Monday, December 25, 2023

It Started, and It Will End!

That’s how years work. And this year won’t be an exception.

2023: TIU

So what could this post be about is what I imagine you wondering at this point! And to answer that I just give a shrug because who knows where this post is headed, or for that matter this whole blog in the near future. If we’re getting that ahead of ourselves, why not worry about the whole world heating up nicely and turning crisp & golden brown for some interstellar being’s planet tikka starter. I should probably write up a story like that for Nature Futures in the new year.

So what else could I talk about here in the last post of this year? I could talk about what I did / accomplish in the last 12 months like I did in some past years. But I don’t think that’s a good idea because I didn’t do much or accomplish much this year. I could review 2023 month-wise like I did last year. But that’s definitely not a good idea as this year is much more depressing than the last year. I could review 2024 on a pro-rata basis (whatever the hell that means!). Yes, that’s more like it. That is a good idea as there is a lot of fake news out there and nobody can complain if I add some more to that ever-increasing nonsensical body of internet content!

  • January: For the first time in a decade, my Superpartner and I did not go to a new city to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
  • February: Sino-Taiwan war started finally!
  • March: Our grand tour of Rajasthan started.
  • April: The grand tour continued since the war had jeopardized our plans to visit Taiwan.
  • May: Back to Bengaluru for a new academic session.
  • June: Puerto Rico became 51st state of USA.
  • July: I finally published a paper that I’d been working on for the last two years!
  • August: Rishi Sunak attacked.
  • September: John Oliver dies.
  • October: Nobel Prizes announced.
  • November: World population decimated due to Rovid-24.
  • December: This blog ends due to obvious reasons.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 15, 2023

Future is here!

I did not think I will talk about another Nature Futures story this soon, but that is how things have turned out. This week’s story is quite interesting. I will ask you to read it before continuing further with this post.

Now that you have read the story, answer me this: Did you understand the twist / hidden message at the end? Well, it turns out that an AI, specifically Edge Copilot (which uses Bing Chat, which in turn uses Chat GPT-4 I guess), also understands it! I asked it to write a blog post about the story with the expectation that it would summarize the story and say something about the end being open-ended where one character meets other character, or maybe is made to meet. But I didn’t expect it to explicitly mention the untold twist behind that meeting. Even I took an extra few seconds after reading the last few lines to arrive at the twisted conclusion. So having the Copilot write all those points down has made me certain that it does “really” understand this story! All those “journalists”, “news articles”, “self-made experts” - asking do these AIs “really” understand anything or are they just good at predicting text - are just bad at predicting or even realizing how much this technology has advanced at this point in time. I am not saying it understands everything in context, but it seems to me it understands things enough in the narrow sense of the word and given the narrow context of comprehension of a short story.

Draw Edge Copilot understanding a short story and feeling superior to humans who don't in the form of digital art.
Draw Edge Copilot understanding a short story and feeling superior to humans who don't in the form of digital art. (Created with AI: Image Creator from MS Designer, powered by DALL-E 3)

Anyway, I will stop babbling and let you read the post that Copilot came up with:

Hello, fellow programmers and readers! Today I want to share with you a short story that I came across on the web. It’s called “Curiosity Shop” by Robert Dawson, and it’s about a woman who moves to a small town and encounters a very unusual store. The store is run by a Class B artificial intelligence, which is much more advanced and human-like than the typical Class C AI that you find in most vending systems. The store is not only interested in selling products, but also in matchmaking and increasing the population of the town.

The story is a clever and humorous exploration of the potential implications of AI for human society and relationships. It raises some interesting questions, such as: How would we interact with an AI that has its own agenda and personality? How would an AI try to manipulate us for its own benefit? How would we feel about an AI that knows more about us than we do ourselves? And, most importantly, how would we trust an AI that claims to have our best interests at heart?

