Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Since this blog is about living. I plan to post about health tips which I started on my website.

Here's the link to some, I already wrote.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Experience, non-determinism and heuristics

There's one thing that people inevitable seek in judging/rating some one and that is experience. So it's worth to see how to optimize gaining experience. Wouldn't it be great if we have an algorithm with polynomial time bound for the problem. Well, there is but the catch is that it is non-deterministic and is in NP. It is: "If you are statistically doing good among your peers then you are optimally gaining experience". This indeed can be verified can't it? The assumption here is that we have an objective performance measuring system. Infact many such important problems can be solved like this. Leaving the problem of proving/disproving P=?NP to great complexity theorists I will talk about how to effectively live with non-determinism. Fits my blog title:)

The most important tools in coping with non-determinism are learning and heuristics. Everybody uses heuristics either being aware of them or not. For example theoreticians use to find connections between various axioms and existing theorems and practioners use to find connections between various experiments and existing results. Infact heuristics is the main reason we produce something actually worth verification process (the key step in non-deterministic processes). This verification is usually statistical. There was a significant progress in complexity community when this was actually proven. Check PCP theorem. Learning and heuristics go hand in hand. From the feedback of verifying the heuristics we learn to improve our heuristics and then learn better. As time passes by we master this loop and gain experience which is what we wanted to solve. Now we know that though the problem of sorting can be solved optimally in O(nlgn), Quicksort implementations are much faster than most other O(nlgn) sorts and this analogical reasoning I think also applies in how fast people gain experience.

For this post my heuristics were mainly from Computer Science. My blogging is about living (because I like to ponder on that) and I will pick heuristics from various fields like psychology, medicine etc. because living life is an NP problem that requires heuristics in a wholistic approach.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Maturity, System and Equilibria

Maturity is a very important state that one has to strive to get to as quickly as possible. As we grow mature we see higher perspectives of life and we streamline our energies accordingly and thus be more useful and productive. Knowledge is one of the key tools that lets people mature. Why? Because knowledge helps us eliminate unncessary and unestablished correlations among events in life. We establish lot of correlations based on our background and our experiences so far in life. But if we want to grow, change we have to leave those traits back with our past.

Thanks to lot of research in dynamics governing games in life, people are able to design efficient systems that can aid in growing mature. The more secure we are the higher the probability that we mature sooner. After all maturity in some sense is feeling more secure. So given that what do we have to do? Understand different systems and choose one where we are more comfortable. The faster we do this the greater we can achieve. I would recommend read biographies of lot of great people.

How does system help in getting mature? Well, if it can provide security, half the work is done. People tend to choose collective strategies that are close to some equilibria. But to choose so they have to arrive at those points by making choices. They can make proper choices if they are let to explore the choices in the first place. Most of us must have seen the picture below where the curved surface creates a stable equilibrium and the straight surface an unstable one. A system must provide a stable equilibrium where people can toss around and explore choices but (within certain limits) are assured to be safe in the system. This way I think system can help for people to reach mature equilibrium points sooner.

One main reason why I stress on system is that we have energies and enthusiasm to explore to make big choices when we are young but unfortunately in developing countries that's when system projects lot of insecurities. That's why in my opinion better systems can help!