Thursday, October 6, 2011

Move on


I’ve moved on, from blogger. My blogs are now hosted at & will be the only place where I’ll be putting my thoughts together.

I will no longer be posting blogs here & eventually like all things in life, this place will come to an end.

Thanks Blogger, for the platform!

While growing up as a teenager, am glad now that, I watched Doogie Howser, M.D., from where I learnt the need and joy of “diary writing” & The Wonder Years, which, helped me sync the events, narration and flow of thoughts in my mind!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thinking, in Series and Parallel


If thinking was to be described the way electrical circuits are, then we would have two basic type of thinking; series and parallel.

Series thinking, is something which we all do. Most of us are coded from birth this way, we learn to go for logic, for logical steps, from one point to next in the line, and thus we always proceed in that fashion, anything that falls out of that order is dismissed as illogical and focus is kept only on the logical queue, which makes most sense.

And the other is parallel thinking, few of us are left as we are born maybe. As one isn't born skilled or dumb, likewise, one isn't born to think a certain way. A newborn mind is a blank mind & that’s the last stage, one will witness a blank/white mind, ever.

Now, since we humans evolved, we learnt, applied and corrected the leaning to apply it again, and so happened the circle of life. We moved, sequentially, logically, weeding out things not contributing to what we wanted as outcome, and kept going. It has worked neatly, no doubt. Although, how can one question, until one doesn't have anything to compare to? & to compare this thing we are in, are you kidding!!… To compare such a humongous theory of learning, of logical precedence… what will you compare it with?! Our math, our physics, our chemistry, our biology… our entire learning is based on the logical series thinking!! What tool can one get to put against this and say, hey this doesn't sizes up!!

I believe, there’s this, “parallel thinking” too, it must be. Maybe from my finite vision and understanding, it’s 6thinking_hatssomething like this: When understanding geography one can relate and understand physics as well, then it’s parallel thinking. Makes any sense? ……..exactly!, from series viewpoint one will never make any sense of something which first breaks the very first principle of their existence – logic.

“Dismissed, it doesn't makes any sense, he has gone mad.”

Well, on a lighter note, mad is good, when everyone around seems to be intelligent then the other and are hell-bent to prove. we need a bunch of mad people around, to balance it out. :)

Coming back to topic, our intelligence, our logic, our reasoning, seems to be in series. Our roots are balanced upon logic – one directional perhaps. Our numbers, are based on that same logic and so is our everything else. So, if I am an enemy, then I just got one thing to take care of – “logic”! Just blow it up and you are already defeated without a war!!

And since this is the thing at “the scratch”, the basic principle of how we think and work, we need to put the einstein2 solution at “the scratch” as well. To address this, and to develop parallel thinking, fresh minds, needs to be addressed with a complete different strategy. Nothing should be taught the way we do it, but in a new invented way. I already feel the goose bumps of the heart, mind and intelligence at that level, of someone my age.

Update: I read a news article of a Russian mathematician, who solved a 100 year old "Poincaré conjecture" math problem. After reading articles on him including on Wikipedia, I cant stop thinking the way he thought and comprehended things.

@ Amazon: Parallel Thinking, by Edward de Bono

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ASSOCHAM Conference on Cyber & Network Security, New Delhi

In the past few days, I attended a one day, International conference on Cyber & Network Security by ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India). The conference had speakers from all around, including 2 professors from Ohio State university, professionals from around Israel, the folks from the ministry, various CBI officials, European Union cyber crime division heads and US embassy economic affairs secretaries.

Among the attendees/delegates, most who attended, except the likes of I, were from some kind of government shop, which could afford to fly them in and make them well rested at a guest house. And, then while speaking with one such individual, I got updated on how the Indian government offices and subsidiaries were well equipped with the latest know-hows and infrastructure of Cyber Security.

Until this day, from my perspective, I had only seen the Indian government's image as of this big elephant surrounded by blind men, and everyone stating out what they "feel".

Boy, I was in for a surprise! It appeared to me that the government had figured out their Boa constrictor* & were already playing with it! The snake was still crawling under the carpets of red-tapsim, bureaucracy, corruption, inefficiency and what not. One of the senior official from Indian Oil subsidiary shared with me, how Indian Oil and his company, the Chennai Oil Company, were strongly focusing on Cyberspace Security. They had infrastructure in place, policies were framed and implemented and they reviewed their stuff periodically, and reported everything back to New Delhi HQs.

