Showing posts from 2010


I have something to do with creation of all my problems. And, most of them exist only in my head.

Mind, Body, Spirit , and Chaos: The Interconnectedness of All Things

I recently attended a workshop titled, " Mind, Body, Spirit ,and Chaos: New Perspectives from the Frontiers of Science" . The workshop was led by Ralph Abraham and Bruce Lipton . Ralph is a brilliant man and is one of the co-founders of the Chaos Theory . Bruce is very impressive as well. The workshop was very interesting and provided me new thought-provoking insights. Following are my random notes (you may have to read this post multiple times to find the interconnectedness of the thoughts shared): Ralph & Bruce discussion 1. The third leading cause of deaths in the US is the medical profession . 2. Cancer occurs due to lifestyle induced changes. Kids who get adopted by cancer patients are highly likely to develop cancer. Less than 10% of cancer is heredity based. 3. Thoughts can create 30,000 variations of gene expression. 4.  In the right state of mind, one can drink poison and not die. For example, some religious cults in the US used to drink strychnine during

Complexity and Execution

Complexity of execution far outweighs complexity of conceptualization. I find it very amusing that people who teach complexity usually don't know how to execute/apply their complexity theories.

What do people want?

People usually are not happy with what they have. They don't necessarily want what they don't have. However, they do want what others have.

Taste of Music

How does one develop taste in music? Is there natural tendency to be drawn towards certain kind of music or it is all influenced by the society one lives in?

Feelings Expression

The ability of the Japanese to express their feelings with tone variation is unmatched by any other culture.

Self-Awareness & Objectivity

Humans show a severe lack of self-awareness and objectivity.

Innovation and Operational Efficiency

An organization's ability to innovate is inversely proportional to its operational efficiency.

Society II

I live in a society where people who are admired, followed, talked-about, and imitated the most are the ones who are good at being someone else i.e. they act and entertain.


Societies operate by law and not by morality. From the movie The Reader


There is no better drama than real life.

Interconnectedness of thoughts

How does the mind go from one thought to another? Is it random? Or, is there interconnectedness of thoughts? How does the mind decide what thought will follow after the one you are having now?


Life is temporary. Enjoy it while it lasts!


Why do humans love stories?


Is the desire to be famous innate in humans? Or, does it come from living in a society where being famous means wealth and being liked by the masses?

Past, Prsenent, and Future

The present is the result of the past. The future does not have to be.

Food & Love

There is no love like human love for food. People never get bored with getting joy from eating.


Is it possible to create great things without paying attention to details? Aren't details that make something extraordinary?What would Mona Lisa be without details? What would iPhone be without details? As the world becomes more complex, understanding of details and their interconnectedness would be more important for creating new great things.

People are Overconfident and other Learnings from the Ideas Conference

A series of conferences on ideas is a good idea. I recently attend the second conference in the series of ideas conferences organized by The Economist magazine. The conference was an interesting opportunity to learn about human behavior and to hear words of wisdom from the best in world . Following are my random notes from the conference: The world  has moved away from the ideas that bind us to glorified materialism.   The most important thing people want around the world is a job. 3 Billion people live on less than $2 a day The biggest issue in the 21st century is going to be class and not race. The US suburbia is subsidized with tax payer money. A sense of community and open minds bring innovation and wealth. In the western world, if you make more than $75k/year even then you can not buy happiness. However, if you make less than $75k/year then you can definitely buy misery.  Americans define their life by being at work and the French define their life by being away from wor


People tend to ignore small problems until they become too big to ignore.

Time and Energy

Is time another form of energy?

Ed Ruscha

I recently discovered a new artist, Ed Ruscha , who is famous for making paintings of words. He looks at words as art forms. Fascinating!

Systems & Self-Worth

People who don't understand systems, usually have an inflated sense of self-worth (as it relates to their contribution to the system).


Human ability to listen and observe declines as the personal excitement level rises.


The most talked about subject in social conversations is human relationships.

Love, God, and Songs

Why is it that most songs in all cultures are about Love or God? What is about Love and God that makes people sing? And, why is there not much else that makes people sing?

