Saturday, November 21, 2015

Do you believe in Infinity

You should never take more than you give

Its the circle of life

---- Lion King

Do you believe in infinity ? That’s an absurd question. How can you believe in a number ? Some people however do. The birth number or the name number or the destiny number is important to them. They go on to think that doing something on these numbers is going to be fruitful. This kind of thinking is harmless except when you get obsessed with it. While numbers come with their own potency, most of their behaviour is probabilistic. There is no sure thing. Our karma supersedes the effect of numbers. All this talk about fate or destiny is superfluous. Your present creates the future. It is just the present that is there. Time and form are both going to get destroyed. In fact space-time is not at all, the way we perceive it. According to relativity, space-time is a relative phenomenon. Consider the present moment. Is the past or the future there when you are focussing in the present. No. Only if you are thinking does the concept of time come to you. Thoughts create the illusion of time and space. There is no space-time outside of yourself.

Imagine that you have a camera. If you take a shot, and if the focus was clear, then you would experience a moment. As you defocus, the shot gets blurred. Note that the reality doesn’t change. Outside of the camera is a reality which is existing, whether you like it or not. However this reality or the nature, does not have any existence, till your camera focuses on it. Till such time, it exists in a quantum state. Our perception of the world can be understood through this analogy. When we are wide awake and involved with the world out there, we are having a narrow focus. Its our Consciousness that is experiencing the world. That is for a moment (as long as our attention span) Consciousness forgets itself and experiences the world through our finite sense perceptions. Thoughts can defocus the lens and make us see a coloured world. As our focus blurs, like say deep sleep or Unity Consciousness, our Consciousness starts becoming aware of itself.

Now the trick. How can Infinity know itself as limited ? Well, the Infinity knows itself to be without end, however to experience each and every act of its own creation, it sacrifices the awareness of being an infinite being and perceives the world through our finite space-form-time. Right now, what we are experiencing is the mind of God. Which is infinite, but has chosen to experience itself through the finite world. And remember to experience something you need 2 things. The subject and the object. The subject is God and the object is also God. However the subject wants to experience itself. The subject surely knows that it is infinite in nature. But the object and this world created has to be experienced by the subject. Hence a finite version of the object is in the context.The only thing that is eternal here is God, rest all are illusory in nature. By illusory I mean that which has existence only in the present. God could simply be (a noun), however he/she chose to be dynamic (a verb) with the desire to know itself.

So why does the world seem to be transitory in nature ? It’s all about limitations. Today you have a computer with 8 GB of RAM, tomorrow you want it be 32 GB and so on. So what happens with this constant thirst for more ? Well, the answer to that is, we are all in search of the ultimate truth – which is God, or in other words Infinity. We human beings with our technology are just sitting on the tip of the iceberg today. There is still so much to be done to make our lives more interesting. We are constantly being aided by God, however we think that one day we will be like God. Powerful. Infinite. Well, here’s the news. That day will never happen, because deep down we are already that. With our inventions and discoveries, we will make progress, but it will never be 100% as we live in a dual world. And till the time that we don’t break out of this clutch of duality, all our progress will be limited. Turning outside is not the solution. Time that we turned inside and set ourselves free.

Much Love,


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Is God Data

There are two things – data and the algorithm. While data is collected by sensors (in our case, senses) the algorithm or the instruction is used to ascribe meaning to it. Simply said, the instruction processes the data. And this exactly is the fundamental problem. Duality. While data doesn’t dictate any characteristics, its the algorithm that attributes meaning to data. Life tries to give relevance to data by classifying it. A human brain and the brain of a cockroach is different. Both of them view the data of the world in different ways. To perceive data you require a program. And what is this program, if not data, arranged in a particular pattern. This very pattern as it grows complex, gives birth to life in all it’s complexities. For example: We as human beings have a complex mind. At the cellular level, we have genes which are coded for smooth functioning of our body and at the macroscopic levels, we have the brain with the neurons which processes sensory information received from its surroundings.

We are actually not one life, but a conglomeration of trillions of cells, each one of them alive. Our blood cells, bacteria, viruses and other life forms exist inside each one of us. We are a society of micro organisms, each equipped to deal with life in its own way. This whole process is a verb and not a noun. By that I mean that the whole ecosystem is changing every second. Each one of these cells have a way of sensing its surroundings and use it for its own survival. Cells at one intelligence level sometimes combine together to form tissues, which in turn forms muscles and organs. An organ has a different understanding of its surroundings than say a tissue or a cell. But there are clear cut characteristics of each one of them. Whether you take a cell or an organ – all of them have a job to do.Their goal is to live as much as they can and push the expiry date to its limits. Some of them succeed, while some don’t.

Its remarkable how all these life forms at their individual levels process data. Can non life forms also process data ? Take a piece of wood – does it process any data ? While not in the sense of life, wood burns when fire engulfs it. That is the property of wood. Since its a non life form, it doesn’t really care about its survival like say a cell does. An object has properties or attributes. These are processed by life (the code) in different ways. The kind of processing for different types of data is a natural phenomenon. However the code can change through time or even the data can undergo change. There is no such thing as permanent data or code. Nature and nurture both play their roles in bringing forth actions based on data and instructions. What we need to remember is that data and program can become complex in nature as life evolves. A particular pattern is what gives rise to the algorithm and subsequently to data as the code perceives it.

Now beyond all this is the union of data and code. Where only pure data exists. This is the soul. What is nature (prakriti) is impregnated by purusha (soul) and it appears the same everywhere we look. And that is the real truth :

Tat tvam asi (You are that)

At this level, the awareness of soul and nature all merges into one. This is the feeling of oneness that has been experienced by many a blessed souls. Some of us live life in code and data boundaries in a regular usual manner. But beyond the daily grind is the sea of consciousness (pure data) awaiting for us to merge within its droplets. And even if we are going through a grind in real life, what we need to know is that the water and the experience also belongs to God – now and forever.



Friday, November 13, 2015

Every road leads to Data

Data by itself is quite useful. Data in context with other data is still more useful. And data that answers our questions is invaluable. When we try to operationalize data, there are 4 things that need to be considered. They are as follows :

  • Data Engineering
  • Data Integration
  • Data Quality
  • Data Security

Data Engineering

This starts from acquisition of data to deployment. Data that is acquired or available has to be made appropriate for the models that would run over them. Data has to be cleansed before it is used. The procedure is called ETL (Extract Transform Load) and it deals with extracting the data that is under consideration and transform it, so that it becomes usable and finally loading the data into the setup.Data Scientists run different models against this setup and finally arrive at some conclusion. Typically this is an insight that is derived by a data analyst. Unfortunately, a deluge of data can easily force the data scientist to spend time cleaning the data than focussing on their area of work. Typically 80% of the time is spent in making the data usable. And then there are many sources of data, each with a different profile.

