Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year

Monday, December 26, 2005

Life goes on......

Monday, December 19, 2005

Exemplary Mortals

Time magazine in its latest issue has names Bono, Bill and Melinda gates as the persons of the year.

It’s really pleasing to see non political figures coming as the names which have been able to make difference to the lives of common man. What makes these names all the more special is the fact that they did not strive to become and achieve for which they have been named as the person of the year.

Another thing which is common amongst all great legends is the desire and dream to achieve much more than what other expects them to do and what they themselves set to achieve.

They rise above the normal and do things which can change our lives. Perhaps the greatest thing which makes them special as people of excellence is that they never stop of achieving the very best and continue to achieve more despite reaching great heights.

Bill has been drawing great criticism for his ruthless approach to monopolize software market and earn super normal profit by stifling competition. But still one must admire this man for his creativity, aspirations and a strong conviction to bring about change in the lives of ordinary people.

He still has the enthusiasm of a 15 year old school kind whenever you talk about technology or any other realted software stuff with him. His wife has been leading the world’s largest private NGO; the Seattle-based foundation has an endowment of approximately $28.8 billion.Here’s what they had to say after being given the honour.

We’re honored to have been named, together with our friend Bono, as Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year.

“We’re grateful that Time recognizes the importance of the world's inequities, whether they are in the United States or thousands of miles away. We are also pleased by Time's recognition that we can solve these problems and that many people must play a part in doing so.

Bono (Born as :Paul Hewson)the most famous Irish name, on the other hand started his musical career in 1976 and went on to receive world wide accolades for the great work of art.

He has repeatedly flogged himself in the press for not being a proper "pop star" and has continually expressed a desire to become a great singer. Yet his powerful voice has evolved and morphed over the years with a versatility rarely heard in most rock bands: at the start of the decade, it was a teenage croon full of longing and rebellion on such 80's albums as "Boy" and "War"; near the end, it was a throaty roar full of anger and passion on "The Unforgettable Fire," "The Joshua Tree," and "Rattle and Hum."

Though he is known as a socially-conscious songwriter who has tried to inspire crowds with his lyrics, Bono is a rarity in that he also tries to connect with them physically during a performance. The best example of this was seen by millions during the 1980's...especially the Live Aid concert in 1985, when (mid-way through an epic rendition of "Bad") he leapt off the stage, over a security barricade to the floor of the arena, and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her.

In the 90's, when U2's political earnestness ultimately threatened to turn them into a caricature (due mostly to Bono's often politically-charged, on-stage sermonizing), the band vanished into Berlin, Germany to remake itself with a new sound.

Beyond U2, Bono has extended himself to other projects and causes, and has emerged over the years to be both a social animal and an activist...and has rallied numerous actors, artists and activists to his cause...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Times they are changing

At times I often look back at see how my passion for things in life has undergone a sea change. When I look back at some of the major events in my life I suddenly realize they are not as important as they may appear at times. I guess it’s a process of learning or rather growing which we tend to acclimatize with and adjust.

Change is often an unconscious process sometimes if you try and make it happen it never works, at least I have seen it in my case. It really thrills me when I try and analyze the different perspective different cultures have towards life changes. Geert Hofstede Model of Culture has a wonderful note on this

“Every person carries within him or herself patterns of thinking; feeling; and potential acting which were learned throughout their lifetime. Much of it has been acquired in early childhood, because at that time a person is most susceptible to learning and assimilating.

As soon as certain patterns of thinking; feeling and acting have established themselves within a person’s mind; (s)he must unlearn these before being able to learn something different; and unlearning is more difficult than learning for the first time.”

“Culture is always a collective phenomenon, because it is at least partly shared with people who live or lived within the same social environment, which is where it was learned. It is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.”

If we analyze the eastern philosophy and western concept of change the contrast is quite interesting. The eastern approach is based on Karma and Destiny of previous and present lives while the western approach is more methodical and they see change as a conscious effort. But I guess as a young chap you must have felt that change can be brought about with action and that’s also true to some extent however as times changes and you put more weight and your hairline’s recede the whole approach goes for a gradual shift.

