October 30, 2011

The Allure of Lying

So we have a real-life slumdog millionaire now. What's the problem with a fiction just remaining in the realm of fiction? It was a good movie.

Oh, BTW, didn't any smart-ass MBA professor type get the idea to use the movie's story to teach some mumbo-jumbo to the bozos? Remember that guy who used Lagaan to teach management? How shameless. But then the MBA business is all about cheating and making money. So, smart cheaters (which is an anagram, interesting enough, for 'teachers') cheat some MBA students who must eventually wise up and realize that it's all about maximizing cheating. Anyway, I digress.

I've a bone to pick. I'm somewhat suspicious of this story being peddled of this commoner guy suddenly showing smarts and winning a million dollars on a game show. I think the show is fixed. Pretty.

October 19, 2011

Living One's Dream

Every Monday morning, there's a universal outpouring of groans — that it's MONDAY again! It's as if everybody's mom-in-law AGAIN was about to come to visit them on Monday. This deafening noise is heard in specific parts of the world. It comes from the office-going class of people. In India, the young generation of IT and other professionals make this noise through all available means such as Facebook and Twitter. I suppose it's the same in the developed world where people have been caught up in this vicious cycle for a generation or more now.

I don't know about rural America or rural Europe, but in rural India, villagers don't start groaning on Monday mornings. There's hardly any difference between Mondays or other days of the week. Their life-cycle is not a weekly one.

Conversely, there's invariably an exuberant outpouring of joy come Friday. It starts in the morning itself and rises to a crescendo by the afternoon by when the youngsters in their office cubicles can hardly contain their joy — this is almost akin to the joy a prisoner might experience on the day of his release after completing a long prison sentence.

October 12, 2011

Confusion Reigns

I am confused. I am perplexed. About many things. I’m confused just thinking whether it’s just me who is like this or everyone else feels some of these emotions as well. I feel confused when I see people going about their daily lives.

I see people being busily busy and I am left bewildered.

What occurs to me is that there are so many rules of the road about how to live one’s life. And these rules differ from society to society. They vary widely and people in each society follow those implicit rules. Are people undiscerning or is it that those rules make sense to most people?

Individuals tend to have an identity of their own in advanced countries such as the United States/Canada and in the countries of Europe. Old civilizations such as India are still quite old-fashioned. Here, society tends to predominate over the individual. Individuals are supposed or expected to mold themselves as per the long-held and therefore (so it’s claimed) tried-and-true norms of society.

Book banning in India and elsewhere

Nilanjana Roy's excellent blog article persuaded me to write the following response:


A well-written and deeply meaningful essay.

This particular instance of book banning is too obviously silly to merit much discussion.

Oh, BTW, I think interestingly enough, 'universities, publishers, art galleries, and bookshops' are all for-profit businesses and we need not be too surprised if they show a disinclination towards fighting for lofty ideas of intellectual freedom or freedom of thought and expression.

(I think there's really no need to elaborate how running universities might be profitable affairs for the old men so engaged.)

More broadly, now that there are not that many totalitarian political ideologies extant, the business of banning books rests more or less solely with the various defenders of the various faiths.

October 09, 2011

Technology — The Great Leveler

Death is a good thing not merely because, as Mr. Jobs put it, “It’s probably the single best invention of life,” or “it’s life’s change agent,” but also because men of hubris are at last brought down to Earth (and indeed below the Earth) by the phenomenon of death. It’s a fate that no hubristic billionaire can escape … yet.
The ordinary person can look at a hubris-laden individual engaged in some megalomaniacal activity and take some satisfaction out of this knowledge that death will conquer this villain as well just as it has claimed many other villains through history.
What other areas of human activity can you think of where there’s virtual equality between all? Some path breaking inventions of medical science qualify. When a vaccine is available for polio, EVERYONE is suddenly safe from this scourge — street dwellers and penthouse dwellers.
But they are few and far between. Technology seems to be one arena where this occurs more frequently. Consumer devices are at once cutting edge and common place.

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