Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Game Theory" article on the importance of Stress in Communication by Presh Talwalkar

The sentence “I never said she stole my money” can have 7 different meanings depending on which word you stress. The explicit meanings and possible explanation for why this evolved are below. The potential meanings
I never said she stole my money – the claim wasn’t made by me
I never said she stole my money – I never made the claim
I never said she stole my money – I didn’t utter the claim out loud
I never said she stole my money – possibly someone else stole the money
I never said she stole my money – it could have been a gift
I never said she stole my money – the money was someone else’s
I never said she stole my money – she possibly stole something else
If you consider that multiple words could be stressed, then we have even more meanings. As each word can be stressed or not, there could be as many as 27 = 128 possible ways to stress the sentence, each with slightly different meanings. Why would language develop so that words are ambiguous and defined by context? One possible explanation is fleshed out in a linguistics paper that explains the game between listener and speaker: To understand why ambiguity makes a language more efficient rather than less so, think about the competing desires of the speaker and the listener. The speaker is interested in conveying as much as possible with the fewest possible words, while the listener is aiming to get a complete and specific understanding of what the speaker is trying to say. But as the researchers write, it is “cognitively cheaper” to have the listener infer certain things from the context than to have the speaker spend time on longer and more complicated utterances. The result is a system that skews toward ambiguity, reusing the “easiest” words. Once context is considered, it’s clear that “ambiguity is actually something you would want in the communication system,” Piantadosi says. It seems ambiguity makes for a more efficient language to communicate between two speakers. Here is a link to the full paper: The communicative function of ambiguity in language

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Notebook

Was thinking of watching this movie for a long time....... A Romantic movie which didnt do that well at the Box office but was universally liked by all who actually saw that movie.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel Mcadams were amazing in this movie.It looked a bit like a DESI movie with the parent's disapproval of their daughter's love for a common man but still the screenplay and acting was impeccable.The fact that the entire story is told through Noah to Allie suffering from Alzheimer's disease adds to the suspense of the movie.A truly enjoyable romantic movie..... not many movies are made like this nowadays, the fact that this movie bombed but Twilight made Zillions of dollars as a love story is just an indication of the current times.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

NBA Christmas !!!

On Christmas Day Im gonna spend the whole night watching the NBA Games. There are some exciting games ahead like the LA Lakers Vs Knicks, Nets Vs Celtics, Heat V OKC etc. Expecting some Individual battles like Melo V Kobe, Lebron V Durant action ahead.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Scientific American Article on Ramanujam

December 22, 2012, marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of legendary Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. An intuitive mathematical genius, Ramanujan's discoveries have influenced several areas of mathematics, but he is probably most famous for his contributions to number theory and infinite series, among them fascinating formulas ( pdf ) that can be used to calculate digits of pi in unusual ways. Last December Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 2012 to be a National Mathematics Year in India in honor of Ramanujan's quasiquicentennial. Ramanujan's story is dramatic and somewhat larger than life. It is even the subject of an opera by Indian-German composer Sandeep Bhagwati, a novel and two plays . Largely self-taught, he dropped out of college, took a job as a clerk in Madras and attracted the attention of British mathematician G. H. Hardy through written correspondence in 1913. Although Ramanujan's mother believed that as a Brahmin (the highest class in the Indian caste system, which was in place at the time) he should not travel overseas, Ramanujan, aged 27, went to England in 1914 and spent the ensuing war years working with Hardy and other mathematicians at the University of Cambridge. He grew quite ill in England, and in 1919 he returned to India where he died in 1920. Since his death at age 32 mathematicians have analyzed his notebooks ( pdf ), which are full of formulas but light on justification. Most of the formulas have turned out to be correct, and researchers continue to learn from his work while trying to understand and prove them. India's mathematical heritage extends far beyond Ramanujan's time. The nation is considered home of the concept of zero. Babylonians had used a space as a placeholder (similar to the role of "0" in the number 101), but this space could not stand alone or at the end of a number. (In our number system, as in theirs, this could be problematic; imagine trying to tell the difference between the numbers 1 and 10 by context alone.) In India, however, zero was treated as a number like any other. India is also the home of our decimal numeral system. Indian government and mathematical societies pursued several projects to celebrate their year of mathematics, from enrichment programs for students and teachers to the "Mathematical Panorama Lectures" that occurred around the country. This series of 20 short lecture courses, which will continue into 2013, brings prominent mathematicians from different fields to Indian universities to deliver five or six lectures. M. S. Raghunathan, president of the Ramanujan Mathematical Society and chair of the organizing committee for the National Mathematics Year, wrote in an e-mail that he hopes the lectures will facilitate an infusion of Indian talent into fields that lack it right now. Indeed, a primary purpose of the year of mathematics is to reinvigorate mathematical education in India. In his speech announcing the event, Prime Minister Singh said that although India has produced many distinguished mathematicians, "for a country of our size, the number of competent mathematicians that we have is badly inadequate." He mentioned concerns about the rigidity of India’s academic system, which some believe might squelch rather than nurture mathematical curiosity and achievement. "A genius like Ramanujan would shine bright even in the most adverse of circumstances, but we should be geared to encourage and nurture good talent which may not be of the same caliber as that of Ramanujan," he said. Singh also mentioned the need to prevent attrition of mathematically interested people. "There is a general perception in our society that the pursuit of mathematics does not lead to attractive career opportunities," he said. "This perception must change." Lectures for undergraduates, camps for motivated youngsters and educational programs designed to acquaint teachers with new topics and pedagogical ideas have all been part of the attempt to nurture mathematical interest at all levels.

Two longer-term projects begun this year could help as well: a documentary on the history of Indian mathematics and a mathematics museum in Chennai. Raghunathan hopes that the documentary will be available in 2014 and the museum will open its doors in 2015. This yearlong fete is culminating in "The Legacy of Srinivasa Ramanujan," a conference at the University of Delhi from December 17 to 22. Included are technical lectures on mathematics influenced by Ramanujan's work, public presentations on Ramanujan's notebooks, dance performances and a film about Ramanujan's life. The annual SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, which recognizes a mathematician age 32 or younger who works in a field influenced by Ramanujan, will be awarded as well. The awardee this year is Zhiwei Yun of Stanford University, whose work lies at the intersection of geometric representation theory, algebraic geometry and number theory.

Stephen Colbert : Google Talks


Stephen Colbert - Probably the smartest man on TV - The knowledge that this guy brings to Comedy is simply outstanding. No one can beat him at Lord of the Rings Trivia and his history knowledge

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sana Antonio Spurs Vs Memphis Grizzlies

Wat an amazing game to watch Live. Started watching from the start of the 4th Quarter.Grizzlies were up by 15 Points. In true San Anton resilience the lead came down to 5 points within three minutes with good 3 point shooting from Neal,Bonner. As always the SA Bench rescued the team from defeat.Then the Grizzlies shored up their defense and managed to hold onto the lead till the final seconds which they squandered and the game went into Overtime. Marc Gasol completely switched off in the 4th Quarter and the Overtime leading to the Grizzlies loss. San Anton is a true Veteran team, the way they came back against the Clippers in Game 4 of the Playoff is a testimony to their steely resolve.The Grizzlies seems to be getting better every year and some are actually expecting them to be the Western Conference Champions this year but Im not sure about that.This Game was a true Physical Game with a lot of contact and postups.....a true BIG MAN game.
Spurs won 99-95.

