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Democracy revisited

Continuing from the previous blog "Democracy". I have a revolutionary idea about reform in the democratic system.
As the framers of American constitution intended, Democracy is suppose to be "the government of the people, by the people, for the people." However, it seems that current system of democracies around the world does not reflect goverment of the people, goverment by the people and goverment for the people. A government of a few ruling elite governs for a few other elites. The government have lost touch with the people and is not responsible or answerable to the people. The accountability of the government towards the people has been all but lost.
In a democracy, a common person should have a direct recognition and contact with the person he/she elected to represent him/her. However, in the current system it is not possible for an elected individual to have a direct contact and recognition with a million people who elect him/her to congress or senate, let alone 300 million people who elect a president. Therefore, the elected individual is influenced only by the people who surround him/her and are in close circles with him/her. This individual looses touch with rest of his/her constituents, especially if the constituents are complacent, apathetic and/or ignorant (as discussed in the previous note "Democracy").
I propose a completely different system of electing our representatives based on science. Evolutionary biology, neuroscience and anthropology suggests and humans have evolved to have social groups of 130 to 150 people. Before we settled in communities and left hunter gatherer life style, this was the maximum size of one hunter gatherer group. Even today the remaining few hunter gatherer societies live in the groups of about 130 individuals. As the size of a groups gets larger, the groups splits into two daughter groups and the life goes on. The study of brain size in primates also suggests that the primates with larger brain sizes have larger social groups. Based on that extrapolation optimum size of a group of humans should be around 135.
There is a very important reason to have a limited size of groups for social organisms. The most important quality of social organisms is the interaction between the organisms and their responsibility to one another. For example, a rhesus monkey has the responsibility of a "food call" when he/she finds a source of food. With responsibilities come some privilages, such as protection from predators through the "warning calls" and some times even group fighting with a larger predator. However, if the size of the group exceeds the limit of organims’ brain capacity to track individuals in the group the entire structure of previlaged and responsibility collapses. The individuals in a group may not be able to remember that Jane Monkey didn’t make the food calls last time when a food source was located, or John Monkey didn’t make the warning call when a lepord was about to attack another individual in the group.
The human society evolved much more quickly than our biological evolution. Today it is not possible to limit the size of a city to only 150 people. However, democratic elections based on the understanding of our biology can bring back the government of people, by the people, for the people. The accountability of the individual whom we elected will again be in our hands. Moreover, the huge amount of money required to run in an election can be eliminated (or at least drastically reduced) and a poor person can also run in an election.
If 150 people elect their representative then the approachability and accountability of the elected person is hugely increased. It is easy to recognize the person and recognized by the person whom you elected out of only 150 individuals. It is also easy and very inexpensible for an individual to campain for his/her candidacy among 150 individuals. This representative is like a community representative. 150 of such elected representatives from the neighbouring areas can elect their second level representative. This second level representative (who is equivalent to the mayor of a small town) will be the indirect representative of 22,500 people. But he/she will personally know and will be personally known to the 150 representatives who elected him/her. 150 of such second level representatives from adjecent geographical regions can elect third level representative. This third level representative (who is equivalent to a governer of a small state) will be an indirect representative of over 3 million people (3,375,000 to be precise) . By the time fourth level representative is elected, he/she will be representing half a billion people (506,250,000 to be precise) or the entire nation itself.
Even though the fourth level representative is an indirect representative of the people of the nation. This person will be directly elected by his/her 150 or so peers of third level representatives. This person will be accountable, answerable, responsible and personally in touch with these 150 or so peers. This system of election through personal connections from a very limited number of individuals can cure many of the maladies of our current democratic system. At least I think so.
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I haven’t posted my thoughts recently but I have been contemplating on the virtues of living in a democratic and free country. And the responsibilities that come with it. Earlier, I was wondering if we have become insensitive. But now I am thinking that we are not insensitive but may be just complacent.

I think complacency and ignorance in its citizens is most dangerous for a democratic nation. A government by complacent or ignorant people becomes a government of screwed and manipulative people, and a government for powerful and more manipulative people. This goverment looses touch with its complacent or ignorant people who actually elected it. This cycle further fuels ignorance and complacency in people by a few who are powerful and manipulative.

There is a third thing that is dangerous to democracy, its apathetic people. Apathetic people are different from complacent people. People who are too busy enjoying their life could be complacent but people who are too busy making their ends meet become apathetic. Also people who are too busy taking care of their illnesses become apathetic too.

Therefore, three things are very important for people of a democracy for a healthy democracy to survive. As an old british potilician said (in Sicko), people should not be uneducated, people should not be sick, and people should be not be poor. But it is in the benefit of powerful and manipulative for people to be uneducated, sick and poor at the same time. However, poor people may create a marxist form of revolution, therefore it is best for powerful and manipulative that people be uneducated, sick and in debt (rather than poor). Being in debt, rather than poverty, creates more conditions of complacency.

