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Disintegrating Divisions

I came to read Destiny Disrupted through a work colleague. This expands on the topic of Islam as a religion that enhanced political connection throughout the so-called “Muslim world”. Laws in Islam as a religious doctrine helped build the political structure to the blank slate of monarchy and apparent anarchy of political battles and killings. This is reminiscent of the Shaivite and Vaishnavite struggle that India had in the past and now for all practicality restricted to some hardcore religious customs which are not physically harmful. I believe this is the way to rule, as used by Tipu Sultan’s forced conversions.

This can be traced more backward to “more barbaric and backward” political motives to use religious sentiments as divisive and ruling force. It is no secret that heavy taxes were imposed on non-core religion adherents, to make their life difficult in Mughal empire. This brings the question that a nation needs money and power to impose itself on the natives to rule. The power could be plain brutal force or that of omnipresent religious customs.

It is a wonder that the the current state of affairs in the educated part of India is not affected by the religious sentiments and thinks more rationally as far as what their tax-payer money brings to them in the form of benefits and social schemes, rather than some arbitrary/customary part-of-the-herd act in election. This freedom to separate political thought from customs can be, thus, considered the height of modern democracy. The freedom of expression , where you have freedom to follow your religion, follow your political ideology is beyond the texts and testaments for individual well being. The evident difference between what is called Hinduism, its practice and other popular religions such as Christianity and Islam is the social component. Since, there is no compulsory religious education or crowd-forced adherence to practices in Hinduism the social context of that is more individualistic rather than socialistic. So, it is not a single book or religious institution applies to all formula, therefore control of socio-political movements based on group-think is minimal compared to more socialistic approach in Islam and Christianity. It is the wonder of Human nature that even those customs are further divided and extremism in any religion of the world is nullified by  continuous social interaction, within and beyond the assigned-at-birth religion. The freedom to choose religion, to choose political ideology dwells in the eternal spirit of humanity. Humans as a civilized society, would be individualistic in their freedom of thought and socialistic in their freedom of action. It is this ethereal breakdown that brings peace to any society.

I find nations impose nationality upon humans, humans find ways to tear down walls and artificial boundaries of these nations, by many ways including the system of immigration or Visa, the curiosity of an individual and the fluidity of a society cannot be contained under a single religious or a single political standpoint. In this era of continuous improvement using software updates why is that religion are static old and not up-to-date. How can one religion claim to be superior or of more correct than another if they are no updating. Is it by virtue of being popular or being older that these claims can be socially and politically ratified ? On the other hand politics is an every changing constantly updating scheme of practice where the elections and the newly changed needs of the electoral college demands a constant updates in views, practices and preachment of the candidates and parties that dream of power, rule and social service. This disconnects the link between religion and politics. And one can no more be used to influence the other. This disintegration leads to new elites of power and social following. This may be unreachable to the adherents of the traditional route, one religion, one language, one custom, one nation systems. Any divisions will lead to more unity, like action and reaction are two sides of same coin, this system of currency keeps up, with corresponding changes in the society. This is despite the change in changes itself, obfuscating boundaries and disintegrating divisions.

I believe, there will be peace upon the place which goes by the name of peace.

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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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“Sharing” work in the Internet

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

This post is a book review for “Show your work” by Austin Kleon

This is the TVC that comes first to mind about “sharing”

Like the boy in ad, whatever our age, we do “sharing” for personal need/satisfaction/benefits , knowingly or not.

Austin talks about the value in sharing work online, establishment of personal brand, to associate with a specific like minded group to enhance total creativity for the larger public.

How much should be shared?  What is there to hide in sharing ? What are the benefits ? and What sharing can get me? are some of the questions that find definite answers in this book.

This book iterates many things told, foretold and untold. And this time, it is not boring. Because, the coherency of writing and rigorous titling has made this book a simple to read, easy to understand and remind oneself of the important concepts of work.

I found only a few sections out of the rail. Especially what / what not to share. There is no hard and fast rule. If one can attain nirvana by posting dog pictures, and if dogs are your passion and work, why not!?