Data Integration

It’s very essential to understand that data is coming to us from various channels. From company systems, from individual machines and from the external world. All this data has to be accommodated in the setup. Mind you, data can be structured, unstructured or semi structured. To collect all this data and analysing it is not an easy task. The more the data collected, the more number of ETL programs have to be run. Duplication of data should be avoided. For this we have to have MDM (Master Data Management) – a place where the data is unique and addressable by a key value. Consider your customer – In the system, every customer should have only one unique ID based on which all his/her transactional and master data can be pulled up. Data integration involves creation of meta data (data about data)

Data Quality

Quality is solely responsible for getting insights from data that has been gleaned from multiple data sources. Sometimes, quality is associated with veracity or accuracy. Is the data that you are working with fresh or stale ? Is the data duplicated ? Does the data support a single version of the truth ? Is data timely ? Is data getting continuously updated ? How many data sources are being looked into ? Because this will affect the number of ETL processes. Data that is authentic has to be collected. The best place to look for this data is your operational data. If you read a lot of external data from say the internet or journals or some other sources, keep in mind that the data quality may be suspect.And finally how do you merge all this data with others. Bad data is like a rotten apple on an apple tree. The whole tree may get infected. So before you introduce an unknown data source, beware !

Data Security

Is your data safe ? What are the access control mechanisms to ensure safety of your data ? Who can access your data lake and what are the actions that they can take ? For example, do people have delete rights to the data ? Can somebody modify the data ? Who can run ETL jobs ? Structured systems are much less prone to hacking than unstructured ones. You have to be very careful when you set up user, groups etc. with access control to the data. This is not just at the database level , but this applies very much to the analytical tool that somebody is running. You must configure the tool in such a way that people get access to various insights based on what they need. For example – some visualizations may not be available for some users. The idea is to give users access to data that they need rather than throwing the doors open.

‘Trust in God, but bring data to the table’ is an old cliché. Data is very important in today’s world. Data-fying companies like Google have an intrinsic edge on their competition, because they extract value from data. There is 4.4 zettabytes(millions of billions) of information in the world today and only 0.5% of that has been analysed. Imagine the kind of insights that we can have if we were to  analyse just half of it. Insights are not top down, but they come from bottom up. Right from the operations and tactical levels. Co-relations are a very useful concept and we can expect causality also in the near future. As machines become more and more powerful and with AI in software, we will be making leaps of progress towards the final destination. As mounds of experience cover our daily activities, the short cut to God is evident through this one path – the path to Data.

Much wishes


Thursday, November 12, 2015

You are the captain of this ship–So get control

The greatest victory is the conquest of your self – Prophet Mohammed

If there is anything in life worth pursuing, it is this. Conquering the self. And what do we mean by that ? We are complex creatures. Like onions. Peels over peels. We are multi-dimensional people. Body, thoughts, emotions, feelings, intellect, ego, soul. We are an all-in-one package. To manage all these parts of ourselves such that we feel happy always, is a task by itself. Only a happy person can spread happiness to others.  Rather than viewing ourselves as a complex thing, there are shortcuts to feeling happy. They are as follows:

1. Practice silence everyday

Its not about the surroundings. There are many people who work in the midst of all that din, still keep themselves peaceful. If you get yourself a silent place where you can be at peace with yourself, consider that as a bonus.

2. Trust that God is with you always

You have to have this deep down awareness that God is everywhere. This thought will make you humble and you will see life in a different light.

3. Always be engaged

Whatever it is that you are doing, at any moment of time, do it with full attention. Put your heart into the work that you are doing. This is what skill is – one point concentration.

4. Do not let your mind wander

If you find that your mind is wandering away, don’t let it. Bring it back to the task at hand. The mind can be very deceptive with the un necessary thoughts it generates. Have control over them.

5. Be careful with your emotions

Whatever may be triggering your emotions, keep them at bay. Understand the basis of your emotions and ask the big question, ‘Why am I feeling this way?’ Your emotion will vanish away.

6. Come from abundance

The world is not a zero sum game. The law of conservation of energy does not apply to the Universe. There is an abundant supply of things for everyone. So do not think shortage – think abundance.

7. Realize that truth is not said, but felt

You may have read a lot, but all words are just metaphors. You experience is what counts. Listen to your intuition and act. True learning happens through action and not thoughts or words.

Life is about the ultimate realization that we are all God’s children and everything inside or outside of us is filled with God’s blessings. Do not get attached to things. Especially that which changes. Be detached. This does not mean that we don’t care. In fact, it means just the opposite. We become compassionate. Grow everyday towards God. Step by Step. There is no hurry. I know that you are in a hurry to cross the lake. And see the shore. Even if you do, it will be in vain. Because nothing in this Universe will give you liberation from your state of mind, but yourself. So like Mahatma Gandhi said ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’. Change your perspective and see the world around you change. Cherish the freedom that has been given to you.

If I have freedom in my love

And in my soul I’m free

Angels alone that soar above

Enjoy such liberty.

--- William Blake.

God Bless …


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quantum Physics and the Tao

Quantum Physics is the study of nature as particles and waves. This gives away the paradoxical statement that at any given point of time, both particles and waves constitute basic nature. Particles are in turn made of smaller particles. Waves are probabilistic. The observer plays a huge role in experiments, as everything that the observed displays depends on the observer and the process of observation. Scientists have observed things like the same particle being in two different places simultaneously. The observed, when under scrutiny, behaves like particles and other times, it is just some probabilistic waves. Now this is important, because quantum physics is a science of probabilities. The conclusion, if any, that can be derived from Quantum Physics is that everything is interconnected. No matter how small or how large. Nature is not an external entity that is separate from us. A force field exists subtly everywhere and that gives arise to the four basic forces. viz. Electromagnetic force, Gravitational force, Strong Nuclear force and Weak Nuclear force.

E = mc2

This is Einstein’s greatest contribution to Science. It says that mass and energy are inter-convertible. ‘c’ is the speed of light and according to the Theory of Relativity, no particle can travel faster than the speed of light. However, we have seen that this is no longer true, as Scientists have discovered particles travelling faster than light speed. Another give away of the Theory of Relativity is the concept of space-time. The universe according to this theory has four dimensions. The three of space that we can see and time, they are all warped up. Thus the entities that have mass keep bending the time around them. This according to Einstein is what makes the Earth go around the Sun and not Gravity. The space-time curve around the Sun is bent. Time is relative and so is space, from an observer’s stand point. Classical physics (Newtonian) and Relativity can explain what goes on at macro levels. But at particle level, we need something like Quantum Mechanics to explain the phenomenon.

Schrodinger’s equations and Heisenberg Uncertainty principle are bedrocks of Quantum Physics. Both of them describe the universe in probabilistic terms. This brings us to limitations. For example if we know the position of a particle, we won’t know it’s momentum and vice versa. The biggest finding of Quantum Physics is that everything is interconnected. That is because of the field that pervades everywhere. Sometimes this is also called as the Higgs field. In particle terms, it’s the Higgs-Boson particle, a.k.a God particle.It’s so difficult to detect this field, because it doesn’t seem to have any property. Like the neutrino, it does not have any charge. This field seems to be the Tao, through which other fields appear. Parallel this with Eastern Mysticism.

The Earth is modelled on the Heaven.

The Heaven is modelled on the Tao

The Tao is modelled after itself.

