Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Are we really focused on actual problem?

Sometime when I see people around me in office, I really get curious and puzzled about their approach to problem and their behaviors.  It might sound very specific to the environment which I'm in. may not be true for an environment where people have experienced this issues before and implemented a system where these problems are not so common.

I wrote my first computer program in year 1992. It was in GWBASIC and operating system was DOS. It was a very simple operating system and it was very easy to write/edit programs using simple editor called EDIT.After few years I started working on UNIX platform. When I came to UNIX world, I found that working in UNIX world is bit different and I need to get used to some awkward tools. One such awkward tool was VI editor. I found that learning and using this editor is bit difficult. But very soon realize that if i don’t know how to use this editor, I’m not a good programmer, I’m a junk guyJ. Strange reasoning!!!!

I was not that much sensible  at that time the way I’m trying to sound today, So to prove myself, I put my effort and learned it, but frankly speaking,  I never liked this editor J

There was no personal preference for not liking it.  When I was trying to learn this editor, what I found is that I’m wasting my energy in wrong direction. I have a problem and I want to write code to solve this problem but learning this tool itself is becoming a bottleneck for executing things running in my mind. Then I asked a simple question to myself,” is learning this editor is my goal?”  And answer was Big No. My goal is to solve a problem using computer program and I want to use a tool which is easy to use J

Later on I realized there is more to come. There are not just awkward tools but awkward people and awkward ways of working also.

C is really good programming language but each problem has his own requirement and it is not necessary that C fits for it. I love programming in C but I’m not fanatic about it. But I meet people who were anytime ready to argue how other languages are inferior to C.

Another funny thing was indentation of code in C. I like writing code with opening and closing bracket indented in same column on a new line. This keeps code readable and one can clearly identify different blocks in code. But there is some strange convention of putting opening bracket on same line rather than on newline. This is more to reduce number of lines of code, so that you can see more code at a glance. Each convention has some advantages and disadvantage but funny thing is, if you don’t follow the later convention you are not considered as a good and experienced programmer J!!!

There were people who are wizards of these awkward tools and awkward ways of working and there are people who are following and supporting these people. I was always curious and wanted to know what is running in these peoples mind, what they want, why they enforce this junk to everyone and why they behave like that.

I could figure out certain things, based on that what I have understood is there are few categories.

The real fighters:
The absence of a tool drove this people to invent it and they came up with a working but hard to use tool.  But with time these tools have become their identity and way of their survival. Now they are the real fanatic force insisting use of these tools.

The Followers:
These are the people who are fascinated by the technology, tools and attitude of real fighters. They blindly follow them and there is no reasoning behind it. Even if they have some reasoning it is just to show off that they are one among the real fighters J

The Real user: 
This is the poor guy who really wants to solve a problem and in need of a tool. But once he is stuck with one, he cannot go back because of many business and personal reasons J

We Are part of evolving world and with time we also need to evolve and same is true for the tools also. If a tool is so difficult to use and learn, our focus from actual problem is lost and we end up doing some other work!!!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Recent Gang rape case in Delhi, do we really understand why it is happening again and again?

I was reading articles and news on recent gang rape case in Delhi, but could not understand what solution people are expecting and looking for!!!

Some are blaming police and administration, some are suggesting having more police force and some are asking for death penalty to guilty. There was a big protest at India gate also. People gathered but no celerity on what they really want!!!

This is not something happening first time, similar incidents happened before and similar noise is made but nothing has changed. We make noise for few days and then we get back to our work. Administration also understands that after few days people will forget it.

So what’s the point of making noise? I’m not saying that we should not raise our voice but our way of approaching issue is not correct. We are just reacting to the situation, there is no concrete thinking behind the agitation and that’s the reason when it cools down we forget it and get back to our routine work. Like a kid or uneducated person we are just pointing out the things which are visible and trying to get a solution for it. Nobody is doing a root cause analysis! If the solution which we are trying to find is not based on root cause, it is not a long term solution and same thing will be repeated again in future!

Things happening today are the outcome of the way our system has evolved post-independence. So there is no straight or magical solution for it. There are multiple connected factors which need to be understood to find the root cause.

