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Showing posts from December, 2012

Give Me Your Eyes

The Groupie Gig

If you ask my opinion, I'd say cricket's amongst the most boring sport ever. In fact if I'm forced to watch the damn thing on telly, that's the closest I'll get to living a nightmare.

Honest!

But just a few days ago the unexpected happened. Being home for the holidays I got to sit with my dad to watch a T20 game on the idiot box. Tell you what, far from the nightmare, what I got to do was enjoy a part of the game. I guess it was because my dad's enthusiasm for the game spilled over and hooked me. In retrospect I am convinced it was the 'together' thing that got me to enjoy what I witnessed. Again, I am sure if it were me on my own, I'd have switched channel.

Its funny what being in a group can do to a person. Even when it comes to a hardcore individualist like me, the group's effect can be quite potent. Group influences can have both uplifting and debilitating effects. For marketers, engineering and leveraging 'artificial' groups can tu…

Defense Mechanisms

'Your behavior is influenced by information that surges through three different channels — your conscious mind, your subconscious mind, and your instincts.

Your conscious mind is easy to explain. Think about how you use your conscious mind and, congratulations, you’re using your conscious mind. Now, think about what that means — and again, you’re using your conscious mind and you know you’re doing it.

Your instincts are a little trickier and many people would even categorize them as part of your subconscious mind. However, because they’re more instantaneous and easier to read, i.e. “This just doesn’t feel right” or “Something tells me that guy is lying to me,” they deserve to be treated as distinct from our conscious and unconscious mind.

That brings us to the subconscious, which is the most fascinating of the three because it so often steers us without our being able to feel its misty hand on the reins. It’s like The Matrix Revolutions except with mediocre special effects and no Kea…

Christmas in an Anti-Christian Age

'While undeniable that Christianity entails a belief in the supernatural, the miraculous -- God became man that first Christmas, Christ raised people from the dead, rose himself on the first Easter Sunday and ascended into heaven 40 days later -- consider what atheists believe.
They believe that something came out of nothing, that reason came from irrationality, that a complex universe and natural order came out of randomness and chaos, that consciousness came from non-consciousness and that life emerged from non-life. This is a bridge too far for the Christian for whom faith and reason tell him that for all of this to have been created from nothing is absurd; it presupposes a Creator. Atheists believe, Seddon writes, that "a multiverse (for which there is no experimental or observational evidence) containing an inconceivably large number of universes spontaneously created itself." Yet, Hitchens insists, "our belief is not a belief." Nonsense. Atheism requires a bel…

In for the kill

Gun Control = Lost Liberty

The Right to Bear Arms

Recognizing & Punishing Evil for Evil

There's been a stark difference in the emotion fueled reaction of the public to tragedies at Sandy Hook, and to the one at Delhi. Post Sandy Hook, there's been a renewed call for gun control. Post Delhi, people are demanding death penalty for the rapists.

Consider the two demands, and you'll see the difference I am talking about. Plus there's a reason why the calls are of the kind they are. The 'clinical' nature of slaughter at Sandy Hook has prompted some people (read, liberals) to intuitively delineate the evil doer from the tool used to commit evil. Liberals are livid about guns. They think its guns that killed.

In Delhi, and across India, there's been no such association. Though in Delhi too weapons were used to brutalize the girl, people have squarely pinned the act on the beasts that did it. Note in Delhi, the body contact (read, rape) has sealed the responsibility of the act on those who committed it. At Sandy Hook, the lack of such contact is partl…

What Brooklyn vicariously learnt

Brooklyn potty-training herself pleased us no end. We think she's picked the 'art' via what is termed vicarious learning. Pray, who was her teacher? Her elder brother Jaden, who she so dotes on! Come to think of it, there's so much Brooklyn's picked from her brother, and we think its because she sees him as her 'current' role model. Most often its the lovely li'l things she picks up, and then there are times she replicates her brother's stubbornness, or ways of protest, that aren't so nice.

As people, and as consumers, consciously and subconsciously, we're gluttons to learning. Our conscious cognitive learning as consumers is prompted by our assessments of high risk whilst considering a purchase. Our sub-conscious exertions happen when the brand in question isn't 'risky' enough to have us use our cognitive faculties.

In teaching, so consumers learn, marketers have to make assessments of the purchase context both in terms of the …

God Help Us

Fifth, why are these killers always men? What is it that we teach our young men in this world that makes them think it’s a mark of manliness to kill the unarmed and innocent? Whatever it is, it’s disgusting. It’s not manly to kill any unarmed human. It’s miserable, crawling cowardice.

Finally, a comment that will enrage the beautiful people. The whole world is rightly overwrought and crazed with grief over the murder of twenty totally innocent and blameless souls last Friday in Newtown. It was and is a catastrophe for the ages.

