Monthly Archives: November 2005

Thinking of the Abstract

Time for an oldie article… This one was written in my tenth grade as well, and has not been abridged in any way… (And I hope I have not posted it here before, because it gives me a feeling of deja vu!)

 

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Ever thought of the world we live in? I can imagine, oh yes, the dogs barking in the streets below (no pun intended), some lone people seemingly night-walking (!), lights in the shops, few that are open, a tailor furiously mending his activities and people all ready to go to bed. Physically present? Yes, but abstract? No.

 

What segregates the physically present from the abstract? Our mind, you say? But then what makes our mind capable to comprehend the abstract? An abstract notion is described as an idea more present in theory than in reality and practicality.

 

So what exactly is this thin line separating the abstract from the physical? Is what is physical, really true? What in reality might be abstract might be physical to somebody and vice versa. Think about that confounded fear of unknown that you have. It is a fear for you. A fear of the abstract. Fear of something you imagine to exist. Fear of something that never existed – before you imagined it.

 

Does that mean that what we imagine or create come to existence? Well, by the strictest of definitions – not physically, but mentally and spiritually – yes. The abstract is the truth. What you think is reality. What you don’t think too is reality. Only that it is not present in your comprehension!

 

Expand your horizons. Think of the universe. Your universe. Your mind-made universe. Match your mind-made universe with someone else’s and feel what your abstract has created. Imagine the world as you see it. Imagine how somebody might see it. Somebody permanently disabled might have entirely different notions of the same universe that you live in. That is universe for you – or for him/her. But in reality it is abstract!

 

One’s universe is others imagination. Where two abstracts meet we find physical existence. One man can alone think of an abstract idea. But then he himself cannot imagine it physically. Add another person with the same idea. Let them debate on it. Let them decide. And physical presence will originate.

 

That union of the abstract is our world. That is where we are. And we will be. It is our supreme mind that has created us – out of the abstract. And it is the abstract where we will end. The abstract is finite. It is only that our comprehension of the abstract changes – that changes our world.

 

And so finally, what can we conclude? That our world is an abstract? Perhaps, not. Perhaps, yes. Definitely it is abstract. Physical born out of the abstract. Who are we then? Abstract?

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Coldplay – Talk – The Video

Yes, they released the video to their single – Talk, also featured in the album X&Y.
 
And it sucked…
 
I mean, I really did not expect it to be that way…
 
Who puts in a robot in such a song? I had so many beautiful (emotional even) connotations of that lovely song. Bah!
 
Though I must admit, it’s kind of funny once you get over the initial bickering…
 
The plot appears pretty simple: The band (wearing 3D goggles, no less) lands on some planet with their flying saucer… Chris has a big flash light that he shines across the stars in the sky, and a megaphone through which he sings…
 
Then they walk past these really weird looking white trees! They would prove quite chillingly scary in a movie. And then they find the robot… Fallen down, broken perhaps.
 
Chris Martin actually goes and “talks” to the robot… That’s the time when he sings:
Are you lost or incomplete
Do you feel like a puzzle
You canÂ’t find your missing piece
Tell me how you feel
Well, I feel like theyÂ’re talking in a language I donÂ’t speak
And theyÂ’re talking it to me
They all walk up to it, and climb over it, Guy or Chuck removes one of the black round buttons on it and puts it in his drum! The robot then wakes up, and actually says some gibberish, that is subtitled… 🙂
 
Then they walk towards the trees, and the robot kinda focuses on them, his spotlighty eyes shining on them, and they go berserk… Which is when the music plays loud.
 
Finally the robot decides to go and sit inside some rock kinda thing, and since it is now settled, our heroes board their space craft and take off… The robot notices its missing button, and summons some power that enables it to attract the craft to its hand… He then proceeds to eat a piece of it… And Coldplay is shown astonished, looking at it through the spaceship window! Very silly!
 
The robot then whistles, and leaves its rock house…
 
The end…
 
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Wonder if there’s more to it than what they have depicted… I really hope so… Cause it is kinda depressing this way…
 
Oh yes, did I mention that the video was in blank-n-white?

Whoops!

I hate myself…
 
Here’s why:
 
I submitted the online application for SP Jain’s two year management course, and the credit card payment kind of bombed, so I sent them a mail…
 
And what really sucked is, I wrote:
 
I finished filling my application, and payed by Credit Card.
 
Gaaah!
 
Payed?
 
WTF is payed? How did I write payed? This is sooo stupid!

eMule, First Dates and Perspectives

For all those who joined in late, I now have an unlimited 256 kbps connection from Hathway. And as a consequence, my download time for the same amount of content has reduced five fold. So basically, here’s what has happened: My eMule download list, with the whole of the Gilmore Girls and a lot of other (unmentionable?) stuff, amounting to over 100 items, has now reduced to a flimsy list of less than 5. And that too will finish by tomorrow. I never thought there would be a time like this…
 
(Yes, I can start new downloads, but there’s a slight problem: With this speed, I do about 1.6+ GB per day, and my hard disk space cannot keep up with it… Major problem, I’d say!)
 
