Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Human Psychology: Part2 -- Childhood

Childhood is the phase at which baby start to apply his acquired knowledge and explore more from his surroundings. At this age, he will try to mingle more with others and other situations, he can think of doing some things of his own interests. Earlier he was playing with a ball just because you gave him that ball. But now, he has his own internal motivation to play. He came to know about it since you taught him how to play with a ball. Just like this, he will try to discover more upon any teaching that you made. So if you had laid some building stones for good works, he will start “research” of his own. So we are succeeded depending on how you introduced him to various things during those early stages. Normally all these changes can be observed after two years itself.

Let’s talk about children of age from two years to ten years. I observe that during this time child will be considered as a baby, parents and others will grant them some mercy for their bad actions even if at first we may scold them and we will watch them surprisingly. Sure there can be difference in the age span [2 to 10] where we watch this kind of opinion, depending on various factors (presence of brothers or sisters, status of family, relationship between father and mother etc).

At this stage, there are many things that a family member has to keep in mind while mingling with a child.

1. If you are a parent, listen, listen and listen to your child. Your child has many things to share with you, his knowledge is expanding day by day and he is over flowing with new ideas. Surely, support and guidance is needed to align, some times correct and many times to add more to that.

2. Let your child fight with your elder children (if any), unless it is not crossing the limits. That will help to understand the beauty and hardships of love and care. Through fight you can teach many things, in some cases, child may be short tempered that he can’t control situations. Teach manners in those cases. You can teach forgiveness among relations. The main focus should be to depict alliance with truth.

3. Help and guide them in studies. You are the first teacher and you can become a better teacher than their school teacher. This is true for all topics that she learns including behavior and science! Develop a good relationship with your child in study room. Here you can teach many things: don’t threaten her by talking about exams.

4. Remember, most of the children at this age undergo lot of mental stresses just because of their studies. They are scared about their parents, how will they face their friends in case of being behind in rank list etc. A desire to learn has to be developed in them and the motivation should be natural, they have to study naturally. They shouldn’t study through compulsion. If you had been guiding them from their early ages, this won’t be a difficult task.

5. So how much busy you are, find some time to spend with her, on her studies and general activities. If you are that much busy, you may do it on weekly basis.

6. Involve in simple discussions that will increase his confidence in the family relationships. For example, ask him when shall we go out for a one day tour? This won’t influence our timing much, but it will be a great thing for him, as you have considered his opinion. Updating things and decisions is another portion of it. Do this in all possible situations. Even your smallest kid has the right to involve in your decisions. If you do this, he will automatically discuss his joys and sorrows with you and that a great bond that any parent dreams. Ask with any human being who keep this kind of relationship with his/her parents, surely he/she would have felt similar kind of approach from his/her parents in his childhood days. So there is nothing miraculous in relationships, it is a give and take mechanism!

7. If you expect some manners in her dressing, introduce it in early stages, later it will be difficult to initiate and change, once she gets too used to it.

8. Don’t compare your child with other child. Each human being is unique in nature and interests. If you want to motivate your child citing some others example do it tactically without hurting.

9. Never say “I don’t love you” or “I don’t love you”, even if you correct it later, that will be a shock to them. Once you do it, they will expect it from you in future too and it is a feeling of being insecure.

10. Take your own initiative and interest to discuss things that he likes most. This is a form of support and care that you are offering to him.

11. Elder brother(s) and sister(s) can discuss family matters and even analyze their parents behavior and teach them why their parent behaved that way in that particular instant, this is a starting for teaching psychology.

12. Discuss general issues as much as possible with your child. This will help to understand how he is fortunate to have the current surroundings and he will be empathic to others.

13. In most of the above cases, those can be kicked off by other family members too other than parents.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Human Psychology: Part1-- First four years

Human rarely study human psychology! This is a truth in our society, especially in Indian communities. I see a huge amount of space to fit this idea in our families. One important thing is, understanding and learning from relations and contacts and keep thinking about how others think, I meant positively.

If you analyze; those children to whom their parents are open, are peaceful, talented and confident in their actions. There is nothing wonderful in this, all human being need care and support and he/she always tries to get it through some means. The kind of open approach among the family members is not to be introduced one day, but it has to be cultivated step by step. In this modern age, people find less time to interact with their beloved ones and now it has become a custom of keeping in touch thorough some simple enquiries. It is shocking that even the family members won’t get enough time to spend for an open talk.

