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Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Enlightenment Age (A short essay)

TLDR : there was window of time in the past that changed everything, if you can't spare 8 minutes to read this prose, I highly recommend reading the wikipedia article [1] linked at the bottom.

If there’s anything I wanted anyone from taking with them after reading this, It would be the tldr, since its really the inspiration and sort of my summary over the topic of enlightenment, so that said, let me write about what inspired my interest in Enlightened Sapiens , a social enterprise that aims to grow a community around your passions and hobbies and inspires you to discover your passion.

Enlightenment Age Or the age of reason was sometime between 17th century to 19th century, I’d even argue we are still in it today. Let’s just go with it being concluded for now to make my summary short and interesting.
It started with Newton, and a wonderful idea, an idea that shines a light on the human ability to reason and use scientific thinking and experimentation to get to an insight that changed the way we see the world and made an immeasurable boost to the understanding of physics and math and science, not just scientists but artists, poets, philosophers , writers ! They changed the way a lot of stuff was done, the challenged the order . The monarchs, the feudal lords, the elitists, the priests, the gods even. Sometime after physics advanced to the smallest of things we can measure, we hit a lull, but there’s promise of a future discovery and age of pushing boundaries opens up, or we are living through and age of reason and can collaborate to come up with next step that would count as sufficient progress, I think with the extent to which we are able to bring the computing power of socially connected and intelligent sapiens work towards the same goal, we might be on the precipice of a great age. 

When Karan (founder of Enlightened Sapiens) spoke to me about Enlightened Sapiens, this is what my thinking was, I was thinking about it as historical period where reason overcame dogmatic beliefs,where discovery won over our stubborn superstitions,where love won over our pride, where we as a species made an evolutionary jump in our understanding of space and time, of understanding ourselves, establish foundations to a scientific framework of ideas, ideas like giants we can stand on the shoulders of and see into the universe.

We have spoken about various ways in which we can build a community around discovering ideas, ideas perhaps lost in this fast moving age, simple ideas, ideas like discovering your soul, understanding the nature of the world, opening your minds, and to remind ourselves of the enlightenment era, and how it revolutionized everything. The impact of the enlightenment age or the age of reason is seriously difficult to cover in a single blog post or even a short series of posts, but I will try and take my time and spend the words to try and drive home the point I want to make, If I fail and this article doesn't inspires your interest you should go learn more I can drop some material at the end of the post when I conclude it.

I feel a lot of history is scandalous and some tales survive in memes across the internet today, but most of history is ignored and that is why it tends to repeat itself, but positive periods like Enlightenment Age broke the cycle of perpetual doom, eventual collapse of human civilization before the age of enlightenment can inspire us that we have to give this age some more importance and seek to learn more about them and they should not just be a chapter in your school history textbooks and then forgotten, Enlightened Sapiens for me will always be a place I can talk about interesting ideas, talk about our hobbies, our passions, and discover what excites us, how we can get more out of life. Its also a guide to how to lead a full life, a way to give back to society, a way to see the light, beyond tradition. "Tradition" they say is just peer pressure from dead people. I couldn't find who do I owe to attribute this wonderful quote, it captures for me the ethos of breaking free of tradition and opening our kind to new worlds. These are not just some superlatives slapped together to make a pretty prose, they are my attempt to impress upon the reader the magnitude of the impact that the age of reason has had on our progress as a species. We are a conscious , social mammalian species equipped with a brain made of meat that can create a mental model of the world and come up with original thought, construct a shared framework of ideas, an ability to discover the mysteries of the world.So yes I ask the reader to explore this part of our history if they are not already familiar with it, I assure you it's exciting and interesting not just for the progress, but also the story aspect of a lot of the individual steps in this long ladder of enlightenment, also I keep mentioning this word a lot without attempting a description of what it is that Enlightenment really is, I choose to borrow Kant's famous words here, I quote

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) "Have the courage to use your own understanding," is therefore the motto of the enlightenment."  - Immanuel Kant [2]

In the interest of keep this short and attention spans these days are not much, so I will conclude on this note, that we as a species are at the verge of another age of exponential enlightenment, something difficult to put succinctly in words, but an attempt shall and will be made. A lot of time has been spent talking about such things and very little of it has been captured, some conversations are lost to the winds of time, but some are always stuck within the confines of our minds. ES is an effort to pen down some of that learning, some of that knowledge, try to connect the dots, to promote discovery, to question the traditional order, to live free, to challenge ourselves, to live life to the fullest and be empathetic, be humble, be united. Its about building community, we should talk more, listen even more, read a hell lot. We should never forget the top lessons of our ancestors and the bravery and ingenuity of our heroes who pushed the boundary of science to enable us to live in the future today. 

