March 29, 2009


Time and again I have said that I am better at expressing myself in writing than verbally. I am a non-confrontational person. It's hard for me to be assertive in normal conversation. Hence I have a lot of issues, and hence have this blog to vent it out.

Today I found someone else who did that for me. I am an agnostic on verge of atheism and have had a lot of discussions with so called "believers". Today I found all the arguments that I wanted to throw on their face but couldn't (I hate being non-confrontational). The piece is by Greta Christina on Atheism and Anger. Few of my favorite excerpts:

I'm angry that huge swaths of public policy in this country -- not just on same-sex marriage, but on abortion and stem-cell research and sex education in schools -- are being based, not on evidence of which policies do and don't work and what is and isn't true about the world, but on religious texts written hundreds or thousands of years ago, and on their own personal feelings about how those texts should be interpreted, with no supporting evidence whatsoever -- and no apparent concept of why any evidence should be needed.

I get angry when religious believers base their entire philosophy of life on what is, at best, a hunch; when they ignore or reject or rationalize any evidence that contradicts that hunch or calls it into question... and then accuse atheists of being close-minded and ignoring the obvious truth.

And I get angry when believers say that the entire unimaginable enormity of the universe was made solely and specifically for the human race -- when atheists, by contrast, say that humanity is a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, an infinitesimal eyeblink in the vastness of time and space -- and yet again, believers accuse atheists of being arrogant.

I get angry when believers treat the gaps in science and scientific knowledge as somehow proof of the existence of God. I get angry when, despite a thousands-of-years-old pattern of supernatural explanations being consistently and repeatedly replaced with natural ones, they still think every single unexplained phenomenon can be best explained by God. And I'm angry that, whenever a gap in our knowledge does get filled in, believers either try to suppress it (see above re: evolution in the schools), or else say, "Okay, that part of the world isn't supernatural... but what about this gap over here? Can you explain that, Mr. Smarty-Pants Scientist? You can't! It must be God!"

I get angry when religious believers insist that their interpretation of their religion and religious text is the right one, and that fellow believers with an opposite interpretation clearly have it wrong....How the hell do they know which parts of the Bible/ Torah/ Koran/ Bhagavad-Gita/ whatever God really meant, and which parts he didn't? And if they don't know, if they're just basing it on their own moral instincts and their own perceptions of the world, then on what basis are they thinking that God and their sacred texts have anything to do with it at all? What right do they have to act as if their opinion is the same as God's and he's totally backing them up on it?
So there. If you still have question read the whole piece..

March 23, 2009


I never liked twitter. Actually I never gave it a second thought until now. Watch..

Honestly, I do use Facebook twittering once in a while but having a whole site dedicated to that seems absurd to me. But then everyone have their own way of communicating. I choose to blog, they can choose to twitter..

P.S.: I do have a twitter account, I think. I don't think there is any social network or email provider on which I don't have an account. What to do, I am a grad student who likes to procrastinate.

March 22, 2009


Here is the transcript (not exactly word-by-word but close) of my recent communications with a speech recognition software (they usually have problem understanding me.)

"Welcome to XXXX. Let's get started. I need to ask you a few questions in order to get you to the right person. When you hear the reason that most closely matches to why you are calling you can speak that phrase any time.
To purchase an XXXX product say PURCHASE. If you need shipping status on existing order say ORDER, or if you need help with an existing product say TECHNICAL SUPPORT."

Technical Support.

"I am sorry I didn't get that. What would you like to do today?"

Tech-ni-cal Supp-ort. (that's me enunciating.)

"I am sorry I didn't get that. What would you like to do today?"

Tech-ni-cal Supp-ort. (that's me trying to be loud and clear.)

"I am sorry I didn't get that. Let's get started again. I need to ask you a few questions in order to get you to the right person. When you hear the reason that most closely matches to why you are calling you can speak that phrase any time.
To purchase an XXXX product say PURCHASE. If you need shipping status on existing order say ORDER, or if you need help with an existing product say TECHNICAL SUPPORT."

Technical Support. Technical Support. Technical Support. (at this point I am just trying any and all method to be understood by her.)

"I am sorry I didn't get that. What would you like to do today?"

Hmmm....let me think. I would like to go out and enjoy the beautiful day that we are having and take some nice pictures but guess what, I am stuck with you who refuses to understand me and make me feel like cave woman trying to communicate with a 21st century woman. Can you please connect to me a real person or give me the option of punching some numbers instead of having me scream repeatedly on phone. (At this point, I have gone very silent but this is the synopsis of what's going on in my mind.)

"I am sorry I didn't get that. What would you like to do today?"

I accept my defeat o almighty speech recognition software. Please let me go. What do you want from me? Please please, connect me to a real person. I promise I won't ever try to speak to you ever again.

"I am sorry I didn't get that. I will connect you to an agent. Please wait." (Notice the use of first 'please' by her in the entire conversation..)

Merci. Gracias. Thank you. Dhanyavad. Shukriya. Aabhar. Meharbaani. ...(that's me thanking in all the languages I know to say 'thank you' in).

And then someone asked me today , 'Why are you in such a foul mood?'

March 11, 2009

Ghost and God

I was watching Discovery channel series 'A Haunting'. It's a TV series comprised of narrations and dramatic reenactments of paranormal encounters and experiences based on real experiences. This is the first time I saw the series. I usually don't watch anything related to paranormal but today I did. Anyway the series got me thinking.

Do I need to believe in God in order to believe in Ghost?

Let me explain. Ghost is supposed to be spirit of deceased who either have some unfinished business or some attachment on Earth that keeps them from moving on. But moving on to where? In order to explain that, don't I have to believe in God?

The only explanation that I can think is based on Bhagwad Gita that talks about recycling of souls without mentioning God. According to the Gita:
The body is temporary but the soul is eternal. When this body is finished the soul must continue to exist as it's eternal. And just as the soul is currently residing in this body, when this body is finished the soul will continue to exist by residing in another body. (From:
So in this case I don't have to believe in God and still can believe in ghost, do I? Or is there something I am missing?


For past few weeks I have been watching Boston Legal (Ion Channel, Tuesday-Wednesday 7-10PM Pacific time) and I think I have a crush on Alan Shore. He is simply adorable. I agree that he can be a bit distasteful but I still like him. I like his brutal honesty and his craziness.

I wonder why I always have crush on fictitious characters. Why can't people like that be real!

March 9, 2009

On second thought...

Isn't God the reason for all the terrorism in world? Let's get rid of Him. :D

March 8, 2009

God's existence: New argument...

If God really existed, wouldn't He done something about the terrorism perpetuated in His name? If He is as good and as kind as all these religions propagate, would He have allowed all these atrocities made in His name?

March 6, 2009

Why Now?

Finally I found out why an average PhD student takes 6 years to finish a Ph.D. in Stanford while in some other universities it merely takes 3 years. Reason: Extended course work requirement demanded by the department. Well at least that's what was told in today's Geophysics Townhall meeting.

The faculty have recently decided to change the curriculum for PhD. They examine several peer institute and decided that they should focus more on research than the course-work. So now, the students are required to take 30 units of coursework only. More specifically, only 9 units of courses from outside department as opposed to 21 units of out-of-department courses we took. 21 units. In-department courses are much easier to work with. But out-of-department courses, specifically in Engineering school are close to nightmares.

This will reduce the time required to finish a PhD considerably though this wasn't the intent of the faculty. I finished 27 out of 30 unit requirement in my first year. And if that's all that would have been required, I would have finished my PhD in 3-4 years, at the most 5 years.

So one of nth-year (where n > 6 years) student who defended last week and happened to be in the audience, asked one question: 'Why Now?'

Honestly. WHY NOW?

March 2, 2009

Everything's Amazing, Nobody's Happy

Today's quota of my laughter came from a forwarded mail. This is a clip of comedian Louis CK on Conans show about the spoiled generation of today.

If you need a chuckle today, watch...

March 1, 2009


I was searching for an old email when found this forwarded mail. Thought I will share...
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.

Marriage is just a matter of give and take.
You'd better give it to her or she'll take it anyway.

My wife and I always compromise.
I admit I'm wrong, and she agree with me.

Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times;
always with the same person.

You're getting old when you enjoy remembering things more than doing them.

Saving is the best thing;
especially when your parents have done it for you.

Wise men talk because they have something to say.
Fools talk because they have to say something.

I am allergic to...

...HWs. Honestly. I have flu for past 3 days now. And every time I start working on my HWs, I start sneezing uncontrollably. Just like an allergy. Honestly. This is the last HWs I need to do ever. And I simply can't do it....

Any suggestion for getting rid of it?