Archive for » October, 2011 «

Knowledge is Power….

Knowledge is Power…

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Who could be a better example of this adage,than Sushil Kumar of Bihar,who has recently become the first ever winner of Rs.5 Crores on KBC ? He has created history.Here is the snippet reproduced from Hindustan Times :


Bihar gives KBC its first Rs 5 cr winner

Sagar Suraj, HindustanTimes, Motihari, October 28, 2011

As a computer operator making Rs 6,000 a month, Sushil Kumar wasn’t exactly a slumdog, but his Rs 5 crore-win on the television quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) is no less dramatic for it. Three days after hitting the jackpot, the reality is yet to sink in for the 28 year old from Champaran district in Bihar. Sushil Kumar, who holds a master’s degree in psychology, wanted to be a bureaucrat. But he had to abandon the dream as he was unable to join any coaching institute in Delhi for lack of funds. “I will now join a prominent institute and start preparing,” he says. But his priority is, first, to help his parents and four brothers pay off their debts, and then build a huge house for his entire family. Says Sushil Kumar, who got married in May to Seema Patel: “Our financial condition was very bad. We don’t have a house of our own.”Before leaving for the KBC shoot, he had aimed to win Rs 25 lakh. “I had calculated that all this could be sorted out with Rs 25 lakh,” he said.`Sushil Kumar’s elder brother, Sunil Kumar, has been inundated with calls and SMSes ever since news of his brother’s achievement spread. “Sushil is still in Mumbai. He will return after clearing some formalities of KBC and visiting some religious places.”Meanwhile, Sushil Kumar’s father-in-law Krishna Patel, who owns a small snack shop, is rejoicing in his choice of groom. “Only goldsmiths can spot the real diamond, nobody else can,” he says.


INSPIRING,isn’t it ? Media reports about Sushil are full about other interesting facts  like his always having worn chappals in  life so far and that the photoshoot of KBC was the second occasion in his life when he had worn shoes.Me and you must be having several pairs of different types  of shoes,some of which must never have been worn for more than a few occasions.He did not have enough money to buy books.He now plans to buy lots of books and read a lot to satisfy his thirst for knowledge.Students of today,always want to use short cuts,by relying on notes,guide books etc for preparing for exams.No body it seems has time to read the news papers,what to talk of books.They just want to pass the exams somehow,get a degree or diploma to be framed and hung on the wall as a proof of being qualified and thats it. No real passion for gathering real knowledge first hand.No original thoughts for using the knowledge for betterment of their own lives or others’ lives.All such students need to learn a lesson from Sushil Kumar.My Salaam to Sushil. I am waiting to see the actual episode of KBC on 1st November. I am sure the TRPs of Sony Channel will soar to newer heights after this telecast. 


 

New Twists to Old Proverbs…

New Twists to Old Proverbs…

Sometime in June 2010,I had blogged a post titled :” Proverbs In Daily Life” ( Go to :  http://seeingwithc.org/jsblog/?p=1591 ).I have read a piece on the subject of Proverbs in TOI of today.Here it is with a few minor changes here and there.Hope it will make you smile as I did !  


Pranks With Proverbs

GEORGE N NETTO

Oct 25, 2011, TIMES OF INDIA
Highly quotable they may be, but proverbs usually convey truisms with which we’re already familiar. Yet, with a dash of imagination and innovation, they lend themselves easily to witty extensions, jocular refinements or even a twist in the tail, thus making them quite entertaining. Indeed there’s nothing like a touch of humour to spice up a commonplace proverb. I, for one, can seldom use an adage without embellishing it with an addendum, funny or otherwise. It’s a legacy from my English teacher in school who encouraged us to be creative with axioms. Over the years these ‘enriched’ sayings have created ripples of amusement at parties and get-togethers besides serving as icebreakers.On the marital front there are a few home truths. Wedlock is a padlock – one of the keys to which is divorce. It takes two to tango – and three to create an eternal triangle. Variety is the spice of lifeask any monogamous male. Marriages are made in heavenand unmade on earth. Familiarity breeds contemptusually after marriage. Food and drink, too, throw up axioms that can be smartened up effortlessly. The proof of the pudding is in the eating – and the licking of one’s fingers. Too many cooks spoil the broth – but speed up the meal. When the wine is in, the wit is out – and also some zealously guarded secrets.Work-related proverbs also offer ample scope for manipulation. To wit, no man can serve two masters – unless both are generous paymasters. When there’s a will there’s a wayespecially if it’s the boss’s will. Nothing is impossible – so long as you don’t have to do it yourself. Perky endings are easily suffixed to other general proverbs as well. Barking dogs seldom bite – others, you being an exception. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – provided it’s not a homing pigeon. Birds of a feather flock together – especially when they have a common grouse. Some similarly spruced-up sayings can be rather pointed too. Travel broadens the mind – and lightens the purse. You’re never too old to learn - something stupid. Time is a great healer – as well as a speedster. Cheats never prosper – but they do get rich fast. Dead men tell no tales – only their biographers do. Death is a great leveller – though life is seldom a level playground. Empty vessels make the most sound – and are promptly heard. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail – especially your fingertips. Honesty is the best policy – where others are concerned. Necessity is the mother of invention – when you need a watertight alibi. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – or a teenager denied a mobile phone.
Here’s another cross-section of pepped-up proverbs. Necessity knows no law – especially when you’re being chased by a rabid dog. Opportunity never knocks twice – but temptation bangs on the door repeatedly. Seeing is believing – especially when you catch your girlfriend with your best friend. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today – unless you’re contemplating murder. Old habits die hard – when it comes to eavesdropping on your neighbours’ tiffs. All good things must come to an end – while bad things seldom seem to end. What goes up must come down – the exception being ever spiralling prices. Silence is golden – especially when you’re holding forth. A rolling stone gathers no moss – but it gets to see places. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – especially if you’re being aped.Indeed, any proverb – no matter how trite – can be made to sparkle with a suitable suffix. Besides driving home the point forcefully, it provides a crisp ending laced with a light-hearted touch – in fact, the snappier the ending, the better the impact of the proverb. So spread hilarity by injecting funny insights into your sayings.All it takes is practice, and practice makes perfect – and entertaining -PROVERBS ! –

