Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mind your tummy

It is one of those dark and wet evenings and I  getting some tingling sensation in my stomach. It is hard to explain that sensation but my dear mind knows what it means. It is yet another saga of how a great warrior in the form of my mind gives in meekly to might tummy's hefty demands. The wet monsoon proposition seems to indicate the tummy will not settle for less than couple of somasas and piping hot Masala chair downstairs. My mind is in deep despair frantically calculating number of calories this would add. Of course the result of having one samosa was going to be pretty guilty trip. Finally like all the wars the brawn of tummy won over brains of mind.. And yes it was yet another time.

Next time I will have to give my mind some tummy talk !!


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Top of the chart - Leadership virtue !

Leadership is one favorite topic that countless books , videos and content has been curated ! While each one of us would have our own viewpoint about the top  attribute of a great leader, but interesting thing I can guess is that majority of us would have different top leadership virtue to list. I don't have ready data to prove this hypothesis, but have decent confidence on this. One of the reason is  this is because even my top leadership virtue has been changing as time has gone by in my working career. 

My latest pick for top of the chart leadership virtue is "Public Oratory Skills". Reason this particular one grabbed my attention is because of the one single event that recently happened in our country that captured mind and space of every Indian. Yes, I'm talking about General Elections and the fierce fight between political parties was truly a spectacle. Now all that is normal but difference this year was Narendra Modi. I was fascinated by the speeches he gave in multiple rallies. His public oratory skills were truly top notch and swayed millions of voters to his party. How a leader can use his oratory skills combined of course with other skills to sway votes of 600 million voters was truly remarkable. I could then draw some parallels to Barak Obama and his mass appeal he created during his election rallies.

I further went back to see some other real big leaders this world has seen and many of the world leaders we can remember were remarkable orators who could attract millions of fans. Examples are many but few to name are Martin Luther King, Malcom X etc.

Leave some comments if you agree or disagree !



Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Power of Mind

What is common behind "X-Men Days of the Future Past" , Matrix", "Avatar" and numerous Hollywood flicks. They all have fascination with "Power of Mind". Numerous story lines have got etched into Hollywood hall of fame by just twisting the context and goals.

Question is - is mind going to be so powerful ever that it can transport you to totally different worlds ? Sometimes the world is made of other layers created by other minds. Sometimes world is made of past events. Sometimes world is made of bits and bytes created by computing systems.

As we have seen in the past, quest for humans in terms of next innovation does seem to influence kind of film-making. So is harvesting the power of mind going to be the next big playground where future scientists are going to try their luck ?

Idea of creating the world with your mind may seem fascinating to some and delirious to others. As much as crazy it sounds, but it does seem to be catching attention.

Here is big thumbs up to the "Power of Mind" !


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Deadliest Conflict - WWII

6 years - 70 nations involved and 72 million dead because of unnatural cause. Biggest casualty in history of mankind. This is World War II for you !

Interestingly, there are lot of causes that have been attributed to this war and like every story, efforts have been put to get one VILLIAN and one HERO. Even the names were chosen like ALLIES and AXIS which almost sound diagonally opposite.

Seemingly, most of the wars that were fought in 18th - 20th century had "ECONOMICS" angle the most strong one and WWII was a stark example. While discussing the causes of WWII war, one of our profs recently gave an interesting economic angle - Germany, though having given lot of reasons for taking over its neighbouring countries like "Attrocities on Germans" etc. , but the main advantage below all this was to take care of "natural resources" like rubber/steel or manufacturing prowess like "Skoda car making in Czech". It wanted to be self-sufficient in all the resources it wants right from Food to any inputs it needed in its industries. Well, this was the first bad outcome of industrial revolution.
Japan had the same logic in Asia where it wanted to have an influence in Asia on as many countries as possible especially the ones where it could control the natural resources like bauxite, oil etc. Of course, for propaganda - they called it "Greater East Asia Prosperity Sphere".

Fundamental thread was same - getting control of all the basic as well as future needs to survive and thrive.

Now, the natural question is - what happened after WWII after Axis forces were defeated and why didn't the same reason become overwhelming for countries later on. And that is what WTO (World Trade Orgn) came into picture. The warring countries realized that if everyone wants to take control of all the resources, that was not the solution. So, every country must cooperate between themselves and make sure that they don't give unfair treatment to one country or undue priveliged treatment to others. If every country produces as per their strengths and let other countries produces based on their strenghts, overall, the efficiency would improve and also it would let more rapid development of the world.

This philosophoy has worked quite a bit and this has gone to one further level where old rivals - Germany and France in WWII have become best friends and all have come together behind the Europian Union. What a great change in half-a-century ! What a realization !

As a tailpiece, if the countries are going up the value chain and would be interested in producing more a more complex and sophisticated products, what happens to the basic necessities where the profit margins would be low e.g. grain and butter. If we go by WTO logic, USA should not be producing grain/butter but import it from a country which produces it cheap and best. Now that is a catch coz no country still has come to utopian world where they think other country is brothers in arms. Some amount of suspicion is still there. WTO realized it and they have given some exceptions to "agricultural produce".

