Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Syncretic Adaptation

I'm saying you've already done plenty of things to regret, you just don't know what they are. It's when you discover them, when you see the folly in something you've done, and you wish that you had it do over, but you know you can't, because it's too late. So you pick that thing up, and carry it with you to remind you that life goes on, the world will spin without you, you really don't matter in the end. Then you will gain character, because honesty will reach out from inside and tattoo itself across your face.

-Danny Devito in "The Big Kahuna"

The last few weeks I spent in a wee bit turmoil at work. We have been through a merger with our competitor (makes a ton of business sense to do that) and that threw all kinds of philosophical/ethical questions from my team and organization. For me, it was simple. I look at the name of the company that pays me and I fight for them. A simple mercenary attitude you might say but that keeps me doing the right thing to feed me and my family. Its not like betrayal where I ditch the existing company to work for a competitor to gain an advantage which I think might be a li'l bit unfair. Plus I believe its okay to lie when it serves a higher purpose than truth.

So, I had these bitter battles with inside folks (who were ironically being purist) who called me condescending for laying out the plan. All I said was deal with problems as they arise. The human brain is a product of reactive evolution not proactive one (much to the chagrin of intelligent design folks.It evolved in reaction to its environment which is why we cannot remember where we left our keys but know how to dodge a projectile on our face). My take on the issue was "cross the bridge when you come to it". Dont try algebra of imaginary numbers when you know they can be subclassed as "real" at some point.

No,Some people just wanna have the high road and "act" as if they are in the best interest. The following quote from the same movie as above would help solve the purpose:

Larry Mann: There are people in this world, Bob, who look very official while they are doing what they are doing. And do you know why?
Bob Walker: Why?
Larry Mann: Because they don't know what they are doing. Because if you know what you are doing, then you don't have to look like you know what you are doing, because it comes naturally.

Why do you think the Orchid is a beautiful flower? Because it adapted itself very well knowing that the vested self interest of its pollen propogation is dependent on the comfort levels of the bees that suckle the nectar. Instead of feeling violated, you offer yourself completely so that your species may live humbly instead of dying nobly.Unfortunately some of my team members dont see this view. No, I am not saying this is correct view but that this is a view that helps us survive the chaos of life.

Finally, there is thing of "belief" which is strongly prevalent in some folks almost to that of religion. Religion based on belief is simply a western concept. Why do you think the japanese celebrate their weddings "shinto" style and mourn deaths "buddhist" style. Or Hinduism, where my form of rebellion is an acceptable form of hinduism (atleast to my dad). I can dream while being grounded in reality (like Wildism of "All of us are in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars).

I can sustain my customers while bearing an apathetic attitude towards internal ones. I can say something cold-hearted while doing whats neccesary (because neccesity doesnt follow logic). Just because you do in rome as romans do, doesnt make you less Indian. Manifestation of forms doesnt take away the elixir of the original..Enough of my ranting. I was angry enough today to slam the phone down and not slap the person at the other end...the price of one's conviction is that one has to learn to put up with other orthogonal complaints while focusing on where one's heart lies..hopefully I shall emerge out of this storm intact with what makes me "me"..

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I just bought myself a pair of nike free shoes. If you ever wanted the feeling of a chappal while wearing a shoe this is it. Finally, some design in a shoe that exactly does what I want it to do..

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Of Dream Teams & Championship Runs

Many of you might recall the original dream team which was an absolute finest moment the game had. Many players were best in what they do but getting together and practicing in a short compressed time framewas something. On top of that, letting the ball to the other guy without feeling egoistic about it is very hard thing to do as some of them might have been used to being the big dog and humans find it hard to shake off that feeling about them. But then, this team did that very effectively. The later teams that went to Olympics also called themselves this label but nevertheless couldnt capture the same magic of the moment thus making the original team's achievement far rarer than initially thought.

So, my question whats in it that makes such a team click and the rest fail? (dont even talk to me about the indian team performance at the recent world cup..I gave up after Tendulkar got out to McGrath in the last world cup).Then there is this concept of a championship run which means that a dream team aligns itself in such a way to give the perception of a juggernaut that would crush anything that comes its way.

Now, in my current company, I sense the alignment of that nature. Its very tantalizingly close to greatness. No, I dont wanna be Jordan. I am more than honored and happy to be Scottie Pippen...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fates Worse Than Death

Kurt Vonnegut died today evening and I think we lost an engine that kept the humming of american literature as it were. I hope your soul rests in peace. One of his last poems was this which is apt to reconsider (I told you Mr. Vonnegut that those Brown and Williamson fellas will get you albeit through the brain damage)

The crucified planet Earth,

should it find a voice

and a sense of irony,

might now well say

of our abuse of it,

"Forgive them, Father,

They know not what they do."

The irony would be

that we know what

we are doing.

When the last living thing

has died on account of us,

how poetical it would be

if Earth could say,

in a voice floating up


from the floor

of the Grand Canyon,

“It is done.”

People did not like it here.

- Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Much Agog about Nothing!

Its been a while. My work schedule went way upward in the slave-driving scale of work. Every week I think the load level is gonna come down and as of this week I gave up hope of any such relief. Better get used to it me thinks.

On a different note, as soon as Friday sets in, I am off to long drive to south california (SoCal as those guys love to call it) on a 6 hours drive. Its been ages since I have taken real long roadtrips and these recent ones are a welcome quencher. Time expands as you drive because you feel like you went way longer and the clock ticks only 5 minutes. Then, there is this occasional stream of consciousness that pours in and you suddenly dont understand how you drive through the traffic for the last 5 minutes when you were completely living in another world (like PS2 tagline of living in one world and driving in another).

Lovely sunsets, orange hued moons, long winding paths with no one in sight, a hint of wilderness beyond the mountains, the reservoir waters and the distant lake, the lonely gas station in the middle of nowhere, the tree which stood the test of time and the rock's indomitable will to survive rush together to make you "you". Its almost like a zazen experience except for the feet being numbed. (for example the following quote surfaced in my mind during the Mt. Wilson trip)

We proceed in step-by-step discussion from inference to inference whereas He conceives through mere intuition. Thus, in order to gain insight into some properties of circle, of which it possesses infinitely many, we may begin with one of the simplest; we take it for a definition and proceed from it by means of of inferences to a second property, from this to a 3rd,hence a fourth and so on.The divine intellect, on the other hand, grasps the essence of a circle senza temporaneo discorso (without the use of profane reasoning) and thus apprehends the infinite array of its properties.
- Galileo

Once I arrived back, there are so many things that need attention. Fighting wars on multiple fronts (both professionally and personally) and its actually fun. Dont know the end result but the fact that you have so much to do tells that some trust is actually placed on you :)

Regular Programming (assuming there is such a thing, if it doesnt, I shall delude myself) shall soon commence..