What if this was the last time I got to be alive?

A lot of times in life we have to do things that suck. It’s important to not forget to enjoy ourselves during those times because the whole point of being alive as a human is to have a good time. A person who can laugh and dance through the hard times, is a true human being because it’s not the human that’s in control, it is the being human part of the human that is.

How did I come to this preposterous conclusion? That the whole point of life is to have a good time provided how much suffering, unfairness, and cruelty there is in this world.

 

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Look at how beautiful a butterfly is. That can not be an accident. I understand evolution happened and there’s a reason the butterfly is so beautiful, it has a reproductive advantage tied to its beauty but, why are the galaxies beautiful then. Why is the night sky so beautiful. Why is the moon at that perfect distance where it doesn’t hide the stars at night, but also blesses me with its beauty. Whoever or whatever made this place loved it. It had to have pure and good intentions. But, today if I ask you or the smartest scientist to make a simulation of the human world, suffering, cruelty, unfairness would be inevitable outcomes of giving the creatures in the universe freedom to do whatever they want. The “want” creates suffering, and the more the “want” the more the suffering.

That’s how I realized human suffering is a human construct.

The ability to desire, to wish for things, has disappointment tied to it. Once you really understand this, the world transforms into a playground.

Every day people get more materialistic, they want more because someone they know has more and this want sabotages their ability to enjoy what they have.

The world is hard enough, why do that to yourself. Too many people are tripping out on making this life horrible, by running downhill thinking they are running uphill and when reality hits them in the face they shatter like a vase dropped to the floor. Racing to the red light, stuck in their own ways, pondering their existence, masking pain with pleasure, crazy about it because they use it as a curtain to hide the ugly truth of the life they have created for themselves.

if I want to have a good time here I can do whatever I want, but if I am doing something I don’t want to do, I. have to do it with no expectations. if I have desires I need to understand every desire will come with an equivalent cost that I will have to pay. if I want to have fun here I am not allowed to be upset about the cost while paying the cost, because I chose the desire, it wasn’t a responsibility put onto me, it is one I put onto myself.

The base responsibility every desire comes with is regularity. If I want something I have to make a plan that gets me closer to the desire and execute on the plan with no expectations of getting closer to the desire. I have to have a lot of fun doing it knowing deep down that sooner or later I will meet the goal, but, I will never expect it tot happen, because I should never want to expect. I have to be happy with everything I have already and that should be a bonus to infinity in my mind. It would make no difference and hence I am not expecting it, I will welcome it when it comes and keep having the fun I was already having.

The ideal life is waking up every day with tremendous excitement for the rest of the day. I do that by thinking, every time I sleep I am dying. I have decided to leave the physical world for a few hours, which is quite literally what is happening when I sleep. When I wake up I think, “whoa, I am back to life. Look at these amazing headphones I can put on my head that connect to my phone wirelessly, and can block out all noise and I can be by myself walking (and I dance more than I walk) around the beautiful physical world listening to my favorite song. Yeah, I have to do a lot of things today but I am excited to do them because they bring me closer and closer to my goals and desires.”

We lose those endorphins that we had when we set those goals up, but, when it is time to execute and those endorphins aren’t there, we don’t want to do anything. it is at that point you have to think, “Hmm life is hard at times, but, the human spirit is a fuel tank that does not run out. it is impossible for the human soul to be quenched out.” The human soul will give whatever you will ask for. But, too many of us ask for the wrong thing by having the wrong mindset. We think oh man, I am so tired right now. Oh man, it’s going to be so cold if I get out of my bed. Oh man, I am going to be tired all day. The human soul in exchange gives you depression and tiredness. It could have given you an equal amount of happiness and joy, but, you ask for the wrong things by thinking about the wrong things. You have to believe that you are truly here to have a great time.

I ask myself sometimes, what if this is the last time I got to be alive. The last time I got to be a human on Earth. Imagine what if there’s only space after this. No chance of feeling happiness or sadness or hungry or full or any emotion. I would never be at peace knowing I wasted my life being upset about it. There is no bigger crime than wasting life finding reasons to be upset about it.

I have had a lot of reasons to be upset in life. I didn’t have a lot of friends when I was growing up, people were mean to me to the extend that I was suicidal several points in my life, I have felt alone more times than I can count, I have been in unfair situations where I have been rejected by organizations and people because I reminded them of a guy they hated, I have been lied to by people I love. I have been through the whole rollercoaster of emotions.

There’s no point being upset about any of this because there are too many great things that happen as well. All life we have lived is the past. We should never look at the past and judge ourselves. Look at the future and think how can I have the best possible day I can have and dance and smile while you’re going through the day. Don’t have any expectations but have a goal of being better than the person you were when you went to sleep the night before. That’s how you’ll enjoy life.

The Secret to a Great Life – the Second Law of Thermodynamics

2899cc8654288b892dac93e4e3ccf8b58727e71fI have the ability to connect one thing to another and explore that connection. Most things that I connect, seem to be of little to no importance to others, which is why I decide to keep them to myself. But, sometimes I connect things that I believe are transformative, extremely obvious, and equally camouflaged.

The universe we live in has a very straightforward law that I am very fascinated by, called the second law of thermodynamics (also called the law of entropy). It states that the entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time, it can only increase or stay constant.

The first question is, what is entropy? There are a lot of definitions that no one would understand, so put simply, entropy is a measure of the degree of randomness. With time the randomness or disorder in a system can either stay constant or increase. Living organisms have the ability to organize matter and hence manage entropy. That’s what separates rocks from a virus, bug, or human. We can organize matter inside our body and outside our body. (Irrelevant to the primary focus of this blog, it makes me think about whether some celestial objects like the Milky Way Galaxy, Sun, and Earth are living – since they definitely do a fantastic job at managing entropy – and we could be likened to really smart – or maybe stupid (relative to the grand cosmic intelligence) – bacteria living on the Earth’s epidermis.)

I have noticed that every second of our lives we make decisions.

Most decisions are subconscious – governed by system 1, which is a hypothetical mechanism of our brain that responds near instantly and is automated – while the others that require deeper thinking are made by system 2 – which is the hypothetical mechanism of our brain that involves more conscious thinking. (More information in Daniel Kahneman’s book: Thinking fast and slow)

We might be tricked by system 1 into thinking that our miniscule – seemingly unimportant –  decisions have no impact on our lives over the long term. However, every second you decide to either do the easy thing or the hard thing. That’s the most fundamental categorization of decision making I can think of.  (Detailed information in the book “predictably irrational.”)

You might think, well professionals like doctors would never make decisions based on ease. I am here to tell you, that there have been countless studies on professionals ranging from top engineers to top surgeons to common people that prove that we tend to do the easiest thing. Surely you don’t do that right? But, the studies prove that we do. We tend to pick the easy way out much more often than not, simply because it is easier for our brain to do that. The simple act of picking up a pen or getting up requires your brain to send millions of commands in an organized manner and requires it to do an unbelievable amount of mathematical operations in a very short period of time. At least 20% of all food that converts to energy is used to power those computations. Hence, the brain would always try to do the easiest thing, or else you would not function well. It is simply not our fault that we are wired this way. This very fact camouflages the most fundamental truth in our life.

I believe every one of us has a cost to pay, simply because of the law of entropy. Your body and environment are systems. I agree that they aren’t isolated systems, others can affect them, however, you control a significant part of them. Systems tend to get disorganized over time and it is the living being’s responsibility to organize it. By doing so, the being pays the cost of being a living being. If you really think about it, that is a tremendous cost. What are you getting in exchange for this cost? You get to be alive, you get to experience life, you get to make your own decisions, you get to be conscious, and henceforth, you get to shape your destiny (to some extent, not 100%, which I believe is due to a number of factors that I’ll talk about in another blog. I do believe it is definitely possible to control 100% of your destiny if you can learn to control 100% of your mind, 100% of your body, and 100% of your life energies, but, eventually, everyone dies, because eventually even nature will die with the heat death of the universe), something a rock cannot do.

Some people are extremely happy most of the time and others are extremely sad most of the time. I think it all comes down to paying the cost of entropy. You might think, I don’t have to manage any entropy, I am the master of my world, I don’t have to pay any costs.

I will explain using an example. Every day we have an option of cleaning our dishes, organizing our room, doing our due work, investing and organizing our money instead of spending it … but a rich man or women can pay someone to do all this. However, the internal entropy of the body still needs to be organized by the being, itself. What food you eat, how much do you exercise, how hard you push your mind and body, how many hours of sleep you get, how much food you ate, all these are just attempts at managing entropy, or in other words paying the cost of being alive.

We all make the decision of paying the cost or not paying the cost every moment of our life. Those that decide to pay the cost get rewarded with “gifts.” If you invest the money, you’ll most probably get more one day sooner or later and that day would be awesome. If you are stupid with your credit card, you’ll get a notice to pay the overdue bill sooner or later and that day would be anything but awesome. If you invest in your body and what food you eat, sooner or later you’ll have a body that makes you feel amazing, superhuman, you’ll see a mountain and want to run up it, endorphins will flood your system. If you eat trash and don’t work out, you’ll feel like trash. If you clean your house and dishes you’ll always come home to a beautiful, clean house. If you don’t, you’ll get sick more often, and will hate your home sooner or later. The list is endless.

