Satoma Asadgamaya

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Truth, Peace and Justice

"Good morning K. What can I do for you today?"

His eyes flashed as he considered the suave nonchalance of the tone.

"You know perfectly well what you can do. And it is a certainly not a good morning."

"I'm sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?"

"The problem? You know perfectly well what the problem is", he said as he rolled his shirtsleeves up to reveal two well-muscled forearms splotched with tiny red marks.

"It's that allergy again. K, you should really consult a doctor. "

He gnashed his teeth. He bit his tongue. His fingernails dug into his palms as he clenched his fists.

"You know perfectly well that this is no allergy. You know perfectly well that it's those damned bedbugs."

"K, we've been through this before. There are no bedbugs in your apartment. Even the exterminator said that."


"I don't care what your exterminator says. I have seen those bugs. I can see their bite marks all over my body. And so can you."

"Really, K. You need to see an allergist."

"Actually I need to see a lawyer. I have had enough of this nonsense. I did not sign up for unwanted room-mates. And you have done nothing about it."

"I'm sorry to hear that. Since you have been such a valuable customer for us, I will have the exterminator take one last look."

"You better make sure he does his job this time. If I am bitten one more time, I'll see you in court."

He trudged his way back to the apartment, muttering under his breath and gesticulating wildly. No sooner did he enter the living room than he glimpsed a particularly large bedbug scurrying across the carpet. His eyes lit up with a mad gleam as he lunged towards the bug, which obscured itself in the carpet. He scuffed the area in frantic desperation, beads of sweat dripping from his forehead. It darted out suddenly and rushed towards the sofa in a bid for freedom. After a stymied moment, he brought his boot down on it and collected it on a piece of paper.

Was that somebody knocking? He strode across the room and opened the door.

"I am the pest exterminator."

"Oh you are? Just about the right time. I have something I'd like to show you."

He thrust the remains of the bedbug at the man.

"So will you still say there's no problem?"

"You're right. There is a problem. I need to do some pest control."

"Been saying that all along", he said as he turned away to go wash his hands.

The exterminator smiled and pulled out his garrote.

Management Class : Tall Tales

mental baba 10:20 PM | pathar ka lakeer | 0 baba ka katora |

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ode to a chick walking her dog

Not too far from my place
Lives a most beautiful face.

That chick! She is so damned hot!
By Cupid, my heart has been shot.

O what a stunner of a blonde -
A species of which I'm particularly fond!

In my memory would I forever lock,
Ah! Her sashay on the dogwalk!

Ever since I beheld that surreal sight
My senses - they have taken flight!

She's got finesse, she's got style
And what a killer of a smile!

The ashram's real estate has gone up
Thanks to a neighbourhood Labrador pup.

Watching a doggy do is quite an avocation
As long as there's a strategic location.

Everytime her dog decides to pee
I am filled with rapturous glee!

The dog is truly man's best friend.
He is a messiah, he is a godsend!

Bless that furry little pooch
Whose mistress I'd love to smooch!

I must dress up to the nines
And memorise my lines.

I'm the dog's fan
That is the plan :D

Management Class : Idylls of the Wannabe

mental baba 11:05 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 0 baba ka katora |

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mamma Mia!

Miss Puerto Rico has been crowned the most beautiful woman in the goddamned world. Sorry, make that universe. Yeah, the freaking UNIVERSE.

Yeah, right. I know at least eighteen women in my office who are more beautiful than Miss Puerto Rico is (that they don't know me is a different matter altogether). I went to Wal-Mart for my weekly shopping a few hours back and I noticed several women prettier than she is. The chick walking her dog outside my ashram right now is far more gorgeous than she is (and hell, I wish I was that lucky dog).

Will somebody get real? I mean, what are the hell are these phoney pageants all about?

I know that, more likely than not, this is the cliche that will be presented as a response to my question -

Beauty with brains.

I have a few more questions for these people. How about Coca-Cola with single-malt whisky? Or puris with sambar (there are actually places where this culinary matrimony is performed. Needless to say, a divorce with the digestive system follows soon after)? Or how about Tommy Robredo with the Wimbledon trophy in his hands?

Although I personally have never observed it, I do not mean to say that beauty and brains cannot co-exist in a woman. I'll be politically correct and say that it is a theoretical possibility (as is time travel). If there are any empowered neo-feminists / pseudo-feminists / quasi-feminists reading this, they are free to use their collective brains and brawn to beat Mental Baba into cosmic pulp (if they can). So, whenever I hear organisers and participants and * feminists spout the beauty-with-brains mumbo-jumbo, I go uh-oh. Please. Give me a break. I would like to die a hero defending the earth. And I would rather have my intestines ripped out by a Dalek than by such hilarious jokes.

