Friday, February 13, 2009 

Another Tamil Hypocrisy!

Now, I got an opinion, Not that I am forced to, not even for the heck of it!
I am getting bored by this stance of human plight!

If you are asking me, if it’s wrong to get people killed in the name of race, caste, religion and innumerable distinctions this human race has created. YESSSSSS! My heart has equally wept for those souls. I don't do it just for Tamil-Lankans, I feel the same for Kashmiris, Bosnians, Shias or even Americans. Nothing to do with the Dravidian race just because I incidentally bred from them!

If you ask me on personal level, I would want such people who kill others in the name of identities to be scorched and smeared to death, but I am going to be more practical and align myself with the behavior outcomes of animals and their affliction to territory!

I belong to the camp that we are all animals and survival is the almost core principle of life!

Territory refers to any socio-graphical area that an animal of a particular species consistently defends against conspecifics (and, occasionally, animals of other species).

Behavioral ecologists have argued that food distribution determines whether a species will be territorial or not. Territoriality will emerge where there is a focused resource that provides enough for the individual or group, within a boundary that is small enough to be defended without the expenditure of too much effort.

In English, this means that I would not share my territory unless my resource needs are full filled or secured not only for this generation but also for the future to come! It is not about just food, we would not share power or any other resource with a non- identical group. What applies to Tamils in this context also applies to caste based identity and even family based identities.

There is no amicable egalitarian solution to this animal problem unless amnesia inflicts the Lankan brain. A cease fire is only a process of creating a bigger bang in the making! The non-identical group needs to accept that the land belonged to the incumbent powerful group before it was infiltrated by the former and try to live a second tier life or make a least resistance shift to a territory where it has enough sustenance!

I am not willing to buy the argument that we are evolved apes with six senses and need to be more humanitarian. I am sorry, I have never seen anybody who has reduced the greed and accepted to live a life which is less sophisticated. Neither have I seen any body who has given more emphasis to the non-identical group (read non-family and non-friends) than their identical group. I have not seen anybody who share an apartment with a complete stranger or given away the resources to a non-identical group when their group is at abyss!

By the way, I just thought of the 30% of India who are below the poverty line and living a slow death and we damn a care about them when we accumulate resources for our family. May be, our senses are attracted when it fast and sensual just like our masala movies.

Do I hear you right? HYPOCRISY. I am one tooooooooo!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008 

Trigger for A Post

At last i got the trigger to get me blogging again, Bomb blast in Mumbai. There was too much crap generated on television during the course of last week, It was a fashion statement to talk about the plight of people who lost their lives in the blast and try to sympathize. More were worried about the mental agony, Not that i want to be different or find so much solace in being a contrarian, i think it was filled with hypocrisy everywhere. I am aplomb with confidence that we will have a bigger blast in the next five years, may be even in the same places.

Some insane idiots even argue that the police men don't even have bullet proofs whereas the terrorist have superior armory. My dear buffs, we can't train police men to handle terrorists in the genre of Let!. People are outraged and want those terrorists to be publicly hanged; I think it would not solve anything at all. It would never be a deterrent to terrorists whose motive to be illogical and kill people for any plausible ideology and would not mind getting killed anyway. I am personally against capital punishment. The principle that somebody is hanged because he didn't have the right to kill somebody else seems a laughing paradox when we hang the person who committed the crime. They would have infinite reasons, may be, even very logically justice consistent, it might have been an outburst after cuckold politicians took the religion color in the Babri Masjith and Godhra incident. They might have lost their kins or close friends. I am not painting a counter defense just for the heck of it, i am just saying that if somebody is to be hanged please consider L.K Advani & Narendar Modi in the pipeline even before those terrorist are hanged. What kind of demeaning people are these, including the opposition who don't even have the balls to come to an all party meeting to discuss terror. I am no congress men, neither do i have affliction for them, they are play minority politics to garner votes. I just feel that they don't exploit the majority or provoke them against the minority which is far more deadly.Infact the BJP states were so power selfish to give away any state powers to handle terror in the last Conference on Terror.

