!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!

Life

An assembly

Possibly impossible

Perfectly interchangeable..

Death

That lives most upright

Beyond the unspoken

Neither a squiggle nor a quibble..

## She and Me

!nversed Poignancy!

She

A daffodil

Tyrannizer of me

Breaking the colors of dusk!..

Me

The rising sun

Infringed with violations

The impurity in the salt..

## Love and Poetry!

!nversed Poignancy!

Love

A puerile desire

Buried in the heart

Never leaves..

Poetry

Sentimentally melodramatic

Cursively recursive

My thoughts idiotic!

## The Game of Jokes, Jokers and the Dilemma...

On November 13, 2010
In my college, its a really common ritual to *more than* occasionally share PJs and P+iJs (Poor and Complex Jokes) to the mailing list..

However, as matter of time came a sort of metamorphism that made each of those so called *comedy* look like nothing more than a greater piece of sarcasm, greater insult and greater offensiveness ...
Thus, the phrases such as "your joke was awfully offensive", "your joke hurt my feelings and sentiments", etc soon became a word of mouth and the mouth of the words..

Although, at first things go brushed away easily, more so, because of the excessive citations and pointers towards statements like *ah!, I was just being political correct* or *Oh!, guess you are overly sensitive*. But, still the Jokes continued, and continued with some discontinuity, of-course...

As time passed and "work-flows" in terms of mind-maturities - the entire process of the *politically correctness* and *overly sensitiveness* pointing citations for once came hand to hand with "was (s)he really hurt?" and "oh, may be (s)he was hurt .." sort of emotions.

This said and done -- Today, I was kind of IETising (Idiotic Emission of Thoughts) about why such misunderstandings happen or is bound to happen and kind of felt that "Game Theory" might just give an answer to this sort of a dilemma..

For the uninitiated..the sender of the mail can either intend it to be a joke or serious. In turn, the receiver can either interpret the email as a joke or serious. There are four possible outcomes:

–If the sender meant it as a joke, and receiver took it as a joke, then both get a good laugh

–If the sender meant it as a joke, and receiver took it as seriously, then the emails would stop until receiver learned it was sarcasm–then they'd have a good laugh

–If the sender meant it seriously, and receiver took it as a joke, then receiver would probably get in trouble with the college’s residential staff

–If the sender meant it seriously, and receiver took it seriously, then both move on without incident

The game thus becomes..

 Receiver/Sender Joke Serious Joke J L Serious J K

The chart illustrates the dynamics of the game: there are three good outcomes and only a single bad outcome–when a serious statement is taken as a joke. The good outcomes lead to a chuckle or a maintenance of status quo.

As a point of matter, the bad outcome can be really bad. I know people who have gotten in serious trouble with friends and they have had to attend sensitivity training to avoid being kicked out of the apparent *friendships*.

Therefore, the game suggests that it’s best to take most statements as serious. There is almost no risk to taking statements seriously because either it will be a correct assessment or it will get resolved on a double-check that the other person was sarcastic. This avoids the event of a blow-up entirely.

Conclusion: investigate unclear jokes and sarcasm until you’re sure. I wish many had known this in much before they had gotten themselves into a bit of trouble. I hope this post can spare someone else the same hassle.

What say?!

## An Inception of Real Imagination..

On August 04, 2010
The whole sqrt(-1) imaginary number thing has always been pretty abstract to me (and probably most others who learned them, but then never had to use them in their job or anything). On the flip side, the very own concept of imaginary and imagination in itself is a kind of abstract things too. For the uninitiated, what is Imaginary?- something that cannot be perceived, something that is imaginary? (lolz!, its like telling to understand recursion, you need to understand recursion :P).

With stories charted and realities imparted - I kind of always pondered about this Idiotism [IET] for a loong period of time now, but, unfortunately didn't quite find the zeal to pen something about it, until today, when I seemed to have a quibble with a friend of mine about the same issue. And the rest as they say was history, with me having some sort of a "halo" around me to at-least come out and "try" to define why we have something called "imaginary" and "imagination" at all?!

Let's now start with the basics..imagination for all practical purpose is considered "a power of the mind", "a creative faculty of the mind", "the mind" itself when in use, and a "process" of the mind used for thinking, scheming, contriving, remembering, creating, fantasizing, and forming opinion. On the other hand, as a medium, imagination is a world where thought and images are nested in the mind to "form a mental concept of what is not actually present to the senses". In the sense of the word as a process, imagination is a form of mediation between what is considered "externalized" reality and internalized man and finally, imagination is a term that circulates forms of mass media when the "internalized" private imagination is presented as public, or expressed in a media form, such as film or in virtual reality technology.

But, all said and done - is it not true to assume that the concept of imagination is nothing but a fight between our sense of what we consider private and essentially humanistic. Dosn't imagination challenge the technology to explore what media can do: how far inside man can media extend itself, and how far outside man can man bring what is considered his internalized self? Are these processes transmutable through media, and if so, what kinds? Can imagination be coded? Does technology employ imagination in its productive and innovative capabilities? Or is imagination a human faculty only? If the latter, than to what extent can media technologies mimic imaginative functions and/or expressions? And, if media technologies can mimic 'products' of the imagination, what is the essential difference between 'having' imagination and producing imaginative qualities?

