Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Quick notes from the middle of the week

A few interesting things have been happening, both inside and outside of my world, but none of them singularly interesting enough to merit a full post. Just a few quick notes then:

The 3 Idiots Controversy:
Let us ignore, for the moment, the conspiracy theory that the issue has been wrought upon by the parties to increase the publicity ahead of the movie release. I have already mentioned in a facebook thread that the reason why 3 idiots is so good (and I believe it is quite good) is all the changes in the script brought in by the film makers and hence the 70% credit, as Chetan Bhagat, would like to fight for, is undeserved for. There is enough semblance with the book that he definitely deserves credit, which he has received.


Self Serving MPs:
The fact that the Indian parlimentarians were a bunch of self serving maniacs was a long gone conclusion, but their latest act of unlimited travel for family members and companions of MPs is taking it a little too far. Read TJS George's brilliant, to-the-point write up on the topic.

Here, in Singapore, all parliamentarians are paid corporate grade, high-end compensation, meaning that no MP ever needs to worry about either earning illegal money or resort to such menial measures to live a comfortable lifestyle, forget a reasonable one. All Indians know that their representatives live in comfort (and why shouldn't they?), so why not make it a legal and straightforward for them to do so in the form of healthy remuneration? None of these stupid perks would be needed then. It would also mean that a professional in any other field, but worthy of representing and leading the public, would have a honest means of maintaining his income standards despite entering politics. (A guy like me can never make in politics what I make today, which is a lowly engineer's salary in a tech company, if I resorted to only the legitimate income of a full time professional politician). Something for all of us to ponder about.

A meaningless driving license:
I gave the Singapore's basic theory test for driving license and converted my Indian License into a Singapore Driving License, valid for a good 5 years. I neither have a vehicle nor do I intend to buy one in the foreseeable future. So the natural question is why did I get a license for myself?

Hidden behind all the highly structured and logical rules of the Singapore administration is a rather vexing rule that foreigners who wish to convert their home country license ought to do so within the first year of their coming into Singapore and would be disqualified from doing so later. They would have to go through the entire process (basic theory test, lessons, final theory test, practical test etc) to get a license thereafter. Is their any reason for burdening a guy just because he did not convert it within the first year? What benefit does the system gain from it? I couldn't guess the reasons.

Nevertheless, since I was in no mood to endure the entire process (and pay for the costly affair) at a later point of time, I chose to spend the effort right away in obtaining the license. Hence the conversion.

Administrative note

All tech posts have now moved to http://tech.shreeni.info or you may subscribe to its RSS feed. In due course, I shall be moving it out completely, so if you follow my tech posts, please shift to following that blog.