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!

...Some random thoughts on metaphors (without ofcourse using any kind of metaphor(s))

You use a metaphor to describe some concept. The metaphor isn’t the thing you describe – it’s just a tool that you use. But someone takes the metaphor, and runs with it, making arguments that are built entirely on metaphor, but which bear no relation to the real underlying concept. And they believe that whatever conclusions they draw from the metaphor must, therefore, apply to the original concept.

You see the same problem constantly, in almost any kind of discussion which uses metaphors. There are chemistry cranks who take the metaphor of an electron orbiting an atomic nucleus like a planet orbits a sun, and use it to create some of the most insane arguments. The most extreme example of this in my experience was a guy back on usenet, who called himself Ludwig von Ludvig, then Ludwig Plutonium, and then Archimedes Plutonium. He went beyond the simple orbit stuff, and looked at diagrams in physics books of “electron clouds” around a nucleus. Since in the books, those clouds are made of dots, he decided that the electrons were really made up of a cloud of dots around the nucleus, and that our universe was actually a plutonium atom, where the dots in the picture were actually galaxies. There are physics bozos who do things like worry about the semi-dead cats. There are politicians who worry about new world orders, because of a stupid flowery metaphorical phrase that someone used in a speech 20 years ago. 
It’s amazing. But there’s really no limit to how incredibly, astonishingly stupid people can be. And the idea of an imperfect metaphor is, apparently, much too complicated for an awful lot of people.
One of the curiosities of general relativity is that it seems to allow time travel. Various physicists have discovered solutions to Einstein’s field equations that contain loops that return to the same point in space and time. Physicists call them closed time-like curves.

At first glance, these kinds of time machines seem to lead to all kinds of problems, such as the grandfather paradox. This is where somebody travels back in time and kills their grandfather meaning they could never have been born and so could not have gone back to kill the grandfather.

Over the last week, while I was working on concepts of Embryology and embryo-freeze; I kind of had an IET of a different kind. While, at the outset time-travel seems quite lame, impractical and all of its synonymous hyperbole; I thought, there’s one practical “partial time-travel” idea that I have. I will try outline my IET in this blog post.

As I mentioned earlier, I was doing some research on embryology and stumbled upon this concept of “Cryopreservation” and was totally fascinated by it. Essentially, Cryopreservation or cryoconservation is a process where cells, whole tissues, or any other substances susceptible to damage caused by chemical reactivity or time are preserved by cooling to sub-zero temperatures. At low enough temperatures, any enzymatic or chemical activity which might cause damage to the material in question is effectively stopped. The theory is that by freezing cells you can effectively put them in "stasis", preventing them for dying, growing, or doing anything really. At these cold temperatures, tissues are sealed in a status similar to that of suspended liveliness. The natural decaying process slows down in cold conditions simply because the metabolic procedures of genetic tissues slow down spectacularly in the extreme cold state.

Now, let me explain the connection between the “partial time-travel” and cryopreservation. To begin with, I’ll paraphrase my definition of “partial time-travel”. Unlike, the most commonly known use-case for time-travel - which is to go back in time; I wanted to define “partial time-travel” as a concept where you can go ahead in time keeping certain entities and people around you exactly as they are at this point-in-time (of-course, with a caveat that you cannot comeback *which might get solved if you can time-travel backwards though*). 

So, simply put, its a way in which you can move to your future by keeping some people around you in their current state; Let me elaborate with a possibility. Let’s say you want to feel your parents’ emotion and you would want to understand it from their position. The best possible way to do this is to be in the exact same position as they are. Which means, you need to be their age and should have treaded all the paths of (their) life. Essentially, if they are in their 60s today, you need to keep them in their 60s till you get to your 60s and then spend time with them. Its not just parents. It could be that you might want to spend time with your kids as friends when they turn into their 30s or 40s. You might want to see the technological progress 100 years later and what not?