The EU representatives mainly showed much concern over information privacy and vowed assistance to the Indian government in this regard. I am not sure what they will have to say about Cloud computing and all the DRP's EU firms might have overseas! There were a lot of questions to be asked and issues to be discussed but someone took more then his quota of time on a not very enriching topic, and everyone else had to pay for him! Following speakers got only 5-7 minutes to speak afterwords, no questions or discussions followed. It was more like a, sit-tight while the wind gush passes, kinda sessions afterwords.

One panelist was quick to observe this along with the deficiency of aligned topics and lapses in matter and presenters. I laughed at the way he placed his sarcasm on a platter. When he was addressed to share his thoughts on "Security on Social Networks and Cloud Computing", I still remember almost verbatim what he said. This guy is the Executive Director of KPMG, Akhilesh Tuteja. He preferred to talk while sitting behind his name board, as I remember it, this is what he said: "It gives me mixed feelings of good and bad sitting here today. Good feeling is that, my flight will depart at 7 'o clock. Usually I take the 5:30 flight and most of the time, the airline, delays the 5:30 flight and then combines it with the 7 'o clock flight. So, all these times I had to wait and then fly with someone, who never waited. Today its a good feeling that I won't have to wait. I am happy that someone else waited today and not me. Bad feeling is; this is the second time in my life I am unable to say anything or participate. The first time was during my marriage, when I was on the stage and everyone else was enjoying themselves." & that's all he said for his remarks. Then to make it more humorous, he stated "7 ways facebook could make your life tought". lol... do I have to mentione them here?! ;) He did although mentioned about "beacon score" app in facebook. That's something I learnt too!

I was rounding up folks, who according to me were impressive & knew their stuff at the back of their hands. So, here they are:
  • The Altal Security, Board Chairman, Dr. Nimrod Kozlovski, came out as an aware, super-charged and wise guy. His presentation was impressive, and vocally he was bursting
  • Peter Swire, Professor at Ohio Sate University, was good. His presentation content was good, updated and he knew what he was saying.
  • Akash Mainra, Research in Motion, I remember, gave a good talk and was on-track.
  • S.N.Ravichandran, Cyber Society of India. This guy had some facts and figures at the back of his hand and was going smooth, I wanted to see more on what he had to say & where he wanted to go with the topic in conversation, but he bailed out after 5 minutes into the topic, sighting limited time availability.
& that's it, yes, I've checked my list twice! Out of 33 odd speakers, I could only find 4 worth listening to. I am sure I could have accommodated 2 more, but I couldn't recollect what exactly they spoke about.

So, looking at what I "learnt" and took home with me, hmm.. lets do that math now. I learnt:

  1. Cyber Security initiatives are in place for large-scale & stable government and semi-government bodies and are working. Example, Chennai Petroleum Corporation.
  2. Most fully-government bodies had a lot of work to do about managing and safeguarding personal information & security. Example: like the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), something similar like the SIN (Social Insurance Number) of the west, had some plans in place, but weren't convincing enough. If you are going to put entire country's personal information online, then you gotta be smart and have partnership with a private player too, to keep your bases covered. The UIDAI representative apparently had this down her list. She was much happy about the UIDAI initiative itself, or so, it appeared from her talk.
  3. Less panel discussion members are always more! On average there were 6 in each session, whilst not more then 3 wise men, would have been better and enriching.
  4. Presentations don't have to be arbitrary in scope! In fact they never are.
  5. Giving out handouts on topics & about what you want people to remember from the conference, is important. Just the Agenda won't do! This was missing and four days after the conference I hardly could recollect what these folks said in their presentations. Everybody said everything & remaining just enjoyed the days off and free travel.
  6. Merging two sessions together is like a mandatory tactical exercise! Not everyone does a Triathlon, so, breaks between sessions are must!
  7. One important of all things I learnt; is to have a mechanism of feedback. If you dont know how your hairstyle looks like, you could well be looking Ace Ventura or Captain Jack Sparrow, but you would never find out! How good is that?!

That's all for now. I did sent an email to Assocham two days ago, but never heard back. Guess that email address only accepts payments! ;)

* - Boa Constrictor - from the famous french novel "The Little Prince". Read online here.
Boa Constrictor mentioned in (chapter 1, paragraph 2)