Beauty with brains...And I'm the king of the world.

First of all. Beauty. Most of the winners over the past few years have been plain janes (only Rosanna Davison ,Miss World 2003 was beautiful). The representation from my country India has been especially atrocious. I almost choked to death when I saw the line-up for the Femina Miss India finals last year. It was disgusting to say the least. When I walk down my street back home, I see girls far more attractive than any of them. As far as I am concerned, most of a woman's beauty comes from her face. When the face itself doesn't have it, what the hell is there to look at? Is this supposed to be a competition about beauty or is it about modelling or what? What a sham these pageants are. "Most beautiful woman in the world" my ass, when she isn't even among the ten most beautiful in the arena. And I'm not being biased in terms of nationality or race or colour in any way. A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman.

And then. Brains. A couple of questions about world peace and global warming will tell you how smart the woman is, right? Any guy with an eye can know how beautiful a woman is in a couple of minutes.It takes more than a couple of cliched questions to find out how smart a woman is. Does tutored smooth-talking in front of the camera imply the presence of a brain? I don't know what hi-fi analysis takes place behind the scenes in the couple of weeks that the girls spend together prior to the television finale. Maybe they do some really clever stuff (like get to know Donald Trump real close) to find out how smart the girls are and then eliminate accordingly. If that is the case, cut the crap out and stop calling them "The most beautiful women in the world" or whatever. It is an insult to the thousands of really beautiful women out there. It is an insult to that chick who is still walking her dog (bless that so-not-in-a-hurry furry pooch).

Here's my deal -

a) Have a competition that is actually about beauty - about the face, about the body, about everything that defines a woman's physical charms and then consider calling your winners the most beautiful women in the world. No pretentious and hypocritical crap about brains and world peace.

b) Have a competition that is actually about brains - make them do differential equations, play sudoku, debate the Middle-East crisis, talk medieval art history and Victorian literature and all that sort of cerebral stuff. Call the winner Miss Grey Matter 20XY or the most intelligent female alive or whatever you will.

c) Somehow have a competition that is actually about beauty AND brains. Somehow try to find enough participants for it (by keeping the qualifying levels real low). Call the winner Miss Biological Anamoly 20XY.

The bottomline is that I have no problem with these pageants or the participants per se. In fact, if I had enough financial acumen and clout, I would conduct a few such events myself to mint some money. I resent the beauty with brains crap and especially the most beautiful women in the world bullshit.

But you know what, I did once read somewhere that Sharon Stone (wipes the drool off his face) has an IQ of 150 or 160. Nah, that had me fooled for a moment. Must be the idiotic quotient.

Management Class : News

mental baba 10:31 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 5 baba ka katora |

Reign, O Rain!

It has been so hot and so dry,
Of cool rain, there is no sign.
Cruel sky - it refuses to cry
While earthly creatures whine.

The great orb exacts its revenge
For an unknown and ancient crime.
As earthly creatures try scavenge
For redemption, amidst the grime.

Will this mad summer never go?
Hasn't it burnt a bit too long?
Will the dead rivers never flow?
Has it been so great a wrong?

Maybe the monsoons will come
With rain before it is too late.
Bounteous. But only for some.
The others will be left - to fate.

Management Class : Idylls of the Wannabe

mental baba 3:25 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 2 baba ka katora |

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Perfect Plan

It looks like the ashram is worth all of $1693.62.

To be honest, I was pretty impressed with this figure at first. I had invested as much as $0 to get this blog up and running (thank you Blogger!). As far as quantifying my efforts goes, even that isn't really much. I never blog at the cost of more important real-world activities. It's a strictly if and when I have time to kill deal.

It seemed like a business game in which I had just made an ROI of infinity. So far so good.

But then, I tried looking up the values of some of the other blogs I visit.

e.g. Scott Adam's blog is worth a freaking $1,590,873.72

Well, he's a celebrity. But every Tom, Dick and Harry's blog is worth at least five figures left of the decimal point. WTF?

My blog is at the BOTTOM. I know it must be some stupid algorithm that looks up the inbound traffic, no. of links to the blog, no. of comments and that sort of stuff. Because I certainly am an EXpert on probability and statistics but definitely not on advertising, my blog has had its ass kicked.

This is unbelievable. THIS SUCKS.

