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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Programs are Poems

Programs and poems are two very much similar things. I would say that in a programming language, a well written program is as noble as a poem.
Compiling a poem requires knowledge of grammar underlying a language. This is so even when it comes to programming except that the word grammar is referred to as the syntax of a programming language.
A program is often inspired by details which a common individual seeks. While a poem is the expression of what an individual sees.
Programming is recognized by the format in which it is written. It is a norm for most programming languages to have clear demarcations to indicate purpose such as the use of ‘:’ and “;’ in c, c++,m Java, ...

Today we have innumerable editors what color specific words such as the key words in a specific color so as to give the programmer a better feel of the programming experience.

The loss of a punctuation mark can give a completely un-in-intended meaning in a program as well as a poem.
Yes the advent of internet has had its own impact in both these fields. It has enabled people who are new to a language to do come up with amazing creations. While websites like ‘stackoverflow’ provide snippets required to execute the intention of a programmer, it is known that a good duration of experience can move a real difference between a a well written program, good performing, sensitive program and total chaos.
Wrong choice of words while writing a poem/program can make all the difference in perception. As length of poem/program increases, a user takes longer to comprehend the implications. Since people cant really rely on programming languages to talk to one another, often the programs contain comments. Comments are essential to clarify the intentions with which the coding was done and thus serve to help optimize itself. Certain parts of the program can be progressively replaced by computationally efficient and syntactically convenient alibi. Like programmers have a choice of logic, poets too have a choice of conveyance.

Just as a person can be trained to program, so can be done in terms of poems. How ever not everyone turns up a work of art.

It takes attitude, innovation and passion to excel at programming. The right choice of code for a particular purpose can drastically reduce the effort in completing a project. And also reduce the effort later spent in debugging it (^_~). Good programs get appreciations and awards once in a blue moon, because Programming has been looked at in a totally different perspective as of today.
We see that great works like Shakespear’s getting a lot of recognition, however the same attitude is not seen towards programming giants. A well written program has the effect of mesmerizing an onlooker like the “list comprehension” in python.
Yes most of us aspire to write great programs but because of lack of right guidance at the right time, we see cases, where an attempt to write a brilliant poetry ends up in as a messy paragraph not standing out as a status of a poem.
In most languages, a good rhyming sentence is considered an appreciable poem. In programming, a well indented code is similarly said to be appreciable written program. The change in scenario is quite noticeable because, poems are meant to be read out loud, while that’s not the case of a programming language. A fresh mind and adequate concentration is required to write a poem/program.
One might argue that poems generally tend to carry a deep sense of emotions, this is not something we seen in a program and this difference comes from the fact that programming languages cannot be used between people to abuse each other or show love one has for another in strict linguistic sense. At best one can write a program for emotion recognition and write appropriate functions to handle the circumstance.
Programs are written for a machine to understand what humans tend to convey. Even thought the program tends to convey the requirements, there are glitches and performance penalties when time of execution is not considered in many cases. Such too is the case when it comes to poetry. A person reciting a poem is generally expected to recite it in a more or less agreeable tone to have the full impact of the poem under recital.
Programs have evolved only recently in the history of our species. Yet we have developed different styles and types of languages, in which we express and convey the desired results, from the rate at which computer programs are evolving, it can be said that the programs are here to stay and inspire generations of programmers yet to come.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chairs in our lives

Chairs in our lives
We all have chairs at our homes. Chairs serve as a tool to sit in a comfortable and socially acceptable manner. 

Even as you are reading this post, it is likely that you are sitting on a chair while doing so. There are several other alternatives for sitting but it is most common to sit on a chair, atleast in public. Chairs have influenced a lot of changes and development, for instance, if cars didn’t have chairs, it wouldn’t have gotten so popular.

Rich people spend a lot on chairs. Almost everyone wishes to display grand chairs for guest at home by spending heavily on furniture associated with a  chair such as a coffee table, a stool, a vase stand. 