Ah! I suppose you got the connect. Yes. (Connecting back to being your parents’ friend at 60s). I was thinking if we can Cryopreservatively freeze our parents till we turn 60 and then unfreeze them and spend the rest of our life together as friends from there on. Or freeze ourselves today and unfreeze when our kids get to their 30s or 40s so that we can be their friend. Wouldn’t that be wonderful and still be a practical possibility?

Yeah. Just some random thoughts, or, as I call it better..Idiotic Emission of Thoughts :)

"Are you a God?" 
"Are you an angel, then?"
"A saint?"
"Then what are you?"
"I am awake." 

There's an old saying that if you want to see into your future, just look into a mirror. That is, how you live your life each day -- through your choices, your values and behaviour -- shapes and determines who you will be in the future.. and most likely, you should be "you".
The other day, I was into this pertinent IET (Idiotic Emission of Thoughts) with a few of my colleagues about a modified apathetic cocktail of the “inverse cocktail party problem” with the “conversational cold-start problem”. Err. I know the terms are as overwhelming as they might sound. Let me start defining the seminals of the sub-problems for the uninitiated ; 

Inverse Cocktail Party Problem : The cocktail party effect is a well studied in various hues of interdisciplinary sciences, it is the phenomenon of being able to focus one's auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room. But, the quibble here is that in each party, there are these bunch of folks who are not at all affected by the qualms of the “cocktail party effect”. We call them the sufferers of the “Inverse Cocktail Party Syndrome (ICPS)”. Essentially, these are the set of people who have a very high threshold barrier to get a conversation started in a party. 

*And* Let me take much pride in terming this conversational barrier as the “Conversational cold-start problem”; Without any prizes for guessing, its quite evident that the pulmonary  effect of  ICPS is driven by the degree of the “conversational cold-start” that one has; ..and goes without saying that for folks who are overwhelmed by a overdose of stranger-populated-auditory-jungle, the situation can be stressful and frustrating in an unnavigable sea of babble. 

So, what is this blog about? Essentially, I thought, I could model this entire conundrum to start-or-not-to-start a conversation as a “Quantum Situation” with a superposed states of hesitation. *Ok! I’m sorry* Let me explain…

I’m sure most of us would have experienced this situation of going to a party only to find no-known-person (except the host) amongst the crowd. Yes, you heard it right - this it an ideal bed for ICPS with the level of awkwardness and boredom in this situation is directly proportional to the degree of “conversational cold-start” one has to overcome. This is a state of a high entropy to say the least. At one end, you might feel that starting a conversation with a stranger might tread you to a quixotically feeble friendship, but, it might surely not lead to anywhere near a “friendship-for-life” kind of a relationship. 

Do you see it? Your relationship with any person in the crowd is currently not in a single state — it is in a superposition of multitude of states. It is lying with “hi-hello friendship” with a probability p1, “friendship-for-life” with a probability of p2, a “hi-hello-enemy” with p3 and “enmity-for-life” with a probability of p4 = (1- (p1+p2+p3)). So, its in a mixture of all these states. While, in puritan terms all these states are a possibility, you can for sure quash out p3 and p4 — you see, finding a enemy in someone is *infact* really tough in a short conversation, moreso, when you know that there is a very high chance that you might not even meet that person ever after. Thus, p3 and p4 are infinitesimally small and worthy enough to be ignored. 

In simplified terms, the relationship is in a mixture of “hi-hello friend” and “friend-for-life” states, with a simplified probabilities of p and (1-p) respectively. Ofcourse, goes without saying that the value of p is unknown and lies in 0 < p < 1. Now, with the probabilities in place, next comes the quantum measurement. The measurement problem in quantum mechanics is the problem of how (or whether) wavefunction collapse occurs. The inability to observe this process directly has given rise to different interpretations of quantum mechanics, and poses a key set of questions that each interpretation must answer. The wavefunction in quantum mechanics evolves deterministically according to the Schrödinger equation as a linear superposition of different states, but actual measurements always find the physical system in a definite state (The best known example is the "paradox" of the Schrödinger's cat). 