People have suddenly realized that there should be accountability for power. Fuck you citizens; these so called newly reenacted citizens are lambasting their politicians for their (so called citizens) impotence to be part of governance. When all these castrated middle class want their children to be cutting and pasting in some IT company, how do you expect learned/competent people to be managing us. This Hun Gama will all be over, the same buffaloes (citizens again) will be basking in their sense of comfort not willing to take any responsibility to a worthy citizen. Let the so called hyperactive citizens pay their taxes and avoid paying bribes, if at they have balls left!. Suddenly these people are worried about the odd 200 dead in the terrorist attack not because of their humanitarian grounds, but because they feel, they too would have a fair chance to be dead in the next attack. It they really think about the fellow citizens being killed, let us smell our hypocrisy, there are so many farmers dying slow death every day. Don’t ever think that it is the government’s responsibility. If at all we pay our taxes properly they would have enough subsidies to make their lives better. If you thought why i should subsidize them, wake up they are subsidizing your food!.

About the accountability factor, if at all somebody is to be behind bars, all these insane experts on CNBC TV 18/financial advisers need to be hanged for all their opinion and suggesting investments at the end of bull markets. I know people who lost much of their wealth because some idiot advised them to enter the market at every correction. I know my friends who in spite of being in the investment community gave a damn before any opinion. I don’t know anybody in my floor or profession who took "moral responsibility" for vanquishing the wealth of their clients just because of insane advises.

I don't think terror can be wished away, it is here to stay. It would find many reasons. It might be religion, caste or economic disparity. Only solace could be if we have better responsive system!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008 

Mind Your Language !

I read somewhere that if there are living intellectuals of the century, there are notably three; Richard Dawkins, Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky. The first one, an ardent atheist/evolutionary biologist, the second, a philosopher and the last one a linguist. One thing common to them was that they dissected the society/human psychology in their own perspective. The protagonists critically claim that they did it more sanguinely and genuinely than the conformist.

Somehow, I didn't get the link of the study of language with the criticism of society for some time. Although the mind sublimely accepts that most often language correlates with a person's character. If we all progressed from the forests of Africa and spread all over the globe, there must have been a language coherence assuming we dispersed when we had reached critical levels of cognizance to even seek new places. I really can't even guess as to how we would think without language, of course, if we were from the apes, we would have rather survived with instincts.

In my view, If there is some invention/discovery that remarkably changed the way we evolved to live life, it is fire, as history claims but i would rather defiantly proclaim that language would have been the giga-leap which changed the way we live. I think that the invention of language levered the productivity of accumulated knowledge. Communication is essential for survival as a group, although non-verbal communication constitutes about 65% of the chunk, i think that written/spoken language plays a pivot role in knowledge transmission whereas the former might be a good indicator of behavior.

It always puzzles me as to how different languages have different sounds. It could not have been a mere coincidence or non purposefulness even though it may have been involuntary. As surmised in the kiss theory, i felt language must have a correlation with the climatic conditions. I believe in evolution and so extending it, I think that even phonetics/phonology of a language must have gone through the process of adaptation and mutation to accommodate the externalities. Survival is the key objective of evolution; energy is what drives life, so it is essential to conserve it incases of extreme conditions.

Heat in the body need to be conserved, so i kind of guess that the mouth needs to be shut more often in the western world (which is cold) than in the tropical countries to maintain the body temperature. The more it is open, higher the amount of calories needs to be burnt in a colder climate than a warmer one. (The more we open our mouth, the more we expose ourselves to the external work and heat is transferred from our body to the outer world. As Heat transfer occurs from to a hot to colder body, so more calories need to be burnt to maintain the body temperature).Extending it, may be that is why the western world (colder climate) is more crisp and articulate and the eastern (tropical climate) world is more ambiguous (there is less urgency to arrive at a solution)

While I was googling around, i came across interesting piece of research which suspects that there might me a correlation between the sonority of language and the climate .As i was thinking why people in cold countries communicate more closely, physics came to aide. According to thermodynamics the density of air is inversely proportional to the temperature. So warm the climate, the less dense the air. This effectively means that there is less hindrance for sound waves to move across in the medium (air here).This means that for the lowest energy to be expended for speaking, we need to be communicating nearer. For the same amount of energy, the people in warmer climates can afford to communicate at a far more distance than the colder ones.

