Feel free to add your thoughts, comments. Let's make it a play ground for thoughts. Let's provide a platform to cog (cognizant) :D

Sunday, October 3, 2010

P.G. Wodehouse: Ring for Jeeves - "...rhinoceri are equipped with license numbers"

In chapter 8, conversation among Captain Biggar, Bill and Jeeves, while Captain Biggar is trying to find out the racecourse bookie who ran away with his prize amount:

‘Obviously what happened was that friend Biggar got the wrong number.’ Said Bill.

‘Yes, m’lord.’ Agreed Jeeves.

The red of Captain Biggar’s face deepened to purple. His proud spirit was wounded.

‘are you telling me I don’t know the number of a car that I followed all the way from Epsom Downs to Southmothtonshire? That car was used today by this Honest Patch Perkins and his clerk, and I’m asking you if you lent it to him.’

‘My dear good bird, would I lend my car to a chap in a check suit and a crimson tie, not mention a clack patch and ginger moustache? The thing’s not… what, Jeeves?’

‘Feasible, m’lord.’ Jeeves coughed. ‘Possibly the gentleman’s eyesight needs medical attention.’

Captain Biggar swelled portentously.

‘My eyesight? My eyesight? Do you know who you’re talking to? I am Bwana Biggar.’

‘I regret that the name is strange to me, sir. But I still maintain that you have made the pardonable mistake of failing to read the license number correctly.’

Before speaking again, Captain Biggar was obliged to swallow once or twice, to restore his composure. He also took another nut.

‘Look,’ he said, almost mildly. ‘perhaps you’re not up on these things. You haven’t been told who’s who and what’s what. I am Biggar the White Hunter, the most famous White Hunter in all Africa and Indonesia. I can stand without a tremor in the path of an onrushing rhino… and why? Because my eyesight is so superb that I know …I know I can get him in that one vulnerable sport before he has come within sixty paces. That’s the sort of eyesight mine is.’

Jeeves maintained his iron front.

‘I fear I cannot recede from my position, sir. I grant that you may have trained your vision for such a contingency as you have described, but, poorly informed as I am on the subject of larger fauna of the East, I do not believe that rhinoceri are equipped with license numbers.’

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Random Thoughts 6 - Connecting the Dots, Wife Vs Girl Friend

Connecting the dots - Given random dots human mind has a tendency to connect them OR Given nodes human mind will create a network out of them.

Girl Friend Vs Wife
A Girl Friend is like British Invasion of India, who will rob you off everything you have, and leave nothing but a broken thing.
whereas, The Biwi (wife) is like all other invaders, who will also rob you off everything, however will contribute a thing or two after inhabiting.

Looking into the past, being right is not enough, but tackling people when they are wrong.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick Thoughts on a Services Business

Product Based:
People Process and Technology


Service Based:
ability to Process the Information and relationship with People

Monday, July 12, 2010

What’s Next?

One of my senior asked me this question in the beginning of the fourth year (of my five year combined undergrad + postgrad program). To my every answer I was hit back by the one same question, “why”. “Why that particular path and not one of the other paths”. Having advantage of studying at one of the world’s premier engineering colleges (which offered many career paths as options) and himself wandering into the myriad of choices, my senior was so kind to me and did not want me to get into the same situation as he was. He took a job right after his education in a specialised field of his engineering major. He had then taken a choice probably without much thought and was then thinking and re-thinking if that choice had made sense for him. Moreover, what should he do next, how did his then current job made sense for what he wanted to do next? Did he take the right choice of a job in one specialised field of engineering?

We are not to analyse his choices. Rather what follows is an account of the pursuit to the answer of one question ‘What’s Next’.

All that senior wanted was me to think cautiously before making a choice on ‘What’s Next’ after the college, so that I would not end up regretting on my choices. And that’s when we had become hypothetical. Why? As follows:

I strongly believe that if I were to quote conservative numbers on realisation of what anyone wants from his/her Life, I would say a good majority of people (much greater than 50%) on this earth would have never asked themselves what they want from their lives. More than 90% of those who have asked themselves this question are still struggling to find the answer and are uncomfortable over their this status. More than 9.99% out of the rest 10% also don’t know the answer but are probably fine with the status while a miniscule number of people know the answer to this question and working towards what they want from their life. The life pays a huge premium to those who know what they want from their life and working towards it. Earlier they find, higher the premium is. I don’t have to quote the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs as examples.

However, knowing the answer to that ultimate question is very less probabilistic. Hence, I said hypothetical and why regret!? Quoting the very famous “Sunscreen Song”:

“Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.”