One of the major factors is “No fear of punishment”. Right now people do not have any fear of law they know the loop holes or they know the influential people who can help them getting out of it. So people do whatever they want fearlessly. I like the idea of moral laws in Saudi Arabia. There the fear of punishment is so scary that people think 100 times before getting into a criminal activity. The law looks very inhuman from punishment perspective but the real objective of law is “fear of strict punishment” not the punishment.  
Another factor is “Fear of administration”, which is more like people are scared of helping/supporting police and administration. It is the responsibility of administration/police to address all these issues but they cannot do it alone. Police cannot be present all the time at all the places its only people/us who are present most of the time.

So what is stopping people to help administration? The recent gang rape case in Delhi when victim was thrown on the road, people were looking but nobody dared to help her! People are saying that humanity is dying! It is stupid to say this! We are humans and will remain; it’s only our system which is stopping us to behave like human. Here the problem is power, which is possessed by administration or police only and it is difficult for ordinary people to deal with it.

Our administration is incapable of doing their work (this itself is point to think why they are incapable?) and sometime just to show some results, they use these powers against the same person who is helping and supporting them! There is no straight and sure way with people to protect themselves with this behavior of administration. Because of misuse of power, police has created a very bad image and nobody wants to get into trouble by helping them.

I was in Pune till last year and got chance to deal with Pune police. Two laptops which I kept in my office drover were stolen. Laptops were insured and so I was supposed to file a FIR. It took more than one month just to file a FIR! The way police behaved is horrible. The first thing they told me is that you yourself might have stolen the laptops! It was shocking for me, I came for FIR and these people are targeting me!!! I kept on talking and they said they will come to my office for investigation. It was almost a week nobody came. Later on calling 2-3 times, they came to my office. They started talking to working staff but the way of talking was so rude/full of arrogance and threatening that nobody dared to help them.

Finally they asked me come to police station, I thought, I will go, file the FIR and it will be done. But it was the start of feeling pain of visiting police station J Almost every alternate day I was visiting police station. Every day they were making some excuse to go out for some urgent work and I was sitting in police station waiting for them. Three to four times they made me waiting from morning 10 AM till evening 5 PM!  During this one month visit I was able to realize that they are incapable of tracing it and somehow dragging the issue, hoping that I will give up filing FIR.

On the other hand, I had a very different experience dealing with police in Germany. I spent almost a year in Germany and experienced the way German police behaves. I had a major car accident there. Being an Indian, I was scared of dealing with police. But what I experienced was very opposite! German Police acted very friendly and collected all the information in a very gentle manner. It was surprising for me see police acting so friendly. Later on I learned that for any such issue the first thing German people do is to call the police and once police come, people feel relaxed. I don’t know how it is implemented but certainly it helps giving correct information without fear.

In India when we think of police, what comes to our mind is more trouble. People are scared of police but police is not scared of people. So what we need is a straight and sure way to protect ourselves from administration/police so that it will become easy for us to help and support them.   Police also need to be educated on their behavior. Rather than feeling threatened people should feel comfortable talking to them.

Another factor is, not much people are aware of their rights. Rather than studying subject which make sense only in adulthood it is better to get educated about our rights during our schooling. It is almost more than 60 years of independence and rather than bringing good system in place we still react to situations, we still do same mistake again and again.

These are the few factors which I could think of, there can be more. The point is, these are the basic building block we should ask for; once we have these basic building blocks in place, we will have a better upbringing and we will behave more sensibly rather than just reacting to the situations. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

“The Hope” of a first generation entrepreneur

Two weeks back I meet few of my old colleagues/friends. Some of us are still in jobs and some have started their own business. It is almost a year we meet last and as expected this time also the discussion went very long.

As time is passing by each one of us is getting a chance to experience different aspect of personal and professional life. Whether it is business or job, when it comes to human factor, we all are sharing similar problems.

One of our friends who started his own business in IT was sharing his experience. He started as a Product Company and in parallel he started some software consulting business also.Later on due to recession and other factors it was getting difficult for him to survive just on product. Consulting side also he was not having much work and he was in need of some quick consulting business for his survival.