I kind of feel that imagination is nothing but a mere matter of "reproductive projections". One's perception of the Imaginary is an essential stage of recognition of what is real and what is unreal. If the Imaginary is the reflected image in the mirror, it is probable that the imagination is the mental faculty for integrating this 'represented' image into the person's experience of himself in the world. If the imagination is a counterpoint to perceptible reality,then, implication is that the Imaginary is in fact representational. This representation, is a kind of mirror, a mirror that shows all your "reproductive projections".

So what exactly is that I talk about when I say "reproductive projections"? Well, I would say that its a simple concept of "filmi flashbacks", whose basis lies in a given or experienced knowledge that must be reproduced to 'short'(as in Electronic Circuits) the proof posited by the senses. For example, shouldn't one use her/his powers of imagination to deductively reason that even though s/he cannot see all sides of a cube s/he is looking at there are six sides to the cube. For, based on the viewer's experience, a cube factually and observably does have six sides. Were s/he to pick the cube up and examine it, s/he should see and note it as fact observable by her/his senses. However, since the viewer has the faculties of her/his reproductive imagination, s/he need not rely on her/his senses. Thus, if reality can be observed by the senses, imagination addresses a certain no-man's land between what is observably "true" or "real" and that which is considered totally "fictive" or "false," in a sense, imagination provides a shortcut. Imagination in this sense, fills in what could in all likelihood be observed by the senses, and apprehends a sense of reality based on the experience of the proof of his senses, without the executed proof.

Although, it would be really abrupt to end at this point - I still have no option but to end it (Thanks to the dearth of imagination(s) within me :P).However, I would sort of leave the entire quibble- still open ended- as to whether, imagination is indeed the ideal communication- to supercede our romantic notions of the untranscendable 'imaginations' or is a pure form of built in "Inception"?

On August 03, 2010
I was kind of rambling about some serious stuffs and got into thinking about some strange thoughts connecting "Agreement" and "Marriage". Not sure if Mr. Krishnamurthy (Who thought us the basics of Legal Issues and Agreements) had a kind of induced inception into me, but, I some of felt that there's some connection between these two quoted words.. I am not sure if this would be turning into a reality someday (Maybe not on this level) But, a food for thought none-the-less..

My thoughts were could two people agree to make a relationship work and succeed. Think about arranged marriages. Two people basically agreeing to make a relationship work. Is it more likely for a commitment like that to work than for one built on emotions. Emotions will screw you up every time.

But if you have a relationship without the emotions and feelings and only on "agreement" to have the relationship work will it be a happy one? Will love grow between the two people? Marriages are entered into every day and broken everyday.

I know this doesn't make sense...but this is one of my rambling thoughts......

## Does it really matter?!

On August 03, 2010
You never know when someone might catch a dream from you.
Or something you say may open up the windows of a mind that seeks light
The way you live may not matter at all,
But you never know, it might.
And just in case it could be that another's life, through you,
might possibly change for the better with a better and brighter view,
it seems it might be worth a try at pointing the way to the right;
Of course, it may not matter at all, but then again, it might.

-!nversed Poignancy!

## Twist in the Tale..

On August 03, 2010
At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS President Dr Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death.

Here is the Case:
On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head.
Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

"Ordinarily," Dr Mills continued, "A person, who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended, is still defined as committing suicide." That Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands.
In the room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun.
The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window striking Mr. Opus. When one intends to kill subject "A" but kills subject "B" in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject "B".
When confronted with the murder charge the old man and his wife were both adamant and both said that they thought the shotgun was unloaded. The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her.
Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, if the gun had been accidentally loaded. The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident.
It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist-
Further investigation revealed hat the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself, so the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

## Theory of Inverse Depression..

On July 04, 2010
The other day in one of my Technical Communication class, I happened to meet head-on with this topic called "Emotional Intelligence". It kind of really seemed way beyond the traditional psychometrics,et al.But, nonetheless - somewhere down in my ganglions I felt that metrics like Emotional Intelligence could not be used to measure a person's level of happiness or sadness per-say; Atleast it isn't the right tool to get such things measured..On the other hand though- I could more conspicuously see the OOBT tableau of it...Hmm..Why can't someone use Emotional Intelligence to feel better? Why can't someone use Emotional Intelligence to come out of depression? And with it did my IETs(Yeah!, the same old Idiotic Emission of Thoughts) flow and thus leading to painting my rectangular parchment of space on my blog with some thoughts to ponder..

For the uninitiated,if we do step back and see the very "grass-root" level definition of EI (Emotional Intelligence) it says - and I quote "a self-perceived grand ability to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups". Voila! So, EI as I learnt is not all about mere digits indicating some "quotient", but, about the state of mind!

Further research revealed that the human mind tends to behave in an entirely-different manner when the body builds a different environment around it. Now, what that means is that- If a person is depressed (low EI), then, if s/he manages to forcefully move into an environment that is filled with a high EI. Then, it seems, the EI of the depressed person is at a pseudo-high EI. Now, another rule says that if a person spends a more than 15.7 mins in an pseudo-high EI environment,then, s/he crosses a threshold barrier to reach a quasi-stable state of mind.

