The Scientific Point Of View. J B S Haldane Essay. Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

061. The Scientific Point Of View. J B S Haldane Essay. Reintroduced By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

 

By PSRemeshChandra, 14th Sep 2014. Short URL http://nut.bz/1ds8_4tt/ Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Adopting a scientific point of view is useful in many ways, whether for solving the Negro problem or for solving the problem of diseases. J.B.S.Haldane was a famous British scientist and author who later took Indian citizenship. His writings on biological subjects made scientific ideas clear and popular among people. The author argues that adopting a scientific point of view is essential and beneficial for man, rather than adopting an emotional point of view.

Scientific point of view is God’s eye-view. A good scientist, like God, will view and examine things impartially and truthfully, and will not have emotional considerations and pass judgments.

Science influences the average man in two ways- its practical applications are useful to man and it affects his opinions also. One of science’s main contributions to common man was its presenting man with a scientific point of view. Science continuously tells us we should give up smoking and consumption of liquor, and adopt walking and swimming daily activities to remain healthy. Once we viewed these warnings skeptically, but we now have begun to understand that there is sense and logic in these warnings. That is science’s contribution, creating this awareness and consciousness of health. The average man is attracted by the emotional and ethical aspects of a problem, not by the facts, whereas a scientist considers only the facts. A scientific point of view places everything and everyone on the same emotional level which is impartial and truthful. Because of this equalization in emotional levels, scientific point of view can be called the God’s eye-view. A good scientist will, like God, view and examine things impartially and truthfully, and will not have emotional considerations and pass judgments. Even though the enemies of science wish science to do both, and abuse scientists for being deaf to moral considerations, a scientist will remain such impartial that Mr. John, Mr. Chang, Mr. Smith, the Tape Worm and the Solar System will be equal to him. A scientific point of view enables people also to adopt the same view of an impartial scientist, in analyzing things of importance to him.

When Negros enjoyed friendship of whites during the American Civil War, the new Democratic Negro became a heavy drinker and died in thousands, more in numbers than were killed in the actual war.

Haldane is of the opinion that the Negro problem, i.e., the problem of Negros becoming a problem for the whites, and the problem of diseases can be solved by adopting scientific point of view. He uses these two examples to illustrate that adopting scientific point of view in solving social, human problems is feasible and useful. Though there have of course been strong oppositions to his this point of view, let us examine his observations on the living conditions of Negros in America, most of which are things of past in America now. Negros was considered inferior to white men. In the Southern states of America where slavery existed, the Negros were pulled out of cars and driven to cotton plantations to work hard in harsh sun light. Openness to nature favoured them and there they prospered and multiplied, creating thus the so-called Negro problem for whites. But had they been extended consideration and fellowship, they would have become softened and died of American diseases. This is the question J B S Haldane rises- whether emotional or scientific attitude is to be adopted in solving social, human problems, which is beneficial and useful? During the American Civil War, the Negros enjoyed friendship of the whites, as a result of which the new democratic Negro became a heavy drinker and died in thousands. The number of Negros killed that way was far greater than the number of Negros killed in the actual war. Once we shed the emotional point of view, adopt scientific point of view, we allow Negros to return to nature and live in their natural habitats, and there is and will be no problem from the Negros.

Scientific point of view is the moral equivalent of war; they are equally fast in teaching peoples lessons.

Adopting the scientific point of view helps solve the problem of diseases also. For ages, and even now, common people think that diseases are caused by the Sin of man. But now, thanks to science, more people know that diseases are caused by the attack of foreign organisms known as microbes. By studying microbes with a scientific point of view, preventive medicines can be developed against diseases. The moral use of war is its teaching people lessons fast. Scientific point of view also teaches people lessons equally fast. That is why J.B.S.Haldane theorizes that scientific point of view is the moral equivalent of war. It teaches people lessons as fast as war. Knowledge of biological facts helps people prevent diseases. Diseases are manifestations of nature’s laws. By knowing about these laws, people can cure or prevent these diseases. The only problem remains is, people not being punctual and regular in administration of their prescribed medicines. Attitudes like this are such common that discovery of insulin has not helped reduce the death rate of diabetic patients in England and elsewhere, for medicines and their usage do not still have a scientific basis among people. It is a paradox that ‘the study of medicine, apart from its scientific basis, has created more neurotics than scientists,’ Haldane observes.

In spite of scientists and science reigning in this world for so many long years and teaching, many people still think that diseases are products of our sin.

