Inconsistent Fragments

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Feeling free now

Just finished a very exhausting spate of work, feeling ready to fall down and sleep for fifteen hours. First the exam papers, then the medical ethics presentation, and then this h-u-g-e-l-y demanding article on server os comparison. And to think I did it only for 25 dollars :-(
Well, I guess 25 dollars for a day's work isn't too bad for a developing-world college teacher. But it was really very demanding. Maybe they'll pay extra for those extra pages I had to do. I wonder why they always seem to assign fewer pages than a project actually needs. Minimising order value?
Which is why I couldn't post yerterday, of course.
Good night, all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Please help arranging this page

I'm trying to put google adsense on my page, so I can perhaps earn a dollar or two, but as you can see, I'm very bad with page layouts, and know next to nothing about html coding. This is the best I could do with my limited skills, editing the template. Other blogs on blogspot have such fantastic layouts - I don't know how they do it. I spent most of today trying to figure it out, but you see the bad positioning of the google ad-s. If you're any good at this sort of thing, please help me out - leave a message or something.

I meant to write about the RTI act modification, in the light of which my comments of yesterday sound almost prophetic. But there's no time - I have to finish a presentation, start an article and mark at least 15 exam papers before the night has ended!

So here's a url instead. I hope it's a permanent link.

That's all for today, folks. Unless I have some spare time after the 15 papers :-)

Totally irrelevant plug: Firefox is a bloody good product, and so is the google toolbar for it. If you don't know how or where to get it, take a hard look at the sidebar :-)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

First Post

Normally I don't think much of blogs. The phenomenon has largely bypassed me. I mean how is it worthwhile to read what (mostly) unaccomplished writers put on their pages? It provides a space for what someone recently called "citizens' journalism", but the hype, I thought, and still think, is way overblown. Totally disproportionate with its modest actual value.

However, I am urged by circumstances to start this. A couple of days ago a number of ISP-s in my country, India, suddenly blocked many blogging sites, allegedly at the behest of the Union government. Many web forums erupted in protest; there was much talk of taking it up with politicians at formal and personal levels. Comparisons were made with similar restrictions in China. NDTV and maybe some other channels covered the news on national television.

What worked, I don't know. I have no truck with politicians, nor with those who do. But the blogs seem to have returned, as of last night. Which is good. And I decided that it was perhaps a good time to start one of my own.

Not because I have a lot to say here, or that I see much value in most blogs (which I don't), but simply because blogging has been threatened, and the threat might return. Our freedom is not guaranteed. Someone famous (one of the early American nationalists?) once said something to the effect that the price of perfect freedom is constant vigil. The retreat of the reactionaries may be only temporary, while they take measure of the protest. Perhaps we shall see more severe blocking in the days to come.

And it is indeed sad to see that India has now joined the global trend of suppressing citizens' liberties in the name of fighting terror. More on that in a later post, perhaps.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, if someone tries to suppress one of my essential liberties, it will be my sacred duty to try to exercise that liberty, on peril of distress, no matter whether I usually exercised it under normal circumstances. If I weren't a religious man, I should still make it a point to go to a temple, if suddenly the government banned all temple-going.

In that selfsame spirit, here's my blog, and here's my first post.