Dec 11, 2007

The Mistake

One of the major lacunae in Pkaistani batters is their approach to batting and failure to play with application. India by batting first and pi,ling this large score in the last two tests has sort of made it easier for pakistanis to apply themshelves, one by showing how easy it is to bat and number two by anyway putting a victory out of the equation for Pakistan, so now their batters know that there is no excuse for them to paly a risk shot and get out. So..maybe Kumble should have bowled first..but still gioven the pitches, i dont think it would have mattered. Also, it feels gopod to see India dominating Pakistan

Nov 22, 2007

Blog Reading Level

cash advance

Information Assymetry

The Rama conundrum - Lets talk about the Ill fated 'Agni pariksha Phase of the rama' - (Aside: This moment sort of decided the issue that Krishna will be considered the Omniscient one while Rama's place will be more of a model Ruler, Son etc. Now, Rama asked Sita to take the Agni pariksha because of Information Assymetry. (Rama says that - he believes Sita, but the general public will need verifiable evidence, hence the test). So the basic problem is, as far as i can see is Information assymetry, Just as i mention in the post 'Zero Sum Game', Information assymetry is also one of the underrated factors in decision making. Informatrion Asymmetry gives roise to many issues. Lets take a better example. Suppose you are suddenly face to face with a snake. What will you do - Most prob you ll run away, and more often you will try to kill it, as you simply dont know that the snake is poisonous or not. But you will have no hesitation in wlaking by a stray dog even if it carries rabies. Both are the examples of us acquiring a given set of stereotypes, and in absense of any situation specific information, We use our stereotypes.

What sort of conclusions, you can draw from all this
1. Information asymmetry carries a deadweight loss
2. The first response to many problems should be to see if you can find more about it. Many people seem to discount this conclusion
3. Being in a position of Rama is tough. But i am sure Rama could have handled it better.

Nov 19, 2007

The Week Gone By

Some observations
  • The banality of Fed winning events is slowly diminishing...good times ahead.
  • I don't really like Kumble being the Indian captain, but for Dhoni it would have been a case of too much too soon. And even though Dhoni is a smart guy and he would have realised it would be too much of a responsibility and try to mitigate, it would still be too much too soon. Sometimes just the realisation of a problem is not enough. Its like the 'Hopstead's law' or something.. Completing you work takes longer than expected, even when you take Hopstead's law into account.
  • Om Shanti Om was a disappointing movie. And Kareena failed to spoil 'Jab we met'...its a sweet movie.
  • Some people just dont own up to their mistakes
And above all
  • Spending your birthday alone is no fun
One more -
  • The bullet symbol in this template sucks

Nov 12, 2007

Zero Sum Game

One of the most underrated of the factors being utilised in decision making is the realisation whether the outcomes are zero sum or n0t. Based on this knowledge, the approach to solving the problem should differ markedly, and failure to recognise this phenomenon makes for improper decision making, and people can be persuaded via wrong analogies.

You want examples, let me give you one. Lets take the example of selection of Indian cricket team.
Only 14 can be selected, so if 1 player on the margin is selected, then 1 player for margin needs to be dropped. (Now suppose both the players are of equal caliber). Thus this makes a zero sum game and the selector has to drop someone. So it doesn't makes sense for the selector to be in good books of every player in the squad. But suppose you are a coach of the same team. Then, if you invest in some players and try to build a team spirit, and that player is dropped to bring another person. This is not a zero sum game and the coach actually loses in this scenario.

So we can see that, for a selector and a coach, the rationale for decision making is not same and both have different incentives. So to come to the point, when Greg Chappell and Kiran More sort of ganged up on Ganguly, it weakened their case that they are a doing it for professional and not personal reasons. So all in all, apart from all the base sentiments coming to Dada's rescue, Dada's supporters were right at some level.

Nov 10, 2007

Nascent Creativity

One of my dear friends has started a blog. The first topic is about the movie KHNH, about which we have had many a chats. The movie is good. Shah Rukh Khan seems to like it, my friend seems to like it...many other like it, i kind of liked the movie too. Of course the movie sort of bombed but thats hardly an indicator of the quality of the movie. But some people tend to like the movie very much. You can find such people in numerous orkut communities dedicated to the movie.

