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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thinking about it more and more, 22 is really one weird age to be a single guy.
1. Its hard to find 22 yr old members of the fairer sex who are single and.. well, you know.. ready to mingle..
2. You really don't have the time on your hands to woo another female all the way after all your investment on the last one didn't pay off all that well. Or it did. But you are not willing to be hurt again. No more attachments.
3. Any younger girl is always bitching about profs, her friends, cribbing about parents, and all that shit you just got out of and don't wanna hear anymore. Not for a long while.
4. Any older girl will wanna get married asap. Not because she wants to. She just needs her parents off her back.
5. Females you date have to be slightly younger, to slightly older. Or well, you are into things I am not.
So, I am just gonna chill out for a while and let this phase pass. Society has left me no choice.


posted by Dhruvkaran @ 12:05 AM, ,

Chaos! Are we just random variables?
Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sometimes, it feels like we're all just frightened to admit how much in life really depends on chance. We like to believe we can change it. We like to believe we make our own future. But, take a minute and think about this. Ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? Its basically a component of chaos theory which talk about the large degree of variance of outcomes with respect to initial conditions. If you are a person with a lesser technical bend of mind the this movie will just lay things out for you in a gripping manner.
To me, this used to be like one of those laws which don't mean much. You know, kinda like Murphy's law. But then I picked up a book on chaos theory and everything just began to make so much more sense with examples from weather predictions and stock market behavior analysis, etc. In fact people even say that it is easier to invent than it is to predict; classic chaos theory.
We make several decisions in the course of our lives. And looking back, its so easy to connect the dots. You know where you went right and where you messed up! You can basically identify critical points which had a large impact and could have changed the course of your life. These can vary from the college you picked to maybe the time you picked up a smoke or maybe that time when you dropped it for good.
So, coming back to my original point, when we are born, we are basically allotted a random initial state, random initial conditions(or more precisely, variables). For example, your family, your country, its economic, social and cultural state at that time, the crime rates in your region, the demographics and countless other variables. Don't you think these change everything? Infact they do. To an extent that its no point bothering about changing it. And thats what we exactly do. We follow a greedy strategy. We try to make the best out of every situation we are in. Its amazing how everything just fit in while writing this. I actually feel happy because I am sure I have been real greedy :P
Maybe this is just too much Numb3rs talking.

posted by Dhruvkaran @ 7:40 PM, ,

Will the human survival instinct give in??
Thursday, March 27, 2008

We all go ga-ga over all these new crowd-sourcing based portals. Google changes ads positioning etc. based on the click-through rate of a particular type of ad in a particular position. Topcoder uses crowd-sourced programming capabilities for reducing the costs of component design and development. Digg does the same when user-ratings matter for the ranking of a news article, etc. Orkut uses a similar procedure to determine how cool or sexy you are!! When you buy something on Amazon, they recommend to you other things which you might also be interested in based on what other people who bought this particular product also bought. That's nothing! Allegedly, Visa predicts divorce probabilities based on credit scores and patterns. These are essentially forms of number crunching where crowd/number-sourced opinion/intelligence is used to eliminate noise and come up with a probable answer. And whats more, the noise is a decreasing function and accuracy an increasing function of the number of samples.

We are very much comfortable using technology for materialistic requirements. But, say a few years down the line, you go to a doctor, the assistant outside hands over a form with a about 30-40 questions which are designed carefully to reduce the deviation from the correct answers due to the way you perceive the linguistic terms. You fill out the form, and within minutes, your name flashes on the board outside the examination room. You enter, and are surprised to find the doctor doesn't really look like one. Anyway, you get over that and hand-over the form to him. He scans it, and starts a process on his cluster terminal. After a few measurements like your body temperature, weight, height, etc., he informs his computer of these parameters also. Or what the heck! Maybe, devices embedded into your body have already informed his computer of those parameters over bluetooth. Few minutes later, there a beep from the terminal(after the cluster has gone through zillions of health and medicine records & cases), the doctor looks into he screen and says looks like its disease XYZ. How likely are you to believe him/her? Would you undergo treatment based solely on what the data mining application thinks you've got? Or would you prefer it Aristotle's way, where the only way to conclude is through logical inferences? Most people would opt for the second one(atleast in the initial stages of technology introduction), although the first option is in all probability much, much more accurate. But, the problem with most data mining/neural network based procedures is low interpretability. i.e. Its difficult to say why the application is concluding what it's concluding.

