Thursday, August 27, 2009

Impact of the internet on society in the future years

Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (5th Generation) NEWEST MODEL

I recently read an article on reporting that lot of young Americans are buying a second mobile phone to play and watch games while they are doing other stuffs. I felt it was ridiculous and thought what this fancy electronic gadgets and internet are going to offer us in the future era. Is it going to kill humanness?? people may be surprised why I need to think like this?? The reason is, when so many activities are going to happen, then when will we have time to share our joy,sorrow,sympathy and helpfulness to our fellow humans (parents mainly and friends).

Friends may be more of virtual ones like making friends through online communities who can't share anything with us except their useless photos. I was scared when i thought what will my children do in this era, where i am going to be definitely least respected as most of their time will be spent burning their ass in the new era of modern communication. Relations are going to definitely be weaker in human sense and there will be nobody except the computer where you have to share everything. I am waiting eagerly "what to expect from my children in the modern era".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

meetings and the really ridiculous art of mastering them

some say smoking pot is seeing god. or metallica.or jessica alba in a g-string. or sachin tendulkar. how about a successful meeting? more specifically, a successful presentation(in a meeting, of course). here is the inside from a meeting, where the cast is a couple of graduate students, an old and really smart professor, and some visiting scholars.
time: the ungodly hours of friday evenings.
projector hums. pen drives hum and hum and hum and yes, windows finally finds the damn thing.

professor comes in, with a rush, says hi. sits. says something and wants the presentation to start.

student 1: very serious. keen. incisive report. remarkably clear to the grad students. visiting scholars are mildly surprised. professor pats the student for his report. done.

student 2: serious. bad references. wait, trouble. the rule is, the scholars go for the kill first. but this is not that bad, the professor asks a couple of questions. student answers uncovincingly. professor sighs. student exhales. its done!

student 3: first slide. offset name. title typo. layout is bad for reading. size of the font is small. the template is not the standard one that is used.the name shouts all these mistakes out loud, and claims responsiblity, and the student is ready to shoot himself on seeing this. the prey is ready. second slide. i would like to explain the objecti...
stop...says the professor.

have you ever felt your heart stop? when you almost got hit by the thug on the road?when the cops just flagged you to stop when you coolly drove down the one way street, just before pongal? when you first saw the girl's awesome whatever? when india needed two runs of the last ball to win a match again pakistan for the world cup?when you were young and got lost in a crowd? when you proposed and waited for the girl's answer? none of it rivals this. the professor just said way of being professors, they are very meticulous at butchering-when they are ready with the cleavers, not even an ounce of flesh of your carcass is going to hell when they are done. slowly, but steadily, everyone is the room is aware of the tension. of the fact that you are dead. and much worse than that. but, just a trivial question from the professor. you can heat an entire building with the steam the student blows off now. and continues. but, the presentation proceeds to take an ugly turn, and it heads directly into the dungeons and every hair on the student's body is at right angles to his skin. the final slide-

professor is saying: "quote some reasonable references that makes sense, and not rubbish".
student is listening:"go to buckeye donuts, they have the best ones in town"
professor : "i am not really satisfied with this"
student:"hugs and kisses to everyone in america, i am done"
and then, free air awaits, along with more work, and more presentations!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Changing times

The world has changed a lot before my eyes. When I was young, I never thought I will be going out of Cuddalore to study and work. At Cuddalore, I was a normal kid playing kittipul, cricket, thief games and all the fun of playing on the riverside. The world to me was extremely small with all the playful stuff. I was never heard of competition. The school was even more fun because there wasn’t much rigorous competition in studies.But it was 10th standard public examination which changed my fate.

Now, I study at NTU, Singapore. I go back to Cuddalore, my friends say I still remember the same Tamil I used to speak to them. But to my eyes, there are so much of change happened in Cuddalore. I don't see young people playing traditional games like kittipul, Koli, thief games and all other games. They have totally forgotten those games and sports, moved to video games and computer games. Internet penetration is also high in villages in Tamil Nadu. It is really good to see a lot of young children using internet jargons at young age. I get to use computer only at 10th standard but I am still privileged compared to millions of Indians.

There is obviously nothing to lament but something is irking me because we tend to move totally from our traditional values. Cuddalore used to have a lot of medieval monuments but those are destroyed to construct new buildings. We are not preserving our ancient culture or monuments to show the young generations how the old generations have suffered and eke out for living. If we do that, there will be enough inspiration for young people to act that will overcome the complacency. It is good to see India changing at the fastest rate.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Love & Relationships (1) - The Game Plan

As the title suggests, this is really my take on how to try and tackle the issue of love and relationships. This entry's more on the psychological "preparations" (lack of a better word) one could make before entering the war zone. I'm thinking i'll write a little on what the girl's psychology is in the next one (what they expect or look for in a guy... understanding female behaviourisms..their logic..etc) and then slowly move on to more ""complex"" issues ;) hahaha (comments / requests most welcome ;))

Well, here it goes :

Evaluate yourself, your lifestyle, your personality, your friends and family, your habits and your peeves. Quite simply, the ideal partner for you, has to be someone that complements your lifestyle. It's really the small things that matter, regardless of how everyone may argue about the big picture.

Yourself. Are you tall, dark and handsome? Or average height, average color and have a look that is more of an "acquired taste". Let's face it, most of us aren't aesthetically perfect, we have our flaws. The belly (thoppai), the balding (vazhukkai), one or more crooked teeth, pimples, body hair, body odour, etc etc. Yet the expectation is that we want someone who's more close to perfection than us. So first we need to shift that scale back to reality. If we look like a monkey, the chances are that we'd end up mating with one. If you look like a peacock, your playing field has more options. If you look into a mirror and feel like Hrithik Roshan, just ask your buddy for his honest opinion. If he says "Dude, you're rippling man! What a question!", then yes, you have been honest with yourself. If he's crying on the floor from uncontrollable laughter, you may currently be like Senthil and you may be attracting the likes of Kovai Sarala. All in all, its important to understand the kind of "market" that is available to you. Not to say that a hot girl or guy cant be interested in you. It's a possibility. But in most situations, if you're not the basketball captain that the whole school idolises, you can be sure that someone who had not previosly thought of as a viable option, is most possibly considering you (or already considered you, or may consider you) as theirs. So keep your options open. The last thing you need is a narrow perspective to cause someone who would be perfect for you to slip by from exhaustion of waiting. (or watching you flirt with every other girl - whichever is done more extensively).

Once you've made peace with your looks, its time to assess your lifestyle and your personality. What kind of a person are you? Quiet or the life of the party? Do you get angry easily for small things? Or do you take life one day at a time? What're the important things that make you, you? Your sense of humour? Your ability to empathize with those around you? Are you a natural leader or a better follower? Do you have alot of friends? How often do you go out? Are you a bookwork or an internet junky? A couch potato or a sports freak? Just question yourself about all the choices you've made for yourself over the course of your life and evaluate your own personality. Opposites dont always have to attract and 2 very similar personalities dont always have to synchronise. This is a tricky issue, so be sure you understand your own limitations.

Your friends and family - how much of a constant are they in your life? For some, friends are first, and then family. For others, the priorities are reversed. You need to be able to find out what the balance is like in your life and which of the two you spend the most amount of time with, or how much time you spend. If you're constantly with your family (mummy's boy / daddy's girl), and you decide to have a relationship, (a) will they accept your partner (assuming you decide to tell them) or will it complicate things? Can you deal with keeping it a secret and never telling them? (b) if you spend less time with them cause you're busy with your partner, is that going to become a problem? Do you know how to make time for both of them or will you end up leaving either side feeling ignored and unhappy? Funny enough, time-management isnt a skill just for college !
When it comes to friends, do any of them have relationships or have they been in relationships? The success of yours depends significantly on the ability of your group to accept the new introduction in your life. If they hate your partner, or if you are unable to balance the 2 sides, you'll be at risk of losing either one.

Your habits and peeves. Do you brush your teeth first or drink coffee in bed? Are you a morning person or an afternoon person? Do you crumple the newspaper after reading it or will people not be able to tell if its even been touched when you finish? Neat freak or messy? What things do you hate? Does it annoy you when people are late for appointments? Can you handle sacarsm or swearing? What are the little things that tick you off and things you do that's unique to you? The last thing you need is someone who's perfect only when he/she sits in one place and doesnt move. You'd be suprised at how many relationships go sour just because of minor irrtations.

