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Showing posts from 2014

Love Jihad

Swami Gulagulaananda quoted:
"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a lion to not eat you because you are a vegetarian"

While the original quote is "...expecting a bull not to attack you..." but I like the lion one better.

Highly recommended reading - Aavarana - The Veil

It takes all sorts to make a world is an old proverb. There are all kinds of people out there - Good, well behaved, polite, smart asses, witty, dull, dumb, arrogant, cruel, sadistic, masochistic, sadomasochistic and so on.

Then there is a second proverb - Birds of the same feather flock together. We typically see these examples right from our childhood and college. The smart ones hang out together and topics of discussion are studies or study related. People call them nerds. Then there are a group of sports-guys and studs who ace in the field but flunk in exams. It's very rare that you see people from both groups hang out together sociall…

Where do you draw the line?

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Sugar has carbon is not a debatable statement. Red is the best colour is..."

With the explosive growth of social networks where you don't need to have conversations face to face, combined with the anonymity of the internet, people are no longer scared to post their opinions out there. I am sorry, did I say post? I meant vehemently shove it on others.

But opinions are different from facts. Sugar has carbon is not a debatable statement. Red is the best colour is...

When something is illegal, the value of the product increases by a large amount. The Chinese "medicine" black market is responsible for the deaths of elephants and tigers in large numbers. Poaching is illegal, but the reward is so great that the punishment doesn't seem to deter poachers. Recently I read a post where people were talking about elephant poaching and how difficult it is to control it. The post continues to debate if ivory trade should be legalised. The argum…

The Demon Cave

Swami Gulagulaananda reminded:
"As you sow, so shalt you reap"

Kumar turned around to look at his friend. "So what do you think? Should we do it?" Suresh, lying on his back, seemed to be completely oblivious to the question. Staring at the leaves of the peepal tree under which they rested, he seemed to be lost in thoughts. "Well?" persisted Kumar. "Let's wait till Shyam gets here" he replied. "Oh good, Shyam is here" said Kumar seeming relieved. He wanted to get done with it. He had been waiting for this for a while now, and he was glad that there was finally company.

"Fine morning today", said Shyam cheerily as he approached his friends. "What are you both up to?" Just as Kumar got ready to respond "Actually...", Suresh casually interjected "We are thinking of going to the Antarangaasura cave" Shyam looked a little scared. "Isn't that cave haunted?" he asked worried. "We a…

My discussion with an ISKCON devotee

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"They argued over Schrodinger's cat and on opening the box saw a rock in it..."

Dasa looked at me in disbelief. "Are you saying there is no God?" he asked. "I didn't say there is no God. I said that I don't think that God looks like a person" I replied. "Why not? What according to you is God?" he asked. "I am not sure. But I don't like the idea of a personal god. To me, the idea of God has to be intellectually stimulating. For instance, the idea of Brahman as God is something I'd like to pursue. Like energy, perhaps. That which is subtle, with no characteristics, present in everything... Maybe energy. Or many something like string theory with all the subtle vibrations. But the idea of someone who can give curses is something I'd not subscribe to" I replied.

"That's Mayavada philosophy", spluttered Dasa, "Are you saying Krishna is not God?" I smiled at him and qu…

Monkey-Wrench: Ultimate Customisation Extension

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Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"The simplest of changes become extremely difficult without the right tools"

Monkey-Wrench is a Chrome extension that I built along with Mayur Kataria and Parin Kataria.

The extension allows you to use custom CSS and run custom JavaScript on any website
Overview There have been numerous instances when we are unhappy with the way some of our favourite sites look like. For instance, Twitter's UI became an eye-sore recently. You might be a good designer or might know a good designer and may want to apply your own styling to make the site look more appealing. How do you go about doing that?

Simple! Just install Monkey-Wrench extension from here. Right click on the extension icon and click on Options. This takes you to the Projects page. Click on New Project, and provide your style and scripts. Click on Run Automatically. That's it!
Non Developers Non-Developers can also make use of Monkey-Wrench by using our Recipe Bazaar - A repository of script…

Why I don't like Muslims

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"I call a spade a spade"

If you came to this post by reading the title - You are one of the following:
You are seething with anger, wondering what nonsense is written in this post. You are getting worked up and aching to fire up some comments calling me an insensitive bigot, communal and what not. You are also readying some choice expletivesYou have adopted a holier than thou attitude and are ready to give me advice on how we should all live together happily or throw words such as "I did not expect this from you"You secretly don't like Muslims and are here to read what I have got to sayYou are still unbiased and are simply curious to read what is in this post Once you have put yourself in one of those groups, continue reading... Let me clarify at the outset that I just wanted you to realise that we all belong to one of those categories. But tell me, is what I have said here wrong in any way? Isn't it my prerogative to dislike someon…

Writing games in JavaScript

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Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"All work and no play makes Gulagulaananda a dull old man... well duller"

With every passing day, I am beginning to like JavaScript more and more. JavaScript is very easy to learn and with one language, you can write front-end applications, back-end scripts, run servers and even write mobile apps for Android, iOS, Tizen etc. I think that's incredible!

I have written a couple of simple games with JavaScript and thought I should write a post about one of them. So, let's have a look at a simple game I wrote, called Crates.

The objective of the game is simple. There is a "hero", a character you control with the keyboard arrows. There are some crates and some targets (golden balls). The goal is to cover all targets with the crates. The hero can push a single crate but never pull one. Only one crate can be pushed at a time. A crate that is against the wall or another crate cannot be pushed. So it gets tricky when you push crates to some …

Company, Politics and The Human Body

Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"You can't negotiate with, threaten or blackmail a person who has nothing to lose"

If you observe, you'll see several similarities between a company and the human body. Just like organ systems, you have teams. And just like complicated interactions among organ systems, you have interactions among teams. All these interactions need to happen very smoothly. The final objective is the survival and growth of the overall entity - The company or the body.

I remember an old story, perhaps from Aesop's Fables - Where all the organs fight among themselves. The heart says it is the greatest, for it helps pump blood all over the place. Without blood, what can you do? The stomach says that it is the greatest, for it digests food and gives energy. Without energy, the heart cannot pump. The limbs say they are the greatest, for they get food - without which you can't digest. The brain says that it is the greatest for making all of this possible, a…

Of approach to problems

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Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"Think like a child"

The problem with most techies is that we tend to seek out tech solutions for all problems. I don't blame technologists for this - I think this is a general problem. Just to explain in a clearer fashion, here is an old story I had read a long time back.

There was a soap factory that had large machines that would do everything end to end - from manufacturing soaps, to making bars of them and putting them in boxes. They would run over conveyor belts. Now it so happened that occasionally there would be one empty box that would slip into the lot and that would create problems - You can't sell an empty box. Now where was this error? And how would you exactly debug and fix this? I actually asked this question to a bunch of people and typically you would approach this like a tech issue - Probably some counter was wrong, or try to figure out and see if there is a pattern in the empty boxes - that would give you a clue. How did t…