Archive > July 2007

Equilibrium of the system

Ashwin » 27 July 2007 » In General » Comments

We have many sayings in Tamil which literally translates to the following.

A thief of many days will be caught some day.

Truth always succeeds.

One who creates trouble to others, will be in trouble some day.

I used to seriously think on these. Is there a person sitting somewhere above the world who makes a note of all the crimes? Is he capable of punishing wrong-doers?

Then it struck me. It must be something like the following.

Whole world must be a system. All the people in this world, are part of system (let us call them Components) and they keep the system working. The system was initially in a non-equilibrium state. But the components of the system has worked on various means to bring the system into equilibrium, like rules, laws etc. So whenever a part of the system, say a criminal, does something like breaking the rules, the system goes out of equilibrium. System somehow tries to come back to equilibrium and during this process, all the energy spent in breaking the equilibrium is released. (Assumption - Total energy of the system remains a constant) This energy directly affects the component that caused the disturbance. Intensity of the disturbance that disrupted the equilibrium is directly proportional to the time taken by the system to restore back to equilibrium.  But there can be a few exceptions, when there is no direct relation between these two variables…

OK. I will stop here…

Continue reading...

One more blog!

Ashwin » 24 July 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

Please visit my other blog

Continue reading...

Convenience charges - convenience for whom?

Ashwin » 24 July 2007 » In General » Comments

I booked about 5 tickets online for a movie show in Prasad’s Hyderabad. I paid convenience charge on each ticket, which amounted to about 13% of the ticket cost. I believe that the charge was levied, as I was booking it over the internet.  There was a spark!  I decided to analyze - by making online tickets available, who has the most convenience?

Convenience to me

  • I can check for the show timings instantly and book the tickets from my desktop. This saves me a trip to the theater before the movie

Convenience to the theater

  • Printing charges for the tickets are gone. They are not going to issue any paper tickets (Remember, they give only the slips that have the seat number, when you actually go to watch the movie)
  • With so many people holding credit cards, the reach of the theater increases. For instance, I would think twice about going all the way to Imax, just to book a couple of tickets, from Miyapur
  • Planning becomes possible for the theater, as tickets once booked cannot be canceled or refunded. By planning, I mean that the theater management can have a good idea of the number of people who might watch a particular show (or essentially the revenue for the show). Also they can mine the booking data for futuristic plans
  • Number of ticket counters at the theater can decrease. This is because, the large queues would be absent, when majority of tickets are booked online. Thus, the theater management can afford to do send some employees home, to cut the costs

Thus, online movie tickets are more favorable to the theater than to us.

So why do they charge us the convenience charge? In fact, it should be the other way round. They should reduce this cost from the movie ticket.

Continue reading...

Tags: Sparks

Never listen to those who make noise!

Ashwin » 20 July 2007 » In General » Comments

I have read during my innocent days, that don’t care a shit about those who constantly make noise. It is due to the absence of anything significant, that they make noise. I have seen many such instances in my life - the latest one being the Presidential elections in the ‘Republic’ of India.

There were a herd of politicians headed by Jayalalitha, Chandrababu Naidu and Mulayam Singh Yadav, who were shouting about boycotting the presidential elections. Very much like the chameleon that these politicians are compared with, a good majority of them have forgotten their ‘ideals’ and voted in the elections. We are made to believe that the democratic ideals got better of the political ideals, and thus made them vote.

This is very much expected of these politicians. When they give impossible promises during the election campaign and comfortably forget them after being elected; when they switch between parties not logically but opportunistically; nothing better can be expected. Also I read about some politicians speaking in public about the candidates that they have voted for. Then why go for ballot system and elections, when the individual choices are made public? Basics of democracy are very much absent with these politicians and those who have elected them to the constituency must be ashamed.

Overall, the presidential elections have turned out to be funny times for the public, with politicians playing games in the center.

Continue reading...

Tags: Politics


Ashwin » 19 July 2007 » In General » Comments

How many times have you seen a postage or parcel, with ‘Confidential’ written over it?

I always wonder how does it serve the purpose.  A matter can stay confidential only when it is kept a secret and not exposed.  But when you expose something and also tell everyone that it is confidential, then how can it be a secret anymore?  Obviously, an eavesdropper would know that the stuff is confidential and try to break loose into it.  Think about this, whenever you see some stuff with the the text ‘Confidential’ written over it! :)

Continue reading...

I hate driving in Hyderabad!

Ashwin » 15 July 2007 » In General » Comments

I am writing this post out of desperation! Sometimes I feel that Hyderabad has a unique set of road rules, very distinct from the rest of India.  I cogitate, jumping a signal, turning or halting without putting on the indicators, rash driving etc. are considered legal in this city.  No wonder that Hyderabad has a very high rate of road accidents and subsequent fatalities.

I survived nearly 3 incidents today, while riding my bike.  It all happened on my way to British Council and back home.  A bus driver almost cornered me by taking a blind left turn; thanks to my bike brakes that I am alright now.  A precarious and stupid Tata Indica (cab) driver threatened my life by rash driving and overtaking.  A ‘never-say-die’ pedestrian crossing the road with such indifference, that he did not care to look for any vehicles on the road; I was again saved by my bike brakes.