Weekend NBA Games

Had a chance to catch up on some live NBA action this weekend. Brooklyn Nets Vs Miami Heat
Started watching the game live for the last 5 minutes. Miami were up by 10 points.For the next 5 minutes the Nets never seemed like getting on a comeback.Infact they never got into the groove with a pretty good Miami defense ensuring that they missed almost all their first shots and the only points they got in the last mins were either through second chance points or in the charity stripe. One interesting fact is that the Miami style of play is drastically different from what i saw in 2012 playoffs. Almost all their shots in the last 5 Mins was almost 18-20 feet from the basket. It is their luck that they have Ray Allen in their team to take those shots.
It is ok for a regular season game to take so many long shots but in the playoffs you simply cant risk it...... If Miami wants to repeat it the only way they are going to do it is through Lebron/Wade driving to the basket as always.

Phi Brain : Finale

Just finished watching the Phi Brain Finale yesterday - a wonderful end to a psychological thriller. This is not an action series ending like i though it would but instead it just transitioned to a dramatic ending but i love it... Oops found out that there is another new season coming up no wonder they had such a low key ending but who is going to be the villain in the next season. Oh yeah of course Klondike Sama.

[WhyNot] Phi Brain - Kami no Puzzle S2 - 25_clip1 by heehaww

My Trip to Burnie Tasmania

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Phi Brain : Kami No Puzzle - Episode 41

IM BACK - Im gonna go on a 10 Episode Marathon to watch the finale of the Phi Brain Series.
[SubDESU] Phi Brain S2 - 16 _clip1 by ponieshunter
Daimon KaIIITOOOOO!!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Stanford Discussion : Brain Science

The Week Article on Goa's Mining Problem

Read a nice article on Illegal Mining at Goa which is coming at a severe cost to the state exchequer as well as the degrading of the natural resources of Goa.