The phonetics of any language is built with consonants and vowels. Vowels are open sounds whereas consonants are closed sounds. To produce varied and intelligible sounds the sound patterns need to be accompanied by the combination of open and close sounds (loosely syllables).To speak and produce different sounds the mouth needs to closed and subsequently open. In terms of sound production, a vowel is a single speech sound produced by vibrating the vocal cords without any obstruction for the airflow from the lungs whereas a consonant is a sound which is obstructed in some way by a tongue or lips. This effectively means than air flow is more continuous while vowels are produced and hence this should accompany with the transfer of heat from our lungs to the outer place.

According to the heat conservation principles the colder climate languages should have lesser vowels to retain heat. Deducing from the earlier air density principle, the warmer climate languages need more audible sounds (vowels) as they tend to increase the carrying power of speech sounds and, hence, audibility at a distance. The study also asserts that the indigenous languages of tropical and subtropical climates in contrast to the languages spoken in temperate and cold zones manifested high levels of sonority.

Coming to the energy utilization pattern, the minimum energy (Basal Metabolic Rate :BMR) expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment just sufficient for the functioning of the vital organs tends to be lower for warmer climates compared to colder climates, even after controlling for body size and composition. And for the climate effect, cold weather climates increase the body’s efforts to regulate its temperature more than hot climates. This is the reason why the bodies try to maintain a lower metabolic rate in colder climates to counteract the temperature effect. You must have felt hungry more often in winter than in summer, given the same activity cycle.

From the point of view of a speech-language perspective, breath is the basis of speech. All words and sentences are produced on an exhalation. At the end of each sentence, it is necessary to take a quick inhalation, after which the next new sentence is articulated on an exhalation. Since most sentences last anywhere from two to fifteen seconds, the dynamics of breathing require sufficient breath control to allow enough time for the person speaking to complete the sentence. The yogic practices advise a ratio of 1:2 (inhalation to exhalation time) or even longer exhalation time for better health. This has greater implications, in order to conserve heat the breathing frequency should be lower in colder regions, and this also means that the intake "ventilatory volume" should be more in colder climates to suffice a longer breathing cycle which tends to be longer to conserve heat. I was wondering if the syllabic structures of languages have evolved to suit different breathing frequencies to optimize the exhalation process.

As i was discussing with a friend of mine, he had another observation to share with me, he said that the economic status of the person/ general affluence of the region might determine the sweetness of the language. He is a marketer and tends to be across places and people. He said that people in Coimbatore tend to be more courteous and sonority tends to be sweeter (the place of "Kongu Tamil" which is claimed to be "Konjum Tamil" ), whereas the people in the Northern part of Tamil Nadu Vellore/thiruvallur/villupuram district" tend to be harsh. This kind of tweaked my brain and wanted to check if the perception was right. I asked people around me to rank people's vocal behavior (courteousness to harsh), Climate (pleasant to uncomfortable) and general economic Status (Good to Bad) across regions in Tamil Nadu.Boy, oh boy! Believe me; everybody was almost consistent in their rankings. Everybody ranked Coimbatore region to be soft spoken and the northern districts to be harsh. Adding spice to it, the ranking was almost similar for the climate and economic status (at least the first and the last were same in all the cases as the language sonority ranking).This cannot be pure coincidence.

If the above climate factor was true then language and economic status might be tied as well. The regions which are mostly arid mostly tend have a better economic status than the tropical ones.

There have been varied number of hypothesis which has been put across in this post but some seem to be divergent which reality. I feel that natural languages must have evolved to adapt climate and hence breathing cycles/metabolic rates/communication distance/vegetation and so forth. The dominance of a particular parameter might have defined the phonetics and syllabic structure to enhance survival.

As I had a gasp of relevance of language with the climate, it has sprouted another farm of questions. What is the impact of immigration of people in one climate to another? .The consequence of adapting to diametrically sonorous language? If different languages have different tones/rhythms, then what would be the impact of cognition at different stages of life? Why have some languages survived for a long time than others?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 

I seeee I C everywhereee

If the last post was about superiority complex, this is about the other end 'inferiority complex', in fact as we delve deeper, both of them are the manifestations of the ego's abnormality arising out of our self judgment। It takes a lot of courage to accept that we might posses it and even more to overcome, if it’s necessary. There are various metrics to create inferiority complex: physical abilities, mental & material (m&m) abilities, emotional abilities and social dis-advantages.

