07 November 2010

Recovery following the luv curve and the date format

Obama visit: What I learnt on Day one:

Recovery of luv:
I learnt that worldwide the economic recovery is on the luv curve. Nothing amorous about it. The Europeans are on the L curve; they came down like the stem of the letter L; they did not go up again. The Americans are on the U curve; they went down fast like the left stem of U; they are now on a slow recovery like the shape at the bottom of the letter U; in future they are likely to go up like the right stem of the letter U. The Indians and the Chinese are on V curve; they came down fast and are going up fast. So you have LUV curve.

Date format:
The date format of the Americans is not consistent. I use to think that they use the MMDD format, as in 9/11, for example. I discovered that Obama uses the DDMM format as well. When he gave his eloquent speech at the Memorial today he kept alluding to 26/11. There is no such month as the 26th, as we know, so, he must be referring to 26 November Mumbai carnage.

I have learnt a lot from the first day of Obama's visit

02 October 2010

I just wanted to forewarn the world.

Last year I missed the opportunity to predict the cataclysmic event that would happen on 7th August. But this time around I want to be the first to report that another cataclysmic event is going to happen at ten minutes past the tenth hour on tenth October.
I remember how last year a story was making the rounds in the Internet that the fifth minute past the sixth hour on 7th August (05:06:07-08-09) was so unique that a minute such as that would not be experienced again in the present millennium. As far as I was concerned nothing much happened. I did not get promoted -as did not a host of others who were looking for promotion that very minute. Of course, a few got promoted at that very minute somewhere in the world. But then every minute somewhere in the world someone gets promoted. As for me, when that tumultuous minute arrived I was in the washroom. The minute came and went.
I am sure something extraordinary will happen at ten minutes past ten on 10th October 10 (10:10: 10-10-10). Perhaps I will get promoted. Remember Lincoln was shot exactly at 10:10. And legend goes that this is the reason why all shops selling wall clocks keep the hands of the clocks at 10:10. I just wanted to forewarn the world.

29 August 2010

Is Nokia making more money by repairing than selling?

Is Nokia making more money by repairing than selling mobile phones?
Day 1
I really don't know. Although I may have suspicion, I have no way to prove . How come Nokia phones start failing just after the warranty period is over?
Either the mobile phone's screen goes poof, or the keypad goes poof, or something compelling happens which forces you to go to Nokia Care.
You have to grant it to Nokia Care, however. It is a swank little place; quite like the 5 star hospitals mushrooming all over.
You have to dish out Rs 100/- (approx $2) to get the fault diagnosed. Nokia Care calls it inspection charges. Appears fair enough, except that I think I was 167 in the queue. And if the queue numbering has been correctly interpreted by me, Nokia Care had already made Rs 16,600/- ( approx $334) on inspection charges alone by the time I reached them.
What I do think is possible is that the repair charges are very strategically priced. It is not quite high enough for you to go in for a new set but high enough for you to wish that you had bought some other mobile phone. First time I went in for a repair of a 5310 set, it cost me approx Rs 2000/- (approx $40) and the second time approx Rs 1200/- (approx $24).
Am I imagining that the phone breaks down just outside the warranty period? May be I am, may be I am not. I have no way to prove either way.
But this much I think I know: I am definitely going in for a different brand when the total repair charges overtakes the original price of the Nokia.

Day 2: Nokia Care Doesn't Care

I got my phone back. Nokia returned the inspection charges (Rs 100/-). So I guess my calculations weren't quite correct about money made out of inspection charges. I paid Rs 1100/-.
But guess what? I am absolutely appalled with Nokia Care's Don't Care attitude. They didn't push the memory card back into the phone. They said the card might be infected. Nokia Care didn't have a scanner and therefore I should take the mem card to a cyber cafe and get it scanned and checked. To a cyber cafe, for God's sake! If the mem card didn't have virus it surely was going to get virus if I took it to a cyber cafe. I bought the mem card from Nokia along with the phone then why should I go to a cyber cafe to get it checked?

