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Showing posts from 2008

Principles of socializing

Socializing is a process where one meets people from different strata of society and from different societies. It is based on communication i.e. one needs to articulate the ideas one has in their mind so that the other person who is the subject of communication understands these ideas as is. This communication is about reality where the topics can range from concrete to abstract, as follows: small-talk, job, family, friends circle, movies and music, a profession, politics, motivation and self-actualization, art and meta-thinking.

However, people have different notions of reality some have wrong models and some have models that are closer to reality. The objective of the socializing process is to understand the other person i.e. his ideas and distinguish between what is correct i.e. closer to reality and what is wrong i.e. far from reality. Once this difference is clear one should articulate this difference. If one does not have this ability then one should develop the tact of keeping …

How I measure my grasp of reality

There has to be a criterion to measure my grasp of reality. For me this is the degree to which I can predict and control myself and the external world along a certain set of factors. These factors can be divided into two categories: Intrinsic factors – that have to do with myself and extrinsic factors – that have to do with the environment outside of me.

The list of intrinsic factors along with the method to gauge how far I can predict and control these factors are as follows:
1. Factor: Knowledge.
Method to gauge: This would be easiest if we were assessing the knowledge of structured course subjects such as those taught in University programs and measure our expertise in it by giving tests designed by subject experts.
2. Factor: Skill - clear thinking + clear communication
Method to gauge: To measure this we can use the 1-page, 5-page, 10-page and 15-page test where these are the number of pages that one should be able to write on any topic clearly
3. Factor: Skill - social skills
Method …

The ultimate formula to success

The first part of the ultimate formula to success in achieving happiness requires one to first decide on what to do. For me the answer lies in the five categories I have identified. These categories are learning, focusing myself to think about a problem to get to a solution, socializing, completing chores and finally exercising.

Having identified the categories I had to decide how to tackle each category. For the learning category it required determining what to learn, prioritizing the subjects to learn – the most immediate subjects at any time would be sufficient for this purpose- and finally deciding a time I would dedicate for learning. For the next category which was to focus myself to think about a problem and get to a solution, I used my job as the pivot and practiced it on the work I had to achieve. To be able to handle the third category i.e. socializing I developed rules to socialize, decided time I would dedicate for this task and then practiced the art. The fourth category …

Breaking Barriers

Acts are things we do. Some acts are doable i.e. acts that a person can do. These can be complex or simple acts and are doable owing to the training through cultural upbringing, family upbringing, schooling or socializing. Some acts are not doable i.e. acts that a person cannot do. These too can be complex or simple acts and are similarly not doable owing to the training through cultural upbringing, family upbringing, schooling or socializing. A barrier is some act that is not doable because it is an act one finds difficult to do. An example can be of a person who finds getting into a physical fight doable and talking to a girl not doable. Another person can find it doable to talk to a girl and getting into a physical fight not doable.

Barriers are good because they are opportunities to grow. I will now give an example of a person for whom talking to girls was a barrier and also show how he got over it. This person was raised in Pakistan and went to UK to work. There he worked in a fas…

Concretizing my growth

There are three areas in which I have directed my growth. This effort will make my growth focused. These three areas are: Learning, Job and Extras.

The first area is learning which I will do on weekdays after office hours and on Sundays. This is based on two principles. The first principle is not to study abstract subjects such as philosophy. This is because studying a philosophy essay by Aristotle is very exciting owing to its potential implications and solutions but one can’t completely relate to it. The second principle is to study concrete subjects. The reasons for this are because it is easy to study, I can immediately apply this to my life, and there is a pre-defined syllabus I can follow. The course work that I plan to study is as follows: The first course is in learning how to think well. This I will do by studying Logic following the course taught at IBA in the BBA Program. The second course is aimed at learning how to communicate well. For this I will follow the composition c…

How I am going to move forward

There are two essential ingredients to moving ahead:
1.Progress in thought
2.Progress in actualization

I will explain these two “ingredients” below and also explain their relationship.