Some of the most common appearances of chairs can be sofa chair, rocking chair, wheel chair, bean chair, chair with wheels like the ones used in office, chair in the dining room, chair in a park,  chair in a bus,  commodes are chair shaped toilets (~_^).

If you think about it, childern’s parks showcase several variations of chairs. Like the sitting facility on  see-saw, slide, swing... etc.

Chairs help us overcome the force of gravity by providing surfaces to dissipate the force from our bodies on to the surface of the chair. Chairs provide support to the back and act as means to maintain one position for a long time.

The letter ‘h’ in a chair looks like a chair (^_^), just like the word ‘bed’ which looks like a bed.

Chairs have been icon of power and luxury all through the ages. The emperors throne, the presidents seat, heir to the throne are common terms of use. Chairman is a term given to a person who is a deciding committee member.

Electric chairs were used to kill death sentenced prisoners soon after its invention.

At parties, there is a famous game called musical chair, in which people get eliminated if they are not able to acquire a seat fast enough. This game is an event based game where the event is indicated by start and stop of a certain music being played. Musical chair also significance of how you can get eliminated if you are not able to react to a certain situation well in time.

Chairs clearly define boundaries between you and the person next to you.

While sitting on a chair, the body is no longer required to concentrate on balance that is required while a person is standing. As humans, we tend to stand and walk seamlessly, but try to get the same from a dog and you will see my point. Yes the center of gravity itself is shifted while sitting (^_~).

The number of legs on a chair depends on its purpose, as in the case of a car seat where it has one support, in park seats it has 2 supports and in a table chair, it generally has 4 but the number really depends more or less on choice. Chairs have influenced the way we live and here is a video that summarizes it all.


Friday, June 1, 2012

I make pi look rational

I make pi look rational!
Finding a pattern in the word pi has been one of man’s most unsuccessful ventures. The accuracy of representing pi has been one of mans greatest struggle in his wish to express his views in the mathematical world that we live in. Pi is an irrational number, which we in our schools substitute by the number 22/7 but in reality it is not a rational number, i am sure most of you know that and it is a constant that one gets by dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter (pi = 2*pi*r/2*r). Yes you can try this with a piece of string and let me know what turns up.

This was my Gmail status for some time... and people kept asking me what it meant and why nothing was turning up in Google search when they looked it up.

The fact is I just thought it up and put it up as my status. People who know me will definitely mention somewhere or the other that I am irrational. May be I am, may be I am not... however, I have come across many situations where I found myself thinking about circumstances differently.

I am fascinated by shortcuts. Whenever someone shows me that there is an easier way of doing things, I try to learn it as quick as possible so that there is lot of time to do other things. For example I found that while solving DSP assignment, it took tremendously less time if I sat and did it all at once, instead of doing say 2 problems each day. This was because most of the problems had repetitions in many calculations.

There have been occasions when my teachers have asked me to shut up whenever I asked some doubt because the teacher failed to see the problem in my way. This has not however deterred me. In maths especially, in my 7th standard my teacher got annoyed that I was giving away the solutions to problems on simultaneous linear equations before the whole question was completed, and made sure that I gave away answers only after I had written down each and every step that led to the solutions.

I have had big dreams, have had my share of expectations from life. But somehow it always seems that i was surrounded by people who kept telling me that things in life are very difficult. If you ask me, I will say that i have not seen anything so absurd, its as if life runs on autopilot, as long as you perform your share of responsibilities.

Not just that, i have been fascinated by how a coin rolls over and finally decides to lie on one of its sides. I am fascinated by what caused water to turn like a whirlpool, at my home sink. I am sure one of you is going to paste links to convince me that there are theories behind all this yes, i have already looked up a few of them.

I would like to quote ,“don’t let the small minds around you fool you into believing that your goals are too big to reach”,  I dont know who said this, but think about the countless occasions where we have taken a lesser path just because someone told you that the other path was too difficult.