From the Tao, came the duality of Yin and Yang. Or the male and female. Or Shiva and Shakti. We all perceive duality in our minds. Actually, there is only one reality and that is the Tao or the Brahman as they call it. So why do we have duality ? Well, we won’t be able to appreciate day, if night was not there. We wouldn’t be joyful, had we not encountered sadness before. But beyond this seeing, is a natural way of looking at things through the unity that lies below this apparition. First we have to realize it with our mind. Slowly and surely, we have to experience it through meditation. Staying focussed on the Tao, will lead us towards it. Know that there is nothing in this Universe that is not sacred. He / She exists in all things be it small or big, be it living or dead. When we see the world through these eyes, compassion will automatically arise in our heart. And slowly the Universe will start to reveal itself. Till the time that you are not chosen, the duality will continue. So persevere and wait for your turn. When the time is ripe, the doors of the Tao will open to you and you shall for the first time in your life, experience things as they are, rather than as what they should be.

To your experience …


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Take me tonight to the river and wash my illusions away

And one day the eyes of your spirit will open

And you shall know all things …

---- Essene Gospel of Peace

Truth is the easiest way to get to God. Right thoughts. Right words. Right action. If you practice this in the light of truth, you shall reach your destination. Surely. Fill the mind with pleasant thoughts. Use your words prudently. Finally, act on your thoughts after making sure that they do not lead to bad karma. Do not be self-centred. Be an observer. There are three kinds of observations.

  • Observe your inner self
  • Observe those around you
  • Observe what is outside of you and others

As we practice all the above three, our perception increases, till such a limit, that we see God everywhere. And that is the sole truth. We came from God’s world with our fists closed and nothing with us. As we grew up, we started hoarding things and called them ours. The irony is that we will go back to God’s land without any of these possessions. With palms wide open.

Aye ghame zindagi, khucch to de mashwara (Oh grieving life, give me some recommendation)

Ek tarf uska ghar,ek taraf maikada. (On one side is his house, and on the other side is the bar)

---- Ghazal, Pankaj Udhas

This sums up the precarious position in which one finds him/herself. Where to go ? On one side you find God’s way and on the other side is the attraction of Maya. (this illusory world). The bar is a metaphor for life where we get drunk (with our desires). Most of us live in the world for enjoyment that it can give us, not knowing that all these enjoyments are transient in nature. The only true enjoyment is in God, which is unchanging. But still we are caught up in the frivolous ways of life. We keep labelling things. This is mine, this is yours. And so on. Once we break out of this selfish clutch, we proceed towards God’s way. A lot of people, do not even bother to realize God and hence die with the music still in their hearts. This is really tragic.

Lord Buddha used to ask people ‘Koi paraga?’, which means anyone for the other shore ? He is one of those holy people who not only attained Nirvana, but brought that capability to people. His four noble truths and eightfold path is the shortcut to Nirvana. When he attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree, his face was so radiant, that people asked him ‘Are you God ?’. And his reply was ‘No. I’m awake.’ He is one of those great souls who came down from the Buddhic plane to the Physical plane to impart his teachings to the world. Another example of a great soul is Jesus Christ, who descended from the ‘Love plane’ (Heart Chakra) to the physical realm to spread his word of Love to the entire world. There have been many sages who have entered Nirvana, but some of them chose to shed their physical sheaths. They still guide us from a higher plane.

The initial step of awakening is simply left to ourselves. Once we walk two steps on this path, then there are angels/guides/gurus who help us out in progressing towards higher planes. However, the first step is breaking our mental barrier, and that is solely our responsibility. Everyone has a guardian angel. But for the angel to be helping us out, we have to first help ourselves. These guides (devas/ pitris) all descend on Earth, through the rays of the Sun and the Moon. Their only aim is, to help us achieve higher forms of consciousness. To promote us to the next level, till we reach God. (purity) So do not for a moment think that shedding the physical body is the end. We keep living on. The spoken word does not go back to the tongue. But the sunlight that came out of the Sun, shall return back to the Sun. That’s our journey. Like a wave on the ocean shore. To the ocean we shall return back, eventually.

In times to come …


Thursday, November 05, 2015

This is the end

This is the end.

Beautiful friend.

This is the end.

My only friend the end.

Of everything that stands the end.

Of safety and surprise the end.

I’ll never look into your eyes again.

(Jim Morrison – The Doors)

People throughout the ages have been concocting stories of doom and death. Prophecies of apocalypse and destruction has been a salient part of scriptures also. Why are we so fascinated with these folklores of doom ? Why do we have a fixation on them ? One reason could be the mindset that we are all mortal beings. We see people falling to death, right, left and centre. All around us. So does this mean that death is the great equalizer ? Not at all. Death is just one chapter of this great book called life. We are all on different chapters, indicating the progress that we made in this life. In times to come, more chapters will be written and a final standing ovation, before we become a yogi (somebody who is united with God) That will be the end of this glorious book which we seem to be desperate to protect.

Inside our bodies, we have cells. These cells keep dividing and finally they become old and are no longer in a position to divide further. This is the end of the cell. Actually scientists and doctors have found that it’s an enzyme called telomerase whose production once stopped leads to the so called ‘cell-death’. We have tails for our cells called telomeres. These structures keep getting shorter with the passage of time, till a situation comes when telomeres are no longer present. When death happens to a person, his physical body leaves first. This is an instruction from the brain to all the cells to notify of the end. The senses then die one by one. Then the breathing stops. That is the end of the pranic body. Have you seen a person who loses different faculties of the body step by step. While he is dying, we say yeah he is becoming one with God. Finally the consciousness also leaves the body. When this happens, the individual is proclaimed dead.

When I say consciousness leaves the body, it simply means that our awareness gets de-focussed from our body. Consciousness is not necessarily within the body, as it can be non local. When we have lost our body and sense, a great sense of peace pervades us. In fact people who have undergone NDE (Near Death Experience) have experienced moments of bliss and also astral projections of our body, watching our dead body and people all around us. Similarly some people recollect their previous birth experience indicating that reincarnation is true. People have a fear of hell in the afterlife. They believe that it’s a place where people atone for their sins. Is that true ? I do not know. Hell according to me is the state of mind. If you are a living being, still depressed, then you are in hell, already.

In the Katha Upanishad, mention is made of person named Nachiketa, who asks the God of Death (Yama) to teach him the secret of Death. When Death asks him to ask of anything else, but this secret, he simply refuses. Yama doesn’t have an option, but to teach him the secret. There is another character – a sage called Shukracharya (teacher of Asuras) who has been taught the secret of Sanjivani (Bringing the dead back to life) by Lord Shiva. The best way to avoid Death is to not notice him when he comes knocking on your door. Pray to God. He will help you out with a solution. With technology our life span is getting extended, as we have more proactive means of identifying diseases before they become fatal. Also with augmented body parts, our life span will increase. But one thing is for sure. We cannot avoid death, as long as we carry this body with us. So welcome it with arms wide open because it’s the door to salvation.

Finally …


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The five questions of life


  1. Who am I
  2. What’s my purpose
  3. How can I be happy
  4. What should I do
  5. Where is the end


Who am I

Ask yourself this question from your heart, and you will get just one answer – consciousness. You are not your name, address, driving license number or other artefacts, which you uphold so dearly. You are not your body. Also, you are not your thoughts. All these things are destructible. They will not survive forever. In short, you are a spiritual soul undergoing a physical experience. Tat tvam asi. (You are That) Brahman or the Soul is the only thing that is real, rest everything is unreal. So how do you apply it to life ? Well, to start with, be in the awareness that there is no place in this universe where God is naught. See yourself in others or see others in yourself. Know that consciousness is experiencing all of this. Go a little further to help others.Be passionate, empathetic and considerate.