Nokia Care is telling me to go to a cyber cafe to get checked a thing that they had sold to me. Can things get more ridiculous?

04 August 2010

Kick Ass

A mathematical theory is doing the rounds in the Internet. From it I derived a management theory. First, the mathematical theory then my management theory:
Quote:
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint it goes like this:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:
If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
Then:
H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K
8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%
and
K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E
11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%
But,
A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E
1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%
And,
B-U-L-L-S-H- I-T
2+21+12+12+19+ 8+9+20 = 103%
AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.
A-S-S-K-I-S- S-I-N-G
1+19+19+11+9+ 19+19+9+14+ 7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that, while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top

Unquote

Extension of the mathematical theory to a management theory:
I call this the lick ass and kick ass theory. I argue that ass kicking is greater than bullshit, although both tie at 103%.
Lick the ass of your manager and kick the ass of your subordinate. It is so easy. What’s more it even rhymes! So, it makes sense to get these two traits together. You will really go far. Here is a model that I propound:



Look at the four quadrants Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4:
The guy in Q1 has the least lick ass and kick ass trait. He will go nowhere. In fact, he is a stillborn manager.
The guy in Q2 has high kick ass and low lick ass trait. He will be like a projectile with a low trajectory; he will go far but will never go high. Actually he will go so far from his Company that it won’t be safe for him to return.
The guy in Q3 has low kick ass but high lick ass trait. He will be like a projectile with a very high trajectory; he will go high but not far. If you only exercise your tongue and not your legs, you are likely to get blisters on your tongue and arthritis in your legs.
The guy in Q4 has high kick ass and high lick ass trait. He will go high and will go far. He will kick the ass of his subordinates, even step on them. Few can challenge him in licking ass. He is the manager to look out for. He is the winner.

28 July 2010

English as Second Language


Invitation to Download Free Virus and Spyware


Notice in a company Dining Hall

03 July 2010

Be Invisible



I went and tickled the Brazilian goalkeeper when Wesley Sneijde took that shot at the goal. Tickled to death, the Brazilian let in a goal. And now Brazil is history. That really was not my goal. Unfortunately, when one is invisible the urge to tickle a goalkeeper is just too overwhelming.

I quietly loosened the strings of Federer's racket and Berdych cut him out of Wimbledon. Now why did I do that? I, a Federer fan? Very stupid of me. But one does suffer from racket-string-loosening-syndrome when one becomes invisible. One just can't fight this syndrome.

But for the electric shock the live wire surrounding the Kohinoor gave me, I would have brought back the Kohinoor from the British Museum. No one forewarned me this: invisible you may be, but you are still susceptible to electric shocks.

02 July 2010

I Tech Questions

Question 1: If Shakespeare knew the C language, how would he have written his famous quote from Hamlet?

To be or not to be; that is the question



Question 2: If a Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) became rich while assiduously following his craft, what would this story be called?

Scroll down for answers.













Answer 1

2*b || !(2*b) ; // that is the question


Answer 2

Tags to riches story

26 June 2010

Twist in the Tale











All images from "The book of bunny suicides by Andy Riley"

When bunny's mother-in-law came visiting, bunny proudly demonstrated these innovative ways to commit suicide. Of course he had to pull back from the brink everytime, else he couldn't have demonstrated all the four. Having pulled back from the brink the fourth time, he invited his mother-in-law to try out any of the methods. His mother in law chose the one with the clock and went ahead.

Later at a press conference, bunny said that it was a 'timely' death for his mother-in-law. He scoffed all rumours about suicide and said that it was euthanasia: mercy was on him and the killing was hers.

