The original story is linked here.

“Why the World Can’t Save The Earth”, by Raj Chengappa, is an influential cover story about discussions and exchanges at the twenty first Paris Climate Change Summit and a gist of new and upcoming energy efficient techniques, published in December 2015 in India Today. The author asserts the fundamental shortcomings of the summit, expressing his deep sense of resentment at the summit’s outcome, and systematically discusses the insouciance of the nations’ leaders involved in it that led to a zero-sum conclusion at the insufferable issue. According to the author, the summit, which was supposed to be a pivotal turning point in the history of political and socio-economic action to climate change was simply a repetition of a sad history of mere display of power play and relentless arguments among nations with no conclusion reached or immediate action taken in past global conferences. The author expresses deep concern over this, since he and millions of others across the globe had invested their hopes in the summit. …


As much as I love both reading and writing poetry, I cannot help but admit just how difficult it is to single out a few hours every week to do either. For the first time ever, I chanced upon this project called National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo, where participants submit their poems every single day for an entire month, against a set of daily prompts. I did have some patchy “poetry days” here and there February through March, but a dedicated April sounded both tempting and daunting.

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I signed up for Ayaskala Literary Magazine’s NaPoWriMo challenge, alongside about 200 fellow poets. The drill was straightforward — we would receive a daily prompt in our mailboxes or on the Facebook group, submit our entries by the end of day, and receive the best poems of the day and a host of special mentions the next day. This is quite different from the poetry writing experiences I have had before. As I enter the month of May, here are five takeaways from this unique, first-of-its-kind experience, in retrospect. …


Epistemology, or the theory of knowledge, is a branch of philosophy that investigates the nature of knowledge, the relation between knowledge and truth, and the origin of beliefs. It is derived from the Greek word ‘epistēmē’ meaning ‘knowledge’.

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The introductory lessons in my epistemology course brought about the primary difference between words like truth, belief and knowledge. It shaped the primary concepts and prerequisites necessary for understanding the views of famous philosophers and what they had to say on the subject. …


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Getting a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) for a student is a much-coveted dream, and I was lucky to be a scholar for the year 2018. I am going to proceed with this blog post from a student’s perspective, and discuss some unconventional pointers from my experience.

An annual conference to bring the research as well as the industrial interests of women technologists to the vanguard, the event can be both inspiriting, for students looking for the right motivation to continue their studies in computer science, as well as path-changing for students looking forward to transition into tech from other fields. …


The famous Austrian-British twentieth-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is undisputedly one of my favorites as lectures on his philosophy involved numerous riveting discussions on the genius’ evolution from a rationalist, sharing grounds with famous mathematicians, to a logical mind facing critical judgment from Bertrand Russell, to a complete anti-philosopher professing ordinary language philosophy. The beauty of the man’s arguments, juxtaposed with careful examination of his personal life and inner conflicts speaks volumes about how his philosophy morphed over time.

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Born to an affluent, artistic family of musicians, Wittgenstein had a lineage of depression in his roots. So did it contain a lineage of dark matters, as three of Wittgenstein’s four brothers committed suicide. Even his sexuality was ambiguous, and he was tormented by the obscurity and discomfort of his sexuality. Also, there was an inherent profound self-hatred because of him being a Jew hiding out in Britain. All this reflected vividly in the books he wrote, the first one being Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Treatise of Logical Philosophy). A mechanical engineer from Berlin, Wittgenstein readily came under the influence of great mathematicians of his time, namely Bertrand Russell and AN Whitehead who jointly contributed to the Principia Mathematica. In the book, he argued that propositions show the logical form of reality and display it. Also, all of the everyday incidents could be broken down into simple, logical propositions which have a truth value. These signify what is being received by the senses. …


In March 2018, I had an opportunity to travel to France for the 2018 Women Techmakers Summit. To do justice to the 10-hour flight, I decided to reserve four days to travel around the city, making the most of our time while there. …


“Advaita Vedanta” is Sanskrit, with a- meaning “no” and dvaita meaning “two”. Hence, advaita literally translates to “not two”. Also known as puruṣavāda, it is a school of Hindu thought and philosophy which suggests that all is one, and all is the Brahman. Advaita is one of the six Hindu darśanas but differs from them in asserting the unity of the atman and the Brahman. One of the chief philosophers in Avaita Vedanta was Adi Shankaran, whose philosophy makes an interesting read.