But On a different note I think few things in life only get better with time and become all the more special as you enrich yourselves with the various interpretations and one of them is my favorite Bob Dylan song written in 1963.

Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam'
And admit that the waters Around you have grown
And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you Is worth savin'Then you better startswimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who That it's namin'.
For the loser now Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land
And don't criticize What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command
Your old road is Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn The curse it is cast
The slow one now Will later be fast
As the present now Will later be past
The order is Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Globalization:Random thoughts

Here's a humorous although thought provoking definition of Globalization.

I am sure you'll be left with few words by the end of it.

Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization? Answer: Princess Diana's death. Question: How come?
Answer: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel,
driving a German car with a Dutch engine,
driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whisky, (check the bottle before you change the spelling)
followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
on Japanese motorcycles;
treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This is posted by an Indian, using Bill Gate's technology (an American), and you're probably reading this on your computer,
that use Taiwanese chips,
and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers,
hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen,
and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....

That, my friends, is Globalization.

Well this thought reminded me of Adam Smith's good old "division of labour" concept and I'm sure he would be proud of this idea of globalisation.Poor Chap, he wouldn't have ever thought in his wildest imagination that actually his ideas would really trickle down to this level.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The End of Innocence

It seems that Electronic Media is going berserk with the "secret camera revelation”. Almost each news channel is trying hard to make its presence felt on the idiot box by coming up with some or other visual titillations to make us sit back and stop pressing the channels button. With almost 20 channels running round the clock, each one is jostling hard to catch viewers eyeball.

The competition has lead to some not so pleasant events which comes more as a shocking revelation to Indian viewers who have been happy watching DD’s good old sarkari views for ages. In the early 90’s the media focused more Political infighting and corruption at lower level, then came Tehelka episode and it changed the definition of journalism and added a new buzz word to the lexicon of Indian journalism called “ sting operation”.

Indian Media was never the same, the good old Khadar Dhari ,Jhola types, gave way to suave ,technically savy, mobile and yuppy journos.The days of penury for the good old Jhola types was gone and they represented a new face of Indian journalism.

The viewers thought they were having a ball since they were being pampered to the great extent. Public figures who were considered sacrosanct till date were now being reduced to rubble by media with one shot .Media spared no one the high and mighty politician, film stars, power brokers, cricketers, senior officials ,babus ,judges,army officers ,police and even academicians. The age old shibboleth was broken and the lakshman rekha was crossed.

The best part was that some good old media folks were also enraged with the new breed of journalists; they felt that the symbiotic relation which has been fostering between media and power groups for ages has been broken with this spate of sting journalism. This was a new world in which nobody trusted nobody, and as a consequent the internecine battle for eyeballs continues and the holy institutions of Indian social life has been reduced to a nautanki.

Perhaps the worst fallout of these events is the fact that the new generation will become all the more cynical to the existing institutions. What took ages to build being reduced to mere sensational clips? I guess all this is no excuse for exposing the truth because many feels that we must know the truth, however the truth comes at a big cost which I’m sure everyone realizes.

The fact that every exposure brings more cynicism and erosion of faith in public figures mean that we need new role models ,new champions and new leadership which espouses the virtues of high moral and ethical based practices.

We must not overlook the fact that these incidents leads to generalization of common’s man perception about the public figures, so if you have seen one of the cricketer taking bribe then every time a wicket fall you’ll find people questioning the credibility of the individual. The worst part is that its not that only failures will be put to question even success will be treated with skepticism.

I guess the situation is here to stay and probably it would mean we have to find answer to some greater questions which incidents like these leaves unanswered? How and where do you draw the line????

