A day at Santa Fe

Continuing the drive from Carlsbad, New Mexico, we drove to Santa Fe. There isn’t much to do in Santa Fe. The drive is perfect. And the drive to Albuquerque is full of great hikes.

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Infinite network timeouts in Java and Go

Java made a huge mistake of having no network timeouts. A network request can block a thread forever. Even Python did the same. The language designers should have chosen some conservative appropriate numbers instead.

What’s surprising is that the Go language repeated it!  Here’s a simple demo

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The five different ways to pronounce the name “Chavez”

Latin script is the most recognized script in the world today. Most western European languages, including some widely spoken ones like English, Spanish, and French use the same script with minor differences. The pronunciation variation, however, is a different matter altogether. Nothing illustrates it better than the popular Spanish last name Chavez. The name has three syllables. And is pronounced in 5 different ways! Read More

The Bed of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Bed of Procrustes is a short book consisting of quotes by Taleb. Unlike his other books, this book is mostly a collection of quotes. Procrustes used to stretch/amputate his guests who won’t fit on his bed. Similarly, when our minds need to reduce information, we are more likely to try to squeeze a phenomenon into the Procrustean bed of a crisp and known category (amputating the unknown), rather than suspend categorization, and make it tangible. That’s the central theme of this book.

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A day in Phoenix Arizona

We started with the Wrigley’s Mansion. The mansion of the famous Wrigley’s chewing gum. The self-guided tour is free. And the paid tour costs 17$. Then head to Roosevelt street, the downtown area of Phoenix. There are lots of eateries and art galleries here. I would highly recommend having lunch here.

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Why Indian Passport remains weak

Indian passport remains weak, as per Henley’s 2021 index, India has visa-free access to only 59 countries and that obviously excludes the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Schengen zone.

Before ruminating on that, it is worth asking, why China, which is 5 times richer than India in terms of per capita GDP is not doing significantly better either. The island countries of the Caribbean with a population of less than a million have better access than China. Even war-torn Venezuela has a better passport including visa-free access to western Europe.

I believe that there are two dominating factors that decide the power of a country’s passport. First, how rich is the country. And second, how big is its population.

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