Saturday, September 14, 2019

Technology and standard of living

 John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that increased standard of living and leisure will replace drudgery of work, thanks to technology. For all we know, instead of a logical conclusion, this might have been a feel-good statement.

Working hours have increased across all fields. Only people in those fields that already had lots of working hours can claim to have no increases, like medical care and police workers.

Technology has enabled us to take work home from office as well. This includes work stress and politics, but work is also literally reaching our homes. As a certain Toor saheb used to say, "when your company starts to issue work laptops, start looking for a new company."

So far as standard of living is concerned, we have so much more stress than before. Even school going children are burdened with so much work and activities, it looks more like a war scale crash course rather than education for the sake of enlightenment. Sometimes I tell my friends with children that the homework is meant for the them and not the children!

Some people say that better standard of living includes eradication of many diseases like polio, chicken pox and the like. The speed with which the world defeated bird flu, swine flu and the recent zika virus was amazing. But while we have eradicated most infectious diseases, we are becoming more and more susceptible to degenerative diseases like cancer and tumors. I am not sure whether it is better diagnosis or some other factor, but reported cases of various diseases of the mind are also going up.

While my thoughts could be more optimistic, the facts above cannot be denied completely.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

So where are you from really?

I have seen many people ask others where they are from. This is mostly amusing and sometimes irritating.

This is a nice question while transitioning from small talk to a fruitful discussion. But makes little sense to be trying to guess a person's nature on the basis of where he or she is from.

For example, I was recently told about a guy: he is Punjabi but his family came here from Rajasthan a couple of generations ago.

To paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk, on a long enough time scale, we all came from Africa!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Built for what?

At one of my earlier places of work, myself and a couple of friends decided to create a small WhatsApp group. This was intended only for sharing jokes and making fun of each other.

At present almost all of us are out of that place. However, none of us have left that group.

What initially started with jokes and fun ultimately got to the point of saying "Sorry, I won't be able to make it to the office today."

With time, people started putting office stuff in the group.

So far, so good.

However someone shared a message in a lighter mood yesterday, and someone else informed that this is a work group and that jokes are not to be shared here.

It was surprising, but hey, it's our own sociological experiment now!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Shot by own security guard: Gurgaon Judge's family

I am sure most of us have heard or read about the shooting of the wife and son of a Judge by his own security guard. This was not a private guard but police staff provided to the Judge on official basis.

The crux of the story is:
1. The guard's daughter was severely ill.
2. The guard requested for leave to be able to attend to his family multiple times. All he got was scolding from Judge sahab.
3. When the Judge sahab's family was exiting a mall in Gurgaon, the guard could not be traced.
4. Since they could not bear even a few minutes of delay, Judge sahab's wife and son again scolded the guard.
5. Frustrated guard shot them both with his service weapon.
6. Judge sahab's wife died on the spot.
7. The son, in critical condition, could not be saved and he too passed away after a couple of days.

There are three issues here:
1. Is the guard or any staff for that matter a slave of the Judge sahab? Not only Judge sahab, a lot of our leadership, whether political, bureaucratic or corporate totally exploits their subordinates.

2. When are we going to increase the number of policemen in the states? And not only policemen, we also need more doctors, teachers, judges (yes, judges), firemen, bureaucratic staff and of course support staff for all these people. The way we have private staff contracted to work in government offices is simply a big, big lawsuit waiting to explode in the face of the central and state governments.

3. When are we going to have better labour laws and social security? Government staff, no mater how low in the hierarchy, are actually the fortunate ones! Most of the rest are in a bad state. We are one of the biggest economies in the world, and to think that we have an unorganised sector is totally absurd.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

How stupid can our media get?

I was just sitting at a relative's place. One would think watching TV would be boring, but it is actually interesting.

Other than 99% of the material on news channels, there is a lot of informative stuff.

Just now ABP news was telling about their 8:30 show about Rahul Gandhi raising his hands in a temple as if he was reading the namaz. This really makes one think. What is the point of watching football or Big Boss when our news channels can show so much masala?

Jokes apart, me and my wife were thinking of buying a TV set this Diwali...with all the offers on Amazon and Flipkart, we thought it would be stupid not to buy.

But not now, not after a leading channel like ABP news showing something like this. (I haven't really talked to the wife yet, but what's life without some wishful thinking?)

The same person might be a national hero in the morning, and she or he might end up being a traitor in the afternoon. Then of course that person is a heartthrob by the evening.

In all honesty, news channels are behaving like the boss who tells you to behave professionally when she or he is out of real arguments. Or like the neighborhood aunty who thinks your clothes dazzle too much and so you are spoiling the locality. You get the idea.

As for the news segment on Rahul Gandhi...it's already 8:31 pm!!!!