Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nuggets from here and there

I'm in my last semester at business school (wow, time flies), and taking two classes this semester, both of which vary between being fascinating and putting-you-to-sleep boring, all within the space of two hours.

The professor in my first class today showed this video, from Louis CK's appearance on Conan O'Brien's show a few years ago. The entire conversation is funny, but the segment between 2:15 and 6:05, which we saw in class, is brilliant. Watch:

"Everything is amazing and nobody is happy" by Meowbay

True, isn't it? We take technology and all offers us so much for granted, we forget that when we were born, or even as growing up, we didn't have any of this. @_GoneNative wrote this post a while back that had a line I absolutely fallen in love with and shared here:
"My generation has had to say a lot of goodbyes in quick succession to the things we built our lives around. I have a feeling the next lot will find it easier to use & throw."
That's true, in a way, but also so sad.

And then, in my second class today, we were talking about price discrimination, for possibly the gazillionth time since school began (and I still suck at it. go figure.), and our professor shared this passage, which I think is the most beautiful description of price discrimination that I have seen in a very long time.
It is not because of the few thousand francs which would have to be spent to put a roof over the third-class carriage or to upholster the third-class seats that some company or other has open carriages with wooden benches… What the company is trying to do is prevent the passengers who can pay the second-class fare from traveling third class; it hits the poor, not because it wants to hurt them, but to frighten the rich… And it is again for the same reason that the companies, having proved almost cruel to the third-class passengers and mean to the second-class ones, become lavish in dealing with first-class customers. Having refused the poor what is necessary, they give the rich what is superfluous.
 ~ Jules Dupuit (1849), On Tolls and Transport
It's a good day, when your classes make you see or hear something that strikes a chord, that makes you think, that makes you want to share it with everyone else.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Conversations with friends

Sometimes you go for extended periods of not meeting or talking with someone and forget how entertaining conversations with them always were. Take my friend who I met this evening, for instance. I met her after a gazillion years, after two months of being in the came city, three days before I have to leave, and spent the entire three hours giggling helplessly. A sample of the numerous anecdotes she shared about her life teaching the most entertaining students in the world:

My friend: So if you do this presentation, I'll give you points towards your final grade.
Friend's student: Do we get extra points if we're smart during the presentation?
My friend: You get points if you're smart at any time during the class. {I assume at this point, her internal thinking was a big fat DUH.}
Friend's student: Really? So if we dress up well for class, you give us extra points?
I'm not too sure how my friend finally clarified that she and her student were clearly talking about two different meanings of the word smart; I was too busy cackling with laughter by this point.

Then there is the gal pal who got married a little over a month ago. Forget about the lack of consideration shown in getting married at a time when it was just not possible for me to be there (resulting in these kind of incidents: this, followed by this), but she has now decided that this is the year that I absolutely MUST find a boy of my own and get married. And this is why:

Her: 28 is our year
       I have declared it
Me: Yes Ma'am
Her: 2013
       it’s ours
      2017 is baby year
      you have no time
Me: good God
      you don't want a baby before that?
Her: well a lil planning never hurt
      well ok so if u have so will I
      we need to coordinate
Me: hehe
      you can go ahead it is okay
Her: so our kids can marry each other
Me: haan so have a boy
Her: I’m giving you 4 yrs
      no more
Me: so I can have a girl a few years later na
      she will need an older guy
Her: true that
      I’m on it
And then there are friends I haven't seen in three months and miss simply because they say the most random things which you're not sure you should be commiserating for or laughing at. Such as this:
I don't ever need to worry about wrinkles and stuff because I take after my grandmother. She had the most perfect and flawless skin. Except for the part about the skin cancer, that is.
Is it any wonder I am friends with these people?