Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I have reached infinity

I have reached infinity.

Well, that is what Gmail defined as infinity few yrs back and hence hid the delete button from the front. It is the freely given max storage of Gmail, which was around 7.39GB as per my account.

To my surprise I have hit 95% of it [even w/o porno, which I don't keep there, which I never recieve] and had to either clean some mails or "purchase" [WHAT???] Gmail space. My Gmail fee is already paid by advertisers, so that is paying double.

Then I encountered this simple problem which I never faced even with the sexy primitive tool PINE. What to delete? Or rather how to choose what to delete.

Gmail, to my knowledge provides no way to sort by mail size. Or any other similar selections which we use to determine the mails to be deleted. I suppose it is time for them to provide such facilities, and upgrade their measly ~7GB quota which was set at a time when disk space was measured with units 1/10th of today's.

He who does not evolve perishes, proved by Yahoo with the courtesy of then upcoming Google . Now it looks to be that Google has reached its extinction. Unless they rethink and change, another 20+ year old "child" will shoot the dragon soon.

Thanks to a generous friend, whose "good morning" and "hi be friend" mails that ate hefty MBs in my mail box, and hence I was forced to filter him out into a label, I could use a filter to delete 1/3 of my mail space. But I only have one such generous friend.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Urban Legend

It is common belief that eavesdropping is ethically wrong. But there are occasions that you find rather compelled to do so. Such an occasion may arise when you are waiting for doctor’s appointment, seated in a hospital waiting room in front of some group of people. In such scenario you could have tapped yourself into the transmission at any midpoint of the discussion.

“… at the Arthur C Clarke Center” said one.

“ah really. Where is it?” asked the other.

“That is near Katubedda [off Moratuwa, Sri Lanka] right?” came a third voice.

By this point I had absolutely zero idea whom I was seated in front of. There were three male voices, mid/young aged, coming from the row immediately behind me. In fact I never intended eavesdropping and never was interested knowing who they were at this point.

“who’s in charge of it now?”

“Dr. ---- --------, He was there even when Arthur C Clarke was alive”

“ah really. He died recently right?”

“Yeah yeah… Although so well educated, he was a clerk even by the time of his death ha ha ha”

Others missed the word tussle between Clarke and clerk and the intended joke.

“I did not know that” said one seriously.

“Really was he a CLERK?” asked the second bewildered man with heavy weight on clerk.

"No no. He was writing this thing called fiction.” said the better knowing.

“Isn’t he the one who invented Internet?” somebody jumped in.

“No. It was not Internet. He invented the satellite”

“Exactly” defended the debater. “that means Internet too”

“Wasn’t he American?”


“No no American. That’s why they give such publicity to them. Their man no”

Right at this point I was itching for a glance. But I was reserving the same, as they sat right behind me, hence it would shut them, or even make them return a question to me. They went on.

“Ah I remember, those stories, 2001, 2010 and 2035. I have seen those book” one of them remembered. SEEN, not READ. BTW, 2035?? Was it a private edition for you? Again I kept it to myself.

“Not only books, the film came around 1998. I remember watching”

I ran down memory lane to locate the ACC movie in 1998, and failed. Instead there was Independence Day at large to be mistaken.

“He makes predictions…”

“He has wanted to witness year 2000 at …. [I missed the location] and they have completely sterilized the hall. Even air was filtered fully for dust. Otherwise he’d die”

It came to a pause.

“Arthur C Clarke has predicted that all the satellites will come to Una Watuna [off Galle, Sri Lanka] one day at the end of their life.” one guy is continuing.

“why is that?”

“I don’t know. There must be some truth. I think the gravity is higher at Una Watuna.  It is situated  in the other side of Bermuda”

“What is Bermuda?”

“Bermuda Triangle is a very dangerous place. There, the ships go missing and planes crash”

“Now they have stopped flying over it” an expert voice overtook.


“Yes, as soon as they found about it, they stopped flying”

Well Bermuda Triangle has inhabited countries within, ugh.

“What is happening there?”

“That is some old story. Once there was a civilization there. And aliens destroyed it and sank their island. That civilization had mastered magnetism. Even today magnetic effects are high there”

“Sri Lanka is situated right in the other side of the planet. So the effect of minimum on us”

“That is why Sri Lanka has brainy people?”

“Correct. And every now and then we get a very good leader too. At times it goes bad, but it never goes so bad for us. In addition we have least amount of natural disasters in the world.”

Another pause - as if they sank in their version of Bermuda.

“Arthur C Clarke has said that world will be completely Buddhist in 2050. That is because Buddhism is the only ‘scientific’ religion” one of them never gives Clarke a rest.

“He has said so?”

“Yes. But see they hid the fact. They never let it come out”

“Disadvantageous for their religion I guess”

“Yes. They suppressed  it. But the rumor is that he said so”


“Christians are always like that”

“Yes, even that story that Jesus was a Buddhist…”

“Ah yes I remember. Jesus has lived in somewhere in India”


“Nepal, right?”

“No not Nepal, Kashmir”

“This is what has happened. I read it well. See Buddha is predating Jesus by 500 years. And Jesus's time was exactly the days of King Asoka . And when the king organized first Dhamma Sangaayanaa.”

Well Buddha's time was in seventh/sixth century BCE. And wrongly King Asoka reigned in 3rd century BCE, who endorsed the third Dhamma Sangaayanaa.


“Are you sure it was the first?”

“No no, first was immediately after Buddha attained parinibbana.”

“Then the second”

“Not the second either… not even third. This must be forth”


“So king Asoka lived in Jesus’s time…”

“Hang on Devanam Piyathissa [third century BCE] also lived then.”

“Yes him too”

“But they say Vijaya came to SL on the day after Buddha Parinibbana. And Devanam piya thissa reigned about 100 years after that.”

“I don’t know that, but Asoka lived in the time of Jesus”

“Can’t be.”

“Asoka lived 100years after Buddha”

“No no, I’m sure of that Asoka and Jesus lived in the same time and that is how Jesus became a Buddhist. Asoka gave Buddhism to him”

“I have read history well I am very sure that Asoka lived 100 years after Buddha”


Then it could have gone anywhere. Jesus was married, Buddha was born in Sri Lanka, Alien’s founded human civilization, Man never made it to moon, Indians had a mercury engine, no no it was Sri Lankans, King Ravana and his flying hours, 2012 end of the world, world was inhabited by Sri Lankans.... oh you just name it. Sadly, putting an abrupt and premature end to my thought provoking and extremely educational informal study program, the nurse called my name. I had to go.

On my way I could satisfy myself with the much wanted glance at them. They were three medical sales reps probably in their twenties or thirties, waiting to market the latest of their products to the doctor. And it is immaterial who they are. Could be anyone, in today’s mad quest for information.

The whole event left me thinking... we were brought up with only the radio and the newspaper [with a black and white TV appearing in the middle of my teenages]. And our previous generation lacked the radio too. But the planet spun with more sanity.

Today we live in the peak time of information era. Televisions with dozen channels, Satellite television with 24x7 feeds from likes of Discovery or National Geographic, news papers of all kind, and Internet at almost every household. And Internet with google, Internet with Wikipedia. Is this the kinda achievement they all intend? Or is the society mature enough to gobble the big information double whopper?

Despite being great sources of accurate information, these media contain equal or higher amount of false information, or let’s say misinformation. Misinformation has this tendency of always being the spiced up version of any story wrt to the truth and hence they have the better appeal. And they are deliberately presented with an agenda of spreading, and therefore their marketing edge is higher.

How many mails do we get in a day with misinformation? And how many news papers of today publish faulty articles with the reference “from Internet”? How many cheap marketing campaigns and political campaigns take over the right information in the Internet?

Good thing about Information era is that they replaced the school classes which only a selected subset of smart kids followed. Today every Tom Dick and Harry is an expert on petty topics such as Napoleon or String Theory or Quasars or Pulsars. But those old day's classes were mostly accepted knowledge, but the Tom Dick and Harry interpretation of the universe is solely their own unconfirmed gibberish.

Plus the journalists of past possessed much brains than mouth with respect to today. With little brains and bigger mouth, it is the unconfirmed legend storage called internet that fills the gap between supply and demand. For journalism being a service by society for society, the degradation of sanity levels mutually effecting journalism and society as a whole.

We are yet to see its outcome. Today most of us are still capable of finding the right information [at least with few google/wiki/about.com searches]. That is because there is a differentiation of right and wrong information and existence of sanity in most minds. They both are soon deteriorating and in another few generations, especially after the world has eliminated the old-fashioned non-information era people, there will not be such differentiation of sanity to save us. Today there stand three states, be non-informed, informed or misinformed. Tomorrow the latter two will mingle in such a way that prior state can be hardly defined. And of course there will be no one to define it.

Is this the culmination point of information era? Sanity would ponder in the verge of its extinction.

[I hereby confirm that the entire proceeding was a true happening in a waiting area of a prominent hospital in Colombo and it is literary accurate to the memory persistence of my brain within a day and my translation skills]

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Of Religion and lack of it

I find following facts important if you're considering the possibility of any religion being universal truth. Warn, in this context I do not explicitly respect any religion for the sake of my argument. So pls do not get hurt. W/o debate you can never understand.

1. Assymetry of wisdom:

Why do religions always owe their roots to the other preceding religions? If it is bloody truth, why needing an alibi? Why can't it stand totally on their own, leaving behind the childhood preachings of the founder completely?

Christ invented the redemption for the curse mentioned in Judaism. Buddha found the end to the sansara cycle which was taught in pre-buddha vedic teaching. Big problem is, if we think that one religion is the universal truth, then its preceding religions also have to be a part of that truth. Then you feel very unfair to think that only a particular set of people knew all the truth and rest of the world never did.

