Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mass and inertia

Mass and inertia
The moment of inertia of an object about a given axis describes how difficult it is to change its angular motion about that axis. Therefore, it encompasses not just how much mass the object has overall, but how far each bit of mass is from the axis. The farther out the object's mass is, the more rotational inertia the object has, and the more force is required to change its rotation rate.

Rodeo is a sporting event that consists of events that horses and other livestock designed to test the skill and speed of the human cowboy and cowgirl athletes who participate. Professional rodeos generally comprise the following events: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing.

Rodeo provoked opposition from animal rights and animal welfare advocates, who argue that various competitions constitute animal cruelty. The American rodeo industry has made progress in improving the welfare of rodeo animals, with specific requirements for veterinary care and other regulations that protect rodeo animals.


Yes, to those of us who believe in a civilised society comprising of intelligent human beings, the rodeo show that is television with constantly changing slides only evokes revulsion. To make it to the news headlines and establish some form of contact with public opinion, you need certain number – either people have to die in sufficient numbers or the scam has to reach a particular quantum. It is a critical mass without which there is blessed inertia all around. We continue to derive all happiness with the thought of our progress - in terms of number of cellphone users, sensex figures, medical advances, etc.

The spread of microfinance institutions did not attract attention till vast sums of money surrounded it. Even then it was hailed as a saviour of the poor. Servicing rural areas was decried as a money drainer for public banks. Tears were shed over the fact that policy decisions forced banks to sweat it out in places where people had to be educated in banking and pulled out of the clutches of money lenders. Microfinance institutions had innovated enough to make this a profitable sector! WOW!

Only the innovation was old than the system of money lending. Exorbitant interest combined with god-fearing, law-abiding, semi-knowledgeable borrowers. Unlike jet-setting CEOs who could order governments to fill individual coffers with taxpayers’ money, the poor borrowers chose death. Now of course there is some hand wringing and talks of doing something.

One of the participants in a reality show which makes a mockery of the judiciary (of course no one thought of it that way - it was after all entertaining and meant to be non-serious) - died. Everyone had volumes to speak on how bad and how many sleazy, silly shows were being aired. We need not however fear that there will be any stifling of the media. The fourth estate in all its ignominy must be preserved. We need not have any illusions about the deceased participant getting justice. The parties to the show will have all papers in order. Necessary consent and waivers would have been obtained before hand. We have seen marriages being sold (swayamvars), and childcare being mocked (a version of baby borrowers). The right of private individuals to wreck their lives or those of others must be protected.

Adarsh society's problems with environmental clearance came to light only after the spotlight turned on the scam. One wonders how a towering building could come up without anybody checking on it. It is not an isolated case. We have illegal constructions everywhere right upto the Lutyen's Zone in Delhi! Now that people have died in East Delhi in building collapse (on 15th Nov. 2010), perhaps we might wake up to the fact that a building is not about stacking bricks and regularisation. But falling back to slumber is just a few days away – for, the critical mass has not been reached yet in scams, illegal constructions, mockery shows, financial frauds and in everything. - SK


Balu said...

As a man either obsessed or hallucinated by the scientific method of analysis and comparisons.
The title “Mass and inertia” certainly pulled me to read the article immediately, but I didn’t want to respond immediately and went through your complete blog right from 2007 and various comments and found the passion you and you wife share for this human kind. Even though the articles revolve much on our country, our government and mostly our taxes (as you are specialized in it I suppose). I could feel your emotions that is attached to the welfare of human kind in general. Of course I found your tastes too interesting (culinary as well as Nature).
Somehow I felt like sharing my political view with you. As I am not so qualified to talk about it compare to something related to natural science, I didn’t want to put it on my blog.
Moreover since I want to personally share with you, I am writing it as comments.
Most of the political issues which are discussed even by the intellectuals (includes you and your wife) are only on the detail analysis of the symptoms.
The Mass here is the people, whether near the axis or far, it is they who create momentum. If the world is like this, it is because people liked it to be like this. We would say people have to be educated, then how many. The number here is equal to the one which decides who should rule us. Then it means we human are not yet ready for Democracy. Lets accept it. To whom are you shouting to, about these issues. You are seeing the headache and fever, trying to give paracetamol. But the diagnosis is yet to be done.
Intellectual with knowledge of political science like you guys should come out with radical solutions.
Except for Gandhi and Marx, no one else was able to come out with ‘out of the box’ solution in politics, but we should also accept it was relevant at that point of time, but not now. We need another to come out with a new idea.
Why not Kishore?
I am expecting a good large article which gives a wonderful political solution for current chaos. Once the idea is formed, it’s easy to spread nowadays. All the best

Kishores said...

Thanks for taking pains to not just read the current post but also all the older ones. Subhashree said even if we pay, people don't read these days. Will revert separately in detail.

Geetha said...

Well said Balu. Come on, Kishore. It is people like you and Subha who are sound on political and economic issues, apart from that rare quality in plenty - innate goodness, who should come up with ideas and take the effort to spread them. Hope you would find the time and energy to develop such radical ideas.

Kishores said...

Radical solutions can be meaningful only if we commit ourselves in working towards their effective implementation. Talking and writing about social, economic and political issues can hardly consume anything except some amount of time whereas direct action often involves reasonable sacrifice in terms of money, health and family.
While the leaders of yesteryears did not even bother to think of sacrifice before taking the plunge, persons like me are unable to come out of ‘personal comforts’ which includes normal expectations from family members. We take part in some fringe activity to satisfy our conscience and camouflage hypocrisy. The huge conflict between ineffectiveness of confining ourselves to expression for the elite vis-à-vis the massive agenda of the deprived and the exploited pushes us into mode of frustration and resignation.
Added to this, we find well-intentioned people with dreams being marginalized in the political and social space despite their tireless work. The society applauds them for their limited work but does not extend its support when they enter the larger arena. It is strange but true that today to fight and change the system, you have to be part of the system and that in itself, marks the beginning of compromises.
With all negative factors dominant, we still keep thinking of taking the plunge one day though there cannot be any appointed date for direct action. For now, writing and fringe work keep our spirits and intentions alive.

Geetha said...

Fair enough.... All the best.

Balu said...

Even though I cannot join you in the water in which you will be taking a plunge. I shall promise I’ll lend my hands in support from being in the water where I shall take a plunge. All the best.