Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bring on the beta of AI

Majority of the mundane tasks done by consultants and tellers have been outsourced to the customers themselves. Let us take an example of replacing your washing machine. You have to start with the reviews of the various companies in the industry, their customer support, plethora of models, price, features and ...... Then you finalize by comparing various by discussing with friends and other customers. Then you decide where to buy by visiting various websites. By the time you make the decision you will not know how much time you have spent in buying the washing machine.

The above example is just a tip of the iceberg. The iceberg of activities outsourced to the customers themselves. Now, I believe we will have AI will debut in helping customers buy products and services. In fact it should not help, it should decide on the customers behalf. Not again curated links to various web pages. Why? Well that is as simple an AI can get and the amount of data available on buying habits and preferences are abundantly collected by search engines and social websites and blogs. Just imagine our preferences which are now embedded in search engines, apps, social networks, instagrams and the like..

The time we wake up, what time you leave your house, your vehicle, the breakfast we have, distance between your work spot and your home and everything in between up to the book we have been reading before we sleep, how many pages we average everyday and may be map our dreams based on the week day and the way our day was and also alter the dreams accordingly for a pleasant sleep.........

In the context of AI as the first step, the data sources of the following are crucial. In AI, the belief system is the most important link. The belief of the user who generates data in the mining company. The belief of the mining company in the user data generated regarding the authenticity of it. The belief is mutual and should not be compromised at any point by both the agencies. Coming back to the data sources
a. The personal data
b. Generic data available on the public web/sources(Like the mileage of a car)

The simplest AI would be to combine the personal data(to be mined from conversations, posts, comments, search history, buying pattern etc. This is to begin AI. Later as the user plugs in to the actual AI, data collection will be very specific and more to the point avoiding "assumptions" on the part of AI) and the generic data from public domain(information culled from official websites). Here again data integrity should be of the highest level.

The whole experience of buying should be hassle proof and painless. I start by telling the AI of my intent in buying a washing machine. Processing the personal and generic data majority of the decisions are be made and only when contradicting data is reached, user should be prompted. Here again, the prompts should not be beyond two, after which, the experience gets frustrating with the irritating prompts.

We definitely are now in position for the first step in AI. But, the innumerable protocols(open and sucking proprietary), the idiotic app ecosystem, wherein the data gets boxed, the plethora of operating systems and data integrity are the biggest issues combined with Internet connectivity across the world to the last mile. It is time all the data keepers start collaborating by providing API's to supply and share data among themselves for the purpose of AI. The race should be an open and fair one. The race should only benefit the customer. The race to be won by the best AI, not on the amount of data available with each other but by its capability to take decisions on behalf of the customer.

All this brings us to the biggest question regarding the biggest company  with the largest amount of data, Google/Alphabet. How will google/alphabet make money out of AI. Will it charge the customers like maintaining a personal assistant. Only few afford personal assistants. You have to push your personal assistant to the user and the way to do it is not charging the customer. How will google/alphabet make money here, when the user is not provided any web page to click? Will google/alphabet tweak the AI to take decisions based on the amount payed by the manufacturer, similar to improving page rankings. That is a failure when it comes to AI. It has to be fair. If it is not fair, people will ditch it for alternates. Now alternates would have learnt their lesson. How will google\alphabet make money? HOW?

Well, Google/Alphabet, I am looking at you. Bring the AI on. Bring it on. Bring on the beta. Let us start. From us being a product take us to what we are, Customers. We are the customers and we are not the product. This is the basic change you have got to do for succeeding in this AI endeavour. If you don't treat us as customers, your AI engine will be flawed. Keep us in the God's place and make AI our slave. Will you?

Friday, October 2, 2015

The ordeal of backing Pebble Time Steel smartwatch as a kickstarter backer

This is the first time I have backed a project on kickstarter. And, boy, it has been one exhillarating roller coaster ride. It is nice to see a project get incubated and grow against the goliaths in the same industry. The pebble time steel was backed in March 2015. I have recieved the watch on october 1st 2015.