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Remembering John Lennon

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Moments of Realisation

Another picture story without words ....Sometimes your imagination works best when you allow your thoughts to wonder .Infact it works best if you dont use words to create the story.The truth of reality and perception dawns upon you.One feels stoic at this new discovery but nevertheless its a great discovery and realisation of our power of imagination and intrepretation.
I guess it also leads to a journey of introspection and change of point of reference of one's own imagination.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Mr. Tambourine Man

One of the greatest all time Musical legend, singer, songwriter, poet and a great philosopher of modern time Bob Dylan has inspired generations of musicians. He has a world wide fan following which cuts across all age group .Born as Robert Allen Zimmerman, on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota Dylan was greatly influenced by the music of Elvis, Little Richards and Jerry lee Lewis. While performing some country and folk music at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, he was named “Bob Dylan,” after the late Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Later he dropped out of college and went to New York and then started his sojourn of great musical works and went on to become one of the most celebrated Musicians of all times. The Times They Are A-Changin’, firmly established Dylan as the definitive songwriter of the ‘60s protest movement, a reputation that only increased after he became involved with one of the movement’s established icons, Joan Baez, in 1963. While his romantic relationship with Baez lasted only two years, it benefited both immensely in terms of their music careers, as Dylan wrote some of Baez’s best-known material and Baez introduced him to thousands of fans in her concerts.

By 1964, Dylan was playing 200 concerts annually, but had become tired of his role as “the” folk singer-songwriter of the protest movement. Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded in 1964, was a much more personal, introspective collection of songs, far less political in its messages. With his unmistakable voice and unforgettable lyrics, Dylan brought the worlds of music and literature together as no one else had.

In 1989, when Dylan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen spoke at the ceremony, declaring that “Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body….He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and changed the face of rock and roll forever.

To read more about the legend click here.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Music:Divine Mantra for your soul

The colour of love, the language of music, the passion of sports and the fear of death are some of the most enthralling puzzles which plagues my mind. The more I try and analyze and comprehend the meaning, the interpretations become more and more intense as I delve deep into these themes.

Music is something which I feel have really explored to the best. Why I say this is cause I try and immerse myself in all possible kinds of musical influence I can .Believe me right from country to folks, hard rock to trance,bhojpuri to bhangra,sufi to reggae , Mozart to Yanni, Alla rakha to Jethro Tull,A R Rehman to Leonardo Cohen, everything kind of music give me the best possible kick. It gives a new perspective, a new meaning new vision. Perhaps I consider myself blessed to be born in a country which has given me the opportunity to listen to so many variations of music.

My musical journey has been a roller coster, initially it was eclectic and I tried only special stuff, but with passage of time I realized that music can’t be divided in categories. I guess the thing that's the real beauty of this most passionate experience. Puritans say that Music was Devil's gift and gosh what a gift to mankind.

Probably music is the single most powerful medium which unites mankind. No other medium can cut across race, religion, nation's boundary, colour and age as music does. Internet has become a force to reckon with in the recent years but the history of music uniting mankind goes back to centuries. Let’s just hope that we have greater Messiah of this wonderful medium in the days to come.

And as Shakespeare said "If music be thy food of love play on"....So play on folks and spread the message of love.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fear of the Dark

Often people ask me about the layout of this blog. Probably the black layout makes it appear a little mysterious than most of the regular layouts. If you were to go by the popular notion Black represents power, passion, greed, anger, mystery, death, evil and also its an inauspicious one.

Somehow on the contrary I have a strong affinity for the shade. I guess it’s not as unreliable and confusing as any other colour. Perhaps a shade of grey is all what can confuse you but other that that it's pretty neat.

However darkness is something which brings the best out of some of us. At times darkness spurs me to think very innovatively and creatively about issues which I generally ignore or fail to take notice during daytime. Not that I prefer nights over day but perhaps darkness has its own aura and charm.

The fear of unknown and the unseen lurks deep inside all and that’s what makes it all the more fascinating. The silence of the night and the eerie of nothingness leads to strange reactions.

At times it will make you shudder, give you a swing of mood, inspire you to push yourself and sometimes may bring the evil side of you. I guess this observation helps you a lot to know yourself much deeply and the unexplored part of your persona.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Dark Shadows

My fascination with my shadows continues.Just came across some wonderful thought provoking images.Just couldnt resist the temptations to share.