references and further reading:

more here:

Enlightened Sapiens website:
More to follow... watch this space

Gokul Menon

Monday, November 9, 2020

Moving to an upgraded workstation at home

Random Life tech update: Switching to a new PC

My PC journey recap:
I started my journey in personal computing with an custom built PC sometime in 2004 with an AMD Athlon 64 CPU, then graduated to new PC when I built one with an Intel i5 CPU some 7 years later in 2011 (quad core) , and now after 9 years it's finally time to get a new PC again. 
I moved back to AMD ryzen 9 3900X this time considering performance per dollar AMD is offering compared to Intel's offerings. (The ryzen 9 I got is a massive 12 cores)

Instead of building my own again, I decided to just order a pre built and save myself some time which I just don't have to sit and build a pc. below are the specs.

Intel i5 3560K 3.4 Ghz
NVIDIA GeForce 970 4GB
16 GB Memory DDR3 RAM
Primary storage 1 TB SSD
Secondary storage 6 TB 7200RPM Sata6 Hard Drive

CyberPowerPC SLC10488W
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
32 GB Memory DDR4 RAM 3000Mhz 16-20-20
primary storage 1TB PCI-E NVMe SSD 
secondary storage 2TB HDD SSD
Windows 10 Home 64-bit

so in summary going 3 times cpu cores, more clock speed, twice memory at twice the speed, going 4 times as fast on primary ssd , it's a significant difference in games. Exciting times ahead benchmarking and pushing the hardware to its limit in search for higher fps and great looking graphics in the newest pc games.

ps. this was drafted a while ago when the Zen3 5900X wasn't out yet.

#newpc #prebuiltgamingpc #cyberpower #movingonfromintel #switchingtoteamred  #goingamd #amd #nomoreintelinside #amdinside #ryzen9 #pc

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Why there is no god , reason #62138292

Here's reason #62138292 for why I am convinced there is no god.

TL DR: the poor and weak getting crushed and rich getting richer , no rational god will stay on the sidelines this long allowing this to happen.

long version: ~2 mins read

The year is 2020, a real estate tycoon and reality tv personality Donald J Trump has been President of the United States of America for almost 4 years. There is a global pandemic on going which is about to cause more than a million deaths (official records) from 195 countries. Malaria is still the number one disease based killer on the planet. Countless jobs were lost in the ensuing destruction caused by wildfires, floods, lockdowns etc, We are experiencing a great depression. To add to all that madness, we also have the killings of black people in the streets of America by police in various incidents across the country. Systemic racism is prevalent in here in America.

The rich meanwhile just got a whole lot richer, ultra high networth individuals actually saw their wealth grow in this time. Jeff Bezos the worlds richest man just crossed 200 Billion USD in networth and there are now 5 trillion dollar companies and Apple ( a company that makes iPhones and computers) is worth 2 Trillion and may even soon reach 3 Trillion. 

Where is this god ? what the fuck is he/she smoking ? how much injustice and suffering before he or she decides to intervene and fix things. Of course this all would make sense if there was no god and this is the mess humans have created with their own greed and their own selfish reckless behavior across borders, across cultures. We are such a cancer to the planet. No rational god would sit passively while we destroy ourselves and our surroundings this destructively and this alarmingly quickly.

I want to end on a positive note, WHO just declared Africa to be polio free, guess god was busy fixing that while all this was going on and he will get to it soon enough and all will be good. Lets just all agree 2020 is cancelled and we can move to 2021 already.

- conclusion, god does not exist and is a made up entity because clearly there is a problem of pain and suffering in this world where a real god would have been super helpful in helping out balance out the evil and bring some of the good in this world.

ps. Those who think god is testing us, or god has a plan for all of us, or its all part of gods plan or any other similar things, please refrain from my post, you will be mocked and made a fool of on this thread by an atheist like me or by other atheist who may happen to have the courage to do so.

pps. if you were an astute reader and noticed me use the lower case g instead of the typically used upper case G for god, its intentional :)

#atheism #thoughts #rant #PolioFreeAfrica #pandemic2020 #blacklivesmatter #ProblemofEvil

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Stargazing Series Part 1: Zion National Park in Utah

Milky way rising over the Bridge Mountain and the East Temple in Zion National Park
Bridge Mountain and the East Temple views , Zion National Park, Utah, 2019
This is the first part of the multi blog series on stargazing that I want to publish over time, covering my visits to national parks, in my chase to capture the milky way (our home galaxy) in so much detail.

