Sunday, November 5, 2017

2 Recent Books I recommend

These 2 recent books are worth your time. In fact I recommend that you can pass these 2 to kids as well.

First one is Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari . This brilliant book on history of humankind. Author is a master storyteller and covered the entire history of humankind in one book. Undoubtedly a Must Read! Pass it to your younger ones as well.

My next pick is Tim O'Reilly's WTF? - What's The Future! This is a different book. Author, Tim O'Reilly is a Technology Industry thought leader. This book depicts what future holds for us. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) will change our life, society and everything around us in a dramatic way. And it will happen in no time. Stop for a moment and go back 10 years - was there a Google Map for Navigation, was there a whatspp for real time chatting, was there a face book to share photo and news? AI & ML will get into our life much faster than Whatspp, Google map. Imagine what will happen when most of the jobs today done by human will replaced by Cybrog. 

I briefly talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) in National Children's Science Congress at Kokrajhar. Will write the experience of visiting Kokrajhar to attend NCSC 2017 in an another post.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

SSCSB is organizing a Bhaona (ভাওনা) in Bangalore

A Bhaona, titled Kongxo Bodh, will be held in Bangalore on Saturday,  September 16, 2017.   

Assamese folks in Bangalore are trying to setup a cultural center in Bangalore. On rough estimates there will be over fifty thousand Assamese people in Bangalore. Most of us are here primary due to IT & related jobs. There is also a good flow of young minds for higher studies.  As the Assamese population is growing, community is very actively celebrating Bihu for maybe over two decades. Durga Puja is also being celebrated with much fun fare.
As the community is growing and many of us has found a new home in Bangalore, there is a need felt to have a permanent culture center in Bangalore to practice & foster Assamese culture here. With this premise, to establish a socio cultural & spiritual center for broader Bangalore based Assamese communities with a NAMGHAR at its core, Sreemanta SankardevaCultural Society Bangalore (SSCSB) was formed couple of years back. While SSCSB is working earnestly to achieve its objective, it is now organising a Bhaona in Bangalore on September 16, 2017. After being away from home for so many years most of us in Bangalore have not seen Bhaona for a long time. Also, our next generation - kids growing up away from Assam may not have ideas about Bhaona and how it is performed. It will also be an occasion for us to showcase this special cultural form of Assam to larger society.

For details whatsapp @  9900243645 or Facebook @ /sscsbangalore or email

PS. with input from Dilip Da & Jyoti.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

RIP Prof Yash Pal


I had the proud privilege to work with you during 1992 - 94 as a part of Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha. It was a great learning period in my life. I will always remember the event at Palasbari, Assam & BJVJ culmination event at Vigyan Bhavan with then Prime Minister I. K. Gujral. Thank you for your guidance and trust on me. Country will miss you sir.

Rest in peace!

With Prof Yash Pal & Dr Kulendu Pathak in Palasbari, Assam

With Yash Pal Ji somewhere in Assam

Saturday, April 1, 2017

This weekend - Hacking, Running & Some Reading

This weekend is interesting. Apart from being the April Fool day, Government of India has organised the largest Hackathon , Smart India Hackathon 2017with over 10000 participants in across 26 cities. The team I am mentoring is led by Akash and team name is Adyuga. Akash & his team is studying engineering in Andhra Pradesh. They will code 36 hours nonstop to build their solution. Please encourage all participants! All the best folks

Apart from Hackathon, if you are in Bangalore, tomorrow morning at Cubbon Park Assisted Living for Autistic Adults (ALFAA) is organizing Stride for Autism - 10K & 5K run. Try to make it for the cause.

Changing gear, here is my reco for weekend reading - short one this time but worth reading.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Law of Software Inertia

Newton's law of inertia is equally applicable in Software. Buggy code remains buggy or good remains good until some external forces acted on it. Had multiple opportunities to act as the external force.

What is your experience?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Will Technology Kill Us?

