Life as a Lane

Fast lane

I have taken naturally to car philosophy. As I sat behind the wheel one fine evening, this thought came into my mind. That life could be interpreted as a long driving lane with a series of traffic signals, twists and turns, short cuts, the entire works.

  • Some people rest at traffic signals, while others seem impatient to move on
  • Some people jump signals while morality in the form of a khaaki policeman blows a shrill whistle
  • Some people just want to get ahead
  • … those that do, do not know what to do when they are ahead, so they keep on cruising
  • Some people do not want to take risks, so they go with the flow
  • Yes, there are beggars!

I think I can go on and on with this analogy … what do you think?

GoI and Careers

When talking with some colleagues at work, I realized that they are working on a supposedly ambitious project – to categorize all the possible jobs and opportunities for people in India. It struck me that this has already been done by the U.S. Labor department; and very well executed at that. In fact that site is often cited as the basis for a lot of research that goes into the space of work and careers.

This got me thinking, if Uncle Sam can do such an awesome job of documenting all the career spaces, then why can’t Mother India do the same? A few googles and some clicks saw me come to the Directorate General of Employment & Training, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India website. It’s in a mess … I know. A usability nightmare and it takes someone with grit and determination to make sense out of the plethora of content strewn on the website. I was suddenly appreciating content rich sites in a whole new light.

I did not start this post with the intention of bashing the government’s websites, so I will not. I urge you to go through some of the sites that I have linked in the post if you are in the IES industry. The Central Institute for Research and Training in Employment Service (CIRTES), is one such initiative that needs to be commended. It’s not in the same structure and format as the U.S. Labor department, however it’s a start. The Government of Maharashtra also has a website for employment which is a similar model to Naukri, do check Rojgarwahini out.

All in all, my view that the Government of India is not doing anything to sort out Labour problems of the country has been shattered. It feels good to be wrong :-)

Good going India!!


Hidden ideal

Some time back I was reading a collection of essays by Ayn Rand, ‘twas titled Capitalism: The unknown ideal. I was foolhardy enough to put my status message as so on a professional networking site (LinkedIn). A friend of mine commented on that saying –

let me know how to ameliorate the fact that capitalism is pro-incumbent. Also how do we bridge the rich poor divide..Raising taxes for the rich?

Then started a slew of replies, back and forth. I did not understand why do we have to bridge the rich and poor divide. I soon put the issue to rest and went ahead with my day-to-day life … until yesterday, when a chance discussion with Amol led us back to this issue.

I do not see why do we, as a society have to strive for collective equality (why else would you want to reduce the rich-poor divide?). Amol said, that it is not fair, that some people should have a good life while others do not even have basic amenities. I agree, its not fair. But such is life! How can there not be a divide, if there were no difference between people, then there would have been no difference between you and me. So where would your individualism go? People can’t be equal, they have to be TREATED equally. There is a difference.

I agree, that the country needs infrastructure boosts … so much so that it should support the basic needs of all. But to expect that the rich feel for the poor and give willingly, naaah … I have no such feelings.

On a light note, let me paint a picture for you of what would happen if all people were equal, here’s a song by Groove Armada, check the video out – If Everybody Looked the same.

Predicting Business Cycles

Back in August 2006, I had written a post on Dot Com Bust 2.0, sadly rediff BLOGS has a bad way of storing posts (week-wise instead of it being individual posts) passed away into oblivion.

Revisiting that post was an interesting exercise, an excerpt –

Do we see history repeating itself? A sudden surge in this Dot Com 2.0 demand, people are already teeming in to cash-in on this new opportunity. Do I start off a firm of my own and try to do the same. Is this risk / venture enough to sustain me through the impending bust? During my induction at TechMahindra, there was a fellow from the top management who was wizened enough to predict that the next bust is going to come in the year 2009. We laughed it off back then, I am not laughing now. Maybe, the dot com bust might relapse, and why not? Fortunately, IT in India is not just about web development anymore. We will pass through this. But will my dream of starting off on my own do the same?

Full marks and respect for that top executive.

Rise of Nations: The Forbidden Capital

This tip is not more of a tip, but rather an interesting experiment which players can try to confound the attacking horde. For you to successfully pull this off, it is strongly suggested that you have a defensive army and are an experienced player.

One of my clan members gave me this idea, and I decided to try it out. The idea is simple and I feel like a fool that why could not I have thought this. You go for Forbidden City wonder, and build a Senate for that city … making it the Mega-Capital. Know that Forbidden City has a higher border push and being a wonder has oodles of hit points. You do this right, and put your capital wonder city right on the border of your kingdom and you suddenly have a veritable fortress city.

(Contribution from Ameya Mane) This will only work before the Industrial age, from then onwards normal cities have higher HPs!! Nevertheless, it could be a good military tactic to reduce capital timers.

There are a few drawbacks of this idea, first Forbidden City comes for a minimum of 250 Food, 250 Wood. Thus it cannot be your second city, also by this time you will have built a Senate. So while building your wonder, you will have to simultaneously raze your own Senate. If your Patriot dies during that time, then you will have to wait for the entire process to finish to get him back.