I’m visiting my friend KM and his family in Bangalore (aka Bengaluru) after many years. The weather in this city is better than any other major Indian city’s. If I were to live in India, I’d choose this city. I took the picture above from the 15th floor apartment in a development called Brigade Gateway in Malleswaram — it has everything that you’d need: residential towers, school, hotel, mall (Orion), hospital, mega store, parks, gyms, restaurants, office complexes, etc etc. Continue reading →
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you are prepared to understand why Elon Musk is a remarkably intelligent man.
I’m not saying that you would have become capable of judging his business sense or his rocket designing abilities by reading my blog; what I mean is that you have a pretty good understanding of how governments fail and what should be done to reduce the harm that governments do. Here’s a rough edited transcript of what Elon said in an interview, part of which was published on YouTube on Sept 3rd, a few days ago: Continue reading →
Ganesh Chaturthi greetings. After many years, I find myself in Mumbai during Ganesh puja. It appears very subdued — understandably so.
In the normal course, I usually visit India twice a year. But this time I am back in India after a bit over two years. Nothing much appears to have changed in Mumbai — the streets are mostly dug up and under construction that proceeds at a glacial pace. Ganesh is the Remover of Obstacles. The BMC (the public works corporation of Mumbai) is the Anti-Ganesh: it is the Installer of Obstacles.
It’s been a while since I posted an Ask Me Anything. So ask away. And listen to Kishori-tai. Continue reading →
These are two remarkable facts about our modern world. One is that it is incredibly amazing, and the other is that we’re incredibly blasé about that amazingness. Our attitude is just boring ho-hum. It takes effort to step back and realize how astonishing our world is — even compared to only a couple of decades ago. I think it would do us good to pause once in a while and admire what humans have been able to achieve in a relatively short period.
Here I will point out a little bit of that amazing stuff that I experienced yesterday. Continue reading →
I think that the most succinct definition of freedom could be the right to say no to another. This was brought home to me in a recent family situation. Never mind the specifics of the situation, the general point is that if a person doesn’t have the freedom to say no, that person is not free. A person must have the freedom to say no if the concept of being free has to have any content.
Suppose I were to demand that you allow me into your home. If and only if you have the right to deny me entrance into your home does the concept of you owning your home have any content. If you can say, “No, you cannot come into my home”, only then does the concept of you owning your home become meaningful. You must have the right to say no, regardless of the reason why you deny me access to your home. If I could somehow enter your home whether you agree or not, then you clearly don’t have ownership of your home.Continue reading →
I have been working on an idea for the last few months. I call it “The Beginning of Superabundance” (the title being a hat-tip to David Deutsch’s book, “The Beginning of Infinity.”) There’s something incredible in the works for the world of only a couple of decades hence. That world will be as different from our world today as our world is different from the world of our stone age ancestors. Our ancestors of even a few hundred years ago could not have imagined the marvels — they really are marvels if you think about it — of our world today. Similarly, it is impossible for us to imagine the world of superabundance in any detail but the broad outlines can be guessed provided one thinks intelligently about it.
The future world is being built by a bunch of very remarkable people. The guy who is the leader of that lot is Elon Musk. There have been extremely rich people, extremely visionary people, extremely intelligent people, extremely diligent people, extremely ambitious people but it’s a rare individual — perhaps one in a billion — who combines all those extreme qualities. Musk is that one in a billion. Continue reading →
The 4th anniversary of the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of Aug 21st, 2017, was two days ago. I had looked forward to it for years, and in August of 2017, on a cross-continent drive from the West coast of the US to the East coast, I got the opportunity to witness that awesome event astronomical event.
I had planned it such that I was in Chicago, IL on Aug 18. Around 4 AM on Aug 21, I drove from Chicago to Carbondale, IL, a distance of around 330 miles (550 kms). I reached around noon and was all set up to catch the totality around 1 PM.
The totality lasted for around 2 minutes and 39 seconds where I was — which was about 3 seconds less than the maximum duration of the totality.
Once again the Religion of Peace has triumphed in yet another part of the world. Afghanistan used to be Buddhist once upon a time. Remember the huge Bamiyan Buddhas? The Taliban took care of them. Islam does wonders for any region it occupies.
The picture above is of the tombstone of Babur in Bagh-e-Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan. On an official visit to Afghanistan in 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Babur’s tomb to pay his respects to that tyrant. The wiki says,
The violence of Babur in the 1520s was witnessed by Guru Nanak, who commented upon it in four hymns. Historians suggest the early Mughal period of religious violence contributed to introspection and then the transformation in Sikhism from pacifism to militancy for self-defense. According to Babur’s autobiography, Baburnama, his campaign in northwest India targeted Hindus and Sikhs as well as apostates (non-Sunni sects of Islam), and an immense number were killed, with Muslim camps building “towers of skulls of the infidels” on hillocks.
Singh was bowing at the grave of the tyrant who slaughtered Hindus and Sikhs. Singh was paying tribute to the people who slaughtered Sikh Gurus.
Tens of millions of Muslims in India worship Babur. The screen capture below is the ANI report. (Click on image to go to The Tribune Online Edition.) Continue reading →
I clicked on the link knowing that it was a scam. I landed on a page that had looked like an Amazon page — except that it was an obvious fake. I filled in all the required information — email address, postal address, credit card number, expiration date of CC and the 3-digit security number at the back of the card.
Scammers (probably Nigerians) keep doing this sort of thing. I suspect that they must be getting some returns. Perhaps around 1 in 1000 attempts results in a hit. The reason bad people often thrive is because there are sufficient number of stupid people. Continue reading →