Archive for the ‘Educational Series’ category

Taxation for dummies – A comparative study on government taxes and gang protection money!

August 9, 2013

Few days ago, an article in “The Hindu” read as follows –

“Extortion gangs have been forcing hawkers to shell out money on a weekly basis

Certain groups are partly redefining the dynamics of commerce on the Marina. These are extortion gangs that demand money from vendors for letting them ply their trade. These groups – which call themselves sangams – have put a payment system in place. Every week, a vendor has to part with Rs. 30 as protection money.

Sometimes, vendors end up paying this pre-set weekly amount to more than one extortion group. “When I set up shop five years ago, I paid Rs. 5,000 to a person who designated the spot where I could set up shop. Today, there are many more gangs. They have divided the beach among themselves and each gang exercises control over shops in their section,” said a sandwich maker.  “…continue reading the article here.

If your blood temperature shoots up to 212 degrees fahrenheit or if your blood pressure skyrockets to 180 systolic / 110 diastolic and you get an insatiable itch to take a pen and paper to write to “The Hindu” or to Mr.Saidai Duraisamy or to Mr.S.George,  condemning the extortion and giving them a piece of your mind, hold on.

Please put down that pen and have a glass of cold water. Take a few deep breaths.

Now, you need to understand a few basic things about the principle of taxation before you start wasting ink and paper to put down your strong condemnations and keeping the Postal Department going. (By the way, a condemnation is the easiest way to protest against an atrocity. It gives you the satisfaction that you too have done something against an injustice while sitting in the comfort of your home. Just like this.)

Local Dada - Gang Representative

Local Dada – Gang Representative

Prime Minister - Representative of the Govt.

Prime Minister – Representative of the Govt.

As defined in Dictionary.com a “Tax” is

“a sum of money demanded by a government for its support 

or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, 

sales, etc.”

Breaking it down,

  • pay the government for protection to do business
  • provide the govt. a cut from your income for protection
  • pay the govt. for using the roads
  • pay the govt. for buying a house
  • pay the govt. for eating out

Compare this to the gangs and their demands of protection money. Just changing one word, ‘Government’ to ‘Gang’, the framework applies like a shoe in cinderella’s feet.

“a sum of money demanded by a gang for its support or for

specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.”

The  only notable differences between taxes and protection money are that

  • Taxes are approved by the legislature while protection money is not
  • Men in suits demand taxes with a smile while protection money is demanded by men in local attire with a frown!

And the key similarity between the government and the gangs is that neither of them protect and help the people when they need it.

Disclaimer – This post is merely a sarcastic attempt in comparing and presenting facts. I don’t condone or condemn the gangs or the governments, for the fear of being punished by either or both of them (hey..thats one more similarity between the gangs and the government!!)

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Contextual Learning Series – Anniyan and the Wave Particle Duality!

July 9, 2013

There have been numerous debates through the centuries about the nature of this thing we call “Light”. Newton said light is made up of particles while the larger scientific community including Huygens and Maxwell argued with their tooth and nail for light to be considered to be composed of waves. That is, until a Swiss Patent Office clerk, came in and pacified the divided scientific community by saying that both the groups were right. If you think the clerk was just being politically correct to pacify the scientific community and resolve the issue amicably, then pray let me tell that he did so with experimental  proof called “photoelectric effect” that light is “also” a particle, depending on how we choose to look at it.

The Swiss Clerk

The Swiss Clerk

If you have studied in IIT Madras or belong to the group of people that say Wave particle duality is nothing but the age old hindu concept of Advaita, then this post may probably not be easy for you to digest. On the other hand, if you are anything like me, that is, slept during the physics classes in schools and just about passed the examinations by way of cramming up stuff, then behold, this post will enlighten you!

Indian movies, most people think, has done more to discredit scientific theories than all the flat earth enthusiasts and creationists put together! If you’re one among those, then I really don’t blame you. Infact I’ve heard many horror stories of kids who when they first step into IIT and learn universal laws such as gravity, they almost get a nervous breakdown since they have always believed nothing is impossible for their movie heroes who have moved trains or punch villains with a mere hand wave.

Science Killer 1

Science Killer – Watch the pic to see what I mean.

However, if you are an inquisitive mind, you would know that while a lot of our movies have always tried to disprove universal laws, there are certain movies that have tried to explain physical laws for the simple minded folks!

“Anniyan” for that matter contextually explains the Wave Particle Duality.

Anniyan and the Wave Particle Duality

Anniyan and the Wave Particle Duality – Click on the pic to enlarge.

Contextual Learning Series – Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

July 4, 2013

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously.

Now if you have a tough time understanding the cumulative knowledge of the condensed meaning in this succinct verbiage deemed to be essential to the wisdom of  the secrets of the cosmos, then this post is for you. After years of putting mokkai in the virtual world and doing my bit to pollute the web, I now turn to do my bit towards cleaning the web by educating the masses with scientific theories in easy to understand contextual representations.

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - Simplified

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle – There are limits in measuring accuracy and info. availability in any govt. task beyond which both units cannot be measured simultaneously.
Click pic see it enlarged

Disclaimer: Do not replicate this in examinations!


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