What You Read is Who You Are


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More often than not I avoid writing or comment on anyone’s  Facebook wall.A few months back I couldn’t but write “worst poem” on a Banglore based writer’s post.

Reaction from her was obvious. It’s true that I am no one to validate her poetic justice. I am no way qualified to criticize her piece of work.Still I took the liberty to criticize an art work which I found not au fait.After that I humbly act contrite and apologized for using such strong comments. In the conversation she wanted to know whom & what I read & how I qualified to comment on a work.That absolutely sounds interesting to me. Because those who had praised and liked the poem, she did n’t ask the same question to them.

I reminiscent of the term “Whom and what you read”….

I never have any prejudice while selecting a book. I am a contemporary reader. But the conversation gave an opportunity to introspect. Prefer to look into my own book shelf.

 It contains popular physics (which is apparent for a botched theoretical physicist), ancient Indian philosophy, fictions and design books (which I purchased last year, thanks to Stanford D-school for reference).

I am also interested to know what others are reading. A friend of mine always starts his conversation by asking me what I am reading now.

It’s time to share some of the best books I read over the years.  I am willing to write and persuade some uncommon books which engineers and business people don’t read.

 Are you reading something interesting?  Don’t forget to share with me….

 About the Photo: This is the personal library of Robert A. Macksey, a professor at Johns Hopkins University. He is the owner of one of the largest personal libraries in the state of Maryland, with over 70,000 books and manuscripts along with art work, worth over $4 million US D. He is known to hold graduate level courses in his famous library.

Photo courtesy : Prof Alok Kumar’s Facebook post.

 

 

 

Retrospective 2012


So, 2012 ends. I survived- not from the doom’s day but from the turbulent market condition.
2011 was a scholastic endeavor for me with 3 global certifications and new assignments in job.
2012 was more on implementation and innovation though prominent failure shines in my personal life along with the failed commitments to my family and friends.
But my never ending quest for knowledge contributes this year also. I dedicated this year to “Design”. Attended a Stanford design school workshop and by the end of the year earned a Coursera certification on “Design and Artifacts “by Prof Karl T Ulrich (Vice Dean of Innovation and the CIBC Professor of Entrepreneurship and e-Commerce at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.)
I have started writing my blog this year and planning to write a book next year .. 🙂
Looking forward a brand new year….

How a Prison Fighter won a tournament by adapting changes


BoycaThis is all about a movie. –“Undisputed III”. I have seen it a few months back. Want to share the interesting story with you.

Yuri Boyka is sent to prison where he is joined by a diverse group of prison fighters from around the world. The match was fixed and authorities don’t want Boyca to win. Though the fighters are allowed one hour each day for training, Boyca is deprived off that and sent to field for hard physical labor.

Boyka reveals his strategy for turning the situation around: use the hard labor as part of the training. The US Marine slogan,-“Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”.

Boyca changed his situation. He engineered his disadvantage to advantage and won the game.

This is winning all about.

 

Photo Courtesy from “Amazon.com”

Are You Thinking Logically?


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A Harvard scholar, Mr. Sean Goldstein approaches a learned Rabbi,telling him that he has a Doctorate in philosophy, and would now like to learn the Talmud to round off or complete his knowledge.

(The Talmud meaning, “instruction, learning”, from a root “teach, study”.The Talmud contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including law, ethics, philosophy, customs, history, theology, lore and many other topics.)
After summing him up for a few minutes, the Rabbi told him ” I seriously doubt that you are ready to study Talmud. Its the deepest book of our people. If you wish however I am willing to examine you in logic, and if you pass the test I will teach you Talmud. ”

Goldstein agrees.

Rabbi holds up two fingers ” Two men come down a chimney. One comes with a clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face? “

Goldstein stares at the Rabbi. ” Is that a test in Logic?”

The Rabbi nods.

“The one with the dirty face washes his face”, the young man answers with trepidation.

“Wrong. The one with the clean face washes his face….
Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So the one with the clean face washes his face.”

“Very clever” Says Goldstein. “Give me another test.”

The Rabbi again holds up two fingers “ Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?

” We have already established that. The one with the clean face washes his face”

” Wrong. Each one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So the one with the clean face washes his face. When the one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face washing his face, he also washes his face. So each one washes his face”

” I didn’t think of that! ” Says Goldstein. ” Its shocking to me that
I could make an error in logic. Test me again!.”

The Rabbi holds up two fingers ” Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face? “

” Each one washes his face.”

