Thursday, November 30, 2006

Purpose of Life - Background

"The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose"

I found it as one of my friends' signature. I dont know what it really means :-),
but there's sth to it that makes it interesting.
I think I am at a stage in my life (almost everybody goes through it) where I have
to question my existence. Questions like: Who am I? Why am I on this earth? What
should I pursue? How should I live? Has it got more to do than just 'I came, I saw,
I left' or will it be just 'I came, I left' (Can I see the the reality in my lifetime)?
are making sense to me. Should I trouble myself by bothering to answer all these
questions or stay happy/contended by being ignorant? I dont konw if I will be able
to answer them...but I am convinced that it's worth giving a try :-).

Does GOD Exist ???

The eternal mystery was/is troubling me. Is there somebody called GOD or
something of that nature who controls all our lives and actions. Do we really have
control on most of the things that happen in our life? Is there sth called destiny?
If so can we change our destiny? I am not wise enough to answer them...but how do
I march ahead? By making assumptions? What if my assumptions are wrong? Does it
REALLY matter whether I believe in GOD or not? I guess it will change the
whole perspective towards life. Because if you believe in GOD or sth of that nature,
you'll start accepting that you are JUST a cog in the wheel. An important thing
that seemed to support this (thiesm) is:-
- There are only a few things that are in our control. Because it's a big
inter-(connected/related) world, we are affected by even minor-minor acts of
somebody/sth living on some part of the world and similarly we affect others
who are totally unrelated to us.
- One thing is true...we come and we go (we take birth and we die). To me it seems
to be safe to assume that we REALLY dont have any control on these two aspects...
PROBABLY death might be a little in our hands, but not birth...because we dont
have any existence b4 we are born :-). If we think about death, the cause could
be a natural calamity, a natural death a sucide or a homicide. If it's a natural
calamity or natural death...there's nothing to point at. Let's think abt suicide
...why did I commit a suicde? there should be some reason for could
be a circumstance...then how did that circumstance is very likely
that some human is involved in the creation of that cirumstance...if so then can
I say that it were the actions of that human which caused me to commit suicide?
It could be even more complicated...There could be a big chain of humans and
their actions which as a whole made me commit suicide (Individually each of their
actions isn't significant enough to be the cause, but collectively it is)? So
isn't it true that all these people who are part of this chain have a say in
determining my death. But if I put myself into the shoes of one of these
humans....Did I really intend to do that? If I had known that a small action of
mine could cause somebody to commit suicide, why would I do that? Even if I had
known that it could produce such a result, it might not make sense from my point
of view to stop doing that, because the small action by itself is not wrong. Am I
to be blamed for this? At this point it makes sense to accept that I am not
responsible for my actions. Atleast I'll be happy that I am just doing what
I am being asked to do. The same reasoning applies for the
person subject of the homicide is directly responsible for my death. So do we
say that there's somebody called GOD who should be held responsible for all the
actions of all the humans? What about birth? Am I responsible for my birth?
Seems very funny :-) but I think this was the question that made the Hindu's
think of the concept of rebirth...the separation of soul and the body.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

An AI/NLP problem

I was just wondering if this could be possible:-
Using my blog (which includes all my blog posts) as the key to a
search engine, can I find all those persons who blog and
have a similar mindset/interests/thoughts like me.

Hindi is NOT our National Language

All these years I have been believing that Hindi is our National Language, because
that's what I remember I was taught when I was in school, I am not sure if it was
written in any of my texbooks. Thanks to Vikram, I came to know TODAY...that it's
a BIG myth that we are carrying around in our mind. I am unable to accept that
something as simple thing as this could be tampered with. It makes me think how
many such fallacies and myths I am having in my mind. Will I get a chance to correct
all those things or I'll have to take them to my grave? Whom should I blame for this?