We get to choose if we want to suffer now and create a gift for tomorrow, or suffer later and create a curse for tomorrow.

Living is suffering. Living is paying the cost. Living is attempting to manage entropy of the systems you are a part of.

Pay the cost, accept the truth, and instead of curses every day, you’ll get gifts every day. Who wouldn’t call Christmas every day for the rest of their life “happily ever after?”

 

 

 

 

How do you not quit? How to keep going?

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This is going to be the single most important blog I will ever write in my life. Even if I win a Nobel prize in literature because of something one day, I will not consider it more important than this one. This blog is about a person’s life story that changed everything in my life forever. 

Imagine that if you lose all your motivation, don’t do any work, don’t learn anything new, don’t push yourself, don’t get uncomfortable. What’s the dark place you’ll end up in within five or ten years. Everyone can see that. Everyone knows where they’ll end up if they keep doing the things they know they shouldn’t be doing. It will be hell on Earth, whether hell is eternal or not is a whole different question but if you haven’t met someone in hell, you haven’t had your eyes open, or been alive long enough.

I will give you an example. If you are overweight and you go down the wrong path, you’ll probably end up with serious health consequences, most your money and time will go into medical treatments, you won’t be able to live a normal life probably ever again, you will hate looking at yourself in the mirror, you might become a toxic person no one wants to be around, you will die a horrible slow death in a hospital, the list of suffering will be endless. 

Next, imagine what will happen if the opposite happens. Where will you end up if every single day you learn something new, work on yourself, eat healthily and exercise, put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, chase your goals and block everything else that doesn’t align with them? You’ll end up in heaven. This is harder to visualize than the hell version, so imagine the perfect version of yourself in ten years who has everything you want. That is heaven on Earth for you.

Now that you have hell sketched out for you and heaven sketched out for you, you have something to run away from and something to run towards. Hell is there in almost all religions and there is a reason for that, it is a place where you do not want to end up in. 

Yeah, yeah, you get it. You should eat healthily and do all the other stuff because it is good for you, but you and I both know that it doesn’t work like that. You can’t find that determination to keep going. You can’t stay on the path you know to be right long enough for any visible changes. You can’t do it every day. Your mind takes over, your emotions take over, and the very moment you get uncomfortable, you quit.

How do you not quit? How do you find more within you? How do you keep going down the path to the heaven you planned for yourself when you are nowhere close to it and all that happens when you try to go towards it is plain and simple suffering with little to no joy?

Here is where David Goggins comes in. Is he a motivational speaker? Is he superhuman? Does he have the secret? No. He is a fat 300 pound, lying to be friends with people guy, who sprays for cockroaches and rodents at night in restaurants, whose dad beat him and his mom when he was a kid. He has always been a failure in everything and cheated his way through school to graduate. He was called nigger all his life and bullied. He is everything everyone said he would be. 
How is this guy the solution to your quitting mind? Your “I will do it from tomorrow mind.” Your “I can’t do it right now because” mind. 

Today, David Goggins is considered by many to be among the world’s best ultra-endurance athletes. He has competed in more than 60 endurance races (running 100 miles or more without rest in almost all of them), has placed 3rd at the Badwater 135 Death Valley- considered the world’s toughest foot race, and regularly placing in the top five in other ultramarathons. He also held the Guinness World Record for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours completing 4,030 in 17 hours. David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man) and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. 

How did David Goggins go from being that guy to this man he calls Goggins. How did he lose 130 pounds in 3 months? How did Goggins study for one of the hardest tests and pass it while having a learning disability and while simultaneously losing 130 pounds? Did something click in his mind and he never quit again? How did that guy become this guy? I was fascinated by this question, so I read his autobiography.

It all began on the last day of his job. Goggins was doing his job of handling cockroaches, and even today he says “I didn’t really cockroaches.” He hit the mother load of cockroaches that day and he ran out of the restaurant. He thought that is his life. When he would be 50 he would look back at his life and be filled with regret because he always stayed in his comfort zone. He would see the life of a man who never tried to lose weight, or learn something, or become a better man. 

He went home and on the TV, they showed the graduation of Navy Seals. The man giving the speech said, “too often in this world mediocrity is rewarded. These men detest mediocrity.” David wanted that in his life. He wanted to become a man that hated mediocrity. He wanted to become a Navy Seal. He didn’t know that there were a weight and height restriction. He called people all over and they all hung up on him. One man said lose 130 pounds in 3 months and pass the test and he would take him in for training.

He put his running shoes on and went for a run. At quarter of a mile, he broke down. He couldn’t run more. He went to his mother’s house and cried all night. He said this is my life.

At that point, he had a choice to make. A choice all of us get to make when things get hard, when our mind says you’re not good enough, you can’t do this, take a day off. He could go back to his old life (hell) or he could embrace the suffering and have a shot at becoming better and get closer to his version of heaven. He chose the path of suffering. We might think that was obviously the right choice, because even he says that he is very grateful that he made that choice, but at the same time, till this day, he says that it was a very mean, hard, and horrible choice. It doesn’t get easier with time, his mind didn’t want to stop quitting after a few days, it was just suffering. He says till this day he wants to quit, but doesn’t because the only way a person can grow is by embracing suffering. 

We all want to work on our strengths, but it is working on our weaknesses that will bring friction in our lives and without friction, a man can’t grow.

We all want to get somewhere quickly. That’s why the 6-minute workout, the 3-week weight loss diets are so popular. The results will come, but they will go away. Ask anyone who has done it, they go away. You have to suffer. There is no way around it. If you don’t suffer voluntarily, the world will make you suffer. It is your choice but avoiding suffering means delaying it. It will come sooner or later and it scares me that people take it so lightly. Go to a hospital, see people suffer, understand how cruel the world can get and how you can end up in a situation worse than their’s if you don’t embrace suffering.

Goggins realized he could not run that far because of his weight, so he started riding the bike. He rode the stationary bike all day, every second of the day when he wasn’t busy doing something that required him to stand, he would ride the bike. Do you think that would’ve been easy? Imagine riding a bike all day, every day while you’re that fat, reading books while riding the bike with a learning disability, then going to the gym and doing hundreds of repetitions non stop for pull-ups, pushups, squats, and the list goes on and on and on. 

There was one day when he could not do one more pull-up. It was the last thing he had to do for his whole workout. He went home.

When you look at yourself in the mirror you need to be 100% honest. If you are skinny, say you’re skinny. If you’re lazy say you’re lazy. Do not sugar coat it. Call the mirror the accountability mirror.

He couldn’t sleep all night. It ate him from within that if he wouldn’t make it into Navy Seals training, he would know for the rest of his life, that he did not go 100% all in.

He went back to the gym and did his whole workout again. 

In Seals training, they push you hard. He couldn’t swim, he was black. There were only 32 Black Navy Seals in America’s history because black men have high bone densities. He went into the pool and sank to the bottom. The lifeguard realized Goggins was negative buoyant and said: “you’re done, you can’t swim.” His bone density was more than the upward force of the water, hence drowning was inevitable. He was terrified of the water and was negatively buoyant. He had every excuse to quit at that point. Instead, he taught himself how to swim being negative buoyant, a near impossible task. During Hell’s week ( 7 days of nonstop physical torture), he had multiple stress fractures in both his legs, got double pneumonia, but it wasn’t he who quit, the medics had to pull him out. He went through hell’s week again 3 months later, his legs weren’t healed so he put duck tape on his broken legs to keep going. After completing hell’s week (less than 20% of Navy Seals complete hell week, it is considered the hardest part of the hardest training in the world) he got kicked out again because his legs were completely broken, he couldn’t complete the rest of the training. He had every reason in the world to quit at this point. Instead, he went through hell’s week again becoming the only man in history to go through three hell’s week. Nobody wants to go back in but he said that he enjoyed it. It was about finding his mind’s limit. 

You see our mind tells us, “hey man, it is okay. You have done enough, come back to the safe comfortable spot.” It is designed to keep us safe and comfortable. Goggins made it his life’s mission to callous his mind. He wanted to be in control of his mind. The human soul has unlimited potential, and humans just limit themselves. They listen to the mind when it says you’re not good enough, or you’ve done enough. The moment things get uncomfortable, we quit. 

After becoming a seal, Goggins wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to become uncommon amongst uncommon men. He wanted to be the best seal in history. He went through two more types of training like Navy Seal training. He still wasn’t done. 

Later in his life, he wanted to raise money for the American veteran warrior foundation. He decided to run the hardest race in the world to do so. To qualify for the race, he was asked to run a hundred miles in 24 hours in a race called the San Diego one day. Imagine not running for years and suddenly being asked to run a 100 miles. People like to call him superhuman to make themselves feel better. This part of the blog is for those people. The people that make excuses, that take days off, that say “just this once.” 

