Don’t Move The Way Fear Makes You Move

“Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to. Don’t try to see through the distances. That’s not for human beings. Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.” —Rumi

Any decision is better than no decision, if you are making them fast enough and course correcting. Action is generally better than inaction, as Rumi points out, just keep walking even when you don’t see where the road is taking you. Many times we get paralyzed by our rational mind and that leads to much inaction.

Dont try to see through distances, I know this very well, having run a few marathons. I’ve found it discouraging to see how far away I was from 26.2 mile marker, instead putting one foot in front of the other was a lot more encouraging. I can do it, any of us can do it, just one step in front of the other.

Instead of looking out for those external mile markers, we can make much more progress looking internally, we can feel more satisfied looking within.

Lastly, fear and love cannot co-exist. If we are driven by fear, our actions, thoughts and words cannot be loving and kind. We cannot be happy or satisfied and we cannot be authentic.

Bikeshedding

“Number of opinions on a topic is exponentially directly proportional to the triviality of the topic”

Source for this blog idea: http://bikeshed.com, I heard about this profound idea from Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame.

Should we use technology X or Y to land the first spaceship carrying humans to Mars?

Opinion 1: Yes to X

Opinion 2: Yes to Y

Opinion 3: May be we should do a combination of X with a small variation on Y.

We are DONE, really no more opinions?

Should we paint this bike shed red or blue?

Opinion 1: Red would be great

Opinion 2: Red sucks

Opinion 3: Red might work but blue would be better

……

Opinion Million: Let’s not paint it

Opinion Million + 1: Do we need a bike shed?

Subhashita 2 – Tomorrow’s Work Today

“Svah Karyam Adya Kurvita”

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

The work to be attended tomorrow, should be done today itself. Generally the human mind postpones important activities indefinitely. Chanakya the author of Arthasastra advises like this –

Don’t postpone anything. Do attend the work planned for tomorrow, today itself.

This type of strategy is more necessary for rulers. They should announce the program for tomorrow and do it in advance today itself, so that there may be no chance for their enemies to spoil it.

in Life | 101 Words

Veena, Why Not?

Bantureethi Koluvu on Veena by Rajesh Vaidya

Veena is such a melodious string instrument but is it not part of the common accompaniment in a Carnatic concert?

Listen to the Veena rendition of Sai Bhajans by Dhurjati, you will have to agree that this instrument can be and should be used more often in concerts. Has anyone tried using it in some kind of Fusion?

Is there a smaller “guitar like” version of Veena that is portable?

Subhashita 1 – Who Is A Friend?

“Dadati pratigrnhati guhyam akhyati prcchati /
Bhunkte bhojayate caiva shdvdham mitralakshanam //”

English translation of the above Sanskrit Subhashita by Prof. S.B. Raghunathacharya, former Vice-Chancellor R.S. Vidyapeet, Tirupati is as follows –

He is a real friend who gives to others first and then takes anything from others, first reveals personal secrets to others and then enquires about their personal things and lastly accepts food from others and happily offers it to others as well. This is the definition of a real friend.

Lessons From People No Smarter Than You

Listen to the audio of this blog.

“Don’t take ‘no’ when your gut tells you ‘yes'”

James Patterson

“Whatever drives us, we all derive happiness from finding purpose. We find joy in thinking, doing and discovering – in improving people’s lives and catalyzing positive change in the world.”

Robert Smith

“I should have done this a long time ago”

Lou Gerstner

“Truly great artists, they always get better”

Jeff Koons

“I read. I listen. I try to surround myself with smart people of all ages and backgrounds. Wednesday nights me and my wife host college students for dinner to share their world-views and work, they inspire me with their potential and passion to change the world.”

John Doerr

“Be a voice that is respected and abreast of developments”

Ratan Tata

“By the end of the day, I’ve learned something that shows how dumb I was yesterday”

Bernard Marcus

“I believe in telling like it is and not worrying about it”

Vinod Khosla

“I believe in work and being connected to the world we live in”

Miuccia Prada

The Art of Breaking Things Down To Bite-Sized Chunks

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”

Listen to the audio of this blog.

Let’s say you want to be a Designer, if you are just starting out on that path, that goal is very daunting, it seems out of reach, how can we make it tangible, bite-sized and easily chewable?

