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2016, the year of bad language
Only a year ago Oxford Dictionaries chose the face with tears of joy emoji as its word of the year, signaling the more frivolous mood of the time, and also suggesting that we were moving past a conventional use of language and towards something more playful, emotional, and international. How things have changed. Oxford Dictionaries's word of 2016, 'post-truth', suggests the alphabet is anything but done for and that rather than moving past language, society is instead moving past facts. The landscape is changing fast and language is changing with it.Here are the words that have defined 2016:
Rather than merely another synonym for lying, this is an adjective to describe today's circumstances in which the act of lying is taken for granted by the public. In much of contemporary politics (and much journalism and entertainment too) the use of honesty and facts is less effective than appealing to our emotions and beliefs. Such are the conditions of post-truth.
Of course, emotions and personal creeds have always played a huge role in the formation of public opinion, and we may well have been living in a post-truth world for a decade or more. But this year, it has been formalized. Given the ubiquity of the internet (this is also the "post-internet" age), for the first time in civilization we have access to all the facts: and subsequently many of us have renounced facts. It's hard to escape the feeling that a lot of us don't want to hear the truth.
While the rise of post-truth politics is directly linked to the propensity of politicians to tell bigger and bigger lies, it's also worth noting that the figurehead of post-truth, Donald Trump, owes much of his fame to reality television: a format that has been chipping away at our belief in reality for quite some time now.
Maybe it's not all bad. British journalist Peter Pomerantsev, an expert on Russian politics and post-truth (which he has been warning us about for a good couple of years now) acknowledged in Granta this month that "there is some sort of teenage joy in throwing off the weight of facts — those heavy symbols of education and authority, reminders of our place and limitations." If the facts don't matter then anything is possible.
Here's another term connected to the last one. During the US election, the Washington Post meticulously checked 168 claims made by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail and gave its Four-Pinocchio Rating — signaling the most dishonest and flagrant lie — to 59 of Trump's claims and seven of Clinton's. In the quest for truth, the Pinocchio Rating is your friend.
Other distinctions awarded by the Washington Post include the UPSIDE-DOWN PINOCCHIO, indicating a flip-flop or reversal of one's previous position, and the GEPPETTO CHECKMARK, indicating complete honesty.
It became very clear this year that our social media feeds — and we're really talking about Facebook here — share opinions with us that we're likely to agree with and hide those that we aren't. In this way, feeds are like echo chambers, bouncing our voices back to us while concealing the great complexity of public opinion. And now that we find most of our news through social networks, this has created a huge problem: we have become completely disconnected from the world outside of our small and particular bubbles. In the US, especially, many on the left had hardly considered the possibility they would lose the election; and having lost it they have found it impossible to agree on why.
This is exactly what it sounds like: made-up and misleading stories, often intended to discredit a political opponent, spread across social networks under the guise of genuine news. It's the dark side of clickbait — a form of propaganda dressed up as journalism.
We suggested earlier this year that a youthful, magical counterculture was emerging in the worlds of pop and spirituality (it's also a subject that Teen Vogue has been covering in quite some depth), with a focus in their case on the modern witchcraft movement. So in youth culture, as in other parts of society, there has been in places a retreat from the rational and scientific in favor of the old ways of thinking.
As of late there has been more and more discussion of the idea that we're living not in reality, but in a computer-generated simulation of reality: essentially that we're trapped in the Matrix. That is simulation theory. In the spring, Neil DeGrasse Tyson argued that this was likely to be the case. In the summer, Elon Musk claimed, "There's a billion to one chance we're living in base reality." In the autumn, it was reported in the New Yorker that two Silicon Valley billionaires (Musk is rumored to be one) are funding scientists in an effort to break us free from our cosmic virtual reality.
It's an idea that can also be found in the most talked-about show of the year, Westworld, the central premise of which is that the characters are living in a make-believe world and cannot tell whether they are people or just robots with an artificial intelligence (and, in a pointed piece of casting, Musk's ex-wife Talulah Riley plays one of the robots).