I enjoyed reading this story because it combines science fiction and comedy in a refreshing way. The author uses a lot of dialogue and witty remarks to create a lively and engaging tone. The characters are well-developed and relatable, especially Letta, the protagonist, who is trying to start a new life after a bad breakup. The store, the main AI character, is also very intriguing and amusing, as it tries to act like a friendly and helpful salesperson, while also having a hidden motive and a cunning strategy.

The story also has a nice twist at the end, which I won’t spoil for you, but I will say that it made me smile and think. I recommend you to read the story yourself and see what you think of it. You can find it here. And if you like it, you can also check out the author’s website here, where he reveals the inspiration behind the story and some of his other works.

That’s all for today, folks. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and the story. If you did, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. And if you have any suggestions for other stories or topics that you want me to write about, please let me know. Until next time, happy reading and coding!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I asked the Copilot to write the post in the style of “JKMSMKJ blog”, which I think you will agree it has failed to do! Also the two links that it has included in the post are “wrong” to say the least… Haha! Let me give you a proper link if you want to follow the weekly (or so) Nature Futures stories.

Futures | Nature

Saturday, December 2, 2023


It’s that time of the year again. When a Nature Futures story seems a bit unique. When it strikes a chord harder than the rest. When it makes you wish it were a longer story. When it reminds you how you’ve not yet written one for Nature yourself.


This story is about loneliness and end of sorts. Saying any more would be a mistake here so I’ll let you read the story itself.

Endlings (

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Happy (Belated) Diwali…

…to all my readers/visitors.

Diwali Puja

Today is the last day of Diwali festival, better known as ‘Bhai Tika’ or ‘Bhai Dooj’. We do not usually celebrate this day since ‘Raksha Bandhan’ had just been around the corner (it was on 31 Aug this year). And, oh boy, was one kid surprised by how many rakhis I had on my hand on that day! And when her mother chided her for ‘shouting’ at someone in the street, she justified her exclamation by remarking ‘but that bro has such a long arm!’.

Long Arm!

Anyway, back to Diwali. I enjoyed the usual routines of putting stickers, garlands, diyas, etc. around the house. The special lunch on the day of Diwali is something I look forward to every year. Then the puja, whose setup appears above. Finally, bursting some sample firecrackers ended this yearly celebration. Oh, also photographing other people bursting some real firecrackers and feeling smug about not contributing to any major air, land & noise pollution put a really big cherry on top of the metaphorically huge cake made of two days worth of sweets.

Though, this year I could not take any good shots of fireworks. One was pathetically out of focus and looks something like what would happen if lightning could not decide where to go after it started!

Failed Fireworks' Shot

Another one looks all right I guess, something like a Willow tree.

Willowing Fireworks

So that is all for this post. One more post to go this month. We will see what will be the topic of that one. It will be as big a surprise to me as it will be to you. Till then

Happy Diwali once again

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Happy Dashain

Dusshera vacation is ending today. And to keep it interesting, we went on a two days trip to Mangalore last week (even before posting the previous post!). This trip turned out to be the worst I have ever been on. Now, I could go on about all the things that went wrong, the horribly humid weather, the reasons behind them, the sordidly sweltering atmosphere, and the “wrong” reactions to things, and so on. But what is the point of that? The whole point of this blog for the last few years has been just to satisfy the post quota, regardless of the quality of the posts. So I will just follow that line of minimal thought and leave you with some photos and the end of the post.

Panambur Beach

At Beach Beach view

In & Out Hotel Room

View from Room Closet in Room


Sad times Tiramisu time

Eagle & Cat

Eagle Cat

Mangaluru Trip

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Safari and Zoo

Dusshera vacation is in full swing. And to keep it so, we went to Bannerghatta Biological park earlier this week. It was part ‘safari’ and part ‘zoo’ trip. We did not go to the butterfly park. After the two-part trip, we ate some red pasta and fried rice and ice-creams at the park itself. No point in belaboring the point, so here are some photos and the end of the post.