One of his friends, let’s call him Mr. “J”, who was in US, appeared as a savior and helped him getting some work outsourced to his company.  His friend really pulled him out of crisis. The deal was not so good but still it was good enough for our friend to survive.

Mr. “J”, who was working more as a middleman, started getting more projects for him and again like first project deals were not so good. Since product side also things were not so great our friend continued accepting deals.

Later on some projects got screwed up, the entire team left, the customer was not happy, project is scraped. Some projects stopped in between, our friend has hired people and he has to pay them salary for next two months. Later on he found that Mr. “J” is actually charging higher amount to customer and he is getting almost a 1/3 of that.  

In entire relationship the Mr. “J” was always pushy about his idea; he has always made enough money for each project and when it comes to failures, he always pushed our friend to face it.

Now Mr. “J” is back to India and asked our friend to provide space to run his own company within his premises!!! And our friend is again agreed to serve him J!

After listening whole story, we all were wondering, man! What kind of relationship is this! Why our friend is still entertaining this guy? When we asked him why? His answer was that, he thinks that this guy has helped him in bad times and because of that obligation, whenever this guy pushes, somehow he accepts it!, sometime he feels that he should help his friend and sometime he feels that whatever has happened it was his fault and Mr. “J” always played it smart.

We were not able to understand the reasoning, because he is running business and we did not accept something like this from him. After some more discussion we were able to figure out that actual reason is something else which he was not able express. He was having problem on product side and he was expecting his friend as “THE HOPE”!!!!!!!!!

Whenever we are going through some bad phase or crisis its natural for us to look for somebody to help or support. It is not necessary that person who is helping you is doing a charity; he might be having his own interest in helping you. This how nature has designed creations to help each other and continue evolving.
Creating a system just on brighter side of human nature is very optimistic and something not real. End of the day we are human and we are bound to behave naturally rather than behavior defined by very idealistic thinking. We do not have a fixed behavior, we act more like a state machine, depending on need we moved into one of the state and once our need is fulfilled we try to get into some other state.

If we look back our ancestor they were more society oriented and very ethical. They used to think more for family, society/community. With time people started realizing that society and community is getting controlled by only few people for their benefits and rest of the society/community is not getting any benefit out of it.  People started pretending to be social but in back of mind they are always working for their personal interest. This has given birth to capitalist ideology.  

On the other side still lot of people are having very social and ethical upbringing. In today’s world, People who are having this social kind of upbringing are finding themselves unfit for current system and they are in confused state of mind where they are not able to decide, what is right and what is wrong?

People who have spent enough time in capitalist world/communities are finding easy to exploit these confused people. One side they gives you a very social/ethical picture and other side they are ready to ditch and make their profit.

The irony is that because of this confused upbringing, People who are cheated, one side they think socially/ethically and complain about these people as cheaters. Other side they think like a capitalist and admire the cheater as a smart person J  

We are not product of what opportunities we have got few years back; internally we are product of our upbringing. This is very hard to overcome for People who are first generation entrepreneur. But it has to be done very consciously otherwise we will face the consequences.

Because of not having enough understanding of nature we keep on thinking of extracting everything from what we case of our friend he started completely relying on Mr. “J” as “THE HOPE”. It’s easy to say but there are other options and he needed to be open for alternatives.   

We should not get into any of social or capitalist mode completely, just follow your drive; nature will help you getting support; take that help and move on. We do not need be a part of any social ideology to behave ethically; nature has already hardwired enough moral values within ourselves to behave ethically.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Is the intention of creating a system is always corrupt?