What’s my purpose

When God created you, he put in the same divine purpose into all beings. To realize God. That is the the only purpose. To achieve this there are many ways or paths. Now whichever path you trod, the destination is the one and the same. Some people think that their purpose is to be an artist or a doctor or an engineer etc, Well these are just vocations. Doing the duties without any impurity takes us towards God. The talents are many. So are the ways. But all of them done in a selfless manner takes you closer to God. Live your passion. Keep yourself engaged. Do not get caught up in thinking, because it is unending. Also, it’s a distraction. Your heart knows things that your mind doesn’t. Another word for God is Love. We are all here to experience Love in all ways. Practically speaking, the distance between you and God is a smile.

How can I be happy

Happiness is simply the presence of Love at all times. If you are happy, you radiate positive energy. To be happy, the following tips are useful :

  • Keep smiling
  • Have complete faith in God
  • Remember God always
  • Live passionately
  • Be focussed

There are many other ways that can lead to happiness. But my wish for you is that you find true happiness within yourself. The day you fathomed yourself, is the day when you will be most happy.

What should I do

The answer to that is to live a full life. and by full life, I mean a life filled with awareness. In short, a life full of happiness. Know that whatever path you may choose your goal should be to realize God in that journey. Thus the journey is God and so is the destination. Make it worth experiencing. Well, you will come across your trials and tribulations when you walk the path. This is your learning. You may make mistakes, but you have to learn from them. Daily you have to walk, bit by bit, till you start striding. And then, the striding will give to running and finally a marathon. How you fare in the marathon will all depend on what has been your experience till then. Do not let ideologies taint you. Be yourself.

Where is the end

Well, there is none. Life is like a 400 metre pass the baton, sprint. Once you run your 100 metres, you have to pass on the baton to others who will run the next 100 and so on. Death is just a small experience that happens to us. But by no means, do we die. Life is like a big book of many chapters (newborn, toddler, child, teenager, adult, middle age, old age) Finally it’s time to write your epilogue. But unlike the book, the story does not end here. Whatever has been your realization in this lifetime, you carry it with you, till you are born again, to write a better book. This keeps on continuing, till you find that the book itself was God and so were your chapters. And once you realize this in completeness, you have transcended space time. Now you are left with just your will – which becomes divine will. And you can choose to do whatever is to be done. You have become one with God.

Let truth win …


Sunday, November 01, 2015

What do you want to do today

Numbers, shapes and colours are all God given. In the quest for science, we have chanced upon these properties of the divine. Besides these, we can also say that we discovered music and dance also. We are constantly changing these art forms to evolve new methods of inquiry. Or simply put, we carve for new experiences. We are in a participatory universe continually co-creating new possibilities. We are surrounded by potential. Both inside and outside. But in this race to control, we have caused a lot of damage to nature. So much so that, the effects of such rampant thoughtless acts are causing phenomenon like global warming and El Nino. The common thread that underlies human discovery and inventions is the urge to control everything. Not realizing that too much of control, really restricts the freedom. The freedom to be what we aspire to be. The freedom to express ourselves the way we intend to. The freedom to share our experience with others.

One of our inventions – the computer is also created to simply obey instructions. We do not want any independent thinking from machines. Now, with artificial intelligence, we can say that computers have started to think. Yes, deep down, it’s nothing other than an algorithm. Created by humans for consumption by humans. Computers are eerily accurate and boredom or tirelessness do not dawn upon them. They are highly rational. Now we are trying to apply computing to arts. Can a computer ever be able to appreciate a painting or a sunset ? Surely, not the way we do. However objectively speaking, they may be able to emulate a human emotion, without feeling it. Or if God is experiencing the world from the computer’s perspective, we really do not know what kind of experience will it be. Will a computer become aware ? A discipline such as machine learning is advancing the computer towards awareness. But this awareness won’t be anything like human awareness.

Virtual reality is picking up. Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a company that has a virtual reality device that can augment our sense of the world, thus providing us a more fuller experience. Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo! once told the story of a small boy who had a penny with him and didn’t know what to do with it. Should he share with his brother, should he put it in the piggy bank ? Finally he decides to take a ride on a roller coaster. This story proves that in the days to come, we will be looking for better experiences. And unlike false methods like depending on external stimulants (drugs), to get a high, we are staring at products that can really stimulate us. You know the difference between 3-D, 4-D, 5-D TV. Well, as we go higher, our enjoyment of the environment goes higher. Virtual and Augmented reality are going to steal the show of the future and unleash some real great experiences that we will treasure and share with others.

So what happens to insights through things like predictive analytics. Well, they will be there, but everything will revolve around how the results are presented. You see, we love stories. And the tools which paint a story of insights, is surely going to win in the future. Instead of showing a chart, we will be able to storify the insight and thus making it more relevant and useful. The onus of this will be with the data that we work with. The more data (N=all) the better. But data should be clean and in context of the question being posed by the user. Co-relations are great, but at times, we would want to know the causation also. In the future, this will also be narrated as a tale that gives us meaning. People will produce more and possess less. The activity would be important because doing it right can only guarantee a good outcome. The journey or the way, will be more important than the goal as we make room for God to have as much of variety in the experiences that come across our way.

To that unforgettable moment …


Friday, October 30, 2015

The importance of attention

The most important quality that anyone can possess is the ability to give undivided attention to his/her surroundings. This means one pointed focus. When you shine your light of attention, the thoughts inside your mind automatically vanish. How many times in a day does your attention wander ? You must have noticed that very often it happens so. When you are not concentrating, the effect of the object wanes. You do not get it fully. You must work through the gap which is nothing but your awareness. You will have a heightened sense of experience, if you operate with your full attention. In fact, this is what love is. 100% attention in the present.You see things as they are. And you experience them real. If there is one thing we must do, it is to cultivate silence. Stop that mind chatter. And just listen. When a person speaks, do not interrupt him. Listen fully. Do not let your attention swing outside the focus of attention. There are so many distractions while you are trying to concentrate. Filter them out. Like noise cancelling headphones. You must have one for yourself.

Like sunlight when it passes through a magnifying glass (convex) can burn paper, so should be the heightened awareness of the mind. When we reach this stage, we will be able to experience the universe around us, in a deeper sense. Because finally who are you ? You are that awareness – pure potential. Your name, your possessions, your relations or your physical body is not going to endure forever. What is left is pure awareness or consciousness trying to experience what is around through you. You are the medium of expression. Know that this consciousness or awareness or potential or whatever you may call it, is indestructible. It survives even after death. You are moving towards purity or perfection. When your awareness is 100%, you become God like. All the good qualities like love, peace, joy, equanimity etc. will become your nature. In the Bible it’s said ‘You know God, when you know yourself’. The day that happens is your transformation.