COMPILED BY J S BROCA

HAPPY DIWALI

       

iCame , iSaw, iConquered…

iCame, iSaw, iConquered….

There was a thought provoking article on Steve Jobs in FE of 08th October 2011 with the captioned title.The writer is one Ajai Chowdhry (founder  HCL, and chairman, HCL Infosystems).To read the piece,go to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/column-icame-isaw-iconquered/857304/0 Here is what I wrote in response to the Editor of FE :


Dear Sir, this refers to the column :”iCame,iSaw,iConquered ” by Ajay Chowdhry in FE of 8th October 2011. It is one of the most befitting tributes paid to late Steve Jobs.Kudos ! It reminded me of a recent and equally moving piece titled :” Why Entrepreneurs Love Steve Jobs” by Simon Sinek-the author best known for developing and popularizing the concept of “Why”.He begins the tribute with these words :” It is both rare and special to witness such a spontaneous outpouring of love and admiration for the passing of a CEO. The last time we saw similarly spontaneous vigils was when Princess Diana died. But the love we’re expressing for Steve Jobs is not due solely to his genius or his vision. It is not just because he defined a digital generation. Steve Jobs is much more special than that.” Steve Jobs’ famous,moving and hard-hitting speech, to the students of Stanford University in 2005,shows of what stuff he was made of, how he converted every threat that came his way, into an opportunity and how he rose up in life to such glorious heights in spite of his humble background.The speech has become a case study in leadership and human relations in many B schools. His final message to the students community then, still remains relevant in today’s times.”Stay Hungry,Stay Foolish”, though a borrowed quote, asked students to be always hungry for knowledge and appear to be foolish,if they wished to learn more from this world.  It is said :”Those whom Gods love,die young.” Steve at 56, was indeed young and we can be sure that the Supreme Force, up there, must have had better designs  for this visionary,genious and an iCon in the realms of the divine world.Farewell,Steve !-J S BROCA,NEW DELHI


Here is one of my favourite quotes attributed to Steve Jobs :”Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”  


 

Statistically speaking..

Statistically speaking..

Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments. A statistician is someone who is particularly well versed in the ways of thinking necessary for the successful application of statistical analysis. Such people have often gained this experience through working in any of a wide number of fields. The word statistics, when referring to the scientific discipline, is singular, as in “Statistics is an art.” This should not be confused with the word statistic, referring to a quantity (such as mean or median) calculated from a set of data, whose plural is statistics (“this statistic seems wrong” or “these statistics are misleading”).


Why am I talking about statistics ? Have I nothing better to discuss? Well the whole thing is that I have been given a subject titled :”QUANTITATIVE TECHNIQUES IN MANAGEMENT” to teach to BBA students in a college.I had studied something about statistics in my Engineering College days ( 1968-1973) and had thought that that was the end of it since I had then felt that this subject had no REAL application in our otherwise mundane lives.Yes,statistics did interest me but in its humourous avataar ! Yes, I am reminded of a funny quote that says : 362436 is DATA but 36-24-36 is INFORMATION.Yes,for quite some time,I had then believed that vital statistics were those that looked good on models.


So after decades,I am back to square one as I begin a fresh date with Miss Statistics to pass on some knowledge collected over the years to the younger generation,lovingly and fittingly called GEN-NEXT ! 


Here are some of my gems collected over the years,for your reading and smiling pleasure.I am sure,STATISTICS will not be boring any more hereafter and my students will enjoy learning it !   


I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.


He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts – for support rather than illumination.


Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.


If you do everything you should do, and do not do anything you should not do, you will, according to the best available statistics, live exactly eighteen hours longer than you would otherwise.


Statistics: the mathematical theory of ignorance.


Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.


There are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up and the kind you make up.


Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital


In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies.


All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile.


Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.


The buffalo isn’t as dangerous as everyone makes him out to be. Statistics prove that in the United States more Americans are killed in automobile accidents than are killed by buffalo.


You cannot feed the hungry on statistics.


Statistics have shown that mortality increases perceptibly in the military during wartime.


Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.


The Governments are very keen on amassing statistics – they collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams.


We are just statistics, born to consume resources.


Statistician: A man who believes figures don’t lie, but admits that under analysis some of them won’t stand up either.


A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.


If you want to inspire confidence, give plenty of statistics. It does not matter that they should be accurate, or even intelligible, as long as there is enough of them.


Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.


Here are some tongue-in-the-cheek one liners on STATISTICS to keep you smiling on an average day :


Statistical one-liners



A new government 10 year survey cost $3,000,000,000 revealed that 3/4 of the people in America make up 75% of the population.

According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are in the majority.

Did you know that 87.166253% of all statistics claim a precision of results that is not justified by the method employed?

80% of all statistics quoted to prove a point are made up on the spot.

According to a recent survey, 33 of the people say they participate in surveys.

Q: What do you call a statistician on drugs?
A: A high flyer.

Q: How many statisticians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 1-3, alpha = .05

There is no truth to the allegation that statisticians are mean. They are just your standard normal deviates.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who invented a device to measure the weight of trees?
A: It’s referred to as the log scale.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who took the Dale Carnegie course?
A: He improved his confidence from .95 to .99.

Q: Why don’t statisticians like to model new clothes?
A: Lack of fit.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who was thrown in jail?
A: He now has zero degrees of freedom.

Statisticians must stay away from children’s toys because they regress so easily.

The only time a pie chart is appropriate is at a baker’s convention.

Never show a bar chart at an AA meeting.

Old statisticians never die, they just undergo a transformation.

Q: How do you tell one bathroom full of statisticians from another?
A: Check the p-value.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who made a career change and became an surgeon specializing in ob/gyn?
A: His specialty was histerectograms.

The most important statistic for car manufacturers is autocorrelation.

Some statisticians don’t drink because they are t-test totalers. Others drink the hard stuff as evidenced by the proliferation of box-and-whiskey plots.

Underwater ship builders are concerned with sub-optimization.

The Lipton Company is big on statistics—especially t-tests.


Well,that is enough statistics for a dry day !


KEEP SMILING !


 

Category: Humour, People  2 Comments

Farewell,Steve..

Farewell,Steve
  

Steve Jobs,the iconic CEO of Apple passed away on 6th October 2011, after losing a long battle with pancreatic cancer.In spite of all the progress made by science and medicine,death has remained in a realm, beyond its reach.

When I read the news item : ”Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies” in the Financial Express of 7th October 2011 , my initial  reaction had poured out in the form of a letter to the editor as under:There have been three incidents connected with Apples,in our lives.First, as per the history of Christianity,in the story of Adam and Eve, the apple in the Garden of Eden, became a symbol for man’s quest for knowledge.Second,the apple also figures in one of the most famous anecdotes in the history of science. The young Isaac Newton is sitting in his garden when an apple falls on his head and, in a stroke of brilliant insight, he suddenly comes up with his Theory of Gravity.Third, Apple Inc. in the history of today’s world.Its CEO and icon Steve Jobs, an innovator and a visionary par excellence,has now passed away.The man who has changed the digital world profoundly with his unique products like Mac,iPod,iPhone and iPad,is no more but, whenever we will think of entrepreneurship,innovation,marketting skills etc Steve’s name will be on the top of our list.
 
His famous speech ending with his advise :”Stay Hungry,Stay Foolish” to the students of Stanford University in 2005,where he narrates three stories of his life,has become a case study in several B-Schools and will continue to motivate many for decades. Those who wish to see the video on this speech,can go to the following link:


 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UF8uR6Z6KLc


Here are some of the famous quotes attributed to Steve Jobs :


Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
 
It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.
 
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
 
To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.
 
You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.
 
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations
 
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
 
I was lucky—I found what I love to do early in life.
 
Our goal is to make the best devices in the world, not to be the biggest.
 
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
 
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
 
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
 
I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.
 
I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.
 
Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.
 
I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
 
What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
 
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.
 
I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.
 
We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.
 
I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.
 
I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a cheque.


