April 25, 2005

More on Evolution - The "Human" factor.

The last post did have decent replies and I am compelled to write more on that.
I will talk a little about Genetic Algorithms (GA) for those who do not know abt it.
GA is an approximation tool that tries to generate solutions to a given set of equations by imitating nature. That is, by using things like crossover, mutations etc. (This is a very simplified version of what GA is supposed to do).

Now, the thing with GA's is that it is "theoretically" so great that it should be able to give u solutions that need no further refinements and should give u an efficiency of almost 99% in any field. But it isn't so. This is becoz finally its we, humans that are designing the algo and hence it isn't nature that is doing this work. U c there is a lot of junk going on here.
Since humans aren't nature themselves, we can't create the GA's with the precision that theory states. Therefore, the inefficiency.
Also, GA's give more than one solution, hence u have a set of solutions.
This is where I am gonna begin my post.
I somehow believe that we (humans) are all like a particular solution of a GA that God is running on his divine PC (or maybe a laptop or the new fundoo mobile PC's and what not, well, assuming God has got such things up there :) ) with the world and nature as the constraints of the system in which we are solutions.
And therefore, I believe there have to b more solutions in the universe apart from us. That is, there have to be other lifeforms, (may or may not be more advanced than us) that have also stood the challenge of time (assuming that we humans have) and are still evolving.
Since we consider nature as the acme of everything, I believe the evolution will end when finally all lifeforms, by their independent evolution merge to one final single form. That is when all possible solutions converge to one single solution. That, I believe will be the end of the program that God is running on his PC and that will also be the end of the universe.
Phew, that was heavy. But I strongly believe this could be possible.
Only thing is we will never know what is happening with us coz we are the system and by a very famous "incompleteness theorem" by the famous Godel (mathematician who shook mathematics with his theorems) we can kinda say that being within the system, we can never achieve 100% efficeincy. There, that's the end of all human efforts. We can never make it to a 100%.
Its an amazing theorem, u might want to search for it on Google. Don't go thru its mathematics. Go thru its consequences and its meaning.
and for ppl out there who are wondering as to how i find so much time to blog considering that my end sems are on, well, one can always and should always find time to break out from studies. This is how I break out :)

Au revoir.

April 24, 2005

Its not just the Hexagon.

Recently I happened to notice the "hexagonal" structure of a particular bee's hive here in the hostel and I couldn't help but think as to what was so special about the hexagon.
Googling is what I did and this is a nice site:

What it essentially says is that it can be mathematically shown (with a lot of complexity) that the hexagonal shape is the best possible solution for a scenario such a hive.
Now, I wonder as to whether a bee could actually come up with this idea or is it just evolution. I see most of you choosing the "evolution" option and that's what I think too.
Here's a second opinion:
These tiny animals use the hexagon form innately, just because they are “taught” and inspired so by their Lord.
Sure there's a lot of philosophical touch in this and I did get it from a philosophical kinda site but well, did seem like a good option too.
And supposedly fossils dating back to millions of years ago also suggest that hexagonal structures were popular among bees even back then. This kinda does kick the evolutionary theory around a bit.
Also think about this:
We blame or rather give credit to the evolutionay theory for most of the things like the Giraffee's long neck (I hope I got the spelling rite) and other such things. But come to think of it, a particular solution like "hexagon" is a definite one. In the sens that it can't improve.
Therefore, there is no further evolution possible on this design.
Doesn't this thing scare u. I mean it is as though to say that all possible evolutions are done and well, we humans could as well count our last days (Kalyug or Satan kinda thingie).

I just tot I shud share this vth u all (if ne1's there) and see what ppl think abt this.
Think for enough time on such topics and u might end up questioning the very existence of the human race and it does get pretty scary at that point.
This discussion cud go on for a long time; I'll take it up later again.
Au revoir.

April 23, 2005

The lost city of .... Hyderabad ??

For those who do not know, I am from Hyderabad (born and brought up there, though not a localite).

Now, I am referring to the "feel" of Hyderabad when I say "lost city".
I know many of u out there have really deep sentiments for the city (like I did once and maybe still do) so I am gonna try and make this post as harmless as possible.

The thing is, sure Hyd has gone modern and fundoo vth all the hot malls and the eateries and the posh software buildings and theatres and stuff, but the youth hasn't actually seen the repercussions of this growth. There has been a "culture-contamination" which atleast to me, was quite obvious and sure wasn't a welcome change.