I sometimes use Loadrunner at work. But now I will actually put it to work. I will generate millions of hits to my blog. I will turn IP spoofing on in order to fool that stupid algorithm. I will create thousands of links and comments. And then I will sit back and watch my blog's portfolio swell into millions, nay billions. I will then sell my blog for a few billion and set up a company which lets other bloggers sell theirs for billions (my commission will be 39.8% only). My interviews will be published in Time and Newsweek. I will be awarded a Nobel in Economics. I will buy the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. On second thought, I will buy the Himalayas. My likeness will grace Madame Tussaud's.

All of a sudden, the world seems a better place. Now all that I need to do is to get past the firewall at office. It will be an interesting day at work.

Management Class : News

mental baba 10:41 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 7 baba ka katora |

P for Probability

The mathematical foundations of the ashram have been shaken. As one can imagine, this has caused a bit of a stir. It's all because of this post.

Now everybody's know that the name's Baba. Mental Baba. And that he likes it shaken, but not stirred.

However, since it IS stirred, here goes nothing.

WHAT THE HELL?

Let me set the record straight. I am an EXpert in probability and statistics. Because, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was awarded a P in this subject. P for PROFICIENT. By the most venerable (bows his head in silent reverence as a lump forms in his throat) Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Phds? Huh? What's that? We're talking P here. P. To put things in perspective, the probability that a person on the third rock from the sun knows probability at least as well as I do, is precisely 0.418 x 10^-8.

Having said that, I refuse to have my ass kicked by anybody. That includes chicks. Even one with an IQ of 198 (is that in the decimal number system?). I might, rather magnanimously, consider having it licked though. Preferably by ones with real IQ.

If this explanation were to be believed, it would be nothing short of sacrilege. It would be defiance of logic and mathematics and the scientifically-inclined Baba's way of life.

The solution appears to be one contrived for the sake of convenience.

I. Baba's first observation

P(O1) = P(C1) x P(O1|C1) + P(C2) x P(O1|C2) + P(C3) x P(O1|C3)

What does the problem state? It states that the third door is opened by the host and , GIVEN THAT SCENARIO, the probability of the car being behind door #2 needs to be determined.

So why consider the piece P(C3) x P(O1|C3) in the first place? There is no freaking P(C3) in question or in existence any more.

Therefore, P(O1) = P(C1) x P(O1|C1) + P(C2) x P(O1|C2)

And. Why would P(C1) or P(C2) be 1/3 now?

Two doors. One car. One goat. P(C1) = P(C2) = 1/2.

II. Baba's second observation

a) Now let's take a look at the definitions of P(O1|C1)and P(O1|C2). As depicted in the solution, I would relate them to the mislead that the host puts on the contestant. Going by that logic, P(O1|C1) = 0 and P(O1|C2) = 1.

Thus, P(O1) = P(C1) x P(O1|C1) + P(C2) x P(O1|C2)
= 1/2 x 0 + 1/2 X 1
= 1/2

b) Again, there is enough reason to dispute this. The host does not decide which door to open. He merely tries to mislead the contestant. Eventually, it is the contestant who tells the host which door needs to be opened. If the contestant is not a retard or does not think too much (because he/she do not have an IQ that measures up to Marilyn vos Savant's), they will remain uninfluenced by the host's gimmicks(which could go either way in order to influence them). This would set P(O1|C1) = P(O1|C2) = 1/2.

Thus, P(O1) = P(C1) x P(O1|C1) + P(C2) x P(O1|C2)
= 1/2 x 1/2 + 1/2 X 1/2
= 1/2

Ah, both scenarios throw up the same number.

III. Baba's third observation

a) If, and only if, we're talking about somebody which an extremely high IQ,

P(C2|O1) = {P(O1|C2) x P(C2)} / P(O1)
= {1 x 1/2} / {1/2}
= 1

What it means is that somebody with high IQ will always be conned by Monty Hall.

b) If, and only if, we're talking about an average Joe on the street,

P(C2|O1) = {P(O1|C2) x P(C2)} / P(O1)
= {1/2 x 1/2} / {1/2}
= 1/2

So that's my take on this 'problem'. But really, the problem would be if the contestant actually gets the car. With rising petrol prices, one may perhaps need to swap the car for a hefty goat in order to ride to work everyday.

Nightwatchmen and The Alternate Moebyus - I know that you were not Privileged enough to be awarded a P in this exalted branch of mathematics. However, this is what I ask of you - what did that idiot Bayes actually say?

And don't tell me it was "Baba, you just got your ass kicked."

On a different note though, Lisa, you may want to change the name of the Kick Ass Chicks Society to the Head Butt Chicks Society. The times, they are a-changing.

