Thursday, 28 March 2013

When Google became Fortune Teller : Visualizing Future

Google Public Data has interesting data-sets and provides us with tools to visualize data and play around with.

When I stumbled across this particular data-set from Pardee Center for International Futures, it indeed  made me feel like a 'Tri-Kaala Muni', who can visualize future.

Quite a visual treat !!!

So here are the series of news.

India would be surpassing US , in terms of GDP ( Gross Domestic Product ) at PPP i.e purchasing power by 2042.
The Annual carbon emissions in India would surpass China and U.S by  2040-2050.
Population in India would surpass China by 2027.
India would be achieving a rapid decrease in poverty in the time period of 2015-2050.
Anti-Corruption movement is indeed going to stay long, for the public mood isn't going to change even in 2060
Mixed feelings indeed.

Yet the best part is , Google has become our Fortune teller with Boom-Boom Maadu.

" Nalla Kaalam Porak-kattum , Nalla Kaalam Porak-kattum".

For more data-sets and visualization, check out Google Public Data .

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Big Business

Hi people.

Here is an intriguing plot about net sales of a product in the state of Tamilnadu .

Why not Guess ?

Let me give you hints.

  • The revenue accounts as 'the' major resource for State Government to implement it's popular social programs
  • The State stands first in sales of this particular commodity in India. ( Wondering if it can be categorized as commodity !! )
  • The YoY ( year on year ) increase in sales ranges from 20 - 25 %
  • The workers who are involved in sales sadly doesn't reap the benefits and work in some of the most inhuman conditions. 
Let me cut short the hints here. The above is the gross revenue for Tamil Nadu Government through sales of Liquor in State by Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation ( popularly known as TASMAC, which sadly markets only Liquor ).

The sales was mind numbing 3 Billion dollars per Year on year 2011-12.

For all who wish to bring prohibition in state, this revenue data should show that it is increasingly difficult to implement a 'Prohibition' ,  for a vast percentage of population has already got into drinking. And prohibition may lead to systemic problem of hooch ( illegally distilled alcohol ) and smuggling, as Tamil Nadu has its own fair share of tragic incidents with people losing their eye sight and lives.

Prohibition, may also result in re-emergence of Liquor Mafias which thrive on restrictive government policies.

Now the big Question is , " Is it time for the Government to think about providing after-sales service for its consumers by opening De-Addiction and Rehabilitation centers across the state ".

It makes business sense too. ( To lose its customers to alcoholism and treasury money in hefty state sponsored medical insurances because of its own product, not a wise idea indeed ).

Links :

Prohibition and Hooch :

Economic Impacts of Prohibition ( Gujarat Case ) :


Friday, 22 March 2013

The Art of Spitting : Why do Indians spit so much ?

Being a Tamizh by birth and Indian by Nationality, how can I ignore 'The Spit' which amazes any newbie here by its sheer omnipresence. So here, am trying to analyze why Indians spit so much. To my amazement, came to realize the inner meaning of why people Spit and hence emerged from obscurity, a lost art form. 'The Art of Spitting', a long forgotten art form that we people of Bharata Varsha mastered.

Here by Bharata Varsha, I refer to this region as lines of ‘Vishnu Purana’ say.
उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम्
वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।।

uttaraṃ yatsamudrasya himādreścaiva dakṣiṇam varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ

"The country (varṣam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bhāratam; there dwell the descendants of Bharata." 

 Am sure, you guys must be wondering, 'What the Hell’.

Calm yourselves.

Behold yourself for the Venomous Spitting to start.
Now starts the Acidic rant...... 

On my way home from the bustling shopping district of Chennai, I tried to count how many people spit on roads (Yeah pals, I did that much to my own feel of disgust!). The count was whopping 14 within 15 minutes. It could have even been greater had I been in the maddening rush of "Aadi Sales or Aadi Thallupadi", a Tamil Nadu version of clear out sales as it is elsewhere in the world.

Imagine, the number is 14 within my field of vision. So you can safely extrapolate the number of spits that would have happened on a broad landscape like India, to a number that would rival the value of a top most financial swindle in this country.

It has indeed become an integral part of our day to day life, much like complaining about politicians in Delhi for the ever overflowing trash in the fancy road side bins near our apartments. With we being a peaceful state (an euphemistic expression to a nation of non-starters), we have developed this evolutionary reaction within us, that is spitting to show our discontentment with state of affairs, to ridicule children who had scored less marks than our neighbors and at last a tool to slapstick comedies.

Reminiscing of our past, along with many cultural and ethical symbols of Indianness like religious tolerance, upholding truth over monetary gains, discipline in politics, executing public projects without cutting percentages at all levels of power we have lost the Art of Spitting on face of the wrong doer.

Imagine, if someone demands a bribe one should have spitted on his face just as in old days. But one can't afford to do that when one is not a victim, but a sly accomplice or a partner in crime, when one wants to flout building rules or cuts the queue to get driving license. So just like all the weapons of God, this weapon also demands a spotless public/private life and a noble soul. Even a tinge of negative aims and shoddy claims would render the weapon in effective or even may even weaponize the begetter to trash us on streets or make our lives intolerable.

With me exalting the art of spitting as one among the godly weapons like Vajrayuda of Lord Indra, Thunder Bolt of Zeus or at least a hammer of Thor, I see conspiracy theorists would have a field day in floating their own theories of how Indians were made to forget this heavenly art. They could even claim India missed becoming a superpower because of us forgetting the art of spitting.

People who are highly patriotic in their own terms and xenophobic fanatics (or "Swadesi" as the self-anointed sophisticated Indian Upper Middle class perceive) to the eyes of the world would claim the whole idea of spitting on streets was inculcated in us by evil designs of foreigners who want to control a diseased state or deceased state which would have become sick by its own spitting ways.

I do understand that am overplaying the role of a harmless spit in world affairs, the legendary history of Bharath and of course anti-corruption (had to add this for it's the fad of the times), so on and so forth.

The interesting fact that's forgotten is, a spit filled with enzymes and microbes can actually cause a change in thinking of the person who got spitted upon. We should have actually leveraged it for nation building purposes and it would have caused a great deal of change in our lives.

Given the near irreversible change of our collective psyche let's keep aside nation building and remind ourselves that it is important for us not to waste this precious resource on streets. Instead why not we use it to digest nutritious foods and stay healthy, so that we don't remain the world capital for Lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Obesity, Heart attacks for the coming decades too.

After all, we being Indians who extract the last drop of anything that we use, why waste the spit on streets and walls of historical monuments that are already crumbling down due to our legendary maintenance practices.

May be one day, the nation will wake up to the words of one prophet (that is me) and the vibrant shining India campaign would have the caption, "Shining India: Powered by Billion Spits".

And yeah, Snakes does spit.