Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Open book exam fallacy

My MBA first Trimester is over. Three months 4 subjects and 90 days of sleep deprivation! So what all did I learn in this trimester you ask? Well, I learnt a little bit of Marketing, a little bit of Operations Management and a lot of Financial Accounting and Financial Management. The finance courses involved more math than I did in most of my Engineering courses! For those of you who thought that MBA was for the "management kind" (read - mathematically challenged!) you are in for a rude shock!

This week I had exams for all the subjects that I just mentioned. And believe it or not all the exams happily proclaimed that they were "open book" exams!! Yippee, open book, you can actually "officially" cheat in the exams? Yeah! Get whatever notes, text books, periodicals, comics, magazines you want and write the damn paper!!

I was all happy. I carried like a truck load of books in the exam and there came the paper. First time in my life I figured that the appendix in the book is actually very important. It helps you track down words in the examination paper that you have never heard of before in your life!

That's not all. I opened all the books that I carried, but opening the books doesn't mean that you can make sense out of it right? So next 1 hour was spent trying to "comprehend" what the open book I was seeing actually meant :) !! All said and done, open book exams are like an open challenge in your face. They tell you that bring what you want, you are still dumb enough to not crack the exams :) !! Anyway, I am happy that I got over with my exams. This was like the first major exam I wrote after 5.5 years of merrily typing away everything on the computer. The first time that I picked up the pen to write, I felt like a 2 year old kid practicing his A,B,Cs!! By the fourth paper I scribbled words that didn't make much sense to me when I tried to read them back (Trivia - I had won in the handwriting competition that was conducted in my school ... 21 years back :) )!! Computers have crippled us in more ways than we can imagine!!

Anyway, I have this short 3 day vacation before I get on with my second Trimester...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Time tourist!

Hello fellow earthlings from a different era. Today I did the stupidest mistake of my life. I got into an innocuous looking enclosure that looked like an ordinary elevator and 40 seconds later, I came out 30 years into the future! To be precise, today's date is 7th January 2038.

Now I am old, tired and have lost the will to perform! Well for those of you who are interested in knowing about the future here is what it is:

  • The world is on the brink of a recession yet again (yeah like it happened in 2008) its the sub-prime and derivates crisis again! (History always repeats itself! We are on a sinusoidal curve!)
  • People still use computers, cars and other non-biodegradable pollutants
  • Students still have to study for exams

So what you ask is the evidence that I time traveled? Elementary my dear friend, see the time and date in the elevator's display :) !!

The Elevator Display!

Moral of the story: Before you get into an elevator see that its not taking you into another dimension.

If none of you found this post funny, its okay, with my exams less than a week away, my brain can only think so much :) !!

And now that I spoke about time travel, I would like to conclude my post by this particular statement by Stephen Hawking:

"Time travel might be possible, but if that is the case, why haven't we been overrun by tourists from the future?"

Isn't it like the most convincing statement against time travel? Keep thinking...