” Wrong. Neither one washes his face. Examine the simple logic. The one with the dirty face looks at the one with the clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. But when the one with clean face sees that the one with the dirty face doesn’t wash his face, he also doesn’t wash his face So neither one washes his face”

Goldstein is desperate. ” I am qualified to study Talmud. Please give me one more test”

He groans when the Rabbi lifts his two fingers “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face and the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

” Neither one washes his face”

” Wrong”. Do you now see, Sean, why Socrates’ logic is an insufficient basis for studying the Talmud? Tell me, how is it possible for two men to come down the same chimney, and for one to come out with a clean face and the other with a dirty face? Don’t you see? The whole question is närrischkeit – foolishness – and if you spend your life trying to answers foolish questions, all your answers will be foolish.”
(This story is taken from Prof. Alok Kumar’s facebook post with his due permission. Kumar is a Professor of Communication at University of Calcutta.)
(Story Courtesy : Professor Biswajit Sen. University of Calcutta.
The Story was originally posted in the Loyola80-82 Message Board on Thu Apr 16, 2009.

Image : Talmud, Berakhot, Venice, 1520-1523, Printed by Daniel Bomberg. Page depicted :Volume.1, Folios. 46v-47r. 499.)

What is in your Backpack?


This is famous talk by George Cloony in the movie “Up in the Air”…

I love this talk…

Hope you will enjoy.I am sharing the script with you.

“How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a back pack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel ’em? Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things, the things on shelves and in drawers the knick-knacks, the collectibles.

Feel the weight as that adds up. Then you start adding larger stuff –

clothes,table-top appliances, lamps, linens…your TV…The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. And you go bigger.Your couch, bed, your kitchen table.Stuff it all in there.Your car, get it in there.Your home, whether it’s

a studio apartment or a two bedroom house.I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis We weigh ourselves down until we can’t

even move. And make no mistake…moving is living. Now, I’m gonna set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn.

In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing.

It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it?”

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2tZEA55Y5U

from http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/u/up-in-the-air-script-transcript.html

Why I Hate Interviews


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So, ever body does….

No one likes to be abused for free… 

I have stopped counting how many interviews I appeared since last ten years and successfully disqualified.

I used to carry a list where I mentioned the name of the companies I was interviewed by.

There are number of cases where I found I was been lucky not been selected (thank God)…

 Still, there are some funny instances about interview I want to point out.

 

  • The Dress up monkey: The candidate has to be dressed in official. Now when I looked for my formal wears in wardrobe I ended up with misery. After finished wearing my formal clothes I found it was someone else. Now, I have to carry the formal man with a plastic smile in face to the venue.
  • The Candidate: The company is looking for a X-manager with X yrs of experience, engineering graduates from Tier-I institutes with X-certifications.. .with N no. of skill sets-Here is the funny thing. If a man has so many calibers why should he work in your company….?? He should be in NASA .These type of candidates are not found in the earth.(They are now in Mars Mission).
  • The Interviewer:  Now this man has done so many things since last 20 years. He has to prove- you are nothing in front of him. Starting with “tell me something about yourself”…This has really doomed me all the times. I have nothing to say about myself. Really one thing I hate is to talk about myself. I started with my accomplishments, my educations, my experiences. The technical interviews are pretty straight. Either you know or you don’t know.
  • The Uncomfortable Questions: Here come the personal questions which has nothing to do with the job. Where my wife is working.( one company was offering less money as I had not to travel to my wife’s work location).Why I have not been promoted-(because my  other colleague was better than me and he doesn’t need your job).

 I just can’t remember all the bizarre questions.

 Not all the interview experiences are bad irrespective of the fact whether I was selected or not.

At least no one asked me for my Facebook or Twitter passwords.

 Cartoon Courtesy:http://wordsandtoons.com 

How to deal with a team of Super Heroes


 

 

Recently a fellow Project Manager from another organization called me up and illustrated his annoyance to work with his team.For an example, he has assigned a task to a team member. But the team member denied and told him that he was not trained for the task.I know my friend is dealing with a well trained and an experienced team.Most of them are super heroes.Now, there is always a difficulty when you are dealing with too many super heroes.

How the project manager should deal with them?

  • Identify Strength and Weakness of the team:  Super heroes are talented. Every individual is good at something. So, identify and assign them accordingly.
  • Encourage strategic and creative thinking: Are they spending too much time on regular work? Allow them some time to focus on things which can add value. Recognize them for successful work.
  • Communicate priorities and Monitor closely: Clearly they are the most confident people so be the last to know they are in trouble. So, monitor closely.