The pain on the faces of farmers in Goa's Sirigaon village tells a tale. A tale of ruin. Their wells and lakes have dried up. The soil has been corroded. Lush farms have become mere memories. Memories grimy with dirt from the iron mines. “In our childhood, we used to play in the fields you now see a large crater. Today, children can't go anywhere near it,” says Dinanath Gaonkar, 50. “We used to grow ragi and vegetables there. Now, they are all gone. Half the village, including our 100-year-old temple, is under mining lease.”
The situation in Pisurli village is no different. While 74 wells in Sirigaon dried up, Pisurli lost 86. “Agriculture has come to a halt. Half the population of the village—like most others—has become financially dependent on the mining companies, as they took loans to buy trucks to transport the iron ore,” says Gaonkar. “Most drivers are from other states like Bihar and Chhattisgarh, and the owners drown in liquor shops.”
There are liquor shacks in almost every second building in these villages. Studies in Goa's mining belts say the percentage of widows in the 40-45 age group has gone up, courtesy rise in alcoholism. “We used to welcome tourists to show our natural beauty and biodiversity. Future generations, I fear, will have just the devastation to show,” says Gaonkar, as he points to large craters left behind by excessive mining. Not many companies fill the pits after mining though it is mandatory. The unfilled pits seem to be minor offences if one reads the Justice P.B. Shah Commission report on illegal mining in Goa. The report, a copy of which is with THE WEEK, points out gross violation of environment, forest and revenue laws by almost every single mine operating in the state. It says illegal mining has caused a loss of Rs35,000 crore to the public exchequer. “Decisions to renew the expired mining lease and licences were not taken promptly and hence, many lease/licence holders misused the concept of ‘deemed extension for a lease for unlimited period on the basis of Rule 24 A (6),” notes the report. “The companies not only kept on mining illegally but also encroached huge lands....” The commission slams the rot: “There is enormous and large scale multi-state illegal mining of iron and manganese ore running into thousands of crore every year, having several pernicious evil effects on the national economy.... It has encouraged huge corruption at all different levels in public life, mafia in society and money power.” Besides a detailed list of illegal mining activities in Goa, the report nails the lease holders who got their mining leases condoned—“illegally and arbitrarily”—and also the ministers who passed them, often overruling the mining secretary. The report indicts former Congress chief ministers Pratapsingh Rane and Digambar Kamat, who handled the mines portfolio, for “illegally” condoning 30 and 10 mine leases, respectively. The commission says it is “amply clear that the honourable minister of mines and chief minister were aware of the non-compliance of conditions and other illegalities happening in the mining sector”. In one case, an application for the renewal of the mining lease was submitted 706 days after its expiry. The petitioner claimed that a renewal fee of Rs500 had been paid through a bank challan at the time of expiry, and requested that his application be condoned. The mining secretary, like his predecessor, rejected the application citing the delay and the “laxity on part of the petitioner”. The matter was forwarded to the minister of mines, Kamat. He noted in his order: “Renewal fees should have been accepted only after receipt of renewal of application in Form 'J'. It was wrong on the part of the department... It is evident that the applicant had paid the application fees on 30/12/1998 [and this] goes to indicate that his clear intention was to have renewal of mining lease for further period. Only, there was lack of proper guidance to the applicant in the matter. ...since number of cases of delay in filing the application for renewal of mining lease have been considered favourably by the government in the past, the request of applicant for condonation of delay is allowed.” In simple words, Rs500 was said to be paid in 1998; the application was filed in 2000; and the condonation was done in 2006. And till then, mining continued without any official monitoring. The Shah commission makes the following observations: * The application was rejected by the Centre, the ultimate authority * The payment of fees was not brought to the notice of the state mines department, and its genuineness had not been verified. Hence, the issue of the department “accepting payment” does not arise * It is unclear under which “provisions and powers under mining laws” the mines minister “heard the matter” * The delay condonation by the minister is “against the law and abuse of power”, as it was “against the order of the Central government” In the case of the lease of D.M. Naigue, it had expired in 1988 and the renewal application was filed in 1997! Yet, the delay was condoned, again “illegally”. Furthermore, the lessee continued mining without environment clearance. “The leased area is at a distance of less than 1km from the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary,” notes the commission. “Illegal mining in the leased area was in the full knowledge of Director (Mines) and other officials of the Mines Department and Forest Department. No action has been taken against the lessee as could be seen from the file. This can only happen by adopting corrupt practice. Action has to be initiated against all the officers concerned....” There are at least 40 such cases, including ones where mining continued for years even after the formal surrender of the land. The commission's report also mentions cases where the mandatory mine plan—with details of pit size, its refilling and aforestaion—was not submitted to the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM). The commission mentions the 16 lease holders operating 44 different lease rights, though no lease holder is allowed to further sub-lease the mining rights. “Today, almost 50 per cent of the mining in Goa is done by the Vedanta group and other players have given it their leases. This is illegal, but every political leader keeps mum,” alleges Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation, which has been fighting legal battles against mining. The foundation's latest petition in the Supreme Court was filed by activist-advocate Prashant Bhushan. It seeks restraining of resumption of mining in Goa, as almost all mines in the state were functioning without clearances from the National Board of Wildlife. And of 93 mines, 33 fall within 1.5km range of wildlife sanctuaries, despite the NBWL marking off a 10km radius as eco-sensitive zone. Furthermore, many of the mining companies have been listed in the Shah Commission report for continuing illegal mining activities in the encroached areas. In fact, the commission, which visited many encroached sites, and bolstered its report with Google Earth images. “The total encroachment so identified is 2,796.24 ha.,” according to the report. The commission concludes its report citing the loss to the public exchequer through illegal mining, since 2006: “By taking average export cost at $60 per metric tonne of iron ore from 2006 to 2011 with conversion rate of Rs47 per dollar, the total loss to the state... is almost Rs35,000 crore. This is calculated assuming that the depth of mining and extraction of iron ore is only 10m below the ground level but in reality, it's deeper than 50m.... And in such case, the extracted ore is far more than the calculated.” Ramesh Gauns, school teacher and environmentalist, who has been opposing illegal mining for more than a decade, offers another calculation. “The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association's web site says in the past decade, on an average, 31 million tonnes of iron ore was exported every year. At an average export price and exchange rate the figure amounts to Rs1.4 lakh crore. Last year alone, the exports touched 54 million tonnes at an average price of Rs5,000 per tonne. Over 80 per cent of this went to China. The state exchequer got only Rs986 crore, thanks to illegal mining, bogus challans and duplicate invoicing,” says Gauns. That's not it, says Alvares. “Not a single mining company has paid the lease stamp duty in the past 25 years. That will amount to another few thousand crores in the loss tally,” he says. “Not one authority has bothered ever to crosscheck this.” The authorities have turned a blind eye even to surveys and reports by reputable agencies, adds Gauns. “For instance, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) submitted an extensive research report to the High Court, stating the depletion of ground water sources and land degradation in Sirigaon village, and nailed the illegal mining in the area, but the government shied away from taking action.” Apparently, in a reply to an RTI application filed by Gauns, the water resource department concedes that it has no details on ground water status. “Of the 105km north-to-south stretch of Goa, 73km is under mining. And there are at least 60 mines on the 50km east-to-west stretch. Imagine the impact on the state's ecology and environment,” he says. The largest 30 mines are situated in the catchment area of the Mandovi river. The Zuari river, too, has been highly silted with mining waste. “These two rivers are Goa's lifelines, accounting for 67 per cent of the state's freshwater sources,” says Gauns. The issue of mining has muddied the waters on the political front, too, with the ruling BJP and the Congress engaged in a mudslinging contest. Soon after the Shah Commission report was submitted in Parliament, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar stopped all mining activities in the state through an ordinance, and promised to file FIRs against Rane and Kamat, and order criminal proceedings against all culprits. Union Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan soon landed in Goa to announce suspension of environmental clearances given to 93 mining leases in the state, and accused Parrikar of trying to score brownie points. Under media pressure, Rane said at a press conference, “I demand an investigation team to be set up under the monitoring of Supreme Court on the basis of the recommendations of the Shah Commission. I am ready for the investigation.” As the BJP tried to corner the opposition, Congress leader Jitendra Deshprabhu argued that Parrikar, too, should be charged since he was chief minister till 2005. The move boomeranged as Parrikar shot back that the mines ministry was headed by Kamat, who was then with the BJP. Incidentally, Deshprabhu was arrested in August 2011 for illegal mining! The case hotted up further with the recent suicide of D. Bhave, a geologist in the mines and geology department. He was among a group of officials suspended for alleged involvement in the scam. Allegations of harassing officials to shield the real black sheep were hurled at Parrikar. A Congress leader went on to file an FIR against him for abetting suicide, though the party distanced itself from the move. Interestingly, the BJP state unit directed its government to go after the “big fish as well as small fish”. The All-India Youth Front joined the protest, seeking action against mine owners and corrupt politicians. “Has the government got any guts to investigate these heavyweights? Suspension of a few employees will not curb illegal mining in Goa,” said AIYF state chief Suhaas Naik. Currently, Parrikar is in a catch-22. On the one hand, he is under tremendous pressure to act against the powerful mining lobby. On the other, issues such as the livelihood of the thousands of people employed in the mining sector haunt him. For instance, reports say there are 22,000 trucks and 357 barges operating in the sector. But activists say these excuses are a facade to let the big fish off the hook. “Initially, he promised stern action. But now his statements and actions speak differently,” says Alvares. “He has appointed a committee headed by [principal secretary] R.K. Verma to study the Shah Commission's report and decide on the actions to be taken. But Verma himself has been indicted by the commission!” Alvares says Parrikar had stated in the Assembly that the Vedanta group had donated Rs800 crore to the Congress and Rs400 crore to the BJP. “Now, how can we expect a fair probe?” Gauns says Parrikar has gone soft after a series of meeting with delegations of mining companies. “Now he has started talking about the so called stake holders like truck owners, barge owners, hoteliers and bar owners and says that their interests have to be considered,” says Gauns. “The chief minister has not bothered so far about the real stake owners—the farmers who lost their livelihood. He doesn't talk about the restoration of ecologically damaged regions. He does not talk about the recovery of restoration costs from the mining companies.” Gauns also rubbishes Parrikar's claim that mining is the backbone of Goan economy. “Mining contributes only 6 per cent to the state GDP—the same as agriculture,” he points out. About 400 million tonnes of iron ore has been extracted from Goa. Now hardly 300 million tonnes remain. At a rate of 50-60 million tonnes a year, mining can go on for a maximum of 10 years. After that, activists like Gauns fear, the companies will pack their bags. And the people of Goa?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Interview with Deadly Premonition Creator Swery 65

This is one of the best videogames i have ever seen wit crazy dialogues and amazing plotline. Only a Japanese can come up with something like this........ If the game has left me bewildered i always wanted to know whether the creater really intended to make the game like this. Now I know....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dwight and Steve to Lakers :The New Big 3????

Lakers always seem to get the best players from another franchise. Steve Nash has been the face of Phoneix Suns for the past 6 years... He has been the best point guard in the league for some time ... agreed that he is old but still it will not affect his play making abilities... He will still find the open player,still find the high percentage shot and will still be a woeful defensive player.. :)
Take the good with the bad.

Steve Nash will most likely be the ball handler for the Lakers and he will create space for Kobe and create some open shots for him.Most importantly he would also create some easy points for Dwight and Gasol. Overall Steve Nash will create an increment of atleast 10 points per game for the Lakers compared to last season.
Acquisition of Dwight Howard
This is probably the best thing that could have happened to the Lakers.Offensively both Bynum and Dwight are more or less similar if you dont count Dwight's free throw shooting (around 50%), that would be a problem in close games. But the actual difference would come in the form of Defense. Dwight's Rebounding abilities would make a huge difference, Lakers or should i say Kobe would definitely need that cause someone has to get the Rebounds of the Million shots that Kobe takes during a game. His Defense in the paint will make the layups or the drives very difficult but the perimeter defense of the Lakers is put under question as World Peace is not as good as a defensive player as he was three years ago. But Still just acquisition of Dwight and Nash will automatically make them a Title contender.Though it would still be difficult for them to defend the perimeter shooting of OKC.Though they have some liabilities their advantage in certain areas will make them pull through. Hey !!! if Miami can win a NBA Championship without essentially a Centre Why cant Lakers win one without perimeter defense purely on the talents of the BIG 3. Unlike Lebron no one is angry that Dwight or Nash has taken their talents to Showtime City. The next season has to be great one with the strengthening of the Lakers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wonderful article on the Indian Governement's desire to stifle the business of India

