Posts

False Equivalence in the Time of COVID 19

What is a false equivalence? Politicians and many journalists uses it. It is basically comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruits but not the same.

In more formal definition, the false equivalence is “a logical fallacy in which an equivalence is drawn between two subjects based on flawed or false reasoning” (Ref: Wikipedia)

The daily press conference done by President Trump on March 23, 2020 had examples of false equivalence. He tried to downplay the very realistic possibility of devastating impact of COVID 19 with the road accidents to prove his political point. But the problem in this false equivalence example is that COVID 19 is killing people faster everyday and on a near vertical trajectory pointing to many order of magnitude of mortality than car crashes cause each year. This is comparIng apples and oranges.

If the near vertical rise of the curve is not hammered down, and the virus gets more opportunities to spread freely, the direct death toll will be enormous, causing deat…

Strange and Dangerous Time

We are going through strange and dangerous time. The very real threat of COVID-19, the alarming speed of its spread and the steeply rising number of deaths, have forced many developed and developing nations taking  urgent and emergency measures. In front of a seemingly unstoppable virus,  invisible but deadly, the very raw fear in every human beings have come up to the surface.

To defeat the highly transmissible virus like COVID-19 stringent measures like the strict social distancing is necessary. Governments of the world need to be flexible to deploy all available and innovative measures to win this war against the mighty virus. 

Among people, from Canada to US to Mexico to Brazil to Italy to Germany to France to Spain to UK to Egypt to South Africa to Bangladesh to Indonesia to Australia, people of every nations are terrified of the grim possibility of an uncontrolled virus stamping out our precious livelihood, our very existence. The colourful graphs showing the near vertical rise…

Fitness

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When January comes every new year, many of us make new year's resolution that includes exercising more and eating healthier food along with many other noble goals. By the end of January, many of these goals dissipate into increasingly fading memory. Many events in life happens, we get busy at work, family, sickness, rushing to appointments, studies, and many modern distractions play in synchronous mode to get us disarrayed from our goals set at the onset of a new year.
To get back on the noble set goals to be healthier, one of the first things we can do is to measure our current level of fitness status. Attached are two images that show tables where one can measure his or her fitness level, that can sometime proves to be inspiring to return to a healthy living. These two tables are available in https://www.topendsports.com/

How to do push ups correctly? Check this link: https://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Push-Up
How to do squats correctly? Check this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch…

Fearful Time

Stoicism talks about not to worry about the external events that one has no control of.
Epictetus said, "Some things are in our control, while others are not. We control our opinion, choice, desire, aversion and in a word, everything of our own doing. We don't control our body, property, reputation, position, and in a word everything not of our own doing. Even more, the things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own." As the world entered into the human invented calendar year 2020, the drumbeats of war are reverberating, from one crazy theocratic and dictatorship based nation to another that unfortunately has a commander in chief who shows brazen instability in his words and actions.

Stoicism says not to worry about the external events as an ordinary man or woman does not have any control over it, however, it brings more stress. Stoicism has good point. Does i…

A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa - a Book Review

I thought I knew about distress, bottomless poverty and boundless miseries that many human beings under a totalitarian regime go through. I thought I understood how dehumanized many feel in every second of their brutally suppressed life. Masaji Ishikawa shattered my trifling understanding, by his slender book describing his and his family's endless sufferings in North Korea. 
This is not an easy book to read. Not easy in the sense that I was in repeated shock reading the detail description, how desperate the condition in North Korea actual is, "the land of paradise" in propaganda jargon, but in reality just the opposite for most in that mysterious nation secluded from most of the world. 
This is indeed a good book to read, in the sense that the English translation that I've read was done very well, detailing Masaji Ishikawa's misery filled life in depth. 
Masaji Ishikawa and his family, his Korean father, Japanese mother and siblings were duped in 1960s and were bro…

"Poking Nose" in the Case of Human Rights is Everyone's Business

Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu termed the U.S Embassy's rightful statement regarding the beating of students in the peaceful protests as "poking its nose in Bangladesh's internal politics in an indecent way" - that does not sound coming from a minister of a democratically elected government, representing a nation which is also signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
Here is what US Embassy in Dhaka had stated in its Facebook post: "Nothing can justify the brutal attacks and violence over the weekend against the thousands of young people who have been peacefully exercising their democratic rights in supporting a safer Bangladesh"
US Embassy as everyone one else has the right to speak against any brutal attacks and violence on unarmed middle school, high school and university students that did happen mostly from Saturday. 
There was no need of this reprehensible crackdown. Students were protesting peacefully, then they were atta…

Fabrication

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Nah! It's all rumor, lies and deception
The earth is flat and the sun moves around
We never gone to moon, all fabrication
Only the words of throne hold the ground

Didn't they tell all will be well and good?
Goons will not beat the innocents with sticks
And machetes but will bring delicious food
Dangerous roads will be cleaned, free of freaks

You have the full freedom of expression
Can say anything, do peaceful protest
No one will imprison you, commotion
Will not be the norm, nor be the pretext

To maintain the peace and tranquility
Of a loving "desh", full of fragrant rose
Where ministers serve with humility
and kisses, so alive! Not comatose

Where the people have the backbone intact
Not afraid to say what has to be said
And the children can learn, play, and react
Running boys and giggling girls with black braid


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August 6, 2018
Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)

This satirical poem is dedicated to the innocent protes…

Bangladesh - What is Happening? Teenage Students Struggle to Have Safer Roads

We live in the age of internet when quick communications through social media is the norm. Some of these news sources look to be true and some of them seem to be dramatized to pursue an ulterior agenda.
Seeing various news sources, including some videos and news articles regarding Bangladeshi students protest movement that started last week after at least two high school students had lost their lives when a bus hit them while they were waiting to get on the bus, I am trying to understand actually what is happening in Bangladesh, a country where I lived my nostalgic childhood, where my siblings, parents, grand parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, long gone ancestors and many of my close childhood friends were born. This particular tragic event stirred a movement among the students whose demand is to have safer roads in Bangladesh, where thousands of people die every year from road accidents and many of them are students going to school or returning home from school. 
When I was growing up…