Monday, September 03, 2007

Civic sense around mess

Let's pool in our observations about where all we see scopes of improvement in the civic-sense in our surroundings. Let's not talk about the general case, but about those which happen in our campuses, and in which the perpetrators like claiming themselves as some of the elite minds of the country.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Blessings from the Heavens

The experience of being hit with bird droppings on their way to and from anywhere in the campus is so common for IIScians that they often don't even flinch on that happening. Often, the more immaculately dressed up people the campus would take out their handkerchief and coolly wipe away the stain and are promptly on their way; while more Laapataa-like people wouldn't bother to do even that much, and would be seen wearing the same shirt days later with a dried up stain.

Folklores abound about these blessings from the heavens. It's said that you are in for some good academic times if it happens with you. If you are hit right on your head, you have got a jackpot!

Everything apart, somehow being hit by crow shit is implicitly considered an inherent part of the IISc experience. Not because it smells. But because it reminds us in another way, that we are a fortunate lot to be living in such a lush green campus.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wastage in Mess

Seeing the plates of many in the mess after they finish their meals in mess brings up several serious questions: about their civic sense, about their bringing up, about their eligibility to be called responsible members of the society.
There are people who waste more food than they can eat; often what can be seen wasted from one plate could have made a plentiful meal for someone.
The evil there would have been partly ameliorated had there been so much food that noone went without food in spite of this wastage. However, it's an everyday affair that people arriving towards the end of the mess timing miss out on some or the other dish. Especially if the item is supposedly special (gulab jamun, fruit juice etc.), people horde like famished, never considering that people arriving later may have to go without it.
Very sad!

Quite amusingly, while, the cartoon was drawn with a specific message in mind, the interpretations drawn provided a precious lesson about viewer's role.

One branch concentrated on the main character -- the beautiful girl. Many likened her to one girl in the IISc campus. The interpretations that followed this observation were again in two directions. Some thought, I harboured some strife for her; while some others thought I had a crush on her! :)

The second branch of interpretation was about showing a girl wasting food. I faced quite a severe reprimand from some ultra-feminist elements for inadvertently indicating that only girls wasted food. A lady acquaintance of mine actually stopped me in the mess and showed how much food her boyfriend had wasted: 'See! Even guys waste food!' said she. :D

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Absentmindedness or Callousness

In research, there's always this tradeoff to be achieved between being focused, and being aware. Where lies the balance?

IISc, in general, tends towards overdoing the focusing part. To the extent that we are often unaware of the interesting events happening in the campus (not that it's too big to keep track of). For some, the only real landmarks of the campus are those which lie on their way from their hostel-mess-department.

A sweeping statement: This isn't good! No, it isn't!
Our interest in research is in no way betrayed in our lack of interest in anything else.

Above cartoon depicts a callous researcher only concerned with his experiments and a steady supply of tea/coffee, unaware of the fact that the world around him might be falling apart.
The debut of Mr. Laapataa that appeared in the inaugural issue of Voices.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Price of Freedom

This cartoon hangs balanced between two dominant paradigms of software development.

Free software doesn't mean gratis. It's meant as in 'freedom.' The nobility of this movement is not questioned. But the claim that it's the only graceful way to do software business is looking for sufficient takers.

Richard Stallman would have us believe that the meaning of freeness is enclosed within the strict definition of FSF. I feel, the freedom lies partly in the way we define it too.

On the other hand, the fact that there's such a huge number of great programmers contributing to the movement is a proof that it's not all about money. Freeness is here to stay, in running it, modifying it, sharing it redistributing it, and in defining 'freedom' too.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

IP gone too far!

This cartoon is about how far the arguments about intellectual properties can be taken. What things qualify as good candidates for being covered through IP rights? Yes, 'some significant idea' you would say!

I would say, they should also be 'not so significant.' Fundamental theories of science never got covered by such laws and litigations. Had they been, the course of scientific development would have been quite different than what we see. No way to tell whether for the worse or for the better.

It's a traditional wisdom to think of researchers as loners. Not absolutely incorrect too. But the lonesomeness of a creature who is, on the average, more intelligent than most would strike as rather queer to the curious. Why does the creature with a beautiful mind seek the little window of the cyberspace to communicate with the rest of the world? This question can be approached from various angles: biological, sociological, philosophical...perhaps historical and anthropolical too!

But the above cartoon just intends to make you smile because one time or another, we all are like the above character! I often am. :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Day in A Tea-Board Table's Life

Ask an IIScian about Tea-Board, and 9 out 10 times you will see the face glow up with emotions you feel only for the beloved. Tea-Board is a place to hang out with friends. It's where we have got to meet more intellect than any other place. It's a place where many of us got 'that' idea which took us through our PhD. For many of us, it's one of those tables where we found the love of our lives.

But, in any case, Tea-Board is where we all have sought a moment of peace after a heavy day, day after day, year after year!

In every happening place of the world, there's surely a Tea-Board! :)