Re Duality in America

An American friend of mine has an interesting response to the Duality in America post. See the response below: "I take exception with your assessment of people’s reaction to the tee shirt. Her pose is making a statement of what she thinks of the observer (me) as an individual (I’m meaningless or worthless to her). By wearing that tee shirt you are saying that you share her opinion of the observer (me). America respects and encourages individualism up to the point where one’s individualism impedes on another. This is where friction develops between individuals and groups of people when one’s thoughts, actions or rights differ with or impede another’s thoughts rights or action. That’s where the civil and judicial systems need to determine if a person 1) has a right, 2) if that right was violated and 3) if there is a conflict of rights who’s right takes precedent. You could argue that the tee shirt is art whose purpose is to evoke an emotion. Offended individuals could arg

Vinci's Seven Principles

I think Leonardo da Vinci is the smartest man who ever lived. Most famous brilliant people are master of one subject, Vinci was master of various subjects. I live my life by Vinci's seven principles which are: 1. An insatiably curious approach to life 2. A commitment to test knowledge through experience 3. The refinement of the senses to clarify experience 4. A willingness to embrace uncertainty 5. Balancing science and art, logic and imagination to achieve whole brain thinking 6. The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise 7. A recognition of the interconnectedness of all things However, I am still not a master of any subject:-) What life principles do you live by?


It is also highly important for us to realize that we do not as a matter of fact lead our lives, make our decisions, and reach our goals in everyday life either statistically or scientifically. We live by inference . I am, let us say, your guest. You do not know, you cannot determine scientifically, that I will not steal your money or your spoons. But inferentially I will not, and inferentially you have me as a guest. - William Thomas


When I am reading at a cafe, people around me speaking in a foreign language that I don't understand is significantly more distracting than people speaking in English. The question is why. Logically, if people are saying things that I understand then I should be able to focus less on what I am reading because the brain has to process two unrelated inputs simultaneously- reading and hearing. On the other hand, if I am hearing things in another language that I don't understand then my brain should be able to ignore this as noise and focus more on reading. Does the brain have to work really hard to understand the foreign language even though it knows that it will not understand what is being said? Is that what causes the increased distraction? Do you know why?

Duality in America

Recently, I was in south of France where people live more of a Bohemian lifestyle and I saw a few people wearing t-shirts with a picture of Kate Moss showing her middle finger. There is a context behind the picture with Kate Moss drugs scandal and revival of her career after that. I wondered how people would react if I wore the T-Shirt back home in a suburb of San Francisco. So, I bought the T-Shirt. Last week, I wore it and sat outside a cafe where a lot of people walking by could see the shirt. The reactions were quite amusing. Some people were shocked. Some could not believe and they had to look again. Some were visibly angry others looked away after a glance. The people I know told me that I was wearing a radical shirt. However, they could not explain to me what was so radical about the shirt. In business, technology, entertainment, and Science, the US leads the world in openness to new ideas, new people, and risks. However, the social life is still dominated by traditional Chri

The Power of Thoughts

How do thoughts gets generated? Why is it easier to think about something you want to think about vs forgetting something? Is the explanation as simple as weight management - gaining weight is easy and losing weight is difficult? Thoughts have physical affect on one's body. I can close by eyes and depending on what I am thinking, my heart rate goes up or down, tears come out of my eyes or I smile, I feel sensation in every part of my body or complete calmness. Unbelievable! The environment triggers some thoughts and the body reacts automatically, at least for me. However bad I am feeling, I see a child playing and I can't help but smile. There is no conscious thinking that occurs in my head, my smile is an automatic reaction to seeing children. Lately, when I see old homeless people, my heart rate goes up. I feel helpless. There is no conscious thinking involved here either. Imagine what one can achieve when one learns to control one's thoughts. What are your thoughts?:-)

Women, Men, and their Relationships

In my never-ending pursuit to better understand human behavior, I recently attended a workshop by Dr. Warren Farrell to learn how women think. Dr. Farrell has done a remarkable job of combining Psychology, Sociology, and Biology to create pragmatic insights on Romantic Relationships between Men & Women in the US. Following are my random notes from the workshop: The more creative a thought is the faster you will forget it because creative thoughts by nature are out of context and the brain does not retain thoughts which are out of context. So, when you get a creative idea, write it down immediately. The secret to happy marriage is mutual respect between husband and wife and a happy wife. There is truth in the saying, "Happy wife = Happy life". In their pursuit to find a man, women exercise "veto power" i.e. they wait for the men to approach them and then decide, after sizing up the men, if they want to go out with the men who approached them. Most women don'


Why is that celebration requires spending money in all cultures? How did we celebrate before there was money?