Now, that's revalation, I felt!. Man!, what if we fake ourselves into the quasi stable state? Wouldn't we be able to overcome depression? Wouldn't we be able to achieve a temporary control over our emotions?

So, what I thought was that one of the best techniques to temporarily control your emotions is simply to fake them. Feigning courage when you’re scared can make you feel more confident. Faking enthusiasm when you’re down can give you the extra push you need to keep going. Acting happy can get you out of a brief emotional slump.

Why would you want to fake your state? The emotional state you have at any particular time will have a tremendous impact on your effectiveness. Your speech will sound more convincing and effective if you’re speaking with confidence rather than trembling with nervousness. State control is essential for communication because people want to be around people who feel good. Even personal activities like exercise, work and reading benefit from the right emotional background. The way you feel determines how effectively you act.

And meanwhile, at the back-end all that you have done is to have moved into a quasi-stable state. Voila!, you have faked youself out of depression isn't it?

The idea of faking your state can seem a little like cheating. Aren’t your emotions there for a reason? But few people recognize how malleable their moment-to-moment feelings are. If you’re caught up in a lousy thinking pattern and someone gives you a small compliment, what happens? You’re entire world changes. As soon as your focus shifts from a small negative to a small positive you start feeling good.

In the long-run our emotional well-being is relatively smooth. But in the short-run emotions often fluctuate heavily. Depending on what you focus on you could feel the range of depression, anger, joy and pride all in the same day. Faking your state can’t change your life but it can change how you are responding right now.

And finally I felt that after all state change is not all about feeling good,but, it’s all about doing good.
A common mistake people make is that they want to change their emotional state to feel better. Remember that emotions are nothing more than chemicals and signals you are giving yourself. Your brain wouldn’t be giving them to you if it didn’t think you needed them.

The emotional part of your brain wasn’t designed to make you feel happy – it was designed to help you survive. Although most emotions are no longer matters of survival for the human species, your brain is still adapted to give you the emotions it believes will be the most effective.

Your goal with state control is to shift your emotional state into the most effective state. Trying to simply shift out of uncomfortable emotions because you don’t like them is likely to backfire. But shifting into emotional states you truly believe will be more effective can.

What makes an effective state differs depending on the situation. In social settings, an effective state can often be enthusiasm, fun or playfulness. Other situations might require courage, motivation or willpower. Trying to calm yourself down before a speech often doesn’t work because your brain wants you to focus. Picking an emotion like enthusiasm or being alert is more likely to hold.

So, dont make yourself come out of depression- fake it!

## "Missed Call" Voting Theory ;)

On June 19, 2010
Vote via SMS is the most commonly used voting system these days. From reality shows to surveys & contests everywhere it’s been used. But, I personally don’t vote at all using this system since it uses 5 or 6 digit short code which my service provider will charge around 5 to 6 Re per SMS. Because of this pricing, participation in voting becomes very less.

But, somewhere down the lane I fel that there should be a revamping added to this idea. Why not use the technique of the so-called "Missed Call" to make votes?. The concept of "Missed calls" is of-course a "great invention" by the Indians!! We are so fond of using this “Missed Call” technique in our daily life that none of the home-based person in the family calls a worked-based person in the same family, instead they always give a missed call and the other usually makes the call back! Just because they don’t want to burn their currency from their home-based mobile(which apparently has substituted the tradtional 'land-line' phones). Taking this forward into a global market why can't we come up with a “Missed Call to Vote” system!

For Ex:

Q: Should ABCD become Governor of XYZ company?

If YES, give a missed call to +91 12 34 56 78 90
If No, give a missed call to +91 12 34 56 78 91

All that you are doing here is just giving a missed call, so you wouldn't be charged anything to vote! And isn't this system simple? you don’t even have to remember the “Send XX to YYYYY” and blah blah part to vote! It is just different numbers to dial for different options.

## A Theory in Practice ;)

On June 10, 2010
Just about a week ago, I was in conversation with a friend of mine- about what sort of active thinking needs to be inculcated in Undergrads before they go ahead and pick their majors.

This is a sentiment of a cry that usually lurks behind academia at large—for classics and philosophy majors who do not know what to do with their majors, for social science majors who become frustrated with the gap between jargon‑intensive theories and real‑life phenomena, and so forth. Except, perhaps, for premedical students, the academic journey taken by most students in college is fraught with questions of purpose.

In the past people have attempted to bridge the gap between academic theory and practice. One of the major points was that “in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” In other words, if the theory is well‑supported with evidence from reality, it should naturally have relevant implications for practice.

But on the other hand, I would like to point out a subtler undercurrent of student attitudes towards academic texts like those read as part of the Core. The attitude, which I argue changes over time, goes something like this:

We enter into college, or for some of us, high school, excited about discovering truth and enriching our minds. We soon discover that we can’t agree amongst ourselves on interpretations of texts, let alone on fundamental concepts. Does “thou shalt not kill” apply to acts of self‑defence? To animals? What about capital punishment?

Frustrated with the ambiguity and dissonance, we throw our hands up, sighing, “It’s all relative. It’s all the same. Who cares?”