Economics led to 70 million deaths - hard to believe ; But for me, it is even harder to believe that all the warring countries did a quick root cause analysis and fixed any future issues by coming up with WTO ! Alas - That was a fairy tale till we had some other monster raising its head - e.g. Terrorisim !


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lies , Super Lies and Statistics

It is a lie, damn lie ! How confident are you ? Well, damn confident. Ok, can you go ahead and confront him . Of course YES - but why should I ? I can see that you are not so confident :), otherwise you had nothing to lose. How do you claim that ? Statistics and nothing but Statistcs !

Well, here is what we can call a classic marriage of lies and statistics ! What was the confidence interval of the probability that the stance you have taken in accusing Mr X is is highly likely ( close to 1). I can tell you for sure that you can't possibly confront him until your confidence interval is more than 95% !.

Alright, so above para might sound gibberish to some and familiar to some ! Point is , how much of real world problems can be solved by complex mathematics. It definitely gives you lot of fun to convert these problems into equations and numbers - Doesn't it !

And how do you solve those complex problems in class anyways - if not the real worl problems. Yeah - now that is interesting one - coz all of us have gone through the grind in our lives where classroom - things seemed quite clear but the moment we open the book and prepare for exams, brain is one big clutter-box. This is especially true when we are talking about lot of mathematical complex problems.

Heuristics - sure some of you have heard about this one ! And there was one mathematician George Polya who had lot of problem as a student to understand how the complex problems were solved by SUPER-MATHEMATICIANS and how they arrived at the FINAL answer which is 1 inch x 1 inch space ! How Bizarre - it was a case for him where his teachers told him that it is too complex, not to re-invent the wheel and more importantly work on top of what others have already done ! None was willing to explain those internal gory details.

Finally, Geroge wrote a book called "How to Solve" for his next generation of students - yes he also became a prof ! He wanted to be different ! Well - he did ! Instead of teaching students on how his progeny had reached to those 1 inch x 1 inch solutions, he taught them how to avoid that agony of figuring out the crux- in much simpler ways of looking at problems and formulating solutions.

How to Solve It describes the following common and simple heuristics, which serve as useful illustrative examples:

  • If you are having difficulty understanding a problem, try drawing a picture.
  • If you can't find a solution, try assuming that you have a solution and seeing what you can derive from that ("working backward").
  • If the problem is abstract, try examining a concrete example.
  • Try solving a more general problem first (the "inventor's paradox": the more ambitious plan may have more chances of success).

So, next time when you are not "So confident" of your "Claim" - TRY DRAWING A VENN DIAGRAM :) OR ASSUME A SOLUTION and see REPURCUSSIONS - you having broken relationship or bone blah blah ! I am sure - HEURISTICS will solve some of your problems much better than complex Mathematics equations !

All the best !

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Whose Life is Precious

Bangalore has witnessed two very gruesome murders of small kids 4years and 7 years each, recently by two different gangs. These gangs of murderers this time around belong to Canine-species and everyone including the parents of these kids have been shocked and shattered. Bangalore Municipal Corp Honchos were under tremendous pressure and they have ordered culling of all the dogs on the streets. Every morning, there are specialist dog-catching vans with some targets that are flagged off.

In ToI today, I saw other article that in US, the medical bills of keeping the health of the dogs fine is increasing and it is burning a huge hole in pockets of folks who own an dog. There is a one big company in US - MARS Inc whose famous Pedigree brand is synonymous with Dogs. Their Advts. on TV, when you are in US, make you feel that Dogs are definitely EQUAL species.

To summarize, we are living in two different worlds here - India which is developing and where value for life is slowly inching up but value for Dog's life is definitely way below. On the other extreme of this spectrum are countries like US where market for Human life has gone beyond psychological and physiological realms and Dog's life is becoming very important.

We still have long way to go where we hit the COMMON GROUND. Till then, we will always see this tussle on whose life is precious !

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

30 Seconds to Fame

Title of this post is same as "Realty Show for Talent Display" on Fox TV - In India it comes on one of the channels that I don't remember the name.

On this show, performers will have 30 seconds to impress an audience and a panel of judges with their skills. Each week's winner will win a cash prize of $25,000. Another intersesting thing that happens is that studio audience can vote the contestant out even before 30 seconds are over if they don't really like the performance or contestant. And believe me, 30% cases, contestants are voted out even before 30 seconds.

It is really interesting and intriguing concept but at the same time a scary proposition if you link it to the real world scenarios where you are possibly judged "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" probably within first 30 seconds of you meeting someone, within 30 seconds of you conducting trainings/sessions/presentations, within 30 seconds of you meeting a date, within 30 seconds of talking to someone on phone, within 30 seconds of someone reading your email or for that matter reading this blog-post :).

What is it in first 30 seconds ? Do we all make an opinion about a person within first 30 seconds of knowing the person. The phrase that they taught us in school may sound cliched but seems kind of true - "First Impression is Last Impression".

Next time, when you have to go and impress someone, keep this in mind that how you do in your first 30 seconds is what really matters. If you are not doing well, in your audience's view you have already been voted out by their voting pads.

All the best !