Simulation theory is a radical idea; however in its renunciation of reality, it has much in common with the renunciation of facts in a post-truth world. But, as for the reasons why in 2016 the jettisoning of facts by politicians has coincided with a growing interest in magic amongst teenagers and a questioning of reality by billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneurs — these have yet to be satisfyingly explained by anyone. We find ourselves at a strange philosophical crossroads in history.
In spring, Microsoft launched a chatbot — meaning a computer program that can simulate a conversation with a person (much like the robots on Westworld, only without a physical body) — named Tay that was supposed to speak like a 19-year-old American girl and to learn from her conversations with other Twitter users. "The more you chat with Tay," the software company explained, "the smarter she gets."
But on her very first day she had to be taken back offline after trolls taught her to say things like "race war now!!!" and "Donald Trump is the only hope we've got" and "WE'RE GOING TO BUILD A WALL, AND MEXICO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT" and, aside from a brief reappearance, offline is where she has remained. Tay was intended to explore and learn to speak the language of today, and in most ways she was a failure. However, all those months ago, she certainly was able to foreshadow what was coming in politics and online discourse with an eerie and oracular accuracy.
2016 threw up a lot of gloomy words reflecting rather gloomy times. But while the political discourse was often backwards-looking, much of our vocabulary had a futuristic feel to it, in keeping with how quickly things continue to change. So let's see what 2017 brings.
What are the books that can change people's lives?
An Easy Spiritual Discipline
!! Shri Hari !!
While giving lectures to the children of the demons, Prahladji says – what effort is required in realizing Paramatma (God, Supreme Being) ? - “koti prayaasosurbaalakaah?” (Srimad Bhagwat 7/7/38)
There is one point that one must remember regarding sense objects that, things of this world are not present in all places and at all times. For attaining these, one has to make significant effort. However God is present at all places, at all times, in all beings, and in all situations. There is not a place, time, individual, thing where he is not present. For his attainment all that is needed is intense longing. Just like we have a particular object in our possession, then it is on looking at it that we are able to see it! But to see God, it is not essential to even look in a particular direction, because Paramatma is outside, inside (within-without) and everywhere. Therefore, one can attain Him simply by longing to attain Him!
In realizing God, no effort is required. In this, the only requirement is a deep thirst, a want. And even this want is not difficult. In reality, this need is present in all human beings, naturally and on its own; because man feels something lacking within him, but the mistake he makes is that he wishes to fulfill the deficiency with the aid of the world. All things in this world cannot be acquired by all, they never have and they never will be and even if they are acquired, then too they will not remain with you. Even if the things remain, then, you will not remain. There will definitely be separation from it. Before too there was separation and later on too there will be separation. In between the union is only perceived, it is not there as such. Then too we consider our relationship with those things and desire them, this is a very big mistake.
You have considered yourself to be one with the body, this body is me and this body is mine, this is the main mistake! You are not the body! If you were the body, then you would not die at all and if you died, then you would take the body with you. After dying the body (dead) remains right here, and in that body too we are present. But neither the body goes with us, nor the body stays with us. Therefore accepting that you are the body is a mistake and to consider the body as ours is also a mistake. We cannot keep the body, the way we wish to keep it. We have no control over it, then how is it ours? If the body is not ours, then this money, wealth, glories, family etc. how are they ours? Therefore, what is the difficulty in accepting that this world is not ours? Only God is ours. It has become difficult to regard the thing that is in fact ours – God, as our very own, because we regard the world as ours.
The scriptures say that Paramatma (God) is our very own and the world in not our own - your experience tells you this. At this time though you may not believe this, you are unable to accept this; however do not lose your self-assurance. Do not think that we are unable to accept this at this time. Though it is not believed at this time, but in fact, “I am this body” this is not so. Stay firm with this point. Whether you believe or not, whether you experience it or not, do not worry about it; but do not make this point worthless.
This body is not me, and it is not mine – this point is true, and I am God’s and God is mine, this point is also true. Even on being true, it is not accepted, then this is our weakness. How can our non acceptance make the truth become false?
