Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Moving On

Its been a month and half since my last post, and a lot can happen in that big a period. 

The Joining

After returning from the Vipassana camp, around 2.5 weeks into my job search plan (the entire plan was supposed to be 4 weeks with 4 milestones), I was only able to cover the first milestone. Suddenly, desperation and frustration starting setting in in my mind.
As much as I am good at planning things, I came to realize that as of now, I'm not that good at following them if they do not completely align with my priorities. Its something that needs to be worked upon - be able to sideline all other thoughts and do that which must be done.

I had been hoping to make this offer, because it had all the things going right - Python, startup environment, college like culture, growing industry, opportunity for larger scale, food, hike, quarterly bonus, leave policy, etc. So when I got the offer, I just accepted it. And then I made sure I joined it as early as possible, because otherwise, give the mind enough time to wander off and it will start playing unimaginable games with you.

The funny thing was, during the application stage, I had told our HR that I would join on a later date (on 1st July). But by the end of the process, I was desperate enough to join immediately, and was trying to find a way in which I wouldn't have to eat my own words. Thus, it was really comical, when the HR told me - you get an extra 50k if you join tomorrow. And I was like, sure, I give up, you win.

Lessons learnt so far

The first incidence was when a manager encouraged me to test something on server side SSH vulnerabilities. This was something new for me, because so far a) none of my managers liked people fooling around with systems internally and b) it was only out of my curiosity and had nothing to with the work I was doing.

The second was wrt Interview time. In the initial week itself, I got the opportunity to interview 2 people. I came to realize how much I've learnt in the last 2 years, and how small of a learning world our college/schools are. More than anything else, we are limited by our own world-views.

Gyaan: So now, I come to the part where I note down my philosophical thoughts.
  1. We are all just stories

    More and more, I've started trying to keep my actions aligned with my long term goals. But then, the question arises, how long is long enough? And even if we do succeed in achieving whatever we set out to achieve, what is the value of it? When it all ends, what will be left of us?

    After considerable amount of thought, I think I may've found the answer.

    The thing is, we are just living stories
    . A hundred years from today, we will all be dead - me, my family, my friends; most of the world population; and  you the readers of today. And afterwards, all that will be left of us would be stories.

    Most of the current world would in those times be obscured into a life that no one would care if it exsited. There would be few of us, who would end up being footnotes in some version of histories. Stronger people will find chapters of their own, and a rare number of people there would be, who would script the ultimate story - the history of the world itself, and hence, theirs will be the tales that will be told again and again.

    It doesn't matter which bucket of story we fall into, at the end of the day, we are just stories. We are all just trying to get into a higher bucket; some of us may be recited, but most of us will be forgotten.

    As a friend once said - "You die twice, first when your body dies, second when your name is taken the last time in the world. Try dying only once."
  2. How they propose them theories

    I've read a lot of books lately, and while most of them have been class A material, I can't help wondering how some of the authors propose their theories - by using enough maybe, can be, and so on.

    The thing is, I've realized that if you mix enough ifs and buts together, we all could as well be dragons hiding in the hides of monkeys.
  3. People are either idiots or philosophers

    This is more of a smart conjecture, I'm yet to come across a person who is smart and doesn't have a philosophy of his own.
  4. How I used to learn - block the distractions

    One thing I've realized recently is that the usual way in which I learn is by blocking the distractions. Na rahega baas, na bajegi basuri.

    While quite effective usually, this has left me gasping for control over myself when it is not within my reach to cut out the distraction.

    And hence, here is one thing I must improvise upon - to be able to live with a distraction, and focus on the task at hand rather than the distraction.

    They say ignorance is bliss, though I think they are absolutely wrong. I would rather say that premeditated ignorance is a bliss, plain ignorance is just stupidity. A wise nut can now go ahead and tell me that ignorance is just ignorance, and classifying it into anything else is the real stupidity, but I'm not going to be deterred.
  5. Probabilities, possibilities and expectations

    If there is one set of learning that I am truly and deeply thankful to the startup experience for teaching me, it is this - mere possibility does not imply probablity, and that while people work based on expectations,  events of the world work on probabilities.

    One who can master calculating the probabilities, and value of the situation is never going to be frustrated with his expectations, unless someone does something out of proportion and ends up distorting the probability distribution.
  6. Beyond the system

    Over a period of time, I've tried my hands at problems within some system. Earlier, I would be bogged down every time I got stuck on how to solve it from the inside. Now, I just take a minute off my current line of thinking, and forgetting the factors from within, try to think of ways to solve it from outside, and mostly, succeed.

    If a solution does not exist within the system, it must come from without.