Trusting Trust

Ken Thompson is a Turing Award winner and an all-around genius – gave a seminal talk during his Turing Award acceptance called “Reflections on Trusting Trust.” In it, he shows how to sneak a Trojan horse into your application (in his case, the Unix operating system) while you compile the source code of the application […]

Governance, Decentralized

Define Governance: the act or process of governing or overseeing the control and direction of something (such as a country or an organization). In this article, I will focus on whether any organization can have decentralized governance, and what does that even mean? And how is this related to cryptocurrencies. Let’s start with a very basic organization, and […]

Eigen

Jatin forced a comment which is worth expanding a little more. Ever since I found that the PageRank vector of the web-graph is the dominant eigenvector of its matrix representation, I have been meaning to get to the bottom of this eigenvector-eigenvalue concept. I am still snorkeling; long time to scuba dive. Most of us […]

Quantum Brain?!?!

In my last post on heuristics and approximation, I asked the question – Given realistic scale and scope, how does the human brain solve such problems (like question-answering)? Does the brain map everything to combinatorial optimization? Can its modus operandi be applied to automated systems so that they solve our problems…. – which leads to […]

Heuristics vs. Provability

Given a problem, we can: Give efficient methods to find exact solutions. When this is possible, all’s well. But alas, this is not possible all the time. Give inefficient methods to find exact solutions (brute force), and bemoan that P != NP (mostly). Propose intuitively appealing heuristics that are quick, and give “mostly good” results […]