The Management of Air India are SEFs

As commercial airlines go, Air India is nothing to write home about. Air India ranked third-worst performing airline in the world, reported Economic Times in Jan 2017. Air India’s all-round dismal performance–customer service, timeliness, cabin service, heavy commercial losses, etc., etc.–is not surprising considering that it is a Government of India enterprise. Nothing that the GOI does is ever done competently and well. The bureaucrats and politicians are perhaps the least competent in the world, barring a few African banana republics.   Continue reading “The Management of Air India are SEFs”

Ministry of Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy

Government bureaucrats can hardly be accused of being the sharpest knives in the drawer. I have met many of them and have been uniformly underwhelmed by their understanding of the subject that they are charged with governing. Here’s an example. Most of us get by with using the words “power” and “energy” interchangeably in everyday speech. But I have met poorly educated engineers (around 80 percent of Indian engineers) who couldn’t precisely distinguish the two. They are anything but interchangeable. Although I cannot be sure, I am willing to bet that the bureaucrats and politicians in the ministry that deals with energy — one of the most critically important inputs in any economy — don’t know the distinction between energy and power.
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Daylight Saving Time is Plain Idiocy

imagesThe year’s in the Spring. And the clocks spring forward an hour. It’s daylight saving time from today to Nov 1st. The persistence of generalized collective idiocy can be explained by some kind of social inertia. Daylight saving time is a prime example. It was meant to reduce energy use. A little bit of thought should be enough for one to realize that there cannot be — in this present day and age — any energy savings by futzing around with clocks. Continue reading “Daylight Saving Time is Plain Idiocy”

The Unbearable Collective Stupidity of the Masses

It’s all karma, neh?

I usually use that line as a sign off to some of my posts. But this time I lead with it because — well, let me come to that. Karma is a Sanskrit word whose meaning is difficult to convey precisely but the two (of the many) important facets of the word are salient in this context. First is karma as action, and the second the consequence of action. This bears repetition: the same word refers to action as well as the consequences of action. This is by no means accidental.
Continue reading “The Unbearable Collective Stupidity of the Masses”

Innumerates of the Times of India

Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to speak nonsense. That one is a favorite quote from a computer science guru John McCarthy. To it I would add that those who are incapable of reasoning are doomed to being innumerate. The ability to reason is a prerequisite for knowing how to do arithmetic. Let me give you a shining example of innumeracy arising from an inability to reason.
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When in Rome, only Monotheism

I gather from Kanchan Gupta’s piece — “In Rome, Durga is not welcome” — the officials in Rome are jerking around Hindus who want to celebrate puja. But for the efforts of the Indian Ambassador, Mr Arif Shahid Khan, this year’s Durga puja celebrations in Rome would have been a disaster. A deep bow for Mr Khan in appreciation of his help to the Hindus in Rome.
Continue reading “When in Rome, only Monotheism”