Black swan and graveyard of the firefiles

I am into another book by Naseem Nicholas Taleb called The black swan. The previous one being Fooled by randomness which I described earlier here. Again, a few pages into the book, it has taken me into thoughts about how our thoughts are wired, some more reason to not watch TV, to not take daily news seriously and some more insight into the fallacy of using the bell curve ( Remembed the Gaussian distribution?) in predicting the future based on past events and that, seeing only white swans your entire life does not mean there are no black swans out there in the world somewhere!

I downloaded an anime movie that goes by the name graveyard of the firefiles. I have taken a break after watching the first 50 mins. I could hardly hold myself after 15 mins into the movie. I instinctively know where it is going. Its a tough watch. The art and scenes are very powerful. It took 15 minutes for me to recover after watching those 50 mins. The rest, I will see tommorow or whenever I can spare an hour after watching the movie to recooperate from the shock that is coming. I go through sad movies with very little after effects. But this one is too powerful. No doubt it has won several awards.

News Media, ‘Indians and Science’

Anyone going through the news media would notice the chaos that it triggers in us. We also know that almost every news paper is in a frenzy to produce the most sought after news every minute and increase their TRP. If the criteria to remain in the job andfor moving up the ladder in an organization is to create the most sensational news, it is understandable. On a bigger scale, if the aim of a news channel is to beat any other news channel at any give time, then the quickest way is to resort to the usual tactics of making every news a ‘ground breaking’, ‘roof thrashing’ news. With the common news media understood, we can say creating such news has become a simple affair. The most challenging task is not in the hands of the ones creating the news, but the ones consuming it. Take for example, the claims of Dr. Santhanam about India’s nuclear programme. In all the chaos, I could extract that Dr. Santhanam was one of DRDO’s men for site instrumentation, who would be responsible for measuring the yield. He came out with the claim that the yield was not even close to what was publicized. I think that’s all there was to it. May be I am wrong but who cares. Trying to extract news out of enternment information is almost impossible if not stupid. Moving on, we were proud of our achievement in 1998. Weren’t we? If his claims are true, then looking back, we liked the alternate reality that was presented to us during that time. A news with a high ‘make us happy, proud’ entertainment value. But after the claims by santhanam we also did fall for the thrill of ‘make us scared, feel cheated’ news! Having fallen for almost every emotion triggering news, shouldn’t we conclude that the news being delivered is just entertainment? The tiny non-entertainment news is tough to extract. There are other questions, like what is non-entertainment news? I will stop here, enough! I had not posted anything for a long time now. Hence this post! A peek into my thoughts when I hop past a entertainment (news) channel.