# Indian society rants

Society — a few rants:
Disclaimer:
Most of these are thoughts and ideas that have bugged me often. I have thought of often and on repeated occasions though I have had trouble trying to figure out the biases problems and solutions involved. So this is a complete no filters from any of the rational parts of my brain dump of thoughts and ideas.

Death: Why exactly is old age and death gets the response of nothing more than an acceptance.It’s a just the way of life?. Why oh for the love of one’s self why? Or in some other cases, it’s just a very taboo subject spoken rarely of, and never a good topic to speak about? It’s one of the biggest problems left (viewed from the biased first-world viewpoint of course). I understand there are reasons for civilizations, and groups and tribes of men to flourish, they needed to evolve a certain set of spoken and/or un-spoken rules about topics to discuss.Some of my fellow countrymen would say, it’s simply because there’s so many other more basic and fundamental problems to be solved that there’s no time for abstract, impractical, use-less, philosophical, “Who’s John Galt? type” questions. While it may be true for quite a good chunk(or percent) of people, the majority I meet aren’t that impoverished and living hand-to-mouth.(Granted, am in some sense part of the circle that’s easily classified as higher than middle class, but nevertheless, I can see that it’s those unfortunate classes, who seem to enjoy their life). While the middle or higher economic classes, seem to tend to live in a world of un-named, vague set of fears and guilts.
Infact, the most intelligent/smart/evolved people i have met seem to have a learned helplessness about it.(not unlike Dumbledore in HPMOR), rest are clearly in denial, considering any talk about death as a taboo. It’s not polite conversation for the same reason. Some people might be in denial, and you would be scaring them. Hell, I’ll take learned helplessness (only conditionally), but denial no way. Go on read up about Kubler-Ross Model and graduate atleast one step.

Another related irony, is the reluctance to talk about sex. In many ways, as I understand it, sex can be one of the powerful helper in dealing with the Damocles’ sword of death hanging over all of us.
It’s perhaps the intensity of emotions/affect both of these arouse that both are considered impolite conversation, but to hell with those rules. (Yes I am aware this sounds as cliche as Freud’s theory, but that doesn’t overrule it from being true.)
We are not in a stone age anymore, where every conversation is/was fraught with the danger of costly violence(both immediate and vendetta )

And to those who say, these are rules/heuristics/traditions that survived the test of time and therefore anti-fragile, I just point to this quote:

If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top … that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings.

Buckminster Fuller

Money:
Here, there’s a major pervasive neurosis of losing money or atleast i think so. But overally, there’s major social ideas about, whethe to talk about money or not. there definitely is a major preference to talk vague about money and an idea that better vague the discussion the better it is. It’s kinda weird, given that there’s uncertainty about money and the temporal dynamics of how it grows or changes with time. . I am tempted to say it’s a marketing/sales tactic, along with information asymmetry leveraging.
The worst case is when the human agent that uses information asymmetry to leverage, doesn’t realize that’s what it is doing.
I guess, within the field of “The art of persuasion”, it is an advantage not to realize that you are leveraging asymmetry of information.
It kinda enables you to create, and send symbols that communicate genuiness of despair, sadness and grief.
The flipside, of it is you are more and more likely to have full-blown depression. Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is,
that this approach completely blindsides you to some set of strategies that recommend limiting the cost of living.
Like this one on early retirement.

Gender Roles:
Sexuality:

See this site http://genderfun.blogspot.in/ . The truth is as part of all our society’s mystifying sex.
Infact it’s a whole origin of books like “Eleven Minutes” and also prostitution.
I personally think, that prostitution is perhaps the biggest antithesis of the spirit/idea of sex.
Not very unlike what Francisco d’Anconia explains to Hank Rearden in “Atlas Shrugged”, There I confess am a fan.
But not a cult member. Am also a fan of lesswrong community and their ideals. So really, judge my actions, over a meaningful timeline in which it can be relevant.
And don’t judge my words too seriously. :-P
Relationships:
Sex:

