Devices and Distractions

With the proliferation of devices nowadays, social, personal, business, etc. behavior has changed.

Mobile Devices blog

It used to be rude to interrupt a conversation by doing something else; nowadays it is perfectly normal to make a phone-call and talk or text in the middle of a conversation.
This problem is bigger in India, where voicemail is not available, and people feel the urge to accept a phone-call because the caller pays for it as opposed to going through your phone-calls later and calling those folks; that would be on the caller’s dime.

People nowadays think they can use their phone and do another task viz. all this is multitasking and neuroscience proves the brain cannot multitask; it can only do one task at a time, so that is what it does. In software there is a term for it called time-slicing, which is rapidly switching from 1 task to another to stimulate multi-tasking. So, it involves context-switching for one to get back to the task they were doing originally. This switching burns up glycogen (burns up energy in the brain), and so it is not recommended to multitask but to focus and to complete the task at hand.
Some neuroscientists say that it takes 20 minutes to get back (properly) to the task that you were doing.

Another factor is that people are distracted by social media, and are constantly using their device. Care needs to be taken to define what “using” means. Playing music or a podcast is not “using” as such, but texting or playing a game is.

Devices are a tool to help us to do what we are doing, but nowadays humans have become tools and social media kind of controls them.

People constantly need external input and stimulation, and they need to be comfortable with being alone and by themselves.
Spiritual reasons aside, this will happen to you in your old age, so it is better to practice this now.

A good exercise is to keep your phone or whatever device away from you for some time. People tend to get restless when this happens.

My recommendation to you is to decide what you want to do and use tools like social media to make it more efficient. Maybe, you need to promote your idea and social media is good for that.

It is but natural to want to know what friends and family are doing, so it is impossible to stay off of social media, but do not get carried away by it where you get more interested in other’s lives when your own life just passes you by.

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Controlled vs.natural environments

This is a kind of comparison between a US house and an Indian house.

A natural environment is healthy, but then it is also a slave to the elements.
I see more and more people in the world living in air-conditioned rooms. I mean affluent people.
With climate change, I think that in the future, we will need more and more controlled environments,

US homes are insulated and mostly are a controlled environment because it is too cold otherwise (in the northern areas). So, mostly, you have central heating and you can have central cooling as well.

Controlled environments are of two types viz. 1 room that is air-conditioned (common in India) and a centrally heated or cooled home (common in the US).

In India, a house is quite open, so rooms are pretty open too, with no air-conditioning mostly, and so you are a kind of slave to the elements.
The pros of this is that you can have sunshine and a natural breeze; the cons are that you are confronted with weather conditions that can be extreme and there Is not much that you can do about it.

As climate-change and global warming get worse, things will get worse in open environments. 
One will be unable to live in an environment, unless it is controlled

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Picking noses and picking fights (in India)

 

I observed that never once did I think about mucus or my nose in the US, but in India, I am more conscious of it.
It could be due to a number of factors as below.

I find that the flow of mucus is much more in India.
It could be due to the heat. It could be due to more viruses and bacteria because of the close-to-tropical temperatures.
Also, there is a lot more dust, so that could also contribute to more mucus.

Lots of dust and dirt contribute more to boogers, and one has the habit of keeping one’s nose clean and that leads to more nose-picking.

 

Male aggression worldwide leads to more skirmishes.

Add to this, the social norms in India, and it is easy to send a wrong message to the other person. There seem to be more fights, also because people have more time.

All those factors lead to more violence among people.

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Sound Pollution

As we all know, sound pollution leads to stress.

In India, soundscapes change depending upon what time it is, but many of the sound items in the lists also apply (mainly) to developing countries.

I have observed that stress may not be the only effects of sound pollution.

Apart from causing stress, people tend to keep their windows shut and live in their air-conditioning (which is unhealthy) and also I feel that the sound makes one a conformist (which is not good, if one wants new ideas).
What I mean by that is that the din starts early morning, so unless you shut your windows and live in your a.c., which I do not do, is that you are forced to follow these noise-times, which means that if one is not a morning person, the sound will affect your sleep,and that affects creativity and productivity.

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Anyway, let me list the disturbing sounds here:.

Daytime:
Vehicles honking
Vehicle (annoying) reverse horns
Birds (crows, cuckoos and pigeons)
Vendors shouting
Elevator sounds (door banging, etc.)
Vehicle (theft alert) alarms
People talking loudly (especially on cell-phones)
Banging and drilling (repair sounds)
Construction shouting (especially during concrete work)
Dogs barking (pets)
Vehicle security arming locks (high-pitched beeps)
Jet airplanes

Nighttime:
Stray dogs barking and cats meowing
Airline planes
Royal Enfield motorcycles (noisy four-stroke engine)
Cats in housing society
Vehicle reverse horns
Firecrackers and loud weddings
Sound installations (private large sound is fine, but why the public nuisance?)

 

In general, if you see, many of these sounds are from inconsideration to others and can be highly reduced.

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Alternate energy

With the world moving away from using fossil fuels, it often makes me wonder of what the ramifications are?
How will this affect the middle-east and places that depended on oil like Nigeria, etc.?
Also, will this shift have a real impact on the environment? etc.

Overall, I think this moving away from oil is a good thing for many countries.
We need to reduce our dependence on oil.
Many countries had turned a blind eye to the atrocities in the middle-east. Oil triumphed humanity in a way. No more.
Many wars were waged for the hunger of oil.

 

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Alternate energy sources can also provide sustaining energy for poorer countries.
Once the investment is made in the alternate energy source such as solar panels or wind turbines or whatever, the country can then harness energy regularly.
The country is not deemed to have oil reserves or not.
In that sense, the playing field is leveled.

Burning this oil was also bad for the environment.

The main means of generating power was by burning coal.
Burning coal was causing a lot of pollution and the world needs to move away from this.

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GMOs, and the backlash

Recently, there has been a general backlash against GMOs and many people blindly say no to GMOs.
This post aims to show you different perspectives about the issue.
Read on if you want to see things logically, but if you are a blind organic food fanatic, then this post might not be for you.

Honestly, even I do not know all the facts about GMOs or their future consequences, but I also do not want to shun them because of my ignorance.

omics

I present to you, some of the issues in here, and of course finally you have to do your own research and make up your mind.

What GMOs are doing now is accelerating the slow change of evolution and proper regulation of GMOs is needed, and one wrong GMO product can have disastrous consequences.
Regulation seems to be an answer. Just saying “NO” does not solve anything

Natural GMOs already occur

Actually, humans have been changing beings and their environment for a very long time.
The classic example is dogs. Dog breeds are a result of humans changing dog genetics over a period of time.

Higher Yields

The human population is increasing a lot, and if we have to feed so many people, crops need to provide higher yields since the naturally occurring yields will not suffice.

Pests

A lot of GMO work is to make plants resistant to their natural pests. Having a varied number of plants is considred beneficial to plants, when it comes to pests

Monoculture is bad

GMO or not, just growing only one crop as industrial farming tends to do is bad for the eco-system. Whether organic or GMO, this practice needs to change.

Dissing GMOs is like saying genetic research is bad.

All things have their upsides and downsides.

I can go on and on, but I would encourage you do your own research, but in a nutshell, GMO crops can be beneficial too and by simply making a blanket statement of “no GMOs” is a wrong attitude, and each case needs to be considered separately.

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Does more economic security make you less religious?

This is a controversial topic, but it is useful to give it some thought.

Let us not confuse Faith with Religion and God in our debate.

If you observe the general trend, the more the affluent and secure a society is, the lesser the belief in God and following a religion.

There are 2 possibilities in being non-religious.
One is an extreme step taken by a country like China to ban religion OR something that is voluntary and personal.

If you look at Scandinavian countries, people are no so religious there. And observers conclude that this is since the people are secure there.
They do not feel the need to depend on something that might “help” to improve their condition.
I agree with that hypothesis.

 

(image courtesy Wikipedia)

 

If you observe poorer countries, they have a strong religious sentiment.

Look at the Middle-East, and look at how the extremists and terrorists take advantage of poverty and ignorance to add to their numbers.

As a society becomes richer and stable, it becomes more economically secure and this leads to more personal security and it will become less religious.

This article – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-barber/why-americans-are-more-re_b_814962.html – says it better than I can.

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