Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

World without Free knowledge
World without Free knowledge

Imagine a World

Without Free Knowledge

Today, when I went to Wikipedia trying to look up information on Venus Williams (triggered by watching her play in Australian Open yesterday), I saw Wikipedia sharing this information and my expression was no less than a shock. A shock so visible on my page, the person sitting right across me asked me if everything was okay.

I just can not see myself living in a world where all this information is stopped and controlled. We are already living in a world where the powers in the world want to control what is shared and Wikileaks have shocked many people. Authors like Dan Brown bring out the theories which Christianity call out as Conspiracy Theories. The information we receive today is already so controlled that at times it is hard to believe what really is true and now there is an act to stop “free information”.

I like the idea of stopping online piracy and also to protect IP; but if that comes at a cost of stopping all free information I would be dammed.I did read what the acts say – SOPA and my simple and limited understanding I see that the objective is to stop piracy and ban sites that deal in such content. But, my worry is that a measure so strong will only give such powers that they will virtually control what goes online.

With great powers comes great responsibility

But, do Authorities follow this anymore?

Learn more by clicking here.

Where is Indian Cricket Heading

It was in July-Aug 2011, during the Patoudi Series when India lost their #1 ranking to England. They lost the series 0-4 and it was pretty humiliating as it was coming off the famous World Cup win in April 2011. India’s win in World Cup kept India safe from the criticism. However, the dust storm was waiting to unleash itself, yet no one surprisingly saw it. Everyone was hoping that 0-4 loss to England was one off thing. And, then came the Agneepath series (Border-Gavaskar series) and all hell broke loose as India lost first 3 test matches to Australia in a humiliating fashion. As i write this post, yesterday was when India lost their 3rd test match and hence loosing the series as well. And thus started the blame game.

Dhoni is suggesting in a correct diplomatic fashion that after this series he will think about getting the right mix of senior and junior players. What surprises me is that in the article and many others comments he has made, yet there is no mention of how we can improve India’s batting and bowling in the nations where we have fast pitches, which evidently is everywhere else except the sub-continent. This has been the crest of India’s problems since FOREVER and even now after another mini-crisis looms, I do not hear anyone talking about fixing that problem. I will not call myself the best cricket judge over all the talent pool we have, yet I am surprised no one is talking about this or atleast I an not reading about it. I just read this article which finds Gavaskar say:

“I think a lot of soul-searching needs to be done. We need to look at first-class cricket structure, pitches that we play, scheduling of matches, it has to be a really long hard look at everything.” – Sunil Gavaskar

“When Tendulkar and Dravid and those boys retire in a couple of years, where is Indian cricket going to be. Are the youngsters coming through?”
Australian opener David Warner is perhaps mindful of Australia’s badly handled transition

This article summarizes quotes from many great players and I would agree with all of those, it simply suggest one thing – Dhoni and selectors have been waiting too long trying to ride the “luck” Dhoni has had. And, yet their Karma has expired finally. Things do not happen on their own, they happen because someone needs to do something about it. Thinking that everyone will keep doing their job which was half as good as Australia did when they were at their peak was calling for trouble and trouble came calling.

I will quote ESPN from an article

Srikkanth, stuck to his belief that the failure of the batting line-up was behind India’s abject performance on the tours of England and Australia, though he said it was too soon for a post-mortem of the series. “It is the same problem that we had during the England series. In the last two series, the batsmen have struggled to find form. I don’t think too much of a post-mortem will lead us anywhere.

In the same article, Shukla said:

all teams had disappointing periods in cricket, and that the Indian team management would take steps to ensure a better performance on the rest of the tour. “We admit that the team’s performance has not been up to expectations,” he said. “But it happens with all teams. Recently, former world champions Sri Lanka were all out for just 47 [43, against South Africa in Paarl].

“We have won on foreign soil in the past. No one says anything then; all this criticism has been raked up due to defeats in England and Australia. Corrective measures will be taken by the team management so that the team does better in the final Test and the ODI tri-series.”

