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Showing posts from April, 2008

Some things to ponder...

1) Is the question of pre-destination relevant until we have first explored free will to its limit?

2) Initiative is the key to growth. How far do you agree?

3) Can chess teach you to think?

4) 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 of course has always been destructive but then can love also be destructive?

5) "Man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress" - Ayn Rand. Then again the devil was damned because of his ego. So how do you tread on this path?

What do you think?

On Strategic Managment and its implications

Strategic Management is a concept that is very popular in the business world.

It is a framework that helps businesses make timely decisions in order to deal with a changing environment.

A company can thus respond at one of four levels:
1) Create change: trailblazers, such as Microsoft
2) Those that anticipate change and react before time: Many MNCs
3) Those that react to the environment
4) Those that fail to respond in time

The framework is fairly straightforward for large businesses:
1) Have a vision
2) Identify a mission
3) Understand the external and internal environment
4) Create objectives
5) Develop strategies
6) Implement strategies
7) Evaluate strategies and iterate process

Strategic management requires all the employees of the organization to understand the purpose of the organization, its mission, and objectives; to feel a part of the organization; to have company-employee values aligned and thus have the employees want to contribute to the organization at whatever level they operate –…

On Lateral Thinking

What is Lateral Thinking?
As I understand it: Lateral Thinking is the re-patterning of existing knowledge.

How is it different from Vertical Thinking?
Vertical thinking explores the existing pattern.

Can you give me an example?
If gold was buried in the ground and I was to dig it out. I would first find the spot to dig: the pattern. I would then dig at that spot: vertical thinking. If I did not find gold till 20 feet what would I do if I continued to use vertical thinking? I would dig deeper at the same spot. And Lateral thinking? I would dig at a different spot.

Golden Rule: Lateral thinking (or re-patterning) is useless without further vertical thinking. So it cannot stand on its own.

How do I use Lateral Thinking in my life?
Among the uses the few I can think of right now are:

1)Re-patterning relationships

2)Re-patterning world view – change in assumptions of how the world works Eg. Parents can be wrong, childhood mentors can be wrong.

3)Re-patterning ‘moments’ in memory

4)Re-patterning belie…

On Enlightenment by Immanuel Kant

From an essay that Kant wrote on Enlightenment I have taken the following excerpt. This explains the process of Enlightenment:

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Have courage to use your own understanding!"--that is the motto of enlightenment."

I think this simply translates into one trying to solve his/her own problems. You would still take help from people, infact they would be 'one' of the sources you would use but at the end of the day 'you' would have to take responsibility to find the solution/to get the job done.

One can probably achieve alot. Its just that they never get down to it - because they hesitate, are lazy or in more powerful situations are afraid.

Quote (I don&…

On improving one's grasp of language

My English had been faulty, probably still is, but indeed it’s a lot better. How though? Was this a gradual process or have I ever done something that made it ‘suddenly’ improve?

I think both are true. While language improves with one’s daily use of it – when we pick up new words, new proverbs, when we ‘think in sentences’ with improving fluency of use. It also can take a leap of improvement.

In my case this was when I had to prepare for an exam. An exam with a very high requirement that I do well, with time to prepare for it and a straightforward methodology for how to do well in it; an exam with many parts one large part being an English section. This section puts significant demands on improving vocabulary. The exam was the GRE.

I prepared a full two months from a book by Barrons on GRE available in Urdu Bazaar with a selected list of 3500 words, most frequently used in the English language. I knew at least half of them before I started and my target was to do a handful everyday.

I h…

What is one actually achieving?

If I work towards an excellent career, that is precisely what i'm going to get. After all that’s how everybody who got there, did get there. If however I am one of those who work to come up with a plan to get to the best career, a first step perhaphs, then a great plan is what I’ll get. If however, I work on 'how to plan' then it is this alone that i'll become good at.

Socializing - juggling between distance and warmth

I had never been very good at socializing but then not too bad either.

With my school friends, with certain people, it was like magic. With others it was a question lurking in the background: “but why not with these people?” something I thought about but not too much, I ignored it, took it like a fact of life a question such as “is there a God?” – something that is understood maybe not crystal clear but something that everybody knows somehow, but nobody can clearly explain it.

I am a very warm person but the same recipe didn’t work with everybody.

I was going to meet the crowd but this time I was ready not to feel bad. But what would be different this time? I could hear myself say: "...but what 'could' it be, must be something I have'nt figured out yet."

It was the same crowd a couple of years past, now I don’t feel that bad, I am not questioning myself...there is a 'distance'.

I appreciate this distance now just like I appreciate silence in a conversation.…

Does the West talk about will power as much as we do?

The West not only talks about will power it inculcates its use among its people.

An excellent articulation of how to exercise will power is the theme of a Hollywood movie: "Revolver"

As I understand it, the exercise of will power involves "pain". You feel pain every time you do something that requires you to use your will power, to do something you don't want to do although you know it must be done or should be done.

Quote from the movie:
Person A and Person B talking to Mr. Green:

Person A: "Embrace the pain Mr. Green"
Person B: "If you change the rules on what controls you, you change the rules on what you can control"
Person A: "Just how radical are you prepared to be?"

Julius Caesar: "Your worst enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look"
Machiavelli: "War can only be delayed to the advantage of the enemy"

When you procrastinate or even worse deny that something important that must be done, has to be done, …