Sunday, November 30, 2008

No sight of solution for crisis

No, this is not about the Financial crisis, but about my personal address crisis. I don't have even one true acceptable present Indian address. :( I have one different id to show proof of address to every new place I have gone to, but now, I have run out of new ids to make to all the new addresses. :( While I was in engg., Bangalore and my parents were in Hyderabad, I got my 2 wheeler driving license done in Hyderabad. Then when I was in our own house for 10 months, I got my passport done. Then when I moved out to stay with my friend in Bangalore when my dad got transferred to North India, I got the lease agreement done on my name to get an address proof. I started facing problems with the expiry of that 11 month contract but managed because of a letter from my personal bank and office letter. Then when my parents were in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, I got my car driving license done. Now my parents are in Trivandrum and yet to give change of addresses. SEBI's rules are very tight and they want an address proof on my name to change the address. Presently, a Power of Attorney is allowing my father to handle the change of addresses as if all the shares are his(and it is his as of now, due to the POA). I dont remember what my credit card address is and when I sent them a mail asking them to tell me my address explaining my situation, they replied saying I should cancel my credit card based on the fineprint if I were to be outside India for more than 183 days. I dont think it will be possible to ever stay as my dependent with my parents if I want to give a change of address on my own. What a sick system and even sicker life of mine.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I want this mobile phone

An Italian Carabinieri paramilitary police officer shows a gun, disguised as a mobile phone, which was seized along with other weapons and drugs in a Camorra bunker in Torre Annunziata, near Naples, southern Italy, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. According to investigators the gun disguised as mobile phone can fire up to four bullets.

The economics related to womens' legs

I for one have not observed hemlines of skirts for so long to make any useful inferences. But there have been many who have taken cues from watching womens' legs. According to the skirt length theory, when skirts get shorter, it's time to buy; when skirts get longer, it's time to sell. The logic behind this indicator dictates that positive markets lead to a happy nation and an atmosphere of fun. Fun times send hemlines rising, making micro minis great for the markets, while conservative floor-length dresses are bad news. Fact or Fiction? When times are good, fashions do indeed tend to show skin. The bad news is that fashions don't change until times are good, making this a lagging indicator. If you are buying and selling based on skirt length, you might be better off selling when skirts are high and buying when they are low. I have a question though, why are shorter skirts costlier than longer skirts, considering that the material costs of longer skirts are more than that of the shorter skirts(sometimes the material used is twice or even thrice the micro mini skirts). Assuming the material of the skirt is ignored, it just doesn't make sense. Maybe it is all based on perceptions and confidence and outlook of the people - all psychological factors.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tada yori takai mono wa nai

"Tada yori takai mono wa nai. - Michihiro Matsumoto" I see this at the end of every mail from my Finance Management professor. This is what he signs off with. So today, I actually checked out what it means. It means "Nothing is costlier than something given free of charge." I read it and thought about it for a minute. Hmm... nice thought. So in other words, the time, affection and stuff I give to my near and dear ones are priceless. Hmmm... nice thought. And then I checked out an article with the phrase on the top of the search results. This quote was used to signify that "There is no such thing as a free lunch". It is going to cost you and cost you very dearly. The article refers to the uncountable number of free investment advice one gets in television, magazines and on websites and says that if you blindly follow all this free stuff without any due diligence, it is going to cost you dearly. I dont know whether this Japanese phrase was used as a pun or it really means this meaning. Wow! I am amazed by the double wisdom of this phrase.

