Saturday, June 25, 2011

Family Time

Tata Sky+ set top box got messed up today - video was all right but there was no audio. Tried to fiddle with the audio settings of the TV as well as the set top box but couldn't get it fixed. Had to watch Munnabhai MBBS in complete silence while eating food with family. We were having fun trying to remember the dialogs from the last time we watched the movie. Since none of us could remember all the dialogs, we were helping each other complete the lines. It was like family movie karaoke. Should do this often. Discovered a new fun family game. Some movies which are a good candidate for this came (atleast for our family):

Border : "Bhairosingh MMG sambhalo"
Speed : "Harry! Tell me good news, man."
Sholay : obviously..

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


First there was asexual reproduction and evolution chugged along really really really slowly. Then Natural Selection seldom had candidates to select from and push forward beyond the other individuals of the species.

Then sexes separated and evolution leapt forward. The Natural Selection's offices were then overwhelmed with applicants. The ones with superior genes lived longer and passed on their good genes to their children. But in most cases, Natural Selection weeded out the inferior ones by ensuring that they were killed - in many cases by the superior ones, in other cases by the hazards of the environments or diseases.

To ensure that the superior genes replaced the inferior ones, all the individual with the inferior genes had to be killed and the population which remained would then be the descendants of that one individual which acquired the superior gene first.

In olden times, the population size was limited, so it was easier for Mother Nather to cause death of the non superior individuals.

In modern times, the process of Natural Selection is becoming less relevant. The human population has increased to such a level that say if a single individual had a superior gene, then ofcourse it will take like forever wait till his descendants completely spread and replace the existing population. Only something drastic could do that, like for example a disease which wipes out everyone except a few unique individuals.

On a day to day case, it does not matter if you have some inferior set of genes, because technology and medical advances allow you to over come them artificially - so if you have Type 1 Diabetes, you don't have to worry about dying soon, unless we have an apocalypse and we run out of and start fighting over insulin supply. 

Genetic engineering has been progressing an alarming rate. Soon we would be able to add/replace superior genes into bodies of grown adults. We would be able to take control of evolution over from Mother Nature. 

There are lots of moral implications of this. It was okay for mother nature to cause mutation to randomly bless some with superior genes and curse others with inferior genes, but when man acquires power to try and do this to himself, he is accused of "playing God". Of course we are playing God. God wanted us to. Mother Nature selected unique individuals over the ages to bring us to this level of technological advancement. If God did not mean for us to discover/invent various aspects of Genetic Engineering, then s/he wouldn't have allowed us to progress to this level. (God also wanted us to build huge buildings of reinforced concrete, but that's a discussion for another day)

So now instead of leaving to chance, the process of natural selection/evolution, we can now identify individuals with good genes and introduce them into the rest of the population and enhance everyone. No part of the population needs to die out. Of course we cant grow a new 6th finger, but if we have the gene introduced within us, then we can pass it on to our children who will then have 6 fingers. 

Obviously, while carrying out this process, we will make mistakes. Many patients who "volunteered" for this experiment would die. But we have to think and decide for ourselves - When mother nature did this, it was ok, but when this happens through our hands, it is immoral and a murder! But are we not instruments of God?

We owe it to ourselves and to the power that created us to move forward without fear. The moral rules which tie us back bind us from taking leaps. Maybe our children who will rewrite their own moral rules will be able to accept this fully and progress unhindered to the next level.

One thing if it happens before we reach that level would be good - abolition of poverty. For that we would need clean and abundant source of energy and interstellar travel and knowledge. Instead of amassing wealth, we would need to focus our attention elsewhere - This is the star trek philosophy. This will ensure that everyone has access to improve themselves through genetic engineering - something which only the rich and the wealthy would be able to afford otherwise. 
If that does not happen, the difference between the rich and the poor will widen so immensely that, the suffering which will ensue would really be heart rending. Of course the rich will then have an option to acquire a gene which would let them turn off empathy within them.

In the end we will become what we are to become. This might sound fatalist, but it seems Mother Nature had deliberately planned to hand over her tricks of trade to us - it is her calculated move, A leap in Evolution.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mars and Venuses

From: Anurag Chugh
Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2011 11:50 AM
To: Upasna Sachdeva
Subject: epiphany of the day..

Women just want to look pretty in every way - Simple.
Men just want big dicks, which I guess doesn't even matter that much to their life partner.

From: Sachdeva, Upasna
Date: Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:12
Subject: RE: epiphany of the day..
To: Anurag Chugh

I don’t think so.

Absolute wants never decide anything.

If you ask anyone absolutely, they’ll even want two or three or four husbands.

Unless and until you have choice… you need to give up something to get something else… you have to choose… you cannot measure the true value of anything…. that is how even monetary systems work…

So maybe women want to look pretty … but am sure a lot of them would trade that for intelligence, or just plain chirpiness… or to be good mom…..

Men on the other hand … I don’t know …. :P

From: Anurag Chugh
Date: Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:30
Subject: Re: epiphany of the day..
To: "Sachdeva, Upasna"

Kaun tha yeh ?yeh kaun tha??
Original wali Upasna ne jusk peek kya thakeli upasna ke peeche se!!!
Original wali Upasna is still there!!! BRING HER OUT BRING HER OUT!!!

btw, relative wants creates jealousy creates fights.
Absolute wants creates dictator types
Thats why gyaani log kehte hain, capture a snapshot of urself today and agle din try to become a bit better relative to what you are today.
And to decide which way is better, well uske liye ur neural network is constantly learning to identify others who are better than u in some apect so that you know the direction in which u wanna move.

