About Me

!nversed Poignancy!

...I am an eclectic amalgamation of many seemingly paradoxical things. This can be exemplified in both my seemingly endless persistance on many topics and arguments, as well as my careful cautiousness on other topics and arguments. This is largely due to how astute I am of the topic: more knowledge, more persistant; less knowledge, obviously more cautious. I also have times of obsessive compulsions regarding certain things (mostly just my thoughts, however)...

Life and Death

!nversed Poignancy!


An assembly

Possibly impossible

Perfectly interchangeable..


That lives most upright

Beyond the unspoken

Neither a squiggle nor a quibble..

She and Me

!nversed Poignancy!


A daffodil

Tyrannizer of me

Breaking the colors of dusk!..


The rising sun

Infringed with violations

The impurity in the salt..

Love and Poetry!

!nversed Poignancy!


A puerile desire

Buried in the heart

Never leaves..


Sentimentally melodramatic

Cursively recursive

My thoughts idiotic!

In Thomas Friedman's "Hot, Flat and Crowded" he refers to Ray Kurzweil's (see www.Kurzweilai.net) explanation of intuitive linearity vs. exponential growth as the way to explain our failure to anticipate the level and speed of climate change. Simply put, we tend to base our understanding of the future based on the events of the past and the rate of their unfolding.

In my experience, this is not the experience of the sensitive or the visionary. Part of the struggle for these populations is that their processing leads them to have a sense of the future that does not come from their experiences of the past or how events up until the present have played out. They have a natural capacity to see and feel ramifications of current policies that reach out far into the future.

While I do not begin to suggest that these populations know how climate change is going to play out, I would say that many sensitives and visionaries live with a sense of how large events will play out or come to pass that surpasses all logical explanation. In some ways it is as if they lack the filter that limits the ability of most people to see beyond the present.

If a pebble is dropped in the pond, it is as if the sensitive or visionary feels or sees as far out as the 100th ripple. At most, the majority of the population is just watching the pebble drop. With climate disruption, and economic policies that have global implications, the world's problems emerge onto a shared playing field. Cultures are being forced to see beyond the pebble that drops in their neighborhood pond. Yet, being forced to consider larger variables is profoundly different than having a natural affinity for sensing and moving into the ever expanding ripples.

I think it remains important for sensitives and visionaries to recognize this distinction. Otherwise, when they are around people talking about "green revolutions" etc., they can get confused as to why the level of conversation still seems to be missing the mark. It is as if the people seem to be talking about the ripples, but somehow, they are still only seeing the ripples nearest to them. (See "Hot, Flat and Crowded" for a superb explanation as to why the efforts in the at US towards green living have less than the impact of a pebble in a pond on a global level).

As crises spread, deep change is mandatory. Someone aware of the ripples can be confused as to why it takes such crisis for most citizens to even begin to consider the need for change. This is part of the pain of carrying a capacity for vision - or for the awareness of the exponential.

Two weekends ago I was visiting a dear friend in Mysore. She has just started a postdoctoral fellowship in Chemistry at an IIT and also she's has just started dating an engineering doctoral student.(Thats a dual degree for the taking!!) They are very smitten. It was disgusting.

During one of their goodbye smooch sessions (while I was attempting to melt beneath the floorboards on my way out the door), my dear friend, let’s call her XYZ, accidentally said “I love you” to the Engineer.

This was cause for great distress and she immediately “took it back.”

A few days later, consumed by the saying, taking back, and woefully lack of saying and taking back in return, XYZ broached the subject with the Engineer (I was thankfully hanging out with my 21-year old cousin, who's from a Arts background).

The Engineer, delightful and rational fellow that he is, made it clear that he would not be saying “I love you” until he was sure. Otherwise, he might waste this very important statement by saying it too early in the relationship, when his love was still growing rapidly, thereby taking away the significance in later weeks/months when his love was much, much greater.

XYZ, obviously disappointed by this response, pressed and asked WHEN exactly that would be. His response: when dLove/dt = zero.

For those of you who have forgotten your calculus (or blocked it out, or, lucky you, never took it at all) let me explain: he will say “I love you” when the slope of the tangent to the growth curve of his love has reached zero. This indicates of a local maximum and means that the rate of growth (the velocity of love, as it were) has slowed to a stop.

As XYZ and I were discussing his response, we found it concerning on several levels. Firstly, if the curve of his love is akin to figure (a) then after he says I love you, he will actually begin to love her less. Which bodeth not well for their long term relationship survival. So then, let’s be generous and suggest the curve of his love is better approximated by figure (b), where the plateau of zero growth might indicate the end of honeymoon/infatuation-type love (a bit late, but not a BAD time to say I love you), which then moves on promptly on to another growth phase, the build up of life-long-partnership-love and the having of babies.

