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Fri, 09 Dec 2005:

If you have wondereded how far VI vs EMACS arguments go, that was a great example. Of course, all it proves is that programmers are lousy philosophers. Let me tell you, we're the practical side of philosophy - philosophers are the theory.

Thanks to lunatech for digging this up.

That works great in practice,
but will work in theory ?
             -- Between two lawyers

posted at: 18:40 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags:

I half-wrote this blog post on Wednesday, with the title It will rain on Friday. But seeing all the bright sunlight, decided against posting it. Today, I realized that it might indeed rain on Friday.. Everytime I go home, it rains. I have gone home 13 times in the last 11 months, from Bangalore. Interestingly, in my last 4 visits to Kerala, I haven't been to my parent's place. Sure, I've seen them - but I've not been home in that sense. But it has rained none the less.

Let's go back and look at my trips - 02 Nov 2005, 25th Oct 2005, 12th Oct 2005. Even on that july night when it hailed in Bangalore, I was going home. There have been 4 times when I got from Bangalore till Cochin without taking out an umbrella.

On the other hand, it's a lot more fun to leave Bangalore feeling miserable and end up in bright and sunny Eranakulam. Let's see about today.

Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

posted at: 15:00 | path: /rants | permalink | Tags:

After sitting through the entire session by Simon Singh, I am still left with some questions. I waved around my hands till I got tired, but apparently the moderator didn't think enough of me to take my question. He had promised to cover Led Zeppelin, Teletubbies and an electrified gherkin - two out of three there. Led Zeppelin songs in reverse are satanic messages and Teletubbies are evil. Me, f3ew and botsie were there - I saw Mrinal around as well. But all that aside, there were a few things I had in mind when the talk was going on.

Measuring red shift: The basic data Edwin Hubble got out of his measurements was that farther away a galaxy is the more red shifted his hydrogen lines were. But let me ask you a question, what ever he is seeing is from tens of thousands of light years away. Can we assume that the universe back then had the same lines for hydrogen spectra ? Just like the futurama joke about Oh, that's why they had to change the speed of light in 2208, I could simply say that Constants aren't. What if the data we get from those stars ten thousand years later paints a totally different picture. We are seeing the past - where are we compensating for it ?

3K background radiation: The tired light hypothesis has long been rejected, but with the 3K background radiation, another question needs to be asked. The problem with the tired light theory was the conservation of energy - provided that we have a background radiation which is measurable, how do we prove that it is the luminous afterglow of the big bang and not the accumulated energy lost by the photons.

Weak anthropic principle: Well, if life could only evolve in a universe with a thermodynamic arrow pointing the right way (CPT symmetries obeyed as well) - it sort of explains why the universe and it's physical laws are as we see. But then assuming that the arrow of time only exists in context with the universe, there is no before or after.

Relative velocity: If all bodies further away are moving faster than those closer, what is the edge of such a universe. But relativity throws you a curve ball by dismissing the idea of absolute time. For observers on each body, they live in different times, just as the twins paradox (not being a paradox) would suggest.

Generally, a nice talk. Enough sound effects and all that to keep people entertained. For a technical journalist, entertainment is immediately after accuracy and just above fine details.

Spherical bastard: looks the same anyway you look at it, just like a sphere

posted at: 02:10 | path: /misc | permalink | Tags:

I hunted for a blurb plugin for pyblosxom which lets me seperate my blog entries into three distinct peices - the main part, the long part and the sig. There was something called readmore which went missing (as the link shows clearly). So I wrote the entry parser today morning to split the blogs (easy as pie).

While talking to some guys on irc, somebody pointed out to me to cached version of readmore.py. I just sort of hacked it so that my index.rss and index.html have blurbed out versions, while my topic pages have the entire blog (see the httpinfo part). Ah, what the hell - just pull the modded code and read it.

posted at: 01:45 | path: /hacks | permalink | Tags:

Met up with vinayak and f3ew at forum yesterday. I had the 'Carpet People' which I had to return. f3ew had promised more books when he came to meet me. Around 7:05 I got out on to M.G Road and decided to walk till Forum. I had walked down till Forum the previous day too and had walked from Roman Catholic Cemetery till office the same day. I was feeling especially braced and practically ran down from the Military school till I got to Nianp and the incline started to slow me down. I hadn't felt that alive for a long time - to just let go of your inhibitions and tear down a stretch of road like a little school kid.

Walking down Hosur road on the 6th

Anyway, I got to Forum in around 50 minutes feeling all dehydrated but with blood drumming in my ears. My feet ache today, but my heart wants to do it all over again. f3ew arrived with the books around 8 PM and we sat down to split the swag between me and vinayak.

The books

After that me and f3ew basically got talking about community development. I was talking about the failures I had had in college and the valuable lessons I had learnt from that. You can't push hackerdom onto a 3rd or final year student in college, you have to get them when they are still curious and exploring. After walking around Forum 9 times discussing this, we both split and headed home.

The first thing I noticed when I got home was that all my books were off the floor and stacked on top of my boom box. It is an interesting collection of books, which I have read and re-read. Some of them I still pop open a page and start reading at random places.

Anyway, currently reading The Wee Free Men. And still laughing whenever I think about the Carpet people and the On Epen Ny that the vorgtron plateau of bronze has written on it.

Today the city, Tomorrow the world
Good. that leaves the weekend free.
         -- Sourcery

posted at: 01:20 | path: /books | permalink | Tags: