Self-propulsion towards the extremes

Consider the following whatsapp forward I received a few years ago: I’m 25 this year. I’m very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with 100 crore annual salary or above. You might say that I’m greedy, but an annual salary 2 crore is considered only as middle class nowContinue reading “Self-propulsion towards the extremes”

The neuroscience of meditation

I recently had the chance to read The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation by Tang, H√∂lzel and Posner. It is effectively a summary of all the research that has been done on the neuroscience of mindfulness meditation, and comments on how a lot of those studies suffer from design flaws, that make their conclusions questionable. InContinue reading “The neuroscience of meditation”

Evolution and adapting to changing conditions

I read an interesting paper today, titled “Dire wolves were the last of an ancient new world canid lineage” by Frantz et al. Having only heard of dire wolves in badly written fiction about really good looking vampires, I did not even know that these creatures actually existed in real life. On reading the paper,Continue reading “Evolution and adapting to changing conditions”

Why Grothendieck would say machine learning is mostly overfitting

Introduction Grothendieck is, by far, the single most influential mathematician of the 20th century. He solved long standing mathematical problems, created whole new fields of human thought, and then spectacularly abandoned it all when his institute refused to accept military funding. The overarching theme of all his research was that when we study mathematical concepts,Continue reading “Why Grothendieck would say machine learning is mostly overfitting”

What is the dimension of the space of entrepreneurial innovation?

I was reading a conversation between Sam Harris and Daniel Kahneman, in which Kahneman made the point that if you want people to do what you want, don’t push them to do it. Just make it easier for them to do it instead. If you push people, they will revolt. But if you make itContinue reading “What is the dimension of the space of entrepreneurial innovation?”

We gotta have some more pop philosophy- Mathematics, machine learning and Wittgenstein

In my quest to read all the pop neuroscience available online, I read this fascinating article on Gerald Edelman. It was full of profound quotes like We don’t have goals. We just have values. More importantly, it talked about the concept of polymorphous sets as proposed by Wittgenstein. “Typical Wittgenstein,” Edelman mused. “There is aContinue reading “We gotta have some more pop philosophy- Mathematics, machine learning and Wittgenstein”

Moral asymmetry and Indian politics

I spent part of the morning reading a conversation between Sam Harris and Daniel Kahneman. In an almost textbook example of priming, when I saw something that I already believe, it led me to accord a greater degree of importance to the conversation. Soon I was connecting dots all over the place, and this postContinue reading “Moral asymmetry and Indian politics”

Stable systems and managing expectations

In his book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari talks about how civilizations in the past fell not because of one error in judgement, but because of multiple such errors. For instance, many empires in ancient China fell because they were not receptive to scientific and military advances from the outside, the bureaucracy was stifled, etc. IContinue reading “Stable systems and managing expectations”