For over two decades now, art market has been expanding in India at much faster rate than Western countries. This increase in art market has paralleled trends in China and other growing economies. This growth of art market is correlated especially with the increasing wealth of the neo-rich. One must ask, has an increase in wealth brought along with it an increase in cultural awareness and a deep taste in art or is art a mere proxy for appearance of being suave and refined? To me, an exchange of one’s traditional appearances and outward mores with Western appearances and habits is the only transition that is obvious in overwhelming section this neo rich strata. I do not see a greater appreciation of art. I just see more art accumulation or should I say signature accumulation. Any mediocre work of art made by a known artist would do for this segment. Nonetheless, given more art is being purchased, one might wonder if some appreciation of art has increased or so to say “trickled down”. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Most cotemporary art sits in corporate offices, drawing rooms of rich and behind the wall of mighty art galleries. In an effort to take art to the people and break down this wall of art galleries, a group of 22 artists decided to take works of their art to the people. This effort was coordinated and promoted by a Nandana Acharjee, a rising artist, art promoter who happens to be a physician in daytime. These artists held works of their art on 6th July, 4p.m. onwards in their hands at three venues in the inner circle of Connaught Place, A, B and F block. This effort succeeded in gathering attention of people who were at Connaught Place on Sunday and likely kindled lasting interest in art in few curious souls. The effort if sustained and replicated in not just at posh venues such as Connaught Place, which again is the Mecca of the neo-rich, but in all cities, towns and villages of India, especially in the slums, that would really take art to the people.
Beyond exposure to art, what we direly lack is art as an essential part of education. The only nominal experiments that have been there to merge art with education are primarily around ideas of Tagore, and that too, like everything else in India, without understanding the motivations but by blindly following some convenient and ostentatious practices. July 6th effort by 22 Delhi based artists, called “Cause Art”, was a small step in the right direction of making art a part of people’s lives.
Cause Art detached itself from social commentary that art can be an excellent vehicle for and focused solely on exposure to art. One can, and I certainly do, ask about strength (or more appropriately the lack of strength) of art, when detached from its social context but well in a cultural climate where art sits behind the walls of gallery this was one small step in right direction. Hopefully many more steps by many more individuals would follow soon.
The artists involved in this effort were:
Aarti Uppal Singla
Are Robots Really Living Among Us?
It’s been the staple of science fiction for decades. The notion that there will one day be robots living among us. Robots that are able to perfectly mimic human behavior but who are superiors in every way. Their strength supersedes ours, their intelligence makes our brightest minds seem infantile by comparison and they walk among us with their own agenda. Heck, in many iterations they’ve looked at our long and disastrous track record on this planet and decided that the world’s really much better off without us. But while they may permeate our popular culture, from The Terminator to Blade Runner to Avengers: Age of Ultron, real life robots have been too primitive to warrant the philosophical and moral quandaries that the world of fiction has written for them… Until now.
As of October this year, the world has just one robot who has been granted citizenship rights and that is the robot Sophia who was recently granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia. She is the first robot in the world to have achieved this status… But will she be the last? Sophia, while she represents a landmark in robotics and artificial intelligence, she is not the kind of autonomous artificial organism one might expect having watched Ex Machina. That said, she has demonstrated that she has an understanding of human social behaviours such as gestures and facial expressions and their meaning. Her open-source, cloud based AI is capable of learning and she has already demonstrated a sense of humor, an understanding of human speech patterns and the ability to be upset or offended. Her AI has been built around our most valuable and virtuous characteristics like compassion and kindness. She, like Ex Machina’s Ava (played by Alicia Vikander) has been modelled to be aesthetically beautiful and approachable and it’s telling that her appearance was crafted by former Disney Imagineer David Hanson. There’s clearly an effort at work to upend the uncanny valley with Sophia’s presence which raises some interesting questions about humanity’s prospective relationship with robots.
