Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Asiya Bibi and Islamic "Caste System"

Followers of Christian religion and Islam extol the virtue of a caste less society. They jump on to the followers of  native Indian tradition by accusing that Caste System is the biggest evil in non-Semetic religion followers.

But, I have heard about terms like "Pulaya Christiani" , Ezahava Christians , Dalit Christians, Dalit Muslim, Ahemdiya Muslim ( as If, Sunni and Shia are the genuine Muslims) etc.

When the people of the book co-habit, it is fun to see. In Pakistan, Asiya Bibi, a Christian lady is awaiting death sentence just because another Muslim Women accused her of Blasphemy. She was sentenced to death in 2010 and her appeal is also rejected.

This is yet another  proof that Caste Systems and segregation exists in Islamic and Xian societies as well.

You can read about Asiya Mohammed case here and here. A petition page is available at the following site.

Who does Moral Policing in Kerala? Let them go for the "KISS DAY"!

Moral policing is done by a section of people in Kerala for the last twenty Years. Why suddenly cry against Moral Policing after the Kozhikode Restaurant issue?


The fact that BJP is in the Power and members of it's youth Wing were involved in the crime (Ya, of course, It is a Law and Order problem)  is responsible for all the noise around.

Some  people because of their political  and characteristic Communal mindset, began to unleash Tirade against  people who does not belong to Abrahamic religion.They began to abuse sensibilities of people who believe in local tradition and culture. They began to abuse Indian dieties and accusing traditional Indian cultural heroes as Sex Maniac.

Let me tell you two people who are doing Moral Policing

  • A particular religious Institution who belongs to a prominent community indulges in pre-marital counselling are doing a form of Moral policing.They are planning to institutionalize Sex. How a couple should behave is not something faith based organizations should meddle with. I noticed it from 1990 and it is a shame on an Open Society. Till now, I have not seen anyone protesting against it.
  • Take any Moral Policing incident in Kerala. Out of the 100, 95 will be from a particular section where lot of people are expatriates. It is the competition between youth vying for the "Deserted Widows" of Kerala, is responsible for the moral policing incidents. Women whose husbands are not around easy prey for sex maniacs. Naturally,when people compete for resources collision does happen!
When the "KISS DAY" idea originated it somone's Idea, I understood that it will fizzle out in Kerala. Look, even in BJP "controlled" Delhi, "Pink Chaddi" campaign succeeded? Why the KISS DAY is not allowed by Kerala Govt. itself?

When two communities who are involved in Moral policing are  in power through proxy in state, how come they can allow things which  are antithetical to their religious teachings. It is imposing their narrow religious mindset on couples who want to Kiss each other in Public.

Paradoxically, people who are criticizing the BJYM for moral policing belong to the communities which encourages moral policing!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jounralists are "Idiots", Chauffer Knowledge and The Story of Arun PV

I do not think, Arun P Vijayakumar has committed any crime. He had a Wish and he "Evangelized" about it. Like thousands of believers who are mesmerized by pastors, seers and Imams,people believed his tall tale stories. Why should we blame him?

I do not know how many of you can recall what is given below

Now, it is not seen often. From mid-90s to until recently, some boy or a man from Kottayam district will come up with an invention which will fascinate Japanese and Americans ( Only them :). Tall stories about them will be published in the Malayala Manorama and funny correlation is that the boy or a man will be a Syrian Catholic!

I have seen wonderful encryption schemes ( aka Snake Oils), gadgets, Idea and even new font technology being developed. After that grand news, nothing will be heard about the invention or the person who did it. (Did NASA abduct them?!)

Later, I learned that, Malayalam news papers who are in look out for grandiose stories for fillers, they publish stuff by trusting the Journalist and "Syrian Catholic Aruns" which they have found out.

We cannot blame the Journalists as well. They are vulnerable to a kind of cognitive Bias called "Chauffer Knowledge"

The term "Chauffer Knowledge" was coined after a real life incident which can be summarized as given below.

"Max Planck, the famous German Scientist used to go for lectures all around Austro-Hungarian Empire. He used to travel by Car and the driver (chauffeur) who accompanied Max acquired quite a bit of knowledge on the Quantum Physics, by  virute of attending lectures among the audience. One day, chauffer requested Max Planck to switch roles. For a change, chauffeur will take the session and Max planck will sit in the Audience, as a driver.  Max Planck agreed and the driver finished the lectures with Flying colors. He could even mesmerize audience as he is regarded as Max Planck (Inventor of Quantum physics) and had familiarity with the topic, by virtue of hearing same thing time and again. During the Q&A session, a particular question perplexed the Chauffer. He was smart enough to say the following, "I never expected a learned City like Munich will ask a question, which my car driver can answer!"

Jounralists because of their "Chauffer Knowledge", reach conclusions fast and they publish stuff without proper research. Their market is a "Mob" and Mob do not have sense. They can get away with it. I have seen people getting amazed with Journalists and because of the awareness of Cognitive biases, I smile within.

Politicians will go my mass opinion and Demagoguery is in their Blood. Arun got felictations from such political stalwarts like LK Advani and Rajnath Singh. His school, people from his locality were very "proud" of his accomplishment. We have finally got the academic equivalent of Santhosh Pandit. Both Arun and Santhosh are talented for sure, they know how to caputure the imagination of Masses.

I am curious to see,whether Arun PV will be arrested for being "fraudulent". He is already called a "NASA Fraudster". I am not sure expressing his wish is a Fraudulent activity. 

