Notes to Myself



World History in 60 minutes by Balaji Viswanathan [World’s Top Quora Writer]

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World History in 60 minutes by Balaji Viswanathan [World’s Top Quora Writer]


Part 1:


Part 2:





Paul The Robot


This is amazing!

Paul The Robot

We have had computer/machine playing Chess and beating World Champion. Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov for the first time way back in 1997 (that’s 20 years ago!)

That was considered a BIG BIG thing and a major breakthrough in our quest to create intelligent machine that can mimic human brain.

Watch a beautiful documentary on this subject – Game Over: Kasparov and The Machine (2003) – here

Since then “intelligent machines” have made a lot of progress.

We now have machines that can

However, Paul The Robot is significant and different than above examples.

The above examples are about analysis of motion, and responding. They are still excellent achievement; however they are about Engineering and Science.

Paul The Robot is about “Art” – understanding a face and reproducing sketch. But is it about Art really? One can say that it is still about Engineering and Science – capturing image of the person, dividing it into blocks and pixels and then drawing the sketch. Well, maybe. But it is definitely a big leap in creating intelligent machines.

Drawing/sketching or Music are forms of Art – however, they have now been mechanized. Paul The Robot is an example. There are machines/software that can generate original musical soundtrack (I doubt if it would be as melodious; or perhaps more melodious, given the quality of today’s music). Check this news and this article.

I had read an article which argued that the highest level of “intelligent machine” would be one that can “think” (mimic brain) and create something original. And one of the examples mentioned in the article was – a machine that can write poetry, or a novel – a piece of literature that is not just collection of words, but which has the structure, content, emotion, imagination etc. A machine that can write an original movie screenplay, or lyrics (given situation) or a machine that can write a humorous piece – that would be the real “intelligent machine”.

My definition of “intelligent machine” is simple – if it can understand sarcasm, taunt, mocking etc. it’s an intelligent thing. Think over it! You really need intelligence to decipher sarcasm and taunts. And if you still don’t agree…well, I know something about you 🙂

P.S: You may like to watch this – 5 Fastest Robots In The World


Kamal Haasan Interview at Google


Excellent interview of Kamal Haasan at Google. He is really a thinking person; not just a star…clearly visible from his perspective on different topics.

On Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder of Paytm

Not sure if you follow Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm. He is a very interesting and inspiring person and he is just 37

Sharing few interesting links.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm sold 40% of company for 8 Lakh when he was in crisis, coz he had borrowed money at 24% per year interest. And he recently sold 1% of parent company for Rs 300-400 Cr.


I liked when he quoted D.L. Moody who said: “Character is what you are in the dark.”


This was published in Jan 2016, long before #demonetisation was announced.

Swag of Paytm CEO | Vijay Shekhar Sharma | Startupreneur Series


Vijay explains Paytm business model



Chess, Character and Champions

The World Chess Championship in New York has entered an interesting phase. After seven straight draws, we’ve finally witnessed a decisive result at the World Chess Championship.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia, the challenger, claimed the first full-point on Monday against titleholder Magnus Carlsen of Norway. More interestingly, Magnus Carlsen declined to attend the Round 8 post game press conference. FIDE regulations state that every player must attend the post game press conference, otherwise he will be penalized by a deduction of 10% of his prize money.

Magnus has been the undisputed King of Chess World for last few years and is way ahead of Sergey in terms of FIDE Chess Ratings (Magnus is Ranked # 1 with 2853 rating points vs Sergey who is ranked #9 with 2772 rating points). Magnus’ personality oozes confidence , bordering on arrogance. It could be attributed partially to language barrier. It could also be his complete dominance in the world of chess. One cannot know for sure. However it is true that he is a fierce fighter and doesn’t like losing (trait shown by many world champions including Garry Kasparov).

So, how you deal with loss, defeat or failure shows the true personality. Warren Buffett famously wrote in his annual letters “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked“. He was referring to the investors who get exposed when markets plunge. The same line can be tweaked and applied to sports personalities.

Heywood Broun, the American Journalist once said: “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” This echoes with Warren Buffett’s quote. The true personality of a person is exposed when he is down and dusted.

Garry Kasparov was a sore loser. Check how he reacted after a wrong move against Vishy Anand

And here’s how Kasparov reacted to an organizer:


The latest addition to this list is Magnus Carlsen. So far Magnus had amazing run and this side of his was never revealed. But check how annoyed he looks during an earlier press conference:

And to take it a step further, Magnus declined to join the press conference after losing Game 8 yesterday.

The real match begins now! With just 4 games left, Magnus must fight back hard to win  and level scores. Karjakin, on the other hand needs to defend strongly and avoid a losing posing – and he has done that so well in this match so far!

Let’s see what more is revealed by Magnus’ character in coming days.

I tend to be anti-establishment and bet on the Challenger or an underdog. And I would love to watch Magnus dethroned for one more reason – Magnus defeated Vishy Anand (and defeated very badly) twice in earlier World Chess Championship matches. Being an Indian and more importantly being a Vishy fan, I would love to see someone tearing Magnus apart! Let’s see how it goes…


The Humor of W Edwards Deming

Watched this video on W Edwards Deming…this man reminds me of Charlie Munger…another person with tremendous wit and wisdom!

Check this Charlie Munger video too!



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