Robots and Transhumanism
Robots raise some interesting questions in the realm of transhumanism (the science and philosophy of using science to refine and redefine the parameters of what it is to be human). Transhumanism is unclear to most people with many misconceptions, but it has some clear views on the roles of robots in human evolution. Aside from the use of robotics for prosthesis and human enhancement, robotics may help humanity to advance itself by doing a lot of the “heavy lifting” in industry, agriculture and the various other ways in which humanity has traditionally sustained itself.
Our relationship with robots
While time will tell when it comes to specifics, there can be no denying that robots will be instrumental to human survival in an increasingly post-scarcity economy. Indeed, the rise of automation in a wealth of industries is hardly the stuff of science fiction. Sophia herself represents a specific example of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to move towards a post-oil economy as the nation (and the world) grows increasingly cognizant of the urgency with which our natural resources are depleting. There are many ways in which robots could change the world’s economies, making the prospect of Universal Basic Income more appealing to even the most fervent capitalists. As robots become more sophisticated and autonomous will we one day see a world like that of Wall E where robots do all our work for us leaving us with nothing to do but consume?
Only time will tell.
Universal Basic Income: The Idea
Mankind has come so far because of the ability to adapt. If you were to randomly pick out any point of time in mankind’s history, you would find certain existing threats or those looming large over certain segments of people or a large collection of them. From hunting animals for food for survival to protecting themselves from wars, plagues and famine; for humankind, each step was daunting till it had been conquered. Many of these threats they would brave, while against many others a good chunk of people died trying, leaving behind the ones who were wiser after what they had overcome. In 2017, we are a long long way ahead, still not without problems of our own. One of the gravest, if not the gravest of these problems that is ready for impact in the not so distant future is automation. Automation, with its projected path for replacing much of the work currently done by humans, has the potential to cause a huge disruption in the way we live our life, the way that nearly everyone alive today is accustomed to living. The great challenge that lies ahead of us in the wake of such retrenchment across the world is how to ensure that people are still able to make/earn a living after so much of what they did is taken up by machines. Education and training among others are often touted as the best possible solutions to help make a person stay relevant, but as automation alters the basic structure on which our work life is built, the decades-old idea of Universal Basic Income or UBI has started to once again gain relevance, provoke debates and be looked at as a serious option to catapult the human race into what could possibly be a new social structure.
What is Basic Income or Universal Basic Income?
In case you haven’t been following the idea, the concept behind UBI is to provide every citizen with a fixed amount of money periodically so that they can cover their basic subsistence needs without having to worry about ever living in a state of poverty. The same amount will be received by every individual (with possibly additional allowances for families and children) regardless of whether they are working or how much they are earning from their work. You would not be crazy to point out that the idea behind UBI sounds far too utopian to be true, which is exactly what most critics of the idea have held against it. In addition to that, once you start trying to figure the idea out, you are bound to face really important questions about the scheme. How will the payments to entire populations be financed? Will it exist alongside or replace existing welfare programs in order for its effective implementation? How will the minimum amount be decided? Under what criteria will families, children and the elderly be accommodated under the program if implemented? These are among other questions that merely touch the tip of the iceberg. Without even getting into further details and problems associated with it, UBI may look like an attempt to reach the moon with only a ladder at your disposal.
However, somewhere along the road to figuring out the most obvious intricacies associated with a hugely ambitious and optimistic idea as universal basic income, it is not hard to see why its successful implementation (if it ever happens on a significantly large scale) would be such a game changer for humanity. Besides being a possible solution amid our motivated search to the threats posed by automation, many supporters of UBI also see it as one of the best ways, if not the best way, to create a more advanced as well as equal society. Imagine a world which provides you with sufficient time and room to be able to do what you want to do, to not be tied to your work to be able to afford/make the life that you not only need but the life that you want for yourself. Now imagine if everyone was a part of such a world, that anyone is able to make more time to spend with their family, or to invest in themselves, or to add value to the said world in a manner in which they feel they are most capable, without having to worry about having a meal on their table two times a day.
