Thursday, May 18, 2006

 

Belief system & identity crisis

Recently, I read somewhere that "we are designed to belief and not to seek truth". After pondering over it for sometime, I agree to a great extant.

In the process of learning we create some fundamentals for ourselves that gives us some identity - approved by others, such as xyz are my parents, my name is abc, I am a boy/girl etc. These fundamentals are important building blocks...and once someone has found firm belief in it, he/she will not agree to facts which does not gel with these fundamentals. A child's response to some questions can reveal his/her fundamental belief system at that age. Thus, we create a network of building blocks - which reinforces/improves itself thru experience.

Now taking a departure, I believe that the concept of religion started to provide some of these fundamentals for society or a group that would approve of and respect each other's belief system and hence help enhance faith in each other. I sincerely believe that it would be almost impossible for a majority of us to think in similar way unless forced thru a system, such as common education or religion.

Now, if some of the fundamentals are threatened by any event, we face a identity crises! This identity crises can lead us to display crazy behaviour - the only explanation to which according to me is that the root fundamental is to defend one's identity in most of the cases.

Perhaps, every coin has two sides - a system which is probably designed to create a common platform for all - in order to reduce noises - can face identity crisis when faced with another system made to achieve similar goals and finally a system would prevail or at best each will co-exist. A good example would be - Allopath, Homeopath, Ayurved, Accupuncture. These system existed continue to exist probably because they were not linked to one's identity. I may use Ayurved sometimes, seek Allopath at other times, or Homeopath at some other time. I do not face an identity crises and hence I'm ok with it.

I can recognise a system which doesn't question my identity. I can even use it and accept it.

How about a system which questions my identity? First, I will ignore it. If forced, I will repel it. Have you experienced such a system?

Some systems are designed in such a way that we may attach our identity to it - such as one may believe in God beacuse God made everything and in turn him. It is very tough to reject some of the fundamentals which explain what is unexplained, because later one creates other beliefs based on this belief. It is easy to reject a belief if it is in isolation - but not the ones which are building blocks for other beliefs.

If the identity crises occurs for a group of people (mostly thru a common system in which they believe or are forced to believe), they repel.

Today, people associate themselves to success. Success gives them identity! People acknowledge us if we achieve something.

How about it, if one is denied means to success which he believes to deserve? or Worse, a group of people are denied which they believe to deserve? One faces identity crises. An identity which one seeks.

If we sincerely think that a system should be removed for some reason, we need to dilute / exterminate the belief on which the system was made.

Monday, April 03, 2006

 

Random thoughts...

What am I supposed to do?
Should I think over it?
Recently, I got exposed to advaita and some other philosophies - during discussions with friends. Specifically, the hypothetical link of one with energy and wave theory was striking. However, at this moment, I am stuck with the concept of time itself.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

 

Nostalgia strikes!

After a long time (more than 7 years), eagerly waiting to contact my old friends, I have given up on Batchmates.com or Alumni.net. I am writing this post in a faith that at least a few of my classmates (12th grade or below) would recognize me. Others would find the following stuff irrelevant.

I spent my childhood at a small place on India-Nepal Border - Birpur (Bihar). I think this place would be far from today's high-tech world, even today. (And I hope it would be as beautiful as it was during my childhood). I did my primary & secondary studies at rather unknown schools - Koshi Bal Vidyalaya (1984-1990) & Koshi high school (1991-1994). After spending about 13 years at Birpur, I had more than 130 friends (10 per year ;)). So, it is impossible for me to name all of them, but I will name a few anyway.
High School: Amaresh, Amit, Sujit, Pranav, Prashant, Raghvendra, Neha, Pallavi
Primary school: Jagannath, Komal, Rimjhim
Home: Suman, Roshan, Raja, Rajesh, Pappu, Bharath, Dharma (if it helps, my nick is Anku)

I left Birpur when I was in 10th grade and joined Railway high school at Chakradharpur in 1994. My stint at Chakradharpur was rather short (one year) and I could make only a few friends - Neeraj Sinha, Neeraj Gupta, Sanjay Jha, Sanjay Srivastava, Prabhakar and Rinki (who used to live on the ground floor).

Then, I left chakradharpur to do my 12th grade at Ram Mohun Roy Seminary, Patna. Unfortunately, this period (1995-1997) was not so good for me due to poor health conditions (I survived my exam on medical grant) and I could not make many friends. I remember only Ashish Gopalika, Chandan and Jyoti. In addition, at my hostel I got some good friends - Ranvir and Payal.

I had a crush on Payal (teen-age!) and so had she (OK! she never admitted) and before our friendship could mature to any other relationship - I finished 12th (Yeah!) and left for Delhi.

Some time later, I lost my diary which had some contact details - and as a consequece, I lost touch with everyone! All of a sudden, I had no friends!