Every single time when I see the milky white patch of the sky I am filled with amazement, we are very lucky to get to live on this rocky planet orbiting a mid sized star near a relatively quiet part of the galaxy, where we get a chance every night (barring clouds) to get a peek at what's out there. Some planets out there, are either tidally locked to their stars (similar to how the moon is tidally locked to earth) or some planets are simply too far away from their suns to sustain liquid water which is believed to be a key ingredient for life to survive. The stars in our galaxy themselves provide a window to the past around us, light coming from some of these stars left those stars thousands of years ago and when you step out on a starry night and glance up at these twinkling stars, some of those photons finish their thousand year journey by hitting your retina and registering a tiny twinkly light. To those of you who have never truly experienced a really dark sky, I must admit, the photos exaggerate , the camera is able to bring out more colors while our eyes or only capable of showing us a faint grey cloudy white smudge, we can barely make out the dust lanes, but let me assure you, the sheer planetarium effect of these thousands of stars do make up for the paleness of the milky way as seen with a naked eye, so I urge you to try it. Stargazing is very underrated as a tourist activity.
repost from my instagram post (You can checkout my latest instagram feed on the photography tab of my webpage).

Not convinced, heres another short taken before dawn at one of the gates of the park.

Entry Gates, Zion National Park, Utah

some detail on the technique and specs of the images.
I spent only a few minutes to capture both images (its a single shot taken with an exposure set to 15 seconds) and perhaps took an hour to process it in photoshop to bring out the colors and contrast.
EXIF: Single Shot• Sony A7rii + Samyung 14 f/2.8• 15sec • 12800 ISO


coming soon Part 2: Stargazing Series Part 2: Cherry Springs State Park, PA

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Joining Facebook

So I haven't bothered posting on this blog for a while, a few posts lying in my drafts.
I figured the global pandemic and isolating with wife in our 2 bedroom apartment in what seems to be the current epicenter of the pandemic (next to New York City, New York), now would be a good time to pen down a few posts and publish.
Let me start with an announcement (as the title suggests) I will be joining Facebook as a software engineer in their New York Office.
After 9 years in the finance technology working on the investment banks front office trading and algorithmic trading systems for fixed income and equity products, I am taking a major shift to a new life working on a pure technology and internet services oriented company by joining Facebook.

My new office will be only a few blocks from my current downtown office, not that it matters as I don't think I would be stepping foot into the New York Office anytime soon due to the lockdown.

more to follow if you happen to be following this space..


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Developers rule the world

we developers are ruling the world, think of any multi million dollar enterprise on this planet, chances are its being run on the shoulders of giant tech companies, and think of the people building these giant systems, they are all developers, fucking developers rule the world.


It has been awhile, I haven returned to write a post on my blog, so figured Id get back to it with this claim that I truly am beginning to believe more and more as I experience life in wall st and in technology in general..

Think of what the brightest mind of our generation is currently supposedly busy doing ?

They are working on optimizing the flow of money by manipulating ad exchanges for big search giants like google and facebook, they are making smartphones that are making the rest of us dumb, they are making games, dumb apps, some mind you are exploring the unknown frontiers of science with novel research, but the majority are just chasing the money check expanding the stock options of a few rich power players...

Also a lot of smart engineers and computer programmers work on projects that are looking to make us click ads, its a big money business and the engineering effort is titanic..If I can even use that as an adjective.

and lastly a good chunk of the smartest developers are working on technology for technology, like google, facebook, amazon, etc, they are building the tools that will power the tools of tomorrow, its code all the way down (,,like they said about the universe resting on the back of turtle, and someone asks whats the turtle resting on and you go, its turtles all the way down)

maybe I will come back and update this entry to expand on this, but will publish this draft as I've accumulated posts in my draft and haven't kept updating this blog as I wade through life as a developer. This is my entry in my log of life, my journal in cyberspace, public and informative and useful I hope to inspire everyone to carve out a space in cyberworld.