There are some 40,000 comments on the kickstarter website. Most comments can be classified under the following headings
1. Backer numbers
2. The choice of colors
3. Requesting language packs
4. Lack of communication from the pebble side
5. Evident proof of lack of customer support
6. Receipt of tracking numbers
7. Receipt of watches
8. Watches shipped without any regard to the backup number
9. Steel bands not shipped with pebble time "steel". The greatest joke on backers
10. Not to forget how much people loved their pebble time and its simple, intuitive interface.

On this web page you need the tracking number given by the importing country's postal service. If that country has an arrangement of EDI with our country then you can track the shipment through India post. Otherwise, Wait for the Force to Help you.

Aug 24      My order is succesfully processed(email from pebble)
sept 15     See the tracking number in the source code of the plege page
sept 17     Recieved email from pebble with the same tracking number
sept 19     Started seeing tracking info on singapore posts website
sept 21     Package arrived at chennai. From now on tracking information will be available only from India post website.

Tracking through India post is at

sept 30     Went to Bangalore foreign post office and found out that the package was opened in the morning(Lucky)

Once the package leaves chennai all the modern tracking technologies(EDI and the like) stop and we are back to the age old excel sheet entry at the post office.

Reached the foreign post office at 12.00 Noon. The visit was not planned but just went ahead on a hunch.

1. Went to the first desk. Gave the tracking number. The tracking number is searched for data in a Microsoft Excel sheet. A tracking number unique to the Foreign post office(It is actually a serial number which may be generated as the parcels are Recieved) is given
2. With this serial number you go to the next person. He will inform you whether the parcel has been inspected or not.
3. If it is inspected, then you have to go to the guy who will value the item and affix duties
4. Bangalore post office has a standard procedure. Affix a duty of 44% of the total cost(price of the item + shipping costs). No questions to be asked and none will be answered.
5. If the total cost of the item is less than INR 2,000/- then you are a lucky guy.
6. If the item is marked as "gift" and the total cost is less than INR 10,000/-, then too you are lucky
7. Otherwise, the duty is a standard 44% of the total cost. If you think otherwise go armed with all the necessary forex docs to state your case and wish you all the very best in your endeavour.
8. Once you recieve notification that the package has arrived at chennai, wait for a minimum of 10 days before visting the post office.
9. The foreign post office is in the Central GPO, Near Indian express building. 1.5 Km from shivajinagar bus stop. On reaching GPO you can ask anybody in the post office and you will be directed to the office.
10. You can bring the item with you on payment of duties at the post office according to the whims of the staff. If they are in good mood, You can get the delivery at the office itself. The requirements keeping aside the mood of the staff are

a. The invoice copy of the item recieved(There should be an invoice in the package also)
b. Proof of transaction of payment(credit card statement of that month and the like)
c. Address proof in your name with the same address as the delivery address with photo.

Once all the above ordeals are over and you were denied collecting the package at the post office, then go back and wait..........
The status in the tracking page should change by another line indicating your local area.

I would suggest to not consider the free shipping option and to select international courier companies like DHL and the like, who know the duties and rules regarding import of various commodities beforehand. They get the item cleared at chennai itself and courier it to you at the earliest. Whatever you are saving in shipping will be doubled or tripled with the duties at the bangalore post office.

I had ordered a second hand book from the U.S and did not have any issues at all. There was no tracking information, just the info that the book is despatched. It reached me through Indian post in approx 20~25 days. The total cost of the book and shipping was approx INR 700/-

Anyhow, congratulations pebble team, for making a "Simple" watch. True to Unix philosophy of "KISS"

P.S:  The round pebble watch is a fashion disaster.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Manassu ennamo thedudhe..........

The heart/soul searching infinitely for ..................... Why is it that every individual in this planet, feels he is, incomplete? Why is there an infinite, continuous yearn over an infinite continuum for some ........... Where does it stop? The emptiness, incompleteness, the aloofness, this noise, the inexplicable pain. What is this infinite continuous search. Any satisfaction/happiness is almost instantaneous, an infinitesimal point in the continuum of yearn. So small that it is not available again. It is self destructive. We cannot control the time it stays with us nor the time it vanishes in this infinite journey of search. Does it have to do something with the nomadic nature of our ancestors?