Now, this is yet another area where we as a society are dragging our feet about reconsidering custom rules.
As I mentioned in the Death section above, it’s one of the most powerful antidote to fear of death, and yet has as powerful a taboo surrounding it.
Infact, I would say, it’s more powerful than Death. But no, having seen the potential for it to incite violence, we stick to talking about sex is a taboo in public conversation.
But guess what, we do know the power it holds, and utilize it to sell soap,deodarants, cars, etc..
Just ask any marketing department. Instead of trying to discuss and understand our strong emotions, we instead get cliched,vague(as Agent Smith puts it vapid) ideals like love.
Insead we get either “Eleven minutes” or sex abuse/rape as a tool of violence.
Or we get porn, bdsm and other fetishes that are either a bunch of people rebelling against the taboo we create for sex or
just plain prostitution, which is pure flesh without any attention and as Ayn Rand puts across in Atlas Shrugged,
the lowest, and meanest form of pleasure one can find.
I never understand, why instead of all this discomfort people keep around and dance around, why don’t they just talk about the elephant in the room?.
I mean, we(society) as a civilization have progressed enough to understand the costs of violence, and formed methods to discourage it.
Clearly, not all individuals are in complete agreement with all of them, or with the costs of violence, and avoiding it always.
Nevertheless, its time for us (society) to re-examine some of our unspoken rules and taboos.
I refuse to believe that the humans around me are incapable of re-thinking, questioning, changing their behavioural habits.
I for one, refuse to abide by rules and conventions and heuristics that make no sense any more, in the era material abundance.

Marriage:
Well, what can I say, that I haven’t already rambled on and on about sex, relationships above?.
To start off, it’s a legal entity/contract, and all other properties assigned to it are exactly that.
(assigned by society, and a self-fulfilling prophecy, in a few cases.)
Otherwise, there’s a whole lot of myth, and a little truth, but the worst part is that the proportion is so immense that, it’s generally discouraged to go looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
It is a legal contract, in which at the moment men are at a disadvantage(due to the gender roles (see above),
as perceived by society, and partly some aprior frequency data).
I can’t get around the fact that it is instead used as if it were a natural law.
I can’t stand the fact that it’s a real PITA, to be able to enforce the actual(nay purported by society) properties/advantages of marriage.
I understand the reasons why it works, namely, financial security against future for the woman, and reproductive assurance/(continuation of the species) for the man.

Yet, I don’t understand, why or how either of them are the most important aspects of modern society.
to some extent, I can understand that, but the most baffling part of it all is how marriage is supposed to guarantee either of those.
As far as I know, it is impossible to make that guarantee via the instrument called marriage in modern civilized society.
If you think it’s(monogamous commitment) the most natural thing, think of this argument, why then do we need to have legal rules trying to enforce it by penalizing failures and subsidizing compliance(tax benefits etc..?) or better yet read the book “The Red Queen”. and try to punch holes in their thesis.

Signalling:
And here, according to Trout, was the reason human beings could not reject ideas because they were bad:

Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity. The ideas Earthlings held didn’t matter for hundreds of thousands of years, since they couldn’t do much about them anyway. Ideas might as well be badges as anything.
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

.
The problem with this approach, is that this is how inefficient markets come into existence, and develop defenses against disruption. While this can be a double edged sword,(i.e: good in some fields like medicine, where slow progress + high accuracy is better, and bad in some like FMCG, where innovation can create better/higher/more value for the customer.). The real dangers are when it creates perverse incentives that hide serious disadvantages. One example would be use of antibiotics vs Drug Resistant Bacteria evolution. Another famously used is the Credit Default Swaps that led (to?) the famous 2007-08 crash.

# Attention Economy/Attention metaphors

Attention Economy/Attention metaphors

Ever since i read this post on
by Venkatesh rao,
i have been thinking of the metaphors we use for our
attention.
We live in an attention economy$textsuperscript{1}$
Steve Jobs, and his persona was a good example of it. Good as in someone who
exemplified the power of attention and what it can be put use to. While i must
say, i haven’t used many apple products, I don’t think all of their products
deserve to be worshipped. I agree they have been the leaders with iPad and it’s
a cool technology alright(along with ipod of course). But they have always made
design decisions that have alienated a nerd,power user like me.

