Realm Of Randomness

June 26, 2007

Scrabble-mania

Filed under: Game,General — Randomizer @ 4:55 am

scrab.jpg

I don’t know how many of you love Scrabble as much as I do, but if you do, you will be addicted to this site. Called the ‘Internet Scrabble Club’, you download a very simple Scrabble interface, register a username and off you go !

Forgive me for my blatant showing off – but hey, I’m just an internet handle so ‘me’ doesn’t really count does it ? :) The above is my best game of all time – I scored 507 points, with 3 seven letter words – Hairier, donator, and Averting. I have had only 2 previous games where I scored 3 sevens in one game , the first time ending with 420 points and the second with 488. I was absolutely thrilled to cross the 500 mark for the first time ever. I had the great fortune of playing ‘Averting’ in my last but one turn. Such luck comes by once in a blue moon !

If you do end up downloading and playing, look me up – My username is Malfoy. It takes at least 10-15 games to get to speed with the nonsensical words like Qi, ee, eo, ou, za, jo and so on … but once you do, you’ll stop cribbing about your opponent’s ridiculous words and take your newfound vocabulary to your advantage.

Once you download the interface, register, etc just click on the ‘Seek game’ tab. You’ll see many green dots. All of them represent games with different players, each one seeking different settings. Some play 3 minute games – they are a total adrenalin rush :) . Some play more relaxed 20 min games. The VOID setting is used for automatic validation. So there’s no ‘Challenge’ feature. Your words will automatically be checked before they appear on the board.

I tend to play anywhere between 10pm-12am CST. Hope to see some of you there !

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June 20, 2007

Inevitably Incognito

Filed under: General — Randomizer @ 3:29 am

I have finally completed porting my posts to wordpress. This move under the new guise of ‘The Randomizer’ was essential for many reasons, the most important being freedom of expression.

Apart from the wealth of information that is free to obtain about one’s self on networking sites like facebook/myspace/orkut , I wasn’t ready to divulge any more about my thoughts and opinions, especially in the light of my upcoming entry into the corporate world. Eyw’s recent experience with the FBI has somewhat shattered my illusions of privacy and I think we all must take care to protect it.

Though most of you know who I am in real life, I’d appreciate the use of my handle ‘Randomizer’ on discussions on this forum. Even if you forget, I will take the liberty to edit your comment to change it appropriately. Many of you have commented previously on the dozens of articles I’ve written… I have painstakingly removed all references to my name, and hopefully most of the dirty work is done !

I have made this site un-indexable by search-engines, so I’m already feeling quite secure here :) . Keep visiting … my motivation to blog is directly proportional to the visits/comments . So keep me motivated, as I’d like to keep posting away.

Cheers, and lets revel on this new, hopefully much more secure, domain.

May 7, 2007

The Red pill or the Blue pill ?

Filed under: General — Randomizer @ 3:50 pm

Following a very lively discussion in my previous posts about the origins of life and the existence of God, I couldn’t resist posting about a very philosophical line in the movie, The Matrix, and try to relate it to the ongoing debate.

Morpheus, at Neo :

You take the blue pill and the story ends. You awake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe…. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember — all I am offering is the truth, nothing more. “

Some time ago, I was thinking to myself – What would I choose ? (a) The illusion of the Matrix where I live the life of a Prince without any knowledge of the existence of the Matrix, or (b) the real world which is True, but where the hardships in my life would be unimaginable. [ What would you choose ? ]

This is still quite a close call, with neither being an obvious choice. The difficulties in answering this question display how hard it is for one to let go of religion, and why Atheism as a way of life will hardly ever be a tempting option. Here are just a few of the compelling reasons why people will choose religion:

(i) Belief in God is comforting .

To believe that someone all-knowing is looking out for you in your darkest hours fills one with a sense of warmth that can only be compared to the feeling of security a child gets when he is with his parents. Like GTP mentioned earlier, God is at many times, a psychological need. Death is scary without Heaven, illness is hard without a sense of divine help, and times where you think ‘Why did this happen to me?’ need to be answered with ‘God has something good in store for you’.