Monday, November 27, 2006

National Public Radio (NPR)

The best radio that I have come across.
If u are in the bay area you can tune into 88.5 FM, which is the KQED-FM.
Their non-intrusive way of advertising, the worldwide (BBC news at 9 pm),
and the daily morning biz news and the "Perspective", have been really
Here are the timings of some of the good programs:-
- BBC world news at 9pm (daily)
- "The perspective" at 7.30 am (daily)
- "Commonwealth club of California" 8 pm (every friday)
- "The voices this week" at 7.05 am (every sunday)
will keep adding to this list as I found more.
Check out the link for details.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The flipside of Rules

Rules are created with a purpose/objective. But unfortunately as time progresses the
rules themselves become the objectives and the original purpose itself is forgotton.
And the enforcers of these rules forget that the rules are to be verified/applied with
the original purpose in mind. Lest the rules might become blind-faiths. So it is
necessary that the rules are evaluated regularly to see their applicability with the
time. It would be great if the authority which judges the compliance with the rules,
takes into account the original objective, because there might be many cases wherein
one can violate the set rules but still be achieving the original objective.
The other problem with rules is that they are sometimes created for avoiding
(mis/ab)use of some things by miscreants...But at the expense of the righteous
persons losing thier right. Take the following scenario:-
My college had intially computer labs open throughout the night. There were people
who were using it for education and there were other who were misusing it. The
authorities came to know abt this and they put in the rule of closing the labs in
the nights. So all those people who were actually using it lost their right to

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sanyaasa - The fourth and final stage of Hindu life

I am impressed by the way Wikipedia describes the Sanyaasa stage of hindu life:-

Having succeeded in overcoming all sensual affections and desires, and in acquiring perfect equanimity towards everything around him, the hermit has fitted himself for the final and most exalted order, that of devotee or religious mendicant. As such, he has no further need of either mortifications or religious observances; but with the sacrificial fires reposited in his mind, he may devote the remainder of his days to meditating on the divinity. Taking up his abode at the foot of a tree in total solitude, with no companion but his own soul (jiva), clad in a coarse garment, he should carefully avoid injuring any creature or giving offence to any human being that may happen to come near him. Once a day, in the evening, when the charcoal fire is extinguished and the smoke no longer issues from the fire-places, when the pestle is at rest, when the people have taken their meals and the dishes are removed, he should go near the habitations of men, in order to beg what little food may suffice to sustain his feeble frame. Ever pure of mind he should thus bide his time, as a servant expects his wages, wishing neither for death nor for life, until at last his soul is freed from its fetters and absorbed into the atman, the impersonal self-existent Brahman, or else returns to dwell with Brahman experienced as the personal Deity.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I never thought I would be so dependent on the Internet. These days it's like I am in a solitary confinement (in my apartment) and my laptop (Thinkpad T60) together with
the internet is my window to the outer world :-). Internet has become the 4th basic
necessity of my life (apart from roti, kapda and makaan). Look at the ways I am using it:-
Chatting :- Yahoo Messenger, GTalk, Gmail
Phone, Conf call :- Yahoo Messenger, Skype
Shopping info: Froogle,
Driving directions: Google Maps, Yahoo maps
Search: Google, Wikipedia,
Apart from these the other things that I use the net for are recipes, movies, blogging , internet radio etc.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The OLPC Project

Here's the link for the pics of the working prototyp of $100 laptop,
which is part of the One Laptop Per Child intiative.
And here's the link that shows the current adoption/interest by
the countries:-

The Hindu

My favourite newspaper is "The Hindu". One of things I was thinking of when coming
over to US was that I would be missing reading it every morning. But recently I
realized that I can read it in the same print format online. The subscription is
free for first the first 3 months.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Computer History Museum

Finally got a chance to visit the one of it's kind Computer History Museum, situated
in Mountain View. It's really worth a visit. It had a collection of old machines ranging from the Abacus to the Blue. To mention some of them: Abacus, Difference Engine, DEC PDP1, System/360, ENIAC, UNIVAC, Apple Mac Workstation, Altair 9000 (that created the PC revolution). You could also see the huge Hard Disks (the platter of which is around 3 feet in diameter). I was just there for over an hour. It makes me visit again. Will fill up this space with more info.

My Cricbay profile

I have become a part of the cricket-playing community of the Bay area :-)