Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On inception and recursion

I have often noticed how engineers think very analytically, even about the most mundane/unexpected things. The other day I was having lunch with a bunch of fellow computer science "enthusiasts". One of them declared that he hadn't seen the movie, and here's a snippet of the conversation that followed (spoiler alert...oh, and geek alert too):

C: Inception is like a dream within a dream within a dream...There are multiple levels, sort of like recursion.
AK: Every time you die, you get popped off the stack and go back to your previous dream.
P: But under some circumstances the dream could just hang for a long time, no?
AK: Yes, if you're highly sedated...
C: Sometimes you can't tell if you're dreaming or awake. Leonardo's wife dies because she thinks she's killing herself in a dream, but it's actually real life.
NR: Bad design.
P: Pch. No error handling.
AM: That is why they had the totem. It's like a global variable.

Ah, what would the world be without us engineers...

P.S.: If you're not one of "us", then sorry about the computer jargon. I promise not to do this often.

EDIT: Oh, and what a coincidence - Happy Engineer's Day my brethren!


  1. Hehe, ok I will wait for the non-Engineer update!

  2. And the best thing in this recursion is that ur execution speed increases with every recursive call :) wish this was true in the CS world.

  3. oh god.. its disturbing how Paul and I had a very similar conversation after we saw this movie :-s

  4. @DI - Haha, hang in there. I promise an upcoming non-Engineer update!
    @Anon - Yes, I vaguely remember some equation between speed and recursion level having been worked out.
    @Tanz - That's what you get when two engineers get married...

  5. hate to be super-geeky here but given that the situations in the dream worlds (state) persisted across multiple episodes of getting in and out (multiple invocations), I would think that continuations are a better analogy that plain ol' recursion.

  6. @Synapse - You may have outgeeked us there :) Interesting concept.