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Decision Making

There's an interesting discussion going on at Hacker News about using Reason vs. Intuition - but one of the answers to it is quite pertinent to any kind of decision making. I found it worth reproducing for the benefit of all of you to be used in any situation. There are three tools for discovering truth and making decisions: reason, intuition, and revelation. Revelation means ask an expert, read the documentation. It is most appropriate when you don't know what you're doing at all -- when you have no sound first principles to feed into the engine of reason, and no experience on which to build intuition. Revelation is fast but limited; you instantly gain a conclusion as sound as your expert, but you cannot improve upon or critique it. Reason is most appropriate when you have moderate experience in a field. Through revelation and limited experience, you have developed some sound, inviolable principles, and can reason your ways to new ones. You know what  must  go here beca

Vinimay (Arthvyavastha - Part III)

Continued from here: Tamrapatrak Vyavastha (Arthvyavastha - Part II ) Anugam's tamrapatrak scheme received a phenomenal response - also because Anugam had offered his tamrapatraks at a discount to all the workmen whom he employed or bought his wares from. Saakshaat became the official scheme operator for Anugam also, and soon many more traders wanted to float their tamrapatraks. By the end of the year, two more traders had started tamrapatrak schemes, and many more were planning to launch in the next year. Saakshaat then started training more and more young pundits on managing tamrapatrak schemes - he realized that this would be a huge business and efficient and skilled handling of  tamrapatraks would make them even more popular. With more than one tamrapatrak schemes in the market, people often came to Saakshaat looking for advice on which scheme to put their money in. Some even wanted to surrender tamrapatraks from one trader  and buy someone else's in exchange. During

Tamrapatrak Vyavastha (Arthvyavastha - Part II)

Read Arthvyavastha (अर्थव्यवस्था)  Part I here. Saakshaat was the first 'tamrapatradhari' or shareholder of Aanglesh's trade - but many Saamanyas followed soon - it started with Aanglesh and Saakshaat's friends, then their acquaintances, some of whom were good friends of Aanglesh's father also. People saw Aanglesh's firm prospering, making more and more money with the growing number of tamrapatrakdhari's. Most of the community's elders saw this scheme as a devious one - it was helping people earn money from money, without actually requiring people to work to earn their bread. This included everyone including Aanglesh's father who was a devout disciple of Pramukhji. But the younger and middle aged Saamanyas loved the scheme, they put in every small bit of savings they could into Aanglesh's company. Aanglesh's was able to grow his trade beyond foodgrains using the money gathered from the sale of tamrapatraks. But as more people bought

Arthvyavastha (अर्थव्यवस्था)

In a sleepy town, in ancient India named Arthvyaap (अर्थ्व्याप) lived a community of people called the Samaanyas (सामान्य). Arthvyaap was a typical setting, an elder was considered the head of the community - Pramukh, a group of traders, an elite crowd of intellectual pundits, and other  workmen like farmers, cobblers, blacksmiths etc. One of the young pundits was an extremely sharp mind called Saakshaat (साक्षात) who had such a sharp mathematical brain that even though he was just 17, everyone from the Pramukh to the traders consulted him in matters relating to finance and numbers. Saakshaat was also good friends with his childhood buddy name Aanglesh(आंग्लेश) who was the son of a not so rich but well to do trader. Aanglesh's father managed a large trade of fruits and vegetables in the town market and to ensure an early start for Aanglesh had allowed Aanglesh to start a foodgrain store alongside his shop in the town. The economy of Arthvyaap worked quite homogeneous with ever

Amitabh Bacchan on Sony

Amitabh is re-delivering his famous dialogues on Sony right now ... go watch followed by KBC! Below - a poem of Harivanshrai Bacchan he just recited .... जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला। जिस दिन मेरी चेतना जगी मैंने देखा मैं खड़ा हुआ हूँ इस दुनिया के मेले में, हर एक यहाँ पर एक भुलाने में भूला हर एक लगा है अपनी अपनी दे-ले में कुछ देर रहा हक्का-बक्का, भौचक्का-सा, आ गया कहाँ, क्या करूँ यहाँ, जाऊँ किस जा? फिर एक तरफ से आया ही तो धक्का-सा मैंने भी बहना शुरू किया उस रेले में, क्या बाहर की ठेला-पेली ही कुछ कम थी, जो भीतर भी भावों का ऊहापोह मचा, जो किया, उसी को करने की मजबूरी थी, जो कहा, वही मन के अंदर से उबल चला, जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला। मेला जितना भड़कीला रंग-रंगीला था, मानस के अन्दर उतनी ही कमज़ोरी थी, जितना ज़्यादा संचित करने की ख़्वाहिश थी, उतनी ही छोटी अपने कर की झोरी थी, जितनी ही बिरमे रहने की थी अभिलाषा, उतना ही रेले तेज

Winamp is still a great music player but ...

