Sunday, December 18, 2005

The science of Lance Armstrong

So Team Discovery did put up their show on the discovery channel! I watched it this weekend, where Lance speaks about his harsh chemo, the endurance training and how his love for the bike only grew with time. I was indeed lucky to see Dr. Craig Nicholas, Lance's oncologist speak of the journey back to life. With a grim hope of less than 40%, Lance's victorious emergence from cancer has indeed brought light to millions. The beauty of Lance's spirit is the natural atletism and the natural sportmanship of life. Fighting cancer, he says, was the toughest race he's won. One of the few people I've read or heard about, who view pain as the mechanism to greater strength...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Not really been as silent as my blog...

I've been away and silent; been occupied in all that life can offer... I can quite say, I've re-lived all of my past of toddlerhood to teenage tantrums to adult complacence these three weeks. I even swapped my sleep-work hours, only to realize how the night is not just for the devil, but even sweet little humans wanting to wriggle away from the monotonicity of the day, or plain my own dislike of the noon-energy. Thankfully, I'm not a born a machine where humans would experiment ways to have me solar-driven...

I had fun too. What I spoke about above can be categorized as the adult-complacence I have sunk into, where I can, but don't wish to adjust to flock of different feather. A stage of complacence where I shamelessly boast of my weaknesses as the uniqueness I can be loved for. Toddlerhood, because I really cried to get what I want.

My silly devil's workshop of a blog: had some intermediate posts I wished to publish, but changed my mind a zillion times inbetween. The "flintoff post" before this one, is one such impulse. I do wish to write more about the man, who is the now Ian Botham of cricket. England loves him for several reasons, but I guess above all for the fact that he belongs with them, and isn't a soccer man playing for madrid.

And I had a killer time learning new domains at work. All this while, I have been in the far-end of chip design where I ran tools to ensure that circuit resistance-capacitances didn't delay signals from reaching their destinations on time, and if circuit lines were reliable enough to not break had they been in Antartica or the Sahara. Now, I am doing work on simulators that test if a circuit behaves functionally right, and if the boolean functions in your circuit are in accordance with theory. This new experience has really filled up the many pieces of my learning jigsaw. And it really gets me closer to comprehending the field of AI, and how Roger Penrose cannot be more right when he says that wires and switches, however complex cannot add up to the human mind...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Gemini moon

This is neither about the moon nor the spacecraft that initiated the moon missions; this is my moon sign. I do not whole-heartedly believe in the occult sciences, but can't help relating with the bahaviour the moon signs instigate. Having the sun in Sagittarius and moon in gemini is no easy game for the poor human trapped under their influence (rather conflict). And the most wicked facet of the combination is the incomprehensibility of pure black and white, but an abundance of shades of gray. No wonder I chose computer science, probably the only wise decision I've taken my entire life :)

Astrology claims that the moon controls the subconcious mind; like when I'm awake and in the real world I'm a sagittarian, but I dream like a gemini. Or I set goals like a sagittarian, but work towards them like a gemini. It is said that gemini creates mental conflicts, and I guess reading Tao would probably be the only way out of them. While thoughts flow like a whole bunch of paradoxes to me, the fiery sagittarian in me rebels. Am I my own worst enemy :(

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Nature's fury - hidden meanings of evolution or devolution

No animal succumbs to nature fury; be it a quake, a volcano or a tsunami. They have a hidden sense that warns them of impending danger. As humans, we lack this gift that animals solely posess. Does it mean we succumb to any natural fury, by relying on plain hopes that disasters won't stike. We've gotten onto space satellites that forcast sunchine and rain, but we still are victims of lethal hurricanes.

I think nature has a hidden meaning for the so-called technologically advanced human race. We cannot be immortal, but we all deserve a fair chance to live the life of childhood, youth and some middle age in the least. A whole generation being wiped out is not something we should gape at and stay still in helpless shock. We should get our act together, and work towards understanding the very nature of the planet. If we can forcast a storm, why can't we an earthquake? Is there absolutely no sign in the grounds below or the heavens above to warn us of impending disaster?