Key point the book discusses and worth remembering are easily codified into the chapter headings. This includes telling our work-stories in moderation for public consumption (sharing) for potential collaboration. Let the critics scrutinize, this is valuable addition beyond the personal-critic hat that we ought to wear. In this way, one work can lead to another and keep the work-life in tact,  and let the cashflow sustain that interest. Any work involves creativity and art. There is value to be shared, useful for other, for copiers to copy, for innovators to improve and for collaborators to converge.

All these components lets the body in the state of motion, bringing new directions, perspectives, increasing the social connection, building networks that increasing the gross creative output.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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The publicity question on creativity

In the question of passion, many have lost and gained jobs. Employment being the least resistant path to earn money comes and goes. Once we have gone into the cycle of joining and quitting, the next relevant question is monetary benefit. It is normal to jump jobs, earn experience, take corrective action to reach our target goals, benefits and financial matters. Is there a limit to this ?

We seek creative avenues that give provide freedom of thought and action. And when it merges within the cradle of an employment, with a cushion that provides along with responsibilities. It is very hard for some to imagine this, and they keep up their employment and stash their dreams of passion.

I feel this is more common in developing economies where the business cash flow is inwards and labor workflow is outward. In this mode of easy money through employment, the developing economies may find it difficult to attract enough talent for creative approach to solving problems which could be read as startups and new business ventures. Creativity is at its peak in some economies especially India in the form of stories, plays, poems, movies, digital art and so on. It is no wonder that most Hollywood movies go to India as one of the famous destination for artists with this calibre.

It is obvious from the customer viewpoint that we cannot assume any developing economies throwing the risks into the wind and jumping in the pursuit of creativity. It takes a leap of faith to create publicly perceivable, sustainable, value for creativity. Why is this hesitation misunderstood ?

Such as Steve Wozniak says here https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/indians-study-hard-and-get-mba-may-be-buy-mercedes-but-lack-creativity-apple-co-founder-steve-woz-1177668-2018-02-26. 

I can see this as a misunderstanding of the cultural, developmental and sociological situation prevailing in India. The understanding of which takes more than being a tech company experience.The article also lacks in being specific with a title of generalizing all “Indians”. Even Indians do not do that. This is again evident from the Shashi Tharoor speech which says that the whole landmass was called India from outside of India. And the natives of India had not given such a name to themselves as Hindu, Hindustan or India.

One thing that USA does extremely well is publicity and marketing. By acquiring all “national” brands “.gov” domains, most American companies listed on the Internet can have assured exposure to the larger market beyond its borders. For example National Geographic is not limited to the nation of the USA, similar is the case with the National Public Radio. While the same national public radio of India, if you will, is named ” All India Radio”. While rest of the world’s Government establishments have to add their country domain to “.gov” domain, such as “gov.in”. USA got the “.gov”. It is not “.gov.us” for whatever reason it is. Value of the USA as a brand , otherwise called “brandequity” is thus proven to be very high.  There is no brand bigger than a nation. No business better than running a country.

In the USA the venues for publicity is high. Even at a personal level, the interaction is mostly positive and spreading a good vibe in the USA. So, it can be assumed without prejudice that USA has mastered the marketing skills and it also has population with largest consumer pocket. Thanks to history and Richard Nixon that American consumerism is still on high and products , new products and technically advanced products can be sold at a premium. This is in contrast to developing economies where the price should be maintained as modest and the product has to prove, rather than sell, to be worth the price. This paradigm shift in the marketing thought process makes the advertisement industry in India highly creative and competitive.

It is also noted that the trend in developed economies is to sustain the cycle of buying and selling, keep the money rolling, as maintenance fees, even for living – also called as taxes and insurance, while in many developing economies these are optional and one may choose to live without these. This goes in lines of a great author, whose name escapes me, who said “An Indian’s frugality is often mistaken for poverty”. So in such economies, lesser marketing, lower impact on economy, lower cost to live all thrive well. This should naturally be extended to decluttered life and higher quality of living. Aren’t these the fads of developed economies too ? And in here, especially for low carbon footprint projects, zero waste and total waste recycling projects we see such technologies that enable people to live simpler, happier, without shameless self promotion.

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Blizzard

Nature is by far the best cure for passing time. Problem in passing time is a common boredom oriented disease. I have met extrovert complain about boredom. Even Issac Asimov said this. I do not have to believe it. It is belief that add weight to visions. It is this belief that converts the unreal to real. Be it the reality distortion field of Steve Jobs of Apple fame, or the incurable boredom mentioned by Asimov, without belief they are nothing. And I believe that nature has that magic to give those timeless moments. Oceanside, raindrops on the window or a nasty blizzard that sweeps snow powders onto the interstate roadway; every interruption to the normal (busy) life bring forth by nature can steal the boredom away from my mind. It supplants such the unbelievable busy-ness of being busy and plants a strong sense of time and in turn timelessness. An insatiable curiosity for the believer.

I was driving through one of those moments. I had to be careful and sober. A bad move and I could be blocking another 100 cars behind me, including myself. This could lead me into potential stagnation in the road thick with snow, gradually leading to a pause in life and imminent boredom of staying on the road, going nowhere. Definitely, I did not want it. Unconsciously, I needed to avoid it. I could be careful. What better way to be serious at the job at hand, to reach in one piece, without getting stuck; drive cautiously. At some turns it the car slid, losing traction, reminding me of the childhood memories of hitting my friends’ electrical car in the amusement park. The jolts that used to follow was missing, the excitement all the same. I am not a child anymore; or am I? Who cares? I could be on the road sliding and driving at 50% of the speed limit, reach home safe and think about this memory.  I was and I am.  I beat boredom and I beat fake confidence. There was no reality distortion; I was in reality and out by timeless thoughts. All the wild whiteness around me, white desert, naked trees, blowing winds at 40 miles per hour, could transform me for some time. Not forever, into the addictive summit of timelessness. I could recall that moment and feel the same, even at the heated comfort of my living room desk. Momentarily, to be immersed in that timelessness. To be mesmerised.

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
  • Blizzard - Nature is by far the best cure for passing time. Problem in passing time is a common boredom oriented disease. I have met extrovert complain about boredom. Even Issac Asimov said this. I do not have to believe it. It is belief that add weight to visions. It is this belief that converts the unreal […]
 
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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Vanishing point

An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest joke has been, people who do PhDs become researchers and award winners, Masters degree holders assist the higher level tasks and assume a better position in relation to a Bachelors holders who can offset the difference in relation by experience. And Lo comes a business graduate with some idea, and good communication skills but unable to create anything depend on professional Masters , Engineers and Accountants to help surround him so the idea can be fruitful and s/he will manage, who in turn is controlled by Government regulations and to top it off politicians who have virtually no clue on what to do except get votes and keep their chair ( Indian context). And there have been people , Ministers who have hardly been to proper schooling but control whole education department of state. Nothing bad about them not being canned, or dressed like the preparation of a law student to be a judge. Nothing offensive. People are people and we accept them in that way. Who are you and me to change people and attitude. We can help build solutions, bring it to people, enabling them with technologies, but not force people to change their attitude. Attitude is developed from within. In relation to the learning, if someone does not have that attitude to learn. Why force it ? They may be more than happy in the position they are in. Hey, that is why they are in that situation , right ? Then why worry. No news is good news. If there is no news of worry on their part that is good. And as time progress , we have accomplished various things among a truckload of failures. We keep failing, falling, rising up, one step, success, among hundred falls, sometimes hurting, sometimes breaking bones, we never stopped. We keep moving. The act of brownian motion ( Shiva tandavam) or universal vibration. I am happy to have introduced to this relation between physics, spiritual idea and practicality by a Chemistry professor. That was mind-blowing. And that is exactly why I remember it even now after 10+ years of hearing it first, and only once. This sounded great.

 

Zooming back to reality, some 8 years back I was talking to my friend in one of the huge classrooms that we had. He was apparently struggling with his courses, while I crossed the bar every time by luck. There was struggle, but it did not hurt much. I took it easy.  The last bench was unoccupied. Rare. Compared to the mayhem that is generally associated with backbenchers who create ruckus even when the class is in progress. They had gone to in pursuit of whatever fantasizes them. We were left in the dust. Yes, though we have good amount of greenery and excellent climate the classrooms were dusty. I believe it was more of the dust in the mind. There was no clarity. What are people going to do. It was global recession, American trend is that whatever they do is global and international. There are massive impacts because of nations in general and USA is a heavy weight champion in this regard. And we were in dust, because someone lied. And a group of people lied. That lie was taken to be truth, democracy is crazy. And here we were sitting in this classroom, not sure were things were headed. About job search and direction of life. These are times that I feel timelessness. The time simply stops. And the clock grinds to halt so I can easily take pictures of these moments without worrying about the shutter speed. Our classrooms were very well ventilated and had natural sunlight to work with. The day was bright but future was not. Time simply stopped. My classmate asked me about the examinations in general. I wanted to help him. I let him ask. How can I force myself to help him. I waited. He asked me something that no one ever asked me, no classmates ever discussed, no professor mentioned this in class or in personal interaction. That was one question that still haunts sometimes. The implications was beyond classes. He asked me to give him a relation on learning. How the courses in our syllabus were connected  ? How does one course in first semester connect with a course on third semester. Just like the canned life , I mentioned before our syllabus in University of Calicut was also canned. There is a syllabus to follow. Common for all applied electronics and instrumentation engineers from first semester to sixth semester and few electives offered for 7th and the 8th semester. In total it was 3 electives for the whole 8 semesters which amounted to 4 years of engineering study. And therefore, it must be pretty easy to link the canned courses. I sat with him, listed the courses on paper. Tried to link related courses in group. And yeah! it made sense. It was someone sensible who made the course. We missed the forest for the tree. We were taking one course at once without a thought about how they all were the building blocks of electrical and instrumentation systems. That was a moment of revelation. Here was something I could learn, thanks to him, because he asked such a thoughtful question. And then the pieces came together. We divide to conquer and unite them for strength. We needed to hold both the bigger picture and individual segments in relation to the larger perspective. And there a peripheral course called Engineering Graphics made sense, though the professor had mentioned in the first year that this course has no direct application in our program, he did not connect or link it to applications of electrical engineering for us. It was for us to discover, to connect , to learn, to paint the bigger picture one section at a time. Now, that was learning at a different level.

With time the picture gets bigger, revealing only little sense overall. Nevertheless, I keep working at a corner here or somewhere dis-contiguous elsewhere. My site of work appears random. Clock keeps ticking. My picture has more color and more figures in it now. How are they related ? Though, I am not cent percent sure I keep working at it. And the sense of time vanishes. Recalling my Engineering Graphics lessons reminds me of the concept of vanishing point, will that vanishing point be my point of convergence ?

 

 

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
  • Blizzard - Nature is by far the best cure for passing time. Problem in passing time is a common boredom oriented disease. I have met extrovert complain about boredom. Even Issac Asimov said this. I do not have to believe it. It is belief that add weight to visions. It is this belief that converts the unreal […]
 
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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success

Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal AchievementNapoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

 

Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating the idea that we all have heard or seen practiced. However, we never got a chance study and condense them into these 17 principles that Napolean discusses. To mention them , they are:

  1. Have definite goals
  2. Form a team that actively improve by symbiosis
  3. Improve personality
  4. Have Faith with practice
  5. Do the extra work
  6. Be Initiative
  7. Have positive attitude
  8. Control enthusiasm
  9. Be disciplined
  10. Think based on facts
  11. Focus
  12. Inspire – Teamwork
  13. Learn from failures
  14. Be creative
  15. Be healthy
  16. Manage Time and Money
  17. Discipline the habits

This formulation works with any goal. I have personally experienced this by  revisiting some of my personal experiences where I set a goal and achieved it.  Though I had neither read this book at that time nor tried any self-analysis. But after reading the book it turns out true that I have actually followed most if not all the steps mentioned.

