Ashok's blog

My virtual existence

Take recall seriously
If your car manufacturer announces a recall and you think that can't happen to your car then you might be mistaken. Never mind you took care of all the necessary maintenance; never mind other similar model year cars look dirty compared to yours. A recall means there is a considerable chance that the part affected may fail and needs to be fixed soon. It is funny though that the letter you get from the manufacturer asks you to wait, because the part is not available, also funny that when your car actually breaks down because of it, they can find the part in less than an hour. You realize how afraid the company is of the recall, when it actually tows your car and does a bunch of things free of cost to make you feel good. Also, I think these guys are awesome.
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In God We Trust
To what degree can you trust the information you receive from someone? There are some things you know because you have experience with it. For example, you know how an Ipod functions because you have used it yourself. But to experience everything first hand requires time, opportunity and interest. So, when it comes to matters that you don't know about (which is really infinitesimally large than what you know), you have to trust information that you receive from someone else. But how do you know whom to trust?

I do not know how this process of building a trusted information base works, but I guess most of us subconsciously maintain some kind of reliability index associated with each source of information. We start with some base index based on outward appearance or context. (say, you meet someone new and he appears reliable) And we periodically update it depending on past experiences. (some information that the person previously shared with you came right: +1)

Based on my own experience, you cannot really trust anything that a random new information source tells you. Most people don't really "know" what they are saying. They probably have half knowledge or just randomly cooking up facts or worse, your viewpoint on the subject does not really match that person's viewpoint. Even with sources you trust, the information may be out-dated, or simply not applicable in your context. Given these it appears to me that it is never too stupid to ask the question "why ...?". Your instincts are right most of the time.

America's clones
In Thomas friedman's new book Hot, flat and crowded there is a chapter in which he talks about how China/India are fast becoming like America in terms of consumption. Many people in China and India now want to buy the same Ipod, eat the same burger, travel to far off places, just as Americans have been doing all these years. (You can't really blame anyone for wanting that). But because of their individual populations this is going to destroy all natural resources in this world. Soon.. (I believe there should be some articles on the net about China's role in Africa) That is why you see everyone now talking about cutting emissions/green tech and all that stuff.

But what can anyone do about this? This world is not friendly towards people who want to do things differently. Everyone around me was complaining when I spent 8 months last year without a cell phone. And before that I didn't have a car for 8 months and was using public transport. Not once did anyone say: "Hey man thats cool! One less car on the road". And can you really say I don't want to travel during holidays because I want to save the environment?? Obviously, I didn't have the environment in mind when I said/did all the above. I was just being myself: lazy ass guy. But I don't think people's reaction would be any different if I actually wanted to save the environment.

So, I think we have a conflict here. You aspire for a life that allows you to buy stuff: fancy electronics,cars,homes; gives you the means to travel to places, so that you can build new experiences. But the very fact that everyone around you wants the same, and there are too many of "you", just doesn't augur well for the environment.

2007 world cup
The way to defend a failure is to bring an even bigger failure into the picture and say this is nothing in comparison. That seems to be the policy of the members in the current ODI team. Dhoni brought up 2007 world cup defeat when we lost T20 world cup. Now, that we have lost another series which we really should have won, Sachin talks again about 2007 defeat.


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