Monday, November 30, 2009

Zeitgeist - A Must Watch

It starts off quite nicely.
You have a nice laugh at all those silly religious people who have been getting fooled for centuries and centuries.
Jesus Christ was Krishna was some Persian God was some Egyptian God was a few hundred other gods.
All were born of virgin birth, on the 25th december(most of them), and travelled around with 12 disciples performing miracles.
The gods here is the Sun and the disciples are the twelve constellations.
I always felt religion, especially Christianity in today's age, is, and always was, a big farce. This video just sort of made me feel good about myself.

Then come the shocks. Boom-Boom-Boom.

I ain't blowing the whistle here. Go watch this documentary yourself. If your perception of governance doesn't change after seeing it, do tell me why.

Btw, 9/11 was an inside job. Consider this as the trailer. :D

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Letter to my Professor

Recently, one of my professors commented about how he too had once been on this side of the wall, and that he had gone through more than 20 years of academics to reach the other side. He further went on lecturing us about how we cannot and should not try to outsmart him when it comes to studies, assignments, exams, marks, etc. He further, rather subtly, threatened that he could, in all his academic glory and further glorified education values, set an examination paper which would bring us(the not-so-sincere students) down to our knees.
He must be in his 40's. Which means, his twenty years of schooling/college must have happened close to 15-20 years ago. This is a letter I would perhaps like to send to him, though not sure when.

Hello Sir,
I wanted to speak to you about your claim of knowing what it feels like to be a student, and it's possible you are right. I have my own thoughts on this subject, and I hope you can see them with an open mind.

Rather than jumping to judgmental conclusions about your claim, I request you to examine this point a bit more deeply first, through the following points.How much can the world, and especially the students' arena change in 20 years?
1. This is the twenty-first century. The world is changing so fast that the US Department of Labor estimates that today's learners(Grad/Post-Grad) will have 10-15 jobs by the time they celebrate their 38th birthdays. This is in direct contrast to the times in which you studied. In your time, to get one permanent job, with job security, was the ultimate dream. It ain't so anymore. The aims and aspirations of this generation are vastly detached from those of your generation.
2.Many of today's college majors didn't even exist 10 years ago, and the one I am enrolled in is so new that it's first batch is yet to pass out. Further more, the top 10 in-demand jobs of 2010 wouldn't have existed in 2004.
3.The amount of exposure the 21-year olds(Grads/PGs - Urban) of your current class have had is exponentially more than the exposure you yourself would have had when he was 21. A normal student in your class would have seen more than 10,000 hours of television and would have spent more than a thousand hours surfing the Internet, and atleast a few hundred hours on video games.Apart from this, they would have recieved more than 20,000 e-mails/text messages, and are members of various groups/communities online.
4. Google alone gets 3,000,000,000 searches per month. To whom were these questions addressed before Google? The point here being, the students of today not only have the liberty of asking questions but to get and make the answers as well.
5. The amount of technical information is doubling every two years. And this time period will only decrease. How much information can a human brain be expected to retain? And you take great pride in announcing that you are only teaching us what you yourself learnt during your days of college, your point being you enjoyed your college years and see no point we shouldn't.By the end of 2010, the time period for the doubling of technical information is expected to be less than a month.

A few more searches on Google and we'll have hundreds more of such numerical facts which will strengthen my own claim: A professor today was a student yesterday. But that doesn't mean he can understand what it means to be a student today. He cannot, for, Shift happens. This shift just cannot be stopped. We are currently preparing students for jobs and technologies that don't yet exist. They'll be solving problems we don't even know are problems yet. How can they be expected to have the same thought patterns as a student of pre-globalization era India?

Albert Einstein said,"We cannot solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when creating them", and this pretty much sums up my feelings for my professor's thoughts. There is a generation gap, and we have to accept it and modify accordingly. It is ridiculous to keep fooling yourselves that the world hasn't changed from where you stand. It is though, ironic that it is sheer economics that drove us to Liberalization and Globalization, as a result of which Indian students have way higher access to all those things that my professors blame for the students' so-called degradation - Internet, Video Games, I-pods, Laptops, PDAs, etc.

On the other hand, the field of education is fast becoming stagnant and redundant - Nintendo invested more than 204 million US dollars in their Research and Development; The U.S. Federal Government spent less than half that amount on research and innovation in education. Any guesses on how much India spends on changing the way education is imparted in it's schools and colleges?

