A cup of Coffee and Barnum

Ever had that feeling when you could accurately relate to someone’s description of you? Congrats. You had been Barnumed!

On a fine evening, I started turning over the pages of Elon Musk’s biography with a cup of coffee by my side. My eyes quickly caught attention to the term ‘P.T.Barnum Effect‘ and I immediately recognized Barnum as my close associate who has been with me irrespective of the thicks and thins in my life.

Image result for Cup of Coffee images

Barnum effect is a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them but that are, in fact, vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, graphology, aura reading, and some types of personality tests.

Source: Wikipedia

The next time when you could relate the depictions in your horoscope accurately, think. There is a high chance that you have been ‘Barnumed’!

The Turing Paradox

“An unstable particle if observed continuously will never decay”

Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine. Trust me, it takes a minute or two for normal folks to decipher it. But, am not normal. Are you? **Victory Dance**

Assuming that you have deciphered it, let me get to the point. Computers have fascinated me all along. It continues to fascinate me and it will continue to fascinate me until I meet my maker. Guess, I have landed in the right profession after all. Well…That’s debatable. Let me keep that as a topic for another day.

If we were asked to explain about computers in laymen terms, we start with Charles Babbage who is acclaimed as the ‘Father of Computers’ and end up explaining about modern world gizmos like the iPhone, the iPad etc. What if I mean to say that there is a forgotten hero who is responsible for the Artificial intelligence of today? What if I tell you that Siri and Cortana are actually the great great grand kids of that guy who had worked far ahead of his time?

The story of Alan Turing is something which is not greatly exaggerated (It should have been) but modestly appreciated. Alan Turing was granted a ‘Royal Pardon’ in 2013 for his conviction of Homosexuality in the year 1952. That makes up almost 60 years. I neither champion the cause of LGBT nor am I against it. I would like to take a neutral stance but I strongly believe that everyone has a place in this world and it’s certainly not upto one person to judge another. He/She can be judged not by one’s sexuality but by their deeds. After all, it’s the uniqueness of each human being that collectively makes up a society.

Winston Churchill has acclaimed Turing to be the one who shortened World War-II by a span of 2 years and yes he really did. Imagine the countless lives that would have been lost had the war extended for 2 more years! Turing played a pivotal role in breaking Enigma – The German cipher. The Enigma machines were a series of electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. Alan Turing is said to have saved millions of life by breaking Enigma and intercepting German communications during World War II. It proved to be greatly advantageous to the Allies ultimately leading them to Victory. He achieved an impossible feat racing against time.

enigma
The Enigma Machine which was nicknamed as the unbreakable cipher but was deciphered by Alan Turing.

 

The life of Alan Turing is itself a paradox. He was considered an Intelligent fool. He was a Great mind yet he was Shunned. Although he was considered unstable by many, his legacy never decayed. (“An unstable particle if observed continuously will never decay”). Alan Turing died of Cyanide poisoning when he accidently bit an Apple laced with Cyanide. The mysterious circumstance of his death still remains at debate.

On a lighter note, it is said that Alan Turing was the inspiration behind the Apple logo although Apple has denied it forthright. (Yet another topic for debate?)

turing_primary

The paradoxical nature of Alan Turing’s life reminds me of how paradoxical our world is.

The crooked rule the World while the brightest remain obsequious. We claim to live in a world which is real but ain’t it just a paradox?

Yet, I strongly believe that the Power of change lies within Oneself and We as an unified set of like minded individuals might be able to bring about change in the near future.

Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.

Wanderlust?! (Or…yet,another normal soul?)

At times, I really wonder whether there is an alternative version of me in some other parallel universe or maybe a some other simulation in which I would have done things differently. Better things.. in which I had never hurt the people I love, neither intentionally nor accidentally. No doubt, this thought might be due to one of my recent obsession with futuristic TV series. We all dream about the future. We all have a haphazard view of how the future (Our Future) is gonna be. Some of us sprint, a few others linger behind while racing towards the future. Yet a few, neither sprint nor stay behind, but let the time take its course. I would place my bet on the former for thinking ahead of time and letting their inner self, take a toll towards its future. But, sometimes however hard we try, things don’t happen the way we want it to. Mysterious things happen and by the time we begin to unravel its intricacies, time flies by. No use in crying over spilt milk, as they rightly said.

One among the other factors which prompted me to write this blog post other than my obsession with futuristic TV series is my own inner self – The confused soul. Of times late, I have been coming across articles giving a glimpse of the futuristic reality rather than existential reality. Self-driving Car, Self-balancing motor vehicle, VR Headsets, surreal laptops without a solid keyboard to type onto and a solid monitor to look at things (and of course, good old Donald becoming the President.) Whoa! It all seems like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Artificial Intelligence is in the making or it’s already watching over us, maybe.

The future I am yet to live in is gonna be terrific and overwhelming that if I don’t pull up my socks, I will be left behind. Or maybe all these thoughts are from my highly intricate consciousness and it’s better left if I ignore it. Maybe, just maybe….I should let the time take its course and let it decide who I am gonna be. That’s one way of being at peace. But, putting my faith in ‘Time’ reminds me of a code chunk, a simple if-else condition.

                                                                if {

                                                                                }

                                                                else{

                                                                                }

                If things happen favorable to me, Wow! Else, if it goes the other way around, WTF!

So, rather than putting my fate on a simple condition with only 2 possible outcomes (It can be a nested if-else… But, let’s not go too technical…Shall we?), I would rather be a while loop who will keep trying every possible outcome until I achieve the desired result. But, the problem with this is that I might end up being stuck in an infinite loop in which no outcome is satiable. In this case, me thinking no Success as a Success, no Victory as a Victory! I will take my chances, though.

                So, are you a wanderlust who loves to unravel yourself in the futuristic reality or yet another soul in this existential reality?

Bangalore! Oh Bangalore!

    Bangalore – I have known this city for around 6 months now and I feel privileged and qualified enough to write this post.

    The climate, the never ending hustle-bustle, the home to India’s largest IT population and the Pub capital of India! Is there anything that Bangalore doesn’t have? No! You can find almost everything in Bangalore. Anything new to India will obviously reach Bangalore before it reaches India’s capital.

    Bangalore (also called as Bengaluru) is a city where people from all walks of life are fluent in at least 3-4 languages. It is probably the only city in India where the indigenous population is less in number. Throw a stone at some random place and you are bound to hit a Software Engineer! It is also the only place where more people know C, C++ and Java than the indigenous language, Kannada! Bangalore is well known for its mad rush but it is also one of the coolest, sweetest and civilized cities in India.

    This mad rush brought forth a mishap that many Bangaloreans fail to notice. Litter,  litter and litter everywhere! This habit of littering has gone too far that people do it out of habit and they couldn’t stop doing it! The pavement is not only used by the pedestrians but it is used by the motorists as well. It’s in fact the  road adjacent to the road or it can also be humorously coined as an unauthorized extension of the road. Yeah, it’s hilarious to hear! Additionally, you can find innumerable potholes in the pavement. So, just keep your eyes open! If you fall into one of those potholes I guarantee that you will go deep inside that you can find yourself touching the  Earth’s mantle! Nah, just kidding! Probably, you will end up in Bellandur lake where you can find yourself frothing along with the froth it already has. I have noticed electric cables hanging around in loose and I had a close encounter with those infinite number of times and I can assure you that those wires won’t harm you as they are free from electricity!  (But, it is a concern for sure). Just remember to use “Kannada gothu ila” (I don’t know Kannada)  whenever you encounter a person who starts bombarding you with Kannada. There is yet another option. Try communicating to the person in Kannada and he will figure out that you literally don’t know Kannada and you are faking it.

