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International Anthem

Humanity is way better off right now than any other point in history.  Human suffering is at its lowest, economic growth is at all time best, technology is growing at the fastest rate ever, medical tech has more than doubled the average human lifespan in under 150 years; so on and so forth.

Of course not everything is merry, the Earth as a planet is suffering from our activities, moreover there are still wars, famines, dictators and genocides.  There's still a looming threat of nuclear annihilation and the guardians of The Bombs are crazy egomaniacs.

Interestingly, the concept of 'Country' seems to keep people from killing those within it en masse.  The criteria for me loving another person as a fellow 'Countryman' is quite quaint as well; he or she just has to be born in the same enclosed geographical area as me!  I automatically will be somehow related to that person under the flag of my country.  This sometimes results in Nationalism, which has worked quite wel…
Recent posts

General AI, Singularity and Elon Musk's fears surrounding it

Elon Musk has been raising concerns around the exponential advent of AI in the past decade, and  boy has it been exponential!  Many companies now have a CAiO (Chief AI Officer) to bridge the gap between the front runners in AI (Google, Microsoft, OpenAI etc.) and themselves.  Many academics don't share Elon's concerns, and even ridicule him for his alarmist views.  The argument the academics provide is that the current stage of AI is a nascent one, and the best General AI is still dumber than a toddler.  They also claim that AI has been useful only in a specialized domains, like Self-Driving cars, playing chess and Go, analyzing heaps of unstructured data and getting insights etc.  So although AI is super useful in a narrow range, something that can drive a car 100 times better than humans is unlikely to produce a piece of Art.  This is correct, looking at the existing AI landscape.  But the academics are missing the far term view, on a range of 200+ years into future.
With A…

My Favorite Sci-Fi Ideas

In the the frenzy of adulthood and people-pleasing, my love for Science fiction was almost lost.  I feel sad to admit that I didn't watch 2001: A Space Odyssey till very late.  Movies that reignited my sci-fi romance include Inception, Interstellar and 2001, while movies like Arrival and Contact fueled the fire that now has me hooked to the sci-fi genre.

This Genre, in essence, portrays magic while trying to explain the premise in the most scientific way possible, and in my opinion is an impressive feat to achieve.  Making the movie Interstellar as scientifically accurate as possible was harder than just making a visual masterpiece.  Sci-Fi gives almost a religious feeling to its followers, which is why Elon Musk enjoys such a cult fandom, he's trying to make sci-fi a reality.  When the humans landed men on the moon, it inspired a whole generation to achieve greatness.  It's unfortunate we did not do anything so great since then.

Here are my favorite Sci-Fi ideas that h…

Ola and Uber - An Experience

I have been using either Ola or Uber for my daily commute to work for the past few months.  I had a conversation with Drivers quite regularly, ranging from Politics to Movies.  I became interested in how their experience with Ola or Uber was like and how they felt about their customers.  They shared some funny and some scary incidents.

Some points that were repeated way often:

1.  Ola's business model does not help drivers, almost to the point of being predatory.
2.  Ola passengers (yep, us) are quite rude and demanding.  Uber's passengers are relatively more accommodating and polite.
3.  Ola's app is unstable, clunky and crash prone.
4.  Uber's initial plans for drivers were awesome, not anymore.  Less payout nowadays, but still better than Ola's (Uber suffered $780 million Losses this FY)
5.  Uber's app is super accurate and robust.
6.  Passengers don't understand the concept of Uber Pool/Ola share.  They just look at the low price, but don't grasp…

Space as The Final Frontier - The ultimate High

Movies like Interstellar or 2001:A Space Odyssey always make me feel insignificant and hopeless.  It leaves me in despair.  But also accompanying it is a sense of grandiose and greatness, it's a mixed and confusing feeling that feels like an afterglow of a drug binge (metaphorically), quite difficult to put in words or even describe orally.

What I can describe, though, is the sense of adventure and camaraderie I feel towards humanity and the earth after watching those movies.  We don't take Elon Musk seriously enough when he says that humans need to be a space faring civilization.  We cannot leave all our eggs in one basket, aka the Earth.  There are very high chances of a global extinction event over a long period of time.  It could be caused by anything among disease, war, extra-terrestrial objects hitting the Earth, climate change, a gamma ray burst etc.  It's a question of 'when' and not 'if'.  And as the current species roaming around aimlessly on th…

Days of our lives at Work and Workplace

Let's talk about Work and Workplace.

We spend around 40-45 hours a week at work, considering a 5-day work week.  It amounts to 26.7% of our week.  Over a long stretch of time, we must be spending at least 25% of our LIFE at work.  That's a quarter!  And considering we sleep for around 30%, work amounts to 38.1% of our conscious lives!

Those exclamations aren't just out of place.  It struck me like a brick.  It is common knowledge, but there is a difference between knowing something, realizing it and it cutting through your conscious.  It was an unnerving realization.  If I am miserable at work, I am unhappy for a quarter of my total life, and more than a third of my conscious life! That's 5 years in an active carrier of 20 years.

I went meta to understand what caused this sudden surge of spirituality; I concluded it could be mid life crisis, a time when career, personal life and unrequited dreams surface from their graves.  However philosophical it might seem, I gave …

Down the memory lane - A blog I wrote to introduce a service my friend launched in 2011

I stumbled across my old blog post on introducing a service called Korpool my friend had launched in 2011.  It was a sweet moment for me.

EDIT - The service is no longer available.  It was launched by my friend Siddharth Naik.

"
Korpool is a new service that launched some time ago and was in a stealth mode for some time while we tested it with select people.  Now, we have decided to showcase it to the world.  It's an elegant solution to a problem which many face, but are hesitant to discuss.  

Corporations have internal social networks, which are strictly private to the employees and have a strict code of conduct.  Sometimes freely expressing one's views on such intra-corporation networks costs employees their jobs.  What if the employees of the company wish to freely communicate without worrying about their employers eavesdropping?  One solution is using external social networks, but Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are too large and too open a networks to be entr…