Making sense of dreams January 4th, 2015

 

I had made a list when i was in college. It was supposed to be the list that defines me , the one that puts the blueprint across as to what i want in life and what all things if achieved will make me happy. The list was created after reading a book , the book belonged to the 'self-help' genre and looking back i feel like reading it was pretty silly. Correction , it is not the reading part that is silly , but believing that life will change outright from reading a book is a notion that i have understood to be untrue just like how books claim to 'teach you X in 24 hours' where i leave X to your imagination.

 

So without further ado, let me get into the list. I would also want to remind people that i wrote this a long time back , alomost 7 years ago (beginning of 2008) and when looking back i feel kind of embarassed at this list. But nevertheless i am going to list it as it is. This is for posterity and the best way to go about is capture things in their original form.

 

1) To be a Computer Engineer and work for a top knotch IT company [Be the best at it]

 

High salary + High position + A job that will constantly interest me and keep me pushing.

 

Okay that is my point #1, in retrospect i have joined probably the largest IT company that exist in India right now . But i realize that this is not exactly what i wanted. It is a case of a person wanting something and when he finally gets it he realized that this is not what he really wanted. Does that make sense ? Well you will get it eventually as i believe everyone will have such an experience atlease once in life.

 

So let me clarify, point number 1 is not really important right now . The truth is i am not even bothered much about the prospects of making tons of money. I dont think i am kind of guy who needs a shit load of money, my needs are pretty basic (Am I becoming a hypocrite here ?) , I like to think so ; the point i am trying to make is the important thing for me more than anything else is a job where i could learn something everyday , a job where i could immerse myself in - where there will be challenges, failures and some much deserving victories that i would want to tell to my grandkids one day (just kidding).

 

The conclusion is I have got what i wanted when I wrote this list , but my want now is something else or i am going through a phase of "ikkare nilkumbol akkare pachha". I believe that 2015 will be an intersting year for my career. Let's wait and see.

 

2) To be physically more strong, healthier and fairer

 

I am ashamed that i put 'fairer' in there, i mean how could I Krishna Sangeeth KS master of the fundamental belief that 'Substance matters more than style' thought once that looking good is something really important. 

 

Accept it .

Yup I am being a hypocrite again. 

 

I have a carefree attitude regarding looks and dress that i wear. Most of the time i am at a loss to figure out what dress i should wear, the truth is i don't care much about it. But i hope to change some aspects of it ; like there are times when it is imperative that we are in our best looks - let's face it , the first impression is going to be made on how you present yourself. 

 

Am i diverting from the major point here - which is the importance of fitness ? yes.

 

This has been heavily ignored and i seriously would like to put some work into it. As someone said rightly Health is indeed wealth and it is upto you to keep your sytems running without much of trouble. So more breakfasts , powerful lunches , light dinners and an excercise routine to burn those extra calories is what i need. This is REALLY IMPORTANT AS IT DEFINES WHETHER I WOULD LIVE 10 YEARS EXTRA OR 10 YEARS LESS.

 

 

3) To look after my parents [My father & My Mother] in a very good manner . Fulfill all their needs.

 

I still feel strongly about this point , but the reality is my father makes more money than me and i need often his help more than the other way around. I don't mean this in an offending way , it is great to have all this support from Achan and Amma . They are two wonderful people and I feel bad most of the time that i am not doing enough for them. For all that they had done for me , I just haven't delivered much. I need to work on this point. Period.

 

4) Buy a good home [or  built one according to the ideas of my father obviously]

 

I am not sure at this point when this will happen. This is sort of the scneario where reality puts a giant hole on your wonderful dreams. The increase in price of real estate and commodities would mean that i would have to wait some time for sure.

 

If at all i am building a home , it would have a minimilastic design . See that is one of the good things that happened over the years, i have better tastes on things now compared to the time when i wrote this list (or I like to think so). My idea of a house or anything for that matter is it should serve the purpose it was designed for without too much of distraction. Minimalistic designs are the ones that makes me intersted.

 

5) Should have financial Security for myself and my family and also to lend a helping hand to everyone around me.

 

This point really kills me . What i need is a job where i can stop thinking about money and just focus on sharpening my skills by solving challenging and relevant problems . Is this a too good to be true deal that is beyond my reach. I think i would have to work harder to reach there.

 

Helping people is important to me. But for me to make any substantial contributions i need to be first in a position where i have helped myself by being financially secure.

 

6) I hate it when people play pranks over me or try to dominate me . Two things i can't allow

 

I am not worried about this point at all now .  I have grown up from that phase where it really distrubed me when people tried to play some pranks on me. What i should work on is my ability to say 'No' to things which deserves a clear No. 

 

7) Be more adventurous and enjoy every single moment

 

This is such an easy thing to write in a paper , but quite difficult to do in practice. 

I like to think i am quite adventuros in my own way. I am serious. But one thing i need to do is travel more.

Travel places , meet people and try to make sense of what the world is all about . Most importantly never judge people based on culture, caste , status or money - Don't be the pseudo intellectual asshole. Be Kind , be genuine , be honest and be authentic.

 

8)Find a good life partner and lead a good family

 

I don't know about this point either. It is kind of confusing for me right now. But here is the deal , or this is what i think about it now.

 

Marriage is going to be an adjustment of sorts. The best thing to do is marry someone whom you know really well and vice versa. Someone who has seen the best of 'you' and have seen the worst parts too, doesn't mean that the person have to tolerate all the gross things that you represent but understanding or having a general idea as to this is what maybe on the cards is a good thing. 

It is not necessary that your life partner should connect with everything you do. For example i like to discuss tech , about books , good literature - i would presume that it will be  wonderful if my future wife had these things in common . But i think that is a delusion, after the initial charm is gone you need something rock solid to remain in love with a person and this solid foundation is not necessarily built on two individuals having similar subjects to talk about.

 

Anyways this is a topic that would need more writing and is certainly beyond the scope of this post. The conclusion is i have no plans of marrying soon.

 

9) Being creative and lovable

 

I don't know if any sort of benchmarks exist which measures how creative  a person is , I envision myself as someone who creates intersting stuff which are meaningful and have some sort of positive impact. 

 

Python Meetup and Paul Graham December 23rd, 2014

A kind of momentum is building up , in the sense i get a feeling i am doing lots of different interesting things. It's a good feeling. 

 

Last Saturday , i gave a lightning talk in Chennai Python user group. The best thing about attending the meetup was that feeling of meeting like minded people and mingling with all of them. It felt  so nice just being there and i am surely going there back again next time.

 

Here is the link to talk : http://www.slideshare.net/kskrishnasangeeth/solving-graph-problems-using-networkx

 

I wish i could have presented better, but it was kind of okay . I mean i didn't screw it up and that itself is quite an accomplishment

 

The next thing i want to talk about is this interview i saw of Paul Graham . I like this guy quite a lot , i have been truly fascinated by his essays - they are just top notch and i think i came across them first when i was in college. This makes me feel like paying a tribute to CEC , it is true that i didn't completely learn any one thing properly while i was there , but i randomly tried out different things just to get a feel how it is and Paul Graham's book 'Hackers and Painters' is i guess one of them. 

 

The funny thing is I found a hardcover copy again here in a TCS library i think around 1 year back. I started reading , got lazy and pushed it up in the started-not-completed list again. Having seen his interview (shot in 2005) , i feel like reading the book now - I just might complete reading it.

 

I feel like i have placed all these dots in my life now , these dots are scattered across my past and i am slowly starting to recognize them as my dots and starting to connect , trying to make sense of all that happened and will happen.

 

Okay about the video , Paul speaks quite a bit about 'hackers' , 'startups ' and all . I seem to understand now why an 'Engineer' is probably not the right term for a programmer. I also watched Paul's talk in Airbnb, apparently Airbnb appeared in scene thanks to YCombinator program spear headed by Paul. And then i followed it up with Mark Zuckerberg being interviewed by Paul for startup school. All these were interesting interviews 

 

That's the first interview : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDA0t49AaZ4

 

 

 

Interstellar was one of the most anticipated film of the 2014.  The first trailer that came out made me feel that this is going to be Nolan's most defining work, it was so well made that seeing it once a while became a routine of sorts for me. Even after umpteen number of views, the charm never lost - Everything was perfect about it, the Apollo footage shown, the brilliant background score of Zimmer  and that epic shot of Mathew Macconaughey driving which still remains etched in my mind. And the message shown at the end - One year from now. Yes i was hooked, this film with an ensemble cast was my most anticipated film of the year.