The race should never be against others.. but with ur ownself.
When u get a spouse. You sort of merge together and then the game changes from a single sprint to a three legged race.
It becomes tougher I guess but a lot more satisfying/exhilarating and carefee in a weird way, coz you know now that you will never fall, because ur partner will always be there to save you. And besides if you do fall s/he will fall with you and then you roll on the running track laughing with ur one leg tied together... FUN!!

From: Sachdeva, Upasna
Date: Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:43
Subject: RE: epiphany of the day..
To: Anurag Chugh

Dono original and thakeli upasnas office mein baithi hain lekin… K K K

From: RP (bestfriend, guy)
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 20:01
Subject: Re: epiphany of the day..
To: Anurag Chugh

Women also want their partners to look good - they scarcely say this. But god they so want it.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From higher dimensions

Jiddu Krishnamurti's discourses makes him seem like A. Square from Flatland who has been to worlds of higher dimensions (3D) and is now trying to explain and induce the feeling of what he felt about that higher truth to his 2D country men. He tries hard to put all that he experienced into words but it is of course impossible for 2D beings to grasp the reality that is 3D.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Incomplete Brownian

Rainy season is here. Someone left a polystyrene cup out under the tree. There are no stains in it – tea was not its occupant. Vodka seems more like it. A droplet of water slides over the waxy leaves of the tree and falls into it making a plop sound. The water in it seems clear. I think of the restless atoms and molecules that make up the liquid confined by the walls of the cup. Small groups of balls strung together, bouncing off each other, jostling around. Each one alike, yet separate – Kind of like the thoughts in my head. I imagine my brain to be made of water (70% of it must be anyway) contained by my skull - which is also white in colour like the cup.
A dust particle – probably a string of dead human cells - falls into the cup. I look closer as the particle moves over the membrane-like surface of water. Brownian motion. The particle reminds me of a Pinball machine – with the particle’s motion likened to the motion of the ball hitting various invisible thumper bumpers on the playfield held up by the surface tension of water.
Fickle and Non-Linear. Like the thoughts in my heads. I go upstairs to my rented apartments. As I unlock my door and remove my shoes, I decide to allocate some of the processing power of my brain to a sentry task which observes what the rest of my mind is thinking. I have been working on an RTOS/Microcontroller all day long. I will pretend to be a microcontroller running an RTOS with one of the tasks spying on what the other tasks are doing. No wonder that the rest of the world think IT guys are mental – you work on microprocessors day in and day out and sooner or later you start acting like one!
But this time I don’t care. No one is there to observe and taunt me. Sure I am going to blog about this, but that’s another thing. Moving on.
So now it was like there were two of me in my head – the “real me” and the “observing me” – or rather “the experiencing self” and “the remembering self” (Daniel Kahneman@TED).
I let my mind wander. Invariably it lands on the thoughts of my friends. Friends and family – stuff that fuels the engine that is Anurag Chugh. I imagine a huge engine churning. People go in, create memories and come out the other end intact. I remember my first day at L & T – soft skills training session. The instructor from Hero MindMine asked us to speak about an object we relate to. I already knew my icon - The Sun. Source of all life on Earth. All Life. My mom says my life is my friends (and now that I am in touch with them – my extended family or as my mom calls it “my biradar” – sounds ghaati J). Of the various important roles that friends play in one’s life, I fixate on the most important one (atleast to me) and look for a metaphor to describe them. I soon find one in Birbal’s Khichri. I remember the poor man in the story who is denied the prize because the warmth from the earthen lamp (diya) kept him warm as he spent the night with his body submerged in the cold waters of the river. Life is like a cold river with all of us floating in it, moving with the flow – our friends are like diyas which spread the light and warmth around us as we make our way thru the calm water as well as the rough rapids. They need not be with us all the time to inspire us, energize us. Some may be thousands of miles away and yet their presence would inspire us as if they were right there next to us. I can recall numerous times when after racking my brains at a problem at office, I decide to take a break from frustration and remember my friends and what they would be doing at the moment. I would crack my knuckles, stretch back on my chair and think of them. Ranjit probably sleeping in his bed with arm under the pillow. Sneha sleeping too, or waking up yawning.  Nupur staring at her screen working on a report. Upasna using arrow keys to navigate through thru the excel sheet full of numbers describing the valuation of some company.  Ankit calling / facebooking our other friends while travelling back home in his cab after a long flight. Ruchir waiting for the signal to turn green so that he could rev up his Cedia and hit 160kmph for 5 seconds on Western Express Highway. Aastha and Sapan chatting over Sametime planning to go for a swim after office. My dad still wearing his boiler suit, while unloading the photos from his camera for insertion into his weekly report. Juhi finishing off yet another article for the local news website. Deeksha sitting the consulting room at HERI thinking of the idea for next week’s P-TAPs as a burkha clad lady patient calls on her. These thought of these and other people around whom my life revolves brings a smile to my face. It gives me sense of “all’s well with the world”. I exchange messages with a few and maybe call one or two and a few minutes later I am recharged and I can return back to work. As we float together through life, like real diyas, sometimes our own light begins to flicker in the winds. That’s when the light and warmth from the surrounding diyas rekindles our own flame and keeps it alive.