Nov 22, 2007

Blog Reading Level

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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.