Logic vs Emotion

Surprisingly, this is something that I have discussed with two different people in the last 24 hours.

One thing that an engineering college education does to you is make you very emotionally inadequate. All we can do is think logically, brushing aside all emotions, and makes us quant jocks in real life too.

I was discussing the unfortunate death of Dr YSR Reddy, the AP CM, with a classmate who believed that all this state mourning and shutting down the state for a day was not logical. While I agree with the logic, I am not so much in sync with the emotional aspect of it.

Some people do believe that protocols are unnecessary, and a burden on the state exchequer. While I agree that some protocols are useless, some of them are required. We need to show some respect for people who work for the society and the country. Agreed that not a lot of them do it out of compassion, but who decides that?

The second discussion I had was the validity of Intellectual Property Rights, specially in the Pharmaceutical industry. While I agree that IPRs are an essential part of the industry and required to spur innovation, there is something fundamentally broken with the role they play in the pricing of drugs.

Would you rather not a sell a drug in a nation because you are making a lower profit or would you rather save a life? Isn’t the huge profit margins you make in some nations good enough to subsidize some losses in the less fortunate countries? Also, if a company decides not to sell a drug at an affordable price in a certain country facing an epidemic, is the government flawed in its decision to grant a compulsory license?

I guess these questions have no right answers. See what aspect sways you more and take that way is the right thing to do I guess.

As Captain Teague says in the last edition of Pirate of the Carribean, “It’s not just about living forever, Jackie. The trick is still living with yourself forever.

Office 2010 – worth it??

Anyone who knows me decently well, knows my hatred for all things MS on one hand, and the extreme love for MS Office on the other. I think that Office is one of the most useful piece of software ever written.

Anyway, the generous folks at MS were good enough to give me a copy of the Technical Preview of Office 2010 sometime back. I started using it almost ten days back, and so far I have been pretty pleased. I was never a huge fan of Office 2007, as I was never comfortable with the ribbon. However, Office 2007 is the standard install at ISB, and having gotten used to the ribbon over the last three months, it was not too difficult to transition to Office 2010. I did not install the newer version of Outlook, and from what I have read, it seems to be a major improvement. So this is in no way a complete review.

Most of Office 2010 is pretty similar to the previous version, but there are a few enhancements that I particularly like.

  1. Excel Sparklines – create good looking graphs in cells easily. Minimal formatting, but immensely useful for dashboard kind of stuff.
  2. Insert Screenshot – immensely useful! How many times did we have to do Print Scrn to paste pics from other widows. Kiss goodbye to such troubles. The new office suite gives immense control on the kind of screen shots you can include.
  3. Advanced Picture Tools – from a damn cool background removal tool, to advanced Photoshop like features, this is a a major improvement.
  4. More Smart Art than the 2007 version, and pretty useful ones.
  5. The older Office button has been replaced by a much more useful Office tab with control over printing etc.

On the negative bits, it is quite slower on launch than 2007, and the online help has not been updated to reflect extra options.

On the whole though, I like this better than 2007 edition, and hopefully they will have some more additional features before the final launch.