Saturday, August 29, 2009

Conform to Reform!

It is actually beautiful, as beautiful and incredible as how the million stars don't fall into one another even when gravity is the only force present. The fact that the society is still running 'smoothly', in spite of the presence of radically different people, that are a part of it, is incredible.

The magnitude of its awesomeness can be grasped better , if you realize that in every 200 years the society is virtually new (as a human can barely live up to a 100 years) , composed of no individual from the olden society. Yet the society is apparently the same. I know it changes. But come on, you still brush your teeth, take a bath, grow up, want to earn money, earn money, repent wanting to earn money, never repent earning money and do all the things that your father's father's father's father's father's father's father did.

So, anyways, my point is that society plays a crucial role in sustenance. And by society I mean the mass. The majority of the society, neither the geeks, nor the laggards, but the followers maintain this thread from past to future. They use traditions and rules,mantras and laws, books and speeches as a mechanism to pass the baton.

The crazy people , the iconoclasts, the rule breakers, the geniuses, the leaders, the fathers, the savants, the likes of Einstein, Buddha, Gandhi, Hitler etc. lie on the fringes of the society. They decide the directions, the new rules, the modern thoughts, basically the future of mankind (its thoughts, its actions, its soul).

As Einstein said , in different words though, that the geniuses of a particular time have to face resistance from the lesser minds. I am trying to change that picture a little by saying that the geniuses of a particular time tend to differ from conventional thought. They find the common thought no longer valid. They can't resist the temptation to propagate this new thought, this idea into the masses. They are destined to and so they will to carry the weight of the society in a new direction. They are bound to feel the weight , they are bound to feel the society pulling them down, they are bound to feel the resistance.

After setting the stage, let me come straight to the point of this essay. How does the society blindly follow these outliers? and still remain stable? Here comes another intelligent feature of the design of society.

The to be leader has to first learn to conform to the society's norms. Prove to the masses that he/she is capable of following the rules, rather mastering them. To prove to them that he/she is much more evolved than them, in the only language they understand. If he/she has to prove that he/she is on the right side of the fringes, that he/she is a visionary not a crazy fool, then he/she has to master their ways first. It is a threshold which Einstein, Nash, Gandhi, Buddha, even Hitler and others had to clear before they were accepted as leaders.

So in summary, society rather the payload also acts as a bare minimum benchmark for proving that a genius is on the right side. As the title says : "Conform to Reform"

Thinking from the genius' point of view. His inherent nature is to think different. So much so that he thinks different in all the fields he is exposed to. Now when he has to face the grueling hurdle of conformance, it actually helps him too. The rules stated to him are, though unwritten, crystal clear. 'You are allowed difference of only one opinion from the others. You have to conform to all the rest'. Considering the nature of the genius, he obviously thinks that more than one thing needs a change. So while crossing the sea of conformance, everything except that one thing gets dissolved. The great part is that even the genius is unaware about what it is going to be before this. So, it is only when he knows that the world knows. Then it is just a matter of time that the world takes the new course.

The crazy people on the other side of the fringe, sadly, never make past the conformance hurdle. All of their crazy ideas get dissolved in the sea!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How silly to ask!

Indians have long confused respect with "not doing disrespectful jobs"!
I don't want to bias this thought further by explaining it more. Moreover, I don't have any example in my life to support this strong statement strongly enough. But I want you to think about it for a moment, at least, and longer, if you will to.

An anecdote:

P4 batch (where batches ranged from P1 to P5 and then Q1 to Q5 each with a decreasing 'calibre') at Bansal Classes Kota. It was a maths class. The topic was 'Logarithms' (The first chapter). Teacher was Siddharth Premi. We were 'discussing' a tutorial sheet on log. It would be better if i write it like this

Tejesh(thinking to self) : I am from State board I know nothing as compared to these people from CBSE

SP: So any doubt in question 1?

(no reply)

Tejesh (thinking to self) : O god! please somebody ask the doubt in the second question. How dumb it would sound if I ask the first doubt. If to no one else, it would prove to me that I am no good for this stuff. Afterall I am from State Board. These people are from CBSE.