So now that you've completed a comprehensive survey of yourself, it will be easy for you to understand the configuration of your girl-friend-to-be/boy-friend-to-be (for laziness sake i'm just going to refer to the term gf/bf). Contrary to what people think, acquisition of love and relationships can be thought of as a very logical, mechanical process. (the acquisition, not the actual love and relationships itself). Let's say you want to buy a computer, you would logically draw up a list of requirements the system should have so that it suits your needs and how you would be able to utilize the investment to your best ability. Similarly, when routing for a girl, you first want to draw up a check-list in your head for things that you need to look out for. This check-list will tell you absolute requirements (eg. must be muslim, must be mallu, etc) and flexible requirements (eg. blue eyes, height, should be vegetarian, etc). Flexible requirements is just another word for "Willing to Compromise". Now that you've evaluated YOURSELF, you would be able to judge what kind of girl/guy would truly, suit you. You would also be able to know to what extent you are willing to give in to certain factors and under what circumstances you would do so. You would also know, when someone else proposes to you, if that proposal is worth accepting or not, if it has any potential. (Eg. I'm vegetarian. If i can find a tamil guy with a sweet personality, but if he's a non-vegetarian, i am still willing to give the relationship a shot. Should all else be great, I will not let food preference stand in my way.)

For those of you who know me, you've probably heard me say this dialogue a few times - "Choose a partner, who doesn't care about how you look, but loves you with his/her eyes closed". Should something terrible happen to you, you lose an arm or a leg, your face gets burnt, you lose your voice, WHATEVER (touch wood), under any circumstance where you are aesthetically less-appealing than before, you would want someone who loves you just the same or more, to be by your side, only stronger. Many of us, maybe because of age, immaturity, hormones, or simply the desire created from the media, want angels and hunks as life partners. The argument is "andha moonjiya dhaan naan dhinamum paakanum" (i have to look at that face everyday). But there is a little known fact, psychological, that even someone who may not appeal to you immediately by looks, if they win you over with their character and personality, they will start to look more handsome/beautiful over time. I dont quite know how it happens, but it does. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if we choose that what or who we look at gives us happiness and peace, the beauty will immediately become apparent. It just seems like the whole world is chasing materialistic desires, starting from shoes to the people they love and marry. But the concept is just wrong. Commercialisation is the only thing driving people to buy-up. Everything from make-up to cars to houses to plastic surgery to fashion, they're just accessessories to lead our lives. When you decide to give them more attention than deserving, you will simply lose the underlying value of your existence. Why celebrate material goods when you can celebrate people and love? We never question how our parents look - anyone would say that the most beautiful woman they know in their lives are their mothers and the most idolized are their fathers.Why? Because that's the kind of no-strings-attached loving relationship they've had with you. So shouldn't yours be the same?
  • Find someone who values your potential and ability, not what you already have now.
  • Find someone who criticises to encourage, who only wants to see you go higher than you already are. Not someone who can only say praise of what you have done.
  • Find someone who wants to take care of you, because your happiness matters, because you are their happiness.
  • Find someone who already shares at least 1 interest or hobby with you. For everything else, make sure he/she has the desire to try at least once.
  • Find someone whom your family will love and who will love your family. Friends come and go, family is always the constant.
  • On a separate note, find someone who will make your friendships stronger, not tear them down or tear you away from them.
  • Find someone who makes you smile and values your tears. Never cry for someone, or because of someone, who only finds joy/satisfaction in your misery.
  • Find someone who complements your weaknesses. Relationships are teamwork (alot of work actually).
  • Find someone who by-passes your ego, not crush it or tries to overpower it.
  • Find someone you enjoy conversing with. The ability will become an appreciating asset as you grow older together.

Find someone who makes you want to reciprocate all of the above, to them.

