silver lining


So if you think about it carefully every negative or difficult experience in our lives has a positive effect as well. Often it is possible to turn a negative situation into a more constructive positive experience if we want to. For exsmple we might have a dofficult and frustrating experience at work. Well we can grudge and complain about it or basically accept the fact that for the most part, we can not change the overall situation. However what we can do is that we can  change our own outlook. Try to get a project that excites us, find something that perhaps we wanted to do for a long time but never was able to get to it. Develop a hobby, do something new. From my own personal experience I have realized that once you start doing that you’d almost be grateful that you ran into a frustrating and agonizing experience.Imagine of you always had a rewarding work life – you’d never have thought of doing something new.

This applies to other tjings in life as well. There’s always a silver lining. All you need to do is to find it.

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Blog from ipod


Just downloaded the wordpress app to my new iPod! Works awesome!! This gives a new meaning to blogging. May be I will blog more often now🙂

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Welcome to my new blogs on wordpress


So I decided to move my blogs over from Blogger to WordPress. I really like some of the WordPress features and I think they are leaps and bounds ahead of Google’s tool. Enjoy browsing my blogs on this new site (available both as http://blogs.anirban.org and as https://anisinha.wordpress.com) and keep commenting.

Cheers …

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Gene Roddenberry had a point!


So this thought has been lingering in my mind for a while now. Gene Roddenberry had a point when he introduced the concept of universal translator in the Star Trek universe. I remember having a conversation with my supervisor at grad school about this. He told me that he thought one such device could change the world, solve a lot of the current challenges in a modern society and even prevent wars. I didn’t delve into this thought any further in those days. However, I now think that he did indeed had a good point.

If you think about it, often we spend so many years of our lives trying to master a language not spoken by our parents. Every day, we ardently try hard to make this ‘foreign’ language our ‘mother tongue’. We spend hours thinking how we can perfect our understanding and command over this language. We read books, write letters and even converse among ourselves in this language from very early stages of our schooling (kindergarden in my case), all aimed at improving our understanding of this language. But why? Why learn it? Why spend so much energy, passion, time, money, thinking into mastering a skill that is completely orthogonal to what we really want to do in our lives? For example, a student aspiring to pursue graduate studies in a primariliy English speaking country, such as US, Canada, UK or Australia is required to prove her or his proficiency in English through scores in such exams such as TOEFL, GRE and IELTS, regardless of her or his aera of study. I have seen my friends spend hours and hours, days and even months preparing for these exams. I have also done the same. Sometimes even scores in these exams are not enough. In spite of having a relatively high score, you might experience difficulties because of your ‘weird’ ascent. But why? Why learn 5000 words of a foreign language that none of your parents ever spoke or felt comfortable with? What is accomplished by such hard work? Nothing. Does your first language indeed change by doing all this? No. Would you have rather preferred to study something that is closer to your heart, like engineering, math, science, arts? Yes. Do you really become one of those who were born to English speaking parents? No.

So a universal translator is indeed a useful device. Why ever learn more than one language? Why does English has to be the language for all? You need to learn one language through which you can express your thoughts and understand other’s thoughts. Thoughts, feelings and expressions should flow easily and smoothly across people of different mother tongue. There should be no stupid exams asking subtle meanings of some arcane words of a particular language. Exams such as TOEFL, IELTS and GRE would not be necessary. People should be able to do what they love, regardless of what they speak. This is important, this is fair.

I hope some brilliant guy from a top school does get to invent the device. I hope they do it soon. I hope I am able to see the change it can bring to our society and our thinking before I die. At least, I hope so …

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(500) Days of Summer


“If Tom had learned anything… it was that you can’t ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence. That’s all anything ever is. Nothing more than coincidence. There are no miracles. There is no such thing as fate. Nothing is meant to be …”

So this year, on my way towards visiting my folks in India, I watched this movie on our Lufthansa flight (twice over). Whereas I am still trying to digest the movie, one thought kept lingering in my mind as I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. This thought has prompted me to turn on my laptop while we are flying at about 35000 feet, cruising our way towards Frankfurt at about 536 Miles/hr.

So I ask myself, why didn’t they make this movie 5 years back? Why did I not watch it then? I had made some mistakes in my life those days and perhaps this movie might have prompted me not to take those same steps. Even now, at night, when I go to bed, I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and go back in the past and get a second chance to re-live some of those days. Then, I would do things a little differently on the second attempt. I would then perhaps had been able to shape my life in a different and better route. Unfortunately, for better or for worse, once something is done, it’s permanent, written in stone for ever. You can’t turn the clock back, your past remains with you and you got to learn to move on & live with your mistakes.