Had we produced seismologists in the same measure as engineers working on chips or banking software, we'd sure be no easy prey to death. Even a conservative prediction should suffice as a first step, as the key lies only in understanding the limitations of our race, and working towards getting ourselves a fair share of life (of course, not counting those who like suicide). Why do we come up with "How an earthquake occurs, or how a tsunami occurs" theories only in the aftermath of the disaster? Is that all siesmologits work on; to only then look into the faults of earth plates in the area of disaster? Does nature have to remind us in such a brutal manner to gear in these domains?

We got to gear in all domains of research - seismology, nanotechnology, space, medicine, literature, music and sport to earn ourselves a life we would appreciate and value. If we cannot read nature by instinct like an animal, we got to learn to read her language, just as we learn to swim or fly an airjet. And our first step lies in getting ourselves economically balanced in all sectors. What we dream as children or young adults should never be let down due to economic or social restrictions. Only winning a degree to earn a scale higher or for a fake boost of ego, will get us not a miniscule closer to the ultimate growth of our species. A siesmologist working on technology that would save lives from natural disasters and a primary school teacher building childrens' dreams should command as much as the state or business leaders do.

The choice is ours - either we succumb to nature as the dinosaurs did or we work towards evolving into something higher as the Neanderthal men did! To evolve, the key lies in tapping our limitations. As in Richard Bach's book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", the seagull with shallow skills of flying, learned hard to overcome his limitations, and became a magnificent seagull flying hundreds of metres higher than he or his race ever could. This so inspired his friends, and it was then that the seagulls evolved into elegant beings flying high! It is all upto us as a race to be on the verge or on the edge of change.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

On successful failures...

Sometimes, failure can evoke bigger success than success itself. I think its all a matter of perception. You don't achieve your goal; you say you’ve failed. But there may be a thousand other milestones you may have crossed, and another thousand you may have set in the wondrous journey.

The fancy of only successful successes is indeed an epitome of perfection. But what about failures, that have had really nothing to lose, but have something very valuable to inspire? You learn a note or two a day; big notes in comparison with what you set, you win.

To me, the following events are striking examples in the paradox of successful failures:

  • Apollo 13 - the biggest example
    Going to the moon on a thorough, reliable engine is no bigger success than the identification and fix of a failure in a craft almost orbiting the moon. Resisting the temptation to land on the moon, even after seeing their landing site and knowing quite well, that the landing per-se would be no problem, they looked for ways to fuel and drive their way back!

  • Abhimanyu – from mythology, yet an example of immeasurable valour and grit!

Monday, September 19, 2005

The human, the machine and knowledge!

Artificial intelligence is a mix of understandable domains, yet very misunderstood as a unit. It involves both knowledge and intelligence, management and skill. It is a program expected to behave like both a human being, and a greased machine. I guess, the key to understanding intelligence is to gather the corners of knowledge, and then the minds orients itself in a maze, it truly understands and contributes to. So, in my opinion Knowledge Management plays a key role in digging out creativity, in assembling facts and intelligence.

A friend of mine, owns this blog with ideas that give us the edge in understanding knowledge!

Monday, September 12, 2005

The A-Train and the Federer-Express!

...a match of a lifetime indeed! Not a victory of might over right, not one of plain top seeds of the same era who fight each other each grand slam final and retire as contemporaries, but one of a legend and an artist! Both had something to show the world - timeless skill and unstoppable magic.

Being an ardent Federer fan myself, I hoped for a change this US Open final. The second set was a treat to watch with Agassi's return of serve proving to be the best, tennis has ever had! I think Federer has a genie hidden is his pocket, that grants him three wishes a day, and he uses them at sets he wishes to win in the match :)

An entralling watch indeed - of a timeless champion, and the other an unstoppable genius; one where I could at no point take sides, but admire how lucky the game of tennis must be to have such a match-up of grit and valour to glorify it!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Agassi again!

The man makes his opponent dance across the court, not with pleasure, but pain. Ginepri, with both his bicep and speed, was no match to Agassi's skill in the game. Ginepri is very instantaneous, spontaneous, that are both his advantage and let down. For Ginepri, nothing is more frustrating than to have all it takes and have no chance to flaunt it! For a five setter, be it on a day when lady luck sees you or not, it is all about how you pull off your winners in the decider games. And Agassi has done just that!