I am eager to meet the fellow to understand his mindset and wishes. I am seeing a budding Marketing genius in him.

I Insist you should go for the "Kiss Day"

On November 2nd, Kerala is going to see a unique kind of protest against Moral policing. To prove a point, lot of girls are up for grabs for men who are interested in having a lighter movement.

I am foreseeing a lot of scenarios

  • Some one hundred girls and one thousand men will assemble there to reach a riot like situation.
  • Lot of parents will come to do moral policing on their daughters who might join the protest
  • Lot of Muslim men (without girl friends) will come to have kiss with Hindu and Xian girls
  • Lot of voyeurs will come and take pictures
  • Future of some females whose picture gets beamed to Facebook will be under peril
  • No single Muslim women will be present there 
  • Leftist Hindus will bring their daughters and wives to be given to other men
  • Yuva Morcha people can come and thrash the participants head
  • Muslim organizations can come and protest
  • Police will come and arrest these protesters
  • Leftist Christians will come without their female folk and won't kiss
  • Wives will come there to spy on their husbands and they will be mistaken as Object to Kiss
Vinasha Kale Vipareedha Budhi

Sunday, October 26, 2014

K-MUG monthly meetup - October, 25 @ Technet Software - Part 3

Yanesh Tyagi's session on "Modern Web Architecture" was superb, as far as I was concerned. Recently, a friend of mine was interviewed for a Semantic Web position and I know about the discussion happened there. It did help me take good interest.

  • He classified the evolution of Web architecture into 
      • Simple Web ( 1.0) (1995-2005)
      • Dynamic Web (2.0) (2005-2010)
      • Semantic Web (3.0) (2010-Till date)
      • Smart Web (Web 4) (2013-Till date) 
  • The taxonomy above is from Yanesh and Timeline is based on my subjective perspective.
  • The salient features of Semantic Web are
      • Micro formats
      • Machine readable 
      • API based interaction between systems
  • Then, he talked about Real time data access and the 3Vs of big data
      • Volume
      • Velocity
      • Veracity
  • In the discussion of Map Reduce, he brought forward the import point that most NoSQL databases are FOSS. This can be a quite a saving when it comes to creation of databases for Semantic Web
  • According to him, Smart Web (Web 4.0 - still coming ) will be
      • Agent based
      • Internet of Things 
      • Agents take even decisions based on predictive analytics
  • He talked about Google Now, Amazon Order tracking and Gmail Actions as a case in the point for Semantic web based inferences
  • He outlined the three pillars of Semantic Web
      • Resource Description Framework ( RDF) (aka Microformats)
      • Web Ontology Languge ( OWL)
      • Xtensible Markup Language ( XML)
  • He also talked about 
      • SPARQL
      • RIF ( Rule Interchange Format)
      • SWRL
      • RDF
  • Google Micro format is similar to RDF
  • He talked about the features which a Most modern Web applications require
      • Save to ( Drop box, Skydrive)
      • Login with Facebook, Microsoft Live (OAUTH)
      • Share ( on Social media)
  • The Highlight of his talk was the reference architecture he outlined for Web 1.0 , Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and Web 4.0. I think, just studying that, you can become a budding Architect. I am hoping he will upload slides somewhere
One good thing about Yanesh is he does seem to be do good homework or he is doing presentations on topic he works on a day to day basis or combination of both.

K-MUG monthly meetup - October, 25 @ Technet solutions - Part 2

Pramod Vasudevan took a session titled,"Document Databases" in the Enterprise. The session can be considered as a "No Nonsense Introduction to NoSQL". Here are some of the memes from it.

  • He started the discussion about Scalability and brought in the issue of Adaptability when it comes to large corporations. He was of opinion that, in the internet world, a small player can come up with a key differentiator in some of the parameters he enlisted  and capture the market.  "Small is Beatiful"!  
  • He talked about sudden surge in the traffic and even If we are having a robust server infrastructure, the system can crash denying service to all of it's users. He mentioned two case studies from his personal experience. ( an Examination result system and Ticketing System)
  • He also talked about the quick turnaround time required and how the Industry moved to Automated testing and Continuous Delivery model. Gone are the days of Continuous integration, it is Continuous Delivery.
  • He talked about Scale up ( Vertical scaling) and Scale Out ( Horizontal scaling)  with associated economics with it. Scale Out is an expensive proportions from a licensing and hardware perspective.
  • The next topic was NoSQL and it's genesis. Four types of NoSQL DB's were outlined.
      • Key/Value ( Redis/Amazon Dynamo)
      • Document Databases 
      • Columnar Databases ( Cassendra, BigTable)
      • Graph DB ( Neo4j,OrientDB)
  • He talked about the advantages of Document Databases. likes Absence of expensive Join operations, Database locks and Fast Read/Write
  • Topic of Sharding and AutoSharding got discussed
  • The highlight of the presentation was discussion of Command Query Responsibility Segregation ( CQRS) pattern in the context of a hybrid approach to persistence design. Pramod was of the opinion that Writes can be done of RDBMS and reads from a NoSQL db
  • Document databases are schema less and do not suffer from the Objection/Relational impedance mismatch. We are effectively storing Objects (it's serialized format) inside the database. No need for an ORM!
  • He also discussed about "Schemalessness" of Document databases Or there is an implicit schema detected by the NoSQL engine to query the results.
  • The primary use case for Key/Value databases is Caching and for the Columnar database is Bigdata/Analytics ( Columnar Db is supposed to be fast in query viz-a-viz row oriented RDBMS)
  • Document databases are suitable for companies which are following Domain Driven Design.
  • Aparna Chandrashekar brought in the topic of NoSQ,during the discussion.. The key take away from .her description was Cap theorom can help us to decide which type of NoSQL Db to choose. That was new to me. I know Cap theorem and it's traits. That is being pitched as the rationale for NoSQL design. but, never knew it is a good guide to choose the kind of NoSQL db.
  • Graph databases do have ACID property, where as rest mostly use BASE ( BAsic Availability, Soft state, Eventual Consistency)
  • For a question posed by me, Pramod positively asserted that NoSQL databases are making inroads into the Data warehousing arena.
The session was interactive and the knowledge of the presenter who was speaking from his experience in the trenches made it informative and entertaining.