One word of caution. When you meet a girl or a guy, whom you're trying to woo, sometimes people i know try to mould themselves into what they think the other person would like. It's really just a form of acting. Please trust me when i say, YOU WILL GET TIRED. And when you do, the person on the other side will just hate you for the real you. So why go through the hassle? Be yourself, be true to your personality. It will make finding the actual compatible person THAT much easier, and you know that they love you for those funny flaws. Half the time when the acting wears off and you get tired of pretending to like going shopping with her or pretending to enjoy watching cricket matches, it will become the beginning of the end. So start fresh on a guilt-free conscience. Life will become much easier.

Hot girls and hunks are fantastic to look and oogle at, but whether they'll add value to your life is a completely different ball game. It's really up to you to decide if what you want is a trophy-partner that you can show off to everyone because of their coolness-factor or if what you want is someone who will shower you with affection and concern just because they think you're special. All i can say is, the first kind are extremely easy to come by these days (and you lose them pretty easily too), but if you happen to find someone who fits into the 2nd category, the greatest mistake you could ever make is letting them go.

We'll all grow old and ugly, but you cant quite grow a personality or a heart that loves unconditionally. It's typically an innate trait. Choose wisely :)

Mothers and Us

Today a 16 yr old friend of mine pinged to talk about an incident at home. He had asked his parents for a 180cc bike. His dad was cool with it, but his mom said no. He went on with the rant "my mother doesnt want her son to be riding bikes :\"

After a moment of reflection, I told him "dude, probably your mom is right. It could do you more harm than good". He said "hmm" and the conversation ended there. No prizes for guessing he was looking for sympathy for himself and not support for his mom. Maybe if I were 17, I would have responded very differently, but I felt a certain responsibility (always thought of the guy as a younger brother) and acted like I did.

This made me think of several incidents when my mom said no and I was really mad at her for saying so. Like the time when she hounded me day in and day out months together for playing online games all day (warcraft anyone?). Finally I could take it no longer and quit playing. After a few days, I realized that what she had been saying all along was very true. Suddenly, I had all the time in the world for family, friends, myself, sleep, work and everything else. Nowadays I just listen to her the first time over and spare us both the ordeal.

Does all of this ring any bells? Do you have any such incidents with your mom (dad stories in another post maybe) to share?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Walking with questions

I recently watched the documentary series "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Walking with Beasts", "Walking with Monsters" and "Walking with Cavemen", in which, as is obvious from the title(s), prehistoric creatures/early hominids are made to prance about their environments, in scenarios created by palaeontologists/anthropologists, concerning social behaviour and all that other biological baggage that comes when dealing with extinct beings. My personal favourite in the series is the "Walking with Beasts" one- it's got an epic intro!

So of course ( I dunno whether this is a good habit or bad), it set me off thinking- What if- hypothetically speaking, we all die out in the next million years and some millions of generations later, some other intelligent form of life digs our bones up? What sort of questions would they ask? Would they unravel all the unpleasantness in the world right now/ before now? Will they be able to look at our petrified bodies, now entombed in stone and find out why there are mass graves in some areas of the world? Can they find any evidence of our complex social interactions- one that uniquely defines us as human?

I thought, you know, "Let's have a look at we humans/palaeontologists/anthropologists do". So consider this example- a dinosaur has been excavated (now we are pseudo palaeontologists) and it is a relatively common dinosaur- say, an "Allosaurus" or an "Iguanodon". After all the usual examination of the fossilized skeleton and taking cross sections of these bones to see internal bone structure and all that, palaeontologists look to scan and make a 3-D image or even find a fossilized bit of the brain (Usually they find fossilized dung more easily than they find fossilized brain). Using the brain model, they compare it to several other extant species, whose brains are similar and then try to deduce behaviour. So, "Allosaurus" has a brain similar to that of a crocodile and was built similar to a bird (look at a pigeon, if you don't believe me- or better, go to the Jurong Bird Park and see a few ostriches). Therefore, looking at what diseases the skeleton shows and how the bones have healed after a fracture and many more bits and bobs, they can build up a picture of its life.

