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Archive for the ‘mind’ Category

How many of you have listened to music on cassette player walkmans? This was not too long ago, i used them about 15 years back. Since, the progress in the music players has been tremendous. Read my earlier post about the music players i have used over the years. Nowadays a portable music player with gigabytes of memory is very common, but listening to my favorite music, at the instant of thought, is still a pain.

In one of my earlier post i’ve made my point that i don’t need more than 1GB of space for my music, but now i beg to differ. I don’t want even 1GB. I don’t want any space on my player. I just want it to play the music i think of. Yes, that’s right. I think of a song, and the player should start playing.

Why should i always choose from a pool of 1GB or 80GB or 160GB or even 1TeraByte of songs? What if i feel like listening to a 1960s number that i’d have heard only a hymn of? The vaguely remembered tune haunts me. Where can i get that song?? It’s not there in the pile of 10000 songs i manage. Someone ought to have it!

I hate downloading music to my portable player every time i get bored of the playlist i have. I hate to search for a particular song. I want to listen at that moment, and searching for it might spoil my mood.

I want someone to have all possible music ever composed, remixed or copied and stream it over the internet in real time. Someone could be one or a group of music companies. I don’t want to ‘own’ any song, but play whenever i want and as many times i want. My portable player (reduce it just to a quality headphones or speaker system) should be able to request and get a song within milliseconds from a server at any corner of the world.

We need an algorithm to map our thought, kind of brain signals, and vaguely available information of that song to something comparable, then match it with a ‘probable list’ of few thousand songs, identify the song we want correctly, and play for us. The algorithm and the devices involved sounds improbably complex, but i feel this is how the music players of future should be. In many ways, such a service can curb piracy and I don’t mind paying for such a service or technology, do you? :)

It sounds like i’m asking for too much, isn’t it?

Not really. I know it will be a reality some day, but the question is how long will it take? I feel it should not take more than a decade or maximum two for such a service to be accessible by everyone at a nominal cost. One of my colleagues said ‘it would be impossible for such a service to come up in 10-15 years’. He felt it’s not possible for me to listen to music on such a service in my lifetime.

In 15 years, if i am able to graduate from cassette player walkman to a portable music player, which can download music on WiFi, such a technology too should be a reality soon.

What do you think, plausible? :)

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Girls are better

The title of the post makes you happy? Read on..


Girls are better at cramming. Right from the KG classes to graduate exams girls top in the class, of course with some exceptions. In my 8 years of co-education, barring the KG classes, girls were the toppers in 4-5 years. The exception being in the engineering, where one guy did better than the closely matched 2nd ranked girl. On an average girls got more marks in the exams than boys. Does this mean girls cram better? Hell ya for the way the tests are conducted, testing nothing but how well one could read and remember without understanding.

I was in my college last week, the congratulation message on the notice board were for the toppers, all girls. 3rd, 5th and 7th semester toppers were all girls!

Girls seem to have a natural tendency to read more, remember better, and reproduce faithfully without actually trying to figure out how it works. Where as boys are more inquisitive. The pass percentage of girls in board exams of 10th, and 12th is higher than boys in all these years i have seen. But the entrance exams like CET, JEE, AIEEE and others are cracked better by boys. The nature of these exams tends to make a point. Since the entrance exams are more analytical/logical than theoretical boys do better? The first rankers in these tests are the boys, unmistakably year after year. Does it mean girls have lesser inclination to analytical stuff? I don’t need to answer that, isn’t it?

I’ll take my class of engineering as a sample set, constituted by 40% girls roughly. At least 75% of them would score more marks than 85% of the guys in my class every semester. The top ten list would have at least 7 girls each semester. They tend to cram better. I’m sure almost all of my classmates would agree that the tests and exams tested nothing but cramming. The campus placements gives a hint that girls can cram better and boys can solve problems better. The companies would test your problem solving abilities, and logical reasoning capabilities for recruitment. More boys got better offers than girls.

There are plethora of cases to prove that girls cram better. The admission to BITS was based on the board exam scores for many years. In all those years there were more girls in a class than boys, and since the mode for admission has been changed to an entrance exam, BITSAT, there has been a gradual decline in the percentage of girls getting in to BITS.

