Thursday, April 26, 2007

History repeats itself

As I am reading the most excellent "The Consolations of Philosophy" by Alain De Botton, I came across these words on the chapter titled, Consolation for Inadequacy. Here the philosopher Montaigne reflects on the curriculum of the College de Guyenne where he was educated. This was considered to be France's best educational establishment during this time period (mid 1500's). Montaigne thinks aloud,

I gladly come back to the theme of the absurdity of our education: its end has not been to make us good and wise, but learned. And it has succeeded. It has not taught us to seek virtue and to embrace wisdom: it has impressed upon us their derivation and their etymology.....
We readily enquire, 'Does he know Greek or Latin?' 'Can he write poetry or prose?' But what matters most is what we put last: 'Has he become better and wiser?' We ought to find out not who understands most but who understands best. We work merely to fill the memory, leaving the understanding ansd the sense of right and wrong empty.

I wonder how many people in our Department of Education can give a good answer to these 500 year old questions :-)

Something tells me that Kathy Sierra might like this Montaigne character since he also says,
Difficulty is a coin which the learned conjure with so as not to reveal the vanity of their studies and which human stupidity is keen to accept in payment.
in other words (or words of Alain de Botton): An incomprehensible prose-style is likely tohave resulted more from laziness than cleverness; what reads easily is rarely so written. Or else such prose masks an absence of content; being incomprehensible offer unparallaled protection against having nothing to say.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

running your life from the web

just got a tad bit easier with Postful. According to a review I read,

Using Postful, anyone with access to email can send a real, paper letter to anyone with a postal address. How it works? Send an email to, with the mailing address in the subject line, write the letter in the email's message body, click send, and the email is printed and posted. Postful does not add branding or advertising.
hrmmm :-) maybe it is time to start catching up on all those mails after all.

Insourcing anyone?

Has India finally started to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs? After all the articles about outsourcing, here is one from the ceo of*) that is taking a different direction. Munjal is clearly a good ceo and most definitely a clear thinker (and writer as evidenced in his blog posts). So it is not surprising that he and his team at finally decided that the cost savings in India were not worth the communication challenges and productivity speed blocks.

The big 4 in India continue to grow rapidly (Infosys, TCS, Wipro, ??) but India needs to start producing more software for internal consumption if it wants to gain long term independence from its US and European customers. That means gaining more experience building products for companies like Riya instead of pure outsourcing gigs.
The raising rates of software engineers in India is good in the short term but unless they figure out a way to increase the rate of innovation locally and have a strategic plan to create a Sand Hill road in India they are hurting themselves long terms by making it easy for companies like Riya to take their business elsewhere.

* tcfka: the company formerly known as

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

[a] made me think [b]

[YouTube ad from kodak] made me think [of kim and krista].
[National distrbuter of green building supplies] made me think [of the wagens]
[director of research at google] made me think [a. man which rock have I been under? and b. woot! the amount of fun I am going to have in continuing to read this site]

Life is good when most of the things I read makes me thing of people I love and care about :-).