Anyway, the point am trying to make is that with the mouse, Mac captured the
attention of a range of audience lot bigger than the small,programming and/or
nerd community. You can extend that to explain almost all of their products.
They were all designed to capture the majority of (sigma, for summation)attention
of the consumer population. That was Steve Job’s vision and the Reality
Distortion Field**, is his ability capture who he was talking to/selling his
ideas to.

It struck me that majority of us use the clock metaphor when it comes to our
attention.

i.e: it’s a replenishable resource.

1 – A phrase if i remember right coined about 4-5 years ago in some pop-best
seller (research required on what it was).

** – I have no personal experience meeting, so my only idea of the
RDF is that from reading and watching “pirates of the silicon valley”

*** – My emotional core/moral value system definitely looks down at manipulating attention to profit or make money, but the rational side of me sees it as ok and normal in the case of what steve jobs did, just as we have magicians. I assume if any of that had led to federal policy changes, that in turn caused loss of lives, even the rational side would be furious about that.

# programming abstractions

I remember my first program in C. I remember my self-chosen first programming challenge, write a image processing library in C++ and learn C++ on the way.. Duh.. how naive was i.

Once upon a time i did imagine that new programming languages will make it easier and simpler, how naive was I.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/LeakyAbstractions.html

Now 12 years on from when I first learnt C, i see myself still running into frustrating, stuck dead-ends, it actually seems i run into the more often than I used to when i started, funny.. But as joel puts it here, new programming languages don’t make the learning curve shorter or easier. They just make it easier to deal with higher complexity programming projects.

Anyway, right now am stuck at the abstraction level of nagios nrpe application/daemon trying to connect.

And what do i do? i take a break go home.. do nonsense and other stuff and then come back.. I end up getting exhausted or frustrated by the sheer volume and variety of open-source software out there. begin to lose interest in figuring out all those, especially since technology seems to be coming out very very fast. Decidi i should go back to math and work on it.. duh..

But overall it has been an interesting experience so far and good training. one of the next things i need to do is quit the GUI for most of my focused work-mode.. the window focus changing si too demanding and distracting if i have to think deeply. I am beginning to understand why so many people working on multilpe languages and stuff, use the console mode for work.

# kindle_android app review

I have been trying out kindle app on my android phone, by buying antifragile e-book. I have generally have a negative idea of paying for a DRM locked e-book, mostly because of the control i give up.

1.highlight colour must be change able for the highlighted text

2. I like the partition/page/parts numbering method.

3. I hate the time lag it takes for the kindle app to switch layout..

4. Seriously, you have to wipe out my highlighted notes/comments? can’t you find a way to sync them too .. that’s lame..*
5. And for the love of god, why did you have to zoom into the selection text, when i am trying to highlight.. you’re just making it painful for me to choose till which point to highlight.
6. learn from the moon reader app with regards to note-taking and highlighting..

7. Again page turning moon reader app has a cool animation

But most of all i pay almost the same price as a hardcopy book , but can’t share it with a friend without really sharing my device? Please put in an ability to transfer it to another device.

And more importantly, it spooks me that am at your mercy to remove my book. I know there haven’t been any incidents(after that one time), but no am not buying a kindle for myself.

* — Ok, i was wrong, i wasn’t using bookmarks, but highlighting and notes.. and to your credit you do have the last read page in memory fine.

UPDATE: ok , i am a convert. The convenience of e-books is undeniable, even though the physical book is irreplaceable.
For a bibliophile, the ability to carry around a set of books on hand is very convenient for evaluating new books to be added to the physical library.. So only thing remaining is if i am ok with the books pricing on kindle, given the fact that they have the power to wipe it out /take it back when i connect next.

