Future in Uncertainty

"These are Dark times, that is no denying..." HP7, JKR

As I gear up towards my graduation in the next semester, uncertainty about my future is growing at an exponential rate. Perhaps that's because of my mental disease in which I want to see everything to be planned in a clear and set pattern. If something's not logical and rational, my mind fails to decipher it. And the worst part is, all this world, all this life is inherently illogical, irrational, and unpredictable no matter how many millions of research dollars we spend in modeling the behavior of materials and men. We still get good MS and PhD thesis out of these studies though but I can't say how closer do we get to really understanding everything we want to.

So yeah, I'm not sure what it will be like after my Masters. I remember the quote from The PHD movie, "Life's tough and then you graduate."

I'm thinking probably I might go for a PhD, although often do the toils of other crazy PhD students discourage me, and make me feel that I am too dumb to pursue more of grad. school. But then, even if I do end up encouraging myself to pursue a PhD, I need to find someone to fund me (Of course I don't want to continue with Prof. X, no matter how much he would love to exploit me more) I kinda want to move on.

Move on, yes, I think that's where the whole problem is. I can't stick to a place long enough. It just bores me, tires me. The people around me, I can't stand them any longer, more importantly, they can't stand me any longer. Probably that's the reason why my past is so faint and I've hardly any old contact who I'm in touch with (except a very, occasional few people).

I just can't drag the past with me. I'm too much occupied with the present. But it's the future that I am most worried about.

Current Book: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" by Mark Haddon (Halfway through!) 
Current Music: Too busy to listen any music

Poor Indian Graduate vs Rich Professor X

# We both sat staring at each other across Professor X's office table, waiting for the other to break the ice. My professor's huge square glasses hung low on his nose and through his unrestrained fiery eyes, he had begun to rupture my soul.

"So...umm...," I attempted to begin our weekly meeting, "did you get my email about the paper?"

"Of course, yes. Of course. I know." He sat still, ready to burst out any moment.

"Uhmm, it was my first paper...I hoped it to go through but...I feel bad."

"I told you. Didn't I? I told you but you never listened to me. You even argued with me, and that's your major problem. You have to do more tests if you want to publish papers in academia. You have to do more and read more."

"Umm, but the reviewers said that its rejected because its nothing new, we need to do something new to be accepted. Actually I don't feel bad now. It was just a bad paper with bad results. My next one would be better."

"No. You should feel bad. It's not about being new. Look at xuxuxu (insert random chinese graduate hero), look at his work and papers. Xuxuxu's project is very common but he still got good papers out of it. You just don't want to work hard. And your attitude is not good. You have to focus. Focus. Otherwise you won't be able to get things done. You're always running after scholarships and fellowships, but you're not so eager for research," Professor X's lower lip quivered intensely as he announced the climax just like pouring whipped cream on lemon cake, "You-you, you have the potential but you never seem to use it."

# So I went and sought some guidance from this old grumpy scientific guy, who's like the only person in the entire department who knows things, and that's what he said to me,

"I know professor X, been working with him since past two decades and I perfectly understand what you're saying. And lately, he's been having a lot of issues with students, I saw that, I saw that and I don't know why. But anyway, if you want to pursue some research that really matters, go and do your PhD under a real doctor. Someone who can teach you how to do things. Not these bunch of people who run this department and do stuff and publish stuff. You know what I mean by stuff?"

Current Book: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" by Mark Haddon (Yay new book!) 
Current Music: "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley 

On Kicking Ass of Inbox Spammers

I suspect that my silly blog is somewhat getting famous and hence I'm getting promotional spam email. Here's how I dealt with it. The funniest part is that, this spammer chick, actually replied. Although I wouldn't be surprised if it was a smart bot's doing.

Hi Tanya,
I was reading your blog today and wonder if I could get your opinion on a diet/fitness app I am working on ?