Management Class : News

mental baba 12:40 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 0 baba ka katora |

Monday, July 10, 2006

You cannot be serious

Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal in the men's singles finals of Wimbledon 2006.

Federer. Beat. Nadal.

Ok. Just hold on for a moment here while I call a time-out.

//Time-out during which Mental Baba administers a hallucinogen test to himself

Right. Come again?

Federer. Beat. Nadal.

Reliable sources inform us there was a sense of deja vu as John McEnroe, up at the commentator's box, hysterically shrieked "You cannot be serious" when this monumental event occurred.

The same reliable sources inform us that 68% of the seats on Centre Court were taken by members of the International Astronomical Union who would not have missed this celestial rarity for the world.

And Mental Baba, down at a lower latitude (and altitude), had this comment - "So what did Maria Sharapova get herself at Top Shop?"

The very same reliable sources inform us that Mental Baba hysterically shrieked "You cannot be serious" when he was told that she patronized Barbour instead of Victoria's Secret.

Baba, who happens to be an expert on tennis, was despondent at this disappointing piece of information. He was further annoyed when he realized that Roger Federer had beaten Rafael Nadal.

Because you see, in addition to being a mainframe mips optimizer AND a geopolitical (master) strategist, Baba is also an expert on probability and statistics (having cleared this exam AT FIRST ATTEMPT with a P - P for Proficient).

Baba had made some predictions. These predictions were based on the stupendous Bayes' theorem, which is explained here.

P(A) : Probability of Roger Federer defeating Rafael Nadal in a tennis match
P(B) : Probability of Rafael Nadal being fit

P(B1) :Probability of Rafael Nadal having smoked pot the night before the match.
P(B2) : Probability of Rafael Nadal having done four or more pegs of handia the night before the match.
P(B3) : Probability of Rafael Nadal going at it with some muchacha bonita all night long before the match.

Therefore:

P(A|B) = P(A.B) / P(B)
= P(A.B) / {(1 - P(B1)).(1 - P(B2)).(1 - P(B3))}
= P(A.B) / {(1-0).(1-0).(1-0)}
= P(A.B)
= no .of matches Federer won this year against Nadal / no. of matches Federer played this year against Nadal
= 0/4
= 0

Some peeps may argue for a re-definition of some of the probabilities to include surface. This expert believes in surface tension but not in surface per se.

Or. This theorem could be thrown into the trashcan. Refuge could be sought in Baba's Uncertainty Principle which (wisely) states:

"Nothing is certain except for the fact that Mental Baba can never go out on a date with Maria Sharapova."

Oh well. So Federer finally beat Nadal.

That's great. Federer is a sensational player and more importantly, he's got his head planted firmly on his shoulders. But then, so is Nadal. This space has been dismissive of Nadal earlier but things have changed since then. Nadal is a phenom. There is no doubt about that now.

The Grand Slam action will soon move to Flushing Meadows - where I suspect the future of men's tennis will be decided. It will be very interesting to see who triumphs on the pre-eminent surface on which modern-day tennis is played.

If Federer prevails, he may turn out to be unstoppable - even on clay next year. This has happened before. Federer used to be Hewitt's and Nalbandian's whipping-boy until a couple of years back. He beat them once and he never looked back. Now they are the proverbial sandbags. There is a chance that maybe, just maybe, history will repeat itself . This victory might have given Federer the psychological boost he needed against his young nemesis.

On the other hand, if Nadal wins, I think it will be the beginning of a Federer decline. Nadal is mentally tougher and more tenacious than Federer. A close look at the unforced errors on crunch points during most of their matches tells the story. Even today, on the Wimbledon Centre Court, Federer would have been in a hole had Nadal been less edgy. Nadal could have had the second set had he not spluttered while serving at 5-4. The first set whitewash was more of nerves. And Nadal was the only guy to take a set off Federer in this tournament. He's only 20 and it was his first Wimbledon final. I wouldn't want to bet on the result of a rematch next year.

Federer is the consummate artist. There's a beauty and an elegance to his game that Nadal will never have. The fact was accentuated even before a single ball was hit when Federer strode in in his customised blazer and Nadal in his sleeveless shirt. I'm reminded of the Mark Waugh - Steve Waugh comparisons when I think of these two guys. But the fact is that his game remains very susceptible to Nadal's.

So, one last time. Federer beat Nadal? You cannot be serious.

Management Class : News

mental baba 2:21 AM | pathar ka lakeer | 6 baba ka katora |