Friday, November 01, 2013

Before and After Sometime Ago

Sometime ago, someone felt good when he/she could start formalizing/codifying some sounds made to mean certain things. Like calling something a 'stone', looking up and calling whatever we see above as 'sky' and other things that can be sensed and identified. For every new thing that they tried to communicate, they needed a sound. It was created and added to the list. The group then agreed to use those sounds. For a new person who came into the group, like a child born, the sounds were taught. Everyone in the group made sure the sound was accurately 'registered' in the next generation carrying the same 'words' forward. When the group became quite large and people didn't have time to teach their children these words to identify things, they assigned the task to an expert - 'teacher'. There was a constant effort to formalize and correct each other on how each word was pronounced and written. It was a struggle to keep up the hope to communicate what you imagine or think in your mind to be exactly replicated in the other person's mind. The words were tied together to form a chain to give the context of time and space to the 'thing/idea' being spoken. 

To communicate the context exactly as one person imagined would mean that 'the same rules of context exist in the other person's mind', 'the other person must have already seen something like it earlier to be able to imagine' and 'the other person must be able to construct the image based on the levels of description the first person tries to give, using the things he thinks you already know'. While the list of things have grown, they reached a proportion that made it very challenging to be communicated through just memory and talk. They were 'written down' in places that can be seen by many - giving these sounds some permanence. For codifying how they were 'written', these sounds were broken down into some identified shorter sounds that made up the most common 'word sounds'. These shorter sounds that could make up every other sound were coded and identified as the most basic structures for communication. This made it easy to link what was written to what was spoken. 'Letters/alphabets' made it easier for someone to make a start in learning other sounds as groupings of these things. 

While the rules used to write/speak/bring context were made, they became a burden for the coming generations to learn, spending time and energy. They were taken for granted as a base for everything the new entrant into that world tried to understand. The new entrants mimicked the sound, remembered the rules and learnt to believe in the ideas so much until they became 'natural'. Before the new entrant could start having his/her own ideas, he/she was first totally immersed into the established system. It was like every new idea should come up within this established system of rules in communication. The building blocks for every new imagination was based on what these rules could describe. It was the only channel and bottleneck for what someone could imagine and communicate. This way, everyone who came into this 'world' was plugged-in into this system of existing thoughts/ideas/words/sounds. The new entrant/someone who wants to create something new could only tweak the combinations a little to come up with a new combination of existing 'words/sounds --> thoughts/ideas'. This background had its impact on people's ideas and philosophy.
More on that later..

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ideas & Leaders

Ideas and their importance in making leaders have always fascinated me. Dan Dennet, a philosopher, talked about this unique concept of ideas as organisms. He called them ‘memes’. His point was that ideas get originated in so meone’s brain and then gain strength with the number of people letting their minds get occupied with it. Ideas sometimes take over and change the primitive position of survival of the person as his main ideal. He then begins to believe that his purpose of life and existence is to live for this idea. Biological prominence is taken over with this idea gaining strength in his brain. Most of the times, leaders thus place the idea above themselves.

This sounded interesting to me and changed the way I look at someone with an idea and how his conviction in the idea can influence others into believing him and his purpose. Some leaders then, who build their leadership on ideas, are people who have such strong beliefs and by empirical evidence or strong rationality convince others that his/her vision and purpose will serve both their interests.

To visualize this we can imagine lots of ideas floating around in the air/documents originating and travelling from one person to other. When this idea meets a person (X) who is strongly inclined emotionally to receive it, it will get into his brain and gain strength by offering him solutions to his problems. This person then begins to grow his belief in the idea by testing it in some situations. Once he is fully convinced about it, he then begins to propagate it to someone (Y1) who is similarly troubled or who is looking for solutions. Looking at the success, X takes initiative in spreading this idea to as many people as possible with a belief that it offers solutions to their problems. Through various media, this idea and its use in situations will then spread across and gain popularity (Y2 to Y100 maybe). This is then leveraged to mobilize people towards actions that will make the idea operational. In a way I think this is the way movements get spread across borders and differences among people. Some aspects of the idea are important for making it more impactful such as simplicity, universality, applicability in more situations, adventurousness and credibility of the leader.