Article in TOI by Jaithirth Rao. The sarcastic and humorous nature in which the article was written only explains the state of Indian Enterpreneurs...... if the govt allows any enterpreneurs to exist.
The irony of the present impasse in our country is that Indian businesses may have been freer under British rule than under our own political masters. Of course, throughout the permit-licence raj this fact was so obvious that no one even bothered to bring it up as a matter worth discussing. In the 1920s, JN Tata was able to build a steel plant in India. Between 1956 and 1991, no citizen of free India was allowed to imitate JN Tata.
TUGHLAQ LIVES ON
In the early nineties, the understated (and under-estimated?) Narasimha Rao liberated Indian entrepreneurs. Within a decade, Indian businesses had delivered spectacularly and had proved that once they were unshackled they were as good as any of their counterparts anywhere in the world. And then the creeping comeback of the permit-licence raj began all over again.
Large sections of the Indian political class, many academics in the miasmal landscapes of places like JNU and Jamia, and most members of our omnipresent bureaucracy never fully or properly bought into liberalisation. They have waged a steady guerrilla war against freedom for India's businesses. Many Indian businesspersons who preferred cozy crony capitalism have been their willing accomplices.
Net-net the permit licence raj is back with us in forms far more insidious and debilitating than the earlier Udyog Bhavan Avatar. We have been made to give up our "Narasimha-Swatantrata" and today we are steadily and inexorably embracing the capricious, wealth-destroying regime of the hapless Mohammed bin Tughlaq.
The most intriguing similarity between Tughlaq and our present sultans is their habit of changing their minds so frequently that no one in his right mind would want to start a business given that the rules can get altered, amended and then retracted all in a matter of days, weeks and months. Farmers were forbidden from exporting cotton; two days later they were told that they could do so.
The highest court in the land told Vodafone that there was no obligation on their part to withhold taxes which were in any case not payable by the redoubtable Li Ka-shing. Some days later, they were told that way back in 1961, the brilliant parliamentarians of India definitely intended that they should have withheld what Li was definitely liable to pay! Actually, Mohammed bin Tughlaq was probably less whimsical and certainly not given to such gross terminological inexactitude.

GANGS OF TELAURGASPUR
Udyog Bhavan, JCCIE (the august Joint Chief Controller of Imports and Exports), the DGTD (the even more august Director of Trade and Development, who funnily enough believed neither in trade nor in development) have been replaced with a whole new set of umrah of the new sultanate that we now have in place in imperious Delhi.
Now let us assume that the Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals has issued you a letter inviting you to explore for oil and gas in Telaurgaspur district. Mind you, it took you five years of much effort and great expenditure working on the bidding process, qualifying and re-qualifying several times... and finally you have got the invite.
As far as I can tell the Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals is part of the Government of India (Dear Reader: if in your opinion this is not the case, please provide me the superior information that you have). So you assume that the Government of India has invited you. You start ordering rigs, you start recruiting drilling engineers, you raise capital, you line up suppliers and you turn up at Telaurgaspur.
Now you discover, that the august Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals is as powerless as any other harassed citizen of India. What they propose can and is promptly disposed off by the august Ministry of Environmental Affairs. This august ministry now informs you that Telaurgaspur district, which shows up in all atlases as desert country actually possesses a "desert forest". Now please do not ask me what a desert forest is. The august Government of India is committed to preserving our glorious ancient culture and heritage.
Classical Sanskrit writers have talked about the fact that the power of "naamakarana" - the power to give names is one of the greatest powers conferred on humans by the Creator. Once the august Ministry of Environmental Affairs has classified any part of India's map as a "desert forest" then trust me, it is a desert forest.
And even though the august Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals (which now it turns out is not part of the Government of India, but part of the Government of East Timor!) may have "invited" you to drill and explore, that invitation is quite worthless.
Even though you are frustrated, you console yourself with the fact that at least the invitation to explore in the Telaurgaspur district will still be valid. No such luck. The august Ministry of Defence (of you guessed it, the Government of India, not the Government of East Timor) have concluded that Telaurgaspur may be along the flight path of rockets that our country likes to test once every six months.
You try arguing with them that since the tests take place only once in six months, there can and should be some way this can be coordinated. You mention the fact that the august Ministry of Petroleum and Chemicals has invited you so courteously. Now that was your fatal error Your argument might have succeeded on its merits. But mentioning the name of another august ministry is an error of great magnitude. For in our country today, it has been decreed by the great gods above that every august ministry of our august government will implacably oppose, derail, sabotage and subvert the efforts of every other august ministry.
These august ministries have decided that it is the "dharma" of each of them to fight with the other and in the process strangle Indian businesses and keep the country gripped in a paralysed gridlock.
BUSINESS OF BEWILDERMENT
Now let us assume that you are half way through a project building what you think is a world class aluminium plant. You are feeling good about it. But you too failed to see that while the august ministry of aluminium may be on your side, the more august Ministry of Environmental Affairs and the most august Ministry of Tribal Affairs have a different point of view.
Quite frankly they do not like you. When you point out that the beneficiaries of this blockage will be Canadian and Scandinavian aluminium companies, the redoubtable august Ministry of External Affairs chips in (after all, they too want to do something, don't they?) that India has friendly relations with Canada and Scandinavia.
Now let us assume that you are building a world class hill resort. You have been given all the approvals and permissions by an august state government. Aha - there you go. It is the sworn "dharma" of the august Government of India to oppose anything that is approved of by august state governments.
You are suddenly informed that all these years, though you may not have known it, and though the august state government may or may not have known it, the fact of the matter is that all along you needed the blessings of - you guessed it - the august Ministry of Environmental Affairs.
Once more the endless dharmic civil strife between august governments and government departments results in your being stopped, strangled, suffocated and of course bewildered.
WE'RE WANTED, ELSEWHERE
But having said all of this, I must say that all is not bad for the Indian businessman and businesswoman. Indian entrepreneurs are free and welcome in Singapore and Dubai. Those who manage to get an H-1 visa are pretty free in California.
Free to go ahead with their plans, free not to get caught in a tug of war between august ministries, free to assume that a rule made or a permission given will not be arbitrarily and capriciously overturned, free to assume that when one part of the government is welcoming so are other parts, free to get on with the business of business rather than keep running around from one august ministry to another.
Subhash Chandra Bose gave the slogan "Delhi Chalo" to Indians in Singapore and Burma. Our present rulers have given Indian businesspersons the slogan "Singapore Chalo, Dubai Chalo, California Chalo".
Dear Reader: On that happy note, I end with every good wish to all Indian citizens on our 65th Independence Day. Jai Hind!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Wang Hao wins the Biel Chess Tournament

The Chinese are invading all the sports.Wang Hao (23 years old) with an ELO rating of 2726 and World No 19th in the FIDE Rankings managed to win the Biel Chess Festival of 2012.