Only the most convinced of Atheists would choose not to pray at their time of utmost desperation.

(ii) Religion answers the unanswered in the simplest way possible.

Whatever questions humans have had are answered with a religious confidence unrivaled in simplicity by their peers at Science. Questions that are hard to answer, or answers that are hard to understand , are very simply dealt with by religion:

– Who made Earth and the Universe ?
– What happens after you die ?
– Who am I ?

Answering these with a religious solution is the simplest response you can ever get.

(iii) Religious Festivals are amazing.

What do Atheists have that can compete with the spirit of Christmas, the festivities of Diwali, or the celebrations of Eid ?

(iv) Religious people seem happier.

I was happy when I believed in Santa Claus. I would dream of what I’d ask for myself and marvel at how he would always get me exactly what I wanted. God is no different. You ask, and sometimes you ‘get’. If you didn’t , you say ‘God works in mysterious ways’ … either ways, you are content, and your moment of desperation has past.

Regardless of whether Religion is the truth, or an illusion like the Matrix, there is no doubt that it’s perks are extremely tempting. But to truly be an analogy to the religions of the world and Atheism, Morpheus would have to do this instead:

” Here are a 100 blue pills – each one representing a different illusion. And here is a red pill . Which one do you choose ? “

October 25, 2006

Save yourselves !

Filed under: General — Randomizer @ 5:57 pm

No, I’m not talking about global warming or rising crime rates … I mean ‘save’ yourself like you were ‘saving’ a document on your computer, or ‘saving’ your game during gameplay. Idea sound too far-fetched ?

Let me introduce you to one of the most innovative ideas on the internet today – the Yahoo Time Capsule . Click here to go straight to the page.

[ I think you need the latest Flash plugin to see all the features .. the interface is just mind-blowing. Hats off to Yahoo for re-vamping all their applications and making them so rich in interface and graphics. ]

The idea is pretty fantastic – ‘You’ right here right now on Oct 25th, 2006 are defined by how you describe yourself today, what you feel happy about now, what you are sad about, what makes you angry, what your definition of Beauty is, what your hopes are for the future, or what the things you love are.

Upload everything that describes you now – Be it thoughts in the form of text, memories in the form of images, events in the form of videos, or expression in the form of art. It’s really really great going through the Time Capsule, and learning what the hopes and dreams of people all over the world are today. There was an image of a 40 year old man, sleeping comfortably next to his 3-year old daughter. The description read ‘This is my husband and my daughter. I wish my husband good health and hope that my daughter gets everything she’s dreamed of’.

Pretty swell, huh ?

The ‘Time Capsule’ closes in another 2 weeks, so hurry up to save an ‘instance’ of yourself at this point in time. It will be stored offline and opened again in the year 2020

Far-fetched though it may seem, considering that so much can change over 14 years, I am more than willing to give a 38-year old me a glimpse into who I once was. God bless the internet!

July 28, 2006

Zionism and the Middle-East conflict

Filed under: General — Randomizer @ 5:30 pm


How often have you heard an Al-Qaeda statement that goes like this ” .. we urge muslims around the world to fight the crusaders and the Zionists… ” .

For me, it was one too many, and it was high time I learnt about the meaning of this term and the history associated with it. Here is everything and more you need to know about the Israel conflict, starting with the basics on Zionism, collected from various sites I have gone through:

Zionism: in a nut-shell, is the support for the creation of a ‘Nation for Jews’. It holds that the Jews have the right to self-determination in their own national home, and the right to develop their national culture. Historically, Zionism strove to create a legally recognized national home for the Jews in their historical homeland. This goal was implemented by the creation of the State of Israel.

How did Israel come to be?

A very little known fact for people in my generation is that Israel was created a year AFTER India’s independence, in the year 1948. Hence it is too, a relatively young country. But what were the events that led to the formation of Israel ? Allow me two paras of interesting History.

