Saturday, September 20, 2014

"Software Freedom Day" speech @ STAS,Edapally

As part of the Software freedom day, I presented a Seminar on JavaScript Programming Language @ School of Applied Technology and Sciences (STAS) @ Edapally on 19th September 2014. Software freedom is celebrated every third saturday of September all across the globe. The session introduced JavaScript in a gentle manner by telling about dynamic typing and how it differs from Static languages taught in Schools and Colleges. The session also dealt wit the story of Free Software and emphasized the four freedoms which FSF stands for. Since I am bit skewed towards OSS, I told them that it is pragmatic to do away with fourth freedom, in the case of non-System software. Judging by the reaction of students, I assume, they enjoyed it.

Gave a talk at the Maker Party Kochi,for Volunteers

Today, I went to CUSAT (along with Sarath and Vysakh), to give a presentation at the Maker Party Kochi for eighty volunteers who are supposed to manage the event. The session was titled
Program Your “Stupid” Brain to learn or do (Make) Anything?

The theme of the presentation was you can learn anything by some simple tweaks to your mindset. The primary impediment to learning most things can be reduced to 
  • Perils of Bottom Up Learning
  • Learning Blocks 
The interactive session covered some personal anecdotes trying to learn Compilers, Computer Graphics, Electronics etc.  from a "Bottom up" perspective. There are easier ways to learn topics and some techniques to learn anything was discussed. 

Finally, I unveiled my five level conceptual framework to learn Electronics

Level 0 -  Discrete Components
Level 1 – Discrete Circuits/PCB systems
Level 2 -  Discrete Circuits/Mup systems
Level 3 -  Micro Processor based Systems
Level 4 -  VHDL/FPGA
Level 5 -  VHDL/ASIC 

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Post which evoked "Nostalgic days", which almost "Screwed" me in Life.

I happen to the see the above post, when Haridas Nair ( a colleague of mine), shared this on my timeline. Let me elaborate the story of how a typical Programmer behavior of  "It's compiling" nearly ruined my career.

Years ago, before the advent of Google ,Wiki and Open Source libraries etc, I was reigning as a "C++ czar", in a CAD Software development company. The Application in question had three million lines of Visual Basic and a million lines of code in Visual C/C++.

Practically speaking,I was the sole custodian of a million lines of Code. The situation was like this. All the Visual Basic developers were in India and all the good C/C++ developers were in Estonia.
I stumbled upon a position (because of my exposure to all leading C++ journals and books), where no one could challenge me, If I say something about the Engine code which was powering the CAD software.

All the new API exposed to the Visual Basic developers have to be exposed as Win32 API function and a Binding statement has to be written for these APIs in Visual Basic module (.BAS). From the C/C++ function prototypes, it was hard to decipher parameters and write a mapping for Visual  Basic developers. Besides, things like Computer Graphics, Computational Geometry, Graph algorithms, Advanced Windows memory management, GDI graphics etc were practically unknown to most people back then.

The secret of this "envious position" ( which might have ruined my career!) was the the following

  • Access and Freedom to peek into the contents of the Every book @ Mindstorm Kochi
  • Acess to Windows Developers Journal, Microsoft System Journal, Dr. Dobbs and C/C++ users journal
  • Skills acquired in C/C++ and Assembly by working with various low level projects
  • Access to MSDN subscription
  • Learning Compilers, Computer Graphics through Zen of Graphics Programming , Data Compression Book, Low level Hardware access,Interrupt driven Serial communication at the comfort of home while working as a Freelance Clipper developer
  • Acess to IEEE magazine from Technopark
  • Acess to a bunch of individuals who were competing and co-oprating with me ( So called Mindstorm gang)
  • My colleagues did not have most of  the things above

When my seniors get pissed of with me, when I loaf around in the office, they will ask about the status of the new API, my standard statement was, "I have finished my coding and now I am compiling the software". The Software used to take one hour and thirty minutes to re-build. This gave me ample time to gossip, read, go to Technopark Library and Even a noon movie @ Krishna theatre and Vettu Road Sreekala for watching Jayan movies. Some coding here and there coupled with some full length build gave me enough time for "leisure". ( To be fair with me, I was full time in the office @ Technopark and was only sleeping five hours,there itself. To brush and bath, I used to go to my apartment)

The above picture evoked those "Good Old Days". The party lasted for three years and luckily I quit that company, roughly the same time Google's search Engine arrived on the scene.

In Hindsight, I feel, the reason for those peers and seniors (most of them are in the US) to succeed and outsmart me in growth and money is that fact that,they learned Collaborative work. Collaborative mindset is a must for moving up in Life Because of those two "lone warrior" years, for some reason, I was always be included as a solo contributor  or drift into some kind of advisory role. I learned the Value of Collaborative work only very late and made adjustment. By that time,  I lost the initiative and I am currently trying to maximize my odds by doing things which are possible. Peer pressure is a must for you to have balanced growth. In fact, world only grows through peer pressure.

Maker Party Kochi - An "Art Exhibition" for Young and the "Old"

What the heck is 3D Printing  or How it works?
Arduino - Why People are fascinated by it?
Rasberry Pi - Rs. 3000 - 4000 computers?
JavaScript and Robotics - "you are kidding, it is possible"?
People from Kerala,in their teens, contributing to Web browser project?
What the heck is this "tinkering"?
Can a group of College going youngsters run an Exhibition?
FireFox OS and it runs on low end mobile phones?
FIN, a Wearable device from Kerala?

If you are having any of these questions, you can find answers on 21st and 22nd of September, 2014 @ an Event,"Maker Party Kochi", conducted by Mozilla Kerala. A community based event meant to unite people with interest in Technology, Web, Social media etc to learn from each other.

You can go to event Website and Register here.

Why I am going for it?

I have met some of the key people behind the event at various times. I have even presented at an event (HTML5 developer conference) conducted by then, in last April

I have learned a lot by interacting with these guys about JavaScript, FireFox Phone, Robotics, Python, Various libraries, Ruby on Rails, Multi-lingual computing, Startup mindset,Arduino/Pi etc.

Currently, I am seeing a convergance of Open Source Software, Open Source Hardware and Maker movement all across the globe. This event will mark that convergence of all these things here.

I can summarize my feeling in the following words, "Best way to see the future is to interact with people between fifteen and twenty five. Their deeds and mis-deeds shape our world" 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

AJ Jacobs and his "deeds" - Why I am impressed?

Just now, a friend of mine posted a sarcastic picture showing a web developer with or without job. Looking at the picture, I understand that it was the picture of  AJ Jacobs, a man who has achieved something which I failed to do after trying for four years between 1989-1993.

One day, In 1989, I decided to read "Encyclopedia Britannica" from cover to cover. The Encyclopedia has got Micropedia (12 books of short entries) and twenty books of Macropedia. I went to Aluva Muncipal Library every day for a period of four years and managed to read six micropedia and it's related Macropedia entries. That means, I achieved half of my objectives, before I gave it up..

In 2006, I purchased a book titled,"Know it all" and it's author managed to read the Encyclopedia Britanica from Cover to Cover. The Author was a wily Jew named AJ Jacobs. I read the book with great interest.

The above picture with beard was taken during the stages of his life, when he lived like a man during biblical times.  Read more about AJ Jacobs and his "harkats" (deeds) here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

You know about "Stupidity Ring"?

When you learn something new, you require a "Stupidity Ring" around you.Learning is a trial and error process. You need to tread a path through stupidity before competence is manifested.During the learning or "work in progress" stage, If you see something, you will loose confidence in the "product". You need to accommodate room for error , while learning things.

During the very early stages of learning, you should not get exposed much. A good teacher should insulate his student from the prying eyes of onlookers, while the training is going on. If you are a self learner, your learning should mostly confine to your room or remote places, to avoid grabbing attention from detractors.

