Convincing stupidity

It’s the attitude of some people that they try to dwell on a point so hard and long and want everyone to believe, what they understood (about an issue) is what’s meant to be understood. But unfortunately it’s not in most of the cases. What they understood is either not complete or the exact opposite of what it is exactly. And the worst part is they’re confident – many times more than the guy with good knowledge on the matter. This could be another factor that makes them believable.

These days I see lot of such people on social media and even in debates on national television. These people neither possess the knowledge or the minutest interest to understand things completely. Having one such guy would not make any difference, but having 100′s such people on television would make general public (some people) think what they just heard/learnt is true and complete. I don’t mean these people are lazy, but they could be busy and not want to read and interpret the entire thing themselves or they don’t want to, but still interested in getting the same info through (such) media because it’s a smart way or (may be) lazy way.

Just an example to understand the impact of such people. Assume you have 25 such friends in Facebook (of 500+). If one of them shares a beautifully designed pic with some message (example: political, social, economical from an unreliable source or sometimes no source) which is not true (or not completely true). Out of 25 such people say, 10 of them share the same. They share, endorse, support and even debate about it. Then comes the next category of people who don’t have any idea except that they read something and they want to look as of they knew it. They just share it because they like it. They have no idea about the issue. If the topic/pic is interesting enough by end of the day, you see some 25 of your friends sharing it 50 of them liking it. Simple math on permutations and combinations, show that this pic would end up with some thousands of likes and hundreds of shares. Now if one such person notices this in social media, he/she will do their best promoting it on media quoting its popularity from source. It’s arguably the papular opinion, but not a wise/true/reliable/useful one.

This is how powerful such people and we noticing the repurcations of such misconceptions has just starting as social media just started growing exponentially.

Here, I don’t mean you have to fight with everyone who does this or you have to promote the facts right. But just to be aware of one such thing which is getting powerful beyond imagination. This is just to show the impact of some aggressive people who are misinformed and those who don’t understand an issue completely – both willingly and unwillingly.

These are speculative, yet possible.

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Yahoo!’s Comeback!

It looks like Yahoo has been trying very hard to be back in the Internet picture. I don’t mean it wasn’t earlier, but considering the sensation and tempo Yahoo created and continued for a few years, I consider they weren’t properly synchronized in the last 5 years or so.

Recently, it looks like Yahoo is betting big time on mobile. The best part, it’s working. I saw three of their apps last night – ‘Yahoo Weather’, the best looking weather app on iPhone, ‘Yahoo Axis’ and ‘Yahoo!’. They’re elegant, beautiful and more than impressive. iPad Yahoo mail app is the only reason I restarted using YMail. It’s the fastest email app I’ve seen on iPad. Not sure if the new enhancements are entirely Marissa’s effect, but I congratulate the lady for doing which seemed impossible (a strong and quick comeback).

These developments will pose a obvious question – where did Yahoo go in the last few years?

However, Yahoo lost the internet battle (for few years), but not the war, yet! I felt very strong about this while using those latest apps and Yahoo website itself. I applaud Marissa and her entire team for the comeback and wish them all success!

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Impact(s) of Innovation.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

In addition, a thought process of betterment and an obsession for thinking (anything) new has been driving innovations (inventions and discoveries). I guess that made some of the great people think and vision (of necessities) decades and centuries ahead in time.

To start with, types of inventions – from a perspective of user experience:

  1. Direct (computer, car etc.).
  2. Indirect (zero, java etc.)

From an innovator’s point of view:

  1. A final product or theory
  2. A unit/sub-theory that form a base and/or combinations of such units lead to a product or a complete postulation
  3. A theory that proves the existing is wrong (always need not show a viable solution)

My view: all of them have the same impact on the target. Every minute put in by every inventor has some impact. Some are realized sooner and some later. I don’t think any invention was an accident – after a series of unsuccessful attempts in their long list of possibilities, one of the less expected option may have given most sought results.

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It’s a known fact that ‘the focus’ on science & technology has never been better in the known history (than in the 20th century). In spite of that, we did not witness many significant inventions in the past 60-80 years – innovations that change the way we live, (as mentioned earlier) with an exception to certain enhancements. This point raises a series of unanswered questions.

  1. Aren’t there any significant inventions recently?
  2. If they do, aren’t we ready to implement them?
  3. Are we underestimating their impact?

and so on……..

Isn’t it weird that we aren’t looking at those inventions completely (their multi-dimensional, cross-platform application)? This question rises only if we come out of the denial and agree that we’ve the technology TODAY (at least the theoretical formulation) that comes into use only after 20-50 years.

