Monday, February 08, 2010

The Final Lapse

Just because I like circles, here's a link to my first post.

First off, Thank you all who read my posts. I know of atleast two people on this planet who have done so, come rain or shine (thank you folks!) and my gratefulness extends to all those who subscribed to the rss feeds

I don't see any more point of me writing on this domain. I don't have any anonymity that was offered when I started (My dad reads my posts these days!). I don't have any new ideas to post but rather a bunch of links and I have many other reasons to append which finally boil down to the same result of rapping the door behind me.

Finally,I might have a penchant for writing again but it will be on a different domain as times would have changed and I like to start with a clean slate (if I were to do it again!). This marks the end of a phase!

May be if we are lucky, we'll meet again in the cyber-crossroads. If not, Have a Good Life.

I will definitely miss some of the folks I have interacted via this medium. To miss some people in your future is bad enough but to miss people in your past smacks of misfortune to me.

So Long and Thanks for all the fish.

Go Saints!

Wahoo! The team I support has won the Super Bowl. Its a fantastic outcome for me. It was on the shores of New Orleans that I dropped my anchor in the Fall of 1999. Superdome was an engineering marvel outside which PIGS (Poor Indian Graduate Students) sold beer. I can still recollect the scent of the city streets. Beignet with Coffee at Cafe Du Monde replaced my chai with samosas at Galaxy Cafe. Midnight pool and beer. Weekends spent at Razoos on Bourbon. They slowly waft out of the mists of my memory.

More importantly, I was introduced to the NFL there. Our then quarterback was Ricky Williams and I took the game instantly. Slowly, I realized the Saints were like West Indies cricket team where no amount of lead in a game is insurance against loss. Slowly they lost match after match and even the playoffs were a big deal for us.

I supported various other teams in the meanwhile. I moved to DC, so supported the RedSkins there who lost to the Cowboys when I cheered them. Moving to California, I tried to pick between Raiders and 49ers but no avail. I still went back to the saints who couldnt even make the playoffs.

Today, however, I feel great about the team making its debut superbowl into a triumphant success. Psychologically, I think we associate ourselves with the team and this its winning associatively translates into our winning. Deep down, there is a gratification in things that we can wait 10 years and still dreams will come true..

BTW for all this great ads during this superbowl, I loved Google's the best because it was simple,subtle and effective to its purpose.

Go Saints Go! You've all been canonized in the field just ahead of the Lent Season (so you could participate nicely for the Fat Tuesday and have an equally somber Ash Wednesday)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Word of the Day: Neoteny

Defined as The retention of juvenile characteristics in the adult.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Going through the Rye without being Phony

You guys must have heard the news. Too sad. He wrote a book that never made me want to grow up. One of the few books where a few lined haunted me in my past corporate crisis.Those lines were

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause while the mark of the mature man is that wants to live humbly for one

More than a few folks got influenced by the book so will leave that alone for a while and give some snapshots as a homage

I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it?'' he reasons. "The answer is, you don't. I think I am, but how do I know? I swear it's a stupid question.

You ought to go to a boy's school sometimes. Try it sometime," I said. "It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys that are on the basketball team stick together, the goddam intellectuals stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together.

And finally I hope he rests in peace at a world like the following

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.

Monday, January 25, 2010

NeuroLingusitic Programming

One of the most basic desires of a human is to communicate. When you communicate something, there'll be a difference of opinion. Almost Always the difference happens to be because of the fact that people involved in the communication have different definitions. The so-called "being on the same page" involved the fact that all of them need to be defining the the same things in the same way.

So, one of the effects of how civilized you are is in the nature of how you handle the disagreements. Somebody disagrees with you fine. Start by asking what they think is the definition of the problem, the key issues, etc. You'll see its an easy way to bridge the definitions to resolve an issue than a forceful opinion of one side.

May be thats all just baloney but thats what I think today. Its a matter of not only programming code, its also of making sure your natural language is as clean as a 'C' code for example. it also means that as a byproduct by playing with the linguistic constructs you can make feel people they way you want to (or dont want to)..That explains why so many english language majors become lawyers because they know how to use language as a weapon of maneuvering.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On Dirac

"His great discoveries were like exquisitely carved marble statues falling from out of the sky, one after another. He seemed to be able to conjure laws of nature from pure thought -- it was this purity that made him unique."

-Dyson on Dirac as quoted in The Strangest Man

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some Civilizational Thoughts

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them

- Whitehead, AN
Well, sometimes we do need to think when there is a collapse.As like every year Bruce Sterling comes up with very thought provoking and interesting thoughts on 2010 and society in general

Some excerpts

*"Where I'll end up living." You're a Canadian always in California who's married to a Briton who's always in Japan. Obviously you're not gonna "end up" anywhere. Forget about that. What are you worried about, your IKEA furniture? There is no "end up." Someday they're gonna bury you someplace -- that's likely relatively permanent -- or
they might lock you in a prison or a clinic where they won't let you out. Other than that, you have made your mobile bed and you oughta lie in it.

Basically we've got an emergent, market-driven global financial systemthat was all about a faith-based market fundamentalism. It was deprived of oversight for three good reasons (a) it rapidly brought prosperity to billions (b) under globalization, money is inherently global while governance is inherently local (c) complete regulatory
capture of the system -- nobody but bankers understands how to bank.There's no caste of regulators left anywhere who have the clout or even the knowledge to do anything usefully stabilizing. No, not even if you give them guns, lawyers, money and back issues of DAS KAPITAL.

*India's better. Fantastically better. India used to be in more or less the same cramped livestock-stall as Sri Lanka, Myanmar (okay,"Ceylon" and "Burma" -- this need to rename cities and nations is a sign of mental illness) Pakistan, East Pakistan "Bangladesh" --nowadays the Indians get all kinds of juice and respect from the "international community," and better yet, all their local rivals are
in the charity ward without the Indians even firing a shot.

*It's hard for anyone from Texas to find the chutzpah to complain about California's state politics. For instance, Enron, a Texas company,basically decapitated California by illegally gaming the natural gas pipelines, and then getting a surprised and hapless Gray Davis run out
of office. Ever since then, they've been stuck with Schwarzenegger,who's a cartoon figure. California's never done anything half that wicked to Texas.

You look at all the statistics that technocrats use to determine where people are doing just great, where society is thriving,and Sweden's been in the top five percentile for decades.  Sweden does everything perfectly from a technocratic policy perspective, Sweden's like Oz, apparently.

And then you ask Swedes about their future and so forth, and they're like: "Bring the razor and the bathtub!  When can I die?"  There are penniless, vitamin-deprived guys in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai who are upbeat and perky compared to Swedes.

You get stretched by the experience and you grow.The good life is like that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Supporting Sports Teams

“All things being equal, you root for your own sex, your own culture, your own locality…and what you want to prove is that you are better than the other person. Whomever you root for represents you; and when he wins, you win.”

-Isaac Asimov

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Second Coming

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

- W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

I thought that poem somehow foretold the cognitive bias called these days as the  Dunning-Kruger Effect

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Hemmingway to the Rescue

I always have trouble verbalising some of my deepest held thoughts and I get excited when I find references to the same pattern much eloquently expressed by somebody else and I go like "Yeah! This is it"
Anyways here is the quote where I used to say you should stop at n-1 when you know the next stop is n because there is no fun when you know whats going to happen next. In fact thats the secret for long lasting relationships

"The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start."
- Ernest H

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

On the Telengana Issue

Some one had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:

-The Charge of the Light Brigade