Goggins started the race well and was doing good till mile 20. He realized that he had 80 miles to go. He thought why was he doing this. In his life, he had realized that if you didn’t have an answer to the “why” you will quit.

Before you start any journey pursuing any goal, you need to have the answer to the “why” because the “why” will pop up in your head, it is just a matter of time before it does. If you don’t have the answer, you’ll quit. There is no exception.

He had an answer and he kept going but his mind couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he had 80 more miles to go. After each lap, he would have a carbohydrate drink and a trash snack. By mile 40 it got to him. Cramps kicked in and his body started quitting on him. At mile 70 he was done. He was in the worst shape he had been in, in his whole life. He couldn’t take on more step. There was blood coming out instead of pee. All bones in both his feet were broken. This is a man who has been through 3 hell’s week, completed Nav Seal’s training, ranger’s school, Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He had lost 130 pounds in 3 months. He has done the impossible several times in his career but this was the worst pain in his life. If he kept going his kidneys would fail. He could die on that track. He and his wife agreed he was going too slow and wouldn’t make it in time. But his “why” got him going. He drank water, ate a snack. Took a step, started walking, and in some time started jogging. Remember all his bones were broken, he had nothing to gain personally from this race, since he wouldn’t make it in time. But, Goggins does not stop when he can’t go anymore, he stops when he’s done. That’s the mindset you need to have if you don’t want to end up in your version of hell if you don’t want to be mediocre. He completed the race and at that point, he realized that the mind just wants to keep you safe. It will make things up to keep you from doing what you should do.

Let’s say you’re fat or have joint problems, that mind would kick in and say, “Hey man, it hurts a lot, you should stop. You did enough, no need to hit your goal of running a mile nonstop, you shouldn’t damage your joints further. This doctor said this, this friend said that you should stop.”

If the mind wanted the best for you, it would stop you from eating sweets too, from eating that pizza slice too. No doctor says that’s good for you, where does your “I care for you” mind go then? Your mind is nothing but the sum total of what you do repeatedly. It is called neuroplasticity. If you hit the snooze button every day, it will get harder and harder to wake up on time as days pass. After a point, you wouldn’t even hear the alarm go off. You have to stop listening to your mind. Your mind is weak and that’s why you quit every single time you get in an uncomfortable situation. As soon as you get uncomfortable, it kicks in and sweet talks you out of it. If you don’t callous your mind, you will end up in your version of hell and you will never reach your full potential. There is no bigger crime than not reaching your full potential.

The conversation you have with yourself when you want to stop is the most important conversations of your life. Most of us make all the promises when we are the most comfortable. We say diet starts from tomorrow while being well fed. We say we will work non stop tomorrow when we are in that comfortable bed. It is the conversation you have with yourself when you are uncomfortable that matters. 

Goggins had every reason to quit many times in his career. He did not listen to his weak mind and he is nearly fifty years old today and is winning almost every endurance run he competes in. He can run a hundred miles at this age, and he recently ran 205 miles at once. If he listened to his mind, he would be a fat, diabetic, lazy, poor, near dead 400-pound man. You have to list your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals out and acts on them. You are not allowed to stop, rest, sleep, till you achieve them. You are going to have to learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Almost every human works at less than 40% of their potential on the day of their life they think they worked the hardest. If the body didn’t have more, Goggins should have been done at mile 70. 

You can’t be motivated. It will go away. Motivation is nonsense. You have to be obsessed. You have to be driven. When you are driven you drive through any obstacle. When you’re motivated, you stop being motivated when there is an obstacle. You have to suffer. You have to have your “why”. You have to be careful about the conversation you have with yourself. You need to get uncomfortable every day. You need to do it every day. If you do something you weren’t supposed to do, know that you were motivated, not driven. You will cheat over and over again and won’t get anywhere till you don’t have the answer to “why am I doing this to myself?” 

Get over the mental barriers you have placed on yourself. You can never lose weight if you get happy about losing ten pounds when you have to lose a hundred because you are relating to the guy who was fat, not to the guy that was once thin. You will gain back the ten pounds if you don’t do this. The journey is pure suffering, everyone wants to quit. But it is the ones that do it every day and the ones that do not quit, that make it. 

Goggins looks at his shoes for thirty minutes sometimes thinking he doesn’t want to do it. No one wants to do it. But doing it makes the difference. Stay hard.

Using Properties of Quantum Entanglement for Digital Teleportation

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The speed of an electromagnetic wave is limited to approximately 3*10^8m/s relativistically. What this implies is that if humans decide to colonize the galaxy or even the solar system, there will be a communication lag ranging from minutes to tens of thousands of years, even if we use the most sophisticated communication technology available today because fundamentally the signal itself will never be able to travel faster than the speed of light. Even on Earth when you talk to someone on another continent in real time, for example, the signals are sent through a very long and complicated process using some of five methods (cable, communication satellites, radio, fiber optics, and voice over internet protocol). There are actually huge cables in the sea that allow continents to communicate digitally in real time. There are billions of dollars of infrastructure, which hang by a very delicate balance, that allow all the communication that happens today.  Even this process, from Earth to Earth, creates a time lag and this time lag is very important for us as a species.

If you are on Mars, which is pretty probable by 2050, you’ll never be able to talk to someone on Earth in real time. If you send a voice note or a message, it will take between four to twenty-four minutes for it to reach Earth depending on where Mars is. The message you’ll receive will take another four to twenty-four minutes, created a maximum possible time lag of nearly fifty minutes and that’s just Mars. What this means for humans and maybe you (if you decide to move to Mars) is that there will be no internet on Mars that is connected to the internet on Earth. Mars will have to have its own internet because imagine how frustrating it will be to wait tens of minutes before anything you click creates a response. This is like moving away from your city before phones were invented. The only way you could talk to your loved ones was through letters and there was no way to know if they at the very least received your letters. That’s a truly disturbing thought. Going to Mars means going away from the rest of humanity for good in a sense. Never being able to talk to your family on call, only sending and receiving videos or messages once in a while. But, don’t be sad yet, where there is a problem there is a solution. Information Teleportation.

This is where the quantum internet comes in.

Recently IBM created one of the world’s first true quantum computers and researchers at IBM are extending properties of quantum particles to the world and more excitingly to our digital world.

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In the quantum world particles can get entangled. Two particles can get connected through a higher dimension and if you flip one, the other one will flip instantly irrespective of their distance of separation. Quantum (meaning very small) world operates very differently than our world. Particles can be in two or more places at the same time. Some electrons that should be in the atoms that make your body have a calculable probability of being on the moon right now.

Header_Quantum_entanglementSince quantum computers work with quantum bits, they can identify these quantum flips and react accordingly. This would create an Internet that has 0 lag time. Everything will become instant. There will be no need to use satellites for communication. The internet as we know it will fundamentally change. This will happen within twenty years in the most developed countries and within forty years it will be common in 2nd world countries.

There can be companies built on this idea that set up quantum computers in major cities and allow extremely fast internet access to the general population. The money that will be saved is truly monumental. Today every pipe in every ocean has to be maintained. If one connection has an issue, there is usually a domino effect that leads to internet cut off to a massive number of people. Removing the need to physically send signals will create the next generation of the internet. Humans can become a universe-wide civilization and still be truly connected. Quantum internet is coming and it is going to change our lives in ways we can’t imagine yet.  

The Shape of Time

Based on our observations, time seems to flow. Not only does it seem to flow, it seems to flow in one direction; the future. But, contrary to popular opinion, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent. Time itself is relative, and events we think can unfold in one direction, can also unfold in reverse.

Because our perception of everything in the universe is based on what our mind tells us this is a difficult idea to grasp. Our mind is so obtuse that some smartly drawn geometric patterns are enough to completely mess it up; dependance on such a machine to understand the cosmos is the biggest blunder, and that’s why we put to test Einstein’s theory of relative spacetime through extremely advanced machines and not biological networks of our body.

Isaac Newton gave us the first mathematical model for time and space in his ‘Principia Mathematica’, published in 1687, and essentially stated that time is the same for everyone, and there is nothing we can do about it. This aligns with our intuition; however, German thinker Immanuel Kant said that Newton’s theory meant that time existed forever and if infinite time had passed, it raises a question of why the universe had not reached thermal equilibrium. Einstein obliterates Newton’s idea of space and time being independent; there is no grand cosmic clock that is the ultimate source of understanding of what time really is. In fact, time is in the eye of the beholder. He studied Maxwell’s work on electromagnetic waves and derived a conclusion that if speed of time is constant then space and time must adjust with each other to let light be constant to the eyes of the observer. Einstein found that space and time are perpendicular to each other and any object at rest is moving in time, but, every object that’s in motion, is moving through space, and, time, and thus, slower in time as compared to his stationary self; the slowing down can be briefly understood through vectors, however, Einstein’s math is much more complicated and includes geodesics and metric tensors which are not the topic of this blog.