I remember my college days when Internet access was only through the nearby cyber-cafe or the college labs. Home speeds were pathetic (thanks to dial up access - no broadband), where you would take 1/2 hour to check your mail and if you wanted to do extended reading you'd rather download the page, disconnect internet and read the document offline. However, computers were still the primary forms of listening to music - hostel rooms used to buzz with all kinds of songs from dawn till late nights. There were no iPods but students used to carry their songs in USB drives and CD's. I even remember once removing the hard-disk of my PC, connecting it as a slave to my friend's PC and copying my 10GB music library to his computer. In these pre-iPod/iTunes days - the music player of choice across the world was Nullsoft Winamp. Winamp was a pioneer in the 'app design' space. Unlike any existing Windows applications, it did not have a title bar, its colours were not shades of

Will everything be okay tomorrow?

This is the question in minds of gazillion Indians both in India and abroad - offices, homes, streets and cyberspace are full of muted discussions between the calm, quite and most importantly largely secular Indians about the fallout of the Babri Masjid court trial . The Supreme Court cleared the way for the High Court to announce verdict on 30th September 2010 - the date may be seen in future as a historical landmark. People, especially those who remember the 1993 riots which burned the nation for months (after the mosque was demolished by kar sevaks on Dec 16, 1992), are afraid that history may repeat itself - irrespective of the side the verdict takes. There are some optimists also among us - those who think that India has changed. More than 15 years of liberalization, globalization and capitalist mindset has changed the populace which no more cares about religious animosity but is more concerned with progress. Hence, irrespective of the verdict - people will be much more tolerant

How Google could have saved Wave

Google killed the Wave project on 04th August 2010, while promising to "extend the technology for use in other Google projects". "Wave has not", Google said, "seen the user adoption they would have liked". Wave was an exceptional product, a revolutionary way to look at communication and documentation in today's world. As Lars Rassmusen, one of the brains behind the Wave said Wave was answer to the question - "What would email look like if we set out to invent it today". And it was not just that - wave was: how a word processor would look like if it was invented today; how a calendaring solution would look like if it was redesigned today; how people's text-chat would get logged if it was logged today, and; most importantly, how web-pages / web-apps would communicate with the server if the protocols were defined today. The last bullet is important because Google Wave was not just a jazzy collaboration web-app but a platform in itself. &q

Intel & Microsoft of mobile phone market

If, for some reason, we make some big mistake and IBM wins, my personal feeling is that we are going to enter a computer Dark Ages for about twenty years. - Steve Job s May be we did enter a dark age, for almost 20 years, no iPod, iPhone or iPad came - no hardware manufacturer or electronics company launched differentiated products which people would aspire to buy, but the price of the PC dwindled over these two decades which in itself lead to a much wider proliferation of the PC. Had the PC remained the high price aspirational device which Apple wanted it to be, probably we would have had lot lesser people with computers in their homes. How did the PC price revolution happen? Apart from the lowering absolute price of hardware components, it happened as a result of breakage of the vertical integration model ( followed by Apple where it facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system that is pre-installed on all its computers). Today's PC market is

India Urbanising: A different Perspective (Part III)

Continued from Part II Having said that India needs to extend the reach of urban amenities like roads, electricity, cooking gas, safe drinking water (and education and internet) to the countryside, there is one major cog missing in the wheel – the pull for the above amenities in rural India. The need for high quality infrastructure in cities gets created by higher productivity and resultant income levels, the same applies to villages as well. In most western nations where villages too have a much better standard of living are those where people in villages have earnings comparable to their city counterparts. In the west the low population density necessitated high productivity in rural activities such as farming or animal husbandry. Thus as an outcome farms were mechanized and villages developed. However, this is not true of a high population density country like India – even today employing 10 labourers in the farm is cheaper than buying a mere tractor. Farmland in India is e