Tag Archives: people

Happy Diwali!

Diwali – a festival during which people literally burn away their money in firecrackers, leading to fire hazards and air and noise pollution.

And they also indulge in behaviour that should get them booked for attempted arson and disturbing public peace, not to mention environmental damage. In countries where they would get arrested for such things (like everywhere else except India), they celebrate Diwali in a perfectly smoke- and noise-free manner. So why not the same way in India?

monkeys and ancestors

A common misconception is that humans have evolved from monkeys. Actually, both have evolved from a common ancestor.

People should be more careful about how they interpret evolution and the theory of natural selection.

shades of brown

How many of us have been asked about our family background? In an interview for a job, or maybe for a scholarship. Or perhaps by a new acquaintance. How innocent was that query? Surely, the person was attempting to get a measure of our background or our character?

Are you sure that was the only thing the interviewer was doing?

Do read the comments, even if comments on rediff and indiatimes test our sanity and patience a lot. Most of the respondents think the researchers are implying that Indian companies are engaging in direct caste discrimination. The article implies something far more dangerous – that people are discriminating without knowing it. Their decision making process is influenced by the answers they receive to all the questions, which includes a background check. Why ask for background if you are going to ignore it? Why ask for background if it is irrelevant? Thats because sub-consciously, we are equating backgrounds with castes. And our decisions are being influenced by the background of the applicant.

Caste discrimination is a practice that has had thousands of years for perfection. It has been taken to such a level of perfection that its practice is so subtle, so innocuous that an accuser would be treated as irrationally paranoid. You will have to bore into the very nuances of language, behavior and culture to know it is occuring.

It s a fight that has to be fought on a different level.

battle report

What can I say? I’ve been allowed to continue as HoTT – TT is Tech Team, go figure out the rest. I suppose I must bow down and say “Thanks. Thanks.. O Ye wizards from the comp/it/etrx streams for letting a student from Electrical Engineering become HoTT”. In the bargain, nearly half the team is made up of IT wizards because that stream sacrificed a HoTT slot. Phew! No wonder we stay tuned during elections.

The comp/it/etrx (cie for short) people believe the TT belongs to them. Why? Because they use Flash. And maybe some programming and scripting. They use lpt interface programing. They handle lots of PCs and peripherals. And that’s all.

To tell you what I feel – THIS SUCKS. Period. In these times, to use those points as a criteria for exclusive ownership over the TT is anachronistic. These people have an over-inflated opinion of themselves. They forget that they got equal competitors churned out by the thousands from various B.Sc. IT courses, NIIT, Aptech and lots of similar institutes. Frankly, a formal degree in cie has lost its relevance in these times. Rank amatuers can beat these comp/etrx guys at their jobs – such are these fields. As for IT, please show me where these people work. They are simply taking away programming and system admin jobs. I, an amatuer who looks on Linux and related stuff as a hobby, could study 4 books on say, Linux Administration, Apache, MySQL and Perl – and beat a BE Comps/IT student hands-down at server design and admin anytime. (ok don’t sweat – I don’t have the time or inclination). These people can’t appreciate the fact that someone outside their direct discipline can do things as good as them or (again, don’t sweat) better.

Visit Joe’s blog on his site. He has a post on the irrelevance of Comp Science Engineering. Read it.

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point of conflict

How does one persuade a guy to use Linux? When he is using w32 since he’s using a PC. The only thing he has used or is interested in are w32 apps, frequently MS products. By nature of the OS being proprietary, quite a few apps are proprietary. I leave the rest to your interpretation. This guy treats his PC as appliance – like a toaster, or maybe a glorified DVD player + calculator + TV + game console. His immediate concern is getting the toast – or his job on the PC done. And the only way he can/wants to do it is the way he was taught or like he learnt it. He recently migrated to Win XP. And now, is coming to terms with multi-tiered user levels, advanced config options which were never seen in Win 98/Me and much more.

I feel sad. I was like him once. Not having a choice. Not being aware of a choice being present. Not knowing that things could be different, and better, than they were now.

He is sorting out issues with his newly installed w32 build 5.x. He scoffs when I tell him that wizards are/should be the last option. He believes that having less wizards indicates a high-minded attitude among the developers of a system – that it is intended to drive away newbies. And then he says that LUGs are symptomatic of some shortcomings in Linux – that “linuxers are handicapped”. He refuses to believe that something which survived through so much (so much that I can’t fit it all here – visit Eric’s and Joe’s sites for more info and links) won’t last into the future. Though he is gracious enough to admit that the same fate may fall on w32. I believe that Linux will survive. Perhaps by another name. Maybe BSD will become dominant. Solaris. Maybe even Mac OS or the proper, authentic Unix itself will become open and dominant. Am I being over-confident? Will the principles of OSI and FSF fall away?

I don’t think so. I’ll do my best to keep them up – my bit.

You might want to read more of this GNU/Linux v/s Windows slugfest at Sandesh’s blog.

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