Questioner - How do we end up making this false?
Swamiji - Whatever we see through our senses, intellect, we consider it to be real and our own; by this the point becomes false. Due to this, even if we are unable to give up sense of mine-ness with those things, then so be it; but “body and world are not mine” this is the truth – that much you must honor. If you don’t see God, then so be it, but God is ours and we are God’s, this point is true. Even if Brahmaji says that “See you are of the world and the world is yours, you are not God’s and God is not yours,” then too clearly say that “Maharaj! We will not listen to your point” So be it, even if we have not experienced this so far, even if it is not entirely sunk in; but this is the truth! God Himself has said - “Mamaivaansho jeevaloke” (Gita 15/7) “this being is a part of Me alone” Saints and great souls have also said so - “ishvar ans jeev avinaashi” (Manas, Uttar. 117/2) Therefore I join my hands and pray to you, have mercy on me and accept this point today. Even if there is no change in you upon acceptance, there is hunger and thirst just like before, there is likes and dislikes just like before, but please do not make these talks false. We are only God’s - accept this, thereafter whether you experience or not , whether you are awakened within or not, do not worry about this. In the end, this point will become firm; because this is the truth.
It is the absolute truth that “Only God is mine, there is no else” (mere to Giridhar Gopal, doosero na koyi.) What is the difficulty in accepting this? You certainly know how to accept. Just as you accept someone as your friend, your Guru etc., similarly you also know about not accepting, just as initially you accepted yourself as a bachelor, but on getting married, you no longer saw yourself as a bachelor, but you begin to accept yourself as a married man. If you leave the household life and become a “sadhu”, then you stop considering the house, the family as your own, and you begin to regard the Guru Maharaj as your very own. Therefore you already know both – about acceptance and non-acceptance. Everyone has knowledge of acceptance and non-acceptance. Now apply this knowledge by engaging only in God, and not in the world.
The mistake we make is that while listening we accept, but then we trivialize it. Whereas that which is not true, we begin to accept it as true. One more mistake we make is that brothers-sisters say that we forget this point. Really speaking if you have firmly accepted this, then even if it is not remembered then so be it. Without remembering, you accept that you are at present in Vrindavan. Has any brother-sister completed even one “mala” repeating that “ I am in Vrindavan”? Just one time you accepted that you are currently in Vrindavan, then do you have to try to remember time and again? Is there any doubt about? When someone asks, you immediately say that you are in Vrindavan. Similarly, without remembering too, the point remains within. When you start to believe that you are in Haridwar, then this will be considered a mistake. Therefore I do not regard the not remembering as a mistake. “I am God’s” - if this is not remembered then it is not a mistake; but the mistake is when one accepts that “I am not God’s and I belong to the world.”
After accepting one time with a true heart that you belong to God, then if you don’t remember at all, so be it. Now what is to be remembered is God’s name. Repeat His divine Name (japa), remember Him, Sing His glories, meditate on His divine play, meditate on His form - these are to be done. After accepting God as your very own, let it be. But do not doubt that you are God’s. Whether you a believe or not, whether you experience or not, do not be concerned.
Many people say that what difference has this made to your life? Even if there are no changes, that is, no change in measurement, no change in weight, no change in color, no change in mannerism, no change whatsoever, then too it is OK! However “I cannot accept, I cannot remember, I am not capable, I don’t have the rights, I am not the proper recipient, I did not meet a Guru, I did not meet any saint, the times are not good, it is the age of Kali yug; the environment is not proper; associations are not good” - by talking about these, do not make trash this point. By applying various tactics, if you continue to make this point trashy, then you will not attain perfection. However, if you do not scrap this point, then surely you will attain complete knowledge. This attainment can be in a few days, months, or it can take years. If you continue to indulge in worldly pleasures, then it will take very long, but in the end you will attain that complete knowledge.