Go on a weekday afternoon to Prasads (the new multiplex at Hyd) and u'll see hordes of school kids and college guys and gals dressed in the most crazy clothes and still vth bags on their shoulders (girls somehow didn't have bags with them. mostly guys had their bags on. Looks like girls don't mind bunking coll and tellin that at home ;) ).
I can't help but wonder as to whether the parents of these next-gen ppl even know bout their bunking activites. Sure, its a stupid question coz obviously they do not.
Come to think of it, it really is a contamination of the purity of the place.

Spend some time there and u'll see almost all shades of glasses, all heights of heel, all possible hair-to-gel ratios (I know, that's a new term ;) ) and maybe all possible colours on the head (ya,on the hair) and of course, all possible bike-remodellings available.
Not that its sooooo bad but yes, it isn't all that cool either. Smoking around vth friends just coz ppl all around u feel its cool, bunking coll and school and wastin ur resources. I don't think that's a very pretty thing to do.

The thing is, u can't just accept anything in the name of modernisation. U need to think too.
Its the youth that needs to understand wats right and wats wrong and amazingly, the youth never do get anything right at the first go (yeah,that's my sarcasm speaking,infact,shouting).

Look at the dressing sense of these ppl and u'll know wat I am talkin bout. One thing is for sure, modernisation has had its share of ups too vth all the increasing employment and the fundoo technology making its way into India.
But culture preservation is an important thing too. Do things that u are casual and safe with. There's no use trying to be cool by just copying things and doing stuff that makes ppl turn around and look at u.
Infact, I never did understand the fascination with show-off. It still puzzles me. I mean, wats the use of just portraying an image that isn't really urs.

Hyd still rocks, no doubt. But I do feel uncomfartable or rather un-Hyderabadish when I visit home. The place has changed, very quickly. Ppl waste a lot of cash on stupid stuff and do really stupid things too.
One very stupid thing they do is bike-zooming. Take their bike on the road with no helmet and absolutely no legal papers whatsoever and zoom off at top speed on the busiest of roads with the funkiest shades and so much hair-gel that under the sun, their hair does a better job than a headlight would do :))
And the worst thing is they eventually crash up somewhere. But I am not very worried about that. Its when they crash into someone that I am more worried about. And the bike companies just keep on increasing their top-speed and acceleration limits. Its a vicious circle kinda thing.

Well, enuf of sarcasm for today I guess.

The "Input" approach

This is an approach that generally a very mature person or a very cautious person would tell you to follow. Mostly, parents and caring friends would advice you for such an approach. I will try and put it mathematically (just to add humour and basically coz I have been studying a lot of Logic lately and doesn't make too much sense)
Say i stands for the scenario where an input I is required. Example: I could be hard work and i could be a particular exam, say physics mid-term exam. What this approach says is this:

If INPUT = I , then

1. good result in i or
2. bad/average result in i but good result in some other j such that
INPUT for j is not adequate to produce a good result.

Confused. You should be,coz even I can't make much sense out of it :)) Here's the literal version: When you are faced with a task (i in this case), then just put in your best effort (I in this case) and don't bother about the result. Just bother about ur input. Leave the output/result to itself. If it has to happen, it will else you will be rewarded in some other way. This is generally told to a person when he is feeling down but then, this is quite a good approach and helps you out a lot. My dad says this to me very often, whether or not I'm down. I do follow it to some extent.
But it does require you to have some "faith" in any form or the other (No, I'm not trying to be philosophical).
You know, posting comments isn't a bad thing nor does it take a lot of time.

So, cmon, put in some INPUT, who knows, maybe you will get rewarded in some way or the other ;)