Serial breakdown

This week has been quite horrible for many of my classmates here. Many people who had thought that they won't crack or miss their family or feel low or lose motivation have been wrong. My one roomie says he is recovering from a low and another announced today in all frustration that he just wants to go home. In the evening, at the canteen, I met another classmate who told me that he is feeling very low today and some of it is because of the bomb blasts in Bombay. I, myself missed quite some people very much in the week and was going through a low. I guess, it happens to everyone. People here cant tell the ones at home that they are feeling low of no proper reason whatsoever because, then, the people at home start getting worried. They have to find someone locally who they can trust and can share their feelings and get over it. The stress keeps building up here slowly, steadily and daily, till at one point you dont want what is there now and want the old nice status quo feeling with family and friends that was once there before coming into the course. Such is life here...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nested dilemmas

if (whatever I study in mba be useful in my job == no) { if(is the grade really important == no)
if(is the grading fair and square == no)
   { if(is there a need to study too much than required to pass == no)
       { then, why am I having a problem despite coming to this nested if section? }
The answer is: guilt conscience, my legacy haunts me... The reason not to compete for studying gets stronger when I see undeserving people get more grade, less hard working people get more success, parasites beating the hosts. Such is life.... I need to find a motivation to study well.

The paradigm based on a single example

I was struck by this paradigm maybe a month ago when one of my classmates here made a statement while we were walking on the road "This car belongs to the govt." The inference was based on the fact that the nameplate of the car had something kind of written as philippinas govt. on a not so nice looking green background and a picture of some tower in it. I just looked around and noticed that all the cars here have that kind of a name board. Meaning that all the cars that are registered in Philippines have that kind of a nameplate. The classmate had inferred a theory based on one single datapoint. She had fallen for the "fallacy of one example" More on the same topic at As mentioned in the above topic,

The one-sidedness fallacy does not make an argument invalid. It may not even make the argument unsound. The fallacy consists in persuading readers, and perhaps ourselves, that we have said enough to tilt the scale of evidence and therefore enough to justify a judgment. If we have been one-sided, though, then we haven't yet said enough to justify a judgment. The arguments on the other side may be stronger than our own. We won't know until we examine them.

So the one-sidedness fallacy doesn't mean that your premises are false or irrelevant, only that they are incomplete. You may have appealed only to relevant considerations, but you haven't yet appealed to all relevant considerations.

Getting back, why am I writing about this now? I just came back from a visiting professor (from a good American University)'s lecture and I am appalled by what she said. She too despite being a prof. for so many years fell for the same fallacy when she told that Lehman Brothers went out of business because they did not have a corporate social responsibility. And one needs that to be doing CSR to stay in the business for long. Well, maybe the Professoree did not know that Lehman Brothers was a 150 year old company. Just because it failed, you cannot blame it on not doing CSR. Such a pathetic example she had given, and that too being a professor. Maybe she doesnt even understand and know what poverty, pollution, etc is in the first place and then to do CSR to eradicate them. What a pathetic BS class early in the morning...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When will India toe the line?

At first, the Chinese, now the Vietnamese and the Filipinos are the next in line... What about India? India tried it once, but failed quite miserably enraging most of the people in the country(MISA). The main problem was the method with which it was implemented and background conditions in which it happened. The topic I am talking about is putting a limit on the number of offspring a couple can have. Everyone know about the one rule policy of the chinese, now the Vietnam government plans to submit new rules to lawmakers next month that would urge couples to observe a two-child limit. The Philippines govt. is planning something on the same lines in the new family planning law that is passed in the lower houses and yet to pass in the upper house to become a law. The main opposition is from the church. I wonder which and when will the Indian govt., understand the necessity of a child limit plan to make India better. There are multiple benefits to this. Every book and author want to be the westerners and emulate the way they have developed to become a developed nation. From moving from agriculture to manufacturing to knowledge based economy,from rural to urban, from simple bank deposits to derivatives, from traditional dresses to western suits, from casual friendly culture on campus to casual sex on campus culture. Why doesn't even one book or author ever consider the reason for better American lives - the ratio of people to the amount of resources they have. That is the main reason behind the American dream. Yes, the decision to have a limit on the number of children a couple can have is tough but it is a long term solution to many of the country's problems, but who is going to take that decision?

