Friday, December 25, 2009

Some in pain but others inJoy

It is been a while that I have actually penned down a full fledged blog entry. Since I am on vacation now, doing nothing my itching hands really want to get some work done. So the hot topic now in India is Nationalism. I was chatting with  a friend from NIT Trichy, he told me that it is good for Chennai and Bangalore because Hyderabad is in turmoil. He implicitly meant Hyderabad's political crisis will bring in more investments to Chennai and Bangalore. He might be right to point that out because FIIs (Foreign Direct Investments) or local investments will come to a region which is politically stable. Hyderabad is in chaos mainly due to the greed and political motivation of a few politicians and businessmen.

I read an article on FT click here, which exposed the corporate interest in not bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. Since, I don't know much about the grievances of Telangana  people, so I don't buy the idea of separation too. But I am certainly against the corporate interest in Hyderabad. Apparently, state is not bifurcated based on inequities in society but based on the inequities in the contracts awarded to a few businessmen. It is very evident, state of Andhra, is moving to puppets of Oligarchs. FT also exposed the rise of Oligarchs in India as whole. Especially, southern states are home to nepotism in the politics and patriarchal business structure.

After reading all these articles, I doubt whether India is a democratic nation. I don't think, we will ever see a politician like Barack Obama or Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi from India. Meritocracy in India is totally eroded and everything is completely controlled by money. I don't know where this power struggle in Andhra will lead to. Colleges and Schools are closed indefinitely in Andhra especially in Telangana region, will undoubtedly have an impact on students' performance. Investors' confidence in Andhra will deplete which will definitely result in moving investments out of Andhra to neighboring states might result. To stop all this chaos, Centre should expedite the process of referendum on Telangana issues and should make a clear decision on it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A R and his world

This is not my usual blog post but A R Rahman has inspired me to share his interview on my favorite TV channel BBC. Even his newly released tamil song from "Vinnai Thandi Vaaruvaya" was featured. Hats off to A R and his team. I hope the songs in his new tamil movie is good since his previous works in tamil were not up to his usual standards.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the sane word

#something in a matrix.

#what you do when you don't want to sink, or swim, inside the boat. if you do it outside, a mental asylum is recommended.(don't even get me started on those excercise machines, where people sit and row in air)
#what you start with your girl friend when you stare at that other girl's amazing...

#what variables can take.
#what people don't take, but need to.
#how useful some person can be to us.

# lead balls or balls of any other material that is used for blasting dust off of a surface
#a sound that can make any man's balls jump up.
#a chance that you could be the next man on the moon.

# almost an animal, but much more valuable than people.
#what you get when you give this to someone.
#what you give when you get this from someone.

son of a:
#born to someone
#born to something
#born to someone and something

#one dimensional element used to model anything with two degrees of freedom(i hope)
#what you do when some random guy starts hitting on your girl.
#when this gets damaged on an aeroplane, you better start praying.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Of Charm and Likeability

Lamas Beauty Pro-Vita C Vital Infusion Complex, with DMAE, Alpha Lipoic Acid and C-Ester, for All Skin Types, 1 oz (28 g)

I first came to know of Susan Boyle (47 yr old British singing sensation) through a news article in CNN. I wondered what drove people in the millions to see this video and wanted to see for myself. With all the cinematic editing and music score, it really was a thrilling video to watch. Not to mention the hopeless recessionary times. Following through, I watched several video clips of Britain's Got Talent on YouTube and sort of got addicted to the show. This post is about one recurring pattern I observed on the show.

Certain participants evoked enormous applause and affection from the audience. Even the ever-so-nasty Simon Cowell couldnt help but heap praise on them. Frankly, I too cheered along (stupid me sitting on my bed watching a 2 yr old video clip) for them and sincerely wished for each one to win or atleast make it big later on. I checked out every finalist of the 2007, 08 and 09 show to see if their lives had improved and mostly it had :)

Coming to the actual point of this post, how do certain people exude natural charm and likeability? It is understandable when you are talking to someone in person or over the phone. They might listen better, show interest, tone, body language, etc. But when it is such a big auditorium and the figure is just barely visible, leave alone facial expression, how are people able to identify with such "good" participants? This extends to other folks on YouTube channels (charlieissocoollike, for eg). I dont know what s about this charlie guy, but I just feel he must be a really nice dude. Given my always-thinking-why mind, I am not able to just let it be and enjoy these things. I need to know how and why :\ Your opinions and comments are most welcome.

Just in case you are interested to know, I really rooted for George Sampson, Andrew Johnston, Strike, eScala, 2Grand, Susan Boyle and some more who dont come to mind right now. In contrast, I wasnt that much into 2008's finalist Suleman (the michael jackson dancer) or Damon Scott (the monkey puppet guy) even. Before I m mistaken, I did not "dislike" them; their acts were really enjoyable. I just didnt root for them as much, thats all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why do people procrastinate

Yep, thats something I ve really wanted to know. Why exactly do we put off doing things that we very well know in our rational mind that are important and plain need to be done? I ve wondered about this for quite some time now and researched it extensively on the internet. However, everytime I came across the same drivel - organize your activities, manage your time, prioritize, visualize, blah blah.. After reading such articles, we usually make mental notes to follow and promptly forget it at first opportunity. Put simply, such pointers dont really help folks like me who ve put off things for over quarter of a century*. The problem must lie deeper. You know it does.

