Monday, May 9, 2011

Bin There Done That


I’m no foreign policy expert.  But I read an argument by Scott Adams on his blog about the Paki folks being no better informed than the neighbors who lived right near Bin Laden’s compound at Abbottabad.  He says, If the neighbors  who lived right next to his house never knew about him then how could the military which had a base a mile away know about Bin Laden’s presence?

Now are we to assume that the Pakistani military and intelligentsia are no better than the small time farmers who lived next door to Bin Laden’s compound at Abbottabad?  With Ex President Musharraf now claiming that he used to jog along that route sometimes passing by right in front of the compound, I wonder if he ever went in for his morning coffee and cookies inside the compound.

If you have been reading the newspapers or listening to news, you would by now have got a rough jist of the fact that Pakistan has several power centers. The civilian/political and military establishments are poles apart and there is still some amount of distrust among them.  As Hilary Clinton mentioned in one of her interviews sometime back, there are some elements in Pakistan who may well be aware of Bin Laden’s whereabouts. There is every possibility that these elements could be a part of the all powerful Pakistani   military.

 I remember a nice financial anecdote by investment Guru Warren Buffet “  You only know who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.” The tide has just gone out with the killing of Osama Bin Laden in the heart of Pakistan and we all know who is swimming naked now!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Are You a Non Vegetarian ?


The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten and 99 Other Thought Experiments , by Julian Baggini is one hell of an awesome book that I am reading as and when  my frame of mind permits. I’ve always believed that when you want to do something , your mind must be ready to accept that task which you are about to do. Time is a non issue. It’s the frame of mind that matters.

I loved the word, “ Thought experiments ”.  There is an excellent chapter with a bizarre title “The Pig That wants to be Eaten” , which is a take on vegetarianism Vs non vegetarianism.  It says, most people including non vegetarians have an issue with the way slaughter houses are run. What if animals are kept in the best possible conditions given a humane death ? There again, rises the issue of killing a living breathing being. The author goes on to tease our supposedly rational brain by asking us this strange question - What if that animal has no desire/feelings and is not even aware of its existence ? Would killing it prick our conscience then ?

Well, in that case, one could argue that human beings could be ‘reared’ in the same way for their organs to be harvested as and when the need arises from wealthy folks who can afford to do so. But would we do that ? I doubt.

Meat has become such an irresistible craving that no amount of power point presentations on plight of   poultry can prevent us from having that crunchy Zinger burger.  That being said, I would perhaps love to be reborn as a vegetarian in my next life. Perhaps : )

Self Development


Most of us, who land up a job soon after passing out from college, get completely immersed in the day to day affairs that our job demands. In fact, we get so busy with getting that task done, that we seldom look beyond. We are of the belief that if we stick to what the boss says and do our job well, growth would come automatically. When I mention the term growth, I am referring to it both at a personal and professional level.

From what I have come to understand, growth, both at a personal and professional level does not come about without self development. At work, we get to learn many things purely because of the systems and processes of which we are a part of. This is just the default way of learning which would happen if you are just earnest at work. You need to do much more than that to really grow.

Get yourself nominated for certifications, trainings in your organization. This would help you keep yourself abreast of the required knowledge in your domain. Check with your HR and supervisor as well on the training schedule in advance and convince them on why you should be nominated for the same.

Enroll for a course : Go enroll yourself for some short term course related your domain. Most universities and education institutions have correspondence courses on a wide variety of subjects with contact classes on weekends. Remember, learning is continuous. Management Development programs from prestigious institutes would also, surely be a very good option. The MDPs from IIMs may cost a bomb but the quality of faculty and teaching imparted would be the best.

Read Read Read: Always keep reading and learning about any area of interest to you.

Volunteer: Volunteer yourself for any activity on or off work site. Volunteering is something which could give you a sense of happiness which comes out by the act of giving. It also gives you experience. You see more. It helps you develop yourself into a mature person.

When you invest in learning and self development, it reflects on your character and personality. Those are the differentiating factors that people look for in you.