300This theory – relativity – has been tried and tested countless times. A muon accelerated to a speed close to the speed of light, exists for a few seconds as compared to its stationary self, that self destructs in a millionth of a second. Time slows down for the muon because even though it is close to the speed of light, if the muon looks at light – obviously it won’t literally look at light, but hypothetically, if it did – it would see it move at the speed of light. Imagine how slow time must be flowing for the muon for it to observe such a phenomenon. If you were put in such an accelerator for a few seconds of ‘your time’, you would come out a few million years later.

Just how can you move in space, and, time. The fact is we do it all the time. Einstein unified space and time, and proved that they are profoundly connected; if you can move in space, why is it so difficult to digest the fact, that you can, and are, moving in time.

Past, present, and future coexist; it is unimaginably wrong to believe that the past has occurred and the future will occur, and we live in the present. We see a clock ticking, a meteor hitting the moon, a man running, at the same instant and define this as the present. However, motion affects time, and hence for every particle in the entire universe, time passes differently, and the present is different.

To understand this bizarre concept imagine an alien ten million light years away from you that is at rest just as you are – this is not possible since galaxies spin, planets orbit stars or black holes, and planets themselves spin, and all the velocity adds up to make your velocity at a point in spacetime, but assume that you are at rest with respect to each other and the universe for some time – then both of you are existing in the present. But, if the alien gets in motion then time will passes differently for it than it does for you, and hence it will no longer exist in your present. (Einstein explains this by asking the reader to think of spacetime as a loaf of bread. If you take a knife and cut it parallel to the square side you will have your ’now’ slice – your present slice – however if you get in motion, your now slice’s angle with respect to the alien’s now slice where both of you existed, will change.) Even though the angle made by the alien with our now slice is small, the distance between us is so enormous that in the alien’s present, Beethoven is finishing his fifth symphony. If the alien moves towards Earth, his now slice will point towards our future instead of the past.

Just the way you can move your telescope by a millimetre and see another star or galaxy, by gaining the smallest velocity, you can change your present slice by a copious amount and the time difference between your now slice when you were at rest and your now slice when you were in motion for an object far away from you will differ by the distance of the object from you.

Hawking proposed that if one follows our past light cone back in time, it will be bent by the matter in the early universe. The whole universe we observe is contained in a region whose boundaries shrink to zero at the Big Bang. This would be a singularity, a place where the density of matter would be infinite and classical relativity would break down, and since space had a beginning, time had a beginning.

The Theory of Everything?

In all my blogs I dumb things down to the level of a five year old. In this particular blog, I would like to present things the way they are. The way Stephen Hawking presented them in his books. I hope you understand this blog and marvel at the beauty of our reality.

Albert Einstein started the revolution in our understanding of modern physics and thus the entire universe when he proposed a simple idea about light propagating at a constant speed irrespective of the frame of reference, which is a system of geometric axes in relation to which measurements of size, position, or motion can be made. Einstein postulated that the laws of science should appear the same to all freely moving observers. Speed of light is independent of their motion and is the same in all directions. This required abandonment of the idea that there is a universal quantity called time that all clocks would measure. In essence, time depends of the velocity of an object with respect to the only static measurable quantity, the speed of light. This has been confirmed by a number of experiments including one in which two accurate clocks were flown in opposite directions around the world and returned showing very slightly different times. A simple method to explain this theory is that you imagine yourself in a spaceship travelling at 99.99999% the speed of light. This means that’s the speed you are moving at as well. If you walk in the spaceship in the direction of the spaceship, your velocity will add to the velocity the spaceship is travelling at and you will break the barrier of the speed limit. This is not possible because nothing can move faster than light. Thus, time for you will slow down and an observer in the ship will see you running in slow motion. (For those who do not understand, time gets introduced because of the formula of velocity is equivalent to displacement per unit time). This theory implied that everything is relative and there were no moral standards. 042617_EC_quantum-equivalence_main_FREE

However, it was inconsistent with newton’s law of gravity that stated that if one changed the distribution of matter in one region of space, the change in the gravitational field would be instantaneously experienced everywhere in the universe. (Our galaxy is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies and is 100,000 light years long) Because of the word instantaneous in the equation, universal time must exist. Moreover, how can this information travel through the fabric of space unimaginably faster than the universal speed limit set up by Einstein’s equations. He observed that anything in free fall experiences weightlessness and thus gravity and motion must be related. Thus the theory of relativity states that spacetime is a four dimensional house differential manifold on which a metric tensor is imposed that solves his field equations, and that metric tensor gives rise to geodesics, and objects that are not experiencing any other force, will move along the geodesics described by that metric. A British astronomer’s observation in West Africa of light of nearby star bending was the first proof of relativity. But, since matter warps spacetime in such a way that all matter should fall together, there must be some force that is not letting that happen. This pressure in the universe was represented by a cosmological constant in his equations. Other scientists worked on his equations and found that the universe was expanding faster and faster and everything came from a point, the Big Bang. The density of the density in the very easy stages of the Big Bang must have been trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion tons per centimetre cube and relativity would not allow such a point to expand due to tremendous gravitational pull. Time itself would distort so much that it would stop at such a point. This point, now commonly known as a singularity, is at the centre of every black hole, which is formed by the collapse of a massive star, that is at least twice the mass of our sun.

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Since Einstein’s theories were not in agreement to the theory of the atomic scale, the quantum theory, a new theory of everything was required. Kaluza was looking for a theory of everything as well. He thought to himself Einstein has been able to describe gravity in terms of warps and curves in space and time, maybe I can play the same game with the other known force known as the electromagnetic force, the only known force at that time other than gravity. Kaluza said maybe there are more dimensions in space other than the traditional three. He not only found Einsteins equations of relativity by adding dimensions, he found one more equation of the one more dimension, and when he looked at that equation, it was none other than the equation scientists had long known to describe electromagnetic force. Oscar Klein suggested that since there are no more ‘big’ dimensions left after spacetime, there must be smaller dimensions. One can go forward and backward when walking on a wire but an ant can go around the wire. This suggested the possibility of smaller dimensions that the one dimension we are aware of. The math did not work and the idea was forgotten. This strange but very compelling idea of how to unify the laws of physics faded away.

1200px-Calabi_yauSuperstring theory has nothing to do at first sight, but, it resurrects this idea in a sparkling new form. It is a theory that tries to answer the question what are the basic, fundamental, indivisible, uncuttable constituents making up everything in the world around us. String theory came in the picture when we looked deep inside the atom and found proton and neutrons. When we looked deeper into the sub-atomic particles we found quarks and leptons. Scientists came up with a theory that vibrating strings are the real fundamental unit of matter. When a violin is played, the same strings make different noises. Thus same strings can make different matter when vibrating differently. However the math was not able to predict the the mass of an electron, until, the calculations were done keeping 10 dimensions in them. This is because the geometry of ten dimensions allow the strings to vibrate the way the do, they can’t be ignored during the math when all we are trying to find is the mathematical model that describes our universe. There is not much importance of understanding ten dimensions, since we can only move in three dimensions. One should not waste much time trying to understand them. An experiment by the large hadron collider where the initial energy is less than the final energy is more than enough to prove extra dimensions, since the lost energy is sent in the other dimensions. Just the way you would find much less intensity of sound if measured on a 2 dimensional plane, instead of the entire intensity of sound in three dimensions. However, time as a dimension must be understood, I will try to explain it soon. For physicists ten dimensions become important since they help explain the various forces, and more importantly, the very particular fashion in which these strings vibrate, making the matter we observe. A very important application of superstring theory is that all the infinities like the infinite energy of the universe can be cancelled out. When a string vibrates in a particular manner, another string is formed which vibrates in the exact opposite manner. What would happen if two oppositely vibrating strings would meet? They would cancel each other out and annihilate. This explains antimatter and anti-energy, or as some some, negative energy. Antimatter behaves exactly opposite to matter. If gravity attracts matter, it will repel antimatter. Another important application is the multiverse. It was interesting that the 10 dimensions lead to a number of possible geometries. 100? 200? As of today there are 10^500 geometric possibilities of the way these can be arranged. Every possibility is equally likely and every Big Bang is a small part of many big bangs that keep happening simultaneously. It is very likely that our universe is just one of the 10^500 universes that we for sure know are possible. The arrangement of the dimensions allow mass of the electron to be x and mass of a quark to be y and forces to be z, etc. If anything was changed in the slightest fashion, our universe would have either collapsed on itself, or would have been completely different than the one we live in.

You now know why there exists infinite energy in the universe and there is no need to involve god into the equation. Innovation and discovery dies when god is born. Newton died believing that gravity existed because of god. If he would have not been poisoned by this, he might have given the world much more. (Although it was impossible for newton to do Einstein’s because the mathematical tools did not exist in his time and knowledge was very limited) This is why Stephen Hawking says god must die.

Hawking’s work deals with black holes and time; theories after string theory. There was the p brane theory that said a string is a p brane. p=1 brane is a string, 2 is a membrane/ surface, and so on. Accepting that strings make our universe is unfair to the other branes, since all of them give the same solutions to our equations of super gravity. String theory is good for explaining particle physics, but, not good for explaining something as huge as the curve in spacetime. For this we need supergravity and the shape of time. But, they deserve blogs of their own.