Not one to lose hope (and with no lack of time), I ploughed on till I saw light at the end of the tunnel. And I found it :D Days back, I came across an article that probed the real depths of this phenomenon and gave a very satisfactory and complete answer (to me) as to why we procrastinate. Now how can I keep such knowledge within without bursting out; hence this post. Friends, this post is not to ask your opinions/ideas on why we put off doing stuff (I ve read enough drivel on the topic already, thank you); but to actually *let you know* why. Enjoy the article. Bless the author.

*Mom, I ll finish the feeding bottle later?
Also note clever use of the term "century" to make you readers visualize a looong period of time. he..he..

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's in the mind??

Watched the video! What do you think? Beyonce and Lady Gaga clearly know how to sell their crappy music videos. I don't know what they were thinking in their mind while preparing this video. I have a question to ask "Is this kind of video gonna do any good?".

Friday, November 13, 2009

woes of a whiny grad student

"It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money. "

at about the time when kim jung was trying out something with his nuclear arsenal with destruction and madness in his mind, i was born, a warm december afternoon, in a hospital in madras, with people scaring me with their big eyes, big hands, big faces and their big dreams and big expectations of me. somehow, i overcame the first obstacle. I managed to breathe. Till this day, some people who are faced with dire poverty, or who live under extremely hostile environments of bombs would agree with me, that this was the biggest mistake ever.

#1 do not blame anything or anyone for what you are right now. you are a victim of your own actions, and if you cannot take responsibility, too bad. there are people who have to live through nightmares everyday, your life is not exactly like helen keller or suu kyi like.

"if people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is because they do not understand how complicated life is..."-john von neumann

the next few years are a blur. i can hardly remember a single thing. i must have done some idiotic things, which, thankfully have not been retained in my memory, which is an extraordinary feat-my mind is capable of remembering all the useless, tiring and painful memories, and discarding the good ones.
and then diana died, pokemon released and created a frenzy in 1997, when i was drowning in my own inability failing to take stock of my poor mathematical ability, plummeting to the lower rungs of the scary grade list. what does this tell us? comparison takes us nowhere. and it took me there in no time, when i couldnt look my friend in the eye, because my performance was dismal and he was looking like a max planck or galileo. with passing time,my math skills became as unpredictable as dhoni, and in the end, it crashed finally over a span of two years,slowly, steadily.and that is when they decided to have the board exams.

#2 stop that incessant worrying. nobody cares. not even you would care in a few years from now.

"some persons are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions..."

i had to make a decision-if you sucked at mathematics, had no talent for arts, were capable of documenting everything, you had to be an engineer, after being dumbed down by an unbelievable crass method of rote learning in your high school.(squarely blaming tamil nadu for my inability to understand partial differentials.)
but no, a decision was difficult because i was young. so, my parents did the right thing, put me in a school indifferent to its pupils,(better than the previous one though), and the vice versa.

#3 sometimes you have to take tough decisions. maybe they might not work out, but that doesn't mean you should give up on it completely.

"what is the difference between a banker and a large pizza? a large pizza can feed a family of four"

somehow, i managed to go through the engineering drudgery, and survived. and then, i made a decision- to quit a perfectly good job in a very decent company, probably in design, going on to design better things; to go to america, without support, in a market that was squirming and choking at the hands of bankers, to the midwest, where the manufacturing sector had completely died a inglorious death.

#4 you make mistakes in your life all the time. move on, its not worth brooding over it. live it, and make peace with yourself.

"all the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams"
and now what?where are going with all this? i keep thinking about the next crash in the stock market, or the time when unemployment is going to cross the triple or the four digit mark.(i think it already has...). my research is routine. so just how many people come up with breakthrough research every other day? we always think of life in purely binary terms. its much more fuzzy than that, in that it has states in between these too(two, pardon the pun)! i was amazed when i was listening to the song "ithu oru ponmaalai pozhudhu" yesterday. i was translated to a land where the song's meaning was everything i could see.

வான மகள் நானுகிறாள், வேறு உடை, பூணுகிறாள்...
ஒரு நாள் உலகம் நீதி பெரும், திரு நாள் நிகழும் சேதி தரும்...
ஆயிரம் நிறங்கள் ஜாலமிடும், ராத்திரி வாசலில் கோலமிடும்....

#5 all we care about in life are too much to handle, when the simple things that we can handle and cherish, we dont care at all!
take care! cheers.

(p.s:i admit without a trace of shame-i stole all quotes from the net.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Started with Small Talk; Ended with Big Talk

The conversation started off with swine flu but it eventually ended with the issue of Indian medias' sensationalism. Its about Narendra Modi and the topic was discussed by NTU students. Your comments on this issue are welcome.

Person 1 Narendra modi tested positive for swine flu... need to quarantine him!!!!!
Top of Form

Person 2
”need to quarantine him!!!!!”, YES... regardless whether he got swine or not....

Person 1
may be .. may nt be according to me..
but if any gujus saw this, they will kill us

modi the best CM of india!!!!!!!

Person 3
well as far as i have heard he has never taken any holidays during his whole term............

Person 1
yeh u r correct person 3!!
he is one of the best transformational leader of the current era in BJP.

Person 4
he is a mass murderer, perpetrator of grave human rights violations. no amount of economic progress can cover that up for him.

Person 5
I have no belief in this human rights B.Crap. Everyone does something wrong in some way. Even obama wants to send extra troops to kill the terrorists in afghanistan. See, thats violation as well according to definition. I am sick and tired of the negative rhetoric on modi. He seems to be least perturbed though. Infact, i heard that the human rights activists want ajmal kasab to be treated with "care". Now, thats a good dose of kindness that I would not care about!

