2017-04-01

I Can't Do

Another pop-psychology topic is to push people into thinking "I can do".

No.

I am scared of large of tracts water - I can't swim in a sea. I am fine with it. I don't want to be told I can do it. I can't. I could not care if I did this either.

There is too much of pressure to believe that 'we can' do stuff.

I can't do complex math. My mind just doesn't work. Explains my low scores at ISB. I am fine with it as well. I hate it if someone told me I have to believe myself into solving complex math problems. Even if I believed I can, I cannot. Belief many times has little to do with reality. Pushing people into "I can do" thinking creates huge chasm between what they believe they can be and what they actually are, resulting in avoidable misery.

I am not advocating taking things as they are. Choosing to learn and expand my horizons is a learning process. This should be. But knowing how much I can know and do is the most important of the lessons I can learn. Else, because of this ' I can' thinking, I will keep responding to what people or society thinks I should be.

I am also a big believer of free will - circumstances happen (so called fate); we respond (how we respond is free will). Free will does not mean I am a super man and can overcome all my limitations. It only means my ability to make a choice, including my choice to learn things to improve myself. Most times, the choices I make are limited by my ability - knowing this and operating within this is my free will.

Need for external endorsement of me should never drive my behavior - which is at the core of "I can do" thinking. Learning to let go. Knowing where to draw a line and say " I can't". Not persisting forever because I started something. All these essential to resist this "I can do" syndrome.


2017-03-25

Earth Hour

Earth Hour:
Edit: I have gone around the Sun 6 years since my last post on the subject. Nothing much has changed. Except that I would have punctuated this post with a few f$cks. Because that is how many fewer f$cks I give to this concept of Earth Day / Hour. The Earth is an accident and if we continue to think we could damage this by human action, that is the highest form of arrogance that one could conceive. We came here much later than the Earth formed out of hot gases. We will vanish much before the Earth will. To think anything else is nemesis.

Edit2: I seem to be ok - skeptically though - with the concept so long as we redefine the objective and state what we actually mean - that we are trying to save  ourselves. If ever. That the so called noble cause of saving the Earth is a charade.

PS: A tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small and unimportant planet. This is how Russell defined a human being. Even this small and unimportant planet is infinitely more powerful than what we are and can ever be.

2017-03-19

Happiness ain't the purpose of Life

Happiness is pursued as the purpose of life. I can't imagine myself to be happy all the time. I must do my morning ablutions, shave, bath, and do many other routine things necessary to survive and live in this world. All these don't bring me happiness. Nor do I know what I am when I am asleep. Not having a proper sleep makes me grumpy but a good sleep doesn't make me happy. Nor does a rich and tasty meal because I know it makes me unhealthy.

The purpose of life is to live. I didn't choose to come here. I was brought in. I need to do multiple routine activities to be able to carry on living. I need to work to be able to earn my livelihood and my luxuries. Be happy with what you do rather than do what brings you happiness is pure bullshit.

The purpose of life is to live. Live through the small joys that pervade our childhood. The innocence of zero responsibility. The fear of teachers and parents. The yearning for toys and snacking. The confusion this is abound during adolescence. The bitterness about lack of fairness and of having to follow rules set by society and parents. The rush of hormones as we grow into youth. The need for romantic liaisons. Love possibly. Then the responsibility of job and career. The need of it. Probably marriage and myriad responsibilities of being a parent.

The purpose of life is to live. Live everyday which brings many moments of frustration, fun, anger, tiredness, boredom, needy emotions. A lot of them. I can't be aiming for happiness as the one emotion. It is belying our entire lives. Life is supposed to be lived in its million moments that it throws at us and that we create for ourselves.

I would be lying if I said holidays bring nothing but happiness. There is fatigue at the end of a long holiday. Anyone who has gone on a long holiday can relate to this. Nor was I ever aiming for happiness when I planned holidays. I was looking for newness, the sheer experience of travel, trying out new cuisine, different beers, knowing everyday lives of people who live miles away from where I live.

The purpose of life is to live. It also means going through the trauma of my mother no longer being around.

Let's stop beguiling ourselves into believing that we all seek happiness all the time. This narrow definition of purpose of life takes away the richness, colour, different textures, the roller-coaster of emotions that we go through and we must go through in our journey to death.

Happiness is ephemeral. What is enduring is life in its diversity.

2017-02-26

What if!

What if!

'What if' is decried. I have an active brain which is prone to imagination. Which weaves past, opportunities lost, memories of the more successful next door boy, that Lamborghini, vivid images of what I have seen and observed over many years into a beautiful what if story. There is nothing wrong in imagining a 'what if' life for a short burst of time.

Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World said I would not choose to be any other if I were given a choice. I would tend to believe so.

But would it be true for millions whose biggest struggle is to fill their stomachs and those of their loved ones. For some, I hate to conjecture, 'what if' could be a constant state of mind!

2017-02-24

Patriotism, Bullshit, and my Taxes

I went to the movie Jolly LLB 2. No this post isn't about the movie. Nor is it about my being compelled by the Hon'ble Supreme Court to stand up during the playing of our National Anthem when all that I had legally and legitimately signed up for was entertainment. Mind you, after duly spending which is at the core of patriotism. Before I forget, I allowed the government to join my party by paying its due, entertainment tax that is.

I digressed.

My point was about Amitabh Bachchan lecturing me on how we as people should buy manure creating machine and make manure in our societies.

As I had cribbed about earlier, I go to office for 6 months of a year to just fill the government coffers, not including paying taxes on a car I bought which I cannot legally drive beyond the state in a country which I am told I belong everywhere.

I digress again. Let us come back to the lecturing on manure.

I pay taxes. I have to make manure. I have to feel guilty as I shower since I am supposed to save water. I have to clean up roads. I have to do CSR. I have to suffer demonetization. Adding insult to injury I have to read and listen to bullshit stories that are being woven around why Demonetization in the first place. The list is quite long and the hypocrisy, tiring.

The government compels me to pay taxes so it can have its way, forgetting the fact that I pay taxes precisely to do all those things that it thinks it can guilt me into doing.

I am patriotic not because I stand up to our National Anthem. I am because I pay my taxes in all honesty. I spend well thereby encouraging economy (thus jobs) and paying indirect taxes along. I hire drivers, maids and cooks which again leads to propping the economy.

I read Ayn Rand during my transformational years - I serve the best interest of the humanity / Country by focusing on self.  This won't change.


2017-02-21

Longevity and its adverse consequences

Long time ago, expectancy was around 30. Now people routinely live beyond 70. What are the challenges -

  • Need to earn a lot more to feed oneself and family longer.
  • Medical issues - physical pain, depression to self and family, and financial issues.
  • Boredom - can't be doing same thing or be only with same set of people. 
  • Monogamy / Monoamory surely under threat. 



Management By Hormones

We seem to be captives to our hormones more than we realise and more than we are perhaps willing to accept.

I was watching this show on national geographic channel – it was the story, a tragic one, of three cheetah brothers; one female cheetah, which all three are trying to suit; and a neighbourhood lion. Lion, mind you, not lioness.

This lion kills the female cheetah and one of the three brothers. Just a snap – one each - and it breaks their backbones thus taking away their lives. Cheetahs are feeble; but for their speed they would be a species which would have vanished ere long. They regularly run away from Hyenas – some very powerful jaws there; leopards; and sometimes, even baboons and horny antelopes. Thanks to their speed, they are able to kill on an average four times for every ten attempts. Other predators scare them away from their kills. Often times.

Sight of a lion or the female of the lion is enough to make them scurry for life. They know a lion’s bite has the power to kill. One bite.

On this day, these three brothers, in rabid heat, cause raucous as they pursue the female cheetah. This catches the attention of a lion in the neighbourhood.

These brothers end up ignoring the Lion and its warnings as they get overwhelmed by the rush of hormones dictating their behavior. So much so, they don't even bother to keep a distance from the lion just to have the female cheetah. They not only get one of them killed but compromise the life of the female cheetah as well.

Is there a metaphor?

Change as incrementalism

It is always futile to wait for a certain day of the year to turn to sainthood. To resolve to be what we want to be than what we are.

What we want to be rather what we are makes us richer and looked up to. That's what brings purpose to our being. But big bang - which is what resolutions tend to achieve - rarely work. Big bang happened 14 billion years ago and that's how we came about. Next time it happens - in all probability - we will be gone.

Take one small change say a week. A month. Put it to use. Measure its impact. That's how we get closer to our 'i want to be that' self.

PS:
1. Black Swans have their way. Ruthlessly.
2. I don't believe in 'don't check your mails in the morning' blah. It never worked for me.
3. Not giving fucks to unimportant things in life is essential to change.

2016-12-24

Inexorable Passage of Time

It was an old theory propounded by I guess Alvin Tofller that times flies faster in relation to the time we spent in this world. Years get shorter as we live our years. That time fundamentally is relative.

 Toffler wasn't wrong.  2016 went zooming past. Faster.

Each of us wants more in life. More money. More fame. More of all. Time for WhatsApp and Facebook included. Given this desire for more against the inexorability of Tofflerian time, how can we achieve more? We - both as individuals and collectively as a species - gathered much knowledge, skills and technology, and it seems we will need less time to do more. Accumulated years shorten time but accumulated knowledge makes it easier to accomplish tasks. Technology makes say shopping a breeze compared to the rigor of walking through the maze of malls. I am an optimist. This is how I would like to define my/our progress. Malthusians abound. But that's for them to write how Toffler's impedes our achievements.

Is life, btw, about achievement? What metrics should we apply to measure life? How do I explain to posterity about how I see my own life? No ready answers given history and human memory have been quite ignoring even of those that endowed us some great inventions and innovations.


PS: I also succumb to the bouts of being a sulking Malthusian. Allow me the crib as we all go through the double whammy of a passing calendar year as well as Tofflerian time. 

2016-12-18

Monumental Tragedy

Census team continues to miss me. I still don't get reckoned amongst Indian population. Methinks, I am not such an exception. My breed must be many. This country's population is - taking a random guess - 10 per cent more than what we are shown.

We will have approx 30 crore people coming up to employable age in say about 20 years. That is about the population of the United States. If someone thinks 8 per cent growth is great for a country of this size then he/she must be on dope. We need 20 per cent growth to fuel these numbers. And FORVER. In this context, and when things seem to be limping back to at least a close to 8 per cent growth, a few know-alls with their priorities garbled come with this supposed demonetisation decision ( there was no demonetisation as larger denominations were introduced as well). While future remains unknowable, science, experience and wisdom help us manage future better, vanity blinds us into ruining it.

Cash is what runs this economy. While we want an efficient system the fact that there are a good 20 per cent people without bank accounts makes cash a necessity than an option. People on daily wages operate just above the poverty line border. Events - mainly health reasons - push some back to below poverty line. This current episode of madness which took away many days of wages for such people has pushed many to below poverty line. For them corruption was never an issue. Subsistence was. Providing them their right to livelihood should have been a priority over tacking corruption. We don't have to run schemes sequentially. We can run schemes parallely provided one complements other. Here carpet bombing has been attempted for what should have been a  laser focussed attack on black money creators and hoarders.  In fact, large governments are the source of corruption. If one has to stop the flow of black money then government has to cut itself to size. It won't take ere long for ingenious black marketers to replace old stock with new currency.

Every decision is a trade off. We take decisions so long as merits overshadow demerits. Here is a decision where that logic has been throw to wind. Now rhetoric is being used to defend the indefensible. 

2012-03-10

Five Formulae For Life

Life explained and lived through -
  • Selfishness is a virtue - work hard for yourself; keep expanding the economy around you; pay higher taxes; hire people; spend more. It will do good. 
  • Moral hazard - you pay a price for others' indulgence. Almost always.
  • Information asymmetry - you can never know the truth. Only knowable truth is what you did. 
  • Chance theory - one thing somewhere there can and will affect the something else here. a boss has a fight at home; team gets screwed.
  • Black-swan events - extraordinary, not ordinary, events shape life. Ours or someone else's. 9/11. marriage. death.

2011-09-24

Chance Everywhere!

Those who have read this blog know that I am a big fan of chance theory. It is our innate need to feel important and live till eternity that makes us see patterns and rationalize things and events.

My wife is a cousin of one of my - erstwhile - friends. This friend happened to accost me at a study circle, introduced himself and much later ended up introducing me to her. Such an important aspect of my life was caused by a random event.

Now one could say, if we go back to its origin, every thing or event will have such random, chance beginning. That is the point. There is no purpose behind many of such things or events. That does not rule out planning and free will. Sciences and Philosophies have been built on planning, control, organization, free will and such. It is important that Man controls the course of events lest life and world should become completely randomized.

I would yet say chance is everywhere!

2011-08-22

Who will LokPal the LokPal?

Sure. What after LokPal?

What is a policeman earning a paltry salary going to tell his son when he asks for a cricket kit?

Corruption has different shades. A politician who already is worth say Rs 1000 crore signing a deal which will make him/her worth Rs 2000 crore is a serious issue. We surely need a redressal mechanism. A corrupt clerk, paid poorly by the government, and  totally driven by needs which operate within his family, cannot be done away with by LokPal. We have individual incentives to be addressed.

Anyone for treating the cause also and not just curing the symptoms?

PS: And who will LokPal the LokPal?

2011-06-13

Life, Choices, et al

Children want to grow fast as they want to be able make choices. Grown-ups want to go back to being young so they can reverse wrong choices they made.
xxxxxxxxxx

There is nothing wrong with the world. It is how I have been engaging with it that needs correction.
xxxxxxxxxxx

It is perhaps easier to choose 10 things that we want or want to do before we say bye. If there was only one thing to have or do, how easy or hard would it be to choose. And what would that one thing be. Is it the same thing for which you have worked / working hard your life.
xxxxxxxxxxxx

The purpose of life is death!
xxxxxxxxxxxxx


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad




2011-03-23

Sex and Instinct

Tautological. But then how else would I break writers's block.

Unlike for other animals (almost all), based on reading and observation, it appears that for human beings sex is not an instinct. It is learned. We are capable of resisting the urge even when an opportunity throws up. We can choose not to reproduce. Surprisingly, there are couples who haven't consummated marriage. There are some who don't 'like' sex. There are some who want more and perhaps do more.

It is not that our content does not matter. It is that when it comes to human beings context matters much more.

PS:
-This is not intended to question sexual orientation. Everyone is entitled to his/her choice.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

2010-11-26

Out of action

For a reason. We relocated to Mumbai on Nov 01st. Still living out of a hotel. Should move into flat in 3-4 days. Thankfully 10 minutes away from office. Blogging will resume in another week. Those who missed new posts, please excuse.

2010-10-23

Mind Games

Mind plays many games. Over a period of time, we have avoided doing things that we had earlier wanted to do or done things that we would have ideally avoided. These could be simple things like avoiding junk food or wanting to do a bungee jump.

Mind keeps putting us first in a quandary and then in guilt. Much later, it puts these things in " not necessary to do" or " it is okay to indulge once in a while" category.

We are mostly about interaction between mind and body, primarily through a rush of chemicals passing through our body, which are again based on inputs, physical or psychological.

2010-10-01

Bieber and Chance

The place of chance in our lives can never be overestimated.

- What if Justin Bieber' s mother was 30 and not 18 when he was born. Would she have been as net savvy? If she did not know Youtube, would Beiber have happened to us? I doubt.

2010-09-19

Innovation

There is too much talk about " innovation". Resources - time, energy and lots of money - is going into developing new things. Management; medicine; engineering - everywhere.

What about efforts to apply all that is already is innovated?

Example - We are focusing efforts on developing new drugs for diabetes. Existing knowledge of diabetes and its prevention / control is enough to take care of over two-thirds of cases. When we continue to talk about innovation and new drugs, we mislead patients and their care-takers.

PS:
-Inspiration, of course, from Dr Atul Gawande. More precisely, his Better
-Similar ideas at Freakonomics Blog

2010-08-28

Purpose of god's life

I spend much time brooding over the purpose of life.

We did not after all come to this world to be working for most of our waking hours. To end up hating people who were once ours and dear. One person killing another for money. Wars over things or issues that should have never mattered. Making Kings and Queens of some people. Sucking up to supposed leaders. To die of poverty. To wake and not know what to do.

The purpose never becomes clear because, methinks, fundamentally there was never any purpose. It was an accident. And over period - given our predilection to forming patterns where there was none - we started believing that god created this world for a purpose; and human beings as the centre of this grand purpose of gods.