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning & Robotics will change the way we live within next 10 - 15 years. It was impossible to imagine 10 - 15 years back for most of us that life will be around likes of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Amonzon, Flipkart. Same way it was impossible to think that you can get a cab in your doorstep just by clicking few buttons on Ola and Uber. 

Information technology & innovation is 
Image result for automation in immigration check in USchanging our life faster than we can think. Technology is growing exponentially. Challenge in front of humanity is how do we cope up with such rapid pace. Or is there a need to slow down the pace of development. The way technology eliminated typewriter, PCO, yellow page, celluloid camera the same way technology is now eliminating mechanical & routine jobs. Call center jobs are being replaced by bots. Drones is replacing delivery boys. Even once crowded pass control system (immigration check) in US is now automated & human officer comes only if someone needs help. These changes are profound and have someway or other impact our life. Interestingly, this is not just happening in west - we live in a flat world. Even in country like India thousands of job will get eliminated soon. One more example here. Here is a detailed report from McKinsey on Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet).  While some of these appear syfy,  these are reality. And, it is not just limiting to automation. The progress in machine learning (ability of computer systems to lean without being programmed for that) & artificial intelligence (AI) is unparallel. From Self Driven Car (popularly known as google car) to automatically ordering grocery based on based on what is there in your refrigerator and your previous order history is not far away. We are unknowingly living in a world that we never dreamt of. 

So, is there anything that we need to do or be worried about. At this point we probably don't know. There are significant pitfalls of automation and these advancement. Read this Atlantic article by American author Nicholas Carr on putting our knowledge in the hands of machine - "All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines". But for sure we need to figure out a symbiotic relationship with these advancement. Futurologist Ray Kurzweil thinks Humans will be hybrids by 2030.That means our brains will be able to connect directly to the cloud, where there will be thousands of computers, and those computers will augment our existing intelligence. Are we heading for a Human Operating System?Entrepreneur and innovator Elon Musk Says Humans Need to Merge With Machines to Remain Relevant

Lets get prepared. I leave you with one more good weekend read - Don’t replace people. Augment them.

Let me know if you like it?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why I Hope to Die at 75 by Ezekiel J. Emanuel

This is how it goes ... 

"Seventy-five. That’s how long I want to live: 75 years. This preference drives my daughters crazy. It drives my brothers crazy. My loving friends think I am crazy. They think that I can’t mean what I say; that I haven’t thought clearly about this, because there is so much in the world to see and do. To convince me of my errors, they enumerate the myriad people I know who are over 75 and doing quite well. They are certain that as I get closer to 75, I will push the desired age back to 80, then 85, maybe even 90.

I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.  ... "

This is how the The Atlantic article “Why I Hope to Die at 75” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel  Goes. Ezekiel J. Emanuel an American Clinical Bioethics and Head of the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Interesting and thought provoking article.

I mailed this to several friends and colleagues. Few of them responded –

One response goes like this  ...
I agree on the philosophy. This is my philosophy too. I need to share this with my wife. She will be able to relate some of my statements (at home) to this"
Another one ... 
Thank you Das Babu. Nice timing. This topic had come to my mind and I was more thinking of 70 rather than 75. My father's side, most people died at 74-76. My Mom's side people have lived longer but with a painful life (with all kinds of ailments). Also last few years of all folks in my father's side were painful so I thought if I could demand early boarding at 70, I will spare my children the pain. This topic came because of a nice article I read in NY Times on question of saving for children. If I assume that I live for another ... (assuming 70 as goal post), and my investment performance slows down... I should be living behind at least 4 times my current net worth. My question next is what will my kids do with that kind of wealth? I have given them both a good education and both have started earning more than I earned in their age. If they continue to take my advice on investment, they themselves would be doing fairly well. So what should I do with my money is the dilemma … "(My friend pointed me the 2nd article below)
 If you are here thus far without pain, read these 2 articles. 

BTW, Babu in the 2nd note above indicates something. Did you get that?
Please leave a note below.