Unfortunately, today we are at that state of being ignorant, complacent and apathetic people. The country that boasts to be the richest nation on the planet also has the most number of poor in the western world and the college graduates are in the highest debt in the western world. The country which spends more than rest of the world combined to protect its people has the highest child mortality rate and the lowest life expenctancy in the western world. The most advanced nation in world which is at the top of science and techonology has the lowest education scores in the western world upto high school level.

We need to fix education system but it will not be fixed by school vouchers. We need to fix the health care and prescription drugs system but it will not be fixed by HMOs. We need to alleviate poverty but it will not be done by enrolling the poor in the millitary. We need to pay teachers much higher salaries to attract highly qualified people to teach at primary and secondary levels. Also, highly subsidized higher education will help more people to get good higher education but it will also help most people with their debt situation. A universal health care system that will enable everyone to have the best health care may even reduce the health crisis through free preventive care or early interventions. Last but not the least a news organization like BBC or LinkTV will enable everyone to have broader news with wider perspectives from around the world.

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The F family

This is actually a note for myself. But there may be someone who is interested in this information so I am putting it online. Let me know if you liked the information here or any of your suggestions.

I am a really big fan of Jane Goodall and those of you who know me know that she is one of my heros. Her research of primates, in particular chimpanzees, is fascinating. I am particularly interested in the F family, whose matriarch was Flo; an older chimp female when Goodall first started research in 1960s. Jane Goodall was the first researcher to give names to her wild research subjects. She was also the first to device a system to follow matriarchal family lines of wild chimapanzees by the first letter of their name. Hence the F family is the decendents of Flo, a royal family of its group. So here I just want to keep a small geneological information of this F family that I collect.

Flo (1929?-1972): (f) Lived upto about 43 years of age. High ranking female. Gave birth to at least 5 children (3 male, 2 female). It is not known if she gave birth to any children who died before Goodall started her research. A great mother. Her personality had a great impact on Goodall herself.

Faben (1947?-1975)(m-Flo). Eldest of Flo’s alive children. Helped brother to reach alpha status in the group.

Figan(1953?-1982)(m-Flo). He was adolescent when Goodall first started her reseach on the group. Alpha male of the group between 1973-1979 with his brother’s help.

Fifi(1958?-2004?)(f-Flo): Oldest of her Kasakela group and possible the most wellknown chimpanzee among humans. The highest ranking female of her group. She was about 2 years old when Goodall started her research. She is the most successful of chimpanzee mothers with 9 children (5 male, 4 female). Which is very unusual among wild chimps, whose usually have 4-5 children. It shows her excellent mothering skills like her own mother and also her high rank in her society. Became mother at the age of 43. Sadly she disappeared in 2004 and never seen since. As the time passes the chances of finding her alive are dimnishing. She is presumed dead either because of porching or killed by neighboring group, which is more unlikely.

Flint(1964-1972)(m-Flo): He was just an infant when Jane first saw. The first wild chimp infant whose development was followed and well documented. It also gave a great insight into mother-infant relationship among chimpanzees and also chimp emotions. He died of depression a month after his mother’s death.

Flame(1968-1969)(f-Flo): Born to aging mother Flo, she died very young. The cause of her death is not known but elder brother Flint’s jealousy could not be ruled out.

Freud(1971-)(m-Fifi): The eldest son of Fifi. A popular and mostly peaceful alpha male from 1993-1997. With his relaxed and solitary nature he was very unlikely to be an alpha male. Learned a lot from his uncle Figan who was an alpha male during Freud’s impressionable years. Lost the position because of sickness to his brother Frodo. Even though he is strong he has not shown much interest since then in gaining his rank back.

Frodo(1976-)(m-Fifi): He bacame a "bully" at a very young age, as described by Goodall. As he grew he became excellent stone thrower to intimidate others and excellent hunter of colobus monkeys. By the time he grew out of teens he became the biggest and heaviest known chimp in the wild. Due to elder brother’s sickness, who was ruling alpha male at the time, Frodo was able to become alpha in 1997. He was brutal and intimidating rular till 2002 when he himself became sick and was forced to hide from others who wanted revenge from him. He is lucky to be alive and gaining his strength and getting back to the group now. It is remains to be seen if he gains his alpha position back and how this time.

Fanni(1981-)(f-Fifi): The eldest daughter of Fifi. Like her mother and grand mother Fanni is an imporant and higher ranking female of her group. She is youngest known mother but lost her first child early. She has given birth to 3 sons and one daughter till now.

Flossi(1985-)(f-Fifi): Flossi chose to leave her own group and join northern Mitumba community. Where she has established her high rank and has given birth to 2 sons.

Faustino(1989-)(m-Fifi): A younge adult now. He is very much like his oldest brother, Freud, with more of a mellow and solitary personality. He is larger in size for his age and may become alpha male as he grows older. It may not be a big surprize this time after Freud’s case. It is also more likely because he is the only male of his age in the group.

Ferdinand(1992-)(m-Fifi): An adolescent at present.

Fred(1996-1997)(m-Fifi): Died young during a time when his mother also got sick.

Flirt(1998-)(f-Fifi): Still enduring without her mother as a young child.She is fearless and a little tomboy. She was a huge baby at birth and grew at an astonishing rate. Even though she was very young at her mother’s disappearance she has survived till now and has a possibly bright future ahead.

Furaha(2002-2004?)(f-Fifi): Not seen since the disappearance of her mother.

Fax(1992-1996)(m-Fanni): First child of Fanni. He died young.




Forest(1997-)(m-Flossi): First son of Flossi.


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Amazing Story of Planets

The story of planets is one of the most amazing stories in science. And it shows the character of science the best.

The story of planets started in prehistory when we first started gazing into the sky. I’d assume if anyone of those cave dwellers noticed Venus, Mercury, Mars, or Jupiter in the night sky, they must have thought them as just like other stars. So the planets must have been called stars at that time.

When great civilization started appearing around the globe after the last ice age, people prospered and found more time at their disposal.   They started observing the sky more closely. What they found next was that there are some stars in the sky which change position relative to the rest of the stars, including the sun and the moon. As almost everyone thought, at that time, that all these stars were revolving around earth. They named these strange stars that moved, planets. Planet, in Greek, literally means a wanderer or stars that move. Thus we had seven planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. And they remained as it is for several thousand years. We still know of them as the names of our days and in the calculation of our astrological charts.

The revolution was brought about by astronomers like Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. The Earth was not the center of the universe anymore. Some of the greatest astronomers of that time paid a great price for that revelation. But the truth could not be cut with a sword or put in a house arrest. And that is the beauty of science. So for next 250 years we had only five planets other than the Earth, the sun and the moon were excluded.  The earth was included into the planet list now. The definition of planets changed. A planet was now considered to be an object that revolves around the Sun. The Moon and the Sun lost their status as planets, though the Moon still revolved around the Earth. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were the planets. Galileo also discovered four other moons in our solar system revolving around Jupiter.

Number of planets changed again in 1781, when William Herschel discovered Uranus. People were building bigger and bigger telescopes since Galileo first built one for his great discoveries. For next 75 years, the list of planets kept increasing until the discovery of Neptune. People discovered first asteroid, Ceres, and because asteroids revolved around the sun these asteroids were also considered planets. So now we had at least 14 planets. But after the discovery of Neptune it was decided by the scientific community that we will call the tiny planets as “minor planets” and rest of the planets were the "real" planets. As a consequence, the number was reduced to eight:  Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Later with the discovery of more and more minor planets it was understood that they were from a donut shaped (but very much flattened) region between Mars and Jupiter. This region was named Asteroid belt and the minor planets renamed as Asteroids. During those days, science was not so popular, therefore there was no hue and cry over these changes unlike recently when Pluto was excluded from the list of planets. So no one missed the names of Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Astraea, Hebe, etc. from the list of planets. At present we know about over 2000 of these Asteroids in Asteroid belt.

Things changed after the discovery of a new object beyond Neptune, in 1930. In 20th century science reached out to the common man and almost every one came to know about the nine planets, the earlier eight and Pluto. Common man became aware and involved with such new scientific discoveries.  Common man’s knowledge of and attachment with the nine planets and special love for Pluto that ensued created a novel situation later.

With technological advancement, in 1990s, astronomers started discovering bodies that revolve around other stars and they were also called planets.  So the definition of a planet changed again.  A Planet was a big enough object that revolves around a star and its gravity is strong enough to hold its matter. Since the first extra solar planet was discovered, astronomers have discovered more than a hundred extra-solar planets in the last ten years.  But mankind was waiting for some more discoveries in our own solar system.

It was hypothesized that there is another donut shaped region of bodies revolving around the Sun beyond Neptune and some of the comets like Haley’s comet come from that region. Some thought that Pluto is a body from the same region, named as Kuiper belt. Nobody knew for sure about this region until 2002 when the first body in that region was discovered after 5 years of continuous hard work. The next five years saw the discovery of several thousand heavenly bodies in this region.  This includes the discovery of a body named Xena, discovered in 2005.  Xena is larger than Pluto but much farther than Pluto from the Sun. This started the first debate in the scientific community about the planet’s status of Pluto. There were many who, for many sentimental reasons, did not want to question the status of Pluto as a planet. But science is not a democracy of the stupid, the stubborn, or the sentimental. Science is a democracy of only scientific evidence.