But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promises to kill every Jew in Israel and then in the whole world, including babies… and he had his defenders, even at the Democratic National Convention. And it was daily life in Nazi-occupied Europe from 1939 to 1941 to kill thousands of Jewish children every day. But powerful, intelligent men and women in this country defended Hitler, spoke up for him and for keeping America from even sending arms to Britain when England stood alone. Wha…

If you love violence, do away with guns and the death penalty

Its mind numbing to just listen on TV to the horrific case of rape of a young woman in a moving bus in Delhi. Its equally appalling to hear the nonsense being spewed by talking heads on TV on what needs to be done!

In many ways this case has a connection to the issue of gun control and doing away with the death penalty. Liberals clamor for both. What morons! Make no mistake, crimes against women will worsen if liberals have their way!

Note Howard Nemerov's unquestionable logic on why Gun Control will make the world a more dangerous place (it already has), especially for women:

... because here’s the facts. Australia and Britain banned guns in 1997. Violent crime skyrocketed over the next 10 years. The leading crime category was rape of women. Meanwhile, rape has been declining here in America, where a law-abiding woman can buy a handgun in order to participate in her civil right of self-defense. British women get raped twice as often, and Australian women thrice as often, as American…

It Is Well With My Soul

Evil is to Blame

Pay close attention to what gets blamed for the Newtown school shooting. Evil is to blame for these horrific murders and nothing else. Listen closely to the rhetoric over the coming weeks. How often will evil be named as the cause of the horror?
Not often, I suspect. Some dispute the existence of conscious, deliberate, unseen evil. Perhaps that’s why blame for the murderous horror will fall elsewhere. Some consider the mention of evil in public discourse to be unseemly. Belief in pure deliberate evil can be inconvenient, because it includes other necessary beliefs. Failing to name it evil lets evil flourish. If the sight of planes slamming into the World Trade Center towers wasn’t enough to comfortably believe in evil, maybe the horror in Connecticut will. Denial of conscious deliberate evil makes it easier to deny the existence of conscious and deliberate good. If deliberate evil exists, then deliberate good must also. Otherwise human history would be one long ruinous loop of Stalin’s gu…

Illiterates who can sing and act

If you are a liberal and can act or sing (read, you're in Hollywood), what are the chances you're literate?

Pretty dim by my guess.

Which should explain why Sean Penn thinks Chavez is an 'important force', and Harry Belafonte opines Barack should work like a third world dictator.

Ins't it time these illiterate idiots were shipped to Venezuela?

The dust & grime road to Spirituality

Despite the irritation, at times you have to be thankful for India's third world character coming through. At least that way you never take anything for granted. Like this morning when the power switched off at 0630 hrs. and stayed off. Disruptions of such kind are by design in place to ensure citizens never, even for a moment, take such services as being rightfully theirs.

Then there are added benefits to such struggles. The reason why there'll never be a boring pattern to life in India is because one can never know what will happen the next moment. The power could fail, the water may dry up, the lamppost may topple down, the road may cave in, a bandh may be round the corner, tell you what, the frightening list is endless.

I think life in India pretty much explains why liberals who double up as dimwits come here in search of spirituality. You see, in the West (read, liberals states in America and prosperous Europe where they exist sans any religious faith) life plods in a bo…

The Nonsense in Unionized Collective Bargaining

In America, as elsewhere liberty is under threat. Every day, every hour. The latest comes from the protests against the right to work legislation that's turning law in the state of Michigan. What can I say, its now time to add Union thugs to the illustrious list of liberty deniers that include Barack, Buffet, and of course all liberals who've turned America into moocher nation.

Unionized collective bargaining exacting greater rewards for all workers is touted as reason why every worker must pay unions. What nonsense! By that same measure, all citizens should be forced to pay equal taxes because each and everyone of them partake of available public services. In fact the lesser contributors reap greater public benefits! If so, why are the rich made to pay more, and why are some even exempt from direct taxes?

Though I believe every worker has the right to bargain, individually or collectively, I find the practice of the latter through coercion, disgusting. No worker should be fo…

Shame on you, Walmart!

Shame on you, Walmart for bringing your lobbying ways across the ocean on to our shores 

Sure, we may be among the most corrupt countries in the world, but we ain't gonna rollover and let you bring your low cost business model that helps save consumers money to our sacred land. So what if you've saved billions of dollars for consumers in the US by lowering prices, we still want wanna pay more so inefficient logistical chains and middle-men thrive!

