Saturday, December 22, 2012

A common man realizing his uncommonness.

When I advise something I don't follow, I am just a consolation... a mere onlooker , a bystander. I call myself a common man, always staying out of the uncertainties of life, living dead in a zombie state.

I compare my fortune with the world less fortunate and keep hugging my own, however dull it may be. Call it fate , and pretend to stay happy. I celebrate every festival like everyone does, mourn every mishap like everyone does. I have such a minute sense of being human that I am totally unaware of the uniqueness that nature has given me. I patch my mistakes , don't make up for them. I have temporary solution for permanent problems. I stay put easily. I either over-react or not react at all only to realize that both did not help.

One fine day, I read ideas that have been put into action, have been guiding the humans worldwide and have become part of history. A history, which ultimately is a deep rooted idea that's persistently put into each and every action with far-most struggle and sacrifice. A great sense of thanks and appreciation bulges in my heart. The people who did not know me have done so much for me to see this day.

Now , the choice is mine, I can either be a common man and matter no more, die a worm. Or take up an idea and let it flow with every action in my life persistently. Nature shall take its course naturally in both the cases.

- metta.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why we SHOULD take up the Model Thinking Class

When you observe your thinking abstractly and objectively , you will see mathematical models working continuously in your mind , weighing the choices you have and don't have, choices you can and want to have. But if you feel its scope is only limited to YOUR rational thinking , and  YOUR actions , its time to come out of that blackbox. 

Heard of the recent exodus from Bangalore and other cities of migrants from the Northeast? They were reacting to threatening SMS messages warning of violent retaliation from Muslims.  Here is a link to an article on the topic. Read it carefully and understand how the author  reaches the conclusion using Model Thinking.

I know for some of you might be interested enough to continue reading further before clicking on the link above, so here is a short and sweet example : 

Let us consider a common real life situation :

You are standing at a Bus stop waiting for a bus . A private Jeep stops a few meters from the stop and the cleaner starts shouting the name of exact stop where you want to go. 

You are in a dilemma whether to take lift in the Jeep. In the meantime, one person gets into the vehicle. You rethink your decision. The cleaner shouts again.
Another person gets in. You change your mind and get into the bus. 

Are you the only person who took that split second decision? Well , probably not. What happened with you would have probably had happened 
with the other people who got in before / after you.

What your brain did there is mathematically described as the Standing Ovation Model. A more direct example of it would be a theater full of people where the probability of maximum people standing to appreciate the stage performance is directly proportional to the no of people standing in the first few rows. Otherwise , why do you think celebrities often go to the theater and sit on first row on First Day First Show ?

Continuing with our bus example ... So exactly what kept you initially from taking lift in the Jeep ? Probably you were thinking :

  • Bloody private drivers , I 'd rather use the government bus service. Why pay him? <=> Is it in my set of principles to take the lift? (YES/NO)
  • Everyone has their own way of earning , why blame the poor. 
  • Is the driver / cleaner genuine ? (not drunk , not a kidnapper ... categorization )  (YES/NO)
  • Is the vehicle in good condition ? (YES/NO)
  • just get in .. who knows when the bus will come. ( Even if your mind made it sound cool at the end , you still change your mind weighing all factors TOGETHER, right? )

This is the Decision Tree Model in your mind. Where every branch had an associated weight.

So, are you interested in more of this stuff ? Do take up the online course on "Model Thinking" by prof. Scott E. Page  by visiting : 

The course is split over weeks, so working professionals can take it up too. Complete the assignments and get a free certificate of completion from foreign university. The course is light-weight and interesting as it goes across all domains, from day to day life to technology , finance and bureaucracy. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Buddha hi Buddha hai

Lyrics of the song Buddha hi Buddha hai :
बुद्ध हि  बुद्ध है, बुद्ध हि  बुद्ध है
हर जगह , हर समय वो सिद्ध है वो सिद्ध है || (२)

मन मे तुम्हारे बसता वो गुणवान है
सम्यक शिक्षा से करता जो शीलवान है

अहिंसा की ताकत से जो बलवान है वो बुद्ध है ||

स्वयं पर स्वयं तू ध्यान कर ,
हलचल ह्रीदय की स्पन्दानो को जान कर
नित्य नियंत्रण से खुदकी  पेहेचान कर
पायेगा जाब तू विजय स्वार्थ पर
विकृती पर तू निरंतर मात कर
ध्रीढ  निश्चय से  जब चित्त तेरा शुद्ध है तू बुद्ध है ||