Progress in thought: Education emanates from “well thought out and processed” material that explains important ideas that can help us predict our environment to a better degree. Each educational experience thus being a “chain of ideas” that have a complementary relationship with each other can help us. However this is only possible if we can “internalize” these ideas, i.e. we understand these ideas and bring them to a level of awareness where we can use these ideas as easily as we can use the ideas of “why we need to open the door to cross it” or “what is left and what is right” (in terms of direction). However there are many books out there and many subjects that vary in degree of complexity.

So the question is how do we decide what to choose to help us progress our thought or “knowledge base”?

What I am …

Model Based Learning

Reality in the strictest sense is described as reality “as it is” or in the most absolute sense is “how something exists”. Human kind has been making models of things or a reflection of reality from the day it began to reason. In each era the assumptions on which the whole of civilization choose to see things changed. For example at the time of Galileo it was believed by people that the Sun revolved around the Earth. In fact there were giants of human kind like Socrates and Aristotle whose contributions date a long time before the period of Galileo who must have believed on the same assumption.

Now as each era evolved human kind was able to control nature to a better degree and it did this by revisiting the models that it had made of nature. I say models here because they were not reality in the strictest sense. But by revisiting these models and bringing them closer to reality "as is" their ability to predict and thus control improved.

Even today we have millions of models …

Benefits of discipline

Ommar Khayyam a muslim sufi once said that one must aim to come to a point where the answer to every question is a “yes”. This of course is only possible if you keep growing by learning. Now as one learns and is able to influence his/her environment more the positive feedback you get is tremendous and it works in two complementary ways:

1) You enjoy the learning process
2) Things around you start to make sense and you start to get “yes” answers to things that previously might have seemed insurmountable

In fact the process is quite addictive, but since you are able to achieve what you set out to achieve there is nothing stopping you from continuing to grow.

There is one important angle to it though. The process of learning is not only through thinking but more importantly by doing and they are both complementary.

Of course there are many things that a person has to do that he might not have “yes” answers to but still has to do them. For example you might want to spend less time socializin…

Nature of Science, Art and Religion and putting them in perspective

Science works on the following principle: it discovers ontological reality i.e. “things as they are” by being objective. The phenomenon of which the objective/ontological reality is revealed is then “predictable” and therefore “controllable”. This is all true because nature works according to “unchangeable laws”, also called the “laws of nature”. These laws of nature owing to being laws always repeat themselves and so if you discover them you can control the environment around you on the basis of these “discovered laws”.

For science to be able to do this it needs to follow two rules:

1) It has to be empirical, i.e. everything it discovers has to be validated by the senses
2) Material i.e. it is impersonal

Science has been instrumental in the phenomenal boom of the standard of living of the human race. However science has certain limitations which are these:

1) Science reveals efficient causes but not final causes. An efficient cause explains how something is caused, the process of it whe…

How I can beat somebody older than me and How I can live to be a 1000 years old

Some people are more experienced than others their own age. In fact some people are more experienced than people older than them. Examples could include young people in top management positions with subordinates who are many times older to them. This is one example. Another one is of students who have a double promotion in class. Yet another is of people who finish their Bachelors degree or PhD degrees faster than others.

All these seem to be instances of people who are beating the learning curve and so move ahead of their peers.

Let’s analyze this a little bit. What are these people doing when they ‘beat the curve’?

Answer: They are working harder and in turn understanding what is to be understood. So by putting in more effort they understand the subject matter in lesser time. This learning can be of things very structured such as mathematics or unstructured such as leading a group.

In either case the one’s ahead know things that we haven’t figured out yet.

And so, by working hard ourse…

About the philosophy of art and how to take a photograph

I would like to relate this post to my earlier post about “left brained thinking vs. right brained thinking”. I have started to associate left-brained thinking with the sciences and right-brained thinking with the arts.

Right brained thinking as I have already mentioned is the set of mental faculty that are as follows: “Creativity, Imagination and Intuition”. I find that these map perfectly onto the arts such as poetry, literature, photography, painting, music, etc.

All of these then give ideas that can be developed by the sciences and brought into the practical world.

I will elaborate this concept a little further by walking you through the process of taking a photograph.