I think that this disillusioned response is due to a previous presumption that there must be one coherent theory that contains all truth. With this presumption framing our minds, the conflicting plurality of theories bowls us over—we swing over, deflated, to the other end, denying all truth. But to maintain this presumption would be to reject Newtonian mechanics simply because they do not work on the atomic level. It would be to deny what each idea and person has to offer. At its worst, this attitude becomes an ear‑closed arrogance, but a polite one at that—a kind that often takes a variation of the response, “Oh that’s interesting. Well, that’s just what you believe.”

So reading and thinking about theory does inevitably translate into an attitude and, consequently, a practice—the question is, what sort of attitude? A retreat into cynicism can become, I argue, a thinly veiled intellectual laziness that does not actively engage ideas different from one’s own. An active engagement means a critical assessment of ideas to judge whether or not one would subscribe to them and often involves a revaluation of one’s ideas. Such a mental exercise of reflecting, judging, and even imagining is useful in its own right. It trains the mind’s faculties and the heart’s toleration of difference—“mental gymnastics,” as my geometry teacher once said.

Theory may enlighten our understanding, but it ultimately trains our way of thinking. It is left to us to strike the right balance between contemplation and action and to translate the mode of thinking into practical action—a frustrating and ambiguous responsibility, certainly, but ours, and only ours, nevertheless.

## The Era of Socially Transmitted Diseases..

On May 22, 2010
It kind of seems contradictory when you talk about loneliness and contiguousness in the same breath. But, I think that there are a whole lot of integral elements that would infact lead to enhancement of the so-called "loneliness factor" via Social Communications - What I call the Socially Transmitted Disease..

For the uninitiated, how can the lonely their loneliness through social networks?

It makes sense when you think of people’s movements in social networks over some period of time. The lonely may not always have been lonely, but gradually, they tend to cluster together on the periphery of social networks, suggesting that the social connections with other lonely people exacerbates any de facto loneliness they experience. That the lonely would be somewhere on the periphery of social networks is somewhat tautological, but that the lonely would cluster together at the periphery is not, and is surprising.

We’re all aware of how contagious diseases can spread through social networks; when individuals interact, they transmit pathogens back and forth in apparent ways, such as through physical contact or the air. But it’s less obvious how emotions and behaviors spread between people. The idea of spreading loneliness initially seems counterintuitive. After all, don’t lonely people normally keep to themselves? Aren’t they socially isolated, away from where they can spread anything? Not exactly. As the article notes, loneliness and solitude are two different things. Even if people are not physically alone, they can still feel lonely if they perceive their social ties to be weak.

So how might loneliness spread within a social network? Lonely people tend to interact more negatively with people they encounter; they are more unfriendly, more anxious, and in general, more unpleasant to be around. These negative emotions not only induce others to feel and act negatively, but also, over time, they can erode relationships between friends. Strong positive ties grow weaker and weaker, and may even turn negative. Social bonds are lost, leaving the non-lonely people with fewer strong connections and therefore pushing them one more step towards loneliness. Then the cycle repeats itself with those who were “infected” and loneliness spreads throughout the network. A lonely person can easily get stuck in a downward spiral, becoming lonelier as more friends are lost. As a result, lonely people are likely to get pushed to the fringes of the network as they cut ties with friends. Ultimately, you have a weakened network, frayed at the peripheries.

## The "Saving Face" Syndrome on Facebook!

On April 25, 2010

Maybe I’m just out of the loop. Since the time I signed onto Facebook a couple years ago, I have never got an opportunity to make any kind of a transition from my being "single" status (*Lolz, thats confession!!*) , so I missed out on any potential Facebook-related relationship anxiety. The only status updates I’ve made are from “none” to “songle”, which was met with a chorus of sarcastic “congratulations” and bland question marks. I guess the public notice of a relationship that’s gone in the opposite direction is met with its own chorus of comments from the peanut gallery — comments that while perhaps well-intended can make a breakup seem more devastating than it has to be?

All of this has me wondering about how and when a person decides to update his or her status to “in a relationship.” I imagine that could be as nerve-racking as changing it to “single,” right? Like, what if you haven’t defined your relationship yet? What if one person thinks she’s in a relationship, but the other person disagrees? Is Facebook sort of like a passive-aggressive way to make a point with the person you’re dating that you’re ready to be exclusive? Or, is it more like a way to announce to people that you’re off the market? Those of you who have navigated the waters of awkward or painful relationship status updates on Facebook, what have been your experiences? Did Facebook really provide the closure and answer you needed to move on?

Why dont we have some research in this regard :) :)

## The theory of g = pi squared!

On April 11, 2010
The hard facts:
(a) The acceleration of gravity on Earth is g ~ 9.8 m/s^2;
(b) π^2 ~ 9.87.

The question: Is that pure chance?

The naive answer: Sure. Just change the units, the similarity is gone. Just change the planet, the similarity is gone.

Yet… a little bit of historical research tells us that it is not pure chance. How come?

Of course, if there is a connection between the two values, it must be historical, not physical. The similarity between the two values is just on Earth, and with our units. But how is the meter defined? The definition has evolved with time (and in the US they still use units related to the lengths of their extremities… ains…). For a long time, it was one ten-millionth of the length of the Earth’s meridian. So the relation to the Earth is ensured in the definition, no doubt.

No magic involved, just history. It was the French National Assembly, during the Revolution, defining the meter. They wanted a universal definition, and they came up with that one. But it was not the first one… Before, there were others.