परिवर्तन हि है ये जीवन का नियम
क्यो न हो ये धर्म का भी अधिनियम,
मैत्री प्रग्या शील हो जिसमे
सदैव तन मन पर सय्यम
कर पूजा सदगुनो  की ए नादान
ईश्वर क्या बने , तू पहले बन इन्सान
कार्म्कांडो से नाही मिलता भगवान
चमत्कार नाही दुनिया मे तू मान
मानव सेवा हि तुझसे नितीबद्ध है तू बुद्ध है ||

जब चाले हिंसा हि आंधी
निर्लज्ज उठाये पापो का तुफान
ले चला जगात को विनाश के पथ पर
बेधुंद अहंकारी बना इन्सान
देखो उसे धून्डो उसे पाओ उसे , अंतर मन मे , जन मन तन मे
दीपक शांती का , करूणा का वो सागर  , प्रग्या कि जो मूर्ती, दिव्या भाग्याशील नगर
देखो उसे धून्डो उसे पाओ उसे  , यस जगात का ,
इस धारा का वो मार्गादाता  श्रेष्ठ है , वो बुद्ध है ||

Saturday, July 23, 2011

[LOTD] Passion vs Compassion

After taking up the job in pune , doing Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai on weekends provides me an opportunity to meet different people.

To summarize the experience, I have realized that in order not to hurt their ego , you have to be compassionate. A response purely based on passion either reflects your own ego or hurts that of the other person.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are headphones injurious to health ?

I dont know the answer to that question but I know for sure that all of you have heard some elderly person talking about the headphones in your ear when you are travelling in a public transport. But you dont care what they think or say, you simply enjoy the beats reverb inside your ear, head and mind.

To others , it may seem like a fashion these days. But if you take a deep breath and take a DIY (Do - It - Yourself ) approach , what do you observe ?

- All your attention is on the words / favourite number thats playing on the phone.
- The hot chic you could have easily stared at for a considerable long time seems so cold in no time.
- The thought "Huh traffic! "  changes into "yey ! today I can listen to the track I missed yesterday ! "
- You realise in between that Headbanging / foot tapping is an ultimate freedom of expression
- positive thoughts like "Hmm .. may be , Having to Listen to a song that I hate (just because my cellphone is in a pocket which is sadwitched in the crowd) kinda increases my stamina to listen to any crap."

... and the list could go on and on.

You see , the truth is , in this information age there is too much info floating around, makes you spend most of the time worrying about the things that can happen / have happened . Then what's wrong with a little information in mp3 / wav / whatever format which can get me an instant "high" without drinking / eating something ?

P.S. I have limited the scope of this post to the use of headphones during travelling  in public transport. Otherwise the DIY approach can be tried at your own risk.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lost in Translation

Recently, I  attended a convention on Free Open Source Software conducted by Free Software Movement of India . The venue for the event was Tech Mahindra campus , located at about 45 minutes distance (seriously cant help .. m used to measure distance in time) . So the first thing that I thought was
Hmm.. may be Mahindra Satyam wants to regain its Satyam status again.
Major part of attendance comprised of lecturers from all over (mostly south) India. Though I am a working software engineer, I attended the event as a student. cause hell... we all are students till death.

The conference was inaugurated by our beloved Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Here is the full speech for those interested. And for those who love one-liners , see the video below. ( I dont know why that quote is not in the full text! )

As they say

That adage about genius being 5 percent inspiration and 95 perspiration - it's true
And so, as was expected , doses and doses of inspiration for using FOSS was being fed to the hungry. While the people on the "Dias" were injecting the 5%, those in the lecture halls were taking care of the 95% .... great split.

There was a project demonstrated which is trying to implement a village based intranet for the rural people...sms gateway .... info portal .... bla bla in indic lang.....voice input ... blaa blaa.....speech processing..... And I was wondering ^*$k .... why torture the suiciding farmers more ! first pay them decent enough. The prof demonstrating it was surprised to see that no-one was asking him any questions for his brilliant ideas and said audince lacked the passion required.

Though I am convinced the Open Source Software / Content is the way to go, I am not sure localization of content is really the way to progress of India as we have so many local languages. About Software Localization , I think translation into AN indian lanuage merely a way to let the illiterate remain one throughout. Yes, translation is effective for you up to an extent ... but how long ... a vast pool of knowledge is scripted in English ... so one day it has to be learnt to expand your knowledge....then why not on day 1 itself? Transliteration however is a much better option . As it does not constrain the knowledge gained into a local language. Well anyways , these are my views.

After all , " All is well , that ends well " .... Seeing the Mayavi Python in action was the most exciting part of the event as Prof. Prabhu Ramachandran from IITB demonstrated 3D visualization with Mayavi and Dr. John Hunter  plotted some awesome 2D graphics with his OS alternative to matlab - Matplotlib. In short, it was an exciting voyage into FOSS.... Thanks to Prof. N.L. Sarda . Prof K.S. Rajan :)