It is a regular experience, we have a big pizza in front of us, we want to eat it but we don’t take the whole pizza and shove it into the mouth. We cut it down into 6 or 8 slices, not only it becomes easier to hold and bite into a slice but also lets others take a slice of their own. Furthermore, we don’t try and shove the entire slice of pizza into our mouth, we take smaller bites and enjoy it. Similarly, we can and should break down a hard problem into smaller slices and further into bite-sized chunks to understand and solve better and have fun doing it.

source: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-pizza/

Second part of the quote above “but not simpler” is important. One can go down the path of chunking problems into smaller pieces but after a certain point there are diminishing returns. We should know when to stop, just as we adjust how much of a slice of pizza we need to bite off so that it can fit in the mouth and it’s easy to chew. We could slice the pizza into 100 slices instead of 6 or 8, is that necessary? In most cases, not only it’s unnecessary, it’s counterproductive.

In my experience, breaking down the hard problem into 6 chunks or 6 questions and repeating that to 4 – 6 levels deep is usually enough to get to that bite-sized chunks that can be tackled easily. Not only small problems are easier to solve, they also give us ammo, motivation from completing a task is the best motivation there is. That power propels us to finish even more smaller problems and before we know it, we have eaten the whole pizza and now it’s time to burn those calories, put on your shoes, let’s go for a 6 mile run!

I understand the pizza analogy only goes so far, I already know to eat a pizza, all pizza slices are more or less the same. What if I don’t know what to eat? What if I don’t know that I need to eat? What if I chose the second slice and not the fifth slice, things could be completely different in a real life situation!

Lessons From My Life’s Darkest Teacher

“Be grateful and happy that beautiful people chose to be in your life. Be happy that it happened, not sad that it’s over.”

I was listening to Cheryl Strayed podcast (author of Wild) on The Tim Ferris Show and at the end she challenged all listeners to write down who their darkest teacher was, life events, people whoever it might be. Here is my attempt.

Was my darkest teacher my Mom’s death? My Dad’s death? My lost teenage years? My failed ventures? they were all significant and some of them life altering but which ones taught me the most about how to live a good life?

I don’t know if it was the darkest teacher but losing my Mom and then my Dad has definitely set me on a different path than I’d have taken otherwise. I am very certain about that, I was a different person before losing them. I became reticent, much less interested in external achievements and rewards, others opinion of me didn’t matter, diminished faith in the external world and I struggle with these everyday.

Why did mom suffer physical pain for 4 years? Why did she die so young? What happened to all the goodness she brought to people around her? What would it be like if she is still around now? What would she say to her grandchildren? Why did dad have to die so young? What more could he have accomplished if he was still around? What happened to all the good things he brought into this world? Many questions and no clear answers, I don’t know if I will ever find them but the inquiry and struggle continues. Even if I find answers to some of these questions, are they worth anything now? Can they remove the pain, the darkness and the feeling of sadness I have experienced in the past and continue to experience to this day? Can the answers bring back what was once lost?

Am I supposed to simply wail in this abyss of darkness, is there a point in trying to look for light? Is this darkness what I am meant to experience? Is this all a random probability? or is there a rhyme and reason to all of this?

Through all this I learned a few things

Be kind and loving to everyone you come in touch with, no matter the situation, who it is, what it is, where it is, be kind and loving in your thought, word and action.

Be steadfast in your faith even if the outcomes are not as you expected and keep doing the work, keep living the life according to your conscience, not according to what the world expects, not what your friends or relatives expect but what you expect of yourself.

Listen to others going through the troubles, don’t advise, just listen and offer a shoulder if they want to lean on.

Be grateful and happy that beautiful people chose to be in your life. Be happy that it happened, not sad that it’s over.

Last but not the least, live up to their values, remember them in your daily life and cherish those wonderful memories.

With Love, A.I: Can A.I Replace Radiologists?

Well the short answer is “Yes”, longer answer is “not right now but in a few years”. I know that is very provocative and most people would disagree, especially radiologists. Stanford researchers have been able to create machine learning models and algorithms that can detect brain aneurysms much more effectively than a radiologist.

What is a brain aneurysm?

Brain aneurysm is a bulge in the blood vessels that could potentially leak or burst causing brain hemorrhage, damage or even death.

So the question is, if AI can do a better job of identifying aneurysms, can it be used in place of radiologists doing a similar function? If it can, then we will not be limited by number of radiologists there are but by number of servers we can add. Moore’s law applies to machines and not to humans so over time it’d become cheaper to deploy AI Radiologists than human radiologists.

This new AI tool is apparently built on an algorithm called HeadXNet. Researchers note however that the results are dependent on “scanner hardware and imaging protocols” which are not standardized, providers (hospital or lab) might have different hardware and use different imaging techniques that will influence how the AI tool detects or misses accurate diagnosis.

In this brain scan, the location of an aneurysm is indicated by HeadXNet using a transparent red highlight. (Image credit: Allison Park)

“A lot of patients are not getting treatment fast enough.”

Eric Schmidt

Augmented reading on the topic from wired.com

The Algorithm Will See You Now