Best of both worlds for the champions

These champions are really lucky. Michael Shumacher and Valentino Rossi. One a F1 racing champion and the other a Moto GP champion. First they get to drive/ride their awesome vehicles in such great speeds and win many games. Then they get on with the best that the other world of vehicles have to give. Michael is trying motorbike racing and Rossi is trying Ferrari car racing. WOW! It will hardly ever get anything better than this...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Funding study time prudentially

Every student needs time to study for his/her short term tests/quizes, assignments, medium term projects and long term exams. If you were a long term planner and a conservative executor, then you would planned and used your available long term time that is available to fund your future short term needs. In the middle of it all, if you have more tasks than time, how do you fund your short term needs of study time? For one you could borrow short term funds by bunking classes(short term debt). Even more immediate funds can be got by asking help from your partners and receive ready lessons from them and promising them that they will be paid in kind at a later point in time(account payables). Another source of very immediate funds is the overdraft of sleep before the d-day(Letter/line of credit from bank). But since this is very expensive and needs to be paid back first, this should be your last source of funding. So, long term funding of study time is good. But an excessive long term funding which is a conservative measure is also bad. You would have then read almost everything and quite a lot of which will be redundant information, inefficient use of funds as there is no clarity of optimum use of the funds. Also, an excessive amount of study time would be available which would be wasted(excess cash). This excess time would only be useful if you have other plans of this like additional useful classes or strategic co-curricular activities that will boost your resume.(takeover and acquisition of a company or strategic stake in another company). The most ideal way is to have a combination of long term and short term funds, as the demand of the funding will also seasonal(start of year or end of year exam time). See that the base is funded by long term funds and your seasonal needs by short term funding. That way the time during the year will be optimally used. Well, it is more fun to apply financial knowledge to real life problems and relate it to unrelated stuff... :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sbarro Aero

A motorcycle of the Sbarro Aero brand by Italian born designer Franco Sbarro is presented on November 13, 2008 to promote the Essen Motor Show on the fair grounds in Essen, western Germany. During the motor sport fair running from November 29 to December 7, 2008, around 500 exhibitors from 19 countries will present their latest products. (AFP/Getty Images, / November 13, 2008)


A man fixes Christmas decoration on tents at Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt place on November 14, 2008. Preparations are under way for a Christmas market which will open on November 24. (THEO HEIMANN/AFP/Getty Images

The darkness starts surrounding you, yet there is light

A man jogs in front of a sunset sky in Bayreuth, southern Germany, early Friday evening, Nov. 14, 2008. (Julia Kellner/AP / November 14, 2008)

Endurance test

A jockey competes with his horse in the Wadi Rum International Endurance Ride in the Jordanian desert on November 14, 2008. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who is also Emirati vice president and prime minister, won the 120-km race.

Marc Faber's comments

Marc Faber’s comment on the US economy: September 11, 2008 The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I’ve been doing my part.

The quicksand and the vine

Read this somewhere today+ some of my own modifications:

In the 2000 movie “The Replacements” with Keanu Reeves, “replacement” players come together to play the last five games of the season after a professional football players’ strike. During a team meeting the replacement coach played by Jack Warden asks about the new players fears. “A real man confronts his fears.” says Warden. After a few funny comments about spiders and insects, Keanu says that he’s afraid of quicksand. Quicksand he goes to explain, is the feeling that everything is going well and then one thing goes wrong, then another and then another. Pretty soon you feel as if nothing you can do will help get you out of the trouble you’re in. In other words – you’re in quicksand.

You try something different in the hopes it will fix the problem. And then another thing, and then another. Pretty soon you’re in quicksand.

As the old Tarzan movies showed us, the first thing you need to do to get out of quicksand is make sure you fall into it close to a strong vine. Grab the vine and pull yourself up out of the quicksand. But to successfully extract yourself, make sure you don’t struggle too much. Take your time, slowly pull yourself up and you will find your footing.

So where is the vine you can grab onto to pull itself out of the quicksand?

Go back to the things that got you where you are and always know what and where your string vine is.

