The mystery of number 23

I’ve been literally forced to write this post. My hands have been dragged to the keyboard and my mind has been controlled. Never would a person who claims to be rational, scientific and no-nonsense would write on something as unscientific as why number 23 is special. For the uninformed, there is something deeply mysterious, extremely special and wonderfully interesting about 23. The phenomenon is called as 23 Enigma.

When I first heard about it, it was yet another overhyped meme for me. But slowly, and definitely steadily, I started identifying 23 in everyday phenomenon around me. Now, not a day passes without me seeing 23 somewhere around me. And it is not just me, by showing examples, I have convinced several of my friends about this odd belief of mine.

That said, internally, I debate endlessly with myself whether what I observe is just an artifact of confirmation bias where what one observes is typically due to what one wants to observe.… Read the rest

April Fools Pranks on the Internet

I randomly stumbled across many interesting April Fools pranks on the Internet today. So, I thought of sharing them here:

Enjoy! I will try to add more as I come across them. Do let me know if you any interesting pranks.… Read the rest

So, you have a million dollars. Now what?

Suppose you win a lottery or get a successful exit for your startup. You suddenly find yourself with a million dollars to play with. It is like what you always dreamt for has become a reality. At this point, what would you do? What would your future look like?

It is hard to imagine not having fun with a million dollars in bank. But that is precisely what I (sadly) concluded after thinking deeply over this issue. There are multiple reasons why I think a million dollars won’t bring me the freedom, happiness and euphoria that I had thought were main motivators for me.

One of most the reasons concern with the social circle. Even if you get lots of money to spend, with whom would you go shopping? Who would be able to afford accompanying you to your always-dreamt-of-visiting Morocco? Is your friend equally fond of I-would-go-bungee-jumping-one-day? Chances are that most of your friends or relative would not have time to be there with you all the time, would not be able to afford hanging out with you while you are indulging, and would politely decline your sponsorship.… Read the rest

Luck, Randomness and Success

Is success random? How important do you think luck is for achieving success? Now, you may be a self-hero, a believer in hard-work-brings-success philosophy; every morning you may look forward to reading stories of successful people who were certain of their successes from the start. To achieve success, you may even be sufficiently motivated to learn new skills, network madly, and work endlessly. After all, if you do all the things right, success will kiss you. See, you are feeling great already! Now that you are all set to achieve success, let us sit in a time machine and head forward three years in future.

You have grown a little older. But, sadly, nothing really has changed. All what has changed is that your book shelf has ten more books of successful people and twenty more of self-help books. Looking back you deeply regret working like hell for the last three years.… Read the rest

Wonders of Probability

Lately, I have been reading a lot about Probability, Statistics and Machine Learning. These subjects always involve a kind of awe that one can only experience on understanding the concepts. I’ve developed tremendous respect for the people who understand probability, (Bayesian) statistics, learning theory and other related subjects.

I write this post to pose some probability (pseudo) paradoxes and problems to you. Even though these paradoxes are extremely simple to understand and comprehend, but their solution is completely counter-intuitive. I’ll admit that for some of the paradoxes/problems, even after seeing the solution I wasn’t able to figure out what exactly is going on. So, without further blabber here we go with the paradoxes:

First one is called the Monty Hall Problem. Its statement goes something like this:

Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats.

Read the rest