Scientific evidence suggests that Pluto is a small body, smaller than our own moon. But it also has a huge moon, which is not much smaller than Pluto itself, called Cheron as discovered recently by Hubble space telescope. This actually makes Pluto-Cheron a twin planetary system, rather than a planet-moon system like the earth and the moon. Only last month two other very small moons were also discovered which revolve around Pluto-Cheron system. Pluto’s orbit is much more elliptical than any other planet in our Solar system. Its path of revolution is not in the same plane as the rest of planets, that is, more like comets. Pluto’s surface is also thought to be made of frozen ice, like comets. Moreover, when it is closest to the Sun, it develops an atmosphere around it from the warming of the surface. It is estimated that if it would come closer to the Sun upto the distance of Jupiter the atmosphere will turn into a tail like that of a comet.

Finally in August of last year, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) changed the definition of a planet again as: a body that orbits the Sun, is large enough for its own gravity to make it round, and has cleared the neighborhood (of space debris by its gravitational attraction).  In accordance with the new definition, the IAU decided to demote Pluto from planetary status to a “dwarf planet”.  Cheron, Xena, and Ceres joined Pluto in that group for now.  But there will be many more bodies to join in that group soon with further discoveries and better knowledge of Kuiper belt. So in the end we are back to eight planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Isn’t this story fascinating? And isn’t science beautiful like a lake whose water keeps moving and keeps it clean.

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A Sheet of Paper

How much time would it take for you to cut a piece of paper 100 times?


Let us imagine that we have a huge sheet of paper and a very fine and sharp blade to cut the sheet. If you make one cut in one second then it would take 100 seconds to cut paper 100 times, almost 1 and a half minute.


Now, let us imagine that we have a very thin but huge sheet of paper and a very fine and sharp blade. But this time you have to cut the paper exactly in half. Put one half sheet of paper exactly on top of the other half. Then further cut the sheets exactly in half making total of four sheets. Put the half cut two sheets exactly on top of the other two and repeat the whole process again. If the whole process of neatly cutting in half once and putting one half neatly on the other takes about 5 seconds. How much time would it take you to cut a piece of paper? Or can you even cut it like that?


Hint: The paper is just about .1 mm thick, i.e., just about the thickness of a hair.




Before giving the answer let me take you to a journey through universe. J


Have you ever walked a block? Imagine your house is at the one corner of the block just like mine. Then imagine walking the distance[1] one block. One block is only about 200 meters[2].


Now imagine going through a big city that has about 100 blocks. If one block is only 200 meter across then a big city would be 200´100 meters or 20,000 meters or 20 kilometers. It would be hard to walk that much distance unless you are used to walking marathons, or lived in ancient times, or if you live in a remote part of the world.


How about imagining going across the continental United States! The distance from New York to San Francisco is about 4000 kilometers. That is just about going across 200 big cities (200´20=4000). That would take sometime if you walk but not that much if you fly.


But even if you fly from earth to the Moon it will take much longer. The distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 384,000 kilometers, almost 100 times the distance from New York to San Francisco. It took 8 days for Apollo 11 to go from the Earth to the Moon. But the light from the Earth to the Moon takes only a little over a second.


Yet that distance is much shorter than the distance from the Sun to The Earth. At the speed of light it will take you take over 8 minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun, almost 150 million[3] miles.


But the distance from the Sun to the Earth is like walk in the park as compared to going to Pluto. The distance from the Earth to the last known planet in our solar system is almost 6 billion kilometers. You will be missing 2/3rd of your workday (5½ hours) for this travel even if you traveled at the speed of light[4].


Our solar system is very small as compared to the heavenly distances. For example, the light takes over 4 years to travel from Proxima Centauri, the nearest star in the sky. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is about 8½ light years[5] from the Earth. Light year not only tells us the distance of a star but it also gives us some hint about time. If you could go and come back to and from Sirius at the speed of light then you might be back just in time for the graduation party of your child just born. But that child would never know who this parent was, of course except for the pictures and any home made movies. However, average distance between two stars in our galaxy is about 10 light years. So do not expect to be home any time soon if you’re planning a trip.


Still, Proxima Centauri and Sirius are just at a stone’s throw distance away as compared to the size of our own galaxy, Milky Way. Milky Way has over 100 billion stars According to some estimates the width of our galaxy is about 100,000 light years and our earth is about 2/3 of the distance from the center of the galaxy. That is an unimaginably long distance and it takes unimaginably long time for light to travel that much of the distance. To get some perspective, think of the light that started from a star at the other edge of our galaxy. If you take a very powerful telescope and see that light tonight, then that light which you would see tonight started its journey from that star when ancestors of all humans on earth today still lived in Africa. There were at least four other species of humans living else where on the earth. Most of the humans still had not developed modern form of communication through language. There was no art in any form by humans. They were hunters and gatherers or may be still scavengers. When this light started its journey our ancestors may have been going through the most perilous time of our entire history, a bottleneck. There may be only a couple of thousand of them living in few tribes distributed in a small region in Western Africa.


