Who do we believe?

As information is becoming cheaper everyday and as we are getting access to more and more information, I see one problem. There are certain ‘well known theories’ which are being proved to be untrue. Also of how ‘facts’ are generated when in fact it had never really occurred. These are things that we studied during our schooling as ‘facts’.

On one side, this is a good thing. It makes you question everything you read or hear and not just accept things blindly. But on the other side, it makes you feel, well, then, what do we believe?

Wikipedia is a classic example of information accuracy and the arguments around it. Do you trust Wikipedia? Take an example of a controversial article – say Scientology, or about Crop Circles, or say the Nazca lines. Would you believe what Wikipedia has to say? Well, isn’t there a slight possibility that the theory is wrong, especially when there are mathematicians, archaeologists, physicists or historians who subscribe to either sides of the controversies.

What if a vast majority of the people actually believe something that is actually not true? Wasn’t the earth believed to be in the center of the solar system and that the sun revolved around the earth?

Here are some things that I came across in recent days:
1. The theory of evolution and the theory of Intelligent design.
2. The Sphinx mystery – is Sphinx older than it was initially thought to be and does it have connections to mars?
3. The Aryan invasion theory – did it really happen?
4. Global warming a myth?
5. Aliens and UFO’s – has anyone really spotted them?
6. Man landing on the moon

Well, the list is endless. If you look for information on any of these, you will see tons of information that can convince you either ways.

Not all of us are mathematicians, not all of us are theoretical physicists. Nor do we have the time to verify every single ‘fact’ we come across.

So the question is how do we believe what we read and who do we trust and believe?!

Prove that you are a human being

In continuing with my observations made here, I wonder if the following way of preventing someone from spamming a commenting system really helps:

____________ Spam protection: Sum of II plus III plus IV ?

If I really want to spam this site, I can write a simple routine to scrape the string matching 'Sum of ___ ?' and then feed that into Google like this:

Google search: II plus III plus IV

And there you go! You are spammed!

Locating the Friends Apartment

I was watching Friends for the umpteenth time. Whenever they showed the apartment, I used to wonder if it still exists and if so what it looks like. So here I was Googling for 'Bedford Street' (I had seen it in one of the shots of the apartment) and then looking around in Google Maps.

After a bit of searching, and using the wonderful 'Street view' in Google maps, I located it!

Here is the link.

Difference in interpretation?

I like blue. This has nothing to do with me being in IBM. I have always liked blue.

Now let's say you hate blue and like some other color, say yellow. What is the reason behind this?

Why do you like what you like? Why do different people like different colors? Is it possible that we all like the same thing, but the way we interpret it is different? In other words, what is 'blue' for me is 'yellow' for you?

I am not sure why I feel this, but there is no way you can deny this because in order to know what my feeling for blue is you have to be 'me', and you cannot be 'me' unless 'I' am 'you'. Further, likings are based on intuitions and cannot be reasoned.

I have had this thought for a long time. Recently I was reading something on AI and I started wondering, “If all computers are made up of the same 'hardware' how can we instill different emotions in them?” The most straight-forward thought that comes to my mind is to instill it using software. This means that you can program a computer to like something and then configure a computer to interpret things differently so that different computers behave differently.

How are human beings different?!

Ok enough of this.

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How far is heaven from earth?

I don't know why I am writing this. But I felt this is interesting. (This is not a ground-breaking observation and may be baseless)

So the question is how far is heaven from earth.

Let us make some analysis:

It is known that a day in heaven is equal to 1 year on earth.
This means that 365 days on heaven is equivalent to 365 years on earth.

Now Pluto is at a distance of about 5,913,520,000 KM and it takes 248.54 years to revolve round the sun.

This means that for a body that takes 365 years to revolve round the sun (a vague assumption), it should be roughly at a distance of 9,000,000,000 KM from the sun. And considering the distance of earth from sun, we can safely neglect it and say that this is the distance of heaven from earth.

And if my calculations are not wrong, it will take you about 8 hours to reach there if you travel at the speed of light.

Guess who?


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Time to change my LJ pic. This goes better with the ? / // / // `/ ? / /-/ theme.

Google Earth now shows Bangalore

Yeah, it's true! Google Earth now shows Bangalore satellite images.

Without any more words, let's get to business (I didn't want to mark the images):

Golden Towers – The place where I work currently:

(Landmark: Just in front of the X shaped building is a L building, which is Golden Enclave. To the right is Golden Tower. It is a small building. To the front is empty space, which is the parking space.)

Embassy Golf Links:

(Landmark: To the front of EGL is the Golf course, and to the right bottom is the airport runway. The IBM EGL buildings are to the left of the Golf course, to the left top of the picture.)

Embassy Golf Links – IBM:

(Landmark: This clearly shows the IBM EGL buildings.)

How about some other places in Bangalore?

Majestic:

(Description: The railway station to the left and the U shaped bus stand. Looks majestic. )

Chinnaswami stadium:

(Description: Needs none.)

Airport:

(Description: The runway looks good, but the airport is spoiling the city. Too much of pollution. 🙁 )

Experiment with Google Earth Now!!!