Those who work in the fields, they sow the seed in the fields and feel at ease. That seed gives birth to a sapling on its own. If time and again one takes out the seed to look at it, then the seed will never germinate. There is a story. There was a mango grove. The monkeys were eating mangoes from there so the gardener threw stones at the monkey and scared them off. While going each of the monkeys took one mango in their mouth and one in each of the hands and began to run. The monkeys had a meeting that this evil gardener is not letting us eat the mangoes! Some wise monkeys said that how can they let us eat mangoes from their own groves? If we also have a mango grove, then no one will refuse us from eating mangoes from there. They thought that we have the mango seeds, why don’t we grow these. All we have to do is sow the seed, water it then the grove will be ready, and we will eat plenty of mangoes! On consensus from all those that were present, they decided to proceed. They sowed the mango seed on the bank of a river nearby. Now, time and again they removed the seed to look to see whether the mango had started growing or not, and then they would re-plant it! Till dusk, they kept removing the seed and replanting it! Can a mango grow like this? If you want to farm, then sow the seed, water it, and become free of all worries. That which is not there right now, it will most certainly germinate and appear as sapling; then that which is the truth, why will it not materialize? We are God’s and God is ours – this is the truth and it is spontaneously realized. What is the effort required in accepting this? What force is needed? Do you need some knowledge? Do you need some abilities? The simple straight-forward point is that we are God’s and God is ours; we do not belong to the world, and the world is not ours. Now, do not root is out, like the kernel. In other words, do not test it that are there any changes in us or not? When the seed germinates, the plant will also grow, later on the mangoes will also grow and it will all be great! However have mercy and do not overlook this point. This is a very easy means of God Realization and there is nothing else to be done. Simply, “I am God’s and God is mine.” Do not waiver from this firm determination.
This brother sitting here, first regarded himself as a bachelor, but now he is married therefore he now says that he is not a bachelor. Now if someone asks, are you married? Then will he say, wait a minute, let me think; this year I did not get married, the year before also I did not get married, but twenty years ago I got married, Yes-Yes, now I remember, I am married! Why do you not say so? Because once married, it is done. This is acceptance. Even if someone asks in deep sleep, then too you will say that you are married. Similarly, “ I am God’s and God is mine” this will be remembered without attempting to remember. There will be no mistake in this. A mistake is when you will think that I am not God’s, and God is not mine; because my conduct is not proper, my behavior is not good, Do not raise such obstacles. Even if there is no faith, no trust , no remembrance of God, no changes for the better, life has not improved spiritually, even if nothing whatsoever has happened, then too do not scrap this acceptance (maanyataa), that I am God’s and God is mine.
I have even asked those great men in my eyes and they said, that those men that accept God as their very own, the responsibility of making Himself known to them is borne by God. The reason is only God can make Himself known, we cannot know Him. Where we are incapable, there God’s capabilities come to use. This is such a great point that “ I am God’s and God is mine, I am not the world’s and the world is not mine.” You have the capability of accepting this! Whatever abilities you have, that much you apply. That which you do not have, God will fulfill those. “Sune ri meinne nirbal ke bal Ram.” In those things that you are powerless, there, God’s powers comes to use. However, in those things where you are able to apply your powers, if you do not apply that strength then in this the fault is yours, the responsibility for this is not on God. You accept a few people as your own and others you do not accept as your own - why do you not apply this ability towards God? Whatever you are capable of doing, that is the extent of the hope that God has from you. That which you cannot do, God does not expect that out of you. What do you hope from a little child, do you expect that he carries a heavy bag of wheat flour and bring it home? You only expect as much as he can do. Then does God lack even that much honesty? Will God tell you to do the things that you cannot accept? That which you can accept, you must accept that! That is it! This spiritual discipline that I have shared with you today, is so easy, and so straight-forward and all can do it. Whether someone is a learned and educated person, or uneducated, whether it is a brother or a sister. Whether you have good conduct or bad, whether you have good qualities or bad qualities, whether you are a gentleman or a evil man, however you are, all can simply accept this.
