Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Life is a fractal

The title of this entry is self explanatory. Life exposes a new dimentionality of itself everytime you think that you have understood it. You unravel a complexity and then discover a new one. In the end its just like accessing an element of an infinite set. If you understand the concept of infinity, you can never have all the elements... logical reasoning breaks down and your conceptual baggage causes you to drown into a sea of irrelevance. Well if you lost me, ... then you are lucky,.. you are in the 98% of the world population who enjoy the bliss of ignorance. I dont mean to demean you but more knowledge does not necessarily make you a better person, sometimes you wish you never knew what you know. (and regarding the infinity problem, read Hilbert's hotel)

The causality of such a thought occuring is strange in its own sense. When I was in high school, I loved puzzles and I loved computers. So I got a bachelor's degree in Computer Engg and Science. At the end of college I realized that I loved the science part better than the engineering part. I developed an appetite for linux all along. Just to take my curiousity to the next level I decided to do MS in computer science. And yeah... software got more and more closer to me. My work in computational neuroscience kept me in sync with the science part of computers. That had its perks and pitfalls, the pitfalls being - you tend to get biased to certain technology. In my case, I started hating Microsoft and liking *nix (well thats what most of the computer scientists like).

Down back in India I had five offers in hand and I was interviewed only twice... so I had the opportunity to pick the job I liked. Recently I got rejected for an internship position in Intel.( ofcourse I was overconfident)... that made my confidence to shatter to pieces. Later today I attended a career fair organized by my grad school. I applied to Microsoft, against myself.... a decision based solely on monetary grounds. I know that is not a big thing for any of you guys but I felt like I had commited a treachery.... something like murder. I told that to someone (well no names here again) and he said "Anakin dont go the to dark side" ... was I??
I have decided to lose all my inhibitions, do anything possible to reach the top, even if that means I have to maintain cobol databases for some multinational bank... well maybe not if I am strong enough.


  1. whoa microsoft is the dark side ehhhh.......I know the feeling even though im not connected to software in anyway cos my sis is a software professional and she hates microsoft like the plague.......never understood her but now Im beginning to see the picture.....maybe I should stop laughing at my sis for this...:P

  2. <nelson>

  3. hey megha... you should watch the movie
    Revolution OS and you will know why most of the people in the Comp science community hate Microsoft, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Like dark side, MS uses dark power (money) to overpower its contenders. Netscape is a well known story... Do you know that they are selling XBox for $128 loss per peice just to throw nitendo and sony out of the game, who have similar product lines... the list is endless, perhaps I should stop, in case I end up in MS :P

  4. ha ha...itll be a hoot when you get hired by microsoft...wonder what youll be saying then.....future darth vader:P

  5. I will always have my son Luke, do something good :D
    Till then "May the source be with you"

  6. Ok enuf of this crap. At the end of the day we r geeks and we want to innovate, add value, and build something really cool!!!!!! it doesnt really matter whether u r Open Source r Exe, whether u r Linux r Windows, whether u r Microsoft r Google, wht really matters is the desire, way in which u can contribute more to this machine.

    I luv ths words..

    " I think that it's extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don't think we are. I think we're responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don't become missionaries. Don't feel as if you're Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don't feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What's in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more."

    Alan J. Perlis (April 1, 1922-February 7, 1990)

    Sridhar it is a good decision to apply to MS and u will soon find out as to how they really care abt Software and Customers r ask Haizhi ur Open Source OS TA who ended up in MS.

    I have seen Revolution OS and they overhyped the project and some of the ppl in tht video. Whr the hell is VA systems today in the market, if u really wanna watch something worthwhile that will inspire u, I suggest this...

  7. Well Sriram, U really did not get the essense of the post. I am not against Microsoft, the house of geeks and the producer of good softwares, but am against Microsoft, the corporate house.
    Now I'll answer your questions one by one. Firstly I love to contribute to the machinery, but not as a machine part or a blot of grease that keeps it running but as an architect or the creator of the whole machine. MS houses the maximum number of developers in the world. How many of them do you know? Do you know who created great tools like office? who created VB? There are only a few star members in a mob of developers down there. I dont want to get lost in a sea of trivia.

    Second paragraphs compares OSS evangelists to Bible salesmen. That comparision is totally out of place. Netscape spends millions on a browser and MS gives away IE for free. OSx spends on GUI design, adapted from xerox, MS copies it. Markets a DOS skin as Win95 operating system!! Tries to shutdown Linux division of SAP... the list is endless. I have been coding for the last 12 years, first 7 were strictly on windows/dos... I took a 90 degree turn ..why? not because I was some guy good at heart, but because I had started relating to the essense of software. Its not just a job or a thing I like doing but a way of life. Its like being the devil's advocate. You do the right things but the devil uses it for his benifit. I dont hate MS technologies but their total profit driven approach which is not at all customer centric doesnt seem great either.

    Yeah I do know abt Haizhi, he is a good friend of mine. His Phd project was anonymizing libraries in linux and he explained me with glazed eyes that he was doing it just for the money... what most of us would eventually do in the situation.

    VA system failed... why? because it was managed by a Comp Sc Phd from stanford who used to write OSS tools. A company needs a strong managerial infrastructure to stay put... tech guys just give the machinery occasional thrust. MBA's are needed for smooth functioning.

    Finally I did see the video. A really nice interview. In his own words Andres confesses that MS prior to C# renamed chunks of bits as ActiveX, OLE, COM etc making the whole funda complex and counter intutive.
    Most of the OSS guys dont advocate better or free software, they advocate better service. This a paradigm shift from the industrial age to the the information age.

    And yes as geeks we wanna make something cool, but I dont personally like my name to be stripped from the product and branded with "Made by MS" tag along with a 100 page manual and a EULA which no one has ever read and then sold for insanely high price. I love money, I love fame and I love to be associated with a big company but that is really pushing the boundaries.