Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Freedom of Speech

During the cartoon-crisis, Europe positioned itself as a champion of free speech. And now this.

Moral of the story: An absurd conspiracy theory is worse than a provocative depiction of Others' God.

Friday, February 17, 2006

India rocking?

Not yet.

An insightful comment from a friend: "Have u noticed one thing abt this great [Indian] eco boom? ...B2B space is doing v v good ...but B2C is nothing much at all happening."

Think about it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

India rocking?

Not yet.

An insightful comment from a friend: "Have u noticed one thing abt this great [Indian] eco boom? ...B2B space is doing v v good ...but B2C is nothing much at all happening."

Think about it.
A thought struck me recently that many conflicts in today's world are due to strong desires to right past wrongs. The problem is accenuated if the society, or a section of it, defines its identity on past wrongs or on righting these wrongs. To name a couple of examples: Israel righting Holocaust and the Babri Masjid demolition.

Once one's olive trees are defined in terms of wrongs, he will fight harder for it - and be more willing to give up on the Lexuses. Extending that logic to a society, one that defines its collective olive tree on past wrongs will be more willing to sacrifice the Lexuses.

For Indian society to develop, we need to stop defining ourselves in terms of past wrongs. We need a vision. And we need a vision to look ahead - not behind.

Kaadhal Kavidhai

Nee oru kavidhai.
Unmithulla kaadhalum ondru.
Pin athai potra innoru kavithai thevai thaana?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How stable is the world economy?

I know of at least 2 events that will, if and when they occur, have a dramatic impact on the world economy - which would probably make Sep 11 pale in comparison.

1. Peak Oil: I had thought this was not going to happen for a few decades now, until I watched British Petroleum's Chief Executive suggest on BBC that it would happen by the year 2020.

2. Prime factorization: This, unlike peak oil, could happen any time. All it takes is for someone to come up with an algorithm in P to decompose any number into its prime factors.

Given the drastic effect a prime factorization algorithm would have on the US economy, I wonder if anyone who cracks the problem will be designated a "Math Terrorist". Wouldn't that be cool? :)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

MiG 21

Does this picture ring a bell?

I went online looking for this picture when I read Saikat Datta's piece on RDB in this week's Outlook. An excerpt:

A former air chief flew the MiG-21 from the air base at Bareilly to prove that all was fine with the aircraft. What was not told was that on that particular day, none of the MiG-21s at the base was in an airworthy state. Instead, one was flown in especially from Gwalior.

Shameful! Btw, I got the above image from this page where Tipnis has written "an ode to the MiG-21". Interestingly, that page also has a table inserted by Bharat Rakshak which says
Total Number of MiGs that served in the IAF: Approx 910
Number of MiG-21s lost in mishaps: 316 (as on Aug 2003)

That's more than 1/3rd of all MiG-21s. Keep in mind that the 910 figure is number of all MiGs and not just MiG-21s!

Saikat Datta also mentions that the three service chiefs got a scene to be dropped from RDB in which a defence minister took to the skies in a MiG-21 - something George Fernandes has done in the past.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I decided to write something profound today.
And all I could think of is this.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hitler beats Israel

How wrong would it be to state the following equation?

Israel's occupation of West Bank = Hitler's Germany - gory concentration camps.

And if Hitler has made a Hitler out of Israel, isn't he the winner?

Jews have learnt the wrong lesson. Holocaust taught them to do whatever it takes to prevent them from undergoing such atrocities ever again. They should instead have resolved to prevent anyone from undergoing atrocities. And worse still, they are committing such atrocities, albeit to a much lesser extent.

Enakku ithu pothum

Ondru sirakadithu paranthu vittathu. Antha oru nodi koondiliruntha piraparavaigalin santhoshathuku alave illai. Adutha nodi, ovvoru paravaiyum thannidame solli kondathu: "Veliye viduthalai irukkalaam, inge adutha velai soru kidaikkum endra paathukaapu undu. Enakku ithu pothum".

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Is it intuitive that given the occurence of an event A, the probability that p(A) is less than x is equal to min(x,1) for non-negative x?

Intuition sucks.

Update: The post initially appeared in a weird manner coz Blogger refused to recognize 'lesser than' and 'greater than' symbols and instead read it as a html tag. Found the error on reading yhac's second comment.