Showing posts from 2021

General Vs. Specific

Machine Learning is the process developing a general theory from the specifics and then continuously getting better at predicting the specific outcomes. 


People find it hard to stay at home with their loved ones for a long period of time. 


Wind is constantly changing direction. 


Romance is expensive. 

Articulate Incompetent

"An articulate incompetent, 'a person who speaks clearly and cogently and persuasively about something, without actually understanding anything about the reality that their words are intending to describe.' 'Such a person is dangerous to an organization because they can sound very persuasive, despite the fact that they have absolutely no clue what they are talking about.'" - John Cleese 

Institutional Imperative

"The institutional imperative, the tendency of executives to mindlessly imitate the behavior of their peers, no matter how foolish it maybe to do so...One of its main tenets is a copycat mechanism that decrees that any craving of a leader, however foolish, will be quickly supported by detailed rate-of-return and strategic studies prepared by his troops. For example, every time it becomes fashionable to expand into some new line of business, some companies will expand into it. Then they get out of it about five years later, licking their wounds.  I did not intuitively understand it when I entered the business world, I thought that decent, intelligent, and experienced managers would automatically make rational business decisions. But I learned over time that isn't so. Instead, rationally frequently wilts when the institutional imperative comes into play.  For example...As if governed by Newton's First Law of Motion, an institution will resist any change in its current direct


Can color exist without light?

Software Development vs. Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence is a part of our daily lives. What we see on Twitter, Facebook, Google; the shows recommended to us on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and face detection are all using a form of AI called supervised machine learning (ML) i.e. you can teach a machine (computer) to learn something, it has no clue about, based on a lot of data. For example, you can show a machine thousands of images and train it to detect cats. After being sufficiently trained, you can input an image, which the machine has not seen before, into the machine and it would tell you if there is a cat in the image. The more data the ML models get exposed to, the better they get over time.  Most of the practical applications we see today are using ML. And, everything ML is doing can be done by humans. So, why do we need ML? Three main reasons:  1. Automation: You don't need to hire humans to figure out if there is a cat in the image or if an email is spam. Machines can do a good enough job. This can result in


Marcus Aurelius' Meditations reads like brief notes on hindu philosophy    Random excerpt from the book:  Your ability to control your thoughts - treat it with respect. It's all that protects your mind from false perceptions - false to your nature, and that of all rational beings. It's what makes thoughtfulness possible, and affection for other people, and submission to the divine. 


If you don't like your fortune, have another fortune cookie. 


There wouldn't be any wars if nobody made money from them. 


Management by TLDR (Too Long; Didn't Read) results in TLDR (Too Late; Didn't Reason). 


Why is it that most humans evolved to become right handed?

Butterfly Effect

The US election day becoming a paid holiday for all Americans is a small change that can have big consequences for the US. 

Meaning of Life

I spent years finding myself and when I did, there was nothing there. 

ML 2

Is the model (machine learning) serving you or are you serving the model?

Machine Learning

The problem with Machine Learning is that it learns from data. 


Success is the best Kool-Aid. 


I dream of a world where babies don't lose their innocence with age. In our world, Venus had to be born as an adult to be an innocent adult and she exists only in fiction. 

From My Mother's Diary

An entry from my mother's diary today:  --- July 31st, 2021 A few lessons from happenings and surroundings: 1. A short term pleasure can lead to long term traps.  2. If things come easy and you get comfortable, you are getting trapped into dependency.  3. When you don't use your skills, you can lose them. And, this loss might limit your choices and freedom. 4. Freedom does not come easy and can be lost quickly.  5. Nothing comes easily in life but if something does come easily then it might not be worth having it.  6. Don't curse your struggles. They are your blessings in disguise.  ---


Desire clouds judgment.


Predictable things command a premium. 


Why do babies like toys?

Bread vs. Circus

If you have to choose between importing bread and circus, import bread. The hungry don't care where the bread comes from but the populace can be made patriotic with the right circus.  

My Errors In Investing

I am writing this post to internalize the lessons learned from my investing (in public companies) mistakes over twenty years.   Chapter 1 (2000 - 2003) My journey of investing in public companies began around year 2000, at the peak of the  dotcom bubble . At the time, all I remembered about investing from my recent MBA was that companies trading over a  P/E  (Price Earnings Ratio i.e. price of the stock divided by earnings per share) of 15 were overpriced. People were very excited about investing at the time, stocks were what everyone talked about in social gatherings. I worked with people I liked and respected. They were making money every day in the market and how much money everyone was making was the lunch topic every day. I brought up P/E ratios in the conversations and they all laughed and said it was a new economy, old rules didn't apply. I thought this is why people say that reality is different from school. I was applying what I learned in school and not making any money i


Government creates laws. Corporations follow laws. Government complains about the results of the laws and vilifies corporations. 


What is a garden that is not visited by bees, birds, and butterflies?


We prefer reason, however flawed, to no reason. 

In Memory Of My Father

My father (papa), Dharam Chand Chawla, passed away on April 30th, 2021. He was 77 years old. I want the time to stop but it turns out that no matter how you are feeling, time does not stop. Papa lived up to his name, Dharam Chand, which means someone who exemplifies the right (Hindu) way of living. He dedicated his life to his family, religion, and society. Papa profoundly influenced my thinking and gave me the values I live by. Some of things I learned from papa are:  Dharam: Do karma (take actions) to fulfill your dharam/dharma (~duty). Don’t think about likes or dislikes. He was making sacrifices on a daily basis to do what is best for his family and in his whole life he did not complain once.  Family: There is nothing more joyful than being in a happy family. He adored my mom, my sister and me. Everyday, papa worked tirelessly to make us happy. An incident I remember vividly is that he had the habit of reading the Hindi newspaper every morning. When I became a teenager, I develop

Comparative Advantage

For how long can government subsidies in one nation fight the comparative advantage of another nation?

First World Pandemic Problems

It is Tuesday and I can not order anything from Amazon for rest of the week because my recycling bin is full from the orders that arrived yesterday. 

Second Order Effects

Present societal problems are the consequences of the past solutions. 

Bread & Circus

The populace has never been in more control of the powerful. The bread is cheap and the circus is free . You can get both in wide variety with the press of a button, sitting at home. 

Against vs. For

It is easier to be against something than for something. 


The easiest way to have a comfortable life is by getting used to being uncomfortable. 

Interesting Excerpts From The Books I Read In 2020

I spent most of the 2020 at home and I thought that it would result in a lot more reading than usual (~12 books a year).  I was wrong but not entirely, I read 14 books last year:)  2020 Books  Following are some random and interesting excerpts:  1. The Worldly Philosophers   There is a "preanalytic" process that precedes our logical scenarios, a process which we cannot escape, and which is inescapably colored with our innermost values and preferences. "Analytic work", writes Schumpeter, '...embodies in the picture of things as we see them, and whenever there is any possible motive for wishing to see them in a given rather than another light, the way in which we see things we can hardly be distinguished from the way in which we wish to see them.  2. Technology Strategy Patterns  When the good leader's work is done, his aims fulfilled, the people will all say, "We did this ourselves." - Lao Tzu  Definition of [technology] architect's work: it com

National Security

What is a bigger US national security breach - 9/11 or 1/6?