Wednesday, October 29, 2008

6 Degrees of Separation

I saw a really interesting documentary yesterday on the science of "Networking" titled "How Kevin Bacon cured cancer"

After watching that documentary, I felt a bit like I did when I first learnt about DNA for the first time. The world suddenly seemed very different.

The idea that everyone is connected to everyone else through very small path lengths totally blows me away. We have all heard of (and perhaps participated in the experiment through Facebook!) 6 Degrees of Separation but I think there is something else there. I feel like there is something really profound in that documentary - I just don't know what it is!

I can't seem to stop thinking about it though... Maybe there is really nothing there and I was just tired. Whatever the case, I will get over it.

(BTW, For those that are interested, you can watch it on YouTube...)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where do you start?

I was speaking to my father-in-law when he was here about the state of India at present. He put all the problems in India down to one thing "Corruption". He was convinced that corruption was the root-cause of all evil.

When I look at problems at a state, national or global level, I am almost never able to find solutions. I don't know if that is because of my own ignorance or because there is genuinely no solution. Perhaps it is my mental make-up - very few solutions result in a win-win situation.

When I think about all the problems in my house, a city, a country or the world, I always end-up at the same place...

"Be open-minded, do what you think is right and understand that your way may not necessarily be THE way." It is not always easy to follow, but you have to try.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Powell for Obama

"He is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America."
-Colin Powell

Been wondering about this for a while now... WHY HASN'T ANYONE ASKED THIS QUESTION ALREADY????

Comments like "Barrack HUSSEIN Obama - how can you vote for someone with a muslim name??" makes me SOOOOOO ANGRY! To think that there are Americans out there who feel taht way - and are allowed to vote!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My 2 cents on (for?) the Financial Crisis...

About three weeks ago, I got my first PROPER job. Since I started, I have had absolutely nothing to do! As a result, I have been reading online newspapers – as you do! The things that have been dominating both the local and international news at the moment have been i) global recession and ii) the American election. Here is my 2 cents (or perhaps 1 cent!) worth…

As I don’t understand economics AT ALL, I spent the first few days at work reading “How banks work” and “How the stock market works” on “”. (You try sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight with no solitaire to play!). I can’t say that I understand it all but I think I “get it” more now than before. However, I don’t believe that I understand economics enough to be able to make an informed decision on what is the right thing to do as an individual.

I guess if bad debts are what caused this mess than all I can do at the moment is spend no more than I make and save for a rainy day. I guess that is pretty much the philosophy of most Indians living abroad anyway. The quote of the day in my Tamil calendar reads, “Indru nee thevai ilaadhadhai vaanginaal, naalai nee thevai aanadhai vaanga mudiyaadhu” which roughly translates to, “Today, if you buy something you don’t need then tomorrow you won’t be able to buy something that you do need” I think the quote to an extend highlights the general Indian mentality – or perhaps I am generalizing too much?

I still don’t fully understand how all of the above is connected but I can see that it is. Perhaps I need to type “Economics” into Wikipedia and see what that returns. (I did read “Economics for Dummies” which was helpful but the current global financial mess isn’t any clearer to me!) Perhaps I should just accept that I am never really going to understand economics fully and therefore I shouldn’t bother.

With regards to the American election, I have become an Obama fan – more out of revolt for McCain and Palin (both of whom provided me with hours of comic entertainment!) than out of love or pure admiration for Obama. I would like to think that America will change dramatically as a result of this election but I won’t put my money on that.

However, ahving someone who can see the flaws of the country has got to be a step in the right direction... surely!