Another Part of me

Its feels so nice to be back in your own little world of lost dreams and incoherent thoughts. Probably that’s the reason I missed so much my blogs so much when I am unable to key my thoughts and ideas.

In some of my previous post I experimented with the ideas of pictoral expression and I felt it was really exciting. It’s a nice feeling to find pictures which express thoughts ideas and connect to our emotions instantly. Probably pictures also carry a stronger feeling and in today’s world of instant emotions, they are really effective in striking a chord straight ahead.

At times I feel that people who know me should not read my posts on my blog.Now that's a real strange thought ,even I think so ,but then I believe the one's who do not know me will surely interpret the thoughts differently than the one's who know me personally. Ideally I would love to see the different interpretations the same ideas could generate and the possible impact of perceptual interpretation. Often wonder that perhaps the notion of prejudging is much stronger in each one of us that we actually know about. I guess it natural but then it also predictive which makes it that much boring.

I would love to be an incognito, at least on my blogs and then express my inner most thought. I guess that would really allow me to experiment a little with my thoughts. I guess most of us structure our thoughts, expressions as per the social milieu around, that’s just to gain social acceptance. However somewhere I feel lies a different person within all of us, having different aspirations, ideas and dreams. I just wish this blog could be my window to the unknown part of me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Journey Continues.....and so the lessons

Just when your faith in destiny gets shaken a miracle happens,just when you feel that the script of life can't change, for anything but fate will strike and prove you wrong.Be prepared for the unforseen and unthinkable ,you never know what life has in store for you.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Guess who I am

Can you see my pain ?

Can you feel my agony ?

Can you hear my silent wailing ?

Can you read my mind ?

Can you feel the lonliness inside me?

Can you hear my prayers?

Can you understand my pangs of failures?

Can you share my life's miseries ?

Guess who I am ......A part of your morbid unending desire's .

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Are You a Freak

Hey here's a test which I'm sure bloggers around the world would love to try..I guess often this question comes in my mind too...


Try out this test u'll know the answer....
click here

Friday, October 14, 2005

Feel like.........

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Nobel Cause

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to International Atomic Energy Agency and its director Mohamed ElBaradei. The selection of the agency and its Director has created lot of buzz , some feel that the prize is recognition of the agency's work, and the greater challenge of keeping the world free from Nuclear War. Baradei is a Bachelor of Law from the University of Cairo, 1962, and doctorate in International Law at the New York University School of Law, 1974.

He has also been the recipient of various honorary degrees. Later he joined Egyptian diplomatic service in 1964, and has served missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, in charge of political, legal and arms control issues.

He was was special assistant to Egyptian foreign minister from 1974 to 1978. In 1980 became senior fellow in charge of international law program at U.N. Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987 was adjunct professor of international law at New York University.

He was appointed International Atomic Energy Agency secretary-general effective Dec. 1, 1997. again reappointed to second term in September 2001, and third term, September 2005.

However the news which really got wide coverage in India media was the issue of the Nobel Prize not being given to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, revered as the Father of the nation in India, was nominated for the prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948, notes Шyvind Tшnnesson, a former Nobel E-Museum Peace editor.Here’s what Professor Jacob Worm-Müller, the committee who wrote a report on Gandhi,thought about Gandhi”

He is undoubtedly a good, noble and ascetic person - a prominent man who is deservedly honoured and loved by the masses of India...(But) sharp turns in his policies, which can hardly be satisfactorily explained by his followers. He is a freedom fighter and a dictator, an idealist and a nationalist. He is frequently a Christ, but then, suddenly, an ordinary politician," the evaluator noted, according to the documents made available on the foundation's website.

Worm-Müller expressed doubts whether Gandhi's ideals were universal or primarily Indian: "One might say that it is significant that his well-known struggle in South Africa was on behalf of the Indians only, and not of the blacks whose living conditions were even worse."

The Nobel committee's advisor, historian Jens Arup Seip, wrote the evaluation report, which was not as critical as the earlier one but focused only on the Mahatma's role in India's struggle for freedom. It was not "explicitly favourable" either.