Person 1
the gothra rail incident was a mere accident stated by nanawati commission and Banerjee Committee. modi has failed to control the violation at that time but even the court has given the verdict as its a mere petrol accident.

Though most people speak about this incident, he has done some remarkable changes like turning Gujarat into an economic
hub of India by which it attained the highest GDP growth rate in the country.
FYI: His restoration work after Gujarat earthquake incident is astounding. None has done such outstanding work so far and he was awarded by UN too.

Person 1
"" Hillary Clinton said in an interview that had Kasab been educated, he wouldn't have been a terrorist""

The above statement by Hilary worsen her name in the Indian media. see the amount of kindness the US govt shows to a person who killed the INDIANS during the Mumbai attack. the human rights didnt question Hilary for supporting him?? coz she is an American... US govt refused to give visa to modi as for this human right issue..? wht a comedy?

Person 2
What a sacarastic act ah...? Typical hinduthva thinking by Person 5 & Person 1....! If you think Modi is not a criminal then, Hillary is right, yes Kasab can be a better person too....

Ranjith, if you have born as a minority in some other countries,then you will understand the need of human rights.

Person 4
"I have no belief in this human rights B.Crap. Everyone does something wrong in some way."
- thats precisely why human rights mechanisms and conventions are in place, to check the very wrongs that you talk about. And the argument that "everyone does something wrong anyway" is a false one because the wrongdoing of one person doesn't cancel out someone else's wrongdoing. We need mechanisms to set a standard for what constitutes "wrong" in the human rights realm because the upholding of human rights is fundamental to the existence of humanity.

"Even obama wants to send extra troops to kill the terrorists in afghanistan. See, thats violation as well according to definition."
- According to what definition? In what remote sense is Obama, the President of the USA who has unfortunately inherited a war that he did not start and who now needs to end it in the most equitable way possible since it was started in the first place, the same as a extremist Hindu militant leader who sat back and allowed religious cleansing to go on his country? You want to know other infamous examples of leaders in the same league as Modi? I am thinking Saddam Hussein (for his ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people in North Iraq), the violence in Serbia against the Muslims,etc. If you find yourself in agreement with what happened in the last 2 examples I've given, then go ahead and shamelessly clamor on behalf of Modi because then your support would be beyond the realms of logic or humanity for that matter.

"I am sick and tired of the negative rhetoric on modi. He seems to be least perturbed though."
- Yeah obviously the extremist man himself could be least bothered when he has the support of people like you who are willing to close an eye to the blood on his hands and throw your weight behind his Hindu extremist ideas in a country that is purportedly secular, a typical case of the tyranny of the majority over the minority.

"Infact, i heard that the human rights activists want ajmal kasab to be treated with "care". Now, thats a good dose of kindness that I would not care about!"
- Again, another emotional point that negates an objective view of the wider legal implications. At risk of being branded as a terrorist supporter by the highly (blinded by) nationalist Indians, I will humbly put forth my point that terrorist or not, every person in custody has certain rights that are accorded to him. These are not privileges, they are rights, and there is a key difference. The legal rules/norms of ensuring due process and humane treatment while in custody is a standard that has a value in being upheld across the board because deviating from it would result in grave consequences for the standards set for care of prisoners. What I'm basically saying is that, it is silly to say that a universal legal standard should be waived for kasab, saying something like that just shows emotional subjectivity rather objective rationality.

Person 6
I certainly support the point of Person 2 and Person 5. Btw, they have all rights to talk about an Indian Leader. Modi is known for his impressive economic developments in Gujarat. Regarding Obama's point, I find it an illogical point mainly because he ran for president not a clerical post. He is fully aware of an ongoing war in Afghanistan and Iraq. If he really obeys human rights, then he should have backed out from president's race claiming that if I become a president of US, I will killing millions in Iraq and Afg. All this human rights is total crap like what Person 5 said. I am still wondering what was Nobel committee thinking when they selected Obama for Nobel prize.

Person 5

@Person 2- I must point out that I am already a minority in ma y ways. I dont have my own rights in any place i move in some way. Take india for example... I belong to other caste category, which is only 3%. Everyone is a minority in someway or the other, so i guess everyone will understand that issue. Tamil nadu denies brahmins and other castes the right to education on grounds of constitutional "equality" through reservation. So, i know the pain. I am also a tamil, a minority in india, indian in singapore, a minority in singapore, brown colored in the context of america, a minority, a hindu in religion, a minority according to religion, etc, etc. Minorities should not rake up issues to gain unfair advantages.

Coming to Person 4, I understand you passionate arguments. No offence, but I believe you are from country X just as Person 2 is. How would you react if i go on justifying the actions of your PM? Its just not ok right? Its because I am from country Y and i dont know the ground reality in country X. Its the same with you i guess. The media is a very biased in India. You know who owns cnn while ndtv is owned by a middle east group, if i am not wrong. I have talked to plenty in gujarat, heard statements from the court verdicts,etc. So, I would humbly say that I am well-informed. So is harish and many others. As for the others who support congress, they are obviously going to go against modi. The remaining ppl are ignorant and listen to the media rant. After all, media in india like any other democracy nowadays, wants to sell itself and make huge profits. Media act like they would take up the causes of millions and make the criminal a victim. I cannot just understand how a terrorist who deprives millions of ppl of their loved ones, be treated kindly. If you still are not convinced in the case of kasab, I dont understand how you will ever be in the future. I am also equally concerned about human rights but i am more concerned about the ones who suffer more. In this case, the victims of 26/11. Now, thats human rights. They want justice served quickly. Its their right to judicial remedy. Kasab is not being tortured badly, simply for the reason that he is the sole survivor from the terror group, but this agitation from the media is just to sensationalize and increase circulation.