K-MUG monthly meetup - October, 25 @ Technet solutions - Part 1

I regularly go for the Kerala Microsoft Users Group being held in Kochi. Our usual host has been Orion Systems @ Info-park. This time for a  change, we decided to host the meeting at a different venue. Our host this time was Technet Softwares @ Kaloor, Kochi.

I found it difficult to get a parking lot and finally barely managed to park my vehicle in front of a yet to be opened Branch of the HDFC near the AJ Hall. With some difficulty, Sarath and I located the venue.

As usual, after wishing pleasantries with people whom I know ,met two surprising guests (Antony Padayattil and Faisal, whom I befriended @ ILUG, Kochi)  who were already present there.
When I met them, both were students of FISAT, Angamally. After initial hiccup with projectors,the meeting got started bit late.

Summary of Sessions

  • Pramod Vasudevan took an informative session about Document Databases. He started with Relational databases and it's scalability issues. Then he moved on to Anecdotes about Scalability, Price, Infrastructure, Partitioning of RDBMS etc. With sufficient context, he jumped into the types of NoSQL databases. He also explained about the Document Databases. His session convinced people that NoSQL is a force to reckon with when read dominates your application horizon. 
  • Yanesh Tyagi followed it with a wonderful session on Modern Enterprise Application Architecture. He gave a evolutionary overview of the Web programming model starting from static pages, dynamic content (web 2.0), semantic web (web 3.0) and Agent based web (4.0). Highlight of his session was a reference architecture for each of these programming models. He has done his homework really well. Learned a lot about novell applications which already uses Semantic web offerings.
  • Aparna Chandrashekhar took a session on "SSDT" ( SQL Server Data Tools) , which is available as an optional pluggin in VS 2010 and bundled with VS2012. It is a replacement for Business Intelligence Development Studio, SSMS etc. in one package. The speaker did a wonderful job by explaining what each tool does and how we can leverage the tool to speed up your database development. She started her session with Database development pain points and ended up showing how SSDT solves all of these anomalies, when it comes to SQL Server.
  • Shalvin PD took a session on Sharepoint. One interesting thing about the presentation was the online multi-tasking during the session. He demonstrated Sharepoint Out of the Box features by creating a portol on his local machine and Rackspace at the same time. He cycled between Rackspace, Local sharepoint and his slides. He also showed how we can develop a Web part using visual studio and deploy it on to the sharepoint. A wonderful session which demonstrated his expertise on the Subject. Each time, I interact with Shalvin, I do learn lot of Sharepoint tips and tricks.
One good thing about K-MUG meetings is the fact that, we will understand about ignorance about what is happening in the IT world. 

After the session, when we landed at the Car parking slot, a verbal abuse of sort happened between security guard and I. Finally, I sorted it out and took the car away towards Kerala JS anniversary event.

PS:- In the following posts, I will outline the details of the meme I captured during the presentation.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Political Opinion will convert a "Brothel" to a "Hangout" !!

I do not know the full context of  the thrashing of the Kozhikode Restaurant, after a TV channel aired some clippings to demonstrate the intent of the place is something else.

Yuva Morcha ( Youth wing of the BJP) volunteers went in procession as a mob and thrashed the restaurant. (Mobs do not have sense). Now, it is a law and order problem. People should be arrested and Restaurant owner compensated.  No doubt about it.

Now, the real battle starts. Some people see it as an opportunity to take a ride on the BJP and even Modi. Ya,sure, Yuva Morcha people have done a crime. Arrest the people involved.

Some people  turned their attention to Moral policing angle and accusations/counter-accusations war started on the Facebook. Moral policing is really bad. It is an invasion to the privacy of consensual individuals.  Any Moralist who takes law on to their hands, should be arrested. When news do come out, Kerala police acts at it. 

I was curious to see, Kiran Mazumdar and Vasundhara Raje Scindia in some kind of a lip lock. Asking people to go and thrash Vasundhara Raje (Chief Minister of Rajasthan) to guys who are from the lowest rung of society is cruel. According to me, it is just political urge to satisfy you or to prove your opponents wrong. 

This will strengthen the moral policing culture. You are provoking people further. How two people who met somewhere in a closed event and embraced each other with a lip lock can be equated with a public restaurant who misuses the license given to it. I cannot understand the causation between both. I think, people are trying to correlate disconnected events to prove a political point. Since this is natural in a democracy, nothing wrong with it. 