My answer would be, NO, I guess! It’s been historical. People (who has the power and resources to promote/direct the technology) may not have completely estimated the actual impact of the innovations centuries (and decades in some cases) before us.

Just a few examples of innovations that took so long it took to make the most out of:

1. ‘Zero’

2. ‘Wheel’

3. ‘Wireless communication’

It’s not always surprising that some (significant) innovations (inventions) are ignored. Just a quick note about the impact, the engineering based on which we built our lives TODAY was not invented today or yesterday. It was all formulated hundreds of years ago. We’re seeing just improvisations (if any) in the past few decades. (Some) Innovations of today that doesn’t seem any (or less) important for the day will prove to be extremely important in future. It’s not always surprising that some (significant) innovations are ignored. If not innovations, their impact is ignored.

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One of the most significant discoveries of 21st century would be ‘a new way of social networking’. Social networking that we enjoy today has been offering unimaginable things! A small example, I didn’t know a way to contact or get in touch with an old friend ten years ago without having an email or phone number. Internet based Social networking is as huge as an alternate world for several people. Three reasons:

  1. It gives multiple opportunities for everyone to establish himself or herself (personally and professionally explicitly maintaining the much needed exclusivity) better and better. Lot of times this can mislead or misinform too – subject to the individual.
  2. Ease in connectivity with an individual that was unimaginable in the past.
  3. Social media. This is fast growing to be the most powerful source of information and news.

Social networking is fast growing and is pushing us toward a behavioral change; The way we behave and communicate with friends (physical and virtual), spend time and many more.

Facebook took the idea of networking through Internet (with an exclusivity and controllability to the way a person (profile) is displayed) and successfully put it in the next level, or least illustrated the impact of social networking through Internet. Facebook could be one of those 2 or 3 ideas that touched a billion people in few years of its evolution. Virtually, Facebook has shown the impact of ‘a good idea’ on this world. Facebook stands as a proof of concept that the “world is always willing to accept a great idea and the impact of the such idea can be as huge as making a billion people or even more believe in it”. Facebook is just a STARTING point in the entire social networking. We will see its impact growing much faster in future.

As a result to the overwhelming usage of social networking, there is a rise in sense of volunteering among people; access to trillions of data points those researchers and businesses have been dreaming (to possess for years) to analyze; Now were getting live traffic, safety, and emergency information through social networking; It’s the fastest and one of the most powerful tools to impress people and win the elections.

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In contrary to the above arguments (need for enhancements), some innovators perfected their inventions so that even after decades and centuries we use the same technology without any (or little in some cases) modifications. To me the first to standout are Nikola Tesla’s (holds about 110 US Patents) inventions. The modern electrical engineering was designed and built to perfection by him. 1880-1910 is the most happening period for Electrical engineering.

  1. AC Current
  2. Electric motor
  3. Radio
  4. Robotics
  5. Fluorescent bulb
  6. X-ray
  7. Remote Control
  8. LASER
  9. Electro magnetic induction

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I cannot imagine TODAY without some of these inventions:

  1. Zero
  2. Rotating electric machines (motors, generators etc.)
  3. pi = 3.141. To understand its importance of pi, try calculating area of a circle with just radius.
  4. Electromagnetism
  5. Wireless communication
  6. Glass
  7. Transistor
  8. Newton’s laws
  9. Camera
  10. Clock
  11. Battery
  12. Internet
  13. Social Networking
  14. Fourier transform
  15. Euler’s principle
  16. Schrodinger’s Equations
  17. Quantum mechanics
  18. Einstein’s theory of relativity
  19. Projection and display technology

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Multi-dimensional/Cross-platform application/utilization of existing research/technologies can significantly enhance our today! Missing this important step would definitely not make our lives miserable but would make us people who missed hundreds of opportunities to live in better, safe, healthy and advanced TODAY. We should look into current innovations NOW.

Resect research! Respect innovations! Respect inventors!

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Happy new year?!

I want to congratulate everyone who are fortunate-enough to celebrate new year; if not many, you have at least a reason to be proud of. You are blessed with not having to think about tomorrow’s survival or you don’t have an immediate threat for life – either physically or mentally. We know there are numerous places in several countries, where people don’t have the luxury of thinking about celebrating this day, just because it’s time to replace the existing calendar with a new one. There are civilians who doesn’t know what comes next – it’s not a threat posed by just one: religion, race, sex, economy, arrogance, stupidity, conspiracy, recognition or domination. It’s always combinations, combinations of weird factors, making it impossible to optimize their survival and quality of living.