30 May 2010

All that Tweets is not a Bird

The English Poet’s Club of Heaven was in crisis. It had become bloated and God wanted it downsized. God noted that earlier only the very select were admitted into its haloed precincts but now all and sundry were gaining admission. He charged St Peter to devise a manner to trim it down to size.
St Peter devised a simple method to keep the pretenders out. Now follow the story.
Scene I
(St Peter is chairing what appears to be a meeting of the English Poets’ Club. The who’s who of the English poetic world is present. Shakespeare, Frost, Bronte, Lazarus, Whitman, Tagore, Kipling, Milton and Silverstein)
St Peter: All of you tweet your best quote to the children of the world below. It has to be only one tweet, no more. The children of the temporal world have time for only one. If the children send up a smiling smiley, as reply, you are in else you are out. Remember, a tweet is no more than 140 characters. Beyond 140 characters, your quote will get truncated. I encourage you to speak out your quote here in this august but bloated gathering so that all would know what quote went down. I will call each of you in turn. As soon as you are done with your quote, our telecom expert, Guglielmo Marconi will send down your quote for evaluation and in a twinkling of the eye he will get the result as well. Marconi will then wave the appropriate smiley and by that we’ll know if the tweet was accepted or rejected. As the earthlings will say: Happy tweeting and best of luck! Let’s give the Bard of Avon the privilege to speak his quote first. William, please come up. This heaven is your stage.
William Shakespeare: Thank you, my Lord. Here is my quote:
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind as man’s gratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen because thou art not seen although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly; Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly; Then heigh-ho! the holly! This life is most jolly.
St Peter: As per the rules, the words from blow to breath will only be tweeted. Rest will be lost in transmission. Clearly, William Shakespeare you don’t believe in your own dictum that brevity is the soul of wit. Marconi please wave your magic wand.
(Marconi waves the sad smiley)
Stunning as the result may seem, I am afraid, William, you are out. Looks like the truncated tweet did you in. But the show must go on. I now call upon Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to speak his tweet.
Henry: Since we are talking about souls, here is my quote from Psalm of Life:
Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; "Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.
St Peter: Since you good souls from yesteryears have gathered here and have not self destructed, this seems to be a reasonable goal and quote. Marconi please do us the honours. Souls, I just can’t stand the suspense.
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
St Peter: Thank God you are in Henry! Well done! I now call upon Emily Bronte to tweet away.
Emily: The buzzword here seems to be soul. But I will talk about heart, actually about taking heart. Be assured though that there is soul embedded in my original work. Anyone interested can hear about it offline. But here is my tweet:
And if I pray, the only prayer that moves my lips for me is–"Leave the heart that now I bear and give me liberty."
St Peter: Nice tweet lady. Will Marconi please tell us the result?
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
St Peter: Looks like we have another winner. Congrats Emily. I now call upon Emma Lazarus to give us her quote.
Emma Lazarus: Taking the liberty cue from Emily, here is my quote on liberty, a quote that is engraved at bottom of the Statue of Liberty:
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

