Friday, March 04, 2016


Possibly, one reason we enjoy nature is because we have been tuned to enjoy it with millions of years of evolution.

It was all we saw for a long time, and it’s our bedrock.

In another million years will people still enjoy nature ? Or will they be so used to the alternate realities they have created that they will not miss nature ?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Three stages of a career - Take 8

Stage 1: You ask your seniors for career advice - and take it to heart

Stage 2: Others come to you for career advice - and you give them advice with conviction

Stage 3: Others still ask you for career advice - but you have to admit that you have no clue how you got that far!

For previous takes:

Saturday, January 09, 2016

The multiverse of possibilities

What could have been ? Everything.

The iPhone could have been invented a 100 years ago, and today we’re missing things that can happen today but will not for another 100 years.

There are simply too many possibilities - too many alternative futures and outcomes, and chance (or karma?) selects one of them at every moment - paving the way for the next link in the chain, and the next.

It takes a long time to build these chains, which is why destiny seems so forgone, so inevitable. Because the chance event that started one chain rather than the other has long been forgotten by the time its consequences become clear. And when we trace back the links of a chain in an effort to deconstruct it, all we are left with are the links which are so recent and so obviously on a certain path that they look inevitable.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

end of year musings.....

The future is always the enemy. We fight it. We provide for it. We fear it. We protect against it. We long for it to be better.

The past is always the friend. We reminisce about it. We romanticize it. We always think it was better.

The present almost doesn’t exist. It’s too fleeting. It exists mostly in our memory and in our anticipation of it.

The young mostly have anticipation and the old mostly have memories. Midlife is a time when you have memories and anticipation in equal measure. Perhaps that’s what mid life crisis is: a desire to make the anticipation better than the memory.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Useful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Force Quit: If some apps are misbehaving or frozen you can shut them down from the Force Quit menu. 
    • Command-Option-Escape   
    • This is like Ctrl-Alt-Del for Mac

  • Spotlight: Just start typing to find anything (file, App) as soon as it appears
    • Command-Space

  • Cycle thru all open apps
    • Command-Tab
    • And you can press Command-Q to Quit an open app while you cycle thru them with Command-Tab

  • Quit an App
    • Command-Q

  • Screen Capture
    • Command-Shift-4
    • Then select an area to capture it

  • Undo-Redo
    • Command-Z
    • Command-Shift-Z

  • Hide all other Windows so only current app remains all screen and others are minimized
    • Command-Option-H

  • Toggle Full Screen
    • Command-F

  • Close current window
    • Command-W

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why I like to live in Pakistan

Pakistan is a tough country to love. Every time you try to be patriotic and optimistic, some damned politician opens his mouth or some act of violence occurs and you are back to square one.

I have to admit that personally I have done rather well out of this country. I was born, raised, educated, married, and employed here, and now at 46 I can see that whatever I have achieved in life has been right here, in this place.

I remember when I was very young our elders used to say: well, we survived this country, but you guys should watch out - get out if you can, things are getting worse.

And things did get worse, in terms of violence, and inflation, and intolerance, power outages and what not.

But things also got better, in terms of communications, and media, and awareness, and consumer choices.

And yet, here I am, telling the same things to my kids: well we survived this country, but you guys should watch out.

I’ve thought about leaving. Many of my very good friends left and are doing well in lands far away. I even encourage my kids to think globally and go wherever their fortune takes them. I might even leave myself some day, though I’m too old to reboot my life in a foreign land.

But you know what ? There are privileges. And first and foremost is the privilege of complaining like you own the place - because, well we do!

It's my own darn country and my own darn politicians, and my own darn culture so I will say what I feel like about them thank you very much!!!

I suspect this freedom to complain is probably one of the privileges you lose as you move to another country. I don’t know, I’ve never lived abroad. But I suspect that if you choose a new nationality for yourself after a lot of struggle you would feel rather silly complaining about your new found land.

I hate this place sometimes. But I also love the freedom to hate it!!!


PS: This is supposed to be a light-hearted piece, with tongue firmly in cheek - no offense intended.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Of Filters, Love and Relativity

Belief is a wonderful thing.

And doubt is a killer.

The model of the world that we build in our mind is always more important than the world itself.

Quantum mechanics, relativity and the whole multiverse thinking makes it increasingly clear that nothing is absolute - that the world is inherently in several states and what you perceive depends largely on where you are.

So we have filters in place to look at the world in certain ways. And every now and again we change the filter and say: Aha! now I see the truth - except only that we don’t, we can’t. We are simply replacing one set of filters with another.

Life seems to be about going through filters until you finally give up.

A good demonstration is music. Change the tempo of the music around you and your perception of a situation changes. Same with people - talk to a different bunch and you feel different, you see things differently. Change the colours. Change the landscape. Change anything and your filter changes.

That’s why love is so popular. It is perhaps the most powerful filter anywhere. People love being in love because it changes their filters to “rosy”. The same things that despair you before love, start to invigorate after love.

Is that a bad thing ? Who knows. But it happens.

The trick is perhaps to have a small filter and a large sense of curiosity. A micro-kernel as it were, while the APIs change. The smaller the kernel the easier it is to keep straight about it while retaining the ability to adapt and grow.