Giveaway ends on high note

Over 470 fans requested my book Lights: Despair, Faith and Hope on Broadway and the 5 winners will be getting their copies soon.
Please buy your copy at Amazon or Abbott Press and enjoy the tale of Vera Lights and her family as they grow up in a decadent and depressed New York. Please share, add your ratings, and reviews; to encourage its sales and distribution!
http://www.amazon.com/Lights-Despair-Faith-Hope-Broadway/dp/1458215598/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1409499174

Nov is Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month)

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The Director of the Haworth library has invited me and other promising authors to attend Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) author event at his library.
My Author appearance is on, October 29, 2014 Wednsday.
Place: Haworth Municipal Library, Haworth, NJ, US
My personal blog to keep up with any updates is http://www.rajivkapoor123.com
The director sent an email, “We are interested in inviting you to speak at our library to talk about your book, specifically how your researched it and how you published the book.” (escuse the old photo as the library is much better now)
Look forward to meeting you there!

Off to the races!

I am realizing now as an author, that one has a tougher road to climb; than the folks on radio for example, with their marvelous accents and musical backgrounds that can convey a mood and action so quickly. When one looks at TV; or the videos on the internet, one realizes that the written word is slowly going the way of the dodo bird. The new world realizes that they do not need a billion good writers but can get by with a few million. So the elite are educated into a coherent species while the rest are able to get by on the spoken language, social norms and local means of communications.Fewer kids are reading these days and spend their time on other social media and video games and as a result are losing their vocabulary and gramatical skills.

The study of the classics and the source of most human knowledge remains stored in books; and the world seems to be walking away, from them. With the explosion of knowledge; so many genres have been created in the Fiction and Non Fiction categories that at times one has to sit back and think about these selections. So much of our world is turning digital, and with it we have to change our habits, and also the way we gather information whether for entertainment, or for work. In such an environment the ability to generate exclusive content becomes paramount; and there is a worldwide phenomenon to protect sources of data and to patent and to copyright this intellectual property. It is the work of the good authors, which creates magical worlds and great heroes out of ordinary people.

Facing a blank page I have to write the accent, play the music, create the scene and then flesh out the character, all in swift strokes to keep the reader involved. The challenge is that without inspiration the writer cannot weave his\her magic to bring a unique realty to the reader. So it becomes an everyday struggle between the inner demons of the author; and his innate ability, to convey them to his audience. The audience is fickle and in our world of instant messaging, easily distracted. Yet my hope is that with great authors we can still enjoy those hours; in reading a great book, to change our lives. Master authors take control of the plot, dialog, action and our lives become interwoven for those few hours or days, as we imbibe their story telling art. Sit back and let the story teller tell his tale, and do not be surprised as the action grips you and you suddenly find yourself, off to the races!

Mantra after 25 years remains the same

Pick a flower on earth and you move the farthest star. -Paul Dirac, theoretical physicist (1902-1984)

While my daughter was cleaning up for her move to the west coast; she pulled out a letter from Rutgers dated Aug 30, 1989, 25 years ago. In it they had responded to my enquiry for the location and translation of our beloved ‘Gayatri Mantra’ the university responded with the following and I quote.

”It occurs in the Rig Veda samitha, mandala (book) 3 hymn 62, stanza 10. As a written text it dates to 1,000 BC; as an oral tradition it must be two or three thousand years older.  The mantra reads

Tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi

Diyo yo nah prachodayaat

It seems to have been the most popular hymn even in the ancient world. There are several referencxes to it in the Brahmanas and the Upanishads, as well as in the laws of Manu. The literal translation of ths text reads as:  tat = “this; savitur = sun god; varenyam = “to be desired, long for); bhargo = :radiance, glory); devasya = “of the heavens, god)  dhimahi = “We direct our mind”

Dhiyo = “thoughts, devotion, knowledge); yo= “who”; prachodayat = “May inspire”

“We direct our mind to the sun god, radiance of the heavens, who may inspires our thoughts””

The natural forces were often referred to as gods like the sun, wind, soma, but in all the writings there remained one supreme reality; and we were just the soul (ataman) on a journey through this life in this body and mind, which would eventually merge back into God (parmatman). Our journey is part of the natural order of things and as we seek our own path we must have individual passion and inspiration. For this we have to direct our mind, discipline it and be inspired by the great wonders of our universe.  We must seek to acquire the knowledge; that will allow us to shine with the brilliance of the sun, in our own life, for the others around us.

It is clear from this passage that it is only by inspiring our thoughts into higher realms of reality, that we can become an inspiration in our deeds as well. I will thank my daughter for this gift after 25 years; as everything is according to a grand plan, and we discover things, when we are ready to understand them. I will now fix my mind to this mantra and see where it leads me, and those around me on this path of knowledge. So I will take my time to pick my flowers and move the farthest stars and won’t you join me on this journey?

