Tuesday, December 09, 2008

When do we Grow?

Life is a continuous variable, but we know anything analog or continuous has to be has to be made discrete for sanity. Few days back, Polaroid announced that it was stopping the production of roll film. Digital in. Analog out. And that's not why I'm writing this post, with my ass on fire, in dead weak.

Well, sometimes I wonder how one grows, when we grow, and why we grow-mentally.

Can you pinpoint the points /phases that defined your outlook,attitude to life?

I cant. I havent got that neat.

Wonder why God didnt implement Ctrl+F for our cerebrum!

While in school,or even my undergrad,some of my long sessions of deliberation owed it's origin to some form of dissatisfaction, than serious contemplation.A mega-tsunami of a ripple,graphically. Long term impact-nothing. Gospel of Ramakrishna,Works of Vivekananda,Pancadasi,-wonder what impact it has had on me!!

And then a lighter moment would come-a game of cricket,random browsing, a story book, a movie, cricket match on TV, and focus would shift to the merrier aspects of life.

Those merry moments are what that sets the tone for character-moulding. It makes us attracted to things that we like most.And Habit establishes a pattern.

But only through the negatives- when we say "No", or "I dont give a damn" , we become conscious of some change in us.

In lighter moments, we are less conscious of ourselves-reaction to a joke, going out with friends,an engrossing movie. True assimilation of all dimensions of information happens then,perhaps.

When preparing for a test/interview/, a general perception of our competence influences our learning/progress.

Well, considering I have had plenty of merry moments this semester.... Hope I realize sometime, I've changed for good!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

NW1 : The new world

I wanted to write about many weird things that I see and think , but was wondering about the best way to weave them all together.

To serve this purpose, in this article, and future ones, I shall refer to NW1 (New World 1) to my hypothetical New World. There are two basic rules that governs existence in NW1. I shall add more rules, if they are discovered to be fundamental in nature, otherwise, derivatives shall be documented as auxiliaries.

NW1 : Rule 0




NW2 : Rule 1 :Nothing is false

Rule of the thumb -

A dinosaur can see a frog eat an insect, and perceive it to be Angelina Jolie doing moon-walk with John F Kennedy. Both are equivalent, and equally true.

More on the terminology of NW1.


Origin :

When God made man, he first taught him how to do bubble sort. However, immediately after being created, man was very hungry , and did not listen to God explaining the sorting technique. God sensed that man's stomach was rumbling and placed before him the following articles, ordering him to choose one :

4)Hershey's chocolate
7)Lay's Chips

Man scratched his belly, and chose Lay's chips. God sighed,"You should'nt implement hash tables,without knowing which hash function you are using"


The origin of brand was laziness, but this is a well kept secret. The official, documented version is as follows :

" When God created man, he placed before him a set of seven nutritious items which would be beneficial to him in different ways : develop strength, improve intelligence, give pleasure, and reduce weight. Man decided to analyze the ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, iron, vitamin A,C , vitamin D, ,E in each of the items. After calculating the ratio, he made an estimate of the average use case of nutrition he would require (hunt, study, fight, talk). He then deduced that Lay's chips, with it's wonderful blend of nutrition, low-fat, no-carbs and wonderful taste would be the ideal article to help him live forever,meet the most beautiful women in the world, and create a sprawling empire across milky way galaxy "


Most common usage is in classifying the type of people one encounters in less than ten minutes.
In most cases, this turns out to be true ( NW1 :Rule 1)

Classification is binary -
(a) Mokkai
(b) Non-mokkai

Other chief use cases include

(i)Determining if a person "fits" a particular role , in a particular organization.
(ii)Determining. (Determining implies comparison, which in turn implies branding)



When God made Man, he had ten children. (There was no family planning in those days) . Man thought it would be wise to split up his house-hold chores, and gave each child a piece of paper, which outlined their broad responsibilities. However, his children being lazier and careless than him, kept losing the paper which described their roles, and started watching porn on the internet. Man, being sadistic, made his children sit inside a room for 22 years, and told them what he was seeing outside through the muddy,translucent glass window. His children got the message and never lost that paper again in their lifetime.