SP: So any doubt in question 4?

Tejesh (thinking to self or not anymore) : What about second?

SP: Did you ask something?

Tejesh: (Expressions showing ' Who I ? No way? The second question? Come on! who is that silly?)No sir!

SP: OK! any doubt from 5th to 10th?

Tejesh: (Shit!) Sir, tenth! Oh sorry! ninth, sir!

SP: Just convert the multiplication of logs into addition. Ok from 10th to 15th?

Tejesh: Sir...wait. I mean, Sir can you go a bit slower?

(At that point, I still remember, I stood up and everybody was staring at me...were they laughing at me? Or were they judging me? Or was it all in my head? I have played that thing a hundred times in my head but I can never be sure. I like to believe though, that they really where mocking me.)

Tejesh (settling down on his chair discouraged and pathetic) :(to the left side guy) Do you know how to solve the 8th one?

The left side guy: (irritated already): yeah! its simple!its only the 8th question.

SP: 19th is a bit tricky but if you have got 8th , 19th is just an extension.

Tejesh:(to the Left guy) Can you please show me your solution for 8th?

Left side guy(clearly irritated): No I have done it orally!

Tejesh: (to the LS guy): if its so simple just explain it to me quickly.

LS guy: why don't you ask sir ?(clearly sardonic)

Tejesh: (Already having done the same thing with another Left Side guy in the previous class, understood, thank god that he did , that nobody actually knew log. They were just afraid to confess it)
Sir, (confidently this time) except for 5th and 23rd I could not solve any question. Can you please help me solve them. I know it would be a lot of trouble for you but, I can't just let go of logarithms without understanding it. Can you explain all the questions?(sits down)

Tejesh: (stands up again)And yes, I am sure at least one person in the class must be having trouble in these two questions also, so why not discuss the complete sheet again.

SP: (not as surprised as Tejesh expected) In that case I will discuss the sheet now.All those who have doubts should sit, others may leave.

(In the sectional tests condusted next month , many people from P4 did well in Logarithms, even better than some P1 students. Thus they (including Tejesh) were promoted to P1)
In this incident I may (in fact i am sure that I) sound arrogant and blatantly boastful. But having thought over things that I have done in the 2 years of Kota that make me deserve my AIR. I can only think of this event. Everything else was just goodness of people around me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Few things make my hairs stand on end (like when A.R. Rehman goes slightly higher the lasttime, as compared to the other times , when he goes 'Vandeeeeeeeee Mataram' in his song "Maa tujhe salaam" ).

Few make my face blow like a balloon, as if I am trying to contain all the tears that are produced inside it, and then finally they start leaking through the orfices of the eyes.I cry like a baby (The last 3 minutes of Persuit of happyness)

Some make me laugh my stomach into a daylong pain while some titillate me and make me hug myself... yet this is something which I experienced for the first time.

A bit of everything. I understand the word 'Mesmerise' now!

let yourself feel. from Esteban Diácono on Vimeo.

What's in the words?

Is it only the words or is it something deeper that, when we refer to the time when British rule ended in India, we call it the time when "British Left India" ? But when Americans talk about the end of British rule in America. They say that it was when "We got independence" I am not saying that we don't use the words "We got independence " off and on, what i am saying is that America never uses "When British (or French for that matter) Left America".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Speeeeeeeed Reeeeeeeead!

They say the Process is more important than the Product. I take a particular case of this generic adage to say Preparation for entrance exams is more enriching than the actual college education. Particularly I have learnt more (academically) in the 2 years of Bansal (Kota) than in 4 years of IIT. And I don't know about IIMs or whether I would make into one sometime now, but I am sure that the preparation for CAT is enriching me.Here I share with you one of the things I am learning.

