Saturday, May 07, 2005


Bookmarks. My kingdom for a set of bookmarks. Nice, java scriptable, server side stored, intelligent, with rss feeds and integrable with google or yahoo, so I know if the third result on page four has already been seen bookmarked by me, and if that's a favourite for me.

And also a good search engine, for blogs. Google sucks at tagging content. It would be great if I could do something like humour blogs and get blogs that others think are funny.

Belive me, it's the links which are important, not the content by itself.

Music on my cellphone. Streamed to it. So that I can sit away quietly wherever I am and listen to music. Or a mp3 player as a present. I am not too picky.

A rather good digital camera.

Six pack stomach. The ability to do a three point backflip. Run ten kilometeres without fainting at any point of time.

My very own server running off on a nice super cluster.

Radio shack in India. My very own research labs.

All the monty python movies and tv-shows.

A copy of bob dylan's "Things have changed", as a good quality mp3.

A copy of Harry Potter's latest adventure.

A chance to sleep, to sit and enjoy.

To drink tea, in the rain.

Space to put my books.

To not have any books, except on my server. To be able to read them everywhere.

To remove my glasses once and for all.

To sleep perchance to dream.

The myth of the moral

The interviews in SP Jain this year had this rather unfortunate and disgusting emphasis on Morals. One question went like this:

Let's say you manage a company in Nagaland, and some BODO militants spirit away one of your workers and threaten to kill him unless you finance their activities. Would you do it? What if they asked you for a one time payment? What if they kept on regularly pestering you for payments?

Most of the participants said they would not make the payment, which according to me is the most cowardly and unethical choice there is. As an employer you also owe some responsibility to your employees and the state. So I would make a one time payment, or finance their activities (which would also be a one time payment at least initially), and then go to the police.

The next question came back: What if they keep pestering you for money ever afterwards?

Hell! That is the entire principle of taxation, progressive or otherwise.

The government comes around and asks you to pay them a large and substantial amount of your earnings, otherwise promises to throw you into jail (i.e. kidnap and hold you incommunicado). Well, well! When I am paying the government such a large amount of my money, I don't see why the terrorists shouldn't have their cut of my earnings as long as they are doing something useful with it like blowing up a few politicians. Probably most terrorists are ministers (most ministers certainly are), not the villains they are painted out to be (though most ministers are), doing what they are doing because the finance minister left them out when he was distributing the loot.

I really really would like somebody to make a cogent and clear argument as to why taxation is not just extortion when the only difference I can see is just that.

The finance minister though hasn't taken this lying down or horizontally. Money isn't reaching the militants, so he's decided that it's because there isn't any money to go around.

Result: Drop your pants, and I tax you.

The first ministry to actually put into practice the cliche': Taxed when you are born, and taxed when you die.

I now have to pay these guys a huge and wholesome tax when I take money out of the bank, when I buy an article and pay them a tax again when I earn the money in the first place. If that doesn't look like extortion, I don't know what does.

I hate this emphasis on ethics and morality that is plaguing India. The sooner we accept the notion that ethics are only a convenient fabrication of ours to act in strange and irrational ways, the easier it will be for us to do sensible things later on. After a certain point the emphasis on morality becomes less an emphasis and more of a xenophobic crusade. You do wonder whether these morality freaks actually mean what they say or if their mouths are on auto-pilot. Besides morals are a luxury, a weak and rather troublesome indulgence, like black coffee or hashish and only does more harm in the long run, by eliminating your capacity to think.

I hate morals and ethics.


After the interview, I asked a current student if interviews were usually this long and this pointless. Her reply?

"Just pray you get in. This is the best institute to teach you decision making."

The interview was a six hour long one! Ah! Decision Making....

Heaven help us all.


I also hate taxes and P.Chidambaram

yes! It is computer generated Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

In a moment of quiet solitude

There are days when you walk alone, then there are days when you walk all alone. Believe me being alone is not some function of distance. It has nothing to do with people. People think it is something that you can easily remedy, walk over to a friend's place and you aren't alone. I wish it were that simple. Being alone has more to do with time or even with reality. You can be all alone in a high swinging party, but you come back to your room and then dance to your music ( Summertime by Ira Gershwin ) and you do feel conencted to the world in general. Being alone is being alone. You can be alone in time, alone in space or all alone in the high reaches of your mind when you sit and think and think and no one, just no one, can even begin to understand what you are thinking about, or even less know how you feel.

Then there are days, when the loneliness sits on you comfortably. Everyone has those moments when we wake up and would like those five minutes, all to ourselves, to compose our thoughts, to think about the day, a period for introspection. Then there are days, when you think and think and then you need to come down from those high mountains and you want to talk, not because you are bored but to anchor yourself to reality.

Thought does cause loneliness. Thought is supposed to be encouraged by solitude, quiet and contemplation but I think solitude and quiet are the direct by products of thought. To think, is to be alone. Believe me, it is. To think, is to question. To question is to be alone. It may not seem obvious, but thinkers are always alone. They are ringbearers.

I somedays don't believe in reality at all. Reality after all is nothing but a very very thinly stretched set of conventions that describe my existence. Somedays, I think and I edge closer to breaching that thin skin, that is invisible to most people, but against which I bounce everyday. Somedays I think I am close to flying through that thick skin to what lays beyond. But then I look back at that gravity well. It's warm there, ever bustling, and there is life, ever eternal, content, existent, but of thought I see not a sign.

I am outwards bound now. I think therefore I am like one of the stars. I may shine brightly, I may cause others to wonder about what I do, even provoke a few others to think, but I lie far away from all others. I have an infinity in which to think. I am alone.

I hide in my mind. It's my last defense, albeit not a good one, but somewhere where I can rest, where this reality that is defined, does not exist. I see only possibilities. Some of them are good. I see planets. No, not planets, but binary stars. Each orbitting the other, wary but at peace, frentic yet sedate, a dance defined by no one except those that decide to dance. I am the sun. I shall nurture, I shall provide. I have an infinity in which to think. But I am not alone.