Memento Mori

Sometimes you remember things. Long forgotten things. Things from your childhood. Things from the time when you had just started making memories. And you remember them and may be smile or frown at those memories. And may be you are the only person who still remembers those moments. There may be many people who were part of those events but it is unlikely that anyone else would still have a memory of that event. Does it make those events less real? Did they actually happen?

There are events that have left behind proofs that they happened. So we know that Titanic sank because of all the documented proofs. Newspapers, living testimonials, physical evidences, newsreels etc. And then there are things which can be inferred. So we infer that dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor by the geological evidences. And then there are things which only exists in the memory of one person. Do you remember the time when the girl you had always liked sat next to you in the bus and talked about how bad her work is? Do you remember when you raced your father every morning when he dropped you to school and every time you won? Did it really happen? Or is it something that you just made up? Where is the proof?

Those events exists only in your memory and once you are gone, those events are gone too. They never happened.

Life, Death and Time
Life, Death and Time

Valkyrie

He took a long drag. Whatever they say about smoking, there is no better distraction. It also gave him some time to think about his life and about the things that he had done. Did he regret what he had done? No. Will he do it again if given a chance? A thousand times. Why did he do it? Somebody had to give it a shot. Might as well be him. No that was not it.  It was not a task that the goddess of fate had chosen for him. It was something that he had decided to do. He chose to do it. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. Because he had to fight. He did it so that the future generations knew that there were people who tried to fight. Was it all worth it? Perhaps. Was condemning his family to perhaps a slow painful death worth doing the right thing? He had no answer to that question. Taking the last puff, he readied himself for what was to follow.

The amazing year

In the amazing year of of 550-551BC, Earth was graced by the presence of Gautama Buddha, Zarathustra (Founder of Zoroastrians or parsis), Confucius (Founder of Confucianism), Laozi (Founder of Taoism) and Mahavira (Founder of Jainism) at the same time.

Image courtesy : WolframAlpha

Was “It” wrong?

Imagine a situation when the earth is going to be destroyed and you are selected to choose one thing that you would like to preserve. What would your answer be?

I would select the entire data bank of Google. Google’s data contains most of the billions of web pages that humanity has created in the past few years of its online existence. It also contains the data from Wikipedia. Thus we have a comprehensive record of how we lived, our technology, our thoughts, our tweets, our chat logs, our status messages, our culture, our way of life, our history, our geography, our daily news, even our genome, everything that made us human. Add to that the images from the web and from Picasa and videos from Youtube and you have a thorough knowledge about us. Perhaps a sufficiently advanced civilization could create a massive simulation of the life on Earth (perhaps using a Matryoshka brain). Thus rather than selecting a dear one or a valued object, by selecting Google’s data I am storing everything that we are.

This brings me to the question of whether there is any knowledge without an intelligence to understand it?

Also, are we just information? Our total existence, what we are, what we feel, our emotions, they are all just bits of information. If somebody writes a comprehensive story of my life, is it me? When I read about Andrei Bolkonsky (From War and Peace), is it the same as Andrei actually existing?

Brainiac was an Artificial Intelligence (Sentient?) on Krypton, the home planet of Superman. When Kal-El (Superman) was still a baby, Brainiac deduced that due to unstable inner core, planet Krypton would be destroyed. Brainiac realized that if he tells about the coming destruction to the inhabitants of the planet, they will ask him to compute a mean for averting the disaster or a way to protect the people. It (?) also realized that the Kryptonian civilization is just information. Thus it made a decision to protect the information by downloading all the data into its data bank and prepare the means to escape the disaster rather than “waste” precious computation cycles figuring out a way to save the planet. So it came to pass that by the time Jor-El (Father of Kal-El) figured out the impending disaster, it was too late and he could only save Kal-El by sending him on a solitary journey to Earth.

Was Brainiac wrong?

Font Ideas

Really stupid software ideas that someone can implement.

  1. Fonts in your handwriting. May be write a page of alphabet or sample paragraph, scan it and the software would create a custom font that can look like your handwriting. People like their photos, their favorite music, favorite songs etc. They are bound to read documents in their own handwriting.
  2. Dynamic fonts. All the fonts that we use are consistent. That is the first D in this paragraph looks the same wherever it is used. Humans do not write like that. Our handwriting changes from paragraph to paragraph. There are subtle changes in the same characters we write. It would be nice to have fonts that do the same. Those fonts may not look good on print pages but would definitely look good on on-screen documents.

You are free to use these ideas to implement. Just acknowledge the source and 5% of the earnings. 🙂