Now got quite interested in a thought, which saw on twitter - What is the purpose of a god's life (or even the God's life)?

2017-04-01

I Can't Do

Another pop-psychology topic is to push people into thinking "I can do".

No.

I am scared of large of tracts water - I can't swim in a sea. I am fine with it. I don't want to be told I can do it. I can't. I could not care if I did this either.

There is too much of pressure to believe that 'we can' do stuff.

I can't do complex math. My mind just doesn't work. Explains my low scores at ISB. I am fine with it as well. I hate it if someone told me I have to believe myself into solving complex math problems. Even if I believed I can, I cannot. Belief many times has little to do with reality. Pushing people into "I can do" thinking creates huge chasm between what they believe they can be and what they actually are, resulting in avoidable misery.

I am not advocating taking things as they are. Choosing to learn and expand my horizons is a learning process. This should be. But knowing how much I can know and do is the most important of the lessons I can learn. Else, because of this ' I can' thinking, I will keep responding to what people or society thinks I should be.

I am also a big believer of free will - circumstances happen (so called fate); we respond (how we respond is free will). Free will does not mean I am a super man and can overcome all my limitations. It only means my ability to make a choice, including my choice to learn things to improve myself. Most times, the choices I make are limited by my ability - knowing this and operating within this is my free will.

Need for external endorsement of me should never drive my behavior - which is at the core of "I can do" thinking. Learning to let go. Knowing where to draw a line and say " I can't". Not persisting forever because I started something. All these essential to resist this "I can do" syndrome.


2017-03-25

Earth Hour

Earth Hour:
Edit: I have gone around the Sun 6 years since my last post on the subject. Nothing much has changed. Except that I would have punctuated this post with a few f$cks. Because that is how many fewer f$cks I give to this concept of Earth Day / Hour. The Earth is an accident and if we continue to think we could damage this by human action, that is the highest form of arrogance that one could conceive. We came here much later than the Earth formed out of hot gases. We will vanish much before the Earth will. To think anything else is nemesis.

Edit2: I seem to be ok - skeptically though - with the concept so long as we redefine the objective and state what we actually mean - that we are trying to save  ourselves. If ever. That the so called noble cause of saving the Earth is a charade.

PS: A tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small and unimportant planet. This is how Russell defined a human being. Even this small and unimportant planet is infinitely more powerful than what we are and can ever be.

2017-03-19

Happiness ain't the purpose of Life

Happiness is pursued as the purpose of life. I can't imagine myself to be happy all the time. I must do my morning ablutions, shave, bath, and do many other routine things necessary to survive and live in this world. All these don't bring me happiness. Nor do I know what I am when I am asleep. Not having a proper sleep makes me grumpy but a good sleep doesn't make me happy. Nor does a rich and tasty meal because I know it makes me unhealthy.

The purpose of life is to live. I didn't choose to come here. I was brought in. I need to do multiple routine activities to be able to carry on living. I need to work to be able to earn my livelihood and my luxuries. Be happy with what you do rather than do what brings you happiness is pure bullshit.

The purpose of life is to live. Live through the small joys that pervade our childhood. The innocence of zero responsibility. The fear of teachers and parents. The yearning for toys and snacking. The confusion this is abound during adolescence. The bitterness about lack of fairness and of having to follow rules set by society and parents. The rush of hormones as we grow into youth. The need for romantic liaisons. Love possibly. Then the responsibility of job and career. The need of it. Probably marriage and myriad responsibilities of being a parent.

The purpose of life is to live. Live everyday which brings many moments of frustration, fun, anger, tiredness, boredom, needy emotions. A lot of them. I can't be aiming for happiness as the one emotion. It is belying our entire lives. Life is supposed to be lived in its million moments that it throws at us and that we create for ourselves.

I would be lying if I said holidays bring nothing but happiness. There is fatigue at the end of a long holiday. Anyone who has gone on a long holiday can relate to this. Nor was I ever aiming for happiness when I planned holidays. I was looking for newness, the sheer experience of travel, trying out new cuisine, different beers, knowing everyday lives of people who live miles away from where I live.

The purpose of life is to live. It also means going through the trauma of my mother no longer being around.

Let's stop beguiling ourselves into believing that we all seek happiness all the time. This narrow definition of purpose of life takes away the richness, colour, different textures, the roller-coaster of emotions that we go through and we must go through in our journey to death.

