Re: IPL 2.0 - No one can beat Knight Riders

(May 16 - DC bt KKR)

This time luck played its bit as well. 21 runs were needed of the last over and here is what you get.

5nb 1lb 1 6 1wd 2 4 6

The biggest over in IPL so far conceding 26 runs. The first no ball due to some obscure rule about the number of fielders being in circle or something. Truly unfortunate for McCullum.

Another look at the points table and you see the four teams with icon players (Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj) perched in the bottom half.

IPL 2.0 - Bye Bye Mumbai

(May 16 - Chennai bt Mumbai)

And yet another disappointing performance by the most supported team in IPL. It was heartbreaking to see them lose the last match in a photo finish, devastating to see them out of contention after a comprehensive loss today.

Food Art

Photograph was done by me, not the art work.

IPL 2.0 - Men in Blue beat the Boys in Red

(May 12 - MI vs KXIP - MI won)
comfortably and that brings them back to #4. The batting order changes that seemed long overdue worked finally. There were some minor changes earlier which didn't really work, but I guess MI finally learned their lesson in handling the concentration risk. Sanath walking back right after Sachin got out or vice versa a couple of times was a real pretty sight for the opponents and a blatant signal towards the issue.

IPL 2.0 - No one can beat Knight Riders

(May 12 - KKR vs RCB - KKR lost, obviously)
when it comes to losing. A very healthy total of 173 and in an extremely strong condition after 15 overs, they went on to lose yet another match. I gotta hand it over to them, when it comes to losing, no one can beat them

IPL 2.0 - Aur Bolo

(Match: Chennai vs Kings XI - 7th May 2009)

The following picture can probably summarize the match between Chennai and Kings XI Punjab so far. It was raining and then it was raining sixes. After being at 80 from 10 overs, next 8 overs saw 105 runs scored. Dhoni coming good once more scoring his fifty at a little over 2 runs per ball. Hayden brought back the question of his retirement once again continuing his purple (or should it be called orange) patch.

The match is in progress and rain can still be a factor, so not writing anyone off now, but every passing moment can make it difficult for Punjab to come out better in this tie. Already lost their first wicket in the second ball of the innings they looked shaky but Katich (33 off 12 balls) is just making sure that they are not written off. Let's see how it goes on from here.

The Argumentative Indian

There are possibly different classifications of arguments in a debate, I am not searching on Internet to find them out. Some examples could be personal attacks, negation but no assertion (i.e. just disproving other's point of view rather than proposing something yourself). I thought, may be we can have some radical names for these classifications.

To start the list, my recent favorite is "Test Match argument" (can be alternatively called Dravid argument). You argue so much (all of it pointless) that the opponent wears out and gives in.

Add yours if you have any!

The greyscale

I have always held the opinion that people in private sector are on an average more honest than people in public sector. People in any kind of job are more honest than people in politics. I am not so sure any more. It seems to boil down to opportunity.

To put the question more bluntly, would you steal when no one is looking. How hard would you play when no one is watching. How hard would you work when you know you wont't get the credit(but the project will get boost). Even worse someone else will take the credit. Would you take credit for something someone else did.

And when I apply this, I guess most of the people I have come across in my work life would go for an unfavorable response on these questions. A lot of them seemingly nice and hard working. They probably have worked out an acceptability threshold to corruption/immoral behavior and politicians would be justified when they say (they will never) that they just pushed it.

The Dark Knight, one of my all time favorite movie has an excellent premise. The villain isn't out to get money. He is out to prove his theory - "When the chips are down, these civilized people will eat each other". I, kind of agree to his theory. You will see the masks falling at the slightest chance of trouble/possibility of gain and everyone almost feels justified in doing that. The movie however, ends on a positive note, because in the face of death, people decide to do the right thing. And Batman, figures out that the greater good lies in sacrificing himself, does so. But that was in the movie, right.

Here are two questions that I will leave you with:
- If the only way forward for your team/project is by sacrificing yourself, would you do it?
- If the only way you can make your presence felt is by letting things fail, would you do it?

Karma, Wall Street and Bonuses

It would be highly unlikely to find a person who hasn't commented on the topic of fat bonus of wall street employees as the cause of financial meltdown. In spite of all the excess coverage, if there is someone who missed it, here are a few thoughts of my own, mostly repackaged from others much like the repackaged CDOs.

Starting with the simple mathematical explanation. Consider your bonus is 10% of the profit you make, but you don't get penalized for losses. If you can make a profit of $100 across two years, here are two scenarios.

1. You make a profit of $50 each year earning a bonus of $10 for two years.
2. You make a profit of 1000$ in year 1 (bonus=$100) and net a loss of 900 in year 2 (bonus=0). You end up with a net bonus of $100.

So, in short there is no incentive for creating long term wealth. This was one reason so many of investment banks that prided their ability to help companies go public were wary of becoming corporations initially. As partnerships, they were assured of loyalty from the top executives, unlike public company model where a major component of earnings is non-returnable hard cash.

The second, more philosophical explanation is of morality [my favorite topic :)]. Increasingly, the whole world is working towards an optimization of everything. Some of the cliches that I think create a wrong framework for growth are:

  • Don't fight your perception; perception is reality - then why not work on just that. Just put up an excellent show.
  • People remember your peaks/troughs - much like the wisden greatest cricketer of all time rating, consistency be damned.
  • Your success depends a lot more on who you know than what you do - there you go.
Mind it, none of these are made up, they are real. And in places where success/performance isn't measurable so easily (thankfully IT industry in most of the cases will not be part of this), they have the potential to rot the whole culture.

So many of these supposedly career building mantras become fundamentally disconnected with your real contribution. I would have been happy only if they were combined with advice about improving the contribution and ways towards it. Isn't the most popular competency an MBA can offer to a recruiter is - I will be whatever you want me to be, if it is immoral, so be it.