Saturday, August 04, 2007

Things I think I think

-- I think now that we beat England (quite convincingly, that too) you really can't call Indians poor travellers. We have won more tests away that any other country not named Australia (including one in Australia, how many countries can say that???) in the last 5 years, and (I don't quite believe this) lesser test matches in India. Suddenly the talk of poor pitches in India is not heard any more. And to be honest, England got exactly what they deserved. A spanking on the backside. And no, there's no moral victory in sports, and you didn't deserve to win the first test. If you cannot bowl out the Indians in 95 overs on a fifth day pitch in your own home country, you do not deserve to win. You cannot bowl out Sreesanth in 5 overs (LBWs don't count, as they are totally subjective) you don't deserve to win. As for the mouthing and chattering, I really don't think we need to apologize for anything. We can safely say that we didn't start it. Some people drop jelly beans to distract opponents, some bowl head high beamers. KP got exactly what he deserved. Will remind him of what could happen on a cricket field the next time he is driving his Porsche Carrera. When Mark Prior says that 11 men are hunting together, what's wrong in being hunted by a head high beamer? There's an excellent article in the Times Online, (not apna raddi Times of India) by Simon Barnes.

Money quote:
The England cricket team are suffering from confusion. The players believe to a man that behaving like an arsehole makes you a better cricketer. The fact is that it doesn’t. It only makes you an arsehole.


Australia is not the best in the world because they talk a lot. They are the best because they score more runs and get more wickets than the opposition. The Aussies never distract, they play fair and are absolute gentlemen when it comes to the game. They would never need jelly beans to win.

-- BTW, Murugesh, you do get maids in the US. But it's ironic. Maids in the US tend to have a better life than the people who employ them. A lot of them are there illegally, don't have to pay taxes, can get by without speaking a lot of English, and tend to drive better cars than their employers (this is absolutely true for some of our friends in the US). I guess it has something to do with the fact that there are not enough maids in the US, so there is a skill scarcity. The fact that Anarkali gets only 1500 rupees per month (5 houses, 300 per) must have something to do with there being so many, that if she was to ask for 350, there would be someone who would do it for 300, and Anarkali would get 0 instead of 1500.

-- I am now coaching our young nephew Siddhant the intricacies of Maths (Algebra and Geometry). I open his Algebra text book and all I see are words. Why would Algebra books have any prose in it? More importantly, why would anyone want to learn Algebra if all they get is literature? There's not enough sums, not enough Maths in Maths books.

-- A few weeks ago, I had posted a blog as to how I would start a political party funded by the stock market. Now here's this website, Intrade, which is into prediction markets and where people play with real money and buy "stocks" in different prediction markets (Hillary nominations, Musharraf departing), and have shown startlingly correct results. It's enough to say that we would be able to predict election results with much better results than exit polls if people have their money on the line. The promise of a prediction market is simple and profound: if you ask a lot of people a question about politics or sports or Hollywood movies, and those people are motivated to answer it correctly, their collective judgment turns out to be fairly accurate. (Similar philosophy to why the KBC Audience gets the correct answer more often than not, their motivation being to do good to the contestant).

-- Work is hectic, life is fun. How about you guys?
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