Sunday, November 19, 2006

Federer v Nadal, for the final time this year

The setting was the semifinals at the season ending Master's Cup at Shanghai, the biggest tournament of the year outside of the 4 Grand Slams. It pits the top 8 players of the year against each other in a round-robin followed by the semis and finals.

Federer won 6-4, 7-5 in a match that was way more competitive than the scoreline suggests. It featured some ridiculous hitting from both the players, and some of the rallies were just out of this world. Especially the last 3-4 points of the last game with Nadal serving at 5-6 were just incredible, given the kind of pressure these guys were under.

I have said this before and will say it again: We are looking at the best tennis EVER played. Better than Sampras, Agassi, Rafter, Becker, Edberg, McEnroe, Lendl, Borg or Connors.

With this victory, Federer has won the last 2 matches against Nadal, after losing 5 consecutively before that. I can't wait for next season and Federer's quest for the French Open and a place in history as the greatest tennis player ever.

Here are the highlights.

P.S: Federer went on to blow away Blake 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in the finals. As if anyone really had any doubts.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman no more

One of the great economic theorists of the 20th century, Milton Friedman passed away. I leave you with one of his famous quotes:

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Are you bright?

Our nations, cultures, politics, genders, occupations, interests, and so on differ widely. However, we are generally “in sync” with one another because we share a worldview that is free from supernatural and mystical elements. We are set apart in a broad sense from those who have worldviews that embrace such elements, whether entities such as deities, or forces, or both. Most of us find our naturalistic worldview regarding “ultimate beliefs” marginalized in the society in which we live (perhaps utterly disparaged, or even proscribed). Our common interest is to work to in varied ways to change this situation for the better.

Does this describe you? Then you can be a "Bright". I think I am. So are some of the best minds in the world: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, James Randi, Steven Pinker among others. Are you one too?