Buddha alone can be super-genius, but how can many preceding Indians also be super-genius [for their share in Dhamma] but Hebrews, Egyptians or Chinese weren't? I'd expect wisdom to happen all over, not at only one place.

2. Failure to see life as Evolution:

Life was a key topic of every religion. But so far I have never seen a precise explanation of life being derived from tiny molecular beings many billions of years ago, found in any of the religions. I know some ppl have found one or two similar lines. But the ones I saw are in the type of "nostre-damus knew 9/11", i.e. very distant word riddles that can be interpreted as you wish.

I am with strong understanding that life got derived from small molecular beings. There is so much evidence for it. But why did all religion founders fail to explain it? They have taken up similar topics, so you can't say that they knew it but found it irrelevant. I think they DID NOT know it. And it is a very important fact they have missed.

3. Need for intangibility to explain life:

What would a vedda/tribesman think if he sees a robot or a car? He would beyond doubt think that there lives some soul in it. It is natural to associate some intangible force to any activity that you fail to understand. I think that soul/athman/gandabba+prathisandhi et al are similar attempts. Truth remains that simple biology and chemistry can explain all what human/life does, if that extremely complex process can be deduced within a human brain. In another words, life's material explanation still lacks enough neuron CPU power to be deduced, but it is deterministic.

It makes intangibility optional. No longer an essence. Whereas all religions have noticed the macro scale complexity of life as a result of an intangible force.

4. Why do we not find people "realize" other religions w/o influence:

Let's say that religion XXX is the truth but only truth. So every religion including YYY are false. If this is true, I'd expect to see people of YYY realizing XXX on their own. Every human is with a certain mental capacity. Evolution has spread thinking power equally. So why do we not see that this happening often. Most religious conversions occur due to association of people, critical events of life, reading a book of it, education and religious schooling, following the majority of the country etc etc.

In all cases of conversion previous knowledge of XXX is an essence to convert into that. If XXX is truth, I'd like to see many ppl have found it on their own, in different variants. Many math theories are found that way in different places independently. Sadly we see no such cases for religions.

5. Causality [I did not mean Hethu Pala Vaadaya here] and Randomness:

Every religion depends on the framework of cause-result. At macro scale we think that this is so. We have evidence. Pull the trigger bullet goes. Fails to go, some reason can be found. Pure causality.

At micro/nano/pico scale, what we find is a set of random events. They have a probability space of anything. Pull the trigger, the house is built !!! But the likelihood is very low. However these minute scale randomness, which exhibit the nature of converging at macro scale, can be taken as one way to explain the whole universe. Infinite number of minute random events. The collaboration of them leaves us with only distinct macro scale possibilities [infinite number of], which is in fact our imagination.

Pull the trigger goes the bullet
Pull the trigger no bullet as bullets are over
Pull teh trigger no bullet as ignition failed
Pulled the trigger boom goes the gun as road runner has stuffed soil in the front. And you end up with a charcoal fox.

See the number of possibilities are infinite here. But they are not all equally probable.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My two cent's worth for Expatriate Enterprenuers

This post originated from my comment to SanerComics's blog post on similar topic. Later it appeared in LankaPatriots and SanerComics himself promoted it to a new post.

- Value your workforce: Employees are the best asset, and they should be well supported.

- Make it a win-win: Make sure that your employees are always given a chance to build career in their desired path while making that plan the best use of them for you.

- Balanced Team: Do not hire 25 freshers and 5 guys with 10 yr experience [especially if you are dealing with graduates]. The balance of the team and right hierarchy would work like an oiled machine

- Do not preach Americanism: Some who lived in west [and received third degree brain wash] try to make the company a territory under US law. You ought to support SL way of life. One of my bosses almost lost a valued employee as he once said "show your F**King document" in a public meeting. This is not America.

- Be profitable: Some run centers for tax cuts in west. Some run them to have a base to visit SL. But ppl who work will find it hard to accept. You have an obligation to have a genuine business that means profiting and benefiting employees.

- Do expand: As I mentioned above some companies do not have big strategy. Employees suffer most.

- Do business no charity: Some western investors think that they do a favor by bringing company to its employees. They think IT IS DUTY of SL to support them. WRONG. You ought to come and start a company to earn money, other objectives are secondary.

- Do not cry: Some expat investors complain regarding anything from mosquitoes to check points. They are right, SL is not the most perfect country. But what is the point? SL remains SL. If you open a cafe in Saudi Arabia, you can't complain for having to close it on Friday.

- Be objective, do not let minor hurdles to take you down: Running business in SL is tough as systems are not best. You may face issues in customs, power supply, municipal, taxation etc. But tackle them in SL way and do not let them take over your goal.

- Be strategic: Do not expect your SL employees to run it for you. Usually they look at you with a higher view and respect. Generally they expect your guidance.

- Don't block: Some business ppl try to block the progress of anyone in order to keep things at controllable level. Do not, you're the end looser not them. They can find another job.

Today, I think that the best support you can do for SL is to start a company on your own or bring some investor. It should be profitable and you ought to be money oriented.