Monday, 9 September 2013

Duxford Airshow..

An advantage to being in the wasteland is the ability to go wherever you want on a whim..

Thus I ended up at Duxford. Would recommend it if you like aircraft. It was amusing to see the Red Arrows try and out do the Patroulie Armee d'lAire  who went on before them.

I am juvenile.. I like loud things that fly.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pithy truisms on life from Al Gore probably

You are born cold, wet, hungry, naked and disoriented. The very first experience you have is one of getting smacked solid until you begin to cry.

Guess what? It’s all downhill from there.  Life is a punishment, get over it, come to terms with it and deal with it. Your greatest skill on earth is your ability to deal with disappointment.  It’s the most abundant feeling during this so called journey of life.

A lot of wise men say that the darkest hour is just before dawn.

Ah well that would also make it the ideal time to score your neighbours newspaper, or crap on their lawn. Unless of course you live in the Nordics or something, where I guess you really get one dawn a year. Where I do not think this rule would be really applicable.

The corollary to this one is: There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Which is very true, and often it is a train speeding towards you.

Sex and love they say are like the air we breathe.

You only value them truly when you aren’t getting any.

Being irreplaceable in at work, and being driven to excel at your work is a very laudable goal. After all even in the Gita it is written, do your duty without anticipating the fruits of your labour, or something to that effect.

Laudable, yes. However it is also the easiest way to ensure you will never be promoted or recognised for your work. If they did promote you, who would then do your job as well as you can?

Never judge someone, until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

True. Puts some distance between you and the judged person, plus they can’t really chase you, since you have their shoes to begin with.

If you lend someone money, chances are you will never see them again.

I actually believe in this one, and more often than not; it’s just a small tax to be done with them.

The ability to make correct judgements comes from experience.

Again very true, however experience comes from poor judgements and time.  Avoid judgement all together if you can.

A couple of self explanatory truisms in life:

A closed mouth gathers no feet  and If you’re speaking, you’re not learning.

I tend to agree with both, also it has a few unintended consequences, not the least of which is the ability to put on weight with a closed mouth.

Coming back to experience, why is it we never have it when it is needed the most?

Should you know How to win an argument with a woman; please do share and be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Finally, the leading cause of death globally is birth, just as the leading cause of divorce is marriage.

Avoid both if you can.

[Disclaimer: These are just folksy bits of information gathered along the way. They have been floating around since the dawn of the Internet, and can all be safely attributed to Al Gore. He did create the Internet, and I have no evidence to link him to that or the saying either. If this hurts your feelings Mr Gore I do apologise, for all of the information herein is unsubstantiated. Use at  your own risk.]

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Lost Art of a Love Letter

‘Lady luck's still a mystery
With her head on my shoulders
And I don't know why
I still want her to dance
I guess that's all history
What it is is I'm older
And I'm still a fool
For a one-way romance’
Mark Knopfler

 In this day and age of SMS, Cellular Calls, Email and Multimedia messaging, I don’t really believe people actually take the time to write love letters anymore. Much as I hate to admit it, I am a romantic at heart, even though I am an Unexisting Figment of my Imagination.

You do not really need paper and ink, though that would be ideal. The feel of nice heavy paper, with your feelings expressed via a quill. But who am I kidding? No one has the time for that anymore. Personally even though I would like to believe in love, and do still think a little note to express what you feel is something that is always appreciated. It also remains one of the truest forms to express your feelings and love for someone.

Writing love letters seems to have become something of a rarity, and an art form that is rapidly being lost. In this world of instant gratification and instant action, it is something of a lost and forgotten means of actually trying to express how you feel about someone.

It really is a means of expressing how you feel, while ideally abstracting out the obvious. Ideally delivered by hand, left in an obvious secret hiding place or even just emailed.  The Love Letter is ideally absorbing, transformative and should have the ability for the lack of a better term, set the heart aflutter.  It should communicate the longing, desire, mystique and communicate the very essence and belief the writer has in the receiver of the artifact. It conveys the very essence of the most elusive of all of what life has to offer.. Love.

One must be able to convey what they feel effectively, with subtlety, a dash of flattery and honesty A Love Letter if not sincere or honest, has no meaning; it must be both sincere and honest. Personally I enjoy writing them, though not having any recipients is somewhat of a damper.  

So here is an example of one, for a woman who has fascinated me for my entire life, and whose love I shall never receive. Which to an extent makes writing it worthwhile. ‘For I am still a fool for a one way romance.’