What Shukla said is perhaps right, we do not say a lot when all is going well, and when things start to go wrong everyone feels it is everyone’s right to critisize. And IT IS. We are fans, who view the sports, who make it what it is. We are the ones who make Cricket what it is. If it was not for us, Cricket may have just faded like Hockey in India (which turns out to be our National Game). Yet, Shukla seems worried about the criticism. I wonder if this is because he was also riding Dhoni’s luck.

Enough of criticism; I believe in the philosophy that if you see a problem, bring at least one solution on the table.

India cricket needs a higher calling; they need to work on getting their home in order. Having spin pitches for international matches is not a bad thing. If Australian curators prepare fast pitches to give their team the advantage, India curators should do exactly the same. But, that should not stop us from getting our international team some practice on fast pitches during Duleep trophy and other domestic formats. I am not sure, how many of our international players play domestic format. But, there has to be a way of bringing up the right talent.

Why can we not have specialists for Test Cricket who can have the edge in foreign soil; time is now to find methods that go beyond the conventional methods. We need to reinvent the way we are selecting players. Pace academies have to be setup. Seeing a little of all matches in recent series, I can say with certainty that Australia’s bowling attack was not invincible like in the past. They won because of their consistency. We need to get our bowlers the same set of consistency – bowl 6 of 6 bowls in the same spot and then we will be what others. Lets have different coaches for each division with a head coach (a strategy followed by many American sports). Let specialist focus on the problem to solve it.

Lets hope someone does something. We can afford letting go of all senior players in a flash. We need the right mix of experience and fresh blood. As Anil Kumble said – we need to have a transition plan to make it work. We are already late by 12 months, but we have to salvage all that we can.

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The Demon inside me

My family has been telling me for years now that I have the Anger of my father and fore-fathers. Yet, until recently I never thought of doing something about it. I did not see it a as something that needs to be fixed – I just had it and it was a trait of my personality. Until, recently when a thought stuck me and I realized that this needs to be fixed as it is not keeping me happy.

My Dog is my Demon and than demon comes out in the shape of the Anger.

 

I have to narrate an analogy of a person and his belongings and how a person would go about protecting their belongings before I can explain how I see myself and how I have trained my demon. The complete story is herehttp://blog.kapilvirenahuja.com/2012/01/06/the-demon-inside-me/.

2012 Goals

Looking back the year 2011, it became crystal clear to me what was required to be done in 2012 and unlike me – this time around I came up with Goals I would like to achieve in 2012. After some thinking, I decided not to call them as Resolutions; but look at them as Goals. My Goals will be categorized into 4 categories. I will share some specific goals with you all while some private ones I am going to keep “private” (this didnt come out that well). But, for the private ones, I will share a higher level of description so that you do understand where I am going with them.

I have come up with 18 Goals for the entire year of 2012 – and all of these have to happen all around the year. I have categorized these under – Finance, Health, Quality of Life and Wisdom.

Read the details on my blot here – http://blog.kapilvirenahuja.com/2012/01/02/2012-goals/.

Goodbye 2011

I recently read somewhere – “Nothing really ends when a year ends. But a lot can begin when a new year begins”. But, a beginning without an introspect would be simply be aimless. While this may be okay for some, for me 2012 has to be in perspective of what 2011 was – this is simply a way of trying to improve on things.

2011 for me can easily be categorized in 4 buckets:

  1. Agneepath
  2. Vanvaas (Exile)
  3. Dream
  4. Awakening

Read more here: http://blog.kapilvirenahuja.com/2012/01/02/goodbye-2011/

A Plan that I do not have

I have spent a lot of time pondering “what do I want“, “am I on the right path” and “what is the best thing for me to do“. And, it is when I am asking myself all these questions that I find myself so “unhappy“. I have made many plans with my life, but they all last for a short while because eventually in the end, I find myself loosing interest in the activity – it can be sports, trying a new kind of work style and even television and gaming. It is just that I have not found that one thing that can keep me content with what I got. And, still I dont know what will? There are some days, when I dont seem to like anything and I am simply quiet – not speaking and simply looking at the TV aimlessly. And the very…