Depression Quest

The first hypothesis of economics is that Human beings are rational creatures that seek to maximize their utility. The word economics itself means how to maximize the output from a limited set of resources/tools that you begin with. However human beings are not rational creatures, at least not all the time.

Everyone is bound to get into a low phase in their life where they feel depressed. Remember it is not a disease unless you suffer from chronic depression or it occurs very frequently. During this depression phase, the whole world goes upside down. Some people withdraw from the social life and alienate themselves from their friends. Some get into a lethargic mode, others into a self-destructive path of excess. What is worse is that your partner often does not understand why you are behaving in the way you do.

Some partners try to boss around with a hope that you snap out of it. What they don’t realize is that it only makes the depressed person angry and irritated. Some people just skip all interactions with you for a week or more with a hope that one could recompose themselves in this free time. Little they realize that being left alone for long periods only aggregates the problem.

The game is a nice story line based interactive game allowing the users understand how a depressed person thinks, acts and functions. It is a little bit too verbose and involves a lot of reading for those addicted to flash/mobile based games, but worth a shot for someone battling with the dilemma. Best part it is free and has no ads.

Vaginal Sculpture

I was watching “Everybody loves Raymond” season 6 episode 5. In its raw sense of humor, Marie made this giant statue of a female vagina which everybody except Debra thought was abstract art. Now should one blame the artist for creating this work or the patron for the narrow point of view?

vaginal sculpture

However this opens up a different question. “La Fin Du Topless Sur La Plage?” French Elle 2014 (End of toplessness in French Beaches?). A common social phenomenon of topless sun-bathing, much like community heated steam baths in the rest of the world is on the decline because people link it with feminist movement. Sometimes we have to attach a context to our depictions. The same dress in different social & cultural situations will exuberate different messages. Should you judge it from the displayer’s point of view or from the cultural & emotional point of view of the observer?

Moral police is not always right. Take Kareena Kapoor’s movie Chameli. The same 5m long drape that covers you from head to toe can reveal your identity from a trashy prostitute to a cultured noble woman. Jeans & western tops worn by most college girls in contrast are plain and non-descript. Should the BJP goons manhandle the girls or their celibate cadre for having a dirty mind?

The definition of what is art and what is porn has changed over time. Forget Khajrao, any old temple in any part of India would have topless deities, and depictions that are too sensational even for today’s actress. People pour milk over the Shivling which is nothing more than act of copulation cast in stone. However they never arouse wrong feelings or thoughts. M.F. Hussain’s goddess Lakshmi was vandalized but nobody is etching these stone sculptures. Why?

Who is polluting the young mind? In school, we were administered Rorschach Inkblot Test. The psychiatrists in my school used to say that these are abstract random patterns of dye and the mind sees what they want to see or obsessed with. Sex deprived adults and psychopaths will only see vivid sexually stimulating imagery, while an innocent child will see an animal face or a scene from the fairy tale. Should one chastise the artist for creating the provocative inkblots or the psychiatrist for distributing it to students or the student for linking it with porn? Sometimes (not always) abstract art is like the cloud in the sky or the smoke from the chimney. People are free to draw their own conclusions.

Why do men cheat?

1987 movie “Moonstruck” had an odd question being asked repeatedly “Why do men chase more than one woman?”

I thought the winning answer would be: “Deep down all men are little boys who like to be bad.” They are never satisfied by one and wanted the whole herd for themselves. No wonder the motto of many whatsapp studs are “Text her to dates and into bed.” All they need is a girl’s phone number. They will carefully and scientifically share jokes, funny pictures in a hope of a response. The second they get a smiley, lol or any response back, they will take it to the next level… then next and then next… faster than any exponential graph.

Some even try to hide behind religion, history, science and biology. They say monogamy & marriage is an aberration, a selfish parish ritual to treat women like chattel. Well either you believe in this and shun marriage/committed relationship or you should brand yourself a liar and a cheat. Let us not try to use logic, morals into getting a free pass to cheat and sow one’s wild oats.

The director’s response was “Because they fear death.” It had nothing to do with “As time passes we tend to feel unappreciated and taken for granted by our spouse.” It is not liked with strained relationship in the bedroom. It has more to do with mortality and some twisted logic which makes the men believe that they are young if they are in company of young women.

Not every man who cheats is looking for sex. Many of them just like the thrill of wooing/courtship. Just sharing a few lighter moments with someone helps them feel alive and rekindle the missing joy in life. Some people use chatrooms for anonymous therapy. Allows them to share their deepest thoughts, fantasy and desires without the threat of revealing ones identity. Purist are still debating if this amounts to adultery or not, but some people feel closer to their chatfriends that anybody else in real life.

Some people on the other-hand like to post their pictures online, put cool raunchy tags just to get attention. Not only will they depict themselves cooler & happier than what they really are. Editing pictures to show that they are slimmer, with fuller hair is not uncommon. Most do it on facebook, but some do it in dating sites (or in normal social media but ensure that their real-life friends and family are not connected).

I don’t know which one of the two rationales is right, but what I do know is that technology is making it dangerous as well as convenient at the same time. Video calls, smart phones, texts allow two people to have a conversation without the eavesdropper to be any wiser. It also makes a rendezvous easier to schedule in real time. However online identity can be easily tracked and incidents like Ashley Madison hack can ruin those who went astray.

Mantri| double your investment in three years

Repost from the original

Are you an Idiot? Well Mantri developers think that you are.
Well 100% returns over 3 years is definitely eye-catching and I could not resist reading the 4 full page insert by them in the Times of India on 25th August 2015.What the property documents on verification says a very different story.
Here are the few things that I observed.
1. Since the down payment is only 10%, A 100L property being sold back at 110L after three years is a blip for me, 3% returns on under construction real-estate does not interest me. But then the company thinks it is a windfall for its investors.
2. Double the money in 3 years is 26% compounded returns not 33%.
3. How can an investment be a low risk investment if the company is not ready to include the guaranteed buy-back in the contract?
4. In fact the contract has terms like 6 months’ notice has to be given to the company if the individual so that mantra will find a buyer on their behalf. This is disclosed nowhere in the advertisement, also the letter (not notarized, not stamp duty paper) has no provision of what will happen if there are no buyers? In fact Mantri will be charging a brokerage on it
5. Everybody knows how much leveraged (laden with debt) these real estate developers are. So this scheme is no more than a ruse to transfer the debt and liability from their books to yours.
6. The buyback price does not compensate for the registration, documentation and other miscellaneous charges that one is expected to shell out. In fact since your down payment is only 10% of the property value, these prices are substantial.
7. The breakup of the project is 10% downpayment, 60% loan via PNBHFL (interest to be paid by builder) and 30% on possession. Am I a margin trader that will take an expore 10X of the investment for a measly 3% returns?
8. Finally, the prices that they have quoted for these projects are ridiculously high for the remote properties.
There are some schemes that just are meant to prove that the builder thinks you are an idiot. The regulators turn a blind eye so it is up to the individuals and their advisors/consultants to help them navigate the waters successfully.