Thursday, July 18, 2024

About blood thinners and their ilk

Link to an article in today's  TOI : 


https://www.google.com/amp/s/timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/breakthrough-common-blood-thinner-can-be-affordable-antidote-for-cobra-venom/amp_articleshow/111817389.cms

👆"repurposing existing drug" for a hitherto unknown use. 

Sounds great. And it is. 

But think about it slightly differently. Blood thinners are prescribed like chocolates nowadays. Anyone and everyone you know is having blood thinners. 

They are effective as anti venom also, as it was just discovered, "they act as a decoy antidote, binding and neutralising the toxins" 

The question to ask is.. all those  lifestyle drugs that  you are you taking, from the pill box that you carry around.. how many of them act as decoys to bind to what all and create what all havoc in the body? 

And remember that  it all started when you went for that "preventive" medical check up, which is basically a trap for enticing the gullible into the medical system's welcoming arms.

100 tests, at sixty percent discount! 

When you test for 100 parameters, there is a close to 100 percent chance that some parameter is "not normal". How is normal defined? Anything, say five percent to the right or five percent to the left of the normal distribution consisting of the population. 100 parameters like that, and the chance of getting a clean report is close to infinitesimal, do the math yourself. 

So your LDL was low and HDL was high, or Vitamin D3 was inadequate, and you landed at the local corporate hospital ( the discounted tests are decoys, they are actually marketing agents for the corporate hospitals, the front line goons for the medical mafia).

And before you know it, you are on statins, blood thinners, cholesterol lowering drugs..  

In roughly around five years from that point you are carrying around a pill box with compartments with dates and times filled with pills of various colours. And you are saying things like "I need to eat every two hours or I will die", "I cannot sit on a two wheeler, God forbid, my back will dislocate itself", "I am gluten, lactose and peanut intolerant"... We are all familiar with the list, except that in the last few years the list is growing. 

Meanwhile the neighbour, who is a trader  in  Chikpet, and  seventy five years old, continues to travel all around the city on his Kinetic Honda, eat 
anything, go anywhere, life weights, spend ten hours at his shop, and is mentally and physically active. 

What is the secret to his  good health? 

His ignorance. No one told him about medical tests.






Monday, July 8, 2024

The Circus comes to town


The teams are equally matched, 
The margins of victory slender; 
The game veers this way and that, 
And then goes one way or the other! 

But yet we pin our hopes too much, 
On slender momentary wins; 
The fights and wins we lack in our lives, 
We seek vicariously in them! 

Too much elation on victory, 
End of the world on a defeat; 
This too shall pass; and once again, 
One turn into the other! 

Our self esteem has been outsourced,
To fickle momentary events; 
To gladiators in a Circus,
Paid to fight and die for us! 

So much of me has been invested,
On someone, somewhere, outside control; 
Like those rides in a carnival, 
I am screaming, passive, and belted! 

And then I totter to the next; 
One draining ride after another; 
One day wonder where all the days went, 
I'm spent, with nothing to show for them! 

The Circus comes to town


The teams are equally matched, 
The margins of victory slender; 
The game veers this way and that, 
And then goes one way or the other! 

But yet we pin our hopes too much, 
On slender momentary wins; 
The fights and wins we lack in our lives, 
We seek vicariously in them! 

Too much elation on victory, 
End of the world on a defeat; 
This too shall pass; and once again, 
One turn into the other! 

Our self esteem has been outsourced,
To fickle momentary events; 
To gladiators in a Circus,
Paid to fight and die for us! 

So much of me has been invested,
On someone, somewhere, outside control; 
Like those rides in a carnival, 
I am screaming, passive, and belted! 

And then I totter to the next; 
One draining ride after another; 
One day wonder where all the days went, 
I'm spent, with nothing to show for them! 

Dinesh Gopalan, 
8 July, 2024

Friday, July 5, 2024

Generative AI

This is extremely scary. 

Computers exploded on the scene after the 90's. That's well within our adult lifetime, thirty years back. Mobile phones, internet, high speed computing, connectivity, ditto.

Coders were in high demand, they still are presumably. 

But now the computer is going to write all the code, generate all the music, write all the articles, suggest all the remedies, and pretty much do everything that we humans prided ourselves in doing. It's called generative AI. 

What is the skill required in this new era from those who operate the computers? Prompt engineering! Like "delivery partners", a fancy term to glamorise a humdrum occupation. 

Prompt engineering is the skill of how to ask questions to the computer. The computer knows all the answers, the computer is God, the computer will answer you properly provided you ask nicely. Presumably, prostrating or kneeling down in front of it with hands folded while asking the question. 

Meanwhile, they will develop another computer, or Generative AI engine, to ask the right questions. 

Then this computer will talk to that computer. And together, between them, they will have all the questions and all the answers. 

We will be on our knees in front of the  computer, begging it to tell us the answers. 

The future awaits.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Review of Kalki

Watched Kalki today on IMAX 2D. 

Indian mythology meets dystopian world meets Marvel Superheroes meets Star Wars meets Mad Max meets VFX. 

After Bahubali and RRR, you thought these Telugu guys have already reached the top in over the top entertainers but no, this one is beyond those two. When I say over the top I mean it in a complimentary way. After this fare, you will find other films insipid. 

Kamalahasan as Supreme Yaskin the villain, Amitabh as Aswatthama, Prabhas as Karna reborn with multiple shades to his character, Deepika as the heroine in whose womb the Lord ( Krishna of course) will be reborn as Kalki, who will come to save the world. And Amitabh as always, steals the show, I just don't know what it is that gives him that screen presence! 

The movie, a full three hours long, only manages to build this alternate universe , in preparation for the sequels to come. 

As the Telugus will say to those Marvel folks "meeru yovvaru ra, superhero movie Ela ceyalo memu meeku chuputhamu! ... Jeragandi , maa samayam vacchindi!!"

( Subtitle: who are you guys? We will show you how to make superhero movies! Move aside! Our time has come!!) 

It's difficult to make out where the live shots end and the VFX takes over, the entire experience is one big extravaganza. 

Made with a budget of 600 crores, not even a week has passed since release, I  believe it has already recovered most of the money. 

On a Monday afternoon there were hardly any seats empty. We will get to see this film become a mega hit in India and outside. 

Watch it in Telugu ( there are English subtitles), over the top plots somehow go well with Telugu, on the big screen, preferably on IMAX 2D.