Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label cultures

Clay Christensen: How Will You Measure Your Life?

A tribute to Clayton Christensen, the Harvard professor who  introduced "disruption" in his 1997 book  The Innovator's Dilemma , which, in turn, led  The Economist  to term him "the most influential management thinker of his time."  Even more influential  for some would be his 2012 co-authored book How Will You Measure Your Life? . [try here ]. Christensen  passed away in Boston on Jan 23, 2020.

Peter Singer: The Ethics of Food

In this persuasive lecture on ethics about modern diet and eating habits, Dr Peter Singer , the Utilitarian philosopher and professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, highlights and questions ethical issues concerning food involving animals, its corresponding cost to the ecology and considerations for animal rights that the humans have been, perhaps rather conveniently, avoiding to acknowledge. In his typical free-thinking, lets-face-it approach characterized by pragmatism rooted in down-to-earth reality, one can clearly bear witness to Prof Singer avoiding all possible temptations or invitations to indulging into any kind of rhetoric. Or so much as letting any sentimentalities enter into the frame of reasoning even while discussing gross cruelty to animals and the overall ecological impact it draws. The approach remains factual and clinical, and the presentation is driven by data in its most part. For philosophical indulgences around the issue, the Q&A section that follows

Kantian Ethics And Human Dignity

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” - Immanuel Kant (Categorical Imperative. try here ) In this rather short video clipped from the BBC documentary - "Justice: A Citizen's Guide to the 21st Century", Prof. Michael Sandle picks up an ethical dilema from a real-life kidnapping case that took place in Germany in 2002, and bounces it off to a Kantian activist and journalist, and to Peter Singer, the utilitarian Bioethics professor at Princeton University. A kidnapper of a eleven year old boy of a banker in Germany, after collecting the ransom, is caught by the authorities. When he refused to divulge the whereabouts of the boy, the police threatened him of extreme torture. The kidnapper gave into the threats and confessed to murdering the boy. The German authorities, after further investigation, sentenced the kidnapper with life sentence, while at the same time, the police chief was also prosec

Humor: Sheldon's Prayer

Theoretical Physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper Sc.D. has hardly anything to do with this post except for an optimistic allusion toward his positive delight at throwing a monologos tantrum such as this in any of The Big Bang Theory episodes preferably not named as the same suggested title. You see, All metaphysics, of/for every sectarian-/semi-/secular-/pseudo-/anti-religion's theory seems to thrive on this evolutionary blindspot in the cognitive process; Hit by unreferenceable 'knowing'; And admixed with confused human imaginations.

Infographic: Labour Cost Disparities

DISPARITIES OF LABOR COSTS: Interesting Infographic showing how long does it take other countries to make the equivalent of US minimum wage of USD 15,080. Click the image to enlarge Source: FixR With respect to India, the calculation considers the Government recommended minimum daily wage which is about USD 2.5. In practice, a common worker shall make double to three times of this amount, which is still very less compared to high cost regions but it would make the ratio less skewed. Further, if Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is considered, the difference between USA and India costs shall be about 6 years and 3 months.

"The Right Thing To Do" - Harvard Lectures on Moral Philosophy

PROF. MICHAEL SANDEL OPENED HIS FAMOUS CLASS ON "JUSTICE" and Moral and Political Philosophy at Harvard University, USA, with the following (cautionary) address: If you look at the syllabus, you would notice that we read a number of great and famous books. Books by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and others. [...] We will read these books, and we will debate these [philosophical] issues, and we will see how each informs and illuminates the other [school of thought]. This may sound appealing and interesting enough, but here I have to issue a warning: To read these books, in this way, as an exercise in self-knowledge, carries certain risks. Risks that are both personal and political. Risks that every student of Political Philosophy has known. These risks spring from the fact that philosophy teaches us, and unsettles us, by confronting us with what we already know . There is an irony: the difficulty of this course consists in the fact that it teaches

Indian Nodding and TED India

THE FIRST EVER TECHNOLOGY, ENTERTAINMENT, DESIGN (TED) EVENT IN INDIA drew to a close this afternoon at the lavish and state-of-the-art technology campus of Infosys at the Indian city of Mysore - about 120km south of Bangalore. It was an adrenalin pumping experience, and it left so many feeling spent at the end of four days. Absorbing a torrent of ideas condensed in a time-capsule is a demanding event for the creativity centre - glucose consuming frontal cortex of the human brain. After all, TED may be the new religion. For generation Y + X.

Shubh Deepavali

Shubh Deepavali A warm wishes to you and your family for A Happy and Prosperous Diwali The Festival of Lights of India - illuminations, oil lamps, firecrackers, colourful lanterns, rangoli mandalas, bright clothing, sweets, feasts, and festivities with families and friends.

Malthusian Matters(?)

GOLDMAN SACHS PROJECTS THAT India’s middle class will outstrip China’s by 2045. This is some 15 years after half of China’s population becomes either too old or too young to be part of the workforce. Perhaps instant-ness of contemporary life induces a certain myopia. Social media - twitter , FB, and other "self trumpets" - may make one feel that 2045 is too far away to be bothered about. And perhaps that's true for some as well, those who would want to die out soon, but 35 years is a fairly short turn around time by economic standards. Malthusian Matters (pun intended), and stands nonetheless to see another day, another argument. See also: Go here for more on Malthusian catastrophe . Go here for more on this interesting article at Reuters.

NRN: Percepts of Being a Respectable Leader

Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood; the virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life. -- Theodore Roosevelt NR NARAYANA MURTHY OF INFOSYS delivered the opening lecture at Columbia Business School's Khemka Distinguished Speaker Forum at Manhattan on May 26, 2009, where the above quote from Roosevelt were the closing lines. Mr. Murthy began by describing Capitalism as an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth is made possible and is maintained chiefly by the private individuals or corporations. It is a system that incentivises individuals to use their enterprise, drive, hard-work and innovation to create wealth for themselves and the society. Mr. Murthy argued that capitalism is also a

TED, Memes, Metaphors, but no Economics?

TED: IDEAS WORTH SPREADING is the welcome line at - an intellectual platform blending Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and almost attaining a cult status. Who's who of the world have marked their presence at its annual conferences starting 1984. This is the stage where Prof. Stephen Hawking urged mankind to colonise neighbouring planets; where the UN peace ambassador Jane Goodall spoke about her 45 years old chimpanzee studies; where Bono won the price of expressing three wishes in a bid to change the world; and where Bill Gates opened a jar of mosquitoes to the audience to spread (with them) awareness about malaria (later, when the panic subsided it was declared that the mosquitoes were harmless for they were cured of the germs. I am not entirely sure though which anti-virus was used by Mr. Gates.) A meme is an information packet with an attitude. For the current young generation world over, and those leaning towards entrepreneurship, TED is the "in thing&

The Dunbar Number and Limits of Our Social Networks

THE SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEB 2.0 (though both are considered synonymous by some) provided the netizens with amazing new possibilities, like a new universe opening up with everyone mingling with everyone else. While the web (no pun intended) of these collaboration network, social in nature, kept increasing in complexity and continued expanding, there was no measure for if it were to follow the same yo-yo model of the actual Universe (try here ) . In other words, it was very difficult to ascertain if the motion was inward or outward, for there were no clear boundaries defined or known. The size of the neocortex of the brain allows humans to have stable networks of about 150. This is known as "the Dunbar number". With the help of Dr. Robin Dunbar’s research, perhaps we now have the first indications toward the limitations of Web 2.0 vis-a-vis human psychology and behaviour. Dr. Dunbar is an anthropologist currently with the Oxford University and has studied primates and humans and t

Language, Commerce, and Google Translate

WILL DURANT CHRONICLED IN HIS HISTORICAL COMPILATIONS THAT ancient trade provided the necessity for the invention of the alphabets. A theory contested by many, but not rejected in its entirety. In this guest post, my friend and Language Technology researcher Jason M. Adams discusses the mutual history of language and commerce by looking at some of the ways that each has been changed by the other and how they will continue to shape each other going forward. * * * Commerce is a human convention deeply entwined with language. Economic motivations were among the many reasons ancient (and modern) empires conquered other lands, spreading their languages beyond their natural range. Traders would travel to distant lands, encountering speakers of exotic languages. Recent study of the immediate commerce and trade (focusing mainly around the era of last 500 years of European Maritime expansion) describes the exchange of languages at trade as follows: In cases where bilingual speakers were few t

