Personal Notes On Reading List [Unofficial]

Richard Feynman

  • Lectures on Physics 
  • QED
  • Lectures on computation
Neil Gershenfeld
  • Nature of mathematical modeling
  • Physics of information technology
  • When things start to think
  • FAB
Roger Penrose
  • The road to reality
  • The emperor’s new mind
  • The shadows of the mind
Nikola Tesla
John Maynard Keynes

US Immigration Reform

Immigration reform should have positive impact on the American Economy.


More tax from legalized immigrants (currently undocumented).

More “Brains”: bright foreign born students with American Education and Smart Entrepreneurs joining the American economy (rather than leaving for his / her emerging country). 
We surely don’t want foreign born students to leave our country once they are done with their Engineering or PhD degrees.

As is evident from FWD.US, high tech companies enthusiastically support the immigration reform. They want to turn more of smart foreign Engineers into American Engineers.

Statistics reflect the motivation that is driving the high tech companies.
In 2010, Asian Americans became the majority of tech workforce in the valley for the first time, making up 50.1 percent [1].
One third of the startups in Silicon Valley are founded by Indian Americans [1].

America is a land of immigrants. 
After Christopher Columbus discovered America in the late 15th Century, the Spanish, the English, the Irish, the Germans and others crossed the Atlantic and settled in this vast land endowed with natural resources.

Our immigrants have added to the diversity and to the economy, won awards and prizes for us, brought about changes for good and made us proud.

Moreover, immigrants bring new views, new perspectives from which to look at things we got used to.

But we gotta be careful about Border security.



References
  1. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Print Edition, June 9 – June 22, 2014
  2. Tech Immigrants: A Map of Silicon Valley’s Imported Talent (BusinessWeek) 
  3. FWD.US 

The Exclusivity of The Title Of "The Greatest Living Physicist Of His Time"

Galileo, “the greatest living Physicist of his time” died in 1642.
Sir Isaac Newton “the greatest living Physicist of his time” was born in 1642 (Christmas morning; December 25).
John Clark Maxwell, “the greatest living Physicist of his Time”, died in 1879.
But 1879 happened to be the birth year of another “the greatest living Physicist of his time” – Albert Einstein.
If the physicists lived during the same time period then one of them had to lose the title of being “the greatest living Physicist of his time” to another.
By definition. only one can hold the prestige of being known as the “the greatest living Physicist of his time”.
Clearly, the four greatest Physicists had other ideas!

So they chose not to be alive during the same time!
And our realization is that the title of “the greatest living Physicist of his time” is indeed an exclusive title!

Reflections On America [7.31.14]

  • Data driven sentencing and parole: analyze the merits. The financial industry has chosen data driven methods for finding frauds and determining whom to give loans. How effective are data driven methods in case of sentencing and deciding cases of parole?
  • Besides initiatives in the border, working closely with the governments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to help sort out difficulties that force children to leave these countries. High rates of homicides have been observed in these countries. Helping the countries fight crime would in turn reduce drug trafficking to US. So called central American Drug lords supply drugs to US drug dealers produced in South America.
  • Making life easier for small businesses: sometimes tax cuts are not enough to lure small businesses into a state. Small businesses want hassle free ways of conducting businesses more than anything else. Always having to collect and present information to the government makes the practice of businesses frustrating. What is required is an online platform that makes it easier for governments to collect regulatory information of small businesses (tax payment information, employee information,e.g., whether employees are licensed etc.) and makes life hassle free for small businesses.

Notes On US Policy & Laws Reform

Government & Policy : US Policy & Laws Reform [July 30, 2014]
I shall work on reforming “US National Policies and Laws” including the following:
#21stCenturyRenaissance

1. Regulatory laws for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), popularly known as “Drones”.

2. FDA drug approval process reform

3. Reformulation of patent laws

4. Formulation of digital “Privacy” laws

5. Corporate Tax law reform.

  • Formulate Regulatory laws for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), popularly known as “Drones”.
  • FDA drug approval [reformulation of policy and “the process” of drug approval. Currently, it takes 10 years and more than a billion dollar on average for a drug to get FDA approval. The process is proving outdated as we move towards molecular medicine and computational medicine. Currently, the only alternative: CDC authorizing drugs produced in foreign countries in an event of outbreak of epidemic.]
  • Reformulation of patent laws [Currently, very inefficient; shouldn’t be so in the age of Google patent search and other information technology based tools] [reformulation of software patent laws; software patents describe what a software does rather than the code behind the functionality; that’s like “I have invented how to cook, so no one else can invent any machine for cooking without paying me fees” – not technology, but a whole process] [reformulation of biotech patent laws; laws for patenting genes – is it good or bad when you take all the factors into account?]
  • Formulation of digital “Privacy” laws [that are good for all the parties involved, that balance both individual privacy and national security concerns.] [As “internet of things” develops, we have intruders in our houses as part of “smart homes” collecting information on our private lives. On the other hand, they make our lives a lot better. What privacy policies should we formulate for these and other digital intruders?]

.

  • Corporate Tax law reform.

