Monday, July 24, 2006

Lollakutti was drumming her fingers restlessly on the table. She looked around nervously for a hint but couldn't get even a wiff of what it was. A few around her were as nervous and clueless as she was. Finally after a few minutes of wait the guy behind her kicked her seat just slightly. Then with exact precision a sheet was passed on to her containing all the answers to calculating the COCOMO of the case given. This was a mid term exam. Ofcourse the invigilator didn't see a thing. But then he wasn't looking was he ?

Halfway through our mid terms we received a mail from our elected representatives saying that someone from the batch had gone and complained to tyrant that there was rampant cheating going on in the exams and they would be helpless now incase anyone got caught.

This brings a few very interesting points to light.

Firstly ... It goes on to reflect the unity in the batch. The future managers of the country ... or let's be a bit modest .... tomorrow's multinational's middle managers are definitely gonna be a backstabbing lot ! (hopefully only some :))

Secondly .... It highlights the benefits of having relative grading. I mean when you know what grade you get is largely gonna depend upon what everybody else gets (why ???), ofcourse you're gonna try to cheat and write atleast what everybody else is writing in the exam. And it is a logical conclusion that someone who's not cheating would not appreciate other people who didn't study as much getting ahead or equal to him by just making some sly efforts in the exam.

Thirdly .... This is human nature ! Unlike our tyrants, I don't quite live in a utopian society so I realize that wherever there are 40 odd students in the room writing an exam, there's bound to be some who will feel like sharing their information with someone and other's who'd gratefully accept it. There's cheating even withouh RG ... It is highly unlikely that there wouldn't be some with it !

Lastly ... it shows how tyranny justs gets worse ! Instead of realizing that the grading system is cheating-inducing, that the invigilators are sleeping and at times even allowing rampant cheating in the exam, that if 40 year old NMP students cheat in exams then it is brilliantly stupid to expect 20 somethings not to, that basically there should be better methods of evaluation ... the tyrants simply put stricter punishments and reexams.

As for me , I didn't cheat in the exams. I'm sure lolakutti got the same answer as me and would end up getting the same marks and grade as well. I think it's just about preperation. If I hadn't prepared .. then probably I would've been tempted to cheat as well. But even then I would've thought ... Is it worth it ???

"I was thrown ot of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam. I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me " - Woody Allen

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Red Alert !

I'm a sucker for computer games.

From the days of those little hand-held pixelled tetris pads came ... I've been jabbing my fingers at various game consoles for all I can remember.

Arkanoid, Pacman, bomberman ... then came prince of persia ... and then finally ... Wolfenstein !!! It was a small step for man but a giant leap for MeKind ! The thrill of shooting rockets and all kinds of out of this world weapons at other was simply too good to resist. Since then the waepons have just got more destructive. The graphics have just gone better. The blood and guts have gone more detailed. The aggression has just multiplied ... the violence has just increased.
And I love it !! :)
Multiplayer gaming brought on another realm ... killing other humans in virtual reality ! I don't know how people feel when they kill someone in reality. But killing someone in a first person shooter gives you an amazing amount of satisfaction. So there was a spate of 3D games getting closer and closer to reality like Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament and the works.

Finally came the combination of skill, graphics, tactics and everything else you could dream of ... Counter Strike !

But now ofcourse my gaming instincts have pretty much taken the back seat. Priorities have changed quite a lot.. But then came an offer which I simply couldn't refuse. Application of Game Theory to business.

I won't go into the details but the jist is simply this ... learning game theory through computer strategy games. Therefore came red alert.

I've always been averse to strategy games. I considered too slow for my taste. But after trying out red alert I can testify that this is not so. Strategy games can get pretty fast. And they require a lot more thinking that simple predictive shooting. You have to constantly analyze the situation and plan your course of action. It's all about strategy :). And best of all ... you can be extrememely creative in this.

I would say that I've pretty much fallen in love with the game. So for a while .. whenenver we can .... RedAlertenge !

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Remember when you were young ...

One of the very few guys that I've ever respected in life ...

Someone so poetic and thoughtful as his music just passed away. Probably just another statistic for some ... but death of a legend for me ...

I'll just reproduce the song that Pink Floyd (another legend) wrote for him after he was asked to leave the band due to excessive intoxication and antics.

A beautiful song ... Shine on you Crazy Diamond ...
Remember when you were young,
you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Nowthere's a look in your eyes,
like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger,
you legend, you martyr,and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon,
you cried for themoon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened byshadows at night,
and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome
with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver,
you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner,and shine!
Nobody knows where you are,
how near or how far.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pile on many more layers and I'll be joining you there.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
And we'll bask in the shadow
of yesterday's triumph,
and sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child,
you winner and loser,
come on you miner for truth and delusion,and shine!

You'll always shine on .. syd

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Holy Wars !

Brother will kill brother
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion
Something I don’t understand …

A high powered song by Megadeth … captures clearly my bafflement and anger.

For me … religion is the single most evil prevalent in the world today. Moreover, if I really had to point a finger at someone, I’d do that in every possible way at them goat-slaughtering prophets. Call me narrow minded, illiterate, dumb or even psychotic for committing the crime of stereotyping … I don’t care! When it comes to imagining evil I see a huge army of devils masquerading as religious crusaders and I see Islamism riding on horses and leading the pack of doom and destruction.

Probably another mumbaiker who lost a loved one in bomb blasts or a mother who lost her son in 9-11 will understand how I feel. Others, I know, will simply ridicule. I just want to highlight one point here … if anybody would do a google search on terrorism and terrorist attacks (which is a global crises now ... bigger than even global warming) … the word jehad would come written all over on the screen. If you’d search on most wanted or feared terrorists, islam would be the theme which would emerge as the most common amongst them.

Now this is not a hate-passage on islam or anything like that. It’s not like I hate them. I perfectly understand that they are humans just like me. It’s not a particular religion that I hate at all. It’s the whole concept of religion as it exists today that I detest. Jehadis , I believe, are merely the most gullible and dumb humans of all. Religion has been the tool used to disillusion, gather and move the masses for other’s vested interests ever since the dark ages. It has infact tainted god or His image atleast in my eyes (if it all …. But then that’s another story). The crusades are the earliest example I can think of where power hungry kings used to send armies of hypnotized devouts to kill each other so they could expand the lines on their maps. Even now the main motive remains the same, it’s just that the weapons have gotten more destructive and the aftermath uglier.

It’s like a drug … this religion. And a very lethal one at that. It first shows you flowers and happiness and the promised land. You get attracted towards it like moths towards a scorching bulb. Soon you are hypnotized and are willing to do anything in the name of God as presented by the man standing on the altar swinging a book. Even kill. Thankfully in most urban areas people have found enough material distractions to make them feel happy that’s why many have grown disenchanted with the religion disease (point is debatable but definitely not shun able).

I don’t want to get into the debate on God HisSelf right now. Although I’d say this much that it is a beautiful concept. The path to nirvana is actually quite true as is preached in the name of god under religion. But the name of God is being grossly misused.

I don’t know how much sense I’ve been able to make out here. That’s because emotions are mostly leading my fingers rather than structured thoughts. In the end I’d just like to say that I think that the onus is upon the more sensible islamists themselves. Today they face the danger of being stereotyped and branded overall as extremists. This could especially spell disaster for the millions of innocent islamists that live as minorities in non Islamic countries. It is upto these left brain oriented people to stop their own from this mass terror and destruction.

As for me … sometimes when I see some conspicous fellow wearing a small white cap … a thought does cross my mind … it goes … does he respect my country ? does he respect my right to live ? is he a human first and then a muslim or the other way ?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Killing in the name

Killing in the name of
Some of those that were forces … are the same that burnt crosses

Once again Mumbai was shaken by multiple – well planned blasts.
Once again the resilient Mumbai-ites came together in the name of humanity.
Once again life has returned back to normal immediately the next day.
Once again there will be another series of blasts … people will die … world leaders will condemn … families will be scarred … terrorism will be victorious !

I completely agree with, and appreciate, the resilience and spirit of Mumbai so to speak (although the same can be extended to the whole country). But somehow I don’t agree with the follow up.