Now my point of view is, You like a movie because it was well made, the story surprised you, the music was good etc etc., but what makes you really love a movie, that happens when you really identify yourself with the protagonist or one of the major characters in the movie. For Example, take the case of RHTDM, a big hit in the south of India, but people in the north failed to relate to Madhavan's Character. If you have seen even the clips of South Indian Movies (I have seen only clips), its very evident that the Heroes there sort of revel in being very blunt and sort of irreverent. In the Hindi version however, those things sort off put off the people and ofcourse a good performance by Saif didn't help the movie.

So now, coming back to the actual movie in case, i think one of the reasons many people sort of idolise this movie is because it allows people to revel in mediocrity. Here is a small town boy (Shah Rukh), with bad manners, bad ethics, suffering with inferiority complex, but we are supposed to come out of the movie hall thinking that the heroine should have chosen that boy over a perfectly fine specimen (Deepak Tijori's Character) because he was a very good musician (Remember - Even Tijori'c character is made out to be very much in love with Ana- the then ms krishnamurty). THus, what this movie sort of gave was the vehicle to relate to a similar character not deserving the girl, but should have got her because he wanted her so much..

I dont think so..

Nov 4, 2007

Rafael Nadal Redux

At the start of the match between Nadal and Nalbandian , i got this thought that watching nadal play is like watching a formula 1 car which is ahead of a slightly faster car. The car behind it may be faster , but to overtake it needs to be 2 seconds faster. (Aside: - Not to think that Nadal is not very good, just that Nalbandian is in such a form and Nadal is such a fighter and retriever).
But by the end of the day, it was clear that Nalbandian was 4 seconds a lap faster.

Oct 29, 2007

Are Economists Happier

Its a good question and has been discussed here and there. I am an interested party here as I fulfill the criteria. Nobody can doubt that I am happy, the bone of contention is whether a 3 years degree in the hallowed Patna University makes me an economist. I don't think it does. But keep in mind, i took some eco courses in C, even then I don't think i fulfill the criteria of being an economist just because of that. However in my mind what clinches the fact that i am an economist is that i know enough economics that i can pass off as an economist to laypersons. So now that we have established that i am happy and an economist, let us attack the question, is studying economics in any part responsible for some of my happy demeanour?? definitely economics more useful in this regard than lets say 'Psychology'..tentatively yes. I think Economists apply some tools and methods which help them simplify the real world, the same principles sometimes help us economists to make sense out of the real world, plus the principle of price discovery sort of removes much of the dissonance that we have in life. eg somebody is performing poor, straightaway think in terms of overall work compensation and you will be content to know that overall that jerk is going to be paid less precisely cos of the tendency that pissed you off.

Oct 22, 2007

Kimi Raikkonen - F1 WDC 2007

The best result on many levels. Lewis surely winning as a rookie would have sort of understated the charm of WDCs, Alonso being upstaged by a rookie for most of the season didn't deserve the title. That leaves Kimi, with the most wins, potentially the fastest of the lot..and none more deserving the title...and i am so happy for that.

On a side note, the most thrilling portion of the race came through the livetiming, where i could see Rosberg and Kubica fighting for 4th and for 2 consecutive laps, the difference was 0.0 secs and i was hoping like hell that those two don't crash and give the title to Hamilton. Must admit, those two are pretty good racers.

Oct 13, 2007

Meta on Mundane Things

I was just wondering, Is writing about "Mundane Things" on a blog titled "Mundane things a mundane activity or not. I think not, it shows my grasp, my awareness of things happening around me in many spheres of life. Also such an observation obviates the conclusion about having the posession of an ability to step one step back and observe things.

But maybe not, as the tags say

Oct 8, 2007


Well as you can guess from the title, procrastination is one of the centre pieces of my blogginess. Well, one of the solutions that keeps coming to my inventive mind is - Compartmentalization. One obvious advantage quantify your work work into ordinal compartments...that gives you very visible targets to work the incentive to reduce the workload....otherwise generally the case is that there will be an unpleasant feeling about all the stuff that you have to do.

The question to per my previous experiments..Notepad is no good...ATNotes suck....Google desktop sidebar is quite effective.

So we have arrived at a problem and a solution and dealt with the Hows and Whys. but i still have to put in one disclaimer..Even compartmentalization is work and if you procrastinate in that..ultimately you wont be any better off.

Oct 3, 2007

Repetitive Alliterations

Every once in a while, you finally achieve something which you can be proud of. Something about which you can call your friends and crow about. Something on which you can blog about.

Well!! My friends, today is such an occasion., my bravenet site counter site shows 1000 hits.

