Archive - 2005

August 10th

going to michigan

A heads up for the misinfomed, uninformed, and the clueless: In nine days, I will have packed my bags and left for the opposite side of the planet, to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I’ll be trying to figure out exactly what this Computer Science thingy is all about; in particular trying to make sense of what all this “Databases and Information Retrieval” drivel means.

Speaking of drivel, have you noticed how “Data Mining” is a gross misnomer? Data means unprocessed computer gobbledegook, and Information means neat cool stuff humans can comprehend and make use of it. When we mine for something, the result is what we assign the term for; for example coal mining means we break through rock to extract coal. So if we’re looking for information, why do we call it data mining? This is like you look for gold and then call yourself a gunk-miner. Yuck.

random update update

I am still not feeling witty enough, but I’m getting this strange frustrating feeling that happens to me during sensory overload. The euphoria still remains, but there’s also this feeling of inadequacy of some sort… It’s almost (but not quite) like trying to hug a huge teddy bear, and not being able to get even a tenth of it in your grasp, but still trying to hang on to it, giggling.

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August 7th

random update

I’m alive, out of Bangalore, now in Delhi.

I have nothing witty to write right now.

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July 31st

Mumbai Help Blogs

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of Ex Girlfriends and Programming Languages

I’m not sure if this is normal, but I was reading and came across some BASIC code, and had this “Sigh, she was great – I wonder why we broke up?” thought. And then the “My, this is sad/creepy” thought.

Well, BASIC, my first love, you will always have a special place in my heart. Your line-numbered, small-stacked spaghetti code still takes me around in circles of thought.

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Viruddh review

Me: “I saw Viruddh the other day. Good movie.”
Gita: “Hmm. Who’s in it?”
Me: “Reebok, ELF Motor lubricants, Nerolac, Western Union Money Transfer, Calcium Sandoz…”

No seriously. This movie takes product placement to new heights. They even hit you when you’re down and in a teary-eyed moment. Good script, but can someone please hang the producer?

Also, Anusha Dandekar is nice, but I would have been happier if there was a real firang in her place.

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July 28th

of computer science and philosophy

I’ve always been intrigued by the similarities between the Computer Science and Philosophy disciplines. Both are so abstract that they apply to everything in the world, but an objective analysis leads you to the opinion that they both have no tangible result whatsoever. That is, a computer scientist, or a philosopher never does any real work. By real work, I mean something that you can explain to a 5 year old:

“Johnny, what does your father do?”
“He’s an eye doctor. He treats people who cannot see properly”

“Debbie, what does your father do?”
“He’s a computer scientist.”

“Which is?”
“He sits in a room all day staring at drawings, and sometimes in front of the computer typing things”

(Whole class is now making fun of Debbie because her dad is a loser)

Another very interesting thing is how very core computer science concepts have uncanny parallels in phliosophy and real life. Graph scoring and searching algorithms like BANKS and PageRank work on directed graphs where edges between nodes depict relationships between them; and it’s almost always better (in terms of speed and accuracy) to introduce “backward edges” — a relationship in the reverse direction of every relation in the graph.

Kind of like saying that there’s no such thing as a one-way relationship between two people.

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the power of assumption

I met a stranger, assumed he was stupid
He did the same
And we then talked about the weather and politics
Instead of inventing the Great Things

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July 28th

in memory of the flames I baited

I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.
I will not be ambiguously sarcastic in mailing lists where people don’t know me.

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mumbai mayhem

The people in Mumbai have been through a lot of problems in the last two days — This city is one of the most prepared in the world for lots-of-rain situations; and the preparedness is not just in the infrastructure, it’s deeply engraved in the mindset of every true Mumbaikar. I’m pretty confident they’ll champion this and show everyone what amchi mumbai is all about.

update: Minutes after I post this, I read Shantanu’s post, whose ending says it all:

The BSE Sensex crossed 7600 today. It was open today, because, apparently, no one went home yesterday.

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