Aao Twist Karein!

Democracy as a feedback loop

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Here is an article that tries to argue that:

Mitt Romney doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy.

Irrespective of what you think of the arguments, the interesting bit for me comes in one of the comments:

This is why you’re a foreign policy analyst and not an election analyst. Mitt’s probably not ignorant– he just knows most of his audience is.

Among other things, politics is the art of trying to determine what your audience wants to hear, and then say exactly that. This holds true for India as well. Contrary to a lot of rhetorical talk of politicians in India being incompetent and out-of-touch, the successful ones are successful because they are able to detect what the people want to hear, with reasonable accuracy. The electorate, in turn, votes for politicians that say what they want to hear. Democracy at one level is a slow feedback loop.

The Indian middle class needs to understand that if they really want development to be the primary issue and not identity politics, they have to wait for the rest of India to change its mind as to what it wants to hear. The rest of India is not ignorant. It just has different priorities for the moment, and that will change with time.

Written by aaotwistkarein

March 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm

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Rahul Dravid retires

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Arnab Ray sums it up for me:

If Sachin was the teacher’s pet marked for greatness ever since he joined the school, Ganguly the arrogant gang-leader of the cool kids and VVS Laxman the freakishly-talented loner in the corner, Rahul Dravid will always be the hair-cleanly-parted, diligent “good boy”, the one who studies every waking hour to get the best grade.

Written by aaotwistkarein

March 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

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Useful Oneliners.

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"Now you know yourself better."

Written by aaotwistkarein

August 19, 2010 at 11:16 pm

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A taxonomy of World Cup posts on Facebook

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With the football World Cup fever running high, I hereby present a brief classification of World Cup related posts (status messages) on Facebook.

Category 1. The News Feed/Commentary

These posts do nothing more than stating what transpired, at the end of the game.

Format: <Team A beats team B. To meet team C in next match>

But why? Unless I want to risk myself with exposure to shit-loads of life-changing, mind-boggling status messages, why the heck would I go to Facebook, of all places, to check the match score!

Perhaps, these messages are used by non-creative people on FB (those who do not have the intelligence, charm, awesomeness, etc. to write an interesting post, which at least 1001 (in binary) of their friends list would “like” or comment on or drool over or have an orgasm for) to show that they have indeed been following the match.

A more annoying and thankfully rare subtype is Continuous Live Feed with a post to describe every damn minute of the game.

Category 2. The Expert Insight

These posts originate from the scores of resident football experts and pandits present on Facebook. Their primary purpose is to enlighten other non-expert readers with the real reasons for one team losing the game and pointing out where the coach went wrong with surgical precision.

Format 1: Team A lost the match due to their <slow/tired/hyped> <attack/defense/midfield>
Format 2: Coach A played the <ABC/EFG>formation while he should have gone for <EFG/ABC> formation.
Format 3: Team A– playing <short passes/long balls> would have a better approach against team B than playing <long balls/short passes>

Category 3. The Romantic Outburst

The source of such messages are generally girls who follow football only during the World Cup primarily to discuss football strategies, tactics, etc. with their boyfriends to fill up the conversation when taking a break from talking about more serious stuff like what they had for breakfast/lunch/dinner, what the weather was like, what color shirt they are wearing (yes, shirt) . Another identifiable trait of such messages is that the source quite often changes her favorite player based on the match results of that day.

Format: <Player A, I love you!>
Next day <Player B, I love you!>
(upper case characters, inter-capitalization, insane punctuation, etc. hidden here keeping in mind your well-being)

Category 4. The Emotional Rant

These messages truly exhibit the kind of following, excitement, worship that the World Cup receives from millions (and millions) of football fans on Facebook. Depending on whether your favorite team won or lost, the post either heaps praises in abundance (all in the choicest of GRE words), or hit out at the coach or the player who underperformed (in the choicest of curse words).

Format: <Varies>

Category 5. The Linguist

So what’s with these posts in Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch, etc? You’re pretty sure you don’t know any of those languages, and most people on your list don’t either. So save some of those CPU cycles being wasted on Google Translate.

Format: <Lines containing viva/para/vamos/enchante  etc.>

Category 6. The Neo-sports-bar Fan

Format: <At eatout A, had dish1, dish2, dish3 with friend1, friend2, friend3. And BTW, looks like there was this football match being shown on the screen. So this automatically makes it an awesome evening and myself a football fanatic>

Pretty self-explanatory.

***

And to a select subset of facebookers, please do not say “I am watching FIFA”. WTF is that supposed to mean anyway? When I watch cricket, I don’t say I am watching ICC. (Comparatively, calling football soccer is a lesser insanity)

Written by aaotwistkarein

July 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm

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The Bhopal Verdict

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Now that the first verdict on the Bhopal tragedy is finally out, there is a lot of noise in the Indian media, especially television channels about Americans corporations treating us like a third-world country and not giving importance to safety measures for their plants in India. Some of the discussions also seem to carry racial overtones. However, how can India command respect from the US and other countries when we do not respect ourselves as a people? Why do we expect the US government to take the morally sound decision of allowing further prosecution against Warren Anderson and others declared absconding, when our own countrymen are not interested in ensuring justice?

Agreed Union Carbide and its American executives are to blame for deliberately compromising on plant safety. But it is because of the Indian judiciary’s incompetence that we failed to prosecute those responsible. Blaming the corporates will merely remain a way to vent out our sense of self-pity if the country does not learn any lessons to avoid such a catastrophe in the future.

The Bhopal gas tragedy was by far the worst industrial disaster ever. More than 20,000 people died and we took 26 years to hand out 2 years in prison for those convicted, who are already out on bail. It is a shameful and cruel joke on the victims. Imagine the anxeity and fear of congenital disorder everytime a child is born in the affected area, even today.

A growing economy and prosperous middle-class does not make a country a superpower. We are a nation of indifferent bourgeoisie, political goons, misguided socialists and whining gandhians.

India is, and will always remain an impotent state.

Written by aaotwistkarein

June 9, 2010 at 12:27 am

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Where Facebook and Twitter spend their server CPU cycles

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pie chart

[Click to enlarge]

Written by aaotwistkarein

May 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

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And this too did pass.

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Dear awesome video,

I wonder how many takes it took to take you.

(Well, looking at the already smashed TV sets, I think it was at least ten)

his Too Shall Pass

Written by aaotwistkarein

March 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

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