Friday, September 10, 2010

Linkorama 10/9/10 - Greatness

REDEFINING GREATNESS: This article tells us what we all know in our hearts - that greatness is not the same as popularity, that greatness can be hidden in an unassuming and unheard-of life just as much as in a well-known and well-documented one. An encouraging thought for all of us.

REDEFINING GREATNESS(2): This article tells the story of an American football athlete who is making the news not for his game but for his faith and his attitude. That's something rare!! And this was a man whose mother was advised to abort him as there were potential problems during pregnancy!! (HT: Challies)

MY EXAMPLE OF GREATNESS: This was the presentation shown at my father's farewell from his department at Vellore. I have never had to look very far to see greatness personified.

THE UNBELIEVABLE STORY OF THE GREEK ECONOMY: This article tells the story of the huge fraud and corruption that personify the Greek financial system. And I thought India was bad!! Remember, these are the guys who invented Math!! Here are a few memorable quotes - In addition to its roughly $400 billion (and growing) of outstanding government debt, the Greek number crunchers had just figured out that their government owed another $800 billion or more in pensions. Add it all up and you got about $1.2 trillion, or more than a quarter-million dollars for every working Greek. It’s simply assumed, for instance, that anyone who is working for the government is meant to be bribed. People who go to public health clinics assume they will need to bribe doctors to actually take care of them. Every single member of the Greek Parliament is lying to evade taxes. Even plastic surgeons making millions a year paid no tax at all. “If the law was enforced,” the tax collector said, “every doctor in Greece would be in jail.” The Greek public-school system is the site of breathtaking inefficiency: one of the lowest-ranked systems in Europe, it nonetheless employs four times as many teachers per pupil as the highest-ranked, Finland’s. The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing. To lower the budget deficit the Greek government moved all sorts of expenses (pensions, defense expenditures) off the books. Inside Greece there was no market for whistle-blowing, as basically everyone was in on the racket. Here is Greece’s version of the Tea Party: tax collectors on the take, public-school teachers who don’t really teach, well-paid employees of bankrupt state railroads whose trains never run on time, state hospital workers bribed to buy overpriced supplies.(HT: Freakonomics)

AND ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: In obedience to Amy's diktat to keep it light, here is a piece from one of our family favourites, Bill Cosby. (HT: Dashhouse)


  1. The link to the presentation on your dad seems to have broken down. I'd love to see it though...

  2. It seems the person who posted it has withdrawn the video for some reason - apologies