Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Freakonomics: Human Organs for Sale, Legally, in ... Which Country?

A very interesting article on something which would be a crime in most places in the world, but there is demand, and there is supply so why not?

Here it is in it's full

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thoughts from the pot

What's the difference between the 8th century janampatrika and the 21st century genome map? Are we spending billions on something that our friendly neighborhood astrologer would have told us for Rs. 450/- plus free lifetime muhurat support?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Could this be the reason for India's (potential) boom?

Steven Landsburg, one of my favorite economists, has an old an interesting article out on the web. Over 10 years old, this article has been floating around with a different context. But overall, it does make some sense.

Here it is in its full

I haven't read it yet, but Landsburg is the author of a book "More Sex is Safer Sex". My guess is the book is also on the same lines as this article.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Aamchya kade asach asta…


A colleague of mine had a baby girl in October 2007. Naturally, as is customary in our office, he went on a 5 day paternity leave. Folks in our office distribute sweets for siblings passing their SSC, so I assumed that we should be having a box of sweets when he returned from his leave. So, when he returned, I promptly asked him about the sweets. I got a stunning reply.


"Soyar.. tula maahit naahi?"(don't you know) he said with a surprised look. Took me a couple of moments to figure out what he meant. Traditionally, there used to be a 10-day "sink-in" period for births and deaths. So, when a newborn is born, one wouldn't celebrate for 10 days, else something bad would happen. However, the fact that this belief existed even today in a person who has a Masters in Engineering, surprised and somewhat disappointed me.


Cut to April 2008.


We had our baby girl last week. As soon as Devika returned from the hospital, on Sunday, I distributed sweets among our friends and acquaintances in our building. These folks have known both of us for all our lives, and were probably as thrilled on hearing the news as some of our closest friends.


On Tuesday night, my grandma was rushed to the emergency room. She spent 2 days in the ICU, and is still in the hospital as I write this. I'd be lying if I said that the "soyar" concept didn't at all come into my thoughts.



There are two ways to look at the case above.


-         My grandma went to the hospital as a direct consequence of my distributing sweets early. It was God's way of punishing me for my haste.




-         My grandma would probably have been in hospital this week, irrespective of my wife delivering last week. She (my grandma) is 83 years old, can't walk and cannot always control her calls of nature. Despite our best efforts, my guess is her room probably carries a lot of unwanted germs and other organisms, which have led to an infection.


All my scientific background tells me that it's the second scenario which is more probable. However, the possibility of the first scenario did cross my mind. Faith (which is mostly blind) can make us do so many weird things. Emotions are never rational, and so when it comes to an emotional attachment, our actions and reactions are probably never based on logic and reason.