#latepost #backtoblogging #arethesehastagsevenhashinganything

ip4 map

This image shows a visualization of BGP routing data taken from the Routeviews project. Here, 1-dimensional IPv4 address space is mapped into a 2-dimensional image using a 12th order Hilbert curve, as inspired by xkcd. This means that CIDR netblocks always appear as squares or rectangles in the image.
Address blocks are labeled based on IANA's list of IPv4 allocations. Early recipients of large "class A" address blocks appear in the upper left, while the areas labeled Various Registries indicate allocations from the former "class B" and "class C" regions. Since the mid-1990's all address space allocations are now made through the Regional Internet Registries: RIPE, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, and AfriNIC.
Each pixel in the original 4096 x 4096 image represents a single /24 network containing up to 256 hosts. The pixel color shows the size of the route advertisement covering that space ranging from /8 (purple) to /32 (red). Black represents space without a route and grey indicates reserved space. Prefixes are rendered in order from largest to smallest so that larger (covering) prefixes can be seen underneath the smaller (more specific) announcements.
Visit the gallery to view additional types of maps and the Routeviews gallery for historical BGP data and animations. 


this is a dump of information I came across in the interest of ad-free archival and credit to original work I have verbatim pasted this in my blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Windows build 1803 and Microsoft launcher integration

Just happened to get the new windows 1803 build update having phone integration and timeline features, I then installed Windows launcher on my one plus 5 Android smartphone and just like that Im sucked into the Microsoft eco system, was stuck choosing between 'Google ONE's new offering of $2.99/month for 200 GB or Microsoft's $9.99/month for office 365 and 1 TB one drive with phone integration, and Microsoft is convincing me to take their more expensive offering !

Decisions, decisions decisions !.

I'm just being dramatic for no reason, just another day messing on my phone and pc.

Another day in Paradise.

#decisions #newpost #backtoblogging #randomupdate #needlesshashtags #sigh

Thursday, February 1, 2018

2018 begins

2018 has arrived and 1 month in now. boy time is flying by.
It doesn't feel too long ago, 2008, Ten years ago I started this blog.

It's been quite a journey, come a long way from the first post, quite physically that too. 12,530 km is a very long distance, the other side of the planet. wonder how 2028 would like ... *continues to stare at the monitor aimlessly*

One of my goals for the next decade is to step up to the next level in my professional career and travel more.

Along with making money I've always believed in pursuing happiness . Money might make it easier to experience happiness, money might give you the power to avoid certain miseries, and yes in general without a basic amount of money, happiness can elude you, but outside of that basic amount I've come to realize happiness lies within, happiness lies time spent with loved ones, happiness lies in the thrill of creative effort, happiness lies in thrill of adventurous travel.

Im focusing this year on travel, as they say , Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.

so far this is what my travel plans look like for the calendar year 2018

1. Cleveland, OH
2. Los Angeles , CA
3. San Diego, CA
4. Tampa, Florida
5. Orlando Florida
6. Acadia
7. Cherry Springs State Park, PA
8. Iceland / (Swedan & Norway)

Lets see if new places popup , as weekend getaways or if any of the above places get pushed to next year.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

My mom asked me today why i wrote depressed on fb the other day when I was ranting about Trump, it was difficult to give her context on a phone call, I have to take a step back and figure out how to explain to her what the post is about, it's really quite overwhelming , to sum it up,because of crazypants racist grandpa for the leader of the so called free world Donald J Trump, we are now heading for more oil and coal or green coal (whatever that means) , vulnerable environment, more scandals and corruption, less peace, more travel bans, less freedom !
When the country often referred to as the beacon for freedom , Trump casts a really scary authoritarian shadow, Not to mention the pathological lying and the lack of any sort of credibility, the nepotism, the reality tv nonsense...sigh... and that is basically why it's depressing.
Guess she is going to read this and call me again to ask me the same question :) #Iamokaymom #sigh #resist #

ps. ive bullet pointed the things trump is going to destroy

1. The Environment (yes the goddamn environment)

2. Net Neutrality

3. American Health Care System

ps. this is a late post, written but forgot to publish sometime in dec 2017

p ps. update 1/31/2018

2018 theme (is this a new low? is this the president capable of such a thing? )

So this Nunes dude, makes this memo showing FISA abuse, his staffers wrote it, he hasn't even checked the underlying intel himself, wants it to be available to public without review, basically saying judges don't know what they signing is just crazy, on the same day sanctions are not imposed on Russia, all while some folks in the special counsel are investigation possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 Elections.

Nothing matters anymore #stateoftheunion #sotu #sigh