The argument that went against Gandhi in 1947 was that the Nobel Peace Prize had never been awarded for any struggle for independence. The qualifying clause is the closest the committee came to honour the 'great soul'

Well the fact that even after 57 years of being nominated for the award his candidature for the award is being reviewed and thought about, this demonstrates the greatness of the man who despite human facilities truly led the nation and was an apostle of peace.

But the irony remains that he couldn’t be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, though he continues to inspire generations.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Which India are you living in

The Rural Urban divide has attracted lot of heat and debate .Lot has been written about the impact of globalization on the poor and the marginalized sections of the society.

Madhukar Shukla has written a wonderful piece on this phenomenon of two different India co-existing together.He calls the upper and middle class as the visible India, and the rural so called below poverty line or struggling citizens as the invisible india.

Here’s a brief of the post:

* Visible India contributes substantially to India’s GDP. For instance, during 2004, its inhabitants downloaded ring-tone worth Rs. 400 crores (Rs. 4bn) on their mobile/cell phones, and they contributed an estimated Rs. 1500 crores (i.e., Rs.15bn) to GDP during Valentine Day, and so on…

* The inhabitants of the Visible India also like words such as “privatization”, “globalizations”, “competitiveness”, etc., which they see as signs of progress and development.

* Citizen of the Visible India like to live on debts – credit cards, consumer finance schemes, loans, etc. – the higher the debt, the greater one’s “credit worthiness”.

On the invisible India

* About 92-93% of India’s active workforce lives in this reality… Actually, they live in slums, shanties, and villages

* Most of the workers in India’s 3.2mn SMEs – that accounts for India’s 40% of manufacturing sector and 36% of exports – are also a part of the Invisible India (in 2003, when the India’s pharma company, Ranbaxy Ltd. registered $960 in its overseas sales, Dharavi – Asia’s largest slum in India’s financial capital, Mumbai – exported goods worth an estimated between $690 and $1.84bn).

* The Invisible India also accounts for the bottom 10% of India’s population which owns 1% of country’s assets (as compared to the top 10% in the Visible India who own 48%).

* …and account for 60% of India’s GDP!

To read the complete article click here .

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bapu:The Eternal Legend

India Uncut:Lage Raho...

Every Picture tells a Story......

Me.. Who...........?

Thought for the Day:Desktop wallpaper for my week ahead........................

Friday, September 30, 2005

Living your dreams

Jim Morrison starts his song "been down so long" with a word of advice and sermonizes by saying that we are all on a cosmic ride and once we die we are going to see our lives recurring eternally forever in cinemascope, so you better have some good incidents happening there and a fitting climax .

If you start your day with the daily dose of
"The Speaking Tree" or some other soup for your ravaged soul then you can expect this kind of stuff but hey Lord Jim has his own take on life. For a man who died at just 27 years of age, I am sure he would be seeing life much different from ours. He would always be on high dose of LSD or Cocaine when ever he performed, but his songs always reflected an intense desire for emancipation. Rock music or the Devils music as it was known in early days has always stood for anti establishment and still today it symbolizes the power of youth.

Jim gospels were no different for his cult; his concerts were no less than an occult practice of creating mass hysteria or rather as some say cosmic orgasm. However what really made me ponder a lot was the fact that each generation has grown up braving numerous challenges of societal and economic pressures.

The third wave as Toffler said has really been most exciting for music. So the 60's music reflected this struggle through rock and roll and 70's saw the emergence of Rock in different genres (heavy, metal, thrash, psychedelic) .80's saw disco and floor music 90's was techno and Rap and millennium has hip hop and trance in all forms (electro, house, fusion, rave).

Essentially music symbolizes the mood and aspirations of the youth. But if one were to try and understand the underlying current of all these ages it can be captured as "freedom and I want my own rules" kind of stuff.