St Peter: Excellent! That’s one quote you can’t hold a candle to, that torch of liberty flames so much! Wave your good wand, then Marconi.
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
St Peter: Liberty still does seem to be very emotive down below. Good to know that you will be part of the Club Emma, and deservedly so. Can Walt Whitman please give us his tweet now!
Walt Whitman: Emma spoke about Tempest tossed, or those who were tossed around in the raging seas during their voyage to freedom. I will describe another fearful trip in a ship that weathered every rack. The Captain of that ship, Abraham Lincoln, must be here somewhere watching the live telecast of this tweeting event. But here is my tweet:
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done. The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won.
St Peter: Abraham, after he fell to the assassin’s bullets, is now the anchor of a sitcom ‘Liberty’ here in heaven. But I am digressing. Marconi, out with the verdict!
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
St Peter: Phew! Marconi tells me that Walt made it by a whisker. But let me call one who took the road less travelled and that, it would appear made all the difference. Robert, Robert Frost, the stage is yours, Sir!
Robert Frost: Thank you for your kind words, St Peter. Will not talk about the road not taken, for as Garfield, the earthly cat, says, ‘it is easy to be brilliant in hindsight’. Walt spoke of a Captain who went to deep sleep after winning the prize. I will, on the other hand, tweet about things to be done, promises to be kept before deep sleep engulfs me. Here is my quote:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep
St Peter: Marconi you have a few flags to wave before you sleep.
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
St Peter: You kept your promise Robert. I congratulate you. I call upon John, John Milton to tweet away.
John Milton: When I was down there everything was dark for me; not the woods, or the farmhouse but everything. It is a condition which the earthlings call blindness. Is that why I wrote these lines:
what in me is dark illumine, what is low raise and support; That, to the height of this great argument, I may assert Eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men.
St Peter: But all that is past John; all is brilliant and radiant out here. God’s Grace is unceasing renewal source of energy. Marc, wave thy flag, will ye!
(Marconi waves the sad smiley).
St Peter: Ah! We have another casualty. You are out John. Perhaps you will regain entry when you quote from Paradise Regained. I now call upon Rabindranath Tagore, who had a prayer for his country. Robin, the stage is yours.
Tagore: From up here all boundaries appear blurred, all fences virtual. Therefore the tweet I send out, although, at the time of writing, was worded for my countrymen, is now for all of humanity.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;….. Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
St Peter: And if humanity sleeps beyond the waking hour, rest assured that God will nudge them awake. Marc can you please make the verdict public.
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
St Peter: Well done Robin. You stay. Rudyard Kipling, if I could call you to tweet.
Kipling: You may indeed, St Peter. Between many an IF did I write this poem. And the most significant IF is my tweet today. So here goes:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run,Yours is the Earth and …you'll be a Man, my son!
St Peter: Marc, do this differently, will you? Do blow your whistle three times if Rudyard is in.
(Marconi blows his whistle three times.)
St Peter: Bravo Rudyard, Bravo! And now a soul who is a favourite with the children down below. Shel Silverstein let’s listen to your quote.
Shel SilverStein: Those good old days children played and coloured with chalk. Today they have their markers. But the markings are the same; arrowheads leading to their place of fun. So, here is my tweet:
There is a place where the sidewalk ends and before the street begins. And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go, for the children, they mark, and the children, they know the place where the sidewalk ends
St Peter: Thank you Shel and over to you Marc.
(Marconi rushes up to St Peter and says something into his ear. St Peter and Marconi go into a huddle. Finally, St Peter emerges from the huddle.)
St Peter: A very intriguing result, this last one. Although every word beyond mark got truncated and therefore got lost in transmission, Shel still gets the children’s vote. Marc tells me that each child has Shel’s poem on his or her desktop, so it does not matter if the tweet got truncated. Shel, my friend, you are in! Wave the smiley, Marc.
(Marconi waves the happy smiley).
Thank you gentle souls. We had some startling results today. The lesson we are taking with us today is that never rest on your laurels. But most of all, keep it short, keep it sweet.

20 April 2010

U.S.-India Partnership: It Matters




Scene I
(Somewhere on Cloud Nine. Abraham Lincoln is floating on a white cloud and Mahatma Gandhi is floating on a gray cloud.)

Abraham: Mahatma, you had better get off that cloud, you know. Last time you were sitting on a similar cloud, the Americans seeded it and rain poured out from it and down you went hurtling.
Mahatma: Abraham, you seem to forget that there is no such thing as hurtling down for us heavenlings-for want of a better word, heh, heh. Last time around I just spread my angelic wings and flew off. But you are right; seeding of cloud does disturb a heavenling when he is meditating.
Abraham: Let’s get off these clouds and levitate under the ozone layer, or whatever is left of it.
Mahatma: Abraham, there is enough left of it, as you will presently see Had the West-the Americans in particular-not pumped the CFCs into the earth’s atmosphere there would be far more left. But let’s go under the ozone layer and see for ourselves how much of ultra violet rays are seeping through. Let’s see if there is a hole in the ozone cover.
Abraham: The third world has its share of CFC pumping, Mahatma. However, if I find a hole in there I will plug it with my divine powers.

(Abraham flies off. Mahatma follows him)

Scene II

(Mahatma and Abraham are seen levitating under the ozone layer.)