Ultimate interview question

You may never guess what questions were once asked in an interview for the position of Managing directors of some of the national public sector banks in India. The questions to each of the three candidates was "Name 5 birds." Yes, you read it right "Name five birds." And all of them managed to get it right and all of them got the positions of the Managing Directors. Sounds crazy right? But its true. The actual reason was there were only 3 candidates for the 3 positions and the interviews were a mere formality. Some unbelievable things just happen :) And ever since, my mom prepares by dad by telling him to recite 5 mammals, 5 birds and 5 animals before his interviews :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new payment method

Anyone game for it?

If you are the one I am destined to play a game of scrabble with, do send me a post. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New initiatives

RBI has come out with some initiatives. But unlike the usual ones of protecting the investors, this one stands out. It is about educating young people about basic finance. They even have a youth scholarship program for people between 18 and 23. It is heartening to see a brilliant institution of this country doing all in its powers to see that India doesn't end up as a debt country like the USA. Here is the ad for your reference.

Questions to ask before outsourcing

What to Outsource
Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to identify functions and activities to outsource:
  • Is the activity central to generating profits or creating competitive advantage?
  • Is the job a routine task that could be easily communicated to someone else?
  • Does the task wastes valuable time and energy?
  • Is the function temporary, or does it recurs in cycles?
  • Does the activity drains resources that could be better used elsewhere?
  • Is the skill required for the job so specialized that it costs more to train someone in-house to do it?
  • Is it something nobody wants to do?
Will it be less expensive to have someone else do it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008


"Knowing others to know yourself" Well, that seems cliched and as if another person is a mirror. Well, today, I asked a classmate how much time it took to complete a certain topic that is to be done for tomorrow. The person replied with "2 hrs" and "I don't know how useful this input will be for you". If I am right by choosing a candidate of around equal intelligence, interest in the subject and motive, then I should take the same time to complete that topic. The reasons it will vary are because of the variable parameters like sleepiness, tiredness and the difference between the estimated and actual differences in the intelligence, interest in the subject and motive. If there is a big difference between the time, analyse why is the difference. Was there a wrong basic assumption which needs to be corrected? If so, do it. You are now one more step towards perfection of estimating your time based on other's time. I have always been a staunch believer in using this theory to get an estimate of how much time I will require to do chapters that I don't even have an idea of. On all the previous emergency times(read before the exam day), this technique has been very useful to me. So start getting to know others well :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Schrodinger's girlfriend

My favourite motivational speech

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It's about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits and not be pointing fingers and saying 'it's because of him, or her, or anybody'. Cowards do that, and that ain't you. You're better than that. "

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dancing with the Stars

This undated handout photo provided by NASA, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp 147. The Hubble Space Telescope is working again, taking stunning cosmic photos after a one-month breakdown. The Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore said the $10 billion telescope is as good as it was before a shutdown in late September. That glitch scotched plans for spacewalking astronauts to upgrade the telescope this month. (AP / October 31, 2008)

One more step ahead

I recommend all emotionally stable adults to read the book "God's Debris" by Scott Adams. The reason I say adults and emotionally stable is because it dwells into thoughts that are very scary and the thoughts can play with your head. It can make you feel like a nobody in this world. What the book proposes is very extra-ordinary and tries to predict the future, but not the usual kind of future, but the future of mankind and what is our significance in all of universe. One of the propositions of this book is that each of us are like individual cells in a body who just does its functions without even knowing the existence of many other cells, and the human as such. Similarly, we all have a role to play in this universe as it evolves. Also, all the people in this world will connect to each other and help evolve earth which is itself a living particle of this universe. This connection I can see in the form of the internet spreading like wild fire, making people's lives even more transparent to the world. Now, people not only put up their photos on the web, but also their record their whole day's activities and put it on the web. Also, special web services, take photos of a typical person every 3 minutes and these get uploaded to the net automatically. Basically, our whole mankind's lives are being put on a framework from where humans are going to use it for further analysis to do something of a higher significance. Maybe to help test a human robot. The below link just made me think of God's debris and the future. I am not very sure if the distant future is bright... I am not even sure if the near future is bright... I am not even sure if we had to have something known as conciousness to do whatever we are supposed to be doing to help evolve the universe...