The Boston Globe  

"Jorge Luis Borges envisioned the risks of perfect memory in his famous story "Funes the Memorious," about a man gifted with unlimited recall, and paralyzed by it. Perhaps not even Borges, however, could have imagined our present capacity to accumulate and preserve memory in digital form – or the powerful impact it is already having on individual lives, as temporary indiscretions become part of the permanent record. "What you do online is potentially there forever," says Coye Cheshire, an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. "Delete if you want; ask Google to take down that one unflattering photo – but it’s still saved, archived, somewhere."

The personal costs of this reality are clear, but there may be broader social costs as well. "What a lot of people forget – no pun intended – is that forgetting is hard-wired," says Mayer-Schönberger. "Cognitively and sociologically, we’ve never had to develop the capacity to forget or to put things in temporal perspective, because forgetting was built in biologically."

We are basically designed to forget individually but the shared consciousness has continued over time .We have had tons of accumulated information which will continue to grow even if we forget our individual masses of information .This is perhaps what we call our culture or heritage.

Man has moved away from the savannahs but the savannahs are still within him

Evolutionary psychology | More news from the savannah | Economist.com 

"…changes concerning animals were significantly easier to detect than those concerning cars. In the most telling comparison, 100% of volunteers noticed the movement of an elephant in the African bush. Only 72% noticed the movement of a minivan in a similar piece of bush. And that was despite the fact that the image of the van was somewhat larger in the photograph than the image of the elephant, and that the minivan was red, not grey.

This highly honed ability to notice animal activity (it applies to small familiar animals, such as pigeons, as well as large unfamiliar ones, such as elephants) argues that an animal-monitoring module is innate in the brain. As, indeed, might be expected. Animals are important: small ones are supper; large ones are best avoided, lest they eat you or trample you to death. In other words, you can take the human out of the savannah. But you cannot take the savannah out of the human."

An interesting piece of research which says that although man has moved away from the wild west plains he has not yet lost his ability to spot animal activity .Extending this further one might say there is a greater chance of your getting killed by a vehicle in the chaos of the Indian traffic than in an African jungle where the elephants may suddenly come charging at you from behind  tall bushes .

Henri Cartier-Bresson -his decisive moment

A Critic at Large: Candid Camera: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker  

"When I spoke to his widow, Martine Franck—the president of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, in Paris, and herself a distinguished photographer—she said that her husband in action with his Leica “was like a dancer.” This feline unobtrusiveness led him all over the world and made him seem at home wherever he paused; one trip to Asia lasted three years, ending in 1950, and produced eight hundred and fifty rolls of film. His breakthrough collection, published two years later, was called “The Decisive Moment,” and he sought endless analogies for the sensation that was engendered by the press of a shutter. The most common of these was hunting: “The photographer must lie in wait, watching out for his prey, and have a presentiment of what is about to happen.”

Amusing but looks like the real thing behind Cartier-Bresson’s technique of catching photographable objects. His wife was talking about his most graceful dancer-like movements in the way he moved forward in a crowd and positioned himself and the camera .It was as thought he was a hunter chasing a game .