Inferiority complex due to physical abilities is not consciously selected by the individual but is mostly a negative feedback from the society and this genre of 'complex' mostly cannot be reverted or adversely changed as there are limitations to overrule nature or the gene. Michael Jackson is a classic example of being a victim of this syndrome; in spite of being a genius he muffled himself with color. Stephen Hawking is a classic example of people who broke the clutches of the physical world to transpire into the world of intellectual glory. I am not going to advocate that beauty is inner and physical attributes can change. What is you see is what you see; abnormal things tend to signal aberrations in the mind unless we get use to it or respect things as they are. I still have an awkward feeling when i see reptiles. The mind has a way of relating abnormal features with morality as if gundas have crippled legs and scared faces (just stealing it from Anbe Sivam).This is a negative feedback from the society which seeds the semblances of IC.

About m&m abilities, now to the root cause, karmic humans are at least driven by a motive (desire); in this journey we acquire various identities through the facets of knowledge, wisdom and skill. The material and mental abilities are acquired through the blend of the above mentioned facets and of course luck (random causes).I would classify family wealth as physically acquired ability rather than oneself. Now as we move along, we set benchmarks (both voluntary and forced by the environment) to evaluate and more often judge our self in this game of progress towards what we want to be.

Its a tricky situation when we have to judge ourselves, in this ugly game we often end up judging our benchmarks when in fact we need to be observe it objectively. We can see the symptoms everywhere, some people identify themselves with every identify of the association (friends, schools, parents.. clubs.. education) they have, its an extreme case where the individual is trying to overcome the lack of their self identity based on benchmarks which they have set to themselves. "Yeahh even my xxxxx is ........ (MBA/ dancer/certified/millionaire...)".We try to overcome our inferiority complex by coupling ourselves with some superior ego with that attribute. This eventually leads to dilution of the self identity and becomes a vicious game to self destruct our personality. If this was total unguarded against the assault of one's personality, there is a case of outright cynical attitude about people who have the superior attribute. This kind of inferiority complex is worst of all, it creates depression and sense of negative vibes about the attribute which aboutwe have an inferior feeling .If somebody is a versatile dancer or thinker and we are not and feel inferior about it, we end being completely cynical about the attribute citing the drawbacks of possessing that attribute. This often flares up jealousy, outright rejection and ‘attribute' blasphemy which is unwarranted.

The inability to emote appropriately is another source of inferiority complex. Some cannot laugh, cry, romance, exhibit anger or express love and care. There is often a desire to express/receive those emotions. In cases of deprivation or malfunction (in certain cases), an IC develops, an aversion to the expression of such feelings. The signs of emotional IC are confirmed when emotional blackmail is used as a tool to get things done.

The IC complex due to social dis-advantages (economic class/ caste/ creed/ religion/ gender/ ideology...) is easiest to overcome on a individual basis but more difficult to overcome as a systemic mindset.

Inferiority Complex
A persistent sense of inadequacy or a tendency to self-diminishment, sometimes resulting in excessive aggressiveness through overcompensation.

“Inferiority Complex: a conviction by a jury of your fears.”

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 

Mediocrities everywhere... I absolve you

Salieri : I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.
Salieri : Mediocrities everywhere... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you all

This is the dialogue which Antonio Sallie leaves in the air at the end of the movie Amadeus , creating a sense of guilt in the mind of every mediocrite (almost all of us, at one point or another) who have incessantly crawled this world. It is a fictional play in the "technical" sense but very real, in its real sense. Initially, Sallie is jittered by the contention that there is somebody superior (Mozart here) to him with far fluent abilities. As he gets to indulge himself in the artistic expressions of Mozart, his brain accedes to the ingenuity of Mozart but his ego propels jealousy. He ultimately plots the demise of the genius and succeeds in it as well.