UPDATE 2: OK, for all my conversion, i miss the ability to open a random page in a book and read.(Much like Gabriel Betteredge in “Moon Stone” does with every copy of his book “Robinson Crusoe”). I guess, i can still use kindle’s goto -> Location -> and type in a random number.
But it still doesn’t seem as quick and straightforward…. hmm..perhaps because i have already done the kindle equivalent of opening a book. I suppose it would be a good idea to get this option before touching the book icon within kindle. some kind of circular motion perhaps or double-tap/touch?? Hmm.. might work..

# one more poem in the middle of the class…. gnanodhayam

For the tamil disabled translation of the few lines in tamil……….
1. [Can’t translate it well enough… doesn’t matter it is copied from a song neways and irrelevant to the body:P so you know wat to do:P]
2. Learning is a ill-defined phenomena
3. Teaching is a more confusing process.
4.. at the end of the day all colleges
5. end up with those good old days
6
7
8. biggest comedy is .
9.

Else you can figure out….. the alpha in the last line is the proportionate indicator from old style math/physics……..

# More stray thoughts….

What if we have imposed the order to stay along with space and time???
what if our  sciences till now have led us to install order/awareness in space and time only??

# A year’s straying thoughts during class

Hey these are the products of the excretion of my cochlea into my brain,feeding on the phonemes produced by the help of the larynx and pharynx of our lecturers during the academic year 2007-2008.
BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some of these are viral and could drive you crazy…….. They almost did to me………. but i escaped by the hair in my ear.
And oh yeah almost forgot please forgive the occasional self-pondering thoughts could not really manage to seperate them together it was too tough a job so gave up…. (My current comments as on 10/08/2008, while digitizing the handwritten notes).

Science-detail is a meme that propagates itself by appearing to be new, by way of too much detal??? are all scientists just possessed tools of the meme???

Why did we evolve grammar?? was that the evolution of reason?? no!! Is reasoning without language possible??? Language Memes???

Thinking/reasoning – starts with the agent trying to understand itself. So cognition is the next step in evolution??? (This one beats even me…… No clue what i was thinking…)

Bilinguals/Multilinguals have to rely more on semantic lexicon!!!!!

Did phonology or morphology evolve first in the evolution of language.?????

By an evolutionary viewpoint the intention to speak is induced by an alert or threat…. People have to be insecure to keep speaking and creating theories & new science????? Is that why buddhism is famous/right??? (guess was referring to noble silence………. but not so sure and can’t recall what i was thinking and why??).

If even language experts don’t have the basic definitions clear then what can be done??

Unlearning the differentiation of space,time,mass & energy (oh yeah awareness/consciousness too) is the target to be hit?? Education works against it??
But in reality the ones who excel or do great are the ones who perceive/feel/judge in the continuum and not the differentiated parts???

Where do I lag?? Energy?? mass?? also consciousness??

Quantum physics happened when physics entered hugely incomprehensible limits for the human sensory faculties…… so Cognitive science will go through a similarly long developmental process???

Chomsky would go along with innatism theory and say an innate fight against space,energy,time,mass predictability in an organism???
Is freedom an innate tendency??
People look for mates in an attempt to get together as proposed in God’s Debris??? but endup with child birth and thereby splitting up a bit more??? what an irony it would be??? :)

I need high space,mass, and i bring energy, quick response,higher cognition?? Animals cognize in fewer dimensions?? while humans in space,time,mass,energy,consciousness continuum… Click??

A video where a ball moves around and a key has to be pressed at exact,specific moments based on cues like colour of the ball?? Eye movement during the video??(with and without a random frame depicting incongruent movement??)

Categorisation & Integration are 2 different memes, which are competing for the mind to live and multiply on?? (Sounds like stolen from matrix)

Objective evaluation Vs Empathization => the dilemma of my life???

Action => a physical movement which is intended to effect a change in the environment/surroundings/outside the self-source of mismatch in working style between west & east???

Evolutionarily consciousness would have been a tool 4 sustanence as it enables us to remember, re-examine,re-analyze, one’s actions in the light of their results…….

