Showing posts from 2011


In Philip pullman’s Golden compass every human being is accompanied by a daemon . Daemon is a manifestation of a person's soul & it is impossible to separate it from the person. However Lyra’s mother, Mrs. Coulter manages to invent a process by which the separation can be accomplished. But as soon as the process is completed the Daemon dies/ evaporates with an agonizing poof & the person/child looses his personality becoming an emotion deprived zombie.  I was reading this article in business week comparing Siri & Android’s ice cream sandwich. Not only am i blown away by the intelligence in both systems - Siri being the better option (i am sure android will catch up soon) but am fascinated by how far we have come since the days of Dragon naturally speaking & more recent windows speech recognition. I have been a text to speech(& v.v.) enthusiast for a long time. What drove me away from these products was the back breaking effort involved in

Positive self deception or Optimism

Came across a research paper published in 1998 on human psychology. Key point :  Positive self deception is a normal and advantageous part of most people's psyche. Also included in the research paper were the following points - People lie to themselves about 3 things: They view themselves in implausibly positive ways. They think they have far more control than they actually do. They believe the future will be better than what the evidence of present justifies. Does this mean that optimism is actually a form of  self-deception? If yes, then is the same valid for pessimism. Let's look at this from a different vantage point. People lie to themselves about 3 things: They view themselves in implausibly negative ways. They think they have far more control than they actually do. But hardly act upon their belief. This lack of action is the cause of their negative attitude & eventually failure.   They believe the future will be worse than what the evidence o

My Favorite Speeches

5. John F Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961 Part 1 Part 2 4. Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863       Read by Johnny Cash 3. Martin Luther King Jr. , I have a Dream, 1963 2. Jawaharlal Nehru, Tryst with Destiny, 15 August 1947     Here's a version from Guardian - JK Rowling's Harvard commencement address, 2008 and this is Mount Everest, so simple yet so profound 1. Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address, 2005

Exploring Seth Godin

A friend told me about Seth Godin day before yesterday. I've been on a joy ride listening to his talks and going through his blog. Here's some great ones : Ted : This is broken Ted :  The tribes we lead Ted : On Standing Out Google Talk : This one was OK, not something any person who uses Internet consistently wont know All Marketers are LIARS

Super Massive Black hole

IIT & IIM do not have world class facilities. There is hardly any world class research from these institutes. Jairam Ramesh [I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books. ...The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think. Albert Einstein As any other sane North Indian who was made to go through the two year brutal torture of engineering coaching classes , with the promise of a diamond studded future waiting on other side of the 4 year man making project, I disagree with the honorable & hopefully sane minister. The two lost years though, were just the event horizon of the super massive black hole from which I am still struggling to break free. I have met only few who have managed to pull a Houdini. I think the minister & his opponents are still inside. As in a black hole the laws of common sense break down once you are made to embark on this journey when you are just 15. 15 is t

Life handbook

I am not sure where I got this, was resting peacefully in my hard drive. I think it has to be the only sane person on this planet – His holiness the Dalai Lama. Health:  1.       Drink plenty of water. 2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. 3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. 4.       Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy. 5.       Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer. 6.       Play more games. 7.       Read more books than you did last year. 8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. 9.       Sleep for 7 hours. 10.     Take a 10-30 minutes' walk every day. And while you walk, smile.     Personality:  11.    Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you canno


A friend, who's working in the Indian army, told me his motto: We the willing Led by the unknowing Are doing the impossible For the ungrateful We have done so much With so little, for so long We are now qualified to do Anything with nothing

The Rules

Rule no.1: Everyone is in technology business    Rule no. 2: Understand the web, at least the basics. Short version ; Long version Rule no. 3: Customers call the shots, companies don't Rule no. 4: You don't know what social media is just by being on twitter & facebook. You think u understand it till u actually do! Rule no. 5: You don't have to ( read. can't ) be on every service, application and platform under the sun. Being active on only the standard mediums will get the job done. Rule no. 6: Internet is a great PR tool. Be honest & stick to your code. If you fuck up, but explain yourself honestly, you would not only be forgiven but will get free brownies too. Rule no. 7: Privacy is   overrated, Get Over it. Rule no. 8: Internet gives superficial knowledge. So search diligently . Don't forget what Dr. Alban said "Little knowledge is dangerous". Books rock & please consult the doctor; Google & Bing are not in healt

One Wish

Who are the Entrepreneurs?

Grow your Small Business -

The Future is NOW

The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost, for none now live who remember it...It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest, and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine Rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else, desire power. For within these Rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race. But they were all of them deceived... for another Ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, The Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a Master Ring, to control all others. And into this Ring, he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all... One by one, the Free Lands of Middle-Earth fell to the power of the Ring. But there were some, who resisted... A Last Alliance of Men and Elves marched against the armies of Mor

How I Use the web - Part 1

Facebook: Talking to friends Twitter: Talking to the world LinkedIn: Talking to professionals Blog: Talking to myself I think it's important to distinguish what to use where. What should be linked and what should be kept separate.