When you realize that you are much more than a physical body covered by flesh and bones, you have started your quest. In order to answer your questions, you have to delve deep into yourself. Flush out the negatives that you have and attenuate your positive. Apply your innate talent to fields which you love. Do not spend time on things you dislike, although you may be a victim of circumstances. Please persevere while you wait for your dreams to come true. It’s easy to marry the person that you love, but to love a person after marriage requires effort. If your situation is not amenable to you, take steps to change it. Everyday, you may work on a snippet. But slowly and surely, things will change. You can also aim for a rapid transformation by becoming more aware or sensitive to everything around you. To love sometimes you have to be vulnerable. That’s a risk you have to take. But who is going to hurt whom, when we are all the same awareness that is tucked away somewhere in the cradle of the Universe.

Life is very much like a movie. There are three aspects of it : The observer, the observed and the process of observing it. When we are watching a movie we feel that it is real, like a dream. When we sit in a theatre watching a movie, our attention is on what is being projected on a screen. In life, similarly, the projection is on reality (screen) and the projector is our mind. The process of observing it, varies from person to person. Some people put all the attention to the screen. Some people sleep in cinemas. Some people simply think, while watching the movie. So why do we go to cinema’s ? The answer is, for the experience. Companies which make products with a great user experience will thrive. This applies to all aspects of our life. We are creatures of experience. Because deep down we are all observers or pure awareness. A majority of people are unaware of their awareness, and hence we need to bring a new world order. I’m reminded of John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ and if it were to come true, the world would be a magical place to live. To change the world, you have to change yourself. And when you do it out of a deep sense of awareness, you will experience a world as the dreamers had dreamed of.

One world !


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Work – the ticket to Nirvana

Most of our life we spend working. We wake up in the morning. Get ready for work. Commute (for those not working from home). Work. Return back home. Sleep and get ready for a new day. Somebody described a worker as a

A man who shaves and takes the train

And rides back home to shave again

This is our routine. It’s so easy to get locked into a ritual and get comfortable in it. So much so that, we get perturbed when there is a deviation from the normal. Change is so hard. But it is so boring to have a groundhog day (Daily the same routine). Most of us succumb to this phenomenon. However some manage to break the shackles of monotony. Change the status-quo. The younger generation seem to be more receptive to change. This is because, unlike the older people, they are not prejudiced. Their mind and beliefs are still malleable. For some people, it’s a daily dose of thrill that they want to experience. While for others, it may be an obligation. People work for different reasons. Some for growing, some for the knowledge, some for the money and so on. Whatever may be the case, one thing we all know is that we must keep working.

Work is worship. You should enjoy the work that you do. Like a carpenter who whistles while he is sawing. Work for work’s sake. Not the results. Some of you think that we work for the end results. That is not true. If our work is perfect, the end result is almost guaranteed. It’s not the destination, but the path that is important. There are different ways of achieving the goal. The most important part of the work is the execution. But first you must have the skills. And before that comes talent. You see, most of us have been blesses with one or multiple talents. We must identify this first and only work where we can apply it. Talent once converted to skills that we acquire is the logical way looking ahead. An most important is our style of working or the way we execute that work. In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) there are three kinds of personalities : Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. We may be any of these types but what matters is what we bring to the table. There is a saying :

Trust in God, but bring Data to the table.

This data that you bring to the table is your talent, skills and execution style.. To paraphrase

Talent >>> Skills >>> Style of execution.

We are like a servo motor. A servo motor improves it’s output over time. It achieves this by feeding back the error to the input, so that the next time around, you get a better output. We are also a learning machine. However, some people do not learn from their mistakes. This may be due to many reasons :

  • They have not understood what the mistake was
  • They are not having the skill to correct it
  • They are slow learners
  • They are thick headed

Our aim while working should be for perfection. And in this race against time, we have to be very agile and alert. Gone are the days when we had time at our disposal and we could manage the schedule. In today’s world of bits, changes happen faster than the speed of light. You were working on something and maybe because of myriad reasons, you may have to disrupt your own work and pick up something new for competitive advantage.

The great sages of the past mentioned about two terms : Action and Inaction.

Action is focussed work when you forget the mind. Inaction is the opposite of that. Action in Inaction means that although you may be idling, you are working.away. Because you are not still. You get thoughts and that automatically drives you. While Inaction in action means that although you are working, there is a deep silence in you. This concept has to be understood clearly. Your work is your karma. One way to realize God is through work. You may have read a lot of books, but this is not the final word. The word is an experience to be had. And through work we can get liberated. Instead of picking up a book, if you pick up a guitar and play, chances are, you will achieve realization sooner. Work, where and when, you forget yourself is true work. Work is your ticket to Nirvana. Like master Yoda said to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars : ‘No try. Do’

All the best,


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Be still and know that I’m God

All roads lead to Rome. It doesn’t matter what is the path that you walk on, they all lead to God. Every single one of us have our own paths. Some are way ahead, some are lagging behind. The destination is not important, the journey is. Keep walking and enjoy the experience. It’s not for a far out goal that we live. It’s for the sheer ecstasy that we feel when we walk on the path. In this path, you may come across detours. Simply take it. Do not wait to think. Feel it. Feel everything around you. Smell the earth, hear the rustle of the leaves, hear the chirps of the birds. What if you are in a city ? While you are driving, feel how you control the car. Hear the various sounds that emanate from your car. Turn on the music. Look around the scenery. Feel the wind in the face. Or simply hail God’s name while you are driving or walking or shopping. This is called Dhikr in Islam (Remembrance of Allah) and Japam in Hinduism. If you have a mantra reiterate it. Maybe prayer verses. You will find an immense amount of peace dawn upon you. Next time you are tense, just take two deep breaths and remember God.

There is only one purpose in life for all of us. And that is to experience God and his mysterious ways. We have to go through life simply with awareness. Knowing that we are not separate from others. We all are connected through a single fabric. Hopi Indians mention about the Spider Mother, how She weaved an infinite web in the beginning. We are all part of this web and hence connected to each other.  What is our individual identity – nothing – it’s just a bundle of thoughts arising in the mind that gives us a sense of separateness from everything else. The actual – us – is simply consciousness. So are all those transient things and life forms around us. There are different levels of consciousness. For example, we as human beings are aware of our existence. We are all at different stages of evolution. When we perceive the power of God in all that’s around us, including people, our life takes on a special meaning. We automatically radiate peace, love and equanimity.

To achieve this level of awareness is not a simple task. Because the mind is like a drunken monkey, over and above which, the monkey is bit by a snake. Imagine the conundrum. But the mind can be quietened by practices like meditation or yoga. Simply engaging ourselves in our work is another way of experiencing God. In the Bible it is said ‘Be still and know that I’m God’. When you forsake the endless thoughts running in your mind, what is simply left is nothing but consciousness. When the mind ceases to be, we realize Him/Her. And as our progress in quietening the mind increases, we find ourselves to be fulfilled. The mind should be used only as a problem solving tool. Do not let it run your life. Because life is a beautiful dream to be lived fully. Life is qualitative in nature. So drink deep from the fountain called life. This life as a form that has been given to us, is to contemplate God. To experience Him/Her in it’s entirety.

