Monthly Archives: October 2009

links for 2009-10-31

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Posted by on October 31, 2009 in Links


links for 2009-10-29

  • half of our population is experiencing decreasing net happiness and satisfaction with life. When we look at what makes people engaged and fulfilled with their lives, everyone…seems to agree that the feeling of self-efficacy, feeling valued and effective and in your "strength zone" is critical–that the happiest, most successful people are those who have figured out ways to play to the best of themselves in each part of their lives…
    There are two causes (…of dissatisfaction and unhappiness in life). One is an excess of choice…The second is that the advice given is misleading..If your goal in life is balance, you will be forever disappointing yourself.
    Women are told to be good jugglers…supposed to be able to keep everything up in the air at once…challenge becomes, "How do I not drop anything?" The solutions offered are ideas like "better time management," or "learn to put up boundaries" or "learn to say no."…all of that advice is bad. The core skill of juggling is throwing
  • Questions about my future do remain unanswered, though that seems to bother other people more than me. It's funny how much some folks focus on numeric milestones: 90 days, 6 months, 1 year. Markers like those certainly have descriptive value when you look, after the fact, across a large number of people; interesting patterns emerge. But using those found patterns to dictate how I shape my own future is an inorganic endeavor in which I choose not to engage.
    At the one-year mark, I still believe in the process of self-discovery, one that I hope never ceases. A process that, despite its open-endedness, doesn't preclude practical decision making when the moment is right, even if the call I make is thoroughly out of sync with the numeric milestones. A process that does not belong exclusively to people who have quit (or want to quit) their jobs.
    (tags: career work life)
  • when sensational things like Arundhati Roy justifying the reign of terror unleashed by the Naxals…happen then I am forced to break the silence…
    The argument as to who is a "terrorist" and who is "misguided youth" is a never-ending one…that has been fought over so many times that it is not worth going into again. However what requires comment is that Naxals are anything but the "little guys fighting for justice pushed into a corner" that their PR people like Ms. Roy would have us believe. They are an organized army-like entity with a leadership structure whose principal goal is the destruction of the Indian state and the rule of law. They terrorize the populations they claim to protect, extort and appropriate resources from the dispossessed and engage in violence against people who do not represent the state. Their arms are sophisticated, they are financed by India's enemies and they are allied with SIMI tapping into their organization and their funding channels.
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Posted by on October 29, 2009 in Links


links for 2009-10-28

  • Having a strong password goes a long way in helping to protect your data, but there are a number of additional steps you can take to help you keep your Gmail account secure
  • The law consists of abstract rules because…as human beings, judges are unable to foresee all of the long-term consequences of their decisions and may be unduly influenced by the immediate, visible effects of these decisions. The rules of law are designed in part to strike the proper balance between the interests of those who are seen and those who are not seen. The purpose of the rules is to enable judges to resist the emotionally engaging temptation to relieve the plight of those they can see and empathize with, even when doing so would be unfair to those they cannot see.
    Calling on judges to be compassionate or empathetic is in effect to ask them to undo this balance and favor the seen over the unseen…if the difference…is that the bad judge focuses on the visible effects of his or her decisions while the good judge takes into account both the effects that can be seen and those that are unseen, then the compassionate, empathetic judge is very likely to be a bad judge.
  • In case you’re confused about your religious beliefs, the awesome flowchart below, created by the good people at Holy Taco, should resolve all doubts…
    False gods are everywhere, of course, and I’m sure you’ll find a vendor to customize one to your needs. May we all be cult.
  • There are institutes where students walk in with their eyes open and know what to expect. And there are those where they walk in, blinded – misled, misguided and misinformed, by a campaign where media, regulatory agencies and academia become willing accomplices…
    As we scanned the ads, spoke to experts, affected parties and counselors, we realised that one name cropped up the most – IIPM. We decided to investigate…What our investigation unravelled left us cold. Here is an institution that enjoys all the privileges of an academic institution (according to IT authorities, it claimed exemptions citing Section 10(23C) (VI) of the Income Tax act, 1961) with zero responsibility and accountability. Here is an institution that brazenly uses its power and reach to make unsubstantiated claims that play with the lives of students and parents alike.
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Posted by on October 28, 2009 in Links