Mahatma: You were contemplating fixing holes, if any exist. Remember, He has forbidden us to meddle with anything earthly save for the case when we voluntarily go down to earth as human beings and reverse anything untoward-like Krishna did some eons ago. Are you ready to do that?
Abraham: I would do anything for my beloved America, Mahatma.
Mahatma: Think bigger, Abraham. Think of the whole world. You are now one with the entire world. Even the earthlings have started understanding that God did not make the boundaries, the earthlings themselves did. You, for example, when you were down there, drew new boundaries when you united the North and the South. There is this American, Friedman, who says that the earth is flat. Earthlings are ever so slowly veering round to a unified world view.
Abraham: Not so fast, Mahatma. Far from uniting, the world is disintegrating into smaller dominions and fiefdoms. Everyone seems to have his or her own agenda. Only the other day I tweeted to Barak that, the Government which was ‘Of the people, by the people, for the people’, has over the years become one that is ‘Off the people, buys the people, frauds the people’
Mahatma: Those are 172 characters, you know. Must have gone in two tweets, my friend. Besides, I don’t recall God permitting us to communicate with the temporal world.
Abraham: He did too! Once the global economic crisis happened, He lifted the embargo. He said the earthlings needed divine intervention to fight off this extraordinary situation. I have been tweeting regularly to the Americans, the BRIC countries, the African countries, and the European countries. Although, I must confess that I know as much of this mess as does Barak or did Alan Greenspan. But I do think that your timeless quote on greed is the answer. You said: There is enough for everybody’s need, but not enough for anybody’s greed. Indeed, the essence of all cooperation is in this quotation.
Gandhi: Thank you, Abraham. But for me abolishing slavery was the original step towards universal cooperation. It was the fountainhead of all ideas about freedom. And you, Abraham showed the world how to do it. Only between equals can there be cooperation, all other is coercion.
Abraham: With us heavenlings, there is no such thing as pride; else I would have said with pride that America showed the way!
Mahatma: Yes, America showed the way! But India took it up from there; a billion people exercised their will. The underdog is now on way to become the top dog.
Abraham: True, but where is the cooperation? As the earth sizzles all that Indian leadership says is ‘We didn’t start the fire!’ The global warming will need more than smart quips if it ever were to be reversed.
Mahatma: This is the point of a billion people exercising their will. Each will have an opinion. Manmohan has to bring all of them around to understand that whoever started the fire, the fire has to be doused. At this stage of global warming, finger pointing will only scald the finger. Equally, for this, Barak will have to mandate that he will open his research labs for all developing countries without thinking of profit. A deeper and transparent cooperation is truly required; it is no more about quid pro quo, it is about survival now; global warming knows no boundaries.
Abraham: All around the temperatures and tempers are rising, so what should be my next tweet?
Mahatma: Just cool it! And my tweet to Manmohan?
Abraham: Just do it!
Mahatma: Yes, he has work to do, my Captain! Our nations' fearful trip is still not done!

(Exit Mahatma and Abraham)

31 March 2010

Just Stop This Search

What have you lost,
That you search and search?
Just stop this search,
Just stop this search.

You will not find it
Where you search.
So stop this search,
So stop this search.

Lost your bits?
Lost your bytes?
An engine then for your search?
An engine then for your search?

I lost my heart,
I lost my soul.
Help me Google with my search,
Help me God with my search.

27 March 2010

The Return of the Pied Piper

Sarah reached her floor exactly at five minutes to eight in the morning – like any other weekday. The huge floor had hundreds of computers and hundreds of cubes, all silent now. In the next five minutes the hive would come alive with machines powering up and people talking on their phones.

But, wait a minute. Something seemed wrong. All the computers were powering up by themselves! What was going on?

Sarah and other employees who had arrived for their day’s work stood agape. All computer screens where streaming this message over and over again:
BEWARE! THE PIED PIPER HAS RETURNED AND HE IS VERY, VERY ANGRY.

The employees recovered quickly and tried to key in instructions through their keyboards. But the keyboards were not responding. In fact, it was as if the Devil had taken over the computers; for nothing was responding.

Suddenly the screens went blank for a second and then started streaming a new message:
YOUR CITY HAD REQUISITIONED MY SERVICES TO CARRY OUT ETHICAL HACKING IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY AND PLUG ALL EXTERNAL ELECTRONIC THREATS. I UNCOVERED ALL VULNERABLE POINTS FOR YOUR CITY. BUT NOW YOUR CITY IS NOT PAYING. THE CHEATS IN YOUR MANAGEMENT ARE SAYING IF I WANT MONEY, I SHOULD APPROACH THE COURTS.
FOR A DAY SUCH AS THIS I DID NOT DELIBERATELY UNCOVER ONE LAST VULNERABLE POINT. AND NOW I HAVE TAKEN CONTROL OF ALL YOUR COMPUTERS THROUGH THIS VULNERABILITY. NOW YOUR CITY WILL PAY. AND IT WILL PAY DEARLY!

A kind of a wailing sound started off from the computers. The mouse of all the computers started behaving wildly. They started twirling round as if in a trance. The electronic mice disengaged themselves from the computers and dropped themselves on the floor. Then all of them at once raced to the door. The wail had a numbing effect on the employees. They remained transfixed, unable to move. But the screens were following the move of the mice. The employees could see the flight of the mice on their computer screens.

The mice streamed towards the stairway. Streams of mice where pouring out from other floors as well. The stairway was choked with mice as they bounded down the stairs into the street. Trains of electronic mice were streaming out from other buildings. All movement of traffic had ceased on the roads. All vehicles and people had become statues. The mice raced between the legs of the people transfixed on the sidewalks. They raced between the tyres of the vehicles on the streets; all headed in one direction. But where were they headed?

Presently the destination became clear to the employees who were still following the race of the mice on their computer screens. The mice were all headed to the ocean.
When the head of this huge mice carnival reached the ocean another spectacle went on display on the computer screens. The first lot of mice – perhaps 50 odd - jumped up into the air as if caught in a whirlwind and then plummeted headlong into the ocean. As this lot of mice finished their death dance another lot jumped up into the air and went headlong into the ocean. Lot after lot did likewise. Now, the invisible camera showing the death dance of the mice panned into the ocean floor. A strange thing was happening there. As the electronic mice hit the ocean floor, one mouse would coalesce into another and become one bigger mouse. A third mouse coalesced with this bigger mouse and the latter became a still bigger mouse. The size of the mouse kept growing. All mice gravitated towards this ever growing mouse and got sucked into it as if by a primordial force. A monster was growing at the bottom of the ocean floor.

The computer screen now came alive with another ominous message:
THE MOUSE MONSTER THAT KEEPS GROWING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN FLOOR WILL BE YOUR NEMESIS

The invisible camera cut back to the ocean’s edge. The mice in hundreds and thousands were still streaming to the ocean’s edge even as all populace of the city remained in a thrall, impotent to do anything. The mice in lots did their last dance and hurled themselves into the ocean as if driven by a death wish.
The final lot disappeared into the ocean floor.
Another horrific scene blinked open on the screen. A Giant Mouse, the size of Eiffel Tower, both in height and across, parted the waters and trundled up upon the ocean edge. As it shook off the water from its body the water reached the transfixed folks on the streets. Slowly, it started moving forward.

A final message came up upon the screen:
THE MOUSE MONSTER IS ON ITS WAY TO THE CITY. IN FACT, IT IS NOW COMING TO THIS VERY BUILDING. I WILL YET EXTRACT MY REVENGE!!

10 March 2010

The English Alphabets and the Economic Recovery or Regression

Economists are giving shapely curves to the incipient economic recovery or regression; recovery, if you are a rank optimist, regression, if you have an ear to the ground. But the common thread that runs through all these curves are English alphabets in the upper case.

One economist is calling the recovery ‘V’ shaped. This can be interpreted as the economy doing an ominous dip before picking up miraculously. Another learned economist said it is going to be a double dip and the recovery is going to be ‘W’ shaped. Still another said that we will hit the bottom not as quickly as in ‘V’. And equally, the economic recovery will also not pick up quite as quickly. Therefore, the English alphabet of her choice is ‘U’. A gloomy economist said that the regression is going to be ‘M’ shaped; the economy will pick up twice and drop down twice. Post the second drop, it will never pick up again. Some economists are saying that English alphabets are not enough to graphically represent the recovery or regression. They have brought the symbol of square root, or, √. I leave it to you to figure out the ups and downs of the economy when it goes square root.