The stubborn-ness on the part of the people on the other side of the wall to see this as plain, neutral change, rather than to label it as rot, social crisis, spoilt-brats-phenomenon, etc. will help a lot in decreasing the student-professor communication gap. The tutorial/classroom environment is a thing of the past. A student can learn economics on his computer listening to Pink Floyd, while getting updates on his personal interests from his internet feeds. He'll be learning on his own terms. The student of today will learn what he wants to learn, but does not generally want to be taught what he doesn't want to learn. The professors want to teach us what they learnt, but they have to realize that we want to learn something else.

This entire argument leads up to the illusion of a paradox - we have convergence of the world and yet, the students want to diverge. This is the thin fine line between intellect and intelligence. Between knowledge and thought. Between being taught and learning. Let the students learn, and in the process, I am sure so will you.

Yours Sincerely,
One of those usually-absent students.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Life is so colorful, they say
Mine is becoming darker every day.
Mostly black and white, a monochrome.
with residual splashes of color, thoughts of home.

I walk amidst misery, in silent chagrin.
Screaming like crazy, from horrors within.
Reality tells me, go search the rubble,
My soul, torn apart, is not upto the trouble.

My family's gone, and a major part of me.
Them's all I have, wherever I see.
Tears flow out, breaking the vision.
Till a point where, it's complete submission.

All feelings gone, I cry no more.
Split open my heart, hidden all the gore.
and now, Life's just one big chore.
Nothing in this world matters anymore.

- Dedicated to all the isolated victims in natural disasters ...

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Shadows of the mind,
in rays of light,dancing.
Myriad designs,
beyond understanding.

Hollow souls all around,
echoing within.
Contemplation fails.
with emotion ruling.

and confusion.
I wander,
a pathless notion.

A song-bird,called clarity,
calls, now, and then.
Adding further,to the
perennial polarity.

A multitude of feelings,
varied as we are,
come and go.
The solitary peace,
continues to elude.

Peace, oh peace.
Ever-lasting peace,
I am afraid,shall remain forever,
my nemesis.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Proper Fucked

That's how the Indian urban roads are going to be once the Nano becomes common-place.

P.S. This is an SMS I got from SBI : "A Nano for every Indian with finance from State Bank Of India.For details, blah blah blah ...". And I know for a fact that we have enough idiots in our country who will take this statement to their hearts.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The single biggest problem in the world.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rationality,Upper Bounds and Kaju Katli

GajaBuja Fundas is the name of another blog I have. This piece was initially posted there, and makes an appearance here now since I feel bad about not having written anything here in a long while, but at the same time, am too lazy to write anything afresh.

Why the name Gaja Buja Fundas ? Why not Buja Gaja Fundas ? Could the answer be a rational one backed by logical thinking ?
But unfortunately, rationality (w.r.t. the objective theory of self's happiness being supreme) is linked to the ultra-ambiguous 'Free Will'. We shall continue to call it 'Free Will' until we have a more scientific basis as to why we like something and why not something else .
For example, me eating Kaju Katli (an Indian sweet made with cashews) and immediately liking it is free will.Well, yeah, you can talk about taste buds and their correlation with the different molecules found in Kaju Katli, but you really don't know about the happiness part yet.
But if the whole world likes Badam Katli and only you like Kaju Katli, you still buying Kaju Katli every time you go to the sweet shop would be rationality.

So much for a name .
(There is an idea to make this a partnership blog with one more fundoo-ist. I would be Gaja and the other would be Buja. And of course, this blog would then be a collection of our funda-isms.)

Talking of rationality, one of my professors was talking about a modern philosophy called Bounded Rationality.
It goes like this : Each man's ability to take rational decisions has an upper limit,i.e. a bound.

My take on this theory : Yes, but the bound does not in any way imply the defeat of the theory of absolute rationalism. The bound will, gradually, grow outwards and eventually, disappear altogether. Eventually? Yeah, infinite time scale.
Why and How? I feel the bound exists due to what we don't know,i.e. our ignorance. If we knew exactly why(very ambiguous question indeed) we like only the molecules of the Kaju Katli and not the Badam Katli, the role of 'Free Will' gets kicked outta the window.

So, is this state of absolute rationality God? Maybe, maybe not.