Saturday, 31 January 2009

Relevance of Charles Darwin now

Coming february 12th, world would witness a remarkable completion of 200 years of darwin's day of birth and last november we witnessed 150th year of publication of origin of species, his magna cum laude. Very few books have been able to cast their impression upon human mind as strong as charles darwin's work. The atheist community has heralded his concept to a greater heights and creationists have tried and would be trying to keep it under the lid for ages to come adding fuel to his fame.

While everything about darwin and the 'origin of species' have been written in all the languages that accept science , my thought was along the applicability of his concepts in the recent times. Nobody could argue against the darwin's law that only fittest have the highest possibility of survival and there is a (unseen) natural selection which favours stronger candidates over the weak. But is it true still?

If we closely watch, the misfits who(ich) are no longer useful, in the context of bigger definition of society gets eliminated gradually but does this happen nowadays? It looks like the answer is very debatable. The context at which darwin spoke didnt include the advances in technological advances that we are witnessing these times. Technology has been a great leveller and has helped the weak and poor to a great extent that they are working around their weaknesses. Like the democratic systems, where the vote driven and majority based politics could promote weaker individuals to the top places.
In the 1.8 million years of human evolution, the timeframe that we are talking about doesnt even merit a paragraph, but still we could be on top of something which could change the way we perceive the laws of darwin. The human race has reached a pinnacle where it doesnt depend upon the principles of evolution anymore and has started manipulating it rather , through alterations in genetics and technological sophistications that makes a weak strong.
Evolutionary principles have been applied to everything from philosophy, psychology, economy, and several possible walks of life and even there are games like spore built around it. Out of 5% everything spoken and written in the world may be related to it (thanks to the theits and atheists), it is the basis for the study of genetics which john gregor mendel pioneered, it is the root cause for so many exciting journeys into the science, it is the core fundemental of several social networking sites which exploit our inner thirst to be a social animal (which the materialistic society has denied us) and so many other phenomenon around the world. But may be it is time that we revalidate it with the emergence of newer facts. Btw, i need to check that the scrambled egg that i left in the stove is evolving into a good omlette. You?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Acidic Information Rain

We live in the age of information abundance and it keeps pouring throught the day and night. We all face an acidic rain of information through out our life now a days.  Many of us get drowned in the ocean of information , be it good or bad.
Most of start our day with seeing mails from blackberry and those mails alter the mood significantly. Then TV occupies sometime feeding us with what we really dont need. On our way to office the freebie newspapers start telling about whats is recent in the gangwars, which company has gone burst along with the stories of amy winehouse who is crawling for some drinks in carribean island and some obscure island where people are fighting agaisnt the closure of the post office.
On the way to office, after saying no (sometimes yes) to those who sell the BIG ISSUE, fleeing the suggesting advertisements to invest in central london property(too late guys!) and by the time we start our work , we have tons of information in our head that we grapple with. Ths  can be repeated for afternoon, evening and nights dosage of it in various forms and devices.
Do we really need this much of communication and information in the life? Wont the world be a better place with limited access to the information? However absurd this may sound given the current lifestyle context, if we tread backwards in the time, it reveals quite interesting facts.
In the last 250,000 years of noteworthy human history , human race started living in established settlements for the last 10000 years and notable civilizations have shown traces in the last 5000 years. During all these years human communicated effectively and efficiently. But in the last 20 odd years we are faced by severe information explosion, especially with television and in the last 10 years internet and other communication devices have bombarded us with the amount of information beyond measure. Our brain by evolution is not really equipped to handle this amount of information and could very well be confused to react to the amount of information it receives , processes and takes action upon.
While it is good to have vast amount of information, when it lands into to the minds of those who cannot process it in an effective way , it breeds anxiety confusing people and has a profound effect on the whole society towards chaos (like the current times). May be we are going through some big transformation and i am sure those who are fittest would develop strong acumen to withstand this acidic information rain. Till this happens for all , people like stephen covey would be writing books like "9 effective habits of processing information" and we would be buying to improve ourselves.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Microsoft layoffs

The gloomy economy has started taking its toll at all possible corners, the newspapers are full of the stories of jobcuts, reduction in costs , companies winding down their businesses, increase in unemployment rates, decrease in consumer spending etc. What started in last parts of 2007 as a correction of overhot economic engine has spread its horror tentacles across the globe. 

