Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ten Commandments for the Indian Engineering student

Are you an Engineering student in an Indian college? Don't worry even I had a bad day today.

So amidst all those 'cool' Facebook posts and funny satirical tweets that outrage on how the system should be and how everyone else is wrong, here are ten things you should always keep in mind. You are going to hate these. You have been warned.

1. You will get to interact with seniors in due course of your first year in college. You will carefully avoid those who are marching towards the library with books in hand and go disturb the one sitting with his girlfriend. He will ask you to 'chillax' and take things light. That's because he wants you to get lost and not disturb him. The right person to contact is the one with the books. He will provide you with the right advice. It will sound something like 'CGPA is important.'

2. In due course of time you will join/start ohmygodsofunny Facebook pages like 'Even-We-have -an-Engineering-college tips'. They will have coolmax posters that say stuff like develop your aptitude. Bunk classes. Have fun. But they miss some essential advice. CGPA is important.

3. You might be extremely interested in research. To the levels that you actually cultured ants for your sixth standard science project instead of saying they all died because your mom mistook it for Bournvita. So, you will end up doing tens of projects and millions of lines of code. While you are busy with all this you will grow up thinking you are superman. But CGPA is more important.

4. You will prepare with your fullest dedication to answer any question under the roof during the interview. But your preparation is not complete if you don't have a satisfactory answer to the question, "What is your CGPA?". Because CGPA is important.

5. Are you a programming wizard? Can you solve any problem in under 10 minutes? How many languages do you..? Wait, before that, What is your CGPA? Because, CGPA is more important.

6. You would have won gold medals in three consecutive math olympiads. But, CGPA is more important.

7. Your fellow classmate who asked you what is the difference between C and C++ two days before the test would get a Boston admit when some BPO would refuse to interview you. Because, CGPA is more important.

8. Your parents would think you are not working as much as your next door neighbor as he would end up with better grades because he 'refers' to Local authors only. Hey because at the end of the day, CGPA is more important.

9. You would think some basics on research and may be a paper would cover up for your drop in CGPA because you couldn't cut a pyramid into three equal parts. You will spend an hour filling your CV with accomplishments you think are going to make your profile look like Vidya Balan's gorgeous smile. But to start up with research and cover up CGPA you need a good CGPA. Because CGPA is more important.

10. You might choose to ignore all the above. But remember this alone, CGPA is important.

Monday, March 26, 2012

So the world has shrunk, is it?

There used to be a time when your only friends were those whom you went to school with or those that you played with after school. There used to be a time when cousins of your same age were categorized as friends. But today, the thing that scares you the most is a friend 'request' on Facebook from your mom/dad. For those familiar with Twitter, a colleague or a long lost school friend following you is something that would scare you. Not because you don't like them, but because it would be harder for you to maintain the image you have created for yourself. 

The internet has made our lives into something like a restaurant. We choose what we see and work with. If you do not find someone's posts on Facebook interesting you unsubscribe from their news-feed. Yes, internet today can be summed up as Facebook + Twitter + E-mail client. Less than one percent of our internet time is going into constructive work. We read one Wikipedia article for every hundred tweets we read. I'm being generous here. Only one percent of the Wikipedia pages are completely read. It is indeed sad that the internet is eating into our lives.

I happened to stumble upon a fact that Google search results vary from person to person. Even computer to computer for the same person, depending on attributes like location and even the browser you use. We are not reading news in the form of facts. We are reading what the algorithm assumed to be our topic of interest.

You make friends with people whom you haven't even met. You are far more comfortable talking to them about stuff you probably won't discuss with your classmate. One, it is because you find these people to be anonymous and well cut out from your life for the information to come back and bite you. Two, it is because you think these people match your wavelength or in layman's terms they crib about the same thing you do.

Ask yourself how many good friends you had and how many good friends you have?
How many of them have you met online? 

Imagine the number of personal data you have let out into the internet. None of us have the faintest idea about how much of it is recoverable. Facebook is using the data to try and make it more user-friendly. 

Did you notice how many of your friends have disappeared from your news-feed? Do you think it is because they are inactive on Facebook? If so, you have been fooling yourself. It is because you did not pay enough attention to their posts for a certain period of time. You stopped 'liking' their posts. You stopped commenting on their photos. Facebook assumes you do not find them interesting anymore and has made ignoring them easy by removing them from your news-feed entirely. Facebook is phasing out your friends. It is playing the boss by showing you what interests you. It is a machine and it probably is wrong.

Like I said your life has become a restaurant and you are choosing what to see while the internet decided what not to see. It gives you the illusion that you are connecting with people across the globe all the while losing touch with your next door neighbor. Day by day you are becoming an island where all you can see are  the things you once found interesting and the internet assumed that summed up your world.

Ask yourself, has the world really shrunk?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Why did it end?

Because, he walked away.

I don't think so.

Then why?

Because, she walked away also.