 Here goes:
Were you a painting, who would paint you? Would Dali capture how surreal you make the real? Would Picasso be able to abstract your complexity? Would Van Gogh capture the passion or Rembrandt do justice to your eyes or Da Vinci to your smile? Would C├ęzanne capture your soul or Michelangelo your beauty? A picture they say is worth a thousand words, where does that leave me?

With just my love for you; which comprises my existence here and hereinafter

Maybe you should try and send one to someone you love. Might just be the most valuable gift you can give this holiday season. Love is all that really matters in life, take my word for it, since I know what having none is like.  

[Disclaimer: I have ordered a new Tanto from Amazon, and should have delivery tomorrow. I apologise for my offenses. I really do not understand life or love.]

Monday, 5 December 2011

Unexistence: Build a relationship in 45 minutes or less… Taming the Unicorn.

Love really is all in the brain, and Romantic Love is more powerful than Sex~ The American Psychological Society

 There is a gentleman well respected as a notable Psychiatric Scientist called Dr. Arthur Aron who has devoted his entire life to the study of Relationships weirdly enough  love.

Now if I actually believed in the myth of Love and the Unicorn Dr. Aron would be my hero. Regardless of that the dead Romantic in me, does consider him my hero. Why?

Anyone who can devote their entire life to the study of the most unscientific of emotions Love,  and actually be able to quantify the way we feel like in this paper Reward,and manage our emotions in early stage Romantic Love deserves my respect and certainly my attention. Since he advocates an argument for everything that I do not believe in, and yet scientifically backs his position, in my opinion deserves the Nobel Peace Prize at the very least. He just may have cracked the Holy Grail of managing not only Love but Relationships  as well.

Dr. Aron has postulated a series of 36 questions, which he believes can create a bond between two complete strangers in 45 minutes or less. So I am going to enumerate his questions  and answer them as honestly as I can.

I would also like you think of your answers as you read through this really long post, and at the end of it leave me a comment, to let me know if you feel you are any closer to bonding with a figment of my imagination. Personally your comments would provide me the most honest feedback as to whether or not I am Unexisting or just deluding myself. Seriously and honestly, let us put Dr. Aron to the test.

Q1. Given a choice of anyone in world, who would you want as a dinner guest and why?

Well the one person I would like to have dinner with, will not do so. So if at all I had to have dinner with someone, I would like interesting conversation. Couldn’t care less if they were famous or not. Food is immaterial, I would love some intellectual stimulation, or have dinner alone with a decent book. Why? It’s easier to eat alone, and be amused by a book.

Q2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

I would rather be rich, than famous. Be a part of the idle rich, and live in obscurity. If at all I needed to be famous, would like the Nobel Peace prize for understanding women.

Q3. Before making a phone call do you rehearse what you will say? Why?

99.99% of all calls I make are business calls, so yes I do go through what I want covered and what I would like to achieve on the call. I do not need to rehearse any personal calls, since they form a minuscule part of my call volume, and are trivial.

Q4. What would constitute a perfect day for you?

Any day spent with the one who could make me exist  and convince me to leave the Wasteland is a perfect day. I have been lucky enough to have had a few perfect days in this lifetime.

Q5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I actually sing to my self almost daily. The last time I sang to someone else was about 20 years ago, I got slapped for being such a bad singer and the dog started howling.

Q6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 would you rather retain the mind or body of a 30 year old? What would you choose.

I do not want to live to 90 under any circumstances.

Q7. Do you have a secret hunch as to how you will die?

Yes. If I shared it, wouldn’t be a secret anymore would it? I actually have a fairly good idea of how I am going to die.

Q8. Name three things you and your partner seem to have in common?

Difficult question. I don’t even have an imaginary partner, so the only thing I can think we have in common, is that we don’t even know each other. Hopefully never will.

Q9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

This is going to be a real shocker to you my dear reader. Love,  and having been lucky enough to experience it’s intensity.

Q10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would you change?

I would ensure I was not born. I truly believe the world is a better place without me, which is one of the reasons for Unexisting.

Q11. In four minutes tell your partner your life story in detail.