Modi might be wrong, but how are the others not to blame. Remember, clapping requires two hands. If the other party had kept quiet, the flames would'nt have been fanned! Come on, be reasonable!

Finally, this is my point. India is not such a bad country. Go and see other countries where "human rights" has no meaning. If you want to compare and criticize, please go to rwanda where the tutsi clash is on, north korea where you cannot begin the day without bowing to the supreme leader whether you like it or not or even china, where rights are heavily curtailed. Democracy is a double edged sword!!!

Person 1
@Person 2
Your assumption about hinduthva is wrong I guess. Its not about burning the lives of muslim or supporting only Hindus. Its about helping the hindu population(help them to improve their lives) in a country where the majorities are hindus. I am also from a minority group where in a country only 6.3% speak tamils.. In India no one can claim him as majority. If a north Indian claim him as a majority, he may be a minority in other regions /religions. RSS is not started to kill Muslims nor Christians and its not under the control of Modi.

hinduthva is supporting hindus and its not abolishing the other religions.

What made you to think that he is a criminal? He is a leader whom assumed power when the state was economically poor and worked hard to clean the poverty in his state. Your comments about him are so absurd. !! even there are muslims in Gujarat who portray modi as a great leader. So your claim about hinduthva on modi is rubbish.

@Person 4
“now needs to end it in the most equitable way”
There are no signs of ending the war in Afghanistan, but there +ve signs in Iraq. You cant claim that he is supporting human rights as he got the nobel prize. He has made mere statements but haven’t implemented.

“the same as a extremist Hindu militant leader who sat back and allowed religious cleansing to go on his country”
There is no need or necessity to portray him as a militant leader. He is not the leader of a terrorist hindu group who are holding guns in their arms and killing peoples. He is still the CM of 9.1% muslims in Gujarat who has been elected as CM for 3rd consecutive term and the most reputed CM in India. The riots in Gujarat have been well handled by him and now the state is in serene state without any disputes. By making such weird statements you are instigating the problem again. Next to advani, he is the most respected candidate in BJP. With such popularity in his hands, a normal person cant just be a militant leader.
Don’t defame the hindu religion by portraying his as a militant leader. Do u know wht is RSS or hinduthva about and how BJP got started? Please read the reply to Person 2 in the above note.

In a democratic country, he has been elected as a CM of a state. A militant leader cant be elected as a CM, under the Indian constitution. Normally modi is a person who will not even speak against other political leader nor pass sarcastic comments on them . Even foreign delegates from Russia have appreciated him for his work he has done to improve the state with so much GDP in a short span. Most of the MNC are now in Gujarat when compared to any other state in India.

“willing to close an eye to the blood on his hands and throw your weight behind his Hindu extremist ideas”
Bored of explaining this again and again. Its again a false statement on portraying followers of him as extremist. Then you are literally calling all peoples in Gujarat are extremists coz out of 24 constituencies , 13 are won by modi’s party and the people who voted for modi are extremists?

Person 5
And just one more thing... If you are talking about human rights in inda, i will tell you who are suffering the most. Its the families of victims of 26/11. They are simply not able to exercise their "right to a speedy trial".
This topic is transforming into one hellaffa forum. Keep it going guys

Person 7
concerning the modi thing- I think that he is a really good cm- considering what he has done in industrialising the state and that the gujurat economy has had tremendous growth in its GDP since he arrived. Moreover if you want to compare the human rights record of Modi to many other leaders, i think it's not that bad- I am not condoning what he did by not taking control of the situation, but as many earlier examples were pointed out, many countries that are now considered "a force for the good" also have poor human rights records- Even now Obama pledges more troops to Afghanistan and he is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Talk about countries like Saudi Arabia if you want to talk about blatant violation of human rights. India is not so bad and nor is Modi.

Moreover we have sensationalism in news nowadyas because rather than provide news these media outlets want to capture the attention of the viewer. Misinformation is rampant and it is sad that they can change the views of many people. They often play the minority card and unwittingly/ purposefully indulge in "votebank" politics themselves.

Concerning 26/11; my parents were in colaba when 26/11 happened and it was not funny at all. I could hear the bullets when I sopke to them. I had friends who were caught in the crossfire (he was unhurt, thank goodness) and I want Kasab to hang as early as possible for what he did.

P.S if this is a forum then I am a n00b

Person 3
26/11 was a total media hype.....seriously...i was one of the millions who sat in front of the tv for the whole thing waiting for updates..........and all the channels were just trying to divert attention to themselves.....just to raise their viewer ratings.....i mean i started feeling insecure in chennai though the incident was happening in mumbai cos they made it seem so real......

Person 7
trust me person 3- it was horrible- I was sitting here in Singapore and the flats where my family was staying was a couple of streets from the Chabad- the jewish house. I didn't like the way the media kept on publishing details about each and every operation- that was stupid and helped prolong the siege. You can still see the bullet holes today in that tiny street.

