technology and zen of life

“A heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”


Here is a nice TED talk on how to live a long life….

It talks about what life styles actually help one to live long and healthy life.

5 Addendums to The Nerd Handbook

Every year, I re-read the classic essay The Nerd Handbook on Rands In Repose, to quench my spiritual thirst. And every time I cry a little. No one in this world, including my mother and my girlfriend, has ever understood me so well. If you haven’t read the handbook, shame on you, go do it right now. It is the most perfect and empathizing description of what and who nerds are and how the people around us (especially spouses) should understand us. It is unfortunate that more nerds end up reading it than their spouses, mothers and bosses combined.

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The Man in the Cave

Imagine a cave, deep – so deep that sunlight can’t protrude into the cave, big – so big that multiple people would be able to occupy the cave, moist – so moist that water is dripping from the rocks, and inhabited by bats – so many bats that killing a lot of them wouldn’t lead the bats into extinction.

Now imagine we place a young man is placed inside the cave. The only things the man knows, are the things that exist in the cave. The man doesn’t know of the outside world.

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How to become famous over time?

There is this article on The Huffington Post website named How to Become Famous Overnight, written by Robert Pagliarini. I won’t go into the details of his last name (Pag-liar-ini), but I read the article and he talks about how Christina Perri became a famous singer overnight. I do not mean to disagree with what he has written in this article, or even in his other articles. I would like to add to that article and inform you of my view over how to become famous… And not overnight.

All human beings, animals and trees (at least the ones I’ve talked to) have a view of their life. In their own mind, they see their life going towards a destination. Most of them are not aware of the exact goal, but there are some who are. An apple tree makes apple not lemon. All trees go towards their goal, but what happens during this journey, is what gives meaning to their life.

Although most people I know have told me that none of them ever thought of what to become when they were a baby, I think they did; they just don’t remember it well enough.

People interpret every event that goes around them in different ways. I am lucky for one to have interacted with almost all sorts of people. See what I did there? I said I am “lucky”. Someone might say “Armin! You are not lucky. There is no luck. It’s just consequences of events that lead you towards that direction”. If someone says that, I won’t disagree. But back to the point. If I stand in the sun, you may be paying attention to these things:

  • Is he wearing eye-glasses?
  • Would his shirt color be seen the same in a shadow?
  • Is it hot or is it cold?
  • etc.

You may even not see me, but see the shadow I have created by standing in the sun, come to me, sit down, lay your back towards my leg, open your book and read it.

But what does that have to do anything with becoming famous? Please allow me to explain.

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3 Laws of human behavior

One day while having a conversation about human behaviour with a friend, I learnt that all human behaviour can be broken down to three basic laws that each individual follows and that almost all behaviour can be defined based on those.

  1. We do not want to die
  2. We do not want to be alone
  3. We are curious We seek Pleasure

On the first thought this seems to be bizarre for we like to think that we are not governed by rules or laws and also that we can think of a 100 things that we do which do not fall under these laws on the first look. But with a bit more carefully thinking I realised that it is quite true and I could classify all the human actions as falling in one or more of those laws. You can look at things starting from why we do certain small things in our life to bigger things on the community scale like research, wars people taking up drugs etc.  The only thing that could come close to disproving these laws was altruism but that just leads to a whole other discussion on its social and religious aspect.

In fact 90% of our actions can be explained with just the first 2 laws. Actually the third point was only listed after a lot of discussion and still remains arguable and I still don’t have a solid example to prove it. This of course does not mean that that we are all same as I think the importance one gives to each of these points varies from person to person.

I would love to hear your opinions on the three laws and if you can find some situations that lie outside these laws.

Peak of human race?

Humans have been constantly fighting against the Darwin’s theory of evolution ‘Survival of the fittest’. Initially we fought against the physical aspect of it by protecting the weak and wounded by keeping them secure while we let the fit and the strongest die trying to protect them during wars. As a result we can see that an average human being is weaker than before and less capable of surviving harsh living conditions like extreme heat, cold or without food for long.

Of course one might argue that this example would be taking the meaning of the word fittest too literary. A more fit usage of the word in terms of human civilization would be to link the word fit with the intelligence rather than with having anything to do with physical toughness. We have indeed reached a state where we do not need to use our muscles power to survive anymore except maybe in case of extreme harsh global level disasters. We have advanced to an age where we can change our surrounding to make it more suitable for us. Not only can we build huge fortifications to save us we also have an advanced defense system to protect from any predators that might want to hunt us down. We can control the atmosphere around us to suit our needs; we have made quite some advancement in medicine to fight almost all kinds of disease which are known. And we are working on developing new means to fight the ones we still can’t and possibly also the ones unknown.

Taking a look at how we are doing in the area ‘Survival of the fittest’ with the fittest corresponding to the intelligence level rather than the physical fitness it might seem to be pretty good at a broader look. After all we have advanced by huge measures in the past few decades and we continue to do so. The rate of advancement has climbed almost exponentially. Now if we want to look at what factors contribute to a person’s intelligence; there have been two factors which are associated with a person’s high I.Q. level – Genetic propagation and Environment.

In the “Bell Curve” The San Francisco Chronicle Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray did an extensive study on twins to separate the Environment and genetic factors and found that the major contribution factor is in fact genetic. They also go on to state that social intervention can do very little to raise IQ. This would mean that for retaining or improving the high I.Q. or fitness of our species we need to ensure that these genes are passed more often then the lesser fit genes.

Let’s look at some of the facts now – On average high I.Q. couples have 1.5 kids whereas the couples with low I.Q. have 5 kids on average. Also the chance of propagating a gene halves when only one of the parent is carrying the gene. Thus we can clearly see that continuing on the current path we will soon reach a point where the high I.Q carrying gene is lost just as the Darwin’s unfit Galápagos did. On the bright side at least we can take proud in the fact that we are here to observe the highest point of our race.

You and beautiful people

An interesting theory, with a lot of practical backing. Humans are attracted to beautiful people. There are experiments done with babies aligning to the same fact. Given the idea of beauty is unique to every culture, what’s your take on it. Lets take few different scenarios.

1. Do you behave differently when dealing with them (beautiful people). A simple example would be you are more talkative or completely opposite. The basic assumption is that you are not shy around them.

This is for my gamer friends.

2. Say you are tired after a long day you are back home. You log on to messenger/game and see few people online which you know through the game. Assume that you have seen their pictures or talked to few of them on skype and have reasonable trust. Is there a specific person you would talk to without having any business with her/him?

Note : In second scenario, there is a degree of anonymity plus the “shy” nature is a bit suppressed. People behave differently in such environments, but there is a co-relation with your real identity.

So my question is, do you act differently with/in front of beautiful people?

If yes then let us know in the comments!


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