Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who Wears The Pants? An Economist's View

Tim Hartford of the Undercover Economist fame in answer to a question "I am a father of three teenagers and happily married for almost 20 years. In my opinion the secret to my success is a traditional one, which is that there is no doubt about who wears the trousers. I am wondering whether there is any support in economic theory for my view?", opines,
The paterfamilias household is no more.

How, then, should we reconcile this with your own situation, which seems comfortably wedged in the 1950s? My guess is that your wife and children have decided that it suits them to maintain your delusions of control.
Sigh. Guess my gut-feel was right after all. Read the full reply here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Money Money Money...

I'm not against Reality TV per se, I happen to like a few of the shows the Amazing Race, The Weakest Link etc. But it's wierd that almost most of these shows are now about bagging some big chunk of change (when they are not about some dysfunctional celeb that is). I remember the days when the ole quiz shows run in India (Quiz Time by Siddharth Bannerjee comes to mind) etc used to be really nail biting and highly interesting but the winners didn't get a lot of money just a memento or something like that. The point was to compete for the sake of competition.

Take a show like the Amazing Race for instance there are millions of folks who would just give their left arm to take part in an across the world competition like that (yours truly included). So why the million bucks?

With more and more money involved shows that have started lowering their standards substantially, why else would you have a show like 'Are you smarter than a fifth grader?'You may say that this kind of a show is more about pressure and stuff like that but thats just for the contestants, what about the viewing audience, are these guys promoting the quiz or someone walking away with a pot load of money. Think about it.

Money used to be a ways and means of obtaining some of the things you want in life but isn't it becoming our central quest? Are we really ok with that?

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

After losing the elections Sarah Palin was asked to look into the camera and say "I'm not smarter than a fifth grader". Apparently the question thet flummoxed her was "Is Africa a Continent or a Country?", without using any of her of her cheats (copy, peek or save) she confidently replied "Country"!

Well this would have been just a funny incident if we forget the fact that this lady was pretty close to being a 72 year old heartbeat away from being the President of United States. Watch the Fox News report...

(What the f*** was McCain thinking? h/t Talking Points Memo)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Random News

America Votes. The Dow Jones is up 284 pts the last time I checked, what do they know?

Is TV a reflection of the society itself or does society imitate TV?. A study now links teen pregnancies with Television in the US.

A coupla comedians in Montreal called up Sarah Palin pretending be the French President Nicholas Sarkozy. I guess she couldn't see France from her front door, coz she was punk'd!

Back to the Future. Could the world economy be back to a Bretton Woods type structure? Gold, anyone?

And the serious news of the day Simon Cowell gets dumped! Apparently his girlfriend didn't enjoy his singing in the bathroom so much. Hehe Ok I made the last thing up.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why do we take for granted the things we should cherish the most? What if there was no tomorrow? or next week? or next year?

Something to think about

We are a dirty & disorderly country, right? So how come our Airport terminals are so clean? How come the new corporate offices are so spic and span? What about those shiny clean malls? How come people don't drop things on the floor, spit on the stairways or urinate on the side of the building there? How come people queue up politely in Airports, Offices & Malls (and rush into trains & busses) The argument that the kind of people who use Airports, Malls and work out of swanky offices are different doesn't really hold much water anymore. Since the very same people also use trains, busses and the roads as well.

In one of the schools that I had spent time in, (I say spent time in, since to say that I studied in any of those would be stretching reality to it's limits), the Principal tested out a new way of vending out packets of sweet at the school canteen. He left a big vessel of sweets and a bowl to collect 25 paise coins (one per every packet of sweet) and there was no one to supervise the students. Sure there were some students who found this a great opportunity but there were lots of others who actually took a packet of sweets and left a 25 paise coin in the bowl. This initiative was a resounding success in the school.

While I know that the analogy is a lil sketchy my point is that people are pretty much the same anywhere in the world, it's how they are treated and the quality of amenities & service that they get, that determines how they behave in an environment. I'm sick of stupid radio & tv shows that talk about 'educating' people and creating 'awareness' about keeping their city clean. Bullshit! The problem doesn't lie with someone throwing garbage & stuff on the road, the problem lies in the fact that there is no other place to throw it in.

Give people better roads, better public utlities, better sidewalks and I firmly believe that people will be responsible in their use. Our collective responsibility is in holding our goverment & the local administration accountable for delivering the same, now how in the hell do we start doing that?