Augmented reality and virtual environments

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It has now been over a year since I started this blog on July 6th 2013 and it is 82 posts later that I write this today in a mixed reality.Today I realize that because of us, our reality exists. Furthermore this reality is highly ephemeral; in so much so, that I can change it by changing my perceptions. We can change our own reality through better understanduing; as it is only an apparition of the state of nature, at this moment. The stars from a billion light years away shed their light on us and we feel that they exist today, when in fact they may have been dead a long time and moved on to another reality. Similarly our future may be affected by millions of unrelated events that conspire to make our reality uncertain, and we are often befuddled into inaction by them and stop growing.

The best reality is when you live in each moment, as it arises. You do not expect anything from it; and you do not let the sudden silence, or the cacophony of modern existence, bear you down. In this thoughtless ness of a blank mind, is the whole thought full ness also. Each moment is for action, and this should only be taken to augment the current reality. Anything that takes us towards truth, is eventually liberating. We study the depths of the oceans, the polar ice caps, the far heavens fill our imagination, takeing us to new hopes for our future. Our reality is ever expanding, much like our very universe. We grow with the universe and allow all others to flourish also, as per the laws of nature. Our success means that we take all others with us, and not create the haves and the have-nots that we see today.
We have to make a more humane society or we will perish at our own hands. Great wars have been fought over the centuries and millions killed in the name of a nation, race or religion. We know well in advance with modern communications, when a society starts to unravel, and the mass prosecution of a minority starts. It is for us to step in and not to allow these movements to grow, and become genocidal before we take action. The UN Security Council and the Human Rights Commission has a heavy burden, to stop us from destroying our own reality. Our future is getting brighter; and that can only happen, if we allow the innovation that is tied up in our teeming billions, to flourish. We can make a new world order; if we invest in our future and can carve out a better reality, for us all. My hopes and dreams are of this moment; but then this moment is also, the only reality of my life. I am what I think, and I must learn to think well; and take the long view, along the path less taken
Eventually we are all going to have to live in a virtual reality as we will be able to augment humans through the use of the virtual world. Eventually many of the things that we cannot imagine today will become normal. Everyday reality for our grandchildren through the use of machines and robots will be very different for what our grandparents had. The journey on this path has only just started; and already we have seen a sea change in our abilities to communicate, with the rest of our world. We can now be virtually present in multiple locations, and this is a very rudimentary avatar, in comparison to, where we are headed. The brave new world will be upon us sooner than we think; and it is best for us to try and mold it for the force of good now, before it is too late. Will you join me and help to open the portal of compassion, love, hope, to make our true dreams become reality?

 

Spam kills relationships!

A 2011 Cisco Systems report shows spam volume originating from countries worldwide.[19]

Rank Country Percentage of spam volume
1  India 13.9
2  Russia 9.0
3  Vietnam 7.9
4 (tie)  South Korea 6.0
 Indonesia 6.0
6  China 4.7
7  Brazil 4.5
8  United States 3.2

For over a year I have been suffering from spam on my Word Press blog; and it had made me a social outcast, as I would spend countless hours on cleaning up the site than in actually writing. Yesterday I upgraded to the next level and then with another payment to a site, that protects you from spam – suddenly no more spam. This is absolutely ridiculous as the wasted hours and days are priceless; and now I am ready to join society again, in a meaningful exchange of ideas. Vacations were spent cleaning up my site, when I could have been spending quality time with my loved ones. With 1,684 comments marked as spam and another 3,362 comments consigned to the trash pile I am finally free. The social media sites should take better care of their customers and at least message them that there is help out there for them, instead of letting them suffer and lose all their free time in doing cleanup of spam that they have the tools to take care of easily. Totally disgusted for wasting my life on fighting spam; and at the same time relieved, that I can get back to my writing again.