As far as we know, it was the marvellous mind of John Wilkins the first to conceive the idea of meter. And what was his definition? No wonder, the length of a seconds pendulum. That means: a pendulum whose period is two seconds. Now, for a bit of physics, remember that, within the small angles approximation, the period of a pendulum is

$T=2\pi \sqrt{L\over g}$

Now, imagine that we were using Wilkins’ meter. Then with a pendulum of length 1 length-units, we would have a period 2 time-units. Just solve for g and… hey! You get… π^2.

Wilkins’ idea went all the way down to Huygens, and to Talleyrand, who proposed it to the French revolutionaries. Technical difficulties, mostly the fluctuations of length with temperature, made them change the choice, but nonetheless picking up a close value.

## Social Network tending to Anti-Socialism?

On March 21, 2010
The Facebook statistics recently provided by Alexa--such as that the site adds an astonishing 600,000 users per day--are worthy of serious contemplation by social scientists still playing catch-up when it comes to this and other forms of online communication. But at the risk of seeming curmudgeonly (I imagine my fellow friends, Facebook devotees all, rolling their eyes), I want to make a prediction. Social scientists are very fond of "capital," which is a type of resource with a plausible connection to some desired outcome. These include economic capital (money), human capital (skills), cultural capital (powers of discernment vis-a-vis cultural objects), conversational capital (interesting things to talk about) and social capital (social connections). To this list I predict that we will eventually want to add something that I am tempted to call anti-social capital, which is a snarky (and imprecise) term for the absence of ties of a certain type, namely those whose main consequence is that you spend a lot of time online communicating with people who, like you, have a lot of time to spend socializing online. It's not hard to foresee why someone without such connections would fare better at school, in the workplace, and in their family relations than someone with them, other things being equal.

Of course, the problem is not merely time diverted from more serious pursuits--exercise, learning, thinking long and hard about life's problems, interacting with those with whom one shares microbes--but also the disclosure of personal and potentially damaging information. That might point to yet another kind of capital, which I'll call non-self-disclosure capital, which is the state of not having made public (especially online) information about yourself that could result in a serious loss of face, life prospects, and possibly safety if the information gets circulated beyond its intended audience.

## The Socially "Real" Network!?

On March 21, 2010
All too frequently, someone makes a comment about how a large number of Facebook Friends must mean a high degree of social capital. Or how we can determine who is closest to who by measuring their email messages. Or that the Dunbar number can explain the average number of Facebook friends. These are just three examples of how people mistakenly assume that 1) any social network that can be boiled down to a graph can be compared and 2) any theory of social networks is transitive to any graph representing connections between people. Such mistaken views result in broad misinterpretations of social networks and social network sites. Yet, time and time again, I hear problematic assumptions so let me start with some claims:
1. Not all social networks are the same.
2. You cannot assume network transitivity.
3. You cannot assume that properties that hold for one network apply to other networks

To address this, I want to begin by mapping out three distinct ways of modeling a social network. These are not the only ways of modeling a social network, but they are three common ways that are often collapsed in public discourse.
(a) As a Sociological "personal" Netwrok
(b) Behavioural Social Networks
(c)Publicly articulated social networks

At this point, I would hope that most of us would realize that Friends != friends. In other words, who you connect to on Facebook or MySpace or Twitter is not the same list of people that you would say constitute your closest and dearest. The practice of publicly articulating one’s social network can be quite fraught because there are social costs to the process of public articulation. Issues of reciprocity emerge and people find themselves doing a lot of face-work to navigate the sticky nature of having to account for their social relations in a publicly accountable way. Thus, the list of who you might list as a Friend is often a mix of friends, acquaintances, family members, people from your past, fans, professional colleagues, familiar strangers, and people you don’t particularly like but don’t want to offend. Oh and the occasional celebrity you think is interesting.

These networks are NOT the same. Your mother may play a significant role in your personal network but, behaviorally, your strongest tie might be the person who works in the cube next to you. And neither of these folks might be links on your Facebook for any number of reasons.

Our instinct then is to ask: which is the “real” social network? Frankly, it depends on who you ask. Your mother may be cranky that you don’t talk to her as often as your colleague and she may resent your refusal to Friend her on Facebook, but this doesn’t mean you love her any less. Of course, this doesn’t stop her from thinking you don’t love her. If we’re trying to understand emotional affinity, the behavioral and publicly articulated social networks aren’t particularly helpful. But if you’re mother thinks that time is not only a proxy for emotional depth but a proof of it, your behavioral social network might really upset her.

The truth of the matter is that there is no “real” social network. It all depends on what you’re trying to measure, what you’re trying to do with those measurements.

## Peer2Peer Social Network, Possible?

On March 06, 2010
Today I found an invitation to a Facebook group "We will not pay to use facebook, we're gone if that happens".

I guess this echos the sentiments of a generation that believes that it should get stuff for free. But really, can this really be so? Facebook, google, yahoo, etc can only survive given revenues that may be used to cover costs. Web portals with mounds of data are not easy to maintain.

On the other hand, people are concerned by the concentration of huge amounts of personal data, especially with the social networking sites. Who owns the data?

It briefly hit me that the P2P infrastructure may work reasonably well for social networking. The idea is for the network to be built up in overlapping pieces. Each indivdual stores his own information and those of his/her friends. The informing of others that information has changed may be done through a series of pings.

Naturally, a big issue is that of the storage and transfer of data. A LOT of data may have to be stored for each contact. Furthermore, one has to ask oneself to what extent does one desire to be a conduit for people to contact one's friends and how much bandwidth one is willing to dedicate to that end. Another is that of "closed cliques" being inaccessible to the world.

The latter problem would probably be solvable after some brief thought, but not the former. People are selfish by nature, and the amount of storage space and bandwidth demanded by such an application would be non-trivial.

Well then, is Facebook's current setup as near optimal as we expect? It's hard to move away from a central repository. It makes things so much easier. We can decentralize a little though... Who knows?

## Kind of Pollution?

On March 06, 2010

I used to go for a walk every night. It was a pleasant habit—exercise, fresh air, quiet time alone to think. I made a point, whenever possible, of walking in an area away from the city lights, where the sky was dark enough that I could get a good look at the stars. I knew how to pick out some of the constellations, though I could never quite understand how anyone could see a goat or an archer in the patterns of stars. Seeing shapes in clouds is one thing, but mentally connecting the dots to form a complex picture didn’t really work for me. That’s not to say I didn’t see anything in the stars, though. As I looked at a particular star, I would think about the possibility of life in outer space, the chance that a planet circling that star may be home to people like me—or unfathomably different beings. I’d think about how Earth is just another one of those countless planets and the sun just another one of those countless stars. And picking my favorite star of the moment, I’d say to myself, “Someday I’ll find a way to go there.”

Looking at the stars and thinking about them in this way always had a very calming effect on me. I felt as though it gave me a sense of proportion, that it put my own crises and ambitions in perspective. It didn’t make me feel insignificantly small; instead, it made me feel somehow privileged to be able to see and understand what may be out there, and to realize I’m a part of something so big.

Nowadays I don’t notice the stars very often, and when I do, I don’t usually think about them as I once did. But every now and then, I’ll be on a trip—an island, a desert, a rural getaway somewhere—and again the stars will catch my attention. Invariably I’ll wonder why I hadn’t noticed them in so long. Is it just that I’m older and busier? That may be part of it, but a bigger part is that the lights of the city often make it very hard to see the stars, always focusing my attention on the surface of my own planet. This is one consequence of the increasing problem of light pollution.

The term “pollution” is apt because excess or unwanted light can be an irritation or even a safety hazard. Like air pollution, light pollution is typically a by-product of machines and devices that were intended to make our lives easier, more convenient, and safer. Another similarity is that light pollution can be reduced greatly with careful attention to design. But because most people have become accustomed to light pollution as a fact of life, there is usually little incentive to worry about it when designing or purchasing lighting products.

## A boulevard of broken thoughts..

On February 21, 2010
.
.

Hold a hammer with your muted hand,
There is noting here to keep me amused,
I am bored with it,
I want to say I am finished,
And have you agree,
With my Pastels.

What could you have been thinking?
Put your two hands close together,
And pretend them to be mine.
You might be disappointed,
But,there is no solace -
No consolation in getting it right

Then, I tried to paint,
I force my fingers to make a fist
But oh! - they refuse to bend..
They simply refused their mark.
I then reach for the colours,
There were none on my pallet,
I reached for other colours,
And there I found RED...
.
.
.

## Failed Thoughts for the Day..

On February 07, 2010
I was faintly IETisng and marginally wondering about what a real failure is? I mean, how on earth could you definitively conceptualize the indefinitively conceptualized term ‘failure’?? Is it the image of a man with hands on his head sitting without a job in his mid thirties with all of his life's flashbacking to-and-fro and fro-and-to in a total helter-skelter just to make him believe that he did nothing worth blabbering and tagging about the so-called "great-things" in life or is it failing to pass in an pass oriented scheme of failure centric examination paradigm of failure [;P] or is it some sort of a non-convex entity(as someone says!).

I thought over it again and again in some sortof a complexly aligned unsorted idiotismic concoctions, and realised that failure is not a complete thing in itself. You always fail in something. But nobody cares for something. The sentence never reaches beyond the word ‘fail’. Just the mere acoustics of the word 'fail' is negative, the vibes it emanates is negatively odd power of negative[;-p].And all these coagulative summation of simplistically complicated 'failures' lead us into a world of pathetic self-findings and shell binds. We start finding the reasons for our failures. It even haunts you more if you dont have a so called stud act in your pocket to keep their 'fail' blabbers mouths shut.

I have never ever failed in life. Well, may be it’s like I never accepted any failure in life because I was happy with the kind of success ratio I had. If you fail two times out of ten, you were good. Events like Javelin and long jump have six attempts. (*Lol!*) Well the only thing is who should decide what’s really important for you and what is that which is not!. Sadly, the biggest problem is that- most of us let others decide that for us. Everyone has got their own scheme of fundas.

I dont want to try and beat-around-the-bushes for long. All I wanted to tell is a few little three liner.
I think we’re constantly failing in a lot of things (and thats good!). But, the sad part is that we are not realizing it since we are getting good results elsewhere. What if someone is a day-to-night-to-day slogger of the books and fails getting along with friends/family or perhaps even vice-versa as well. What do you think a real failure is? How do you get your lessons to move on?. The question seems tough, but, the answer is quite unambiguous!