A human being is developed in stages though the lesson learned and experiences till this time. From them the behavior of a human being is evolved and so environment around and the situations surrounding influence a lot. All these portray the importance of understanding psychology in parenting. Although we understand that, situations and environments through out ones life influence much in that person’s behavior and habit, many of the situations and surroundings are uncontrollable. But, if you think quietly, there are a lot of things that we can handle carefully and create positive situations for our kid. I used “creating positive situations” intentionally. There are many things that we do intentionally, just to train our children. This idea of “creating situations” emerges from the fact that, habits can be taught, and most importantly, good habits has to be taught instead child will try to learn some bad habits from some one else. The simple principle behind this is, mind of a child is like a slate, and any one can write on to it, best parent will ensure that he/she has written or scrapped on that with good things at the earliest.

I personally feel that, more than 50% percentage of ones life can be influenced by those people’s parents, family, relatives and the surroundings. Means, we can even predict what he/she will become in future, what type of attachment he/she will have with his/her family in his old age after marriage etc. And it is a fact that a great portion of our children suffer from mental stress, just because they don’t have anyone to share their feelings at their early ages. I have observed that, children tends to search for companies just to get relieved and discuss their favorite areas of interest, but during this attempt, there is a chance for getting in to some bad groups.

Each of our family members can contribute many things here,

1. First thing is to understand and realize that care and support in your children’s day to day life has to do many things to your child’s life on this earth. And always keep your mind open to know and watch their every moments. If you are a parent, I feel that, you can easily monitor and influence your child, till he/she becomes 20 years old. I am hundred percentages sure, you can expect a lot from your child if you have trained and considered positively. There is nothing to worry in this, but you have to be vigilant enough to balance your actions and decisions on your child since your child is constantly watching you, to perceive things and develop his/her behavior.

2. In the first two years after child birth, child has to be with parents. In these days parents can train them a lot. Remember baby is watching you, your words and your relations with your spouse. During this time child will be more interactive with you, use those moments to teach love, affection and importance of care. Avoid quarrels and tensions at home; find time to spend with your child.

3. Between two to four years, is the time at which a major portion of child’s brain development. So it is an important time to be scheduled with guidance. Give time to,

i) Interact with you and listen his/her imaginations through words.
ii) Ask simple thought questions of why and how, just to develop child’s thinking patterns. Remember, we have to stimulate the thinking neurons.
iii) Give sufficient and reliable answers to your child’s questions, even if you feel the questions are silly. Child is thinking in and around his/her small world.
iv) Assign simple tasks through games. There are many things that you can try here. For example: cutting pictures from old color news papers and pasting them with gum on a chart, drawing in a large chart paper, maintain a book for general activities [ I had one, the book I admire a lot!!], showing pictures from a book and giving some explanations about it [for eg, show peacock in picture and explain some things about the bird – this will help to develop interest in animals], pasting a white paper on the wall near to your bed where your child sleep, simple word and picture games etc.
v) Assign some serious tasks so that your child will be aware of responsibility and importance of time in this life.
vi) If you want to develop some special behavior in your child, that is difficult to introduce at the early stage, do that particular thing in front of him and discuss about it and involve the child in some way. Sure your child will try to understand and follow it.
vii) Individually recognize your child for any good activity. But to prevent self esteem in a group of kids, recognize other children too while he/she is there in that group.
viii) Scold them tactically, you may keep not talking for some time and later explain your child why you did like that. This will help to understand what kind of behavior you are expecting.
ix) Tell them stories in bed; stop intentionally in between and ask them to complete it.
x) Ask the things happen on each day, with whom they meet today etc. This will help to develop the attachment with you. Child may complain and note behavior from some persons, guide and instruct your child positively in these situations.
xi) Tell and ask some thing about your wife/husband in her/his absence, so that your child can understand the relationship and care among spouses and how the whole family is building up.
xii) Avoid discussing things that your child don’t like and stress him/her. And if really want to eliminate that particular thing from your child, do it through situations, not just by quarrelling with your child through words.
xiii) Cultivate the habit of observation by bringing things and moments to your child’s notice. For example, you can show them the beauty of a leaf jumping in a gentle breeze.
xiv) Find time to interact with other family and relatives to teach your child manners in relationships.
xv) Find time to interact with your child and spouse, so that your child can understand how eager his /her parents to share things on him/her are. This will also help to get a feel that, both of my parents are caring.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Coorg Trek

On last Saturday [Nov 11, 2006] we, a group of 21, trekked to “Tadiyandamol ” peak in Coorg hills. It is the second highest peak in Karnataka which is 1751 meters above the sea level. We started our journey from Kembagowda bus station Bangalore. Journey to Madikkeri was a 6 hour over night experience. We reached there by 5’o clock morning. After doing refreshments, took bus to Napoklu.. bus passed Kekkebe and we had to get down at palace bus stop, its around 5 minutes after Kekkebe. We couldn’t see any shops in this bus stop, we knew this earlier and we had stocked enough food.