2008 in Pictures via The Big Picture at Boston Globe

ONE OF THE MOST REVIVING EXPERIENCE OF THE MONTH was to get the feeds from The Boston Globe's The Big picture compilation for 2008. These high-quality pictures capturing real life events from across the world left many spellbound. Whilst we live in this age of information overdose, and when "sensationalization" by every possible news breaker/baker blunts the senses of amazement in a normal mind, this photo-documentary of the time that we just lived past aroused mixed feelings. Joys & sorrows, triumphs & trials, trusts & traumas: through these vivid pictures of selected events captured within this three-part series of 40 each, I came to be reminded that we hardly seem to live away from the pairs of opposites. Following are just a couple of them that I randomly selected without applying any thoughts (for I would want you to enjoy at all of them). [Kenyan athletes during the 2008 Summer Olympics. Courtesy: ] 2008 was here. Edit: When I came back

Indian Epic Goes Back to the Future: Ramayan 3392 AD

RECESSION, DEPRESSION, TERRORISM AND TERMINATIONS are rife. Someone said, we live in interesting times. And that makes me wonder about the difference between 'desperate' and 'interesting'. The recent data shows that Beer consumption worldwide is on the rise , and the entertainment industry is all set to launch one mega project after another. Re-session!? On the same lines, Scott Thill of Wired magazine reports interviewing Gotham Chopra who is a part of the management team at Los Angeles-based Liquid Comics. Liquid Comics is in the process of re-telling the nearly 500 centuries old Indian (Indic?) story of Ramayana as it would be set in 3392 CE. In other words, their project is to transport a tale through six millennia. [Above: An artists rendition of the "Future" Ramayan where Lord Ram (the hero) is being carried on the shoulders of Hanuman (best supporting cast).] And who knows, if the warmongerism under the shadow of terrorism (or the other way aroun

The Machine is Us/ing Us -- by Michael Wesch

THIS APPARENTLY IS A GREAT START OF THE WEEKEND: watching this very interesting and equally famous clips by Michael Wesch, Prof. of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. [Above: this 5 minute clip is about ‘Web 2.0’, but it in fact narrates how IT works today, and has got integrated into social human lives. Apparently, this is also food for thought for the next business transformation endeavour...] The 33 year old highly tech savvy Anthropologist also has this another great short clip on the same subject, this time on Information R/evolution - here on YouTube. [Go here for Michael Wesch's personal pages on Kansas State Uni website.] [Go here for the first clip about Web2.0 on YouTube.]

Warne Lifts Maiden IPL

A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO I was sitting over the fence of 80% and 20% of the opinion makers reacting to the possibility of success of the IPL business model. 80% were the sceptics and believed that as it happened with ICL (Indian Cricket League – Chaired by Kapil Dev and sponsored by Zee Entertainment), IPL would find very few takers – perhaps only the useless of the useless lot would devote time to this remix masala version of the gentlemen’s game. To my mind, both these Indian T20 “cricetainment” versions were not at par: ICL was but a “zee thing”, where as the Premier League had the mind, money and muscle backing of BCCI – an important element that could make it swing and bounce. [Above: Team Jaipur after winning the maiden IPL. 1 June 2008. Source:] It appears that this compressed format of the game may not have gone down too well with all quarters of the cricket, especially the British media and "empirical" standards. Lord Archer , for example, has

The Bard's Birth Day

April 23 - TODAY BEING ST. GEORGE'S DAY is also considered to be the Birth Day of William Shakespeare . (Nobody knows for sure of the bard's exact date of birth.) If one wonders about the alchemists of that era, and if they would have got a couple of 'immortality' pills of which one was taken by Shakespeare such that he would still be alive at this time, what kind of blogs would he be maintaining..? Perhaps a blog with the highest hits on the net! Footnote: Sampling only Technorati may perhaps be a rather narrow view, but looking at their popular index stats available of top 100 , the most popular blog as of this moment is - The Huffington Post , closely followed by (my personal preference) TechCrunch . (Well, by including weblinks here, I just contributed one more point to the 'authority' count on Technorati for both.)