Monday, 27 April 2009

Lowest Common Multiple -2; DHARMA

Lowest Common Multiple - 2: Dharma by Nature

We continue our re-search taking clue from the previous post, Arithmetic in Life, into following areas which are very vital.

are the intrinsic functions of all the species, which are given by NATURE. Hence, in these functions all the living beings have autonomy bestowed upon them by NATURE.

The living beings include all animals and plants: from bacteria to human animal, fr0m algae to giant banyan /oak trees; there are no exceptions.

This is the Fundamental Law by Nature (call God if you wish). Perhaps some call it "Sahaja Dharma" – intrinsic Dharma – in Indian languages. I suppose it refers to humans, but if extended it could apply to all biotic and abiotic entities.

Since this intrinsic functional autonomy is given to the lives by NATURE, there is no other authority or power over it of any person or any man-made institution.

May they be incarnations / prophets, or religions, governments, courts of law (justice?), military, education, economics, trade and commerce etc. Because all these are somewhere, somehow, directly or by proxy, obliged to the power by humans. And where there is "power" there comes corruption, ownership, superiority, slavery, terror, extremity, exploitation, destruction, annihilation… brainwashing, may it be physical or mental.

NATURE does not place "Work, Rest, Health, Learning and Propagation" in hierarchy or in compartments, as the civilized societies do. They are simultaneously interrelated and integrated, and continue to function throughout lifetime. (I do not know the function of Soul other than keeping an entity alive for a limited time, and to support it to perform these functions.)

In the lives other than humans, for example, plants, we may not see these functions happening, but we witness their flowering and fruition. A seed fallen in the soil germinates, a "touch-me-not" closes its leaves as soon as we touch…

Jagdish Chandra Bose proved in his laboratory that plants have emotions (hence the senses). However, the illiterate peasants have known this for a long, long time. They know it by intuition. Intuition, however, comes and develops by the senses and observation and learning, by SenseAbility. After the sunset they never even snap a leaf of a tree, for it is its time to rest /sleep.

If we observe, among children, we can feel these functions at work, right from the moment they are born. Of course they start from the very time of conception. This is an ecological happening. The story of Tarzan, though imaginary, is also exemplary.

Science can enlighten us on many biological etc. matters. Science has done a "little" work on animals and plans, which though may be more for us, "more" work the scientist do, the mystery of NATURE deepens more and more!

1. Link to Previous Post: Arithmetic in Real Life

2. Links to my series on Senses: 1. Senses and SenseAbility, 2. Senses and SenseAbility2, 3. Homeostasis, 4. Touch, 5. Hearing, 6. Smell, 7. Sixth Sense, 8. Sex-as-Sense.

© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Lowest Common Multiple

What is Lowest Common Multiple in
Arithmetic of Life?

In the primary school, our teacher taught us "Lowest Common Multiple" (LCM). He didn’t tell us why or what was its use in practice. The white man told us, and we followed, like sheep, monkey, or parrot. (We are still doing that.) I learnt in Marathi, which was then called vernacular, at my native village Katta in Sindhudurg District, in Konkan - one of the well-known biodiversity regions of the world.
Then, also, we kids knew for sure, that every paddy seedling that grows gives twenty-thirty grains; a tiny seed that grows into mighty banyan tree bears million fruits, shelters and feeds hundreds of birds, Vetal or genie makes it his home.
But in all this what is the "LCM"?

