Disclaimer: I have never undertaken it professionally, the rest of the post is just a mix of speculation, and hunches based on personal anecdotal experience.

I have always been suspicious of long-term effectiveness of CBT.
I suspect I learnt some rudimentary form of CBT from my culture, that is an attitude of choosing to one’s emotion/affect in the face of difficulties and choosing to focus on what can be done about it.

But at some point(about 5-6 years ago) i began questioning whether that
And when i found out about IFS about a year and half ago, i was like, this is f**#$ brilliant idea, it could work better.

Anyways, it struck me today as i was reading these lesswrong sequences and came across this one happy death spiral. I think CBT or whatever i practiced, would work to save disaster at the moment but later on, would lead to an affect spiral. either negative or positive and more often alternating sequence of both. In fact it led a friend to call me as showing signs of schizoid..

But over the last couple of years, with intermittent self-application of IFS and Vipassana, i have concluded two things:
1. Am better off trying to use the principles of IFS, when i find a troublesome decision with unclear/muddy outcomes.
2. Tyrosine/dopamine, am better off maintaining or ensuring some base level of Tyrosine in my daily diet.(probably milk )
3. And may be sneak in chocolate once in a week or so? i think there would be a qualitative change in the my quality of life, thinking and decision-making.

UPDATE 05-Jun-2013: Ok observations on the dopamine thing so far, clearly, low dopamine diet days lead to high auditory sensitivity, traffic noise, fan motor noise etc.. on the other hand it does seem to help focus. Time to get dopamine once in two days and get into an exercise routine to see what happens..

Multi dispatch in python– brilliant

This is brilliant .. .

One more level of abstraction above polymorphism and infact the logical step. I guess this is one reason i grew out of inheritance or OOPS as preached by java…

But no comments on the performance penalty this may have on the resultant code, though i suspect, it might still be a good idea if cythonizing (or for that matter C APIing) some parts(perhaps multimethod) of the code takes care of performance penalty…

It is ideas like this that convince me to keep my faith in programming as a profession..
And it is ten years old idea nay post… damn it i should have been more active about learning more about python


Linux applications

Unfortunately, a lot of application developers like overcommit, presumably for two reasons:

  1. It allows you to allocate a ridiculous amounts of memory as long as you know you’ll only make sparse use of it. In our credit card analogy, this is like a contractor going to a building supply store and buying twice the amount of materials they expect to need using a credit card, knowing they’ll be safe as long as they go back and return the unused materials for a refund before the credit card bill is due.
  2. It gives you an excuse to be lazy handling errors. You can rationalize ignoring the return value of malloc on the basis that, due to overcommit, even if you check the return value you can’t be sure to avoid crashing later when the kernel doesn’t have enough physical memory to instantiate your virtual memory

This comment/assertion (if true) from http://www.etalabs.net/overcommit.html is rather alarming in terms of using/building/deploying linux for mission-critical systems.. The article further says

Overcommit is harmful because it encourages, and provides a wrong but plausible argument for, writing bad software. While the number of applications that completely ignore the failure of malloc seems to be shrinking, plenty of applications and even libraries intended for use in serious software utilize “xmalloc” wrappers that abort (!!) the caller when malloc returns a null pointer, and the justification is almost always that, since the program could OOM-crash anyway if allocation fails, it’s no worse to abort. And of course this line of reasoning completely neglects systems that were intentionally configured to be robust under memory exhaustion.


OK that’s it. no more blindly just deploying or installing new applications on a production linux box.. Every single new application that needs to be installed has to go through a process designed to ensure clean memory allocation. that means load testing in a staging environment (with similar memory hardware) and test cases designed to run out of memory…

I think i now understand the wisdom of DevOps movement better…

This seems to be a good starter for memory management http://jamesgolick.com/2013/5/15/memory-allocators-101.html

And from the same blog http://jamesgolick.com/2013/5/19/how-tcmalloc-works.html. Hmm.. TCMalloc sounds interesting.. also http://goog-perftools.sourceforge.net/doc/tcmalloc.html.. gotta check this out sometime…

Ticklesss cpu — lwn article — thoughts and comments.

Came across this article and out of curiousity ended up reading this . Note the dates, the original proposal or Proof of concept code and patch set was started 3 years ago.. Phew… i guess given the complexity involved it’s necessary, but kinda puts some perspective on the blind Windows bashing i used to do until a couple of years ago.. Very humbling..