The crux of the story, a superior "ego" soaked in its own glare insanely defends the flare of another thought which questions the ignorance or assumptions of the bloated superior ego. I have been in this bloated plane many times and equally received the farce look as well. As I reckon and unbundled them, in most of the cases, there is either the over estimation of our convictions or the gross underestimation of the opponent. In the former case, once we are used to the expert image or evolved status, we eventually get drowned in the gravity of our own arrogance unwilling to admit that we have limited knowledge or experience as well. There is a stern defense to accept the truth as there is an inherent fear that we might loose our pseudo elite status. I was recently caught with an argument with a friend of me, in fact I look to him for any clarification on any subject matter, but it happened that I had to confront him in a topic which he was unaware। As I was quite comfortable with the topic I expressed my view but it was out rightly negated. The reason as I could see ,was the bloated superior ego was unwilling to accept ignorance as it could not give away the pride factor.

There is another instance which I remember .If you have watched this song "Pookuri Pongal" from the movie Pokuri. There is a tiny part where both Prabhu Deva and Vijay dance together. I was really surprised by the kind of nervy consciousness which Vijay was going through. Vijay is one of the most profound dancers in the Tamil film industry but Prabhu Deva is the pioneer of the concurrent form of dancing and one of the most elegant, compared to the peers. I would rate Vijay in the same ivory league when it comes to dancing.As i watched the song,I felt he was feeling too conscious about people judging him with Prabhu Deva, He was kinda competing hard to maintain the “supremo” status and end of the day could not justify the freaky section even though he possessed the natural flair for dancing.

At times, when I think of it and feel the gravity of my ego blinding me, I remember this dialogue in the movie Bharth quoted Rajini

"தான் தான் பெரியவன்னு எவனும் நினைசுட கூடாது ஆவனுக்கு அப்பனும் பிறந்து இருப்பான்"

None should think that he is the “one”, there would be some one far superior born

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 

Can You Invest in Gold ?

Its kinda becoming like a economics/ fianance blog still I thought it might help some people who are looking for cues to invest in gold.This is part of a mail which I mailed across to my friend penning my thoughts about investing in gold. I have tried to ascertain the direction of gold prices given my current perceptions and level of knowledge.

Below is the chart( click the image for a better view) of different asset classes compared with each other on the logarithmic scale.

Key Observations:
  1. Equity and Gold have moved in opposite direction since 1970 .
  2. Commodities including Gold, Copper and Oil have moved similary ( the linear trend ) .
  3. US dollar moves in the opposite direction to gold (negative correlation is lower) but gold has moved more steeper in the upward direction in the recent past against the dollar.
  4. Peculiarly, all the asset classes have been in the uptrend barring the dollar after a large infusion of liquidity in the global markets since the Fed cut the rates to 100 bps in 2001 .

Investment Corrolaries

Gold is a hedge against the dollar, it is presumed that it is better to invest in gold as it yields a higher return compared to the US dollar assets which would yield negative or paltry return (Fed has been aggressively cutting rates and is expect to come to 100 bps mid this year).Lower interest rates result in the depreciation of a currency (investors sell the currency with the lower interest rate and buy currency with higher interest rates{the supply demand theory} hence spot rates of $ has been tumbling) and the Fed is not expected to increase the interest rate again before growth picks up in the US.US is expected to get into a recession and feel the brunt for at least the next four quarters. Thus a sharp reversal in $ trend is not expected until next year, assuming US gets into a recession now.

Fed is expected to cut rates; as a consequence, liquidity is expected to be at higher levels once the credit crisis subsides, this should logically fuel the prices of all asset classes. Now if US gets into recession the equity class would not perform and it is widely expected that S&P 500 would fall by 20% if US gets into a recession, so ideally going by past, gold should be bought as an alternative to equities.

Commodities are expected to outperform given the demand supply mismatch due to huge demand from developing countries (esp China & India) but the real question is whether slow down in US & developed world would reduce the demand and hence reduce the deficit and hence result in a cool off in commodity prices.

To invest in gold or not now ?

Gold & commodities in my view are at least 10-15% below their peaks, so ideally, they must correct or reverse the trend after it. The real state of US economy must be clear by Q3 2008, so ideally any new trend should happen then. If the US Equities correct by 10-15% by then and economy picks up, we can be almost sure that the trend is going to reverse. That is when Fed should ideally start increasing the rates and dollar must see any reasonable strength. This would bring back the confidence in the dollar and investors must flee gold.