Let’s be real. For someone who has written several books attributed and unattributed on subjects ranging from Military Technologies to a Novel, to this blog. Driven on a public highway at 3 times the legal limit, to having travelled the world; having bitten by a squirrel to being shot, stabbed skydived, flown at Mach 2, to having the being the recipient of the love of the most beautiful woman on earth, 4 minutes or this blog is not enough time.
I have a boring life. I wake in the morning, go to work, come back. Work some more or write on the blog. The only other activity of note is that I am trying to download the Internet. 42 terabytes of documents I find interesting and counting. Someday I will also read all I have downloaded, if I ever get the time to do so.  Unexistence brings a predictable rhythm of non-eventful life.

Q12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

The ability to spread happiness.

Q13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

I know the truth about myself. All I would like to know if I could find my Beloved. Personally I think I will win the Euromillions before that happens.

Q14. Is there something you have dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

Actually it has been writing this blog entry. And that is why I am doing it.

Q15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Having found true Love. having lost it is a different story for another day. Let’s just leave it at that.

Q16. What do you value most in a friendship?

Easy. Honesty.

Q17. What is your most treasured memory?

A stolen kiss.

Q18. What is your most terrible memory?

Being told ‘Even if you are the last man on earth, you would be wrong for me.’ Twice in one lifetime by the same woman, two decades apart. That takes real talent.

Q19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

 I have already answered this question. That is my answer and I am sticking to it.

Q20. What does friendship mean to you?

Helping bury the bodies.

Q21. What roles to love and affection play in your life?

Seriously? I Unexist, so none what so ever.

Q22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items

I would if had a partner. In a theoretical world, if I did indeed have a Beloved; Commitment, Love, Keep your Word, Be my anchor and let me be yours, allow me to wake up so I see you the first thing in the morning, and the last before I close my eyes. [Yes… sentimental crap. But the questionnaire is bringing out the Romantic, rather than the figment of my imagination. In any case, the qualities have no chance of being real.]

Q23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?


Q24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

My mother passed away when I was 7. I do not really remember her. [ I did say I would be honest.]

Q25. Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "we are both in this room feeling..."

If you my reader and I were in a room. I could make try and attempt this answer. I actually feel nothing. Which given my state of Unexistence is the ideal state.

Q26. Complete this sentence "I wish I had someone with whom I could share..."

Winning the Euromillions jackpot.

Q27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

I need a partner before I could seriously answer this question. I do not even have an imaginary partner. So between me, myself and I we know we are on our own. Observers of this strange and wonderful world.

Q28. Tell your partner what you like about them: be honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.

Assuming this means you the reader. Please leave a comment, and +1 the post.

Q29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment of your life.

My entire life is an embarrassment to myself and everyone I have come in contact with. Luckily being a figment of my imagination it does not matter.

Q30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

I lost the ability to cry for about 30 years. Cried a few months ago alone. Never again. Tears are a waste of time and energy. Tears attempt to humanise you. I am anything but that.

Q31. Tell your partner something you like about them already.

Assuming once again that Dr.Aron means you my reader, I actually love it that you have read this so far.

Q32. What if anything is too serious to be joked about?

Nothing. You can joke about religion, sexuality,  racism, abortion, politics, suicide, cancer anything. Life in its self is a joke. You cannot take life seriously, since you’re not going to survive it.

Q33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?

Actually I have told the person I wanted to communicate with, what I needed to. So yes I have told her, and don’t regret it. She took out a restraining order against me. Ah well.. c'est la vivre.

Q34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

Not having pets or loved ones, what I would have run out with is my Laptop Bag, which has everything important to me in life. Thereafter, the one item I would get is the bag of marshmallows. Why?

I have never eaten a Roasted Marshmallow.

Q35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

The person whose death I would find most disturbing has already passed away.

Q36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

The positive aspect of Unexistence is the fact that since you live in solitude you tend to have a very simple life. My greatest problem currently is that Virgin Media’s Internet sucks on wireless. Too much jitter and too inconsistent a service.

Other than which I cannot think of a single problem in my life.  I have 22db of forward filters but my S/N ratios are still too low. So if you could advise me on that it would be great.

This is a serious and very real study and in no means do I wish to trivialise Dr.Aron’s work. I do have the greatest respect for him.

You could try these questions in your own life, and I for one would love to know the results.

[Disclaimer: I am not a trained professional in mental health. If you feel any closer to me after reading this, let me know. Who know’ s it might even lead to acquaintanceship with people who are not imaginary and might actually talk to me. Unlike my imaginary friends or the voices in my head, who refuse to do so. I really do apologise for this extremely long and somewhat serious post, unfortunately i still can not find my Tanto.]