One year was too long a period for me to wait, so i went online trying to dig every small little info i could possibly get about this film.  From various online forums i came to know that movie is based on  a 2008 script which was later reworked on, there was no escaping now from reading the script. On an unusual cold night in Chennai , laying on the terrace beneath the ever puzzling space i took a dive into the script. It didn't matter to me that the reading was on mobile, i just kept on wondering about the scale of this film. The script was brilliant, the scope of the film was massive with many challenges like rich world building. I felt at that moment this film  would go beyond Kubrick's space odyssey and usher a new age in Sci-Fi films.

 

 Lesson 1 : With Great expecations comes great disappointments.

Mathew McConaughey dons the role of Cooper an Ex NASA pilot who has no option left other than becoming a farmer. In the words of the principal of the school where Coop's daughter Murphy goes to study , we see the great tragedy that the humankind is facing - "We don't need engineer's , we need farmers" he says . The apocalypse of the future world comes in the form of crop diseases, most of the crops have been destroyed by blight and other variants. From a statistical point of view, time is a commodity which is fast slipping from the hour glass of human race.  The grim setting of the film  accentuates the fear in everyone's mind that we might soon become an endangered species, there is no where to run or hide for the people, so much so that they have gone collectively into a delusional form of thinking where humankind's greatest achievements are looked upon. Murph's teacher in a parent meeting with Cooper goes on to extent of saying that Apollo mission never happened and mankind had never visited moon. 

In a world where people believe that everything will be alrighty by going back to oldways of agriculture and simple life, Coop is a misfit. His agony is evident when Coop says "We used to look up at the sky and wonder about our place in the stars. Now we just look down at our place in the dirt" , Mathew McConaughey is brilliant in these portions where he exhibits his vulnerability and helplessness. But the good stuff for the engineer is yet to come when Coop discovers a gravitational anomaly that causes his robot harvesters to misbehave and go haywire. In an ensuing scene , Coop discovers that the 'ghost' which Murph seems to be talking about is the result of this same gravitational anomaly. Coop soon deducts that the anomaly is pointing to the cordinates of a location which we later realizes as secret base for NASA after the government has publicly discredited the space program.

Things happen jet paced after reaching NASA where Dr.Brand (performed by the wonderful Micheal Caine) convinces Coop to join the program as the pilot for a mission which might just save the human race. The mission is to find hospitable planets where humans could migrate to (Plan A) or start over from the beginning at a faraway planet and create a human colony (Plan B) . Anything more that i add here might turn out to be a spoiler, so let me just end it at that.

 

I really thought that the first half of the film was quite good, there were few plot holes here and there but over all i was very happy with what i had been seeing. I had massive expecations for the second half, which is why i was left disappointed after leaving the cinema halls. I was turned off by how much they have cut down from the original script, maybe that being the reason why i got disappointed. I kept on thinking as to how someone like a Peter Jackson or Alfonso Cuaron could have done more justice to script, No offence mean't here but Nolan has this thing going on about how he tries to reduce the CGI and use practical sets whenever possible (Remember the floating scene in Inception ?) . But this was journey into the cosmos and i thought that the special effects were not right up there. I had read this article in wired on how they had achieved a simulation of black hole with great deal of efforts, but honestly none of the geekiness associated with the simulation translated into a 'wow' effect on screen. 

The conclusion is , this is by no means a bad film but if you had high expectations - You might just be disappointed.

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So this is a book which i read a small portion of . I find the content to be very interesting.

And ML being a subject which i am interested in, i should come back to this when i have time.

 

http://mines.humanoriented.com/classes/2009/fall/csci568/collective_intelligence.pdf

 

Now thinking about it , i am prettty convinced that i should be focussing more on python than any other language going forward. 

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