Wow! That was something. But wait! That was nothing. Have you ever seen the most distant object in the night’s sky without any telescope? It is the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda. Andromeda is spiral shaped like our own and in many ways very similar to our own Milky Way. It does not look bright and focused like a star but it looks diffused to an unaided observer. Andromeda is almost 2½ million light years away. Imagine this: if you observe Andromeda tonight, the light that just reached here started its journey from the stars in Andromeda when our ancestors could be called humans for the first time in our evolutionary history. It was the beginning of genus Homo. Homo Erectus were just beginning to appear in Africa. Homo Erectus had not yet traveled out of Africa. They didn’t even know how to make stone tools. Our ancestors were possibly living a life of scavengers and life of terror from big cats. While this light was on its way to earth, Homo Erectus would spread almost every habitable corner of the old world. They would give rise to almost a dozen descendent species, including our own, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.


It is getting interesting. Isn’t it! Just like the stars galaxies also clump together (it is just a figure of speech as we have just seen those clumps are nowhere close) into astronomical structures called, clusters. The nearest galaxy cluster to our own cluster, known as Virgo Cluster, is about 60 million light years away. The light seen tonight from Virgo Cluster started the journey when earliest primates had not evolved yet. The dinosaurs had gone extinct only 5 million years ago. The earth was covered with trees and grasslands had not appeared yet. It was the time of terror by giant birds on earth. Mammals had not yet evolved into bigger sizes. If someone lived all this time that it took for the light to reach earth, that person would have seen almost entire evolution of mammals on earth.


There are millions of such clusters of galaxies in the universe. There are more galaxies in the universe than the stars in our galaxy or the grains of sands on our own earth. The oldest or most distant galaxy recently discovered and yet unnamed is estimated to be about 13 billion light years away. Or its light that Hubble Space Telescope caught in 1996 started its journey 13 billion years ago. That galaxy existed 13 billion years ago when the universe was only about 7% of its current age. To find perspective to the age of that galaxy we have to go beyond our existence, existence of our planet or our solar system (which is only about 6 billion years old). It is possible that many of the heavier atoms in our body didn’t even exist at that time. The star or the stars that synthesized, through fusion, the atoms of Carbon, Nitrogen, Iron, and Calcium in our body didn’t even exist, probably, at that time.


Let us see 13 billion light years is how big a distance:

13 billion light years = 13,000,000,000 light years

                               » 13,000,000,000´10 trillion km [5]

                                                  = 13,000,000,000´10,000,000,000,000 km

                                                  = 130,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km


\13 billion light years » 1.3´1023 kilometers


Phew! That was some journey!! Now back to the original question. How much time would it take to cut a huge sheet of paper in half and stack both papers and then further cut in half until you have cut it 100 times? And by the way, the sheet is about as thick as human hair (0.1 mm).


When we make Cut 1 we will have 2 sheets.

When we make Cut 2 we will have 4 sheets. Or we will have 22 sheets.

When we make Cut 3 we will have 8 sheets. Or we will have 23 sheets.

Through induction we can deduct that:

When we make Cut 100 we will have 2100 sheets.


That was easy, but that still didn’t really tell us about how many sheets there would be if there were 2100 sheets? Is it 200?


2100 = (210)10

         = (1024)10 > (1000)10 = (103)10

                                          = 1030

                                          = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000


           So, 2100 > 1030


Therefore there will be more that 1030 sheets or 1 nonillion sheets after cutting one sheet 100 times in the above-mentioned way.


Now, we know that thickness of one sheet of paper is 0.1 millimeters


\Thickness of 1030 sheets will be 0.1´1030 millimeters

                                                = 1´1029 millimeters

                                                = 1026 meters

                                                = 1023 kilometers

(Does that number look familiar or should I write as 1.0´1023 km)

                                      » 1023  light years

                                     = 1010 light years

                                     = 10,000,000,000 light years

                                     = 10 billion light years


So, the thickness of 2100 sheets is more than 10 billion light years. It is just about as much as the distance to the most distant galaxy known.


Can you still cut like that? J

[1] Small distances can be measured by rulers. Bigger distances are measured using surveying instruments and triangulation method developed by astronomer Cassini. Even bigger distances between planets are also measured using similar method and the precise reading of the movements of the planets. The distances of stars less than 100 light years are measured using parallax method (which is similar to triangulation method) with precise reading of stars’ apparent movement with respect to the Sun. The distances bigger than 100 light years are measured using various methods most of which use the property of light known as red shift. The larger the distances the more estimation is involved and thus less accuracy. But the methods of measurement keep on evolving that improves the accuracy. Check out http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/distance.htm


[2] 10 millimeter (mm) = 1 centimeter (cm)

100 cm = 1 meter (m)

1000 m = 1 kilometer (km)


[3] 1000 = 103 = 1 thousand

1000 thousand = 1,000,000 = 106 = 1 million

1000 millions = 1,000,000,000 = 109 = 1 billion

1000 billions = 1,000,000,000,000 = 1012 = 1 trillion

1000 trillions = 1,000,000,000,000,000 = 1015 = 1 quadrillion

1000 quadrillions = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1018 = 1 quintillion

1000 quintillions = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1021 = 1 sextillion

1000 sextillions = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1024 = 1 septillion

1000 septillions = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1027 = 1 octillion

1000 octillions = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 = 1030 = 1 nonillion


[4] speed of light » 30,000,000 meters per second = 3´108 meters per second


[5] Light year: Light year is the distance light travels in one year.