But the second distressing aspect of the whole affair was that somewhere along the line XYZ had also mentioned the term “second derivative.” And neither of us could actually remember what this was. We both recalled HOW to take a second derivative (indeed XYZ and I took calculus together many years ago), but we couldn’t remember what it actually meant.

Enter massive calculus textbook from our 1st year class (XYZ hates throwing away text books).

After searching in the index and finding some helpful examples, we remembered that AHA! the second derivative is akin to acceleration: the rate of rate of growth. And by solving for the second derivative - d2 (love)/dt2 - we could ensure that when d(love)/dt = 0, it is a local maximum (the greatest love), not a local minimum (not the greatest love of all). For when the second derivative is negative = local maximum, as in figure (a); when positive, it’s a local minimum, as in figure (c) (Refresh your memory here). All is happy.

But, you see, I have come up with a better solution. The first few weeks or months of a relationship often result in a very rapid growth of love. Indeed you could even say love is accelerating at a break necking pace (oh har, sorry) not merely speeding along in a linear fashion. Of course this psychotic rampage in love growth can only continue apace for so long and eventually the acceleration will drop to zero, though the absolute value of love is still growing - ie the velocity or d(love)/dt is still greater than zero. An exemplary graph of said derivative can be seen in figure (d).

Try this math teacheresque example; it’s like XYZ and the Engineer have the pedal to metal, building up speed along the on ramp to the freeway of love. But once they merge on, and find a nice lane, they can continue traveling at a constant rate, save for pit stops (fights) and the occasionally passing of trucks (make-up sex). Or better yet, let’s say that falling in love is really actually like falling, wherein the acceleration = 9.8 meters per second squared. When you finally slam into the ground (or reach terminal velocity, which ever suits your particular romantic scenario) and start acting like a normal human beings, instead of a driveling, love-crazed sociopaths, then you know its really time to start saying “I love you.”

In either case, the Engineer should in fact solve for zero in the second derivative to the love-time function and say “I love you” when love has stopped accelerating. This solves the concerning problem of having to wait until his love has stopped growing. Because zero growth in the love function is likely to make any woman, chemist, calculus enthusiast or otherwise, pretty goddamn pissed off.

Although Einstein is best known for his theories of relativity, he was also the main driving force behind the advent of quantum mechanics (QM). His early work in photo-voltaic effect paved way for future developments in QM. And he won the Nobel prize, not for the theories of relativity, but for this early work.

It then should come as a surprise to us that Einstein didn’t quite believe in QM. He spent the latter part of his career trying to device thought experiments that would prove that QM is inconsistent with what he believed to be the laws of nature. Why is it that Einstein could not accept QM? We will never know for sure, and my guess is probably as good as anybody else’s.

Einstein’s trouble with QM is summarized in this famous quote.

"God does not play dice with the universe."
— Albert Einstein

It is indeed difficult to reconcile the notions (or at least some interpretations) of QM with a word view in which a God has control over everything. In QM, observations are probabilistic in nature. That is to say, if we somehow manage to send two electrons (in the same state) down the same beam and observe them after a while, we may get two different observed properties.

We can interpret this imperfection in observation as our inability to set up identical initial states, or the lack of precision in our measurements. This interpretation gives rise to the so-called hidden variable theories — considered invalid for a variety of reasons. The interpretation currently popular is that uncertainty is an inherent property of nature — the so-called Copenhagen interpretation.

In the Copenhagen picture, particles have positions only when observed. At other times, they should be thought of as kind of spread out in space. In a double-slit interference experiment using electrons, for instance, we should not ask whether a particular electron takes on slit or the other. As long as there is interference, it kind of takes both.

The troubling thing for Einstein in this interpretation would be that even God would not be able to make the electron take one slit or the other (without disturbing the interference pattern, that is). And if God cannot place one tiny electron where He wants, how is he going to control the whole universe?

Cellphone marketing seems to have undergone a change recently. Cellphones at first were a status symbol, something that only the supposed elite possessed. But thanks to good marketing, and of course the fact that they’re extremely useful, almost everyone who could afford one soon got one. As people eloquently point out, they became a necessity, with being late or unavailable without excuse no longer unacceptable in the business world.

I remember being told a few years ago when I was resisting being given a cellphone by my parents, that I was being selfish, not by my parents, but by a friend, annoyed she couldn’t get hold of me as easily as she could others.

Parents on the whole seem to have bought into the belief that teens have to have a cellphone, mainly for safety reasons. Makes me quite nostalgic for my wildly irresponsible kido phase when I could leave the house with no way of being contacted.

But it’s the ads that interest me right now. I must be strange, never having been much interested in material things. I argue it allows me to focus on more important things, and has allowed me to “retire” with an income a fraction that of some friends who’re juggling their credit card debt with their overdraft debt. The ads clearly aren’t aimed at me then. But I find it hard to believe that people actually fall for them, in the sense of unconciously and unquestioningly accepting the message without any further awareness.

The first is an ad for a particular brand of cellphone, I forget which, perhaps Siemens, which very loosely goes something along the lines of:

Some think it’s your watch that gives you status, others your sunglasses, or your car. They’re wrong.

On first viewing, at this point I thought they were being consciously ironic, and there was to follow a clever punchline about the really important things in life, and the ad would actually be for the Nelson mandela Children’s fund. But no, it continued:

It’s actually your cellphone.
I had to stifle my gagging reflex. Surely an advertiser cannot be so purely vomitous? Are people really that stupid? Is the irony intentional, people being aware of it, and thus rendering the ad humourous. I fear not. Either way, it’s quite a depressing ad, and the manufacturer must be grateful I’m reeling so much I’m not entirely certain of the brand.

The second ad features an archetypal American dream family in the car. The dad puts on some old music, and the kids start laughing. Then the dad, slightly balding, brushes his hair trying to hide his bald spot, and the son laughs at him. The dad then walks in with an outdated suit, gets laughed at again, before finally pulling out an ancient cellphone, and again getting laughed out. The punchline indicates that MTN (I think) allows you to upgrade regularly to avoid such embarassment. Clearly aimed at teenagers, the messages are that cellphones are a status symbol, they must be new to be good.

I feel that the cellphone boom must be most credited not to the time,destiny or to the mindset of the present generation..but to the most creative types are being lured into the advertising industry, with its large budgets, and many are putting their best efforts into propaganda of the most subtle kind. The other side of the destroyed are those who do not find lasting happiness from buying the latest trinket, but again fall for the followup ad, and replace “I’ll be happy when I get X” with “I’ll be happy when I get Y”. Listen out for that phrase. It’s amazing how often it appears in conversation.

…I think it's finally over. Our reactionary emotional response seems to have stopped it dead in its tracks. If I'm right, all we have to do now is smugly reiterate our half-formed thesis and—oh, no! For the love of God, no! It's thoughtfully mulling things over!

Run! Run! It's making reasonable, fact-based arguments!

Quickly! Hide behind self-righteousness! The ad hominem rejoinders—ready the ad hominem rejoinders! Watch out! Dodge the issue at hand! Question its character and keep moving haphazardly from one flawed point to the next!

All together now! Put every bit of secondhand conjecture into it you've got!

Goddamn it, nothing's working! It's trapped us in our own unsubstantiated claims! We need to switch fundamentally unsound tactics. Hurry, throw up the straw man! Look, I think it's going for it. C'mon…c'mon…yes, it's going for it! Now hit it with the thing that one guy told us once while it's distracted by our ludicrous rationalizations!

Gah! It's calmly and evenhandedly deflecting everything we're throwing at it. Our deductive fallacies are only making it stronger! Wait…what on earth is it doing now? Oh, no, it has sources! My God, it's defending itself with ironclad sources! Someone stop the citing! Please, please stop the citing!

The language is impenetrable! For all that is good and holy, backpedal with all your might!

Where are the children? Someone overprotect the children! They cannot be exposed to this kind of illuminative reasoning. Their young, open minds are much too vulnerable to independent thought. We have to shield them behind our unshakeable intolerance for critical thinking.

What?!? Noooooooooo! Richard! For the love of God, it's convinced Richard!

No time for tears now. Richard's mind has been changed forever. But we mustn't let it weaken our resolve. Mark my words, our ignorance will hold, no matter the cost. Now, more than ever, we have to keep floundering ahead with blind faith in our increasingly fallacious worldview.

For Richard's sake.

What's that? Now it's making an appeal to reason? Never! Do you hear me, you eloquent, well-read behemoth? Never! We'll die before we recognize what we secretly know to be true! The cognitive dissonance only makes our denial stronger!

We have but one hope left: passive-aggressive slights disguised as impersonal discourse.† Okay, everyone, careful now…careful…if this is going to work, we have to arrogantly assume that it won't be smart enough to catch on to our attempt to salvage some feeling of superiority and—oh, God, it's calling us out! Quick, avoid eye contact and stammer an apology! Tell it we were just joking! Tell it we were joking!

Arrgh! Our pride! Oh, Lord, our pride! It burns!

All is lost. We don't stand a chance against its relentless onslaught of exhaustive research and immaculate rhetoric. We may as well lie down and—Christ, how it pains me to say it—admit that it's right. My friends, I would like to take these last few moments of stubborn close-mindedness to say that it's been an honor to dig myself into this hole with you.

Unless…wait, of course! Why didn't we think of it before? Volume! Sheer volume! It's so simple. Quickly now, we don't have much time! Don't let it get a word in edgewise! Derisively cut it off mid-sentence! Now, launch the sophomoric personal attacks! Louder, yes, that's it, louder! Be repetitive, juvenile, and obstinate! It's working! It's working!

We've done it! It's walking away and shaking its head in disgust! Huzzah! Finally—defeated with a single three-minute volley of irrelevant, off-topic shouting!

Ironic, really, isn't it?
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