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Working From Home in India

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The revolution has started. The long awaited change is upon us. No office is ever going to be the same again as the employees, long oppressed under the yoke of having to wear pants and going to office, march into the glorious future of sitting in their beds with their laptops and asking their friends, children and significant others to keep it down. But no matter how much fun we make of it, the world has definitely shifted. Large companies like Twitter have announced permanent WFH for employees who want it. There are already predictions of suburban price boom in real estate as employees start moving out of overpriced and overcrowded cities in US. Back home, it is not only the startups but even companies like TCS that are looking to have a large chunk of their workforce working from home even when situation returns to normal. Amidst all this, there is little discussion on the implications of WFH in context of India. How will different kind of employees affected by this? Is is

क्या लिखूं?

छूटे कोई दीन दुखी ना, सबको करो शुमार लिखो, दबी हुई चीखों को बुन कर, कर्कश इक ललकार लिखो। धरम जो पूछे शरणागत का, जात जो पूछे साधो की, हिंदुस्तानी दिल ऐसा भी हुआ नहीं लाचार लिखो। लिखने दो उनको BSE, NSE और GDP, तुम आम आदमी की जेबों में बची चवन्नी चार लिखो। इस शोर शराबे में सहमा सा सच जो तुमको मिल जाए, एक बार लिखो, दस बार लिखो, तुम उसको बारम्बार लिखो। है वक़्त अभी कुछ कहने का, है वक़्त नहीं चुप रहने का, नफरत के तूफानों में घिरते, इंसानों को प्यार लिखो। सुनो अभागा बदल गए हैं यहाँ मायने शब्दों के, देशभक्त ऐसे हैं गर तो, खुद को तुम गद्दार लिखो।

Aritificial Alien Intelligence

Like fashion, even scientific research is subjected to cyclical fads. Topics, techniques come into limelight and then fall out of favor when the gains plateau.  In machine learning, NNs were in vogue in early 90s when SVM came onto the scene and blew them out of water on almost every problem and then got superseded in turn by the log-linear models, CRFs and others. Then in beginning of this decade, NNs have made a tremendous come back, this time becoming the tool of choice for NLP as well. Due to their name and a very crude similarity to how the biological brain is organized, NNs tend to invite comparisons with human brain and every improvement achieved with their help tends to be seen as an step towards Artificial General Intelligence, at least in popular media and common people.  Now, what would happen if tomorrow a different method, a different paradigm of Machine Learning were start performing better than NNs? There is no reason why it could not happen AFAIK. We do not

काठ की हांडी

बचपन में पढ़ा था कि काठ की हांडी दोबारा नहीं चढ़ती और दूध का जला छाछ भी फूंक फूंक कर पीता है। लेकिन काठ मारे हुए समाज की हांडी को नफरत की कलई लगा कर भावनाओं की आंच पर बार बार चढ़ाया जा सकता है। बेकारी के दूध में धर्म की अफीम मिला कर कुंठित आशाओं के चावलों से उन्माद की जहरीली खीर बार बार बनायी जा सकती है। क्योंकि दूध का जला छाछ भी फूंक फूंक कर पीना जल्दी ही भूल जाता है।

The Burden of Taxpayers' Money

Waste of taxpayers' money is not a new refrain. It comes up in contexts ranging from big cars for legislators to foreign jaunts on flimsy grounds for MPs. From memorial parks to IITians doing MBA. It is present with extraordinary force in the ongoing JNU row as well. Commentator after commentator have chided JNU students for wasting government money by engaging in politics. Having myself availed of significant government subsidy for my undergraduate education and also having been accused of engaging in politics in campus (poli-poli as it was called derisively), this made me think. First let's not confuse income taxpayers with taxpayers. While about 3% of the Indian citizens pay income tax, everyone pays the indirect taxes like VAT, service tax etc. So JNU students are also taxpayers. Also worth keeping in mind that constitutional rights are not dependent on how much tax you pay. Waste of taxpayers' money can mean one of the two things. It may mean that while governme

मौसम

लम्बा शेर लिखोगे तो पछताओगे, सुनो 'अभागा' ट्वीट नहीं कर पाओगे। तेज़ हवा है, आग भड़कने वाली है, अंदर बाहर कहीं रहो जल जाओगे। पैने शब्दों की फसलों के मौसम में, हर ज़बान से लहू टपकता पाओगे। देशभक्ति के नए बने पैमाने पर, मुंह खोला तो तुम भी तौले जाओगे।

करवाचौथ

अंधश्रद्धा को बताया प्यार उसने, खेल जादू का दिखाया यार उसने। चाँद को देखा तभी एक कौर निगला, कर लिया यूँ उम्र का व्यापार उसने। साथ में भूखा रहा वो आदमी कल, नारी जाति का किया उद्धार उसने। वो बहू अच्छी रही होगी 'अभागा', सह लिया चुप रूढ़ियों का भार उसने।