So how do you take a good photograph?
One of the ways is this:
1. You develop an idea
2. ‘Look’ for a physical manifestation of that idea
3. Use the rules of photography to capture that manifestation as you want it

Let’s take an example. Suppose you want to take a photograph that documents ‘the way back from work’. You woul…

Left Brained thinking vs. Right Brained thinking

I have been made aware of two different sets of mental faculties that humans are capable of:

1. Analysis – Left side of the brain
2. Creativity, Imagination, Intuition – Right side of the brain

These two attributes are completely different from each other though each set facilitates the other set.

A man or woman can deliberately move from one spectrum to the other through meditation. At the most conscious level we are thinking in a left brained way i.e. we are analyzing. If we are able to sedate ourselves through specific exercises while being awake and go to the level just below the first level –alpha state, into the second level – the beta state, we can stimulate the right side of the brain.

If you are following my post about decompartmentalization or were already aware that the goal of maturity is to be able to view the world as a singular reality you would know that the most abstract thoughts that you carry with you could be translated into the most practical through a process of detai…

How do we know we know and what is the attitude required to know?

When I was a kid and I wanted to get a burger I thought it was a simple process. I just needed to ask my parents, they would get it somehow and an hour or two later I was eating my burger. So what do my parents do…send the driver, he goes to the shop buys the burger and brings it back.

However when I grew older and had to get the burger on my own (while living in a different city) the process was a little more complicated.

One of the basic things I had to do for example was to get to the burger shop. This in itself would be a big challenge for a kid.

So I thought I knew, almost had a gut feeling, but did I know really?

Other examples are starker. Running a family seems a simple job too when you are a kid. When you run your own house you realize the number of things that have to be managed. It is quite a task to master and takes sometimes quite a bit of education and then some experience at work to be able to start a family.

So at some point in time we ‘thought we knew how to get the burg…

How to make use of imagination – taking decompartmentalization to the next level

I have talked about decompartmentalization in one of my earlier posts – read it here. I want to talk about it a little more here and take the concept to the next level.

However I will start with a brief review of decompartmentalization:

Decompartmentalization is viewing the world or reality as a singularity i.e. instead of viewing life in the various compartments in which we are generally accustomed to seeing such as:

1.My life at work
2.My life with family
3.My life with friends
4.My life with children
5.My life in my trip to England/Iran/etc
6.My life in my previous job;

Decompartmentalization then is to view reality not in terms of these many compartments each of which helps us live in our comfort zones but to in fact to view it all as a singularity – a single reality.

The way to do that is to analyze experiences and those compartments, find the similarities and interpret the differences and try to move experiences from one compartment to the other until one’s understanding reaches a point…

Moral virtue vs. Intellectual virtue and the Victim turned Victimizer debate

Some parents work very hard to develop the sense of right in their children others don’t work that hard. Some times are more turbulent then other times, some societies more developed then others and some families more righteous then others.

In each case a person grows up with a different training and therefore a different degree to which he feels strongly about certain values.

Virtue developed from habit from upbringing is what I call moral virtue.

Another kind of virtue is intellectual virtue and this is the reason that a person no matter how a dire circumstance in which he is raised, once is able to decide for himself, is held accountable by law. This is because when he reaches a certain age and maturity he knows that a certain habit however ‘familiar’ it maybe, is wrong – he knows that out of an intellectual process – and therefore is in a position where he can choose to change.

Thus the virtue that develops out of the mental process is what I call intellectual virtue.

Therefore ther…

How to remember the dead

People we are with who have been good to us and/or have taught us something should be held in respect and high esteem at least in proportion to their contribution to us. We are not always in the presence of such people in fact we may meet some of them only once in our lives but we remember them, not necessarily for their person but also for the ideas or the good that they represent. We therefore remember them so that we can do good or apply the lesson they have taught us.

Some people have contributed to us, like they have contributed to the whole of humanity, without us ever having met them. These would include people such as the prophets, the saints, scientists such as Einstein, war heroes, etc.

I feel there is merit in remembering them, at least remembering them as the person that represents the ideas that they have given to us.

There are different ways of remembering such people, for example by making monuments or naming streets after them, by making the homes of such people into a mu…

Abusive relationships and the Mile high club

It is amazing how taken for granted people take their own actions at times.

Principles are principles, but it is supremely important to understand them in order to be stead-fast to them and thus not take one’s own actions for granted.

