A Sethuramiah

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A Sethuramiah
Posted 5 months ago
Is militarism anachronistic? Is 21st century militarism a short one-way dead-end street? Is ‘dog eat dog’ domination dogma doomed?
Annihilation of humanity is a real danger. Our survival depends on a set of values like love and compassion that are considered to be impractical. What we emphasize is competition and success. Enlightened selfishness is the kind of value we consider feasible. Ego and selfishness have become the motivators. Probably Freud had a great influence on these issues. We know dog eats dog is not the right way but at the same time we can not transform into a spiritual lot. 'Spiritual' here is defined in a broad sense as cherishing all values that are pro human. We have survived earlier catastrophes but at that time WOM was not there. May be a think tank should investigate the past and future of human survival.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted 8 months ago
Yann Dall'Aglio: Love -- you're doing it wrong
Interesting indeed. Uselessness reminds me of Sartre who said man has no aim except the one he creates. Man is a social animal and yearns for acceptance all the time. This desire to be desired is the be all and end all unless the cycle is deeply understood through awareness. Firstly to realise all desires are but relative. They have no value except what we give them. Take them easy. Secondly is there anything more valuable than continuous' exchange' of seduction points? This is where spirituality not bound by religion comes in and needs to be fully explored.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley
Very interesting and positive. While good teachers can motivate, in my opinion the environment is also important. Socioeconomic factors are important for motivation. While school level education is criticised the premier universities of US are amongst the best. They are keeping US in the forefront of technology. How these institutions are getting bright and motivated students? Are they predominantly coming from elite schools? I agree with the speaker that liberal arts enrich education. But the emphasis at least in developing countries has shifted to' job giving' education. It is pragmatic to realise that students may or may not be curious.The less motivated can be helped by learning enough to make a living. This is also a purpose of education.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!
Very interesting and positive talk. But regard motivation of a student other issues also are important. For example family environment may or may not nurture curiosity. Poverty and lack of nutrition will also adversely effect the young mind. I am saying that while good teachers are essential socioeconomic factors are also vital. Pragmatism indicates that children who are not fired with curiosity at least should learn enough to earn a living. The concepts like vocational training serve this purpose.These concepts are important in developing world to generate skilled manpower and employment. However the vocational education can also be made interesting enough to the student. Despite criticism of US education at school level US is endowed with some of the best universities in the world that keep US in the forefront of technology. Is it that the bright students are coming via the elite stream? This is not to argue for or against elitism. It is only to understand the reality. I do agree with the speaker that well rounded education including arts is good for development. We in India are getting more deficient in this area rushing for technology based education that means money and status. I must admit that 'Pleasures of Philosophy' by Will Durant is the book that impressed me the most in my youth. Majority of youth now have neither time nor inclination for such pursuits. Art is part of life and its neglect can lead to mechanistic view of life.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?
The ideas you propose are interesting. I wonder how the men in uniform find their work. Getting prepared for battle but living without a battle is depressing? Or is it that they feel happy they are free from the risk of losing their lives? when countries go to war is part of the motivation from armies?Aren't some armies trigger happy?
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Is Solipsism irrational (the philosophical position of "Cognitio Ergo Sum")?
I thought of bringing into focus the Indian thought as expounded by J . Krishnamurthy. His central idea is that all that we think is relative and what is absolute can not be perceived by conditioned mind-conditioned by DNA and upbringing. The problem comes when we project our ego based understanding as real. Then come practices like transcending the endless thoughts and in deep silence and total awareness perceive the absolute. There should be no preconceived notions about the raison d'etre of existence. This approach may not appeal to western thinkers but at least they can agree to the limitations of rationality when it comes to concepts related to reality of existence. I am not a philosopher and I hope to have conveyed the idea adequately. I put across this idea as you seem to be arguing partly on similar lines.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Do we rely too heavily on technology for medical diagnosis?
Dear Neema There is no way to prevent unnecessary tests except ethics. But ethics is difficult to define and more difficult to maintain. Speaking of experience in India only there are interesting ways of doing them. One is just in case.... My son suffered from severe headache and the doctor says 'I do not think there is any tumor problem. But just to rule it out please get a scan done'. The other is more direct-I am the doctor and I know what is to be done. Yet another problem sometimes is the routing of the patient.I went for treatment of mild case of spondyltis. The reception directed me to neurologist. After examining several X-rays of cervical zone plus tests in ENT(you have to walk with closed eyes+other tests) the diagnosis is mild spondylitis. The whole effort is costly. Is this all necessary? Suppose my spondilytis has deteriorated how do I know?The other way is first treat it as a mild case as the patient was free of the problem for three years with simple medication like Betavert tablets. Similar dilemmas exist. When should a heart by-pass be done? The interpretation of the level of blockage is the problem. If the surgeon is in a corporate hospital that 'expects' them to do a minimum number per month more bypasses than necessary can happen. Unfortunately good public hospitals that used to serve us well are deteriorating with few exceptions. The above discussion is to elucidate the problem involved in developing criteria for ethics. But ethics do exist and the philosophy to promote is to say service first and money next. Can something practical be done to check the problem? probably internal audit by hospitals to see how effectively treatments were done and whether unnecessary tests were involved is a good starting point.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Do we rely too heavily on technology for medical diagnosis?
We may first consider a case where diagnosis is effective. This is so with regard to machines whose ‘health’ can be monitored periodically or continuously by analyzing say vibration signals with good software. This is because the science involved is known though in rare cases there may be problems of interpretation. The human machine is far more complex. While good technology picks up the signals accurately their interpretation is far more involved. Medical expertise of known doctors may be built in into the software but still it falls short. The extent to which technological diagnosis can be used is not easy to define. Caution should be the watch word. Another issue that concerns me is the diminishing role of general practitioner who has the capability to look at the patient in a holistic manner. Each expert is looking at one part of the body thoroughly as if they are independent. We should give more emphasis to general medicine and make it more valuable. When experience really helps in diagnosis it may perhaps be termed insight rather than intuition. Any interesting idea like figuring out the disease by sensing the pulse alone by a vaid can be useful if it can be translated into a diagnostic tool for others as well. The validity of claims also then becomes established. Research is needed.
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A Sethuramiah
Posted over 1 year ago
Is capitalism sustainable?
Capitalism is sustainable provided it is flexible. The problem arises from the almost religious fervor with which free market economy is practiced. Capitalism overall has definitely contributed to innovative ideas and growth. Inequality is a by-product that has to be solved by modifying existing frame-work. This is of special relevance to developing economies like India. The practice of communism has not resulted in growth and freedom and has been wiped out from some countries. While equality principle is laudable, in the first place there should be wealth. Otherwise poverty equally gets distributed with the exception of the privileged. The philosophic issues are open to debate. Does incentive mean glorification of greed? Even then is it not the right way to channel it into productive use? Descartes said 'I think therefore I am'. Are we in a state that can be summed up as 'I consume therefore I am'? Some of the answers will arise from a flexible capitalism. Also capitalism may not be as free as we think. As Eric Fromm said capitalism involves 'soft kill' that involves bombardment with advertisement and other tools till people sustain the expected growth chart.