Friday, 28 April 2006

Heaviest element known to science

Got this from a colleague in an email (I don't know who originally wrote it but it is wonderful):

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Governmentium". Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete, when it would normally take less than a second.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass." When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium - an element which radiates just as much energy as the Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

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Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Democracy and extremism

Yes, I know it is long time since I wrote anything on this blog, except for publishing friends' appeals from Nepal. Now it seems the King in Nepal has decided to give in to the people's movement and peace may return to this beautiful land.

I am thinking about Maoists and if they pose a threat to the country.

I have always maintained that dialogue and democracy are the best way to deal with extremists - by extremists, I mean, those who believe in extreme changes, not necessarily violent. In that sense, I don't agree with repression, banning, jails and fighting to overcome or to contain those we consider "extreme". I believe that if extremists can be made to participate in the democratic dialogue and if they find public support, to be the government, their extremism will be tempered and they will need to become less extreme to fit in with the system.

The increasing forces of globalisation, meaning increasing inter-links between people and countries, should be a safeguard since extremist governments, even if elected, can not break those links and live in isolation.

Another aspect of globalisation is the increasing presence of media, so that when "news" happens like dead bodies floating in Victoria falls in Rwanda, the world will see it. Thus violent abberrations, sooner or later must go away other wise you become an international pariah.

Unfortunately, both aspects of globalisation can be easily manipulated. When economic interests are there, other countries become tolerant of dictators and murderers, and close one or both eyes. And, the international media is fickle, it comes to catch the goriest pictures but here the supply is greater than demand, so it soon leaves to catch other gorier pastures.

So I think that maoists in Nepal should get a chance to participate in the elections and if they win the elections, they can get a go at the system. Yet, I am worried if the democracy rules are valid for everyone?

How about people or groups, who think that they don't believe in democractic ideas but play along only to get into power and then start their dictatorship and repression? And if through democracy, we end up with a Pol Pot and millions of dead, whose fault was it? Or with Talibans?

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