Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Poetry (ahem ahem) for a change

Remember Fatty of the Five Find-Outers (Enid Blyton) and how he used to make up poems at the drop of a hat?? As it turns out, it's not that difficult after all, if you're sufficiently vetti, and have a fellow jobless freak to egg you on to make up 5th-standardish poems (as in, poems written, not read, by 5th grade kids). Presenting Whose Chat Is It Anyway, courtesy rip van and naren.

Monday, January 28, 2008

ज्ञानं परमं बलम्

A few days ago I was reading this one ebook, Hacking for Dummies, so as to get some sort of footing for a Quark event. Anyway, the introduction made for pretty breezy reading (cos it was all in plain English). Which is when decides to inform us that he's made a bunch of Foolish Assumptions (yeah, it's actually titled that) about the readers,and apologizes for it too. And Foolish Assumption no. 1 is that I'm familiar with basic concepts of computer-, network- and information-security-related concepts. Arghh. It said Hacking for Dummies, for crying out loud, how much plainer could I get?? I dunno the first thing about networking and security and crap except that I can't stand this McAfee Security Centre on my comp now. And no, don't ask me why, long story.
There isn't a single topic I know of in Wikipedia, whose explanation does not include several links to other (possibly) new, related concepts.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it just makes me realize how interconnected soo many things are, and how little we know no matter how much we know.
The ocean of all things unknown makes me feel so small, so insignificant, so full of wonder. Behind anything, everything we use every single day, things we don't even think about, from a toothbrush to this laptop, is a story of a myriad minds and hands, from the ones who conceived of the idea to the independent efforts of so many others in implementing it, to bring it home to us, ready to use.

Guess it's the Quark spirit (and the Techfest spirit and the Pragyan spirit and god-knows-what-other-college-fest spirit, except those spirits are all second-hand for me) but it's a time to pause, cherish and savour this unending quest for knowledge that sets us apart as a race.

When you leave behind the studying-for-exams factor, you just have to appreciate any science for what it is. Any subject.

The whole wide world is just.. so.. grand.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Felix Felicis.. slurp :P

I’ve always considered myself lucky, if there’s such a thing as luck. I’ve never really thought much about it, except for the small prayer of thanks I mutter on those happy occasions. Just making the cutoff for a grade, being fortunate enough to maintain an 8-point cg with minimal efforts, things generally falling in place after the initial chaos - I’ve never questioned the quirks of fate any of those times. Why would I, you ask, when everything’s just fine and dandy for me. After all, who says ‘Why me?’ in the midst of good fortune? Fair enough. It’s the ‘Why her?’ of bystanders that I’m scared of, that I do not like. Is it my imagination, is it a guilty conscience, a low sense of self-worth, or is there an accusatory undertone to that question? ‘She doesn’t deserve it, why her?’ I can almost hear the unsaid words hanging in the air. I don’t know, I want to tell them, I don’t make these things happen. It’s as unexpected to me as it is to you. And I can’t help but share some of their feeling, that maybe I don’t deserve the good fortune. Hell, it kills the joy of feeling lucky in the first place. In fact, it’s almost worse than being unlucky, this, having ‘ill-deserved’ good luck thrust upon you that makes you feel all guilty and unworthy. Almost.

But when I think about it, I realize there are as many instances of bad luck as good, just ignored or forgotten. I’ve missed grades by just a few marks, too. And I’ve had my fair share of just-missing-the-bus (yes, figurative) episodes; instances that make me wonder if Murphy used me as his subject. But no, they are only seen as either amusing anecdotes, or what I had coming, due to my own faults.

There is method in the madness, even if it is not apparent to us. God doesn’t play dice with the world, after all. So even as the seeming injustice rankles, and you frown disapprovingly as Lady Luck smiles at me, remember, whatever happens, happens for a reason. Today it’s me, tomorrow it could be you. Or the day after. Or - you know.

PS - And any fool who calls a totaling mistake in my paper, luck, deserves a punch in the face. Those are my marks, smart alec, I’d be unlucky not to notice it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

new year request

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

- The Serenity Prayer,
as it appeared in A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey