Posts

Showing posts from 2006

To you my brother

Image
My earliest memories of him have to be when I was leaving my grandfather’s house after an enjoyable summer. My aunt had brought back two racing cars from Dubai and both of us were given one each. There was the one with the detachable driver and the other with the fixed driver. I was probably four and he was three. I demanded that I take both cars with me back home much to my mothers and my aunt’s dismay. But he was rather surprisingly magnanimous about it. He was willing to part with it to avoid a scene in the house. Obviously my mother made me leave one behind but for some reason I can’t get it out of my head.



Many a summers have passed. Many a memories have been saved. The explorations of the limited expanse around the house, the fish tank swimming lessons, the visits to the beach, the showers under the garden hose, the first cigarette, the first drink, the first “interesting” swimsuit calendar, the “interesting” magazine, encounters in the foriegn land and else. Years are rolling by…

Too many smart people in a room.

Today I read an article on Google questioning if there were too many smart people in Google for its own good. Google has been known to have a very tough hiring process and is known in the valley for hiring only the very best. This has built as aura around Google and its employees. The halo around the headquarters is for all to see. But the article indirectly asks a very pertinent question. Is there such a thing as having too many good people in an organization?

From my experiences at workplaces I think the author has a very good point. Most people I have met who are blessed with above average intelligence also comes with a certain level of attitude that is not ideal towards managing them. In one of the companies that I was working in there used to be a really sharp guy who was the last word in what he did. But there was not a soul who could control him. The managers basically were at his mercy as far as deliverables was concerned. Don't get me wrong he was good. But he was just not…

Intelligent Design for sure

Sunday morning I woke up with some sort of a disturbance in my eye. I was fine when I went to bed on Saturday and didn't feel a thing. Obviously something must have gotten into my eye. I spent most of the day rubbing my eyes or if my mom is reading this, trying not to rub my eye. Of course it just wouldn’t go away. Come Monday morning and the irritation had subsided and my eye was red as blood. I looked in the mirror in amazement as the white blood cells were rushing to the rescue of my eye. Where is the argument I wonder.

Intelligent design is something that is amazingly controversial and I never understood why. All the intelligence is there to see. Everything in the working of our body screams intelligence. Everything in the body of every animal screams intelligence. And here I am not even talking about the mind and its complexities that that discussion would push us into.

Today man creates so many different kinds of machines; some self healing and others not. But either way all t…

It's either offensive or it's not!

Michael Richards was caught with his pants down the other day in "Laugh factory". He went on a racial tirade after being heckled on stage, using the "N" word and following it up with a series of racial slurs in a comedy club packed with African Americans. The video is rather disturbing because what you see is a man completely out of control spewing venom and it’s almost like he is not even there. This from a man who had to be one of the most loved comedians in the 90s.

I have always found the "N" word extremely offensive. Maybe it’s the association that is made with the use of the word. I have had arguments with people about this and they have always wondered why I get worked up about it. But I truly believe that if a community thinks that a word is offensive to them, then it doesn’t matter what you think about it, it is offensive! After all we communicate and talk for the benefit of the listener and not to hear ourselves talk. Right? It is true with any g…

iPod vs Zune

Found this article on casual surfing. Its got all the elements of "conspiracy theory" that can make up a good novel, but given the history of the two companies the author is amazingly astute to be on the look out for more than what meets the eyes.

http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/RPd9FLU6mY6QS5/How-Zune-Will-Try-to-Take-Down-the-iPod.xhtml

Sinking in mediocrity

Often heard: A billion people and not one world class athlete.

The question is baffling to many. Nations far smaller and with far lesser resources have gone way ahead in terms of will to win, performance and achievements and yet India seems to be caught in a warp of her own making. I watched in dismay as the Indian cricket team wilted before the Aussies in the ICC world championships. Another hope, another dream and another wish fallen on the wayside.