There are many persons to thank to, but keeping with tradition, I must thank myself, as i must be the returning visitor atleast 300-400 times thus significantly contributing to this significant momentuous moment.

Thanks to you all too.

Sep 30, 2007

World Championship Week

This just in. I think this result will surely have more weight than the 2000 one. Also it means that Anand is the undisputed number one and the best chess player in the world at the moment, taking over from Kramnik. I just hope he crosses the 2800 mark with this result.
Afetr T20, Chess..Decent sporting week for India

Sep 15, 2007


A great game..loved the novelty of a bowl out..and how bad was the ball that bhajji bowled..the one just after afridi holed out

Sep 10, 2007

The Roger Slam

So its back to a Roger Slam (defined as Losing to Rafa in French and winning the rest).Of course all this brings us back to the 'Roger-Pete' comparisons...while pete numbers dont look as good as rogers..i absolutely remember people complaining about pete dominating the tour thus making it boring...the same is happening with federer here....

If we continue with the comparisons, Two things come to mind after the last game.
  1. Roger is at the peak of his domination,like the 'Pete- Rafter' phase of 97-98, where sampras just managed to hold his own against Rafter.
  2. Roger is learning from Pete the ways to prolong his career,His much improved Serve was the main enabler for Rogers title defense. I think on the basis of groundstrokes alone, Nole and Davy'D seemed better.(It wasn't the case earlier).

So if we continue the analogy, we may see Federer strugglingin the next few years against upcming players like djokovic, ala how Sampras struggled with Safin and hewitt. However Federer will continue to win Slams for the next few years though i think the dominating phase is over.
P.S - Mytake on the Roger Pete debate-

I think, overall Roger has the better game, primarily due to his ability and results on clay. Pete though has the better career as of now. Remember Pete won his first slam when he was about 20 and the last when he was 31. Thats a long time.

Sep 8, 2007

1975: The Golden year

of Hindi Cinema that is....

Was just surfing through the comments on Sholay in IMDB....and came across this sentence..
1975 may have been the best year for Hindi films with the likes of Deewar, Chupke Chupke, Hera Pheri, Khel Khel Mein, Julie, Mausam, Ponga Pandit, Rafoo Chakkar, Uljhan, Dharmatma, Do Jasoos, Faraar, Geet Gaata Chal, Chhoti Si Baat, Aandhi and Milli - all releasing along with Sholay
Surely, as good a collection of movies that you can find as any..for any given year...I havent watched all of them..but just look at the kind of stories they told..Julie..Aandhi ..Faraar..Milli.... Chupke Chupke.....and course some of my alltime fav moies....Deewar, Chhoti Si Baat and Sholay....also what an year it must have been for Amitabh...From Sholay and Faraar, Chupke Chupke..Milli..and Mausam (if i think its the same moovie that i am thinking)......

Truly a golden year for Hindi Cinema....

P.S - I watched 'RGV ki Aag'....But i cudn't find a single publishable adjective about the i will refrain from blogging about it.

Aug 7, 2007

HCR and Poverty Line

Returning to this post. I think while the issue highlighted is pertinent. The solution itself may not work. A better basket of commodities is need though. Still I do not see an end to the whole issue untill India becomes a much more regularized economy so that implicit assets and subsidies could be valued. Old post in quotes

"Should poverty measure benchmark be made a relative one ( e.g 25% of Avg Income) rather than a nutritional value based system. Especially as we see that India produces enough and trades enough in food items to make sure that availability of food is not an issue, rather its the purchasing power that is the constraining factor.

This method will be a good benchmark and will address concerns regarding 'Inclusive Growth'"

Aug 4, 2007

Public Health Policy

This post has been written as a response to this post. Do check the comments section of that blog too.

We must look to the government on this one. Frankly, the civic community of India as of now is too poor to keep pace with the medical technology and the accompanying costs.


1) Infrastructure - The Primary health centres barely function, not to talk about Sub Centres
2) Doctors - Too few. The government cannot train enough doctors and cannot pay the trained doctors to come work in CHCs, forget the PHCs.
3) System - For all the guidelines that state govts have for monitoring, the current systems seem not to work (this may be a non problem - ie if decent doctors with good infra available- the community will ensure that the health centres are utilised)


1) Investment - A big push like the one in Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan is needed. ICDS is useful, but it doesn't covers the community's overall health
2) Health Workers Training Program- At the SC and PHC level, Health workers may be trained and utilised. - This will be basically an exercise in expectations management - Devise a practical training and education program for producing general physicians- dont call them doctors and expect them to work on contract in lieu of lower pay than the one you have for doctors.
3) As i said, the systems are in place, but since hardly anything works now, you cannot apportion blame to any one stakeholder which allows everyholder to have slack. General awareness and communication of all the facilities and govt schemes available may be one step forward as of now

As you can see, the solutions seem very simplistic, but i dont think we lack in identifying the solutions here. Our basic shortcoming is the lack of capacity - Investment wise, Technolgy wise, and Community sense wise, which has made it such a big problem. I believe that its not that the health spending in India is through Private sector, its just that the govt has failed to fulfill its side of the bargain

SC- Sub Centres at Village/Mouza Level
PHC- Primary Health Centres - at Block level
CHCs - Community Health Centre - at Sub District Level
ICDS - Integrated Child Development Scheme- Basically- Looking at the health of children, pregnant women and new mothers

Jul 23, 2007


How to utilise one's time, in the best possible manner..i have read much stuff about procrastination..productivity etc.....but that hardly works if you dont work on it..which is the problem in the first case...As far as i can so happens that once you are not happy with your base level of productivity..then it boils down to how motivated you are to do something..or how strong the incentives are...maybe they are the same the point becomes a constant struggle of always calculating the motivation incentive....which leads to mental fatigue..diminishing returns et al....thus creative a bias towards lower productivity equillibrium... that the problem has been identified...two solutions...
1) Raise your base level of productivity...-how?..simple..imbibe better timely some basic activities in routine time...some sort of rudimentary time planning if you will.....

2) Reduce the bias towards lower prodcutivity.. - How again?..again thinking matters through may help here..(however you never know)....also some sort of to-do list..may help..

course..if you really wanna be productive..give yourself strong incentives/ your work to some reward...a good way...ask for a will work hard to justify the demand...

well again....some wishes ar ebetter unfulfilled..

Jul 22, 2007


Some observations
1. Best race of the season by far..
2. Hamilton can overtake without a fuss..bit in the montoya mode..unlike say alonso....who can overtake but in the process seems unduly aggressive
3. Alonso can drive in the wet..(like we have seen in the past races also)
4. Ferrari seem more comfortable in the race than qualy.
5. Wet races are better(signal: introduce more driver inputs in the races)
6. Good to see the needle between Massa and Alonso

Jul 5, 2007

The Amul Butter Tv ad

Can you believe it..Amul butter..the king of billboard ads...has such a sad ....less types..TV ad....where is the creativity..was that a satire..I don't know

Jul 1, 2007

Sports Week

Could you believe it..we were made to watch Damm Paes and then Mirza peer doubles while Federer Safin match was going on in wimby...what a joke..

Then i was having a haircut while Rossi came through the field..apparently making up a 5 sec gap of Stoner to win in Assen...

Course everything will be alright ...if Kimi manages to win at magny cours..also will be fun if it rains..and alonso surely will b praying for it.....

Jun 2, 2007

Governance reforms redux

These last few days have made me think about the current affairs of the state. Let me enumerate what i think (Dont even think that what i say will have any structure or coherency)

1) The biggest problem we have right now is the malfunctioning of the government's implementation mechanism -
what this results into -
a) Lack of desired outcomes- allowing people to question Govt's work in areas such as Social security, Education and Food security )
b) No way to judge the policy- whether its good or bad as the policy as it is could not be implemented fully.
c) Again giving voices to left leaning people to throw more good money into such schemes - as per me wrongly arguing that the mechanism failed due to low funding etc.)
d) Allowing right leaning people (like me :)) to argue against social security (in itself a desirable goal)
d) Increasing cynicism among political class, who anyway know that irrespective of the outcomes, all that matters is whether they can establish some positive corealtion of intended outcomes with a community - whether overall the policy may not be desirable.