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Now, if you are expecting some mushy or lascivious stuff, go away. This is not about my first date, or something like that. It’s about a rather innocent question that a friend put forth. The preparatory leave (PL) makes people think about funny things, that are very important in reality, but we kind of push them because we don’t want to deal with them at that moment. And because the PL is actually about all such things like studies, the other things like this one, being much easier to confront, arise at such times…
 
Anyway, so his question: Imagine you are on a date…
Me: With a gal?
Him: Yes, with a gal.
Me: Go on…
Him: Yes, so say you go get some coffee with a gal…
(pause)
Me: And then who pays?
Him: Exactly
Me: Ah, you have asked a very important question, my dear friend. The answer to which, I strongly feel, is: Split it 50-50. At least on the first date.
 
What do you feel? Weigh in…
 
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What will a nerd say to his girl friend?
Your code is beautiful.
 
And it really might be so… The genetic code, for all those who proscribe to the natural world. The matrix code, for those who take a more laid back attitude to life. All you need are the eyes, to view it so.
 
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This blog has something new, apart from this post. Go find what it is!

Who wrote this stuff?

There is this paragraph in a set of notes on Software Engineering and Object Oriented Analysis and Design that a friend recommended:
 
Security testing attempts to verify that protection mechanisms built into a system, will, in fact, protect it from improper penetration. To quote Beizer, “The system’s security must, of course, be tested for invulnerability from frontal attack, but it must also be tested for invulnerability from rear attack.”
Now, is it just me, or can this be also be considered an extract from a condom quality control company’s brochure?
 
Further:
During security testing, the tester plays the role of the individual who desires to penetrate the system. Anything goes! The tester may attempt to acquire passwords from external clerical means; they may have been constructed, overwhelming the system, thereby deny access to others; may purposely cause system errors, hoping to penetrate the system during recovery; may browse through insecure data, hoping to find the key to system entry.
Bleh!
 
Also from the notes: In some cases, a system must be fault torrent (sic).

Blabber Blabber

There are a lot of issues that I want to write about: the illegality of carrying porn in your cell phones, the nonsensial allocation of centers for the CAT tomorrow, the pulse Polio immunization campaign, the latest post of Joel Spolsky and the BOFH, the Sony DRM fiasco, the stupid email forward doing the rounds about why men are happier et al. But all of those are pretty serious topics, and I just want to rant…
 
Seinfeld: “It’s a show about nothing”, they say. Over time, I have come to absolutely detest the jokes Jerry puts up at the start and the end of the show, in his act of the stand-up comedian. They are simply illogical, and full of falacies. He does not think, he uses extremely narrow analogies, and sometimes they are outright stupid. The show, otherwise very good, is some how getting on my nerves now, just because of those jokes… But I still watch them, just to see how dumb people can get.
 
What is with the caselets and reading comprehension passages that the paper setters at the various CAT papers use? The are at times so wonderfully out of a reference of any kind. There was this example about dinosaurs, eight of them exact, replete with names and all. The caselet was about the length of the steps they took, and in the typical logical reasoning and data interpretation style, they had jumpled up the information, and we had to read through the caselet and assign each of those behemoths their correct step sizes, so to say. What was horribly wrong was that they all had integral lengths, and they were measured in miles. So the longest step was something like ten miles, and the shortest distance that a dinosaur took in one step was two miles. This might be a good time to roll eyes. I mean, come on, give me a better example, something more believable. Or stick to generic variables, and not dinosaurs.
 
Hit this site yesterday, about the God that is Jennifer. Goddess, actually, but then she is God, so what can we say? There’s one beautiful thing among the nonsense on the site, and that is:
 
Gragle Booly.
 
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PS. My current MSN tag: Subtlety so subtle, it’s subtle in subtlety.

The line

It’s rather strange how we behave. There merely isn’t an explanation, or justification for the way we live our lives. Not in the material sense, or in the spiritual sense either. I mean, there’s no reason for our reasoning. At least, till date.
 
Let me put forth an example: I know certain things about a friend X. Like, say, the person Y that X really really wants to have a relationship with, but for reasons that will be a blog post by themselves, it just won’t work the way we, as his friends would want it to. That’s what good friends are for, always looking out for the best, always hoping for the best.
 
What keeps us ticking?
 
Today’s technology is far developed, advanced and sophisticated (for the three are not the same), than what it was, probably yesterday. Thereby, if I so wish, and malice rolls into my character, I can torment the said friend X in one of the many ways possible: I can create a new email id with Y’s assumed identity, and make a mess of X’s head. Or I could approach Y with X’s assumed identity, and go the other way round. Or I could have Y for myself, by using the almost infinite powers of technology.
 