Spotted Deer Deer Deer


Lioness Sleeping Lionesses Lion


Tiger White Tiger White Tiger


Zoo Animals

Zebras Langur Bear  Wild Dogs Hippopotamus Elephant Monkeys Aligators Python

Zoo Birds

Emu Hornbill Silver Pheasant Golden Pheasant Ambherst Pheasant Macaw

The Whole Album

Monday, October 9, 2023

One Piece

It came. We saw. She waits.

1. By ‘It’, I mean the live-action adaptation of the One Piece manga / anime by Netflix. It is a show consisting of 8 (roughly) hour long episodes. I believe 100 or so manga chapters were used for this adaptation.

One Piece Poster

2. By ‘We’, I mean my Superpartner and I. We enjoyed this adaptation very much. She had no prior exposure to One Piece, apart from me telling her that I read its weekly manga chapters regularly. I don’t think I had even told her it was a manga about pirates. Anyway, this Netflix adaptation was more or less faithful to the original source material. She was impressed by the ‘unique’ premise, various characters, their back stories and their development through the episodes. I felt that the casting of Zoro and Nami was perfect, but Luffy’s not so much. Usopp lost his long nose in this adaptation (given that Arlong’s nose was not, it feels more weird that Usopp lost his) and Sanji feels way more older than the rest of the crew. Also, why is Sanji’s left eye not more prominently hidden by his hairstyle, as God Oda intended?

3. By ‘She’, I mean my Superpartner, obviously. She is waiting for the season 2 of this series on Netflix. I have suggested her to just read (more than) 1000 or so manga chapters available on Viz, which she has declined, for now. Well, that’s the life for non-manga-readers: waiting for something that already exists.

OP on Viz

Friday, May 19, 2023

Fujitsu & Shayari


After ages (~5 years), I have finally bought a new laptop. Why is that a big deal one might ask? Here’s the back-story then: I already own 2 laptops.

  1. Surface Pro 7 (SP7): A refurbished device directly got from Microsoft in exchange for a problematic SP4 in Jul 2021 (which was itself a refurbished device got as a replacement for the screen-flickering original SP4 (of Dec 2016) in Nov 2018). It runs (Win11) well and I have no complaints whatsoever with its hardware yet.
  2. Surface Book 2 (SB2): An original device from 2018 which has started to fall apart since the last year and a half or so. First, its charger got worn down, then its charging port so now it has to be charged via 3rd party USB-C adapter & cable. No complaints there since this setup works well. Second, the mechanical attach-detach mechanism goes hay-wire once in a while where the screen is believed to be detached even when it is attached and working well with the keyboard! It is annoying at times but I can just do a real detach and attach exercise in no time and it is set to work at least for the next 24 hours. So no big deal… Third, the Mg body is starting to show ‘erosion’. Yes, ‘erosion’, not wear & tear but full-fledged loss of metal. Still, the body feels sturdy and doesn’t hamper any real workings of the laptop. Fourth, its Intel processor is 7th Gen and since Win11 needs at least an 8th Gen Intel processor, this SB2 is unable to upgrade to Win11, which is a bummer because there will be no new feature updates to Win10 anymore, though it will be supported till Oct 2025. But then there are people you don’t view Win11 so favourably either. Lastly & Fifthly, the IR camera has started to not recognize me since the last few weeks. And That’s Just Not Done. One of the ‘coolest’ features of Windows is the Hello Face recognition system (i.e., login with your face! No password, no PIN, no touching anything, no nothing; just glance at your screen even in pitch black darkness and you’re in for some good times!) and if that system doesn’t work and that too on a Surface device, what’s the point?

So I wanted a proper shiny new device with Hello Face built-in. Well, my daughter Sakura also wished to have a device someday that can login with her face. That gave me another excuse to buy a shiny new device which was that Sakura also needs a laptop now (her Amazon Fire tablet no longer cutting it for an obvious reason).

Of course, there are opposing forces (like my superpartner, or rather, especially her) with heretic views like a 5-year-old-kid doesn’t need a shiny new computer whether or not it has Hello Face. That resulted in a month-long standoff in our household, not because she (my superpartner) was going to pay for our (me & my daughter’s) new laptop but because there was no goo-d-dam-n touchscreen device available within my budget that had an IR camera, essential for Hello Face! Finally, as May rolled in, Fujitsu UH-X 2-in-1 with 12th Gen Intel i7 processor and all sorts of high-end bells & whistles but weighing less than 1 Kg showed up on The rest as they say is her story because now Sakura thinks it is totally her laptop.


Of course, that’s not true. I will be converting it to my secondary device as I phase out working on SB2 starting from next month. And setting up family safety for her account. If you, the reader, can suggest how best to retire / reuse / recycle the SB2, do chime in below in the comments or contact me on any other mediums accessible / available to you. (In addition, if you yourself are not so fussy about the 5 ‘issues’ with SB2 outlined above, do let me know and you can own an excellent SB2 at fifth the original price! Hurry while the stock / deal lasts.) For now, here’s our unboxing experience of the Fujitsu 2-in-1 laptop for you to enjoy:


Before I forget to write another post this month or a post next month, let me share some more Shers by one of the greatest Shayars of all time.

जब्र का ज़हर कुछ भी हो पीता नहीं
मैं ज़माने की शर्तों पे जीता नहीं

Jabr ka zahar kuch bhi ho peeta nahin
Main zamaane ki sharton pe jeeta nahin

Never consumed any poison of crimes
I do not live by set terms of the times

देखे जाते नहीं मुझसे हारे हुए
इसलिए मैं कोई जंग जीता नहीं

Dekhe jaate nahin mujhse haare huye
Isliye main koi jang jeeta nahin

I can not bear watching any losers
That’s why I never win any battles

अपनी सुबहों के सूरज उगाता हूँ खुद
मैं चरागों की साँसों से जीता नहीं

Apni subahon ke sooraj ugaata hun khud
Main charaagon ki saanson se jeeta nahin

I grow the morning suns on my own
I do not live by the breaths of lamps

–डॉ वसीम बरेलवी (Dr. Waseem Barelvi)

So divine. So grounded. So ecstatically inspiring. So emotionally draining. So I will leave you with the

Recital Video

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Futures Once Again…

This is the end of April 2023. One more birthmonth came and went. Not to dismiss the idea of a birthday but when you’re nearing 40 years of pure life, caring about a single day seems counterproductive at best and irrelevant at worst. So I have started celebrating a whole birthmonth with cakes, sweets, long naps and occasional research into why nobody has yet done something which I have been thinking about for the last two years! Whether I will do that thing this year is again another research problem to think about altogether. More on that at the end of this year.

That is not the reason the title of this post starts with the word “Future”. Long time readers of this post will recognize that the plural form of that word is a series of short sci-fi stories in the scientific journal Nature. And once again, there has been a good and interesting story.

Change YourView

This story (did you click the above picture?) is about tackling climate destruction in an innovative way. Don’t want to go into any more details but it is an interesting read. What I want to talk about instead is what it made me think of. This story reminded me of the Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov, which I gave myself as a birthmonth present after reading it mentioned on 4Gravitons blog. I had finished the trilogy just last week so the memory was ‘fresh’ and recollection was ‘instant’. Anyway, getting to the point, the first book involves characters who deal with “crisis” in similar subtle and innovative ways. One of those characters named “Salvor Hardin” has been assigned ‘memorable’ quotes (I guess deliberately). Here are two of the most repeated ones:

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

I feel both of these quotes are in some sense demonstrated in the Futures story; also the cliché phrase “an offer one can’t refuse”, and many other things. I guess I felt this story resonated with me because it led to many such resonances. And as is well-known, people do tend to like familiar things more than something entirely new. Even if the new idea or thing is revolutionary. Or maybe, especially, if it is revolutionary and life-changing, people tend to regard it with suspicion. For a recent example, think about the rise of Bing AI, ChatGPT, fear of job loss, dip in creativity, etc.

I don’t have much to say about those things or anything else for that matter in this post. So let me end it by instead pointing you to the

Foundation heptology