Children are raised to believe, innocent and dependent as they are to believe their parents always mean good for them…but remember the two sentences I’ve just written, its not always that simple.

But what can children do?

I think at times these children grow up with mixed values and perpetuate these to their next generation.

And then there are those who understand the principles and break the cycle.

And it is thus that I feel knowledge is so close to divinity.

The post How to beat Girls and Women by an author who tells us from experience of how abuse of women is institutionalized:

It started with a lecture which you listened to in a search of the spots you might massage to prevent an escalation to beating - was he tired? Could you make a long explanation and…

Batman - The Dark Knight - Lessons for us

The latest Batman movie – The Dark Knight is a heavy roller coaster ride, a pretty heavy movie I would think. It has a number of characters playing their distinctive roles. But the two principle roles are played by the Joker – an agent of Chaos, an ideal bad; and Batman – an agent of Good , a proposed ideal of good.

Joker is evil because he thinks it is fun. There is no other rationale to it other then to keep himself from getting bored. He thus not only murders people in the most ruthless ways but steals the money of all the mafia bosses from the city of Gotham and sets them on fire, simply because having outsmarted everybody and gotten all the money he couldn’t enjoy anything more then to set it all on fire. Sounds a bit like the concept of fun some teenagers have and I am sure some adults too.

But this is not Joker’s achievement. In order to win the game with Batman in the battle between good and evil he does two other things:

1) He does a social experiment in which he loads two ferr…

My best description of Reality/Haqiqat

One of the classic questions out there I think is: “What is reality? Or What is Haqiqat? (urdu)”

I don’t think I can define it but I will try to describe it as best I am able.

One description of Haqiqat:
I was being taught a course by an accomplished teacher where I landed with bad grades for the first few exams only to do better in the finals. The sense I made of things that enabled me to get a grip on the course eventually was the fact that the answer written in the exam, that the teacher checked, was only as smart as the understanding that I carried with me. In a sense 'cracking the paper' or thinking smart while working the hours that I put in would get me the grade I wanted.

So if I were to study the subject just a few times, slowly, one chapter at a time, make notes and finally make an “abstract” model of the chapter in my mind which I would carry with me, I would then be able to use that chapter best to my benefit. This is what I understand by the Haqiqat of the chapter.


Conversation with a friend from Poland

Faraz: is this correct?
Friend-AB: meanings of what?
Friend-AB: linguistics?
Faraz: english philology
Faraz: *philology
Friend-AB: so that must be it ;)
Friend-AB: but it sounds damn complitated ;)
Friend-AB: complicated lol
Faraz: haha
Faraz: but i am very curious AB...
Friend-AB: about what?
Faraz: how does one manage to get doen with their MA in E.P. and not be analytical?
Faraz: b/c i have this notion...
Faraz: that the study of any subject leads you to be analytical
Friend-AB: well I guess you've got to be a very unusual person you know ;)
Faraz: why's that though ? :)
Friend-AB: because I had to be unusual to be in the top of the class and WITHOUT being analytical ;OD
Faraz: that is most amazing AB, most amazing indeed
Friend-AB: hehe ;)
Friend-AB: I know
Faraz: i am obviously missing something from the equation :)
Friend-AB: well you are
Friend-AB: you're missing me as you can't see me
Faraz: it'll take some more time to see you...time and effort are all that are needed to see any…

One of my efforts to become Lateef

The book I am currently reading “The Zahir” by Paulo Cohelo is teaching me some more of what I have a little idea about. It is adding - of knowledge, some more about Ishq e Haqiqi and Latafat.

Latafat to me as I have described in my earlier post is “being light spirited” in a way that allows you to think freely/creatively/with an open mind.

To pursue latafat I have decided to start another blog called “chasing after wit” and so to develop this “light spirited-ness”.

Writing a blog makes one very focused. You have to rewrite the draft so that it have to think along the pattern of the blog and you are always on the lookout for ideas that can go on the blog. So naturally writing a blog dedicated to wit is the best way I think of developing my wit and to improve to some degree my state of latafat.

Lust for life or Passion for life?

