Scott Alexander gets married

The influential blogger Scott Alexander got married last week. In honor of his wedding, I’ve decided to write a short note on how he has influenced my life over the last few years. I first heard about Scott Alexander’s blog slatestarcodex from friends in India who I’d only ever met on Facebook. I tried toContinue reading “Scott Alexander gets married”

Afghanistan and the Turing Machine

How do societies modernize? One day they realize that their ways have gotten older, and they transform overnight into liberal democracies with equal rights for all. Not really. Afghanistan The US invaded Afghanistan to spread democracy, women’s rights and universal love (there was something about hegemony in the Middle East, but those are just rumors).Continue reading “Afghanistan and the Turing Machine”

Status battles in The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov is one of the most famous books in the history of literature. It was also Einstein’s favorite book. However, my appreciation for the book proves that (much) lesser mortals also have much to gain from reading it. The book swings primarily between the author’s third person narration of events, and the psychoanalysisContinue reading “Status battles in The Brothers Karamazov”

IMO 1981, Question 3

I had a great time solving the following question a couple of nights back. More so because I’d failed to solve this question in the past. This question is completely unapproachable if you try to use algebra. However, generating simple examples helps. Let me try and write down some solutions to : they are DoContinue reading “IMO 1981, Question 3”

Music and Class in India

I was in middle school when I started listening to American music (we called it English music) and watching American TV series (on Star World, for those in the know). Soon, I was listening to a lot of Backstreet Boys, and watching a lot of Friends, Dexter, etc. It was a strange feeling. Although IContinue reading “Music and Class in India”

Status signaling in academia

This is how math grad students talk: I don’t really understand this very simple concept. What is the essence of this object, and why was it needed at all? I perhaps need to construct ten different examples or think of alternate definitions before I can successfully narrow down what this means. No. Not really. ThisContinue reading “Status signaling in academia”

HIV rebound

The paper that I’m writing about today is “The size of the expressed HIV reservoir predicts timing of viral rebound after treatment interruption” by Li et al. I will quote passages from the paper, and then try to explain what all of those fantastically long words mean. Objectives: Therapies to achieve sustained antiretroviral therapy-free HIVContinue reading “HIV rebound”

It sure doesn’t feel like predictive processing

Reddit user @Daniel_HMBD kindly re-wrote some parts of my previous essay to make it clearer. I am now posting this corrected version here. Broad claim: The brain (conscious or unconscious) “explains away” a large part of our surroundings: the exact motion of a tree or a blade of grass as it sways gently in theContinue reading “It sure doesn’t feel like predictive processing”