Flexibility of a structure to suit the environment decides the fitness of the organism??? will it have to evolve space & time distinction???

Did we evolve to think???

Cognitive science domain???? causal??

Science – Diagnostic (Not a clue…………)

Specified/given is always when the event has happened or not happened.[boolean?? or even if we know a distribution] (again am lost…..)

Abstraction was an escape 4 me??? oh yeah the biggest addiction yet… Got to find something bigger next………

Belief networks of events model with events that evolve a causal relationship during training.
For a specific problem like the figure-ground segregation the factors/nodes of the network would be:
1. Flicker rate of regions
2. Colour of Regions
3. Relative size of the image
4. Relative motion

High neighbouring correlation in nature ==> Gestalt rules

Next evolution will be high dynamism??
do i give too much credit to people??(or atleast more than i give to myself??)
If panpsychism is true then y do we need living things?? what advantage does that give???
God’s Debris ==> Determinism?????????
Or just a global goal and lots of local decisions made?? or growth of the consciousness what does this phrase mean??[assumes humans are more conscious than animals]… if the premise is accepted then what next???? if failed then what?? a movemnt towards order only in the consciousness dimension or is this order and disorder in specific dimension grows and wanes???
Is it just a big 5d body changing forms & shapes?? Does this mean a membrane covered with fluid placed on a varying or tilting surface???? Or can we never thinkoutside of it because we are part of it???

Lower in Working memory => Higher awarenesss|more presence of mind due to less worry???

Are memes a result of necessity to explain?? (which would explain why robots/AI agents don’t create scientific theories,unless it is part of their goal) or is it the other way around?? is it a neccessary tool for the reproduction of memes??? Can it be the case that memes cause the consciousness & related issues while the others like perception, attention are just evolutionary pressure???

sit and give ideas seems to be the ideal job according to most scientists???

Emotion and reason are 2 dimensions of the mind…
Computers cannot multiply & divide cause it is artificial and imagined product of the mind => w/o real life???
Correlation are other imaginations of the mind too??

The way life throws up things and sprang surprises at as it a hunter in the wild trying to catch a big cat….
safe hands party in is want shakti is lookng forward to what am i???? (Merlin’s beard……. God bless this soul[:P])

why ‘is’ is a verb???
Existence is an action??
or language evolved when existence required a lots of action…..
Did the other
dhruv & me just pr..(Can’t read here) the each of our wannabe rosy image and show for ourselves new not for the other…………..

More we grow up more difficult to commune…

Are memes conscious???
Children are anticipatory.. our educational system was designed based on memes??Creativity is the ability to change the location of ego???

4years and 2 heart breaks is what it takes to unlearn the hesitation…. or rather realise it is the problem.Hope the unlearning is as instantaneous as i make it sound like… but what a wasteful & slow learner I really am like phaedrus i miss a lot of stuff and reinvent the wheel, a poor scholar indeed. All the more reason to forget about full-time Ph.D?? Let’s see to early to worry will apply just where i feel like and see what i feel like when i have to decide…. All of these is a bit more tough with age and support waning but “Somethings are meant to be………..”

Bayesian decision system for figure-ground segregation:
1.Assign figure & ground states to the regions of the image.
2.Previous experiences & conclusions from the previous judgement of figure & ground regions.

Can our machines ever can know quality???
Will they ever learn to categorize based on quality?? will they ever be able to create|generate category??

An algorithm starts with completely random cell activations then a bit more closer to the probability distribution of weights in the networks??

Urban life –> hunting/gathering
Ratiocination –> ratio –> fraction –> fractal geometry
Time can both undershoot and overshoot

I semester stuff………..

Explore freewill is identifying the basin of attraction we are in???

kinesthetic learning memes???
chaos theory & creativity
kinesthetic learning and creativity??

