Incentive or punishment

November 26, 2015

Based on performance should be for teams and not individuals, says Ram Mohan:

The focus in government should be primarily on collective performance as measured by independent audits, the reports of which are made transparent. There should be penalties for collective under- performance (such as delayed promotions and even compulsory retirement). Financial rewards for good performance should be for a team as a whole and the amounts should be quite modest. Anything else will create havoc in government.

I agree.

Picking PhD advisors

November 22, 2015

and such academic matters. Here are some good videos..

Pithukuli Murugadas: RIP

November 17, 2015

Hindu reports on the passing away of the singer.

The legitimacy of

November 12, 2015

Computational science: even though the piece is about doing computational physics, I believe that it is true for any computational field — be it computational fluid dynamics or computational materials science. A nice piece! Here is the take home from the article:

In fact, I think that in the past scientists that focused on computational techniques had a difficult battle. Other scientists claimed that they weren’t really doing “science,” they were just computer programmers. It took some time to legitimize these computational techniques. But now we are in a place where every field uses numerical calculations in some way. No one thinks they are silly. Along with that, I make the claim that we should all be including numerical calculations in our introductory classes—the tools are very accessible now and there are no more excuses to keep it out of the curriculum. Keeping coding out of a physics class would be like saying “we aren’t going to do any problems that involve fractions.” Yes, I really think that.

Two opinions

November 11, 2015

Here is what Prof. G Padmanabhan, former director, IISc has to say in today’s Hindustan Times:

Modi pays the price for being articulate. Everybody expects him to respond to every event and whenever he responds it is ‘too little, too late’. I feel the hype on intolerance created by politicians, some intellectuals and the visual media frenzy is not good for the country to reach the goals of development. It will project a poor image of India and can affect investments.

Here is what S L Rao, former director-general, National Council of Applied Economic Research has to say in today’s Telegraph:

The BJP urgently needs to find practical politicians and technocrats to induct into the cabinet. They must organize training classes for legislators and ministers on how to behave with the public and political opposition. It must severely discipline those who stray from the core message of development. There must be a clear understanding with the RSS on how not to embarrass the government. Many present ministers have no idea on how to run their portfolios. They must be shifted or sacked (the minister of culture cost the party heavily). Key portfolios – finance, agriculture, human resources, science and technology, rural development and health – demand expertise, not rhetoric. The prime minister and others must quickly condemn attempts to silence dissenters instead of remaining content with delayed, mealy-mouthed statements.

Leo Kadanoff: RIP

November 1, 2015

Through ZapperZ, I learnt that Leo Kadanoff passed away. I have heard him once and immensely enjoyed his insights.

The exorcism of Satish Kumar, MBA

October 29, 2015

A laugh-out-loud funny novel with a brisk pace (and takes place in and around Adayar, Pallikaranai and IIT campus to boot). Enjoyed reading.

Writing advice

October 26, 2015

Paul Graham has some writing advice: write like you talk. Good one.

Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk

October 17, 2015

A very intense and riveting read. Strongly recommended. Here is from NPR review of Maureen Corrigan:

To read her memoir, H Is for Hawk, is to feel as though Emily Bronte just turned up at your door, trailing all the windy, feral outdoors into your living room.

Have fun!

A little life by Yanagihara

October 10, 2015

As this review says, relentless suffering and a devastating read.


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