Happiness is ephemeral. What is enduring is life in its diversity.

2017-02-26

What if!

What if!

'What if' is decried. I have an active brain which is prone to imagination. Which weaves past, opportunities lost, memories of the more successful next door boy, that Lamborghini, vivid images of what I have seen and observed over many years into a beautiful what if story. There is nothing wrong in imagining a 'what if' life for a short burst of time.

Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World said I would not choose to be any other if I were given a choice. I would tend to believe so.

But would it be true for millions whose biggest struggle is to fill their stomachs and those of their loved ones. For some, I hate to conjecture, 'what if' could be a constant state of mind!

2017-02-24

Patriotism, Bullshit, and my Taxes

I went to the movie Jolly LLB 2. No this post isn't about the movie. Nor is it about my being compelled by the Hon'ble Supreme Court to stand up during the playing of our National Anthem when all that I had legally and legitimately signed up for was entertainment. Mind you, after duly spending which is at the core of patriotism. Before I forget, I allowed the government to join my party by paying its due, entertainment tax that is.

I digressed.

My point was about Amitabh Bachchan lecturing me on how we as people should buy manure creating machine and make manure in our societies.

As I had cribbed about earlier, I go to office for 6 months of a year to just fill the government coffers, not including paying taxes on a car I bought which I cannot legally drive beyond the state in a country which I am told I belong everywhere.

I digress again. Let us come back to the lecturing on manure.

I pay taxes. I have to make manure. I have to feel guilty as I shower since I am supposed to save water. I have to clean up roads. I have to do CSR. I have to suffer demonetization. Adding insult to injury I have to read and listen to bullshit stories that are being woven around why Demonetization in the first place. The list is quite long and the hypocrisy, tiring.

The government compels me to pay taxes so it can have its way, forgetting the fact that I pay taxes precisely to do all those things that it thinks it can guilt me into doing.

I am patriotic not because I stand up to our National Anthem. I am because I pay my taxes in all honesty. I spend well thereby encouraging economy (thus jobs) and paying indirect taxes along. I hire drivers, maids and cooks which again leads to propping the economy.

I read Ayn Rand during my transformational years - I serve the best interest of the humanity / Country by focusing on self.  This won't change.


2017-02-21

Longevity and its adverse consequences

Long time ago, expectancy was around 30. Now people routinely live beyond 70. What are the challenges -

  • Need to earn a lot more to feed oneself and family longer.
  • Medical issues - physical pain, depression to self and family, and financial issues.
  • Boredom - can't be doing same thing or be only with same set of people. 
  • Monogamy / Monoamory surely under threat. 



Management By Hormones

We seem to be captives to our hormones more than we realise and more than we are perhaps willing to accept.

I was watching this show on national geographic channel – it was the story, a tragic one, of three cheetah brothers; one female cheetah, which all three are trying to suit; and a neighbourhood lion. Lion, mind you, not lioness.

This lion kills the female cheetah and one of the three brothers. Just a snap – one each - and it breaks their backbones thus taking away their lives. Cheetahs are feeble; but for their speed they would be a species which would have vanished ere long. They regularly run away from Hyenas – some very powerful jaws there; leopards; and sometimes, even baboons and horny antelopes. Thanks to their speed, they are able to kill on an average four times for every ten attempts. Other predators scare them away from their kills. Often times.

Sight of a lion or the female of the lion is enough to make them scurry for life. They know a lion’s bite has the power to kill. One bite.

On this day, these three brothers, in rabid heat, cause raucous as they pursue the female cheetah. This catches the attention of a lion in the neighbourhood.

These brothers end up ignoring the Lion and its warnings as they get overwhelmed by the rush of hormones dictating their behavior. So much so, they don't even bother to keep a distance from the lion just to have the female cheetah. They not only get one of them killed but compromise the life of the female cheetah as well.

Is there a metaphor?

Change as incrementalism

It is always futile to wait for a certain day of the year to turn to sainthood. To resolve to be what we want to be than what we are.

What we want to be rather what we are makes us richer and looked up to. That's what brings purpose to our being. But big bang - which is what resolutions tend to achieve - rarely work. Big bang happened 14 billion years ago and that's how we came about. Next time it happens - in all probability - we will be gone.