Fortunately, I am not the only person with these thoughts. Humans in this world make lot of mistakes in their lives. To make mistakes *defines* what we really are. Most people learn from their mistakes and try to do things differently in the future. Unfortunately, sometimes opportunities present themselves only once and if you fail to grab it then, you loose it for ever. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you do in the future, your past already had made it’s deep imprints.

So what if we *could* turn back the clock and go in the past and do things differently? I remember this nice episode from Start Trek TNG where ‘Q’ (though not explicit, it was implied that this was done by ‘Q’) takes Picard back in time in his youthful days but with the knowledge and wisdom of his present day intact. Picard, now having learnt from his past experiences and his past mistakes, takes the opportunity and does things differently. Age and experience has now made him more cautious, reluctant to pick a fight and he does things the way a ‘wise man’ should do. That girl to whom he could never confess his true feelings in his real youthful days is beside him and this time, the old Picard tells her how he feels about her …

But look what he has done! He has taken a different course in his life now. All this new changes in his life has made him into a different man. He is no longer reckless, no longer a risk taker. However, this change also meant that he could no longer achieve the same milestones that he had achieved in his real life. He, as a person has changed. He is no longer the captain of the Enterprise, but only an Ensign.

So the bottom line is, the experiences that we go through in our past make us what we are today. If we could somehow skip those experiences, we wouldn’t be the same person as we are now. We wouldn’t be where we are now in our lives. We would be different. All those failed relationships, all the pains that we have endured from heartbreaks made us wiser, different. It determined how we would react to a situation in the future, blend us into individuals that we would never otherwise had been.

(500) Days of summer reflects some of the experiences from my own life. But should I
regret that they happened? Perhaps not. Yes, it’s the coincidences that build experiences in our lives. Some of these experiences changes our lives for ever.

Now I must turn my macbook off for now. The battery is almost dying and we are experiencing lot of turbulence. Only a little while left before we touch down at FRA.

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Are developer egos a problem in the open source development model in general?


Response from Con Kolivas to APC magazine:

I think any problem with anydevelopment model has multiple factors,
and ultimately, it is humans that make decisions. I won't comment
on the humans themselves.If there is any one big problem with kernel
development and Linux it is the complete disconnection of the
development process from normal users. You know, the ones who
constitute 99.9% of the Linux user base.The Linux kernel mailing list
is the way to communicate with the kernel developers. To put it
mildly, the Linux kernel mailing list (lkml) is about as scary a
communication forum as they come. Most people are absolutely terrified of mailing the list lest they get flamed for their inexperience, an inappropriate bug report, being stupid or whatever. And for the most part they're absolutely right. There is no friendly way to communicate normal users' issues that are kernel related. Yes of course the kernel developers are fun loving, happy-go-lucky friendly people. Just look at any interview with Linus and see how he views himself.I think the kernel developers at large haven't got the faintest idea just how big the problems in userspace are. It is a very small brave minority that are happy to post to lkml, and I keep getting users telling me on IRC, in person, and via my own mailing list, what their problems are. And they've even become fearful of
me, even though I've never viewed myself as a real kernel developer.Just trawl the normal support forums (which I did for Gentoo users as a way of finding bug reports often because the users were afraid to tell me) and see how many obvious kernel related issues there are. I'd love to tell them all to suddenly flood lkml with their reports of failed boots with various kernels, hardware
disappearing, stopping working suddenly, memory disappearing, trying to use software suspend and having your balls blown off by your laptop, and so on.And there are all the obvious bug reports. They're afraid to mention these. How scary do you think it is to say 'my Firefox tabs open slowly since the last CPU scheduler upgrade'? To top it all off, the enterprise users are the opposite. Just watch each kernel release and see how quickly some $bullshit_benchmark degraded by .1% with patch $Y gets reported. See also how quickly it gets attended to.

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Why swine flu is good for you


The world is going crazy and paranoid over this certain new strand of the flu
virus. But really, you should be happy to get one.Why?

(a) Once you have it, you realize, really, really, this is JUST ANOTHER type of FLU dammit! Granted, you feel lousy for a day or two but then in a week, you are back to your old charming self. For most people.
(b) Finally you get to stay away from work and devote more time to that book you've been meaning to read or the movie you've been meaning to watch or that project you've been putting off.
(c) You're no longer in the dilemma whether or not to take the shot. You've already gone through the worst🙂
(d) You realize that so many people are making so much money just taking advantage of your fears🙂
(e) You've now have more faith on human immune system and how resilient it can
be🙂

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