It is not surprising that no one has thought of ‘I’ or ‘O’. For, if it is ‘I’, is the economy on a meteoric rise or is it on a perilous fall? Can’t really be sure. Similar is the case of ‘O’; the economy comes back to wherever it started from. It does not matter if you go clockwise or anti clockwise.

Some economists have even sexed it up a little by suggesting that the economy will take the shape of 2 ‘U’s, or UU. Will the economy have a cow’s udder shaped recovery? Only time will tell.

17 February 2010

Fix the US Congress Movement

This is what Professor Lawrence Lessig of United States wrote about US Supreme Court decision to strike down limits on political expenditures by corporations:

Quote:

.........Even before last week's decision, the vast majority of Americans did not believe that their government is, as our Framers intended, "dependent upon the People." The vast majority believes that the government is dependent upon money -- that money buys results in Congress.

This is corruption. And this corruption makes it harder for both Reagan Republicans and Progressive Democrats to achieve the substantive ends that they seek. Under conservative administrations in the last 30 years, Reagan Republicans have not seen the government shrink or the tax code simplified -- because Congress has no interest in smaller government or simpler taxes, as both would make it harder to raise campaign funds. And for the past year, despite the election of Barack Obama with a super-majority Democratic Congress, Progressive Democrats have watched with disgust as every substantive reform of this administration has been stymied by special interests expert in preserving the status quo.

Our single common purpose must be to end this corruption. No side in this debate has the right to demand rules that benefit them against the other. But all sides need to recognize that this corruption is destroying American democracy. We need a system that the people trust -- that gives the people a reason to participate, and convinces them that their participation is rewarded by the substantive policies that they have pursued.......


Unquote

Here is a video about how the polity is getting subservient to interest groups. The polity is no more subservient to the Will of the People

video

09 February 2010

Akbar and Birbal on BT Brinjal


Act I
Scene I

The setting is the lawns of Monsanto Mohan Akbar's residence.

(The play opens with MM Akbar and Ramesh Birbal taking a stroll on the lawns.)


Monsanto Mohan Akbar: Today I met the chief of a company. The suprisingly thing was that the company had the same name as mine.

Ramesh Birbal: And what is the name of the company sir?

MM AKbar: C'mon dude, that's Monsanto. What a great company, I say!

R Birbal: Oh Monsanto! That indeed is a great company sir!

MM Akbar: They grow BT brinjal*, the tastiest brinjal in the whole world.

R Birbal: That's a cute name sir! BT Brinjal! Now, why did I not think of a similar name for the Coppenhagen summit? BT Summit or Bio Trashing Summit!

MM Akbar: Keep your focus Birbal. I am talking about BT Brinjal and not Coppenhagen Summit. That is dead and gone.

R Birbal: But BT Brinjal will remain, forever and ever. Like the plastic bags. Long live BT Brinjal!

MM Akbar: I have to hurry Birbal! I have to give a presentation to madam on how to get the prices of foodgrains down! She is hopping mad owing to the price rise. And Mr Charade Power isn't making things easy either.

R Birbal: You work too hard sir. Anyway best of luck, sir! Next time I will bring along BT Brinjal Bharta for you to taste!

(to himself) Now doesn't that rhyme: BT Brinjal Bharta*! I am really original!

(Exit MM Akbar and R Birbal)

Scene II
The lawns of MM Akbar's residence. A few days later.

(Enter MM Akbar and R Birbal)

R Birbal: Sir, I have brought BTBB for you. Here is, BT Brinjal Bharta.

MM Akbar: (looking annoyed) Now keep that bharta to yourself Birbal! That youngster of madam made such a case against BT Brinjal. He said farmers will die of starvation if we introduce this accursed BT Brinjal. He said we have 2400 varieties of indigenous brinjals Why would we need BT brinjal? He has a point there. Monsanto or not, BT Brinjal is no good.

