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Archive for October, 2015

Reciprocity in social psychology refers to responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions. When you smile at a stranger at a neutral ground say on the street you find him smiling back which is a reciprocal action. It is how man is made aware of his own place and of himself in relation to other. You prove yourself friendly and you are rewarded instantly by the selfsame token of friendliness. There is a cause a slot which you fill, only to be found by another falling into a slot which is that of effect. In short cause and effect are one to one relationship into which our social nature fits us. We initiate certain actions as a cause for others to respond accordingly.
Suppose on the eve of Crystal night (on 9–10 November 1938), if a Jew were to meet a German the response of the Jew would not have been as simple as mentioned above. The German who smiled may have been an ordinary citizen but the pogrom carried out SA paramilitary troops would have made such effusion in return as next to impossible. Events occurring elsewhere made their one to one exchange one that of suspicious.  Shall we say that cause did not connect with effect in a straight forward fashion? The events from outside come in between us to make our responses complex. What emotional cues that guide me need not necessarily be understood by another. We shall see how from the contradictory nature of human personality. A clown who makes every one in stitches is often the saddest man who need break into laugh lest he break up. Charlie Chaplin comes to my mind.
ii 
Since we humans as social animals have no other place than the earth to escape into, all events and their consequences are assumed as our collective responsibility to which we have no way of apportioning blame or praise.  Whether we foul up our beds or douse them with perfume we all need lie together for better or worse.  Law of reciprocity makes such cause and effect relationship hold together for our understanding. 
It is said, one man’s gains is at another man’s loss. Obama could have become the President in 2008  only at the cost of Romney losing his bid. Thereafter his taking up with the Sheraton group would mean that his position as a director was at the cost of someone else losing his shot on the Board of directors. Such is the cause and effect relationship that a man’s position is a view of himself into an infinite mirror broken into infinite pieces. In Obama- Romney relationship one is a cause while the other is the effect. Romney likewise is a cause while some other fills the slot of effect. In short no man can be both cause and effect in any relationship. Law of reciprocity distributes each into cause as well as effect in so many order of social relationship.
Having said about redistribution of man in terms of cause and effect after its own order let me indicate the cause and effect is not direct but falls under a corrosive cloud where anyone justifying as innocent is not true.  The rise of Hitler owes to such a cloud (as a result of reparations of the Allies as well as their sense of guilt at the harsh penalties they as  the victor exacted on the defeated. How Chamberlain’s government played into the hands of Hitler at the Munich Pact is a case in point. Into it we need allow anti-semiticsm of the ordinary Europeans at that time). By the law of Reciprocity the entire German nation was thrust into the effect of Nazism. Once cause and effect played of the result was the Soviet Army marching into Berlin. Think of the human cost? If you need explain moral compass of man,  make sense of the cloud into which both cause and effect are drawn.
benny

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Sinai plane crash: No survivors on Russian airliner KGL9268

 So runs the news of an airplane crash. It was a disaster waiting to happen, right? If an airplane is built for taking off to the air it is as natural that an air plane is waiting to crash down. It is thus, defying natural laws where the nature of gravity is in-built, must fall under the physical nature of the earth. Its effect must be absorbed by the inhabitants. An airplane develops sufficient thrust to take off but natural laws shall play against it  to bring it down. There cannot be any other explanation if we were to explain why such a disaster occurred. Man and his machine is ever against the earth and its natural laws. It makes no sense even if it was another airplane that came down. Natural law has been broken and law of gravity shall claim its due. Such a law of reciprocity exists on a moral plane, to which I shall come back in the next post.

For anyone who is curious to know more on the nitty-gritty details of the above cited news item let me add what the BBC news have to say: ‘A Russian airliner crashes in Sinai killing all 224 people on board – rescuers describe a “tragic scene” with bodies of victims strapped in their seats.’

If man did not have natural curiosity there would  be no news media to cover the events. It is natural as vultures gather where the dead are. Man’s curiosity is ever drawn to events that he is liable to experience.

In what way is the fate of Russian airliner KGL 9268 different from that of MH 17? Apart from some superficial details as the the type manufacturer etc., both events are identical. MH 17 was brought down by a Buk missile. The Guardian in their Oct.13, 2015 newspaper reports: ‘A Buk surface-to-air missile downed flight MH17, Dutch investigators have said as they unveiled a reconstruction of the plane that showed huge shrapnel damage to the cockpit and front section.’

