Too Good to be True

So there were a lot of things to be done in a short time and, apart from one or two minor hiccups, everything went quite well: The paper presentation, the demo, submission to the ACL main conference, and the two workshops. In fact, one of the workshops (NLP for Less Privileged Languages) was an unexpected success, both in absolute and relative terms. The funny thing is that while this workshop was the one my heart was set on, I had to do much much more work for the other workshop (NER for South and South East Asian Languages). Believe me, the ‘much much more’ part is more than justified. Conducting a workshop (when you have to do most of the work) is not very easy. Conducting a workshop that includes a shared task is tough. And a shared task which requires new training and testing data is tougher. And it’s even more tough when you don’t have any funding etc. You get the point.

So, everything went quite well.

Not quite.

After the workshop work was finished I just happened to look at the final version of the paper which was submitted to ACL. And I found to my shock that a figure which I had added and on which I had spent around two hours on the night before the workshop (my heart was set on) was missing. The caption was there and so were the references to the figure, but the figure itself was gone.

What happened was that while I was in the middle of the workshop, one of the co-authors noticed a minor typo. But he is now doing a job and is not here. He was unable to compile the Latex files on his system. So he asked another co-author to correct the mistake. The other co-author did as he was told, but he didn’t check before submitting the revised version. Apparently some library was missing or incompatible on his system and so the figure simply disappeared from the paper. Now, I had worked all night before the workshop (my heart was set on) to complete that paper and I thought I had done a good enough job. Moreover, that paper has already taken two rejections, in spite of the fact that it has taken a lot of work from more than one person. Even as an unbiased reader (to the extent it is possible for me to be), I think that paper was worth selection in a major (‘first class’) conference.

So many things to do in so short a time and everything going almost perfectly?

It was too good to be true. Something had to go wrong. Murphy’s law.

That jinxed paper seems set for another rejection. Leading to more dejection.

Just because a library was missing (or incompatible) on a system and the version submitted had one figure missing.

I don’t know whether I should say this, but had this happened to some other author and I was the organizer, I would allow the author to submit a revised version with the figure included, provided the authors had not added anything more after the deadline.

Does that sound like a crazy idea?

Hectic Days are Here

There was a lull before the storm (in a tea cup?). The easy days are over and the hectic days are here. Today I have to submit a paper for the ACL conference. Yesterday I had to present a demo at IJCNLP conference. The day before that we had a paper presentation at the same conference. And the day before that I had to attend two tutorials, again at the same conference.

Tomorrow there is an IJCNLP research workshop of which I am the organizer. The day after tomorrow there is another workshop of which I am the co-organizer. And I have to make introductory presentations at both the workshops.

After that starts the ‘real’ work which I am supposed to do. Some professional, some formally academic and some informally academic.

These must be among the most hectic days of my life. Certainly the most hectic involving public presentations.

I hope I survive.

Wireless Notwork

The Wireless Notwork is out with a vengeance. The duration as well as the frequency of the network notworks is increasing alarmingly. I had some very urgent work to do, which I somehow managed to finish. Often I had to wait for more than 5 seconds to see the letter I typed show up on the console of the locally remote system. Even though I did most of the work offline, what little I had to do online took a hell of a lot of time and patience. I also often have to use the phone for connectivity, which is costly for me. Even to do official work. No reimbersements, of course. But right now, I am writing this post offline in the Notepad. I will post it using the phone connection. The network is notworking for a long long time now. The Wireless Connection Window shows the system to be connected to the network. But actually it is connected to the notwork. There is also that small icon which means that there is some private (security enabled) unauthorized network which is working. And the network I (like everyone else here) am supposed to use isn’t.

Wireless Notwork

Some people somewhere are having fun. Enjoying life. Is it that they love making life hell for others (to borrow a phrase from someone, ‘to f*** someone’s happiness’), or is it just that they are indifferent to the fact that what they do makes someone’s life hellish? Let us see, which one of these would have a higher evolutionary payoff?

I know one thing for sure. Most of these are going to lead very normal and reasonably happy lives. Like they do now. So, perhaps both of the reasons suggested above are immaterial. It’s just that they live happy lives with or without making others’ lives hellish, provided of course that their own lives don’t become hellish. And the fact that they do in itself has a high evolutionary payoff. They are all going to have offsprings. Issues. With cars, not scooters. They are going to continue the life on this planet. This planet belongs to them.

Who am I? I just saw ‘The Bourne Identity’. I should again see Jackie Chan’s ‘Who am I’. May be I will get a clue.

A Joycean Blasphemy

I wrote:

I am buried, right now. Under deadlines.

That was just a bit Joycean.

This one is more Joycean:

I am buried. Right. Now. And-er dead. Lines.

(Actually, there is also a touch of Arundhati Roy here.)

I can’t help imagining how a sub-ed would react to this: coming from a nobody. Not even a native speaker of the Global Language.


(The rant and the rave are yet to follow. They will come. I promise.)

(प्राण जाएं पर वचन न जाए)