Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Infinite Recursion

In real life any decision would require consideration of infinite variable factors. However we can not possibly pursue all the factors for obvious constrains of time and even our understanding of the variables.

But say; hypothetically; there is a problem of great importance, and we are to find the optimum solution to it. Mind you, I said, THE optimum solution, and that would imply that we require a solution which is optimum in absolute sense. Optimum amount of resources required, where time, money, manpower and most importantly their relative priorities are considered.

And of course the optimization process has to be optimized too, because, we can't possibly waste any resources when less are required. However the optimization of the same process also would require some resources, and that too must be optimized.

There could be a way out of it. If enough data about the processes is available, then perhaps we could devise a method to calculate to what degree should we optimize the process, given our limited resources, that would give the best result/resources ratio. But again this is a compromise. I am sure you would agree when I say this can not be absolute optimization.


Because the process we used to calculate the optimum degree of optimization must also be optimum. The process to optimize this would once again be have to be optimized.

Once again we can devise a method to optimize the degree of optimizations for best result/resources ratio.

This would obviously be an infinite process, so where's the optimization?

But there is something that does inspire me. If you are familiar with integration you'd know this:
Just a thought.

Understanding 'Understanding'

The following work is the result of my personal views and speculations. I do not claim any of my work depicting the only truth. The views expressed in the following work are the views I might have held at the time of it's creation and are subject to change.

It is often argued that computers can't understand what we humans do. Well, I do agree to it to an extent.

But then who is to say that we humans, understand in a way we think we understand. So first, let us get a clear perspective
what really understanding is all about.

Now imagine an apple for example. How to understand an apple? The first thing that comes to my mind would be an image of an apple. I can imagine, the red shiny color that seemed so enticing that my mouth is almost watering. Will this, I suppose would be from my previous experience of eating and apple and finding it rather satisfying for my senses. So you can say that the image of an apple also links to my mind the taste of an apple. Also associated with that word Apple in my mind is the intoxicating smell of a freshly cut apple. This of course is affiliated to my sense of smelling. I also can hear in my mind the crunchy noise it makes, when I take the first bite.

And of course, there are other thoughts related to an apple. The fact that it is a fruit. The fact that it is grown on a tree. The fact that its crust has annoying little seeds in it. But then, without all these other concepts or thoughts, the Apple itself would hold no meaning whatsoever. It would then only be a collection of memories related to the experience of an apple, including visual, tactual, smell, taste, and possibly the sound affiliated with it. The understanding of apple, only acquires reality in our minds after we can interrelate it to other thoughts and concepts.

So, in my opinion, a newborn child has no understanding of its surroundings, in the way we perceive understanding. It only has sentient information interrelated amongst each other, through its experiences. Then eventually the child conceptualizes different ideas and interrelates them. This process takes a whole new level, when verbal associations are made with the ideas, concepts or objects. This enables a much broader interrelation among concepts.

So, effectively, what understanding is, is the interlinking of sentient experiences. Because even the verbal association is a product of the sound of the word which describes the idea and the graphical representation of the symbols, which in effect are the combination of the symbols which make the script of the language we are familiar with.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Language, the constrain to free thinking .

When I first decided to write this post, the title I chose was, "Vocabulary, the constrain to thinking" . But as I got to thinking more about it, I found an entirely new perspective.

Lately I have been looking up English words to improve my vocabulary(for reasons I shall come to later). I came across a word , " Agnostic ", meaning " a person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist) ". It suddenly hit me, that this was an entirely new idea to me . I had never thought about it, till then. So, our thought process is largely affected by our vocabulary isn't it? It seems almost unimaginable to have ideas with no solid words associated.

Well that is something that gave me a jolt of realization! To exaggerate it a bit one might say " You can't think of something unless you know a word for it " . I know, thats too much of an exaggeration, but, I hope you know what I mean.

As most of the readers of my blog ( if any one at all, except for my faithful friend AJ ), would know my mother tongue is Gujarati. And as far as I know there is no word available in Gujarati with a similar meaning as the word " Agnostic " . And even if there is one, there must be many other words in the English language that do not have corresponding meanings in other languages or vice versa.

It seems that in any language, the entire vocabulary of words depends on the culture of the places origin and development of the language. In a cultures where existence of god is never questioned , it is not likely that the primary language of that culture would have a word similar to the word " Agnostic ". Of course, this is just an example; there could be thousands of such cases .A language might even not have any mention of " god ".

