Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bumper Sticker

I read a funny bumper sticker today : You think Education is expensive! Try Ignorance.

Thinking about Ignorance, some economic events always had my fancy. Out of school 10 years back was the south east asian currency meltdown and currently it is the hedgies watching a standard deviation of 25 from the normal. Here's an excellent article talking about what we dont know and how you can make money off it

Friday, August 24, 2007


A time is envisioned when the world was not existent,only a watery chaos (the dark, "indistinguishable sea") and a warm cosmic breath, which could give an impetus of life.

Notice how thought gives rise to desire (when something is thought of it can then be desired) and desire links non-being to being (we desire what is not but then try to bring it about that it is). Yet the whole process is shrouded in mystery.

Where do the gods fit in this creation scheme?

The non-existent was not;the existent was not at that time.

The atmosphere was not nor the heavens which are beyond.

What was concealed? Where? In whose protection? Was it water? An unfathomable abyss?

There was neither death nor immortality then. There was not distinction of day or night. That alone breathed windless by its own power. Other than that there was not anything else.

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning. All this was an indistinguishable sea. That which becomes, that which was enveloped by the void, that alone was born through the power of heat.

Upon that desire arose in the beginning. This was the first discharge of thought. Sages discovered this link of the existent to the nonexistent, having searched in the heart with wisdom.

Their line [of vision] was extended across; what was below, what was above? There were impregnators, there were powers: inherent power below, impulses above.

Who knows truly? Who here will declare whence it arose, whence this creation? The gods are subsequent to the creation of this. Who, then, knows whence it has come into being?

Whence this creation has come into being; whether it was made or not; he in the highest heaven is its surveyor. Surely he knows, or perhaps he knows not.

-rik (creation hymns)

I was forced to refer to this today as I was desperately trying to force an experiment to fit what my vision wanted. Then I realized the fundamental difference between things which was founded on belief versus doubt.

There you see the difference between open and closed. If I really am delusional (or what Calvin calls about being selective about reality) I would choose only those results that agree with my idee fix and I would discard the rest (I did this in the past but to no escape). If I really doubted then I would weight each incoming evidence in favor or against each of the view thus preserving my mind from insanity. Yes Sir, my very religion is based in doubt and not faith.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thoughts about Zero

I was wondering about empires in general and was grazing around images as if I were to submit a slideshow of the the last millenium. First the Arabs & some splinter cell south east asian empires later followed by the great khan (albeit its hard to think of Mongolia today can be the home of the biggest empire of asia in this millenium) with the final curtain of the Ottomans.

Enter city-state-nation federations warring with each other. Spain pioneered this approach and took most of known world only for about 120 years before the Napoleonic wars started and we had France at the helm for around another 110 odd years. Meanwhile our friends across the channel got their navy together and set to conquer the world for around 150-160 years (till the liberation of India I would say) with a great boost from the Industrial Revolution

And then enter Pax Americana with its strides post WW2 and information revolution. Going by the above Math, it seems like the energy for an empire seems be wound and set in motion much like a spring in the watc. There's only so much of it. Initially all is good and later the spring over extends itself this coming to a slow but sure halt. This means around 2060-2080 timeframe will be the time for another asian episode. Not sure if I wanna learn mandarin and settle in china but a cosy and comfortable living back in India would be nice. Yeah! Thats what I would do..Return home and retire just around 2030.

As they say Asymptotically everything would approach zero in this life. You, me, the nations and the universe itself.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

All That Dependence & Stuff

Happy Independence Day! After all, even if we were in heaven, without freedom, you really cant enjoy much, can you? So here's to it..

As a general tradition I listen to this anthem in addition to the usual ones.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Accidents At Home

May be he was at the wrong time at the wrong place or who knows, may be "right" in some other sense. Something hit him at 60 kmph and knocked him off the bike hurling into the distance. He hits the road 3 times somersaulting and rolling. The helmet broken into a hundred pieces. Blood all over. His right leg came off its holding place in the hip, multiple fractures, bleeding internally.

Thank Goodness for a millisecond here or there would have cracked his spine and would be dead on the spot. Who know some other angle he might be equally dead die to some other reason. The key thing to take away he is alive. For this, I thank goodness as profusely as I can. It was not his fault,nor can I be furious at the other fellow who hit him given the traffic on bombay roads. The more I thought of it, the more depressing it was but ,one must not let those alternatives to brood and must focus on what can be done next (one can never take anything for granted after such events) but still..

One must also be grateful to his coworkers and friends for making sure the right things were done (blood clotting inside the bone marrow can be real nasty if it takes too long for medical attention) in the time. None of his family were there till he went into the operation theater and I sit here powerless, just consuming the news as it comes by. Six hours of multiple rounds of operation is what it took to control the damage done in thirty seconds. Finally, I hear everything is well. Phew! Never been so relieved.As I always, said, pain is nothing unless it is personal and this is as close as it can get to me.

At the end of the day, all I think is that this bugger might have needed a near-death experience in some frickin karmic way that I cannot fathom

Friday, August 10, 2007

Who's minding the store?

First, the subprime mortgage mess..then the rating agencies scandal about AAAA ratings for not-so-credit worthy securities. As if that aint fun, we have a bunch of hedge funds writhing in pain (bear stearns' fund collapse , goldmans sachs' rumble ,bnp paribas' groans and bunch of other suboptimal returns from other hedgies)

Aa clear article showing that free markets arent that free (echoes with that song Nashville) which is kind of sad because we never fathom what "true" free market would return..

It don’t worry me, it don’t worry me. You may say that I ain’t free, but it don’t worry me.

Now, inflation is gonna take a li'l hike thanks to the extra liquidity.Meanwhile, european banks previously said they werent exposed to the american mortgage securities as much (oh! yeah what the heck was BNP's pinching all about then with a bunch of other people groaning a bit).

There's the other fun angle of all the quants wincing at the markets from August 3. This was one week of rumble tumble that upset almost all the models out there(not enough history was incorporated, you see, :-) . These Phds built closely guarded economic models and firms automatically tie their long poles relative to the expectation of the model outcome. This last one week showed that the epsilon (things which happens once in 100 years, also called black-swan incidents) has everyone scratching their you-know-what and worrying that tragedy of commons wont happen with investors..

Lets take a look at the last free-market, currencies. The swiss franc and yen-carry over trade are decent but as you know highly leveraged also means multplicative losses there should some fundamentals change (like yen increasing the interest rate or swiss guys buckling up a bit and add a spice of margin calls by those above banks). Trouble seems looming but thankfully the almighty-dollar is holding its ground despite the tremors in the stock and financial markets.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


A soul twitches and utters
synthesizing thats was never spoken
being carried across the waves of the ocean

I watch the setting sun
with air around it slivering like molten glass
And see the reflection of a flame over the waters

Your thought arrives
sound like the roar of an ocean
when heard through a conch
unreal,distant and deep

The sound trellises with the wind blowing
before I could grasp it
Probably this is what they call
Smoke 'n the Water
Fire 'n the Sky

Friday, August 03, 2007


If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.

Far or forgot to me is near,
Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
And one to me are shame and fame.

They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson (He was from Boston)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


When you are alone rather than a roomie you tend to be more responsible about day-to-day things and also more introspective. In recent days I just came to the following realization:

I dont miss anybody as bad as my mom. I dont know why the more I think about it the more I miss her after staying like 8 years away from her..