Saturday, April 25, 2015


If you have no history, do you exist ?
If you have no legacy, do you matter ?
If you've never lived, can you die ?
If you have no ambition? can you fail?
If you have no fear, can you be defeated ?

Shouldn't I be on a ledge somewhere ?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Why are we always leaving? Good bye, see you soon, later.

Why don't we stay.

Just stay.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Switch from Android to iPhone: First Impressions

I'm a real Google fan when it comes to phones. I like the pure Google Android experience and so I've owned a series of Nexus phones over the years - and been very happy with them.

Which is why I was waiting last year for the Nexus 6 to come out to upgrade from my ageing Nexus 4. But two things happened: First, it was too big, and second it was too costly.

The price was so high in fact that it took it to the same price range as an iPhone. I'm sure it's a great phone and I'm sure Google intended to go head-to-head with an iPhone and so it bumped up all specs, making it pricier. But for me, the result was the opposite: I decided that if I was going to pay so much, I might as well get an iPhone and see what all the fuss is about. The fact that Apple finally had a decent sized screen on its latest device didn't hurt either. For me 4.5 inches or so is the sweet spot.

So anyway, I got an iPhone 6 which I've been using for a couple of weeks now. Here's my take so far:

Things I love:

  • Touch ID. I don't use it for purchases, but I absolutely love the convenience of unlocking my phone with it. It feels natural and efficient - and works every time.
  • Camera: I'd heard great things and I was not disappointed. After years of putting up with mediocre cameras on my Nexus phones, the iPhone camera is an absolute delight: fast, efficient, and great results.
  • iCloud integration: I moved to a Macbook a couple of years ago and use Keynote and Numbers and IAWrite. The ability to stop a document on the laptop and seamlessly pick it up on the phone is great.
  • Battery Life: Battery life is generally good and definitely better then anything Ive experienced on the Android Nexus devices I've owned.
  • Industrial design: I liked the Nexus 4 also, but one has to admit that the iPhone 6 is a handsome looking device.
Things I miss from Android
  • Google Now. I loved the cards from Google Now always popping up with interesting, useful, and timely content. Whether it was flight reminders, or reading recommendations, or sports updates. Nothing on the iPhone side comes close.
  • Openness. On Android almost any application can add itself to the sharing menu. So I could be looking at a picture and share it to WhatsApp in one simple natural action. This doesn't work on the iPhone and instead I have to be in WhatsApp and then choose the picture to send. Definitely less convenient if you are looking thru your pictures and suddenly have the impulse to share.
  • Notifications handling: Apple's notifications are not bad, but since Lollipop, the Android notification handling system is much more useful and sophisticated. You can have much finer control and do more actions from the lock screen itself for instance. Hopefully the next version of iOS will improve on this.
  • Customisation: The ability to arrange the icons in any way on the home screens and to also have widgets on any screen was priceless on the Android side. Much less flexibility on the iPhone front.

Overall, quite happy with the iPhone and enjoying using it. Will I go back to Android ? Let's see !

10th Anniversary of the blog

So I've been rambling on this blog for exactly 10 years today.

Yay !!

To my few (but very tasteful! ) readers. Thank you !

Here's to the next 10 years of intellectual meanderings.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Physicist, an Engineer, and an Economist walk into a power generating plant.....

Energy of course, cannot be created or destroyed. That much we know from basic physics.

So when we talk about generating electricity, we're really only talking about converting energy from something into electricity. That something can be almost anything: coal, wind, sun, oil, gas, the energy of flowing rivers, gravity, whatever.

It only needs a look at a fierce thunderstorm or a tsunami to see that there is no shortage of energy in the world. And physics tells us that all this energy can be converted to other, more usable forms. Even the conversion problem has been largely solved as Engineers have invented clever solutions to convert almost anything with energy into electricity.

Unfortunately, this is where physics and engineering stops and economics starts. Demand and supply comes into play, costs become a factor, artificial scarcities and monopolies rear their ugly heads, agency problems become apparent, asymmetrical information complicates things.

Physicists and Engineers did their job a long time ago. It's up to the Economists now.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Revolutions happen when no one is looking

Revolutions happen when a lot of people change their mind about something. For example while the internet was invented back in 1969, it wasn't classified as a revolution until a lot of people started using it in in the mid nineties.

But when Tim Berners Lee created the browser which finally brought the internet onto the mainstream, I don't think he woke up one day, and said to himself: I think I'm going to revolutionise the internet. Neither can I recall any mass protests or gathering exhorting people to take up the cause and adopt the one true way of the internet.

It all kind of just happened.

And that's how revolutions happen. They're not top-down with a small clique deciding it is time to do things in a certain way and then haranguing the populace to convert or else. They're more middle-out where a certain set of people adopt some ideas and the idea seeps out and reaches more people on its own merit. This is why a true revolution will always stick while a pseudo revolution will not. In a true revolution, people will genuinely be convinced of the usefulness or righteousness of something, and it will reach a critical mass which will then be a natural barrier against regression. A central figure trying to organise a revolution is generally a dead giveaway of a pseudo revolution. If it was truly a revolutionary idea, he wouldn't have to be trying so hard in the first place -the idea would spread regardless.

We see a lot of attempts at pseudo revolutions anyway. In the corporate space, these take the form of the jargon-de-jour which a few wise men in senior positions try to get everyone to agree to. But as said exercises prove over and over again, most such revolutions peter out as soon as the posters proclaiming them are taken down.

This is how evolution has always worked. Slowly. Creating changes in organisms as the environments demand, but taking its own sweet time to get there, letting the change seep thru civilizations rather then showing up on the doorstep one day with a circular that: henceforth humans will no longer live in the trees.

And so it goes. Gradually.