First important aspect of the above analysis is the possibility of such a mobilization mechanism influencing the idea itself over a period of time and changing it. When the idea from X moved to Y, there is an issue of communication inefficiency. Also, the mindset of person Y is quite different from X. It will change the way Y understands the idea and so will change the application of the idea in situations. Similarly, when a lot of people are exposed to it, there tends to be quite a lot of inefficiency in how it is understood by all of them. This is important because it has a potential to totally change the idea to something else. There is a scope for people to misunderstand the idea, change and use it for their convenience. This will dilute its movement to people and vice versa. Here, the leader X should take ownership and keep reiterating his idea more than once, explaining it in more detail with examples of suitable application to situations. This is the reason why they are documented and proper media are used to keep the followers close to the idea. More universal the solution provided by the idea, more will be its appeal to people. Its simplicity will enable easier transfer. Credibility of the leader will make his/her followers take the idea seriously to apply it. Leader’s exemplification through his application will increase its credibility.

Second aspect of the analysis is the role of systems or rules in spreading the idea faster. When there is a system in place for how people receive ideas and spread them, for example, a society hierarchy and family hierarchy in social situations or organizational hierarchy in business situations, the reception of the idea becomes much easier for people. It also makes people ready to accept these ideas when they come through the hierarchy because of the presence of incentives/disincentives to do so. This is more involuntary than the spread of it in an unstructured setting. Operationalizing an idea becomes much easier with the presence of a system that has rules framed to suit it. In this situation, the leader, if he is suitably placed, has more control on how his idea gets implemented and can change the rules to suit the implementation. Also depending on the position the leader occupies in the hierarchy, his credibility may get established affecting the impact he can make. Spread can thus be planned and followers can be influenced if they are emotionally open to such influences.

In summary, a leader is someone who either through his own rationality or influences from existing ones, gains conviction. Depending on the strength of such conviction, he then transfers the idea to others through various media. The spread and success will depend upon the readiness of the followers based on their situation, systems in place that will make the transfer faster and smoother, simplicity & universality of the idea, its applicability to various situations and credibility of the leader/source of the idea.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

For my Small Little World

A Small Little World for everyone.. each one doing their own work and minding their own.. their worlds limiting to their priorities...there are no rules.. nobody is forced to represent anything other than the human race.. no one is forced to identify themselves with any group.. with any product.. with any idea...individuals have their own identity.. self is Bliss..

But nowadays the idea is BIG...grouping together...

Things are different here.... (vs)
big....scale..inefficiency..rules..uniformity..robotic..identity assasination...competition...jealousy...greed...war...genocides..terrorism...

Is BIG good?
  • Good for advertizers who want to sell their idea to a group of people rather than individuals to save their money
  • Good for religion which wants to sell its propoganda to as many groups as possible and spread itself
  • Good for organizations which want to minimize costs on managing people by imposing stricter rules
  • Good for politics which needs everyone to be the same and follow the same
  • Good for people who want power and control
Good for anything in this world other than the individual himself....It breeds control and power... It takes away individual freedom...takes away peace....

Let us look at these:
  • What is common good? will everyone have a common idea about what is good? really?
  • Is World order an idea to get the world in order? Then what is it? Will it achieve it? is it good for you?
  • Do you agree that the sum of outputs that the members in a team are capable of is less than the output produced by a team working together? Did you observe it practically? In a team did you always observe people helping each other wilfully (without thinking of the rewards by doing so)?
  • What is your identity apart from being a part of a group or organization or idea or religion? Forget them, do you agree that most of the times you want the dress you wear or the vehicle you drive or the place you are in define your identity?
More operational questions:
  • How many times were you glad that you entered a bus or train which had a lot of rush?
  • How many times did you go alone to a scenic place and feel alive after a long time?
  • How many times were you forced to work with or talk to someone when you didnt want to?
Lots of questions...
I thought about these questions and realized that we need a Small Little World..a person's own...his ideas...his passions..his stupidities..all his positives and negatives defined by his values and principles...without identifying with anything else and without comparing with anyone else... He has to find his Small Little World in all this mess!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Confused in life? Not anymore!

Living foolish is better than living confused. It is better to live like a fool than to get confused by the knowledge (only half) of so many things. But we can’t help.
Life teaches you so many things you were better off not knowing!