Some ardent fans ask me why a single defeat should bring me down in such a desperate fashion. The answer is that hope is dying in me and I am running out of reasons to be a fan. I can’t even look at the Indian cricket team today and hope that they will rise to the occasion next time. I watched as the batsmen played with utter disregard for strategy or planning. Each came on the field like a demigod and left even sooner as if they had nothing to do with any of these proceedings. Running between the wickets was pathetic and shot making or de…

Encounters

A picture hanging in the airport said:
"A point of view is the same view from a different point"

A cemetery in Bangalore:
The board at the gate read "Indian Christian Cemetery". It had glass pieces on the walls. What was that for? To keep people out of keep the dead in I wonder?

Sunjay Dutt in a TV interview after being called up in TADA court again:
"Munnabhai was a turning point in my career and the career of the country". uh?

Fragility of social order

I was browsing a Time magazine the other day and reading about Dafur and Africa in general and it got me wondering about the very basic things in life that we take for granted. I walk on the streets unaware that there is an underlying social order that stops from anybody walking up to me and slapping me. Nobody thinks of simply walking into my house one day and asking me to get out of the house so that he could live there. Nobody walks into my work place and tells me that I have lost my job and he is now going to work in my place.

But this kind of atrocities happen in many parts of the world as we continue blissfully unaware that we are secure in a unspoken order that our society follows. In many a conversations people wonder why certain countries never make it out of their anarchy and chaos. More often then not most arguments hinge on that premise that if they cant help themselves then they don’t deserve any better.

One of the most common statements I have encountered is that if India …

Mathematics and I

I have had a long standing battle with mathematics. Sometimes I think a great part of where I am today is shaped by my dislike towards the subject. I sit here today and laugh at all the attempts I have made to avoid it like the plague and how it has hounded me all my life.

A below average student in my early years, neither mathematics nor any other subject for that matter evoked such strong emotions in me. I was what you would call a free spirit not tied down by the little things such as studies. I would ignore all the subjects equally and there was no deep seated hate for any one subject. I hated them all without preference.

Then eighth grade happened. I was never the competitive kind myself but in the eighth grade it was thrust upon me. I was trying to continue my indifference to education but it was not to be. For some reason without my even attempting anything in that direction I came to be in the top ten of the class. Suddenly there were adulations and everyone including my parents…

Want to win an argument?

I have always wondered why people argue. Conventional wisdom (mine that is :-)) says that an argument is for the purpose of informing the other person of your point of view and understanding why the other person disagrees with you. It stops becoming an argument when the idea of the argument is to convince the person that you are right. Convincing a person, I believe, should only be the product of making your point rather than the goal. There are several strategies we use to win over an argument. Some I use and other I have run into over time. Here are some of them listed in no particular order. 1. Start the argument with a blanket judgment on the other person’s opinion This usually starts with something like "That is just stupid" or "I can’t believe you said that". The argument begins with the assumption that my opinion is not worth any merit and the only reason the argument is even happening is because I need to be convinced of what is right. There is no pretense …

Looking away from the screen

I was waiting at the optician’s office wondering what she would have to say. I had been experiencing some sort of a headache every evening on the days I was at work. It is not the sort that worries you but rather nags you. I wondered if it was something serious or if it was just that my vision had deteriorated to a point where I needed new glasses. She walked out and announced that my vision had improved leaving me completely stunned. She said that my vision had improved ever so slightly and that there was no need to changes my glasses. So I quipped her on the reason for the nagging headache and she simply brushed it away saying that it is because I work on the computer for long periods of time. She suggested that I don’t wear my glasses (short-sighted) while I work on the computer. She also suggested that I look away from the screen once in a while so that my eyes do not get strained. Strained eyes usually cause a nagging headache and she said that I need to look away and blink a few…

The art of self confidence

What is self-confidence derived from? Every time you come across a person with a lot of it, you wonder what makes them so confident of their own selves. Sometimes I look at these people and find no reason that they should exude such confidence and yet they are there standing before me talking and doing things with reckless abandon.