The official documented version is as follows :

"When God made man, man realized that God was a higher being, and obviously smarter. Man had to overcome the wild beasts of the jungle, and so started studying trigonometry, theory of relativity, quantum mechanics , and non-linear systems. God was impressed with man's effort, and gave a free ticket to heaven for the first five hundred people who could demonstrate some progress in each defined field. Such elevated group of people fell under the category "Educated", as opposed to "Uneducated"


Mostly used in un-armed combat. Educated people exhibit these peculiar traits :

(a) "Educated" people try to eliminate all the "Uneducated " people they can get hold of.
(b) "Educated" people try to eliminate "lesser" "Educated" people from their vicinity,and place of work
(c) "Educated" people have a tendency to get more "Educated"

Most zealous among them exhibit a zombie- like behaviour of a third-rate hollywood flick, in which the zombie goes about biting the necks of "normal " people, thereby converting them to zombies.

So much on the terminolgy. More on the actual stuff..soon to come!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Zimbabwe Olympic tally :

1 Gold
3 Silver

In wikiality,it definitely is amazing.

Though a country is an abstract idea, and all that an athelete needs to win are talent, perfect health, nutritious food, and sponsorship, and is not in anyway directly concerned with the functioning of the fools who rule their nation, I just couldnt help wondering at this..

Kirsty Coventry,a swimmer from Zimbabwe, a country which is under severe hyper-inflation and is an economic failure, shows the world she is competitive and gets a Gold.

And this being a white , on top,in Zimbabwe.

Indian mainstream press has not been highlighting this much I guess. Else it would be tough to justify why ibnlive and timesofindia.com regularly publish indian olympics news "XYZ crashes out "

I am in no means saying that Zimbabwe is better than India in Olymics.. Both of them have relied on individal brilliance, and hence are on par.

Quantitatively, the result is less obvious.

When the hype around Abhinav subsides,Indian news channels,which complain about infrastructre et al, will have zillion answers on why Zimbabwe is ahead of India in the olympics medals table.

As of now, I havent seen any comparisons to that effect!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Some Random trivia

Yesterday, I happened to watch videos on youtube which showed how "inspired" music directors like Pritam and Harris Jayaraj have become from other music directors round the world.

Pritam has lifted tunes from South Korean and Chinese albums ( all the songs from Gangster are "inspired" from korean albums!).

Well.. for one,I have never been a keen follower of music from different countries (domain restricted completely on Rehman, Shankar Eshan Loy n Jayaraj)

But now I have more direction for my joblessness... Trace South Korean songs! :P
Or befriend someone from South Korea :P :P

As the wiki entry for Kpop (Korean pop) reveals, it is something bigtime famous,but I was completely oblivious that something like that even existed !!

Hrithik Roshan and Rajnikanth have done a movie together... search in youtube for the same :P

Another trivia .. bit more serious...a random article I read on the web states this..

The United States is one of only a few countries in the world that permit children to be sentenced to LWOP(Life Without Parole). The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by every country in the world except the United States and Somalia, forbids this practice, and at least 132 countries have rejected the sentence altogether. Thirteen other countries have laws permitting the child LWOP sentence, but, outside of the United States, there are only about 12 young offenders currently serving life sentences with no possibility of parole

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sentiment,Sense and Non-sense

It's been one year since I landed in US, in search of pachhe pul.

Not the best year of my life.. but lots of things learnt.

No grand celebrations, no deep regret..

Have had the greatest fun in this year, and need I say, and adequate quantity of quality disappointments.

I am trying my best not to get boring and philosophical.. but seriously, this is the first time in my 23 years of experience, I am, theoretically, "on-my-own" .

Not a bad job, mate :P

My Top 5 main regrets (aka ..future tasklist) are :-
1)With paradesis like me abounding in Gatech, I am yet to make a real "desi" friend
2)I want to learn to play guitar, or flute.
3)I want to know in more detail, what I would like to work on for the next five years of my life.
4)I want to become an author of a best-seller :P
5)"..And treat those two imposters just the same!" (If I'm rambling,I forgive myself)

Was just now wondering how humour and spirituality go together... I really cant stop my flow of thoughts right now.

Humour should be used as a litmus test for those getting inclined into "spirituality" or "meditation". If you cant laugh, one should , proverbially "get a life", and pray God to help you.

For those who are seriously into practicing religion, or meditation, here are the details of the my golden tests :

1) Imagine jerry chasing Vadivelu around a traffic signal in circles, and Jayalalitha dancing on top of both of their heads, and you are on the spot, and say in all seriousness "That's sad"

( If that triggered a smile, you are safe. Anyway proceed further. If mot, buck-up, you have two more tests to go. You CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!! )

2) Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger in Veshti ,Thorthu,Pattai singing "Kannodu kanbathalam " from Jeans in high pitch, full bhava, while PV Narasimha Rao does Moonwalk.