What is it that a soul searches/yearns for. When is it going to end? @ death. Oh, Now I am entering dangerous waters. Let me retract, huh.  Does the heart have to inherently strive for something, always? Is it its job to do so? Is this continuous. Is the mismatch between the signals of the brain and the guidelines of the heart result in this continuous yearn? What is it that the heart is gunning for, reaching out for, Where is the end?

What does an ant want? It will be running around until it gets food. Then it is taken to the hive and then the process restarts again all over. Why is it with human beings, we are always filled with void. Why cant we get the same satisfaction by repeating the satisfaction loop?

The simplest escape route is to answer like ants, ie, We are born for a specific purpose and we are doing that purpose automatically, unaware. Is the heart constrained by the language we speak or the language the heart speaks? What exactly does the heart want? Does it know what it wants, with the brain kept out of its knowledge loop? Is this void feeling, real or is it the brain and its chemical reaction. Is it that the continuous death and birth of brain cells bring with them a newer and a renewed yearn as though they knew what the earlier brain cells were thinking about?

The heart, what is it yearning for, what is this null feel, the pain. If all humans are born with a purpose why does he move about as though he has an infinite purpose or the lack of it? Why people who knew about this Null feel been able to dissect it to the core of the issue and spread it among the lesser purposeful ones. Is it that they knew the purpose of all the living beings. Did they come to know that whatever the living being is doing they are destined to be so. Are we really a part of a system wherein we, the lesser mortals are not supposed to know the larger,.....Hmm, the largest part of it, the secret of it. Are our hearts incapable of knowing this? Do our brains dont have the capability to process this ultimate truth?

What is this urge to keep scratching my heart. How is this happening. Manassu ennamo thedudhe..............

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The power of silence

Has anybody tired to be silent for a moment. I mean real silence, with the aim to "really" be silent. Can the human brain really alienate all the sounds, sounds within and external to it. I am going to make  a huge statement here. If you can be silent for even a moment in the true sense, that moment...... I dont know..... I cannot explain it. Many philosophers who have mastered this tried to explain it, in their own ways and ended up creating more noise in the name of beliefs, caste and religion. All diluting the purpose of the explanation of the philosophers. Even going as far as formulating procedures, rules and steps giving rise to superstitions and forceful procedures lacking logic. Now, some stronger groups created religion and others satisfied themselves into secret cults. These secret cults thought that they now know the meaning of nirvana and imagined that the other people around them are not capable of understanding. But, the reality is these people are more narrow in their approach and are more dogmatic than those of religion.

Now, we know the limitations of the spoken as well as the written language. We still dont have all the vocabulary of human body language. So, you really cannot express the hundred percent of what you wanted to convey nor can understand in its totality a communication directed towards us.

Oh, How much, I am in awe of philosophers who achieved that silence state and could do so at their will, anytime and anywhere. I think the people in power, the rulers, knew and know now that if humans are left alone without giving them an ulterior motive(the least resistance path), then they would yearn for a broader perspective(That would be the least resistance path, when compared to boredom).

Certain people who did achieve momentary temporary silence, want to commercialize it, sell it, like a commodity(again an ulterior motive). A real philosopher or a normal man clearly see the temporariness in the process, but, commoditization is always a cheap way to achieve power in the present consumerist society.

Can morality be taught. Is morality numero uno or is it relative to higher morals. is there a lesser and a higher moral for a particular cause.  Is higher morality a requirement for achieving the silence state. Dont you think a temporary state of the highest level of morality enough to create that temporary state of nirvana maybe for a few micro/nano seconds. That time window is more than enough for a human being to decide the right or wrong for a long time. Can we at least achieve this.

You are telling me now, that if everybody is at peace with themselves and we do have a very serene world, then would we survive in paradise. Is a human being made for life in paradise? Let us become a little practical and include the world sustainability with a higher level of morality, will that be practical?  With this scenario can a human being be at peace with himself for brief periods of time so as to lead a happy life?

Silence, the every alluding factor, making one completely dissolve into the external and internal factors, leaving no difference at all with the entire world, will we be able to feel the enormous of the universe, did the philosophers feel it, thereby, deciding that the present life of the mortal humans is null? Did I hear something. Oh, You are telling me that I have to run to the Himalayas to meet the first requirement, nullify the external noise. Yes, I do agree with you on this point. Many have gone to the Himalayas with the same hope. But what about the internal noise. Can it be suppressed with a similar practical strategy? In the absence of the external noise, the internal noise will be louder and unbearable. So, I will allow you to think about it.