It is common sense that we are normally limited by resources at a specific time. Mostly these resources are monetary savings, emotional savings, personal health and accomplishments (read failures), facts available and the level of belief and confidence.

Like we notice with anything else, if we are really good at a particular thing we tend to perform better than the expected normal on other subject. Say , if you are a student in school. If you are really good in English you will definitely notice a great improvement in your social science or history test results because of your English and the confidence that it creates within you.

Habits are nice to have in which we auto pilot most of the stuff that we need done, so it becomes muscle memory than a strenuous mental computation process. This helps us put all the routine task to auto pilot so we focus on goals that need creativity and focus.

 

There are multiple other books that took some of these principles and expanded upon it.

Habits are nicely covered by Stephen R. Covey

Focus is touched upon by Cal Newport in Deep Work

Norman Vincent Peale had expanded upon power of positive thinking

Everyone has faced faith either by force or by habit, to realize it by applied faith and practice is upon the self. Whenever Napolean says about faith I pass through the paragraphs since I believe in something, that some people call religion. Every person has her/his own opinion and faith. If that works for them then look no further. This is de-facto covered by default.

I could easily relate to having used these principles in some of my job searched. The last search was highly effective. We had an awesome team of job seekers, all from my research group. All planning on graduating and we used to discuss our research and job search alike. Though we had different target graduation dates and goal deadline, we all achieved it. Did our graduation, defended thesis/defense, published it, got a job. The magic of working in groups and discussing is rare. To get such a group at the right time and to nourish and learn from the group was a great learning experience.

 

Throughout the 17 points listed , one theme is evident. That is control. A person in charge, in control of their destiny plans ahead, plans for failures, assimilates resources, focuses at the goal to be attained and devotes time, effort and resources in relentless pursuit with completely controlled enthusiasm. This is driven by positive attitude supported by discipline in actions and thoughts. This is exactly what the book articulates.

Overall this is a nice read, if you know something just skip that section and the book will yield what you picked it up for.

 

  • “Sharing” work in the Internet - This post is a book review for “Show your work” by Austin Kleon This is the TVC that comes first to mind about “sharing” Like the boy in ad, whatever our age, we do “sharing” for personal need/satisfaction/benefits , knowingly or not. Austin talks about the value in sharing work online, establishment of personal brand, […]
  • Blinked - Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell My rating: 3 of 5 stars View all my reviews I picked this up a second time. Thanks to Buffalo-Erie Public Library System for providing this free facility. Blink takes the reader through some case studies and associated case studies on snap-judgements and its base […]
  • Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success - Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews   Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating […]
  • Book review: The Score Takes Care of Itself - This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company.  The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and […]
  • Book Review: Destiny Disrupted - I heard about this book from a Palo Alto entrepreneur. I read the book Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary. The style of writing is unbiased for most portion and biased whenever it is expected. This book gives a good idea on the endless wars that the west Asia has seen the history and some facts. […]
  • Book Review : Algorithms to live by - This book came up in the circles of job search and discussions of things that don’t matter. It would have been a fallacy if the title said stood by what it said. Algorithms are thought processes and having behavioral philosophies of itself, that mathematicians may appreciate better. However, math being a yesteryear wonder-keyword and a […]
  • “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love”: Book Review - Background My previous reads were “Biography of Steve Jobs: Walter Issacson“, ” Notes on Startups: Peter Thiel“, “Siddhartha : Herman Hesse”  and I can only wonder how this book connects with those. I came across the author Cal Newport due to the Happy Schools Blog. This book arrives in style, for  a job hunter in […]
  • Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews I came across this book accidentally. My lab mate had this book on his table for a long time. I see it sometimes on this desk , even now. I […]
  • Great reference for life and sales - How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger My rating: 5 of 5 stars https://ajeya.wordpress.com/2016/07/1… View all my reviews I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from […]
  • Narrative of the Blunder termed war - Brig.  J.P Dalvi gives a clear account of want exactly happened at the India- China war (1962), which was less than a war in his book, “The Himalayan Blunder”. The motivation to read this was reading about VK Krishna Menon , the then Defence Minister of India. The title given is great because it happened […]
 