So, let us have a look at what those creatures, a million years from now, having found our bodies would do, if humans die out. Now I dunno if they would be able to find many of our inventions- unless a river overflows and covers a town in mud and silt, they would have a poor understanding of our system of government and all that... But let’s suppose that they do find these things- towns and all that- and it presents a unique set of problems; the rate of technological advancement in man is staggering- it’s an ex curve with respect to time and if they find a Roman town and maybe Singapore, they may show similar dates on the radio carbon dates- what would they make of that? Would they discover that the Romans had poisoned their air with lead with their lead mines and we, now poison our air using CO2. What would they make of that? Would they attribute these changes in chemicals to a “natural process”? And both Singapore and Italy lie close to plate boundaries on the Earth.

Let the opposite be true. Let the future beings not find our towns and cities, and bits of our civilization. What would they picture us as? There would be no apes to compare us with, as we are on our way to destroy the apes before we die out anyways- would they used future monkeys for behavioural reference? Would they adduce that we swung from trees, in the buff, making weird “oogie oogie” noises, eat lice as a part of grooming and fight over bananas? Would we be seen as the equivalent of the great migratory herds of odd- toed and even- toed ungulates (cattle, horses, pigs, deer etc etc) that populate the plains and not the apex predators that we really are? Would they believe us to be something that we aren’t? And that produces a more pertinent question- given that most DNA is destroyed during fossilization, how do we know we are right when it comes to predicting behaviour of animals that have maybe around 85-95% of their DNA matching with extant species (even make it 98%, that’s the amount of DNA a chimp shares with us- we just aren’t the same, are we?)?

The big giant elephant's renaissance?

"there are foundation stones for a hospital at three different places, by three differernt political parties before three different elections..."-arvind adiga, the white tiger

"india is no more a country than the equator is..."-winston churchill

the number of times people tirelessly talk about cleaning this country(india), when it is implicit that it is herculean, worse, it could be sisyphean. i will explain this clever phrase. sisyphus was given the task of rolling a stone up a steep hill, and the gods made sure that every time the stone reached the top, it would roll back down. vicious, isnt it? to think the gods did it!

to observe morality is to attain mastery over our minds and passions. so doing, we know ourselves. if that definition be correct, then india as so many writers have shown, has nothing to learn from anybody else.-(hind swaraj- m k gandhi)

it costs us a lot to keep gandhiji in poverty-sarojini naidu

there are always theories that our democracy is but a flawed experiment, with high moral grounds but flimsy real life schemes. and there is the back to socialism cult followers, anti-american, anti-globalist, anti-rich, and anti-up yours. and there are the corporate megalomaniacs, completely soaked in money and greed, trying to suck up more and more energy out of more and more people, increasing the miseries more and more, and taking this cycle to its next ugly level, more and more...

i am reminded of the pure form of river ganga, when i am reminded of india. the ganga of premchand's protagonist, who goes to a foreign nation, but on coming back, he witnesses all the pitfalls of the country, but finds solace in the river. is that plausible? the river is dirty as a b-grade movie, and he finds comfort? misunderstood point: he comes back to values, his roots, a place where he can be himself, and can walk with his head high among his own. but does he not find discrimination? yes, because he is a part of it! if you are the cancer, how can you diagnose right?

but what do many people do? shout and scream for india! the lines between patriotism and jingoism is very thin-as is the difference between madness and sanity; mathematics and understanding; love and obsession; poetry and poverty(!). the reason why people get attached to a nation is because they are strongly anchored to it by a form of identification-that they belong to something. when it is taken away, what are we then?

"Muslims said the Hindus had planned and started the killing. According to the Hindus, the Muslims were to blame. The fact is, both sides killed. Both shot and stabbed and speared and clubbed. Both tortured. Both raped”-khushwant singh, train to pakistan

i am not sure if there is any other country in this planet that can claim diversity in such grandiose scale. not even america! we can be good hosts, but there are some stray incidents. the mughals, were the most understanding of plurality until aurangazeb, the hindus were proud of their ever-evolving religion until hindutva(savarkar?), the english were good and able administrators until general dyer...i am always torn by grief and anger when i read about partition stories. khushwant singh's "train to pakistan" is an excellent book on fiction in this regard.

i was agreeably impressed with pakistan's moderation in blasting only six, the smallest whole number greater than five-amartya sen.

india' nuclear arsenal is growing, or i should say, our nuclear plant building capacity is growing. is it good? in my opinion, given that the monsoons fail frequently, it would be a great alternative source of power which would help the farmer focus more on dry-land farming and drip irrigation instead of having to worry about his electricity bills. subsidising electricity when it is surplus is a good idea towards realising food security and preventing malnourishment, but the implementation of such a policy has inherent drawbacks-farmers can misuse it, the usual redtapism associated with a project from the bureacracy. if only the latter would vanish!

what good can come out of writing stupid blogs and discussions on forums? what is the reason for public discussion? ah,now we come to the beauty of arguments. how india has always encouraged this tradition to grow and thrive! how we understand the various view points and sum them up to do something worthwhile!

i only wish india would do well to to the poorest of the poor, those in dire need of food-instead of stocking up food grains irrationally for a buffer, it would make sense to create a system to help the people by distributing them.(again, not socialism, merely empathy.)

i would like to modify gandhiji's talisman:

when you want to know what the poorest indian lives like(the closest to it), stop eating for two days, and scamper around for food with some spare change in the pocket on the third day. and that will melt all the ralph lauren designs in the heart...

lets hope that india alleviates(atleast tries to!) the miseries of the poor and the incapacitated.

The denouement!

"indian students can not only hold their own against their european rivals europe on the latter's ground, but can beat them hollow..."-jamsetji tata

Jai hind!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Talent Search

I always like to encourage people who are talented but doesn't have enough avenues to showcase their talents. Reality shows are picking up in India because it showcase the talents of normal people. There are instant celebrities from reality shows. One such celebrity is Susan Boyle who sang in Britain's got talented. The whole world was amazed by her talent but the world have spotted it only at her age of 47. She would have contributed a lot to music if she would have been spotted earlier.

I have a friend in NTU who can sing extremely well. She is a very mature singer according to me. I want her talent to be appreciated by the bloggers and also readers of this blog. I have posted the song she has sang. I hope readers of this blog will like. I hope to see some critics, hopefully positive ): I have re posted the video because the quality was not good previously. I hope it is now better.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The magic of 'A' , Really?

I just noticed something very queer and thought I must share it with you.
1. The former students' union chairman of my college was Arun n the present one is Aditya.
2. The chairman of our international techno management festival was Abhishek last yr and this yr its Abhinav.
3. The two ppl who contested the vice president election in my college this yr are Arun and Adi.

These are the people who are most powerful in my college. Do you notice anything here?
All their names begin wid A!

This funny observation has raised a serious doubt in me. Is it true that since the ppl whose names start wid A have to be always first in the class to do anything right from kindergarten, this inculcates some kind of boldness and an attitude to face any challenge and hence emerging leaders ? Do u observe such similarities too?

Do you find the 'A' s forming a good no. of leaders, representatives and captains? Or is it just a coincidence?

10 empirical rules(not exactly...) for life

1. wake up with a smile. its impossible, becase getting up is the real big problem of the day. if you dont do that, there is no day as such, is there?

2. be clean. you never know when you would have to be in close contact with people. and frankly, some people dont like your sweat sweetened armpit scent.

3. look good, but look simple. we are not going to hit the beauty pageant, but we are not going to be ascetics, wandering in loin cloth. or worse.

4. be concerned about others. but that's it, stop it right there. dont go out of the way to do things for others. you have a life you know.

5. be early, wherever you go. as much as as people hate coming in early, it has been deemed a virtue; do it for a few days, and you just might get used to it.

6. be polite. not in your mind though. you can scream abuse at the next person sitting and spitting on the road, but in your mind. as if we all have the guts...
7. act positive. i only say, act. there is a difference between 'be' and 'act'. and the best part is, nobody knows you are being, or acting...

8. pretend to listen carefully and compassionately. so what if your cat is dead, i have my problems is not the way to go.

9. eat healthy, and eat lean. we all love ice creams. there was once a time when america loved iraq and bush loved osama. we know what happened.

10. face your fear. stand up, be bold and screw up everything. let people laugh, and let them talk behind your back, let them think you are a complete loser, but dont laugh, dont talk behind other people's back, and dont be afraid of failure. it only means you are progressing the right way!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mocking or Aping Westernization?

Think about it, which countries lead the economic and cultural race. I would obviously say it is the western countries especially Ango-Saxon i.e. US and UK. The soft power of these countries is very strong in far flung places including India and China. Take china, you don't see any young chinese wearing their traditional wears. On the other hand in India, American and British soft power actually overtake Indian cultures and economic model. India didn't come to media limelight when it was following the license raj model of economic principles once India embraced western models it suddenly come to the limelight.

In India, everything from west has some value. Even in Indian marriage system, it is the American or British educated bridegroom or bride which is most sought after. It is the American slang which is widely used in Indian elite universities and also Hollywood movies are widely watched and shared not Indian movies. The advocates of Indian culture and system actually takes back seat when it comes to reaping the economic benefits. My brother for instance studied in Tamil medium school, he faced horrendous problems during his Bachelors and also preference of job is very unfair to non English speakers in India.

I would say almost of all the Indian elites are western educated either from U.K or U.S but I don't know why they advocate the general population not to ape the west when they knew already that only embracing westernization brings value to people in India. For example, there are so many anti-English protest in T.N by some political parties when their children are enrolled in elite English medium schools in metropolis. I certainly think Indian elite don't want others to be elite, that is the reason why they mock the westernization.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Funniest questions to economist

The following are the questions posted on "The Financial Times" undercover economist. I swear I have not read anything funny of this sort on the most serious topic which is economics. As we know economist are very serious people because they are usually involved in making money. Anyway, kindly read the Q&A.

Q) I believe that there is an inexplicable shortage of sex. Given that studies show that women and men enjoy it more than most other activities, and given its intrinsically low cost, it appears that even a crude approximation of a utility-maximising person would probably spend much more time having sex than most. Do you know of any economic discussion of this?

A) It is true that there is something puzzling about the lack of sex in the world. Everybody says they enjoy sex, you can do it fairly safely for the price of a condom, and all you need is somebody of the appropriate gender and sexual preference. How difficult can it be?

Economics professor and blogger Tyler Cowen has offered an embarrassment of possible explanations. In the spirit of perfect competition between economic pundits I suggest that you need fewer answers.

We need just two complementary theories, one to explain the all-night-long sex that couples aren’t having as much of as they should; and the other to explain the casual sex that strangers should be having with each other, and aren’t.

For couples, it’s surely a case of diminishing returns. Just because the average utility of sex is high, doesn’t mean that the marginal utility of more sex is also high. I enjoy sex but I am no longer a teenager and, to be blunt, it takes me days to reload. For strangers, the risk of rejection, violence or social condemnation seems very high. In groups where these risks are lower (gay men, students, hippies) my theory predicts that more sex should be going on.

There is a simpler explanation, though: everybody is having constant, guilt-free sex. They just haven’t told the economists.

Q) I recently noted that I only really fancy my girlfriend after I’ve had a few drinks. Is this relationship worth pursuing?

A) I know how you feel: I only fancy chips with mayonnaise. Sadly for my waistline, my relationship with chips has not suffered. You are saying that like chips and mayonnaise, alcohol and your girlfriend are complementary goods. I am not sure this is a problem.

It might be a problem if your predicament were unusual. It is not. Many people have found that alcohol has aphrodisiac qualities.

Of course, it is easy to drink more alcohol than is good for you, but there should be no need for worry. The government advises that the average man should drink no more than three to four “units” of alcohol. Since the typical British couple claims to make love every three days or so, you should be able to lubricate yourself appropriately without putting too much strain on your liver.

It seems to me that there is one cause for concern: your girlfriend must never suspect that you need to don the beer goggles to find her appealing. Drinking is commonplace in our culture, so you shouldn’t find it hard to camouflage the limits of your infatuation. Just don’t do anything stupid, such as discussing it in the pages of a national newspaper.

Q)Why do most of us iron our clothes, when we are untidy in so many other ways?

A)There is an obvious difference between an immaculate shirt and an immaculate sitting room: you get to enjoy the aesthetic benefits of tidying your living space, but not – unless you spend a lot of time in front of the mirror – the aesthetic benefits of your own clothes.

After all, how many of you can honestly say you haven’t sailed through the day, only to discover that you have spinach between your teeth and you forgot to brush your hair? The horror is apparent to everyone but you.

So why do we care more about other people’s enjoyment of our tidiness than our own? It is not a matter of selflessness: we try to make a good visual impression because it will bring us wealth, status and, we hope, a bit of sex, too.

But a second question arises: why are we judged on appearances? It might be intrinsically satisfying to have a well-dressed boyfriend, but there is nothing fundamentally less productive about a scruffy accountant. Evidently, the tie is important because employers believe it is correlated with diligence and talent.

If this is true, we would expect to see the largest premium on snappy dressing in professions where there are few other effective ways to evaluate performance. Estate agents and management consultants are sharply dressed in the absence of more convincing guides to their competence.

In professions where talent is more obvious, this façade is not needed. That is why when I scan the Financial Times office, neatly pressed shirts and blouses are hard to find.

Q) I have just joined a dating website in the hope of finding true love. Friends of mine have started dating someone they met online, only for a “better offer” to arise on the website. If this happens, what should I do?

A)Internet dating allows more offers to be considered, so the tried-and-tested rules of thumb may no longer be appropriate. It might seem natural simply to consider how many offers you must sample until you are likely to meet “Ms Right”. That would be naive. You must instead balance the benefits of choice against the effect your flightiness may have on your targets.

These decisions are much like those faced by a company choosing the optimal number of suppliers. Dealing with more suppliers allows the company to choose the cheapest and best. But having too many makes suppliers insecure and unwilling to invest in the relationship.

Your ideal choice depends on what you want. Fun and frolics are ideally obtained by keeping options open, perhaps even switching to the spot market. But if you want your partner to have your babies, support you while you write your novel or share the cost of buying a home, you will need to reassure her that you do not have other competitors waiting in the wings.

In some industries it is common to sign contracts with two suppliers – enough competition to keep each on its toes, but enough commitment to inspire big investment in the relationship. In your case that would be a wife and a long-term mistress. Perhaps the tried-and-tested rules of thumb work after all.

Q) I am in doubt whether it is worth changing school for my last year of A-levels. I would be living in a much better place (Cambridge, whereas I am now in Dover) and getting more tuition. I am likely to have better accommodation, more freedom and will meet people with diverse interests. But is it worth the risk of not getting into university or getting lower grades on my A-levels? Please help me to solve this dilemma.

A) Let us run through this supposed dilemma again. You are considering a move to a place that appears to be better in every dimension, including the academic one. Yet you are hesitant because of a perceived risk.

I am tempted to suggest you consult a shrink rather than an economist. Fortunately, so-called behavioural economists combine the best qualities of economist and psychologist. And any behavioural economist would quickly diagnose that you are a victim of the “endowment effect”.

The endowment effect is an irrational preference to keep what you have – better the devil you know and all that.

A typical experiment designed to reveal the effect would give participants a small gift for participating in the experiment. Later, the participants would be invited to swap the gift for an alternative. No matter what the original gift was, or what the alternative is, people, irrationally, are reluctant to make the swap.

Your attachment to substandard lodgings and scant tuition in Dover is clearly irrational. Move to Cambridge at once. You may be wrong, of course, but a risk of error is no excuse for inaction.

Q)I am about to be married, and have no doubts about the relationship. But there is one nagging worry: my fiancé co-owns a condo overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco – with an ex-girlfriend, who lives next door to it. She is not in a position to buy him out of his investment, and although they rent it out, the mortgage is steep. I believe the condo is an investment specific to the former relationship and would like it divested – but the housing market is a shambles.

A) While I sympathise with your problem, I must correct you.

A relationship-specific investment is one that is worth more within a relationship than outside it, such as a set of wedding photos. The condo is not relationship-specific, just unprofitable and illiquid. The condo can therefore be disposed of without destroying value – but not, it seems, by either side buying the other side out.

If your fiancé sold his share to a stranger, he’d sell at a loss. But, in truth, the loss has already happened; his reluctance to sell suggests he’s pig-headed as well as an incompetent investor.

So I recommend that you buy out your fiancé’s share, at a fire-sale price. Subsequent negotiations about the condo would then be between you and the ex. Should your marriage work out, you can share the profits with your fiancé. And if not, at least you will have prearranged some compensation.