1 light second = 3´108 meters

1 light hour = 3600 light seconds = 3600´3´108 meters

1 light day = 24 light hours = 24´3600´3´108 meters

1 light year = 365 light years

                    = 365´24´3600´3´108 meters

                    = 365´24´36´3´1010 meters » 24´36´1000´1010 meters

                                                                       = 24´36´1013 meters » 1000´1013 meters

                                                                                                            = 1016 meters 

                                                                                                            = 1013 kilometers

1 light year » 1013 kilometers = 10,000,000,000,000 kilometers = 10 trillion kilometers


\ Distance of one light year is almost 10 trillion kilometers.

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Evolution of Compassion

Recently, I watched a TV show called Earth Angels. This show followed a single mom running a home-based charity for homeless for over a decade, even at the times of her own financial difficulties. The woman didn’t know the real purpose of the show and the cameras following her but time and again she put her own needs behind the needs of people she has been serving. At one instance, as a prize for being “millionth” customer of the grocery store, she was asked to fill up her grocery cart in 5 minutes with all the things she needs. She ran and picked up the things that she needed to feed the homeless the coming weekend, incredibly selfless. Not many people are like that but we have quite a few examples in humanity of those with selfless service towards humans, animals, or other causes.


This made me think of how is it possible, through evolution, to have such examples of selflessness, compassion and charity. What is the road for evolution of compassion? Mostly misrepresented, the “survival of the fittest” theory should only favor selfishness, big fish eating small fish, and might is right. But we have much evidence to the contrary. Even one “white crow” is enough to punch a blow for a theory to crumble into pieces. So how can we understand evolution of compassion scientifically? How is it possible to exist without invoking some mystical inception?


For starters, compassion (and related attributes of selflessness, charity and love) can only be seen in social organisms through their interaction with other organisms, especially of their own kind. This does not necessarily mean that organisms living in solitude cannot have the ingredients (underlying emotions) for compassion but we have no way of checking it for sure. It also does not mean that solitary organisms cannot show compassion toward organisms of different kind. To keep the perspective clear and precise we can limit this discussion to social organisms, organisms that live and interact closely with other organisms of their own kind.


Further, let us consider interaction between two individuals happening only once in their lifetime. In game theory, we have such analogy called Prisoner’s Dilemma. As typically described, two accomplices of a crime are arrested and separated for interrogation by the police. The interrogators give each the same choice: confess and take the plea bargain (in terms of game theory, defect) or remain silent (cooperate). Neither suspect knows the other’s choice.


  • If one defects and the other cooperates, the defector walks free and the cooperator gets 10 years in jail.
  • If both cooperate, both get six months.
  • If both defect, both get six years.


Now it is your time to choose what will you do in such a situation, defect or cooperate with your accomplice. Take a moment to decide before you read further.


If you chose defect, you are the winner. Putting it on the cost matrix defect is clearly the best choice, in a situation where you are going to interact with only one person only once in lifetime. Whatever your accomplice’s choice, you are always in advantage by defecting.


But what if you are going to interact with that one person again and again? What if your accomplice also has a chance to react or reciprocate your previous defect or cooperate action? In such situation a modified form of Prisoner’s Dilemma, Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, comes into play. In this case, your accomplice’s and your reaction toward the previous move made by the other can give rise to several strategies. Out of those some are:


  • Spoiler: A person always defecting.
  • Tit for tat: A person always cooperating in the first move and then using the same strategy as that of the other person in the previous move.
  • Forgiving: A person cooperating in the first move and also cooperating despite one previous defecting move of the other person.
  • Sucker: A person always cooperating.


In such case, we can analyze through cost matrix that tit for tat will be the winning strategy. Therefore, in nature we see this as one of the most successful strategy. Throughout humans this has been very common too. Even the ancient societies promoted this strategy through “eye for an eye” and “life for a life” rules.


However, this Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma has two limiting conditions. There are only two “prisoners” (organisms) and the organisms do not communicate with other organisms in the society. In nature we have communicating organisms. Of which, humans probably have the most sophisticated mode of communication to express the most complex forms of ideas. The ability to communicate, especially complex ideas and emotions, makes a huge difference in a society. For example, humans show less violence within a society than as compared to chimpanzees (though they can be worse ruthless as chimpanzees with other humans who belong to different race, religion, nation, geography, or any other classification). This does not mean that organisms that cannot communicate as well as humans have necessarily violent societies. Bonobos are possibly the most peaceful and amorous primates. Despite their tremendous strength and bad reputation, Gorillas rarely resort to violence.