With Ginepri: 4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6
With Blake: 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6
With Malisse: 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 6-2

He sure has a mid-match plot that gives a speedster a run for his match!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Independence and responsibility

Independence and responsibility are two opposite human values, both cherished with equal fortitude and looked upon with awe. There have been heroes personifying either of these values with integrity in both fiction and life - Howard Roark for independence and Batman for responsibility :)

I have so often fallen into the trap of these values, and found myself in a mental conflict, on what to stand by. If I were the only human being on the planet, and if humans were not really "social animals", as anthropologists put it, I would innately cling to the value of independence. I would probably like responsibility to spring from independence. The only ones who would have responsibility truly "innate", are those with super powers like Superman (who by the way, was from Krypton, and should not really be a part of our discussion). Born unique, and a step ahead of the comman man, Superman or Batman can beget other values with ease, only because of being looked upon with awe. But for a mortal like Howard Roark, or any of us, we strive to build the power within us through independence. To sway among these values, for me, has been the most conflicting phase, where I tend to seek for answers in history or re-think if we really have a social code that deserves to be heeded.

I for one, would like to consider the value of responsibility only as an instantaneous manifestation, not a cultural one. The government is expected to function to protect the well-being of its state, to ensure its self-sufficiency, its independence. However, what we see now, is the meek cultural security provided by the government. With the longest written constitution, which to me is the biggest blunder commited by India at the very start, do the indians need to form a species of their own, by memorizing a social code written in paranoia by a select group of social leaders? The constitution only manifests the incomprehendable facet of responsibility, and not the purity of independence. I was forced to memorize the fundamental rights and duties as an eight year old, when I did not even know how cultural diversity should affect us. I'd get full marks if I listed them all right in my exams, and get nothing if I had written none. But as a grown up citizen, had I to violate even one of the duties, I have a fat chance of escaping scot-free, if I bore some clout, or condemned into a prison if I was a nobody.

I guess, the point I am trying to make here is, we are probably drawing hard lines, and not counting on ourselves, our independence. As children, we have spent a lot of time in rote and given credit for it, and little time to heed to the intellect (and feeling), natural in us, that it takes me nearly seven and twenty years to write an article of virtues, that I do not command as yet.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

To blog or not

I do happen to have a short temper. I try staying composed, but sometimes my ego likes to confront my conscience. I saw this article on blogging in that big tabloid, the "Times of India" that so provoked me.

It said, that there were a zillion blogs created each second in Bangalore alone. Now, that is an exaggerated number! Then it said "What is Bangalore blogging so much about?". It listed stuff like food, emotions, affairs - topics you would rather call "out of control". I for one, have seen many good blogs, that are worth going into a text book or a novel. Why weren't they a part of the zillion in the article? Are the tabloid journalists threatened of the bloggers? I spoke to this friend of mine about the article, and she gave a pretty good insight, that blogging is upto the individual. Whether you write of that complex math problem you solved at school or that love affair that just ended, its all upto you, not the blog. Like Salman Rushdie's "Satanic verses" and Stephen Hawking's "A brief history of time" both have their own audience :)

For me, I like to blog for the sheer pleasure of writing. I have a bond with books and a bond with the pen. The blog has made it easier for us to note thoughts in sequence without the fear of losing hard copies of them! Oh, and I did lose an article on once due to a blogger-UNIX-mozilla bug though. Nevertheless, its fun to blog. Theologists, athists, scientists can all blog together with no accusations of heresy or dogma. The blog is like a personal secretary who types at your command and keeps your notes in good custody. Its the best place to please both your ego and your conscience by giving them a stage to fight :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Blaaaaaabber

Sometime back, I blabbered quite a sum, that negated all I intended. Instead of saying "Examples include", I said "Exclude"!

An "ode" (??) to my spoonerism:

Speech oh speech o' mine
Why the devil do you sublime
Sometimes you sound like brine
And bring my merry decline

Do I need to stick a Calvin quote
With my weekly rote
Do you think we plain vote
On only a written note

What if I were that journalist aboard
With all that news I must hoard
Don't you know I speak to be heard
Won't you manifest in right gear

I sing a song of sixpence
And please myself hence
Don't you dare stand in defence
But show up over the fence!