Let me tell my perspective

"If a restaurant which is nearby my house, resorts to this kind of activities (as shown in the video clip). I am sure that people from my locality would ask the restaurant should shutdown and I will also join. 

Guys, this is India. Land of all kinds of faiths, castes and cults. There are different class of people with their own belief systems. Trying to impose western moral standards in India, is possible in big cities and isolated pockets. In order to settle your scores with your political opponents, you guys are trying to legitimizing "Pub Sex". Law and Order problems are being projected to other zones! for political opinions and you are strengthening Moral policing by that.

Had it happened in a Park or some public places, It would have been a case of Moral policing. "


Learn Python from a Master!

Recursive Labs, which is based out of Trichur,Kerala is conducting a course on Python programming. Even though course is titled as,"Introduction to Python", the syllabus covers quite a bit of Advanced stuff.

The organization has created a "Certified Open Source Developer program" (COSD)  aimed at creating a talent pool of developers on the GNU/Linux developers.

The Python course is one of the modules in it.

The course is delivered to you by Pramod CE, one of the best Python trainers which you can find in the world (WORLD). He has got deep expertise in GNU Linux C/C++ programming, Electronics/Embedded Systems and Functional Programming. 

I have heard Pramode being rated high by lot of my colleagues and friends. But, never got a chance to meet him in person, until, 2010

After I got the GNU/Linux programming bug in the month of February,2010, I signed up for every GNU Linux event. One such event was ICE FOSS, held at FISAT on April 19,2010  I can remember the date because of the blog entry here. The morning session on "Introductory Python" was taken by Ignatius Kunjumon, a professor from Cochin University of Science and Technology

Afternoon session was taken by Pramde CE and it was titled, "Scientific Python". What fascinated me was he started his session with an example from "Feynman's lectures on Physics"  and gave wonderful explanation of  NumPy and SciPy library. I learned a lot in that three hours.

Professor Kunjumon and Pramode instilled Python "bug" in me and I learned enough Python to talk @ Pycon India 2010 (Bangalore), "Extending and Embedding Python under Windows  using C/C++" .The source code of my examples are available here.

My second encounter with Pramode is when he conducted a workshop on "Functional Programming". He covered lot of Functional Programming ideas and it helped me to refine my understanding of the Functional Programming. I had blogged about it here.

I have interacted couple of times with him over the phone as well.

Even If you are a Professional, you can benefit from this training program. Most professionals are doing "Bread and Butter" programming. To explore programming from an intellectual standpoint is good way to rekindle your interest  in Programming. Learning Python is a profitable endeavor as Python programming community is very knowledgeable and they are driving most expensive cars on the streets of Bangalore, Boston and San fransisco ! ( I am not kidding). Python is used for development of business critical applications. Their downtime is not affordable for the business. So, a good python professional will be in good demand and commands good compensation.  I consider Python as an extension to the C programming language. The strategy is to write your core objects in C/C++ and expose the objects to the Python layer. In Python, you can write the glue logic. Python is fast, because underlying libraries are written in C/C++. The animation tools like Blender, ArcGIS, 3DS Max, Maya etc. has embedded Python inside their software system.

Some of the notable  things going to be covered include

  • Python Basics
  • Functional Programming
  • Visualization using Python
  • Introduction to Scientific Python
  • Python/C interface
  • Interfacing Python with Rasberry Pi/BeagleBone
The course details are available here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

"Political Islam" is a Social Problem!

Turkey was regarded as one of the liberal states out there,with a Muslim majority population . It was one for years, thanks to Kamal Ataturk.

Listen to what, the current leadership of Turkey has to say

"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers... "
- Tayyip Erdogan, President of  Turkey

This is a classic example of "Jihadi" mindset. If the current leader of a prominent state is speaking like this, think about it's consequences. I have come across people who share this vision all across India. 

Their favorite slogan is, 

"Haske Liye Pakistan, Lad ke Lenge Hindustan" which in English means, "We gained Pakistan without a fight and gain rest of India through a fight"

Lot of people In India mistakenly believe that the rise of BJP is the reason for Political Islam (BJP has profited from Political Islam). It is a illusion. Political Islamist have got people to blame. They will blame "Sangh Parivar" and play Minority card ( Even Cricketer Azharudheen played it) in India. For the rest of world issues like ISIS/Boko Haram/Hamas they will blame Zionist/American conspiracy. 

I do not think another religion has got the "power" to herd so much people for a single cause. The Koran as the way of life and submission to it. 

People who are supposed to study this phenomena are not speaking truth. 

Political Islam is a social problem! . By electing BJP or another political party, this is not going to go away. For Social problems, Political solutions have not worked. It has to be dealt at the Social level by dialogue at the grass root level. 

Non-Muslims across the world are under the illusion that It can be solved Politically. By using text of the  religion as a way of life, millions on people who believers of religion, are used as a political tool by "Islamists" and opposing forces world wide  have also gained strength by offering Political Solution to the social problem of "Political Islam"

Because of incessant brain washing and certain religious verses being interpreted in specific way,"Global Jihad" is a virus.  Muslims are victims of this mentality. You should engage in dialogue with fellow Muslims on this issue. It is an investment you have to make. Otherwise, Muslims and the rest of the world will get swallowed by an Ideology which does not do good for Muslims or Non-Muslims.

"Politcal Islamist" and "Islamophobist" are feeding each other to make life difficult for Homo Sapiens. In the end, both groups profit. What about us?

How I started "believing" in Astrology? - An algorithmic/data science explanation!