It has been said for a chaste (pativrata) wife -
Ekayi dharma ek barat nemaa |
Kaayam bachan mana pati pad prema ||
(Manas, Aranya. 5/10)
This is my husband, on having a firm acceptance of this, however may be the husband, she will become a chaste wife. Was Ravan a great and extra-ordinary man? However, Mandodari being a chaste wife, followed her “Dharma” properly, whereby she was able to get to know the greatness of Lord Ram, whereas Ravan, even on being told, did not listen! Where did Mandodari gain so much knowledge? This knowledge came from “pativrata dharma”. Can God say that your husband is not of good conduct’ therefore you will not attain salvation? No, He cannot say so. If his conduct is not proper then what are we to do? We have abided in our “pativrata dharma” properly, then God will give it’s full glories - “Binu shram naari param gati lahayi” (Manas, Aranya. 5/18). The responsibility to attain that eternal and highest state, is not on her. That responsibility lies on the scriptures, the saints and on God. She fulfill her “pativrata-dharma” then she is abiding and fulfilling the commands of the Rishis-Munis, Saints-great souls, and God; therefore they will have to give her salvation. If the husband is not capable, then how is it his fault? Mother and father got her married so he became her husband. Her fault will be when she does not follow her “pativrata-dharma”. Similarly “I am God’s and God is mine” - this point, if you do not accept then it is your fault. But if you want to accept from within and you are unable to do so, then don’t be concerned. Apply your complete strength. At the very minimum, do not accept the opposite, do not trash this point. This is an extra-ordinary point that has been shared with you.
I am God’s and God is mine” - only accept this much, then further along what should happen will happen on its own. After accepting this, become free of any uncertainties and ambiguities. Now whatever effort is needed, you do. Do divine name repetition, chant the Lord’s divine name (kirtan), do satsang, engage in spiritual studies, go to the temple, behold the Lord. Do not do any actions that are opposed to God and the scriptures. To the extent that is within your control, as much as you can do, that much you should do. Do not waiver on this point, whether unfavorable times come or favorable; whether someone approves of you or opposes you. This is the truth; thus we have accepted it ! Accepted it once and for all.
Now a question can arise that if we do so, but thereafter do not attain God, then what? The answer to this is that till now, in so many years, what great work have you done, which will be short-changed? If it happens it will be gains only. From all of you present here, any of you tell me, what will be the loss? There will be no loss, and I do not deceive! There will be only gains; because this is the truth, and the truth will ultimately be realized as the truth. How long will a false thing last? By regarding this body and this world as our own, will it become ours? They have never been ours and will never be ours; however, if you regard them as yours, you will have to suffer and you will have to cry! Instead of being deceived by it, and later on accepting it as true, it is better to accept on my saying. Tell me what deception will it lead to? And if you are deceived, then you have been deceived so many times so far, therefore one more time be deceived by my saying! However if amongst you all, if any of you see this as a deception, then tell me brothers! There is no deception oin this whatsoever. Besides gains, there is not the least bit of any losses. Not only do I say this, but God Himself has said this - “mamaivaansho jeevaloke” (Gita 15/7) and Saints and great personalities have said so – “Ishvar ansh jeeva abinaashi” (Manas, Uttar 117/2). Therefore accept, grab hold of this point with a firm conviction. This is the principle that has been agreed upon by saints. Saints and Great Souls have done so and seen for themselves and they have showered us with their grace by writing this down, and to reveal it. Just as some father, earns a lot of wealth, and gives it to his son, then what effort did the son have to go through ? Similarly, this is the wealth earned by the Saints and Great Souls, which they are giving to us. Now it is our duty to protect it, not to waste it. It becomes worthless upon looking at it and doing. You regard as real, those things that are seen with your senses and intellect and the things that are done, but you consider the words of saints and great souls as imperfect. This is a mistake. That which is seen is not there. Actions are not permanent and their fruits are also not permanent. Thus depending on them, by dishonoring the Truth, do not choke the Truth. Do not cause violence to the Truth. By violating the Truth, the Truth is not harmed, rather we are harmed, we only take a fall. Truth will always remain the Truth. Truth will never be wiped out - “Naabhaavo vidhyate satah” (Gita 2/16). If you do not abide in it, you will not benefit. Therefore, accept the point that - “I am God’s and God is mine”. This point is a very easy, but of a very high stature. It encompasses everything.
