Monday, September 26, 2005


Last week, I had made a prediction.
And that was almost what happened. Well, almost.

I have a variety of responses lined up. Take ur pick.

1. I never said anything about a crash. I was misquoted and my comments were taken out of context.
2. Did I mention Sep 26 of 2005?
3. By letting the then-truth of a market crash out, I had altered the state of the system - something like a glitch in the Matrix. And hence the change in the outcome.
4. This is a result of an international conspiracy planned by CIA, ISI, KGB and Mossad - and executed by the Indian arm of Al Qaeda Inc.

P.S: Probably the other prediction I'd made will also meet a similar fate.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Probably crap

Science is the study of how things work. But science does not quite answer the question of "Why things work the way they work?". And there are multiple answers available for one to choose: Religion and Probability are two that come to my mind.

Religion is a way of accepting that there is some force at work, and for whatever reason, religions seem to suggest that one should subjugate himself to this force. Am I right? And why is it so? How about having a religion that prefers to show the finger to the force? Aah, I guess that would be classified as satan-worship. Hold it! So the religious people believe in at least two forces at work. Bah, that seems rather obvious soon after I wrote it.

Anyway, the point question I'm trying to get at is - "Is probability similar to a force recognized in any religion?"

The first few sentences of this post established that probability and religion were both conceptualised by man with an aim to answer the question of "Why?". So how does one figure out if these are indeed two different concepts? Lets first define them both.

Wikispeak: "In its broadest sense, some have defined religion as the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe."

If I were to define probability on similar lines, it is the sum total of answers given to explain relationship between any two objects in the universe.

So is probability a superset of religion? Maybe it is.

P.S: My limited knowledge of religions has always gotten me stuck on this point -"Religions attempt to explain the purpose of our lives. But then, are we arrogant enough to believe that other species - or for that matter, even inanimate objects - dont have any purpose?" Now, probability does that a lot better, doesnt it?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Moral policing

The title, I presume, is construed to have negative connotations by most of us. So it was rather surprising to me that the Constitution of India empowers the state to act as a moral police.

Consider Article 19(pdf) that deals with protection of the right to freedom of speech. Clause 19.2 states that the state may impose "reasonable restrictions" on the right to freedom and expression in the interests of morality - among other things like sovereignty, integrity etc. Further, clause 19.4 empowers the state to limit the right to form associations and unions in the name of morality.

So it is reasonable to believe that the State may ban Valentine's day celebrations deeming it to be amoral. One could argue that the courts would find any such action taken by the government of the day to be beyond the ambit of reasonable restrictions mentioned in the article. But should the state have ANY mandate at all to impose restrictions on acts it deems immoral?

If I were to form an Association of open Spouse-Smoochers (ASS) to promote spousal-smooching in public places and make public statements in favour of ASS, should the state have the power to prevent me from doing so? This seems to be within the State's mandate as defined by clauses 19.2 and 19.4.

Any thoughts?

Sep 26...

is when the Bombay Sensex is gonna crash.

Later, dont complain that you didn't know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

J & K

A few weeks ago, there was a photo in The Hindu of the Indian Army lining up Kashmiris and conducting a search operation in the region. It was powerful in conveying how such regular operations would aleniate Kashmiris - I've no idea if this was the intent in publishing the photo. The photo doesnt seem to be online, but Google yielded this similar photo.

Photo thanks to BBC.

A better image was provided in Mani Ratnam's Roja - soon after Arvind Swamy and Madhubala reach Srinagar.

How would you feel if you're treated as a suspect terrorist, and you have to face the barrel of the gun for 15 years and more in your own home?

I'm not in any way implying that India is abusing Kashmiris etc - just that prolonged presence of armed forces can be detrimental in winning the confidence of the masses.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

BBC - Simply the best. least when it comes to their hour-long special reports. Today's was on how child-survivors of last year's Beslan terror attack cope with such a tragedy. Nice idea in the first place - to just let the children tell how they feel, instead of news anchors trying to prove their self-importance.

There's so much anger and helplessness in the children. Many talked about how they just want to kill the terrorists - each had his/her own variation of the method they'd choose.

One was building a toy school - fitted with missiles so that terrorists can be killed. "Every house should have missiles".

Another kid: "Moscow got poorer and Beslan got richer. I got 15000. A footballer came to the hospital and gave the money. Parents who lost their kids got 20,000. How can money ever compensate for the lives?"

Gaming kid: "Before the terror attack, I used to play a terrorist(in a video game) because they had the best weapons. But now I play a cop. Even if they dont have the best weapons, all I want to do is to kill the terrorists"

YAK: "I'm a lot more frightened now. At school, when I hear any unexpected noise - even the bell ringin - I am afraid"

YAK: "Young boys became men, and we all became adults sooner"

YAK: "My biggest desire is to go to Chechenya, and kill all the terrorists to avenge my dad"

Kid who lost his mother: "We always keep chocolate and water next to her picture. Chocolate because she loved sweets, and water because she was desperate for it in the gym (during the hostage crisis)"

... And a lot more such expressions from those kids. I found only a portion of the program transcript in BBC's site. Click here.

Anyway, kudos to BBC for cutting the crap and focusing on the core issue.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Wow Aargh BSNL!

Was checking out BSNL's site when I chanced upon this.

"BSNL Chennai Telephones proposes to avail the services of Engineering Students (Fourth Semester and above) for sale and installation of Data-One Broadband for the BSNL customers."

While I dont quite understand the logic of favouring Engineering students (and that too only those who've put in two years of engg), the idea is refreshingly innovative. Of course, I'm not sure if the idea has been marketed well. Let me be generous and assume that BSNL might have communicated this scheme to engineering colleges in town.

But BSNL has pulled off a coup - by doing the impossible and screwing up this scheme.

"Selected students should achieve a target of at least TWO sales & ONE installation per day, with a minimum of 50 Broadband connections in a month. Failure to achieve the target will automatically forfeit their enrolment"

BSNL expects these full-time students to sell more than 12 connections a week! Wonder how many end up satisfying this condition.

Well, if in spite of this condition any engg student is enthu about it, applications can be submitted till the 15th of September. And btw, the commission is Rs. 100 for every connection.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

NOLA vs Mumbai

Aditya has these messages for some people in a nice post:

"To those who think Bombay sucks, well FUCK YOU!!!"

"I'd like to point out that Indians who think(or pretend?) that our country is pathetic might as well get the fuck out of here and shut the fuck up for the rest of your life. I'm fed up of naysayers. If ye happen to be an Indian(no, not "American Indian"), please please do something worthwhile to our country so that your ass is also worthwhile. I implore you! Else shut the fuck up and be worthless for the rest of your life."

And well, here's news about the newest avatar of Nero. Link thanks to a comment posted on the above-mentioned post by Adi.