Wednesday, 24 May 2006

The PCC Experience

Myself and XL pals Sameer and Aseem want to do something out of the ordinary, and so decide to offer ourselves as guinea pigs for an experimental system that can change anything's phase from solid to liquid, and back.

The only hitch is - this system has a rather high chance of information loss during the transitions. But this element of risk is why we opted in, in the first place, so this isn't that big an issue for us intrepid go-getters.

So there we are, sitting in the Phase Change Chamber (PCC) and making lame jokes to hide our nervousness, when the mad scientist (can it be any other type?) announces that the process is about to begin.

In just about a minute's time, we feel ourselves sort of 'melting', and start feeling curiously high. Just as suspicion starts to creep in about the crazy scientist simply gassing us with dope, we realize that we cannot see anything around us any more, limbs are non-existent, and indeed we are completely unable to comprehend our own forms.

We're only just beginning to get panicky, but soon a funny sensation of total awareness of our surroundings envelopes us. So this is what liquids must feel like, we think, as we hear the scientist cackling maniacally.

But barely have a few minutes passed with us in our new forms, when, to our horror, we sense Aseem evaporating. Sameer and myself just stay put, dumbstruck with fear at this totally unexpected turn of events. I SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD THAT CHEESE-STUFFED VADA PAV FOR BREAKFAST, we can feel Aseem scream.

We are terrified by now, and start wailing for the scientist to turn us solid once again, which he does with eerie promptness.

That shouldn't have happened, he says, looking scared.

What do you mean?!?, we yell back.

Just what I said - my system is no tuned to handle gases, so I'm afraid your friend's irrecoverable now. Please accept my apologies. You may go now, is the rather disturbing response.

Resigned to the fact, we ask him (purely out of scientific interest) if any one of us had experienced any information loss during the phase transitions.

Mad scientist guy informs us that there was a minor issue when we became liquid, so we'll have pointy pixie-ears for the rest of our lives, but the liquid-to-solid change had absolutely no problems at all.

You see, he says, it was Aseem-less transition.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

WTF! - 2

One should've noticed this interview with Kamal Nath before the Karan/Arjun (Karan/Kamal just lacks that ring to it, no?) episode.

Much hilarity are there.

Karan Thapar: The reason why this issue emerges is because the Prime Minister at the CII conference in April specifically called upon industry to make itself more representative of Society. He called upon industry to take affirmative measures to make its employment more representative of the profile of the society. I am now saying it to you that not only these industries already doing it but your figures NSSO 1999 prove that there are. So there was no need for the Prime Minister to make this call.

Kamal Nath:I really think that in industry, as you said, I am industry's minister and industry has not told me this. They may have come and told you this but they have discussed this with me.

Karan Thapar: Even if industry has not told you this, the NSSO is the government organisation NSSO 1999 are government figures, are you not aware of them?

Kamal Nath:I am aware of them. But in what context is it. I really don’t think there is any confusion in this. My context is that growth and development is to be all inclusive. You take one district and you say this is happening. Is it happening everywhere?

Karan Thapar: Yes these NSSO figures are nationwide.

Kamal Nath:Your figures are inaccurate.

Karan Thapar: They are not my figures, they are your figures.

Kamal Nath:That's what you are saying.

Karan Thapar: They are the national sample survey figures 1999. They are available from the government. They are authenticated by the government. They are disseminated by the government.

Kamal Nath:That's what you are saying.

Karan Thapar: That's not what I am saying, that's what the government is saying.

Kamal Nath: That's what you are saying what the government is saying. That's not what I am saying and that's not what NSSO saying.

Karan Thapar: It seems that you don't know the NSSO figures.

Kamal Nath: It seems to me that what you read, you do not reflect in the context in which it is.

Karan Thapar: When you distrust the NSSO figures ....

Kamal Nath: I am not distrusting NSSO figures. Do you think the government is off its head? We have been winning elections.

Karan Thapar: Well, I am not sure if the government is off its head. I won't presume to make the judgment. But I am indicating to you that when the Prime Minister makes a call on the industry to make its profile more representative of society, he seems to be unaware of the fact that industry is already doing it. And your figures prove it.

Kamal Nath: Certainly not. Our figures do not prove it.

Karan Thapar: Your figures do not prove it? So you are dissociating yourself from NSSO?

Kamal Nath: I am not dissociating. Our figures do not prove it. I am the industry minister. I am telling you on record our figures do not prove it, Finished.

Karan Thapar: So what are you saying about NSSO? That is wrong?

Kamal Nath: I do not know. You are quoting the figures. I don't have the NSSO figures in my pocket. But I must tell you we have done a district-wise study in the country. And we are doing this all the time.

