Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hello from Bangkok!

A quick hello to everyone from Bangkok. I have been here in Thailand for the week, and have been away from e-mail and the Internet. Puzzle 1 is closed, and we will be posting the solution both here and in the Times of India, but I don't have time for a full post right now. Here, instead, is "Getting to know you" from "The King and I". Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mandelbrots, Buddhabrots and Shivabrots

A couple of years ago, I posted a few pictures of some Mandelbrots we had baked on my Facebook page, and a friend pointed me to Buddhabrots. No, you can't eat them. The Buddhabrot is a map that is related to the Mandelbrot set, and is called so because the Buddhabrot looks a bit like the Buddha. Historical depictions of the Buddha, at least.

In blue, they look a lot like Shiva. There are even points over the 'head' that look a bit like drops of water. So we even have a bit of the Ganga flowing out of Shiva's head thing. And so these we would like to call Shivabrots.

Anyway, to round it off, after the fold is a picture of the Mandelbrot cookies that led me to these very beautiful Buddhabrot maps.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Let me give you a very broad clue to solving the problem. Think about using mathematical induction.

And while we are on the topic of mathematical induction, I thought I would post a recipe for Mandelbrot. Mandelbrots are the Jewish equivalent to biscotti. It is also, of course, the name of a very accomplished mathematician. Mandelbrots usually have almonds. Also, chocolate. They are great for an after-meal dessert. Anyway, here is the recipe.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 cups coarsely chopped almonds 
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In another large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until well blended. Increase the speed to high and beat in the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time until mixture is thick and foamy, about 4 to 5 minutes.  
Add oil and extract(s) to the eggs and beat briefly to blend. Replace whisk with the paddle attachment and, on lowest speed, beat in flour mixture and almonds just until mixture holds together. It will be soft, but shouldn't be too sticky. If necessary, add a few more tablespoons of flour.  
Divide dough in half. Dampen hands lightly and form each half into a 3-inch-by-12-inch log on the prepared baking sheet, spacing 4 inches apart. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes. 
Carefully place logs on a cutting board and cut diagonally with serrated knife or ham slicer into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices.  
Place pieces cut-side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Turn pieces over and bake 5 minutes longer or until completely dry. Cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months or freeze.