Thinking about thinking….

MetaCognition – If thats the word that immediately struck you after reading the title of this post, then this aint the right article for you. For its not at all about meta-cognition. Thats just one of the bizzare ideas that I’d be implementing (or at least studying in depth) this semester as part of my Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge based systems and then to take one of the many pathways in my castles of imagination, I might even implement something similar using some high level hybrid data structure as part of my Advanced Data-Structure course.

What did get me thinking about meta-cognition before sitting to write this post was another cruise missile thats being fired at me by my indian friends quite often these days. ”How is it in US?”…Well what do I tell them? They wont want to know that elections are approaching or George Bush recently went to Iraq on a secret surprise visit. Coz thats availible on Yahoo & CNN. The question implicitly assumes that I’ve reached safe or else the question would’ve been “How are you?” or “How are things”… So im assuming they want to know how my psychology is reacting to the changed environs of a new country – which requires me to do some thinking on what has impacted me the most in US for which I need to think about what all I’ve been thinking – that (hopefully!) explains the title 🙂

So coming to think of my thoughts, what most impacted me in the US were the following 5 top-ones (I’m an engineer by profession so please excuse the ‘pointwise’ answer ):

1) GREEN & CLEAN -the place is really much cleaner and greener (from my frame of reference as an Indian) . This is something that I noticed first thing when I got out of the airport. Trees all around and very little litter & trash on the roads.

2) RIGHT HAND DRIVE – That took the most time to sink in. Coming from a ‘left-side-driven’ world, the way they take turns in US seems really wierd. Pressing buttons before crossing the road the amazing number of ‘heuristics’ they have as road signs really makes a fitting case for a machine driven vehicle.

3) THINGS ARE CHEAP – I needlessly brought a lot of stuff from India assuming things would be expensive. That was a wron impression. Some things are – e.g. Books are ten times the cost in India. Most other things are just twice the Indian rate and stuff like branded clothes, noodles, crockery, second hand cars and furniture is surprisingly cheaper out here.. Most things courtesy Walmart though.

4) MADE IN CHINA – Everything I see here has this label on top of it. From bathroom curtains to toilet rolls to the latest hi-definition computers and Mp3 players. Everything here seems to be of Oriental origin.

5) CONTAINS CORN-SYRUP, CONTAINS HIGH-FRUCTOSE-CORN SYRUP – If someone needs to find the cause of the ‘great-american-obesity-epidemic’, just read the ingredients of any food item available off the shelf. It seems like corn is the implicit staple food of this country. Everything from ketchup to cookies seems to have corn-sugar in it.


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