Well I guess that's what makes us human, the survival instinct! I guess technology will have to slowly pave its path into these crucial parts of our life. Maybe by just giving second opinions initially, and slowly we'll just reach a stage where we'll google our symptoms and get the results!!

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posted by Dhruvkaran @ 11:59 AM, ,

Airbus A380 in India!?
Monday, March 24, 2008

Well, my friends and I were randomly chatting and ended up talking about Airbus A380, the largest commercial aircraft in the history of aviation. I have earlier seen a two-part Discovery channel documentary on the making of the plane which I must say did provide a lot of insight. This plane, seats 525 people in luxury configuration and 853 in economy configuration. It has a Flight range of 15,200 KiloMetres. This jet comsumes 4 gallons of aviation fuel per second!

My point in the conversation was this: The Indian domestic aviation industry grew at a whopping 44.6% last year. We're aware that the airports we have currently(which are pathetic, by the way) are by no means going to be able to handle the new air traffic(Airbus somehow managed to land A380 in Mumbai and Delhi in 2007, but I hope that doesnt become an everyday thing before airport upgrades). The new ones, only for 2 cities, Hyderabad and Bangalore might be good for now but how long are they going to sustain this growth rate? Besides, the new airlines like Kingfisher(placed orders for 10 A380s, 5 confirmed for delivery in 2011-12), Air Deccan, SpiceJet, IndiGo, etc. are providing good services but what I am really worried about is that day when this(clearly under-trained) staff is going to board and light 853 of us Indians into this monster-jet. It will be chaos. Since air travel is new to most travellers on
board, it makes it all the more difficult as they do not understand common protocol like duration of occupying the aisle during boarding, etc. Whoah!! And then Elphin pointed out: "Dude, what about free seating arrangements like Air Deccan uses currently??" No more needed to be said. We couldn't stop laughing.

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posted by Dhruvkaran @ 12:25 AM, ,

HIMYM is back!!
Sunday, March 23, 2008

Just saw the latest episode from the sitcom, How I Met Your Mother -- Season 3, Episode 12. So, its St. Patty's Day and Barney shows up in a 'green suit'. After some persuasion Ted decides to go along with him to a party. They slowly realize that 'doing bad thing leads to good things'. So Ted, after having ditched Marshal and Lily's Boardgame night at their new apartment, and the two completely hot girls Barney brought along, kisses a married woman, gets champagne on another dude's tab and then gets punched in his face for doing that. Later, Marshal and Robin figure that the new apartment has a crooked floor, and have a hard time breaking that to Lily. In that process they talk about some racist ghost of a commander federal of something. Best thing, Barney ends up in a trash can. wakes up the next morning and whats the first thing he says? "I'm awesome"
All in all an average HIMYM episode. But hell, I am just happy its back!

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posted by Dhruvkaran @ 6:31 PM, ,

Day 7671- TopCoder green blues

So, I got myself a cool new blog template for my birthday. Looks pretty good. Though it needed some tweaking so that I could use the much wasted screen real estate (just like from most blog templates).
Last Night's SRM 394 @ TopCoder was a disaster. Fortunately, the problem set was perceived to be tough by most, and my rating went up by 22 points(1094 -> 1116, still green). For the unaware, TopCoder is a competitive programming hotspot on the internet which has successfully managed to convert programming into an electrifying sport. I just wrote a post about the competition format but my dial-up decided to screw it up, so, the interested readers can find the competition format here. The match editorials are put up at an average 6 days after a match so that we can learn while we have fun too. The challenge phase is usually very exciting. I was staying away from this for a couple of years now for fear of humiliation, but now, its just an addiction!
Hope to do better next time.
Back to the arena for some practice!

PS: Some cool quotes guys have at TopCoder:
"If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space!!"
"Its known that debugging is twice as hard as coding, then if you code at your best, how are you ever going to debug it??"

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posted by Dhruvkaran @ 12:28 PM, ,