Abstractions : The good, the bad and the ugly

Anyone pursuing the sciences would tell you the importance of abstraction , taking away unnecessary and superfluous details ( for example, the use of superfluous in this sentence and the further mention of it ) so that one can reach the crux of the problem in hopes of solving it. Seems harmless right?. I thought so too, until I realized a few things which suggested otherwise. I will try my best to put these to words.

Lets take an example, my college ID is 2012A7PS184P. To someone on the outside, this is just a string of characters that uniquely identify me in records held by my college. To people on the inside, it tells them that I enrolled in 2012 in Computer Science branch ( the second part is false though) and that I’m from pilani campus and that I’m opting for Practice school instead of thesis.

I’ve always been fascinated by my ID or anyone’s for that matter. Within that string of 12 characters, lies a majority of my life till now and a majority of what my life will be. Inside it hides my story, Gigabytes of data compressed to such a small size. That amazes and saddens me at the same time.

On one hand, We all talk about how unique each and every one of are and how it’s impossible to describe anyone’s life. the apt word would be sonder. But on the other hand, We have this, the Identification number that does just that, takes our life, throws out the unnecessary details and voila!!

You know what the best part is?.

It reveals different amount of information to different people and obviously it reveals the most to me. Mind boggling right?

That ID is me, forever!!. For many more Gokula Krishnans may come and go but there shall be only one 2012A7PS184P, and that’s me.


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Hi!, My name is Gokula Krishnan, you can (and I prefer) call me gokul. I'm a third year Computer Science major from BITS Pilani. I'm interested in Technology, Theoretical Computer Science and Discrete Mathematics. A FOSS enthusiast, I'm one of the founders of the BITS Firefox community. I'm currently working on Big Data Analytics, Machine learning and UNIX shell programming. My not-so-geeky hobbies include playing volleyball and football and origami

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