Apr 30, 2007

Perceived Truth

Why is it that a negative person is perceived as more truthful?

You may really like something and honestly say so. It is likely that you will be seen as sugar-coating, white-lie-uttering, insincere lowlife. If not that, at least you'll be seen as someone with low standards.

However, a perpetually complaining cry-baby is usually seen as straight-forward, no-bullshit, honest person with really high standards. People strive to please these jerks difficult people.

Does this make sense to you?

Apr 28, 2007

Random Thoughts

Optimist : "She is playing 'hard to get'"
Pessimist: "She is playing 'you are not getting any'"

"Bless me" said man.
"Fuck you" said God.

Time & Life:
How much ever you are doing with life, you could be doing more, right? I am very energetic and I like keeping myself that way by playing, working on interesting things, thinking cheerful thoughts etc. But there are all these things I simply don't have time for... I wish I could learn martial arts. I've already shrunk my sleep time to as little as possible. I used to sleep for 9 hours straight, every day. Now I sleep not even 6 hours. But the moment I go to bed, I kinda go into a coma and I remember absolutely no dreams... I guess the sleep is more intense now. I put in effort to make my time to be of higher quality too. "In headaches and worry life leaks away" (W.H.Auden) It is when I am worried/sad/upset/angry that I feel tired and unenergized... and life passes without being really lived.

Paul Buchheit:
Linkjacking is certainly not my intention. I really think you should really read this: Whose reality are you living in? Whose reality would you rather live in? Paul has crystallized some beautiful thoughts. You better read ALL his posts.

Apr 27, 2007

Money And Happiness II

I wrote this a little while back:
Money And Happiness

If those thoughts were even remotely interesting to you, you may want to read the article that I came across today:
CNN Money: Can Money Buy Happiness?

Apr 24, 2007

Roll Call

Please leave your name or other identifier in the comment section of this post.

(Or email me at kirubakaran[at]gmail[dot]com)

I am just curious! My tracker shows hits from strange places. I recognize the IP lookup of almost all my friends (I think...). But few visitors really confound me. For example, I have a regular visitor from Ireland and I don't know anybody in Ireland. I am pretty sure that that is not a bot too. Proxy server perhaps? Lets be optimistic and think that I have a human friend in Ireland! So, if it isn't too much trouble, please leave a note - even if you think I know you read my blog :-)

I really wanna know who reads the crap stuff I write :-p

Apr 22, 2007

A Small Sigh

Reasons for that small sigh of relief are:
1. I finally got wifi to work on Linux.
2. I made some progress on Clientish. (not uploaded)

Wi-Fi didn't work for me due to a deadly combination of broadcom card and procrastination. I was using Debian Sarge and recently installed Debian Etch. The new installation was all the more a motivation to get it working - as it was almost working (wifi was failing only in the very last step). I found this HowTo to be very helpful: How To - Broadcom Wireless Cards. (Relevant since Ubuntu is based on Debian...). This is a big deal for me: I don't have to reboot to windows in search of hotspots when I am on the road; I don't have to plug that damn cable in at home.

These days I am playing with Python; web.py in particular. You know how we think of something as a daunting task and keep procrastinating it and when we finally do it, we beat ourselves seeing how easy it turned out to be? Its like that. Aaron's post comes to mind.

I've shelved Lisp at the moment and doing my web application for client management using web.py. This is because I want to get this done asap. (There is nothing in the website at the moment - I am doing all the dev offline)

BTW, I got an new idea today. Seems immensely promising. Lets see! I will blog about it if it turns out to be worthwhile.

When Down

What do you do when you are down?

I usually fix the problem. But sometimes there are many external factors involved - mostly intangible. It is when things are not in your control that you have a tough time.

Distractions are one way to go. Play, watch a feel good movie, read a book etc. But once the distraction stops, it seems like the earlier thoughts come back with vengeance.

Talking yourself into a frame of mind is another. You know, things like: "It will be alright", "It is for the better", "This too shall pass", "Tomorrow, something will happen and it will be like this problem never even existed" etc.

Acceptance, may be? But that needs the maturity of a saint. If you had that attitude, the problem would have never seemed like a problem in the first place, right?

Counting your blessings. This seems pretty lame-ass to me right now.

What do YOU do anyway?

Apr 16, 2007

Money And Happiness

This post is an observation; NOT a how-to.

You must have heard rich people say "Money does not buy you happiness". They say this as a complaint rather than as a fact. The rest reply "Yeah right! Give me a chance to prove that wrong".

Why do we even think that money and happiness are related?

Sure, money prevents certain types of unhappiness resulting from certain types of s(h)ituations:
  • evicted again for not paying rent
  • only child dying, lacking basic medical care
  • bad debt ending in blown knee caps
  • unable to afford college, day-care, food...
The list truely is endless...

But not being in these "if only I had money" situations doesn't seem to make people happy. It will keep you from those specific worries but doesn't seem to do much good as you go forth and worry about the next possible thing (a dent in the left corner of the rear fender in your ferrari?).

