Friday, March 28, 2008

Austin and commuter rails

Even though I really have nobody to visit in Leander, I see myself going there multiple times through 2008 just to ride these guys :-). They look very cool! let us see what the ride is like.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis - Will you help me fight for the cure?

What is it?
Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves

Who does it affect?
2-3x more women than men. (More info. below).

What is the prevalence?
400,000 in the US. Increasing at the rate of 28/day (just in the US). 2.5 million world wide.

Can I help?
I am glad you asked :-). You can help by supporting me in my attempt to bike from Houston to Austin on the 12th of April 2008. My goal is to raise 500$ to donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Why are you doing this?
It started out as a desire to get healthy and find a way to stay healthy. One conversation led to another and soon I had registered to ride the MS150 along with a few other friends. I am new to biking (my first ride on a ride bike was in late 2007) but I am enjoying the learning process and the adventure of attempting... something this ambitious for a beginner like me.
It is a privilege that through all my muddled attempts at riding I have the opportunity to raise support for fight against multiple sclerosis. So to answer the question, I am doing this because I have the opportunity to help and because it is a good thing to do.

Great, what next?
If you are interested and would like to help me meet my goal please follow the instructions below.
  1. Remember all donations are tax deductible.
  2. No amount is too little or too much, I am grateful for your support so please give as you please.
  3. You can either pay directly by clicking here. (I recommend this approach)
  4. or you can send me a cheque (leave me a comment and I will send you the address details).

I want to know more about MS?
Here are some good places to start

Random tidbits

  • The ride is a total of 175 miles, 100 miles on day 1 and 75 miles on day 2.
  • I will be riding with 4-6 other close friends. some of them are veteran bikers and I am the noob, we will see how long I can hang with the pack :-)
  • I began biking very recently (couple months back), so my goal is to ride well enough to finish the ride. Anything better than that the beer is on me ;-).

Finally, thank you for the taking the time to read this blog post. MS is but one of several chronic and debilitating diseases that affect individuals and their families. I appreciate your time and intention is understanding more about this problem.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

UT establishes the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism

BB&T donated to UT, 2million and solidified the research of objectivism for the next 10 years.

Objectivism is the term coined by Ayn Rand for her philosophy and the following is a summary in her own words.
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

It does sound great and you cannot help but root for John Galt or Howard Roark. But in reality living with "his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life" as the moral principle is a exercise in futility (based on my limited attempt of it). Let us see what UT concludes after 10 years of researching this and 2+ million dollars.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck would chuck wood?

How many jobs can a job search company generate if a job search company could generate jobs?

I have friends and acquaintances who are in job search mode. As I try to help them I cannot have any reaction but confusion when I see the choices out there,
  1. -- Find your dream job.
  2. -- one search, all jobs.
  3. -- Discover job & business opportunities
  4. -- the premier talent source.
  5. theladders - the most 100K+ jobs
  6. -- make your move
  7. -- [.nothing.]
  8. -- job search made simple.
  9. (update) -- where talent lives
I think the only thing that stands out from the others here is theladders. I also like indeed since it is the best aggregator out there but seriously....

So what again? Some of these have pyramid schemes of reward ala amway some think you can do everything from cook in France to manage the books for lulu. Is there any differentiation here?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Should management styles be based on best practices?

This title from wired says it all - "How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong"

It's hard to see how any of this would have happened had Jobs hewed to the standard touchy-feely philosophies of Silicon Valley. Apple creates must-have products the old-fashioned way: by locking the doors and sweating and bleeding until something emerges perfectly formed. It's hard to see the Mac OS and the iPhone coming out of the same design-by-committee process that produced Microsoft Vista or Dell's Pocket DJ music player. Likewise, had Apple opened its iTunes-iPod juggernaut to outside developers, the company would have risked turning its uniquely integrated service into a hodgepodge of independent applications — kind of like the rest of the Internet, come to think of it.

(Emphasis mine) This paragraph reminded me of an earlier post of mine.

This is a very light read but talks about an interesting situation in the valley. Apple's success in the market implies that while there might be a high correlation between egalitarian management, operating styles and success it not the only or guaranteed route to success.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Job openings

My company is looking for a unix systems administrator and two web developers. All of the readers of this blog know what I think about my company - it is obviously not perfect (btw no company is) but overall it is really good in terms of culture, acting with integrity and placing focus on the right areas. If you know of any one interested do let me know :-)

Job descriptions:
Web Developer
Unix SysAd

Bait and Switch?

I was intrigued when I read on kottke about a TED talk by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. The talk looked promising when Dr Taylor used a real human brain as prop to explain left and right hemisphere functions. But soon the talk devolved into phrases like "my spirit felt like a genie liberated from the bottle", "great white whale swimming in the silent ocean...", "nirvana, if I can attain it, everybody can".

Yeah, not what I had in mind when I heard one of the leading neuroanatomists from Harvard was going to explain brain function to me. She got a standing ovation from the crowd and is widely considered as one of the best talks at TED. I applaud her courage and strength in coming back from a stroke but I am not sure her talk was meaningful or useful. I expected to hear more science and facts instead I got perceptions and almost a new age religion pitch.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Non linear improvements can look very different at first glance :-)

Cool project being tested in India. Key phrase for me is,
Question Boxes leap over illiteracy, computer illiteracy, lack of networks, and language barriers.
check it out.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Do we need to market the value of education?

Below is a link that takes you to a blog post with 7 different videos shot using cell phones. All of these are videos shot by high school students mostly without their teachers knowledge. It left me numb. The utter callousness, disrespect and lack of value for education these kids display is very frightening.

I don't know what the panacea is, I do know it is not simple and I do believe it begins at home :).

-> Link
Hat Tip: Seth Godin

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Is your job related to retail?

Then you need to add this blog to your rss reader : link
This is a blog authored by multiple buyers who all work for Walmart.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thanks to Corbett

I biked 50 miles yesterday :) Woo Hoo! my longest ride to date. Corbett helped me finish! Thanks man.

Publications I am currently reading...

  1. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
  2. Deep Economy by Bill McKibben
  3. The Bible (NASB) by :-)
  4. Six Days of War by Michael B.Oren
  5. The New Yorker
  6. The National Geographic.

Just Finished
  1. With the Old Breed by E.B.Sledge
  2. The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
  3. The Jewish War by Josephus