 Note: If you would like more links to Dr. Aron's work leave a comment and I will do my best to find them.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Unexistence: Game Theory and the Dynamics of Nuclear Warfare: How to classify and survive a Relationship

‘If you are so meant for me and I'm meant for you why does this have to be so hard on both of us?’ ~a question never asked of me.

Well to understand the reasons why relationships typically don’t work one must understand that Humans, particularly those in relationships tend to play games more often, than trying to make the relationship work.  In order to understand that, we need to understand Game Theory.

In short Game Theory is a mathematical model in which a person’s success is calculated based on the decisions made by others.  This is what makes it ideal for applications such as Nuclear Warfare and Relationship Management.  That is the good news.

Now for the bad. Most games as applied in Game Theory are Zero Sum Games.  So what exactly is this  Zero Sum Game?  A  Zero Sum Game implies that in any given dynamic one person’s gains exactly net the losses of the other person.  Which in turn implies inherent competitiveness, and that does not work in a Relationship.  The seeds of the destruction of a Relationship lie in this competitiveness, since ideally a Relationship is synergistic and complimentary towards common goals rather than competitiveness.

There are several Games we play in the dreaded realm of relationships.  Primarily there are four types of games that can be played out. Let’s quickly look at these.

The first Game scenario is I am OK you’re not Ok.  This is a power play, and one where you are looking for dominance. Typical messages communicated are the Composites. ‘Can you be an adult?’  Quite simply this is a zero sum game, designed to put you in power.

The second Game scenario is  I am not OK you’re OK.  Playing the victim in general or trying to be completely altruistic and failing at Mind Reading.  Which in turn leads to feeling victimized since you can’t do anything right unsurprisingly. Especially since you’re not clairvoyant. What on earth did you expect?  Another Zero Sum Game.

The third Game is potentially the most destructive scenario. I’m not Ok and You’re not OK or in Cold War parlance Mutually Assured Destruction. Personally amongst divorced couples that I have done no scientific study on whatsoever, I believe this is the reason.  Each side will constantly erode each other to the point destruction. I could cite examples, but surmises to say each side aims to balance their losses by ensuring that the other side loses as much. It is a variant of the Zero Sum Game.

Finally we have the fourth Game. I’m OK and You’re OK.  This game does not really fit Game Theory and is the reason why it can make the relationship to work.  Each side accepts the strengths and weaknesses of the other and actively works towards filling the gaps and working towards common goals. It’s the most difficult of the models, and breaks the Zero Sum Game model to smithereens. It is the only way to ensure that a relationship works. One has to weather the storms as a team, being the anchor and source of strength for each other through whatever life can throw at you. Total commitment.

Unfortunately as humans very few of us of have the will, determination and courage to adopt it.

To answer the question never posed to me, as humans we would rather play a Zero Sum Game rather than commit completely and irrevocably to Love.  Unexist and be at peace.

[Disclaimer: I am not a mathematician or a tactician. I have no idea about Nuclear Weapons though do know the ultimate WMD for a relationship are words spoken in anger.]
[Note: The Question is actually from a song called Stay by Jay Sean, and I can't claim to have heard it]

Friday, 22 July 2011

Why your computer is slow and the Network congested

A couple of colleagues, who I shall not name, were having this discussion with me just the other day.  They like most in the industry are bonafide engineers with a number of years of experience building mission critical systems for fortune 500 companies.

The reality of it is that disk fragmentation, large caches of internet files on disk, drivers, programs, overburdened registry hives are common causes for computers to slow down.  However my esteemed colleagues assured me this was not the case.

The real cause for computers to slow down is electricity. It’s the reason why wiring wears out as well and needs to be changed in old houses.

Electricity as we know is a stream of electrons, and metal is not especially brilliant at conducting it. Some of this is lost to resistance and heat, which means the electrons are escaping. This in turn leads to metal loss, due to the atoms being destabilized by the loss of the electrons.

This is why your wonderful 64 bit Core i7 processor becomes a 63 bit processor over time.  Or maybe just a 63.75 bit processor.  This has the effect of causing the instructions on the computer to run slower, especially if they are 64 bit. It is like a car, as my esteemed colleagues assured me, over time the engine loses compression due to wear and tear. Similarly the chip loses bits and thus power. However this loss is uneven, and as information flows over the network, the dislodged bits and bytes come stuck at random places.