links for 2009-10-27

  • When I got to Bombay, I found similar stories from among the business journalist fraternity; I once worked with a colleague who, first thing each morning, sifted through the invitations to press conferences and called up the PROs to ask what the ‘gift’ was. He had refined the thing to a fine art — he would attend only those PCs where there was cash or gift cheques on offer.
    At some point, newspapers figured out that journalists were making money while managements earned nothing — and lo, Page 3 was born and with it, a cash-and-carry business paradigm where social climbers paid newspaper managements, who in turn meticulously chronicled their appearances at various inane parties [there is at least one party animal on the Mumbai circuit I know of, whose 'celebrity status' is entirely a Page 3 concoction].
    So I guess this story merely reflects the logical culmination of the space for sale aspect of journalism.
  • When I look at the responses, the common theme is that starting a startup was like I said, but way more so. People just don't seem to get how different it is till they do it. Why? The key to that mystery is to ask, how different from what? Once you phrase it that way, the answer is obvious: from a job. Everyone's model of work is a job. It's completely pervasive. Even if you've never had a job, your parents probably did, along with practically every other adult you've met.
    Unconsciously, everyone expects a startup to be like a job, and that explains most of the surprises. It explains why people are surprised how carefully you have to choose cofounders and how hard you have to work to maintain your relationship…It explains why the ups and downs are surprisingly extreme…But it also explains why the good times are surprisingly good: most people can't imagine such freedom. As you go down the list, almost all the surprises are surprising in how much a startup differs from a job.
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Posted by on October 27, 2009 in Links


links for 2009-10-22

  • As Tom Watson, the founder of IBM said:
    "Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure — or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that's where you will find success."
    Here's another way to think about it. Once I was trying to fix a toilet and water began to blast upward from a fitting. The building Super, who was watching me, commented, "You know the difference between a professional plumber and an amateur?"
    "No," I said, frantically searching for a towel.
    "The professional makes as many mistakes as the amateur," he said, swinging a wrench onto the main valve and closing off the fountain, "The difference is, a professional fixes them faster."
  • If you have some space in your home or office premises, it probably makes lots of sense to grow these plants because research says that there is a 42% probability of increasing blood oxygen by 1% if one stays inside a building housing these plants for 10 hours.
    And Kamal isnt the only person saying this. Earlier, a study conducted by NASA also suggested that certain houseplants (including Bamboo Palm and Snake Plant) can remove as much as 87% of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours.
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Posted by on October 22, 2009 in Links


links for 2009-10-20

  • Doniger’s work has been challenged for years by the Hindu rightwing…Perhaps what really disconcerts and offends those who throw literal or metaphorical eggs at the professor is that she lays claim to a far wider corpus of knowledge than is commonly found to be acceptable…
    Doniger is threatening because of her immense scholarship. She’s the “outsider” who knows as much, and in many cases, more, about the Hindu scriptures and traditions than her most fierce opponents…
    “This is a history, not the history, of the Hindus,” Doniger emphasises; and this is perhaps why she is seen in some Indian circles as so dangerous. By its very title, The Hindus: An Alternative History suggests that Hinduism has several competing histories rather than one sanctioned version. For today’s religious fundamentalists, this is a terrifying idea that threatens the authorised version of history they would prefer to preach, uphold and impose.
  • So far the new technology has been called the "e-reader," a term obviously picked by engineers, not poets. In literary terms it's a transbook, by which I mean that it is the book which can contain all books. Why are so many writers so afraid of this staggeringly wonderful possibility? A book is a singular object that can contain many voices, but the transbook has the potential to be a singular object containing all voices. It is not just another kind of media; it is the dream of ultimate text.
    We are still in early days, but it is obvious where the transbook is headed: It will eventually provide access to all text that is non-copyright, and to the purchase of every book in or out of "print."..
    Kindle 2 isn't really about what we may or may not want as readers and writers. It's about what the book wants to be. And the book wants to be itself and everything. It wants to be a vast abridgment of the universe that you can hold in your hand. It wants to be the transbook.
  • It’s 4pm and you are fidgeting in your seat, trying to ignore your growling tummy. A colleague passes over a couple of burfis, adding 280kcal to your day. Resistance is evidently futile. So you think you might as well take a tea break.
    “There are three main reasons (why) people feel hungry in the afternoon. They missed lunch or it was not satisfying; they are bored and want to munch mindlessly; or someone else is snacking,”…
    “Snacking per se isn’t bad,…it won’t make you fat. In fact, snacking can increase your metabolic rate and stimulate your body to burn more fat.” As long as you are smart about it, you can avoid gaining weight…
    What you want is 100-150kcal with a good balance of nutrients. “Print a list of healthy snack options and keep it handy. So that when the craving strikes, you know what to order,”
    (tags: food Health)
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Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Links


links for 2009-10-18

  • The workplace cannot afford further development in faster, more efficient communications. Human beings are not designed to work that way. I suggest you make every possible attempt to scuttle all attempts at implementing Google Wave, or any such real-time concept, at your workplace. In case you come by a Google Wave invite, DO NOT pass it on to the CEO or the IT heads. Instead sell it on eBay.
    Or, even better, give it to me. I really could use one.
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Posted by on October 18, 2009 in Links

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