Naturally this report has been dismissed by Russia. It is widely assumed that Russia-backed separatists were responsible for bringing down MH17, but the US has stopped short of blaming Moscow directly. The Kremlin has blamed Kiev – variously suggesting that a Ukrainian military jet shot down the Boeing 777, or that a missile was launched from a government-held area. Any disaster shall have its critics and yea-sayers. Is it really necessary to follow this line of reasoning if there are no answers? Where the facts are swallowed up by man’s inability to define truth why bother for this or that?

What is truth? No one can say exactly so let us not waste our time here.

In the welter of right or wrongs any blame we attach to any faction is thus, waste of time. Man has made errors of his conduct bind him as well as throw the key into some bottomless abyss. Thus we cannot justify Russia or the west for the disaster of MH 17. We read terrible happenings around Middle East or Palestine issue. Do those Palestinians or Israelis dead ever deserve the blame? Moral imperative of the dead has been lost as to the fact who started it all.

Nations play indeed a dangerous game ever since man set out to kill another for some reason or other. This is a group thing and man would have reasoned himself that ‘the might is right’. It is a group thing that would not have had bite if it were not in the individual first to do wrong. Like Adam whose disobedience owed to an attitude that his gains were more important than accepting the authority of God over his choices. How easy it is? Also what a slippery path it is to make himself more important than another! This same attitude finds itself at home when he bands together with others. Consequently nations have set out to make themselves greater than any natural law that enjoins an individual to respect another  as he would others do unto him. Now we see the Israelis see a knife in every shadow and any Palestine outside his four walls is literally taking a walk through the shooting gallery. There peace is only in the name Jerusalem. Since man Palestinian or Jew has lost the moral compass he is vulnerable. There cannot be any peace since man has set himself to do wrong. Similarly Russia in order to prove it is a world class player has invited disaster. MH 17 and KGL 9268 are of the same weight whatever one may say against or for the disaster.

If man does not want to follow natural justice on earth he shall have to account for many more similar disasters in future.

Benny

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candide-1 kopie

In a castle of Americana, Vermont , belonging to the banker Jonas Rosenberg, lived a youth, whom nature had endowed with the most gentle manners.  I suppose, of his being called Candide owes to his transparency to the point of being gullible. He was eager to be taught. He did not mind what as long as it was what passed for facts. Oh his tutor Pangloss never tired of making this impressionable youth know facts of this life and of world to come; he led him with precepts he had learnt at the cost of life experience. They would be seen at all hours during the day under all kinds of weather. The castle grounds were extensive and there were parks and benches that took care of the weariness of walking. Dr. Pangloss was sure to drill into the head of his pupil why the banker was the most blessed. ‘You are the most lucky to have found the Castle of Americana for growing up. He belongs to the One Percent Club  and you have a head start on all other youths of your generation.

candide-2 kopie

Pangloss was professor of metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology. He proved admirably that there is no effect without a cause, and that, in this best of all possible worlds, the Banker’s castle was the most magnificent of castles.

“It is demonstrable,” said he, “that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end. Observe, that the nose has been formed to bear spectacles—thus we have spectacles’. Mind you, do not dismiss your guardians wealth is a cause.

“So do I spend it all, Dr. Pangloss, so we honor the cause -effect?

For Dr. Pangloss it sounded reasonable since money was the cause for all misery for 99 Percent Muppets.

(To be continued)

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HOW CANDIDE WAS BROUGHT UP IN A MAGNIFICENT CASTLE, AND HOW HE WAS EXPELLED THENCE.

In a castle of Westphalia, belonging to the Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh, lived a youth, whom nature had endowed with the most gentle manners. His countenance was a true picture of his soul. He combined a true judgment with simplicity of spirit, which was the reason, I apprehend, of his being called Candide. The old servants of the family suspected him to have been the son of the Baron’s sister, by a good, honest gentleman of the neighborhood, whom that young lady would never marry because he had been able to prove only seventy-one quarterings, the rest of his genealogical tree having been lost through the injuries of time.

The Baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia, for his castle had not only a gate, but windows. His great hall, even, was[Pg 2] hung with tapestry. All the dogs of his farm-yards formed a pack of hounds at need; his grooms were his huntsmen; and the curate of the village was his grand almoner. They called him “My Lord,” and laughed at all his stories.

The Baron’s lady weighed about three hundred and fifty pounds, and was therefore a person of great consideration, and she did the honours of the house with a dignity that commanded still greater respect. Her daughter Cunegonde was seventeen years of age, fresh-coloured, comely, plump, and desirable. The Baron’s son seemed to be in every respect worthy of his father. The Preceptor Pangloss[1] was the oracle of the family, and little Candide heard his lessons with all the good faith of his age and character.