However after reading
Shuchika's post I really thought hard about her ideas and honestly I admire her for putting such honest and sincere post. The fact that we all grow up trying to be something and as she says" Most of us who had average childhoods are taught to be useful. Taught to contribute, to take decisions, to think, to be visionaries. We suffer from a pressure to add value. We need to have an opinion on things. Her commentreflectsrefelcts the minds of 20 something like her and many other who are happy and have loads of attitude lke been their seen that.Suchika's views on life are quite similar to what I read on indira's blog.

Indira's is another 20 sumthing girl born in trinidad and a presently in New York pursuing her studies in Environmental Engineering and also working part time.I am amazed by her intellectual thirst and ideas on life,her thoughts on religion , indian guys who run to her thinking her to be indian and then running away after knowing that she is a trini.

Perhaps that true globalisation cause you have people living in different parts of the world having very different views but highly convergent but contextual appraoch towards life.

I guess we all faced this question in our growing up years and truly speaking I face the same question everyday .Perhaps Maslow would categorise this as need for acctualisation but I feel its the desire to be what we always wanted to be free from all mundane stuff and living our passions and chasing our dreams.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Brain Challenge

Deepak Chopra has a very interesting post on the Intent blog called “WHO IS USING THE BRAIN”. It’s a very interesting analysis of the fact that human mind can be compared to software and hardware and the analogy between both ends leads to some interesting reading.

Experience changes the brain. The notion that we all share the same hardware is simply inadequate, for one sees extremely altered brain activity after emotional traumas; different activity between criminals and ordinary people; between people who are more emotional than rational and vice versa.

In addition, the billions of dendrites, or nerve branches, connecting each brain cell are totally unique from one person to the next. What makes them take on their unique pattern is experience (and probably genes, also).So we cannot separate a conscious mind from an unconscious brain. And we cannot give primacy to the physical brain over the non-physical mind. Just as the observer and the observed are intimately related in quantum physics, using your brain makes you both its observer and the thing observed, your mind uses the brain to know itself.

A moment of insight, for example, requires the brain to function properly, since insights consist of thoughts, but left to itself, no brain would have any insight--it would just do what it does, and which is electro-chemical processing.

Finally he ends the by saying that “no one is using the brain. The self is interacting with itself, creating experience and then entering into experience to see what it feels like.”

After reading this post it made me wonder how intriguing is the evolution of mankind, on one hand we have made giant strides in all sphere of our lives, be it technology ,medicine, biology but alas we fail to understand our own mind. I guess it amply demonstrate how difficult it is to understand one own’s self and how challenging is the task of managing human mind’s.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Moral Dilemma and Neuromorality

Well have you ever thought about the impact of neurons on individual’s morality? The judgmental ability of an individual to classify what is good or bad. Neuroethics has been getting lot of attentions these days for the fact that it attempts to understand the minds of those who resort to unlawful actions. Recently at a conference of American Enterprise Institute on “The New Neuromorality” some interesting observations have been made.
The keynote address was given by renowned Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker, who described a neuromorality of personal responsibility. In Pinker’s view, the worry that a biologically based understanding of human behavior will turn into a “my brain/genes/hormones made me do it” catch-all excuse stems from a basic fallacy: the assumption that bad acts deserve to be punished only if they result from some fully autonomous “free will” exempt from biological or other causation. How can we “salvage the core of responsibility” without such mystical notions?

Another debate which has generated lot of interest is the The Source of Blackstone's Intuition: Why We Think it Better to Free the Guilty than to Convict the Innocent by Sam Vermont. It debates on the aspect of our legal structure which is happy punishing an innocent convict rather than setting them free.

Another interesting article on the ethical dilemma is by Rebecca Saxe's "Do the Right Thing "Cognitive science’s search for a common morality.She cites a case study example on the moral dilemma of a man who is faced in a piquant situation and his ethical decision making ability is put to test.

Here’s her view on Brain Imaging.