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In most religious practices, the idea of convergence between the soul and the Highest Form is resonant, and a highly taxing, often excruciating path between the two is written down. This is where Advaita Vedanta stands out. According to this rather radical path to spiritual realization, the soul (referred to as the atman) and the Highest Form (referred to as Brahman) are one. The Highest Form is the highest metaphysical reality, and through the realization of the aforementioned idea, a true sense of identity can be gained and eventually, liberation can be attained. Drawing parallelism with Buddhism, just as the Buddha (or any mystic) says that the state of nirvana can be achieved through experience, not belief, Advaita Vedanta also involves the essential element of experience or anubhava in order to get to the epiphany of self-realization. In the process, Advaita Vedanta also establishes the perennialism of the Brahman, an ever-changing entity which morphs and transitions into different natural objects over time, but the essence and continuity of which remains intact. …


Perhaps one of the most interesting and seemingly counter-intuitive viewpoints in ancient Hinduism is Charvaka, also known as Lokayata, Sanskrit for “worldly ones”, a school of thought which grounds its philosophy in materialism and empiricism dating back to 600 BC. Therefore, it rejects notions of an afterworld, a soul, and any authority outside of the material world (the Vedic scriptures, Hindu Gods and so on). It further dismisses the idea of karma, i.e. good or bad actions manifesting as consequences in an individual’s life, and moksha, the idea of liberation from the vicious karmic cycle.

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Instead of relying on these ideas written down in sacred texts of the time, Charvaka professed the power of sensory inputs and direct perception and grounds all reliance on these. Although one of the six darshanas in ancient Hindu philosophy, it greatly differs from the other five in its increasing tendencies towards open atheism and materialism. Because of its open disregard of Hindu deities and rituals, Charvaka garnered a good amount of criticism. Followers of Charvaka were often accused of being run on their own self-interests and of being hedonists and opportunists, wanting to accumulate material gains by professing a school of thought that validates it. …


Modern philosophy, as we know it today, could be traced back to the glorious triunity of three ancient Greek philosophers namely Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, in the order of their respective succession. Most of modern philosophy finds its roots in the pool of thought formed by the three. In this journal, I aim to address Socrates in careful detail, and impressions of his legacy in today’s world.

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Socrates, Athen’s street-corner philosopher, is known to be born in 470 BC and remains occluded from the primary literature. His mother, Phaenarete, was a midwife- through her, Socrates gives birth to the truth. As discussed in class, the figure of Socrates is rather unattractive- short, plump, not even close to being muscular or sinewy as portrayed in most busts today. He also fought in wars, which perhaps had an effect on his philosophy and caused him to question the expense of happiness. The only way we can know him is through Plato, his disciple’s classical writings, and hence Socrates will thereafter mean the Platonic Socrates. He is also discovered through the historian Xenophon’s writings, where he claims that all he knows is that he knows nothing. Socrates’ chief philosophical style, also known as the Socratic Method or the elenchus, is a style of teaching which involves a series of questions thrown at the learner, while simultaneously addressing the topic at hand. Socrates, at the central point of art, culture, and urbanization, began to explore his fellow Athenians through this method of engaging in discussions and conversations. Immediate contact with students brought about a sense of honesty and truthfulness, as well a sense of introspective brooding. It is pointed out multiple times that Socrates never, in fact, believed himself to be a teacher, rather simply a seeker of knowledge through the outside world. …


This blog post addresses a seemingly simple question,

“How indeed is knowledge generated?”

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The discussion is heavily inspired by the philosophy of Michel Foucault, a French philosopher, social theorist and literary critic, who combined elements of modern philosophy and sociology, arguing that knowledge emerges from power relations. He moved beyond the previous classical philosophical questions, which sound rather nebulous and unimportant, and jumped to the real thing.

Michel Foucault’s singular most significant inspiration had been the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who often wrote on the overlap of genealogy of philosophical ideas. Foucault wrote various books including Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality. He was inspired by Nietzsche’s genealogical investigation of social practices. …

About

Anannya Uberoi

Literature | Philosophy | {Computer Science}

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