Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol







When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.



   
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Probability (fortune+bravery=favor) = 1.0


Once upon a time, in the kingdom of GC:ASW, there lived a princess called Probability and a peasant called Statistics. Ever since Statistics, the peasant, had observed the relative frequency of Pond's cold cream being applied on the exponential face of the princess, he had fallen discrete over continuous in love with Probability.

The only desire that remained in the heart of Statistics was to normalize Probability and create a z-score with her such that it lies within 3. A six sigma score, he was sure, would overcome 99.97% of the problems that any poor peasant faces in wooing any rich princess.

The only thing that he was afraid of was the king of GC:ASW who went by a name that was integral to that of the kingdom. The king had the Poissoning habit of drawing box plots over the ambitions of potential wooers of Probability. But Statistics was brave and more than that, he had the wise minister ASW on his side. ASW gave his support probably because he had some z-score to settle with the king.

And so it was, that one fine day when the birds were twittering 'alpha beta gamma' and the leaves were whispering 'phi theta kappa', Statistics went to Probability's palace. With ASW in tow, Statistics made short work of any qualitative or quantitative opposition that the king could offer and eloped with Princess Probability.

And they lived happily ever after.

Posted at 03:30 pm by Nitai

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Negative answering utility...towards diseconomy of scope


Only when you take the average marks per paper that you have lost due to silly mistakes and compare the number with the total marks that you have ever lost because you do what you do, you will realise that there is a distinctive difference between Average Cost and Total Cost. Since I had never had the utility for such a service, I had naturally put it out of reach of my budget line. Before you can say 'ho' to that and go on to mention how you, too have had the rare occassion to indulge in such activities as the one listed above, let me tell you that it almost had my isoquant of marks production giving a negative utility to me.

However, the time/prof-telling-that-there-is-incorrect-data-in-a-question ratio was still high enough to prompt me to convert my Short Run Average Marks curve from SRAM1 to the higher SRAM2. Put in the terms of simple and plain microeconomics, I was able to salvage the question and make amends as far as the difference between the total and average costs are concerned...because believe it or not, the question that had the corection was the same which was cunning enough to create the confusion between the averages and the totals stuff....makes sense???

Having said that, I am still not sure if the answer discrimination that I followed despite the question market not being monopolistic is actually going to fetch me any examinee's surplus...actually, it is all up to the consumer (read the examiner, Dr Sumit Sarkar) to decide if he has got enough surplus in his hand (despite my first degree discrimination) to obtain any utility out of my answers...


Posted at 01:50 pm by Nitai

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Management concepts for Information Technology


float time=2.0;//as if you needed more!!!
int papers=2;//thank God they didn't ask us to identify which question belonged to which paper
int questions=20;
int marks=15;
float marksperques=((float)marks)/question; //comes to 0.75...of all good things in life!
float pagelength=16.0;//unit is lines with each line containing 10 words on an average
float answerlength=pagelength/2;//good people, these IT wallahs...just stopped me from...:-)


void main(void)//looks like everything is void out here!!!
{
    for (int attempt=1;attempt<=questions;attempt++)
    {
        //Start crap
        //End crap
        marks=marks - marksperques/2;
    }
}

Posted at 05:07 pm by Nitai

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Positioning crap in a jargon conscious declining market


Upon targeting the innovators in the STI paper of yesterday, I had assumed that the introduction of crap in my answer life cycle would find sufficient response at least from the market's early adopters (Considering that the STI teacher is new and enthusiastic).

However, given a more mature market today, as any marketing manager worth his weight in Kotler volumes would have told you, it did not make sense to use the crap awareness or even crap distinction methodologies of positioning. An innovative marketer however, in the words of the typical consumer of the mature market, hardly goes by the jargons of Kotler and of those whose worth is judged by their weight in Kotler volumes. An innovative marketer innovates, and that is what I tried to do by carefully positioning my crap such that the final marking is adequately provided for by mass customisation of answers.

In trying to offer whatever is typical to the consumer's behavioral patterns, I did end up in the declining stage of the marks life cycle. Expecting a case study in the question paper, the consumer's behavior brought all my previous marketing research to naught. The difference between a developed and developing market notwithstanding, I tended to position my answer in the middle, not forgetting, in the process, to consider the answer's orientation towards the concepts of developed and developing economy.

To illustrate (as I often had the chance to do in the paper), a product called Revival was positioned not only as the medicinal capsule that it actually is, but the ambivalence among the consumer towards the augmented product attributes was exploited to the hilt by positioning the brand name as atypical, suited to any one of a shampoo, a cooking oil, an engine lubricant, or a medicinal drug...as the actual case may be. If you are still wondering as to my infinite capacity for wonders, I ask you to refer back to the section where I was talking about innovative marketers.

The buying decision for the answers lies in the hands of the consumer who has a distinctive buying pattern...if only I had known in the exam hall that this buying pattern refers to his willingness to solve a problem (read give marks) based on some information search (which he will have a tough time doing in my paper), I would have made the marketing mix accordingly and not based the buying behavioral pattern one of fashion, fad and style...might as well have given some promotions in the form of RRB, EPSB and/or some such other perceived high-value abbreviations...

Posted at 12:41 pm by Nitai

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Monday, August 16, 2004
A socially-transformed, middle-class, Hindu Indian


The fibre of the Indian middle class is too complex to be critically examined...especially when someone is talking about the social character of a particular class. One has to ensure that there is no inter mixing between the Dalits of the Devendars and Pariyars (or was it Parayaras) fame and the OBCs of the Jats fame since the two belonged to two different chapters. On the other hand, the choice that has been given to the oppressed examinee reduces drastically as he realises that there has been an imaginative attempt to reconstruct history by joining the OBCs with the dalit assertiveness in a single question.

Things do not stop here as you still have to consider the Hindu angle and that too, from the modern perspective, despite the fact that half of the things in the chapters dealt with Nehruvian era and things that happened before independence, that is some 58 years ago.

Talking about 58 years ago, one important criteria for your social trasnsformation, especially if you think that you know the answer to Who is an Indian, is to know that there is a difference between the applications of Sanskrit and being in the west. This knowledge is very important because more often than not, you will be asked to write different things about two interwoven, yet different, concepts of sanskritisation and westernisation.

Lest you forget, any socially tranformed, middle class, Hindu Indian is not complete without the mention of politics and if you thought that you knew everything there is to know about politics in India, read down slowly and carefully to know what you have missed. You have missed the trilogy of Malik, Kisan and Mazdur and even if you hadn't missed that, you would have hardly known the diference because despite kisan being a part of the trilogy, the question pertained to the Jats of Punjab and Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (probably to compensate for taking the OBCs out, right from under their noses and delivering the same to Dalits of Tamil Nadu)


Posted at 03:51 pm by Nitai

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