Some thoughts and photos - RSS - by nikhil bhatla, -
My name is Nikhil Bhatla. Welcome to my blog.

Who are you?
Now that's a tough question. But here are some things I've done.

I was born and grew up in Santa Monica, California where I went to Pilgrim Lutheran elementary school, followed by Windward High School. For my undergrad I went to Stanford, where I majored in Product Design (a combo of Mechanical Engineering and Art) and minored in Computer Science. After Stanford I went to work at Google as a product manager, where I helped lead the development of Google Desktop, Google Video, and the Google user experience.

What are you doing now?
Post-Google, I'm going to MIT for grad school, where I'm spending my time studying neurons and biology as a PhD student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department (Course 9). Specifically, I'm studying whether a certain worm (the nematode C. elegans) is conscious. How can you tell if a worm might be conscious? A certain type of learning (a variant of Pavlovian conditioning called trace eyeblink conditioning) is well-correlated with awareness in humans, and I'm trying to see if these worms can do a similar kind of conditioning. If they can, I plan to track down genes required for this learning ability, and the cells and neurons involved. Such genes and associated proteins might also be relevant to consciosness in humans. This is a biologically-grounded philosophical pursuit, one that I'm unlikely to succeed at, but one that is interesting enough to be worth trying.

I bought the domain several years ago, when I first thought up the idea for Super Facts. Super Facts would be a way to inform consumers about information beyond prices when they are about to purchase products. It would be essentially an extension of the Nutrition Facts found on food items, but display the social conditions relevant to the production of the product. It would be a label on all products, not just food. More details are in this blog post.

After I bought the domain, I decided to migrate my blog from LiveJournal to my own server. Since I already owned the domain and it wasn't being used for anything, I decided to just use it for my blog.

Last updated: January 9, 2009 (v3)

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