I am passionate.
At this point, I tried looking up the meaning of the word “passion” in a dictionary, and much to my consternation, I couldn’t find a concise meaning that I could use here. So, I will just stick to my own interpretation of the word.
I have been passionate about quite a few things (for the lack of a better term). Most of these passions have been purely academic; I have never acted on any of them. But a few of them, I charted my life around them; I followed them. A long time ago, I started acting on the management bug. I read books, followed people, perused biographies, idolized the likes of Iacocca and Welch, and was convinced that an MBA was all that was missing in my arsenal. But as time went on, this passion in management waned. I tried to analyze why this happened, and could come up only with two axiomatic reasons which couldn’t be questioned further: lack of intrinsic interest and no pleasure. Maybe those two are closely related, but thats a different thought altogether.
Computer Science has been a passion for a long time now. First, it was programming to reverse a number, sorting, and some level of computer architecture. Later it was fueled by other sublime ideas like NP-Completeness (Intractability), Undecidability, Incompleteness, AI, space-time trade off, etc. At this point, I figured that this was one area which could lead to the next level of bliss, if pursued under formal tutelage. I also was in a good shape to try because the computer science bandwagon of the nineties had landed me with the basic qualifications.
During the days leading up to my admission to IITB, and for a long time after coming here, I was awed by all the new concepts I came across, the little anecdotes of the great people in this area (a few of whom I have seen in person here), the underlying mathematical foundations, the so called cutting-edge research that was actually happening here, etc. This awe convinced me that I had made the right decision in turning my life around to get here.
But all’s not well in passion-world.
After a year in the middle of it, the awe is gone – replaced by some form of pragmatic understanding of how all this fits into the real world. I sense that every school of human thought converges into reality. As of now, this convergence seems to be governed by economic principles. Agents like religion, morality, computer science, emotion, management, philosophy, political thought etc. seem to interact in games controlled by demand, supply, comparative advantage, prisoner’s dilemma, tragedy of the commons, etc.
And now, the ruling academic passion seems to be the Principles of Economics. Currently, I am in no shape to go formal in this. But time will tell.