Where are we with Universal Basic Income?
Yes, all of this does sound maybe too good to be true, especially if this is the first time you are reading about it, but that does not mean it’s not achievable. As a matter of fact, its viability is the biggest question that remains in the open. So, what does the situation look like right now? You’d be surprised to know that variants of the scheme are being experimented across the world on targeted populations in various countries, more recently in countries such as Canada and Finland. More importantly, many of these have shown encouraging results, dousing some of the arguments against the scheme by its critics.
The term Basic Income, or Universal Basic Income is relatively new, but the idea behind it is decades old, or perhaps even older than a century. However, the reasons due to which it originally came about is not the main reason why it has become ever so relevant today. Humanity’s desire to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources has seen its fair share of ups and downs, some too important to forget, but it’s the dawn of automation that the idea of UBI, dismissed countless times over the years due to the intricacies surrounding it that makes it ‘basic’, has come back into the fold, this time with the support of some of the world’s most influential figures. That makes it impossible to just rule it out
The answers to your future can be found online
The most popular tarot and horoscope platforms give answers to the eternal human questions about fate, health and love, which are formulated daily on Internet search engines all over the world.
Tarot is not a simply deck of cards. Each of them is loaded with symbolism and each fortune-teller has their own method. Truth is, the number of people interested in these things increases every day, as they seek ever more detailed knowledge and answers about themselves and their future. This pursuit satisfies an innate human desire to pursue self-discovery, an aspect of our nature that we have never been able reasonably explain. But nowadays, and since the prevalence of the Internet, places like free tarot reading are becoming more and more popular.
Tarot is consulted by people of all genders and social backgrounds, the need to understand what the future holds is such a basic underlying desire.
In some cases, tarot readers can play with the fear of the unknown, while there are others, like the Chilean philosopher Alejandro Jodorowsky, who use the tarot cards as a psychological tool, helping us to know ourselves better and have the awareness to able to change harmful habits.
Love is the answer: penetrating to the unconscious
But If there is one thing that has troubled us since the dawn of time, it is love. Love and relationships raise the most questions, causes the most uncertainty and make us feel so vulnerable. Though the answers to those questions can both disarm us and fill us with hope. Powerful emotions like this are some of the many reasons to consult love tarot reading, from a convenient and simple to use the portal.
Some theorists believe that tarot cards are guided by a spiritual energy that strives to offer guidance, channelled through the expert understanding by the consultant, while others, such as the philosopher Carl Jung, attribute the reading of tarot is a means to tap into a collective unconscious that we all share.
Tarot is not just a crutch to those feeling desperate for answers, but a mean to deepen our self-awareness. A word of caution though, it has the potential to influence in a negative way to the most vulnerable personalities.
Horoscope theories for good and bad times
The other method of divination that is always been very popular is the horoscope. The horoscope uses the position of the stars on an individual’s day of birth to predict the facets of their character. And while much of the theory has been lost to history, the classification of human beings into twelve predefined personalities is still a popular way to approach divination through the use of a daily horoscope.
The horoscope is as old as life itself. The first notches in mammoth skins that represent the stars are dated 25.000 million years B.C. To this day those with a spiritual disposition will not only regularly consult the general daily horoscope, they will also seek patterns and meanings in the stars movements across the year and beyond. Today you can check your fortunes through the horoscope 2018, a must-see for anyone seeking to uncover the secrets of next year.
According to horoscope theories, the most fortuitous result you can hope for it that the stars align propitiously in your most hesitant aspects. To receive an auspicious horoscope can make you feel motivated and reinvigorated. If you are not so lucky then at least forewarned is forearmed.
There is no doubt that tarot and horoscope still have a much-visited home on the net. Questions of faith that humans have always pondered, about the unknown, about the future and about themselves, remain unanswered despite the technology and scientific advances. It is not strange that when we find ourselves faced with questions of faith and spirituality, with no conventional answer to be found, we still turn to divination websites for comfort, reassurance and most of all, answers.
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