So, counting on blogging when words fail me ;)

Want to mess with us, scoot! No, I'm not Calvin :)

Good old earth is never changeless - geographically the planet has been through changes in the past, and will keep changing in the future. The 29 amino acids did not just give rise to prokaryotes and little bacteria, but consequently to a range of beings. The human genome is ever-changing, in consequence is intelligence and culture. There can be no biological culmination of evolution due to the intellect - a paradox in itself as the ever-changing, yet ever-constant phenomenon of discretion, distinguishing one species from another.

For an alien visiting earth, with perception in the order of light years - it'd see just what Arjun saw in the "Vishwaroopa darshan" - minus the glamor and emotion depicted by frightful demons and angels said in the epics!

Just like how difficult it is for someone running on a track to simultaneously compute the speed of a person seen running on television, it is not easy to comprehend staying in our realm as well as transporting ourselves into another realm to redo our math. The math in our domain is strikingly different from the domain of another. While my run takes a straight line in my math, it is a circle in the alien's!

Putting aside math, and seeing evolution instead on different planes of reference, would we see something similar? I got no answers, we need an alien for that - an alien of a different realm living in a non-earth time-scale!

Lets stick to our realm for now - most of the "thinking humans", limit themselves to the mind, which is only a storehouse of information, and sometimes, of rules - like the computer's memory (or a step ahead like the computer's cache - we store some data and have a "mental-cache" to access the ones that we use the most!).

The mind inherently works on data gathered through education, through instruction, through experience. The intellect is quite comparable to the central processing unit that "decides", eliminates dogmas, and lays layers of facts in the mind (fills up the cache!).

"rules" are not creations of a pantheon of Gods or rulers or emotions - but of the Self, the intellect. Self-realization is the essence of the Vedanta and the essence of human evolution. The Changeless in the ever-changing substratum of living matter.

The essence of Vedanta lies in "filling up your cache" through your intellect, instead of capricious hypothetical norms. Data-processing in the mind/intellect evolves with time - what stays, is the holographic mind/intellect and the ever-constant Self.

Good and Evil - the intellect only gives you a choice, not a hard-core inevitable solution. The capacity of good/evil lies within the realm of the mind/intellect, but is non-existent in the realm of the Self. Good and evil are characteristic of a race - a changing substratum. They form the characteristics of a species. With evolution, species redefines "values" in a newer genetic book with older "values" getting vestigial.

If we ask our alien friend of aeon-perception to rewrite our genetic book, he'd be incapable to even define a page in it - it would be like us trying to re-arrange the quarks in a proton! And if he sought help from the geneticist of his planet to redefine our book, the "living beings" of earth would turn inanimate with the new code! That's an example of the relation among evolutionary realms of different magnitude. We plain got to accept that we got rights to mess only within our own domain!

There is but a subtle difference between living and non-living if God were watching above us - the alien world and ours. He definately isn't playing dice - He sent Einstein to probably both our worlds to prove that!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

We never landed on the moon? Do we still need time to finish the earth-wars?

We landed, I choose to believe only because of the integrity of Neil Armstrong's nature - his passion for flying and the hard work of the physicists and engineers in computing those great numbers for escape velocity and phases of landing. The failure of Apollo13, the moon rock samples, the Surveyor missions, the reflectors installed on the moon and other endless projects all confirm the mission.

We didn't really land? Skeptists are skeptists inherently. They would not call a spade a spade, and would rather call a spade a toy. True, NASA adds glamor to the extra-terrestrial images, like I could confirm the martian bedrock of meridiani planum being colored from the original black and while pictures sent by the rovers. True again, NASA hides some intrigues, lest the common man and skeptists build spooky tales and trigger big wars of science and religion.

The Apollo space program was undertaken on a war footing. If its easy to build a supersonic jet for earth's skies or build a shuttle to counter earth's gravity, its no big deal to take off to a planet with one-sixth the gravity of earth. Some science, some caution and some drive and there we are, flying to another world!

The Apollo missions stayed secret for the sole reason, that the US probably did not want to reveal its technology and revelations to the world and only wished to keep the rest of the world at its feet. The Apollo goals were both ambitious and emotional. NASA wanted to win, and win it right. NASA fares better in competition than by instinct.