R Birbal: Yes Sir! BT Brinjal is no good. Down with BT Brinjal! Let's kick out BT Brinjal!

MM Akbar: What Birbal, only a few days earlier you were singing paeans about BT Brinjal. Now you seem to do a complete volte face. How can you be so capricious?

R Birbal: Sir! You gave me a ministerial berth, not BT Brinjal. If you say BT Brinjal is Baigun*, so be it. I am going to throw this BT Brinjal Bharta at the bottom of the Indian Ocean lest it contaminates our indigenous brinjals.

MM Akbar: Yes do that. And make sure there are no traces of it left in that container of yours.

(Exit MM Akbar and R Birbal)


Note 1: Eggplant
Note 2: An Indian culinary preparation made from eggplant.
Note 3: Another name for eggplant. 'Baigun' in most Indian languages also means 'without any benefit or value'. Used in the second sense tongue in cheek here.

30 January 2010

The TRP Media

We, the ordinary people, cannot match the power of some of the media, its barons - the emerging fat cats - but thanks to the Internet we can at least write our blogs about our angst to our countrymen and women. Let's write in our blogs how cynically some of the media is getting its TRPs by denigrating and demolishing the great Indian Army through half truths and rhetoric. How cynically this section of the media is getting its TRP on the graves and funeral pyres of our soldiers.

After each salvo of innuendo and insinuation, this shrill media has this sly refrain: "Mind you, we are proud of the Army but....." And then they go on to say, "....the people are asking, why blah, blah, blah......," it is not the people but this section of self serving media which is insinuating.

A section of media is saying that the Army Chief was soft on a particular General. Does its anchors sitting in air conditioned rooms and mouthing Queen's English even begin to understand what it is to be tough? Speaking good English is not enough to be tough. These paragons of virtues will have to walk over hot and bloody minefields, chest bullets to understand what it is to be tough; they will have to walk their shrill talk to understand what toughness is. The Chief was not transported to the chief's chair by some fast forward time machine. He went there through the trenches, through the minefields and through wars to reach there.

Whatever our internal squabbles and contradictions we cannot let the Army down. Let's blog, let's tweet, let's Facebook, let's Orkut and nail this ingrate section of media's blatant lie. I urge our people not to go with that section of media that is encouraging kangaroo media courts. This will only fuel their TRP ratings. These kangaroo courts pronounce a person guilty even before the trial has started. If the person is acquitted by the courts of this country will these media-courts recompense the innocent person for the harm already done? Or will it be another collateral damage that could not be avoided at the altar of TRP?

15 January 2010

The World is Flattened but is the World Flat?

The appalling tragedy that has hit Haiti has not found reverberation here in India. The media coverage is pathetic. Most of the print and electronic media is pushing it in as an afterthought. The national cricket final is the most important news on earth. For God’s sake!
What good are all those submarine cables that snake along the ocean floor if the pain of the Haitians does not pour out from this end of the cable? Is Friedmanian flat world only about opportunity and not about sensitivity? It is time to wake up to the real flat world. It is time that the tremors of the Pacific are felt in the Indian Ocean.
What can we do? The Government has enough expertise to handle the aftermath of a quake. Let us rush our disaster experts to Haiti without any delay. Let us follow that with airloads and shiploads of aid that the Haitians want. Let the Prime Minister ask for donations into the Prime Minister’s relief fund for the Haitian temblor. I have no doubt that the citizens and the Companies will pull out all stops to fill the relief coffers.
Let us do something, not just promise.
An earthquake has flattened the Haitians’ world and it is up to us to make sure that we respond as in a flat world.

12 January 2010

Some unresolved questions from NDA

Question1: Is the Drill Square, square?
Question2: Why are biscuits with morning tea called dog biscuits? (some dogs have reportedly taken offence to this nomenclature)
Question3: Self service is a perfectly legit phrase, then why did NDA put Service before Self? Doesn't "Service Self" smack of self indulgence?

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