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Showing posts from December, 2005

Probability and the Battery Cell

"The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 BTU's of body heat ..... What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this." - Morpheus, The Matrix Prologue Chris Andersen has written a classic post about how the new systems of mankind - Google, Wikipedia and Blogs - follow the probabilistic principles wherein information may not accurate always at the micro level, but as the volume grows "it is likely to become more and more accurate" . Do visit the link . Nick Carr makes the humanist case against Chris by trying to build a hypothetical case that fascism is closely linked with the "collective wisdom" which these systems rely on. He even quoted science fiction writer Simon Ings: "When our machines overtook us, too complex and efficient for us to control, they did it so fast and so smoothly and so usefully, on

National Education by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Foreword: Presented below is the article which started my metamorphosis from an anti-Gandhian to a Gandhian. I was a staunch anti-Gandhian in my adolescent days, and even today I disagree with Gandhi's political thoughts. However, I have gradually become a Gandhi loyalist for the revolutionary ideas that Gandhian philosophy represents in the area of development and education. These ideas are relevant even today and will be very useful for planners in India and other developing countries. Credits: I first read this article as a part of English textbook in my 1st year of Engineering. I had been searching the electronic version of it since then. This copy of the article is courtesy , a website run by Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, Tardeo Road, Mumbai; I had mailed them about my search for this article to which they responded promptly. I am thankful to them for this. NATIONAL EDUCATION Published in: Young India, 1-9-1921 So many strange things have been said about my vie

The Iconoclast: Is Sachin really great?

Disclaimer: I am ardent fan of the Master Blaster and he is as much a God to me as is Big B or SRK. However, when the whole nation is celebrating Sachin's 35th century my friend Sharad persuaded me to become the Devil's Advocate especially by using all kinds of statistical tools from Microsoft Excel to MiNITAB picking up data from Wisden Cricinfo . But these are not my 'views' about the legend. Also note that the data below does not anywhere cover Sachin's bowling career at all. PS: You may want to visit < > to get understanding of the Stats in this post. Credits: All statistical prowess, graphs, diagrams and analysis is due to Mr. Sharad Sharma - our Statistics and Quality 'bond' !! Yours Truly is merely a documentor here. Hypothesis: Sachin is not a match winner while chasing a score? Method: Annova ~ Box plots Indicates that Runs scored by Sachin are singnificantly different in case India Wins/Lo

Education of the hand, Politics of the head!

Gandhiji [ , ] in an article titled 'National Education' in 'Young India' in 1929 wrote 'the existing system of education confines itself to the head and ignores the culture of heart and hand ...'. Some of our demagogues would interpret the above as advocacy of introduction of hand-weaving as a subject in school syllabi - but Gandhiji's message is very relevant today when even foreigners are pointing out shortcomings in our educational system. What 'Education of the head' means in today's context? Some symptoms: - High emphasis of exams - less emphasis on study/ activity during the term - High emphasis on theory - and practicals being considered of little value - Resulting high emphasis on plain mugging; less emphasis on understanding What Gandhi means by education of the hand? Some pointers: - Results being more dependent on term-long activities and practical assignments - Industry partic

News Bytes

More on Bangalore: [a nice rejoinder if you have read my previous post] Yuheein Chalaa Chal Rahi Malaysian Govt. to .... "build about 3,000 km of freeways and highways connecting major cities .... such a network of freeways - between Delhi and Kolkata, one connecting Chennai-Kochi-Bangalore and between Mumbai and Bhopal - would open up the floodgates of investment and development and accelerate economic growth in the areas around it...

First impressions of Bangalore

I spent the past two weeks in the Silicon Valley of India - Bangalore. I had visited the city about 10 years ago with my parents before it became the Mecca of Indian IT Industry. My experiences were quite different from my expectations. I had expected a newly morphed metro which would be extremely crowded, lacking roads/flyovers and bustling with night life. I found OK roads and flyovers in some parts of the city, bad roads in some others, lots of traffic & pollution but a small town at heart albeit a very romantic one. Night life is virtually non-existent with even pubs closing down by 11:30PM. While one would expect old Bangalore to have narrow roads but the city planners have not granted wider avenues even to newer areas. I wonder whether their visiting Mumbai (which is facing the problems of similar myopic development in suburbs) would help. But, old Bangalore is also dotted by parks and lots of trees and hence is quite a romantic setting. The cantonment which covers almost 60%

The Marginal Vote

The TOI wrote in its editorial today – “…the vilification campaign against her [Khushboo] … [is] guided by a mixture of Victorian prudery and high Brahminical moralism [ see this ] …” This sentence speaks volumes how cultures the world over have intertwined themselves. The world today is very much similar to Salman Rushdie’s stories – “… where to understand one bit of the world, you have to understand another bit of the world.” So while ‘Chicken Tikka’ becomes the top delicacy in UK and ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ prepares to launch itself in the U.S., millions of Indian children eagerly await the release of JK Rowling’s next sequel. Globalization manifests itself in ways more than one – linguistics intermingle, sub-cultures pervade and events have repercussions beyond the oceanic boundaries. At the same time, fundamental, separatist and regionalist tendencies also intensify. So while the term Victoria may be inseparable from the city of Mumbai, it can induce outlandish hatred in the neigh

Innovation = Invention + Insight (Part II)

Prologue: Starting a series post is a risky business – if you do not get time to post the sequel fast enough, the original post conveys an incomplete meaning and starts receiving unfavorable comments. That is what happened to my previous post. Anyway – better late than never – here is the second and concluding part of Innovation = ...... As I argued in the previous post, without innovation, it is not possible to reach the echelons of global trade and difficult to oust competition. Going further, not just international competition, even domestic trade and indigenous industry is unlikely to prosper without innovation. Any new innovation, fuels a chain of many other parallel mini-innovations to be done around the central theme. For example, the 1-lakh-small-car by Tata Motors requires new initiatives in each of its ancillaries – from upholstery makers to tire makers. On the other hand, how much internal business does an Oracle implementation in the U.S. generate back home in India? One co