Imagine a field of World No 1 Magnus Carlsen,Hikaru Nakamura,Anish Giri ....... basically the entire future of Chess and Wang Hao managing to win a tournament like that is really amazing.This is one of the Tournaments which used the 3-1-0 format.(3 points for win and 1 point for Draw) rather than the usual 1-1/2 point format.Wang seems to be maturing as a good tactical and agrresive player.I was watching his post match interview after his final match victory against Anish Giri which is embedded below.
I was really surprised at how modest he was after the victory and how he was realistic about China's chances at the Olympiad.This is one of the traits of the over performing Chinese sportstars, they are all extremely modest. There is a sense of discipline and an unrelenting work ethic which allows the Chinese to achieve the milestones they are reaching and no doubt they will one day stretch the limits of human achievements.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is how Team USA prepares for Olympics

I wonder whether our Indian Olympics Team received any speeches like these. Anyone would be motivated by this.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What makes a Genius

A Nice article on What makes a Genius by "Dominic Lawson" of the Independent. Here is the wonderful and insightful article. When does talent become genius? We all have a view; but when asked to be precise, it’s hard not to sink into the hopelessly circular argument that we know what genius is when we see it. Yet anyone who watched Roger Federer’s forensic dismantling of Andy Murray in the men’s final at Wimbledon would have no problem in identifying the Swiss as a genius, and that simple fact as Murray’s nemesis. Thus a familiar-sounding headline on one report of the match was: ‘‘Only one winner when talent meets genius’’. Familiar sounding, because it repeats what was written the last time the two met in a grand slam final, the 2010 Australian Open: ‘‘Federer’s genius alone beats Andrew Murray’’. Murray cried after that one, too. Well, it must be frustrating when you push yourself to the limits and beyond, and the opponent wins with apparently effortless ease. Except it isn’t like that at all. Although we tend to think of genius as something akin to magic, it is nothing of the sort. A proper investigation of the careers of the supreme achievers, whether in sport or other fields, reveals that they are based above all on monomaniacal diligence and concentration. Constant struggle, in other words. Seen in this light, we might define genius as talent multiplied by effort. In cricket, this would be true of Sachin Tendulkar; in chess, Bobby Fischer. I was at a dinner with that supreme raconteur among philosophers, Isaiah Berlin, when he was asked how he would sum up genius. He immediately recalled the ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, who was questioned about how he managed to leap in the way he did. The Russian replied that most people, when they leapt in the air, would come down at once, but: ‘‘Why should you come down immediately? Stay in the air a little before you return, why not?’’ That effortless ease defined genius, said Berlin. To watch Federer at his greatest is to see something similar to Nijinsky’s description: the movement of his body appears to defy the laws of gravity, as if hovering above the surface of the planet, free of all weight or friction. Yet in logic we know that this cannot be. He is constructed of the same matter as the rest of humanity, with nothing remotely abnormal or other-worldly in his skeleton or musculature. Advertisement In a wonderful 2006 essay entitled ‘‘Federer as Religious Experience’’, David Foster Wallace wrote that ‘‘Roger Federer appears to be exempt from certain physical laws ... a type that one could call genius or mutant or avatar, a creature whose body is both flesh and, somehow, light.’’ Yet this is nothing more than an illusion – one which the performer will be keen to encourage, both to thrill the public and to intimidate his opponents. Nijinsky, for example, must have known very well that his astounding entrechats and grands jetes were the product of thousands upon thousands of hours of excruciating practice, without which his talent could never have evolved beyond dilettantism. By the same token, the greatest talents of our age appreciate that in a brutally competitive world, to skip a day of such rigorous training is to risk decline and even mediocrity. If you saw the film Perlman in Russia – about the supreme violinist Itzhak Perlman’s 1990 tour of that country – you will probably have been struck by his great discomfiture when asked to perform a piece spontaneously on a visit to the Moscow Conservatory. ‘‘But I haven’t practicsed today,’’ Perlman says; and yet when you watch the Israeli play in concert, he can make even the most appallingly difficult pieces seem like a bit of fun, or as easy as drawing breath. It is, as the saying goes, the art that disguises art. Perhaps the idea of the effortless genius is partly born of the need to reassure ourselves in our relative laziness: if genius is simply something innate, God-given and unimprovable, then perhaps we can also do as well as we are able without making extraordinary efforts. Unfortunately, this is not so: and we must recognise that what the greatest musicians and sportsmen have which the rest of us lack is not just an aptitude, but a fierceness of desire and a commitment to self-improvement which we can scarcely begin to comprehend. Nowadays, Federer seems a serene spirit, but as a young, up-and-coming player, he was a noted racquet hurler, with no less of an inner rage to succeed than, for example, John McEnroe. In the purely cerebral sport of chess, the one living player most often described as a genius is the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen – who at 19 became the world’s highest-ranked grandmaster. Yet his father Henrik told me that what had first alerted him to Magnus’s possibilities was the fact that as a toddler he would spend hours doing 50-piece jigsaw puzzles; the very young Magnus had an astonishing capacity for hard work and concentration – which is, after all, the very essence of learning.

Francis Galton, the slightly creepy founder of eugenics, sought to define genius by reference to an inherited form of intelligence, which he thought could be measured via the analysing of a person’s reaction time and sensory acuity: this Galton referred to as ‘‘neurophysiological efficiency’’. You might think that, within sport, the activity most requiring preternaturally quick reactions would be Grand Prix motor-racing. Yet viewers of the BBC series Top Gear might recall Jeremy Clarkson engaging in a competitive test of reaction times with Michael Schumacher: the lumbering Clarkson demonstrated that his reactions in a hand-slapping contest were the equal of the then Formula One champion’s. This is actually what one should expect: we all have the same basic reaction times, which are determined by the nervous system rather than the brain – as evidenced by the fact that we all pull our hand away from a flame with identical suddenness. The difference between us and the champions is that they have trained their minds to process information with astonishing speed in situations requiring complex assessment. Watch how Federer reacts in the less than half a second it takes for a first serve from Murray to reach the opposing baseline and you see just what a special talent honed by obsessive determination and hundreds of thousands of hours of practice can achieve. Conducting the on-court interview after his victory, Sue Barker began: ‘‘Genius tennis?’’ Federer replied, deadpan: ‘‘Yes.’’ If only it were so simple; and the fact that it looks so simple is the strangest thing of all.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Wonderful Brahma Chellaney Post on the failure of Indian Diplomacy