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A good note to end on at this moment is that we are very similar to monkeys, orbiting a very average star, on a very tiny planet (a picture of Earth and the Sun, from Saturn is given above to explain how tiny we really are), but, we can understand the universe, and that makes us extraordinarily special.

(This blog has been written after a thorough reading of “Universe in a Nutshell” by Dr. Stephen Hawking. Like always any corrections are welcome. Please email me at aceitbiz@gmail.com)

US Subprime Mortgage Crisis

(If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong)

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Introduction

In the year 2009-2010 the Indian government decided that it will give a huge fiscal stimulus to the Indian economy because all economies that were rising till 2007 fell down face first in 2008. We have all read in newspapers that something happened in 2007-2008 that not only crumpled USA’s economy but also severely and negatively impacted the emerging economies, especially ‘BRICS.’ The world economy has still not been able to recover from what happened in 2008. The Indian GDP Growth rate had gone up to 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5 and after that incident, fell down to 5/ 4.5 and is, majorly, rising now due to change in government determinants, not due to actual improvement in our situation. In this project I will provide an in- depth analysis of the subprime mortgage crises that will improve our understanding of the current situation in India and make us question an old saying, “greed is good” first coined in the movie Wall Street, which ironically, plays a major role in this crises and proves greed is anything but good. The principle (and problem) of economics is that human beings occupy a world of unlimited wants and limited means and the crisis is nothing else but a proof of the same.

I will proceed in the order given below because it is impossible to understand the crisis otherwise.

  • Important Definitions and Concepts
  • Housing Crisis Building
  • The Full Picture
  • Fallout and the Road ahead

1. Important Definitions and Concepts

(How is global business happening today? It is happening today due to an underlying skeleton called global financial system? A global financial system must constitute a system of-

  • Payments and receipts
  • Insurance
  • Information and markets)

1. Financial Globalisation:  The large scale flow of private capital across the world in the past 30 years aided by massive deregulation is called financial globalisation.

(Deregulation: Allowing large scale private capital flow. After 1980’s privates started moving money more than the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, known as the Bretton woods sisters.

Capitalism:  More and more private enterprises should be running the system and the government should play a role only in the background. )

Six Important developments came together:

A. Eclipsing of the Bretton Woods System

B. Deregulation of the Currency Markets

C. Domination of Private Capital Flows

D. Very poor Regulatory Frameworks

E. Domination of Wall Street’s/ NYSE’s Extreme Capitalism Model

F. Global Connectivity

2. Extreme Capitalism: A term used to denote the near total freedom enjoyed by Wall Street bankers and their massive greed, which directly lead to the 2008 US Housing Crisis.

3. Black Swan: As per Nassim Taleb, the author of the book ‘Black Swan’ famously known for predicting the crisis, “black swans” are highly unlikely events which turn out to be a reality. These are mostly negative in nature.

In a black swan situation, everyone agrees that an event can’t happen and hence put all their money in the other possible event. But as the unlikely event turns out to be a reality, the few people who invested in it take all their money and run home, while everyone else gets bankrupt. The US Subprime mortgage crisis is the purest example of it, but let us use an example we are all aware of to understand it – Everyone was sure that the Indian GDP Growth rate would rise in 2008 but the numbers told a different story. Many Schemes were announced because the government was sure that the money would keep coming in, but the dip in GDP growth was so destructive, that India had massive fiscal deficits instead of development! Now Modi government is facing a huge problem of actually increasing the GDP Growth rate and for that we need investment, but, we can’t invest in our own country due to lack of savings and others don’t want to invest due to lack of trust. That is why we are seeking aggressive campaigns to bring in foreign capital like Make in India Program. If the crisis had not happened, Kalam’s 2020 vision for India might have been a reality. This is the relation between the crisis and India.

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4. Wall Street and Real Street

Wall Street is the financial and investment world of the U.S. – largely centred in New York. Real Street is the actual economy where physical products are made and sold. An example of Real Street is a mobile company. Variation in stock prices of a mobile company like apple doesn’t affect the quality of an iPhone. The only connection between Wall Street and Real Street is that if apple sells more iPhones its stock price will increase and if it sells less iPhones its stock price will decrease. There should ideally be no other connection. But the extreme capitalism model of Wall Street caused a mixing of Wall Street and Real Street and this mixing caused the crisis. I explain this mixing in the next point.

5. Financial Contagion: It is a scenario where small shocks which initially affect a small part of the economy, spread to other financial sectors and countries, just like a medical disease. They destroy confidence. Imagine I have 1 crore rupees in cash. You can borrow from me but I have a rate of interest and will take a security. A man comes to me, takes 5 lakhs and gives me 5 or 10 lakh rupees worth of property papers. I am happy. Another man takes 10 lakh and gives me 10 or 15 lakh rupees worth of property papers. Many other people come and take money from me, give interest and property papers. But all these people give my money to someone else and those people give fake property documents in return. These people who gave fake property papers in return also loaned the money to some other people and got some fake and some real property papers. I have loaned 1 crore rupees, and my money is with people who are honest, somewhat honest or completely dishonest. Now RBI comes to me for an audit, checks my papers, is satisfied but calls my first borrower and informs that they are coming for an audit. RBI goes to my borrower, does an audit and realises that this person has got fake property papers in return of real money. Now those loans are declared NPAs (non performing assets) and therefore my loans are declared NPAs. People who have invested in my bank through the stock market get to know about this and a fear is implanted in their brain. An investor was going to invest 50 lakh in me but he got to know that my loans are duds, what will he or she do? NOT invest. THIS IS CREDIT CRISIS. Instead of me, he or she invests in gold or land and this is a spillover of a Wall Street problem into Real Street. Even if a genuine car company wants a loan from me now, wants to start a factory and give jobs to many people, I can’t give the loan because my investor fears that the loan will sink and my investor spreads this fear in others minds too. NOW NO ONE wants to invest! Credit Crisis.

Extra knowledge: ICICI bought a small CDO of 1000 crore (will explain CDO in 3rd major heading) from an investment bank which went under due to the crisis. 1000 crore is nothing for ICICI but people got so scared that if America’s investment bank can go under, ICICI can also go under and everyone wanted to pull money out of ICICI because if the bank goes bankrupt, the people would never see a penny of their money again! The situation got so bad that RBI had to intervene and say that ICICI WAS SAFE. The confidence was shattered due to financial contagion and almost caused a ‘run on the bank’ situation for ICICI!

6. Sub-Prime Mortgages: Loans given to less worthy individuals to buy homes, during the U.S. housing bubble of 2000s. These eventually bust the bubble in 2007.

7. Government Bailout: When a  large corporate which employed large numbers and was profitable – suddenly goes bust, the government doesn’t let it happen due to many social considerations. The financial help given to avoid the bust is called a bailout. This is called “too big to fail.”

Extra Knowledge: In 2007 Lehman Brothers, a huge global financial services firm was going under and the government let it go under. By the time they realised that they had made a huge mistake, it had caused a financial contagion. The banks started drowning. The government could give it a huge check and say, “don’t drown, take MY money.” But, this flies straight in the face of capitalism which states that government should only play a role in the background, so why would American government, one of the best examples of capitalism, bailout banks? Would the bank having 50,000 employees change anything for the government? Yes it would, because now the bank is “too big to fail.” So where does the money in the check given to the bank come from? From OUR taxes. This is not capitalism, this is communism!

8. Credit risk and liquidity risk: Credit risk is the risk of loss due to non payment of debt owed to an entity. Liquidity risk refers to a situation where an entity will have insufficient cash to meet its obligations. This can happen when the company’s products are no longer in demand. Liquidity risk affects credit risk.

Extra Knowledge: Kingfisher airlines had a value of 4000 crore. It needed a loan of 5-7l crore and banks easily gave loans because of their value. But, shortly after taking the loan their business decreased and hence their liquidity fell. Banks claimed Vijay Malya to be a good man, and that if is given time, will surely repay the loan. But as time passed the company’s situation worsened and banks asked Vijay Malya to sell everything he owns and give as much money back as he can, since the company was in no situation to repay the loan. But, he didn’t.  Banks named him a wilful defaulter; he will never get a loan from anywhere again. This is how liquidity risk or LR is connected to Credit risk or CR.

9. Collateralised Debt Obligations: A security backed by a diversified pool of debt obligations such as bongs, loans or home mortgages.

10. Credit Default Swap: A financial contract between a protection buyer and a protection seller. Thus, it is an insurance against default.

Companies can borrow money directly from the people instead of banks by issuing CDP or Corporate debt paper. TATA issues a corporate debt paper available advertisement in the newspaper. You can give TATA money and in return get bonds with a particular rate of interest. You know that TATA will repay you and TATA knows that it will be able to repay you. But, if it is a small company and is uncertain about paying you back, it will take insurance from a protection seller and become a protection buyer. As long as the protection buyer is paying premium to protection seller, the equation between them is balanced and everything runs smoothly. If the protection buyer’s company is unable to pay premium, the protection buyer has to give the entire bonds value to the protection buyer and that bond value will go to the people the company sold the bonds to. This is case of default.