Abstract thinking is better in bi/multilinguals because of Linguistic switching
1.Paragraph with 2 languages mixed
2.Bi-lingual words
Comprehension rate eh diffficulty???
Switching words or sentence
How wud u measure the abstract thinking??
1.Mental rotation
2.Mirror image identification
3.Sequence -next??
4.Image + Image => which image
5.Visual analogies??
6.Analogies with math symbols
7.Understanding power???
8.Syllogical reasoning

There are no absolute concepts?? then there is no implicit transformation??
Creativity-chaos??
Consciousness in some state we are better @creativity??
At some paths and attractors those are creative regions with almost equal attraction from many around also explains association of creativity & uncertainty, & feeling of restlessness associated with it….

what if we can perceive only 3 or 4 dimensions??

cochlea is actually a snail???(it looks like a snail…. so could it be a remnant of the evolution from sea theory?? and could it have taken refuge in the head as a symbiotic relationship…. this is really diving into evolutionary psychology….. but still was and is interesting…..)

Continuous and discrete the resolution is vital to differentiate..
Are they really different?? Nature is always discrete??[Quanta]….

Physics has extended beyond ourselves.. Psychology is yet to catch up with physics…. do we need a different approach from usual science??

Live with the limitations of the internal model like discrete time and not continuous time?? Actually people who argue against evolution on grounds of reason are actually believers in the presence of a higher power that brings us together, but if they don’t it is actually utilitarian view.

Should i believe in the causality to live here??
Does our model of the world always have to see time?? Does nature evolve to know time or we humans modeled time too?? If yes is it still relevant or useful?? Can we come up with a better one?? can it be generic enough???

Utility based agents:
Emotion is the reaction of an organism to difference between the external state and expected state based on the internal model

Vipassana => just stop computing??

Faster you develop personality and ego less memes??
Human mind and Rene thom’s map seem so similar……. Jumps are considered dangerous which is the fear of learning. So much energy being put in to avoid jumps…… funnily enough ..Technological advances bring in jumps in awareness……..Though they evolved as a way to jump in space-time… They have started trying to drive jumps …..

Quality is the response of an organism to its environment????
Is cause and effect so clearly demarcated??
Equivalence can be defined at various levels. So interaction between equals if it is not between equals it is useless or not capable of study.

Science can never stop dividing and splitting??? Does it have to include the concern for the whole???

I have not emitted enough or do I believe i can emit more
why do we have lightness as a limited line of height??

Signal needs a transform
Signal interpretation
Signal is not there without an interpretation.
Implicitly transformed???
Absolute finite–> Relative infinite –> we say too big and so not practical to consider.
Absolute Infinite–> Relatively meaningless –> we don’t care about the value jus say infinite and leave it alone
Absolute zero –> Relative finite–> Relatively finite is absolute zero transformed to our purpose.So it is already in balance. We just meddle with it and imbalance it.
To ponder: We only meddle with Absolute zero =>Relatively finite.
And our relative zero is absolutely meaningless………=> we have made up our relative zero.
We keep meddling with absolute things in nature, till we observe a transform we can apply….

Independance is always on some scale referring to something so it is useful onlywhere the scale is relevant and useful.some with identically distributed.

Event independance?? how are they?? Inter dependance Dependance has to be referred to a scale. Dependant by time or sample set.

Can perception be a variable?? how is a variable determined?? At what stage are we capable of doing it? what are all the processes behind the process??? Only after exhaustive statistics??

Till now we have been studying systems outside us. We are now trying to study the mind too… May be we have to extend our system to include the mechanism of ourselves to. But do we first have a unified theory of all things outside us???

In case of meditator attention happens later stage…

Points of attraction –> lowest energy state???
Mental state sets –> Lowest information loss??=> lower creativity???

Covert moving ur ‘I’
Overt without moving ur ‘I’
Covert – Creativity & conscious of the ego & ‘I’ still
Overt – we are all one
Higher cost benefit => patterns of stimuli???[Expectation]

Any psychological property cannot be measured by an instrument……
Gotta use an implicit transformation …. to study………….

Oh yeah atlast i can go to sleep done with all these notes……….. Damn that was quite a scare……….. next job to do the grouping of the few theories mixed up here……. atleast now i can have all at one place. :P