Ajith Tendulkar might be the only person who  knows how stupid Sachin Tendulkar might have been. Sachin might have got ample time to rectify his mistakes at the comfort of home backyard, before getting exposed to the "harsh" Mumbai Cricket grounds. Even If, Ramakant Achrekar might have been kind, other kids might have "roasted" alive, had Ajith did not protect his brother. The explanation has to interpreted "metaphorically" and do not throw stones at me for implying Sachin learned through Trial and Error.

Once you have achieved some mastery in one subject, people take you seriously. Then, you can afford to fail or be exposed initially while acquiring an auxiliary skill. . People will even appreciate you for the pace with which you picked. I am speaking about Primary competency, where it really matters to have a "stupidity ring".

Are you "Calculus Blind" or "Calculus Blessed"?

After tenth standard, most of the Mathematical arsenal I have acquired is by wrangling around. I took Physics, Chemistry and Biology as elective subject for my pre-degree course. It was possible to take Mathematics as an optional elective, should you want it. In those days, people used to write Entrance exams for Medicine and Engineering concurrently, by taking Mathematics as an extra subject. I did not take Mathematics as an extra subject.

After my pre-degree, I taught myself Calculus, Ordinary/Partial Differential Equations, Vector/Matrix Algebra, Operational Calculus ( fancy name for Laplace/Fourier transforms) and Mathematical Logic etc. This was possible because of excellent text books by Janardhanan Pillay, Manickavachagom Pillay, Piskunov, Boris Demidovich, AD Myskis, Taro Yamane,Kudraytsev etc. The year was 1989 to 1991. I had nothing much to do. I also acquired deeper sense of Mathematics by reading books by Bertrand Russel (Principles of Mathematics, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy). Encyclopedia Britanica and Americana had entries on Foundations of Mathematics. Stumbling upon Mathematical Economics gave me good exposure to Mathematical modeling for Social Sciences.

Till this day, If you ask me the biggest turning point in my life, I would say,"It is the mastery of rudiments of infinitesimal calculus". Looking back, Calculus makes you feel that Mathematics is not Arithmetic!. Thousands of sleep walking Engineering students do not know the value of Calculus because it was a compulsory subject and it has become natural for them to think in terms of Limit, Continuity,Derivative , Integral and Fundamental theorem of Calculus.Gradient/Divergence/Curl, Numerical Analysis,Linear/Non-Linear equations etc. ( How many realize the innate knowledge of Calculus they acquired through Engineering education is a different topic!)

Still, I judge people based on their explicit (most have implicit knowledge) knowledge of Mathematical Analysis (Umberla term for the Calculus jaggernaut). If the guy in question do not have Calculus knowledge, I categorize him as "Calculus Blind". In my opinion, there are two class of smart people, "Calculus Blind" and "Calculus Blessed". In the Calculus Blessed Category, I include people who are having explicit knowledge of Calculus (have applied it somewhere)  or who treat Mathematics as a cultural asset.

Perils of not knowing Calculus

  • Will be under the illusion that Mathematics is all about Arithmetic
  • Cannot progress much in Economics, Statistics, Finance and Computer Programming
  • Knowledge of Limits of Mathematics is hard to come by. If you understand limits of Mathematics, then only, u can appreciate alternate computing models like Genetic Algorithms,Genetic Programming, Randomized Algorithm etc.
  • You will have "Probability Blindness", which is very fatal
  • Cannot have good career as a CAD/Computer Graphics programmer
  • Cannot do Numerical Computation, central to Engineering Software Career.
  • Can't appreciate Propositional Calculus, Predicate Calculus and pretty much the nice ideas of computer Science. Study of Calculus takes you to wonder about consistency of Mathematics and soon you reach Logical foundations of Mathematics.
  • Cannot progress much in Algorithm Analysis ( We use the discrete versions of Calculus techniques like Difference Equation, Recurrence Equations etc)
Are you Calculus Blind or Calculus Blessed?  There are some tricks to cure Calculus Blindness, If you are suffering from one. A day workshop from me might help!

Why it is "OK" to Change Opinions?

I have noticed a curious phenomena among people. They try to maintain a consistent opinion, even If counter factual information are available. That is coming from their political "self" and most often to do not have basis in the socioeconomic world.

At first, I used to believe that those are political opinions. On closer inspection, I found that they do believe what they say. This is cognitive delusion or illusion, only a psychiatrist/psychologist will be able to say.

Till 1997, I was also vary of changing opinions and a series of incidents made me understand that opinions are always based on premises or axioms and they do change, at least in human affairs. If premises change, inference will be different and our opinion should also go along with it. Even If, you do not change your opinion in public, deep down new factual evidence should change your opinion, at least at a psychological level.

Here are couple of fallacies, I have ad, because of "ATAL" (अटल - unchanging) mindset.

  • When I was in the earlier stages of career, I took a vow that I won't program in any other language than C/C++ or Assembly. In a matter of months, I saw a three million line sized CAD/CAM package developed in Visual Basic interfaced with one million lines of C/C++. I saw something which thought not possible. After adjusting my opinion (swallowing the pride), I worked with Visual Basic and C++ for the next three years.
  • I wrote some 6000 lines of C/C++ code for internationalizing a large code base. After finishing the project, I stumbled upon Perl, after reading the book,"Discover Perl" by Nabajyoti Barkakati (it was 1998- pre-google era). I could re-write the entire translation program in 508 lines of Perl Code. After some time, I happen to read John Ousterhot's article in the IEEE computer,titled, "Scripting  - Higher Level Programing for the 21st Century.". That article, re-defined my opinion about Programming Languages
  • I swallowed my pride by treating Java as "Internet C++", to adopt it.
  • Despite working with ISAPI in 1997, I ignored Enterprise/Web development till 2006 and it was in a way "perilous". I threw in the towel and embraced the Web in 2007.
  • Was treating "C#" as a clone of Java and ignored it, initially. Soon, realized the mistake and embraced it wholeheartedly. 
  • My low opinion about Relational Databases changed once I worked with Oracle, TerraData, SQL Server and Ab Initio.
After 2007, I learned to accept the fact that, Our opinions are based on some premises and it is possible that premises are incorrect or context has changed. So, it is perilous to have fixated opinions and willing to change it, when it matters. Still, One can maintain political position based on the earlier opinion ( defending past actions) , but at a psychological level, yielding to the new "truth" is a healthy way to lead a life.

It was a decade of fight from within!. 

PS:- I wrote this as a tribute to people who refuses to learn things, just because, they have criticized that in the past!. I think, one has to learn Bayes Theorem (to adjust probabilities to reflect new facts). and understand Human biases like Loss Aversion, Base rate fallacy, Framing etc. This can improve your health. MVC and Spring are the modern day "Jayan and Nazeer"?

An hour ago, I had a discussion with two people who are learning after mastering Java Spring MVC. One of them was amazed at the parallels between MVC and Spring MVC.

Look at his excitement, I made the following statement, " MVC and Spring MVC are like Jayan and Nazeer in yesteryear Malayalam movies"!

In the mid seventies to early 80s, Jayan and Nazeer were born in the same womb to be separated early in the childhood  and marks on the body used to help them, to rejoin. I was also commenting on the striking similarities between the constructs of MVC and Spring MVC.

Are You an "IDIOT"?

I was Just speaking to my friend, Ashok Shenoy about various things. During conversation, I mentioned that it is time for him to outsource some of his tasks to "Idiots" like Us.

Within seconds he asked, "Are you Intelligent Designer of Internet Of Things?". Before I could respond, he corrected his statement, "IDIOT stands for Institutional Designer of Internet Of Things". He was effectively taking a dig my nascent interest in IOT (Internet Of Things).

How to lower the barrier for learning anything?

When Quality information on most things were scarce, it was difficult to learn things, unless and until one invests plenty of time.The time required to bootstrap and entry barrier to learn things prevented people from venturing into different areas.

With the advent of Google, Wikipedia,Youtube,MOOC, NPTEL, MIT OCW, Berkeley Webscasts etc, , times have changed. It is possible to learn anything much faster than most people think.

But, still people think that it is difficult to learn things. The biggest challenge before us is to make people realize the value of tinkering ( knowing enough to be dangerous) and it is possible to do anything, by investing small amount of time.

The mental blocks prevent people from learning most things. The reasons can be psychological, environmental, beliefs,fear of failure (loss aversion) etc. for having mental blocks.Loss aversion and pride in letting others know about one's ignorance is the chief villain in the learning business. Unless, we tweak those stuff, people will be clinging on the illusory comfort of total knowledge.

Incessant belief in the bottom up model of learning has been a stumbling block for me all these days, when it comes to learning some things. I discovered the "bliss" of top down learning recently. Now, I feel, anyone can learn anything, provided sufficient time (six months).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Listen to Sam Harris Or Perish!

I just happen to see a link to Sam Harris's blog entry, titled, "Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon".

The Article is a thought provoking one, as far as I concerned. It gives us warnings about the perils of certain religious ideologies. It is very difficult to tackle extremists as they are using faith and belief as a shield for their operations. They are waiting to kill infidels. They expect a retaliation from infidels or infidel army, to widen their base. Fearing alienation of your neighbors, you will keep quiet and this emboldens them. Creating public awareness and undercutting their influence in non-radicalized sections of society is the only form of defense you have against this faceless beast. 

The article asserts that belief guides behavior.Certain religious ideas like Jihad, Martyrdom, Blasphemy, Apostasy etc. induces hatred, oppression and murder.

The most important observation from Harris seems to be, "Are apostates “innocent”? Blasphemers? Polytheists? Islam has the answer, and the answer is “no.”"

The most important paragraph is 

"But a belief in martyrdom, a hatred of infidels, and a commitment to violent jihad are not fringe phenomena in the Muslim world. These preoccupations are supported by the Koran and numerous hadith. That is why the popular Saudi cleric Mohammad Al-Areefi sounds like the ISIS army chaplain. The man has 9.5 million followers on Twitter (twice as many as Pope Francis has). If you can find an important distinction between the faith he preaches and that which motivates the savagery of ISIS, you should probably consult a neurologist."

Sam Harris expects some reformation in the interpretation of Koran to save the world from incessent violence unleashed
by Jihadi elements like AL Qaida and ISIS.

"Understanding and criticizing the doctrine of Islam—and finding some way to inspire Muslims to reform it—is one of the most important challenges the civilized world now faces. But the task isn’t as simple as discrediting the false doctrines of Muslim “extremists,” because most of their views are not false by the light of scripture. A hatred of infidels is arguably the central message of the Koran. The reality of martyrdom and the sanctity of armed jihad are about as controversial under Islam as the resurrection of Jesus is under Christianity. It is not an accident that millions of Muslims recite the shahadah or make pilgrimage to Mecca. Neither is it an accident that horrific footage of infidels and apostates being decapitated has become a popular form of pornography throughout the Muslim world. Each of these practices, including this ghastly method of murder, find explicit support in scripture."

Sam Harris does take a dig at Left leaning liberals who tries to whitewash anything concerned with violence of Islamists and Jihadists. 

"But there is now a large industry of obfuscation designed to protect Muslims from having to grapple with these truths. Our humanities and social science departments are filled with scholars and pseudo-scholars deemed to be experts in terrorism, religion, Islamic jurisprudence, anthropology, political science, and other diverse fields, who claim that where Muslim intolerance and violence are concerned, nothing is ever what it seems"

He concludes the article with the following paragraph

"Perhaps one day we will do “everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.” But today, we won’t even honestly describe the motivations of our enemies. And in the act of lying to ourselves, we continue to pay lip service to the very delusions that empower them."

Read the article carefully. Engage in meaningful dialogues with your friends who are Muslims. Only a meaningful and open dialogue with members of other communities, we can bring the religious extremism of the world.