Disclaimer : Before you go through the next section, it would be great, if you brush up your Quantum Physics basics *seriously!*

So, how will the measurement be made in the cocktail party situation? The measurement, might mostly occur through a common-connect — which could be anyone or anything.. the host of the party, school, friend-of-a-friend-of-friend, common interest, etc. Its quite evident that while the measurement is being made, both the persons in the conversation have different p-values whose accurate measurement is non-trival. 

But! no later than the measurement is made, and communicated between the folks involved, the quantum state comes crashing down. Depending on what the duo decide at the time of measurement, the relationship will collapse into one of the two states it is a mixture of – “hi-hello friend” or “friend-for-life”.  So, eureka! We have a perfect “quantum situation” here. Something which lies in a superposition of states. And which can’t be measured without the collapse of these states! 
…and that makes us classify the conversation as a “Schrödinger's c(h)at”

“Time flies, whether you’re wasting it or not.” 
― Crystal Woods, Write like no one is reading 
Its truly unbelievable that I haven't been up with blogging for almost 6 years now! *Phew!* Infact, its astounding that I had almost forgotten that I even had a blog existing... It was virtually into its dusky Schrödinger cat's phase of being alive-and-dead.. until I received a note from blogger.com that there are over 300 comments that are requiring my moderation(!).  Alas!, a tiny chunk of the author in me died right there; how did I not find a sense of internal deviance of not having blogged for such a long time? I wondered, pondered and ruminated. For the uninitiated, I felt that the aura of the IEDs (Idiotic Emission of Thoughts) have died upon me.. but, as expected, the utter idioticity in me sprung up and I decided to write some non-sensical stuffs backed by some spurious math.

So, let's get the inkling rolling...
Well, yes! while, 6 *long* years seem eons ago, it does also mean that I have grown eons-over. Not to mention that the packets of advice that are showered upon me have moved from being "Choosing the path of right espouse in life" to "Choosing the right spouse in life". Needless to say that, I have been overwhelmed by people showering advices over the intricacies of how one's partner needs to be chosen. So, in this "come-back" blog, I thought I should discuss my IED, which I term - "The Partner Theory". 

Let's start with some basics.. From a thoughts of a birdbrained mind(like mine), finding the best partner seems a very "apprentice"ing term, the whole concept of this ritual is quite equivocal..  It’s much stronger than simple good platonic friendship, but at the outset doesn’t seem to be anywhere near a romantic relationship. It seems all-easy with a simple "match-the-following" algorithm, but, at the same time, there is a deeper "Theory" in it that lies unexplored for a sobel soul like mine. So, yesterday night, as I was putting myself to sleep, I was trying my best to somehow mathematically slot the pareto of this process; Urgh, yes. my thoughts around this might not be perfect (So, let me place a please-dont-try-it-at-home caution)–but lest assured, I'd say that my solution would be pretty good for such a really difficult problem.

Ok, so for the sane sake of defining the problem - let me first define my notion of "best partner problem", essentially, the aim is to find the "person" whom you think would meet your criteria for a "propose" action, but, that's not it.. the action also requires a mandatory reaction phase of "reciprocation".  Simply put, your aim is to search for your “best partner” by dating various people. Your only goal is to find the best person willing to “nod” for your “ayes” and any thing less is a failure. 