Balance vs. Focus

If you seek happiness then achieve balance and if you seek success then achieve focus.

The Complexity of Wine

Humans share 99% of DNA with rats. The Syrah grape grown in France compared to the same grape grown in Australia, where it is called Shiraz, has 12% difference in DNA. Wine is one of the most complex things around.

Language Evolution

How is it that different languages were created in different parts of the world during human evolution? Does geography play a role in language creation and evolution? What role does the society structure and culture play? Was there a generally accepted sign language in specific geographies before we had a language?

The State of Business Journalism in the US

In today's Wall Street Journal (US print edition), the top most news is regarding a phone not working properly when held in a certain way. Less than 1% of the US population has this phone. And, people who have this device do not seem to care much about the problem. Bizarre!


How was imagination like when there were no movies, no fiction reading, no performing arts? Has the entertainment industry help us become more imaginative and hence more innovative?

Past & Future

Having a history with someone does not necessarily mean that you will have a future with that person.


Compete with what is possible and not with what is available!


The problem with future is that it is not constant and eventually it arrives.

The Ten Commandments for Business Failure

I just finished reading The Ten Commandments for Business Failure . It is a book recommended by Warren Buffett and written by Don Keough who is a former President of the Coca Cola company and currently a Berkshire Hathaway board member. While most business books focus on what to do to be successful in business, Don's book focuses on what not to do. The book offers common sense packaged with straight talk and interesting stories. Here are the ten commandments which guarantee business failure: 1. Quit Taking Risks 2. Be Inflexible 3. Isolate Yourself 4. Assume Infallibility 5. Play the Game Close to the Foul Line 6. Don't take time to Think 7. Put All Your Faith in Experts and Outside Consultants 8. Love Your Bureaucracy 9. Send Mixed Messages 10. Be Afraid of the Future There is an eleventh one: 11. Lose Your passion for Work-for Life I think these lessons are applicable to big and old companies and not to start-ups. A start-up by its nature does not have the problems Don high

Intentions & Destiny

Your intentions influence your destiny. - Ralph Abraham

You are Not Perfect and that is Good for You

My friend, Arun Chaba, recently gave a brilliant speech on Evolution & Human Behavior. The speech was titled, "All is Well". Following is the transcript: A friend of mine was about to become a daddy. For whatever reasons, his wife insisted that she wanted to have the baby born in her home town, where her mother would be around. My friend didn't want so. This was the cause of a serious conflict between them. A few months later, I read somewhere that humans are one of the few mammals who cannot have babies throughout their lives. About one third of their lives, human female cannot produce babies. During this time, because a woman doesn’t have to worry about producing and taking care of her own babies, she can concentrate on the well being of babies of her daughter and the chances of survival of new born babies multiply. This has given humans an evolutionary advantage. This phenomenon is called grandmother hypothesis and was first given by GC Williams in 1960s

Man and Yoga

A man who understands yoga and practices it everyday, is never unhappy.

Latest Wisdom from Charlie Munger

There are two big events I look forward to every year- Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting -Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger talk- and Wesco Financial shareholder meeting- Charlie Munger talk. This year, I could only attend the Berkshire Hathaway event . However, thanks to The Motley Fool & my friend Shrinivas, the notes from the Wesco meeting are available online. See Enjoy.

Unifying Theory of Success and Other Learnings from Charlie Munger & Warren Buffett

Among 40,000 people, I paid homage to Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska last weekend at the Berkshire Hathaway 2010 shareholder meeting. Imagine 40,000 people traveling from all over the world to attend a shareholder meeting. Unbelievable! Just like previous meetings , this one was a lot of fun. See the notes below: 1. Warren Buffett's message to all Berkshire Hathaway (BH) employees, " Lose money for the the firm and I'll be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation and I'll be ruthless." 2. Make Decisions based on the opportunity cost. Applying this lesson to finding a life partner, "marry the best who will have you." 3. The secret of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger brilliance is avoiding stupidity. 4. Comcast executive, Steve Burke, has joined the board of BH [think about the diversity on BH board] 5. BH doesn't care about EPS (Earnings Per Share). It is focused on building value. 6. Measuring EBIDTA Quarter over Quarter