Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hard work...bah!

I find this phrase really irritating. It is one phrase that has been used so extensively that it has become more a symbol than a phrase. Haven't we all been grilled into it all through our schooling and possibly beyond? Right from babyhood, I have been told over a million times, "Karthik, you have to do hard work?!" (grammatically incorrect statement, in the first place) by a million people. The phrase has yielded into a cliché. It has become the unquestionable, indisputable universal mantra for success. So much that, if you pick up a resume and scroll down to the Strengths section, the first line you would probably see is, "I am a hard working individual."

In my opinion, the phrase "hard work" is very negative in implication. First of all, why should you work "hard"? When would some work be hard on you? Only when you don?t like what you are doing. So "hard work" fundamentally suggests that the work at hand is despicable. Thats a totally incorrect school of thought. You have to be taught to enjoy the work you do. Once you start enjoying your work, it would no longer be hard on you.

What does hard work really mean anyway? How can we fathom the "hard" in our work? If you ask me, none of us work hard. We only work to the extent we can, nothing more. Of course, if you mean sitting up late into the night and not watching TV for hours, yes, but it still cannot be classified as "hard". You are doing it only because you are conscious of the bigger implications. I agree, it could be mighty infuriating to study network protocols when Federer is taking on Roddick in center-court, but here is no good in explicitly preparing you for it. So is concept of "hard work" essentially framed for fortifying to face that moment? This once again leads us to the same idea of "work-loathing" mentioned in the previous paragraph.

I think we have to emphasize on the sincerity with which we work, rather than how hard we work. The seriousness in our efforts to complete a work must be highlighted. Satisfying ourselves that full justice has been done to the work at hand, is far more rewarding, rather than thinking about how hard it had been on us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


The past few days have been a fascinating series of amazing exploits about which I have had many profound insights. But frankly, none of it is any of your darned business, so butt out!

End of update.

Too good, Watterson is..!! :-))

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

One thousand thundering typhoons...!!

Behold...! I have had 1000 web farers stop by my blog page till now...!!!

Donno how many chose to come back. But truly an occasion that deserves a blog to its credit... :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Iniya tamizh puththandu Nal Vazthukkal*

*Wish you a happy tamil new year

Yeah.Its the Tamil New Year today. April the 14th. Received a lot of wishes; mostly over chat. Everybody kept asking "So, how did you celebrate new year day?" What can I say? "Oh yeah.I did celebrate.Ate a bar of Hershey's almonds and drank an extra can of Pepsi..." How else can I possibly celebrate Tamil New Year is this place?

If I was home, it would have been a totally different story. New Year ritual at home is one of a kind. Every year I go through this rather irritating, later amusing affair. First I would be woken up early, much against my wishes. I won't get my morning shot of coffee and will be asked to take bath instead. My mom would have kept an assortment of fruits, a bowl of grains, some cereals, a heap of coins, money, jewelry and a mirror in the Puja Room (the sacred place) in the house. She would then tell me to go look at the things kept. Yeah, fine. A superficial glance is sufficient to see what has been kept. Moreover, I would already know what will be kept. I do this every year, dont I? But no. She would say, "Look! Look at everything kept there! Look slowly! Why are you in a hurry?" Sigh..! I would turn back to them, force myself to concentrate and stare hard at them, trying to see every detail, notice every fruit, the design on the bowl, the crack on the mirror frame... She wouldn't be satisfied unless I spend about half-a-minute admiring these exciting things.

(The idea is to start the year by seeing pleasant things.Thats become a custom now.)

And then I would be rewarded with coffee for going through the ordeal (along with some grumbling about my impatience in everything, followed by advice).

Sigh! Though I hate to admit, I do miss home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. - Robert Heinlein

And its variation...

A programmer should be able to fix a bug, market an application, maintain a legacy, lead a team, design an architecture, hack a kernel, schedule a project, craft a class, route a network, give a reference, take orders, give orders, use configuration management, prototype, apply patterns, innovate, write documentation, support users, create a cool web-site, email efficiently, resign smoothly. Specialization is for recruiters.

Source: the web

Yes. I agree. One can no longer afford to restrict oneself to a certain domain and vehemently justify his/her ignorance in the rest, by calling oneself a specialist. Specialization is necessary. But not at the cost of losing resourcefulness. It is very vital to be conscious of the bigger implications.

A counter argument to this is on the quality issue. What good is it to have 100 averages? 10 specialists can do better than a 100 averages.

Well, the point that is being driven home is not about sacrificing quality for the sake of diversity. Quality is absolutely required. However, the point is about seeing the "big picture" in everything. There are thousands of cases where state-of-the-art technology has failed due to the absence of a market. A "NEED-MEANS-EFFECT" approach is necessary. Specialization comes after clearly identifying the need for a resource, the means for achieving it and the effects of realizing it. Not before that. Specialization must not be a veil. It is only a means.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Okaaaaaaaay Claaaaaass...!!
Spring break is over...Put your toys back into the cupboard and get inside the classroom...!!!


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Two brothers stuck in a feud
Swore at each other in a language rude
Said one to the other
Hear me oh brother
One more word and I'll have you barbecued!

Its merely just a tissue
So its no big issue
But if you want them
And cant find them
You dont wanna know what will ensue

A tenacious new breed
A canine that just needs to be freed
A prowler in the night
Is quite alright
Thirteen round the navel guaranteed

copyright the k factor 2005