The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

About

with 20 comments

This “blog” started as an attempt to archive various random bits of information that I was sure I would forget, but at some point I started using it to dump links and do other things as well, occasionally even write what might be considered a blog post.

[My (temporary) webpage.]

Written by S

Wed, 2006-09-13 at 09:41:55 +05:30

20 Responses

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  1. I find google notebook to be pretty useful. Convenient since you can right-click anywhere on the Internet, but limited since you can’t write a blog-long description.

    vince

    Tue, 2007-03-13 at 05:07:08 +05:30

  2. not true, google notebook is indeed the next best option to a full fledged blog..or may be you cold try having a tumble log if you fancy that impulse type blogging…:)

    i like your blog, keep the content flowing :D

    sindhu

    Tue, 2007-07-17 at 21:44:38 +05:30

  3. i agree.. wordpress is a better content management system for any sort of content – long, short, whatever.

    wanderlust

    Tue, 2008-06-24 at 11:40:27 +05:30

  4. Your blog has increased my interest in maths a lil bit. Which college are/were you from?

    Piyush

    Tue, 2009-03-10 at 17:30:48 +05:30

    • Thank you, that feels really great to hear! I did my B.Sc. from Chennai Mathematical Institute. Before that I was in Bangalore, and now I’m somewhere else. What about you? What about mathematics interests you?

      Shreevatsa

      Tue, 2009-03-10 at 22:28:49 +05:30

  5. this – “(constrained as I was by the fact that I have no money to buy hosting :-))” reminded me of this: http://xkcd.com/541/

    RukmaniRam

    Mon, 2009-10-26 at 14:28:28 +05:30

  6. […] The idea of using a blog to deal with the information overload of our times is from here. […]

  7. hey, nice to see you and your blog is really informative and good.

    arjun

    Thu, 2010-06-10 at 02:09:15 +05:30

    • Thanks, nice to see you too. I don’t intend it to be informative or good; that could set a bad precedent. ;-)

      S

      Thu, 2010-06-10 at 10:40:48 +05:30

  8. btw, hi :) long time! where are you, what’s your gmail address? I’ll be at CMU doing my PhD from next month onwards…had met up with preyas, kshitij, arnie n rahul quite a bit in NY, and with Madhavan sir in chennai. do drop me an email with your contact – thanks :)

    Aaditya Ramdas

    Thu, 2010-07-22 at 05:19:00 +05:30

  9. thank you for this blog :)

    C'est moi Robyn

    Thu, 2011-04-21 at 21:39:14 +05:30

  10. good job good white paper
    Thanks by Rome (IT)

    Anonymous

    Mon, 2011-08-01 at 19:44:51 +05:30

  11. Hello,

    Just one question.

    You are like Howard Roark, just way cooler. Are you for REAL?!

    Sincerely,
    Awestruck fellow Indian.

    Anudeep

    Fri, 2013-06-07 at 22:25:01 +05:30

    • Well, just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me. I’m glad to have seen that one SO answer that brought me here! Keep doing great things. Ciao.

      Anudeep

      Fri, 2013-06-07 at 22:33:17 +05:30

  12. Dear Shreevatsa ,

    I saw your quora post quoted by Vishwas Vasukeya saying the agastya samhita mention of batteries is a hoax.

    Ayyo, if true I am guilty of propagating the hoax on twitter and among my Samskrita Bharati friends. I have mentioned it in few speeches at school functions.

    I would be grateful if you can email and share more info. On how did you confirm this.

    sudarshanhs

    Sat, 2014-12-13 at 05:50:46 +05:30

    • Hi, I don’t remember now unfortunately, but I remember searching for the text of the Agastya Samhita, and that quote was not present in it. Or maybe I searched for the quote and couldn’t find it in any text.

      A general rule of thumb is that when a factoid appears without context, it is a sign to be cautious. What is the surrounding text around this quote? What does the rest of the alleged work discuss? In what context did the authors come up with it? Are there commentaries on this work? To what use was it put to by later society?

      In this particular case, the idea of a battery: nowhere, even in the descriptions of opulence by Bana, Dandin or Magha, or even the fantastical science-fiction of Bhoja, is there anything resembling a battery-operated device.

      For example if someone says that the Vedic Shulba sutras contain an approximation of √2, then the surrounding context shows why this is plausible: in the context of discussing various brick-altar constructions, there is a description of how to double the area of a square. And it is still in use. If someone says that Hemachandra etc. described the Fibonacci numbers centuries before, then the context makes it clear: there is a well-established tradition of solving problems of enumeration among the prosodists; the Fibonacci numbers show up naturally as the solution to a well-motivated problem, etc. And the solution is dicussed in commentaries.

      In general, the meme of “lost technology” is overstated. Arts and skills and ideas can fade away, but material innovations clearly useful to everyone do not tend to perish.

      S

      Sun, 2014-12-14 at 00:33:29 +05:30


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