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The Elevator Problem

My office building has 10 levels and 4 elevators. The floors are labelled UB, G, 1, 2 , 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Two elevators (lets call them A and B) cater to the odd numbered levels (stops at 1, 3, 5, 7) and two cater to the even numbered ones (stops at 2, 4, 6). And all the 4 elevators stop at UB, G and 8 levels as there are cafeterias and parking lots respectively. I stay in one of the even floors.

So, I thought of charting something up based off my daily routine. I wanted to know the probability of me finding an elevator, ready, waiting for me to board, when I have just entered office (at UB) which can take me to my even numbered level.

Assumptions:

  • Due to the heavy load and demand, elevator stops at all possible designated levels.
  • Inter level transmission times can be ignored, so this can be modelled as a discrete probability problem.
  • Finally, lets assume there is space for me when the elevator door opens – a very optimistic assumption of course!

Question: What is the probability of finding at least one of the even-level elevators (A and B), waiting for me at UB when I arrive at the peak hour. Extend the calculation to the Odd numbered elevator (C and D). Find out below.

elevator

Like they say, Knowing is not enough, one must apply. Willing is not enough, one must do!

This reproachable, sometimes incoherent transcript, illustrates a phantasmagoria of fear, terror, grief, exaltation and finally breakdown. Its highlights have been compressed on this reporting to make their own disquieting points…

Found hiding in the cracks of most corporate kitchens, the Corporate Cockroach (Scientific aka. Periplaneta Americana), is abandoned on the streets initially, feeding off the garbage dumps and sewers. But he looks out reverently to gain access to the most irreprehensible of corporate dwellings. Once inside the corporate, the sole purpose, albeit initially, of these beings seemed to be to just satisfy their innate of evolutionary traits – Survival. But what happened to the corporate ecosystem thereon was largely hushed down and unspoken in public.

It was a treacherous journey for Mr. Roach though. After gaining access to the corporate building (which is mostly by hitchhiking by the way :P) , he has to be perennially paranoid. For there are beings abound, who don’t take kindly to the kind of dear Mr. Roach. He had to constantly worry about getting under the foot of other corporate monsters. Beings who upon identifying the roach, would feast upon him. There is Mr. Gecko, who hangs out by the walls waiting for someone or something to pass by. And need I mention getting trampled underfoot of the Elephant or getting growled at by the corporate Bobcat – who btw is not interested in feasting on dear Mr. Roach, but just kills, for the fun of it!

So, Mr. Roach poked out his head out only at night, well after the kitchen was closed and the vessels are left unattended. Feeding off scraps of food left by the humans during the day, he perseveres, day after day, month after month, fearing that visit by the deadly bug exterminator which occurs mostly once a year! He worries too much and keeps plotting, for a way to go unnoticed, during the day when all the bugs (both blood and non-blood sucking) are sought out and exterminated. Over the years, every other time, he survived!

Slowly, yet steadily, he fed, molting his skin and appearance from time to time, growing larger by the month until he eventually completed his metamorphosis from a teeny tiny bottom feeding Roach to a daring “Cock”-roach. He becomes Cocky and enters the kitchen in broad daylight – right when the Lion is busy cooking with his apron on. He scares the kids, and starts seeking refuge in the Cereal box, feeding whenever he feels like. Original, Banana, Nuts and Honey glazed flavors in all. When a corporate kid opens up the carton of Kellogg’s in the morning, with a glass of seductively white milk in the other hand, look who is inside to say, “Good Morning!”

With terror instilled into the hearts of the kids prancing abound, word of the cockroach soon reaches the ears of the Bobcat, who missed to kill him when the time was right. Now, the roach can fly around the office under the ever-glowing halogen lights of the corporation, with the Bobcat watching helplessly. “Not my problem”, says the Bobcat to himself, but the Roach operates in mysterious ways! He has an uncanny ability to get into the mind of his presumed assailants and drive them off the cliff. The Bobcat tries hard to forget about the aforementioned Roach problem back at work, but like a heartbroken lover, trying to shrug off the thoughts of his once beloved, he fails, miserably.