Personal Notes On Politics (1)

The need for a new kind of political party

  • New political and economic ideology suitable for the 21st century. Not leaving everything to the market as the rights preach nor complete central control. Competition is good but can’t solve all the social problems that we face. And more importantly, leaving everything to the market has done little to reduce inequality.
  • Peer progressives [1]. Citizens and officials working collaboratively to get things done, taking advantage of advanced communication technologies. More participatory form of democracy. More like ancient Greek city governments, suddenly made possible by new technologies. Currently, citizens cast vote every few years and that’s it and then everything is upto the officials.
  • Current political system has given rise to something as useless as campaign, where millions of dollars are spent without any improvements in the lives of citizens. Election campaign is a byproduct of politics; it has nothing to do with the sole goals of politics.
  • Political parties that are much more connected across the country, with national agendas. Currently, US political parties are more state centered, very much decentralized, apart from presidential elections.
  • Political parties that connect the nation together, that contain the spirit of American people. Parties that have a unified vision for the nation. When we look at a country like South Korea, we find that they have national agendas, goals they want to reach by a certain time period. US doesn’t have much of a parallel, because we have preferred small and decentralized governments and leaving most to the market. We fund some of the initiatives, like the Obama brain project or the national nanotechnology initiative, but not much of national agendas.
  • By virtue of our decentralized political parties, we have enjoyed stable democracy. The parties are not centrally coordinated and hence can’t initiate a country wide movement and thus topple a government.
  • Decentralized political parties also mean members of the Congress can express their own opinions or the opinions of the people they represent. In centralized political parties there is pressure on the members of the legislative division to represent their party’s views and agendas.
  • Parties whose members work towards serving people and the nation. Parties that say No to wasting millions of dollars in campaigns and getting more involved in ‘politics’ rather than serving people and nation.

Other ideas on politics and government

  • Management information system makes businesses work better. Government information systems make governments work better.
  • Bureaucrats applying management principles.
  • Governments (say city government) as “platforms”, on top of which people and companies build or offer “services”. Just as the iPhone in your pocket is a “platform” on top of which app developers offer apps as “services” (or the BlackBerry if you are President Obama!).
  • Politicians work to introduce new policies. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t. Technologists introduce new technologies. Technologies solve problems. People who work on social change also aim at solving problems. Social change bring about changes in culture, in values that people hold. Inspiring people, soaring the spirits of people can bring about social change. But what happens when you combine Policy, Technology and Social change together towards a goal? That should have the highest possible impact for the better. And that’s what I am going to introduce!
  • Imagine what would happen if we could introduce new health care policies and new Biomedical technologies, drugs, treatments and Social movements that encourage people to make better lifestyle choices- all at the same time and that work together as a bigger whole. Wouldn’t that revolutionize US healthcare? 
  • In the past 20 or so years we have seen technologies eating middle class jobs. As an instance, because now we can buy our airways tickets from the comfort of our homes, thanks to the internet, travel agencies are going out of business. From the emergence of Robots, Google self driving car, Baxter and Watson, it seems likely that lower end jobs and jobs that require intellectual capabilities and expertise are both next in line for automation. And once technologies start eating a lot of jobs, social security net, social welfare programs are going to become more important. We are not there yet, but we can prepare ourselves for the future that is surely to arrive sooner or later. Small governments don’t seem to be the future that we are heading towards.
References

On Evolution Of Physics: From Newton’s time all the way to 20th Century

Isaac Newton (Second half of the 17th Century)

  • Mechanics and Gravity
  • Properties of Solids (e.g., Elasticity), Liquids, Gases
  • Thermodynamics
  • Sound and Wave
  • Properties of Light
James Clark Maxwell (19th century)
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnetic Waves
Late 19th and early 20th Century
  • Statistical Mechanics
First half of the 20th Century
  • Theory of Relativity (Special and General)
  • Atomic Theory
  • Quantum Theory, Quantum Field Theory (Paul Dirac), Quantum Electrodynamics (Richard Feynman)
  • Nuclear Physics
Second half of the 20th Century
  • High Energy Physics
  • Cosmology and Astrophysics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Quantum Information Theory

Personal Notes On Economics – 3 (Unofficial)

  • Price elasticity of demand / supply
  1. Current: formula for price elasticity ‘at a certain price point’ (works only if price elasticity of demand / supply is linear).
  2. Research: more realistic models. Differential equations. Non linear equations. From graph.
  • Free market proponents want to leave all forms of innovation to markets. But it seems that the best models for creation of “infrastructural foundations” for new knowledge and innovations (the basic research on top of which market builds products) are
  1. Government funding (not patented by any one company) and
  2. Large scale collaboration enabled by the Internet in the “open source” model (no patents)
  • The internet came out of research in DARPA ( a government organization) but internet applications were developed by the market.
  • Linux and Wikipedia were developed by no one company but by the world wide collaboration that the web enables in an open source model. But IBM, Google and other companies rely on Linux and Wikipedia (Google’s knowledge graph was extracted largely from Wikipedia through Freebase) for their operations.
  • Long term investments are required for fundamental innovations (infrastructure for future innovations). Markets look for immediate revenue and invest in short term projects. Sometimes, patent restrictions hamper innovations.
  • A third new model is through investments made by techno-philanthropists (e.g., Allen brain institute of Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen – the generated data is made open to all). Computers and internet have given rise to a new class of billionaires ready to invest in moonshot projects.