Anyway, this part of the article triggers some more thoughts/ideas from my memory..

enable the no-tick mode whenever the workload is right for it, regardless of a request (or the lack thereof) from any specific process

Years ago, i had applied for the M.Sc in management sciences program at Indian institute of Science. Bangalore. By some fluke, i cleared their entrance test and was called for the interview. One form i had to fill out before it was to make a project/thesis proposal. I was naive, optimistic, had just read Eli Goldratt’s Flow (management book) and had just learnt a bit about linux kernel scheduling.. So ofcourse, i wrote out a proposal to replace the kernel scheduler with flow-based management. i.e: to say based on the workload requested by the currently running processes, we can schedule them.
I didn’t know any better to understand the complexities and details involved, but was mostly adviced that i should have applied to the CS department.. Anyway,now this comment tells me i need to look at what is currently being done, and motivates me to see if i can contribute, even if only by commenting and adding to the discussions.

Gervais principle — -sociopaths reckoning

Warning: this is supposed to be a follow-up to the series of articles here.. Without reading you’re likely to misinterpret or completely miss the point of the article. Given my writing skills, it may not even make sense even if you have read it, in which case, i beg you to point out where the jumps are and i’ll explain what i was thinking but forgot to write.

. OK,  i got tired of waiting for venkatesh rao for getting that sociopath’s reckoning part of the gervais principle. So i decided screw this, i’ll write my own.

So what happens to these sociopaths that regularly use, pull and setup HIWTYL manuevers on each other and on losers and the clueless?  Well, as with so many other things in modern life, they make it a habit*. They start pulling them out of sheer reflex on every aspect of their lives. I would be happy to bet that these sociopaths(not sure how that can be defined operationally for a study?) end up with complicated, out of the norm, personal lives, late marriage, affairs, divorces, widely public scandals etc…  In The Office Example, Michael’s affair with Jan and Holly. Jan’s breakdown when she’s being let go, George Clooney’s single hood/fantasy relationship in “Up in the air”, etc..

It gets progressively harder to pull off HIWTYL maneuvers as time passes and the bunch of young people coming in turns in to be more street-smart vs educated. (Almost wants me to join them) it’s one of those rare professions where you need to keep getting creative just to stay in place, sure the cycling time may not be what i think it is, but it definitely gets harder every cycle. You also want to get and promote some of those vacillating between losers and sociopaths(Jim in the Office example), all the while keeping the increasingly agitated/getting crazier clueless calm and clueless. Most of these i write/say from the viewpoint of the timeline of a declining organization.

And this habit of looking out for contracts and options in every aspect of life, and looking out for clauses(in the legal sense) that add indemnity/responsibilities is why the whole pre-nuptial agreements concept rose and perhaps added complexity. The irony ofcourse is that, you’ll end up having to depend/trust your lawyer based on past experiences, recommendations and interactions with  him/her in natural language(most likely vocal/verbal contracts/promises, that are hardly enforceable).    Adding one more level of difference calculus will give you the source of gossip columns and their effect on celebrities, but i diverge from the topic..

Another effect of this HIWTYL behaviour, is a constant, exploration of how can i exploit this current situation in a short-term (gah, i hate that word, i mean bound/fixed time limit) scenario. yet another way to classify the sociopaths, line staff, and hierarchical ladder positions is to see how much and what part of their HITWYL behaviours are automatic/habituated learning vs how much of them are deliberate… Warning, there’s a confound in the form of the actual industry they are working in, and it’s intricacies, but it holds in general.. So overall the Sociopaths are doomed** to lead mostly unsatisfactory/unhappy lives. You know they end up with a more than needed amount of money, but spending a lot to keep getting more money, spending to keep the appearance, spending to avoid meeting people who want to take it away etc…. But that sort of happiness can only be achieved within the organization by taking up the Career path of the loser.

Update: Venkatesh Rao has gone on to write his own version.You can find it here.

* — The cognitive scientist in me wants to pull in more details, read up more research, but i don’t have the time for that now. may be later.

** — In the sense of happiness as quoted/highlighted by McCandless “Into the wild” on Tolstoy’s book

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps – what more can the heart of a man desire?” …”