We are camping in India, eating Idli, Vada and Sambar and inhaling the dust and petrol fumes while stuck in traffic jams, enjoying family and seeing places…Will post pics and notes soon. I am on a one hour lease…
Archive for August, 2006
I first heard of Grigory Perelman’s [proof]solution to the Poincare Conjecture about 6 months ago. I thought he would definitely get the Fields Medal (the highest honor given to a Mathematicians by his peers via IMU). I found out today that he refused the prize, as he is known to shun any self-promotion. The biggest thing with these so called proofs are always that some one comes along and finds a hole in the proof. Hence it takes couple of years before its accepted as “solved”. This happened to Andrew Wiles and his attempt to solve the Fermant’s problem. Some times, the mathematicians employ features from remote, unrelated areas of math to solve the problem at hand or proove a theorom. Most of the good ones takes years if not decades to solve a significant problem. After all some of these problems have gone unsolved for centuries.
In Perelman’s case he was[is] hiatus/unemployed and published his proof over 2 years ago. It reminds me of Alex Grothendieck’s story and his reclusiveness. He also refused a famous prize on ethical grounds.
Two lessons for me today -
- Few of us have the courage (me included) to live by our principles, especially when there is money involved.
- The journey was so sweet that the reward at the end of the journey doesnt matter.
Thanks Grigory for teaching me a lesson today.
I have found it useful in my recent webservices escapades to make sure the initial XML messages are conforming to what I had originally started with after I have implemented the service, in say XFire or AXIS2.
The best way I have found is to have a simple ruby program to make a socket connection to the end point and make the request; process the response against the schema I have to make sure its valid. I also inspect the response message using TCPMon or Ethereal.
I am hoping the 1.7 version on Ant comes out soon so I can leverage the XML tooling without having to bolt on.
penned in my journal on Aug 15 2006
Another year has gone by and we are just an year older, may be a little wiser. India is far from free. Western influences in the ever growing middle class population sure emanate a great sign of prosperity as seen by the media and the rest of the world. The average IT salaries are higher and that inturn has raised the nationl average salary. But what about the 55 year old man who has been in middle mnagement for 30+ years? What about the average government worker? What about yours and my grand father and grand mother?
This essay is not about economy or better living conditions, although that certainly measures a country’s success. This essay is about the nature of people.
I believe that the nature of people living in a country affect the nation’s course. The government can bring in all the best programs they want, but if the people’s attitude doesnt matchup, all is for nothing. On the other hand if the people decide to make changes to their attitude, morale and make the most important things important, even a militaristic regime cannot stop the progress.
We need every Indian to be concious of the rules and whims they live by. They should evaluate how their lives are being lived; where’s the most non-working hours beng spent? Its not just the US that is addicted to TV and media. Bollywood is as powerful or more than Hollywod. We Indians are notorious for spending our life savings on food, paan and movies. What form of media controls us as we unwind in the comforts our own bungalow, apartment or hut? What have we done this week to form our own opinions, enjoy the nature and surroundings, philosophize with our loved ones or visit our elders? The very thing that is a core to our society - the FAMILY unit and the principles embodying it is at stake due to the onslaught of cell phones, adult DVDs, fast foods and many other time burglers. I know the value of all of these items but I dont think they can take the place of what is important and what is sacred.
As we start to value our principles, develop them and live by them in the teachings of our forefathers; making what is really important to us as a nation, to take the front seat and wane from our childish fantasies, we too can embark on a bring and prosperous future for Mother India.
From one of the famous Domino hackers, Damien Katz (who is now on the couch and not
working for anyone, but spending his time on building useful things, enjoying family etc. you can read about his story here) comes a cool document DB program - CouchDb.
I have been following it for over a year now, and Damien is starting to post first notes about the alpha release. I am personally excited to play with it. The really cool part is that he used ERLANG to build it.
You rock DUDE!
Today is India’s independence day and I am still writing my thoughts for this year. It will be posted as soon as I am done with it. If you want to see what I wrote check out last years’.
10. Take frequent brisk walks (atleast 25 of them, the full length of the flight) to burn calories
9. Sleep the entire flight
8. Watch all the in-flight movies/programs
7. Find out all about the flight attendant’s story to write a biography
6. Solve the cross words and other puzzles in the in-flightmagazine without cheating
5. Meet and greet as many people
4. Borrow magazines from first/business class and read all of them
3. Think about life and changes that need to be made and then commit to them
1. Join the Mile High Club.