I also happened to read another tribute to Steve Jobs, by an eminent CEO in Financial Express of 8th October 2011 titled :” iCAME,iSAW,iConquered”.Those interested can read it by going to the following link :


http://www.financialexpress.com/news/column-icame-isaw-iconquered/857304/0


I liked the piece and wrote my reaction to it as under : 


This refers to the column :”iCame,iSaw,iConquered ” by Ajay Chowdhry in FE of 8th October 2011.

It is one of the most befitting tributes paid to late Steve Jobs. Kudos !

It reminded me of a recent and equally moving piece titled :” Why Entrepreneurs Love Steve Jobs” by Simon Sinek-the author best known for developing and popularizing the concept of “Why”.He begins the tribute with these words :” It is both rare and special to witness such a spontaneous outpouring of love and admiration for the passing of a CEO. The last time we saw similarly spontaneous vigils was when Princess Diana died. But the love we’re expressing for Steve Jobs is not due solely to his genius or his vision. It is not just because he defined a digital generation. Steve Jobs is much more special than that.” 

Steve Jobs’ famous,moving and hard-hitting speech, to the students of Stanford University in 2005,shows of what stuff he was made of, how he converted every threat that came his way, into an opportunity and how he rose up in life to such glorious heights in spite of his humble background.The speech has become a case study in leadership and human relations in many B schools. His final message to the students community then, still remains relevant in today’s times.”Stay Hungry,Stay Foolish”, though a borrowed quote, asked students to be always hungry for knowledge and appear to be foolish,if they wished to learn more from this world.  

 

It is said :”Those whom Gods love,die young.” Steve at 56, was indeed young and we can be sure that the Supreme Force, up there, must have had better designs  for this visionary,genius and an iCon in the realms of the divine world.

Farewell,Steve !

 

Category:  2 Comments

Going Nowhere …

Going Nowhere ….

There was an interesting cover story about the Indian automobile sector in Business Today of  21st August 2011.

 I had liked the story and had written a letter to the Editor of BT as under :

Dear Sir,your cover story “GOING NOWHERE “(BT 21st August 2011) on India’s automobile industry, made interesting reading specially in light of the fact that foreign auto makers’ newest car launches are NOW HERE, leaving the consumers spoilt for choice and options at various price points with latest technology, international designs, sleek interiors and ‘wow’ features.

The situation reminds me of the opening scene of Raj Kapoor’s movie Shri 420, where, Raj the tramp, is at a  road intersection, thumbing up for a ride on a passing car, but none stops to give him a lift. Finally, he says:” Ek car, Do car, Teen car, Sab Bekaar “ and starts walking ….

The irritants like 5 Ms (Men, Money, Materials, Matter and Mandarin) as per Vikas Sehgal of Rothschild, need  to be critically examined and appropriate strategies need to be formulated to combat  with a view to have viable levels of production of various makes/models. Of course, as regards the  sixth M (Market) there is no dearth of it even in rural areas, which have of late, been spawning the breed of noveau-rich agriculturists,who have sold their lands to realtors and have deeper pockets as well as a very common human streak of showing off the latest models of cars parked in front of their ancient havelis ( We can also recall the scenes of rural grooms coming for marriages in choppers )

The Government needs to seriously think of extending sops like concessional rates of interest, lower taxes and duties, reducing  inspector raj and providing necessary infrastructural support for a healthy forward push and impetus to this stalling industry.

 J S Broca

New Delhi.

 

India’s Most Powerful Women…

INDIA’S MOST POWERFUL WOMEN ...

The BUSINESS TODAY issue dated 18th September 2011 was a Special Issue on the captioned subject.

 

Here is what I wrote by way of a letter to the Editor :

Dear Sir,your cover story “India’s Most Powerful Women” (BT dated 18th Sept 2011) was in fact, a power-packed issue.Permit me to re-produce Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous quote on heights of achievement with a little twist:

“Heights by great (wo)men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night.” I also fondly recall a few lines from your previous issue dated November 28th 2010,with the cover story ’The 30 Most Powerful Women’ :” Food without spice;a garden without flowers;an economy without entrepreneurs;a sky without stars;a bird with one wing.” These were some of the reactions to the question :”What a workplace without women would be like ? ” Naina Lal Kidwai,Chanda Kochhar,Kiran Mazumdar Shaw,Swati Piramal,Shikha Sharma,Mallika Srinivasan,are some of the names from your earlier list of November 2010 and they have determinedly continued to hold their position of strength in your new list of MPWs.To add a cherry to this icing,you have added a list of another 25 women who were also contenders this year.May their tribe increase. Incidentally, I am now teaching “Entrepreneurship Development” to MBA students and the cover story on these gritty women,will certainly drive home the point,as to what it takes to reach such glorious heights ! - J S BROCA , NEW DELHI