We affect everything around us. An experiment carried out by some scientists was to have a jar full of photons, the air having been sucked out. When you try to observe them they are in chaos state. Then the scientist’s introduced a piece of DNA inside the jar. Suddenly all the photons formed a pattern. This proves that DNA an influence particles like photons. Surprisingly, when the DNA was removed from the jar, the photons were still in arrangement. Another experiment in quantum physics was to split a photon into two particles. These two photons were fired away in opposite directions. When a fork came, both the photons chose the same path. This was repeated again and again. How do the photons choose the same path, although being separated. They seem to be communicating with each other, although separated.This phenomenon is called quantum entanglement. Which simply means that space time does not become a limitation for particles which are separated. This exercise proves that we are all connected with everything in the Universe. Despite knowing that we are all divine creatures, we bicker over territory, go to war and misuse our brains.

However, there is a global awakening happening. We are feeling it in the innards of our selves. To solve the petty problems of mankind, we have to raise ourselves and learn that not only are we blessed, everything around us is. We are living in a sacred universe, which reveals itself to us, when it deems us fit to receive the revelation. Till then.

Keep on keeping on …


Monday, October 26, 2015

From desire to destiny

You are what your deepest driving desire is.

As is your desire, so is your will

As is your will, so is your deed

As is your deed, so is your destiny

(BrihadAranyaka Upanishad)

Desire is like that seed when placed in fertile soil (the Field) gives rise to shoots and finally a tree. The only catch is that you should be willing to wait. You have to nurture this desire regularly. Like a seed requires water to grow, your desire needs constant focus from your side. You can try visualization and relive the desire every now and then. The results may not be as you would expect. You get back what you are entitled to. Some people say that you can force the Universe to give you what you want. This is sheer nonsense. It is like saying that you can win a war in today’s world with swords and knives. The Universe will give you the results when you are ready. Have you heard the saying that the master appears before the student when he/she is ready. Basically, what this means is that you have to raise your vibration levels. You have to let go of your conflicts and step into abundance. This is a mindset which says that the world is not a zero sum game. (unlike the stock market) There is plenty out there for you and everyone else. Your desire drives you, but you should be in the right state of mind to receive the gifts.

Desire is pretty much like writing a computer program. You have an idea (desire) which you want to fructify. This idea leads to specification or planning (akin to visualization) and then you get ready to do it (your willpower). Next you start writing the program (your deed) and how you perform this deed will shape the results (destiny) You may follow a particular methodology to take you to the end result. If you don’t get what you expected, there can be changes in the program, till you refine it to perform exactly as you anticipated. For your program to work, you should choose the correct operating system and the tools used to perform coding and testing. You should have a platform (ecosystem) where you can deploy your program, right from testing to staging to production environment. All the different steps above done correctly will lead to precise results. Right from your desire to your deeds, all will end well if you have envisaged and executed the plan flawlessly. The more clearly you have pictured the outcome in the beginning, the more accurate would be your results.

Some people say that desire is the root cause of all problems. Not true. Desire is what drives us. Even God had a primordial desire of creating this world and that’s how we got here. What is bad is not desire, but the attachment to the desire. Which means hankering after the results. You should be able to work on all desires without worrying about the outcome. When you do your execution, you should enjoy the work and not focus on the outcome too much. Of course, you should carry the picture of what you are expecting, but not so much as to cause negative effects like stress or worry. Just enjoy your work, the rest will follow. Have the belief that, in the future, you will see it happening. Do not worry too much about the path. The path may be difficult. But keep walking. One thing you should keep in mind is that we have a right to our desire, but not to it’s fruits. The fruits are simply gifts from God. So thank him once you receive your bounty.

So what are the things that we should keep in mind? The golden rule is that there are no rules. Just guidelines. All these standards and practices are like planetary positions at a particular time. They will have their effect if we do nothing. Within each of us, lies the power to overturn any situation into success. However adverse the conditions might be, still we have within us an indomitable force to turn it around through the power of our will. Like in Apollo 13, the tagline is ‘Failure is not an option’, we can try not to fail. However if we do, it means it’s learning time. Learn the lessons and try again, till you succeed. What is important is the knowing that all these things are controlled by a subtle force, not visible to the naked eye or other senses. Deep down, there is an infinite intelligence that is guiding us towards our final goal. And we are not separate from this field. Everything is woven into the fabric of life, as if they are all connected. Trust in this force and know that you are blessed.

‘Ask and ye shall receive’, is very true. But do not forget to wait and work hard till the time that you are granted what you wished for.

To your desires …


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Love makes the world go around

I don’t know much

But I know I love you

That may be, all I need to know

(English Romantic Song)

Knowledge is passé. You can find it all on the internet. One thing that the internet does not give you is Wisdom – your ability to discriminate between what is good and bad. Wisdom coming from a love angle is very powerful. It can benefit not just yourself but the whole world. Love is a feeling of expansiveness, peace and equanimity. All you need to do is love others as much as you love yourself. Deep down we are all beings of love. But it gets shrouded in the worldly affairs. Like a violet gets hidden behind a mossy stone, love is also hidden away in the depths of our being. Let it awaken. See the world through love. Speak the heart’s language. Because the heart has wisdom that the mind does not. Love is that universal language that we all are capable of, but don’t practice it in a moment to moment fashion. We are so inundated with the surroundings and our perceptions, that we forget to see things from the heart. Instead we judge and criticize. Hate can only be cured by love.

Do not wander here and there. See the world through the eyes of love and see how things around you change. If there is a prayer that we should say to God, it should be to feel love always, no matter what the situation may be. Love is infectious. If you radiate love in your surroundings, you become a magnet. You will trigger everything around you, to feel it. This not only includes human  beings, but the entire flora and fauna. Love is not something that is within you or outside of you. It permeates everywhere. In other words, love is the effect of consciousness. We feel it. But can’t describe it. The Supreme Being of which we are a part, is made up of Love – in entirety. The field as well as the knower of field is made up of love molecules. It takes up different forms for the experience of itself. Every single moment we are bathed in love. When we are in love there is a strong supply of Oxytocin in our blood. This is the chemistry. But what triggers that Oxytocin is our state of mind.

Helen Keller once said “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” Stay in that feeling. The heart wants what it wants. There is no reason that can be applied to it. Love makes us open up. We become more vulnerable. But somebody once said “Its better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” This opening up of the inner chambers of our heart is worth the risk of rejection. When we truly come from love, there is no stopping it. And this language is the universal language. Like we have the US dollar as the reserve currency, the currency of the universe is Love. And that is the only currency that we need to possess. Maybe all the time, we are not radiating warmth, but just change your frequency level and see how you were born to do only one thing – spread love. That has been the message of all prophets. Love is prime time. This fashion never goes out of vogue.

A small cuddly hug, a speech heard with empathy, a look of love and all the small gestures that can make the world a better place – go ahead – do it. The imminent need of today’s problems worldwide can be solved only with Love. It’s a panacea. And when all of us are elevated to this level – the awakening will happen. It’s not our education. Neither is it the knowledge that we have acquired. It’s all about experience. The more that we have experiences of love, the more we grow. A simple smile is all it takes to spread it. Mahatma Gandhi once said “Where there is love, there is life” and you can imagine what a powerhouse of love, he was. If you look at all the crimes being committed by people, it’s because of a lack of love. Of course, these people also feel love. But it is so covered up by their psyche, that they entirely subjugate it and listen to the voices in their head. What the world needs today is a good solid dose of love and only we can make it happen, if we practice spreading love wherever we go.