Take one small change say a week. A month. Put it to use. Measure its impact. That's how we get closer to our 'i want to be that' self.

PS:
1. Black Swans have their way. Ruthlessly.
2. I don't believe in 'don't check your mails in the morning' blah. It never worked for me.
3. Not giving fucks to unimportant things in life is essential to change.

2016-12-24

Inexorable Passage of Time

It was an old theory propounded by I guess Alvin Tofller that times flies faster in relation to the time we spent in this world. Years get shorter as we live our years. That time fundamentally is relative.

 Toffler wasn't wrong.  2016 went zooming past. Faster.

Each of us wants more in life. More money. More fame. More of all. Time for WhatsApp and Facebook included. Given this desire for more against the inexorability of Tofflerian time, how can we achieve more? We - both as individuals and collectively as a species - gathered much knowledge, skills and technology, and it seems we will need less time to do more. Accumulated years shorten time but accumulated knowledge makes it easier to accomplish tasks. Technology makes say shopping a breeze compared to the rigor of walking through the maze of malls. I am an optimist. This is how I would like to define my/our progress. Malthusians abound. But that's for them to write how Toffler's impedes our achievements.

Is life, btw, about achievement? What metrics should we apply to measure life? How do I explain to posterity about how I see my own life? No ready answers given history and human memory have been quite ignoring even of those that endowed us some great inventions and innovations.


PS: I also succumb to the bouts of being a sulking Malthusian. Allow me the crib as we all go through the double whammy of a passing calendar year as well as Tofflerian time. 

2016-12-18

Monumental Tragedy

Census team continues to miss me. I still don't get reckoned amongst Indian population. Methinks, I am not such an exception. My breed must be many. This country's population is - taking a random guess - 10 per cent more than what we are shown.

We will have approx 30 crore people coming up to employable age in say about 20 years. That is about the population of the United States. If someone thinks 8 per cent growth is great for a country of this size then he/she must be on dope. We need 20 per cent growth to fuel these numbers. And FORVER. In this context, and when things seem to be limping back to at least a close to 8 per cent growth, a few know-alls with their priorities garbled come with this supposed demonetisation decision ( there was no demonetisation as larger denominations were introduced as well). While future remains unknowable, science, experience and wisdom help us manage future better, vanity blinds us into ruining it.

Cash is what runs this economy. While we want an efficient system the fact that there are a good 20 per cent people without bank accounts makes cash a necessity than an option. People on daily wages operate just above the poverty line border. Events - mainly health reasons - push some back to below poverty line. This current episode of madness which took away many days of wages for such people has pushed many to below poverty line. For them corruption was never an issue. Subsistence was. Providing them their right to livelihood should have been a priority over tacking corruption. We don't have to run schemes sequentially. We can run schemes parallely provided one complements other. Here carpet bombing has been attempted for what should have been a  laser focussed attack on black money creators and hoarders.  In fact, large governments are the source of corruption. If one has to stop the flow of black money then government has to cut itself to size. It won't take ere long for ingenious black marketers to replace old stock with new currency.

Every decision is a trade off. We take decisions so long as merits overshadow demerits. Here is a decision where that logic has been throw to wind. Now rhetoric is being used to defend the indefensible. 

2012-03-10

Five Formulae For Life

Life explained and lived through -
  • Selfishness is a virtue - work hard for yourself; keep expanding the economy around you; pay higher taxes; hire people; spend more. It will do good. 
  • Moral hazard - you pay a price for others' indulgence. Almost always.
  • Information asymmetry - you can never know the truth. Only knowable truth is what you did. 
  • Chance theory - one thing somewhere there can and will affect the something else here. a boss has a fight at home; team gets screwed.
  • Black-swan events - extraordinary, not ordinary, events shape life. Ours or someone else's. 9/11. marriage. death.

2011-09-24

Chance Everywhere!

Those who have read this blog know that I am a big fan of chance theory. It is our innate need to feel important and live till eternity that makes us see patterns and rationalize things and events.

My wife is a cousin of one of my - erstwhile - friends. This friend happened to accost me at a study circle, introduced himself and much later ended up introducing me to her. Such an important aspect of my life was caused by a random event.

