Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ostentatious Devotion

Sometimes the inanity of our people really does strike me - none more so than in this instance which I'm about to describe. At a time when the city is going through its worst power crisis ever, devout followers of the Prophet (PBUH) have put up green lights on all major roads, thoroughfares and intersections of the city! And this is just what I have observed myself, I'm sure they've found plenty more ways to waste what little energy we have on such displays of religiousness that do no one no good. If they must show off, why not put green flags instead of lights? Why are they bent on wasting power on green lights that are turned ON for hours into the night, and possibly till the morning?!

And what is even more inane is that all this is being allowed with no checks at all. What is wrong with us? Why do we have to be so showy about everything?! And every year, there's news of some clash occurring between members of different rallies being taken out on 12 Rabbi ul Awwal! It's sad really! We've practically destroyed ourselves in our attempts to be better followers of the Prophet (PBUH) than others while our enemies sitting far away can't help but smirk as we self-destruct.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who is responsible for all this carnage?

Another day, another suicide attack! As frail as the law and order situation is in Pakistan, it would be naive to think our enemies would not want to take advantage of this opportunity and seek to further destabilize us. Today's attack (combined with others recently) is aimed at weakening Pakistan's strong institutions and furthering the gulf between the people and the state, not to mention make Pakistan one of the most dangerous places in the world to be. No wonder the Aussies don't wanna come here.

It stands to be reasoned that the likes of India, Israel and the US would have their vested interests in the destabilization of Pakistan. They already have an alliance, and all claim Pakistan harbours terrorists and that they'd wouldn't miss the chance to take out some given the opportunity. If the fiascos of May 12 and Dec 27 are anything to go by, things could get real ugly in a matter of minutes if someone prominent is gunned down. The suicide attacks have left the nation reeling - not a week goes by when we hear of such attack in some part of the country. Will they even stop with the new government in place? I don't think so, especially if some foreign hand is involved.

Here's an aptly drawn cartoon by Carlos Latuff that I came across while visitng The Olive Ream:
There are more from the same artist here. Also, please be sure to check out his fantastic collection, most notably his images denouncing Israel's latest assault on Gaza.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Should I get a Masters or a job?

You're bound to have come across this elusive question upon Graduating from college that whether you should continue your studies by joining a Masters program immediately or should you instead find some work. The answer to this question is subjective, in my opinion. MS Jobs Blog recently posted an entry on the same topic here, and I've decided to pen my thoughts on it too.

Like I said in the comments section of that post, the ultimate decision rests with the individual depending on their long-term goals. Like their post suggests, there are no RIGHT or WRONG decisions here; both courses of action can yield good results, again, depending on what path a fresh graduate wants to follow in their career. Readers of this blog would remember a post I did some time entitled 'Choosing a career path' in which I expressed my bewilderment at the apparent lack of consideration given to a person's interest when choosing a field of study for their career, and instead going after a field that will simply "pay well" in the short-term. I fully understand why *some* people might adopt this approach, due to their family's economic conditions et al, but certainly not ALL of them, as we do end up witnessing sadly.

Back to the point in question, I don't think there's any doubt that a person should try and attain a specialization in their field as it becomes necessary at some point in their careers for their own growth. As for the WHEN part, I've seen a lot of people enroll in Evening Masters' programs that they choose to manage alongside their day jobs. Hectic I know, but a lot of people are going for this option nowadays, which isn't bad IMO, and it's certainly better than enrolling in a full-time Masters program straight-away if you ask me. Lets just say I think it is better to have worked professionally for some time before you decide to pursue your Masters. Working has its own benefits; you develop your skill set, learn new technologies, learn the way things work in the REAL WORLD in your field, make good contacts and what not. All these things can prove to be invaluable and can possibly give a new direction in terms of what you want to specialize in. All in all, I think it is definitely better to acquire some set of professional skills and experience before pursuing a specialization, as it undoubtedly adds a new dimension to the person that is YOU and possibly gives you a fresh perspective about your field that you may want to follow-up on later when you do enroll in your Masters.

On the other hand, some people choose to enroll in a Masters right after their graduation. Again, not a bad choice since they have just graduated and are used to the ways of the academic world. They certainly wouldn't have to spend any time getting used to a studying schedule, attending classes no end , meeting assignment-deadlines and all that else that is part of academics. If someone feels strongly about their field and the specialization they want to acquire, this may end up being a better choice. This is especially true for those individuals that plan on staying in the academic world as teachers, or possibly want to pursue research at some institution. But, you would find that many schools do not admit students in their Masters program without prior work experience. Besides, who would you choose to admit in your school if on one hand you had a fledgling young fellow with a 4.0CGPA straight out of school and on the other, a relatively mature person having considerable experience in their field and with good recommendations from his co-workers and teachers? Obviously, the latter!

Lastly, this is just my take on this. I am just another person who's asked himself this question before, and am penning down what I believe is the answer - at least for me it is. I would love to hear what others think of this; for and against both.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Brace Yourselves, Summers are here!

For the avid downloader that I am, there's nothing more I detest than power-outs and fluctuating voltages during Summers. Oh yes, the abominable power cuts are back now that Summer has arrived and our ever-reliable KESC's systems have started caving in to extra power demands. I am posting this today, because for the first time in months my PC restarted due to voltage fluctuation (a horrible reminder of things to come) and believe me, last Summer was easily the worst on record from a power-outage standpoint.

They may have a nice-looking website. If only their quality of service was half as good as that. They're certainly holding true to their motto, Power for ProgressRegress.

Sigh! And I was just beginning to enjoy leaving my PC ON all night for downloads. With fluctuating voltages, you just can't risk it.

Israel Minister Warns Palestinians of "Holocaust"

"Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai said on Friday the Palestinians would bring on themselves what he termed a bigger holocaust by stepping up rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza."

Click here to read the full article

Ahmadinejad is misquoted and yet it makes the news all over and everyone starts branding him a "madman", most notably a certain Mr. Bolinger. And here we have our Israeli minister openly threatening a "Shoah", and have we heard any one condemning this? Where are the countries that were so concerned about maintaining "peace and stability" in the region?! The Zionists are killing innocent women and children AGAIN, but where are the so-called ensurers of freedom? Effing Hyprocrites!

Also read the sad entry over at Ronin:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

PTCL Broadband Rates Slashed!

Having been a proud owner of a PTCL Broadband 256kbps connection, I am absolutely thrilled that PTCL has now realized the potential of this technology and it's real value as they have slashed their prices for broadband connections! Gone are the days of volume-based surfing (always thought that was sucky). Now, all packages are Unlimited! Wohoo!

Also, 256kbps connections are no longer being offered and all existing customers who were on 256kbps would automatically be upgraded to 512kbps some time today. We'd have to pay the same i.e., 1199/month. Other packages have underwent upgrades too: 1Mbps now costs 1999, and there's a new addition at 2Mbps that'd cost 4999/month.

Check out their site for more info:

Happy Surfing! :)