Category: Me (page 1 of 6)


The Joy of Missing Out

I had never really made the connection before this, but Sherlock Holmes practices a form of the so–called Joy of Missing Out. I’ll come to that in a moment; first we need to understand what JoMO is and, parenthetically, what FoMO is.

The Fear of Missing Out, or FoMO, was added to the Oxford English dictionary in August of 2013. It is defined as anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. I think we can do away with that last clause: FoMO is not restricted to social media alone and is as rampant offline as it is on the web.

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Ad-blockers are a good thing

The concept of the web being free comes with strings attached. Although most websites are free to read, their owners need to pay for storage space and servers (besides various licenses), and storages and servers and networks run on electricity. In order to keep website content free to read, these expenditures are met indirectly.

Broadly, there are mainly two things that pay for the web: advertisements and paywalls. Bots track your usage via your browser and tell advertisors what you like so they can show you ads you are most likely to click on. Websites act as platforms to show these ads, possibly coax you into clicking on them and exploring advertised products or content, and make money in turn.

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Photographic sharpness: an obsession

I somehow came across an article by Connor McClure where he talked about how far too many people blindly use VSCO filters to process their photographs and call it a day. What he said about VSCO is true (and is something I strongly believe in myself) — they are a convenience, and not much more than trends; and trends pass on. McClure says it best: “They are trendsetters, and I don’t believe in latching too tightly on to trends.”

In addition to filters in general (not to target VSCO, whose filters I use rarely, but do use nonetheless) there is another misdirection I feel we ought to address in today’s photography scene: mindless obsession over sharpness.

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Mountain roads: photo book in print, available on Amazon

Earlier this month I wrote about my new photo book, a simple 7″x7″ paperback featuring a collection of 25 carefully handpicked black and white photographs, revolving around the theme of mountains.

I do not quite remember where I read this, but someone advocated printing out your photographs — at least select ones — even in the digital era, because printed photographs have their own charm and heightened value (even if the latter is only in our minds).

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Time to be super-productive

Having begun my month-long iPad-centric lifestyle experiment and having found myself somewhat free this morning, I proceeded to install Denys Yevenko’s Pomodoro Time Pro app (free version also available) and try my hand at the famous efficiency technique.

What I realised was probably not eye-opening, but it did make me completely rethink my time-management approach.

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iPad is more than just a consumption device

Ever since the first iPad came out in 2010, people have hailed it as a stellar consumption device: something you use to watch videos, browse the web, occasionally read etc. To some of us, the folly in this argument is immediately apparent.

The iPad has the potential to be so much more than a device you just stare at all day; you can do things with it. And Apple’s tablet apps store is second to none, so why do more of us not use the iPad to do things as opposed to just consume information?
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An e-mail reply from Tim Cook

Steve Jobs was known to reply to every e-mail he got, often tersely, but reply nonetheless; or at least he would direct it to concerned employees to handle issues immediately.

The practice has stuck with Tim Cook taking over the company as CEO. I, for one, have come to look at Tim in the same light as Jobs, as a capable leader, a dedicated worker and an analytical mind seeing whose decisions and lifestyle we can all take home something. And a couple of days back, he replied to an e-mail I sent.

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Let’s talk about pet peeves

We all have those tiny things that bother us. Little habits, acts and everyday nuisances of society. Things you can curse, but cannot complain about. Things you end up tolerating and then blogging about.

These are some of my pet peeves; you may find some things you find just as irritating, some you never thought of but they will start irritating you after you read about them here. In either case, this is one dangerous list.

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Britain is not a smartphone society

Earlier this week The Telegraph’s technology briefing newsletter (as well as their website) carried an article asking if Ofcom’s recent survey suggests Britain is a smartphone society.

Although the figures do point to great smartphone usage, I would argue that it takes more than just usage numbers to make a true smartphone society.

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Polonius and Kipling

Everyone has beacons they seek when they are lost at sea. It may be humans, it may be pets, it may be thoughts, it may be quotes, it may be proverbs, poems, books or music. There are things that can drive us, things that can simply lift our spirits, things that point us in a direction, or things that simple say, “hang in there”.

I have many such, like almost everyone else, I suppose; and it goes from humans to pets to thoughts all the way to music. And two of those I particularly like and go over almost on a daily basis, stem from writings, which I elaborate on here.

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Happy birthday to me

It’s my birthday today and time for my customary 24th June article. Almost every year since I started this website, I have spoken of something related to this wonderful day (to me), be it the people in this zodiac or the zodiac itself or even the people born exactly on this day.

This time, I’ll be talking about 24 landmark events that took place on the 24th of June in history.

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Starbucks is awesome

I may appear to be late in realising this, but you can rest assured I’m not. I only wrote it down today, I realised it a long, long time back. Instead of heading to the Institute on day 2 of my research period, I decided to spend the day working at Starbucks.

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The utter nonsense of the first draft

Anyone who has ever written a substantial piece of text knows how hard it can be to put together well. The most important word in the last sentence was the last one: well. A chimpanzee can put together a substantial chunk of text — even a meaningful one. In fact, this is called the infinite monkey theorem and states that a monkey can almost surely type all of Shakespeare’s work if given enough (read, infinite) time during which it taps at random letters on a keyboard.

Equating Shakespeare to a chimpanzee is not the best way to begin any article, but that blame (or credit, depending on whether or not you’re Christopher Marlowe) goes to Frenchman Émile Borel. Neither is the monkey here a monkey, nor are the mathematicians who designed this thing full of life because a monkey is so much better than the randomly typing machine they proposed. (At least a monkey was more believable — back in the 1913s.) But I digress.

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No language should be compulsory

This morning I awoke to preposterous news: Kannada, the local language here in Karnataka state, is being made a compulsory paper for all levels of education, from school to graduation. Nobody has a real defense for why this should be done — some genuinely seem to believe it helps. Is it their inferiority complex that makes them believe that others believe Kannada is beneath, say, English or Hindi? Or is it a misplaced sense of pride or cultural dissatisfaction? Or, worse still, is it a classic case of being opposed to multicultural society?

I love Kannada. I have nothing against it, but these are times when one should think logically rather than emotionally: learning Kannada has no better advantages than learning Sanskrit or French or Mandarin or German or Russian or Greek or Latin or Hindi or Urdu or Arabic or Swahili — you get the point. All languages have a geographic significance that is non-existent beyond certain borders. And no language is different.

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I had been to Manthralayam purely by mistake a few months back. Manthralayam — or Manthralaya — is a Hindu pilgrimage site in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. I did not visit the temple there, of course, bust instead spent close to an hour outside, photographing the devotees.

How I came to visit this place is not worth discussion: I was traveling to another city and decided to visit this because it was on the way and we had surplus time on hand. What piqued my interest in visiting Manthralaya was not its burial of the Madhwa saint, Raghavendra Swami (hence the pilgrimage), but the fact that, in 2009, the Tungabhadra river, which flows through the town, had submerged it in heavy floods.

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