Shifting my site

Hey folks, I thought about this a lot and finally have decided to shift my blog to Jekyll based Github pages due to a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s completely free(until a limit of 1GB). Yeah, wordpress is free but it serves ads and as everybody knows, ads suck.
  2. I bought a domain name for myself – aravindreddy.org and it seems like this is the best time for me to make a switch.
  3. According to multiple online sources, WordPress is outdated and is a pain to maintain, especially when you want to have your own domain name and custom servers.

So, I guess this will be one of my last posts on the WordPress platform. Hopefully, I’ll successfully shift my all my past blog entries to my new Jekyll based, Github hosted site 🙂

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Scheduling Algorithms in normal life

There exists an interesting correlation between scheduling algorithms in operating systems and scheduling tasks in life. At a fundamental level, humans are no different from operating systems when it comes to scheduling activities. We have a brain and a computer has a processor. We have deadlines, a processor too has them for it’s scheduled jobs.

Turing Award acceptance speech by Dr. Fernando Corbató.

On Building Systems That Will Fail

Learning vs Ease of understanding

It is very comfortable to read stuff which we already know about. This is primarily because the brain doesn’t need to form new connections or destroy/modify older connections. There is an inherent inertia in the process of making cells or breaking/modifying brain cells. I think it’s just like physical exercise. The more changes your brain accommodates in less time, the more malleable it remains. Aah, it feels similar to lactose intolerance which I developed over this year. I went through a period of more than 3 months without drinking milk and now it is hard for my body to digest milk. Hmm, our mind is like a sword, which constantly needs to be sharpened, else it will become blunt. So, I think we should actively try to learn things which are HARD to understand for us. It keeps the mind active and sharp. Hmm, interestingly, a large number of physicists in the past have had some sort of inclination towards playing music. I think playing an instrument activates certain parts of the brain which take part in the creation of new ideas. Notable physicists who played instruments include Albert Einstein, Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Richard Feynman and innumerable others. Learning to play music is SO DAMN HARD for adults that I’m sure it stretches your brain in countless ways.

The Quest for summer positions(and the resulting frustration)

In the hunt for this year’s summer internship season, I’ve learnt quite some lessons. I realised that I shouldn’t take anything for granted and everything has value in life.

This year, I was almost certain that I would be selected for IQC’s URA program since I had been working on nonlocal games since the last semester and had read and understood papers written by people from IQC and I had applied to the program with those same people as my mentor preferences. Other than IQC, I was cocky enough to apply to Microsoft Research QuArC group’s internship positions assuming that my puny research experience could convince those at MSR to hire me for the summers. You know what, my application didn’t even go into the ‘processing’ stage till the time of writing this article(‘Processing’ is the stage immediately after ‘Application submitted’ stage. So, effectively, they didn’t even open my application 😦

After getting rejected by IQC, reality struck me like a bolt of lightning and I applied to other places like Inria,Irif, UMD , TTIC and other places. But alas, all the people who did care to respond(thank you so much for the response, if anybody concerned is reading this) said that they already took interns or are not interested in taking any interns. And please, don’t even ask me about the guys who didn’t care to respond. It really feels heart breaking if you wait for something like 10 days and still don’t get any response. I really don’t understand. How much time does it take people to respond to a damn email. I don’t demand an essay expecting a response. It can be as simple as “I’m sorry I’ll not take you as an intern.”

It’s a really time consuming process, this mailing and all. I do feel sometimes like, “Hey, scientists like Albert Einstein never really searched for these so called ‘internships’. So, why should I care?” but then I remember that Einstein worked at a patent office for the whole time while he was doing his PhD and I think “umm, it’s not something which I want to do” 😛

Citations??

Today, I received a mail from academia.edu telling me that I was in the top 2% of the researchers on Academia according to 30-day views!! And guess what ‘original research’ I uploaded on academia which brought me more than 90% of the views, it was a project report for the Rotating bridge which I built as a part of the institute compulsory manufacturing processes course. This lead me to an epiphany that the relevance of any research paper should not be solely measured by the number of citations. A shallow article is easier to understand and therefore might lead to more citations just because of this fact. But, does it really mean that it is more significant?

Improving my lexicon

I started preparing for the GRE recently and stumbled upon the conundrum of preparing for the verbal section of the GRE. I was under the delusion that my vocabulary could burgeon by the enervating process of reading a myriad of books without looking at the meanings of the words explicitly but it now feels like that was only a dilatory instinct and an ersatz for descrying the meanings of enigmatic and byzantine words. I thought it was antediluvian and anachronistic to carry a dictionary whenever I started reading something but I feel now it that might have actually helped me in the long run  🙂

I might sound like a callow avaricious fellow writing doggerel but I beseech you to stay with me. This draft is definitely not the apotheosis, acme or epitome of my writing. I don’t want encomiums for this writing but hope that it would be efficacious in being emollient to a young lad who might have stumbled upon this piece with ennui in his heart.

Anyhow, from here on, I would like to share a pretty interesting observation I made recently. When we generally read anything, we don’t pause every now and then to look up the meanings of unknown words because it feels that it might hamper the reading experience . But, I now feel due to the cardinality of the set of queer looking words being finite(and probably less than 10,000), by the pigeon hole principle I would have encountered the same words several times. Anyhow, I used to read books earlier from their paper copies and thus it was not very easy to look up word meanings. But now, thanks to my Kindle Paperwhite, it’s a breeze looking up word meanings. I hope more people start using e-book readers 🙂

Sugar is the new Tobacco

Hey folks, I felt like this would be a good place to share one of my Facebook posts.

“Calories_in – Calories_out is the most important factor which affects weight gain” is a blatant lie being perpetrated by food companies like Coca-Cola through their shameless ads and lobbying.

Irrespective of how much you exercise, it really matters from where you get your calories. X calories from carrots and X calories from coke are processed by your body in vastly different ways. Most of the coke calories end up getting converted into your tummy but that’s not true for the carrot calories.

Fun fact: If you drink coke without the added phosphoric acid it contains, you will vomit immediately due to it’s insane sugar concentration.

In the 1960’s, tobacco was marketed exactly the same way coke is being marketed these days. You could see ads of famous actors endorsing tobacco, advertising boards everywhere, canteens selling them etc etc……

It’s just a matter of time(hopefully) before the widespread effects of coke(processed foods) became public knowledge and we see ‘WARNING! this food causes type II diabetes’ on food packets similar to cigarette pack warnings.

You would see ads in movie theatres where a future Mr. Mukesh would be lying on a hospital bed as a 20 year old obese guy about to die due to type 2 diabetes telling you that coke was responsible for his death.

Here’s the youtube link to the video which enlightened me regarding this issue.