11. Quantitative Easing: Large scale bond buying program run by a central bank to pump liquidity in the system and protect it from stalling.

I hope you remember the example I gave, where an honest car company wanted a loan and I was unable to provide the loan due to a stalled economy caused by lack of investor confidence. The central bank (or Federal Reserve in America) understands the problem that the Real Street can’t stall. So it can print currency and push it into the market to increase liquidity. But, this would decrease the value of the currency. So what the central bank does is that it buys bank bonds. The banks now have money and forward it to the people who need it and hence QE is very important for stalled economies. Since this crises U.S. has been buying $80b of bonds every single month.

A question to keep you interested in reading this project.

Why did the Indian stock market collapse when the Federal Reserve chairman announced the tapering of quantitative easing in 2014?

12. Leverage: Borrowing huge chunks of money to earn huge profits by scaling up deal sizes.

13. Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC): These are 2 giant American PSU’s created to develop secondary mortgage market in US.

Housing Crises Building

Many factors lead to the buildup.

  • The most common assumption was that housing prices would always rise and will never fall.
  • In 1999 the U.S. government passed Gramm – leach – Bliley Financial Modernisation Act.” It replaced the Glass – Steagall Act of 1933 and broke the boundaries between commercial banks, investment banks and investment companies. Insurance corporations genuinely assess risk and take premium accordingly, so how can they partner with banks? Commercial banks’ job is to assess collateral and only then give loan, so how can they partner with investment banks and insurance? Investment banks job is to take more and more risk, how can they partner with commercial banks and Insurance Corporation? If they partner, enumerable crimes can happen. That’s why they were separated right after the great depression of 1929. But after 1999, 3 combinations were made and the crisis’ making began. Commercial banks started doing insurance and started giving out as much insurance as possible and hence defaulters increased. Commercial banks + investment banks is the most dangerous combination! Commercial banks usually give long and very long term loans (Example: home loans extend to 20 years) while investment banks give money today and want a 20% return the very next day (that is their job). But, when they mix, investment banks will make CDO commercial banks’ papers, apply CDS on it and sell it across the world and no one will know where the bombs explode. I have just told you what happened in the crisis.

C. Break down of basic wisdom:

1. Always live within your means

2. Consume what you produce

3. You cannot borrow your way to prosperity.

D. Asian countries like China and Japan were exporting huge capital to the U.S.

CRISES

The Full Picture
Home buyers take loans from commercial banks.

Brokers get the deals done.
The homes are the collateral assets.
Mortgage papers remain with the commercial banks.

Big investment banks see the opportunity and are loaded with tons of leverage.
They buy the mortgage paper from commercial banks, and they turn them into
fancy CDOs.
The CDO is rated by a third party and 3 categories are made, named: safe, ok and
risky.

Investment banks get big insurance companies like AIG on board and AIG
promises to cover their losses if any family is unable to pay the debt.
AIG gets so many clients that it stops checking risk and gives insurance to every
single family.
Return-hungry investors like pension funds buy the safe slices of the CDO.
Okay and risky slices are sold to more risk taking players.
Rate of return on an investment is directly proportional to the risk.
It is a fantastic system and that’s why everyone wants more.
Hence, sub-prime lending starts. (Turning Point)
Finally, as loan takers start defaulting those homes are repossessed and are up for
sale in open market. Thus, liquidity risk begins.

As inventory piles up, prices start dropping.
Prime family home value falls, as many houses go up for sale and their loans are
greater than their home’s value, so they refuse to pay loans and give their homes
to the bank.

The prices fall further, the bubble is bust!
Many big names like Lehman brothers, Wachovia bank, Washington Mutual, go
bankrupt.
Panic Spreads.
Credit to normal business starts to suffer.

Hence, the credit crisis starts. (Real Street)
Because the CDOs were sold globally, the panic spreads globally.
Iceland goes bankrupt.
Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) which gave money to commercial
banks to give to families for home loans stopped profiling/ calculating risk and got
2-3% in return. Today half of the people involved are already in prison.
Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) believed their NPAs were 8 and 6
billion while they were $110 and $250 billion dollars respectively.
Both Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) needed bailout.
TARP is started (troubled assets relief program)
U.S. government starts fiscal stimulus program. (Tax relief, bailout, etc is fiscal
stimulus)
Federal Reserve starts quantitative easing to stop the recession.

Occupy Wall Street moment (2010) {99% vs. 1% movement} where people asked
the government why the 99% have to suffer due to the greedy 1%.

Fallout and the Road ahead
A. In 2005 an economist in U.S. called Raghuram Rajan announced the crisis.
B. Fortunately, other than a few like ICICI, Indian companies were left untouched
as they had not invested in the CDOs.
C. Capitalism as practiced in the U.S. took a serious beating.
D.  The government passed the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
Protection Act 2010 and reinforced the Glass – Stegall Act of 1933
E. There is enough for everyone’s need on this planet, but not enough for a single
man’s greed – Mahatma Gandhi
F. If the pension funds, mutual funds, sovereign funds, foreign investment banks
and hedge funds had not put pressure on American investment banks to make
more money, that pressure would have never been transferred to commercial
banks and brokers, everyone would still be making money today and the crisis
would have been avoided, but alas, Gandhiji was not born in America.

 

(Edited by Kaveri Deshpande)

A Game of Perspective

Will Smith said, “I used to be stupid when I was a kid, but there were no social media back then, hence, I was stupid in private.”
Unfortunately, young people like me can no longer be stupid in private. Here is a piece of my stupidity.

Some people become mature sooner than others, at least that is what I have always heard, but no one ever tells you what maturity really means, only a mature person can talk about maturity and what sort of mature person wastes his or her time talking about maturity. I, being as immature as one gets, believe that maturity is the power of controlling your mind. Once you control your mind, you can control your desires and your actions. But the thing is, people feel that only a certain set of desires and actions are of a mature person. So am I really mature when my mind tells me to do what people want me to do, just the way the minds of circus tigers ask their bodies to jump through burning hoops because people like it? Or am I mature when I tell my mind that I will do what makes me happy and there is not a damn thing you can do about it?

There was a time a few months ago when I started being quiet, starting setting my hair right, wearing clothes according to events, stopped laughing, etc. The weird thing is everyone I knew started calling me mature. It was nothing more than a simple experiment; I just wanted to know what it takes to make others think that you are mature. After a couple of weeks of doing all this and speaking only when been asked to, not smiling and laughing at all, a couple of people of all age groups came to me and said that I am very mature. So, by observation, an immature person is mature as long as he remains quiet and says something intelligent once in a while. But I wanted to make sure that my observation was correct. So I slowly became the opposite. I became outspoken, laughed unnecessarily and stopped setting my hair. You know what happened? The same people, who said I was mature, started saying I was immature on my face! It was extraordinary! People say you become more mature as you age, but I became 16 years old this October and people think I am much more immature than I used to be 4 months ago!

Now it is really funny that people will decide if you are mature or not by your ability to set your hair, dress up, be quiet in so called a ‘serious situation’ which is  every situation, including but not limited to breakfast, lunch, dinner, walking from one class to another, sitting in class, standing in a wedding, praying to god. This is just incredibly stupid! If the ‘me’ 4 months ago, would go to a temple and yell, hey dog, wadup, everyone there would say in their minds, if not out loud that I am immature. But if the same me goes to the temple and prays quietly with certain seriousness on my face, people would say this kid is so mature. This just makes no freaking sense!

The moral of this story is that people are stupid. They would judge for the most insignificant things and must not care about that. If you don’t believe me, do this temple/church thing and see the truth once and for all.

There is so much more going in your mind as a teenager, what do you want to be, are your grades good enough, will you ever get into your dream college, are you good looking, are you popular, do you have a single talent, where do you stand in the real world, do you have any skill, the list is endless. Frankly speaking, I know a lot of teenagers who have excellent grades, who stay in shape, who follow their passion, who are the best in whatever they do, and one thing common about all these people is that they don’t care what others think about them. They work hard and let their success speak on their behalf. They do not care about haters, they stay away from people who tell them they can’t be who they want to be, they separate themselves from those who do not work on themselves and that is why they are who they are.

I saw a beautiful image the other day where a jet black pinewood leaf was lying in the middle of thousands of brown leaves and the caption of the picture was, ‘being different can be a beautiful thing’. So do NOT change yourself due to others, but grind every day and be the best version of yourself because, there is nothing wrong in failing your math test as long as you are honestly doing math every day, there is nothing wrong in being fat, as long as you are honestly working out every day, there is nothing wrong in being unpopular as long as you are trying to make new friends every day and the list goes on and on and on. But one question you have to ask is, am I doing enough?