(If you dint smile now, make sure you try to laugh your ass off for the next one)

3)Imagine yourself on the gates of heaven, and the guard says "Sorry Boss, Tickets booked. There is one vacancy if you trans-figure yourself as Britney Spears and say, "I'm Basanti, not Britney" sing in a nasal la-reshammiya voice," Aapka suroooooor ", and dance on broken glass.

(Kindly note.. This was intentionally a bad joke, and the aim was to make it harder for a person to laugh/smile. If you smiled for the first two, you passed ..don't worry. Else, my young lass/lad, get a life, forget religious austerities and God, time being!!)

On a more serious note, I find it unusual that while Hinduism has deities incharge of creation, destruction ,preservation, knowledge, wealth (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva,Saraswathi,Lakshmi) , there is no God for Laughter/ Humour.

See.,.That should have been the most logical deity to have. For the un-initiated, villages in South India abound in more varities of "Amman" , or personal Gods, than one can phatom.
(That's classic usage of'peacock terms' - refer wiki.. I don't have evidence to support my claim).

A God of humour who would be prayed every ammavasai /poornami , to give a better sense of humour. Who would have to be satiated by narrating something humerous for all audiences every Friday.

And see.. this is a Global conspiracy. All the proponents of all the major religions on Earth suppressed humour, and preached that the way to ultimate way for "bliss" or "happiness" is making sure you are sad throughout your lifetime and undergo severe austerities,before being promised "something that would make you happy" in your after-life.

So.. next time when someone tells a clean, decent joke, and you crack up, just remember that you are probably half-way to eternal bliss !!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This too shall pass :P

Before proceeding at all, let me be clear- This is not a "I am sad, I studied philosophy, I prayed God, and I realize that mental state of mind is fleeting and state of affairs, are transistory, and hence, and hence I'll be happy some other day post "

I once got a mail on my gmail id, signed with those same words "This too shall pass" .
I am not a big fan of mails signed with quotes, and I usually don't bother to read them at all. (Though, I can at times, be jobless enough to google the quote, to find out who said what, and when, and in which era!)

A mail stored on a Google server, disappearing? getting DELETED? GONE FOR EVER? Even if google had a hundred thousand back-ups of the mail on 10 zilion servers, powered by electricity generated from nuclear fusion, bio-fuel,air, sun or cow-dung?Even if Google somehow secured control of all the hydro-electric power generation in the world by buying each dam constructed over every river, and every tidal- power project built on all the seas, and oceans? This sounded as crazy to me as a bunch of tribals in deep amazon jungle, creating a tech-start up,aimed at making improvised silica-poisoned arrows from a computer chip and shooting at wild pigs.

Yet, really, you have to face it and accept it - "This too shall pass away" . Sometimes it takes a triffle longer (polythene, Great wall of china) , sometimes not. Any crumb of bread, anything man-made, man-modified, sooner or later is destined to fade away. Inevitable.

Makes you realize the solemn fact that we are, what we are today, for the simple reason we don't know what we need. This is not something ambiguously philosophical- it is a necessary reason for our very existence.

Philosophies or Policies that have countered this have not survived. Humans "need" Food, clothing,shelter and sex. Take consumerism, for instance- The couch /chair on which you are sitting and reading this, would be having a dozen competitors to manufacturer a "similar" product. You could be reading this on Windows, Mac Linux, or on your mobile phone. You could be using Safari,Firefox,or IE, Opera, or Netscape Navigator(you might be living in a cave as well!) Why does each product exist? Some folks in each organization have down some market analysis, and have figured out that if they implement a particular feature, or "add value" as rivaled to a competitor, people will migrate from what they are using to the new product. So Why really? People don't know what they wan't, and will change to a new product, if they feel it suits them better.

This is an underlying theme recurrent in our life. We don't really know. We exist on this planet, not knowing what we want. We make our choices based on what's offered to us. The important thing is having the freedom to choose.

"Volatile" Democracy and capitalism, have fared better, as opposed to more "stable and controlled" authoritarianism, and socialism. The origin of nature worship is more ancient than any religion on earth. The fear the environment induced in him was an important factor, and worship was limited to the phyical elements. How does one explain the existence of different religions,then? We have different rational, and not so rational explanations of this. The documentary "Zeitgist" gives a rather unflattering opinion on the origin of religion.

My rationale is this- 20,000 years ago man was'nt born with religion.Neither is one today. You make a voluntary, or involuntary decision on what "religion" you follow. Each founder of a new religion was a guy (Btw,Is there any religion, whose origin is attributed to a woman? ), who by inward deliberation, and contemplation,upon his origin, and the world around him, got a few good ideas, and said "folks, I am sure there is a big, nice guy up there, and if you do so-and-so, and you don't do so-and-so, you will make him happy,and you too will be happy.I can tell you this is true.. Look at me!" . How religion inevitably became deeply intertwined with governance and mythology is a different issue.

