Archive for March 2009
Do you believe in probability?
For a long time, I didn’t. After all when the likes of Einstein proclaim, “God does not play dice with men”, us geeks have no choice but to nod our heads. And of course 18 years of experience has (supposedly) made a lot wiser; I believe in Murphy and not probability.
To hell with the favourable events (divided) by total events version. In Simple speak, probability says that whatever be the case, every baster worth his 2 cents should get his two minutes of glory.
Yet, how can we not miss the omnipresent Murphy who somehow always manages to seduce the goddess of triumph, just when we start smelling her scent.
With this in mind, I present:
Exhibit A: Train Journeys.
How many times have we found ourselves in that all-familiar situation praying that the person sitting opposite/next to us should be a cute girl. I have seen them all– Loud Aunties, Bespectacled Grampas, Irritating uncles asking too many questions to the occasional student who bores you with his (imaginary) exploits. Probability was supposed to give me a cute girl for company. Forget the cute, atleast a girl around my age group?
Exhibit B: In Hangouts
1. You see a one-in-a-million-girl
2. You even strike a decent conversation with her.
3. Just when thought things were going on smoothly, in comes the dashing boyfriend.
4. You know it’s all over.
5. Probability says that there should be a pretty girl who is single.
Exhibit C: So near yet so far.
Senti Senti Senti.
Exhibit D: Passes.
The stats couldn’t be more appalling than this. 280 passes, 700 fachchas. Wasn’t I atleast the 280th most popular guy in Arr-Jay-Bee? Apparently not.
Note: Contrary to popular belief, I am NOT a despo!
Probability is all but dead, or so I thought!
Yesterday R-Land’s loyal Litters, The Voyeuristic Master(pardon me, I’m not able to come up with anything more interesting), The Sober Jackass, All Guns Blazing and yours truly decided to celebrate our “single” status and the power of the bro-code by embarking on a legendary trip to See See Dee (Yesh! Incase you don’t know, R-land does have a CCD. Muahahahaha!!!!). One could call it a Lit Chapo, but honestly do such things even exist?
To be honest, there’s nothing great about CCD, so as usual it was the bakar that bailed us out. Complacent that all our fellows were having the times of their life in the junior fortress, we were loudly bashing up everything.. a bit too loud as VM had warned us. Our topics ranged from girls (DUH!) to Litta (Again!) to CG’s to just about anything. SJ’s classy, “Sorry sir, but we don’t know hindi” comment to the bhaiy.. errr Waiter(??) who was trying his best to sell a biscuit dabba will probably go down as one of my all time favourites.
In our drunken soberness, we were loudly bashing up a particular person, let us call her Arjuna (Why? You tell me) Right from doubting her gender, to making fun of her activities and status, we did it all. And then came the anti-climax, in the form of Arjuna herself who was all along sitting right behind us and ironically even waved a goodbye to SJ as she left CCD. As expected, SJ spent the rest of the trip murmuring, “She heard me.. she heard me not”.
And we were all left wondering. How? Of all the people, of all the days, of all the places in this godforsaken land… the probability was so bloody close to zero. Yet it wasn’t zero. And who better to answer this question than our wise old Murphy with his legendary, “If anything can go wrong, it will!”. Amen!
With the accursed TS fast approaching, I should probably be using my time more productively (ala ghissing), but somehow, I couldn’t resist this. For the last two weeks I’ve had loads of ideas to blog about, ranging from proxies to elections, but was too lazy to put hand to keyboard. But when this came up, I just knew I had to do it.
P.S: @The Mathematician: I miss you da, get well soon!
@The Voyeuristic Master: I congratulate you for taking the smartest decision of your life. But why am I not surprised?
6.626 x 10 ^-34 – the number in big bold font stared at me in the face. Planck’s constant, one of the many mystical numbers which the force had embedded in nature, a number that keeps on reappearing in one’s physics copies and a number that I was supposed to obtain at the end of my experiment.
Even after three full years of catastrophes & manipulations in the physics laboratory, I still fail to comprehend as to why one has to undertake processes of extremely tedious nature to find out the values of numerous constants and verify the validity of n (lim n -> infinity) formulae. Something that great scientists have already done; centuries ago! Infact it is an insult of the zeroth order to the laborious tasks that they have performed, because what they painstakingly did in years with primitive tools, we are asked to complete in under two hours with highly sophisticated machines. And its not that if I announce “my value” of Pi is 3.1416 and not 3.1415 as they had thought to be all along, they would take my words and hail me the next big thing.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I had by the method of radiation, calculated that Planck’s constant was 6.6… and now I was being forced by the crudeness of the syllabus to repeat this again, but this time using Photo electric effect. O Force, thou art fled to brutish beasts.