“You can’t win a battle against the ever-growing Roach problem”, the Bobcat says to himself. “For when you try to squash one underfoot, it is sure to leave a nasty stain on your fur-coat, one that you have been trying to keep impeccable over the years.” Seething with anger at not being able to do anything, thoughts of the Corporate-Cockroach swarm the mind of the Bobcat and he starts losing sleep. That is when he decides to leave the forest in search of greener pastures! Only to be confronted by bugs, of a different variety!

As far as the Roach is concerned, he hung around, freaking people out – living out a millennium hiding under the cracks of the corporate colosseum –witnessing epic battles amongst giants, while he ate caramel popcorn and sipped on diet coke.

Stories emerged, well after a nuclear warhead hit the corporate tower and the fallout ensued. Amongst the survivors, our Dear Mr. Americana! You can call him Peri, if you want to be friendly about him. For Men may come and Men may go, but the Roach lives on forever!

An Unquiet Mind

Given the way we are advancing with computing, I thought of a sci-fi based story. One based off an alternate Utopian society (more of an addendum to the original Matrix movie actually)

I have very little doubt in my mind that there are big tech companies/secretive government agencies who have a “Profile” of you built up on their server fields, based off the endless amounts of data you are feeding to their algorithms through the exponential amounts of clicks and swipes that you generate daily.

Now what if? What if, your profiles are being tested with endless amounts of experimental marketing scenarios? What if all your profile is to them, but a lab rat to model and come up with decisions? Like whether you would choose a Banana over an Apple when presented with both the fruit at a certain time of the day (or other such parameters). What if Governments are using such modelling techniques to say determine who I would vote for, and ultimately know who wins an election in a particular country? I know it sounds paranoid, but what if, my friends, what if?

Apart from the implications of what such methods would do on a Mega scale, what if they teased you at a certain point, to make you spend and buy stuff?

Think of what it could lead to in the long run. There could be an accurate online profile of yourself hosted on a server somewhere, accessible to anyone who is willing to pay the price. Would playing around with your profile be considered ethical? Would your profile attain consciousness? I mean, where would you draw the line?

And since it’s all information, how far away from Earth (and at what speed), would communications happen? I was trying to build up a theory of thought (will leave that for a later discussion), but can Aliens already access your online profiles? If I were a super intelligent alien (who in all probability exist, based off of the Drake equation n all) and had the capacity to do that, I would surely be a silent spectator, snooping on profiles rather than announcing my “intent for peace” or other such activity.

Label me eccentric, but I believe in one phrase, “If you can think it, then it’s already possible – why else would you be able to think about it anyway?” Think about it!! ;)

NOTA Calculations

Some elementary algebra behind NOTA. Conclusion: Every vote makes a difference. And, in reality, you are better off not going to the polling booth, than going and voting for NOTA!! Math below.

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It can become quite a pain to choose which pair of dresses you can wear if you plan on going out, business or casual as the case may be. What if we had a wardrobe management app. Like just key in the pictures of the list of clothes that you have in your wardrobe. Then, when you have to head to office, the app suggests you the most apt combination of dresses that you can choose to wear. Once you have accepted the suggestion, those sets of dresses are inactivated until the next time the shirt/pants are ready for wear.

Then come evening and you need to head out, just key in the reason (like attending a party) and based on factors like the time of the day and occasion, the app just suggests the pair that would be most suitable.

Also, when you are out shopping for clothes, this app should come in very handy to try and preview and let you choose and buy the apt set of clothes.

Tried searching the playstore for such an app, could not find something worthwhile. With all the image processing , ML and AI algorithms out there, this would be a good application of those technologies to make life easier. And yeah, like me, to the differently fashioned people out there, this app could serve as the handy Fashion Police.

I woke up from my short nap, a bad dream perhaps. I look around, no body is with me, I need someone by my side, lets give it a whirl, shall we? Waaaaaah!!!!

I see someone funny, in that thing the adults call a mirror! Who is it, walking so gracefully, looking like a piece of the moon, smiling so pleasantly, who is reciprocating my feelings so accurately. Oh no wait, it meeeee!!!!! I’m happy, I’m a happy little child.

Let me walk to the window, and peep outside. I see birds, trees and smoke coming off a small fire. Looks so surreal, what is it I wonder?

Pah was blowing some funny colorful looking bubbles into the air, I try to catch them, and they go pop! I would like to make bubbles like that someday.