If you can’t be among the tiny set of much less 0.01%, be in the last 10% of the people who have asked the question to themselves and are fine with their status of not having the answer.
Keep working towards the answer. Be aware that you don’t know what you want, what is the best next for you, however, let it drive you to pursue things, do things, till you don’t find what you want to do with the Life, but do not let it bother you. Just enjoy the state you are in, that you don’t know what you want to do with your Life, however, continue making efforts to find out your passion, the holy grail of your Life.

Quoting Late Dr. Randy Pausch from Carnegie Mellon University 2008 commencement speech, “...what anybody wants to do which is follow their passion, follow their heart and do the things they are excited about.... we don't beat the Reaper by living longer, but by living well, and living fully — for the reaper will come for all of us. The question is: what do we do between the time we're born and the time he shows up. Because when he shows up it is too late to do all the things that you always gonna kind of get around to...'s not the things we do in life that we regret on our deathbed, it is the things we do not... What matters is that I can kind of look back and say: pretty much any chance I had to do something cool I tried to grab for it — and that's where my solace comes from...

...You will need to find your passion. Many of you already done it, many of you will later, many of you may take till your 30s or 40s but don't give up on finding it. Because then all you are doing is waiting for the reaper. Find your passion and follow it.”

Quoting Steve Jobs from Stanford University 2005 commencement speech, “...This was the start in my life. And seventeen years later, I did go to college... After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and no idea of how college was going to help me figure it out, and here I was, spending all the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made....

... Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn... ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me, and we designed it all into the Mac... If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class and personals computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do...

... you can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever--because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference...

...I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life... You've got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don't settle...

... If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right...for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I wanna do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something...

...Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life...”

Knowing the answer is not an easily accomplishable task for you don’t know what the different choices will actually yield into, you may predict and forecast consequences of a choice based on whatever little understanding of the different career paths you might have at the time of making the choice, but the choice may result into complete different set of consequences than envisaged. Never forget “Life is a Bitch”.

Even if the consequences are as forecasted, for your mentality, taste, life style changes due to other things around you changes, you might not be looking forward to (happy about) the consequences as you imagined you would be while making the choice of career path. Worst, you might start hating the judicious choice of career path you made as the consequences (though as predicted) turn unfavourable.

So, what’s the solution out of it? Do we not move onto any career path and wait until we are 100% sure what we want to do with our Life? No, because more often than not, you will never know for sure what is the right career path for you. Moreover, till you don’t walk on (try) a path, you will never know how is really like. Also, only as you walk on a path you will discover more about the Life and the world and the different career paths available. So, do we try all the career paths? No, that’s also not possible, do not forget the “Theory of Activity”, you just cannot do everything in your one life-time.

Finally, is there a solution? As discussed earlier, continue your pursuit of the holy grail of satisfaction and happiness, keep on searching for the answer to what you want to do with your Life by continuing to do things. You may or may not one day find the answer to your quest.
Irrespective of that, never let the obscurity of thoughts bother you. Make peace with the situation, enjoy it and be satisfied and happy about this state of the mind and circumstances.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Learning and Productivity Functions

Frustrated with your own or worried about your employees’ low productivity (and hence, lesser output) in the initial stage of a new assignment or a project?! Well, then don’t be! Because that is how it is for most of us. Have a look on the curves in the graph below.

What do you notice!?

- Phase I: Learning is quite rapid in the early phase of a project that you must be able to sense by now from your own experience. However, productivity (output per unit of time) is very low in the same phase.
- Phase II: As you continue spending more time on the project, you will realise a significant drop in the additional learning while a rapid increase in the additional output for every additional unit of time spent, i.e. enhanced productivity. Also, observe how the output curve lags the learning curve during the life of the project.
- Phase III: If you spend further time on the project after a certain point of time productivity also starts falling, i.e. the additional output for every additional unit of time worked is lesser. The significant decrease in the productivity and the rate of learning are classic applications of the law of diminishing returns.

1. 100% time is taken as the time required to achieve approximately 99.8% of the learning and completion of the project.
2. Quality of the work done is a component of the total output.

Note: The data points mentioned in the graph are representative to illustrate the change in the productivity and the rate of learning with time. Actual observations from a real project environment must be used to fit the model for the specific project with-in a particular industry, and with particular type of workforce and levels of capital and technology employed. In addition, absolute value of the time taken for learning and completion of the different percentages of the project may vary vastly with the industry, specific type of the problem, and capital, technology and educational background, knowledge and skill set of the workforce employed.
From an employer’s perspective learning of the workforce involves cost while output generates revenue. As long as the revenue generated from the output at the end of the project is more than the cost of learning, employer makes profit and is happy with the employees.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Random Thoughts 5 - Action, Logic & Hard Work

Past two years have been horrible, now that I have got the time to breath I am pouring out my thoughts accumulated over the past two years.

Never React, Only Act!

"Life doesn't allow re-takes", do it right the first time! If wrong, move to the next! ;)

Avoid Being Judgemental, Attempt To Be Factual!