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Book Review, Review, Uncategorized

 

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Sense of Time

I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian rhythm of the human mammal with all its intestinal fortitude could not hold the time. The norm of life in this part of the world. Fall back and change back from daylight savings to normal time. For whom, I asked ? I received replies of various tones, repeating the old farmer’s story who wanted to save time in the form of daylight savings, invariably the justification reassure that farmer’s depend directly on the daylight and sunrise, not the artificial clock. A farmer’s life is not a “9 to 5” joke with coffee breaks meant for gossip and lunch time focused on chitchat and not on satisfying the imminent hunger. A sense of time does not exist for such frivolous activities. Any real work accomplished in this way is really an achievement. Focus on the work than the focus on making work look like it is not work, can turn cumbersome. Why not get the work out the way, within the realms of time allotted? Free the rest of time and really enjoy the daylight and save time with a sense of time. Now, I am lucky to have a work where the sense of time is based upon the priority of work and work-at-hand rather than the hours-requirement. In this way focus brings in a sense of time and vice versa. Quality-time put in work releases dependency of work on time. In turn removing the sense of time. Focus, plan and a target goal within a time framework helps save time. And when next time someone says about daylight saving time and how it affects their daily routine and public in general, it will make no sense. Because, no one really saved any time by turning the clock hands. As an environmentally conscious human one may try to save the tube light time in office. Use the daylight time, keep the blinds open and let the natural light help us light up our workspace. Yes. A Tube-light Saving Time (TST) instead of Daylight Saving Time (DST) . In this way, time attains another dimension. A dimension of sense, or should I call time as another sense in addition to basic senses of humans?

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
  • Blizzard - Nature is by far the best cure for passing time. Problem in passing time is a common boredom oriented disease. I have met extrovert complain about boredom. Even Issac Asimov said this. I do not have to believe it. It is belief that add weight to visions. It is this belief that converts the unreal […]
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Book review: The Score Takes Care of Itself

This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company.  The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and his experiments is interesting to read. As a person who knows naught about American Football I could not relate or understand many of the American Football terms used, nevertheless the leadership idea could be derived from the context presented.

As the name of the book suggests, the leadership skills the writer sought to reveal is based on the practical Karma Yoga experience of Bill Walsh.

An addict to the game, he could have been unemployable in any other job unrelated to sports. That focus and sharpness of mind eventually made him develop, lead and achieve through the best team known as 49ers. The beginning of the book can hook a working professional onto it, since it talks on ‘how to know if you are doing your job’. Since the setting is USA, it talks about endless focus on work going beyond 9 to 5 (working hours). I feel this is an old era logic because now work place is not the same anymore globally. French have the right to ignore work emails after work hours.

India traditionally enjoys a lot of national holidays and paid holidays were you are not expected to work. This has been a tradition hence not a news like the French one. I had met President and CEO of a nice engineering firm in Boston who told me that productivity in Europe is less because of such schemes to disconnect from work. Deriving a global standard of performance from Bill’s book is not easy. It inclines towards USA and American Football , which is not a global game like real football (soccer).

This book re-emphasizes what Lord Krishna told Arjuna. ‘Stick to the work at hand and do not worry about the results’. This emphasizes another thought of prioritizing your time. Why ? Because, if there is a classic book and plenty of new books on the topic of leadership, which one to choose ? The time tested one. And what a reference Bhagavad Gita is ! It may take, reading a couple of other new books on stands to arrive at this conclusion. The earlier we fail, the faster we can realize that the most effort put on timeless classic can yield best cost-effective results. Of  course, the broader western world may take Bhagavad Gita to be a religious book, does it matter if the lessons learned from a religious or non-religious book are the same ? End result is a better human.