Everybody is teaching you how to be happy in one way or another...that seems to be the lesson most people care about, whether it be Reader's Digest or the religious mystics. The editorial team, the researchers, the scholars, some are happy themselves some are not...

I keep trying to learn rules and principles which will keep me happy; rules that can always be replaced for better ones...another such rule that I think will help in my journey to ITHACA to fight the Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,the angry Poseidonis (click on here to read about my post on ITHACA), this, a lesson I have picked up: the realisation that people who want to grow like me can go about it in two ways. These I describe as:
1) a traveller with the lust for life; and
2) a traveller with the passion for life.

These two I have described below:

In the lust for life you push yourself headlong into anything that will make you grow and move up at the high cost of hurting yourself and hurting others. You may hurt yourself i…

About a Sufi

While there is no precise definition of a ‘Sufi’ the description of one is of a person who is ‘pure’. By being pure it is meant that the sufi rids from himself his impurities that have been a part of him owing to his being human.

This is a journey to perfection. God has gifted humankind with a very powerful gift: “knowledge” and using this gift you rid yourself of impurities. I have written about this in my post: “Why Ego is bad” and also in my post: “How to achieve the ultimate goal”.

While on this journey your “shaoor” (urdu) improves, i.e. you come closer to enlightenment. By this I mean you understand reality better and you come closer to the “ultimate reality”.

The Quran it is said is a book of wisdom – a book that has said many things in parables. And by wisdom is meant “truth of the ultimate reality”. Wisdom it is because knowledge is derived from it. All knowledge is derived from wisdom which I have already described. And this knowledge is the key to becoming ‘pure’ or closer …

How love works

In an excellent lecture on the MIT Open course ware site I learnt about how love works. This helped remove some of the misconceptions I had and explains the process in an intuitively appealing manner.

Lesson 1: There is no psychopathalogical method to fall in love

By a psychopathalogical method I mean: we do not fall in love because we are mad as is commonly proposed in literature and by poets such as (it would appear) Ghalib. There is an infatuation which is possible along those lines but love cannot derive solely from this experience. The reason why is answered in the last lesson.

Lesson 2: People don’t fall in love because of a certain ‘chemistry’

Indiana Jones is an excellent example of what would be proposed by the proponents of the chemical theory of love. They would say: two people work together and suddenly realize they are in love; it’s the chemistry that is actually at work that brings this about. This is also not true.

Lesson 3: How it works

There is a theory called the social ex…

How to achieve the ultimate goal

The measure of value of a person is directly proportional to the measure in which he holds the following qualities:
1.Pre-disposition to think critically
3.Self control

With these qualities every man can achieve his goal weather he be a philosopher, businessman, Sufi or even a school going student.

Critical thinking has the following components:
1.Rules of logic
2.Socratic Method: adoption and comfort level with it – the heart of critical thinking
3.Values: accepting every idea after putting it through an: “intellectual due process”, however difficult that may be either socially or against one’s preferences
4.An upside-down worldview: awareness that many things in the real world work differently from how they first appear

It develops by acquiring knowledge of science and thus understanding the body of knowledge experimentally proved by scientists ,whether this be natural sciences or the social sciences. It also requires lateral thinking in order re-pattern, previously held beliefs…

Why Ego is bad

I met a person some time back to whom I had gone to advice regarding a career in a bank, he worked in a bank and was about to join the CSS service – the bureaucracy in Pakistan. In the conversation I had with him he mentioned I should take advice from my parents in the matter to which I told him that such an effort would be pointless because banking was an alien domain for my parents.

In the course of events I said that he wasn’t getting it and that we should move on. On his persistence I finally told him: “what the hell is the issue here…my parents won’t be able to help!”.

At this he said: “You don’t know what I can do to you, you should not talk that way to me.” In an intellectual explanation of his statement: his rationale, he said: “You don’t know how much ego I have, you can’t even imagine. It is much more than you can ever have”.

Now that statement caught me and I thought to myself: “how in the hell can ego be a good thing. It is the one thing I have always known is bad, strange …

Lessons on happiness

According to an essay I read a happy life comes from two things: tranquility and excitement. In a happy person the two have to be balanced. If for example you have spent time in repose at the end of it you would like to do something exciting. At the same time somebody who is excited all the time would be suffering from what the essay said is the ‘excitement disease’ such that the tranquility that would follow the excitement and as enjoyable as the excitement would be avoided by that person.