The ability to communicate is essential to form alliances but ability to effectively communicate complex ideas and emotions is very important for strategic alliances which helped humans to have leaders who are not necessarily the strongest among their peers, even in the ancient times. These leaders are also not the brightest of all (How many Noble laureates have become politicians) but they are better orators or have better ability to effectively communicate.


The reason I am making this point is that when effective communication is included with actions, it changes the playing field. The individual organisms that developed compassion towards others, possibly as an aberration from other primitive feelings like motherhood/parenthood or kinship, do not always have something going against their compassionate instinct. Rather other individuals who see their “compassionate” strategy and are impressed are more likely to communicate the complex ideas of compassion and pass on good notes to others about the individual. In this way, a compassionate individual may have higher chance of impressing mates with complex ideas through the ability of sophisticate communication and winning more mates. Even though it has cost of “self”, because of more successful strategy of tit for tat in society the individual is less likely to gain enemies and get seeded out. Further, if such an individual organisms are able to live to sexual maturity then there may be higher chances of passing on the compassionate aberration to next generation. Thus we can account for compassion, selflessness and charity of rare individuals in our society through evolution.

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New Intelligent System

In recent days I came across two articles where scientists are debating on changing the 200 year old system that define and classify clouds and half a century old system that classify hurricanes. I have a suggestion. Just the way we are changing teaching of Evolution into teaching of Intelligent design we should change these systems into Intelligent Clouds and Hurricane System.


Scientists still don’t know everything about clouds and hurricane just the way they do not know about every detail of evolution. Some people also talked that hurricane Katrina was a punishment for people of New Orleans by God. So if God is behind creating of clouds and hurricanes to kill and punish people and science does not know about these phenomena in detail then the best thing to do is to name the systems after the supreme intelligence that is driving those systems.


Then clouds can be classified not as cirrus, stratus and cumulus but as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And instead of prefixes alto and nimbus the prefixes could be blesser and punisher. This classification is much simpler than the previous one. Only debate would be is which one should be named Father or Son or Holy Spirit. But that can be solved easily too. People see faces of Jesus and mother Mary in clouds all the time so any cloud that resembles any face or shape can be named Son. Clouds, which move fast and change shape quickly can be called Holy Spirit and rest Father. The prefixes blesser and punisher are just obvious. The clouds that bring rain that was required can be blesser and rain that was not required, which caused flooding or fatal lightening, can be punisher.


The hurricane classification is even simpler. Hurricanes mainly bring destruction and death by God, and not water and heat on land from the oceans, so we classify them based on God’s intension behind the destruction and death. We can get rid of all the levels of hurricane classification based on wind speed and other physical and scientific data and just make levels based on the sin they are punishing. Simple!

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Stop Teaching Science Entirely

I do not understand the controversy against Intelligent Design Theory. It only points out the gaps in a scientific theory called Theory of Evolution and tells that those gaps can be easily filled by understanding that all organisms are designed by a supreme intelligence. It makes perfect sense. Theory of Evolution is just a theory, an imagination of Charles Darwin. It doesn’t make sense that humans evolved over millions of years from primates (yes, monkeys!) into apes (yuck, chimpanzees!!) and then into our present form, especially without any help from an intelligent being in their creation. There are several better explanations, which make more sense of human creation. For example, God, the supreme intelligent being, creating humans from dirt.


I would go a little further than just introducing intelligent design theory in the classroom and removing Theory of Evolution. We should also remove Newton’s Theory of Gravity from science curriculum. This theory seems to have more flaws than gaps in it. The Theory of Gravity does not properly explain how gravity works. Moreover, scientists have completely scrapped the Newton’s explanation of what gravity is and are still debating on its properties. They do not know what gravity really is and how it actually works and they teach the Theory of Gravity? It doesn’t make sense that the earth is just hanging in the space and revolve around sun by itself. If gravity attracts then earth should fall straight into sun as apple falls on earth. Rather, the more sensible theory is Intelligent Revolution theory. In which, earth is held by God in one hand, rather on a finger. God’s finger touches the Earth at Antarctica that is why it is so cold. God’s peace and calmness has cooled that continent down. God also wants animals and plants to stay away from bumping into his finger so he keeps Antarctica the most hostile continent on earth. Every thing in sky revolves around earth, which is also helped by God. It is simple to understand because we see everything else in the sky revolving around earth, not earth rotating or moving. God also prevents things in the sky to fall on earth, except for some meteors and meteorites or when we ask God to let some artificial satellites fall back on earth (all artificial satellites are also held by God in sky and helped in revolution around earth).