Person 7
Media hype usually revolves around other things- trivial issues and plays up a lot when there are elections about or if they want to spew out some trash on a boring day! :D

Person 3
haha..yeah...esp since all these TV channels are now owned by political is like propaganda itself......if u watch Jaya Tv's always Jayalalitha condemns this...Jayalalitha condemns that..blah blah blah....and move over to Kalaignar Tv...and they would be like...oh the state has flourished so much after his rule...etc etc........

Election times are even more funny....none of them will reveal the proper results and they only show which all constituency they have won basically the whole idea of getting 'live' news and action is lost cos its so biased....the proper result can be only found in the newspapers the next day...............

Person 1
just an add on to this. the first hype did by an indian media was during Karunanithi arrest.then mullai-periar dam , arrest of kanchi kamakodi , BJP minister getting bribe under the table shown live on NDTV, issues about ganguly can play under dravid, and more recently the media hype over chinese incursions.......... even in news papers they exaggerate.. The hindu is against Tamil elam , dinamalar is on DMK, so and so......... the media is not transparent.
as long as people were not aware of the ground facts they would become mad..
Harish Jayaraman

Saturday, October 24, 2009

why data collection is important

% of iitians areawise.

every year, i am told by an iit professor, there are 10 lakh students appearing for a JEE exam. there are a total of 5000 seats in all the IIT's put together. what are the odds for a student to get in?

5000/1000000, or more precisely, 1 in every 2000. what is the population of three streets put together in madras? probably 1 kid can make it to the IIT's from the one half of kodambakkam. what about the coaching classes? if we consider their success rates, and update the probability, the student who doesnt have the advantage of coaching and who is mediocre, and relies completely on his effort is almost out of contention.(exceptions.)

what is the number of people missing a train by a couple of seconds because of a crowd? lets say a train can accomodate 500 people, at any given time, at the rate of 60 passengers to a 8 car rake train.(very conservative). for every station, lets say there are 20 people boarding, and 10 people getting down. what happens now? assuming the time for detrain of one passenger is 1 second, and the time for boarding is 1 second, and it is a perfect world with perfect order, and the train stops for 25 seconds, there is a possibility that 5 people may not make it. and that multiplied by 8. 40, out of a total of 160 people. 25%!

this is why we need to improve our models. why is this model crude? it does not take into account irrational behavior, nor does it account of lack of order. everything is assumed, even if we have the data for all passengers getting in, or getting out, which could be any one of the million probability distributions. (or completely empirical for that matter).

some other interesting things that we can model: infiltration of terrorists on the borders, number of people missing from an area, correlation of garbage density and flu, suicide rates and living index...

an example of exaggeration:

how much can you save if you dont brush your teeth twice, and do it only once? a standard toothpaste has 150 mg of toothpaste. and, every use takes around 1.5 to 2 g. so, for a day, its 3g.(lets say it is 1.5 g). now, at this rate, it is possible the toothpaste tube lasts for 50 days. but, what happens when you do it only once? 3 months and 10 days. in terms of savings, that is half of what you would have to spend. so, for 100 years, the amount of money you would spend(at Rs 30 per tube) would have been reduced from Rs 21000 to Rs 10500. now, whoever told you that brushing twice was healthy, was clearly not aware of this!(a stray idea just to emphasize data manipulation to absurdity).

now that, is nonsense! blowing it out of proportion to make the numbers seem significant is an extreme exercise that can only addle the weak.

what does this post really mean? that we have to careful about data. and also, that i am jobless in the middle of the fall quarter, during which i managed to get my hands on outliers.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Tamils need excellent soft skills

Why suddenly you may ask? It is not a sudden topic though. I have been observing that we, the Tamils, generally tend to neglect soft skills. I don't want to make any comparison in this topic. But I want to make sure that we understand the veracity of the problem and react to it. Why are the soft skills very important in Tamils case? Yes, it is as important as hard skills. Most Tamils tend to take pride in their mother tongue which is a laudable act because we want to preserve our language and pass it on to the next generation but this pride is self destructive in some sense.

This is the right time that all Tamils should embrace English and master it because it will pave ways for us to improve our communication with other Indians and also with the International community. Communication skills are the most important skill in the business arena. If we are good at the skills i.e. particularly English, we can build business relationships with many people and also spread Tamil as a business language. This will help Tamil survive forever with minimal effort.

I may be wrong in pointing out that we lack soft skills, so I would like to invite active participation in debating on this topic. I think we should once again rekindle our language learning spirits. Btw, I understand soft skills is not only the Language ability but there are lots more to it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Which is More Painful ?

To those who've been keeping up with my facebook notes, this is one post that you'd have already read. Once in a while when I really have nothing to do I go back to read the nonsense that I've written :D and I thought I'd repost this one here on Spotalks and see if it'd interest any of you.

Happy Reading!


Which is More Painful?

Everything in this universe, comes in pairs - it's the principle of duality, if you will.
Male and Female, Light and Dark, Active and Passive, Motion and Stillness, Anger & Peace, Night and Day, Love and Hate, the list is endless.

Evolution has been (un)kind to our race, with an added 6th sense, enabling us to feel, to sense, to express, to think, to dream, to rationalize, fueling an intrinsic part of human behavior - our need for intimacy and affection, to be taken care of, to be loved. And that very need in itself separates us, but not simply as men and women, how for centuries traditional love woes have been seen to group. Rather, men and women alike display duality - Some Yearn to be Loved while others Yearn to Provide it.

A relationship means many things to many people, but fundamentally, it is our need to call someone as our own, to live our lives in an undying companionship. When immersed in loneliness, there are two subconscious emotions one is bound to feel, fueling their need for a partner. They will either be sorrowed by having no one to shower them with the care and affection they feel they deserve and pine for, or, they will be burdened, by carrying a heart filled with love, a multitude of raw emotions, but the inability to nurture, or express their affections.

So which is more painful, and which side of the duality are you?
Are you seeking love, or are you seeking to provide it?
Are you waiting for someone to embrace you or are you waiting to cradle someone in your arms?
Are you looking for your tears to be swept, or are you looking to sweep someone else's away?

What does your heart truly desire?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please read this!!!!!!!!

Hi spotalks readers,

This is the most inspiring story I have ever read in my life. This guy deserve more than respect if you have enough money try to donate some to his noble cause.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Books and Us

Every year, thousands of books get published. Frankly, I am amazed that so many people are writing so much stuff - fiction or otherwise. But I am equally glad that they do, so folks like me get to select from a huge variety of reading stuff.

Fiction: Pick up any good fiction book- thriller, detective, murder, romance, drama, family and it is only a matter of few pages before we get lost in the world we are reading about. Rich and soul-touching characters, highly descriptive backdrops that make us feel, hear,smell and taste the story along with the characters themselves and a plot that gets one staying late into the night all make for an excellent experience. Lazy afternoons spent on a recliner with a good book and lemonade/chips beside are my idea of a great weekend.

Non-fiction: How do you learn everything possible about a place or people without visiting it? Read a good book. Books by themselves can bring the world to you and by extension, you to the world. It is hard not to get inspired reading all those biographies and auto biographies, a sort of time travel if you think about it, getting into the minds and lives of people who lived so long before us. Then there are the books about science, nature, technology, religion, self help, tribal people, relationships, etc that just about pack a power punch of brain stimulants.

The next time you happen to pass by a library, peek in. Getting lost in the world of books is the best thing that I can wish for a friend. Hope you get lost, if not already.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

the five sacred pillars

1: leaving a friend high and dry when he is alone.

when a friend is down, it falls on you to stay by him, and mock him and make fun of his state, until he is revolted and slaps you in the face, or does something equally damaging.(guard your groin though). why? there are no laws, but there is something called trust. a friend is hurt, and he may choose to be miserable, but it falls upon you to ruin his misery and make him worse, and lighten his problems by making the whole problem absurd. reductio ad absurdum.

2: parents, the universe itself

they might complain, say the awkward things at the wrong time, be completely ignorant of the present day trends, and yes, might be unaware of internet. but that they should never become obsolete in the lives of their children, and vice versa. it is a very sincere but fragile bond, very sensitive, yet too beautiful.

3: girl. the girl

lives of men revolve around women. But for a women, there wouldnt have been the trojan wars, or the great mahabaratha or the ramayana. it is simple things that people fail to understand in a relationship that causes a rift, and tugs at the core of a lasting bond. relationships are illusions, but very strong ones that they can appear more than real. finally, it must be remembered, "hell hath no fury like a women scorned". watch out.

4. mentor. a beacon light

not the teacher, but the guide. there is a ocean of a difference between the two. a person who can understand us and make us understand is different from the one who wants us to understand because he is getting paid. he can be a butcher, as much as a investment banker; it is only when he/she spots the talent and tries to nurture it, instead of smothering it, we find a mentor.

what are we doing? why should we do this? is there something that keeps us going? why do we fail to understand? or is this not understanding, or that is this not a failure? what is what? what is why? when do we understand what we should understand? and what are we supposed to understand? when do we stop asking questions? when do we stop looking for answers?

none of these questions make sense to the larger section of people.(you question again, do you not-what about the remaining section?) but something seems to be like the air, guiding us through this tragi-comedy of life, a farce so dull and insipid, and at times so inspiring and magical, at times educating and mellowing, at times over burdening with pride and ego, at times absurd and meaningless, and at times over powering and catechiztic, a contradiction of values, unpredictable and ultimately absolute.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It is been a long time, I have written something from my heart so I decided to pen down now.

The love, what I am talking about is not the romantic or sensual love between couples but it is something different which people like to do. They love doing that more than they do their wife (pun intended). Let us first look at some of the bad things which society has labeled it but some people love doing it. Drugs, alcohol, watching pornography are some of the lovely things people crave to do. Next art, writing, storytelling, inventing new technology, coding software and so on is in the list of things people love to do.

Throughout our evolution, God has given some gifts to all the people he has created but the difficulty actually lies in the person’s part to identify that gift. Education might be the best possible way to show case our area of love but because of the academic rigor in the schools we often neglect our interest areas and follow our peers. Not all the people are gifted academically only some are but our society compels us to be educated in the highest orders. The things we really love to do during our childhood may vanish in books of 10th and 12th board exams. Just because hordes of people from your college prepare for CAT you may really give up your cat feeding and loving habit.