The following article by Mr Brahma Chellaney was published in Japan Times. Such an insightful article about Indian Diplomacy by a reputed India found a place in a Japanese News agency but not in any Indian media outlet.Careful dissection of Indian diplomacy like this article does is sometimes too smart for our Dumb Indian Media. India Losing out on US Diplomacy : Losing more than what we have gained
WASHINGTON — Was the U.S.-India strategic partnership oversold to the extent that it has failed to yield tangible benefits for the United States? Even as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just held detailed discussions in New Delhi, an increasing number of analysts in Washington have already concluded that the overhyped relationship is losing momentum. The skeptics cite two high-visibility issues in particular: India’s rejection of separate bids by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. to sell 126 fighter-jets, and New Delhi’s reluctance to snap energy ties with Iran. The discussion over these issues, however, obscures key facts. Take the aircraft deal. Despite that setback, U.S. firms have clinched several other multibillion-dollar arms deals in recent years. These contracts have been secured on a government-to-government basis, without any competitive bidding. But in the one case where India invited bids, American firms failed to make it beyond the competition’s first round because they did not match the price and other terms offered by the French manufacturer of the Rafale aircraft and the European consortium that makes the Eurofighter Typhoon. The most-startling yet little-publicized fact is America’s quiet emergence as the largest arms seller to India. In the decade since President George W. Bush launched the vaunted U.S.-Indian strategic partnership, India has fundamentally reoriented its defense procurement, moving away from its traditional reliance on Russia. Indeed, nearly half of all Indian defense deals by value in recent years have been bagged by the U.S. alone, with Israel a distant second and Russia relegated to the third slot. Given that India has become the world’s largest arms importer and the United States remains the biggest exporter, U.S. firms are set to secure more contracts in India, which plans to spend more than $100 billion over the next four years to upgrade its military capabilities, including by buying submarines, heavy lift and attack helicopters, howitzers, and tanks. Now consider the Iran issue. Just as the Indian rejection of the Boeing’s F/A 18 and Lockheed-Martin’s F-16 bids has made big news but the U.S. landing of multiple arms contracts has received little notice, India’s reluctance to publicly support U.S. energy sanctions on Iran has been in the spotlight but not the quiet Indian strategy since the late 1990s to let the share of Iranian oil in India’s energy imports gradually decline — a trend that has seen the importance of Iranian oil supplies for India considerably weaken. Few in India consider Iran a friend. But given India’s troubled neighborhood, with the country wedged in an arc of problematic states, New Delhi is reluctant to rupture its ties with Iran, its gateway to Afghanistan — the top recipient of Indian aid. India already has paid a heavy price for taking America’s side on some critical issues in its long-running battle against Iran, even though Washington doesn’t take India’s side in its disputes with China or Pakistan. The Bush administration persuaded India not to conclude any new long-term energy contracts with Iran, and — in return for a civil nuclear deal with the U.S. — abandon its plan to build a gas pipeline from Iran. New Delhi, by voting against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s governing board in 2005 and 2006, invited Iranian reprisal in the form of cancellation of a 25-year, $22-billion liquefied natural gas deal which had terms highly favorable to India. That deal’s scrapping alone left India poorer by several billion dollars. Now the U.S. energy embargo against Iran has pushed international oil prices higher, significantly increasing India’s oil bill. The embargo also threatens to undercut India’s import-diversification strategy by making it place most of its eggs in the basket of the Islamist-bankrolling, Saudi Arabia-led oil monarchies that continue to play a role in South Asia detrimental to Indian interests. In fact, thanks to the U.S. embargo against Iran, the swelling coffers of the iron-fisted oil sheikhdoms are set to overflow, increasing their leverage in the region and beyond. Lost in the U.S. public discussion is an important fact — the declining share of Iranian crude in India’s total oil imports as part of a conscious Indian effort to reduce supply-disruption risks linked with the lurking potential for Iran-related conflict. Since 2008 alone, Iranian oil imports have swiftly fallen from 16.4 percent to 10.3 percent. Given India’s soaring oil imports and search for new sources of supply, the Iranian share is set to decline further, even without India’s participation in the U.S. embargo. Make no mistake: India shares U.S. objectives on Iran but the exigencies of its regional situation compel it to toe a more cautious line. The repositioning of the U.S.-India relationship was never intended to be transactional. Rather it was designed as an important geostrategic move to underpin Asian security and serve the long-term U.S. and Indian interests. But even if the relationship were viewed in transactional terms, the U.S. has reaped handsome dividends. On Iran, the right course for U.S. policy would be to encourage India to continue reducing Iranian oil imports by granting it a waiver from American sanctions law — as Washington has to Japan and nine other countries — and by helping to finance the retrofitting of Indian refineries that presently have a technical capacity to process only Iranian oil. More fundamentally, just as the Bush administration exaggerated the importance of a single deal with India, contending that the nuclear deal would be fundamentally transformative, it is an overstatement that the U.S.-India relationship today is losing momentum. The geostrategic direction of the relationship is irreversibly set — toward closer collaboration. Even trade between the countries has continued to grow impressively, from $9 billion in 1995 to $100 billion in 2011. While it is too much to expect a congruence of U.S. and Indian national-security objectives in all spheres, the two countries are likely to deepen their cooperation in areas where their interests converge, such as ensuring Asian power equilibrium. Barack Obama had stroked India’s collective ego by inviting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his presidency’s first state dinner, leading to the joke that while China gets a deferential America and Pakistan secures billions of dollars in U.S. aid periodically, India is easily won over with a sumptuous dinner and nice compliments. The mutual optimism and excitement that characterized the blooming U.S.-Indian ties during the Bush years, admittedly, has given way to more realistic assessments as the relationship has matured. Geostrategic and economic forces, however, continue to drive the two countries closer. Indeed, Obama’s recent pivot to Asia has made closer U.S. strategic collaboration with India critical.

SUPER FREAKONOMICS : My thoughts - Part 1

Investing in Books is always more fruitful than any Software or gaming platforms or any other electronic gadget as a book is far more enthralling than any other means of entertainment. Buying Good books is a virtue. I still remember the years in which my entire summer holidays are spent just sitting in bed from mornin till night and reading Archies,Enid Blyton Children series like Nancy Drew,Famous Five etc.... from age 10 till 15. Then i graduated myself to Michael Crichton,John Grisham,Jeffrey Archer, John Hadley Chase,Stephen King and my favorite of all time Sydney Sheldon.This serial reading of novels perhaps made me a couch potato and i never went outside in my childhood but atleast it helped me to have a vivid imagination and create absolute virtual worlds in my mind. When i bought the paperback version of this book from Landmark - I was really excited as i heard good reviews about the first one in the series and how popular it was.the Foreword told me that there is no structure in this book and no two case studies are correlated. You are informed about the business acumen of prostitutes in one page and right to the solution of Global warming by artificial Global cooling in the other page.

The Book shows certain statistics to debunk some of the perceived assumptions of Society like. a)"How Walking drunk is more dangerous than Driving Drunk" b)"How Prostitution is the most lucrative profession for American women" c)"How Airline hijacking is actually the most inefficient forms of Terrorism" d)"How Infants are generally ignored in Car safety" e)"How pumping a pollutant just 10 feet high in the air actually prevents global warming" This book looks at certain innocuous statistics and derive a hypothesis which is not exactly believable.But the Book is quite convincing and will leave you cursing why such simple solutions cant be implemented to solve all our troubles. Then you will probably realize all these hypothesis are simply just solutions in theory and not in practice.

Interesting speech on Economics by Nobel Laureaute Joseph Stiglitz

Friday, June 29, 2012

Vishy Anand : Thoughts on Decision making

Amazing Speech on his thought process and Training Methods and how computers has affected his preparation over the years.A very good Insight on Pattern watching whether in chess or in your work life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All Hail King Lebron

The Coronation was over the King has arrived. I was disappointed that my favorite Boston Celtics with their ageing stars managed to lose their 3-2 advantage against the eventual champions and also the opportunity to close out the Series and might be even the Title at their home - Boston Garden. Looking at the History how strong Boston was at home it almost looked likely that the ageing Boston will pull this through against an injured Miami Heat but one small problem . King James!!!! To say that Lebron went crazy that night is an understatement. He scored almost 30 points in just the first half and the game is over. To receive such a hammering at home must have been demoralizing and knew then that the series is over and Lebron has arrived.His stats has been remarkable all through the regular season but it was his postseason performance which comes under scrutiny. Lebron averaged 30 Points and 10 Rebound throughout this post season - actually more than his regular season stats.This proves that Lebron is a Champion afterall and certainly no "Choker". His assists are improving every year and his career stats will probably surpass that of Michael Jordan when he is finished.

Any individual who gives 30 - 10 every night is nothing short of an incredible player and Lebron certainly deserved this championship.Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh tagged along with the superstar to get a ring.It is to be seen where OKC goes from here. James HArden completely disappeared in the NBA finals.Ibaka and Perkins are in free trade next year. Eventhough KD and Russell are star players, they would need a better supporting cast than what they have right now to win a ring. Similarly Miami also needs a better supporting cast in place of the ageing defensive players like Joel Antony,Udonis Haslem,Shane Battier,Mike Miller etc. There are some talks about Steve Nash going to Miami - that would be a travesty what can a elite point guard do with "drive to basket" type players like Lebron and Wade.Trying to convert Lebron to a Jump shooter is like asking a Mercedes to drive like a Kia.Maybe Chris Bosh would love to play with Steve Nash.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Prometheus : A discussion at Emory University

A discussion on a movie which i saw last week - Prometheus. I was unhappy that the movie didnt explain much at the end and left us on a limb really..... Im not asking for a complete understanding but atleast a glimpse of what the hell is going on could have made sense but the fact that they immediately assume that the humanoid at the end is going to Earth and kill the planet simply just doesnt make sense.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hilarious Class Day - Harvard speech by Andy Samberg

Classic Class Day Speech by Andy Samberg of "Lonely Island" and "SNL" Fame for the Class of 2012 at Harvard.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Catherine - Manga style Game

Found this game on youtube. Cant wait to see the full walkthrough in one of my favorite Game commentator channels - GHOSTROBO. This is the guy who did an amazing LA Noire walkthrough. Catherine  is developed by the japanese game developer Altus. Japan is known for their anime style games based on the Manga Series but this is the true Anime style game Im going to witness. Devil May cry Ghost in the shell are more action oriented games this is a true story oriented game with anime cutscenes rather than a graphic cutscenes used nowadays.

By the Way Celtics lost today What a BUMMER!!!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Celtics SWEET comeback against the Heat

After the absolute travesty in game 2 where Heat came back from a 15 point deficit to an overtime victory at home. The Celtics deserved to win Game 2 of not for many many dubious calls from the refs.The worst of which is illustrated in the video below

But the Celtics showed their mental toughness in a roaring comeback in Game 3 at home. The Celtics took the early initiative and never let go. Eventhough Brandon Bass was off color and Rondo wasnt in the points the Celtics roared through the bench points and exemplary defense on the Heat. Thoroughly enjoyed a very professional performance from the home team this morning.Though the Miami had a late rally to come within 5-7 points in the final quarter the Celtic shut them down in the final minutes.I hope the Celtic scrape through to the NBA Finals and meet the other veteran team in San Antonio to make a final dance of the Veterans who played the Game the way it should be played.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

NBA Finals - Aging Veterans show their mettle

As expected the reigning NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks got swept disappointingly.That makes one of my other favorite teams the Boston Celtics my lone hope of enjoyment in the NBA Finals.Boston Celtics has been an absolute surprise in the post season. I have been waking up early on the weekend at around 5 AM to watch the postseason games and i like to watch the LA Clippers as they are probably the most entertaining team to watch with CP3,Blake in the mix but was also happy that SA Spurs went through to the Conference Finals.Aging teams like Spurs and Celtics proved their mettle and class even in the case of a shortened and physically taxing season.The level of play that Kevin Garnett ,Paul Pierce and Tim Duncan able to perform in their late thirties is nothing short of amazing.The Spurs and Celtics personify what Team basketball looks like.Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are like the best wingmen for the centre Tim Duncan who still has the best post moves in NBA.Rondo has really matured into a All Star Hall of Fame Point Guard who cares of he doesnt average 25 points a game he is a PG his job is to make others better which he excels in.... I hope either the Spurs or the Celtics win.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yipeeee !!!! Anand is still the World Champion

Im thrilled to say that Anand has retained his World Crown. but Im also disappointed that he needed a tie break to win against a lowly ranked challenger in Boris Gelfand. I was watching the Rapid Games live on Chessbomb. No one held a decisive positional advantage in any of the four games but in each one of them Anand was well ahead of time proving to everyone that he is still the "Speed King" in chess.
This was such a good news for Anand and India. He clearly deserves a Bharat Ratna for his FIVE yes FIVE World Tiles. But i have to agree with Kasparov that this was by far the lowest quality in World championship Chess.I hope in 2014 Anand gets to meet the rising young players like Carlsen or Nakamura or even maybe Anish giri for the World Championship.Then maybe he can retire as he has already reached his retirement age in Chess. I have embedded the Chess analysis of the decisive Game in the Rapid Game Tie-break below. Anand will probably go down in history as the best defensive player in the world.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jimmy Kimmel - about his life with Ellen



One of my favorite late night comedians Jimmy Kimmel He is really maturing now......

Friday, May 25, 2012

A really weird Soccer Match

Another great post by Presh Talwalkar on a really weird soccer match where both the teams used Game Theory

Yesterday I wrote about a weird World Cup game where nobody tried to score.
There is amazingly an even weirder game on record. The infamous game is about a team advancing in a tournament by scoring an own goal.
In the 1994 Shell Caribbean Cup, Barbados needed two clear goals to advance against Grenada. Losing or winning by one goal meant not advancing. The wrinkle was a rule that goals in overtime would count double to reward a team winning a close game.
The stage was set for an unusual match. Professor Mike Shor of Vanderbilt University writes about the resulting craziness where scoring an own goal was rational:
Barbados needed to win by two goals. With less than ten minutes left in the match, Barbados led by exactly two goals and began to play very defensively. In the 83rd minute, Grenada finally scored, making the score 2-1. Barbados tried to answer but, with only three minutes remaining, was unable to score. Members of the Barbados team contemplated their options. To advance, they needed either to score one more goal in the last three minutes (winning by two), or force the game to extra time where a goal would count as if they won by two. Barbados scored on their own net, tying the game at 2-2.
This is not yet the odd part of the match. The Grenada players, initial shock abating, developed their own strategy. If they could score on Barbados in the waning minutes, they would win the match and advance. But, if they could score a goal on themselves, they would lose by one goal which was still enough to advance. For two minutes, Grenada tried to score on either goal, with Barbados players split between defending their own goal and that of their opponents!
Normal time ended in a tie and the game did go to overtime, in which Barbados scored a game winner and advanced
[emphasis mine]
Professor Shor’s cleverly dubbed the game “which goal is mine.”
Barbados managed to advance but it was eliminated in the next round. No penalties were given to either team since they were both trying to win (albeit in an odd way akin to the puzzle about fixing a broken bet).
The lesson is that simple and seemingly smart rules can have a devastating impact on competition and good play. And much of this can be anticipated if one uses game theory to consider the incentives by thinking ahead and reasoning backwards.
There is a video which shows highlights and the own goal (sadly it omits the chaos where Grenada tried to score on either goal)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anand fought back with an early win

Back to the World Championships this time im not that excited as Anand is playing a lowly ranked player in Gelfand but still he managed to lose Game 7 after a string of draws. But Fortunately he came back on a Gelfand blunder in Game 8 with one of the shortest victories ever in World Championships.