We started walking at 8.45 morning… out first base station was palace; history says that it was built in 17’s. We resumed our journey after spending some time near that palace. Some of us were fast in climbing, they lead us. Arvind was the main attraction of the trek; this was his tenth trek to Tadiyandamol. He has a fare amount of experience that he shared with us and sometimes he was silent. He is very much supporting and encouraging the group.

Our second resting point was a rock, it’s around half way I seems. There is a water stream near by, we filled our bottles. It was really amazing to jump over the rocks and to up the stream with Jene John. The shape and various colours of rocks with small trees and shrubs grown on both sides gave spectacular scenery to that stream. Water was really cold and the rocks are slippery too. After thirty minutes of rest, we resumed our walk. The remaining part was hard and at the same time most beautiful… we felt steepness slowly increased that we couldn’t step easily from one leg to another. I was trying to enjoy jumping from one stone to another… the pack moved steadily and in a rhythm.., half way, when we reached a fence made of stones, we had some biscuits and chocolates… quantity was more than enough. With in five minutes, we entered the jungle, it looks to be rain forest and the path was narrow… We couldn’t see any animals there, but Aravind said we could see elephants in summer (April, May) as they come down in search of water.

With in one hour, we conquered the peak.. time was 12.20 pm. The peak is approximately 7Km from the palace bus stopWe could see all around, Arvind was naming the near by peaks..sorry I don’t remember their names. He explained his terrible experiences he had in one his three days trek in 1980’s. One major attraction of the peak was the 360 degree view since it is the tallest among the near by peaks. One main scene was a bird, which kept balancing in air for minutes. I don’t remember its name though. We had full fledged lunch there; every one shared their own packs among all of us. Food was surplus but we managed to complete it and it was interesting to see every one caring to keep plastic and other wastes in a separate cover.

We started moving down by 2pm. I felt it was more difficult to move down and is hard to balance. We found time to spend some time in the stream near that rock. We reached bus stop by 5.15pm. Every thing went fine as scheduled till now. Reached Madikkeri by 7.30 pm. We had our dinner there, visited one temple there. We returned Bangalore by 11pm.

It was really a wonderful experience to spent one day in this trek. There is lot more to conquer in nature.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Calculating Relative Humidity in software

Humidity specifies the amount of water content in the atmosphere and relative humidity(RH) is a means of specifying it. Famous method to know relative humidity is comparing the readings of a dry and wet thermometer. This technique is known for even a school student. Actually RH is dependent on the atmosphere pressure also.

In many applications, there are requirements to monitor RH and it is easy if we apply this dry-wet bulb thermometer approach. One way of implementing this is by putting a 2D look up table where dry and wet thermometer readings are its indexes. But this approach will be cumbersome since it is difficult to include pressure vector too.

Best approach will be using the equation using which, we can find the RH directly. This is very reliable and requires less code space compared to earlier method. Looking at the practical implementation, just read the temperatures from dry and wet electronic thermometers and use those values to evaluate RH.

Equation for RH is,

A = 0.00066*(1+0.0011*Twet);
eSwet = exp((16.78*Twet - 116.9)/(Twet + 237.3));
ed = eSwet - A*Pr*(Tdry-Twet);
eSdry = exp((16.78*Tdry - 116.9)/(Tdry + 237.3));
RH = (ed/eSdry) * 100;

Where A is a correction factor and Pr = 101.325 is the normal sea level pressure.
Tdry and Twet are in celcius scale.

This equation can be implemented easily in 8051 or AVR or any other microcontroller without much effort and code space. Actually earlier I thought exponential functions will eat up my uC memory, but when I tried it, it works very fine!!!

This approach of making humidity sensor is cheaper than buying an electronic humidity sensor.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Polygamy in world religions and cultures

Polygamy was accepted in Hebrew society, in classical China and was prevalent in many traditional African and Polynesian cultures. In India it was practiced from ancient times itself. In ancient Greece, prior to Roman Catholic Church, it was accepted. Messianic Christianity allowed and still allows polygamy.

Polygamy was practiced most of the prophets depicted in bible (David, Moses, Solomon etc) and was practiced throughout the time of New Testament up to 11th century. Currently it is estimated that there are as many as 80,000 non-mormon Christian polygynysts in US itself!!

