G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”
John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."
Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”
विलास सारंग: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
"If this trend continues, nations all over the world will soon be producing generations of useful, docile, technically trained machines, rather than complete citizens who can think for themselves, criticise tradition, and understand the significance of another person's sufferings and achievements."
ASHLEE VANCE: "Microsoft’s engineers and executives spent two years creating a new line of smartphones with playful names that sounded like creatures straight out of “The Cat in the Hat” — Kin One and Kin Two. Stylish designs, an emphasis on flashy social-networking features and an all-out marketing blitz were meant to prove that Microsoft could build the right product at the right time for the finickiest customers — gossiping youngsters with gadget skills.
But last week, less than two months after the Kins arrived in stores, Microsoft said it would kill the products." (NYT, July 4 2010)
The Founder-Chairman of Infosys Technologies, Mr. Narayana Murthy is very fond of Microsoft and Bill Gates. On TV, some day in 2010, he looked very proud when he said that his son worked as a fellow at Microsoft.
The history of the PC shows that very few innovations originated within Microsoft. All the company has done is roll them into its operating systems and drive their popularity - often leading the companies that did invent them to their demise.
How is India as a country doing in innovation?
"For a nation that prides itself on jugaad, the North Indianism for spunky innovativeness and lateral thinking, it can’t be comforting to find it has slipped in the global innovation index. How far India has gone down in the Insead-CII innovation index is difficult to say since this year’s rank of 56 out of 130 countries compares with last year’s 43rd position out of 107 countries — China is also down six places, though at 43rd, it is ranked above India..." (March 5 2010)
How is India's IT industry doing in innovation?
Sunil Mani writes:
"India is variously described as a knowledge-based economy in the making, thanks essentially due to her high economic growth and the role played by knowledge-intensive sectors such as information technology in spurring and maintaining this growth performance. This paper looks at the empirical evidence on whether this is indeed the case since the reform process began in 1991. A variety of conventional indicators are analysed and their movements over the last two decades or so are charted to draw some firm conclusions. The results show that instances of innovation are restricted to a few areas such as the pharmaceutical industry. Further, increasingly most of the innovations in industry are contributed by foreign firms operating in the country...
...In short, it may not be incorrect to draw the conclusion that India’s pharmaceutical and IT industries are becoming innovative, although domestic enterprises are more active innovators only in the former while it is the MNCs that are active in the latter..."
(EPW, Nov 14-20 2009)
Domestic IT enterprises are NOT ACTIVE INNOVATORS but pharmaceutical enterprises ARE ACTIVE INNOVATORS. No wonder they like Microsoft.
DICK BRASS who once was a vice president at Microsoft from 1997 to 2004 wrote:
"...Internal competition is common at great companies. It can be wisely encouraged to force ideas to compete. The problem comes when the competition becomes uncontrolled and destructive. At Microsoft, it has created a dysfunctional corporate culture in which the big established groups are allowed to prey upon emerging teams, belittle their efforts, compete unfairly against them for resources, and over time hector them out of existence. It’s not an accident that almost all the executives in charge of Microsoft’s music, e-books, phone, online, search and tablet efforts over the past decade have left.
As a result, while the company has had a truly amazing past and an enviably prosperous present, unless it regains its creative spark, it’s an open question whether it has much of a future."
(NYT, February 4, 2010)
When some day in near future, as Mr. Murthy's flight is ready to land as depicted in the picture below, will he notice absence of Microsoft around him?
Artist: Ward Sutton, The New Yorker, April 2010