No one counts the blessings. May be we humans are not wired that way? Or may be we have set up the game (a.k.a: society, civilization, market) in such a way that counting exisiting blessings and being happy is impossible? Animals seem to be doing just okay. Even the chimps, with whom we share 98% of the DNA, seem to be doing better. (Or may be they are not - and we are culturally too different to understand it).

[I have a strange thought now. I haven't seen the movie 'Pursuit of Happiness' yet. May be they've covered these there? That will suck! :-) Hmmm. I should see it soon.]

Money can make people "un-unhappy". This does not mean "happy". Mind seems to have an "okay, what else is wrong?" magnet. new acronym: oweiw? :-p

The strength of this cursed oweiw magnet varies from person to person. Over a period of several years, I've tried and cultivated healthy thought processes that have weakened this magnet. But I am not done yet. Far from it! Most people seem to be held at gunpoint by the magnet and they seem to be oblivious to this root cause of their troubles.

Is 'loving and being loved' the area you should focus on instead of 'trying to buy happiness'. This seems true to me. People who think that they have no one to love them are certainly unhappy, irrespective of their bank balance. Who is happier: a penniless young couple crazily in love or a rich stock broker who just found out that his wife has cheated him with each and every 'friend' of his, except his dog?

But then, who is happier: a young couple crazily in love whose child goes hungry in the night or a young couple crazily in love whose child gets a good meal three times a day?

Money seems to be very important. But only until the basic needs are met. After that, the law of diminishing returns seems to kick in.

It seems that we can work towards being a happier person. The effort in this direction includes daring to give and receive love, nourishing friendships (all relationships need work), spending time with family AND making money that will avoid shituations.

But then, you may love with all your heart and end up getting your heart trampled with stiletto heels. Can't you be truely happy without depending on someone for love? I am not wondering if you should live in a shell and not love - for fear of getting hurt. Thats absurd; everyone knows that. I am wondering if people can be truly happy, all by themselves, while also being open to love. Okay, I am digressing here.

Another interesting thing I observed was that worry about money masks other "real worries". May be this is why couples who start out poor and become rich look back and feel nostalgic. They were united in their worry about whether they can make their next mortgage payment. Now they worry about: if they really love each other, if this is the life they really want, what the purpose of their life is, if their life is meaningless, if they have wasted it etc. Interesting thing is that, the same issues existed even when they were poor. But back then, they were united (and were happy in that sense) like a country in war with a powerful neighbor.

I am not proposing that you should not care about money after your basics needs are met. I am just saying that money is simply one of the many things you need to take care of. There are several other things to take care of too. Think of the lonely rock stars past their prime.

Try to make trillions - but don't expect it to buy you happiness. Happiness needs effort in various other aspects of your life too. May be you are neglecting them in pursuit of money, instead of intelligently balancing them?

But then, there are infinite number of things beyond your control. You can do everything right and be crippled for life by a drunken driver. May be the fatalists are right? Well, what do we care even if they are right? :-)

Apr 13, 2007

Found this very adorable: :-)
(if u don't know rms: wikipedia)

rms with katana

source etc:
orig pic
how it happened

Apr 9, 2007

This is going to be just a quick update, ok?

I haven't called/written-to/replied/communicated with friends. I missed few birthdays. I haven't done my taxes. I haven't done a million other such really important things.

I did kayak in the rain, see 'The Grindhouse' & play with Python.

I wanted to blog about an incident in Chipotle, various socio-economic topics that I pondered over and few mundane stuff too. As you know, I didn't.

From 04/04/2007, I am officially fully committed to Python - to learn it really well. Its very interesting. I can't believe I've been ignoring it for so long. I need it for a pet project I am working on. I am not doing it in Lisp, as I am planning to enlist the help of few people (if needed) and I don't know any other Lispers personally. Plus its so sexy to be able to just say:

a = (([1,2,3]*3)+[0,0,0])*3

I didn't go to Startup School this year :-((
But I'll be going to "The Startup Project", a conference hosted by Amazon.

I googled on Seattle based startups.

(damn! this post is now morphing into an elaborate one... once I start typing, one thing leads to another... hope you'll bear with me... (However, I have to say I am not sure if I care if you'll bear with me or not (-: Whats your problem? All you have to do is close this window and get on with your life(if you have one), right? d-: ))

(I am typing this in emacs - so I know all the parens in the above para are balanced!)

Ok, Seattle Startup links:

I am planning to attend Ignite and other geeky events around here.
I should get over my shyness (stemming from my miniscule knowledge of Lisp) and go to the Lispers meetup in the area. You know, who knows what'll happen.

See this stand up comedy: (stumbleupon suggested it to me)
I especially loved the one about the glass house :-D (@ 02:54)
His delivery is awesome.

Here is a teaser for you:
There is a saying that goes 'people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'. Ok. How about 'Nobody should throw stones'? Thats crappy behavior! My policy: "No stone throwing regardless of housing situation"
:-DD (what continues after that is even funnier)

If you liked that, why not try more?
(this one really made my stomach hurt!)
(esp. 3 dogs; trying to run away from spot light; paradoxtor etc)

Apr 5, 2007


Competent Man

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

- Robert A. Heinlein