Objective: To reduce organizing time and focus on action oriented thinking & getting things done rather than procrastinating . As Elvis so succinctly described A little less conversation, a little more action   Software/Apps Evernote : note taking, creating surfers journal, task management, writing- mostly on tab Dropbox : file sharing Soluto : system maintenance (hassle free good looking minimalist)   Gadgets   (in order of importance): Phone: calling, texting, task reminders; I prefer qwerty Tablet: reading, writing, surfing & most importantly taking notes Notebook: work, serves as a base camp for everything iPod: music, voice notes, fitness, pod-casts, audio books, iTunes university   Platform I prefer android because: I don't have to pay for basic apps  I get the power of Google's cloud ecosystem Search is everywhere   Takeaway: IF you are not an avid writer or writing is not your thinking bridge, tab won't be mu

Notes – Google’s quest to build a better boss

Source : Google's quest to build a better boss. Even though I have been very lucky to always have exceptionally good managers and great colleagues; I thought it'll be great to write my views ( in italics ) on the article, as part of "a new dimension ". People leave companies for the following three reasons or a combination of them: They don't feel a connection to the mission of the company or sense that their work matters. They don't really like or respect co-workers. They have a terrible boss. As per the article this is the biggest factor. There are cases with personalities where they are not necessarily realizing they need a course correction. So it's just about being clear & saying, "OK, I understand what you are doing here, but let's talk about the results & this is the goal." The point of collating data is not to develop an algorithm for successful management. The point is to make people aware of it, so that manag

Notes on – Demo conference

Source: Meet Google's human search engine for innovation and There are several levels when we see companies: As partners – can they build applications on our platform & make the platform more valuable. Business development or licensing type of deal Acquisition Ventures – Find companies to invest in The sweet spot is mobile, location based services, social & e-commerce. " IBM, Digital, Sun, Apollo and Microsoft had their time. Now cloud based systems like Google, Facebook & others will have their time. It's a natural progression of business. Microsoft had a hell of run for 30 years. They're still a very powerful company. Very profitable, growing very well. So I wouldn't say they're going to go down; I would say the market has moved. " I think Kinect is a game changer and probably the most important hardware innovation of the decade. " Tablets are for consumption not for creation . " Agree but not entirel

Poirot vs. Holmes - hmmm interesting

After watching 2 episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot I've come to realize that her's is a far more superior body of work than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. I think so because the emphasis on Christie's stories is on the plot rather than the protagonist. As far as the protagonist's impact is concerned Poirot is more cultured, mannered & in some cases even timid. The correct word will be meterosexual . Sherlock Holmes however is the Jim Morrison of detectives- his range is dependent on your knowledge of the Genre. When I shared my discovery with a close friend I was told (as always) that I get influenced very easily. What do I know about writers like James Hadley chase who have (supposedly) written masterpieces? Well, that's true. My only exposure to detective stories has been Sherlock Holmes, but the advantage of internet is its power of instant knowledge. Agatha Christie's wiki page says: According to the  Guinness Book of World Rec

Few thoughts on New York Times article

Brilliant article in New York times today: From 'End of History' Author, a Look at the Beginning and Middle Key points I found interesting : Institutions are the rules that coordinate social behavior. Without taking human behavior in account you misunderstand the nature of political institutions. Such behavior especially the faculty for creating rules are the basis for social institutions, even though the content of institutions is supplied by culture.   My take: This at a wider level relates to the three most important institutions in the 21 st   century; Religion, Financial system & Democracy. Same principle can be applied to the evolution of language.     Societies are not trapped by their past nor are they free in any given generation to remake themselves. Building institutions is as difficult as changing them. Poor countries remain poor because of the absence of a strong law.   My take: Even though we continue to criticize our system, what we must underst

William Lyon Phelps Speech - The Pleasure of Books

The habit of reading is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we enjoy reading books that belong to us much more than if they are borrowed. A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly. And then, some day, although this is seldom done, you really ought to return it. But your own books belong to you; you treat them with that affectionate intimacy that annihilates formality. Books are for use, not for show; you should own no book that you are afraid to mark up, or afraid to place on the table, wide open and face down. A good reason for marking favorite passages in books is that this practice enables you to remember more easily the significant sayings, to refer to them quickly, and then in later years, it i

Introducing “A New Dimension”

From past several months I've been thinking about starting a section on "Mindless" where I put my thoughts on what I am learning. I have always been interested in Science (energy, sustainability, physics) and the impact it has on an IT driven world. Until 2008 the hobby was struggling to breathe.  Only by the end of 2009 I realized the distinction between schooling & education. "A New Dimension" is an attempt to collate the education .    

Cultivating Serendipity

Source: Make Serendipity Work for You- HBR Serendipity is a close relative of creativity, which means that it is a capability that can be cultivated, bought and sold. Serendipity benefits not just from  scarcity  (forcing people to be creative) but from a degree of sloppiness, tenacity, and dissent. Attempts to dictate serendipity are stifling and impractical. History matters. Innovation is as much about looking at the past as it is about anticipating the future. It can mean pairing today's observation with those made previously, and often in quite different contexts, as did  Pfizer scientists in linking side-effects from clinical trials to a PhD dissertation completed at the University of California, as well as two medical articles published several years before . Socializing matters. It is very unlikely that James Watson and Francis Crick would have been as efficient in elucidating the structure of DNA without the benefit of those they shared their offices and interest wi