Learning new languages also comes easy for girls as it does not have any logic but only remembering stuff. I have seen this in my French language class. More girls would do better than boys, be it in remembering the meaning of a word, forms of a verb or the pronunciation. More over, most of the teachers for these courses are women. :)

Another example, i have seen so many girls performing better in Verbal part of GRE than the Math. No other exam would require more cramming than the verbal GRE. Learning all the 3000+ words for GRE comes easy for girls than guys. On an average, among the people i know, guys have scored 750-800 in GRE Math, and 450-550 in GRE verbal. Girls have scored 680-750 in Math and 550-700 in verbal. I don’t need to say more.

There are exceptions to almost everything i have mentioned above, but on an average the cramming comes easy for girls. I admit, girls are better than guys. :)

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I dream of Rain

lonely

The lyrics of the Desert rose goes like this,

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand…

Melancholic? Probably yes. Having a dream of gardens in the desert sand makes you so, and starts haunting you when your dreams crash. Resurrection of the dare to dream is killed by the haunting melancholic past. But life still goes on, on hope.

Why am i not at the right place at the right time? I wonder why do things turn out so. Is it me? or is it my luck?

“My luck is screwed!” How many times have two of my pals in college heard me saying this? A hundred thousand times, may be. Why did i say so? Surely i had my reasons, which they couldn’t call unreasonable because it wasn’t!

Is it unreasonable to expect something? I guess not. Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed. But isn’t that almost impossible for mortals? I, more often than not, am either at the wrong place or at the wrong time.

What’s wrong with me i wonder. Why did i land up here i feel, though this is what i wished for sometime back, and worked for it. The feeling is terrible, may the reality has something really bad in store always. May be not, is it just what i think? But how can i think wrongly about the present, which is happening and i see it as something that i didn’t think of!

The future looks bleak, but so it did earlier and then there were good times. Yup, there were good times. So just cherish about it? Or wonder if those were really good times or it just looks relatively so? I guess relative happiness is all we live in and work for. It’s all fine in that case.

Just a state of mind, I will get better. Time, heal me.

Current mood: Depressed

Current music: Do you feel loved – U2

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People and their ways

..differ so much, but still can generalize a few things. Observation, as a mute spectator helps to look at things from a different perspective. I did that on few occasions and have observed a few things about ‘human behavior’.

Three temples in a span of about two hours on Tuesday evenings, almost every week for about three months gave me this unique opportunity. The first and the last temple i visited didn’t have many ‘devotees’. The second one in the order of my visit had quite a lot, with substantial queue for the glimpse of the almighty. Knowing one dude (you’d call him priest) over their helped us avoid those long queues, and the time i saved there would become useful for my observation, sitting out on the stairs, and for realizing that people are so typical.

People

Flirting comes naturally, subconsciously i guess. Temple is not a forbidden place at all. Conversation usually starts off with talk about Masters in US, and belling the CAT (and rarely about an MBA abroad). This being just starting point of the conversation, they go on to gossip about the people who have left for their MS, and people who are planning to. These are the typical engineering students found in Bangalore. For i sit on the stairs behaving as if i have no interest in what they are up to, they try to be cautious about the single guy around and give a couple of awkward stares, which i promptly ignore with my ears tuned to catch their ‘interesting conversation’. This so reminds me of HNS saying how he would snoop on to students’ conversation after class hours. :)

There would be mid-aged women, presumably daughter-in-laws of some unfortunate lady, who would get all the curse in the world that evening. The talk here doesn’t just conclude there, they go on and on with their woes.

Then there are the newly weds. They appear pretty serious, not wasting their time in anything but their most gorgeous/handsome spouse. The are not of much interest, for obvious reasons.

There are few not-so-newly-weds with a young kid along. They are the most fascinating to watch. For every little thing the kid does, the joy or elation they get is unmatched for anything else in the world. Kid utters something, glee. Oh She can throw something given to her! She can respond! She can smile looking at her mom’s face! Yup, give her a twenty years, she’d be at the very same place flirting with a not-so-cute guy. May be i am being little too mean, but yup that’s how young parents are.

Each one of us are like everyone else, even though we believe we are unique. We don’t realize we are unique like everybody else. So what it takes to realize that? A life time or more. As long as you don’t give a damn, life rocks!

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P.S.: One more thing i’d like to add, which i observed elsewhere, some people tend to pick up only those words of a sentence which they could use to their way of thinking. Those are opportunistic losers. Beware of these weasels!

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A stark feeling, especially when there are hundreds of thousands of them, trying to make a point. The point could be good or bad, this again is as you are made to think. They engulf the mind, and gets unbearable at times. Nescafé for the rescue this time. An average man gets about sixty thousand thoughts per day (source: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari). But at times i seem to get sixty thousand thoughts in about sixty seconds! Calvin‘s quote, ‘My brain is trying to kill me’ is very apt.

My brain is trying to kill me

It’s all still in my mind, whether to let the thought take over or not. One, seeming not so harmful, thought triggers a chain reaction as if a neutron is bombarded to an active chunk of fissile material. At times they get really uncontrollable. This uncomfortable numb feeling eventually causes headache. Thus making the whole thought process unproductive, not that it otherwise would be ‘productive’, at least in not serving the purpose intended by the first thought.

The thought is the basic unit to trigger any action. If one, well controlled, thought gets more focus, it helps in eventually achieving the ‘action’. But more often, this one thought goes uncontrolled and causes a chain reaction, thus blowing up my mind.

This time i somehow gave it a direction, and focused in achieving this ‘action’ of conscious write-up.

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I am always fascinated the way a human brain works, which i consider the most powerful and beautiful part. Left part of the body is controlled by the right part of the brain and vice versa. I tried to meddle with the right-handedness or left-handedness, and confuse the brain a little bit. Tried table tennis, riding cycle, playing carrom and a couple of do-not-wish-to-disclose things in unconventional ways. In the process, i only got few unanswerable questions! ( for now :)

My first experiment was in trying to play table tennis with left hand, my natural hand being the right one. Though i am not ambidextrous, i tend to play better with my awkward hand than most others here. But there is a flip side.left handed?

I am more dominant with forehand shots while playing right handed, topspin, chops and smashes coming with relative ease, but backhand struggles. The case is reversed when on left hand. The interesting thing i observed was when i play left handed, most of my shots comes off with backhand. This being towards the right side of body. I suck at forehand shots when on awkward hand, except for occasional top spins.

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Tried riding my two-wheeler (and a cycle) with my right hand placed on left end of the handle and vice versa. This could have led to catastrophic results if i wouldn’t switch hands in a flash!

My ride would be fine as long as i keep going straight, but the moment i tend to take a turn, things get commoved. When on to a right turn, my brain would have to direct my right hand to take that end of the handle inward and let the left hand lose, taking that end to front, and thereby a smooth right turn. But with my hands swapped, brain gets confused! With the usual tendency to have hands at right places, my left hand is let lose (which has to pull the handle inward), and the right hand takes the handle inward! This tends to left turn, but the intention was for a right, turn even that of the brain!!

Also, i tried Carrom with left hand. The strength of my left hand does not complement the accuracy required. If i try to hit hard, i misdirect it, and if i give best of my concentration to direction i lack power.

This leaves me with a set of questions:

Why is that my backhand shots are better than forehand shots while i play left handed, and not when on right hand? Is my left brain more active as i am a natural right hander? But isn’t left hand controlled by right brain? Keeping the lefthand towards the right side of the body makes left brain control its movements? Am i left brained or right brained?

Why is left hand weaker than right? Because of using right hand more?

Is it that i need more practice, and need to ‘train’ my brain for not very routine actions? Does training help? Can i control my brain for involuntary actions, there by making those voluntary? Can i controls reflexes to behave in not-so-obvious way, and still keep it fast? Does practice really make you perfect in unconventional actions?

This is the end of part 1, i am in the pursuit of finding answers to these questions, and will try to answer in part 2. But before i finish, here’s something interesting:

How does our brain see this pic?

maria sharapova

I don’t see anything but Maria! :)

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