With the sloppy writing and occasional sentences of wisdom, this book is compiled in a good manner and better than certain John Maxwell‘s leadership books. The goodness of a person lives in what he leaves behind. The last chapter by Craig Walsh on his father was nice to know. The book then takes itself to another level where it is not just a leadership book but a biography within itself.

View all my reviews

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Posted by on September 10, 2017 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Destiny Disrupted

I heard about this book from a Palo Alto entrepreneur. I read the book Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary. The style of writing is unbiased for most portion and biased whenever it is expected. This book gives a good idea on the endless wars that the west Asia has seen the history and some facts. I would have loved to see more references per page.

Supposedly, there is a historical gap that the western education misses. The book tries to fill in as much as the author can. I could revive my memories of school history (Kerala Syllabus), where we learned about independence movement in many countries including Algeria, Libya, Kenya and so on. After reading this book I really appreciate the effort they have put in making the history textbooks in Kerala syllabus. Interestingly a Q&A session including Dr.Shashi Tharoor’s bashing of British and the intentional hiding of British school system about their previous history was eye opening.

At the same time Holocaust is covered in schools in Germany. Tamim ends the book telling us everyone had a hand on Holocaust, and the Great Game only extended its reach. In USA how many schools teach about native American culture and tradition ? How is it done in the west Asia ?

The book shines light on why Turkey, Iraq and Israel where not covered much ground in my school history textbooks because of its complexity. There are instances of history narrated by Tamim that is questionable and open to opinions. However, the fair amount of references throughout the book along with the ‘anticipatory bail’ in the preface about the book being more subjective that just boring factual statements. Hence it is ‘Hi-Story’. Very interesting perspectives on the crusades are available in Al-Jazeera’s specials. Together with Wikipedia these three resources provide for a nice pass time adding historical curiosity. I like the style of writing, there is glorification of Islam. Some facts are mentioned here are there. They may or may not be tied to Islam as such. The books reaches a logical conclusion in the last few pages. Where it truly states why Islam can be considered in the league of religion (strong), polity (good connection) or culture (weakly connected). Putting itself in an orbit beyond certain misinterpretations.  I would still go by what I understood in the Mahatma Gandhi’s chapter (गान्धिजि का मत) read in my 9th standard (equivalent to 9th grade in the USA) – ‘Everyone has opinion (मत), and opinion(मत) is another word for religion’. In Malayalam language caste (മതം) is derived from the same root word. Reading between the lines and adding to the well know multitude of symbolism that represent God in the Indian tradition (often called Hinduism) which in turn represented the number of people present at that time of formation of scriptures ( 33 million gods in Hinduism represented 33 million people at the time as per Dr. N Gopalakrishnan), it appears as if indeed it is true. There may be a single god (or none or many) based on the many ways and opinions a mind likes to think and ponder about. Religion was used as a tool to divide people and loot forever rather than as a tool to realize human potential (as suggested by Jaggi Vasudev).

I used to wonder how these countries in west Asia ( sometimes called as Middle East, while Tamim calls it Middle World) were formed. Especially Jordan and Syria because I could not place them in linguistic/cultural difference basket. It was also nice to know how Lebanon was formed. Another of my musings was this question ” Was there ever a case were instead of splitting countries, some countries came and joined together to form a bigger country” . Emirs formed UAE to stand together. India was formed by merger of many small countries. The answer in the book about United Arab Republic(UAR) and how the countries which also liked to join, but did not, but follow similar flags was nice to read. In many new independent countries formed when the colonization era was getting over, the sense of national identity and the sense of a nation itself seemed to be distant for a common man. The books tells about the first implementation of democracy and how it related to a common man in Afghanistan. Tamim openly says about the Great Game, Cold wars, many wars over cultural, linguistic, economic and nationalist ideologies in addition to religious. It puts forth very bluntly that whatever the Islamic rulers tried to achieve involved war and death. Nothing to be proud of. In this light Tamim actually missed out Nizam of Hyderabad and to include Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Their stories may be smaller compared to the Mughals but equally violent ?! Coming from Kerala we get to talk about how the Gods helped to protect the Tiru-Kochi (nation) from Tipu. And Tiru-Kochi lasted 7 years unlike UAR which lasted for 3 years. I am sure that Tamim must have missed some more Islamic rulers ( Indonesia ?) and others and focussed on the west Asian scene.