Pangloss was professor of metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology. He proved admirably that there is no effect without a cause, and that, in this best of all possible worlds, the Baron’s castle was the most magnificent of castles, and his lady the best of all possible Baronesses.

“It is demonstrable,” said he, “that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end. Observe, that the nose has been formed to bear spectacles—thus we have spectacles. Legs are visibly designed for stockings[Pg 3]—and we have stockings. Stones were made to be hewn, and to construct castles—therefore my lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Pigs were made to be eaten—therefore we eat pork all the year round. Consequently they who assert that all is well have said a foolish thing, they should have said all is for the best.”

Candide listened attentively and believed innocently; for he thought Miss Cunegonde extremely beautiful, though he never had the courage to tell her so. He concluded that after the happiness of being born of Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh, the second degree of happiness was to be Miss Cunegonde, the third that of seeing her every day, and the fourth that of hearing Master Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of the whole province, and consequently of the whole world.

One day Cunegonde, while walking near the castle, in a little wood which they called a park, saw between the bushes, Dr. Pangloss giving a lesson in experimental natural philosophy to her mother’s chamber-maid, a little brown wench, very pretty and very docile. As Miss Cunegonde had a great disposition for the sciences, she breathlessly observed the repeated experiments of which she was a witness; she clearly perceived [Pg 4]the force of the Doctor’s reasons, the effects, and the causes; she turned back greatly flurried, quite pensive, and filled with the desire to be learned; dreaming that she might well be a sufficient reason for young Candide, and he for her.

She met Candide on reaching the castle and blushed; Candide blushed also; she wished him good morrow in a faltering tone, and Candide spoke to her without knowing what he said. The next day after dinner, as they went from table, Cunegonde and Candide found themselves behind a screen; Cunegonde let fall her handkerchief, Candide picked it up, she took him innocently by the hand, the youth as innocently kissed the young lady’s hand with particular vivacity, sensibility, and grace; their lips met, their eyes sparkled, their knees trembled, their hands strayed. Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh passed near the screen and beholding this cause and effect chased Candide from the castle with great kicks on the backside; Cunegonde fainted away; she was boxed on the ears by the Baroness, as soon as she came to herself; and all was consternation in this most magnificent and most agreeable of all possible castles.[Pg 5] (To be Continued)

(ack: Project Gutenberg)


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Wall Street Blues

Westmoreland: O that we have the dope

But one fool perchance can undo all these boodle

By idle talk, mind you sirs!

Harry: How do you then we go

About or conceal from the Board, tell me.

If we are thick as thieves, we act as one

To do our country loss; and if we run

We abscond with lock stock and barrel, not a dime

Left behind. Not a word, to the Press,we have ‘t all.

By Jove, I am not sweating for gold,

Nor care I whose pension funds doth feed me;

Such outward things are for others to worry.

But if it be a sin to covet wealth,

I am the most offending soul alive….

benny

Original version

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day!

KING. What’s he that wishes so?

My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires.

But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.

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Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Creeps while this default earn penal interest!

To the last syllable of recorded time

My name shall ill-spoken be: a spendthrift’s fate;

Do I walk debtor’s path or pay up head high

Or pledge my walking shadow to creditors

All sundry,- and nod in surrender?

Life is an idiot who holds the cash-box

Signifying nothing

For those who live to spend spend, spend.

Original version

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

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Hamid the Sponge could call on Mullah anytime. He was a playfellow from his youth. One day he turned up and saw a stone jar of pickles. Mulla explained it was 40 years old. ‘A family heirloom you could say, Hamid,’ Instantly Hamid asked, ‘Can I borrow some?’ Mulla refused.  Mulla turned the subject and said,’My wife just made halwa, Lucknowi style.  ‘ Come let me bring it’

Hamid tasted it and Mulla asked,”How is it?’ Hamid said,’Please wrap this for me. I’ll taste it at home and let you know.’

mullah-15Later  Mulla Nasruddin dropped in on his village and called on his old playfellow. Hamid took him to introduce him to his friends.

At one place while they chatted the subject came around to halwa. Each one had his own speciality.  Mulla brightened up and said,’I am sure about what goes into Lucknowi halwa.’

‘Lucknowi halwa?’ one asked,’Never tasted one,’Mulla how does that taste?’ Mulla shrugged his shoulders and said,’

‘How do I know? Hamid ought to know what it is like’

Later as Hamid took him home he said,’Why do you bring me into your talk? I insist: keep me out of it’

Next time Mulla was at the house of another local worthy and he had to say while the question of Halwa came up. Mulla held his hand up and said,’I know how Lucknowi halwa is made. But keep our friend Hamid out of it.’

benny

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