Sunday, April 26, 2020

महात्मा बसवेश्वर जयंतीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा | त्यांच्या काही विचारांचा सारांश

महात्मा बसवेश्वर भारतीय प्रबोधन परंपरेतील एक महान संत. त्यांच्या जयंतीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा. अवघ्या ३६ वर्षाच्या आयुष्यात ज्यांनी येणाऱ्या पिढ्यांसाठी इतका मोठा विचार रुजवून ठेवलाय. त्यांच्या कर्तृत्वाचं विस्मरण आपल्याला होऊ नये. त्यांनी सांगितलेला मार्ग आपण सोडू नये, हीच त्यांना आदरांजली. खाली त्यांच्या विचारांचे काही स्क्रीनशॉट्स देत आहे. फार नाही, इतकं जरी कळलं तरी, आपल्या सारख्यासाठी बसवेश्वरांच्या विचार समुद्रातले हे चार थेंबही आयुष्यभर पुरतील.



संदर्भ : भारतीय साहित्य अकादमी या भारत सरकारच्या संस्थेकडून प्रसिद्ध साहित्य. लिंक 

Friday, April 24, 2020

फेक न्यूज | Fake News

फेक न्यूज बद्दल आपल्यात बऱ्यापैकी जागृती येतीये आणि हि खूप चांगली गोष्ट आहे. याच अनुषंगाने फेक न्यूज  नेमकी काय असते त्याचा अभ्यास आणि ती ऑटोमॅटिकली ओळखता येते का या बद्दल माझ्या एम टेक मध्ये मी यावर थोडं काम केलं होतं. बऱ्याच वेळा ते काम ओपनसोर्स करावं असा विचार ही केला, पण वेळेच्या अभावाने त्याला शेअर करण्यासारखं स्वरूप अजून देता आलं नाही. म्हणजे लोकांना काही वापरण्यासाठी द्यायचं असेल तर ते त्यांच्या वापरण्यासारखे असावे म्हणजे दुसऱ्या डेव्हलोपर्सना ते नीट समजावं आणि जमल्यास त्यात भर घालता यावी. पण अजून तरी जमलेलं नाही.

खाली त्याच्या रेपोर्टचा काही भाग देतोय. कदाचित कुणाला उपयोगी पडेल.

News articles that are intentionally and verifiably false, and could mislead readers are called as fake news. These news articles are mainly used to spread hatred and  manipulate public opinions among other serious purposes. These are mostly spread through digital media platforms like facebook, whatsapp and only online news sites. Avoiding fake news or making it easier to identify one is an important task for many digital platforms and even the whole society. Currently, the widely used methods to control the fake news are manual. Many platforms allow users to report such news so that the platforms can manually verify them. Some platforms pro-actively monitor the news and control the same. Given the volume and variety of the content and users, it’s a very challenging task.

There are attempts at making the process automatic using various natural language processing and machine learning techniques. Methods of stance detection and text classification have been applied. These methods have achieved the considerable ‘contest’ accuracy. But, fake news is a variable entity and plain text classification methods based on historical data are not sufficient in the real world.

In this work, an attempt to identify fake news using unsupervised and supervised methods is made. The devised system tries to verify the candidate fake news using other news sources over the web. It also makes use of text classification based on historical data to identify the fake news. The report details the explorations done to devise the system and reports some of the evaluations carried out. 

1.1 Overview

“To be news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false, and could mislead readers”

It is one of the a definitions of fake news. A recent study [1] used this to define Fake News. It further says that, the main motivations behind the production of fake news are financial and ideological. Both the aspects, financial and ideological are an important aspects of the human society. With fake news there is an effort to alter and manipulate those and that is fundamentally wrong and unethical.

Fake news is in existence for long time and many evidences can be referred from the history. What has changed is the speed with which the fake news travels. With the rapid developments in the communication and computing technologies, the spread of fake news is just click/swipe away. And with the same speed it affects the normal course of life of a society.

Corporations and governments are trying hard to minimize the fake news and its repercussions. Technological interventions can be devised to tackle it to some extent. We can explore technological solutions and their applications to deal with the fake news and contribute to the efforts of minimizing it and its repercussions.

The repercussions of the fake news are so serious that it changes the course of progress of the society. Recently it has shown its impacts in three important events in the history. One, the American Presidential election, two the Brexit and three, the last Indian election and post election events.

Various studies have been conducted to asses impact of the fake news on various events.   Authors of [2] from MIT studies fake news and its spread in comparison to the real news. They found out astonishing facts about fake news one of which is reproduced below for the ready reference.

Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories. The effects were most pronounced for false political news than for news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information. Controlling for many factors, false news was 70% more likely to be retweeted than the truth.

The finding is surprising as our, or least mine, assumption about the collective public opinion is that collectively humans make right decisions. This assumption is also supported by the fact that Wikipedia has been equally ‘good and erroneous’ source of information as Encyclopedia [3]. Similarly, it’s also evident from the success of the crowdsourcing. But when it comes to news it’s a different fact. The fake I.e false is upheld taller than the real. This contradiction can be subject of another study. There must be  factors affecting these two different case differently.

The fake news is different from a real typical news in following special ways:

Fake news is made up of content that gives rise to feelings like  fear, disgust and surprise in the minds of readers, whereas real news gives rise to feelings like joy, sadness and trust.
Fake news has shocking claim in the headline and sounds unbelievable
It's mostly published on not-so reliable source or circulated on social media sites
It's not professionally written, there may be spelling errors and bad formatting

This work aimed to contribute to the task of controlling fake news through application of text processing to the news articles. Following sections will help readers understand the technical definition of the fake news and use of various approaches to build the fake news identification system. The report will also talk about the build system, it’s advantages, limitations and future scope.

For the complete report -

Saturday, April 4, 2020

COVID19 : Select Research Papers and Findings for easier access

I am going through some research papers on Covid 19 for some analysis purpose. I will be listing some of the interesting ones for reference to others who may be interested.
  • Clinical Features of 85 Fatal Cases of COVID-19 from Wuhan: A Retrospective Observational Study. 
    • The median age of the patients was 65.8 years and 72.9% were male. Common symptoms were fever (78 [91.8%]), shortness of breath (50 [58.8%]), fatigue (50 [58.8%]), dyspnea (60 [70.6%]). Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease were the most common comorbidities. Notably, 81.2% patients had very low eosinophil counts at admission. Complications included respiratory failure (80 [94.1%]), shock (69 [81.2%]), ARDS (63 [74.1%]), arrhythmia (51 [60%]), etc. Most patients received antibiotic (77 [90.6%]), antiviral (78 [91.8%]) and glucocorticoids (65 [76.5%]) treatments. 38 patients [44.7%] and 33 [38.8%] received intravenous immunoglobulin and interferon α2b respectively
    • link:
  • Imaging and Clinical Features of Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
    • Overall, 31 articles and 46959 patients were included, including 10 English articles, 21 Chinese articles. The results of meta-analysis showed that the most common clinical manifestations were fever (87.3%, 0.838-0.909), cough (58.1%, 0.502-0.660), dyspnea (38.3%, 0.246-0.520), muscle soreness or fatigue (35.5%, 0.253-0.456), chest distress (31.2%, -0.024-0.648). The main imaging finding were bilateral pneumonia (75.7%, 0.639-0.871), and ground glass opacification (69.9%, 0.602-0.796). Among the patients, the incidence of required intensive care unit (ICU) was (29.3%, 0.190-0.395), the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was (28.8%, 0.147-0.429), the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) was (8.5%, -0.008-0.179), and and the case fatality rate of patients with COVID-19 was (6.8%, 0.044-0.093).
  • Comparison of clinical and pathological features between severe acute respiratory syndrome and coronavirus disease 2019
    • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shared similar pathogenetic, clinical and pathological features. Fever and cough were the most common symptoms of both diseases, while myalgia and diarrhea were less common in patients with COVID-19. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was the most severe pulmonary complication that caused high mortality rate. Histologically, diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) was the most characteristic finding in non-survivors with either SARS or COVID-19. Cases of patients died less than 10~14 days of disease duration demonstrated acute-phase DAD, while cases beyond 10~14 days of disease duration exhibited organizing-phase DAD in SARS. Meanwhile, organization and fibrosis were usually accompanied by exudation. Coronavirus was mostly detected in pneumocytes, while less in macrophages and bronchiolar epithelial cells. Hemorrhagic necrosis and lymphocytes depletion were found in lymph nodes and spleen in both SARS and COVID-19, indicating a pathological basis of lymphocytopenia. Thrombosis was commonly observed in small vessels and microvascular in lungs accompanying DAD. Microthrombosis was also found in extrapulmonary organs in COVID-19, that was less reported in SARS. Damages in multiple extrapulmonary organs were observed, but coronavirus was not detected in some of those organs, might indicating an alternative mechanism beyond viral infection, such as hypoxemia, ischemia and cytokine storm induced immunological injury. Diffuse alveolar damage due to viral infection and immunological injury, as well as multi-organ dysfunction and extensive microthrombus formation, brought huge challenge to the management of patients with severe SARS or COVID-19.

Friday, April 3, 2020

शिवरायांप्रती खरी आदरांजली

फक्त जिवंत राहणे जरी माणसाच्या पृथ्वीवरील आयुष्याचं ध्येय असलं तरी, त्या जगण्याला स्वाभिमान आणि स्वातंत्र्याचं अधिष्ठान असावं. या विचाराचं बीज ज्यांनी इथं रुजवलं अशा शिवरायांचा आज स्मृतीदिन. सामान्यातल्या सामान्याला जग बदलता येतं, परिस्थिती बदलता येते आणि अगदीच शक्य नाहीं अशा वाटणाऱ्या गोष्टीही धीराने आणि मेहनतीने करता येतात. या सगळ्यांची अनेक उदाहरणे महाराजांनी आपल्या समोर ठेवलीयेत. भेद, द्वेष आणि कपट यांच्या शिवाय न्यायाने कसं राज्य करता येतं याचंही उदाहरण महाराजांनी घालून दिलय.

अतिशयोक्ती नाही. पण इथल्या प्रत्येक वर्गाच्या, जातीच्या, धर्माच्या आणि लिंगाच्या माणसाला खचलेल्या क्षणीं हा राजा प्रेरणा आहे. तो अवतार नव्हता. त्याच्याकडे गडगंज संपत्ती नव्हती. झालंच तर, आपल्या पेक्षाही जास्त संकटं नकळत्या वयात झेलावी लागली, पहावी लागली. त्यातूनही कोटींच्या मनावर आपल्या कर्तृत्वातून या राजाने स्थान मिळवलंय. तुम्हाला आम्हाला स्वाभिमानाचे संस्कार दिलेत.

त्या संस्काराची आब राखणं
त्या स्वाभिमानाचा दुरूपयोग न करणं
त्याचं मग्रुरी म्ह्णून प्रदर्शन न करणं
दिन दुबळ्यांच्या शोषणाचं कारण न होणं
हीच आपली शिवरायांप्रती खरी आदरांजली होईल.

स्वतःचच उदाहरण म्हणून देतो. अगदी आपलं अस्तित्व शोधण्याच्या, त्याचं कारण शोधण्याच्या वयात 2003 ते 2007 साली, बरंच काही वाचलं. घरातून जिथं क्षणो क्षणी तुमची स्तुती होते, आपल्या छोट्याशा मित्रांच्या गटातून जिथं सगळ्यांना तुम्ही माहीत असता अशा जगातून तुम्ही जेंव्हा बाहेर पडता. तिथं असतं एक भलं मोठ्ठ जग. तुम्ही न पाहिलेल्या वर्गातली, वेगळ्या कापड्यातली, वेगळ्या भाषेची, आप आपल्या जगात ज्यांचं तुमच्यासारखच स्थान असतं अशा माणसांनी गच्च भरलेलं. त्यात तुम्ही स्वतःची जागा शोधता. अगदी गच्च भरलेल्या बस मध्ये जागा शोधण्यासारखं. तिथं कुणालाच ती सोडायची नसते. तेंव्हा शिवाजी महाराज भेटले. ईकडंच तिकडंच वाचूनझाल्यावर. कदाचित आपलं सोडून इतरांचं चांगलं असतं या न्यूनगंडाच्या प्रभावातून मला महाराजांपर्यंत यायला वेळ लागलेला असावा. पण जेंव्हा हे एक दोन वर्षांच्या शेवटीं कळालं तेंव्हा तेंव्हा कुठं पुन्हा आत्मविश्वास आला. खालच्या लिहलेल्या ओळीं माझ्या त्याच, माझ्यापुरत्याच का होईना, पण साक्षात्काराचा भाग होत्या. ज्या दिवशी हे कळालं तेंव्हाच्या भावना अजूनही मला जशास तशा आठवतात.

त्या ओळी -

कशास हवा तुम्हा सिकंदर
अन कशास हवा कोलंबस
छत्रपतीला स्मरा एकदा
शिव छत्रपतीला स्मरा एकदा
मग तुम्हीच हो सिकंदर
अन् तुम्हीच हो कोलंबस, तुम्हीच हो कोलंबस!

जय जिजाऊ. जय शिवराय.
- प्रकाश बालाजी पिंपळे
कार्यकर्ता, जिजाऊ.कॉम