Another scientific theory similar to Theory of Evolution and full of flaws is Hubble’s Big Bang Theory. It talks about beginning of the universe in an instant with a big bang without a big banger. How this huge universe can be created without a creator in just one moment does not make sense. The more sensible theory is creation of this world with all its people, animals, birds, plants, mountains, rivers, sun, moon, and little stars by God only a few thousand years ago instead of the Big Bang billions of years ago. This world is so big that it took All- Powerful God six days to create it and even then God had to rest the seventh day. Also this universe is not too big or infinite. If it is created only a few thousands of years ago then the farthest stars can be from earth is only a few thousand light years away, not millions or even billions of light years away as science tells us. In fact, stars are not other big suns with planets around them. They are just small bodies circling around earth like sun and moon. God put them in the sky to make it pretty and help us during moonless dark nights.


Moreover, how beautiful creatures of unimaginable diversity can evolve from Big Bang which created chaos? Chaos means more degrees of freedom. The second law of thermodynamics says that the total entropy of the universe can only increase, meaning more degrees of freedom. The evolution in fact feeds on degrees of freedom. The more degrees of freedom means the more choices to be explored and more chances of change. When order or complexity seems to support the existence then the random changes become more stable and new form arises. This directional change towards more complexity is called evolution. But all this does not make sense, that’s why I agree with Intelligent Design advocates. Whatever you don’t know or understand, give credit to God to fill in and everything becomes simple.


The Atomic Theory for the explanation of the basic property of matter and its constituents is another example of scientific theories that have gaps and should not be taught. This theory changes almost every day with the prediction of newer and newer subatomic particles. It doesn’t make sense that atoms can be broken further into more pieces (subatomic particles). The word atom is derived from the Greek word which means uncut or something that cannot be further broken into pieces. So the meaning of the word itself contradicts the possibility that atom can be broken. Moreover, the easy explanation is that the things are as they are because that’s how God intended them to be and they do not change, except in the radioactive decay, which is actually just God’s way of showing that only God can change elements.


This leads to the one of the most flawed theories of science, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which also helped explain radioactivity scientifically. But it completely ignores and contradicts the other theory of science, Quantum Theory (which is the most flowed theory). How can one scientific theory ignore or contradict another theory and still can be taught at the highest levels of education? It does not make sense. The atom bomb was not created because of E = MC2 but it was given to us by God himself to win the war against evil and unholy people who hated freedom and our free society and were determined to kill us.


Now let us talk about the most flawed scientific theory, the Quantum Theory. It is even worse than the Theory of Evolution. It does explain the quantum tunneling of electrons occurring in the registers of this computer so it explains the basics of electronics but on the basis of what? Evolution seemed to have purpose towards higher organization and complexity but Quantum Theory states that things just happen randomly, without any purpose or guidance. The more sensible theory would be that the God is making electrons move and running registers in this computer or in any electronic device. To ridicule this theory Albert Einstein simply said, “God does not play dice with the universe”.


Other fields of science are also riddled with theories that have gaps and flaws. Without going into too much detail I can name a few. Genetic Theory, Cell Theory, Dinosaur Theory, Old Earth Theory, Moving Continents Theory, Round Earth Theory, Rotation on Axis theory, etc are all flawed theories or have gaps. I would like to end with the words from Tom Cruise, the greatest actor of our time, “Psychiatry is not a science but it is a pseudo-science.” Therefore, we should actually stop teaching science in schools because it is all just pseudo-science.

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Love after hurricane Katrina

May we meditate and pray to send love to all those who are affected by hurricane Katrina. May we meditate and pray to send love to all those who are helping the affected. May we meditate and pray to send love to all those who are in capacity to help the affected. May we meditate and pray to send love to all those who are in the way of help to the affected.


May the affected who feel left out, uncared and unloved feel all the love there is in their heart. May this love heal the wounds that are deeper than wounds, deceases, hunger and thirst they faced and are still facing. May they feel loved and cared for. May they feel the love of all those who they have never known, of all those who have never known them. May this love opens them to all the help they are getting and they may get.


May the millions of helpers and thousands of volunteers and saviors feel all the love and gratitude that there is. May they feel love for all the loving, caring, helping, comforting and saving actions they have taken and words they have spoken. May this love fill them with strength that they need. May they feel gratitude of not only the millions affected but the billions others for they are doing the greatest thing that can be. Saving lives is greater than “protecting” life by killing innocent citizens of other country. May this gratitude fill them with comfort they need.


May the people who are in capacity of helping others feel all the love and compassion there is. May this love open their hearts and senses to the misery of others. May we all help with all our power, positions, capacity, money, actions, words and thoughts. May we all know that no help is insignificant. May the love help us forget our prejudices of race and class, may the love help us forget hatred of past, and may love help us forgo our ego coming in our way of helping. May the love help us of doing action if we can and not make us happy with just mare words. May the love help us of doing more if we can and not let us satisfy with less.


Last but not the least, may the people who are coming in the way of helping affected feel all the love and compassion there is. May this hurricane of love break the barriers of hatred, prejudice, greed, and ego in their heart. May the flood of compassion overfill their hearts with the urge of action with pure intention to help.

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