It is not necessary that always intention of creating a system is for the benefits of only few people. Do we really always want to create a system which will become so corrupt that it will become difficult to survive in it? In the beginning the intention might not be like that, it might be betterment of all but with time we are realizing that the system which we have invented as solution to problem, itself is becoming a problem!
We have invented so many socioeconomic system based on ideologies like communism, capitalism, democracy etc. and each one has its own merits. Communism focuses more on the growth of whole society. It is based on a common ownership, equality and fairness. Basically you cannot think just for your own. You always think and do about the whole society, which is a good thing. Capitalism focuses more on fast growth of individual. We are not dependent on others, we work hard and we realize the results very fast, so as an individual it looks very appealing. Democracy is based on the principle of equality and freedom. It focuses more on giving decision making power to majority; this is again a good perspective.
Many people have given thoughts and really put their hard work to bring these ideologies, but is there any system which is based on any of these ideologies and is really a perfect solution?

The problem is that all these ideologies are solutions to only a subset of requirements. These requirements are very much time specific and as system is evolving these requirements are also going to change.

Like In case of capitalism, we realize the immediate benefits in short term but in long term again we start realizing that we cannot go next step alone, We need others to come with us and since now everyone is living in same capitalist system, everyone wants to gain his benefits fast. Why someone will come with us? Even if someone pretends to come, he will always be thinking about his gains only!
In case of communism goals are very long term and with time we will start realizing that it will take years to really realize the benefits out of such system. Our progress is dependent on others and we are not free to do on our own.
Democracy is a belief that people have freedom and they will choose. With time, it is turning out as an illusion, people think that they are choosing, actually it is getting used more as an organized way of capitalism.
Once we start living in such system, we start building everything based on it without thinking that our current system is addressing only a subset of requirements and in coming time requirement are going to change. We start building laws, rules and regulations based on this system. Again we are denying the evolution by trying to hardcode the system.
We might think that with time we will adopt to new requirements but if our base itself is wrong, any new adoption will be just a reaction to address some issue. It’s more like first creating rigid design of software and later on putting hacks in code to handle new requirements.
Another problem is ignoring the human nature. Either ideologies are based on very bright side of human nature like honesty, brotherhood, growth of all etc. or they are based on the dark side of human nature like greed, selfishness, power etc. Again we are trying to understand human nature from a single perspective and hardcoding the system!
We don’t have a defined behavior; nature has designed us to act more like a state machine. We just move from one state to another state depending on our surrounding. we can find people who are very honest but might behave very selfish in certain situation.
For sure, we can create a system which is more adoptive and capable of providing solutions for most of the requirements, but for that we really need to understand the basics of nature and keep our system aligned with the basics.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Who cares man; the system is running and will continue running like this!

Many of us think who cares man! The system is running and will continue like this.
For nature drive is a mechanism to keep our system align with itself, if we understand nature and if we follow our drive, we will have happy/satisfying/evolving life. If we don’t, and if we continue like this for long, nature has the way of fixing the problem.
The weapon of drive which it has given us to live happy life, It can use same weapon to force us align with itself. But when it reaches to such extent, the way of fixing is very ruthless, surprising, sudden and can bring lot of disaster.
Not only it can drive a common man to fix the problem, it can also drive the people controlling this man-made system themselves, to bring the change! If such time comes, it will be earth shaking for us and we will not be ready to accept the change!
If we see modern world, slowly this man-made system is exposing itself and people/organizations are realizing it. For past few years, organizations are bringing changes. New ways of running organization are taking place.  If you see startup and spin off culture, they are a revolution against bureaucracy in organizations. Restructuring, reorganization and layoffs are other examples which are very ruthless and sudden.  Spin off culture is like a curse for people who are in bigger organization and really want to do something.
Organizations have realized that bureaucracy is becoming a bottleneck for growth. New market segments are emerging, customer requirements are changing, technology is changing in other words the whole surrounding is evolving but the organizations are stuck.
Now the drive is coming from top, your own Boss will tell you “do something!”. But what someone can do? Because till now we have assumed that things are in our control and nothing is going to change? It is very difficult to adopt to change now. Most of the people in organization have grown with the flow. They do not have right skills; they are in their middle ages with lot of family and financial responsibilities! Everyone is realizing, but it is too late now, we are trapped in our own created system
It is not like; this is something new happening in modern world. If we look back our history, it is happening for years. Today we have organization earlier it was happening with empires. The downfalls of empires are on similar patterns.  If we go deeper, we will find it is happening with all man-made system, whether it is our family, society, community, business, government, jobs, etc. 
Our ancestor might have learned it but looks like the knowledge is lost. Some of us who are realizing it might be thinking, by the time it will happen, we would have made our bucks. But it is not like that, earlier the realization was slow and now days because of fast changing environment, realization is fast and with time it is going to be further fast.
Our man-made system is a subsystem of nature and hence all the property of nature also applies to it. Drive is a mechanism, used by nature, to keep our system align with it. Its better we try to understand nature and starts following our drive otherwise someday we will face the consequences very badly. Now it depends on us which path we like to go!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Understanding nature is more important

**If not read, please read the earlier post first
Following our drive is just a way of leading in direction that nature wants. More important thing is, understanding what nature wants.

It is more like educating ourselves about how nature wants us to lead our life. Right now we are not educated in accordance to nature. Despite of that nature is evolving and it is getting it work done. Only problem is that rather than enjoying our life we are burning our self like fuel in furnace.

We are confused about our behavior and our way of perceiving others. Most of the time, we just start perceiving things looking at other people. We don’t try to reason and understand. Everyone is just running behind money. If you notice people in offices, people have zero identity. They don’t know anything about themselves; someone just wants to acquire some position because his colleague has just acquired it. We never reason, we just want to do it.

If we understand that someone has acquired some position because that is his drive. We can ask ourselves, is it my drive also? If we understand he has acquired some position but that is not his drive. We can reason, is he going to be successful? Reasoning helps us, not going in some wrong direction unnecessarily.nature is the fundamental and it should be the basis for any comparison.

If we understand that nature is continuously evolving, we will never try to control thing so hard that it cannot move to next step. We will be more open to coming new generation, more listening to other people, more respecting others.

If we are educated in accordance with nature we know who we are, what we are doing and what is the end result. Even if someone is not following his drive he will be aware, what position he deserve and why, why somebody following drive deserve more than him and if he needs that position what he needs to do.

As we are more aware, we will not try to get things just because of greed and jealousy. We will not try to create system for our own will and purpose.

Knowledge/education about nature will provides us reasoning and reasoning will make us understand things. We will act more like humansJ. Right now we have created a system which is more like jungle and we are defeating the purpose of nature, creating us as a finest and sophisticated creation.

Friday, 19 October 2012

We are product of our own created system.

**If not read, please read the earlier post first

Nature has created us with both drive as well as ability to think logically. Drive and logical thinking are supposed to go hand to hand. Drive always tries to push us into direction which nature wants and logic is supposed to help us going in that direction.

Instead of understanding how nature wants us to live our life, we have created our own system. Things which are rewards for following our drive, we have made them as prime objective and we have created our own definition of success and failure.

We have forgotten nature and now logical thinking has become synonymous to following something which is required by system created by us.

We are product of our own created system now and our upbringing, our mindset, our desires, our way of perceiving success and failures is defined by this system. Slowly we are realizing this unnatural way of living is causing stressful life and making us uncomfortable because now there is conflict between what nature wants and what our system wants.

It is not that Mahatma Gandhi/Newton or Steve jobs are famous personalities and that’s why we are talking about them, this thinking of recognizing them as few of the successful and famous comes from definition of success/fame defined by our system. For nature anybody following his drive and reaching to some milestone is a successful person.

Did Mahatma Gandhi know beforehand that he will become so famous?  Or did he follow his drive to become famous? To me, he is made more famous than what he deserves because some people are using his name for their own purpose. There are many freedom fighters, not much known, are they not great?

If definition of success itself is wrong, it gives birth to fear of failure. Any organization/system where people are just measured by this kind of success. You will find, people are selfish, no team work, scared of taking risk, confused and manipulative. Is this the purpose of creating a system?

This all is happening because people who do not follow their drive are sitting on top of people who follow their drive. Knowingly or unknowingly these people are modifying our system and taking it further away from the system which nature wants.

This is a clear indication of downfall of system. It’s better to have a system where what we want and what nature want is aligned, where what we thinks as success, fame and wealth is aligned with what nature wants.