No, No .........Nah, I am not hinting at sanyasa. My argument is about net positive sustainability of human life. Is silence God, Is it the elusive dark energy, which is supposed to explain the entire universe or the multiverse to us? Is it just a null feel which cannot be expressed....................

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Communism: An answer to casteism?

Deomcracy has given the freedom to express and live life their way.  Every caste has curated its own quirks over time. if religian is a point of decission on major platforms, casteism is its favorite child.

The quirks in every caste can baffle the best brains in the world and be worried about the behavioral theories proposed over the centuries.

Communism as a philosophy is very much similar to a religion as are all the other styles of society. Communism as a theory is for people wh work. It is not just peasants. But pure communism originated from considering the lowest on hand labor force. Here itself lies its downfall, It is not inclusive. It does not include the capitalist as a "worker". He is included under the heading "oppressor". But if the capitalist dont want to work and simply keeps all the money in the bank...... I dont know to explain this scenario.

For communism to work, should we have a government. If we should have one, how should it be selected. Should it comprise of only the present peasants and in them, the creamy ones who put the longest hours? Should it be a populist government elected by majority doling out pure consumerism after its election? Since democracy has failed in providing equality in terms of finance, is communism the answer to this.

Now considering the fallacies of democracy, can communism overcome them. Why are richer countries afraid of communism? Does that mean rich cannot survive in communism. In fact there should not be anybody "rich" in communism. Rich being a relative term. Does this mean capitalists cannot play their game in a communist environment. Not in a pure environment. But does a cross-situation possible?

I believe the fundamental right, "Right to property" is the biggest chasm seperating the present flavor of communism with democracy. Can we have democracy with people giving up their right to property? Then a democratic state comes very close to a present communist one, with all the property owned by the state. This is available to the businessman on the whims of the government.

So any government thinking on these lines, is communist at heart w.r.t the right to property. If such a situation is possible, the government will become a quassi dictator/communist socieity wherein meaning changes as per the scenario requirement. This situation lends itself to ignoring the boundaries of caste/religion. Everybody is just a citizen. You cannot have a more unifying force in a country than a strong un-relenting government which does not use the word caste/religion at all. Everybody is a citizen differentiated only by their various capabilities. This situation has to continue for an appropriate time until all the subjects forget caste/religion. They should only talk about country/government. They should talk only survival, growth, betterment, supporting each other. They should all talk good or bad about the country/government.

This kind of system will not be sustainable. People normally tend towards democracy. To reach this situation, a revolution is needed, a revolution where people will be people and not identified by their state/caste/religion/creed and only peasants/workers working for themselves and the survival of their planet. That is democracy, the real one. It is not theory anymore. Will we see that. Will we feel how awesome that would be. How about it? Huh?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Is writing more valuable than talk

Why is writing more valuable than talk? Why are we more interested in that hard copy than the person talking the same in front of us. Is it because we dont value the person in front of us. We are in awe of previous scientists and writers. The present generation of innovators are always met with grudge and disdain based on the mental capability of the onlookers. In that specific period we burn the great but few generations down the line we will be revering it as one of the greatest works.

William shakespeare's works contain nearly all the words in use in the English language except the derivative or the LOLs. Was he revered in his time. Naaa. There is no record as such. Today, No literary specialist can be called so if he cannot recite his sonnets and bisect their meaning.

Is writing like wine matured in wooden casks from wherein there comes a distinct color, texture, smell and taste which makes it more desirable. Why is listening to the same content of the book desirable by the author. Is it because we cannot rush through it or change pace. A recording can be paused but live talk, Not possible. Do we bisect and dissect talk as we do with the contents of a written material. No. We may do that with certain portion of it, But a written book can be dissected word to word.