Scientists and science have reigned in this world for so many long years but in spite of their teaching that diseases are manifestation of natural laws caused by microbial attacks, a considerable number of people still think that they are products of our sin. When Jesus Christ was asked why a man became blind, he answered: ‘Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but the works of God should be made manifest in him.” He considered it an opportunity to prove God’s manifestations and cured the blind by his simple touch. The scientists cure people with diseases, instead of accusing not only them but their ancestors through generations also of sinning. In this respect, a scientist’s view of diseases is not unlike the view held by Jesus Christ. Many of his followers but still hold to views which Jesus Christ opposed. They are not scientific but emotional in viewing many social and human issues such as remarriage and abortion. When diseases affect, some of them do not treat it scientifically but pray. Many more people hold to the view that diseases can be cured by returning to nature which is just another fallacy- we will die before we begin to get rectifying restoratives from nature. To live according to nature to escape from diseases also is quite meaningless because civilization, savagery, health and sickness are all part of nature.

[Prepared In 1990]

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Tags

Appreciations, British Scientists, British Writers, Curing Diseases, English Essayists, English Writers, Essays, J B S Haldane, Jesus Christ On Curing, Negro Problem In America, P S Remesh Chandran, Philosophical Thoughts, Philosophy, Re Introductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Science, Science And Literature, Scientific Point Of View, Studies, Thoughts On Science

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Author profileEditor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Unmarried and single. Also edits Bloom Books Channel.

 

What Computerization Without Electricity In Kerala? Essay By P.S.Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum.

043.

What Computerization Without Electricity In Kerala? Essay By P.S.Remesh Chandran,

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 25th Oct 2011. Short URL http://nut.bz/ceu3pzgc/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

When we hear that computerization without electricity has been undertaken in some part of the world, we will normally think some innovation has been made possible there. Really it is one of the many recent follies of Kerala people. Even though many well educated and talented Keralites have migrated to many countries and are engaged there in prestigious firms in the computer hardware and software industry, their local rulers and political leaders are clay heads, still in the bullock cart age.

Plenty of mountains, rivers, dams and rains, but begging for electricity all over India.

Banasurasagar Wayanad By Foto Kannan.

Kerala produces enough electricity to light her homes, run her industries and render other basic services but not enough to light the millions and millions of display boards, dazzling shop displays and opulent building and street illuminations. What electricity Kerala produces in its many hydro-electric projects is just enough to meet the basic essentials. This means, the normal domestic, social and industrial life can be continued without depending on electricity purchased from outside. If someone says that Kerala has a shortage of electricity, anyone who has seen the plentiness of rivers and water bodies in Kerala and the number of dams that have been built across them through the years will wonder how this shortage can happen and who is to be held responsible for this foolish situation. The fact is, neither the government nor the Kerala State Electricity Board which does the production and distribution of electricity throughout the state, have done anything sensible to ensure conservation of electricity, without which Kerala will plunge into total darkness and stillness of industries for the next 20 years.

Selling imported electricity and pocketing the profits is far more lucrative a state business than producing from water.

Anchuruli Tunnel Idukki By Jayesh J.

After allowing the foolish spending electricity for unnecessary illuminations by the state establishments, private citizens and other organizations, and after ensuring that power is short and people are shouting, electricity is bought and brought from as far regions as Himachal Pradesh and from private sector, paying exorbitant price as a result of which electricity charges in the state soars. The ordinary citizens have no role in bringing about this havoc because the electricity needed for their houses, shops and industries is already produced from their rivers. And they consume much less electricity. They light only one or two lights in their homes and cannot afford air-conditioning. The burden of the higher cost of electricity purchased from the outside should have been shouldered by those who squander electricity by lighting a hundred lights in their homes and operating multi air-conditioners day and night and those who allowed it without imposing restrictions. You walk along the main city streets of Trivandrum, Trichur, Cochin and Calicut at night and you can see who are spending electricity opulently. It is they to whom the cost of imported electricity should have been charged solely. An ordinary shop needs five or six bulbs to run it but not thousands and thousands as we see on these thoroughfare sides. An electricity-short Kerala cannot afford it. If they want that much electricity for their special needs, they can import it at their cost but shall not eat into Kerala’s reserves. Just watch the State Ministers’ buildings and the mansions of top level bureaucrats, elected people’s representatives and senior politicians in Trivandrum at night and you will see who squanders electricity as they please at people’s expense. The power they burn are not paid for by them but by the government and the burden finally falls on the shoulders of the poor people.

Adamantly insisting on computerization after visiting foreign countries where electricity never fails.

 

Kerala Eco Zones Map By Saravask.

Before imported electricity arrived in Kerala, there was sufficient strength and voltage to the current but now due to loss during transmission, power is lost considerably. Fans won’t move, fridges won’t work and computers won’t function. The people of Kerala loose millions and millions of rupees due to the burning out of such instruments. There are countries in this world where electricity never fails and voltage never fluctuates. Such countries have turned to computerization of government departments. Some government minister who went to some such countries for treatment of some unspeakable disease saw this and wondered, and when he returned to Kerala adamantly began insisting that the government here also should be completely computerized. Learned Administrative Service Officers and Power Engineers of the state may have tried to teach him the effects of a possible administrative paralysis that would result from his act as the state had already begun to show proof of moving fast towards load shedding, power cuts, brown outs and total black outs, but within the hierarchical power structure in administration they might not have been bold enough and successful to raise them as objections. But that fool won’t listen. What those officers did not know about then was the millions that were coming the way of that politician as commissions from the computer industry.

Never thought about removing silt from reservoirs during the past 40 years; now complaining dams have no capacity.

Idukki Reservoir In Periyar By Shaji 0508.

Kerala is a region of hills and mountains and rivers. All rivers reach the sea before they run even a hundred miles. Due to the proximity to mountains the dams constructed across these rivers are filled with soil, silt, sand and debris in a very short time. With the rain of two or three days the dams are filled and overflowing but two or three weeks later the authorities tell people that there is not enough water in the dams to make electricity. During the past twenty five years there has not been a single instance of silt removal from a single dam in Kerala. Deepening the catchment areas of dams ensuring maximum catchment of water, making bare minimum electricity for the day to day needs or producing maximum electricity to be sold and bought back in needy times: that is what sensible governments and bureaucracies would do. But the Kerala State Electricity Board sat on its ass for a quarter of a century, and waking up now, tells that Kerala is short of electricity. The chairmen and the technical committee members of the board were being paid millions as salaries for foreseeing things and situations in advance and taking precautionary steps. Their failure in fulfilling their duties warrants immediate dismissal but being part of a state wide commission racket they are allowed to continue and bring more money to their godfathers. When generators in power stations blow away due to poor maintenance, they sit on the thing for years without resolving to repair them and start new files to buy electricity from the outside.

Building small dams called Sediment Retention Structures many miles upriver is the method adopted the world over for retaining the water storage capacity of reservoirs.

Kallada Check Dam By Kumar Mullackal.

Small silt trap dams can be built on the streams feeding a large reservoir, to settle out silt and thus reduce the rate at which the main reservoir silts up. The dam and electricity authorities in Kerala during the past decades totally neglected this task of cleaning the reservoirs and now there is only a small amount of water contained in the dams. Now no reservoir in Kerala serves the practical purposes. Constructing small dams called Sediment Retention Structures many miles upriver is the common and wise method adopted the world over for retaining the water storage capacity of reservoirs. Every electricity production engineer and organization in the world knows this. It is common knowledge. Dam bed coating consists of mud and sand mainly. Also there would be remains of whatever got into the river flow, including plastic bottles and even vehicles. Measuring the depth of water after siltation is something to be done on a regular basis. Neither measuring water depth after siltation, building of sediment retention structures nor removal of mud and sand from reservoir bottoms has been done in Kerala for the past fifty years. Mining river sand for construction works is recently banned and restricted in Kerala, resulting in stillness in home building. Workers engaged in this field are now jobless. Removal of river sand from dams would have not only eased this explodable situation but would also have recovered the storage capacity of dams. Senior administrators in the state are in constant fear of when people will begin to ask the most dreaded question of why they are not cleaning the dams. Not one person in Kerala administration is interested in this matter. They are only interested in purchasing electricity from outside and selling it at far higher rates, pocketing huge amounts as commissions in the process. Every sensible person in the state knows that the future of electricity is dark in Kerala for the next twenty five years. Tapping solar power for electricity will need thousands and thousands of acres of land which Kerala cannot afford. Building nuclear reactors, the people of this small state will not permit. Restoring the storage capacity of dams the fools in the administration won’t do. That is why it is here alleged that total computerization of government departments in Kerala is a farce and folly, aimed just at securing commissions from purchases.

‘Our computers are down, there is no electricity; we do not know which year they will be up again.’

Athirappalli Falls In Trichur By Pranchiyettan.

There are countries in this world where electricity never fails, voltage never fluctuates and even if electricity fails it would be for two or three seconds. Even if voltage fluctuates there, it would be by a maximum of two or three volts. Some great political figure head that went to those countries for treatment of some unspeakable disease saw the computerization there, wondered, and on return insisted that every government department should be fully computerized in Kerala and everything go online. No ruler was sensible enough to point out to him that in such electricity-short states like Kerala it would lead to administrative paralysis and eventually make people’s life miserable. Now when people go to some government office for a birth certificate they are told that the system is down and that they don’t know when the certificates could be issued. The good and reliable old manual system was deemlessly dismantled and the staff deployed elsewhere or dismissed; therefore the certificates cannot be handwritten and issued as before.

We will think there is someone there to attend. Actually there is no one there. E-governance is a farce.