Dump the Apollo mission truth and lies, and trust humanity. The best foot forward in tackling the space programs is when we act as a globe, as earth landing on the moon, not as America landing on the moon. If we can't do that, and still want to wage a human war of skepticism, lets build our own crafts and colonize the moon like we do on earth.

Does it really matter to pin-point at own species? If an alien were watching over us, it'd have its greatest fun and drive the nuts off our mediocre minds. If we earthlings cannot trust our fellow earthlings (if we landed) or only wish to fool each other (if we never landed), does it make sense to even imagine the invasion of a foreign planet, much less, a satellite? Its better we stay grounded than even think of flying on cloud nine.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Finding Nemo, adoring Dory :)

My sister gave me a wondeful gift this weekend during her visit - the "finding Nemo" video! This is one creative movie with all humor, the right emotions and all aqua-adventure, no "ground-work" whatsoever!

The movie portrayed variety in character, villians and heroes combined in an aqautic-shell.. and each Dory-encounter resulted in the screen going either black or white :).

Yup, we humans are way to go species-wise and really need to question "Hey conscience! Am I dead?!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cracking the basic code!

What to learn when? What do we define as "basics"? What are the so called "fundamentals" that build us? I find this list the hardest to fill.

As a kid, I remember struggling to memorize the alphabet. My wonder was, why have numbers and alphabets while they are kind of essentially the same. Why not the letter "A" be used to represent both the digit "1" and the alphabet "A"? It terribly confused me when the alphabet "I" and the digit "1" looked so alike in books! I even wrote my kindergarten exams replacing digits and alphabets with ones that I felt were "just the same", much to the ridicule of the staff! The first task my parents dealt with, was to guide me in differentiating the digit from the alphabet. Once that was through, they had this tough task of getting me to read time from the clock, and for that they had to teach me the importance of time! Then there was two kinds of math - plain arithmetic operations and the time-math. I could not do time math for one whole term in the class. My father let me begin by first doing the math with only the clock - very small problems like what is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes. Then my dad would move the minute hand of the clock that distance to make me "see" the time-addition! Gradually, I learned.

So, after many many years of trying to understand what we define as fundamental, I've come to the conclusion that any understanding that gives you a directive picture of "why" a concept is needed to be studied is the fundamental. So the band of fundamentals is not the same for every human being. I guess, that is the concept that schools should work towards - know what each child attaches importance to.

Take for example, the Bhagvad Gita - kids read it in the comics, filled with wonder at the circle of life and death, while the youth read the original, trying to relate to the practical mesage it conveys, and the old, digest the content to reflect on how it relates to the life they've lead. One whole summer, while I was down with measles, my mother took this mammoth task of reading the fairy tales to me. It was so well narrated, that even to this day I remember how I got better thinking of the fairy God mother who comes in every little girl's dream to make her dearest wish come true. My mother did not ever deny to me the existence of these wonder beings, but rather left it to me to decide of their existence.

Let go of ethics and frame your own views, or love history and live like an idol you cherish? Does that well known coordination of the heart and mind really exist? Are we really "born" to be individuals of our own right, or historical creatures reborn in a new social order?

The birth of the mind:
With observation, is the mind born. With observation, do the senses begin to relate with one another, and build mental images. Inherently, the mind attempts to build a hologram of thoughts. Humans have less of instinct, more of self-learning skills. Prejudice begets instinct. Self-learning substitutes instinct with recipes of action. It is important for schools to guide its student's self-learning skills, and guide the building of the mental hologram in its student's minds. Schools should not form "schools of thought" but should rather form "schools of self-realization".

The growing of the mind:
The construction and destruction of thought is a continuous process. The mind tends to strike a balance with nature - Hence, the hologram. Emotions are a byproduct of the growth of the mind. Hence, the mind constantly strives to design and re-deisgn its mental images during the phases of its growth. Genetics, the environment and self-learning contribute to the design of the mind.

The birth of talent:
Talent manifests itself during the growth of the mind. The mind is not just the mind per se, but the coordination of body and spirit. Like how most sportsmen are prodigies and most musicians have a built-in "note" at a tender age, the mind tends to find a growing "pattern" that manifests as talent. While I had to be "taught" the moves of chess, my little four-year old sister with plain observation could play professional chess in a matter of days! The chess board was like a maze in her mind, with the pawns being the gear that could check-mate the opponent in no time!

