Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God, Destiny etc

God, Destiny etc

Ever since I was a child I have heard about God and Destiny. God I was told is an omnipotent supreme power who watches everyone and rewards or punishes everyone's deeds. A man can always make his choice of Good and Bad. Depending on what choices he makes, he goes to Heaven as a reward of Good choices or to Hell as a punishment for Bad choices. Destiny was on other hand meant that (the same) God has decided the paths of our life. Whatever happens is just his wish. Earlier these two facts seemed to bother me a lot. I just couldn't understand if everything what I do was God's wish, why should I be punished for it. He could have used me better!
That was almost 17-18 years ago. As I grew up, slowly I started following the "hybrid" way that's followed by most of us. If I made a good choice, I felt good, feeling I'm making my way to heaven. If I made a bad choice, blamed it on destiny.

Things went on as they were, until I got hold of Scott Adams' The Dilbert Future. In his book Adams talked about 'Affirmations' (Which he read in another book). Affirmations are as weird as they appear. You write down your goals fifteen times a day and then somehow they come true as if by magic. Those who have not heard about affirmations I'll brief it here:

1. Have a specific goal, one that you can visualize.
2. Write it down fifteen times in a row, once a day, using the form:
3. There's no set time to expect results, but you should see some movement towards the objective
4. It doesn't matters if you forget to write it for a few days or if you typed it.
5. You don't need to have faith in affirmations in order for the process to work. You should get the same results if you wrote the affirmations while thinking the whole thing is a load of crap.

This was something different from everything that I had known. It made me to think a bit more; What if there is no God or Destiny. There is no one watching us and we are free to do whatever we want to. Even if we make Bad choices there's no one to punish except other people in the world. Whatever happens in our life is a result of everyone wanting something. Our decisions/choices/actions are affected by the people around us.

Assume everyone in this world is a variable that keeps on changing its value. A value represents the variable's current state. While we do our day to day work, the variables(we) keep on changing their values such that
F( f1(v1), f2(v2), f3(v3)....) = K,
F, a function of our values always maintains a constant value. Here v1, v2, v3... variables represent people. f1, f2, f3.. are functions that represents the effect of the variables on the whole world. So, a person living in seclusion might have a function that results in a very small value to effect other variables(people), for a very important person it might result in a very big value that can affect other variables(people) in a significant way. K is a universal constant, that forces all variables to maintain a balance. Putting it in simpler words, whatever we do or think affects everyone else or the, actions and thought of others determine our destiny.

Linking this theory with affirmations, when I write the same thing again and again, thinking of what I want, keeping it as specific as possible, visualizing it in my mind, I am just forcing other people(variables) to change so that I can achieve my desired state. The points (3), (4) and (5) are the views of Adams (as it appears from the text in his book). What I believe, is that it certainly matters how desperately you want to achieve your goal. The more desperate and focused you are while writing, the more force you put on other variables, and the faster you should get results.

Infact, from what I said earlier, I believe you can even change past! As we assumed that every person is a variable that keeps on changing its value. If you can concentrate hard and long enough to change all other variables to a new value, a new value that completely changes their thoughts, their memories, what they remember of the past, then you have already changed the past.

Whatever I have said are just my random thoughts and as I let my mind wander more another question pops up in my mind. Earlier I wondered what if there is no God or Destiny, now I think, if our thoughts and actions affect everything happening in this world, with so many people believing that there is a God, we might have created a real God. Someone with all those supreme powers to do anything. Still worse, with everyday we think that things are not coming our way and the God (that we created) is being unfair to us, we might be forcing Him to be more unfair, turning him into a devil that does good to no one, who's unfair, unjust, merciless to everyone.

This all gets me back to my childhood, with just one thought, have faith in God, always remember that He is your friend and He will be. The more you doubt Him the less He'll help you out. With this I now have a new image of God in my mind. He has no interest in rewarding or punishing me. He's a friend who'll always help me out no matter how difficult the situation is, and as long as I believe in Him, He'll always be on my side.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome

Finally google launched its browser "Chrome" but truly speaking it didn't impress me much.
The first thing that I came to know was about the objectionable EULA for chrome. The original license agreement had following lines in its setion 11:

11.1 ...By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services...

Summing up in simpler words by agreeing to this license a user gives Google right to:
o Save his bank id and password..
o Display his private albums publicly..
o Share his private information with other companies..
o Use any copyright material he publishes through Chrome..

Another line says that:
11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

No, I don't have power to grant Google access to my company's forum, which means I (and millions of other users) can't use Chrome. And if a user agrees to the above license, its he who is responsible for any information leak that Google can do, because agreeing to the license means that he has the authority to grant these rights to Google. which he doesn't has.

And, after all this Google puts out a statement saying the terms of service for Chrome was simply copied from other applications it has been designing and the overly intrusive copyright aspects were a mistake and will be corrected.
I don't believe that a company like Google doesn't inspects its license agreements closely before presenting them. I suspect if it was just a trick on common user who usually don't read the license agreements before signing up for web services or software. This way Google would get access to almost everything (private or public) available on internet without being held responsible for anything, as according to the license its the user who is lying by saying that he has the authority to allow Google to use all the sensitive information on his company's website that otherwise is only available to the site members!!

According to the latest updates Google modified the EULA to remove these lines. What bothers me is the fact that Chrome was designed to send everything to the Google servers, just removing these lines from the agreement doesn't means that the content is not being sent to the Google servers. Till now many users would have downloaded and installed Chrome that would be sending loads of information to the Google servers right now. Either Google would be storing that information anyway or would be just discarding it thereby wasting network bandwidth. What I believe is that Google is a company that can store all this sensitive information and keep it hidden so that they can't be held.

Till now I am pretty satisfied with Firefox 3, and don't really see a reason to switch to Chrome.