Now having addressed the feeling of happiness or the mode of it, the question is ‘what’ brings happiness? And the answer is that pleasure brings happiness.

I would like to elaborate a little on pleasure.

When there are two experiences both of which bring pleasure, how do we judge which of the two is qualitatively better than the other? Answer: If everybody who has experienced both pleasures chooses always the first over the other then the first is better than the other.

And herein is the mighty idea t…

What of our murderers?

“In Cold Blood” is a 1966 book by American author Truman Capote. A movie was made on it in Hollywood called ‘Capote’. (What I write of this is based on what I have seen from the movie)

Truman Capote became the most famous author in America when he wrote this book. While he had completed many works before this novel, this was his last work. This book took a massive toll on Capote who died later because of alcoholism. He wrote an epigraph in his last uncompleted work: “More tears are shed on answered prayers then on unanswered ones”. (He said this, about his experience writing “In cold blood”)

“In cold blood” was about two people who had murdered a family in Kansas.

When Capote went to Kansas after the news to write an article about it he was taken in by one of the murderers: Perry Smith, and so he decided to write a book on the event. He says in the movie: “when I think how good this book is going to be I can hardly breathe”.

He said: “There are two elements in society, the conservative a…

How can we fall in love and not end up like Dracula

I have written a post about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Read it here. The point I mentioned there was that while lust is always destructive, love is also capable of being destructive. In fact Dracula was a victim of this destruction when he lost his beloved. He damned himself and hurt countless other people because he was not capable of handling his loss.

While this is fiction, a parallel of this can be found in the real world as well. People who grieve after their loss or are compelled to do bad because of the one’s they love while the one's they love are still alive.

So the question then is: “Isn’t love possible in its purest form, in a form in which it is not capable of being destructive?”

And the answer to that question is that such a love is possible. Sufis call it (in urdu) “Ishq e Haqiqi” which I think translates into “real love”.

Now as an example when a mother loves her child, she loves him because it is “her” child. In a certain sense she may be called selfish in this.

On the ot…

The world is flat by Thomas L. Friedman

I learnt in a course I took that the traditional manner of managing an organization through a rigid “command and control” structure is something companies cannot afford to do now. Now companies need to allow their “knowledge workers” or employees who have knowledge to come forward and create value for the company, in fact to encourage them to come forward. To do this you need to create an environment through which they can do this.

I just heard a video lecture on MIT World by Thomas L. Friedman who wrote the book “The world is flat” and the point he makes is that the world is now so flat that individuals across the globe are empowered. People in a certain country are importing machines from South Korea, hiring others from their local Arabic school and exporting their merchandise labeled in Arabic to Kuwait. Another very common example of empowerment at the individual level is when anybody with access to the internet and programming skills can go online bid for making a software and ge…

Evolution of the growth process

There are only two ways you can reason:
1) Through deduction
2) Through induction

Anybody who reasons or who learns from his environment does so by reasoning in the above two ways.

Now the more you reason the more you’ll know, so if you give yourself a lot of work to do example by putting yourself in a tough company or in a good university you’ll have a lot to think about and to learn from. Somebody who does this ‘grows’ very fast.

The above method is one of the ways people grow, i.e. exposing themselves to work and learning from it.

To grow however one does not need to confine himself to his work. He can meet experienced people and talk to them, read Ghalib and try to make some sense of it, listen carefully at the lyrics of music that he listens to, and pick something up from a movie that he watches. If he gets an opportunity to read an article from a magazine he adds that to whatever else he knows. In other words he uses everything around him as an input to the induction and deduction p…

On initiative, passion and man's ego

Some time ago I asked the question: “Is initiative the key to growth?” I think that if you put a stick in the river it will get to the end of the river. If you put yourself in any situation such as a job, you will grow because you will be carried forward or made to grow by your environment. At the same time if you take control of the process, i.e. take “initiative” you will grow faster, better, stronger than you would otherwise.

If you are interested in a particular domain lets say football you will take the initiative time and again to learn about it while enjoying your hobby of following football.