I, having read lots of novels in the past 5-6 years, thought that my reading speed was fairly good.
When I wanted to boost my morale, one day, I told myself why not find out how much actually my reading speed is? I did and shocked myself with mere 130 wpm (words per minute). To give a perspective an average reader has a speed of 250 words per minute (or did it say average American reader , but how does it matter). I was not and never will be satisfied with average. After all average means neither good nor bad. Being that means "changed nothing in your life".

I tried many things. For instance I tried and listened to my coaching centre TIME's English faculty (no comments on him!) , I started wearing spectacles, I even for once thought it was all useless and it surely was!

So ya ! I will spare you the history otherwise it will start sounding like those dubbed American adds which come on the television at night. "Pehle main aisa tha. Sab dost Mera mazaak udaate the..par jab se maine....Meri zindagi sudhar gayi hai..."

The tool :

3 tips:
  1. Don't regress : move back again to what you have already read
  2. Fixations (Eyercize helps you with it)
  3. Don't Subvocalize: and if you learn how to do it (i mean not do it) teach me. It is the most difficult and hence the most important part
All this works. It claims to improve your spped upto 1000 wpm. Think of it in this way . Even if it increases to 500 wpm , a person like me could read 4 times as many novels as I could otherwise. I could read 4 times the articles in the newspaper than I currently do in the same time or read the article 4 times faster.

There are competitions for this, and people read at above 1500 wpm there. The surprising part is the comprehension improves instead of reducing, as logically expected. The fastest known reader till date (I forgot his name) read at 2500wpm and his comprehension was so much that he could answer questions (proper nouns) about a biography which he had read only once an year ago.

The fundoo trick is : If you are currently at 240wpm (say) and want to go upto 350wpm(as a first step), try reading at 600 wpm on Eyecize for some time. After some time try reading at 300. It feels so much slower. Use it to your advantage!

The Eyercize bookmarklet feature is good too!

Feel free to ask in case I wasn't clear about anything. Work on this, I bet you will thank me later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

About life universe and everything!

The appearance, algorithms, applications, competition, market, revenue earning methods, time to load etc. for the different search engines like Google, Bing and even Wolfram Alpha, may be different. But what unites them is their metaphysics. Try searching 'answer to life the universe and everything' in either one. Their calculators come forward with the answer "42" which, according to the original proposer, was a random number which came to his mind when he looked out of his window and he thought that it would be a good joke.

Douglas Adams says that there is nothing special about the number and that even if there is, he did not mean it that way. But this has not stopped people from coming up with theories. After all why only 42, why not anything else like 32!

I thought if there was really this game going on about making useless hypotheses, how can I not participate? After all, this is what I am good at!

So I jumped in.

42 is a decimal representation of the more fundamental binary number 101010. Surprised already! and got my point yet?

No! Let me explain in detail then. Everyone, even the ones who hate philosophy, thinks this theory at least once ; Life is full of ups and downs. If you are on an up you are sure to go down and vice versa . Now got my point?

If no, then forget this post for now . Understand ignorance is bliss and come back to this post once you have revised your basic trigonometry ( remember, the subject with things like sine curves and all).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Optical spiral!

Out of the many optical illusions I have had the honour to see through books, stumbleupon, mails, t-shirts and all the other places they have found home, I like this one the best for a single reason. The others cause a slight optical illusion, I mean if you know that the two circles are equal , or the crooked lines are really same...then you can easily convince yourself that they are.This one is different.

Try convincing yourself that the orange spirals are really not spirals but circles. Cannot do it right?Oof course you cannot because they are really spirals.

Anyways how about convincing yourself that the blue and the green spirals which you see, are actually of same colour! :)

Hint: After you have tried to look with one eye, two eyes, three eyes...printed it , inverted it...and done all sorts of things with it, try the colour picker in paint. Start>Accessories>paint>coloupicker!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Draw your mind

I found these class of software which help us draw our mind and present it effectively.
I must sayy they are not obviously what exactly they aim or boast to be, but surely are little helpful in the stated direction.
I used Edraw Mind map V4 and here is the first thing I started drawing.
I found them good for putting down possibilities.
They are also good for things like first draft of novels and projects and for time planning etc. etc.
So all in all a decent find.