In the Year 1995, my father who was sixty, started practicing Astrology as a "hobby". This he did after being a trader for 35 years. He started as a notebook dealer (Geetha Book House) along with my uncle and became a cracker merchant. In retrospect, my younger brother "evicted" him from our shop to create an Identity for himself.

After my grand father died in 1948, In 1960, out of curiosity, my father opened his safer lock by stealing the key from my paternal uncle (his elder brother) and what he saw was lot of old documents and two books on Astrology. According to my father, he "stole" the book and started reading it.

I have seen him helping others by taking a look at their horoscopes when he was having leisure.  He had plenty of leisure as he was selling notebooks, then crackers and notebooks and finally, Cool drinks and crackers!. Since it was a seasonal business, he had leisure.

In 1995, I was a budding Software professional and our business were doing well. I was bit skeptical because Astrology was superstitious and dangerous, as far as I am concerned. It is Dangerous because should the prediction goes wrong or it is not well received by the clients, the whole blame can come on the Astrologer. I was wedded to Science as well!

As I observed, he had lot of repeat and referral clients. He was "unusually" accurate in most of the cases. I was perplexed! I know that he does not have divine powers. After four years, I got "fed up" with this and started investigating the cause of his unusual success.

After going through some books and deliberations with his friend ( J Dinkar Kamath), I could unravel the genesis of Astrology.

"Behind Astrology it is pure statistics. Over a period of  three millenea, people have collected data regarding the correlation between a person's birth related data (Place, Time, Month,Year) and his later day destiny. Since it has been done by different people over ages, the sample size being large as well, there is unusual predictive power. The people who prepare Horoscope tables (Panchangam) are effectively masking the astronomical/mathematical underpinnings of Astrology. Astrology only does an operation similar to Computer Science operation of  Hashing ( Birth data vectors being transformed to generate a Key)  and does look up in two tables ( Event table and Exception Table) which stores information regarding the destiny of each key and citing of exceptions to the very key. In other words, the data points are collected by a Key transformation and two lookups.  Astrology only provides that. The Astrologer (Data Scientist) does the prediction depending upon his convenience. The subjective  angle comes only when Astrologer calibrates  result to suit his context. All astrologers are smart enough to know that "No body" likes the messenger of Bad news. Until the predictive part comes,It is Astronomy."

This is the shortest description of Astrology which I can give. If you have got doubt, you can get in touch with me to elaborate.

You can read about the relationship between Science, Data Science and Astrology here.

KeralaJS - First Anniversay event is tomorrow - Time flies fast

The KeralaJS was the brainchild of Mr. Shameer C Sayed and I remember attending the first meetup. It was surprising to know that one year has passed very fast. It has helped me to meet lot of Individuals like Praveen Sridhar, Nithin Bekal, Revath Kumar,Binoy Balu etc.

I have also presented in the events. Tomorrows attraction include Three.js (a Visualization library), Nodebots (Node.js based Robots) and Prototype based OOP.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Have you ever met an "Anti-Guru"?

Gopi is a software professional who has seen another person (say Ram) who always make wrong decisions when it comes to investing in stocks(shares). Gopi helped leak the portfolio of Ram to Guruji who made some profit out of investing in shares which Ram does not invest.

Over the tea, Gopi asked Guruji about Ram's technique of investing. Prem and Tilak were also present there.

Gopi=>"I find Ram to be a logical guy and why it is that he makes wrong decisions regularly?"

Guruji=>"This is a typical problem with most so called logical people. They model things in a perfect manner! The world is full of imperfection"

Gopi=>"Ya, conventional wisdom says, one should invest by doing good Logical Analysis. what is wrong with it?"

Prem=>"I also concur with Gopi"

Guruji=>"When it comes to human affairs, you should not do rigorous analysis the way Mathematicians or Scientist do"

Prem=>"Why did you say so?"

Tilak, who was quiet all these time,suddenly jumped in.

Tilak=>"Guruji, I normally do not side with Prem. This time you should be logical"

Guruji=> "Logical people think about the Ideal. In other words, they think what should Ideally be the case. Intelligent people bother about what is out there"

Tilak=>"Can you be more elaborate?"

Guruji=>"Social belief drives this world. It is not the logical or scientific reasons. So, Logical analysis is really good in the case of natural laws and electro-mechanical systems. Humans do have consciousness and they need not act logical, in the rigorous sense"

Gopi=>"Guruji,you seems to be beating around the bush. Come to the Point!"

Guruji=>"Guys, If a crowd believes that certain state of affairs is the reality, It is hard to override that. If you try it, cost attached to it is not worth the effort. If you listen to social conventions and beliefs, you can invest wisely."

Gopi=>"Then, crowd should make all the money"

Guruji=>"When a state of affairs is reached because of the social belief, there is tremendous amount of money to be made by switching. At what time, one should switch is based on heuristics. I am not able to explain this because, my listeners should understand sociology. People like Ram are Anti-Gurus. They do sound analysis, but, their data points are weak. You will profit by going against Anti-gurus that is how I made money in Stock market with the help of Gopi "

"Sunk Cost Fallacy" and Programming Languages

Some people who are ardent followers of the tenets of Koran, some times even defend dreaded terrorists by using the following words, "Understand Islam, then, come and argue". Anybody who has listened to them, after spending time with Koran has, got converted to Islam.

Why it is so?

The Answer is "Sunk Cost Fallacy".

