Friday, September 28, 2007

Something to look forward to


The CTS 2008 was revealed recently, and it surely is an eye-catcher! Above and beyond all the razzle-dazzle, the car comes with a 40 GB hard drive, one that you can use for storing songs, videos, well whatever! With a 304 HP engine, the most powerful that was ever put on a 6 cyclinder Cadillac engine, the CTS will surely give its competitors something to think about. You are looking at a price tag of about 36,000 USD, so be ready to part with some serious money!

cts1.jpg

Bankruptcy Looms for Michigan

These are tough times for Michigan.  The state government is facing an unprecedented budget crisis as it continues to face a looming bankruptcy, joining the ranks of some of the world’s worst governed states.  Michigan was a leading industrial state in the US, till a few decades ago shining in the glory of Detroit’s Big Three.  However, just as the Big Three have continued to lose market share to better competitors, the state has lost its glory to more progressive states.  In many ways, obviously, the fortunes of the state were always tied to Big Three.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the real estate market, government efficiency have both suffered just as the Big Three have continued their slide.

 

Fiscal conservatism is an easy thing to say, but a tough thing to achieve.  The Michigan government apparently has no clue of what the word means.  Maybe they borrowed a thing or two from the federal government, which is facing a 5.5 trillion dollar debt.  That apart, maybe this is the time for the state government to take a hard look at its own future. Else, it will not be long before some Chinese or middle eastern company vying to run the state.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Obama replied!

I had written in an earlier post that I had replied to a question from the Obama campaign on the Linkedin network.

A few days ago, I got a response in my Linkedin mailbox from the campaign. Just to keep the record straight, I wish that Obama becomes the Prez. However, I think it will be Hillary who will get the ticket and she will choose Obama as her running mate.

Here's the entire sequence in the reverse order:

Barack Obama wrote:

Hi Girish,

Thanks for participating in Barack's question on LinkedIn Answers – we
apologize for the delay in response. We received an incredible number
of thoughtful answers, and our campaign will continue to review all of
these answers in the days ahead.


Barack is committed to helping small businesses and believes they are
at the heart of the American economy. He is committed to expanding
opportunities and easing the everyday pressures so many businesses
face by cutting their health care costs, improving access to capital,
and investing in innovation and development.


He plans to fix our health care crisis and enable more small
businesses to provide affordable care to their employees. He will
expand loan programs for small businesses and create a national
network of public-private business incubators. He also will invest in
women-owned businesses, increase minority access to capital, increase
supports for businesses in rural areas, and work to close the digital
divide that limits the growth potential of many urban and rural small
businesses.


We appreciate immensely your willingness to share your insights and
suggestions on these issues and your help in achieving these goals.

For more information on Barack's ideas for improving America visit:
www.barackobama.com/issues

Thanks,
Scott & Becky @ Obama HQ
On 9/12/07 8:10 PM, Girish Mallapragada wrote:
--------------------
It is very easy to say that the wave of globalization needs to be stalled for small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive. However, the tougher, yet, appropriate path to improvement involves embracing competition and not shunning it. The future president should realize that globalization is a two-way street and allow a greater integration of small industry sector with developing countries. The resulting strategy dynamic would benefit US small firms and entrepreneurs benefit from access to world markets and make them better through competition on their own homefront.

Private Note:
Wish you the best!

Question Details:
--------------------
How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?

on averageness

I found an old post of mine at another blog – and here it is. This was in response to a post on averageness by one of my friends, Vamshi.

Vamshi says:

Welcome Gate to Morons

===============
Its the mere hate I rejoice having, or for your averageness, that makes me write on the manners you morons excel in flaunting. The sonnet and the four lines do not mean anything to you but I wisely have used them because it escapes your crass minds. Phelgmatic are your views because you cannot face action and stand by the storm. Squabbling souls of yours make up the sum total of all choas in the universe. You are the prefects of all confused places of the world.

Firstly, you are not a distinct individual - not that you don't take over the reins of some hapless pygmies. You are residing parasitically in every creation called, lovingly, as humans. You tamper, finger, screw with the base ethics of an evolving mind and make it mediocre. You mother the mothers of mothers who make mothers for the wannabe mothers. You are a disease called paralytic somnambulism which divulges nothing but morphs the character to restrained ethos.

Hey human, breathe easy. For you do having some saving grace. You can evolve and rise from the ashes......

Thoughts of the writer are personal and to be taken as his view of things


Although, sometimes my own thoughts tend to agree with him, I have to admit that, it would hugely egoistic to admit so. What probably demarcates a genius from an average Joe is not just intelligence, but genuine humility in knowing that there is much more to be known. Such an approach, forced me to respond in the following manner:

However, my general thought is that the world is full of averageness by definition - humans, as narcissistic as they might be, are only defined by their averageness.
Although great men are known for being outliers, they do not exist without the averageness of the commons.

I feel your anger against mediocrity in this world, and I can associate with it. However, I want to remind you of what once an old man, who is no more, said a long time ago when we were in LFJC, and I quote ," If everyone becomes an IITan who will drive my car".


On a different note:

The old man that I refer to was Mr. Subba Rao, and some of you might recognize him as the author of a high-school physics text book. Mostly people despised him, but, he did make sense to me once in a while. He taught us all the Occam's razor in his own words. The latin version of the Occam's razor is something like this,

entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem

in english it means,

entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity

Stated in other ways, the razor calls for accepting the simplest explanation to a phenomenon. I remember answering a question in his class, the long way, and he said, "you should not try to point out your nose by putting your hand behind your head". Maybe, he knew the Occam's razor and reframed it so that we understood or maybe they were words coming from a genuinely sensible man. Whatever maybe the case, I will always fondly look back at my two years at LFJC when I met some of the brightest people I would have ever interacted with in my life.

one of my favorite quotes

"The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night." – H.W. Longfellow

 

 

 

BANZAI!

GM gets a breather – and maybe will go BANZAI!

 Yes, today reports poured in about the deal between GM and UAW and the consequent strike call-off.  The top management at GM must have sighed with relief, now that the possibility of a long strike by UAW has been evaded.  Surely, this event does seem like the harbinger of the much awaited conducive environment for GM.  The creation of a trust for managing retiree health benefits would straight away cut about 1500 USD per vehicle sold from GM’s costs.  Hopefully, GM would make the right decisions and divert that money in creating that much more value for customers rather than keep the quality constant, and lower costs further.  A lower costs structure is desirable but is not the “thing” for delivering superior products.  GM can never compete with Kia, Hyundai and Cherry Auto on costs.  They have the engineering muscle to focus on building good products that lure back consumers form the Japanese.  I hope it will be war – BANZAI!