Why compare myself to pi?
I would say don’t, because this is just an analogy of what the world looks at you and thinks about you after having their share of experiences to judge you. Yes pi is definitely irrational, and may be i am also irrational, that does not mean that you start comparing.

Each thought has a special place in a person’s life. We define what we term as rational and what we don’t. Yes sometimes i irritate others in my class by asking too many doubts. I regret to inform you that i too would have felt the same way if i was in your place, but the truth is that i am not.

I am different, i cant keep some doubts just rambling up there in my head as the lecture in class goes on. There is a tremendous sense of satisfactions every time my teachers attempt to solve my doubts and I have got to say that they are getting a very good hang of it (^_~).

There is a very old movie named Pi some of you reading this might have seen the movie. It is about about the life of a genius who gets to know the secrets of pi, how ever the technology has moved much beyond just an IC and today we have technology that make it hard for us to believe how life was back then.

March 14th, which happens to be my friend ashwin’s birthday, is internationally “pi day 3:14”, lol, but it's also Albert Einstein's birthday (^_^). Yes i have used Pi’s fame to attract audience to my blog and i wish to owe all this credit to pi, thank you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is truth an opinion?

Is truth just an opinion?
You might know the story of the 5 blind men and the elephant, where each person tells what he observed to the other and it turns out that they all are wrong in reality.

We come across several incidents in day to day life, and while we have our point of view, truth happens to underly reality. To be more clear, just as the saying goes, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, truth too has a framework of its own. Each person observes different things in his life, and it is the occurrence of this duality that makes us question truth.

So lets try to look at a link connecting opinion and truth.

We say seeing is believing. But in reality, truth tends to have its own limitations. This is exactly where religion fails. Each religion preaches some beliefs depending on the person who initially perceived it with his 5 senses. But when attempted to put the different views from different people together, we turn up with something that we turn up in the story of the “5 blind men and the elephant”, the resulting entity is nothing close to an elephant.

Sometimes truth changes over time. For example, the flat model of the earth and the theories like the geocentric theories have prevailed in society we had mathematically consistent models of motion and time. It took a change in mindset to accept that the earth is indeed round and of course the heliocentric theory and now we have bent the math around what we now believe as the truth. 

How truth is different from belief:
Most of us believe whatever we know as the truth. This kind of a mechanism helps us survive as individuals, because, if we really had to find out the truth all by ourselves, there would not be any time for the more important things in our lives. 

For instance we believe our parents that they really are our parents. We believe that our name is so and so and continue with that. We believe that the world was here before we were born and will continue after we are gone

When a teacher says things like electricity and magnetism, we believe our teachers, even though none of these phenomenon have been completely understood. We believe in mathematics and things like elementary particles and string theory even tough in reality we don’t have contemporary analogies. For that reason, we tend to rely on analogies more than reality while understanding the mechanism of most phenomenon (misuse of vocabulary).

As children we are taught to speak the truth and from experience we learn that good morals are indeed a pre-requisite for a good way of life. However some situations lead us to question the fundamental principles and when we don’t find answers to such situations, we tend to come up with our own ideas on what might have happened. At his point we see that truth can be made up just as easily as an opinion.

This is it true that truth is just an opinion?
No. Like most human behaviour, truth too is assimilated with a negative feedback attitude. We perform different experiments in real life which tells us how to react to different situations we come across, as we learn we label different things as true depending on reliability of the argument. Whereas opinion is just what we think at one specific moment in our lives. In a broader sense, opinions are the way we reach the truth or what we tend to conclude as the truth.

Does it really matter?
No. Like I initially argued, it does not matter, because whatever happens in reality we each find explanations and try to move on. We are so good at modeling things with mathematics that when we find mathematics showing results on extrapolation, we tend to come up with realities based on our observations; take string theory, chaos theory, extra dimensions for instance, where mathematics expalins everything perfectly but we are limited by our sense.

It is a common opinion that proverbs are universally applicable. However there are several proverbs which contradict each other! this clearly helps us to distinguish beliefs, opinion, truth and fact.

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