Category Archives: Musings

A thought…

The firms, in general, that are making money are the ones that hire humans to make computers capable of decision making. The ones that are in trouble are the ones that have computers enable a human to wheel and deal on the phone.

I know about Knight Capital but this seems to be the general trend in the markets.

Currently reading: Dark Pools by Scott Patterson.

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Delhi Times – and a topic for research

Was in Delhi for two days for my induction. A nice bunch of people, a fun party in the latest night club in Delhi. I had a rocking time.

Also, found my next topic of research, and one that will surely lead to my first (of many Nature papers)- “The degeneration of dancing style as a function of alcohol ingestion in Indian people”. What I noted was amazing – makes me want to read more about human psychology. My twitter feed says – “Wish Hannibal Lecter was here to analyze what is going on in the minds of these people dancing.”

Remembering or Why I decided against a PhD

Add to this..."I got results", "I got into IIMA"

Every once in a while, I have the urge to do a PhD. I think , “how nice it will be to have a relaxed life and a PhD in a stream that I like.” Then I go to IISc and remember exactly why I gave up on the idea of a PhD.

Sometimes it helps to go back to where it all began (or ended):P.

The IISc Alumni Association has been very helpful though.

Ads in the IPL

While the world goes on and on about @lalitkmodi and @tharoor.shashi, another disturbing thing has emerged in IPL 3.0- Disgusting advertisements!

The Voltas AC ads, with the most irritating jingles, have made the mute button on the remote control the most important. How do you expect anyone to buy your product and use it for days or months when they can’t stand your ad for 30 seconds. Where are all the creative people going these days- accounting firms?

The Vodafone ‘zoozoo’ ads- they were fun last year, they have become irritating this year. And what is with the negativity- ‘someone being eaten by a carnivorous flower’ cannot convince me to order flowers on my cell phone.

The Havells ad, with the executioner, is disturbing and disgusting. I don’t need to see a man being executed 20 times a day. And how is doing your job- that of an executioner- ‘paap’?

The MRF blimp, and the praise for MRF 4 times in an innings, gets on my nerves everytime.

Some bright spots are there though- a couple of the zoozoo ads are nice, and the way Sehwag and Gambhir struggle for the phone is funny too.

Most irritating though is the placement of ads- not just at the end of the over, but even in the middle of it. I would rather watch a bowler walk back to his mark than one of these irritating ads…if it were not for more often than not irritating commentary.

Important Question!!

“The world isn’t fair, Calvin.”

“I know Dad, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favour?”

Thoughts from an alumnus

Harsha Bhogle, famous cricket commentator and quizmaster on ESPN, is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. Recently saw a video of his, of a talk he gave in the auditorium on campus.

Had many wonderful thoughts: why live life like its a 100 m race? Why get into a job thinking about exit options and early retirements?
He says, “If you choose your first job based on the salary it offers, you might be making a mistake. Choose a career, that is what you came to (or should ideally come to) IIMA for.” Maybe someday, when the day zero fever subsides and the media stops blaring the crore-plus salaries, maybe then some of us might get some of this perspective.
To end the talk he recited 4 lines of his (and my) favourite Urdu poetry:

“ख़ुद ही को कर बुलंद इतना
की हर तकदीर से पहले ,
खुदा बन्दे से ख़ुद पूछे,
बता तेरी रज़ा क्या है?”

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This blog needs a revival.
Tuchchadom promises some more time but I have so many things to do outside the class that it might seem as busy as fachchadom itself.
Then again, there’s hope.

Just thinking about the way my life is going now…

When it rains, it pours!!

Came across a couple of very interesting posts on the anti-terrorist steps India should take by Prof. R. Vaidyanathan of IIMB.
Given that a nuclear war is not at all beneficial to us, screwing the already MASSIVELY screwed economy of Pakistan seems reasonable. Have no money, feed no terrorist will happen.
Here are the links:
8 things India Inc must do.

12 steps to shock and awe the Pak economy.

On a very personal note, I felt like someone got into my own home when those bastards did what they did. I’ve grown up seeing the very spots they hit and I’m sure anyone who grew up in Mumbai feels the same. I spent a good amount of time thinking of innovative ways to torture the one bastard who got caught. Had a discussion with Aseem on whether terrorists have religion.
His take was that religious sentiments made them do what they did and hence terrorists have religion.
I am no believer, but religion is essentially a human thing, and I refuse to accept terrorists as humans. They should not have any human rights and the bodies of the dead terrorists must be disposed of in the most disrespectful way possible. Also, make a video of the same and pass it to Al Jazeera…that should scare them all right.
India needs a strong anti-terror law, it needs good anti-terror organization and most of all it needs a Guantanamo Bay where to keep the terrorists. Maybe its time to get the Cellular Jail back to its ‘infamous’ glory.
The message ought to be clear…”You don’t attack my home and get away with it.”

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For a PhD student

This is from the book, “My life as a Quant” by Emanuel Derman.

” I spent seven biblically-lean years in the physics department.
One friend spent ten.We both got out alive.
Some didn’t. It wasn’t long before we had all heard the legend about
the graduate student who had shot his PhD advisor. Several years ago I
read a New York Times article about two graduate students who committed
suicide while studying in the Harvard laboratory of Nobel Prizewinner
Professor E. J. Corey. In a subsequent letter to the Sunday New
York Times magazine of December 20, 1998, Linda Logdberg of Upper
Nyack, New York, wrote in to comment on life as graduate student:

. . . Perhaps even more now than then, graduate education is an
extended adolescence during which highly intelligent young
people see their world shrink to fit the dimensions of their advisor’s laboratory. . . . With their identities bound to the outcome
of the thesis project, graduate students are socialized to view
other options (teaching, industry, even changing to another type
of work altogether) with contempt.Wanting a decent wage and
meaningful work that occupies, say, only 50 hours per week are
considered signs of selling out.

From, ‘My Life as a Quant’ by Emanuel Derman, PhD (Physics, Columbia) who headed
Goldman Sachs’ Quantitative Strategies group.

At IISc, I met a few of ppl who reacted almost violently to the idea of going on to do a mgmt degree and to
the idea of wanting to make more money. I thought I knew what they were thinking and this describes what I thought I saw perfectly.