This seems more applicable to abstract ideas, rather than physical objects or an idea directly related to a physical object.

Taking it forward, I reckon we could also say most of our ideologies, believes are based on the language we speak(more importantly, the language we think in) and of course the culture we belong to. Very few of us have the courage to think on their own. Even if one tries, the fact that most of the thought process in average men takes place verbally, is restraining.

The best solution that I can think of at the is to expand your active vocabulary. And as for my favoring the English language, there are a few reasons. One, that it is relatively easy to learn and the availability of numerous resources for learning makes it favorable. Secondly it is probably the most widespread language in the world (not the number of users, but the vast distribution of the speakers), which means more and more ideas and ideologies are constantly gaining recognition in through the language and eventually new words are being accepted as part of the language.

I hope to have my linguist friend to look into the topic in technical detail .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Obsession : Understanding Ego


That is MY ego. My concept of self.

I am not talking about the ego as in an inflated feeling of pride in my superiority to others .

I am talking about the "I" as I perceive it.

I am eating. I am sleeping. What is I? Do we perceive ourselves as the body we have? Again that is not true with most. We usually say MY body. My hand. My eyes. Then
what is it? Is it the brain? I suppose not. It is usually referred to as " my brain " .

Is it the soul? The soul that we have no empirical proof of. Don't the most of us refer to it as "My Soul"?(An excellent suggestion by my good friend Anu.)

Then what is it?

What am I?

Aren't we all just objects with extremely complex mechanisms (of course complex is relative term in this case)? The perception of 'I' is in our minds.
Again isn't the identity of mind just a specific configuration of the brain (in term of the behavioral properties of the neurons or whatever it is in the brain)?

So now I am not even sure what the question is!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I was born on 25th August 1988 A.D. On 25th August 1989 I was 1 year old. You get the idea, I hope . Today I am 19 something. So?

Well, thats the whole point. So what? What the hell did I do all these years? What is the meaning behind it?

Mere existence seems absurd. Meaningless. (I am getting a feeling that I am repeating myself, a lot for that matter.)

We all take birth (seems we do not have an option!); grow up a bit; go to school, cram up up a few things here and there; go to college; have a job; get married; have kids, see to it, that our kids follow the same routine; grow old and die.

That's it! We die in the end. So why do all those things? Do they matter? What is the objective of life?

Each moment in life, most of us, are looking forward to some other moment in the future. Each action(at least most of them) is taken for the future. So why the endless running for something or the other? When we do get what we had been running after for so long, the very next moment we start running after something else, forgetting all about what you just obtained.

I too am running. But at the moment I don't know towards what. I am really tired now. I don't want to run anymore.

So when does it stop? What is it that we really need? Is it just the need to need?

Maybe we need a need to exist. Or else why the need to exist! Maybe we all need something to live for. But if that is the case then , why create needs? Why exist?

Friday, May 16, 2008


How much do we lie ? To whom do we lie ?( phrase seems grammatically incorrect ) . Why do we lie ?

I haven't figured it out , but if you have please do let me know .

What I find most astonishing about lying is that how much do we lie to ourselves ? I suppose we lie to ourselves to avoid internal conflicts . We lie so that we can completely ignore the truth ( or at least what seems to be the truth ) and the complexities that it might possibly create .

So the question is how much do we lie to ourselves ? What exactly is it that compels us to do so ? I don't have the slightest idea . So why the hell am I writing this ? I don't have a clue about that either . Funny isn't ?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I have been notoriously famous for asking questions , all kinds of questions . My parents tried to answer as many as they could , but my school teachers dint seem to take them in a good spirit and I often ended up doing lines - " I wont ask silly questions "

But recently I realised something .( Isn't it amazing that I have been realizing a lot of things lately !!) How many of the questions one asks are meant to get information ? How many of them are real questions ? There are lots of other reasons people ask questions . The major being to show off . To show how much knowledge one has or to show how honest one is or how intelligent . The point is they just want to show off how smart they are .

Well with regret I must confess I am one of them . Until now I did not realize it . I usually ask questions to prove that I know a lot or to prove that the person I am asking the question to , doesn't .

A great man once said that ask only the questions which you think might make a difference in your path , and if it is so then never be afraid to ask .
So choose your questions carefully .

Seemingly there is more to it than this ....