## A Love, A Thought, A Day..

On January 28, 2010
The eternal question we all carry around deep within our hearts. Love is the eternal search. Love is eternal when we find it. But do we really ever find it? When we define it, do we negate it? When we set limits on what we believe to be love do we begin to destroy it by hoping to understand or own it for ourselves? We offer it through our actions, through our gifts, through our poetry and songs, we give it with our lives. Through all of our relationships we vary our giving, often by what we hope to receive in return. But is this really love?

I recently overheard someone saying in a conversation that there is no such thing as "unconditional love". I would have to agree, although for different reasons. Love within itself is unconditional. Anything else is only an attempt to love, a learning to get us nearer to the one true knowing of love. It may be honorable, well intentioned, passionate and desiring, courageous and pure. It may be felt as temporary, but if lost easily it may not have been love at all. Love can not be corrupted, but attempts to know love can be thwarted and often fall short of what we hope love will be. This is where we learn we are human.

Love has been experienced as a life of living poetry. Love has been experienced as being the very notes of song, uplifting and generous to the wanting ear. Love has been experienced as the final act of giving one's life for another in battle. Love has been experienced as choosing to give new life to another. Love has been experienced as a devoted oneness with God. Love has been experienced as an endless passionate overflow of emotion in the arms of a waiting lover. Love is defined for us as "strong or passionate affection for a person", or "a warm liking, fond or tender feeling", or " a genuine emotion, emphasizing strength, depth, sincereness, devotion, loyalty, reverence, or passion, as for God, a man, a woman or a belief." Powerful ideas all. We know each of these definitions or ideas for ourselves. What we do with them is what makes us who we are in our lives. And what do you do with the love granted to you each day? How many times do we deny its expression from others because we fear what our own expressions will bring? Are we not denying our creator every time we deny the expression of love?

For the individuals who have experienced separation or divorce, or even the loss of a loved one to death, the separation can be the most traumatic experience we live through. The heart wrenching pain that seems to never really go away, the enormous waves that hit us daily, the times we hit the wall right after a strong and uplifting experience reminds us that we are learning. We are learning about strength, passion for our own life, about our own sincerity in our beliefs, about our loyalty to who we are, and certainly about our own genuineness. We search for that day when love will come again. We search everywhere, everyday, almost every hour. It has been said for centuries that "love is where the eyes meet with passion, for the eyes can not hide what the heart feels." So we have learned to look outward for this eternal love that will fulfill us, forgetting that it must first fill our own hearts. Perhaps that is why we fall into such pain and agony and sorrow when a love affair fails?

It is at that moment that we realize we did not fail the other person we expressed love to, but we have somehow not fulfilled ourselves once again. We combat failure with a misunderstood unfulfilled promise. We lose it, not knowing if we will ever find it again. The emotional tides lift and fall, crash and settle, then lift again. No one else, no matter how much we talk or cry, can pull us through the anxious hours of soul repair and growth. It is our own fire within that needs rekindling, guarding against the winds that would blow it out and leave us dark, cold and helpless. It is at this time we find the love that binds us together with every other being that surrounds us on the planet. Eventually we find the sun still rises to meet us in the morning and the stars continue to show us the way each night. The rivers still flow downstream into oceans that will never turn them away. The trees still reach upward every day praising the God that made them. We stand up straight and take a lesson from it all. What if you woke up one morning and realized that you were the only person left on the face of the earth? Who would you love? Why do we wait so long to start the journey that begins in the same place that it ends?

Love, in all its endlessness, unboundedness and failed definitions is this experience. And in opening up to let it go, without need of owning or even sometimes knowing its return, we open ourselves up to experiencing it more. We expand with the universe and not against it. We feel the stars for the first time. We feel the night for the first time. We feel God for the first time. Love doesn't ask why. It doesn't come. It doesn't go. It just is. It is not only in our hands, it is our hands. It isn't only in our heart, it is what makes our heart beat every beat. It wraps itself around us so securely that all we need to do to survive against all odds is to recognize it as the very breathe we just drew, and the last breathe we just let go. Love is the very Power of the Universe, every beat, every spin, every pulse, every move. And this is what you have to give.

## Of seeing "Bondas" as "Pee-it-zaas"

On January 26, 2010
I am so very annoiyed by the waiy our so-called uber-aurban-lads and lasses speak English using faike Aussie or American accents. Infact, its so damn annoiying to the heights!, especially, when some freaky a-word comes up and blabbers somethings that sounds like a piece of s-word coming out of a key-hole!.

And what's more?, the syndrome is soon turning pandemic!. Now, I am getting to see a wee-bit of it in everyone - ranging from the watchman at ***** (I mean five stared hotel ;-p) to people at Academical Institutes to the global studs of these Academical Institutes! and to the people driving cabs.

