Arun Viswanathan

USC/ISI
Lake Forest, CA, United States

About Arun

Languages

English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil

Areas of Expertise

Computer Science

An idea worth spreading

Two ideas worth spreading:
Be the change you wish to see in the world - M. K. Gandhi

In this globalized age, I belong to the "Human" caste and "Humanity" is my only religion. -- Yours Truly

I'm passionate about

Computers, India, World, Our Climate, Making the World a better place for everyone by including everyone in the change that is sweeping the world.

Comments & conversations

56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 4 years ago
How do you nurture your online Aura?
Great question! I would define the "online aura" of a person as the perceptible traits and qualities reflected via the person's digital footprints in the form of profiles, comments, rankings, blog posts, tweets and social networking chats and messages. I would consider nurturing to mean two things: "guarding the aura" and "managing the aura". I feel that the technical aspects of privacy and security (well covered in previous comments) only help in guarding the aura from malicious tampering. As for managing it, I don't believe we can actually do it successfully, however hard we may try. After all, the online version is only a mere reflection of the person within. Any attempt to "manufacture" or "masquerade" the aura will only make the contradictions readily apparent to the observant eye.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Blaise Agüera y Arcas: Augmented-reality maps
@Paulius I think its better to have different entities rather than one large one. This helps to check monopoly, gives consumers a choice and aids faster innovation. It is better that opposing forces exist to maintain equilibrium in the society. Also, such a merger is very difficult to foresee for another reason. Companies are not only defined by their products but also their cultures. A big reason for Googles' fast success was their company culture which fostered innovation by design and not by chance. Microsoft on the other hand was purely focused for a long time on getting as much market share as possible. It is easy to merge companies but probably difficult to merge cultures.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Blaise Agüera y Arcas: Augmented-reality maps
Wow! This is neat stuff. This is photosynth++. Google has to now play catchup. Lots of potential good uses and equally bad ones for this technology. But that is the nature of any technology i guess. A gun by itself doesnt kill.... Anyways, I just tried using bing maps on my Linux machine with Firefox but alas the good stuff requires Silverlight to work! Doesnt work with the Moonlight extensions for Firefox.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure
Some speeches are just meant to be cherished for eternity! This is definitely one of them (along with the likes of Steve Jobs' Stanford commencement speech). There was so much wisdom conveyed with exceptional clarity and honesty in those 20 minutes! Nevertheless, 2 ideas that stood out for me were: "... personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes. " "... by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing "
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Ravin Agrawal: 10 young Indian artists to watch
Wow! Thanks a lot Ravin for this great introduction to contemporary Indian Art and Artists ! I guess (pardon my ignorance) this type of art is in a very nascent stage in India because it doesnt get that much mainstream media coverage. But i guess your 6minute talk on TED would have definitely provided a boost to further the art ! And thanks for listing out the names too ! Now time to ask Google some questions.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Vilayanur Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization
Insightful and brilliant talk again! His first talk on TED about curing the Phantom limb phenomenon with a mirror and a box blew me away. This technique was also used in one of the episodes of 'House' (Season 6 Episode 3). Ofcourse that episode shows as if the treatment happens quickly but in reality it takes time. In this talk, i liked his conclusion about the meeting of Science and Humanities. Maybe in the near (scifi) future we will have "mirror-neuron based social networks". So instead of communicating via Facebook, i will use my "computer controlled mirror-neuron interface" to relay my thoughts and emotions directly to my friends. On a lighter note, I wont be surprised if there is a crime / espionage thriller (maybe already in the making) based on the torture potential of mirror neurons.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story
Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant Talk! Carries a great lesson for everyone of us to understand 'both sides of a coin' before we make up our mind. This talk touches upon a similar theme presented by Devdutt Patnaik at TedIndia titled 'East vs. West: The myths that mystify'. Devdutt, using the lens of mythology, explained why it was important for people to understand the 'subjective truths' that shape the other persons world views, in order to communicate better with them. Combining both of these talks, the lessons are as follows for people communicating across boundaries (geographical, religious, political, cultural, etc. etc.) : 1. Try to understand the ' subjective world ' the other person comes from. 2. But do NOT use just a single story to understand 'his world'.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Charles Anderson: Dragonflies that fly across oceans
@Prakarsh You must watch the BBC Series 'Planet Earth' which also covers how weather changes are affecting different species at various places. The fact is that their existence is tuned to the weather and the food-chain above them thrives on this regularity. Just consider what will happen to the birds if the dragonflies stop their seasonal migration. So, there is a very intricate dependency and something that cannot be changed as fast as the changing weather. Ofcourse, the great promise of life is that it will again rise up but there will be a cost to pay immediately. @James Prakarsh' point on airplane design is actually very valid. There are companies that design lights for airplanes to prevent this kind of problem. For instance, i know of this company called Precise Flight (http://preciseflight.com/) which is into that sort of a business. They came into prominence after the Hudson river incident.
56532
Arun Viswanathan
Posted over 5 years ago
Charles Anderson: Dragonflies that fly across oceans
Brilliant ! There is just so much to learn from these little and amazing co-habitants of our planet. Its amazing how life at all levels of the food-chain (below ours) works. My takeaway from this talk is that it shows how the existence of these insects and the birds that depend on them depends so intricately on the seasons and even minor changes could potentially disrupt their existence. As an "Intelligent" species, people debating in Copenhagen should take a note of this and make sure we let these amazing creatures carry on peacefully!