The blending of minds:
Prejudiced minds (instinctive minds) tend to blend arithmetically with one another - mutually inclusive or exclusive. Holographic minds blend geometrically - as a hologram inherently retains its image, even if broken or enlarged. As the mind grows by being a "whole in parts", its blending is far more efficient than the mind that creates a "jigsaw with missing (read wrong) pieces".

The birth of religion:
Why does the beauty of religion lie in the scriptures alone and not on individual minds? Intepreting religion is a consequence of the prejudiced mind. Discovering religion is the consequence of a holographic mind. It is best not to believe, until you feel the urge to believe. Seeing God as the fairy Godmother when you are little, seeing God as the "miracle man" who bestows you luck in your graduate exams and seeing God in courageous self-realization while defying written social code is the path of discovery of religion.

The evolution of the mind:
Even the most prejudiced mind "likes" to get holographic. The rate of human evolution would depend on how "far" does the mind eliminate dependance. The mind does not tend to wait, but discover.

Does age bar development?
Some are precocious, some are late bloomers - I for one, still hope that I would bloom some day with a complete hologram, if that does not sound naive. But there is no such thing as completion - biology is a learning science and so is physics. Math grows like literature. The most of our early years are spent in observation and derivation. The most of our later years are spent in application.

The least time spent in worthless self-defense, and most time spent in self-discovery, implies faster growth. Life is co-existance, but not co-mental-dependency. Culture is ethics sprung from self-discovery, and not theology implanted on the mind.

Is evolution a long-term conquest of derogatory species? Or is evolution the strengthening bond between nature and living beings, striving towards imortality? Nonetheless, to me, evolution is plain a matter of "live and let live"!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Books and my mind

Reading is the one adventure that never ends! To me, books on human nature, anthropology and spirituality relocate the pieces in the jigsaw of my mind. I am extremely mutable to new ideas and am drawn to books that expand the ever-growing enigma of the mind.

I am inclined at first to "brand" authors and domains. With time, I have decided to rule out branding the former - "autor-branding" didn't work well with me, as them authors have only a couple of masterpieces and dehydrate the rest of their work, by deviating from the domain and getting prejudiced (barring good old mythology, Jane Austen and Matt Ridley, whose prejudice I like!)

The books that influenced me the most are from Indian mythology. I have grown to love the roots our Indian civilization from these very scriptures. To quote a few, "Amar Chitra Katha" and K.M Munshi's "Krishnavatara". I was awed on reading of supernatural beings who had four arms and wielded mighty weapons. It made me think of the then-India or Aryavarth as a prosperous nation, more than self-sufficient and very cultured. "Krishnavatara" by K.M Munshi is a masterpiece that speaks of "four-armed" superhumans being plain "two-armed" humans, with probable robotic gear and supreme intelligence that made them far efficient than ordinary beings. I was very inspired by the episode that shows Krishna and Balaram carving out the Sudarshan Chakra and the Great Plough from the rich hills of Gomatakha. Converting weaknesses to strenghts, and working "miracles" with sheer faith and practical hard work was the beautiful message conveyed in these scriptures. I got motivated to analyse social anthropology in India and compare eras, making me wonder why the current India so skewed in culture from what these books of yester-eras show!

The next domain of books that influence me are those of evolutionary science (though I do read them with some degree of paranoia!) - Matt Ridley for one, has beautifully related the evolution of organic earth, its living beings and how genetic-history can relate to the beings of the future. How families develop traits, leading to societies developing culture and species developing variation.

I tend to skew towards biographies too, and the biography that most influenced me was, "Its not about the bike - my journey back to life" by Lance Armstrong, which made my mind broader about percieving pain as a crude tool to strength.

Mark Twain in his inventive style of writing, portrayed mythical heroes in Tom Saywer and Huck Finn that humbled the image of the strong silent men of romantic novels. Tom, Huck and Jim as mock-pirate-heroes, brought out the value of freedom, generosity and the rare little joys in life.

Ayn Rand's "The fountain head" is another of my favorites, that has left a lasting influence on my mind. Howard Roark as the austere, unconventional hero inspired masses by showing perfection as absolute integrity. It is one of those books whose message stays ever-green!