The court of law depends more on the certified hard copy than the vocal certification. Talk tends to change over a period of time, though the body and format may remain the same. Playwrights try to accommodate as much recent tastes as possible in the same format and body. Macbeth, the original is still the same, but their renditions bring in spontaneity and current affairs, thereby adulterating the original(is it?). The standard does not change. Interpretation is simply talking about the original. There are as much renditions of the Bhagavad gita as the renderers.

A writeup can be concise as well as elaborate. Talk can be either or neither. Talk may drop a thing or two. The validity of the writeup depends on the time taken for the same and also on the iterations of the work before bringing out a copy. There area a lot of things conveyed with body language during a talk. A writeup dont have this luxury except when explicitly stated.

Talk can coerce the listener to think as per his perceptions but a writing is immune from this. The reader can perceive and fill up the blanks as needed to complete the picture. Are science, mathematics and legal writings the same as general writing. Are they not open for scrutiny, Are they not open for perceptions/improvements. Yes, they are. The are all iterations getting better. Departing from the general by every iteration.

Are we just obsessed with the written word than the spoken? Are we comfortable with holding a book rather than an audio or a video recording? Is the probability of finishing a written book more than an audio/visual? Is the printed two dimensional page capable of answering and explaining multiple dimension of space and perceptions.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Three(The only) pillars of life

Job, society and sex are the summations of the problems in life. Are they problems or they themselves signify life? Can life be reduced to those three words? I believe todays lives of people are the summation of their actions and interactions with those three pillars. Oh, you give a damn to what I think, ha, alright. I still have to proceed with my train of thoughts here. So, do we have the definition of life here? I think so. This definition will define the lives of the 99.99 percent of people. If you give a thought to your calender of events from your waking up today and waking up the next day, you will agree with me. In our childhood we see our parents to the same thing. We continue to do so and the same will be taken up by our offsprings. How many times has your child told that when I grow up I will buy "this" or I will do "that". The priorities regarding the three pillars are already set. As time goes by people who do match their "plans" or "wishes" do continue to lead a mundane life by framing incremental improvements to their existing "stable" setups. People who lose it down the line, become the scum by accepting defeat or try to take huge leaps with bizzare ideas joining the mundane lot or hang somewhere in between based on the success/failure of their ventures.

Let us take the job factor. What is a job? Is the point of job to make money only? Is it to get acceptance in the society? Is it to lead a succesful sexual intent? Why is it that everybody should do a job? Human mind cannot do the same job with the same interest even in the second time. Let it be an iteration of science experiment. Why do we do it? Is it because we know only that Job? Is it because we are not "interested" in the next one? Is it because the other job is hard? Is it because we have an inferiority or superior complex of doing a particular job? Why do we do it? How many people in the world can tell they love their jobs? How many people have the capability of doing other jobs than whatever they are doing now? How many people will be given an opportnity of doing their dream jobs which changes every day, every hour or every minute? Will the world sustain such?

Society, Wow, I have yet to find a more encompassing word leaving "dark energy" which can have a thuderous blow to any dictionary maker. The word society is complicated just because of the number of humans on this planet. When humans just ate what they grew and lived as small herds moving around for favorible habitats this was not much of a concern. Now a days the societal setups collapse for the most idiotic reasons. A wrong, leaky tax collection system can bring down one of the oldest societies, un-believable. How much do we know about societies? Do we have the time to change the thought cycle of the individual components of the society. Is the society really representing the collection of individuals and their thoughts? Is the society forcing the individuals to be so and so? Is it individuals making the society or society making individuals. Which process is correct. Is the society, a lab, for the filthy rich? Is the democrati societal the most nearest to the perfect society?

Does the act of sex in the human society means reproduction only? Is it a human psyche which is not researched in detail? This is one psyche available in all human beings, ofcourse, with varied degrees of importance given to it. But it is acommon trait available in all. Is it an act of releasing unwanted energy. Is it what humans are born to do and the other two pillars only facilitate it. Lot of researches have told that this particular trait is very important. But no study has told that changing this trait is possible or they have not explained the consequences of such an act, society wide.

What a remarkable cycle these three pillars represent. They form a totally self sustained cycle which just gobbles up any changes introduced into this system and make those changes vanish ever so smoothly leaving the researcher in an endless loop.

You knew all this, ......hmmm...., Ok,...So,...Go on with "life"......