Jews around the Middle-East were forced to disperse throughout the world, after years of occupation by foreign rulers around 500 BC. Under the Babylonians, this ‘Jewish Diaspora’ began to tear apart the community, and they all emigrated to foreign lands. In these lands, the Jews were often forced to become bankers, tax collectors, and money loaners, creating the stereotype that Jews were both talented with money, and greedy. This was perhaps the root cause of ‘Anti-Semitism’, the term used to describe hatred towards this community.

As a result of this ‘unwelcome’ attitude all across the world, the Jews kept running away from one nation to a safer nation. Theodor Herzl, in 1896 pointed out that the Jews needed to stop moving and running from their troubles, and believed that a national home for the Jewish people was the solution to the problem of unfair discrimination and hate in the foreign lands. Herzl formally founded Zionism in 1897.

The movement changed drastically in approach after Adolf Hitler’s ‘Holocaust’ when millions of Jews were killed in gas chambers. The mere ‘desire’ for a nation of their own turned into a desperate necessity for their own survival. Thousands of Jews started pouring into Palestine at this point in time, only to lead to riots and destruction. It was evident that a Jewish nation would not be possible without outside help. They turned to England.

The British supported their cause for years, but the World War II gave them more than enough to think about. They officially ended their involvement in the Middle-East soon after.

However, the newly created United Nations came to the rescue and on November 29th, 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states, giving Israel 55% of the country.

What’s the Israel/Palestine conflict about ?

Immediately after it’s creation, Israel was attacked by it’s Arab neighbours – Egypt , Syria, Jordan and Iraq. But in a remarkable show or organized military conflict, Israel not only defeated all its neighbours but expanded it’s borders too. Israel now had 78% of the Palestine area, and the Palestinians all became refugees. The Palestinian nation was no more.

Decades later, frustrated by living under Israeli rule, and humiliated by obeying a power they saw as foreign in a land they saw as their own, thousands of Palestinians began to revolt by throwing rocks at Israeli troops and disobeying its laws. The revolt generated much sympathy for the Palestinians and still does. To this day, news footage of young boys throwing rocks at poweful military tanks sums up the Israel-Palestinian power balance.

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was created as a representation of the Palestinians, and refused to recognize Israel as a nation. Due to the grotesquely imbalanced nature of their wars however, Israel was pressurized to do something about the PLO and in a ground-breaking treaty, they agreed that the Palestinians would be granted self government in those areas under the newly created Palestinian Authority and that Israel would withdraw their troops from these areas.

But years later, these talks failed, and so did the treaties after that. The Israel-Palestine conflict and the Gaza Strip battles continue to go on.

Recent events you should know about

There has been much frustration among Israel’s neighbours, for Israel was formed out of what was earlier their own land. A nation currently as powerful as Israel , coupled with a weak but angry neighbour can only lead to one thing – Attacks on Israel’s weak point, their civilians. Suicide bombings in Israel have gone on for decades.

Consequently, every time a suicide bomber kills their civilians, the Israels go on an all- out massive path of destruction and chaos.

Hamas comes to power: Hamas has been recognized by the world as a Terrorist organization. It does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. However it was ‘elected’ by a democrary, and Hamas is what the Palestinians want. To the much-battered Palestinians, Hamas has been their Freedom fighters.

Israel’s war on Hezbollah: On the other side of Israel, Hezbollah has been troubling Israel from Lebanon. The Lebanese army and government have little or no control over this camp. The war started about a month ago and is still going on.

Conclusion

Whose side you are on varies drastically on how you look at Israel … A massive, powerful nation with the support of the US, bombing towns and youth who are merely throwing rocks at them… Or as a nation of oppressed people who had endured so much pain from the world and has decided enough is enough.

[ Facts have been taken from various websites, but the most interesting was http://faculty.headroyce.org/~us_history/2004/b_dj/index.html ]

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