They are doing this all the time, alright. Acting like morons, that is. Once again. Die. Seriously.

Oh that Rashmi

One of the best opening lines for a blog post that I've seen...and I'm kicking myself for not seeing the Karan/Arjun connection. Damn, seems so obvious now :-(


Such is the satisfaction one feels after applying oneself to something and getting it done.

For e.g, the random link generator thingy that's taken the place of my blogroll in the left sidebar.

It still has a couple of bugs (sometimes generates less than 20 links, and sometimes duplicate links) but overall kinda nifty..

Feel free to view source and re-use, although I'd really appreciate it if enhancements were shared :-)

Principles or violations?

Gaurav quotes Pratap Bhanu Mehta in his (Gaurav's, not Mr. Mehta's) take on the Arjun Singh interview by CNN-IBN.

The portion quoted was:
They (government) have violated four cardinal principles that institutions in a knowledge-based society will have to follow: they are not based on assessment of effectiveness, they are incompatible with freedom and diversity of institutions, they more thoroughly politicise education process and they inject an insidious poison, which will harm the nation's long-term interest.
The reservation/affirmative action issue aside, one wonders about this kind of sentence construction. I would've expected the four cardinal principles to follow the colon, and not their violations. Only a couple of blinks later, one could understand what was being said by Mr. Mehta. Tsk tsk.

Adherence to the CMP?

There's a reason why nobody objected to such a proposal at the time of elections. This was because the wording in the CMP is as follows:
  • to provide for full equality of opportunity, particularly in education and employment for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and religious minorities.
No politician in his right mind would say anything against "equality". The CMP makes no mention of reservations for OBCs. The only other bits of the CMP that make references to reservations are:
  • The UPA government is very sensitive to the issue of affirmative action, including reservations, in the private sector. It will immediately initiate a national dialogue with all political parties, industry and other organizations to see how best the private sector can fulfill the aspirations of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe youth.
  • The UPA will establish a National Commission to see how best the welfare of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities, including reservations in education and employment, is enhanced. The Commission will be given six months to submit its report.
OBCs do not form a minority, religious or otherwise. By the Parliamentary Committee's own data, they form close to 52% of the Indian population. Hardly a minority. Nothing in the CMP says "oh, but I really meant they're a minorirty within the institution.."

This is why protests were not carried out. Mostly vague wording, and no mention of the actual implementation plan.

And of course, this is assuming a large part of the voting public even read the CMP, which I sincerely doubt...

It is just unfortunate that no parliamentarian has the balls to come out against this proposal. Only serves to reinforce my belief that we aren't much better off than the Americans, who have to choose between the #1 corporate shills (Republicans) and the #2 corporate shills (Democrats), in spite of our multi-party system :-(

And it is also unfortunate that every time one decides to stay in the country, our own government gives us less reason to.

Monday, 22 May 2006


The most insane and pig-headed interview one can ever expect to read.

The man's response to all questions is basically a big, resounding "Because I said so".

I sincerely hope he dies.

Monday, 8 May 2006



Even more interesting are the reactions of the parents, who exhibited classic signs of being in denial, and sincerely believed their kids were defrauded. Or maybe not.

Such stipudness.

(Not really. Heh.)

Saturday, 6 May 2006

For a bunch of M$ haters..

over at Slashdot, and for a bunch where a large number claim to run Linux/MacOS X exclusively (Hahahahahaahahahahhaha up yours I'm Windoze-free!!!11), they sure use a very Windows-specific term far too often.

In this thread, almost EVERYONE, even the ones suggesting a Linux solution, use the word "folder" instead of "directory".

I wanted to point this out in the thread, but it was too late. Slashdot buggers stop reading a thread after ~4 hours, and anyone who does so later, read at a very high threshold :-(

And even if I had pointed it out, I'd only be slammed by the groupthink saying it's a GUI metaphor, and not specific to Windows. Go fark yourself, /.ers, and then think whether you used "folders" before Meecrobsoft Windows.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

One for the cartel

From Slashdot:
"I am not a big fan of legislation, but..."

I've read this a few times on Slashdot now. It's usually followed by some comment about a special case (or special interest?) where legislation is a Good Thing. This bugs me, because it's hypocritical.

As an example, the entire concept of laissez-faire (free-market) economics (thank you, Adam Smith!) is based upon assumptions that do not hold in the real world. If we want an economy that even approximates a 'free-market', then we need legislation.

Look at Microsoft, or AT&T. Were it not for legislation, there's be no check to their anti-competitive practices. In my opinion (FWIW) the natural end-consequence of a totally free market (in the absence of any control) are cartels - massive companies bribing (what remains of) the government, and helping their cronies and friends.

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Yet another email address

Thanks to Thennavan, I am now reachable at

Oh joy.