The blog entry is available here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jeremy Rifkin - an Author who has influenced me in two stages of my life

"A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation." - Max Gluckman, a South African Anthropologist

The above quote is from a book titled, "Entropy - a new world view", written by Jeremy Rifkin. Luckily, I came across this in 1991 (at the fag end of my teens)

That particular book's primary contribution to my intellectual progress has been

  • The above quote from Max Gluckman. We know More Calculus than Isacc newton or Gottfried Leibniz. That does not mean, each one of us are smarter than them. This particular quote helped me to have humility, when it comes to intellectual matters.
  • The state of things will go from order ( less entropy) to disorder (  more entropy). Things like Parkinson's law and Peter principle demonstrates the entropic nature of human society. Cost of trying to block Entropy, is not worth the benefit most of the times. This helped me to yield, when it mattered the most.
I forgot Jeremy Rifkin for a long time and when researching about "Internet of things", I stumbled upon a twelve minute video about his view on "Zero Marginal Cost Society". Jeremy predicts that Marginal cost to produce real things will come to Zero or Near Zero to render capitalism an un-viable model. I had even blogged about it here.

I saw two videos and both of them were thought provoking. They are based on on his latest book.

Self Learning - Lady luck has to smile at you!

When you learn any subject yourself,  Two decades ago, pure luck decided whether you will attain good competence in it or not. When Internet arrived and Video sites emerged, things began to change. Now,you have choice to understand the territory before you start the battle.

For me,  I had the following fortune before joining a course on Computer Programming.

  • I used to read news papers, periodicals and see TV documentaries etc. to further my general knowledge for a period of five years.
  • Read countless articles on  Encyclopedia Britannica and Encyclopedia Americana on various subjects.
  • Taught myself subjects like Infinitesimal Calculus, Partial Differentiation,  Differential equations, Numerical methods and Matrix Algebra, Probability and Statistics using high quality mathematics texts published from Soviet Union.
  • Got good grounding in Western Philosophy by the virtue of having read Bertrand Russel, John Passmore, Jean Paul Sartre,Albert Camus, Will Durant, Eric Fromm, Eric Berne,Carl Gustav Jung, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Frederich Engels  etc
  • Got Exposed to works of Alwin Toeffler, Jeremy Rifkin, Fritjof Capra, Richard Feynman, Jakob Brownoski, Isacc Assimov, J Krishnamurthi,  Carl Sagan, Arthur Clarke etc
  • Undrestood a lot about "Foundation of Mathematics" by virtue of reading (trying to read) Principles of Mathematics, Introduction to Mathematical Philsophy by Bertrand Russel
  • Came across some smart Individuals who has influenced my intellect.
  • A Good Library (Aluva Muncipality Library) close to my home which helped me to spent time 
  • Playing Chess, Understanding Chess Openings, Reading the biography of all Chess masters etc
  • Communal troubles all across India in late eighties/early nineties which made me to have a strong sense of Identity.
  • Last, but not the least, coming from a lower middle class family and quest to go up in the social ladder
  • Droping my studies and Point of no return syndrome.
All of these happened, before I joined my computer course.Once I joined,I had further stream of luck like 
  • Joining a institute which did not place restriction on computer time. 
  • The Institute I joined had good programmers with knowledge in C and Assembler. To compete them, I learned all these topics.
  • The First Computer book which I got was a book titled, "Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms". This forced me to learn Pascal using Turbo Pascal. With competency in Pascal, C was easy, as these languages are very similar.
  • Access to the shelves of a book stall (Mindstorm books) , Dr. Dobbs Journal, Windows Developers Journal, Microsoft System Journal etc.
  • Competition with a group Individuals who did not have anything else to do.
To differentiate from my peers, I learned following things to Bragg at them
  • C/Assembler, C/Clipper Interface, MSDOS System Programming, DOS32 Programming,Win16 Programming 
  • Serial Communications, Parallel Port I/O,Direct VGA access, Direct Floppy disk access, HDD Programming,  Modem Communication
  • Got skills in Data Compression, File Transfer Protocols, 2D/3D VGA graphics, Malayalam Font rendering, ANSI Terminal Emulation
All of these things happen before I made direct revenue out of getting self employed as a Computer Programmer. Looking back, had lady luck did not smile at me, Life would have had a different turn.