It has become some sort of a cycle … there’s a terrorist attack … people die … there’s worldwide hue and cry … some people are arrested afterwards … people feel safer … and then it happens again. The only thing that changes is that the terrorist organizations become stronger and so do the intensity of the attacks.

I simply don’t understand how these disgraces on humanity can actually manage to survive and flourish in face of the whole ‘worldwide war against terrorism’ going on. Somewhere down the line get a feeling maybe it’s just propaganda. There’s state sponsored / organized terrorism (or genocide) happening everywhere in the world, it’s just that some are elevated to the status of ‘fight for democracy’ while some get the branding of terrorism.

Those who die are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites

I don’t think I need to list the atrocities people have gone through the world over in the name of democracy. Crimes are being committed against humanity the world over everyday by countries and they are not being crucified ! There’s a stone pelt here and there but jets still drop bombs on civilians. This is what I think that’s unfair. Why should one group be allowed to massacre while the other is condemned ? Why should some people who die be victims for while others, equally innocent, be called casualties ?

Point is that there’s propaganda everywhere. Either in the name of religion or in the name of democracy or in the name of territory. Humans are basically plain stupid. They fall for one while they denounce the other. What they don’t see through is the vested interests. What they fail to realize is the absurdity of the methods which are the same in all. What they don’t feel, is the pain of another human being in each of these.

Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me

I just wish people had enough power to stand up for what’s wrong and enough sense to see what’s right. I just wish they would stop being hypocritical and accusing only sheep of having a herd mentality.

I think weapons are simply useless. They’re the worst creation of mankind. They’re like mankind’s Frankenstein. I think that as soon as possible, we should do away with them one way or another. Either we just use them all on one another and finally fulfill the reason why they were created for … or we just dump them in the sea or something. I simply don’t see the point in stacking them up. All that happens is that there’s a leak and they fall in the wrong hands. (from one monkey to another).

In a closing note … Rage against the machine rocks !!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Billions of Fortresses

Sunday was a shocking day for me.

I got down from my house with my folks to leave back for college. As soon as I sat in the car I realised that the stereo wasn't there ! I had sat in the car just the previous day and over the night it had disappeared !

What was even more shocking than realizing that it had been stolen was the fact that the car was parked right in front of the place where the colony guard is supposed to sit !

Now things get stolen everyday from people so I guess it's not that big a deal for anybody. But this was the first time anything had been stolen from us (and hopefully the last time). It's a very humbling feeling of sorts in many ways.

I mean we spend our lifetimes in trying to secure ourselves. We get educated to have a secure future. We buy all kinds of locks and security alarms for our houses. We graduate from bikes to cars for a safer ride. Infact we enter social circles and make friends, etc. in order to secure our needs for belonging and ego. We basically try to build this cocoon around us and lock ourselves in it ... victims of our own insecurity
........ And then all it takes is enough will or hunger of some other individual(s) who take something away from us and make us realise just how penetrable and vulnerable we really are.

It's not just stealing. A wayward comment is sometimes all it takes to make us feel vulnerable and shatter our defence mechanisms.

What's more interesting is that once the feeling of security gets breached, we retract further into our shells and put up more and more layers around us. (we just got an automatic security alarm installed in the car). We become more aggerssive or submissive. But the detachment increases nonetheless. People become more and more suspicious of strangers and even friends and relatives. It's like visiting a posh colony in urban Delhi where people live in there well equipped palaces and are either oblivious or suspicious of anybody else.

Ofcourse we don't live in a utopian world so I can't think of any possible solution for this dichotomy. Moreover I haven't reached the echelons of spirituality where I can shun away materialism and relationships to feel blissful secuirty. I guess what is possible in such a case is to prioritise. I'm not implying a preplanned ranking of everything with worst case scenarios and the works. Real time assesment shall suffice.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hyperdrive !

That's exactly how life feels in right now. Hyperdrive.

classes ... prereads... quizzes... mid terms on the head... competitions ... phew !

I didn't concern myself with any of these last time around so it's a completely new experience ...
pleasant or unpleasant i can't decide.

But thanx to all this what's taken a backseat is my keeping in touch with important people.

Now i'm just waiting for end terms to get over so I can get mailing again ! :)