Religion's origin was open-source. A guy had a better understanding about himself and the world, and he explained to others about his "implementation". He dint just give the API.
Now well intentioned fools around him, got bugged by explaining his "implementation" to every dumb-wit around, and created an API and started convincing people around to use it.Now,as any normal person, nobody uses an API simply, without knowing what the hell it actually does.You ask a thousand-and-one questions. The API is either the most optimized one that is available,or you have to use it, cos it is the only one that comes bundled with other things, without which you cant lead a sane life. Most folks , as normal human beings again,didn't bother much about optimization, but wanted to lead a sane life.So they started using the API. However, the fools kept the fact away from them that the API usage is machine-dependent. So, for millions and millions of years, we have been using one API or the other.That, I think, summarizes a large part of world history.

We kind of forget that each guy who circulated his implementation,dint mean to shove it down everyone's throat. The intent was to offer a better choice- a buyers market at the end. Again, the crux of all religion boils down to the same-there is an omnipotent,omniscient force,which cant be described qualitatively well enough.

Religion, as is practiced today, has an origin in time.Hence, it will have an end. It too shall pass away. Dinosaurs dint practice any religion!

We exist and go about our normal life,because, deep down , we cant answer the simple question what we need.Right from the brand of shoes, a laptop and search engine(Yahoo is still doing business!!). MBA graduates get a fat pay-check, because ultimately their understanding of human psyche, makes them guess the choices the human mind makes.

Sometimes, I wonder why inanimate things last longer- I mean, seriously.. this is grossly unfair. A diamond remains the same until some other diamond comes along and decides to scratch it... a secure,unspoilt lifetime for 500 years is not an over-estimate! Humans are a little unlucky :P

Though from perspective of pure science, this might sound bullshit.Ultimately, at the level of chemicals we are nothing more than a combination of Oxygen, Carbon,Nitrogen,Hydrogen,Potassium,Calcium,sulphur,chlorine and a bunch of other chemicals which you can google out. And ofcource, at lower level of abstraction, we are obscure protons,electrons and neutrons, and probably smaller sub-atomic particles. We dont yet know what is the most basic building block of our body.

If popular myths have any shred of truth in them, sages in india who practiced an austere life of meditation and yoga, lived a longer, and healthier life. Does meditation somehow cause a change in alignment of atomic or subatomic particles to offer greater resistance to the forces of nature?

Forget meditation.. look at the feats that have been achieved by various individuals. Some can solve a rubik's cube in the order of seconds, some can withstand a car being run over them.
Where does each person derive their abilities from?Physical strength? Intelligence?Yet the same carbon, hydrogen and bullshit.

A diamond has makes no choice on how it want's its carbon atoms aligned to last for the longest period of time. It's system is closed, and not subject to change -A bunch of chemicals do not enter a diamond three times a day, and exit 'n' number of times. Human's on the other hand, are an open system , and need the right combination of chemicals to enter,and leave their system.These chemicals, chemical processes , electrical pulses, are all something that we have control of-choice-food that we consume, our thoughts, and inputs from our environment.

Perhaps,in thatv perspective, meditation and yoga are the attempts to optimize the most dynamic and complex system-human body.

Yet, when we are confronted with choices with respect to anything that we do in our life, our life itself has no choice.We never are asked, if we would be liked to be born, or whether we want to spend 50 years on earth, or 75!

I really think human species would stop existing if this non-flexibility really sinks in. Nobody would really bother to make the little choices, that eventually make us to dream. There would be nothing called "economy".

God bless Maya!!!!!! :P

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Few random thoughts...

I am out of sync with blogging, and I am writing this cos I need a creative outlet for my forced (??) joblessness, which is making me obsessively, compulsively improve my G K by tracking world affairs,indian affairs, and state -of-the -art research findings, on google news, bbc, ibnlive, timesofindia, and samachar.com

Knowledge acquistion is primarily driven by insecurity. Before, I can convince myself that I just stumbled on the quotation of the month, arising out years of introspection-somebody came up with this before- "Ignorance is a bliss" . As I type this, I see in my mind'eye ,the scene in Matrix where the baldie(Joe ..) bites meat, and tells this, with a musical score in the background. (forget the instrument- tom plays it when he is on clouds enroute heaven,in numerous Tom and Jerry cartoons) That's what I define the ill-effects of movie watching and mindless youtubing. Rarely is anything purely literary-straight out of mind, and into paper / blog. Association of quotations has been pathetically trivialized.
If Ceaser had told "Veni, Vedi ,Veci " on youtube, would it got a thousand clicks?A hundred clicks? ten? Who knows? What I really have learnt from youtubing is this -people love bullshit, and crave for the worst bullshit. If you season bullshit with the right amount humour, wordings, and video eating, you could become immortalized in no time. Under these dynamics, I really wonder if Caesar 's words could have had pagerank detect a couple of links to his words!

