By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

Aid, Investment and Angelina Jolie

Arvind Subramanian of the WSJ has authored this brilliant paper on how foreign aid is stifling innovation in poor countries and goes on to explain how investment on local innovation efforts is more appropriate than charity.

I love this line of thought. I always have.

But Arvind goes a little overboard in saying this:

When Ms. Jolie appears on the screen calling for more aid, she not only distracts our attention toward her obviously good looks, she may also be distracting our attention away from the search for more effective solutions to helping the poorest around the world.
Give that lady a break. Yes, she might be driving people to donate more, but people are not forgetting about innovation by just ogling her.

Or are ya? Quit staring and code that software for those $100 laptops!!

George Hotz

The new guru of hacking!

I'm a leftist libertarian!

According to this sweet test on Political Compass.

Keep oil out of the hands of terrorists?

Arnold Kling writes here:

Suppose that we used military force to take over oil, keeping it in the hands of private companies and taking it out of the hands of governments. This would not only serve my wife's purpose of keeping oil money away from terrorists. As I read Collier, such a policy would improve the governance and economic development of the countries afflicted with the "resource curse." We would be doing the people (as opposed to the governments) a favor.
I have a very mixed feeling to this line of argument. For one, I hate the very thought of a rogue state sitting on tonnes of oil, the corrupt politicians/militia playing around with hookers all day while the people of that country rot in abject poverty. At the same time, a military intervention? By whom? You expect me to trust Uncle Sam? Are you on medication, son?

These days oil companies are bigger than nations in terms of revenue. The biggest oil giants outrank every country in the world except 25-30 countries. (Check 1 and 2). And I wouldn't trust the oil which my kids would need, entirely on them either. Oil and state are too intertwined to let anything good happen.

What do we do? Beats me!

I prefer cheese sandwiches. Thank you!

I once remember Jay said:

How can you eat something that shits?
I think that aptly explains why I'm a veggie.

Content-Aware Image Sizing

Wow! Simply, wow!
If you've ever been into any sort of Image Processing/Resizing/Compression, or heck, if you've ever played around with images, you ought to see this!

Signs of aging

I'm 21 and I think I'm aging? Hell, yeah!

Life's different from the last four years that I spent in college. Pretty obvious, isn't it? A lot of things change. You can start listing all the clich├ęs - Responsibility, Work, Focus etc etc. But the buck doesn't stop there. The change is a little deeper than what it seems.

Right now, I'm sitting in a posh hotel room in an island in the Arabian Gulf; a couple of thousand miles away from a place I call 'Home'; suffocated by the opulence around me; and I'm reading about what I blogged exactly two years ago. And I start focusing on the change that is creeping in.

It's amusing and well documented as to how you always feel that your posts a year ago were so immature. But, for a change, I felt there was a sense of innocent beauty and zeal in my posts a couple of years ago. I realized, I loved to debate on issues till I dropped dead. I loved to live in my own esoteric/poetic world. I loved to talk about life, about music that touches the soul, about love, about pain, about lack of achievement. The wheels rolled. Today, all that sounds romantic. But I have materialistic thoughts in my mind. I'd rather talk about people, about money, about petty politics. The fire no longer burns. All that exist are lame blames, isolated cries and a general apathy.

As a corollary, I seem to have a relatively shorter attention span. Signs of aging! I'm shocked to see myself having written blog posts that span more than a couple of thousand words. Sorry, brother. Doesn't work anymore. I pushed myself a couple of weeks to pen this post, and I'm pretty darn sure I can't keep this running.

So, what's in it for me? Well, this blog will see fewer, shorter posts. I probably saw this coming when I was introduced to Tumblr and Twitter. The hard fact is that I almost shut down this blog today. Just before doing so, I flipped through my archives, and felt a stinging guilt of not being that flamboyant, happy-go-lucky blogger. And with that faint hope that someday I might return to writing, I leave this blog alive.

For the record, my interest will now be focused on Intoxicated by Possibility, a tumblelog, a stream of consciousness, an online trail - call it what you want. And this blog shall stay, for those peaceful days when I am sipping coffee and feel the kid in me, yearning to write.

63rd cup! To death!

This tells me:

Gulp down 62.26 cups of Drip Coffee and you're history.

"This is how I am going to die."

When I was a kid, ... Little did I know

When I was a kid, I was taught to say no to corruption. Little did I know that I would have to bribe the RTO officer and not say a thing.

When I was a kid, I was told that all men are treated equally in India. Little did I know that my uncle being a prominent lawyer can speeden my passport application 7x times.

When I was a kid, I was told that foreigners are always exploited. Little did I know that an Indian who's about to go abroad too has to shell out 10x the fees at any government office.

When I was a kid, I was told that usually most bureaucrats are corrupt. Little did I know that a non-corrupt bureaucrat would be a spineless, hated-by-all man.

When I was a kid, I was told that all religions are equal though some are more equal. Little did I know that my opthalmologist, a learned famed doctor would warn me about the so-called perils of entering a Muslim state.

When I was a kid, I thought the world was bad. Little did I know, that it sucks so bad!

No BCB4 reviews here

Sorry, I am not going to post any reviews, post-event comments, suggestions etc etc about Barcamp Bangalore 4. Why? Coz I think loads of other people have done it. Just goog for 'bcb4' mate!

But yes, I'll say one thing - this Barcamp for me was all music! Here are videos of the band!

On the boulevard of memories

It's been a very long time since I blogged about something esoteric, something that shouldn't be reduced to just words, something that haunts your mind like a zahir, something that you consider a guarded treasure.

Tonight, I feel like it.

As my thoughts trace back a year, I'm reminded of the misery, of the agony that haunted me. The tears that'd almost dried on my cheeks. The thoughts of giving up the fight had almost gotten the best of me. And to paraphrase GnR - That reminds me of a special time. And if I dwell too long, I'd probably break down and cry.

Today, the misery exists. The agony exists. The tears exist too. But all in a different light, and they're all fine. Coz I won that fight. And I earned the joy of sweet success. And with it, also came bliss, and completeness. Most precious of all, the best of times on the boulevard of memories.


This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.


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