Lovingly yours,


Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to get rid of confusions

We get confused sometime, and this happens because of conflict. Our mind has accumulated many things that we consider right or wrong. When we are in a situation that does not agree with our values, we get confused. The problem particularly happens when what we are experiencing seems contradictory to what we hold inside us. Our prejudices make us see things through a coloured lens. We do not see things as they are, but as we want to see them. It’s convenient and acceptable to us. Most of the conflicts in organizations happen because of people’s mind sets, about what they agree and disagree upon. If you look at surveys, you will clearly see that, not all people have the same stand on issues. While some of these may have a majority still there are people who may have an exact contra-opinion to yours.

So why does this happen ? The answer is variety. The world would be a dull place, if we had everyone agreeing to everything. Look at a democracy model, where the majority vote wins. Look at autocracy ,where a minority controls a majority. People have picked up various experiences throughout life and this pretty much dictates their outlook. One reason why we get confused is, because we don’t view things objectively. By this I mean, seeing things the way we are. We mix our notions and preferences to all situations. Often, we see strong opinionated people who vehemently oppose things that they disagree with. While there are other people who feel offended, at times.

The confusion applies to the world of technology also. You see, software is a set of abstractions. Layers built upon layers. If a program has to communicate with another program, both of them have to be at a particular level, to get the handshake going. For example, if say that data has to be passed between two programs, then the data should be on an agreed upon format. If they are talking thru JSON (Javascript Object Notation) then both have to be able to parse JSON text. Else if they are talking on XML (Extensible Markup Language) then both must have an XML parser. This is at the data level. A process level may share things thru REST (Representational State Transfer) or say SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) – both, a way of communicating.

The difference between programs and human beings is that we talk at many levels at once, while a program can operate only on one instruction,at a particular time. This is the architecture of most of the processors. It’s called SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data). We can fight confusion in many ways. Some of them are :

  • Don’t react in any situation.
  • View things objectively.
  • Focus on the receiver (Gauge his/her level)
  • Maintain a diary (Jot down the experience, things will start becoming clear)
  • Question your values

A broad outlook on life sometimes helps. Also be resilient like a warrior who gets hurt but continues to fight till the end. Confusions come and go. Solve it. With this, you will become a better person, till you reach a level where you see that in the context of the highest, there is no confusion. It’s all within our mind. Look at nature. Do you come across any contradictions? No. Everything has been crafted out of wit and it all works as seamlessly as possible. We are the only species on the planet who gets confused. And we have all the tools that are required to remove it. Deep inside each one of us, is the answer to all questions. Access this well, and you will realize that the only thing that is stopping you from reaching that clarity is yourself. So get out of the way.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You are born twice

You are born twice. The first one – when you come out of your mother’s womb. The second one – when you realize your self. The day that your confusions vanish away and you see clearly who you are, is your second birthday. You will see a world where everywhere you can see your self and the whole of the universe within your self. From the focus on outside, you will turn inward. And suddenly you realize that all the answers are within your self. The distinction between you and what is outside of you will vanish. Your heightened sense of awareness will make you more peaceful and joyful. You will behold the world with a childish sense of awe, and you will feel gratitude flowing within you. You will feel existence as the biggest miracle that defies elucidation.

There are three main ways in which you can realize yourself:

  1. Through your actions
  2. Through knowledge
  3. Through devotion

Your daily actions without reflection will not take you there. You have to consciously do things. When you reach perfection in your skill, you will get an insight. This is the wisdom that you collect, as you go ahead in life. The more perfect you become in your actions, the more you will realize the truth. However self esteem should not turn into false pride. So beware of that.

There are people who learn about truth from the knowledge that they collect. When they see patterns (intelligence) within knowledge and find a simplistic method of assimilating all the knowledge that they are accumulating, it can lead to some insights. Say you are researching a topic. When you go to the depths and understand the subject from a 360 degree view, you will get an epiphany.

Some people are grateful to the Universe. When they feel this from the bottom of their heart, a strange thing begins to happen. They become more happy.  These people always think good about others and pray for not just themselves but everyone. The moment you start communicating with the Universe, you will find that you are being guided. It’s this awareness when sharpened becomes revelation.

For some people,  awareness seems to come and go. But there are people who live the awareness in all moments. The day you live like that is your real birthday – celebrate it, because the whole universe is flowering away and dancing to the tunes of life. Do not miss the boat. Once you get in the boat, know that the river is endless. So all you have to do is just paddle and then make way for other people who want to have the same experience.

Happy Birthday …


Monday, October 19, 2015

7 steps to stay happy

Happiness is a feeling. Joy is an emotion. The difference being that happiness is deeply engrained into our psyche. It is permanent. Whereas Joy is a fleeting glimpse of happiness. We do several things to be joyful. But it doesn’t stay forever. What we should be aiming for is happiness -  a state of mind when we feel peace and joy, always. So here are some tips for you to stay happy :

Remember God always.

Come from the angle that God is everywhere. This simple awareness can make you feel at ease, no matter whatever be the situation. When you get a break, just reminisce God. There are some people who keep talking to God always. Just hear that voice in the quietness, guiding you to your destination.

Stay Calm.

An event is not good or bad. It’s our interpretation that makes it good or bad. So whatever you may come across in a day, be firmly planted in awareness. The event you may not be able to control, but the reaction to it is for you to choose. So stay calm.

Let that mind chatter stop

An average of 25,000 thoughts cross our mind everyday. Thoughts in turn fire emotions. What you feel is actually what you have been thinking about. So anytime the thoughts start chatter in your brain, come back to being the witness. Do not judge or criticize them. Let it pass. Just observe. You will be quiet very soon. Remember, you are not your thoughts, but awareness itself.

Follow a schedule

From the time that you wake up to the moment that you fall asleep, keep a schedule for yourself. For eg: you drink a warm cup of lemon water in the morning, then you grab a cup of coffee and then you get ready for work etc. The routine is good, but do not overstretch it or under do it. Be realistic about what you have to accomplish in a day and then just follow it. Once in a while, break the routine.

Eat good food and drink plenty of water

You should always eat fresh food. Stop eating the refrigerated food. Do not skip a wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drink a lot of water. On an average 2 litres per day. While eating or drinking, feel the food and the water. Did you know that your thoughts get affected by the kind of food you eat?

Reflect on the day

Before the end of the day, analyse what happened. Learn from it. You may have made a mistake or you may have handled situations very well. Whatever it may be, recollect it and reflect on it. These are life lessons. Learn from mistakes and amplify your positive attributes.

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleeping well is an essential requirement. While in sleep, our body rejuvenates itself, does damage repair and cleans all toxins in our system. Aim for a deep sleep. Before going to sleep, do not think of unwanted things. Put all your botheration's to rest and sleep like a baby. Average recommended sleep hours : six hours.

Towards your well being,


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Limitations of Software

Software creation is a trade off between time, features and budget. You don’t get all the time in the world. So the clock ticks away towards a deadline. The feature set or scope is what defines the software. You cannot possibly have all use cases. Some of them you may keep and some may either be dropped or postponed for the next release. This promise has been funded by investors/company/individual. So you have a limited budget within which you have to make the agreed upon software feasible. Making software is more of an art than science. You have to have the right tools, methodology and people to achieve success. Of this, the most important is the last one : people. It’s teamwork in the end.

