Sunday, July 23, 2006

Enjoy, fun, happiness - Part II

(...cont from part I - 1. Losing the 'conscious' sense of existence - Loosing yourself.)
Last post I was trying to figure out how can I possibly exhaust ways in which people (believe to) enjoy themselves. The prime way that the majority of today's so called civilized people fall back upon is to enjoy is music, movies, booze, party, reading, an extreme extent drugs. May be Hobbies can also be counted in this category, but I will like to talk about it as a seperate topic. All of this I believe is a way to loose yourself. Forget the moment. Looking from another perspective it could be very well said that instead of forgetting the moment this is more like 'Living the moment'. One is just concerned about whats happening right now. No thoughts of past or future and that seems to be a plausible setup for enjoyment. The only problem with this is that this is not a conscious mode of living in the present (or Loosing yourself). Its more like forget everything(past, present and future) and just *exist* in the present. The thought I am after is that - Is there is a conscious way in which man can train himself to remain in a state of enjoyment if Living in the present/Loosing Yourself is a successful strategy?

2. Another class of strategy is 'Change' or 'Something New' or 'Learning'- Though all these three have subtle differences I think the root is the same. The mind becomes active and has to process in all three situations.

'Change' shall stand apart from the other two more actively. Change might not per se be a source of enjoyment but the lack of it sure creates a boredom which is lack of enjoyment. So it can be said that lack of change causes lack of enjoyment. Now some people desire for change when they reach this situation, for other change in itself is a source of enjoyment and they keep on doing 'Something New' to make that change happen. The open question is if one finds a 'Strategy' to be in constant source of enjoyment then without change will he be able to maintain that state?

... to be continued.
3.Being with loved ones
4. Hobbies.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Enjoy - What the hell!

What do you want in life?
I want to be 'Happy'

How was the party yesterday?
Oh! I 'enjoy'ed it a lot.

How was Miami?
'twas 'fun'

Happiness, enjoyment, fun - They define our life and positive things associated with it. But they are among the most abstract of concepts and carry different meaning for everyone. I wonder what does enjoyment mean for different people. I was in arizona the last couple of days. One night I was at a bar listening to live music, and a wave crossed my mind. "Am I 'Enjoying' right now? If yes, what is it that is giving me enjoyment? Why is that I am feeling a sense of happiness - if I am?" Interesting question indeed.

I know that am incaypable of knowing what enjoyment means to you, but still feeling the desire to write about it. What I see the meaning of enjoyment from different point of view. These are not necessarly my notion of enjoyment, infact I still have to become fully aware of what it is that give me 'Enjoyment'.

1. Losing the 'conscious' sense of existence - Loosing yourself.
In todays world, the most common way in which people believe that they experience enjoyment are the activities that makes them loose the sense of existence. Atleast at a conscious level. I do not imply that they start to feel that they dont exist, but they forget they do. A perfect example would be movies, whereby using the principle of 'willing suspension of disbelief', we get engrossed in the timeline of the movie. At a conscious level we know what is on screen is false, but we still manage to produce emotional response to it, we forget about our presence in this world.

Another most common source of enjoyment is listening to music and/or reading. Here again the sense of 'forgetfullness' of the present existence makes us feel that we are enjoying that moment. For that matter, most of the true hobbies would fall in this category. It makes them forget their 'worries', 'concerns', 'responsibilities', 'needs', 'desires' and submerge in a single activity that occupies the mental space. It is like loosing yourself to one single activity.

Now this has had such an impact on our society, that things that make you forget your existence, or inactivates your senses about it are promoted/attributed as a source of enjoyment. Drugs is one extreme, but since it has harmful effects of the body, it is considered as 'negative' way to enjoy. Alcohol and other such product also create this effect of 'enjoyment', but this time loosing yourself not to any activity but to the lack of it.

The question is that is this 'really' enjoyment. Losing to an activity or alcohol. Is this all a human can do to be in a state of enjoyment. What about sustenance of enjoyment using the above trick? Is it possible to be in a contineous state of enjoyment by any of the above mentioned tecniques? Is there something more a man can strive to fulfill his desire for 'happy' and 'enjoyable' life? be continued

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Image Retrieval - CIVR 2006

Right now I am sitting in a chair which is in a conference room in Mission Palms Hotel, in Tempe(Phoenix), Arizona, attending Conference on Image and Video Retrieval 2006. The task is what google has done to text, easily and efficiently retrieve images from a database. Lots of research is going on at different levels.

First the image is needs to be represented in computer, I know we have the color data for every pixel but thats not enough/rich enough to perform retrieval, so one chunk to people are working on what would be the best way to represent image so that it stores the image features efficiently.

The second step is to find which image features to save or what are the 'salient' points or 'interesting' points in a image that one would use to retrieve images. The basic is image color, image texture to little more complex as shape of objects. The notion is that both image representation and saliency should be able to 'generalize' the concepts one would be interested in.

The third direction of research is once we have the representation of the 'interesting' points, how do we match the given representations of two images to say wether they are similar or not. Two points in the space can have different measures of distance between them, the most common being a eucledian distance or an L2. Based on the feature space chosen, one can from very many metrics.

Talking at higher levels, one has then the notion of extracing image features of a concept that can be visually very different. Most commonly cars can have very many colors, shapes, direction of view, illumination conditions, backdrops they are while ckicking the photograph. Is is possible to still learn a mathematical model of a general term car? This is semantic image retrieval which is best with the human notions of similarity as we very easily can abstract out the concept of car from any image of car in various conditions.

The destination is far far away, I am not even sure that it can be solved in full generality, but history tells us that future is not deterministic. It is random with probabilites of unexpected events having spikes. Or is it destined? ;-P

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How bout thees? My Past Life


Diagnosis: I do not know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation.

You were born somewhere around territory of modern USA South-East approximately on 775.

Your profession was sailor, shoemaker.

Your brief psychological profile in that past life:

Such people are always involved with all new. You have always loved changes, especially in art, music, cooking.

Lesson, that your last past life brought to present:

There is the invisible connection between material and spiritual world. Your lesson -- to search, to find and to use this bridge.