Quotes – 20

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much perfoms much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.

–Vincent Van Gogh

Ha. A man with my outlook. Another genius artist among countless others, who died depressed and poor. RIP.

hmm.. Perhaps short a time remains to not be doing what you love and involved with people you adore.

Quotes – 19

It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities.

– R. P. Feynman, Character of Physical Law, November 1964 Cornell Lectures, broadcast and published in 1965 by BBC, pp. 57-8.

Friends met and lost.

I feel sad. Friends are all I’ve had in my life to comfort. And I am going to be disconnected with few more today. It was my last day of physiotherapy, an ailing need after a knee surgery. And my therapists, lovely as they are, are also incredibly beautiful in their persona. Now that I’ve decided to move on, the chance of ever seeing/meeting them again might be a far off chance.

How many people do we meet everyday who change our lives in ways unfathomed. It was not just their act of helping me through my physical disability, even if it was their occupation, but it was much more. The mental support, a conversation that showed you care and a genuine interest in your patient’s life. And that, I can never do. Nor even remotely replicate. I am not selfish by any means but to maintain that kind of attachment to someone you’ve known for a short while makes me humble. Humble because they think that everyone at the clinic is worth it. Without judgement. Without bias.

Like best friends afar, I will miss another session. It is the most depressing times that brings closer the like minds. I will surely spit on anyone who says otherwise.

Thriving on the Precipice

It’s only on the brink that people find the will to change; only on the precipice that we evolve. This is our moment – don’t take it from us.
— The day the earth stood still

Another one of those things that is so right on the point. Its cliched to say ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ but putting it in different words as above lends new meaning and purpose.

I’ve learnt that all best thoughts have already been said before. And that’s why I am proud to do my re-search. And it is why I thrive on great quotes. Kudos to the great minds before and after me.

Without that final edge, how mundanely bleak an occurrence this would be. And with or without an external change, it really is about time to rethink the possibilities…

A puzzling revelation.

I was waiting for a train, a normal day and I noticed that a kid, barely 4 years old, was trying so hard to get along with his brother and his friend. You could tell that he was not comfortable running as fast as he did or moving sideways like his brother could but it is the perseverance to keep up and to stick with the group that puzzled me. There is absolutely nothing new here. This is everyday scenario. But what is intriguing is that when we (all of us) were kids, the only thought that runs through our mind is to be part of the group, the popular, the happening click but as we get older, each of us yearn to create an identity for ourselves, distancing from the cliche, from the regular, trying so hard to be different.

Is this what you call maturity ? Is this the misconception that prevails ? If the intuitive thinking of kids was unblemished, would this not be its opposite ? Confusing yes, but life without questions is not worth living. And so we continue, searching …

Introspection..

Another pebble in the river,
Unearthed in sands of time,
I feel fulfilled, satisfied when drunk
among friends who barely understand but withstand.

This psyche communicates better in code
than in a language foretold.
It is maybe the recursion, the patterns
that fit like solutions to a maze.

I stumble and bumble my way across,
stepping on foots of people misunderstood;
Numbers, alone, stay above, beyond criticism,
You get it or you just dont.

Amadeus, Pi, Matrix, Fight club, Inception,
Movies of infinite precision;
What I perceive, no one else does;
Childish yes but vast the possibility.

I have no regrets. I am what I am.
Folly is ye to interpret.

George Hirsch Runs 4:06:14

Every now and then, you find something so insane and mind boggling that just freezes you on your tracks. I came across this article today and couldn’t help but remember that I passed Hirsch around my 20th mile. And I thought to myself then, “Wow. How did he get here so fast” while little did I know that he was 75. Holy mother of God.

Seriously, if I live that long, I’d be happy to walk around the block without pain in my knees and back. Kudos to pushing the limits George Hirsch !

India Vs United States

No, unlike what the title suggests, this ain’t a war or a competition. It is just a comparison that caught my eye. Literally. Here’s one of the comparisons.

India Vs US Economy

Some of the comparisons are quite interesting and mind boggling. But it is unfair in many cases due to the fact that the results are not normalized based on available land area and/or total population. I mean literacy rate, murder rate and beer drinking capita seem way off, just to name a few. No but seriously, the results are informative and if truly factual, gives a nice overview of avenues for India to improve.

Link via India Vs United States: Economy, People, Environment & Military.

I am very proud on how far we have come and maintained the stability and growth with more than a billion people in a land that’s only twice the size of Texas. And all that, without leaving behind much of the cultural heritage and the vagaries of languages and religion omnipresent in every corner. There is so much I want to do for her, but so little time, before I go to sleep…

A.Q. Khan on Pakistan’s Nuclear Program

I just came across a very interesting and revealing interview with A.Q. Khan who was on house arrest till early February this year for his involvement in organizing one of history’s worst nuclear scandals. The transcript of the interview is available over here and is worth the time in gaining insight on the dynamics, timelines and even the budget involved for Pakistan’s nuclear program.

[Malik] When did you come to believe that now you had the weapons-grade uranium?

[Khan] In Kahuta, we achieved 60 percent result in our enrichment program; it was a
very difficult task though. We faced a lot of challenges in the ensuing stages but
successfully managed to overcome them, and we had achieved 90 percent result in the
//enrichment// program by the early 1983.

[Malik] So when was the bomb ready?

[Khan] It was ready by 1984. I wrote a letter to Gen Zia on 10 December 1984, telling
him that the weapon was ready and that we could detonate it on a notice of one week.

[Malik] Why did you not decide to test that device as soon as it was ready?

[Khan] We were allying with the United States in the Afghan war. The aid was coming.
We asked Gen Zia and his team to go ahead with the test, but they said they could not
conduct the test as it would have serious repercussions. They argued that, since the
United States had to overlook our nuclear program due to our support in the Afghan
war, it was an opportunity for us to further develop the program. They said the tests
could be conducted any time later.

Even though there is no value in pointing fingers at anybody, it is horrifying that repercussions of the US involvement in the Afghan region is still coming back to bite everyone, US included, in diabolical ways. Read the rest of the transcript to get a better perspective on things.

Link to the transcript in PDF via Secrecy News.

Living the food stamp challenge

An interesting case-study on whether a couple can live, happily (?) and satisfied with only 72$ a week allotted for food. It would not have caught my attention since living in Texas, as a single guy, I can easily manage with 150$/month if I wanted to but since this involves 2 adults, who have been living unrestricted most of their lives, in LA, this provides a decent foundation to understanding what the people depending on food stamps are in for, every day.

Of course, you do have to be a staunch meat-eater to understand some of the plight that this couple went through but mostly, I think this is entirely possible if you cut down de trop spending. Especially during tough economic times like these.

Link: Can two people eat on $67 a week?.

Update: I must have missed this before but apparently, in 2007, several members of Congress budgeted just $21 a person, the national average a food stamp recipient receives weekly. Damn. Now that’s tight.