At times, we invest time and effort in certain pursuits expecting some gain (money,pleasure or anything). As you dig deep, you will understand that you are chasing an elusive goal. But, the fact that you have already invested a lot, will make you continue the loss making endeavor. Since you have invested lot of resources (Sinking) into a loss making pursuit, you will invest more to it. This phenomena is  called "Sunk Cost Fallacy".

In the case of religious books,

"When you invest considerable time with a so called sacred book, you have sunk effort into it. Because of the natural propensity to recover the investment, the most economical way to do is to preach the very book you started reading to criticize. All people  who have converted or stage managed a conversion, are effectively victims of  Sunk Cost Fallacy"

It seems, The same is true for Programming Languages.

"Out of curiosity or compulsion, we will explore some programming languages. Once we have spent considerable effort on something, our propensity to recoup investment triggers in. It can sometimes be a waste of our time. Still, we will go about it"

I was "forced" to take a look at Go Programming language by some friends. I am now looking at the language to see what It has to offer. I even called one of the top Google officials to understand what is special about Go which others have not given. If trend goes like this,Soon, you can see me preaching about Go to recoup my investment (Sunk Cost? - Not sure Yet) and you can end up victims of my urge.

Let us wait and see!

"Rank Holder Syndrome" and Software Industry!

Recently, a Technical manager whom I know of began to behave erratically by picking quarrels with everyone around. He began to assert himself and his relevance to the organization to such an extent that people began to ignore him. After a while, he subsided and quietly drifted to his daily routine.

I have seen this Curious pattern in lot of Software companies (Ya, Sample is from twenty three companies with more than one month tenure) and perplexed why this is so.

A friend of mine explained to me the phenomena

"Some of the people in Software Industry were rank holders from their kindergarten days. They are lousy when it comes to co-operation. Since they are wired like a Puma to chase anything which moves fast, these guys are instinctively triggered to act in a competitive manner, moment a conflict situation arrives. Smart people resolve conflict through negotiation, avoidance and working around it. These guys compete with any one who is having a conflict with them"

I named this phenomena, "Rank Holder Syndrome".

As you age, you need to learn to co-operate. There are cases where co-operation is impossible, then you should take the stuff head on. In other words, pick your battles.

Have you seen people suffering from "Rank Holder Syndrome"?

"Lie becomes truth(myth)", as much as a "Bug becomes feature"

When the Original  RS-232 UART Controller for Serial Communications were produced by a company, there was a bug in it. Software written to leverage the controller relied on the bug to provide some functionality. Soon, every chip maker has induce this bug into their controller for making software compatible. Bug mutated itself into a feature, because of "Socio Economics".

WINE is a bottom up implementation of Windows API. This helps GNU Linux to run Windows programs like Word, Excel and Photoshop etc.  The biggest problem the Wine project faced was implementing features which were bugs and had to be implemented in a certain way for all the software to run.

There are various theories surrounding Jesus Christ. The version given by the Catholic church is the most dominant one. Millions of people are leading their life based on the myth that Jesus once lived,he was crucified, got resurrected and had a divine birth. I think, let those things remain so and people should continue to believe that, even If, the true story might be otherwise. Shattering of certain myths (Lie turned truth) can have consequences beyond the fact. The ripple effect of certain facts are too hard to control.

If Jesus story is not that way, then foundation of other like Islam will also crumble. Islam and Christianity regard each other as people from the book. I think, people who believe their books do have certain fear, when real facts emerge. They want to sleep peacefully and why should they believe it is otherwise?

Countless examples are there in Politics, Economics, Governance etc. all across the world. The delta between facts and social belief cannot be reduced beyond a certain point.

Should a Microsoft C# programmer take a look at Google's Go?

In the  1990s, there was a silent war going on between Microsoft and it's nearest competitor, Borland International. Historically, Microsoft has got affinity towards BASIC programming language and Borland is fixated with Pascal. Borland was winning in the C++ compiler market (till 4.5.x,after Visual C++ became preferred chocie because of MFC) and Delphi (Object Pascal) did create some dent in to the Visual Basic market. Delphi was called "VBK" which stands for "Visual Basic Killer".

Microsoft evolved from BASICA, GW Basic, Profession Development Basic, Quick Basic , Visual Basic for MSDOS, Visual Basic for Windows, VB4 (introduced OLE/COM DLL), VB5 (ActiveX DLL) , VB6 (the last and the most popular version) and etc.  

Borland started from Turbo Pascal and moved to Object Pascal for DOS, Object Pascal for Windows (Turbo Pascal 7), Delphi 16-bit, Delphi 32 bit , Kylix (Linux version of Delphi) , Delphi.Net etc.

Microsoft won the war agasint Delphi using Visual Basic product and with the advent of .NET, C#/.NET became the dominant application development platform on Windows. C# and the .NET stack has evolved steadily by adding more and more features like Generics, LINQ, Lambda, Dynamic etc. For all practical purpose, If you say, you are a .NET developer, chances are that you are a C#/.NET developer. The Mono project, Xamarin, Kinect,XBOX,.NET micro framework, Windows CE, Azure has propelled .NET vertically and horizontally. 

For Shared memory Parallel programming, Microsoft did enhance their Threading package (System.Threading) by adding more and more Synchronization Primitives, with each release of the .NET Platform. With the Advent of Multi-Core programming, Microsoft shifted it's energy to Functional and Declarative Programming models. After enhancing the Platform with subsystems meant for implementing these features, they started work on Task Parallel Library and Parallel LINQ. With additional support for GPU computing through DirectX ( DirectCompute), I have not come across any platform which can rival Microsoft.

All of the Java tools and C++ tools also work well within Windows. Companies like NVIDIA/AMD produce better GPU drivers for Windows.

Recently, a friend of mine asked me about an article written by a Microsoft MVP lauding the Go Programming Language. Since a Microsoft MVP is lauding the GO Language, It has been noticed by lot of people whom I know of. I told them that, Other than the fact that Google's App engine support Go language, I am not seeing much of a value. 

Then, the popular question does come. "If a corporation like Google is throwing it's weight behind a programming language, there should be some substance beneath the hype". I call this "Endorsement effect". 

The standard answer I give for the above are centered around following arguments

"The Google corporation was pushing and using Python a while ago. But, Python being a language controlled by Guido Van Roussum (BDFL), they cannot mess with it. App engine has got support for Java, Python and Go language etc. Google expects Go adoption to create a dependency on their platform. They are envying C# and the clout it brings to Microsoft corporation."

"People like Ken Thompson (creator of Unix),Rob Pike (a noted computer pioneer) and Bjarne stroustrup (inventor of C++) had nothing else to do after the closure of AT&T. Stroustrup is enhancing C++ without much takers and others try to come up with languages which might add a feature or two. But, I do not think these people are adding anything worthwhile than intellectual curiosity"

"Unless you have got a political position in the language wars or you are looking for endowments from a corporation, you should not side with any language. Most languages are just syntactic sugar and it is not a Silver Bullet for all of your Software Engineering maladies"

The pitch reached so high that I even installed Go language system on my computer. Most people are comfortable with Class based OOP. The semantics of C++,Java and C# are very close and investment you have to make cross learn things are low.

In the case of Javascript, we are forced to learn Prototype OOP as there is no other option to program in a browser window, which will work in every platform. Learning dynamic typing, prototype OOP, Closures are an imperative for us,because of this dependency. 

In the case of Go, there is no imperative on us and C#/.NET provides us everything which Go and provide with no additional intellectual overhead. 

IMHO, Go is a just a programming language promoted by Google corporation, in the Silicon valley tradition of "dog feeding" something to make it robust. Now, Google expects people to adopt the language to create some dependency.

Other than, intellectual curiosity, I am not seeing any potential. You might get exposed to some concepts for sure. If conceptual maturity is your goal, learn F# Or  Scala, You will be a better programmer.

PS:- There is a potential that because of the Google's push, Go can even penetrate into the Android platform. But, at this point of time, I have not got any explicit hints at that. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

C# is a "virus",If Infected, good!

I was having a conversation with a guy who is an aficionado  of GNU Linux platform. Not only he is obsessed with platform, but, seems to maintain an active interest in the Politics surrounding FOSS. He is not vocal at that.

He made a remark which went as follows, "GNU Linux do not have a good language to program It's applications, utilities and desktop programs,very fast. They are looking for a Programming Language and a Platform to rectify this issue. C#/Mono (.NET) is the primary choice for serious developers, but, Stallman's resistance to so called proprietary software is the reason people are not adopting it in grand style. After Stallman's death, I am seeing C# to come to the mainstream"

I do have great respect for Stallman, for the brilliant idea of "CopyLeft" and for starting Free Software Foundation. He is also the primary implementor of  GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and GNU Emacs. But, after the OSS movement, he now a days speaks Politics(Advocacy) over Pragmatism"

I feel, The C# programming language has outgrown Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft made it an ECMA standard and that lead to the implementation of Mono,DotGNU, Portable.Net and similar platforms. Mono emerged out as the leader and now it has grown to a stage where it can dictate terms to the Microsoft. Microsoft's adoption of Xamarin (a Mobile development platform based on C#/Mono) and it's attempt to make, a Cross Platform framework can be attributed the emergence and Maturity of Mono. 

Apple's new programming language, Swift has not taken off as most people feel that learning Xamarin is a better investment than learning Swift, especially Objective C/C++ developers. Bulk of back-end logic to Apple devices are provided by Microsoft stack, as Microsoft is the "Badsha" of the Enterprise backbones. Even though front facing sites might be based on Java and others, most American corp orates use C# for their corporate applications. In the FOSS vs Proprietory game, Apple is categorized along with Microsoft.

Other than the Microsoft Platform, C# has penetrated to GNU Linux, MAC OS X/iOS (through Mono/Xamarin),Android(Xamarin) etc. In the Embedded world, there is DotNet Microframework available. The Netduino platform allows you to use C#/Micro framework to write Embedded Applications. Windows CE operating system is used by lot of OEMs and C# is the primary programming language.

The popularity of C# can be attributed primarily to Microsoft's clout and the superiority of it's development platform (Visual Studio). But, it is not limited to that. The language merges Procedural programming,Object Oriented Programming, Functional Programming (Lambda), Generic Programming, Declarative/Logic programming(LINQ/PLINQ), Concurrent Programming(Threads/Parallel Task Library), Native code programming (unsafe block for pointer access/Pinvoke/COM interop), Static typing/Type inference,Dynamic typing (dynamic) etc, in a box. 

What more one can ask for?

The closest competition is from Java + Scala + Groovy. Three languages against one! 

If you want to be a productive developer in the Microsoft platform,only extra programming language you should master is JavaScript. If you want to work with Java platform, it is very easy to learn Java and it's technology for C# programmers. as there is correspondence between technology offerings.

Lot of people see C# as a virus which is infecting different places. But, considering it as a Java Clone is only true until  .NET 2.0. After that, C# has evolved quite a bit in the last eight/nine years. I think, a productive programmer should learn both to maximize his odds.

A Judicial Verdict, Precedence and it's "Dangerous Consequences"

I happen to see on my Facebook wall, something which says, "A man can get divorce from wife who insists on deserting his parents". The court was pronouncing Judgement in a case, which was filed in 1991. The Judge even denied  maintenance money in the case.

For the above case, It might be a good Judgement. But, Judiciary go by precedence. This particular case, ("Radhika vs Ashok, Lucknow, 2014)  might be used as a pretext to get a Divorce.

I am hoping that, In future, this particular Judgement will be used sparingly. I think, these kind of cases should be handled  Individually,  Trying to generalize and making it a Precedence is dangerous for society.

From a Darwinian perspective, Every female would like to oust her in-laws. It is law of nature and women are genetically programmed to do that way. This will reach a state where every marriage will culminate in Divorce!

Another curious fact I observed was this particular Judgement seems to go well with  people with Muslim names,in general. I just did a Analytic study on a sample of 169 opinions and people with Muslim sounding names seems to be happy at  this.  ( May be, the news was published in Chandrika Daily. That might be the reason). My study is not statistically accurate, but, there is definitely a trend for sure.

I even saw, assertions that, "Prophet Muhammed has told the same in Koran".

Shihabudeen Shamsudeenവൈകിയാണ്‌കിലും കോടതിയ്ക്ക് കാര്യം മനസിലയാലോ . ഇബ്രാഹിം നബി (അ ) മുതല്‍ മുസ്ലിങ്ങള്‍ പാലിച്ചു വരുന്ന കാര്യം ആണ് . മുഹമ്മദ്‌ നബി (സ) ഒന്നുക്കൂടി ശക്തമാക്കി .

Shajahan Parappuram Kodathi mathramalla 1400 varsham mumb quranum paranjittund.....

A Social critic, His "Ignorance" and an adage,"Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence"

A noted Social critic on Facebook

"മലയാളി എന്നെങ്കിലും ദീപാവലിയെ ഒരു ആഘോഷമായി കൊണ്ടാടിയിട്ടുണ്ടോ എന്നെനിക്കറിയില്ല.അതിനാല്‍ ദീപാവലി ആശംസിക്കാന്‍ സത്യസന്ധമായി പറഞ്ഞാല്‍ എനിക്ക് കഴിയുന്നില്ല.എന്‍റെ ഓര്‍മയുടെ സംസ്കാരത്തില്‍ അത് ഒട്ടും ഫിറ്റ്‌ ആകുന്നില്ല.ആശംസിക്കാത്തത്തിനു പിണങ്ങരുത്.ചില കുറവുകളും മറ്റു ചില അധികങ്ങളും ഉള്ള ജീവിതമാണ് നമ്മുടേത്‌.

ആദിവാസികള്‍ ഒരു തുണ്ട് ഭൂമിക്കായി നടത്തുന്ന "നില്‍പ്പ്സമരം" ഈ ദീപാവലിയുടെ ഒരു സവിശേഷതയാണ്.
അവരെ വംശഹത്യ ചെയ്യാന്‍ മുന്നണിയായി പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന മത രാഷ്ട്രീയ ദുര്‍ഭൂതങ്ങള്‍ക്കു ഒരു പക്ഷെ നരകാസുരന്റെ മുഖച്ഛായ ഉണ്ടാകാം.സംഹരിക്കാന്‍ ഒരു അവതാരം ഉണ്ടാകുമോ..?അതോ നമ്മള്‍ കൂട്ടായി അത് ചെയ്യണോ..?
ദീപം തെളിഞ്ഞിരുന്നെങ്കില്‍......!
ദിവസം 108 ആയി അവരുടെ സമരം....


In Kerala, Trivandrum and Kollam district celebrate Diwali with great fan fare. Where as northern districts celebrate Vishu. 

In Trivandrum, Vishu is not a great celebration. In the year 1999, I did not see any kids who come to the door for  "Vishu Kaineetam". Curious, I asked a relative of mine and he told me that Vishu is mainly celebrated in Alleppy and the above part of Kerala. (Of course, Vishu is celebrated as "Baisaki" all across India as well)

Our universe is very vast and despite being a enlightened person, the critic in question could not understand some basic facts about the milieu he lives.

I think, in the above musing, there is mixing of two issues. The issue of Tribal land is a genuine one and why it should be mixed with Diwali? Creating awareness on Social issues, by making a statement which is not fully true, is suitable for "Demagogues". If usage of Diwali is used to take the metaphors for his explanation, that is fair enough. But, I do have  a difference of opinion only in the assertion.

I think, first and the foremost, the Peron in question suffers from, "If I have not see in it, It does not exist". Are people of Trivandrum and Kollam not Malayalis?

My family is into the business of selling Crackers and we do good business during this time. From 1977 on-wards (I started going to our shop from that year), I know from my first hand experience, that lot of Malayalis do celebrate Deepavali. 

If it is not celebrated, how a word will enter Malayalam dictionary. I think, in Nair/Ezhava calendar, it might not be a big celebration.