April 22, 2005

The "pessimistic" approach

Pessimism, strangely enough, has been very widely used as a "tool" to attack situations.
What I mean is the following:
(true incidents) A close friend of mine had a habit of cribbing/crying about how bad his exam had gone (irrespective of whether it really had gone that bad or not) and would make us all feel that we had done much better than him. And then when the marks would come he would score pretty decently and it would give him more joy than anyone else who had got the same marks.
This is coz his expectations were so low that the decent score itself bcame quite a boost to him considering how low his hopes were.
I know a few of u might find this silly but I bet a few of u have met such ppl once or twice in ur life.
The important thing is that sometimes these ppl end up doing much better than they could. This is coz they maintain a low profile of themselves and blame themselves for not doing well in the exams (again,irrespective of whether they really have spoilt their exam or not) and put in further efforts to improve.
That's y I call this as a "tool" of attack.
Well, I was like this once, so I know how it feels.
It really did work but then I thought it wasn't right coz u weren't living in the right manner nor were u respecting ur capabilities. U tend to get confined in some ways. That's y I dropped this approach very soon.
But I still c ppl continuing to use this approach almost thruout their lives !!
Now, the point is, could it be true that pessimism can actually work for u !!
There are other ways to look at this issue.
Remember the time when u were hoping with all ur heart for a day off or hoping that the professor would leave u early and it would almost never happen.
This is the converse of the topic in question.
What happens here is that u wish for something with all ur heart and it doesn't happen.
But if u try the same thing again but this time by "accepting that there is no way ur wish can be fulfilled" , well it just might happen !!
This is the crux of the topic, which in some sense that I wanted to convey.
Well, endsems round the corner, so I better atleast pretend not to be on my PC for a long time :)

April 21, 2005

Here's the poem - if anyone cares.

-by Anshul Gandhi

- Life is too precious a gift given to us. Its full worth cannot be realized in one lifetime
alone. Let’s all atleast appreciate the ensemble of life as we sway through it.

I stir in the merry cradle of life
to a dreamy paradise that enraptures me.
I look at the illimitable paths that lie,
each like a drop of the elixirial sea.

Each so alike, its hard to choose
I have done it so often, but still feels new.
A few random thoughts and I am on my way
Hoping that I will make it through.

The warmth of the sunshine with me
And the cool fresh breeze walking along.
It feels like this was the destined path,
And will take me to where I belong.

Endless joys along the way,
New relations at every turn.
So much beauty all around,
More than I can put in my urn.

A few pits and falls in my way,
Question me on the choice that I made.
But every path would have its roughs,
And either way, I would have to wade.

My memories and my urn are still with me,
And merrier times are waiting ahead.
Why should I list my woes and sorrows,
When I can count my blessings instead.

I have been gifted the boon of life,
the halo that will always be with me.
I have been gifted the nimbus of life,
Something that connects us all with Thee.

I continue to walk on the path I chose,
Ignorant of what will come my way.
Enjoy every second of this walk,
Who knows what comes after today.

My urn will always starve for more,
And there will always be paths that I will pave.
The aisle, the runway, the red carpet and then the Bridge,
That will finally take me to my grave.

But then again He will come,
And give me a new urn to fill,
To take all those I couldn’t collect
And those dreams that had to spill.

He will lift me in His tender arms
And put me in a new cradle of life.
New paths, new pits and new turns,
But still will remain The Nimbus Of Life.

- With every pain, comes a joy. Let’s all be thankful for what we have.
It’s the least we can do.

P.S. forgot to mention in the last post that "elixirial" isn't a dictionary word :D .
elixir is, but then i made up elixirial myself. Maybe it will find a place in the dictionary if ppl visit my blog too often :))
P.P.S. in the slightest case that u DID like my poem,i wud happy to put em all.
so just inform me (actually i'll put them even if u don't say nething. I know how shy u ppl are :)) ).

April 20, 2005

Why "elixirial" ??

Actually, I tried fancier words but couldn't get them accepted. Seems many others too found those words fancy :)
Elixir, as you must be knowing, is supposedly a liquid that maintains life indefinitely (ya, u can cross-check vth dictionary.com if u like) . It seemed good enough a word for me.
But elixirial, that's because I used that word in a poem of mine (will post it sometime) and people liked the usage of the word as it conveyed a lot.
So, that's the history behind the word "elixirial" that I chose for my blog address.

To begin with

Hello all, this is Anshul here.
I will just get started a bit on who I really am (yeah,its a mystery still :) ).
I am Anshul Gandhi, 19 year old guy living in India and as of now,I am pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences (its not all programming u know) from a real good Institute (I will talk about it later) and well,in the process I have discovered what hostel-life really is.
I will blog later about this too.Its just that I have to get going in a few minutes but I wanted to make my first entry here.
Apart from that,I love writing,watching movies(Hindi and English),wasting time on my PC and chatting away with friends.
Will write soon.