Politicians should have a retirement age

If there’s one thing that I wish could change in India, I would vote for having a retirement age for politicians. When there is a concept of retirement for many other careers like engineers, bankers, CEOs, etc. why shouldn’t the same apply for politicians? If the reason for a retirement age in the private sectorsContinue reading “Politicians should have a retirement age”

Social networks of yore

I wonder why people consider “social networks” to be a “new thing”. It’s the “rage these days”, they say. Actually, they’ve been around for a while but in a different disguise. Take the case of the Erdos number: In order to be assigned an Erdos number, an author must co-write a mathematical paper with anContinue reading “Social networks of yore”

Indian Innovations for the Energy Challenge

After reading Atanu Dey on India’s Energy Challenge and Vijay Anand on Why the N-Deal is important, I was wondering if there were some interesting things being done in India regarding energy. And sure enough, I came across these: Water Balakrishna has created a turbine to generate power from slow moving water, and he hasContinue reading “Indian Innovations for the Energy Challenge”

To live unconventionally

Imagine a conversation with your doctor that goes like this: “What do you do for work?” the doctor asked me at the beginning of the interview. “Well, I’m trying to start my own social movement.” (There was a long pause, but he didn’t ask anything else about that. Instead, he looked at the next itemContinue reading “To live unconventionally”

Super Crunchers

Today, I re-read a book called Super Crunchers: How Anything Can Be Predicted by Ian Ayres. So what is supercrunching? Now something is changing. Business and government professionals are relying more and more on databases to guide their decisions. The story of hedge funds is really the story of a new breed of number crunchersContinue reading “Super Crunchers”

Why television and movies are captivating

From Philip K. Dick’s 1978 article “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (emphasis mine): The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. George Orwell made thisContinue reading “Why television and movies are captivating”

Two unofficial traffic rules in India

Ignore all honking. Most of the honking is by nincompoops who want to save 30 seconds in travel but waste away their lives during the rest of the day. Solution: We should ban all horns. It’s purpose has been lost. Reduce the noise pollution, please. Never drive in front of an auto, beside an autoContinue reading “Two unofficial traffic rules in India”

Why does crowdsourcing work?

Tim O’Reilly’s definition of Web 2.0 makes it clear that “crowdsourcing” is one of the defining features of Web 2.0, not only RIAs: “The service automatically gets better the more people use it.” Crowdsourcing is about taking it to the next step where people ‘contribute’ something to the ‘system’. There are many people and companiesContinue reading “Why does crowdsourcing work?”

Urban Development

Around the recent gastroenteritis scare in Bangalore, NDTV was running a poll: Then, there was this whole one hour dedicated to hearing viewpoints from Veerappa Moily, Swathi Ramanathan and the general public regarding Bangalore’s infrastructure. Okay, okay, I know most of you by now are saying “Oh, come on, don’t you have anything else toContinue reading “Urban Development”