In the last ten years, brain imaging (mostly functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI) has probably exceeded all the other techniques in psychology combined in terms of growth rate, public visibility, and financial expense. The popularity of brain imaging is easy to understand: by studying the responses of live human brains, scientists seem to have a direct window into the operations of the mind.
A basic MRI provides an amazingly fine-grained three-dimensional picture of the anatomy of soft tissues such as the gray and white matter (cell bodies and axons) of the brain, which are entirely invisible to x-rays. An fMRI also gives the blood’s oxygen content in each brain region,an indication of recent metabolic activity in the cells and therefore an indirect teasure of recent cell firing.

The images produced by fMRI analyses show the brain regions in which the blood’s oxygen content was significantly higher while the subject performed one task—a moral-judgment task, for example—than while the subject performed a different task—a non-moral-judgment task.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mind Mapping

Well if you thought that the idea of machine tracking human nature is far off then you are in for a surprise….

Gilad Mishne at the University of Amsterdam has developed a
mood tracking software which can guesstimate and predict your mood by analyzing your postings on the blog.

Freakonomics also has a post on this

“It tracks the blog entries of Live Journal users and aggregates their mood indicators to see how a given event (a terrorist act, a natural disaster, an election) influences societal mood".

Levitt proposed that corporations might employ a similar feedback device so that CEO's could know what their employees are thinking.
Imagine the kind of data this would generate , organisations would be able to read their customers mind,may be it will lead to a situation where one will be offered products as per the current sentiments of their prospective customers.
I guess we all would resemble like this man to the software which will be tracking our moves.Gosh this is just too scary...........

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cool Blog Links

Hey here's a some blog's recommendations from Buzz.

Jack Zen:for some cool spirituality
Wanna be girl:Good links
Artistic Images :Nice collection of daily pics
On Blogging:Languages and Styles for Blogging
Nice Pics:Underwatera and wildlife pics

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Great Legends :II

Tim Berners Lee -- Founder of the World Wide Web

Andreas Bechtolsheim , Bill Joy, Scott Mc Nealy and Vinod Khosla of SUN(StanfordUniversity Network) MicroSystems. Founded by four StanfordUniversity buddies.Andreas Bechtolsheim built a microcomputer; Vinod Khosla recruited him;Scott McNealy to manufacture computers based on it;and Bill Joy to develop a UNIX-based OS for the computer... SUN is the acronym for Stanford University Network .

Ken Thompson (L)and Dennis Ritchie(R) ,creators of UNIX.Dennis Ritchie improved on the B programming language and called it 'New B'. B was created by Ken Thompson as a revision of the Bon programming language (named after his wife Bonnie)He later called it C.

Steve Woznaik(sitting) and Steve Jobs of APPLE Computers.He was three months late in filing a name for the business because he didn't get any better name for his new company.So one day he told to the staff: "If I'll not get better name by 5 o'clcok today, our company's name will be anything he likes..." so at 5 o'clcok nobody comeup with better name, and he was eating APPLE that he keep the name of the company 'Apple Computers'

Rare Pics-I

Picture taken when Microsoft was started

Larry Page(L) and Sergey Brin(R), founders of Google.Google was originally named 'Googol'.After founders (Stanford graduates) Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an angel investor...they received a cheque made out to 'Google' !... So they kept name as GOOGLE

Gordon Moore(L) and Bob Noyce(R) ,founders of Intel.Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their new company 'Moore Noyce'. But that was already trademarked by a hotel chain...So they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics... INTEL

Linus Torvalds of Linux Operating System Linus Torvalds originally used the Minix OS on his system which he replaced by his OS. Hence the working name was Linux (Linus' Minix).He thought the name to be too egotistical and planned to name it Freax (free + freak + x). His friend Ari Lemmk encouraged Linus to upload it to a network so it could be easily downloaded. Ari gave Linus a directory called linux on his FTP server, as he did not like the name Freax. Linus like that directory name and he kept the name of his new OS to LINUX...

H P Story

Bill Hewlett(L) and Dave Packard(R) of HP. Behind them in the picture is the famous HP Garage. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.And the winner was NOT Bill... the winner was Dave.

