July 4th, 2007

Climb the Summit

population and Numbers

In the largest cities on the planet, Mumbai ranks as #2, preceeded only by Shanghai and New Delhi as # 6. However, the moment you talk about "metro areas" we see that Tokyo takes up #1 slot followed by NYC. Delhi suddenly features at #8 with 27.36 mio population, beating Mumbai narrowly, with 17.34 mio population. Calcutta suddenly features in the list at # 12.And poor Shanghai is pushed down to #14!
Shows how people tend to live outside cities more. That every city has its own satellite cities which house those unfortunate enough to not manage a house in the city proper, or maybe choose not to. Every city whether big or small has such a satellite area.

It also shows how crowded some cities are, vis a vis their counterparts, and the culture of the place, where it is supported that you live outside. This also depends on the definiteion of the city and the willingness of the surrounding areas to be included in the perimeters of the city. Thane, for example, was outside Mumbai, but now falls under the Bombay Municipal Corporation.
New York City prpoer has a population of only 8.09 mio ppl, yet, including surrounding areas, it comes to a whopping 30.1 mio, surpassing Mexico city, the next in line, by a whopping headcount of 9 mio (appx). Which means the working population of the city is huge, but people mostly stay outside. Back home, Calcutta doesnt feature in the largest cities list, but jumps in the moment you talk of metro areas, just like Delhi. All thanks to the travelling population, and perhaps smaller districts nearby, not counted under Calcutta Municipal Corp (CMC). New Delhi does not include the famous NCR (National Capital region) contributing to around 7 mio population! Of course, this cannot compete with NYC's 'extras' but I guess thanks to that goes to the Government regulation in keeping number o f houses spaced out. Restricts population. As does lower number of slums.

We have become so used to talking in millions and billions for most everything. Today I read Slim has surpassed Gates in being the richest guy around. We are talking billions here. Around 60 bn if Im not wrong? Slim accounts for ~6% of his country's GDP?

The total world population, for your repeat information, is estimated at around 6.4 bn people.

The age of Dear ol' Earth, at only arounf 4.6 bn years.

The total land area on Earth is only around 148.6 mn sq Km.

What am I trying to mention here? The futility of the metric of millions or billions. how different they are, in different contexts. The need for different measures of different parameters.

When we say the population is more than 6 billion, and land space only around 148 million, it immediately implies - where do these people stay??! There is not enough land to give even 0.5sq KM per head, what about the rest of flora and fauna? And this is not taking into account un-inhabitable land, and of course, land dedicated to agriculture and forests.

We we say more than 60 billion, that is 10 times the population count! It is technically enough money for a comfortable living of every person on Earth. What can you do with 10 billion US Dollars, one of the most used currencies worldwide?
Quite a bit I think.

Taking a Brief Tangent.
Think Communist for a moment. Imagine Slim and Gates and Buffet contribute 50% of their fortunes to be distributed per person in certain countries, or to people below a certain income level. Ah! Peace! Right?

Think Capitalist now. There is no difference, no discrepancy, everyone has a minimum basic income and comfort. What then happens to competition? To the Survival of the Fittest? If your money is going to go to unknown faces once you reach a certain income level, why would you even try?

Think Sociology now. The world would be a very drab place indeed. Christians wouldnt have any beggars left to bestow 'Charity' upon, Moslems woudnt have anyone to give free morsels of food to. Temple entrances wouldnt be lined with beggars.What then would happen to Philanthopists? Stuck to saving animals, trees and orphans?! Very drab indeed.

Yes, the world would be drab with equality, and possibly a little more peaceful with it. Or maybe, the parameters would just jump a little higher, leaving everyone exactly where they are now. Perhaps. Perhaps not.
However, before any of that happens, the suggestors will be neatly gotten rid of!
Tangent Over.

Yes indeed, the millions, billions and trillions make for a nice viewing, but as statistics go, are totally worthless unless you know what you are talking about. Kind of like a larger scale of my version of PPP.
At a very basic level, you can talk of 100 paise, but it only ends up as a single, paltry Rupee!

PS - Source of data is a pretty reliable site, so it may be off by half a million here n there, max, which wouldnt make much difference
PPS - Kinda fun, it is. Playing with stats I mean ;)
PPS - Now that I cant use Semagic, found this awesome tool Deepest Sender (yeah, sounds seedy) thanks to rexzilla !
Light Play

Alice on the 4th of July

Wow, traversing through Wikipedia, realised that todays the kind of day that inspired someone eons ago to make the Alice in Wonderland.
The real Alice heard the story today, for the first time ever (or maybe not for the first time since Dodgson apparently had told it to her sisters earlier) in 1862. Gosh! That was So Long Ago!
And to think, the book till date enthralls the reader, not matter what age.

I have always found the controversy make the book more interesting. Not because of the controversy, but because it made me read the book in more ways than just a child/ a grown-up. As a child its a wondrous, frightening fairyland. As an adult, it is cruel satire to real life, but with this twist, you can almost try and imagin what would be the real life story to inspire this chapter, and that. When Dodgson was the friendly guy, when the cruel. How he scared Alice (if at all) and when he was kind to her.

The real story will perhaps never be found, hopefully it is not close to the rumors. However, it does add to the lure of the legendary books, timeless and intriguing.
A book made more interesting than the Wizard of Oz simply by the third angle. Though of course, you can think of the Pink Floyd Connection when talking o fthe latter.

Alice and the Wonderland had stunned, and then continually thralled me in the wild, pulsating, ceaseless adventures caused between them. Of course, it all continued in Through the Looking Glass, but preffered Vol 1 ;)

When I first read the book, I loved the poem A Boat Beneath the Sunny Sky, spelling out Alice's full name by the first letter of every line.

To think, it all apparently started by a fairy tale told to a 10yr old girl more than a century ago, idyllically, on a boat.