So one’s interest and a much stronger word: one’s passion helps one take initiative.

What drives one’s passion?

According to a behavioral model by Freud the mind is divided into a horizontal cross-section and vertical cross-section. The horizontal cross section is as follows:
1) Subconscious mind: those things you cannot make sense of, but you do. For example one’s preference for the color g…

Of War, Love and Marketing

War, Love and Marketing is how I have summarized the concept that I will elaborate shortly. Ghalib has done the same through a shair.


TAGAFUL comes from GAFLAT and GAFIL and it means ’to ignore’. So the shair goes on to say that

I know you will not ignore me and my presence but before you ever find out how much I love you I will have turned to dust.

Now a marketer faces the same problem when he wants to market his product to his customers. He has something to sell and the customers might not really know how good the product is. There is value in it for both parties. But the marketer doesn’t have the luxury of turning to dust – neither does a serious romantic I would think. So what does a marketer do?

A marketer has to launch his product in the midst of other big players and if he does so in a half baked way he won’t survive.

It is very much like a war for the marketer.

When Rexona launched their deodo…

On Bram Stoker's Dracula

One can be happy and be in love or be sad and be in love. When there are tragedies in love can one end up harming him/her-self? Lust ofcourse has always been destructive but can love also be destructive?

I think Bram Stoker's Dracula was a victim of this destructive form of love. Below a small treatise of the book and its message.

Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker on which a movie was later made called "Bram Stoker's Dracula" in 1992 a horror-romance story.

The book while not having created the vampire myth has singularly had the greatest influence on movies and books on vampires in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Dracula according to the myth is an undead, a mystical creature who could hypnotise people by simply looking at them, vanish into thin air by turning into smoke. He had super human strength and could turn others into vampires by drinking their blood.

Dracula was actually a real person. His real name Vlad the Impaler a person respected in Romania …

Three major threats facing Pakistan

These are:
1) Impact of inflation
2) Terrorism
3) Political instability in the country

Impact of inflation
Oil is becoming expensive globally and Pakistan being a non-oil producing country is bearing the brunt of it. Food inflation is also taking place. Prices of good quality rice (not the highest grade) have gone up from Rs.2000/50Kg three months ago to Rs.3000/50Kg a rise of 50%. Prices of wheat have sky rocketed over the last six months – and have stopped rising now. Daal has also become very expensive – channae kee daal has become Rs.80/Kg, but there is good news: Chicken is around Rs.80/Kg as well. In fact Pervaiz Musharraf mentioned in his speech that the poor should now start eating chicken instead of daal.

Many suicide attacks have taken place over the past few years. I would think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Political Instability
With rising inflation the political situation in the country is not helping. Politicians have all taken to the band wagon insisting that …

On improving social skills...

To improve your social skills you must continue to ‘decompartmentalize’ (from my previous post) the social interaction process.

People we meet are different from each other, many things influencing each person’s behavioral disposition to others around them, owing to a unique range of environmental experiences and a unique genetic code.

Some people will like you more than others and others will find you boring.

Other than people who have always been charmers, always had charisma, the child prodigies all others I feel have to figure out the charisma.

Their charisma depends on how well they relate to the world around them, ie to how well they have decompartmentalized the real world.

To improve your social skills and to begin decompartmentalizing you need to do two things:
1) You need to invest in being yourself
2) You need to do at each moment what you feel is right

So for example people very close to you will sometimes offer you polar opinions about the same thing. One must listen to each p…

On Elusive Answers

It has happened quite often with me that I seem to be on top of a problem, one that seems simple and very ‘familiar’. So familiar in fact that we seem to have the answer at the tip of our tongue but just can’t seem to put our finger on it only to find out later that the simple question that we had asked was actually quite a complex one. I have mentioned two such question I am trying to answer at the end of this post.

But to illustrate this problem i'll give you an example:

I always thought as a kid: organizations are simple, people get together decide on what work to do, make great teams together and get the work done.

My MBA has given me a broader perspective. In order to make organizations run a few other things you need to do are:

1) Come up with the money
2) Research and design the right product
3) Decide who they are going to sell it to
4) How much they are going to sell it for such that with the price that is set the company makes the most money while not scaring away the customer…