The architecture of software is the very foundation that has to be weighed in correctly. For example, to create software on the cloud, you have to have loosely coupled applications. This simply means that your class/object dependencies with other classes/objects is minor. If say, you are using MVC (Model View Controller) , a type of design pattern for say, your UI (User Interface), a good choice for the Javascript Library would be Angular. (created by Google) Architecture dictates the development environment. What tools to use, what libraries to use and what programming language to use. If your foundation is strong, you will go on to build great software else if your architecture is weak, you may come across challenges.

Another thing that can affect your software development is the methodology that you choose. For example you may use Agile methodology. This is captured in the Agile Manifesto which says, we prefer :

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

There are many different types of this methodology, the most popular being Scrum. There are different actors in this methodology, for example. the product owner (who is responsible for collecting the user stories) , the Scrum Master (Team lead) etc. Agile is very interactive in nature and team work is a hallmark. Nowadays, you hear the term DevOps. This is simply involving Development, Operations , Testing and Stakeholders all owing collective responsibility of the software. Typically, you use some form of Agile development (iterative,  mostly).

Despite using the right tools, right methodology on a strong architecture, we still have software bugs. You see, people are in a hurry to release software. This comprises their quality. The general idea is get out version 1.0 and bugs and change requests can be plugged into the upcoming features. The biggest limitation of software is it’s features. A business has to accommodate itself to this new features. Which means, more so often, software dictates process changes in order for it to be used. Well, this is prevalent in ready made software (both shrink wrapped and cloud versions). There can be new improvements in the next releases. But they either make the software easier to use or make it more difficult.

However, to combat these limitations, most of the software provides:

  1. A parameter list that can be altered. (a limited amount of features over which you have control)
  2. A plugin library. (third party developers can release addons to the software that can make it more powerful)
  3. An API for you to be able to extend the software through programming.

If a software is well balanced, it will have some or all of the features above. But, as said earlier, software development is a trade off. There is no such thing as Software Nirvana. But people working on the same may achieve good insights to take them to the ultimate goal of life – their own emancipation.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Emperor’s Mind

There is intelligence everywhere. I’m not referring it to intelligence of human beings, but that which is pervasive. It exists everywhere. Although we can’t see it, we know that it is there. How else do you explain a seed planted and nourished gives rise to a tree ? Or take our immune system. How does it manage trillions of activities within our body and keeps us away from harmful pathogens ? To date, we have not manufactured seeds that can become a tree without soil or water. This supreme intelligence is very subtle in its actions. We don’t see it, because it vanishes before we get to it. It’s neither ahead of us nor is it behind. Neither up, nor down. North, South, East, West. No where. Although, the paradox is that it is anywhere, it chooses to be.

What we call as intelligence is a toddler compared to this supreme intelligence. Physicists talk about a hidden field from which matter arises. The Higgs field. Some people say that we are looking at God’s mind. This field seems to be the thing through which God experiences everything. The field is omnipresent. Thus if you are sitting in a chair, as you experience the chair, the chair is also experiencing you. There is no difference between the observer and the observed. Your mind is arising from the same field. Classical physics seems to be like Sthula (Macro) and Quantum physics seems to be like Sukshma (Micro) aspects of this field. God applied to macro and the micro world. We are all a part of a sentient universe where not just aggregates (like us, the flora and the fauna) but also subatomic particles are sentient.

In the computer world, the intelligence used to reside in programs created by programmers. Now, that is not the case. There is intelligence within data. By this we mean there are hidden patterns. Applying different models, we mine the information. Intelligence that we are looking for in data, is nothing but the Higgs field within what we are observing. There may be some data which is outside our scope of what we are looking for. And then there is dark data. That which we are trying to extrapolate. What we refer to as data is no longer data or information or knowledge. We are looking at intelligence itself. To detect a pattern we may have to write an algorithm, but what if data arrives with intelligence. Then all that is left is, to apply our wisdom to it. And that is the future.

Data can be analysed and dissected. By applying different techniques, we can mine the data and represent it visually. But there is no use of this exercise, if we can’t derive a conclusion out of it. Machines today are learning the patterns within data through supervised and unsupervised methods. There are many techniques like regression, classification, fragmentation etc. that can be used to understand data better. Artificial intelligence is catching up fast. Soon we will have different layers of intelligence within data. This will be processed by the machines to help us make better decisions. Today, the intelligence resides in many places. For example, within the data in servers, at the network edges and a part of it in clients.(Heavy Javascript and apps)

All this may sound a little fuzzy, but the real intelligence that we are looking for is, in the experience of it. The ‘aha’ moment. And that experience is paramount to our search for true meaning. Real intelligence is, when we are aware of the force that pervades everywhere - the one and only true and highest form of intelligence. Finally, all intelligences arise from it’s cradle and make sense when they are consumed. And oh! By the way, this supreme intelligence is always on our side and wishes well for all of us.



Friday, October 16, 2015

The death of privacy

Data deluge is increasing. We are capturing more and more information about different people day by day. For example, Google collects all the search information of a person using their search engine. So whatever search you have given in the past, is in Google servers. Whatever you have posted on Facebook is also available. Daily your online profile is getting created better and better. Your online identity is getting bigger than your physical identity. Some companies are trying to build a unique profile of individuals across various channels. This is called MDM (Master Data Management). You may be using different apps and websites to transact. All this is being captured and your unique identity is emerging in the virtual world.

Slowly and steadily, you are losing your privacy. The opt-out feature of services is getting depleted. Anybody who can scour through the millions of channels available out there, can build your identity. Companies claim that they are collecting all these information for your own good. For instance, targeted ads, analytics etc. But are we really safe in these companies / governments hands ? In India, about 80% of the population have undergone biometrics (iris scan and fingerprint) identification to get a unique number called Aadhar number. This document is supposedly for all people who can for instance open a bank account, transfer money and so on. The question that begs attention is that, is this data safe in governments hands ?

What if the server’s got hacked and our identity is in the wrong hands ? The late millennial and the 21st century born people, are facing another dilemma. For them, the network is a given. They engage by going to various websites and running apps daily without much thinking about what is happening behind the scenes. Today’s parents have to advise their children about privacy and security at an early age. Forget about birds and bees explanation. So much of information about us is available online in God knows which all servers. I recently met a person, who I did research about and told him his entire story. He was surprised as he said that he is not active in social media. I told him where I got the information and he told me that he never put his profile there. He was both perplexed and furious.

Everyone – your government, your groups, the companies and others are trying to collect  as much information about you as possible. The cloud is making it more accessible. The future is a mixed bag of predictions. If you are living in a democracy, more and more regulatory laws will come into effect. These may not be perfect, but they will improve over time. If you are living in a autocracy or monarchy, the government may subjugate you further, by having your private data. Think about Wiki-Leaks, when one person or a group exposes data to the world. Think of the recent hacks on Ashley-Madison (affairs website for married people). It can cause so much embarrassment. In the future there may be insurances for protecting you and your family’s data online.

We are sitting on a ticking clock. Only time will tell, if all that technology is enabling, is for the wellbeing of mankind. This is the classic tale of good and bad. I have a feeling that says good will win, because there is a basic premise : All good things are permanent and all bad things are temporary. Data permanence may turn out to be a boon than bane.