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...!


  1. Note to self: Get the "Probability for dummies" on the way back home to comment intelligibly on Gautham s latest post.

  2. p.s. also that Aggarwal book I mugged-up during campus placement to understand that car time-distance problem.

  3. haha...i am sure you would have seen some things like this. :)

  4. That line thing happens quite a lot- to the point you think that all the short lines are conspiracies against you to deliberately slow you down.

    And the team you support always play well right until the moment you start seeing them play- they then become inexplicably shit and lose.

  5. completely agree with the game thing.
    a problem similar to that is the gambler's ruin, look up on it, its a very interesting concept.(in case you weren't familiar with it!)