2) Some structural inbalances
a) Police Reforms- One of the best things that the govt can do is to ovwerhaul the current police system

b) Education system - Central Governemt should make the sector more free. Plus in the current economic scenario, becomes important that the current university system is more vocation oriented. I dont know much but do follow Atanu Deys 10 part series

c) Implementation Mechanism - RTI is the best thing to happen in a long time, now its just upto barious NGOs, bodies etc to somehow arrive a t a model which can make the bureaucracy more accountable. People maynot realise, but so many schemes give away so much money, which more often than not fails to reach the intended people. Information dissemination about schemes, People everything.

d) Agriculture sector reforms - what can be done- Land records and registration to be synchronised by all state govts. Free to sell land for non agri purposes. tax agri income. levy user charges for irrigation schemes. Strenghten WuAs

3) My solutions
a) Govt to focus on Education, Health, Social Security.
b) Instead of having big ticket program implementation, focus on governance reforms
c) Get private sector into the schemes, wherever they can (eg roads, power, Irrigation)
d) SEZs a good way ( remove the eminent domain funda, only for private parties. eg govt should not be intermediary) However ensure that no strong arm tactics are employed by Industrialists.
e) Overall, except social sector and Infrastructure, govt should be regulator not the provider

May 21, 2007

Client Engagement of the Other Kind

This blog post has strange origin. I am sitting in my organisation's training room, trying not to talk with the person sitting next to me. In this training exercise, my team is competing against two other teams.

The team currently presenting has lifted one of my ideas. Things are not looking good considering the quality of their presentation. Also i must admit that I have to work more on my team dunamic skills. Everyone in my team has to be amenable to me and my whims, otherwise i start showin hostility or divisive behaviour and i really think that i am above all this. So it becomes a little disappointing. Even this behaviour may have worked except that, I dont really want to work or take responsibilty but want people to show respect to all my ideas and anyway i will throw in a few arbit ideas as a joke.

Overall the whole exercise has been good. Met a couple of reallly nice people, conceptualised a couple of ideas about client engagement. Ofcourse met old cal friends too. gives u that warm feelin in that heart..replicated only by..

Team A has in the meanwhile managed to crack the case. Our team doesnt standsa chance. feeling slightly disappointed that i am part of a losing team. Ofcourse HR, the part in which i was involved, we are much much ahead of the other teams but still it was finance and production that mattered and we will suck bigtime in those.

Course we lost in the final standings. And ofcourse HR part was the best. But we could have handled things much better ad we were clearly the worst and least prepared team.

Overall the training exercise gets a rating of Good

Apr 4, 2007

Indian Cricket Team Dynamics

Things are looking very bad. I am very ambivalent on Sachin as of now. Maybe as he says, he still has cricket left in him, asses his physical level, ask him to play a season of county and ranji and then assess on his physical level and performance. If its gud enuf do select him for the team. Ofcourse sadly, this means that for the first time in 14-15 years, i am indifferent towards Sachin's presence in the team. (Aside: I am sure he can hold his place even at current level of performance, but even if he is replaced i dont think the team will suffer much.) One of the factors has been the baggage that Sachin has brought into the team. By speaking against the current coach in public, you cross a line, no matter how warranted your intervention was.

My solution:
1) Chappell Out
2) Whatmore, Sandeep Patil, Anshuman Gaewkward (In this order) be the new coach. (Woolmer wood have topped the list)
3) Saurav Sachin Bhajji Agarkar out
4) Raina, Pathan, Uthappa, Dhoni, Sreesanth, Zaheer, Patel, Dravid, Sehwag, uv, Powar, karthik to be the core tam contracted
5) Get a bowling and fielding coach
6) Implement performance based contracts ( Experience doesnt holds much water - If you are experienced, it shud translate into performance) - However since experience gets you some know how , there are some positive externalities from experience. A small 20% component weight may be given for experience

Mar 25, 2007

A New strategy

Expect more links...maybe in future i can actually come back and read them. Sort of a mix beteen what i am currently reading and what i would like to read...

Mar 17, 2007

The Tragedy

Its only true for the Indian Cricket team that a well thought out strategy looks more like a gamble.
Still its a sign of a good captain that he knows the team's ability well and Dravid should have known that batting first with seam movement for India is always a gamble, not a strategy. Irrespective of the fact that the opposing team is bangladesh

Feb 27, 2007


In the literal sense, I understand, but in the proverbial sense, is it that people are unwilling to change their mental makeup. I mean whether its an external or internal phenomenon. Are you sort of unwilling to process the said things from a different perspective. My feeling is that we choose so otherwise suffocation like many things else is an artificial concept which while may explain things from a distance is not true in actual sense.

Feb 23, 2007

Wimby Equal pay

Put simply,
I dont agree.

The sports are different, why should the pay be equal. Common sense suggests that Mens tennis game commands more finances so should get more money. While many people have commented that its ironical that sharapova earns more than federer, but nobody in right mind suggested thay both should get the same money for modelling assignments even if they participate in the same ad for same brand at same time and same place. Cos they have different financial values.

Jan 26, 2007


Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.