Liberal Thoughts

issues that otherwise won't matter to the others

Why so Google?

The normal human functionality is so dead in this generation. Blame it mostly on technology. We have seen mostly in most sci-fi movies of course, where the human race is so dependent on even the most simplest of things, where the use of technology has just made a slave of us human beings. That dependency is previewed in many sci-fi movies, being rubbished as fiction and “not happening” is questionable.

Androids are already in the scope of being totally present and acceptable in the human society in just a matter of some time now. There is already a ‘breed’ of robot which perceives the nature around it and copes, understands and reacts accordingly. That is ‘technology dependence’ of course. And if you don’t believe in me, you are a a sure lunatic.

Looking at the current generation of ‘intelligent and tech savvy’ people, just look at the online scenario. Look how dependent people are into the services and products of Google (referenced as G from here on). Here is a simplest of the example (and I am saddened to see it with many people). Say you know about a website name. The most common norm of people of this generation is to ‘search’ for that site name in G and then proceed ahead. That’s a pathetic sign of dependency. People have become so lethargic to even try out ‘that name’ by typing in the address bar and going to the website directly than outright in G first! Logic seems to be deviating much towards G. Are the people of this generation of the belief that G knows the best?

The direct and indirect approach

The direct and indirect approach

That I feel is callous. Next in line comes the online time spent. If you can notice, the person sitting next is most likely to be engulfed in GTalk or chat within Gmail. Wow! That no doubt is a win win situation by G folks to capture the chatting minds to successfully divert a whole generation from Yahoo Messenger to GTalk. I guess, Y! hadn’t seen this coming when G’s chat service came up. G of course deserves an applause, for it caught the sentiments of the masses to capture the chatter’s market to make its chat service an anytime running application as soon as the computer boots up. They are sure smart! And Google still gains in popularity by WoM – Word of Mouth. No expense at all in that. Technology encompassing. Of course you are free to disable the Gtalk application at all as soon as your computer is on and ready to use, but still you are tempted to launch it on your own at one point or another and keep it running until your computer is on. And I should say, G is smarter enough to let it run even when its just the mail service running. An added advantage, you get to access video enabled chat from gmail whereas Gtalk doesn’t allow it yet. People are just lured. Of course its human nature to catch with the better of the options available.

But am I complaining? I am also one amongst the users of the numerous services of G and sure am benefiting from it, a benefit which not necessarily need be monetary. But I am no preacher of them. I would rather say, go to this website blahblahblah.com or so. I would rather say “search for information of this topic in Wikipedia” than in G. I would rather prefer my friends call me over the phone or I ring them up if its something urgent or they want to discuss about something and otherwise just shoot a mail if its not so outright important. However, the sheer computing power of G makes them irrefutable to ignore and keep up with the advances of technology. It’s human nature to progress with time.

Even so, the various advances in technology is making the common man so dependent on the tech-run life, they are losing the very nature of being human. I have a belief that if the 24 hours of a mans life is being governed by multitude of those devices, its no difference than being a slave of those devices rather than the devices being your slave, a parasite living on some smart thinking by some smart group of people. It would still be inexplicable if the human mind could contemplate at what they are capable of doing on their own than relying on some ‘stupid’ devices for a superficially ‘comfortable’ life.

Of course, we seek out for various comforts of life, but its at the cost of surrendering our very nature of being human, i.e. the attribute of working out better solutions and at the same time being physically and mentally active enough to encompass the practicability of a great life. Hope wisdom is not lost for the sake of technological advancements of leading a smart life.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | General, Humanly | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Case of Bribery

I lodged a complaint against a traffic police today and for my own records as well for visibility of others like me who are harassed by cops, I thought it better to get the same complaint put up here as well.
Just about a couple of hours before this incident happened, I recall seeing a hoarding on the way saying out loud about non corruption in the state of Karnataka. Laudable! That this can be the situation as a long-term plan but for now, it’s just a joke. And I happened to have the first hand experience of it in no time after seeing the hoarding. Kiss my luck. I was so infuriated even though it was a small thing which we can easily say “it’s ok! let it go”. I have been seeing this happen again and again to me and many other people who I know. I am sure most others also have been through a similar fate but passed out of it “phewing” it off as “escaped!”.

Corruption! Sad that it gets you involved even if you are not willing to. I will still laugh at that hoarding as long as I keep on seeing it. They say “nothing’s gonna change”, “it has been like this, it will be like this”, “you can’t do anything”. Well, I am trying to do the least and let me see if the cops accuse me back of false complaints and charge me with even a bigger offense. To go with, I thought I will try out the public grievance system and use the power of internet. Good thing in here is that the people in the administration who actually are serious about removing all levels of corruption has an online version of registering complaints. And I am going to find out if it actually works or not. Bangalore traffic police runs their website wherein anyone can lodge a complaint or provide suggestions. The complaint I lodged in this link is as follows –

This is a complaint against one of the traffic police in the traffic signal between Victoria Road and HAL Airport Road. I didn’t get his name for the records though. He charged me Rs 300/- against a traffic violation of Jumping Traffic Signal today 4th Aug 2010 around 6:30 PM. I said ok and demanded the challan. He immediately said ok give Rs 100/- and after giving him the amount, again I demanded the challan because I would rather pay the government for a fine than bribe a cop to get away with it. He kept the Rs 100/- and when I still insisted for the challan acknowledging receipt of the fine, he blindly objected and started abusing in Kannada. He spoke to me in English first and then turned the tone and language of conversation into Kannada for what? Because I am an outsider? I don’t have to throw light on what is the impression of the typical policeman in the eyes of the public – amongst the few good men are these abusive, bribe taking, non moralistic guys. Well who cares about morality now-a-days anyway! I could make out that he was saying me to go learn Kannada first and then demand challan or anything and was also saying you want challan you will have to pay Rs 300/-, you go to court and pay the fine there.
Even though I was not sure if I had actually jumped the signal, I was polite enough to pay the fine, but the policeman just pocketed the money. I insisted on the challan over which he threatened me by asking a higher fine amount and saying about going to court for that. On asking about why he was saying Rs 300/- first and then came down to Rs 100/-, he said if its Rs 300/- he will charge me with a case of Dangerous Driving. Now that was surprising. Just for a bribe of 100 bucks, this guy was threatening about going to court and pay the 300 bucks there if I want. He was letting me choose. Moreover, I was riding at a speed of about 40 to 45 kmph at that turning and also due to few other 2 and 4 wheelers in that signal. So his saying about ‘Dangerous Driving’ is totally out of question here.
How does one make a distinction between Dangerous Driving and Jumping the Signal? Is the traffic policeman here at his own discretion to say Dangerous Driving if the accused doesn’t pay him the ‘bribe’? A common man like me cannot do much but just walk away because then, he can again charge me with any other serious offense and make me liable to pay for more than just Rs 100/-.
It’s not about the amount of 100 bucks I was charged with but its about the moral attitude of the traffic police. And this is the third time that this has happened to me.

After submitting the complaint, I got a BIG note saying “Thank You, We will get back to you soon”. Having a tryst with government websites earlier, I am not sure if this will work out, but its a wait and watch game now.

August 4, 2010 Posted by | General, Humanly | , , , , , , | 1 Comment