Factual evidence for the fallacy of a government going online can be examined here by an example. Citizens can submit their complaints and grievances to the government of Kerala by online. As a test case, a complaint on specific easement violations, i.e. destruction of ancient homes in Kerala through rogue bulldozer activity by gangsters, was submitted online on 12th November 2011 to the following online addresses advertised by the government in their website.

1. The Joint Secretary, Chief Minister’s Grievance Redressal Cell, Government Secretariate, Trivandrum-1. cm-grccell@kerala.gov.in 2.Minister forPanchayats. minister-panchayat@kerala.gov.in 3. Minister for Revenue. minister-revenue@kerala.gov.in 4. TheDistrictCollector,Trivandrum.dctvm@kerala.nic.in.

Even after months they were never acknowledged which even a poorly maintained, single man website will do. The addresses are here. They are government and public anyway and anyone can try. This is exactly what happens in the thousands and thousands of complaints submitted online to government each day. We will think that there is some one there to attend. Actually there is no one there. E-governance is a farce. The only aim of government computerization is pocketing the huge profits from computerization. Every electronics firm gives commissions when products and services are sold, irrespective of whether it is a government firm or non-government firm at the receiving end, and even senior union cabinet ministers in India are undergoing prison terms for accepting commissions. Therefore there is no use denying the ultimate aim of obtaining commissions.

‘Your ATM money went down the drain due to some computer glitch, it often happens when voltage drips; we cannot do anything.’

Peechi Dam Reservoir By Aruna.

The governments had a very efficient treasury system which the private banks and the nationalized banks envied. Because treasuries do not have share owners but banks do, government’s money payment was de-linked from treasuries and shifted to banks, ordered by greedy politicians who themselves or whose dependents had shares and interests in those banks. One political party while in administration demanded that when this scheme is implemented, one particular bank shall write-off their loan of 100 Crore rupees they availed for starting a television channel. Banks would get millions of new accounts anyway without paying commissions and huge amounts will remain with them as unwithdrawn balances. Then why shan’t they pay and please political parties for taking the decision for payment of salaries through banks? But then what are treasuries for? Then treasuries and banks began to get computerized and payments to people began to be made through A.T.M. Counters. Now payment of salaries also is going online. There is no electricity and therefore no ATMs working. Voltage fluctuations also still the ATMs. One day when you go to draw money from the ATM or the bank it will be informed that ‘your money went down the drain due to a computer glitch; it sometimes happens when voltage drips, we cannot do anything’. We will think that bureaucrats and politicians in the administration were not brain-sharp enough to see these things in advance. They did see everything in advance but simply could not resist the temptation for securing commissions from the purchase of thousands and thousands of computers for every government office, making every office going online, and the future income from maintaining, servicing and replacing these systems. One needn’t think there was any intension of improving the efficacy of the administration in the state behind this decision and motivation for computerizing everything governmental. The horrible news of bribery and corruption printed everyday in newspapers in India reveals the real motivation. They will sell even their mothers if the right commission is got.

The last typewriter factory in the world, owned by Godrej India, was closed in 2011. So purchase available typewriters in advance at whatever price they come by.

Malampuzha Dam Gardens By Lallji.

This article which was first written on the 24th of October 2011 was auto saved by computer six times before it was even five paragraphs long. It was at a place one kilometer from Trivandrum District Administration and three kilometers from Kerala Government Secretariate. They still boast a fully computerized government! Just as the good old manual typewriters were thrown away when computers came along and shamelessly called back into service when electricity began to frequently fail, the good old scribes and their quill pens would again be needed soon. But remember, in the wake of the computer wave, not being able to sell one single typewriter manufactured by them, the last typewriter factory in the world owned by Messers. Godrej India Private Limited was closed in the year 2011. So take the advice and purchase available typewriters in advance at whatever prices they come by.

___________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
___________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking BLOOM BOOKS TRANSLATIONS here.

To read about the life and people and their follies of the author’s native land Kerala, read Kerala Commentary here.

To read more our articles already published in Wikinut visit Sahyadri Books or Bloom Books Trivandrum here.

Tags

Administrative Paralysis From Computerization, Commissions From Computerization, Computerization In Kerala, Computerization Without Electricity In Kerala, Computerizing Treasuries, Electricity, Electricity In Kerala, Foolish Burning Of Electricity, Governments Going Online, Kerala Commentary, P S Remesh Chandran, Recent Follies Of Kerala, Restoring Storage Capacity Of Dams, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, Salary Payment Through Atms, Silting Of Dams And Reservoirs

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley.

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Comments

rama devi nina
4th Feb 2012 (#)

A very informatie and interesting page, PSRC-ji. Bravo on your star page.

 

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