This blog is no longer being updated. Last post was “Farewell”.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Originally written: March 14, 2003
1st revision: March 14, 2006
2nd revision: July 19, 2010
It was a fine afternoon of summer 2004, and I was attending the weekly lab of Artificial Intelligence.
We were given a program named ELIZA to study. “This program”, our instructor had said, “chats with its user. But before we understand how it works, you might find it interesting to have some conversation with it for a few minutes.”
I, along with Imran and Wse, ran ELIZA. The cursor started blinking. I typed and the chat went like this…
Me: “I am Saadat.”
ELIZA: “Why are you Saadat?”
Needless to say, Imran and Wse kept laughing for 5 minutes after reading that. Me? I am still trying to find out the answer to this question.
I have always wondered, though, if text-to-speech software can pronounce my name correctly. In my experience, even humans get confused while pronouncing my name when written in English. But then came Google Transliteration, and watching it transliterate my name correctly from “Saadat” to “سعادت” was a moment I felt should be recorded in history as the moment computers started taking control over sapless humans. And since transliteration is now accomplished, I guess it won’t be long when correct machine pronunciation of my name will also be possible. I am not too sure about humans though, who (actually, only some of them) advise me to write my name as “Sa’aadat”. But those are too many a’s if you ask me, and besides, I like the way it already is. Saadat.
Anyway, by now you must have concluded that I love my name, so let’s move on.
I was born in Rawalpindi, and the day was 8th of June. That makes me a Gemini. Don’t know if I have a(n evil) twin, but I like it, nonetheless. As the lore goes, Geminis multitask, are full of mood swings, and get bored easily. I’ve been known to be a fan of multitasking on occasions, which basically means that I almost always never complete any of my simultaneous tasks (or at least, finish them in time). Geminis also like to talk, but I like to talk nonsense.
My interests are vast and wide and short-termed. Surfing the web, reading books, having delusions of playing sports, day-dreaming, talking to myself—I do it all. Music and movies have their share in my interests, but I can’t name any favourites (I do maintain my distance from Bollywood).
In my childhood, I used to collect postage stamps as a hobby. (Basically, I started collecting them because I declared stamp collection as my hobby in an essay that I wrote in Grade 3.) Those stamp albums might be buried somewhere in the heaps of junk that I have in my room, and I kinda feel sorry for them. Some were really cool.
Speaking of my hobbies, one of them is wasting time. Next hobby is suffering from the consequences of first one.
I used to have a couple of personal websites too, containing all that stuff about me and my family and my interests and my friends and etc (basically, the world used to revolve around me at that time). Now, this blog is all I have as my web presence, along with a twitter feed.
Don’t know what else to say.