Hmm. So, let's move on and define the assumptions and constraints for this problem
  • Let C = {c_1,c_2,c_3,...c_k} be the set of potential candidates (not a bad term at all, I think. Candi-date(?) ) for the "best partner" tag for a person P
  • It goes without saying that C must be a type of non-concurrent idempotence,wherein, is allowed to date only one candidate at a time (not a bad assumption, I suppose)
  • For each pair (P, c_i), there is exactly two possible outcome - {0,1}. 0 for rejection and 1 for selection.
  • The outcomes are irreversible and non-repetitive. So, if there's a rejection (either way) the decision cannot be reversed
  • The set is countably-finite. Which means that you can date only a finite set of people during your lifetime (quite an important clause, I think :) ) 
  • For each pair (P,c_i) there exist a score function S(c_i | P) = S_(i,P) which is a grade that the person P assigns to the candidate c_i
  • Goes without saying that the grading is relative, which means, as you date people, you can only tell relative grades and not true grade. This means you can tell the second person was better than the first person, but you cannot judge whether the second person is your best partner. After all, there are people you have not dated yet.
Now, let's see the plausible naive strategies that can creep-in.
1.         Early picking : Well, its definitely not a case of "early bird getting the worm" See, if you pick someone too early, you are making a decision without checking out your options. Sure, you might get lucky, but it’s a big risk.
2.         Lazy stalling : Again, if you wait too long, you leave yourself with only a few candidates to pick from. yes, surely a risky strategy.

So, as always. It boils down to a static two player game [1] . The optimal strategy of a this would be to lock yourself into the search for ordinately finite interval and then hold the best match as (s)he comes along. But, there's a bigger trick here! its quite ambiguous as to how many people should you reject? 
Well, with a simply math, it turns out to be proportional to how many people you want to date, so let’s investigate this issue.

To make this concrete, let’s look at an example for someone that wants to date three candidates, so C = {c1,c2 and c3}. A naive approach is to select the first relationship. What are the odds the first person is the best? Yes! It is equally likely for the first candidate to be the best, the second best, or the worst. This means by pure luck you have a 1/3 chance of finding best partner if you always pick the first person. You also have a 1/3 chance if you always pick the last person, or always pick the second.

Can you do better than pure luck?

Yes, you can.

Consider the following strategy: get to know–but always reject–the first candidate. Then, select the next candidate judged to be better than the first person.

How often does this strategy find the best overall partner? It turns out it wins 50 percent of the time!

For the specifics, there are 6 possible dating orders, and the strategy wins in three cases.

(The notation First date=c3, second date= c1 and third date = c2 means you dated the worst candidate first, then the best, and then the second best. I marked the candidate that the strategy would pick in bold and indicated a win if the strategy picked the best candidate overall.)

  First Date
 Second Date
 Third Date

You increase your odds by learning information from the first candidate. Notice that in two of the cases that you win you do not actually date all three candidates.

As you can see, it is important to date people to learn information, but you do not want to get stuck with fewer options.

So do your odds increase if you date more people? Like 5, or 10, or 100? Does the strategy change?

The answer is both interesting and surprising.  From the example, you can infer the best strategy is to reject some number of people (k) and then select the next person judged better than the first k people.

When you go through the math, the odds do not change as you date more people. Although you might think meeting more people helps you, there is also a lot of noise since it is actually harder to determine which one is the best overall.

So, essentially, to cut the long story short. Here's the summary of the best approaches
(i) Keep the candidates size as small as possible. (greater than 3 preferably, but, be aware that the as the size increases although the odds doesn't change, it does make rejection-selection problem much difficult as you need to hold-in a lot of prior information
(ii) If both of you are first-timers. Its better to talk a lot and decide on nothing. Perhaps, even if you really like the person, its always good to let them know in true Schwarzenegger style that.. "You'd be back" after assessing few other candidates (its better this way for both the folks, you see)
(iii) If only one of you is a first-timer. Its better to go with the choice of the non-first timer (this shoots your chances to over 60% when you do the calculations right)
(iv) Don't worry if you are an "early victim"
(v) If you are experienced-bee, while the better strategy for you seems to be to ensure that you keep the first-timer to non-first timer ration to as close to 2/3 as possible.
(vi) Mostly importantly, any one of you could reach out to me to seek more details on the calculations.. :D

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