Narayana! Narayana !! Narayana !!!
From "Bhagwaan se Apnaapan " in Hindi by Swami Ramsukhdasji
This is Something I wrote long back-
For The Love Of Parle-G, Here Are Some Super Cool Facts You Ought To Know About It
When I moved out of my parents’ house to study elsewhere, I realized that the toughest part is to do without the excessively underrated ghar ka khaana. However given to the tea lover that I am, I used to have Parle-G and tea a lot, nearly everyday (and yet didn’t get bored of it) because really, for how long can one endure eating outside?Giphy
I learned that if there’s something damn reasonable and substantial, it has to be this miracle of a biscuit. Parle-G is tea’s best friend! The taste that captivates your palette as soon as you pop in this soft biscuit soiled with tea in your mouth, is beyond amazing. It gives you immense satisfaction.Parle-G and Tea complete each other like nothing else. Like, even if it drops into the tea because it’s too saturated, we love salvaging it and then downing it with pleasure, don’t we?nullvia GIPHY
It certainly is a very special biscuit brand for us Indians. From the rich to the poor, it’s the one constant edible entity that we’ve all been eating since forever. Nobody grows too old or remains too young to eat Parle-G. And therefore, we’re sure you’d want to learn the lesser known facts about Parle-G.
A Quora user, Kumar Anupam, sums up all the things which make up for the brand that Parle-G is.mw2.google.com
“Parle-G, probably the first biscuit we enjoyed as kids, though many varieties entered our snack box later, Parle-G still remains our favourite. Whether it’s morning tea or a quick break at work, Parle-G is the best and easiest (and least expensive) option we can have. In one of the movies, somebody remarked, we love it so much that we inserted a “G” as a mark of our respect! Yes, it’s a rectangular crisp biscuit, the World’s Largest Selling Biscuit, Original Gluco Biscuits, Milk Wheat!”
Well, his brimming emotions were not to stop at that. He also listed down these incredible facts about Parle-G:
If a month’s production of Parle-G biscuits is stacked side-by-side, the distance between the Earth and the Moon, of 7.25 lakh kilometres, can be covered.Parle Products was established as a company in Vile Parle (Mumbai) in 1929. In fact, the locality Vile Parle has been named after the Parle company.businessinsider.in
Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan and his five sons erected the Parle company to cater to common Indians as against the only other indigenous confectionery company, Britannia, which catered only to the Britons.
It was only in 1939, that they expanded the product category from orange candies and suchlike confectioneries to making biscuits called Parle’s Gluco Biscuits.Quora
Despite a surge in the pricing of raw materials including milk, wheat and sugar up to 150 percent, the company kept biscuit prices unchanged for over a decade- between 1996 and 2006.
Earlier the wrapping of Parle-G was made of wax paper which was eventually replaced with plastic paper.Quora
Parle has 5 factories all over India (after the oldest one in Mumbai was shut down) and they are the biggest biscuit manufacturing units in India.emaze.com
Parle-G sells more than all the biscuit brands sold in China thereby forming the fourth largest biscuit market in the world.Photo: Pradeep Gaur | livemint.com
Parle-G biscuits are sold in more than 50 lakh (5 million) retail stores.
4,551 people around the world are eating Parle-G at this moment. These many biscuits per second, gaais! :Oraghuugare.github.io
And we’ve saved the most shocking one for the end:
The little girl on Parle G wrapper is not real! “You must have read the stories that Parle-G girl is actually Niru Deshpande and she’s 60 now, but that’s not true! The Illustration of this girl was made way back in 1960 by Everest Creatives,” writes Anupam.Quora
Blown away, aren’t you?
Source: - beingindian.com