For me, working on myself is maturity, doing what I want to do is maturity, doing what makes me happy is maturity. For me, maturity is a relative term, specially used by fools and fanatics older than you to dominate you when they can’t otherwise. So never let what others think about you, make you sad. Grind hard enough to rise in your own eyes because THAT is beautiful.

(Edited by Kaveri Deshpande)

The Garden Of Earthly Delights

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This painting is called ’The garden Of Earthly Delights’. It was painted in 16th century by Hieronymus Bosch. The left most panel is god making Adam and Eve. There are birds and animals enjoying the magnificence of planet Earth. Everything is beautiful; everything is perfect! The middle panel is overpopulation. Humans mistreating animals, taking over, and trying to have everything (this part of the painting is called ‘Before the Flood’). The last panel is called ‘After the Flood’. Humans allowed the planet to die, the beauty is dead, the happiness is dead, nothing is left to enjoy. When Bosch painted this picture, he knew this would eventually happen. But I am sure he didn’t think it would happen as early as now!

The thing about me is that, I do not believe things until I see them with my very own eyes. One year ago, I did not believe in climate change. My very first blog was about global warming where I said, and I quote, “It is not happening”. My argument was simple, planet Earth’s temperature rises and decreases by 1 or 2 degrees, and it is one hundred percent normal. But the problem is that I was gullible enough back then to only study one side of the situation. I never researched why the global temperatures increased back then and why they are increasing right now! I never researched, in what time period did a degree temperature rise and how fast it is rising now. Today I am writing this blog as a believer, a terrified believer because the scariest thing about climate change is that the more I know, the more scared I am!

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News and politicians say satellite data shows no significant global temperature rising. The thing about politicians and news is that they play with words and we believe them. Why should we believe a scientist who came out of nowhere and not a news channel? It is only now that I understand that the news cares about their sponsors first, then the ratings, and THEN the truth.

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As far as politicians are concerned, here are a few facts. James Inhofe – chair of environment committee – gets $1,837,427 of fossil fuel money, Mary Landrieu gets $1,764,867, Paul Ryan gets $1,077,334, John Cornyn gets $2,979,856, Ted Cruz gets $2,286,673, Mitch McConnell gets $1,914,220 and ALL of them strongly deny climate change! They say things like – “are you willing to put at stake all the industries we have built along with the spirit of America because the global temperature has risen by half a percent or a milli percent?” Out of the 131 climate deniers in Congress, MOST are fuel funded! 38 deniers in the senate, ALL directly or indirectly fuel funded!

On the other hand there are scientists who have devoted their entire lives to this issue. They have proof, satellite data, years of research, graphs. But the general truth as of today is, money is the only thing that counts and everything else is abstract.

Michael Mann, a climate professor who has dedicated his entire life to climate change posted this graph. He got death threats; his family was threatened, while all he did was prove that we are causing the global climate change!
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In 1950, the first documentary on climate change was made to make people aware of their actions. If in 1950, a small step would have been made, everything would have been different today. The world population just 50 years ago was 2 billion and today, 50 years later, it is 7.2 billion!
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We have known about this problem from decades and decades. People have known about solar energy from decades. It is a fact that the sun gives us 1000 times the energy we use in a year, in a single day! But, big fossil fuel companies like Koch have bought lobbyists and media and have made a debate out of this issue! People still do not know if climate change is real, because who should they believe, Hollywood actors like Leonardo DiCaprio or the news channels?

In China, people wear masks to hide from deadly gases. To fight this issue, 9000 of the biggest factories have to give hourly data to the people about the gases released. If they abuse the govt. set limit, people can push for rights. Why can’t all countries take steps like China did? China has the world’s largest wind and solar companies too, and their goal now is to priorities wind and solar energy instead of coal. China is still heavily dependent on natural resources but is transitioning faster than anyone would have ever imagined.

India is the world’s third largest emitter, but there are still massive power outages and the biggest challenge is, that people do not have access to energy! 700 million household in India cook using biomass, 700 MILLION! That is TWICE the entire population of United States of America which is one of the world’s most populated countries! This year in 2016, there were many cities in India who received half the year’s rainfall in 5 hours! The suicide rate of farmers in India is a proof, and the reason they commit suicide is not because they cannot afford to pay rent anymore or repay loans, but because of the very reason that they cannot earn money; because, every year, the climate becomes more and more unpredictable.

As far as USA is concerned, one American uses 10 times the energy one Chinese uses, 36 times the energy an Indian uses and 61 times the energy a Nigerian uses. You will survive climate change, I will survive climate change, the rich will survive the first hit of climate change, but it is the poor who will not.

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But, temperature rise affects a lot more than sea levels and climate.
1 BILLION people depend on fish for their protein. Nothing else, only and only FISH! 50% coral reefs are gone in the last 30 years. 50% of all corals have been lost! You would not find a single living, swimming thing there. This is because oceans absorb about a third of CO2. They are a stabilising force in the climate. But the oceans can’t do its job fast enough due to the absurd amount of CO2 being released.
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One fact that most of us do not know is that all factories in the world combined, produce no smoke as compared to a rainforest fire. Trees store carbon dioxide in their leaves and trunk. When an entire rainforest is set on fire, it acts as a carbon bomb. The gases released by a volcano are negligible as compared to this. There are only 3 major rainforests left in the entire world. Only THREE. The first one is obviously Amazon; the other major forest is in Indonesia. But, big companies are setting hundreds of acres on fire every single day and are converting it into palm oil plantations. Indonesia is now the most corrupt country on this planet. Last year, during the wildfire in Indonesia, the gases produced daily were more than what the entire US economy produces in a year!
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In USA almost 47% land is used for agriculture and 70% of it is used to grow food for cattle. Cows eat as much as they can and when they open their mouth a huge amount of methane is released into the atmosphere. One molecule of methane does as much damage as 23 molecules of CO2.

 

A half lb beef burger does as much damage to the environment as running a car for 42 miles. Chicken requires a very, very, very small fraction of land compared to beef but so MANY animal rights are violated there, that it deserves an ENTIRE blog of its own! If a regular beef eater switches to chicken, the person will reduce his impact on the world by 80%!

The Gigafactory by Elon Musk is the first step towards a better future. He sees solar panels as transition to landline phones to cellular phones. He wants remote places to get rid of wires. This means the countries that never got the high tension wires can go straight towards cheap solar panels. But here is this exciting fact. The fact that shook me to the core. ONE HUNDRED GIGAFACTORIES ARE ENOUGH TO MAKE RENEWABLE SOLAR ENERGY THE ONLY SOURCE OF ENERGY PRODUCTION FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD! Tesla, Elon Musk’s car company, can make 100 giga factories one day; but what Elon Musk wants to know is that will companies bigger than Tesla ever help?
Once the world transitions to solar, the problem is mostly over. But will we ever be able to make 100 Gigafactories in time? It might take decades to make only 10 if Tesla does it alone, without any government support. It is a fact that global temperature change will cause damage worth hundreds of trillions of dollars while a 100 Gigafactories will cost 100 billion dollars. India has a forex of 380 billion dollars; it can easily get 100 Gigafactories for 100 billion dollars, while it only needs 5.
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The solution to reducing the speed of global climate change is Carbon tax. The more the price of a commodity, the less its consumption. By 2060, climate change will cost taxpayers 44 trillion USD. But, why would republicans agree to this right? Well one solution is a paradigm tax shift, so you reduce the payroll tax and make up for it by increasing the carbon tax. In fact, the system of Carbon tax was introduced by a republican who is now an economics professor at Harvard. So imagine how many people would prefer a diesel car if the carbon tax on it is 1000 dollars every year plus 50 cents per kilometre as compared to an electric car which will have no tax. But given the current political situation, politicians still claim climate change is not real. So will carbon tax ever be a reality?

Well, president Obama once was against gay marriage but when the public wanted gay marriage, he also wanted gay marriage. Basically when people want something, so do politicians. It is very important for people to know about climate change. Once that happens everyone will follow the same dream, which is to survive, with every animal and plant alive.

But what should people understand? I believe the answer is – the truth. So right now the world is 1.5 degrees hotter than it should be. Let me tell you step by step what happens at each degree increase and what will happen when the world becomes hotter. At 1 degree increase in the normal temperature, there’ll storms and hurricanes, like hurricane Matthew. At 2 degrees, all coral reefs will die. At 3-4 degrees, heat waves will make many places dead and inhabitable. Agriculture will collapse around the equator at 4 and we will be unable to feed most of the planet. 4 degree is also called the tipping point; at this point earth takes over, and becomes hotter by itself. The best example is Greenland. 10 years ago, Greenland was white because of pure snow. But now ice is turning brown and it has significantly reduced the reflection of sunlight. As the ice melts, the methane stuck as bubbles in ice is released and the planet becomes even hotter than it is right now. But problems will become so drastic at 5, 6, 7 and 8 degree increase, that food is the last thing you will think about. Forests will catch fire by themselves, all coastal cities will drown, all islands will disappear, all Antarctic species will go extinct, and water scarcity will cause countries to get into wars.
It is a fact that Arctic will disappear by 2040 even though the global temperature has just risen by 1.5 degree Celsius.