I believe Anand should try to finish this series as soon as possible cause leaving it till the end is not going to help anybody but still Anand still holding on to the World title at his age is remarkable.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Max Payne is back !!!!!



Hoping it is as good as the first two parts of the Series.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dark Shadows

Went to the recent Johnny Depp starrer "Dark Shadows" at PVR.This movie was certainly intriguing. Johnny depp as usual was wonderful in this movie couldnt tell the same for the rest of the cast.This movie has mostly received negative reviews but deservingly. Just thought that the Director - Actor Combo which brought us "Edward Scissor Hands" and "Sleepy Hollow" could have bought up a lot more thrill and passion in the storyline. Im especially disappointed in the scope available to the cast in the screenplay.
div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> There isnt much of a role to anyone except for Johnny and Eva Greens character.Tim Burton could have got a lot more townspeople of Collinwood involved in this movie just like sleepy Hollow and Edward Scissorhands. Still the movie was watchable once for its comedic moments interspersed with corny dialogues

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Me at New York

Adele : I'll set Fire to the Rain

Adele - Ill set fire to the Rain Live at the Royal Albert Hall. What a powerful Voice like an Opera singer.
 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

SINGAPORE AT NIGHT

Photos taken from my trip to Singapore

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Walking dead : Game

The Walking Dead is a different kind of Zombie game. this is not the typical blood/gore slasher game we are looking at a Heavy Rain type Zombie game with more emphasis on character development rather than gameplay. Such games are getting popular these days. With Episode 1 i believe that they have achieved their goal. Cant wait for episode 2.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tokyo dogs : Japanese Drama

Right after Nobuta wo Produce this is the new Japanese Drama Series I'm watching right now. Here is a short info on the series from DRAMACRAZY.NET
tok1D by afffwork13 Takakura So witnessed his father's murder at a young age. Pledging to catch the killer, he grows up to become an elite cop in New York City, where the criminal lives. His character is cool-headed and disciplined, yet adapts well. Because of major drug dealings, he gets sent to Tokyo to conduct a joint investigation with the Japanese police. There, he gets teamed up with, Kudo Maruo, a detective from a special investigative division. Kudo is a hot-blooded fighting expert due to his earlier days as a delinquent, but he makes a strong impression with his stylish appearance and is always interested in going on group dates. His personality, interests, and investigation methods are completely mismatched with Takakura's, but the two somehow work together to crack the case they've been given. --Tokyograph

Friday, March 09, 2012

Sunday, March 04, 2012

How a 35$ Book went upto 25 Million Dollars $$$ in Amazon

This is what happens when we have a bidding war between price determining algorithms This taken from a post on Michael Eisens Blog A few weeks ago a postdoc in my lab logged on to Amazon to buy the lab an extra copy of Peter Lawrence’s The Making of a Fly – a classic work in developmental biology that we – and most other Drosophila developmental biologists – consult regularly. The book, published in 1992, is out of print. But Amazon listed 17 copies for sale: 15 used from $35.54, and 2 new from $1,730,045.91 (+$3.99 shipping). I sent a screen capture to the author - who was appropriate amused and intrigued. But I doubt even he would argue the book is worth THAT much. At first I thought it was a joke – a graduate student with too much time on their hands. But there were TWO new copies for sale, each be offered for well over a million dollars. And the two sellers seemed not only legit, but fairly big time (over 8,000 and 125,000 ratings in the last year respectively). The prices looked random – suggesting they were set by a computer. But how did they get so out of whack? Amazingly, when I reloaded the page the next day, both priced had gone UP! Each was now nearly $2.8 million. And whereas previously the prices were $400,000 apart, they were now within $5,000 of each other. Now I was intrigued, and I started to follow the page incessantly. By the end of the day the higher priced copy had gone up again. This time to $3,536,675.57. And now a pattern was emerging. On the day we discovered the million dollar prices, the copy offered by bordeebook was1.270589 times the price of the copy offered by profnath. And now the bordeebook copy was 1.270589 times profnath again. So clearly at least one of the sellers was setting their price algorithmically in response to changes in the other’s price. I continued to watch carefully and the full pattern emerged. Once a day profnath set their price to be 0.9983 times bordeebook’s price. The prices would remain close for several hours, until bordeebook “noticed” profnath’s change and elevated their price to 1.270589 times profnath’s higher price. The pattern continued perfectly for the next week. But two questions remained. Why were they doing this, and how long would it go on before they noticed? As I amusedly watched the price rise every day, I learned that Amazon retailers are increasingly using algorithmic pricing (something Amazon itself does on a large scale), with a number of companies offering pricing algorithms/services to retailers. Both profnath and bordeebook were clearly using automatic pricing – employing algorithms that didn’t have a built-in sanity check on the prices they produced. But the two retailers were clearly employing different strategies. The behavior of profnath is easy to deconstruct. They presumably have a new copy of the book, and want to make sure theirs is the lowest priced – but only by a tiny bit ($9.98 compared to $10.00). Why though would bordeebook want to make sure theirs is always more expensive? Since the prices of all the sellers are posted, this would seem to guarantee they would get no sales. But maybe this isn’t right – they have a huge volume of positive feedback – far more than most others. And some buyers might choose to pay a few extra dollars for the level of confidence in the transaction this might impart. Nonetheless this seems like a fairly risky thing to rely on – most people probably don’t behave that way – and meanwhile you’ve got a book sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Unless, of course, you don’t actually have the book…. My preferred explanation for bordeebook’s pricing is that they do not actually possess the book. Rather, they noticed that someone else listed a copy for sale, and so they put it up as well – relying on their better feedback record to attract buyers. But, of course, if someone actually orders the book, they have to get it – so they have to set their price significantly higher – say 1.27059 times higher – than the price they’d have to pay to get the book elsewhere. What’s fascinating about all this is both the seemingly endless possibilities for both chaos and mischief. It seems impossible that we stumbled onto the only example of this kind of upward pricing spiral – all it took were two sellers adjusting their prices in response to each other by factors whose products were greater than 1. And while it might have been more difficult to deconstruct, one can easily see how even more bizarre things could happen when more than two sellers are in the game. And as soon as it was clear what was going on here, I and the people I talked to about this couldn’t help but start thinking about ways to exploit our ability to predict how others would price their books down to the 5th significant digit – especially when they were clearly not paying careful attention to what their algorithms were doing. But, alas, somebody ultimately noticed. The price peaked on April 18th, but on April 19th profnath’s price dropped to $106.23, and bordeebook soon followed suit to the predictable $106.23 * 1.27059 = $134.97. But Peter Lawrence can now comfortably boast that one of the biggest and most respected companies on Earth valued his great book at $23,698,655.93 (plus $3.99 shipping). How can a book about Flys can go for 25 Million Dollars... About time someone bought his book.

The Rise of Jeremy Lin

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Max Payne 3 Trailer

Just watching the NBA All-Star 3 point contest and then suddenly the MAX PAYNE 3 Trailer show up cant wait to get a look at the game. GO MAX.... One of the best games ever. Only wondering about the Gameplay

Tuesday, February 21, 2012