Now one could say, if we go back to its origin, every thing or event will have such random, chance beginning. That is the point. There is no purpose behind many of such things or events. That does not rule out planning and free will. Sciences and Philosophies have been built on planning, control, organization, free will and such. It is important that Man controls the course of events lest life and world should become completely randomized.

I would yet say chance is everywhere!

2011-08-22

Who will LokPal the LokPal?

Sure. What after LokPal?

What is a policeman earning a paltry salary going to tell his son when he asks for a cricket kit?

Corruption has different shades. A politician who already is worth say Rs 1000 crore signing a deal which will make him/her worth Rs 2000 crore is a serious issue. We surely need a redressal mechanism. A corrupt clerk, paid poorly by the government, and  totally driven by needs which operate within his family, cannot be done away with by LokPal. We have individual incentives to be addressed.

Anyone for treating the cause also and not just curing the symptoms?

PS: And who will LokPal the LokPal?

2011-06-13

Life, Choices, et al

Children want to grow fast as they want to be able make choices. Grown-ups want to go back to being young so they can reverse wrong choices they made.
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There is nothing wrong with the world. It is how I have been engaging with it that needs correction.
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It is perhaps easier to choose 10 things that we want or want to do before we say bye. If there was only one thing to have or do, how easy or hard would it be to choose. And what would that one thing be. Is it the same thing for which you have worked / working hard your life.
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The purpose of life is death!
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2011-03-23

Sex and Instinct

Tautological. But then how else would I break writers's block.

Unlike for other animals (almost all), based on reading and observation, it appears that for human beings sex is not an instinct. It is learned. We are capable of resisting the urge even when an opportunity throws up. We can choose not to reproduce. Surprisingly, there are couples who haven't consummated marriage. There are some who don't 'like' sex. There are some who want more and perhaps do more.

It is not that our content does not matter. It is that when it comes to human beings context matters much more.

PS:
-This is not intended to question sexual orientation. Everyone is entitled to his/her choice.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

2010-11-26

Out of action

For a reason. We relocated to Mumbai on Nov 01st. Still living out of a hotel. Should move into flat in 3-4 days. Thankfully 10 minutes away from office. Blogging will resume in another week. Those who missed new posts, please excuse.

2010-10-23

Mind Games

Mind plays many games. Over a period of time, we have avoided doing things that we had earlier wanted to do or done things that we would have ideally avoided. These could be simple things like avoiding junk food or wanting to do a bungee jump.

Mind keeps putting us first in a quandary and then in guilt. Much later, it puts these things in " not necessary to do" or " it is okay to indulge once in a while" category.

We are mostly about interaction between mind and body, primarily through a rush of chemicals passing through our body, which are again based on inputs, physical or psychological.

2010-10-01

Bieber and Chance

The place of chance in our lives can never be overestimated.

- What if Justin Bieber' s mother was 30 and not 18 when he was born. Would she have been as net savvy? If she did not know Youtube, would Beiber have happened to us? I doubt.

2010-09-19

Innovation

There is too much talk about " innovation". Resources - time, energy and lots of money - is going into developing new things. Management; medicine; engineering - everywhere.

What about efforts to apply all that is already is innovated?

Example - We are focusing efforts on developing new drugs for diabetes. Existing knowledge of diabetes and its prevention / control is enough to take care of over two-thirds of cases. When we continue to talk about innovation and new drugs, we mislead patients and their care-takers.

PS:
-Inspiration, of course, from Dr Atul Gawande. More precisely, his Better
-Similar ideas at Freakonomics Blog

2010-08-28

Purpose of god's life

I spend much time brooding over the purpose of life.

We did not after all come to this world to be working for most of our waking hours. To end up hating people who were once ours and dear. One person killing another for money. Wars over things or issues that should have never mattered. Making Kings and Queens of some people. Sucking up to supposed leaders. To die of poverty. To wake and not know what to do.

The purpose never becomes clear because, methinks, fundamentally there was never any purpose. It was an accident. And over period - given our predilection to forming patterns where there was none - we started believing that god created this world for a purpose; and human beings as the centre of this grand purpose of gods.

Now got quite interested in a thought, which saw on twitter - What is the purpose of a god's life (or even the God's life)?