Birth of a Super Hero*

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

-Book Of Genesis

Jan 3 2009:

New York: This had to be precise. A man sitting in a basement, looking at his watch is waiting for the perfect alignment of stars and sky. This had to be the accurate to the second. The time seems to have stopped. Its a busy street full of noise on a sunny afternoon and all he can hear is his own heartbeat. This was the longest hour of his life.

He closes his eyes and sees a replay of the events which led to destruction of his entire life for no fault of his. The betrayal, the sorrow, the struggle that were the last 2 years of his life. It was not something he was doing for himself alone. It was for everyone who had to go through what he did. It was to deliver everyone from the evil that had engulfed the entire world. This was an emotional moment.

Through the teary eyes, he glanced the watch again and knew it was the time he wanted, on the date he planned for, and in the place of his choice he pressed the button on the keyboard of his computer that was to lead to birth of a super hero. It was a moment of genesis, it was the culmination of 2 years of his and his best friends efforts. It was when he created the first of the kind, the world was to call as:

“Block Chain”- The Super hero.

Did this sound too dramatic? Too Hollywood?

Well… This isn’t entirely fiction, this is story of an individual/group of individuals who did the unthinkable, wrote one of the most important pieces of software and declared it open source. This is their story, this is the story of Block Chain, this is the story of bit coin

Financial Crash of 2008 had wiped the hopes and future of thousands of innocent common men, who barely understood what had happened. How their life worth of savings had disappeared into nothing. There was anguish, there was devastation but there was no relief and certainly no justice.

The financial industry which had caused all of that had become bigger than ever. The very people who had created the whole bubble and crash had become even more powerful and poor and helpless had nowhere to.

In this backdrop, Satashi Nakamoto created Block Chain and Bit coin. This was an effort to take control and power of finance away from the selected few and give it to the common people. Everyone who had the brains for it, could contribute and be rewarded for common good.

The first block of information created by the Satashi Nakamoto is what is known as Genesis block. Here is how it works, and here is why Satashi Nakamoto is a genius.

Step1: A random group of Transaction or information is grouped under a block, and it is available for encryption for anyone to encrypt and pass on.

Step2: Everyone competes to encrypt this block using an algorithm and key more complex than the one before, and links the encrypted block to the Chain of blocks: the “Block Chain”.

Step3: For this effort, whoever encrypts the data, is rewarded a BitCoin.

The backbone of the process is, the massively distributed network of related blocks of information which are encrypted like chain links. A hacker can hack a block, but to get information out, he would need to hack the previous block and the one before and so on.

This is the central idea behind Block Chain. The possibilities were endless.

Powers and uses of this super hero to be explored in next blog.

–to be continued

And the Jester became the King

Looking at the news one day, remembered a line from an old forgotten song:

Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown

The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned

When Donald Trump declared on a popular Talk show that he was a “little” skeptical of Obama’s citizenship, entire world either rebuked him or laughed at him. No one asked why. This was a sin, everyone would have to pay for in the time to come.

President Obama, will long be remembered for the things he achieved in his lifetime. From restoring relations with Cuba to his Nuclear Deal with Iran to Affordable Care Act, his achievements are numerous and few could match his wit and style. Being human, he had his failings too, things the Left leaning Liberals just refuse to look at.

Whether it was worsening Race relations, infuriating Right leaning conservatives, or consolidation of wealth in the hands of few. He unintentionally opened the doors for the Jester to come and steal the crown from under our noses. while we kept laughing at his antics.

Has this sunk in yet? No? OK, let me help. Trump had following main pillars of his campaign:

  1. Media is Corrupt and Biased and Supports Left.
  2. Hillary is evil and corporate stooge.
  3. Whites have been denied for too long.
  4. America has lost its position as world leader.
  5. Trump is outsider and will fix whats broken

Whatever Trump did and said (good and bad), it always aligned to above 5 pillars. No matter what he said, he could because “he is an outsider” and “not a politician”. This was the excuse what won him election.

While Trump’s agenda appealed to both vote banks, here is how Hillary appealed to Trump’s Vote Bank:

Hillary: “just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it”

If Trump was able to carry out one of the biggest upsets, it was because he was smart. He defeated all Republican Presidential hopefuls fair and square.

While Hillary battled one scandal after another, Trump marched on. He had the data on his side. No matter how ugly he behaved or how deplorable he said, nothing seemed too bad for him. He bounced back every time.

In the end it was not a win for Trump, it was a loss for Democrats in general and Hillary in particular. Here is how Democrats accepted him:

News Excerpts:

Demonstrators opposed to the election of Donald Trump smashed windows and set garbage bins on fire in downtown Oakland, California early Wednesday, as protesters swarmed streets across the country in response to the election

Obama: Trump’s victory threatens America’s core

After Clinton Loss, #NotMyPresident, #StillWithHer Goes Viral

The point is, all this is playing to the Trump’s tunes. He thrives on negative media portrayal. The way to attack his popularity is not by shaming him, it is by encouraging him to do something; by asking him his questions on his plans.

The Reality is, he is our President and will continue to be for next 4 years or so. Its time, we moved to work with him on the issues which matter. From improving race relations, to religious intolerance, to Affordable care, to North Korea and ISIS, the challenges are many. We want to make sure while he works, he works for all of us, and not only for the ones who elected him.

You see, the Jester is a fool, an entertainer at best, he doesn’t need anyone to bring him down. Leave him alone and falls on his nose, ridicule him and he grows stronger.

The Deep Blue Ocean

Meet Deep Blue, it was a chess playing computer made by IBM.

In the May of 1997 it did the unthinkable. It defeated the Russian Chess Grand-master Gary Kasparov in the game of Chess. Kasparov was reigning Chess Champion and it was the first time a computer was able to defeat a chess champion in an international chess competition conditions.

While the victory was somewhat controversial, it was a huge win for a machine to out think a man. To understand how big it was, let me add some numbers here.

There are 64 positions and 16 pieces, and between them, there are 288+ Billion( add ref below) total possible move combinations and the Computer had to out think all to beat the greatest chess player of the time.

It wasn’t the first time the two had met, this in reality was a rematch of a battle which Kasparov had the year before by a score of 4-2. However, the Deep Blue had 3 Jacks up its sleeve this time:

  1. New Deep Blue was way faster
  2. Knew the style of Kasparov
  3.  Unlike Kasparov, could and did change its entire strategy and game-play.

The stakes were high for both the parties. While Kasparov had to protect his legacy, for IBM it meant unlimited ad(news)vertisement for its tech prowess and huge bump in share value. The match was widely publicized and left most people who had no interest in either computers or chess waiting to hear who won.

There were 6 games to be played to crown the champion and What happened next was a sad reality that some lines written in a language called “C” could beat the intellect of arguably one of the smartest men on planet.

IBM’s share price doubled in price from $25 in Jan 1996 to $50 in Aug 1997 and complete dominance in Artificial Intelligence area.

Kasparov, complained of cheating on IBM’s behalf which was denied by IBM. His calls for rematch were rejected by IBM. Kasparov continued to be Chess World Champion for next 3 years. A title his own student “Vladimir Kramnik” took from him.

This in a way was the perfect setting for the dawn of the “Age of Intelligent Computers” which would one day take over the mankind.

**This blog borrows heavily from various sources including:

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_(chess_computer)
  3. https://www.research.ibm.com/deepblue/home/may11/story_3.html