2017-02-24

Patriotism, Bullshit, and my Taxes

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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

Digg my article



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

Digg my article



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

Digg my article



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

Digg my article



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

Digg my article



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

Digg my article



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!

Digg my article



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?

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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

Digg my article



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




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