These are the times when only the fittest , meanest and leanest survive, Companies have been laying off in thousands to adhere to the "survival of the fittest" paradigm (charles darwin would definitely be psyched up against all of us to have made his concept a cheap cliche) as nobody has a clue on how long the recession, a word which was unuttered earlier due to psychological reasons, would last and when the economy would start kicking again.

Interesting twist has been the layoff's by Microsoft today which was around the Zune Music player division and could spread across other divisions too , to the tune of 5000 employees.  Traditionally MS has been very cash rich quoting the reason that they need to protect employee interests etc etc. But when the push comes to shove, Gates (Should we say balmer?) has resorted to traditional means of saving costs, without trying any innovations. 

I think next in the line must be larry ellison or Steve Jobs and while corporate giants are busy shedding their extraweights, lets sit and watch or alternatively we can focus on obama's antics for atleast next couple of months to keep our spirits high.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Linked(in) Life

I have been active in linkedin for quite sometime and as a part of spending less effort spending time looking for information, configured the feedreader (awesome rss aggregator) for linkedin and accidentally found that linkedin support rss feeds for the famous (infamous as i discovered later) Q&A section. With the comfort that feedreader provides to see the whole range of questions, i started subscribing and analysing several sections.

There were whole range of questions people were  asking . A few of them were
a) Who can help me building an access database?
b) How can i Help?
c) Are we expecting much from sales managers today?
d) What is the difference between business plan and feasibility study?

You can spend reading these hilarious questions and have a nice time and you dont need to look out for funny articles to relax your mood.
While linkedin looks very professional from outside, the more naive part of linkedin was a bit realistic and interesting to observe. I raised a few questions to test waters and for questions seeking information, there were not much answers and for controversial questions, people were piling (okay, a bit of a poetic exagerration) to answer.  Entangled in the question ocean, i ended up answering a few (was fun) to ensure my enlightment is shared across fellow human beings.

I am sure the questions are not going to slowdown now, (only economy is supposed to slowdown) when people are struggling hard to see a glimpse of hope and hear a sound of comfort from others. Lets keep asking questions, i dont think there are much answers around and atleast lets fill the world with questions...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

No more resolutions - Resolution for 2009

Wow, 2009 seems to have a bright and colourful start, India accusing pakistan (and vice versa), Israel bombarding Gaza strip, India's 4th largest IT company Satyam (sanskrit word for 'truth') admitting financial fraud to the tune to more than 1Billon dollars, Obama hinting about a 1 Trillion dollar deficit in the budget , which would amount for more than 90% of countries budget put together. 
As usual people have taken resolutions to quit smoking, consume lesser alcohol,reduce calories, save more money, have stabler relationships and by this time , most of it would have been broken.
Resolutions are an interesting part of human life, they are born out of commitments to ourselves or to somebody to move towards something good. But unfortunately resolutions are taken out of compulsive reasons like pleasing the girlfriend, newyear eve etc and lose their meaning after the charm of girlfriend decreases or after the hangover of dec31/jan1 wanes away.
I took a simpler resolution couple of years back and still sticking to that , it is quite easy to follow and i feel good sticking to it. The resolution is "No more resolutions".
This year is going to be quite interesting , historic and painful to be precise. As philosopher seneca ably told before the ages of financial scams, fundementalist terrorism etc "Luck favours the prepared".
Be prepared in whatever you do , anticipate opportunities and hazards and enjoy the ride, in no time , we all will be talking about the top 10 blah blahs of 2009 and planning( the same) resolutions for 2010.