I joined IIT Guwahati in 1998 - and after that, thanks to the evolution of internet & other communication systems in India, I am not lost anymore.

Why this blog? Because, even if my friends visit this page - they might not recognize my face. Of course, I have changed a lot!

Friday, March 24, 2006

 

Financial Mathematics - I love it!

It is just intriguing to find that mathematics is appied so much in the field of finance! Yeah... I am spending these days studying stochastic calculus and econometrics :) Why? I think I just love it!

I really like the different (chaotic) ways in which mathematics is applied in the field of finance - with each security and company having its own (many) model(s), which can easily lead to arbitrage opportunities. And the best part of it - many models are developed to ensure non-existance of arbitrage! Can such a world of no-arbitrage exist when people are applying different models to beat the market?

What more? we have a huge following for both stochastic calculus and time series based models, and they may not agree! Especially, time series based models try to predict the future and thus beat the basis of no-arbitrage models (albeit in a risky way).

Further, to complete some of the trasaction you need to have people who have opposite perspective of the market (yeah speculators)!!

Isn't it really chaotic? and a war of models. (it reminds me of Darvin's theory of "survival of the fittest")

 

Networking = n^2 ?

I went nuts when I found out that I was connected to most of the people (whom I did not know) thru some path in orkut! That begs the question - does it really follow n^2 rule? I think not!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

 

In memory of Vikram Gulia

Gulls...mere dost! kya haal hai?

This is how I used to start whenever I called him up or met him. And he would say...
"Jha...mere dost! Main sahi hoon. Tu kaisa hai?"

I would never hear that lively voice again.

He passed away on 14th of September 2005.

I spent about 7 years with him. First 4 years were at IIT Guwahati. He was such a sweet and friendly personality that I liked him from the first day I met him. He was passionate about exercising.

Then, he was with me at L&T for next 3 years. We were together for about one year in Mumbai in the same flat. Those were the best days of my life. I, Gulia, Tandon and Shami used to stay together. Many a times we'd argue, pull each others leg or go to beach and have fun. We'd order for a drink at 2 am in night. Then, I and tandon would listen to Anup Jalota - which he never liked or pretended as such - in his stereo.

He often would sing a song - whenever he was in a good mood - and keep us awake. I remember that for breakfast, we'd always order 4 tea cups and 5 wada/samosa pav: 2 tea cups and 2 wada/samosa pav for him. And then he'd pull my leg about this girl and we'd retreat about another girl whom he'd a crush on. Tandon would always escape this - he never let us know about his affairs - or he never had one (I doubt it).

I can never forget these small incidents. These were the real gists of life.

May his soul rest in peace!

Gulls...mere dost! I miss you!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

 

What would you prefer - Special or General skills?

This morning in economics class, there was a mild discussion on this topic. It is kind of a dichotomy - Srategy recommends specialization and macroeconomics prefers generalized skills. Both have equally compelling argument to support their view.

Core competency is an advantage that companies enjoy in a competitive environment. Some good examples could be scale economies, low cost technology, technology leadership, patents etc. This sometimes helps create barriers to entry in an industry. However, in case of human capital - the core competency could be the knowledge that they have. If you have highly specialized knowledge - such as after an MS or PhD, your productivity goes up substantially. Hence, one should focus on developing special skills.

On the other hand, macroeconomics suggests that countries should focus on the firms where they have competitive advantage over other countries and get away from businesses where they lack the same. It can be proved theoretically that doing so would increase the benefits accrued to each country. Because competetive advantage may not be sustainable, closing down such a business would result in unemployment. To avoid this unemployment, people should posses general skills so that they can easily shift from an industry to another.

Even in colleges, educational materials are prepared in favor of general skill building. For example, you are taught how a general operating system works (and not a specific operating system).

This economic view; however, warrants that people are immovable. In my opinion, in today's world this assumption may not be valid, atleast for some industries. People in high tech industries do go to other countries and work.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

 

Commanding Heights!

I am referring to an excellent movie on Global economics I saw today. The ideas conveyed are just awesome and this movie keeps you interested all the time. It brings to you the saga of economics as it has evolved over time. How did macroeconomics came into picture and how it brought back many nations from a traumatic situation to a prospering one? The extreme case I remember is Poland where about 20 million entrepreneurs revived the country from extreme inflation.

I cannot imagine what people in Bolivia would have felt with 23000% inflation. Even Strong economies such as US went through extreme difficult situations on Black monday and other ocassions.

It also talks about Hayek who ardently fought for a free market economy and had almost predicted a second world war.

The movie also talks about the successes and failures of both Keynesian and Classical economics in last century. How difficult it was for Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to knowingly let the countries go under trauma transform with more stagflation.

Finally, I am not able enough to even properly comment on such a great work. See it for it's worth every second spent on it.

I am planning to buy the CDs.

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