Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Piracy or No Piracy - Its your choice

Yesterday I visited Crosswords – wanted to buy the album Indian Ocean's Kandisa….but oh ! It was priced too high – a lofty 360 bucks for one CD, versus I could get the songs for free – thanks to Piracy.
I could not really make up my mind to spend 360 bucks for just being right. So I bought my next favorite “Ali Zafar - Huqa Paani” which was priced at 150.

This is what is called Incentive Caused Bias. Even though I know that I am doing something wrong by playing pirated songs, 360 bucks is too high an incentive for me to take the wrong path. If the incentive were lower (say 150 bucks), I would have gone for the original one.

And this is where pricing comes into play. This reminds me of the price (P) vs. volume (V) chart, I studied in the economics class. It says volume decreases when price increases. In order to increase the volume, you got to reduce the price. The final objective is to find an optimum price point, which maximizes the revenue (P*V).
(I wish the highly qualified members of Indian Ocean had taken some classes in Economics too :-)

I am not saying that efficient pricing can completely solve the piracy problem – see the incentive here – If you go for original, you get 10 songs in 150 bucks and pirated, you get 150 songs in a 10 bucks CD. And there is nothing extra you are getting in that 150 bucks CD –
Even the quality in downloaded songs matches the original ones these days.
So how low can the original CDs be priced?

But then why a person like me, who has easy access to the free downloaded music, would choose to go for the original CDs.
The idea of buying original CD first struck me when a colleague of mine, who incidentally is a close relative of Indian Ocean’s Rahul Ram, narrated the ‘Indian Ocean’ story. The portion relevant here is - These people left their promising careers (Rahul Ram is PhD in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell University) to form their band. Though they are doing quite well now, lots of struggle came their way earlier. Despite of their songs being popular, they were not making enough to sustain themselves. Because we don’t pay for music.

Here I recall another incident I read long back in some magazine. It goes something like this (in the writer’s words) - “I was traveling by train and reading a Bengali magazine. A copassenger asked me what I am reading and said he would also like to read the same. I was finished reading, so I offered him the magazine. But he said he would buy his own copy and read. When I asked him the reason, he said, if we wont support our literature, how will it sustain”

Now I am not saying that we have to go to this extent, nor I am a part of any anti piracy camp. I also play MP3s with songs, which I get for free. Still I realize that we should support our favorite artists…

The first thing an artist wants is the fame and the love of the people, but then he needs to earn also…..

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Birthday Blues

A better title for this blog entry could be “When Nishu turns Chiru”, but then it would have made it seem like a sequel to ‘When Minority turns Majority”. Whereas, this blog entry is totally different, non-serious stuff, corresponding to a small group of friends – Nausena and hence not many people would be able to relate to it.

So people, by ‘Birthday Blues’ and ‘When Nishu turns Chiru’, I think I have given enough hint what is it about.

Remember the college days, when Chiru invariably used to forget Birthdays. I distinctively remember one incident when we made him mug a list of birth dates of all friends
(of course all the wrong dates :-)

The next morning, Chiru proudly announced that he knew everyone’s birthday then.
Shipra asked her birth date. He said ‘March 8’
She got irritated “You don’t even remember my Bday”
(Shipra, whose birth date is March 1, thinks, the date is too simple to forgot)

Chiru reply was classic
Dekha, I told u guys that Shipra bday is not March 8, it is in Feb”.

So what’s with Nishu now? Yes you guessed it right. Yesterday night she was contemplating Harsh’s birth date is December 16 or 18 and that of Chaitanya is Jan 21 or 22.
(For the benefit of others, who are in same boat as Nishu, Harsh’s birthday is Dec 17 and Chaitanya’s is Jan 24)

And I came to know last night that Chiru’s bday is on May 21 :-)

Ps :- If I am killed tonight, you know whom to catch.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

When Minority Turns Majority II

I recently got to know this concept 49'O... many of you would already be knowing about it . This gives an option to people who say - "No candidate is worth my vote, whom shall I vote for".

49'O goes like this - if a voter has dislike to all the candidates, then he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49'O. How to do that : At the time of voting, convey the booth officials that you want to go for 49'O. Register your signature in the 49'O form available there. Done.

Now, if the number of 49'O count is larger than that of the winning candidates total vote count, then a re-election is called there.

49'O is there since 1960, but neither the government , nor the election commission communicated it to people. There are some small issues associated with 49'O (like secrecy). In the conventional voting, the elector can drop the ballot paper without marking his vote against any of the candidates. However, in the Electronic Voting Machines, such a facility is not there. An elector may refuse to vote by going for 49'O, but the secrecy is not protected here inasmuch as the polling officials and the polling agents in the polling station get to know about the decision of such a voter.

But the bigger issue is - how these re-election will be different from the earlier election? Will we get better candidates the next time?
Whatever, at least we will be able to convey our dislike through 49'O.

Source : http://www.eci.gov.in/ Disclaimer - please dont convict me for plagiarism. I have taken description of 49'O directly from an email and the ECI website :)