Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category

The Fountainhead

Sunday, March 5th, 2006

finished reading it.
feel defended. though it was not needed and also doesnt matter much.
its more than a masterpiece.

i took almost one month to finish it. it was really difficult to stop once started, but stopped when i though i have got enough stuff to think about.

will read it again sometime. i will now continue with other Ayn Rand stuff.

btw.. its the first novel i have read. and i read it for the sake of its philosophy. thanks to Nir for giving great reviews and hence forcing me to read it. i didnt think novels can be so good. i still think most of them arenot (in a way i want them to be). i tried a few before but left them before reaching anywhere. they were mostly meaningless fiction or some literature work on which i didnt want to waste my time on.

the confusion

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

from couple of months i am trying to solve a confusion of mine. what kind of life do i want to live ?
do what others want me to do or what i want to do.

Upsy wanted me to do ms but is very afraid of my entrepreneurship insticts. and parents and relatives are waiting for me to join a decent job.

I dont really have any problem with a job. I will be more than happy to live with a 10 to 5 job with a decent payoff and be able to spend a good time with my family, and i really want to do that. i dont either have any strong problems with having a (non assholic) boss. I think the only thing i am most afraid of is to do some stupid work all my life. i want to live a creative life. I am also sure that there are many jobs around which would qualify for all these conditions. but i dont know why i still want to avoid a job. am i in the state of Van Wilder ?

Creative Life. Well.. i am not sure who i exactly mean by that. it can vary from just being in touch with the latest developments in technology to being involved in developments in cutting edge technology. i probably want to keep walking in this line and reach as far as i can.

But why the hell am i thinking about it so much. i guess thinking only complicates the life. and the most simple life of earth is of the biggest asshole. like couple of days before Nir was talking about the three architects from Fountainhead[1]. One guy who will never do any thing assholic in life, another who know what assholic is but do it for a happy life, and third who cant tell how big an asshole he is. Though level of complexity of their level is different, they all are equally happy about their life. Because its relative to their own level of thinking. This phenomenon is best put in words ‘ignorance is bliss’. I am not supporting an asshole here, neither i want to be one, but i want to know what does one get by thinking so much. this is precisely what does the choice of red pill of blue pill means. “whether reality is worth pursuing?”[2]

the bottom line is ‘the world is not real. its interpreted. inside our brain.’[3].

And when i am saturated with all these thoughts, PG writes How to do what you love, to solve my confusion or to increase it, i dont know. atleast not in first reading.

The exestential approach helps me but i still have many open questions on which i need to ‘think more’.

“apni marzi se kahan, apne safar ke hum hain,
rukh hawaon ka jidhar ka hai, udhar he hum hain.”

going to watch Matrix again. now.

[1] Nir is impressed with this book, and on his reviews i am soon going to read this book.
[2] Matrix Philosophy - Blue or Red Pill?
[3] i will write someother time what i exactly mean by that. but its a major part of my philosophy.

todays links -
* Why Geeks and Nerds Are Worth It… (via Nir)
* How to Be a Good Graduate Student|Advisor (via Nir)
* No sutta without fire
* Fundoo C++ fundas
* PG / How do Do What You Love

a few old links -
* Software Engineering, Not Computer Science
* Do Programmers Need Seat Belts?
* wankr collaborative m* network (cool one)

update:
* found that Guy’s last point in The Art of Bootstrapping is a lot related to what i wrote.

Love and Fear

Friday, September 30th, 2005

there are two most important things which play role in a relation - Love and Fear.
we all know about love.. but what is this fear i am talking about ?

Mostly its a fear of loosing the relationship, and there can be many reasons for that. Most important of them is loosing someone we thought our life long partner. Another important reason is ‘not giving enough thought to the quit option’. Its a kind of psychological fear of breakup. And is expressed in words “I can’t live without you”. Other examples of Fear are inability to accept failure of love, fear of ending a relation that we cherished for long, ego about Love and ourself, fear of not getting another better(love,body,wealth,intellect) partner, fear of facing people whom we told stories of our love, fear of facing people who warned us not to love, fear of facing a new world.

What happens when -

Case: There is both Love and Fear
Result: Happy relationship

Case: There is only Love but no Fear
Result: Easily ends up with an undesired breakup

Case: There is only Fear and no Love
Result: Keep on dragging the relationship

Case: There is neither Love nor Fear
Result: Happy breakup

so its good to be on the extreme ends.. and avoid being anywhere in between. But long exposure to just fear.. make people habitual to it and happy life starts again.

Generally in teen love.. there is both Love and Fear in starting.. but slowly when they become independent and self supporting and mainly when they become able to think about the quit option.. they loose the fear. And the undesired start happening.
thinking about Quit Option means thinking about how far can we go with our partner. Its knowing what can we tolerate and what we cant, and knowing our own limits. Knowing Quit Options is good, as it gives us more stability, but it in some sense reduces our fear.

And in ordinary man’s life.. its the Fear that holds them together more strongly than love. And Fear is also the reason for old age togetherness.

I don’t mean that Fear is a negative thing which works. Its as desired as love. The feeling of “I can’t live without you” is very important, whatever be the reason for that.

Actually there was a very strong argument between US today, which made me think so much. btw we are having good time together these days and we have both ‘Love and Fear’. I am aware of my Quit Options but still in Fear. I am giving her enough time… unlike last month, when she use to complain about it. That time finally one day she screwed me for not giving her enough time, and i realized that i was really doing so.

PS : i generally write with ‘you’, and sometimes with ‘one’ but in this post i tried writing with ‘we’. I am thinking about the psychology behind this.

Hacker

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

On the question “How to think like a hacker ?” Michal Zalewski answers

I don’t think that (”good”) hackers have any special, hardwired mental abilities or specific personality traits, and I do believe you can easily learn to think like a hacker, even when you come from a different background.

and slashdot has a discussion going on it - Everyone Is A Hacker In Training.[1]

The word hacker is already discussed widely on internet and many great hackers have given various views on hackers and hacking. I will try to add my perception to it.

Before I start, lets resolve the confusion between Hacker and Cracker. Cracker means a person who breakes into another person/business’s computer unauthorized, and is not discussed in this article. And by Hacker I don’t only mean “Computer Hacker”, I will talk about hacker in general, called “Reality Hacker“. So the word Hacker will mean Reality Hacker in this article.

Hacker is defined as “a person who makes things work beyond perceived limits through their own skills”.

I will cut short this definition to “A person who makes things work”. It need not be “beyond perceived limits” and one need not have any special skills to be a hacker. Making a toilet flush work (while its not a job) is hacking. Though its no big thing for a plumber, but when someone analyze this problem, and fix it, that is called hacking. So while you say “beyond perceived limits”, the reference frame is important. And skills are not really very important. Skills might help, but skills cannot stop anyone from being a hacker.

Even “make things work” are not the best words to define a hacker, only the “willingness to make things work, and passionately working toward a solution” is sufficient to qualify as a hacker. Being able to make it work or not will tell whether one is a “successful hacker” or not.

What makes someone a hacker is his attitude. Give him a problem, and he’ll love to get his hands dirty on it. A hacker does not believe that a problem cannot be solved until he tries it himself. This attitude makes him a hacker.

Another important thing, that adds value to hacking is Creativity. Creativity controls how well does the hacker uses the tools available to him, to find the solution, and how much nice and creative his solution is. Thus his attitude makes him a hacker, and creativity makes him a good hacker.

We also call someone “Great Hacker”. That is how the hackers society value another hacker after he has done major achievements in hacking.

In ESR’s words “you’re not a hacker until somebody else calls you one”. True to a great extent. But depends on when does “somebody else” define a hacker. Generally people think that hacking is doing something very great, “beyond perceived limits”. In such a case people will not be able to recognize ‘hackers attitude’

Now lets come to the question - “How to think like a hacker ?”
As a hacker is made up of ‘hacking attitude’ and creativity. So the question can be modified to “How to get the hacking attitude and How to think creative” ? Well.. attitude and creativity.. they are more like inherit properties. One cannot learn attitude and creativity. He either has it or he doesnt. It is difficult to become a hacker if someone inherently is not. As difficult as adopting a new attitude.

Though Hacking is defined as “making things work”, the “problem” and the “solution” are not the only important concerns of hacking. What happens in between is more important. Which involves understanding the system (where the problem comes from). And many times a hacker goes to the finest details of the system. He needs to. This is important to provide good solutions. Ability to understand and comprehend a (any) system is basic skill required for hacking. For this reason Hacker is also defined as “A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system”.

A hacker doesnt need anyone to give him a problem. He has a ability to find whats missing or not working properly in a system, and knows how can he add value to it. A hacker cannot stay away from hacking. In the smallest scope also he will find a way to show his hacking skills.

All that hacking costs is time. Sometimes lots of, especially when the system is complex and unfamiliar. And in turn the hacker’s hunger for hacking is fulfilled. Satisfaction of successful hacking is an addon to that.

- smr

In making : my 10 best hackings

Related -
* How To Become A Hacker - by ESR
* Hacker Manifesto : “Hackers choose to hack because it is a way for them to learn, because they are frustrated and bored in school”.

[1] Thats what triggered me to write this article. And writing this article took the highest time i’ve given to any article so far.