On the networks these bits are like pieces of gravel, and once a lot of them come to reside in a particular location they have the same effect as gravel on the roads. If they accumulate into bytes, then they act like boulders. Typically in bends on the wire or in the antennas of the wireless routers.  The packets of data don’t see the accumulated bytes, and thus crash into each other since the protocol is not designed to account for these. Just as you don’t expect speed bumps on the highway.  Hence the network traffic gets congested.

The problem as I am assured by the gentlemen with a Master’s degree in Computing is quite simple. We just have to design our systems with 63 bit architecture rather than 64 bit architecture. That way we will underuse the available capacity, and will have outsmarted the ravages of electricity.

And on that note I need to reboot my brain. A null pointer exception has occurred.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I have a Bone to pick with God

They say God created man in his image. And then ran out of materials for women, so removed a rib from man to create the Woman. Which is all very well, but in whose image did he create her and why?

God also tried to be modular; in his wisdom and tried to create both man and woman in a modular  (The Holy grail of true OO and SOA when you think about it) manner using common parts. hence both tend to have brains, though the location of said object is often disputed by woman. Hearts, kidneys, blood, livers and so on. However being a novice at this engineering bit, god made a few mistakes. (The Duck Billed Platypus and me are two examples). Took quite a while to figure out interoperability of parts, and the plug and play design.

I mean the exception handling mechanisms for most critical parts in the body don't exist. Trauma to the heart and you drop dead there and then. Trauma to the brain, and ditto. I mean instead of pain, couldn't we have had a light go off as warning or something. If an arm gets cut, why cant we regrow it.  But the design flaws can be overlooked.

The god decided to put both Adam and Eve or man and woman in this place called Eden and forbade them from eating figs. Why figs, have you ever seen a painting of Adam and Eve wearing Apple Leaves? Or do you find apples sexier than figs? Well hence fig leaves, and it was a fig tree. Seriously.

Like most men and women over time, Adam probably stopped making Eve feel special, got tired of the constant nagging or discovered beer or something. So Eve wandered off to the fig tree, and spent time talking to the snake. Why not an Ostrich or a Wolf why a snake, I wouldn't know. But the Snake being a Snake convinced Eve to transgress and eat the fig.

Consequently both Eve and poor Adam got kicked out Eden. Eve blamed Adam for the transgression and since then men have never understood women. She ate the fig, but responsibility didn't exist at this point. Woman got angry, and hell hath no fury... you get the message.
Women have since relentlessly worked at converting all snakes into handbags and shoes from that day on in retaliation for the fig.
The poor fig a rich source of vitamins and minerals has become an alleged aphrodisiac. Man has become a vestigial organism otherwise known as metrosexual.

And finally when I do meet God, I have a bone to pick.. specifically my missing rib. And I want it back.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

You are at war and don't realise it.

An old proverb goes that if you know what the other person wants,  you have power over them.  Paying attention to your conversations often holds the key, especially in a casual setting. Invariably when someone calls you after a gap it is the third thing they mention that is the crux of the conversation.  More often than not, it is also what they want from you.

Human interactions are all about give and take, all our actions are guided by this principle. All humans do things for each other in order for something in return, which can range from gratification, to respect to any other tangible or intangible outcome.  In essence it is a transaction.

Since all interactions are transactions, shouldn’t we try and run our relationships like a healthy business?

In order to succeed in business, we must realize it is the survival of the fittest, and hence best approached as you would battle. Therefore we are in a constant state of warfare with each other, that being said you guide to life should be the Art of War.

[Please dont actually try to run your life like you would a war. This is only a random ramble as a result of being bored.]

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Ban Living!

The NYTimes back in Feb'11 ran a story where some businesses are turning away potential employees for being smokers. This is being justified due to higher insurance costs, and a perception of lowered productivity, and potential health issues. Employees have to undergo random nicotine testing.
While everyone agrees smoking generally isn’t a good habit, and as an ex-smoker I can testify that cessation has had zero affect on my productivity, or apparent health. I feel no better or worse than I did when I was smoking.
The real crux here, as the article also points out is that how can something that is legal be used to discriminate against your employment prospects, or even be grounds for termination? What is next? Will companies stop hiring based weight? Or food habits? Or race or colour? Or your hobbies?
We ourselves are to blame for the loss of our individual freedoms and choices we might decide to make in our own lives. Just another sign of world that has gone mad.
For those who argue that smoking is bad for health so this is justified, I ask you this: Since the leading cause of death on this planet across the world can be attributed to birth, should we ban living?