The risks to the above conclusions are that the US might enter into a stagflation environment (the US GDP/prices falls even though there is a steep increase in inflation/ cost of input materials which cannot be passed on to the cosumers as there is a lack of consumer demand in a recessionary environment).The probable reasons should be that commodities demand supply gap is persistent and the prices do not come down. This is a good scenario for considering gold as an investment.

If US shows the middle finger to the recession scare and returns to throttle in another two quarters, then gold would correct sooner or later.

It all depends of when uncle Sam is expects to come back with a bang.


Friday, February 01, 2008 

The market and the Sadist in me

I have always had this strong conviction, every living organism is selfish and it tries to protect itself and survive when things are against the tide and tries to ride it when it soars up and in both the cases tends to overrule the greater good. I could get the glimpse of the selfish sadist in me today.

I have been investing in the markets for the last six months and have made some healthy profit till the beginning of this year. Things were in euphoric mode, investing in any crapy stock gave handsome profit and irrational exuberance prevailed. Experts were divided about the journey the indices were about to take, I was strongly advocating a case that Indian markets were headed south before going north again. I was greedy as well, I knew i had to move into cash but the nagging greed of marginal profit kept me in the market, One sane thing which i did was to move most of my investment into a single stock which was fundamentally strong.

It was a Monday, at last I said enough is enough, I was planning to move in to cash and book losses, Murphy reincarnated, the markets crashed by 10%, there was a huge dent in my the portfolio and I was in a precarious situation, the loses were far from marginal to be booked. I decided to wait with a false hope that prices would go up although I had advised my other friends not to dive into the market as the markets are expected to see a further carnage. A rational decision would have been to sell the stocks at lower prices and catch them at even lower prices. The markets fell by another 10% next day. There were few who short the market (selling a stock at higher prices without owning it, expecting it to fall so that you can buy them back at lower prices and settle the transaction) who were happy and talking about a further trough. People who were invested must have seen at least 30% shaved from their peak portfolio value, we were thinking, How sadist of the people who wanted a further fall (in fact it is a very rational expectation about the course of the market after the illogical upward movement since last October).

Things calmed down in the market, I borrowed some money and bought the stocks at lower prices and averaged out my portfolio (process of averaging the cost of stock by buying the stocks at lower prices when one has the same stock at higher prices).The Fed came to the rescue of the US markets and sense of relief spanned across the globe, the markets recovered, the markets had technically rebounded from the bottom. I woke up yesterday and to my surprise the markets didn't bounce back even after Federal reserve cut the rates again, something told me that this is a temporary relief and almost completely sold my portfolio and moved to cash, booking marginal loses.

There are several logical reasons why I felt the markets are going to crash again

The US is expected to slow down significantly and hence the US markets are expected to severely correct. US still contributes to 25% of the world GDP and it would definitely impact the other markets. The markets would be first stripped completely before giving their due of "growth stories”. Any number of bailout, be it credit, residential, insurance or economic stimulus is not going to solve the structural problems of US. It's time for the cycleonomics, what goes up should comes down!.

It’s high time the bubbles burst; the cruel some part of the current bull run is that almost all the asset classes (equities, commodities and real estate) are at the peak. Sooner or later they are going to burst.

An market should go up to the extent to which the earnings grows. Indian companies have had an average growth rate of 20% and the trend is expected to growth by 15% to 20% for the next five years atleast.We gained a massive 50% in the last four months of last year without any valid change in the fundamentals, so essentially they have to correct by 25% to be fairly valued. The FII's who had parked the money in our markets are booking handsome profit taking it back to their country.

Technical analysis suggests that we are in the last leg of the downtrend of the "Elliot wave", so ideally we should fall another 15%.

So you must be asking what is sadist about this?. I am expecting the market to fall steeply, now that i am safe.Infact, I know that most of my friends have their portfolio are in negative territory and retail investors would get slaughtered if it moves further down but I still feel happy about my call. In fact, we are all facing the brunt for chasing greed and irrational prices but we all loose money and sleep!


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