Stranger in our mirror

Looking at the stranger in the mirror, I looked back at the journey that had brought us to this separate reality. I looked hard to find the young boy, looking at the world from behind his mother’s sari, in amazement at all the wondrous things around him. I tried to find the young school boy; who was the first to raise his hand in Mrs. Hala’s class, eager to answer the questions, on obscure geography topics, and couldn’t see him. I looked for the singles tennis champion of his college; who was fit and healthy and could not recognize this stranger, who stared back at me old and greying. I look for myself and find a hollow fragment instead.
Life is full of change and we remain trapped in our old reality, while everything around us has moved on. We become strangers to ourselves; as what we are, is not what we believe we are. Slowly the journey over the years shreds us of our innocence, and our enthusiasm for life. There is no more the wonder of it all; but just the need to get on with it, and to survive another day. Slowly a cynicism builds up; that repeated blows from our family, friends, co-workers and society, have caused to harden our hearts, and lose our souls.
Relationships change and the people we love are lost in time, and people we hate are constantly in our face. We allow ourselves to remain trapped in this deep well of unhappiness and despair, when a single step could take us away from it all. The will to build new loving relationships, becomes too overwhelming; as the energy to start a new one is dormant, and we do not even bother to repair the ones, which we already have. The love we wish to receive has vanished; as we no longer are ready to give, the love that others around us deserve.
Mother Nature has nourished us and given us life; and we see her destruction all around us, and walk on with bowed heads, ignoring her pain and anguish. We look up to the heavens at night and do not see the magnificence of our universe, but just another sleepless night, as we wander alone. We walk past ancient life forms and in our greed, slowly cause the mass destruction of species and environments, that are only there, for our own evolution to succeed. We do not bow down to the laws of nature and defy the only one, who can wipe us out in a moment of wrath.
My journey is not new and the stranger has not become so, in one day. We look at each other and realize that a life has passed between us, and we have slipped into its cracks. We are no longer relevant to the scheme of things; not because we are ignorant, but because we have allowed our base nature to take over. The journey of enlightenment has been short circuited by our own weakness, and our lack of trying and following the easy path traveled by others around us. We measure our success and failures against a measuring stick of what others have achieved, and often find ourselves wanting. We become distant from our own reality, till one day we look at this hollow stranger peering back at us in the mirror.
It is time now to rekindle the hope that we had as the eager young kid; peering around his mother’s legs, and show our world that not all is lost. It is time now to raise the hand and become that teacher, who allows young brains to think and flourish at the wonder of it all. It is time again to become physically active, as a health body and mind are our birthright, and we must shine the light for others. Reinventing our story; we will reinvent our stranger, and we can become kindred spirits again. As I turn away he winks and a joy rises from deep within me, as I know that all happiness is not lost, but just a mindset away. We have to discipline ourselves as life is never easy; but with a little effort, it can become fruitful again. See yourself as powerful and strong; and you will be able to harness the forces of nature, to become what you think.
Unleashing our energy for the truth; will lead to a renaissance; which will benefit this strange relationship, between us and our alter ego. As we walk a step in the right moral direction, the universe will become more in harmony with our march. As we study the mysteries of this universe; more will be revealed to us, than we can imagine. We only have to live in a pure, unsullied, trained mind, and all else will fall into place. The heart will blossom with love for our fellow creatures and relationships will become enjoyable again. I beseech you to look closely at that stranger in the mirror; and then see, what only you know him to truly be. I assure you that then all our dreams will come alive again, and we can take our first step towards an ideal life.

Developments in HealthCare

HC spend vs life expectancy
IBM has reported that its super computer Watson can now transform, Healthcare, Financial and many other industries by gathering huge terabytes of data, and use its computational power to do analysis. Health benefits company Wellpoint saw an opportunity to apply IBM Watson in a way that could improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare decisions. Memorial Sloan Kettering trained Watson to synthesize vast amounts of data, such as physicians’ notes and reports, lab results and clinical research, to help community physicians identify treatment options for cancer patients
Anthem Blue Cross (another subsidiary of WellPoint) and Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company, California’s largest health insurance companies, announced yesterday, that they will be creating a large health information exchange. This exchange will be called the California Integrated Data Exchange or Cal Index and is expected to be launched at the end of the year. It would contain medical records of about nine million Californians acquired from claims data held by the two companies.
The objective of Cal Index is to give health providers immediate access to patients’ medical histories. About $80 million is expected to be invested by the two competitors on this project to keep it running for three years. They will provide data integration assistance to 30 large provider organizations.

Today — the National Healthcare Expenditure (NHE) for the USA is $3.5+ trillion per year (about 18% of our GDP) and it’s growing at about 5% per year (for as far as the eye can see). The system we have is optimized around revenue and profits — not safety and quality. That safety and quality is best highlighted by what’s known as “preventable medical errors” inside hospitals. That number? Somewhere between 210,000 and 440,000 – per year. Please see the chart which shows the results of the OECD survey.

The US is off the charts and I had a tough time fitting the costs of over $ 8,000 per capita and further it is growing at 5% annually for the foreseeable future. It is not if; but when will the baby boomers take it over $ 10,000, and become a crushing burden of 20% of GDP. The disparities in income are now so extreme; that we will have to increase our contributions for basic healthcare for the poor and disabled drastically, or bring about a more equitable tax policy to encourage a more consumer oriented healthcare. Increased consumer engagement, innovative solutions, EHRs, Analytics and universal access will lead to success, and there is no other path but to increase our focus on doing and not sermonizing. For a just society, we must try harder; to become again the beacon on the hill for the world’s health!.