Don't for moment think we won't raise a stink on your lobbying ways! Sure, we may have MPs with criminal cases in our Parliament, yet we will stand up in the House and protest in the loudest voices against your devious ways. Never mind, we have states in India who've embraced philosophies of mass murderers like Lenin, Mao, and Stalin, and never mind such philosophies having bankrupted us because they've been anti-business (read anti-you, Walmart), we still will hold on to our near non-existent self esteem and keep b…

The Right to Idiocy

When Justice (retired) Katju terms 9 out of 10 Indians idiots, it ruffles feathers. Enough to have two students send a legal notice to him, asking him to publicly apologize failing which they would move court.

On my part I must admit, the times I've been part of the ninety percent far exceeds my existence among the ten. Idiocy is something I must admit wholeheartedly to, and when I don't, Alphy provides me enough data to seal the story. Thank heavens despite that, I don't need the 'loving yourself' liberal nonsense to feel good. In fact, admitting to idiocy can be therapeutic.

It is but natural to have people protest charges of idiocy. After all, who wants to have their 'ideal-self' balloon punctured? Then again, wanting to live a life sans any self-awareness is welcome! Its the best news for marketers everywhere. It means they can promise people their fantasies and have them buy into it lock stock and barrel. Its no wonder then a car brand asks you to …

Ocean Deep

The Olympus Story of Culture & Corruption

There are umpteen reasons why you must read Michael Woodford's book, 'Exposure - Inside the Olympus Scandal: How I went from CEO to Whistleblower', but let me list the prime ones.

Michael's book is as much about the rot at Olympus, as it is about why it happened. Knowing the latter is what takes you on a subtle journey into Japanese culture. What you get to know can be disturbing, though as an Indian I guess I'm pretty well versed with culture dictated silence and obedience. As an academic I can tell you, I found the exercise of understanding a culture via a business story fascinating. Moreover, there wasn't a single time I felt like putting the book down.

Michael's book is also a must read for it documents the struggle of a man who has everything to lose by going against the establishment. Real courage requires that sacrifices be made. Some sacrifices can almost bring down everything you've built, and lived for. Michael does what he does, spurred by t…

Wake up America!

Why Indian Middle Class must steer off Politics!

As usual, socialist talking heads on TV that included socialist sycophant, Mani Shankar Aiyer, and liberal moderator Barkha Dutt waxed eloquent on why the Indian Middle Class needs to get off their armchairs and contribute to the political scene in India, which according to the them wasn't anywhere close to happening.

As usual, I had to mourn their utter lack of economic and social sense.

Imagine if the Middle Class were to turn to politics. India would then lose the only value creating class it has. Its plain for all to see, at the top, crony capitalism has enabled the rich (read, the majority) to dig in, and hold on to wealth derived through rigging the socialist system since independence. At the bottom, over decades, a dependent class (read, majority) has been fostered that finds no reason to break out of their misery and yearn and toil towards a better life.

Which means if the top and the bottom on the social and economic ladder aren't the real wealth drivers in India, wh…

Why Atheists are anti-Christmas

'Christmas, if you really get down to the brass tacks of it, isn’t about reindeer, elves, iPhones or Lindsay Lohan punching a gypsy, but about mankind’s sin problem and what God did to remedy it by sending His Son. 
I know the chief facet most people focus on regarding Christ’s birth has been the peace on earth and good will toward men stuff, but if you dig around in the gospels a tad you’ll quickly see that the “peace on earth” thing is an ancillary perk to the main reason the second person of the godhead donned an earth suit and decided to hang out with us dunderheads. The core cause that necessitated Jesus’ incarnation was our jacked up carnality. Yep, Hambone, it was our sin. There, I said it. Sin. Yours, mine and ours.
Transgression was the reason for the season...
This is easy math, folks: A person who has no remorse and thus no desire to repent from their sins is probably not going to be a big advocate for the celebration of the person who reminds them they’re wrong and calls …

I Lift My Hands

Rest in Peace, Dear Colleague n' Friend. You are missed.

Prayers.

Economists sans Economic Logic

When Omkar Goswami says if he were American he'd have voted Obama, I gotta wonder why a DSE, Oxford educated fellow holds a candle to tyranny, and a community organizer who's pretty much bankrupted a country. 
Know what, I worry my country is saddled with welfare economists who've no idea what free markets can do. I guess the saving grace is knowing such bleeding heart liberals educated at elite liberal institutions aren't confined to third world countries. Truth is, they even rear their head in places like America dictating policies, and leaving bankruptcies in their wake.
To get what I'm saying better, listen carefully to the exchange (from 2008) between Mark Levin and UC Berkeley educated Economics Professor Teresa Ghilarducci on the American government's plan to nationalize 401K plans. Mark rips Teresa and exposes not just her lack of economic logic, but also more dangerously, her subverting the constitution through her advocacy of nationalization programs…