World Bank and Mother India!

So I was queued up at the university train-ticket shop. A middle-aged man was sitting on a sofa while his wife was buying tickets to some destination. Bound by my old habit of starting conversations with total strangers, true to form and tradition, I started a conversation with him. After the initial hi-hello, he asked me, “So what you are you doing here?” “I am a computer science researcher”, I said happily. “And what do you do?” “I am the Chief Economist of the World Bank.” Haha. Just like that! Continue reading World Bank and Mother India!

Eric Schmidt’s Nightmare

The night of the happy day when Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google had declared to the world that privacy was not that important and that if you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, he had a dream that he had died and had ascended to heaven. At heaven’s door, he clicked on the button marked “Enter”. Continue reading Eric Schmidt’s Nightmare

Hippocratic oath or Hypocritic oath

I remember around 10 years back, a friend who is a doctor, went to an impoverished locality in Karachi with a team to vaccinate children against some disease(s). Their team was harassed by some ignorant and mostly illiterate people who felt that such vaccination campaigns are part of a “western conspiracy” to harm them. “Why are you sticking needles in our children?” and so forth. This reaction was (is) quite common in Pakistan. However, over the years, some progress had been made in raising peoples awareness about diseases and prevention. These are our local problems. But these problems are exacerbated and whatever little progress that has been made on the local front recedes very quickly, when the imperial machine dives into the thick of things with its cold brutal logic. Here’s one story: Continue reading Hippocratic oath or Hypocritic oath

Abdus Salam and Galileo: The separation of science from religion (and philosophy)

Dr Abdus Salam, the late Pakistani particle physicist is the only Muslim physicist till date to have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Dr Salam was rare among modern day scientists in that he was a devout Muslim. While most modern scientists are not concerned with religious matters, Dr Salam found his inspiration for science in religion. Continue reading Abdus Salam and Galileo: The separation of science from religion (and philosophy)