Puzzling the unpuzzled

Make us fools, but we hate waiting. »

Some years ago, executives at a Houston airport faced a troubling customer-relations issue. Passengers were lodging an inordinate number of complaints about the long waits at baggage claim. In response, the executives increased the number of baggage handlers working that shift. The plan worked: the average wait fell to eight minutes, well within industry benchmarks. But the complaints persisted.

Puzzled, the airport executives undertook a more careful, on-site analysis. They found that it took passengers a minute to walk from their arrival gates to baggage claim and seven more minutes to get their bags. Roughly 88 percent of their time, in other words, was spent standing around waiting for their bags.

So the airport decided on a new approach: instead of reducing wait times, it moved the arrival gates away from the main terminal and routed bags to the outermost carousel. Passengers now had to walk six times longer to get their bags. Complaints dropped to near zero.

There is some great theory there. Man I love human tendency to fool oneself into not hating something.


Another rainfall, another stroll to the cafeteria, another shot of similar feelings. Just couldn’t help but dig out this old post and repost.

Speechless …. That’s how today’s incident caught me. Really felt am i missing something? Am i really enjoying my life? Corporate world has indeed made me dry. Juiceless. Deprived of whatever fun element I had in my life. Saw the wet earth today and there loomed the childhood days in front of me.

Those hours I spent sitting on a sofa employing my eyes out at rain beaten roads. “Chai-Bhajji” or “Pohe” that i relished. Slightest sound of a rain drop that made me run towards the porch. Spellbound eyes of mine that tried to gulp up a sight of lush green fields. An enchanting effect that even a midget breeze created. The restlessness that a sight of river or even a small stream gave me. The dew-laden grass plates that endorsed the mesmerizing capacity of the nature. “Aai” who always dabbed me forcefully in the sweater and monkey-cap. Soothing effect that the cooler-chilled room created after returning from burning heat. Glasses of Rasna i gobbled. Waits for the “Chachaji-Sabu-Raka” Combo. Exchanges of comics and greedily moving through the pages, just to make sure we read the most. Carrom Games, Cards, Cricket matches that we played, ignorant of screeching sun, blowing winter or pouring rains. Dirty clothes that i washed so as to keep “aai” unaware of mud-ridden football matches. And the list just goes on, endless. I never knew what really allured me so strongly. But I do was.

And today, here I am looking at the rain-hit porch from my AC cubical. Without a sofa, “Pohe”or “Chai Bhajji”. Drops kept pouring, waiting for me to run into the porch. Lush-green lawn’s spread out there, just to make me spellbound again. Gone are the rivers/streams and am in the middle of bulk of fountains. But these don’t make me restless. “Aai Daddy” are there, always at the other end of phone line. Mirinda can’t take the place rasna holds. Dan Brown or Sidney Sheldon can’t surrogate “Raj or Diamond”. “Batman-Superman” can easily be kneeled down by “Druv-Nagraj”. Gone are the games. Gone are the friends. Gone are the fun-filled days. Nature’s still out there. Calling me. Waiting to mesmerize me. With me completely oblivious.

Thanks a lot, corporate world. Thanks a lot!!!

Evidence of Machine Learning scratched at Google X Laboratory »

Inside Google’s secretive X laboratory, known for inventing self-driving cars and augmented reality glasses, a small group of researchers began working several years ago on a simulation of the human brain.

There Google scientists created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors, which they turned loose on the Internet to learn on its own.

Credit where it is due, Google has to be lauded for encouraging the open research on topics so varied. There is so much potential with computing power and data at Google.

At cost of being cynical (a bit), I felt this would be so so useful (?) to Google with all the data that it has with it. And equally frightening to the users watching. Obviously Google is looking at that, no? And then I read this.

Google scientists said that the research project had now moved out of the Google X laboratory and was being pursued in the division that houses the company’s search business and related services. Potential applications include improvements to image search, speech recognition and machine language translation

And bingo!

On a side note, NYT had to ruin it by changing the headline to “How many computers to identify a cat? 16000”. Underplays the success that this is.

If India lose 4-0 against England..

… I won’t be surprised if BJP tags this loss as the failure of UPA government. Someone, mostly Gadkari, might go so far to claim that there is a big conspiracy behind the loss. UPA planned and executed the loss just to divert “aam aadmi’s” attention away from the zillions of unearthing scams.

UPA on the other hand will appoint a committee to look into the loss and give out the steps to be followed, “Committee will come up with the report which will go to PAC that will come to parliament where it will be discussed over and, if any irregularities found, will be open for discussion on action to be taken, followed by the actual action to be taken, given it is decided that another committee need not be formed to investigate the report submitted by the first committee.”

Diggy Singh would suddenly wake up and blurt out “Right-wing Hindu organisation RSS has to be behind this. I have evidence and can prove if I am asked to.” No one will ask him to stop spreading his bloody verbal  dysentery and he will happily go back to sleep.

Manish Tiwari, if asked for comment or if isn’t either, will go on and on with his heavy words artillery and pose another hundred questions at the end of which the initial question will remain unanswered.

Well cricket fans will burn few effigies and wait for the next tour/series/gully challenge trophy where India will play again as favorites.

BCCI will plan another tour (2 tests, 3 ODIs, 2 T20s) against Zimbabwe accepting their offer to pay the money won through win against Bangladesh in return.

New breed cricketers will continue their wait for IPL and play the international matches as practice sessions for IPL.

And Manmohan Singh? "Lammmbiiii khaaamoooshhiiii".

Uniting the divided nation, at least by name.

We, the people of India; the divided people of India.

We are divided by states. We are divided by religion. We are divided by language. We are divided by accent. We are divided by names. We are divided by color.

We are divided by views we hold. We are divided by acts we preach.

We are divided by who we follow. We are divided by who we don’t.

We are divided by what we own. We are divided by what we don’t.

We are divided even by one’s own identity.

So divided we are. We, the people of India. Yes, we are the nation of a billion divided identities.

Least we can do to make ourselves feel better is name this nation “United States of India”. “United” we would be then, at least by name.

Another day, another change

Another day, when things did not go as planned. Things worked out well, almost, but did not go to plan. Nothing happened as I thought it should, but I did not complain because it did not affect me negatively. I consoled my mind “all is well”.

Though it did not end the way it should have. I knew something needs to change. And the change is brought. Vague, but truth. Isn’t that how the truth is most often?

If a great musician plays great music but no one hears, was he really any good? »

Interesting read this about an experiment involving Joshua Bell. You feel for him when we says this:

With “Chaconne,” the opening is filled with a building sense of awe. That kept him busy for a while. Eventually, though, he began to steal a sidelong glance.

"It was a strange feeling, that people were actually, ah …"

The word doesn’t come easily.

"… ignoring me.”

What is even more puzzling though is this thought from Mark Leithauser.

"Let’s say I took one of our more abstract masterpieces, say an Ellsworth Kelly, and removed it from its frame, marched it down the 52 steps that people walk up to get to the National Gallery, past the giant columns, and brought it into a restaurant. It’s a $5 million painting. And it’s one of those restaurants where there are pieces of original art for sale, by some industrious kids from the Corcoran School, and I hang that Kelly on the wall with a price tag of $150. No one is going to notice it. An art curator might look up and say: ‘Hey, that looks a little like an Ellsworth Kelly. Please pass the salt.’"

So life-less we have become. Or were we always like this?