Monday, April 14, 2008

P(No_H1) = 0.2301

"What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss ?" - Javier Bardem , in 'No country for old men'.

Anton Chigorh, a psychopath serial killer, from the oscar winning movie, posts this innocuous question to his victims, before he kills them. It would have been definitely nerve wrecking, if the victims knew that their life was at stake. Seeing them, knowing that they would die if they lost in the coin toss, was a saliva swallowing moment.

Chance has this effect on men. Not being in control drives us nuts. To take a ride on a mule, through a very narrow path, with gorge on one side, overlooking the river and the steep hill on the other, scratching its beard, winking its eye majestically at the moksha seeking soul, on the way to see the source of ganges, the Gaumukh, the old pilgrimages have their heart besides their molar, bulging through their cheek. Why? Of course, of not being in control of the mule. We humans are hysterical about taking things in control. The greatest of drivers squeamishly squirm when they are the pillion riders. Some people like this adrenalin pumping, no holds barred, purely luck driven outcomes. Hence, Las Vegas.

163,000 American Dreams at stake. What? - The number of people seeking work visa(H1B) in USA in the year 2008 has surpassed the set upper limit. 163,000 applicants. A computer-based random number generator(albeit, a pseudo one, unless their random function takes as input a truly random input such as stray radio signals coming from cosmos) will choose 85000 applicants, who will get to stay in US (legally) with a work visa.

If (you_hate_math == true) {
goto the_paragraph_after_this;

else { //read

Its a career deciding lottery. My career is at stake too. Take an envelope and a pencil and lets do some basic probability. The 163,000 applicants will fall in to 2 categories: "masters" or "graduate" applicants and the "open" quota. Students like me who has gone through 2+ years of graduate school hell in US, will fall under the masters quota. The rest, namely the people who happily forward cute pictures of cats and babies sitting in the cubicles of Infosys, TCS, Wipro etc, will fall under the open quota. Masters has its own upper limit of 20,000. According to USCIS, they have received 31,200 applications. The people who do not get through this lottery(i.e choosing 20000 from 31200, leaving 11,200 master students) will be spilled over to the open quota. So the open quota lottery becomes choosing 65,000 from 143,000. So for a masters quota applicant to get rejected, he/she should be left out in both the lotteries. So if we do the math right it should point to a golden value of 0.2301.

I have a 77% chance of getting that visa.

There's a leeway for certain companies, which are registered under USCIS in a certain program(E-Verify program), where in employees of such companies who do not get their H1, can legally stay for 17 more months in USA as a student and hence apply for H1B the following year. Unfortunately some companies do not register under this program. More importantly mine hasn't.

So, my American dream (if any), my career, my way of life, will be decided by a stupid algorithm (How cynical of me to call a PRNG algorithm stupid, esp being a computer science graduate). I'm all but frustrated. In fact I'm excited about it. Looking forward to the lottery. If I do not get it, I would be a tad disappointed, but that can wait. I can blame it on fate and leave home for good. I have a beautiful car. Its well maintained and pristine, just as new, used only for office commuting..... err... even the craigslist advertisement can wait. For now its the wide eyed me, looking for the lottery result. I have already delegated to many people the task of calling upon their super powers, their prayers. I need that badly. I need it to shine on me like a crazy diamond. Thanks a lot folks. I'm so excited I even spewed out this:

Its mundane and mostly insane
To load 0's and 1's in vain

Occasional geeky satisfaction
At the cost of free mind and passion

To be honest, I like my Job
I must warn, I do lie like the mob

What my life needs is some spice
As I speaketh, I'm done by the dice

Sad ain't it. I meant the poem. My life just got a bit interesting. I thought I would share it with the world.

P.S I actually do not hate my job, I wanted a cheesy poem thats it. I do hate it though, when I compare it to other jobs like, the person who is paid to watch videos in youtube and filter the porn or the one who tastes chocolates and rates its taste. I actually day dreamed the fictionary youtube job when I was at work asleep, google must have a cheesy algorithm for filtering I bet!


Macadamia The Nut said...

You nutcase you! :D Felt like you were sitting here with me rambling on and on :D

And since you've chock-filled it with so many different emotions I don't know if I should go nuts at the math, sympathize, empathize or simply laugh - with you, not at you :))

My fingers are crossed... it's going to be ok...

Macadamia The Nut said...

You nutcase you! :D Felt like you were sitting here with me rambling on and on :D

And since you've chock-filled it with so many different emotions I don't know if I should go nuts at the math, sympathize, empathize or simply laugh - with you, not at you :))

My fingers are crossed... it's going to be ok...

Brat said...

Ahhh......the wait is the worst, isn't it? If it makes you feel any better, we're all in the same boat (at least most of us are). And of course, there are options (read PhD)! ;-)

No Country for Old Men was awesome, wasn't it? I liked the way he performed the coin toss before killing his victim - very matter-of-fact, especially in the last-but-one scene!

germinal dreamer said...

@mac: u cant get more nuts can u.. but do sympathize and call on ur super powers.... and thanks for assuring a more probable event...

@brat: oh yeha i know the waiting game all too well. ur alternative option is more painfuil than anything... yes No country for old men was stunner... i like the scene where sits and kills that cop who has been chasing him.. and i liked his gun obviously...Too KOOOOOOOOL

Warm Sea said...

i can very well empathize with you on the whole h1 thing cause it looks like my h1 is already rejected( cause of my companies premium processing thing)
The only thing annoying is that a random generated algorithm is deciding my future.

Macadamia The Nut said...

Tagged ya... twice. Sue me :D

pulsar said...

Congrats macha.. commoda!

Ankit said...

Actually a random and an informative post :)

Pranay said...

Hey, Great post!!!
And saw a few earlier ones too...Damn good ones. U write very well, Glad I came over...:).

Sriram said...

well good luck trying to influence the algorithm. you sure, theres no way to bribe the algo, indian ishtyle?

arvy said...

very impressive da.. havent checked ur blog for a while and i see some great posts. u have gone a long way.

Anonymous said...

i read your blog. though i am not able to understand your view point completely, i guess the overall point is to get a H1 visa in US, work her, earn more and live the american dream. i dont know why most people call it american dream. We can dream of having a great life in India. The current problem in india is the brain drain. i hope you are a master's graduate in USA. Why doesnt people come back to india to set up industries, make eco friendly innovations, or do such things? Anyway i will keep my fingers crossed for your dream!!

Warm Sea said...

i think u wanna say.. " tamilSelvan.." but i dont think u can.. cause u got shheeeemmmmmmaaa adi!!!

Maya said...

Love the randomness in your blogs :-)