Always trust the logic over memory!

Hard work will never deceive you. Irrespective of how smart or stupid you are, how knowledgeable or unlearned you are, how intelligent or irrational you are, you can always bank on Hard work. Hard work will pay off sooner or later for sure!

MECE* Roles of a Women

I employ the blog to write whatever little I have been learning from the Life and I am thankful to the Life for giving me such opportunities.

No one could understand woman and I would not either risk claiming the most desired knowledge by hu-man. What I describe below are the possible mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive roles a man can expect a woman to play in his life:
- No relation
- Acquaintance
- Friend
- Love
- Spouse
- Sex partner
- Woman using a man for other than sex

Few of the above feelings and expectations are necessarily reciprocated with the identical feelings and expectations, however, others few are not, and that results in both sides having different expectations from one another. For example, spouse is a good example for identical reciprocation, whereas man madly in love with woman and woman using the man for her advantage is an example of the opposite case.

More than one role can be played by one woman while one role (except spouse) can be played by several women.
For example, the woman whom you love may or may not eventually be your sex partner and may or may not eventually become your spouse. It may be your friend instead love whom you decide to marry, or other way round, you marry a woman and you might end up, apart from having intercourse, just being good friends forever and never fall in love.
Another example, you might fall in love only for once, however, you might find many woman who you think are compatible to spend life with.

Note: You may fall in love only for once as that just happens with no reasons and heart has a major role to play in there, however, you may find many people from opposite sex who you think are compatible to spend life with based on certain reasoning and criteria set aside by mind.
The author does not hesitate in accepting that all of the above roles also hold true for a man from a woman's perspective.

MECE* – Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive

Caution: Always remember one thumb rule, "Life mai retake ka chance nahi milta", do it right the first time! If wrong, move to the next! ;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Random Thoughts 4 - Emotional Intelligence

People with higher emotional intelligence (emotional quotient) play with/use people (and their emotions) with lower emotional intelligence to work for their (People with higher EQ) advantage.

When in doubt, "Sleep over it" - my ex-boss.

"It is, what it is" - my ex-boss, take it or leave it.

When the time is not right, "Give some time to time".

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Be Thankful to Life!

Every time you are faced with a challenge, the Life gives you an opportunity in the form of difficulties to prove oneself and to become and come out as a stronger and better person after each challenge

...The only problem is that the Life just gives too many of such opportunities and continuously ;)

Life is a Bitch! Not truthful to anyone.
"...and you have to be a dog to face it", commented a friend.

Just when you have successfully survived one difficulty, and are assuming some relief for the moment, right then the Life would give you another opportunity. :) The Life is indifferent to race, cast, gender and religion. It leaves nobody.

Irrespective of whether you accept the challenge and fight your way out or not, Life keeps on checking you out. However, no point in giving up, because if you give up it will push you back even harder, but if do not then there are high chances that you will be able to not only save your position but also make a progress.

Do not forget, irrespective of how smart you are, there is no short-cut and antidote to hard work. Even if you are the dumbest person on the planet, hard work is one thing you can bank on to make some progress.

Theory of Activity

At every point in one’s life time, one is faced with multiple mutually exclusive choices of utilizing one’s time for one activity at the forfeiture of other activities. Just that all of us got the same 24 hours each day, not a split second more or less. That is it!

You might want to do hundreds of activities, but you can possibly do only tens of them, because every activity takes some time and that’s the constraint everyone has. For example, you might want to sleep a lot, do long hours at office or study, go shopping, attend hobby classes, do social work, talk to friends, read a lot, watch movies etc. All of these are different activities and realistically you cannot do all of them.

Here comes prioritisation and another version of Life of no regrets however, this time in a perspective.
Choose only a few for one period (e.g. a week or month), and do the different ones for the next period. Alternatively, just do each activity for a much smaller time; still you will not be able to do all of the activities. Also, more efficient you become longer your wish-list of activities would become.

Now let’s analyse what’s happening unwantedly.

While you have prioritised to do certain activities, you have automatically forfeited other activities as you are not able to do other activities at that time. Always keep in mind that while you are doing one activity, you are forfeiting other activities, that is the opportunity cost of your time doing the chosen activity.

This is to not to worry you or keep you stressed 24 by 7 by 365 that you are wasting your time, rather to keep you informed and happy about the time that you are spending on the chosen activity and make you feel better and satisfied that you are in check of your time and whatever you are doing, you are doing out of a choice and with a caution in your mind that you are doing it because you want to do it over hundreds of other activities that you could do for you enjoy this activity more than others.

Note: Even as I am writing this post, I am incurring a cost out of a choice in terms of the time spent on the writing activity. Even as you are reading this post, you are doing an activity and spending time on it out of a choice.

