Saturday, February 20, 2016

Why the Spirit Rarely Survives

The spirit of the law, of an institution, a country, a song or a movement, are the most important things to them. They serve as symbols for people to rally around. In a deceptively light talk at TED, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells us of the dangers of the single story.

I think that the spirit is a single story. A single vision of how things should be, whether in law, colleges or countries for that matter. This single story however rarely survives the test of time, and I say that it is a virtue that such a thing happens, however in a lot of cases this original story becomes a background noise.

The original purpose is usually lost in the multitude of stories which become part of that one story. What usually ends up happening is that a group of such other stories merge into one and overshadow the original. Like marketing managers dictating film scripts. The original purpose of the film is lost in trying to propagate that original purpose itself.

In order for the spirit to be propagated, it must be made digestible for a lot of different kinds of people. It is usually this process of transformation which completely destroys the spirit.

If however, the spirit survives this brutal assault, it ends up even stronger, like  Nietzsche said. IITs, MIT, Harvard and St. Stephen's, all have had their spirit tested and have survived this. What has brought them fame and excellence is that they have managed to make the original purpose continue to live on as a powerful current in the ocean despite of all the other stories surrounding them.

Other institutes drown in the multitude of stories. We must not let the means become the end.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chatting over lan with Linux

Communication within institutes is a pleasure with linux. Especially so since I just discovered this. The netcat or ncat program is needed (Both are interchangeable). On Ubuntu netcat is usually used and on Archlinux ncat is available. To receive communications run

ncat -l 8080
netcat -l 8080

This makes the netcat program listen at port 8080.
Now anyone on the same network as you can connect to you by:

ncat 8080
netcat 8080

That is assuming that your IP address is

Now, telling your peers that you will be listening at some port allows them to connect to you at any time that your ncat program is running. When you want to go away, simply stop your program.

You can broadcast too. Just get many people to connect to you.