That being said, congratulations and happy new year to everyone who’s fortunate to plan, think and celebrate. If you were successful last year, I wish you will be more successful this year; if you feel ’2012′ should have been better, then good luck and may your dreams come true. God bless all!!

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Graduate Research – my views

Things I observed, learnt and missed (I wish I wouldn’t have missed):

It takes almost a year to realize your strengths and weaknesses in graduate research. By then, one will at least know their dislikes and weaknesses.

However, some people never understand the theme of ‘graduate research’.

Part 1 – What it teaches? What it means to you?

According to me,

1. Graduate research is not (never) about becoming an expert in certain field. Except in exceptional cases, you will never get time and/or access to the equipment matching or exceeding industry standards. (Note: this point may be an exception to computer science students; not computer engineering).
2. Grad research is something that trains a student in several aspects including:
Thinking and planning independently.
Executing things/decisions independently.
Streamlining the work
Organizing thought process
Work independently on something (idea) new.
Work in teams. Coordinate with/between different pieces of work and people.
Establish new collaborations and enhance the existing ones.
Balance course work, theses/dissertation, teaching assignments, personal time, work instructed by adviser, and so on…..
To conclude: after getting to know grad research, one will be able to think (formulate), read (literature and education), work (simulations or actual work), write (research papers, proposals, theses/dissertation), and present (what you have done).

Part 2 – Do’s, Dont’s and Misconceptions

Some ground rules of grad research:

1. No “NO”. Never say NO to a research opportunity. Work in a broad spectrum of topics and fields. It doesn’t matter what field it is, if you have an opportunity (idea), jump on it. It has been and it is the era of MULTI-DISCIPLINARY research.
2. Don’t think you know everything – be patient; listen to people (importantly advisers).
3. A sincere attempt on something that didn’t work (inspite of proper planning and execution), isn’t waste of time. You might have learnt many useful things.
4. Most of the advisers will have the best interests of your career. Just hang-in there to realize them. Never jump into conclusions about adviser quickly – most of the times, professor can afford to lose a student (but a student cannot afford to leave a professor). In addition, what you get/learn from a professor is more valuable, useful, and productive than what your professor gets from you.
5. You’re busy? Of course you’re busy, that’s grad school dude! But never be busy for personal time, food, and health (If you’re busy for having food or maintaining good health, its your time mismanagement).
6. Never get to waste the time? That’s true. You don’t want to waste the time you don’t have.
7. Never hesitate to argue with adviser/supervisor if your point is valid and true. They are busy (with 1000 different things) and may not always get along the same page as you’re. A valid statement/argument by a student is always agreed and appreciated by any adviser (infact that’s one of the best things grad research teaches you – believe in yourself and communicate things better).
8. Don’t be a kid. Don’t be emotional (if adviser is angry or pissed-off at your work). Find a way to make it correct. If things are real bad, it doesn’t take a minute to fire a student or adviser. However, an adviser warning or criticizing you is always a good sign (this means they’re trying to help you to be successful not fire you).
9. It is always good to (infact you should) have some personal relation with adviser (doesn’t expect to go for a movie with him every week). But, adviser should you more than your last name and research.

PS: All views are strictly personal and according to me, these views may apply to 90% of students and advisers.

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Ads., quotes and more – My Favorites

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RF – A brand

After Pete Sampras’s retirement from international tennis carreer, I was anxiously looking for a next generation player with same class and technique.

I found Roger Federer! Roger also respects Pete and likes his game so much. Roger was technically very strong and his game was too classy. Liked his game and became a fan. Eventually, analysts say, he is technically the best player ever.

Now RF is a brand; an inspiration. After achieving all most everything and all grand-slams except French Open, he was still a hungry; with the same strength and energy like a fresher! He kept trying. Finally the day has come! He won the French open – cried out of joy. Proved his passion and respect for the game, some thousandth time after his debut.

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Stayed No. 1 for so long 260+ weeks. Won all grand-slams and the most number of grand-slams. Unbelievable record. I thought he would retire in 2011.

…….

Lost his No.1 and didn’t look like he would get back to it. There are not many single-sided games anymore. Critics started stating he is getting old and he’s not the same federer any more!

Who cares! He kept going and going!

Two years after his previous grand-slam title, won Wimbledon again!

No. 1 again!!

No. 1 for 287 weeks and counting. The most and the best by a tennis player ever!

Honored to be a fan! Thank you for everything you gave us. Thank you.

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Qualities I observed in Roger that made the difference:

  • Optimizing time, strength
  • Self confidence
  • Continuous practice (getting the same placement, speed, angle, swing, and control)

and the most important of all

  • Respect toward game!

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