December 7, 2009 at 5:52 am (Pointless Philosophy)

Scott Adams has got it right with this hillarious strip on how companies push their non-sales (=not useful?) headcounts to contribute more toward sales :)

Dilbert Strip


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Pursuit of Hapiness – Can you relate yourself to Chris Garnder?

March 26, 2007 at 4:53 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

Last Saturday I watched ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ with my dad at Six Degrees, Satyam Cinemas. I wanted to see this movie for a long time. Finally got a chance when I visited Chennai last Saturday.

Am not going to write a review of the movie, not worth spending time on it. It was good acting by Will Smith but overall movie was not something that is fresh to me. Being an Indian, I have seen and heard thousands of such “rags to riches” story. More of “money is not everything” types like one of my favourites, tamil movie “Varymayin Neram Sevappu” back in the 80s.

Movie apart, I don’t know how many of the audiences would’ve understood how Will Smith would’ve felt having no money left to spend for tomorrow and no clue on how to make some money right now. Sparing a few, I don’t think I know anyone who would’ve gone through tough times when money was a serious “lacking”.

… Or even if they did I don’t think they have shared the experience with me. Well, here is something new – I can tell you exactly how Chris Gardner(Will Smith) would’ve felt while he hit rock bottom having no money left to survive.

Can you relate some part of your life to Chris Garnder’s story? I can.

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Rewards from failure?

March 19, 2007 at 1:50 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

Can success of a failure be measured? How?

It would be great if failure was rewarded as long as you fail fast and fail in new ways

    – Tren Griffin, Microsoft

Tren Griffin is working as a Network Services Strategist with Microsoft. He likes to talk about current trends in Telecom, Search and other domains. His emails to the internal discussion forums are a great source of information and learning to many like me within Microsoft.

Tren is one of my idols at Microsoft :)

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Tata Safari Ad – Makes me wanna buy this machine!

March 14, 2007 at 8:48 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

I don’t know what is it that I really like about this Tata Safari ad in particular – but I love it. It connects to me at some level that is making me want to buy this machine although I have no clue how good/bad it is nor do I have the money ! :)

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Google vs. Live (Math as search string)

March 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

This is funny. Real funny. I don’t know who is to be blamed – Google or Live?

As most of you already know, both Google and Live are search engines and they are constantly evolving every day to serve better search results. One area that I really like about both of them is accepting “mathematical expressions” as search strings. In fact, they can also do conversion of units from one to another (like seconds to minutes)

But a friend of mine pointed me to some funny set of mis-interpretations of mathematical expressions as search input.

1. Search string = “2^4^2” says 2^4^2 = 65536 says 2^4^2 = 256

2. Let’s try to get 65536 out of each search engine

To get the value 65536 you need to enter 2^2^2^2^2 in Search
To get the same value in it is enough to enter one “^2” less = 2^2^2^2

After a little more research I figured out why this is happening – any guesses on what is causing this? any guesses on who is right or wrong here?

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Book claims Indians world’s most undemocratic people

March 5, 2007 at 2:01 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

Reported here and I can’t agree more with this text.

Indians are perhaps the worlds most undemocratic people, living in the world’s largest and most plural democracy where a persons self-worth is almost exclusively determined by the rank he occupies, says a new book.

A profoundly hierarchical society, in India the determination of relative rank (Is this person superior or inferior to me?) remains very near the top of subconscious questions evoked in an interpersonal encounter, says the book The Indians, Portrait of a People by psychoanalyst and culture commentator Sudhir Kakkar and anthropologist Katherina Kakkar.

The gratification of the 300 million middle-class consumers, the new Brahmins, does not lie in their being consumers in a global marketplace but in being somebody in a profoundly hierarchical society, the authors say. You must be somebody to survive with dignity, since rank is the only substitute for money. Thus retired judges, ex-ambassadors and other sundry officials who are no longer in service are never caught without calling cards prominently displaying who they once were, authors say.

Although at first glance the notion of Indian-ness among the one billion population speaking 14 major languages with pronounced regional differences may seem far-fetched, yet from ancient times European, Chinese and Arab travellers have identified common features among Indian people, it says.

Must get a copy of this book. It talks about us and it is speaking the truth.

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My favorite Departed Quote

January 12, 2007 at 7:57 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me

– Frank Costello – Departed

I’ve not seen many Jack Nicholson movies before. But as “Mr. Costello” in Departed, he is God.

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Be Altruistic, Be Gandhian … or Be Happy

September 19, 2006 at 5:00 pm (Pointless Philosophy)


Altruism is the practice of placing others before oneself. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and central to many religious traditions. In English, this idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. In Buddhism it is considered a fundamental property of human nature.

The word “altruism” was coined by Auguste Comte, the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral obligation to serve the interest of others or the “greater good” of humanity. Comte says, in his Catechisme Positiviste, that

“[the] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service…. This [“to live for others”], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we are entirely.”

As the name of the ethical doctrine is “altruism,” doing what the ethical doctrine prescribes has also come to be referred to by the term “altruism” — serving others through placing their interests above one’s own

I strongly take sides with the Philosophers who support egoism. I would like to argue that altruism is a degree of lack of self-respect in individuals. Any individual or group or a society with a certain degree of self-respect will not believe that they are obligated to serve others more than themselves.

Religious philosophers in Hinduism will counter argue that altruism is directly linked to karma. Their arguments will be based on the fact that acts that you perform today add up to your karma calculations and will take effect either in the next cycle of when those karma takes effect, usually assumed to be in the next birth although “kaliyug” theories argue otherwise.

But I feel the foundation of altruism itself is stupid. It is like asking someone to shed and sacrifice the respect he has got for his life, for his soul, for himself and then go on and serve the other in respect to the supposed obligations he/she has towards everything else other than himself/herself.

If such fictitious obligations do exist then how could they supersede the commitments that one has to his/her own life.

Forget Buddha, forget Gandhi – the torch bearers of selflessness. Selflessness is not cool. To me, its not even a word. Better call it, “lack of self-respect”.

Be selfish, justify your existence.
Disclaimer: The argument is for/against the philosophies and not the philosophers themselves.

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17 easy ways to kill any new proposal or idea

September 8, 2006 at 4:02 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

Seth here talks about how status quo can be defended

If your subordinate comes up with a brilliant idea or a new business proposal – these lines will come in handy to promptly reject the proposal with poise and dignity, sort of killing the idea without giving a hint of resistance to change.

  • “That will never work.”
  • “… That said, the labor laws make it difficult for us to do a lot of the suggestions [you] put out. And we do live in a lawsuit oriented society.””
  • “Can you show me some research that demonstrates that this will work?”
  • “Well, if you had some real-world experience, then you would understand.”
  • “I don’t think our customers will go for that, and without them we’d never be able to afford to try this.”
  • “It’s fantastic, but the salesforce won’t like it.”
  • “The salesforce is willing to give it a try, but [major retailer] won’t stock it.”
  • “There are government regulations and this won’t be permitted.”
  • “Well, this might work for other people, but I think we’ll stick with what we’ve got.”
    “We’ll let someone else prove it works… it won’t take long to catch up.”
  • “Our team doesn’t have the technical chops to do this.”
  • “Maybe in the next budget cycle.”
  • “We need to finish this initiative first.”
  • “It’s been done before.”
  • “It’s never been done before.”
  • “We’ll get back to you on this.”
  • “We’re already doing it.”
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