If you read the science and health news in newspapers, one day you will find research results saying that Caffeine is harmful to you and it will increase your chances of heart disease and another day at the same place you will find another research report saying that it will help prevent cancer. So better dont read about it unless there is a message on the coffee cup - Drinking coffee is injurious to health!You can see similar news about Non-vegetarian food and a lot of other things.
Coming to my case, I used to have discussions with my friends on what gives happiness and very proudly used to tell things like ‘it’s all in your mind’, ‘if you want to be happy you can be happy with anything’ etc. I really believed in that then. At the same time I used to support Capitalism (which doesnt support contentment :)) arguing against Communism saying that it promotes mediocrity. I believed in that too (I just finished reading ‘The fountainhead’ then). On careful observation you can find that both are almost contradicting each other. If you are content with what you have without a passion to succeed, will you survive in this world of MONEY? So it is very common for any thinking person to get confused, discontent and most of the times frustrated in this world of contradictions.
Now I think I know the solution for this riddle (may be customized but some solution rite). You may be confused about the path to choose in life but there are certain basic principles and values that are instilled in us from childhood that will guide us in choosing it and pursuing it. So go find the path (as if that’s so easy :)). Don’t worry about the worthiness of the pursuit and the path. If you enjoy the pursuit you will never regret the choice. Just believe in it!

I believe that the luckiest people in the world are those who realize their passion and who get the opportunity to live it. Some people prefer to use ‘purpose’ in place of passion. People with passion, who had chosen their principles and stood by them strongly, were the people who made history. Not very long ago I was lucky enough to realize my passion (you may think I am fooling myself) after contemplating and getting diverted by so many things like looking at the lives of actors, cricket players etc who are being marketed as the role models. And now I have to look for the opportunities to prove myself in it and enjoy life my own way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

a toast for a genius

That was the time when my grandpa was still able to bear me on his lap.i was just 9 years old and i used to be cute(from credible sources).My grandpa was a cricket freak and his sons and grandsons followed him and even excelled him: still as cricket freaks.It is one of the earlier days i remember myself seeing a cricket match.
I dont remember who were playing or who won.But i know that it made an impact on many of my thoughts and afterthoughts.

Indian batsmen are known to put the opposition back into the game when everything seems to be going their way in most of the games.I think there is a reason behind that.They believe in the capabilities of the opposition more than in themselves.But then in that game i saw a teenager who looked very different from the rest.
He never allowed the bowler take the lead.He defied their prominence.
He possesed a trait which impressed me a lot and still keeps impressing me now and that is his AGRESSIVENESS and his defiance to dominance.

Heriditarily or as a matter of fact i too became a cricket freak and i used to see almost all the matches played by india.And every time i saw a match my awe for his ability and character increased exponentially.I loved the way he put himself in a separate level of class and brilliance.

As i grew into my teens,my view of things changed but the veneration still remained.By then he claimed for himself a rightful place in the clan of legends.the world realised his genius.

When i hear the word "genius" i dont think it is just a quality of a person.It is something more than that.It has an element of beauty in it.It has an element of extraneousness.This great thing is beyond the person we see.It is not just einstein or someone else,it is beyond them.
now,i loved that..i forget everything else when i see that beauty which brings bliss to my eyes and a "wow" from my mouth every time he hits a shot with near perfection...his ability to challenge the benchmarks(read records)..his impeccable timing...the way he ridiculed every opposition bowler who must have thought there is atleast a slight probability of getting him out...and most amusing of all,the way he made them look stupid.
This is what had got me becharmed more than anything else.

It may look doltish on my part when i say that i used to switch off my television when he gets out,but i watched most of the matches only for that part when india were sure to be on the top.I didnt want to see some loser come and replace his position as the next batsman and make all the work done go to the gallows.And the ridiculous thing is that people blame him for the loss,for all he had done.SHAME ON THEM.

whenever he plays he makes the task look very easy which some lower mortal may think is a work for the atlas' shoulders.This is the difference he makes.