Ultimately we end up doing something we never love to do in life. Our lives get boring but we never reveal it because some people may directly depend on you eventually. But some people are really lucky to identify that love in their early life and pursue it till the end of their life. They are the ones who tend to be the most successful in life or they are the ones who actually had an enticing life. There are lots of successful people I can quote but I don’t want to cite them. I don’t know the solution to this burning problem but I certainly think that parents play a vital role in identifying the best things in their children. If they continue to encourage their child to pursue his /her love then the child will definitely have enticing life but that is not the case in reality. I just hope that it changes soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


observation 1:

irritating jerk. 

by this, i do not mean the clumsy friend, who tries to get on your nerves inspite of himself. no, i am talking about an interesting phenomenon of the human body. just when you are about to cross the road, the mind plays a very clever game-the car is a good 75 metres away, and at the speed of 40km/hour, roughly 11 m/s, you assume that you have 7 seconds to cross the road. you dont exactly do the math standing in the middle of the road, or you would end up on the non-existent cow-catcher of the car, wondering why that happened when suddenly you see St. Peter at the pearly gates.

no, its impulsive. binary. cross, or dont. 1 or 0. hit, or miss. and your foot responds. but in a different way. can and cannot.or can. or cannot. 1 and -1.or 1, or -1.(again, too much probability theory...) if only we could understand more of the human body...

observation 2:

genuine jockey?

you see a person jockeying, because the current queue is too long. the other one is short. what do you do? think? hardly. lets weigh the possibilities. the other line is short, so the only criteria is service time. say the people on the shorter queue are chatty-they start talking about their wedding plans to an equally avid listener on the other side of the counter...

what if it is not? what if they live by the value code and finish on time? the worst part, what if they finish early? arent you stranded on this queue for a much longer time than the person who just happily got served and is leaving home early to watch india kill pakistan in the final one day?

again, 1 and 0. i should probably read on involuntary actions.

(*i am sure you are aware, that jockey is, not the next best thing to being naked, but in this case, switching queues. it makes the modeling of stochastic systems even more complex, apparently.)

observation 3:

the bus conundrum

ever been on a bus ride to nowhere even though you had an idea that you should not have gotten on the bus? i lose myself very easily. because, i always take the wrong bus. every time i feel like asking the driver/conductor, i am afraid that he would snap-as much civility we expect from civil servants, they are not readily dispensed with. just at the cusp of getting in, i become aware. ok, i am definitely going to arumbakkam instead of kodambakkam today. impulse. zero this time; maybe one next time! 

cheers! and let me know if you have had such weird experiences...!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Writing about writing

I wonder how all those authors did it. How those poets, bards, playwrights, novelists, satirists managed to use their pens (sticks,quills, chisels, reed pens or any old darn thing they had in their time), churn out ideas and construct them into wonderful verses, immortal phrases, words that have captured our imagination and will do so in the very distant future? Personally I find it rather difficult. It's like having a painful, throbbing boil smack bang in the middle of your arse cheek- you can't sit, you can't run and you definitely need to have second thoughts of using the Western loo.

The first major hurdle I face is the topic. I usually have absolutely no idea of what I should write about- Little pixies or water bears; tiny strawberry leprechauns or Santa Claus' inflamed left bollock. Usually I need to throw dice and choose a topic. When someone says- dude, that's like horse poo man, all I do is I quote old Julius Caesar, "Alea iacta est" (The die has been cast). After choosing my topic and rubbing my hands with obvious glee, I start to write (type nowadays- we'll get to that later) and the idea that I have is wonderful- like tiny indigo dinosaurs hopping about on a field of red chrysanthemums with a stoned sun, smoking a joint of grass, puking rainbows and shining out soap bubble patterns that pop into his mind- I get stuck while trying to put all this cascade of information into a few words. Hmmmm... What can I do?

Then I decide- that's way too much information, man. **SYSTEM OVERRIDE** flashes about in my tired head. Too much- was way too bad for my poor head. Let's take a more simplistic approach. New topic. Fat Guy eats ice cream? No most fat guys do that. Then comes the mother of all ideas. Yup- plagiarise! Lemme pinch a post that I have already written. Flower it up a bit. Then comes a lightning bolt+voice from above- "Thou shalt not plagiarise. Do it with some other fellow's post who is a better writer than thou". Aha- thanks a lot, voice and lightning- I shall set out immediately on this noblest of tasks. Ultimately I find that a whole load of them are better than me and I have way too much information to process.

After a few days, I ultimately settle on a topic, and I start to type. If anybody has seen me type, they know that I type as well as a drunk hippopotamus in a tutu would dance the Swan Lake Ballet. Actually the hippo may do a better job at the ballet. So my inquisition with the keyboard begins and with more effort than Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing had to muster to climb Mount Everest, I type out my post (or a story or any old shit). So after altering the positions of the tendons and the bones in my fingers and hands permanently, I finally bring out a post, fresh or stale from my mind.

This is of course a hobby-really is, despite the blooming boil analogy- but doing it over and over- writing over 200 pages, like most authors- even if it crap, like some books really are- demands respect.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Taj Mahal- Monument of Love?

Truth is stranger than fiction. One of the most strangest truth in the history is concerning Taj Mahal. In this article , I want people to view Taj Mahal not as a mounement of love. I think Taj Mahal is not that beautiful. There are so many beautiful monuments in this world. After this article, please view Taj Mahal as a symbol of Shahjahan's cruel fate.In the Mogul dynasty, good kings were rare. They were opposite contrary to the dharmic kings of the native India. And fitting to their tradition, Shahjahan was a cruel king. He had improper relationship with his own daughter. His son imprisoned him in his later years, over the sucession issue.
Alot of people regard Taj Mahal as a symbol of love. It is one of the 7 wonder of the world elected by so much people in the world.A King built for the wife. Both are buried there. Everyone knows the story. King Shahjahan met this queen Mumtaz, fell in love with her. Married her, had so much children. In the 14th childbirth, she died. King could not forget her and built a cemetry that is Taj Mahal.
I don't find the story romantic in the first place. If Shahjahan really loved the Mumtaz, he would had just died with her in the longing for her.In this world, there are couples who die within 1 year, if one spouse died. That is true love. It took so many years for the monument to build, and Shahjahan actually lived after so many years after her death.
So, i dont really understand why this monument is so hyped about? If it is about the beauty of the structure, I am sure there are so much beautiful structures in India that is more beautiful like Mysore Maharaja palace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To Creationists

Isn’t it just so glamorous to show that the Earth had begun 6000 years ago using Einstein’s theory of Relativity? And the brazen use of calculus- the limit was so difficult to comprehend wasn’t it?
Let’s deconstruct his argument one by one, shall we?
1)The MOST BASIC ASSUMPTION IN RELATIVITY- THE BASIS OF THE ENTIRE THEORY- is that time is not absolute. You went wrong when you said that time was absolute. That is why it is called relativity!!!

