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Life as I'm learning it

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Location: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States

"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an agèd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin

I thought of writing a short article on the French "Non" vote for the European Constitution, but I'm only bound to repeat what everyone else has said, or at best present an assortment of my understanding of news articles.

Those in the Opposition in France claim that the vote was against Jacques Chirac. In any case, someone has to bear the brunt of every defeat. This time it had to be the unpopular Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. That brings to the fore, Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin,or Dominique de Villepin for short (yeah, that was short).

M. de Villepin was in the news in 2003 (and got lots of bad publicity in the US) because he was seen as one of the major opponents of the war on Iraq. France didn't budge till the end, and this Morocco-born then Foreign Minister proved a nut no one could crack. It remains to be seen how M. de Villepin can do differently, or how he can bring about a change in the attitudes of "les Français."

Netherlands goes to the referendum today. That the Dutch are going to say "No!" is quite a possibility. If that happens, Europe is in for tough times ahead. Did someone say saade saathi?

Cognizant does a Lara

Newspapers in Chennai do not report about the placement in colleges. The Hindu, for example, comfortably chooses to ignore even the $150,000 a year job offers dished out to IIM graduates. But yesterday's (May 31, 2005) issue carried an article on the first page which screamed "Tamil Nadu wins hands down in terms of quantity and quality of manpower."

For a change, Anna University was in the news for the right reasons! The start of the placement season has seen Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) recruit 504 of the most promising final year students from Anna University alone. 504?? When I graduated a couple of years back, 504 should have been about the total number of students picked up by all companies!!!

I wonder what an American whose job has been outsourced would feel about this. But that's economics, right? That is the way the world works. And no one in India is complaining. In the past few years, tech jobs have become all too easy to get into. The popular joke is that you only need to pass high school to get into an IT job, the four years in between are to enjoy life. A popular cartoon shows an IT company sporting a huge board which reads "Trespassers will be recruited."

The best part about CTS picking 500+ is this. After getting recruited by CTS, a junior called me up to inform his good fortune. I inquired how the other companies would react to this. Obviously, companies next in line would cut down on their numbers if they knew that another company had created such a void. The reply from him was, "Ah. Those companies wouldn't care one bit. I bet Tata Consultancy Services (the next in line) will recruit 350!" God save America!

Hello, world

To start a blog is easy; but to maintain one is among the toughest things in life. Well begun is half done was never more wrong than in the case of my experiences in blogosphere.

But why should I blog? I don't think that there are any serious justifications for this newly proposed adventure. If there are, then they should be against rather than for. But let me try thinking of some reasons.

1. Newspapers might become a non-existant commodity in the future. The frequency and static nature of printed newspapers are bottlenecks compared to minute-by-minute update that can be provided by online news sources. In such a world, anyone would be free to comment, but only few would be listened to. Such commentators and analysts need not wait for newspapers to approach them; rather they can publish their ideas immediately. This puts power into their hands.

2. Blogosphere demands that people be serious about what they do - else they run out of favour.

3. Recently, by tracking the opinions of people in the blogosphere, Microsoft was able to understand modifications it should bring into it's products. This is much more cost-effective than getting AC Nielsen to do an online survey.

But none of these are my reasons to blog. I am doing this not because I'll be seen as the next leading light or that someone can serialise my work and put it up as the next big thing. I do so many things these days for which I know not the reason. Blogging is just another addition to that list.

I blog because I blog.