Monday, January 29, 2007
Got this in some forward the other day -
-------- Quote ----------
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house. Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other grasshoppers demanding that grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter. Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper. The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance). Opposition MP's stage a walkout.Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among ants and grasshoppers.
Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.
Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA]", with effect from the beginning of the winter.
Arjun Singh makes Special Reservation for Grass Hopper in educational Insititutions & in Govt Services.
The ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.
Arundhati Roy calls it "a triumph of justice". Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice'. CPM calls it the 'revolutionary resurgence of the downtrodden' Koffi Annan invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.
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Sunday, January 28, 2007
--------------- Quoting -------------------
She told me:
"They didn't give me a room of my own because I was a girl."
"You know they didn't even come to see me when I was born because I was the third girl in the family."
"As a child I have no recollection of my grandparents. You think that's odd. My weekly dose of grandparently love came every saturday when I used to go to my naani's house, otherwise..."
"My mother fought for me and my father supported her. They moved out of a rigid, conventional joint family. If you ask my Ma what her possessions are, it'll be her house, her husband and her daughter in that order."
"And then my mother did the unthinkable and the unpardonable acts of all time. She pulled me out of an all-girls school and sent me to a co-ed boarding."
"You see me today - smart, confident, progressive, understanding. That's all because of that."
"Hey, by the way, my GRE was pretty decent. But you know, my cousin is getting married next week and my Ma doesn't want to let everyone know in the family know that I am applying to the US Universities. Most of them still think that you've arrived if you make it to the States. And also, if you're a girl it improves your prospects. It makes me sick."
"Hey you've been hearing me for quite some time. Say something."
I told her: "I am a boy. I can only attempt to understand..."
The Art of the Start
by Guy Kawasaki
Focusing primarily on the venture capital approach to entrepreneurship, Kawasaki’s “time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything” is full of sound advice and useful tips for creating a startup. The Art of the Start covers topics like positioning your new company in the market, pitching to potential investors, writing business plans, bootstrapping, recruiting employees, raising capital, partnering with other firms, branding, and selling. Kawasaki is a strong advocate of the straightforward approach to business: keep it simple, keep it honest, and keep it short.
The Bootstrapper’s Bible
by Seth Godin
The Bootstrapper’s Bible was created for people interested in starting a business with little or no money. Covering everything from business models to simple planning and bookkeeping, Godin does a masterful job of explaining how entrepreneurs and freelancers can take advantage of their small size to accomplish big things.
by Nancy F. Koehn
Brand New tells the story of six entrepreneurs who changed the world of business: Josiah Wedgwood, Henry Heinz, Marshall Field, Estee Lauder, Howard Schultz, and Michael Dell. By examining the companies these innovators created alongside the business context they operated in, Nancy Koehn presents detailed, fascinating case studies of how these leaders developed brands and distribution systems that took full advantage of existing social trends. Comprehensive without being dry, this book is a very detailed look into the lives of people who saw an opportunity in the market and took full advantage of it.
The 80/20 Principle
by Richard Koch
In this text, Koch thoroughly examines the “80/20” or “Pareto principle” – the idea that, in any given context, 20% of the causes produce 80% of the effects. This inherent nonlinearity is present in all aspects of life, and presents a great deal of opportunity for improvement in every field. By identifying the critical 20% of causes and focusing time and resources on optimizing them, it is possible to realize enormous gains in productivity in relatively short order. While the 80/20 principle is typically used for sales, customer, or inventory analysis, Koch examines personal management applications as well, including priority setting and work/life balance.
This looks like a job for "The bicycle repair man!" No seriously I need to do something about this.
 The best definition of manifesto is found on the wikipedia -
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions. It's a document that makes a case outlining in a thoughtful language why you might want to think about an issue differently. I think I need to make a list of all these ideas in one common place so that I can work towards integrating all of them. So I'll be gathering all of them here in this very post temporarily until I have a more suitable place to park them.
Interesting Ideas (In no specific order)
- The Wikimedia foundation projects - By far the closest to my ideas and the most comprehensive and integrated amongst the ones in this list.
- Google and the various google labs projects!!