For 2+7/10/12/15/17 years, the students take education, at schools/ colleges, whatever they could afford. But they even do not know what the practical use of "LCM" is. They also don’t know, or don’t understand, how to feed themselves with the help of that education. They only know that they should get a job, an employment, for that they need luck and/or some influence, or be able to bribe the higher ones.
By then their first 25 years of age are gone! What a colossal waste of national youth energy!
That doesn’t happen with the children of peasants, traditional artisans. By the time boys and girls are fifteen years of age; they are graduated in their family arts: farming, pottery, smithy, carpentry, masonry, weaving etc. By then they come of age, attain puberty. They are ready to stand on their own feet – take responsibility. Then prepare for marriage at right age – eighteen years.
What is the "LCM" in all this?
My "Two-in-One" Question
It happened in 1985-86. I was attending "International Conference on School Buildings for Afro-Asian Countries" at Roorkee, Uttaranchal. The venue was "Central Building Research Institute" (CBRI). About five hundred (may be more) delegates from India and abroad were attending the meet.
Director of "National Council of Educational Research and Training" (NCERT) was to deliver the inaugural address. Since he couldn’t attend, NCERT’s Prof. Bhattacharya read his text. The usual time of Q&A followed.
Before anyone else, I grab the opportunity to ask my question.
‘I want to ask two questions. My first question: What is the "minimum" education for every citizen is a must?’
Entire auditorium laughed no sooner my question finished.
‘It seems you haven’t heard my question. I repeat. I asked,’ holding my note in hand, ‘what "minimum", not "maximum" education.’
Prof. Bhattacharya mumbled something, which he too must not have understood. Ignoring what happened I continued.
‘My second question: Why there are dropouts? Even from the primary schools a large number of students leave education midway.’
Four or five pundits tried impromptu some flimsy answers; they too knew it.
How could anyone answer, if never thought about it; never climbed down to earth to see what is happening in real life; if never knew what is "minimum"?
During the closing session, the organizers informed the delegates that my "two-in-one" question was repeated in each of eight workshops. However they did not reach any conclusive answer. This, of course, was expected. I also came to know that I was the only delegate who came by spending his own money, i.e., I did not represent any organization. The rest had come on the allowances paid by their respective governments or departments or institutions.
What is the "LCM" of this story?
In the following years I documented whatever I witnessed, encountered, experience at a ground level in the Education and beyond. Some has been published in journals and periodicals, some of it on my blogs. One of the earliest article "Indian Schooling" was published in India and the UK.

I intend to publish a sereis on "Lowest Common Multiple" in course of time. Your responses and reactions are valuable.
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Sermon on the Mount (Image)

'Sermon on the Mount'
(Mural for the alter-wall of St. Joseph's Church,
at Vadodara, Gujarat by Remigius de Souza)

Last Sermon on the Mount in Action by Jesus

Remigius de Souza
Good Friday, 10 April 2009

© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Clay-Cow dung Grain Silos of Gujarat

Peasants in India store grains in various ways: paddy straw, silos of bamboo mat as well as clay silos. The enclosed photographs document clay silos in humble villages of Gujarat state. These are sufficient to show the state of the art of building these silos by the newly married women that is customary.
Wet clay and cow dung are mixed to build the wall/s, base, and the stubs that support the base and a thin cover at the top over the stored grains – wheat.
The main crop of the region is wheat.
The silos are either circular or square. The silos rise up to about 14 feet (3.5 m), of course, because of the shape. The square silos are usually up to 1.5 m to 2.0 m high. The circular silo is about 1.2 m at the base and 0.9 m at the top. Walls are about 100 mm thick. In case of circular silo the walls taper to 75 mm thickness. The base, of course, is raised by 300 mm above the mud floor (the reason obviously is to prevent dig burros from underground. A hole is provided at the bottom to remove gains whenever needed. The silos are finished white with lime wash; it is closed with cotton rag.
Women collect the clay from the village tanks. They were built (dug) by keeping in mind the contours of land, some generations ago, by community participation. They collected rain water from the surrounding fields.
They do not use any chemical pesticides in the stored grains. Instead they use Neem leaves. The grain usually lasts for whole year, and it doesn’t get affected by pest. The peasants have experienced that grains stored in tin or aluminium or any other metal or plastic cans get affected by pests.
Surprisingly, the silos are safe from the rodents while the villages infested with them. Also, the people don’t kill them or other animals or birds. The people of high castes may occasionally attack the untouchable casts is another matter!

Image -2
Image 3

Image -4

 Note on Cow-dung:

 Some time ago the Indian Petro-Chemicals Limited (IPCL), Baroda came out with a chemical for waterproofing treatment of mud walls. The offer came through CAPART, Delhi to use it on experimental basis, at 90% subsidy on its cost, on the first 50 houses built for the tribal, under RLEGP. Being skeptical about such industrial products about its cost, economy, and the after-effects etc. we declined. Instead, we suggested using traditional cow dung wash on the walls. The chemical was highly toxic. Thankfully, IPCL had a good sense of withdrawing entire stock from the market, perhaps in good time.
Traditionally the tribal and villagers use cow dung for finishing the mud floors and mud walls. They also use it for the grain silos made of mud, or apply it on bamboo silos. People must have observed that pest does not affect the grain stored in such a condition. From the Vedic times, ‘Agnihotra’ – a ritual with fire – uses cow dung, which is believed to purify environment. Are these superstitions? Perhaps IITs and IPCLs could divert some of their resources to understand cow dung. We should not be surprised, though, with use of chemical fertilizes and pesticides even the cow dung may found to be ‘fouled’!

© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.