Oh don’t get me wrong, this isn’t going to be a post about how technology has failed us, and how identity theft is getting simpler to go by, and yet difficult to actually escape from. Nope, that’s so not what this post is about.
 
It’s more about the inner workings of my mind, that actually prevent me from doing any of the above mentioned, presumably malicious, activities. And it’s not the fear of the law, because technically, I am not claiming that I am someone else, since I can assume whatever identity that I want in the virtual world. Neither is it the fear of losing a friend, because frankly, the chances of X actually blaming me, or even figuring out that it’s my doing, are pretty down to nil.
 
So then, what is it that holds me back, behind the line?
 
Let’s see it another way, in another domain: I go to a restaurant. Not very upscale, just the joint by the corner, especially the ones where you would typically find some of the taporis so to say. Now, as I wait for my table to be ready, these people land up. And since I was here before, I should be the lawful owner of my table for the period when I wish to engage the dining services of the restaurant. More often than not, I will have my table. The taporis will wait their turn.
 
Now, nothing really stops them from snatching my table from me. And me being me, won’t really object to them having it. I might even offer it to them, for that matter. But, they won’t. (Yes, there are people of the other kind too, but then, there are more of the kind I am talking about.)
 
Yet another example: College. Seniors. Ragging. There’s ragging, and there’s ragging. One can make you friendlier, and the other can, not just scar you for life, but simply make life impossible to live. People do both. But most do the first kind, unless there is some sort of deep seated hatred against you. Not that they cannot do the second. They certainly can. But they won’t.
 
So what is this feeling of letting things go the natural way? Of not troubling others for no real reason? We hunt because we can, at times. We engage in certain acts, because we can. So why not these?
 
Conscience, ethics and the crap. Yes, send it all over here…
 
But, it must have started somewhere. The first human must have thought about it. Inculcated it amongst the next generation. What made him do it?
 
(Yes, there are sections of the society that love doing all or some of the above. Sociopaths, we call them. Norman Lewis, of the Improve your Word Power fame has an entire chapter on them. So these, so called, sociopaths, do they also not stem from the same human? What happened there? Suddenly one fine morning, they woke up, and hey, I can torture that dog that’s outside. And then another, otherwise fine, morning, hey, I can kill my neighbour. Is it really how that happens?)
 
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I was not going to mention about the hiatus in my posting schedule, but then, for posterity’s sake, here goes: I did not post, because I did not feel like it. Period.
 
And in the meantime, a lot has happened: CAT is in two days. Damn. Sem 7 exams approaching fast. Flu. Caught some this week. Still coughing a bit. Attended an assortment of social functions: A friend’s birthday bash, a friend’s sister’s reception, more of those coming up. Hathway is awesome. Long live Hathway. Gilmore Girls. Am now into season 5. Again, long live eMule. Basically, long live a lot of things. The list is simply too big, and I don’t want to hog the limelight. Hopefully, meet you all in a newer post, sooner than this one!

Cooked-up Stories

Well, you go to a reasonably decent party, or for that matter, any social event, and there’s this group of people who will get together and swap tales about moronic and dumb people, creatures and observations. Some, I think, are so horribly made up, that it is funny and strange that we believe them anyway.
 
There’s this great story about how someone bought a parakeet or love-birds and put them in a room with a wall full of mirrors… And then the bird would fly into the mirror every time thinking that there was a room to the other side…
 
Now what disgusts me to no end is that the bird cannot really be that dumb. I mean come on, you can say that it cannot perhaps fathom the concept of a mirror, but atleast it can see a bird, heck, the same as itself flying from the other end. Surely, it’ll try and avoid a sure collision! But apparently, the story-teller does not think so.
 
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Anyway, I am aborting this post, because this probably has been the most interrupted post ever. Sad, really.

Exclusivity

It’s wonderful when you have it, and horrible when you don’t.
 
I love it.
 
Be it in life, in things that we care about, in the stuff that we buy, in the things we say: Exclusivity is perhaps the most treasured virtue.
 
But isn’t it sad, that we yearn for exclusivity?
 
I mean come on, the whole open source thing is about sharing. P2P is about sharing. Friendship is about sharing. Heck, not feeling jealous because your partner flirts, only to mock you for a moment, is one kind of sharing. Society thrives on sharing. That’s how we were “programmed”.
 
Yet, we want exclusivity.
 
So much so that we are willing to pay whatever price needed. Patents, intellectual rights, relationships, just about everything.
 
I, for one, cannot decide, if exclusivity is good or bad. Or where can a line be drawn. Because there has to be a line somewhere. Certain things have to be exclusive. It would just not be right. But however deep I have tried to probe, there is no definite line, forget thin ones. I am not sure it’s a line. It’s more like a curve, and a constantly changing one…
 
I guess, I’ll trust my sub-conscious to do the line drawing part. It’s so much better that way. What say?
 
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Do clones have navels?