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Politicians like Donald Trump say we need global warming, it is freezing. There is a big misconception about climate change; people think everything will get hotter. But the truth is climate change causes places to cool up. New York will be so cold that life will not be possible there. Solar panels would be useless due to the clouds there, all water would freeze. I have no idea how bad things would get if a person who has no idea what climate change is, takes office.

The climate summit in Paris was a major chance for a paradigm shift. USA and China both had already agreed that they were producing copious amounts of greenhouse gases and it had to change. We all knew technology is a solution, because you wake up in Germany and see 2 million Germans are giving power to the grid by their very own solar panels, you wake up in Denmark, and 100% of the energy comes from wind. These countries now have free energy forever. Sweden’s prime minister announced that Sweden is going to be the world’s first fossil fuel free nation ever. But, you know what happened? The agreement was just like a nursery poem; everyone likes it but its utter nonsense. In the final agreement all the countries promised that they would do everything in their power to control climate change, but there was absolutely no sort of penalty or mention of carbon tax in the ENTIRE document!

Do we really think that countries are going to prioritise climate change ahead of war or ahead of poverty? Do we think a person would think about walking instead of taking an Uber because he is worried about the climate, do we think that people will do everything in their power to save their 5th or 10th generation?

I am a non believer. I don’t believe in god, I believe what I see and I believe in facts. Maybe I am gullible, but when I see with my own eyes, tens of thousands of acres of forest cleared, oil filled sand left behind, which can never grow anything again and can’t support the life of an insect, when I see people in Miami spending 400 million dollars to raise roads because of flooding roads on a moderately sunny day, when I see Florida banning the phrase climate change, when I see 6 months rainfall in 5 hours, when I see people not caring, I believe that planet Earth isn’t going anywhere, we are.

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(Edited by Kaveri Deshpande)

What the future holds

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.42.12 AMHomo Sapiens came to this planet 125,000 generation ago. Modern humans came around only 7500 generations ago. 20 generations ago we learnt sciences, internet came around one generation ago and only in the past 50 years we have lit the world at night, looked as far in the universe as possible, put people in tiny metal boxes in space, walked on the moon, beat countless diseases, and have truly dominated the world. Our lifestyle has only existed for 0.001% of human history, which means it has only existed for 0.0000000001% of planet earths history and we have already achieved so much. Knowledge of biology, chemistry, astronomy, followed by revolution like the industrial revolution have changed everything.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.50.22 AM

Just a century ago the idea of computers came around and now we have hand held devices which are more powerful than supercomputers a few decades ago. Just a few centuries ago we realized that we revolve around the sun and not vice versa and now with Hubble, we can look as far as the universe can expand. The list is very long. From a scale of 10 to the power minus 18 meters to 10 to the power 28 meters we have discovered everything. We have done all this in the past 100 years. It often makes us wonder what the future holds, what are the human limits, how far will we go, how long before science fiction becomes a reality?

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The answer to the question, “how long before science fiction becomes a reality?” is really much closer than we think. In movies we see human mutants with super strength, wings, gills, etc. We see interstellar travel. We see humans colonizing different planets. We see quantum computers, end of diseases, genetically modified babies, chips planted in head which eliminate the need to go to school for education and finally we see immortality.

Just a century ago if I would have told someone everyone would travel in tiny metal boxes with wheels and metallic cylinders that fly and we would all be connected by a virtual thing called the web, they would call me a witch and execute me. But the truth is that just the way all these things happened, a lot more is going to happen in the next 50 years. The problem with various blog posts is that they tell you what is going to happen but they do not tell you how all this will happen and this very fact makes us believe nothing will change. Today I will not only tell you what all will happen, I will tell you how it will happen.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.14.05 AMLet us begin with talking about energy. Today we are what is called a type one civilization. A type one civilization is able to use all of its planets natural resources to make energy. We are currently 0.73 on the scale and will very soon be a true type one civilization because of the advancements in nuclear energy research. But our goal is not to become a type 1 civilization. A modern civilization is a type 3 civilization which can use all of its home stars’ energy. This would require some serious science fiction but it is doable in theory by what is called a dyson sphere. A type 3 civilization can control its entire galaxy and its energy. An alien race this advance will probably be godlike to us. While we may become a type one civilization soon we are very far away from being a type three civilization.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.55.57 AM

Once we become a type one civilization and master nuclear fusion, interstellar travel may be possible. By expanding space behind a ship and contracting space in front of the ship negative mass can be created to overcome special theory of relativity and thereby breaking the limits of speed set by Einstein. The problem is that even though the math behind the Alcubierre drive or Alcubierre warp drive is valid, it may not have a physical meaning. Einsteins theories of relativity do not take into account quantum mechaics, if the theory of quantum gravity, which is combination of both the theories is true, then travelling back in time would become possible but it would make Alcubierre drive invalid. The math behind the drive is still true and is given below.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.35.49 AM

Well the truth is that we are limited to a hundred billionth of the observable universe no matter what. Even if we travel at the speed of light we will never be able to go beyond the local super cluster due to the expansion of the universe which is believed to be happening due to dark matter. The only possible way to go beyond this barrier is by becoming a type 3 civilization and bending space time.

If travelling faster than light is not possible, we might need to look into immortality or hibernation so that humans can survive the long trip to other planets in the milky way. We thus need to look into gene modification. Recently in 2015 the gene modification industry changed so significantly that experiments have taken place where cancer and HIV have been removed from a subjects’ body. Not only can gene modification give a subject immunity, it can give the subject super powers like immortality, super strength, gills, wings, 4 arms, etc. The shocking thing is that now all this is possible and it is no longer the future. Up till now gene modification has achieved a lot of great things. For example, tomatoes have longer shelf life due to it, we have been able to artificially create enzymes which can keep us immune and we no longer need to obtain them from plant organs, but CRISPR is not only going to make the next revolution possible, it is going to make it so cheap that anyone with a lab can do gene modification research. CRISPR can make all science fiction a reality today. But what is CRISPR?Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.55.14 AM

 

Bacteria and viruses have been at war since the dawn of time. Phages kill 40% of all bacteria in the ocean every day. They insert their own genetic code in bacteria and take over them by converting them into factories that make more phages. Bacteria tries to fight but the protection tools are too weak. If they survive they can activate their most powerful antivirus tool. After surviving the attack they save a part of the virus DNA in a DNA archive called CRISPR. When the virus attacks again the RNA makes a copy from the DNA archive and arms releases Cas9, a protein. The protein matches the DNA with every possible DNA it has in the archive, if there is a 100% match, it removes the virus DNA from the bacteria DNA so perfectly that in the biology field Cas9 is now called a DNA surgeon.

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The revolution began when scientists figured out CRISPR is programmable. You can just give it a copy of DNA you want to modify and put the system in a LIVING CELL. CRISPR can study the most complicated DNA sequences. CRISPR works for animals, plants, micro organisms and finally humans. In 2015 CRISPR was used to cut off HIV from patients in a lab. In 2016 a larger scale experiment was done on many rats at the same time. All rats had HIV in 99% of their cells. After vaccinating them with CRISPR the HIV reduced to half in all of the rats bodies. Cancer occurs when cells refuse to die. Immune system can’t find cancer cells easily. CRISPR can give them this ability. In a few decades, a kid with cancer might say, “Mom, it’s just cancer, I don’t want a vaccine.” The first CRISPR- Cancer human trials have been approved in US already. China has announced lung cancer trials this month, that is August 2016. CRISPR can end all diseases, including genetic, and hence make the human race immune to all diseases. Imagine, you could drink sewage water in time of crises and still be perfectly fine.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.30.23 AM

Coming to super babies, it has been done twice. There are children who technically have three parents. With CRISPR you can give children genes with super strength and also combine animal genes with their genes and create a completely new DNA.

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CRISPR can reverse aging or stop it by borrowing some genes from animals immune to aging like turritopsis nutricula. Biological aging might not even shock people a few decades later. All we need is someone to convince a smart billionaire who is investing in the future, for example in space travel and energy. Yes, obviously I am talking about Elon Musk.

 

As far as food scarcity is concerned, CRISPR can give humans the ability to make enough energy from once small meal, to survive for an entire day. CRISPR is a small revolution right now but it might speed up evolution. For all we know gene modification might make a type 1 civilization a type 3 civilizations.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.22.28 AM

 

Other than CRISPR, internet of things is now a reality. You can read my blog on that by pressing this link later – Link. Other than that basic quantum computer which work on superposition and qbits have already been built.  Neurons can now be controlled and hence networks programmed in our brains. We might not need to waste 25 years of our life to understand and learn everything. All we will need a few decades from now is a chip that can make networks in our brain. After that we will be able to download martial arts from the internet to our brains and then become experts when the installation is complete. All this might sound crazy but all this is happening.

 

Whatever your opinion is on all this, the future is approaching no matter what. What is insane science fiction, is about to become our new reality.