Monday, September 18, 2006

..Its really touchy Abi's post on first women scientist in IISc was really a touchy one. I hope things have changed quite a bit now but still it is very upsetting to know about plights of women scholars, especially in places like indian institute of science in 30s. I am sure there are more real life stories and i feel quite depressed everytime i hear them... Guru's comments to this post also contains some interesting links.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Not so Magical

I got this idea in the morning, probably couple of hours of sleep made me so imaginative. Its kind of wierd, still felt like putting it down.
Have you seen magicians in the schools, I have watched them, watched them too closely, when I was in Kindergarten I saw this magician with very gorgeous looks, had thick paint on his face and a blue colored long jacket on. He never looked like a normal human being, he was a ‘magician’. I marveled at his skills and magic, at the end on his show we all agreed that there is something beyond our understanding, yes! I met with some “axioms”. During high school time it was even worse, the guy was fooling the whole school and he was not even looking like a ‘magician’, that was very surprising and challenging too, challenge was to crack the code! By the end of the show we all knew it was some trick and how to do that, but many couldn’t support the reason and thus it became a axiom such as only magicians can take rabbits out of their hats, we never knew how it happened. They weren’t the ones who float the semi nude girls in air but still they had larger impact. See for example, myself, keeping a vivid memory of the events, why? because I didn’t have an answer or my dad or the teachers.
How good is the idea to take kids to a magic show? Its fun but not so much, it’s a death of an inquisitive mind. This is probably one stage where we are taught to believe axioms. Recently on of my colleague, after a bucket of beer argued to me that, you can not progress a single inch in science if you don’t believe axioms! He is an astro-physicist! I did not like the idea of this magic shows in the school. I know many magicians say its pure science or pure trick, but as long as the reason is elusive, it’s hard to believe. Its easier for me now to understand why such things happen, but 20 yrs. back I needed a man to tell me what is not so magical about this. I still don’t know many of the tricks how they show on stage, but now I know I am fool at that point, but a kid surely requires a better treatment. Another unfortunate observation is; when you mention about magic shows, people spontaneously tell oh! I will take my child with me…(of course to make them a big fool!). I have all sympathy and regards for the magicians but I have a problem with the audience….

Saturday, September 09, 2006

This novel..

I read this 'goddamn' novel called "The catcher in the rye" by J. D Salinger. I liked it 'and all' but many a times Holden 'killed me'. I liked many parts of it but this speech by Mr. Antolini was really good.

"....This fall I think you’re riding- it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keep falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives , were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with . Or they thought their environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started...."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Life around "soft techies"

Bangalore, the IT hub, accommodates a large portion of the people working in the software industries. Last few years there has been a lot of noise about it around the world. Usually social studies on this kind of places must be interesting and that is precisely what anthropologist Carol Upadhaya is doing in NIAS. Today CCS, IISc screened couple of documentary films at physics lecture theatre. They were directed by Gautam Sonti with collaboration with Carol. The first movie they screened name “Fun @ Sun” and second one was “July boys”. There is no doubt that the director had hard time in getting into the training session of Suns Microsystems or the conference room of July systems but they could bring out the message they wanted to. In Sun they focused on the training the newcomers undergo as well as the socializing, like the Friday bash! As Carol mentioned at the beginning that communication skills in this MNC world means adapting oneself to a different culture. Socializing or approaching a problem in these global companies are very different than it is taught to the young engineers, hence a moulding is essential. That’s what came out from the film fun @ sun. There was an interview with the VP, Vijay Anand, and that too brought out the fact that a change in the culture of doing things is something they concentrate upon. July boys is quite different, it had mainly aimed at the corporate life of a company which is Indian but very global in nature. Surely the company sustained in the market because of their adaptability to the culture. This start up venture July systems in Bangalore, makes games, and other mobile ph. based software for Europe and USA. Its very important for them to find the right pulse and that needs a better communication rather better understanding of the culture. Couple of things were very similar in these to companies, the free space in quite huge in them, your attire or your way of communicating doesn’t become obstacle also the freedom to ask any one almost anything is very important and I felt these are probably very few nice points touched upon. Overall I would say it was a new experience presented by Gautam and Carol to us, hope Carols research will bring us few more such unknown realities about IT industries.