I wonder if driving in Hyderabad is indeed safe.  I recently read in the dailies, about the AP Government procuring hi-fi Speed guns that use invisible laser beam for tracking down the speeding vehicles and signal-jumpers.  But I have not seen any single f***ing speed guns being used, in any of the major signals.  Then why the hell, the Government has invested so much on these equipments from the people’s money? Is it just another commission making exercise?  Sophistication helps only when it is used in a proper way.  Road laws must be enforced more strictly; otherwise someday Hyderabad will be a dangerous place in the world to be on road.

Continue reading...

Tags: Traffic in Hyd

Think before you listen

Ashwin » 13 July 2007 » In General » Comments

Ever listened to your favorite music in iPod, walking outdoors, on a rainy evening with thunderstorms; ever played with your laptop sitting in the balcony on a day full of rains. Then read carefully!

Researches and past incidents have shown that people using electronic devices, outdoors at the time of rain or thunderstorms are more likely to be struck by the lightning. This is due to the metals in these electronic devices, that conduct the electricity faster. So even if the lightning is to strike an area nearby, you will instantaneously be affected, just because of these devices. Several such cases has been reported. People have hurt their eardrums and suffered burns. Do not ever forget that your cellphone is an electronic device too!

So next time you are trying to use an electronic equipment, outdoor during thunderstorms, think twice! You might as well wait for some to get indoors and use the stuff, rather than hurting yourself.

(Spark for the thought: An article in ‘The Hindu’ daily dated 13 July 2007, on the last page)

Continue reading...

Tags: Safety

Why not a corpus for this?

Ashwin » 11 July 2007 » In Social » Comments

Advertisements in dailies, asking for grants towards kid’s operation have become a commonplace. I can invariably see one of those ads, everyday. To add, today’s newspaper featured an incident where a father has thrown his 6-year old kid into a river, unable to bear her medical expenses due to malfunctioning kidneys. He was treating the kid for the past 3 years and may be he had decided that it is not possible anymore.

I was thinking - can you blame the dad? May be this can seem to be a cruel act, but what are the options left for him? Leave the kid in an orphanage, request for grants, leave the kid untreated to death or get rid of the child; which he has precisely done.

I was wondering if the community or the Government can help in this regard. I am already very much aware of many social groups operating independently or under an organization, that are involved in these activities. But the Government’s contribution to this cause has been extremely pathetic. Education and health care are considered more important in a growing economy like India. Every tax paying individual contributes to the education, whereas the health care is not taken care of.  In India, Health care has always been given a step-motherly treatment.  Though many corpus might exist for various purposes, they do not reach the needy in time.

In my opinion, the best solution for this malady is to have a transparent and large scale corpus for providing grants to the needy and under privileged. I am very sure that the tax paying professionals would not mind sparing another 1% of their income for this cause. All citizens of our nation should be enlightened about this and the Public Delivery System of this scheme must be simple enough for a common man. Applications can be received for these grants and an individual department must be responsible for verifying these applications and sanctioning the grants. In a country like India, where the concept of social security is nowhere visible in the near future, steps like these must do a world of good.

Is anyone listening?

Continue reading...

Rangasamy reports - Man to Machine

Ashwin » 10 July 2007 » In General » Comments

London July 10, 2012 - We have seen how machines evolved over time.  Today we are witnessing a world full of machines - be it the computers or the other forms.  Latest update is from the world of electronics where an experiment, on integrating man & machine has turned out to be a huge success.

A group of computer scientists in a facility here (London) has conducted an experiment by planting tiny processors and hard drives, about very few millimeters, on to the human body.  These devices are then appropriately connected to the nervous system and linked to the human mind.  When all these were done, the processing power of the human mind increases in direct proportion to the processor that is embedded.  Similarly the memory capacity increases, commensurate with the hard drive that is embedded.  They have proved this phenomenon by practical test cases conducted on those individuals, after the implantation.  So, in addition to RFID chips that can be embedded on to the humans for easier medical diagnostic purposes, these devices will improve the human processing power & memory capacity.  This research is sure to send waves across the electronics world.

Continue reading...

Tags: Future

Recent articles I loved - By Swaminathan S

Ashwin » 09 July 2007 » In General » Comments

I have always been a regular reader of articles written by Swaminathan S. His natural style of writing and expressions remind me a lot of R.K. Narayan. Though their areas of interest are different, I can sense some similarity in their writing.

Couple of his recent articles were too good. I just enjoyed reading them

Non-strategy can be a blessing

Who’s afraid of Walmart?

In the first article he beautifully brings out the instances when the Government strategies have failed but India, as a country, gained a lot on those failures. His writing in this article is very true to the topic. It appears that non-strategies, sometimes, have resulted in huge success. Take the brain-based industries for instance. Also the GDP growth of 9% has not come out of any hi-funda strategy by the Government. So as he says, Non-strategy may be a blessing too!

After reading the second article, I have my strong doubts whether Wal-Mart model will succeed in a country like India. They are better off providing back-end support, as they are planning to do, with Bharti at the front-end. But I have my misgiving on their success as an independent retailer. Wal-Mart has always been a company which targets the lower-middle-class population. They rely strongly on their ‘low-price’ strategy, which is achievable through various strategies like Cheap Labor, Location outside the city, etc. But though it is cheaper, consumers will prefer the local shopkeepers to traveling all the way to Wal-Mart. Also the consumer-centric approach of Wal-Mart would not fare well with the Indian economy which is more employee-centric. So overall, the Communist party has over-hyped the arrival of Wal-Mart to India.

Both these are very good reads. To subscribe from Google Reader for posts, use this RSS feed link:

Continue reading...