Our life is more governed by the choices that we make than anything else | We all are victims of circumstances

At every point in one’s life time, one is faced with multiple mutually exclusive choices. One small difference in making a choice (taking a decision) can change the course of many events that would follow or probably change the course of rest of the life. The best way to explain and support this is the Butterfly Effect, in other words, small differences in the initial choice may produce large variations in the long term outcome. Two choices (decisions) that differ slightly from one another can lead to drastically different set of consequences; Our life is more governed by the choices that we make than anything else.

At every point in one’s life time, one is faced with multiple mutually exclusive choices. These choices are the result of prevailing circumstances and more often than not these circumstances warrant a choice that is the most optimal choice for the given circumstances (circumstances is a broad term encompassing a situation’s various aspect, e.g. information/ guidance available, level of experience, vision, risk – return profile, resources available to execute the choice and the expected consequences of those choice). The end result here is that our optimal choice (the best rational decision) for a given set of circumstances is pre-decided and is contained in the circumstances itself. We don’t have much leeway to choose the optimal choice; we are all victims of circumstances.

In summary, Circumstances compel us to make a particular choice (take a decision) | Our choice governs the consequences that result into a specific set of future circumstances.

Note: The author has refrained from qualifying a choice as right or wrong.

Life of No Regrets

After establishing the importance of a choice made, let me present the case that it is no one’s fault if a rational choice, as is the case more often than not, results into undesirable consequences.

At every point in one’s life time, one is faced with multiple mutually exclusive choices and makes the choice which is the optimal based on the forecasts of consequences following each choice as projected from current circumstances. Hence, even if a choice results into unpleasant consequences it is not one’s fault in making the choice, as more often than not one makes consciously the most optimal choice for the given circumstances (circumstances is a broad term encompassing a situation’s various aspect – information/ guidance available, level of experience, vision, risk – return profile, resources available to execute the choice and the expected consequences of those choice). So, irrespective of the outcome, don’t regret on a decision taken or choice made that is rational.

Now let’s analyse the “what if” case, ‘what if I had made a choice different than what I had actually made” to compare the consequences following each of the two choices:

Let’s say, at some point in your life you had four mutually exclusive choices A, B, C and D and out of many consequences following one of the four choices, one specific consequence could be one of the W, X, Y or Z, respectively, based on the choice taken.

Now, suppose that based on the circumstances prevailing at the time of making a choice among A, B, C and D, you found that the choice A was the optimal choice and one specific consequence out of many would be W. There is no guarantee that at a later point in time the actual consequence of A would or not be W, i.e. A might or not lead to W. Continuing with this example at a later point in time, let’s understand two major hypotheses.

If you are thinking, ‘what if’ I had chosen B and it would have resulted into X, which turns out to be a more desirable consequence when combined with other consequences resulted from A, and then it doesn’t work that way for at least two reasons as following:

Comparing imaginary Vs real: While you had chosen A there was no guarantee that it would have definitely led to W, how you can be so sure that had you chosen B it would have resulted in X. What you are actually doing is comparing a real set of incidences and events, i.e. choosing A and its consequences that have actually occurred, with a total imaginary set of consequences which you have no clue about how they would shape following the choice B.

Changing the choice might lead to a change in all the consequences following and not in a single consequence only: For a second let’s even assume that A has led to W and B would have for sure led to X. Had you chosen B then all other consequences following B could have been different than all other consequences following A and among these different consequences following B, X might not have been more desirable than W among the consequences following A. Just go back to the time of making the decision between A and B, wasn’t this the rationale of consciously choosing A over B that you forecasted all the consequences of A and B and analysed if W is more desirable among all the consequences of A or X is more desirable among all the consequences of B.

Irrespective of the outcome don’t regret on a decision consciously taken or choice consciously made that is rational.
What if scenario doesn’t apply because it would lead to comparison of real incidents with pure imaginations.
What if scenario doesn’t apply because specific consequence of another choice might not be more desirable among the set of all consequences of the other choice.

Time Travel Test
Let me make your life a little easier, ‘what if’ you go back at the time of making the choice (taking the decision) and you are faced with same set of circumstances (as defined earlier in detail), would your conscious choice or decision would be any different. NO! Let me assure you, faced with exactly same circumstances, you would take exactly the same conscious decision.

Important Note: A further dissection of analysis into analysis by mind and analysis by heart leads to the most important result that even though the ‘Life of no regrets’ theory might be very well acceptable to mind but the heart, who hears no logic and just feels (at time bleeds due to the consequences following a particular choice), might find it difficult to accept the decision which might have actually been the best decision as analysed by the mind for the given circumstances and (heart) will always pull you towards the feeling that probably the decision you took was not the best one.

Acknowledgement Note: All those who confronted while accepting the theory.