Polygamy and polyandry (having more than one husband for a woman) were practiced in ancient Hindu society. An address by Bhishma to Yudhishtira in Mahabharata goes like this: "A Brahmana can take three wives. A Kshatriya can take two wives. As regards the Vaishya, he should take a wife from only his own order. The children born of these wives should be regarded as equal." (Anusasana Parva, Section XLIV). Manu Samhita clearly says that all classes including Brahmins are allowed to have more than one wife. For example, Manu say:

A Brahmin's first wife is to come from a Brahmin family, yet his second wife can be from either Brahmin family or Ksatriya. His third wife can be from either Brahmin, Ksatriya or Vaishya. His fourth wife can be from any class, including that of Sudra. Although some speculate that the Brahmin class were never allowed more than one wife, this is not at all supported in the Manu Samhita or in various Vedic scriptures where there are stories of many Brahmin sages who are said to have more than one wife.

In more recent history, the founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who was popular in 1970’s and known as religious ambassador from India, many times cited the need in socirty for the acceptance and practice of polygamy for the purpose of protecting all women cia proper religious marriage.

In China polygamy was legal till 1911, after which Ching dynasty banned it through a law. Confucianism which is a major religion in China allowed polygamy. Confucianism has stressed the ability of managing ones family of several wives. In the book of Great Learning (Daxue) wrote, "a man can first manage himself, then manage a family (of more than one set of wives & offsprings), then he can manage a small country, and then, he shall be able to unify and manage a nation."

US banned polygamy in 1890. It was allowed in the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon –LDS) church, but was ended in 189o after government coercion was given that prohibited Utah from becoming a state as long as they allowed Polygamy. The situation seen from US after banning polygamy in US and other countries were pathetic. People started having illegal relations with women and maintained them as under various names- ex-wife, secret wife, concubine etc. this has created a state of uncertainty in the society where people become less loyal to their relationships and the moral value declined a lot.

If we look at Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Macau, in all of these countries the law banned polygamy and people used to have extra relationships across the border. This is called cross-border polygamy as widely discussed. Mongolia is currently rethinking on allowing polygamy because of gender imbalance.

If we analyze any region on earth, there had or has some form of polygamy prevailed or prevailing currently. But whenever it is banned, people utilized it illegally and it paved a way for prostitution and illegal marriage where there is no limitation for wives.

Having said all these, there are certain situations where polygamy will become a useful method to tackle some dangerous situations. In any society, there may arise a situation where females out number males because of many reasons. In today’s context, a reason may be wars or fights. It is common that men actively participate in those fights and passes away leaving a family aside. Look the case in Chechnya. Now there are more females than males. The only way to bring up the society back to a stable state is through polygamy. And we have to keep in mind that, sexual desire is human and natural and what will happen to this society if those women are not taken care by society.

In the case of Islam, it has a put a clear clause on this issue. If we study the situation existed in Arabian Peninsula during the time of Prophet Muhammad, people used to have immense number of wives. This caused a practice of uncertainty in the society where in people started marrying woman just for joy and men were not serious about the aftermaths too. This shows that “living in extremes is difficult and hazardous for a society”. In this circumstance Islam put forward a medium path where it restricted the number of wives to be a maximum of four with a strict condition. You can read it from a verse from Quran as shown below,

“And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry [their mothers] that are lawful to you, two, three, four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly [with them], then only one, or those which your right hands possess. That will be more suitable to prevent you from doing injustice. And give these women their dowers also the way dowers are given; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and consume it gladly.” (4:3-4)

So Islam allowed Polygamy but with a strict conditions. It teaches that man has to get an approval from his wife or wives for a new marriage. At the same time it has clear cut views on the relationships between couples, family members, how to behave with parents etc. All that meant from these is making a healthy society. It has banned prostitution and an Islamic state can take necessary action against someone depending on the evidence, if that state has firstly taken steps to prevent prostitution and maintain a state of calmness in that society. In between we have to realize that there are many conditions that have to be fulfilled in Islamic Juridical system before taking or commanding a punishment.

What is happening in societies where polygamy is illegal? People seek to find out other ways and it formed a state of insecurity. It can be evidently see that prostitution is very less in Arabian countries compared to other world countries (I am not supporting the law or governance of Arabian countries completely here. There are many dimensions that I seriously criticize against those countries though. We can discuss this topic later if you are interested). And surely this has helped to attain a healthy situation in those societies although they lack in many other things.

Note: This articles includes excerpts from various web pages in addition to my own thoughts.

Mind of a Terrorist

We are in a world where there are many discussions are undergoing and tactics are applied to check Terrorism and it is a fact that Islam is being portryaed as a supplier of Terrorism. I would like to give some thoughts for you in this regrad, admitting that there are many situations where people fight in the name of religion, but that is not the actual way.

