Sunday, July 20, 2008


You've asked me what the lobster
is weaving there with his golden feet?
I reply, the ocean knows this.
You say, what is the Ascidia
waiting for in its transparent bell?
What is it waiting for?
I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.

You ask me whom the Macrocystis hugs in its arms?
Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know.

You question me about the wicked tusk of the Narwhal,
I reply by describing how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies.

You inquire about the Kingfisher's feathers,
which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides?

Or you've found in the cards a new question
touching on the crystal architecture of the sea anemone,
and you'll deal that to me now?

You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean spines?
The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks?
The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out
in the deep places like a thread in the water?

I want to tell you the ocean knows this,
that life in its jewel boxes
is endless as the sand,
impossible to count,
pure,and among the blood-colored grapes
time has made the petal hard and shiny,
made the jellyfish full of light
and untied its knot,
letting its musical threads fall
from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.

I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead
of human eyes, dead in those darknesses,
of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes
on the timid globe of an orange.

I walked around as you do, investigating
the endless star,and in my net,
during the night, I woke up naked,
the only thing caught,
a fish trapped inside the wind.

- Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We Want to Start a Fire

The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, by the ignorant mass- which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught- but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning. Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse. The academic backwoodsmen have been the curse of genius from Aristarchus to Darwin and Freud; they stretch, a solid and hostile phalanx of pedantic mediocrities, across the centuries.

-Arthur Koestler

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

It is not the computer's fault that Maxwell's equations are not adequate to design the electric motor.
Alan J. Perlis

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Muscae Volitantes

I finally found a description of what I occasionally get to see since my childhood. One less medical mystery to worry about.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I love mailing lists

I just landed in SFO today when my co-worker on his iPhone said something interesting was happening in the tech world that I have missed catching upon in the last one week I was away from home. It was this announcement from an a-list blogger. I am totally supportive of what this guy is doing. My personal best wishes on his next chapter of life.

I think "mailing lists" as my favorite many-to-many communication mode and personal email for one-to-one communication. Period. End of Story. You can add as many icings on this cake as you choose but if you are a meat-and-potatoes person, you would more or less come to the same conclusion.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Some Prophetic Insight

I am a sucker for going through some past articles whereupon the author/experts are asked to give their views about the future and then we can go back to verify what happened to see how things played out.
One such really nice article is this one by Krugman which was written in 1996 . Tht article seems to be on the dot about the soaring gas prices of today, carbon credit as a mechanism to regulate emissions, the rise of mega-regions, the dilution of academic credentials and the rise of celebrity culture.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

July 4 Required Reading

I just finished reading The Politically Correct Guide to American History which is a satirical look at the modern day non-offending, all inclusive, relativist society that we live in. Here's the revisionist text of the declaration as viewed through such a lens :)
We hold these truths - relatively speaking, and recognizing that the truth is always somewhere in the middle - to be self-evident: That all members of all species are created equal, from spotted owls to boa constrictors; that they are endowed by creation with certain lefts that should never be denied nannies and other undocumented workers; that among these are life, security, absence of risk, equality of results, and the pursuit of self-actualization and peak experiences.
So, grill your burgers and hot dogs while consuming lots of beer and celebrate the fireworks alongside your neighbors' kids. That's freedom and the pursuit of happiness as we know on July 4.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is this really true?

If the proof laid out in this paper is true, then it is a true intellectual milestone in our history. This is a hard problem that had eluded the best of the minds in the field for more than a century and it would be really nice to see that veil lifted after so long. Personally, I cheer for the author as I was expecting this would be proven during my lifetime. Interestingly the work builds upon an earlier genius I have always admired, that of Andre Weil.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


The above is from this site which I found to to be extremely engaging for multiple reasons
  • Ground level reality nicely crystallised into insight a la Dilbert
  • High Quality Graphics and Neat Typography
  • Excellent Web Design

Its added to my daily list of reading.