Monday, January 30, 2006

Road to Dumb-ition

A lot of thoughts come to you when you are on the road, or when you are in the shower. You will think to your self, Hmmm.. I need to blog these. But by the time, you can pull your self to the nearest computer and get yourself to logon to blogger, the wave of thought ebbs away. But sometimes when a computer is at hand, and you get a thought, (well, it is highly improbable that you get a good thought with a computer before you though), yeah well, when a computer is at hand, you make a hasty promise saying that these are what I am going to blog about in the near future. Now good friends who do read your blogs (even though you think you are writing for no one to read) ask sweetly, "when r these gonna be 'up n running?'".

After first wondering, how such a football coach type (or is it a running coach) statement could be said sweetly, and later wonder how anything, like a blog could be up and running, and later wondering "what can I do to while away three hours of time in front of the computer giving the impression to my boss that I am working?" This 'wonder'-ful idea strikes you. Let me get my post err.. well.. up and running.

I am a strong believer in the 'first things first philosophy'. Generally, anything I believe in, I believe in it strongly, except a couple of things like 'the first man on moon', 'fighting pairs are a signof mature love' etc. Any way, lets not digress here. The first thing as I mentioned is 'How grad school makes one dumb'. Though this is not what you would want 'up and running', I stick to my strongly believed philosophy.

You know, I was a smart guy. Now, when was that? Let me recollect. Yup, right after college. My dressing sense if not great, it used to be much better. After that a series of events took place, one thing lead to another and here I am dumb. These are two incidents that happened in the last two weeks.

Situation: I was playing pool with my friend. I was attempting a shot into one of the holes, and saw that the hole was almost full to its brim with balls that were previously in. It still had place for one more. But the sight of a full hole was kind of deterring my concentration, so I thought I will empty it up. But then there was no place in the room to put them. I was lost, I gave up. My partner in the game, saw my plight and took some balls out of the hole and placed them in the other holes. Boy, was that a great idea. I was impressed. I thought to myself "Boy are these IITians smart".

Second incident, I brought myself thirteen hangers. Now why thirteen. Did I want to keep the devil outside my closet? I do not know, for what ever reason, Wal-Mart sells them in sets of thirteen! I think it is a way to increase sales. After all, everything in the US is a way to make you spend more. The problem came when I realized that I had more than thirteen garments. I was baffled, after a day or two after being in the closet for sometime and pondering over the crisis, it struck me, I can hang more than one shirt to a hanger. I was thrilled again.

Now why is it taking so much time to get even half decent ideas. I just got dumbed. How did it happen? There are three prime suspects.

Software. The world of Software is a grim one. Like a silent coal mine, or like a graveyard haunted by the cyber ghosts also called bugs. It is bereft off all creativity. The only time creativity ever comes anywhere near it is when people frustrated by software write blogs like this or make movies like The Matrix. The bug falling on your head like water dripping from a leak, slowly seep trough your brain and render it dumb.

Second: PG Wodehouse. We are speaking the genius of dumbness here. Oxymoron it may sound, but true it is. His third greatest achievement must have been to remain sane among all the dumb characters that populate his books (and his mind before they enter the books). I read too may of them at one point, that I started to become one. So I would say. 'Wodehousers ye' be warned'.

Last and the greatest of them all is the great grad school. You are given assignments so abstract that you, who opened the book with a ferocity, only a chinese warrior could have possessed, soon find yourself confounded by a seemingly small problem that keeps on blowing up as you poke it. For example I was given this problem as a part of the assignment.
Prove that c.O = O. Where O is a null vector (which is the equivalent of zero for vectors). Of course, anything times zero is zero, now to prove that, phew!

Now here I am intimidated by every little challenge that comes along. Am I getting old-minded or is just that I am realizing that life could be far more complicated and hence I far smaller in the big picture? I guess this is what Jorge Cham is trying to tell in these comics.


Hiren said...

You really live up to your blog's name as you have covered a lot of things in this post. I hope you are able to focus on them and make them your passion for life i.e your profession.

Smitha said...

oh u traitor!! how dare u blame the great Plum for being a cause of ur 'dumbness"????
the other two points fit in perfectly though..