…people bustling…trees rustling…

Archive for September, 2011

Forever Dead

A merry face, he smiled and laughed;
He Jumped and hopped, in merriment he pranced and danced.

Crashed, his mother’s china, his father’s pots;
Slashed his arm, bruised his knee and merry thoughts;

“The witch’s curse has shackled my soul!” he blurted out;
The smallest joy was since plagued with doubt;

The lad now knew nothing but to work hard and true,
With a frown as crisp as the forehead furrow grew;

With a deep, thoughtful purse of his lips,
He laboured through life, from his brow as sweat dripped;

Winning every battle, earning accolades and wealth,
He built a family, a home of heart and health;

“The curse has worn off, I shall now drink and dance!” he said,
Crashed his mother’s china, his father’s pots, his soul forever dead.

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Turn-Tables

Criticism is the best resource to improve something. Played a bad shot, let the veteran criticize you in the newspapers. Made a bad movie, enter, the film critic. Awful pop number, let Rolling Stone pluck your string.

Being a critic takes a lot of practice and a lot of time with the vocation. Like a literature critic, the author’s customer, a reader. I am not a reader, I hardly read two sentences before taking a break. But I’m definitely a critic. Because I love criticising. And today, I shall be criticing readers and the entire concept of reading and more.

There are many kinds of readers. Some read all the time, some sometimes and me. Some read fast, some read smart, some slow, some intently, and me. There are selective readers, pop readers, connoisseurs of literature, comic book readers, blog followers, people followers, combinations of these, and me. There are also seasoned readers, wannabe readers, genuinely trying readers and me, and some other miscellaneous types of readers (God are there a lot of readers! And me, of course.)

All these readers have opinions about everything they read. The question is, are some of them qualified to have opinions about what they read? Is there a structure to reading? A method? Does every reader follow a protocol that lies underneath the coolness and creativity? What if the protocol asked the reader to keep reading through the boring parts full of prepositions and twisted pronouns to eventually reach the wonderful world of interjections and rhetorics? How important is it to be a good reader to extract the best out of a text? It is as important as the text being good itself. It is important to be a good reader, to extract information out of mediocre text, or extract entertainment out of mediocre narration.

In the same vein, it is important to be a good receiver. At a restaurant for example, if they don’t use Serrano peppers but use Jalapenos instead, and you create a ruckus about it, it is you who’s spoiling the evenings of fifty other people along with yours, while knowing that there’s really no difference between the peppers except their cool names. A stressed out call-center will be more cordial if the callers are polite. Bad movies are always unintentional comedies. Bad pop songs are great for an annoying prank.

Critics generally speak and lead to constructive processes. Being a bitch and complaining about everything will lead to a less happier life for the critic, not the artist. “Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…” A little broader mind and accomodating consumer will always do cordial business. And the waiter won’t spit in his chilli. All the best.


Real-Time-Ness

Tardiness: Are we really late? According to my teachers, real-time processing imples results are available when they are required. It does not matter if the results are available an hour before or a microsecond before its requirement. But a microsecond on the other side could be disastrous. Alright alright, let’s say it won’t be disastrous, because we’re not that bad, but it will definitely be useless. Or it can be disastrous; if the airbags open through your cracked skull wrapped around your knee.

We still don’t need to be early. Unless someone is going to notice that we are. And he believes that it’s not because we’re vela or desperate. And that it’s more because we’re sincere and understand the importance of being not-late. On the other hand, being right on time might give the impression of professionalism. There is probably no pragmatic human who will not be looking to make the most of the productive part of the day, where reaching early implies waste of time waiting. Who’s better at time management then? The early one or the maximum-time-utilization-er?

Early birds do take the worm, and, early worms get taken by birds. So, one needs to decide what strata of the food chain one belongs to. We don’t want to be helping pretty girls set up food stalls in our Armanis while dignitaries walk past us in theirs.

We will learn most from an assignment if we upload it in the last minute before the online system stops accepting them. Upload it a few days early and we’re sure to miss out on those few days of discussions and dissections. Unless there are grades on speed (when we’re birds who might want to get the worm.)

And there it is, one more thing to think about with no apparent consequence. The amount of trivial ideas a processor generates at just about the wrong time is probably boundless. Real-time-ness. Really!


I Squared Are

There are 3 broad types and an average of 2 sub-types of power dissipation in digital CMOS circuits. The best electronic products run while dissipating around 20% energy at their best. Generally around 40% is just lost in thin air. DC power transmission lines lose around the same amount just allowing the power to reach its destination. AC power is lost as reactive power in leaky capacitors and noisy inductance. So much of energy is put in knowing that it is going to be lost in thin air.

The wonders of Apple’s touch technology is from just 60% of the energy that runs it.  Motors in BMWs are awfully noisy and lossy in the electrical sense. And digital electronic circuits are supposedly the most efficient machines.

Relating this to a human tendency of expecting just results and rewards, it’s close to preposterous; this expectation and greed. One must always remember that the most efficient machines get only 60% of the input as output. Imagine the efforts that have gone into making of the biggest machines, machinery and organisations of the world! Then spare a thought for our own efforts and the corresponding expectations we have of ourselves. Improving efficiency will reach a dead end soon. There is a need to improve absolute output. There is a need to improve absolute input.

 

P. S.: Please don’t trust the numbers and earn yourself a bad grade.