A series of random event happened between 1987 to 1993, gave me some knowledge and skill through serendipity. When I bragged to a group of friends that I am a living proof in our part of the world that you do not have to go to an Engineering college to become a competent Computer Programmer, one of them (Babu Tharikh) made a remark which went as follows,"You have not proved that you do not have to go to an Engineering college. What you have proved is the following.If somebody has learned all the text books which a student is supposed to learn in a college, at the comfort of his home without fear for an exam, with some element of luck, he can become a competent programmer"

One of the smartest observation and an advice to me. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Secularists", Believers and a "Kafir" Army

It seems, some people see everything in political colors. Jammu and Kashmir is facing a grim situation as thousands of people are stranded with water, logged around them. Lot of people  might be going without clean water and food.

I have learned that Army has been deployed to rescue the maximum number of people there. It is ironical that the "Kafir" Army is the only hope for a set of "believers", when the disaster stuck them. Since the country is ruled by BJP, because of obvious reasons, they will try anything to minimize causalities, as the flood subsides, blame will be bestowed upon the ruling party by "Secularists", any way..

Indian army has been monikered as "Indian dogs" and widely regarded as  a "Kafir Army" by separatists. When the same army helped the very people pelted stones at them, it is obvious that rest of the India will take note of that. Then, on the social media, praise for the army began to flock.

Obviously, people with sane minds will take a dig at Jihadis, Hurriyats, Seperatists and Pro-Pakistan elements for not doing anything, when it mattered the most. Posts will reflect that. If these "Secularists" do have concern for people on the ground, they would have waited flood to subside for the blame game on the  "nationalists".

For some reasons, "Secularists" did not digest the fact that Central govt. will take away the credit of launching a massive rescue operation. Hate for the BJP, turned into rhetoric against Indian Army, who did a commendable job. One article were highlighting about the alleged "rape" committed by Indian army and another post equated Indian army's role with Paksitan army's role in Pok.  I think, the person who wrote the post do not seems know the difference between rescue operation by a "Kafir" army who were pelted stones, a month back and a "friendly" army of Believers.

If the same "Secularists" had shown some concern for Kashmiri Pandits,I woild have understood their cry. They seem, everything through political/communal color. I think, to vindicate their political opinion these "Secularists" will even give away their wives to others. For them, their political belief matters, more than anything. One needs to have a tactical approach to problem, than a permanent mindset. I think, even Gods cannot  help repair their brain.

Software engineers and Wood masons - Separated @ Birth?

Yesterday Afternoon, In Trichy, We (Wife and I) purchased a two tier stool for placing utensils and from a neighboring shop,a block of plywood. The guy who helped us select the plywood told us about a shop downstream where Masons can help us place the plywood on the second tier stool platter. The Idea was to cut the plywood into two blocks so that it fits on two stools, one which we purchased just now  and other already at my Mother in law's place.

We reached the wood masons shop,two masons were there. One told the other to take a look at the work and when request began to go to and fro between the two masons, the owner lady told us that by evening the chief mason (lady's husband) will do it for us. 

When we reached there around 6.30 pm, stool and plywood were lying there un-attended. When we took the stool out, I could see relief on the face of at least one Mason ( who seems to be the Junior one!). He was behaving like a Junior Software Engineer whose task was taken away from the task list, due to project closure by the client! The Elder mason (Senior Tech lead), did not even bother to look at us and owner lady was not present there.  Altogether, I felt as If I was in a Software Services company, where stack of woods replaced,array of computers!

When I took the plywood back to the shop from where I purchased, the guy there used an automatic rotary cutter (AC powered, manufactured by BOSCH)  and did the job in five minutes. He did not even accept the tip I gave.