I have indeed been following the metamorphosis over the years, more so, during the few times when I have travelled on flights. I have always been blessed to have some sort of a stoopid "chick" sitting besides me and be talking all sorts of chickly-chickking-chicken matters to her coursemates, mostly with girls in a faike Amei-ri-caan or Ouss-trai-lian accent, with a mix of a very localized Kannada or a dialect of "Madras Baasha". I swear!, the accents would be like --
"Owww!, chooo chweet- I yam missing ya. When are you cam-ming to some dumb plaice?. Whay, dant ya gimme a kaal sum-taime tomarrow?"
or much worse when they call the hostress and say
"Haw much auf moi taime wood be waisted on ower jerni? You knowing aa?".
Holy cow!,they would try to roll their tongue and talk like some freaky coconut tree is venturing from their throats. Everytime when these "fake dumbasses" talk, they would talk and show his/her fake accent as if their stereotypically-pathetic-throats are made in America. I'd feel like spanking their heads and telling them how how they would insult themselves, their mother tongue, their Country as well as insulting the American and Australian culture!

I mean..I don't blame them if they are from overseas or they are very fluent and been able to converse in such way, but still..What is so wrong about being what you are!? What is wrong in conversing in English Language as the English that they know and as the English that they speak? Infact, isn't this some sort of a "self racial abusing"? Isnt this racism at its grass roots? Isnt this a case of peremptoriness on ones own culture, country and language?. What is so trendy in losing out on your native accent? What is so stylish in trying yo imitate someone else's accent? Moreso, with some of them being so very "adulterated" that those stupid fake accent and end up being mumbling instead of speaking, as if they were stuffing some bondas or pee-it-zaas in their mouth.At the end of all this,the worse thing is that they already look like some deep stupid snob.

On January 24, 2010
It’s a shame that a shifting economic climate changes the dynamic of the employee – employer relationship.

When market conditions are pristine and employment is low, the power sits firmly with employees. Companies stressed to deliver on the goods and services sold increase compensation, deliver a broad array of benefits, and serve up promotions even if the title exceeds the employee’s competency.

Despite these lavish efforts to retain, employees are often quick to jump to a new opportunity even if it only modestly increases their take-home pay.

In today’s trying times, its management that stands in a position of strength. Those wonderful benefits? Tabled for budget reasons. Salaries? Frozen and, in some instances, reduced. All the while the specter of layoffs hangs across the organization.

In the past few months, I have read numerous articles and blog posts in which corporate executives suggest their employees should be thankful to simply be on the payroll.

Rather than defining this situation as dysfunctional, I will take it a step further and argue that there isn’t (nor should there be) a relationship between an employee and their employer.

Relationships involve intimate emotional connections that thrive even during periods of stress or turmoil. Personally, I have a relationship with my parents, my brother, my family and a select set of friends. I stand with them 100 percent…regardless of life’s variances.

But, what would happen with the people a company employs? A company's goal would be to maintain a productive business agreement defined by shared interests and expectations. Its responsibilities are straightforward:

*Maintain an environment in which they are set up for success
*Provide a reasonable level of support and resources
*Deliver an honest assessment of performance, even if it is not what they want to hear
*Strive to provide fair compensation

In return, it expects each member to embrace the organization’s core values and standards for performance; to represent themselves and the company in an acceptable manner; and, ultimately, to care about their development as a professional.

If the company falls down on some part or the employee perceives that their needs extend beyond what my company can provide, then it’s understandable for them to seek other opportunities. (In fact, I encourage it.)

Yet, it’s also important for employees to recognize that difficult decisions often must be made based on the macro needs of the organization. Yes, its a fact that the company at time would be forced to fire people. And forced to cut staff. It’s never personal.

No one at a company should ever be thankful they have a job. Their employment is well earned and, as long as they deliver on their responsibilities, the company's commitment to their professional success is resolute.

## Socially "Networked" Racism ?

On January 24, 2010

Before you discard these questions as merely inflammatory, take a few moments to study your own collection of friends and contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn and the other online communities you participate in.

I’m going to bet a fair number of the faces gazing back at you from the screen mirror your own. The same can most likely be said about their backgrounds, interests, and professional and personal affiliations.

It is understandable. Social media is merely the online extension of the age-old human attribute to align oneself with others who share a similar background and belief system. The problem that arises in a homogeneous community is those who fall outside the accepted norm tend to be shunned and, in extreme cases, even ridiculed.

Let’s not pretend this doesn’t happen – regardless of who resides in the White House.

I consider my views on race, religion and gender relations to be rather contemporary. Yet, I have also found myself at times in somewhat questionable situations.

For instance, in college I was a member of a predominantly "some" fraternity. It was not uncommon to hear a derogatory put-down about those who chose a different religious path.

More recently, I stood with a group of male executives at an industry event who found amusement in inappropriate comments about a female attendee.

I’ve been thinking about the issue of bias in social networks since coming across an article about a new online community created by American Airlines for African-Americans. Branded “Black Atlas,” the content of this social network caters to the supposedly unique interests these travelers have in destinations and accommodations.

While in no way do I mean to imply that American Airlines is a racist organization. However, I do question the viability of a marketing initiative that is so ethnically centered.

Ultimately, I do not believe racism, sexism or religious intolerance permeates most social networks. Online communities reflect the natural bias and preferences that come with a gathering of individuals who share so much in common.

Social media is about people and, after all, we are only human.

## Thought for the Day [Part 2 of IET]

On January 01, 2010
Ok, this one is perhaps onDemand economics. Here's a second derivative of my Thought for the Day, and yup!- Its a kind of the same Exception!

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.