Most times I conclude that it is success in their lives, success at school, success at work and an overall successful life to that point that leads to such unbridled confidence. But I sit back and wonder and very rarely agree with this conclusion. There are several people that I have interacted with, that have not really been that successful but yet they have no self doubt. I used to work for a person who was the picture of self belief. He truly believed in everything that he proposed. His vision and ideas were hardly ever in doubt and yet this man had come off a failed project and was currently in a very questionable project (In terms of it possibility of s…

Stringing the chords

Like Norah Jones would say...... "Here we go again....". Yesterday was my first day at the guitar class. With some motivation from my wife I finally decided to get out there and try it out. So I signed up for these lessons at an adult education centre.

Four years ago there was a similar crisis in my life. I felt the need for music and went and bought myself a keyboard. I know you are wondering why I didn’t ust go and buy myself a music system instead. Something I wonder too. I was primarily inspired by a colleague of mine who used to play it effortlessly. Watching him play made be a bit jealous of the fact that I couldn't play any instrument. So with his help I went and bought myself a second hand keyboard. That was followed by the self teaching books. A few days went by and the interest waned. I guess it was discouraging that I was not making any progress in understanding the notes at all. I would be able to play a couple of tunes but I knew within myself that they were…

In defense of the church.

The other day I got into church about five minutes late for the regular Sunday service. The church was full and I was left standing at the back of the church. The service was pretty ordinary, and things were going along as usual until I noticed somebody standing next to me. This was an old lady probably in her sixties. She was standing with her two grown sons. Nothing out of the ordinary really except that both the sons appeared to be suffering from something that resembled Down's syndrome.

She went about her prayers and the sons stood there probably unaware of thier surroundings. They sometimes sat on the floor, sometimes stood up, sometimes glanced around and always greeted people who were walking by with a big smile. And yet the lady was unmoved. She seemed completely comfortable with the antics of her grown sons. She would only instruct them to be mindful of the alter when the really important parts of the service came along.

Whenever I argue about the churches stand on abortion…

Stem cells for the church?

The catholic church has been ferociously against stem cell research and anything to do with harming an embryo. To its credit it has been extremely consistent with its stance on abortion, stem cell research, artificial birth and many more. But stem cell hits a perticularly raw nerve for a lot of people since the research is targeted at curing some of the most dihabilitating diseases that are known to man.

So why is the church against it? Well for obvious reasons since the creating of a stem cell line essentially destroys the embryo and kills what could possibly have turned out to be a baby. A couple of days back researchers announced that they have found a way to develop cell lines from embryos without actually destroying the embryo.

For various reasons including testing the health of the future baby, scientists have been separating out cells from an embryo for years. When the embryo initially multiplies it forms blastomeres. Scientists detach a single blastomere from the embryo and test…

Latte or oil?

I walked into Starbucks today and bought myself a latte. Flipped out my wallet and casually paid out a princely sum of $3. I actually felt pretty good being in the coffee shop and enjoyed the latte as well. The whole experience is enjoyable from the time you step into the coffee shop. I guess that is why I pay the $3 for my small cup of latte. I am rather satisfied with my explanation.

I then go to the gas station to fill gas in my car. $3.04. good lord I used to pay $0.91 in 1998 as a poor student. What has the world come to? This is definitely the oil companies price gauging. That $55000 a second profit making oil companies. They all deserve to be taxed and punished for manipulating the market like this. Unbelievable!

The irony is that even after contrasting the two purchases I still feel I am justified in my thought process. Oil is an essential commodity and cannot be priced like the Latte that I had earlier in the day. Oil is what the economy runs on. If the price of oil was set lik…

Opening the lair

When I read other blogs I am astonished at the amount of things they have to say to the world. The interest with which people follow blogs and the amount of opinions that are out there on just about anything. Fascinating.

So here I am out to make a little space for myself too. I have nothing specific in mind right now but I will try and make in interesting reading. I will not claim to try and change the world. Maybe it might just turn out to be just a place were I read out my thoughts. Either way I welcome all of you to read (whoever actually finds thier way here) and post any comments you might have. Maybe you might answer the questions I have.