Thursday, April 30, 2015

How Financing is done today...

It was often said that business, 
needs to be in the black, not red;
not making profits made no sense,
and without cash, many bled to death!

The world is turning upside down,
for that's not how it's done today;
Someone keeps pumping more of it,
For the entrepreneur to burn away!

They even call it the "burn rate",
and flaunt "mine is greater than yours!";
the more they grow, the more they burn,
investors drool, and queue at the door!

Burn my money! No, please burn mine!
You are the one making most losses!
You must be good, entrepreneur mine,
For you've burnt whatever was offered!

They used to look at business models,
discount the cash flows to the present;
Unless the business turned the corner,
Negative cash flows meant sure death!

Then they valued the eyeballs,
moved on to monitor stickiness;
Now it is the power of the Net,
How quickly, at what scale, can you burn it?

How quickly can you give it away,
in free rides, discounts, and giveaways?
How many did you reach today,
to sell below what it cost you to make?

How fast can you race to the bottom,
How much of my money will you take?
How soon will you empty the coffers,
The quicker, the more you can take!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Big Data and Us

An NYT article carried in TOI today (link: )  exploring the new trend of "health trackers" - or wearables, which throw up tons of data, ostensibly to help us improve our health. I particularly like the British Medical Journal quote: 

" [the BMJ] described healthy people as "young asymptomatic, middle-class neurotics continuously monitoring their vital signs while they sleep" -


- what an irony-  this describes healthy people!...


Man has always strived to find the truth,

The needle hidden in the haystack.

That moment of light, burst of insight,

Darkness lit up by sliver of light!


Oh God, grant me the wisdom to see,

The truth of truths that underlies things!

All distractions lead to misery.

I need less of things, to know peace!


The age of Big Data is on us,

Zetabytes of useless things!

They invent things to find out stuff,

And drown us in data we don't need!


To stay healthy we need to walk,

But we have forgotten how to.

So the voices on our wrists talk,

Presuming to teach us when to move!


The tests have a hundred markers,

Each can be read thousand times a day.

Data fed to us chewed and crunched,

To make us worry in every way!


Data to feed our neurosis,

Enough of it to make us drown.

The swimmer needs to skim the surface,

Not gasp for breath with his face down!


Data, data, everywhere!

No time to step back and think!

No time to pause, or come up for air,

I want to fly; I wonder why I sink?


21 April, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Stop taking statins

Article by Dr. B M Hegde (link at the end) on why taking statins are bad for you. He also talks about the statistical scam that all medical research indulges in.

In case you get hit by a bus tomorrow, by all means rush to a hospital to get treated. Allopathic drugs and the whole medical edifice are ok only for emergency life threatening stuff. For any chronic problem, it is not the problem in isolation that is the issue, it is a whole host of lifestyle factors including what kind of food you have, your level of physical activity, and how much you can avoid stressful situations. For these problems, taking tablets is not the solution, especially allopathic tablets; in fact what doctors recommend is only going to take you deeper into the mire, and make you more and more unhealthy, for which you will take more and more medicine - a vicious cycle.

If you are taking statins now, stop it right away. And don't go and ask your doctor for advice. Doctors don't know enough about health to offer advice on such matters! 

Unrelated, but in today's context, if you want to know the one thing to do that will safeguard your health the most, it is this: Avoid Processed foods. Which means any food that comes from a factory, and that includes biscuits, bread, maggi noodles, chocolate bars, soft drinks, ready to eat foods, cereals, packaged juices, and also so-called fresh foods which hide within them highly processed foods, like chain-store pizzas, burgers, etc. Just go to your local darshini or paratha joint, and eat the freshly cooked stuff there; whatever the oil they use, and whatever else they do, it is still better than eating food coming out of packets.

Again, don't try to read the labels, look at 'safe' limits, or try to reason it out in any way. When you don't eat anything from a packet, there are no labels to read! Just avoid all processed food, period; it is better to go hungry (fasting is anyway healthy) than to eat processed foods.  I have tons of sources to back up what I am saying, but that I will keep for another time.

(And you are wondering in what way am I qualified to advise on such matters - I am not a doctor, and that is a good start :-)  )

Dr. Hegde's article in the latest issue of Moneylife magazine:

Dinesh Gopalan