For me, I think the main problem with being healthy is motivation. It's an abstract, overwhelming goal. I think the best way to counter this is to turn it into winnable games and small victories.
So… my app makes living healthy, and fitness into a RPG game, where users earn points, and "level up' as they accomplish their health goals. Everytime they add something healthy like veggies to their diet, they earn points. Everytime they complete a workout, they earn points. As they achieve more and more, they'll level up and unlock badges, and discounts/coupons to rewards like spas, health foods, etc.
There'll be challenges, which will get harder as people level up. And it'll follow a certain structure. First will come changing your environment such as getting rid of all junk food. Then, reducing stress, as stress leads to eating comfort food.

The whole point is to turn it into a game so people will rely less on willpower, and more on fun, achievement, and changing our environment.

What's your opinion on this idea? Would you want to know when I'm done with it? If this sounds too silly, or absurd, just ignore what I just said, hehe =)

Best, Christine

Then I replied

Hi Christine!

Sure you can get my opinion! That's what I do all day long, give opinion to people. 

I think your idea is superbly amazingly awesome. I'm a little jealous inside that I didn't come up with it. But anyway, making it an RPG game is what I love the most about it. I would highly encourage you to contact Blizzard and see if they can allow you to make your RPG theme based on Diablo or something. Personally I would prefer World of Warcraft. 

And since you're going to earn a lot of money through this app (and am sure you'll do cause you're already picking out legendary bloggers like me to get the reviews on your app even though your email looks more like spam which I am certainly sure that it is not), you can probably offer Blizzard some royalties in return. 

The only issue that I see with this revolutionary idea is that all those fat people trying to get thin (especially in America), might end up spending more time on your game (sitting too long in one place without exercise would favor fatness, logically speaking) and thus it might defeat your original noble purpose.

I highly appreciate your efforts and wish you good luck in your sublime intentions. Let me know if you need more opinions and keep me posted. 


Then she replied again!


Thanks for the thoughts, I'm glad you appreciate the idea :) This app probably won't be a RPG, in the true sense of the word. What it really is it a way to link our real world activities to positive reinforcement, and achievements in the app. They won't be controlling an avatar that explores a world.. in a sense, the avatar is them, and they will be the ones that will be leveling up.

I'll let you know when the site/app is finished, so you can check it out... I won't be done with it until later this year. I know my idea is not perfect, but creating something new that will help some people is exciting stuff! ^_^

Enjoy your week,

Seriously, people. 

Current Book: "The Call of Cthullu and Other Weird Stories" by H.P. Lovecraft (Some progress :|)
Current Music: "Chammak Challo" by Akon in Ra.one

A Crazy Day in USA

# I was fighting with my professor over an issue as usual and the conversation was now coming to an end. Professor X stood there, looking down at me with a stolid face and fiery eyes, and his lip trembled as he finished our talk with his pet line, "Don't argue with me." 

# I was sick after that incident and went to see the doctor the second time to find out they were not so happy to see my again for something as trivial as sore throat. Little did they know that I had spent the entire last night lying awake and coughing. When the old nurse asked me to remove my jacket to check the blood pressure on my bare arm, my t-shirt revealed a forgotten past of my life as it clearly advertised a gaming competition I had attended a while ago. 

"Oh! You used to play video games?" she asked with lifted eyebrows. 

"Yes...I-I used to play a lot..." I said, unsure of what to say, as pride heaved in my chest. But before I could say or think of anything else, she said something which left me speechless. 

"So, in India, a lot of kids have computers?

# I was at the pharmacy shortly after I saw her to collect my medicine. On the counter parallel to mine, waited an attractive young lady. She had engaged her fingers in straightening the locks of her blonde hair while listening to the chemist across the counter. The only snippet of the conversation that I could eavesdrop during my brief stay was a statement that was issued from the chemist's professional tongue,

"So this reduces the risk to 0.5% and this one reduces it further to 0.1%. But I would recommend you to use this and this, and that, every single day at the same time every time, if you want to avoid a baby at all costs.

Current Book: "The Call of Cthullu and Other Weird Stories" by H.P. Lovecraft (No progress :|)
Current Music: "Intil" by Menomena (Haunting music) (DEDICATED TO ANONY - OH I MISS U) 

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