From the Islamic perspective, islam can’t support any military operation unless it is taken by an Islamic government as a strategic fight against other country. And Quran clearly says killing an innocent person is same as killing the whole of the man kind. And it also denies killing women and children who are usually not a part of the war.

But fighting against soldiers who are involved in the battle is a way of fight. So in this respect the fighting and resistance in Palestine against Israel soldiers is a true fight for their home land, agreeing that Palastines has committed so many faults in their fight. Considering the basic reasons, they are fighting for the freedom of their motherland.

I would like to share some thoughts particularly on suicide bombings. This issue has many serious and significant dimensions that, I think, most of us haven’t thought on. I would like to summarize some things…

1. Suicide bombing is not a monopoly act that is practiced only by muslims. It is an agreed fact that, this brutal way of fight is first innovated and utilized by LTTE in Srilanka, later it spread over to Palestine, Afghan and now to Iraq. There in an Indian Intelligence report that LTTE militants are training Maoists in Nepal and Bihar, near Nepal boarder. In Lebanon in the 1980s, of those suicide attackers, only eight were Islamic fundamentalists. Twenty-seven were Communists and Socialists. Three were Christians. This means that mind of a suicide bomber is not nurtured by a specific religion ideology but there are other things that drive them along …what is that?

2. If you analyze around the globe, we can realize that suicide bombers are seen in areas where other countries invade and deploy their troops. They use suicide bombs as a tactical means to threaten the political regime and pressurize them so that they will leave their homeland. They say that the rebel leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, runs a highly-disciplined organization in which suicide attacks are seen as a vital part of the struggle to establish an independent Tamil state. In these cases, suicide bombers target more count in mortality, so that will have more influence on the government or invading troops. For example, once US troops went back from Lebanon, Hisbulla terminated the path of suicide bombings. Actually before that, Hizbulla had campaigned for suicide bombings. After that Hizbulla was become a political party.

3. Look at Iraq, before US invasion; there is no evidence of having suicide bombers in Iraq. If suicide bombing is motivated by Islam, it should be seen from Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran has three times muslim population compared to Iraq. But there is no suicide bombings happening in Iran. This means invasion and occupation from a foreign land matters as it is a feeling of fight for freedom of one’s homeland.

4. Coming to the Arabian Peninsula, there are more than 150000 US troops there and people living there understand it as a serious strategic risk for their country’s security. So in this regard, they will fight to close down those camps. And the peculiarity with most Arabian and Middle East countries is that, the ruling regime will be supporting the invaders for many reasons. So people or a group of people resists this invasion. Whenever there is a direct support from the government, invaders can’t enter the country easily. That is what the situation in Iraq and Cuba. So it is natural that there will be more conflicts in this area.

5. And many of these suicide bombers are involved in this because of their life experiences. In their case, their family members or close relatives may be murdered due to military operations and in opposition; they find suicide bombing as an easy way to react. In these cases also religion doesn’t matter a lot.

You could hear similar kind of thoughts from many scholars and historians. One among them is Robert Pope. He explains his views in his book “Dying to Win – Logic of suicide Terrorism”. If you have time, please read below two pages…
1. http://www.amconmag.com/2005_07_18/print/articleprint.html
2. http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2005/s1418817.htm

So from all of these, I understand spread of suicide bombing in today’s context as a psychological resistance from a group of people. All this doesn’t mean that I completely support suicide bombing…rather I was trying to read the minds of a suicide bomber.

As a human and talking from a muslim stand point, we can’t support bombings in Mumbai since it is completely a terrorist act killing innocent people, whatever may be the reasons and explanations given. But use of suicide bombing in Palestine is for a noble cause… it is not terrorism… it is a resistance and fight for freedom of homeland. That means suicide bombing can be used as a method of fighting like any other method (fighting with sword, bombs, mines…) if the war is for a noble cause and is valid.

Having said all these, I would suggest a peaceful way of fighting as an alternative for fighting like Tibetans do against Chinese tortures. But it depends on many things. How can a Palestinian just stand when Israel bombs and strikes on them? So modes of resistance depends on the situation, demography etc.

There are many other factors which matters in this topic itself… we can argue them later if discussion continues… Hope, opinions that are shared is clear to you and if any clarification is needed, I am happy to discuss and if there is any error you can point out it and more than happy to correct it. And if there is any opinion that you can’t realize lets discuss here peacefully for our goodness.

May GOD help us to understand the truth!!!

Note: This articles includes excerpts from various web pages in addition to my own thoughts.