I have heard that certain tribes in Africa do not have restriction imposed by national boundaries. Something similar exists  in different nations created by an ‘Independence movement’ leading to national identity, constitution, flag, anthem and a constitutional head. People easily move between Bhutan, Nepal, India. I guess similar cases exist between Afghanistan and Pakistan via the land of Pashtuns. Random lines on the map created by people who do not know about the land, the culture or language have lead to border tensions in many places. Be it artificial boundaries or natural boundaries of terrain or water. How are national boundaries created ? Who made it a law that every habitable land on earth should be part of nations ? Why should there be nations and national identity ? How many wars were fought over petty disputes on boundaries, resource division and  allocation ? Identity crisis could be one major societal aspect that the boundaries may seem to solve. Can the boundary makers be absolved of the consequences of their fancy markings on the globe ? ever ?

 

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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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A good lesson to learn during Bachelors program

10/10/2006 : The day our classes officially started for Bachelor of Technology at CU ( Calicut University). Information pours in slowly but definitely, in that time, when mobile internet was slowly penetrating the serenity of Malabar.

We had plenty of time to expend on a rather long vacation after +2 (higher secondary school). That was the best months of vacation, waiting on something unknown, uncertain, and having nothing else to do. The months before the tests/exams of +2 was had a  sense of war-time emergency at personal level for my batch. Hence, the vacation was a special invitation for some, who particularly put up with the stress of studies and prepared rigorously.

October approached, and we were in for some initial foothold in the next steps of study. Everyone wanted to get into engineering. This was understood for the return of investments and the scope of an engineering degree rather than the personal interests as such. This could not be elaborated further because what were some of the career explorations students at that time did? I had no clue. Newspapers, family, and their extensions were the go to source of information. Internet was available, but information? I do not know. With limitations in sources of information, it was a blessing in disguise, helping to eliminate unwanted distractions and stick to guaranteed investments of 3-4 years in college. It is easy to choose when we have the complete picture of valid available sources.  The long wait was closing in and we were in the process of enrolling in the colleges for whatever we have picked. This waiting period taught one valuable lesson to wait to get. Unlike the current times (year 2017) of clicking and getting whatever you want. Waiting to get something was a lesson. And later, as time progressed, for our batch, Calicut University wanted to give us a definite time for first year examinations (2007). Moreover, some students went to CU. Some striking, some to see what a strike is like for the first time, some to see what CU looks like. It was first time outside home and hostel for a solid mission. To be there. Later, as situation was handled excellently by CU administration, it was learned that there were no physical strike, not a single person had the madness to through a stone at the windows of the windows, for fun or seriously, this would have caused chaos. Their combined dignified demeanour saved the day. Period of uncertainty cast a shadow on the academics. What will be the actual dates of examinations? On what basis are the studies to be planned with an uncertain date? What possible distractions could be avoided? There were truckloads of uncertainties and unknowns! When it came to passing backlogs for some that was another avatar of uncertainty. In addition, at the dusk of the program recession hit, thanks to Lehman Bros. The Indian system of campus placements to get job re-assured that it was not worthwhile for companies to visit campuses for placement. In sum, the cumulative uncertainties prepared everyone in our batch to mentally prepare ourselves to face the yet incoming uncertainties of the bigger world, called ‘Life’. That 4 years of preparation toward life was the most valuable course in the program never advertised or assumed in those years.

 

PS:

My batchmates may or may not agree to all these. These are my personal opinion.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Lesson, Uncategorized

 

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