Saturday, July 25, 2009

Heroes under the aegis of The Black Swan

Last week was very fulfilling as far as my reading habit is concerned.reading two highly researched books gave me a remarkable insight into the work of leaders.First book 'Heroes' by eminent British historian Paul Johnson is a delightful journey through time with the virtues and vices of heroes like earth shakers : Alexandre,Caesar.Heroes in the roar of the cannon's mouth : Nelson,Wellington .Heroes under the shadow of the axe : the Tudors(Henry 8,Elizabeth 1).Philosopher heroes like Russel and Wittgenstein(his Tractatus's complexity is a delicacy for readers,even though i didn't understand half of just 28 pages book,i enjoyed it thoroughly).Heroines like Mae west and Marilyn Monroe who lived their life on their own terms in the highly exploiting Hollywood of 40s and 50s.What i would like to point here is one of main categories of heroes which Paul Johnson missed are entrepreneurs and i would very much suggest him to add a new chapter "Heroes under the aegis of black swan:Ford,Bill gates,Larry page and Vinod khosla".
with this ,second book which i read needs some attention.It's a shock thrown at you squarely(though some humor is involved).'the black swan: impact of highly improbable' by Nassim Taleb is one of the most insightful work published in recent's the study of what we don't know,anti library(book that we haven't read) and uncertainty in predicting now what the black swan is .it's an event having three characteristics's highly improbable and unpredictable carries a massive impact
3.after the fact we concoct an explanation which that makes it appear less random
when i first read about ATM's and EVM's in my 4rth class computer books i thought oh this kind of technology would take at least 20 years to come to India but by the time i was in 10th class we were all using the ATM's.this kind of breakthrough event is black swan.
now about my commentary on the subject ,if we check out the deeds of great heroes in Paul Johnson book we can clearly see how they instigated and designed the black swans events to carve their niche in the highly ambiguous histology.conquest of Alexandre
1.Nobody thought that 40,000 Macedonians would face the 1 lakh mighty Persians.highly improbable.
2.massive impact of the battle-fall of Persian empire,contact between east and west which completely dominated the politics of those areas for more than thousand years. historians say that invasion was coming .Alexanders father would have defeated Persians had he not died.we concoct an explanation that it was already planned but everyone knows that it was in all regards incredulous.
In this information and media technology age, world has become highly unpredictable instigating black swan events at faster rate than ever.Entrepreneurs are not able to predict even 2 to 3 years in advance now(all those bell curve methods of predicting future is a total nonsense).some make riches under it's aegis like Google,Microsoft while others are completely wiped out .These people push their innovation and risk taking skills to an extreme to even survive let alone being successful.gone are the days of Napoleon,Patton,thatcher and Reagan now it's a new kind of war being raged inside the brains of courageous people.they are the true heroes and although criticized for ruthless means Friedrich Hayek's comment 'independence of mind and strength of character are rarely found among those who cannot be confident that they will make their way by their own effort' says a lot.
Sir Thomas Jefferson said 'one man with courage is the majority'.In the epilogue of heroes, Johnson writes courage is the noble virtue but i think having it to point of madness is the noblest of all. (it doesn't mean i'm very courageous but i couldn't hold out my fascination for them).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

fall to rise

Am i dead
no god,no satan it's just emptiness
as i lay bare under the night
a constant hum in the ear
burnt gunpowder on palate
a sight of frenzy
blurred by dripping blood
oh,so this is the afterworld
carved by reaper's scythe

someone breaks my tranquility
and only now i realise
dutchman awaits them
their life depends on me
shirking off my plight
'for men,for home and for country'
i rise.

my first poem dedicated to captain aubrey of HMS Surprise ,my favourite movie character from 'master and commander:far side of the world'.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In the search of utopia

Indians call it 'ramrajya',Plato called it 'republic',sir thomas more called it 'utopia'.For time immemorial humans have endeavored to find that one ideal place where they can live without any sufferings and war.Economist philosophers of 19th and 20th century tried to find the answer in centrally planned economy with something for everybody without any discrimination,thus dividing whole world into two different ideologies of liberalism and socialism leading the world into two bloody wars. After the fall of flagship of socialism,USSR,whole world has adopted more or less capitalistic way of era of peace where not many ideological wars were going on forced francis fukuyama to say that we have reached the end of history.but,this years recession has seriously exposed some of the problems with capiatlism .in this dire straits,philosphers are once again flexing their muscles to find that one formula or policy to solve all the problems of humanity.but ?
the search of utopian love is very inherent in western philosophy with poets of romantic age making it a even in india young people are trying to find that 'special one' made for them with whom they can share all their for the ideal love has surely caught up the people's imagintion with more nd more of them joining the cult.but crumbling social structure in western countries has burst the bubble of romanticism.thus dalai lama rightly said about roamnce "a fantasy....unattainable,something not worthy of our efforts" in his book art of happiness.
the clear reason for this wild goose chase is that people have mistakenly believed that utopia is the synonym of hapiness.happiness is the basic need for humans but they don't know the difference between pleasure and happiness. they think that ideal state without any poverty and war would make them happy(then what to say about warmongers).a girlfriend with whom they find very instant strong attraction as all their interests matches,would make them happy but all these are just pleasures of life. only two things can make us really happy
contentment and compassion
being contented with what we have nd making it better with our compassion should be the aim of human life.thus you can raise a utopian state without strangling it in ideological differences and can find ideal life partner in any lady, who will understand and respect's not that compassion is godgifted, we can any time cultivate these habits using the methods in ancient indian texts.thus i might say utopia is just the matter of perception.