2)Yes, we can see stars that are more than 6000 light years away- what is a light year? It is the distance light covers in a vacuum in one year. The speed of light in a vacuum is constant- not in any other media- and this is why we have refraction- any high school text will tell you that the relative speeds of light in different media with a common boundary are given by Snell’s law- look it up JD777.

3)You keep on mentioning that time is absolute- it isn’t by relativity- it has also been proven by many experiments- take a pair of atomic clocks and then take one in a flight around the world and leave one behind- there will be a difference in the time they show- it was even shown for public television, in the Christmas lectures 99 in the UK. Try and find that experiment on youtube, if you can.

4)The Earth has not been around for the entire duration of the Universe. It has been there for around a third of that time. The age of the universe has been found accurately using the COBE explorer that mapped the cosmic background radiation of the universe, which will be a few degrees above absolute zero. Dating of meteorites has shown the age of the solar system to be around 4568.8 +- 10 mya. And if you don’t like dating, like so many creationists, then forget about nuclear radiation from the nuclear waste that are kept in lead containers from the power plants that provide you (or at least someone else, if not you) with electricity, or the horrors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs- the fallout is what I meant, not just the blast. If you think that Ar-Ar dating or K-Ar dating methods are wrong, then you can go and live with a flask of radium for the rest of your lives- which will be rather short then. The rates of decay are constant- it’s been tested in every possible condition in the lab, high/low pressure, temperature, diverse chemical environments and many, many more. The half life has always been constant! So your point that the Earth has been there forever is FALSE!

5)Ah, yes everyone loves a bit of calculus to show that they know something that you don’t! Let’s take a look at what you have written in the first line:

t’ = 1/g
lim g->0 t’ =∞ .

Are you mad?
What the fuck is g? How the fuck is that equation right, when clearly the dimensions are totally wrong. The dimension of a quantity is the unit we ascribe to it. For example, if you weigh, say 170 pounds, the pounds is a dimension- it is a unit of mass that we use to measure your mass. It can also be said that you weigh around 83 kilograms – also a dimension with a different unit of mass measurement. Pounds, stone, kilograms all measure the same thing- mass. Similarly, we have miles per hour, kilometres per hour, meters per second- they all measure velocity or speed (Creationist alert- I know they are not the same- I am a Mechanical Engineer). So relationships can be ascribed using three units or more- we choose mass, time, length and temperature as the units that we base our systems on- it can also be any units that we choose- if you have a problem with them speak to your National Board of Standards. If relativity were so easy (and erroneous!) then high school kids can make predictions about the universe with gay abandon- put some effort into your mathematics and physics, sir, before judging them and drawing conclusions from them- Learn Tensor Calculus, Topology and Probability theory before you attempt Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. To tell where you have gone wrong, you have equated a force with time- MAJOR ERROR!!!! And moreover, what the fuck is g? The gravitational force? Or the gravitational constant on the Earth? Or the universal gravitational constant, G (which may not be a constant at all!)? Even the dimensions of the constants are all wrong in that equation- find the constants and then see their dimensions!

6)You also keep saying that gravity in a black hole is infinitely large- this is only partly true- because it so, only once we enter the Event Horizon- the distance wherein the effects of the gravitational field of the black hole are so powerful, that even light cannot escape. There are many several radii of a black hole depending on the rotation of the black hole- the simplest radius is the Schwarzschild Radius. AND TIME IS RELATIVE!!! It is only infinite for the poor chap who falls inside the black hole- not anyone else outside of it- for them, their time goes on as usual- affected by their own velocities of course! And please be more concise with your relation; it is not ct=d, it is this:

∆s^2 = c^2∆t^2 -∆x^2 -∆y^2 -∆z^2
Your equation assumes absolute time- wrong again!

There are so many effects of this relation that you need a text book on general relativity and special relativity to know it all- try Hobson, Efstathiou and Lasenby- General Relativity: An introduction to Physicists. It’s highly technical, so don’t bother anyways!

7)If light travels infinitely fast, between galaxies, then wouldn’t everything happen infinitely fast in between the galaxies and because of that wouldn’t the universe end and wouldn’t Judgement Day come sooner for a person in a spaceship? Or even for the two Voyagers, may I add? And moreover, with your equation, with t->∞, wouldn’t light have a speed of zero?? So much so for the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum!!! And if you assumed at the very beginning of the video that the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant, how can light travel infinitely fast in vacuum?

8)And finally you said that the time in space is 2 million times that observed on earth. Are you a dolt? Firstly, time can only be relative to an observer!!! Note that the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference! And by your “calculations”, that is not so! And more over, if time measured in space tends to infinity, then your factor is not two million times, it bloody infinity! Do the math- but of course you can't!
What an odious cretin this fellow is!