    One thing which is really a concern is Eunuchs. Most of them are civilized and won’t bother you but there a few who won’t allow you to move an inch until you pay them. Guys, Beware! You will encounter them when you walk on the road, mostly during the evening and they will block your way and start caressing your face, hands and blah blah blah. A word of advice to the guys- Pay them if you literally have no other option left. The last thing you want to do is to be messing up with them. DON’T EVER DO THAT! If you want to pull out some stunts, do that when you are out as a group. But, remember they are human beings as well! And yet another word of advice, beware of stray dogs!

    There are 2 sides of every coin. Bangalore is the ‘awesomest’ place to hang out and it is also one of the dangerous places to live if you are not cautious! The IT bubble brought in more money which in turn brought many anti-social elements into act. But, apart from all these pros and cons, one thing is for sure- You are bound to fall in love with Bangalore at first sight.

    Bangalore, you taught me a great deal of life lessons in the past year, yet I love you. I will always love you and I will ensure that the year 2016 amplifies my love towards you. Happy New Year!

Steve Jobs – The Man!

     As a starting note, I have never heaped praises on anyone in my 21 years of living. I don’t know the reason yet. There are many personalities who are much greater and nobler than Steve Jobs but none inspired me like this man. He was arrogant, brutal, squeamish, clever and canny and none can deny that he was one of the greatest minds who ever lived. While there have been debates questioning his leadership skills and attitude, I would say in order to be successful, one needs to be brutal and arrogant. He was the one who taught this world that Passion stands above everything else. I dedicate the next paragraph to the people who don’t know his life-story yet. Others, kindly bear with me.

     He was adopted; He was a dropout; He was a hippie; His garage was his first workplace; He was fired from his own company; He was on drugs (LSD) in his teenage; He made his girlfriend pregnant and refused to claim fatherhood to his baby for long; He was ill-mannered; He was ruthless; He was short tempered.

   Now,how many would believe that he went on to become the most successful CEO who ever lived? All along our life, we were taught to be humble, compassionate towards all human beings, follow all the moral values, be good, do good, learn good and blah blah blah. Do you think being good, being compassionate and blah blah will matter if we don’t do something noteworthy? Being humane is one thing, being a humane human with shitloads of money is another thing. What is the point in being ‘ just humane’? Were you born only to follow all the values that some person in the six million years of human race predefined? Seriously?  You reciprocate what you get; You always don’t get what you reciprocate.

     Before someone interprets this post in the wrong way, let me narrate some more facts about him.

     He was a Bob Dylan fan. He had a sense of humor unparalleled to many. His idols were Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart etc.

    He was clever. He was a billionaire philanthropist. He was a perfectionist( Some say that he suffered from OCD). He followed his passion. He knew how to connect the dots in the end. He never gave up. (Even at the time when he was battling pancreatic cancer.). He was behind one of the most iconic products the world has ever seen – Apple.

    I have shown to you the three parts of his life. In the end neither his arrogance nor did his traits mattered. He was born not so rich ; He lived his life as a billionaire and he died as a billionaire.  And the entire world cried when he died. If you disagree with me, watch the documentary Steve Jobs – The Man in the Machine. In the end of the first 10 minutes of the documentary, I guarantee that you would be left misty eyed.

     As a closing note, I never own any Apple products as am not rich enough to afford those. So, am not one of those crazy super-rich Apple maniacs heaping praise on Steve Jobs. I know his story and this was enough to get me going.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

-Steve Jobs (Think Different Ad – 1997)

     The link to the Think Different Ad: Think Different ( I couldn’t get my hands on the Original one.)

     If you are a Steve Jobs fan or if you want to learn more about him, trust me you gotta watch Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement address. For a more detailed insight, study his biography by Walter Isaacson.

     Remember, its the misfits who succeed. Its the innocent kid who gets bullied by others for his crazy thoughts succeed. Its the people who ‘Think Different’ succeed. STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH!