Monday, October 23, 2006

Universe as a state machine

Was reading this book "Things a computer scientist rarely talks about" by Donald E. Knuth. In the book he ponders
about the existence of God and whether the universe is deterministic. He also mentions
the possibility of the Universe being a big state-machine. Or is it a huge cluster of
state-machines interacting with each other. If that is the case then SUPPOSING we
get to know the transition rules of the state machines then it could be possible to
predict our future :-). This makes me think of astrology and the art of prophecy. In astrology (AFAIK) the future is predicted on the basis of the positions of the stars
and other celestial bodies. And astrology is an old science. So long time ago itself this question had occurred to those founders of astrology, that can we predict future? And they tried to answer that.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Didn't ever expect that people could be so good. Vinod and I were going to the
Diwali party at Sunnyvale Temple and it was very crowded with all the Indians present
in the bay area making their appearance. For around 15 mins we couldn't find a
place to park and then there was this young mexican guy who saw us struggling and
guided us to a parking place near his house and wished us Happy Diwali. After we were
back from the party at the parking place this guy was still there and we thought he's
looking for making some money out of this opportunity. The way he was being courteous
and helpful we thought we were pretty sure about his motives. Otherwise why would
someone at that hour (it was past 11 in the night) stay out and help people. When we
offered him money he rejected and just bid us adieu. I was amazed. He would have felt
bad, afterall we took it in the wrong way. It's sad that we are moving away from that
kind of behavior to one where every action of ours has some kind of selfish motive.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A nice parable

This is a humorous parable written by Raymond Smullyan. Makes me think about the following things:-
- Belief in God (I am an athiest though)
- When we are doing something are we really doing something, or are we just acting
to the script written by somebody?
- For some time I used to think that Reason should be the basis of all your actions,
but that shows my ignorance. There seem to be lot of things in this universe for
which there are not yet reasons.

WorldWide Catalog

Came across this largest online catalog of books, linking all the libraries worldwide.
It helps me in finding for books/videos/magazines etc. in my local libraries. This will
be very useful to me considering the fact that I dont have my own medium of transport and the public transport system here in the bay area is not good. So I would only go to the library if the book is available.
Found that currently libraries from only a few countries were linked. And there is not
even a single library from India :-). Currently, there are
over 10,000 libraries connected.
I was initially thinking when would Indian libraries have a similar kind of step. Wait are there any community libraries at all India? Except for the bigs cities and that too may be a couple of libraries in them. The situation is pretty bad :-(

Blogger Beta

Blogger has come up with a beta, which includes some good features like:-
- Publish thru Email
- Enhance inline blog content editor.
- Setting up feeds (I am not sure if this was earlier there)

Visit Blogger Beta Tour

I hope I will soon migrate to it.