- The Free Software Foundation
- Sourceforge - Haven for Free Software
- The Personal MBA - "Mastering Business Without Spending a Fortune" An Awsome idea! (Yes, I think that way inspite of being a very very hopeful top business school aspirant waiting for the final results with bated breath :) )
- Shouldexist.org - The site has been taken down indefinitely due to attacks from spammers and crackers :(
- Recipezaar - Yum! :)
- Change this
- Creative Dot
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I just checked out the wikipedia entry for the man who wrote these lines -
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
- William Blake
And whaddya know! He was also a painter. Found some of his works on this page and there are a few quite striking paintings. Check out two of them above.
"Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.
Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night."
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
"Sheltered in stoneI don't remember the context where I read the above but I remember the contents very vividly. These four lines are awesome and deep, and have been with me from some years as far as I can remember..
we gladly breathe
unknown to suffering
trapped in peace"
- Author Unknown
If you have some information on the source of these lines (Googling did not work for me) please leave a comment.
Just finished with some bug fixing and sanity testing of some arbit code I was assigned to. Oh how much I hate this mechanical coding routine. Today I failed to recognise a piece of code I had written only a few days back.. It was throwing compile errors and I was cursing the godforsaken brain damaged coder continuously under my breath until realisation dawned (followed quickly by horror).. I had written some fantastically crappy code and (maybe because) I had formed no personal association with it whatsoever.. Paul Graham is right! I can be easily be atleast 36 times more productive working on my own startup than I am in this place.. Not that Infy is a bad place to be in, it's just not a place I'm comfortable being in my whole life.. Time to move on will come soon enough!
Brushing up on my Monads and Arrows.. I intend to have mastered the art of functional programming in Haskell before the end of a three month period beginning now. I intend to fully apply my knowledge to the various Management subjects that I'll hopefully encounter beginning my MBA studies on April 15th at ISB.. I must say that the paper on Composing financial contracts through combinators in Haskell was a great inspiration!
Tried to open Soumya's eyes to the wonderful world of Haskell and functional programming, but she seems to be firmly wedded to Java.. Poor girl.. Remember "Sheltered in Stone"..
Waiting to take the 9:15 PM bus out of Infy..
Reading a Calvin forward I just got - Calvin is damn funny! Gives me a distinct feeling of Deja Vu, Hey I have done something like that! Case in point the above cartoon which reminds me of the time when i asked my dad to buy me a Sanskrit book hours before the final Sanskrit paper in school! Poor dad and I searched nearby bookstores for quite some time before returning back home empty handed (An NCERT book at such short notice? Hah! Hilarious!!) and to a nice beating, for me, by him.. I think I managed to do okaishly well in that paper actually, inspite it all..
------------------ Quoted -----------------------
State owned Power Finance Corporation, PFC of India's initial public offer, IPO will open on January 31, a company official said today.
"The IPO will open on January 31 and close on February 6", the official told, reports Network 18.
He said the company expects the Securities and Exchange Board of India, Sebi to clear the issue soon.
The government is planned to dilute its stake in the wholly-owned company by around 10% through the IPO.
------------------ End Quote -----------------------
More: Official website of PFC.
And I did not even know that PFC even existed! Man! I sooo need to spend a year in a great B-School! :)
Read about the Stockholm Syndrome and the story of Patty Hearst (above in the picture) today on the Wikipedia. Don't know what to say..
The cover of American Life, an album by Madonna released in 2003, was apparently based on either Patty Hearst's above photograph or (according to Madonna herself) on Che Guevara's famous pic.
Don't know what point she was trying to make..
BTW There is also an SVG version of the above pic (traced and converted from the above pic using Inkscape, which uses potrace internally, which is awesome for such tracing purposes. I am speaking from experience.) -
Reminds me of Escher's famous print -
Both are great examples of Strange Loops, which in turn reminds me of Douglas Richard Hofstadter's famous book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, which is one of the best books I have read (almost fully) so far.
PS: I was foolish enough to return GEB back to the Infosys Library without having read it completely. Now this %#!^$ guy who issued it after me refuses to return it for another couple of months (the newly introduced fine rule in the Infy library notwithstanding) and I am still waiting. Can't say I blame him though, the book is hard to part with!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Whoa! This thing is a beauty! Apple sticks to its forte of producing great-looking-but-extremely-expensive -and-elitist products.
The iPhone - Another thing on my wishlist that I'd probably never buy cos it just doesn't make for a good enough ROI..
But I'd probably lie awake at night thinking about how sucky my phone is..