Sunday, 11 April 2010

Laughter stalk ?

While walking on the railway platform alongside a lady.. suddenly a piece of mysterious flying roti comes and lands on top of her purse, the lady turns to see what came on her back.. and shockingly saw a piece of roti atop her purse...both she and I looked on top to search for the source, couldn't spot it tough.. ( may have been creativity of some spooky crows ;) , who sit on rooftop and at times shower their stool for free to the passerbys beneath ;) ) ...

looking at the sudden fall of the flying roti from nowhere onto the top of this lady's purse and her face expression of that sudden anonymous fall made me fall into peals of laughter..

Suddenly I realised why do we laugh..the situation was funny but it had actually put that lady in some sudden shock and embarassment.. Funny it was for the observer but embarrassing to the one who experienced it..

Confused still, I came and put search on internet of why do we laugh and I hit upon this site.
It says why we laugh can be categorized into three theories viz :
- incongruity theory humor arises when logic and familiarity are replaced by things that don't usually go together.
- superiority theory we laugh when we see somebody else doing something stupid or having some kind of misfortune and we feel superior to this person
- relief theory holds that laughter occurs when tension breaks without anything serious happening.
I could have categorised my laugh on Superiority theory.. but still would not know why I will laugh on some one's misfortune cause that would not have been my intention to show her my superiority.. or was it that it's so hard wired in us that it comes out as reflex action ..

So that next time you laugh you can categorise your laughter based on the laughter theories ...anyway Happy laughing and enjoy...;)

Friday, 9 April 2010

views, counter views on mega cities and multicultralism..

To add to the view point I mentioned in the previous blog..coincidentally, I came across an article in TOI editorial of yesterday about UN report which Predicts transition from Metropolises to Mega regions and is an extension to that random thought that I just pondered on.

The article is about views and counter views of mega regions..
Times view quotes:
"From cities to metropolises to mega regions – contiguous areas of urban development that often include multiple cities with extensive economic and transport links – is a natural progression...Linking contiguous centres of economic activity can limit inequality. Labour mobility between these centres means that supply and demand come into play over a wider region, levelling wage scales. And given that transportation costs are still a factor, the dense linkages within a mega region can situate consumers and suppliers closer to each other, thus cutting down on those costs and boosting economic efficiency even more."
Like how Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad have developed, delhi-NCR have developed etc..

Counter view quotes:
"We only need to look at our mega cities to imagine what even bigger units are likely to become. Too many people are packed into too little space. There is a premium on space and intense competition to own and hoard space. The economics of space in these cities is unsustainable because it is dependent on a never-ending supply of energy. Mega regions need to be built vertically to accommodate its residents...When communities are smaller in size, it becomes easier to use resources more efficiently. Better resource management will help reduce social and economic inequality. Decentralised urbanisation will also help to preserve and promote diversity of culture, landscape, food etc.
This point in turn supports the point that I raised of curtailing the growth of mega city and promoting growth and city size which is more sizeable and manageable in a subtle way..

More over I came across UN-Habitat site which quotes of the report on celebrating Multicultural cities.. which is also supplementing my previous view point..
Few of the excerpts :
"new multiculturalism that has the potential to broaden the cultural and ethnic dimensions of cities. However, it notes that some cities have been unable to cope with multiculturalism, which has generated increasing xenophobia and ethnic tensions. It therefore calls on local governments to help create harmonious and inclusive multicultural cities by combating xenophobic ideologies and anti-immigration policies."

"In many cities, lack of affordable housing and discriminatory practices force the newcomers to live spatially segregated lives in ghettos where they suffer labour exploitation, social exclusion and violence. This is unfortunate, says the report, because immigrants make important economic contributions, not only to the urban economies of the host countries, but also to the countries that they leave behind. Remittances back home are second only to oil in terms of international monetary flows, providing an important and reliable source of foreign exchange finance. In 2003, for example, the Indian Diaspora sent back US$ 15 billion, exceeding the revenues generated by the country's software industry, the report says. "

View, counter views and report just suggest the same... Sustainable is the word..what's your say.. ?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

city talks..

While doing leisurely talk to one of my friend, we came up with the topic of our ever growing city size and the changing mindset..
Government has taken all the steps to popularise the city as The destination with the business friendly approach of the state which has thus attracted a lot of business..

With the growing business set up in and around the city , there's a huge influx of people from all over the country.. Enormous developments going around the city to make it a metro.. All this is good to an extent.. but the over exploding population and the infrastructure , with increase in vehicular population and pollution.. decreasing natural resources.. etc.. is in a way creating a lot of mess ..

It helps in changing mindsets when the city has multi lingual population to stay in harmony with different sects of community but when you see that its changing very certain roots that bind you as a community its not for good..

Gujarat has now got an ever increasing non-veg eating population with non- veg so easily available to suit the new customer base, an ever increasing youth who is liquor addict ( not that the state was totally dry ).. which was not very much like the state of Gujarat.. ( Gujarati community are majorly Veg eating populace )

With all this that my friend and I discussed, in my mind I had questions raised, Mega cities in a way become unmanageable.. then what should be the size of a city which has opened its doors as a metro and development..or when should the size of the city be restricted to have a balanced environment..??