Well... coming back to obsessively, compulsively improving my GK. It really affronts my intellect when I read arcticles like this -
1)Giant Rodent!

2)Dinosaur dung

1->How does humanity stand to gain by knowing how much a dead rat weighed? 2->I only wish I could time travel, have a pet dino, feed it tonnes of laxatives, and travel back to present ... I could be the next billionaire in town!!!

I must make a proper compilation of great news, and really inspire folks with insightful reflections.

Mediocrity rules. And Bigtime. We really get sadistic pleasure seeing people suck, and goofing up

Here are some of my top fav's, that an average youtuber should be aware of

1)Sam Anderson
2) If you come today
3) Captain Vijaykanth
4)I personally believe
5) Forgetting National anthem
6) William Bang
7)Kashif Memon
8)T R English
9)Americans are NOT stupid
10) Car race..almost there!

Remarkably, humanity has been pretty slow in monetizing mediocrity.
Somehow, education, common sense, reasoning, has been trained and led us to believe otherwise.

But there is a big,bright, future ahead.

"Are you smarter than a fifth grader? " has made it's debut in India, with Shah Rukh as the host. IPL has impacted it's ratings, but nevertheless.

I was just wondering about the next great web-based application, that exploits people 's attraction to mediocrity.

Because there is none,atleast so far. This definitely is round the corner. Something that would make people squirm. Imagine content-restriction on videos in youtube, which makes you answer a random General knowledge question with timeout, and blocks that video with your IP Address for a couple of days, if you fail.

Conversations might go like this in the conceivable future (among a coupla 14 year kids, say)

A- Hey,did you see that video of Miss South carolina ?
B- Err.. could'nt go past 30 secs. some problem with my internet connecton
A- OK, so you couldnt answer a simple question on relative velocities? What question did you get?
B-To be honest, it was some thing related to trigonometry.. and I'm not partcularly good at it.
A-Okie, what was the question?
B- blah blah
A- Blah blah blah.. that's it.. that was an easy question!!
B-OK, I'll watch Miss South Carolina, after a couple of days!


Education interspersed with entertainment interspersed some ego maintenance . Everyone happy?

One bad effect of reading news online in different web portals like ibnlive , timesofindia ,cnn etc is that , over the long run, we will fail to correctly judge news-worthiness of articles.

And we become GIGO machines(Garbage In,Garbage out)

A video that conveys what I want to say :-

Frog n Water

Excessive youtubing has been mind-numbing and addictive, but amidst the trash that pollutes both conventional news sites, and youtube too, youtube atleast gives a chance for content to be judged on its merit, than by a random 'editor'.

Watch this video of Calpernia Addams

This video was listed on the first page of youtube, sometime back.
Calpernia Addams, a transsexual hollywood personality, with humour and sarcasm, speaks about issues sensitive to her.This video has been viewed 850,000 + times, as I write this blog.

This video and it's view count probably exemplifies the true power of youtube, and power of content- to evoke emotions, get people involved in heated discussions, albeit lil unparliamentary.

Contrast the knowledge, information (???)propagation in youtube, and conventional research publications in journals,or conferences. This latter is steeply entrenched in formalism, and restrictive of the target audience.

Though tutorials, Tech magazine articles and survey papers improve the visibility and comprehensibility to a wider and curious audience, there definitely needs to be bridge between the two approaches. For the sake of comprehensibility, tech videos spend more effort on making content less dense-the youtube way. This definitely does won't help the info seeker to know more beyond the prelimnary stuff.

Imagine as you view a tech video on youtube, with an immersive view, you able to access related content web-pages,articles, images, interviews with leaders in the field.

If you are a normal student, you would have encountered this situation before- you enter the examination hall, you realize that you haven't studied a specific area. You ask your friend to give you a gist, and you get the gist of content in ten minutes ( a trailer of the movie!)- and ace the related question that came!

Analogically, would content squeezing from webpages in a video, be practical , and have impact?

Anyway... enough of crazy ideas and thoughts for now

rest in next.