The screen showing him lift his bat every time he crosses over the three figure mark has been taken for granted:)and whenever he fails(i dont agree with this word in his context),people who have a fallacious memory tend to criticise him.
Dont they remember the way he carried the burden of indian batting for a decade and very seldom failed them? Dont they have any sort of respect for his extraordinary ability? why do they keep comparing him on averages with other people who at best can be "run machines" but not geniuses? plzz dont compare him plzz.He deserves much more than that.
I personally dont think batting is only about making is also an art which can be perfected only by mozarts or beethovens or bradmans.the way he turns the ball to every corner of the ground for singles.the way he uses his feet to dictate terms.the square cut-which whizzed past the gr8 jonty rhodes who at that instant had become stupidly helpless.
The paddle sweep- an innovation yet to be perfected by someone else
The pull shot-for shane warne which brought nightmares and
The more recent hop sending the ball over the square-offside rope to get the shit out of the rawalpindi express.
Who can forget these exploits and if they forget then they dont enjoy anything on earth leave alone batting.
Now he has moved into his thirties and i feel very sad that he can provide it only for a few more years.At the same time i feel very proud to be born on his era which i consider is an era when indian batting has claimed more audience than ever...isnt it because of him...or is it because of gangulies and dravids or whoever looked swamped when he batted on the other side of the pitch..think about it..

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


i am the one. Dont mistake this statement to the one u must have heard in the MATRIX. But i am the one: called yeshwanth (though it may sound rare in the southern part of india, i like my name)
whenever i think of my name which means a person who is famous,i know i belie it. Till today i didnt do anything which wud have made me famous. But i am very optimistic about the future:)

i was born in india in the southern state of andhrapradesh, in a city called vijayawada(though it was a town when i was born). Both my parents are government employees and both work in vijayawada. I have a bro who is doing his 10th standard. I njoy teasing him all the i miss my family because i live in chennai doing my undergrad in IIT MADRAS. i did my schooling in vijayawada in donbosco high school till 9th and then three years of hardwork fetched me a seat most of my life(18yrs) was spent there and i cherish every moment i njoyed with my family and friends. my childhood woudnt have been as njoyable without my grandparents.they are very much responsible for watever i am today.

my school days.......those were the best days of my life..(remember the summer of 69')
i was the topper in the class every year and i njoyed a good impression among my teachers.
i had a batch of very good friends:koundinya(still one of my best frnds),kishore,ravikanth,krishna murthy..
my school days were as eventful as anybody elses...i had a crush on a senior girl..i bunked classes for annual day function preparations every yr.i was(sorry' am') a singer and because i was good at acads i used to get the chance to host.
football matches in the large after school hours... journey in the school bus(2 hours a day)...card games...petty fights over petty matters...doin things to impress girls(in 9th and 10th only,till then i was innocent:))...attending singing competitions with my CRUSH...and a lot more sweet memories.
coming to 10th standard i became more serious abt acads as it is the time wen ppl here in our state think about SETTLING IN LIFE:) and postpone everything else.
not much to say about the next three years though that was the time i evolved into wat i am from wat i had been in school.this time i had another batch of very good friends:srikar,kiran,hanu,bharat,avinash,bharat raj,chaitu,deepthi...we njoyed a lot of the small amount of time we used to get apart from studies.the way we neglected the language classes...the way we teased the lecturers...the hostel enviro....the comments we used to make on the other half of the class...the way we used to assign ranks to ourselves...jokes unsharable...another summer of 69 i guess::) with a decent rank in jee i then got through the gates to the institute i always dreamt being a part of.

After an initial uneasiness of being a freshie i got accomodated into a congenial atmosphere of new friends,new place,a new too i got a new bunch of good friends with whom i shared a good iit experience apart from academic(hey did i think of acads in sorry) gave me a lot of events to first year was more eventful with my roommates sriram,senti and hostelmates..bhima,ganesh,anish,aadi,smylee.the year was full of activities. For the first time in iit a batch had been reshuffled and unlucky that i was a part of that. I moved into a new hostel and consequently but sadly i missed most of these friends who had been moved into other hostels. Three years of my stay in the new hostel got me a lot more than i expected. A new batch of friends...naveen,nikhil,ravi,sasank,sharath,tejaswi,sundeep,vamshi,prabhu,robo,kurse,....three years is sufficient time to know ppl to the it is quite obvious that we become very good frnds..infact best... wait for the update because next year i am moving out of this campus and ill be in a new environment with new friends.lots of events......