My Inspirational Pics

Picture taken when INFY was started. This picture was found in the album of the clerk who took this picture... The picture was with that clerk only because it was his birthday and he just told everyone to stand together at one place to take a pic.He borrow a camera from his friend and as he can not tell any of his boss to take pic, so he took pic by himself... even it was his birthday.
These pictures were forwarded to me on mail.I really enjoyed going through them.I am really fascinated by their achievements which are remarkable and path breaking in human history.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The New Social Order

Ever thought how much time we devote each day on net on an average?
I was just trying to figure out why is it that my reading habits have changed after becoming a habitual net surfer.Much has been said about the impact of satellite TV and new channels on the young minds, but since internet penetration in India is still abysmal as compared to other developed nations their has not been any extensive study on the role and impact of internet on our day to day lives.
Well if you are still guessing hard what am I trying to tell then try this simple test.
Do you find punching keyboards keys comfortable than holding a pen?
Is your typing speed better and writing speed?
Do you often forget spellings of simple words while writing on a piece of paper?
Do you feel like having a spell check option or auto correct option while writing an office memo manually when your computer is down?
Do you automatically punch the your log in password without looking at the keyboard?
Do you often think in terms on .Net .Com and XML,rss feeds.
Do you find chatting on yahoo messenger convenient than calling a friend on his/her cellphone?
Would you rather prefer watching your relatives on webcam than going all the way to meet them in person?
Well the list is endless, I mean net is really changing the ways and means of modern Indian society.Earlier it was the TV boom which deeply influenced the modern Indian mindset but now its internet.
Perhaps the most profound impact of this medium is the fact that slowly we are becoming a highly individualistic society and our collective social consciousness is being replaced with opinionated personal thoughts.The change is rapid and the best indicator of this growing trend is the fact that most of the chat rooms,websites ,e- groups, blogs and wikies an around the world have good no. of Indian members.
So we are going to see more no. of people spending their times on the computer doing every little thing via net.Now let us look at this trend carefully, earlier we had parents speding some time with their kids and sharing their experiences , talking about relative and their growing up days and then we had friends and relatives visiting us for weekends and on other special occasions like festivals etc.
Don't forget the visits to local library and long classroom lectures,those verbose lectures and endless exams schedules.The much awaited summer holidays and evening stroll to the markets .The window shopping spree and haggling with the vendors.
Now that's a blast from the past.
You have real shopping being replaced e shopping, your visit to your nearby library being replaced with online library.Right from appearing for your entrance exams to attending classes, your first interview is also most likely to be online and chances are you are also likely to have your first girlfriend via internet.Marriage to banking,ticket purchasing to movie watching everything is just gonna be online.
So we are going to have more online virtual contacts than the offline real world good old stupid friends.Well look around carefully are we really what we used to be.
I saw my first computer 13 years back and frankly I had no idea that this damn thing will decide our fate in the days to come.So are we going to have less human interactions.As we have offices going virtual .
Will it mean that individuals are going to be less sensitive towards others or will it be the other way round as people will transcend the barrier of class, colour, creed,nationality etc.I am sure i will have some smile and interesting thoughts when I read this post of mine 4 years from now.
This reminds me of the old Beatles song "Yesterday all my troubles seems to be far away" Oh i believe in yesterday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Ashes are Back

Well...... Well,who would have thought that the mighty Aussies will bite the dust in the Ashes series after 16 years. Gosh !!!!! what a series, a real cliffhanger, humdinger, as England celebrates its Vaughanted ashes its time to look at some of the best memories of this series.
Its been 16 years since England won the most coveted Ashes series,undoubtedly the most cherished,oldest and the fiercely competed cricketing battle on earth.Pietersen,Flintoff and Shane Warne are the three names which will linger in our minds for a long time to come.
Well more than just England the game of cricket needed this kind of gamesmanship and competitive game for the future of test match cricket.All 5 days were house full and what more even balconies and roof top views were available on premium.
Today when everyone seems to be going gaga over 20-20 matches and One day games ,this ashes series comes as a vintage relief to its die hard fans .