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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 o

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

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 t

Thoughts on Employer switching

With the attrition season in full swing, I often hear people having more than one employment offers.  They are many a times very competing, and the decision is difficult.  Various factors come into play beyond the obvious ones (salary, designation, role etc.), like commute distance from home, brand value of the employer, the clientele etc.  In a few cases, even these factors are very closely comparable, making the choice all the more perplexing. One factor, which I feel trumps a lot of minor ones and one which is often ignored by many, is the history of the employer in terms of the kind of treatment it metes out to its employees, especially during rough times.  This is perhaps, in my opinion, more important than most of the other factors.  Imagine, you join a company that offers good compensation, has good policies on paper and has a good overall brand value, but the core of it is rotten due to bureaucratic crap flowing down from top.  You would steadily burn out and p

The ultimate speed limit - Light, and why is it so

The movie Interstellar reinvigorated my childhood curiosity about the natural world.  Questions and wonder overwhelmed me.  My favorite subject during school and college was Physics.  I still love it and regularly read the new findings.  Interstellar got me thinking on many of the phenomena we don't observe; like what makes certain materials transparent and others opaque.  Why is the speed of light limited to ~3,00,000 km/s, what does empty space exactly consist of etc. etc.  A lot of thoughts came rushing. I picked up a random one, why does light have a speed limit, what is the constraining factor?  I tried reading online and asked questions in science forums (like StackExchange ).  Upon reading multiple sources, the response left me in awe.  Something amazing happened when stuff travelled through space. A short answer to the question is:  The speed limit is not that of light, but the medium in which it is travelling.  This implies that ~3,00,000 km/s is the speed limit of the

Hypocritical Me - Hypercritical Me

A collection of thoughts I feel are hypocritical about us, but they might be hypercritical.  You, the reader, are the judge.  Without further ado, here it goes... 1.  "Sir" This one was funny to some extent.  It struck me hard and had me go meta for a few hours.  At the US consulate in Mumbai, there was a lady carrying an umbrella.  The watchmen there were checking for any prohibited items.  She promptly and uber-politely asked one of them "Where do we keep these umbrellas.....Sir?  (there was a pause).  What hit me was her use of the word "Sir".  How many times in her life would she have addressed a watchman with that title?  I have seen people being rude to others whom they deem inferior in some way or the other, or with whom they don't have a favor to ask.  I remember an instance where a lady at my work was shouting at a watchman for some petty thing.  She was in a fit of rage, almost with a frothing mouth.  What if the same lady were at the US consu

The Wolf of the Wall Street - A lesson in persuation

The movie made me loathe the Wall Street and the brokers.  The brokers are a sink hole who suck up money like leeches and produce nothing useful.  The characters concede that their only job is to move the money from their clients' pockets to theirs.  They don't give a flying f**k (this word has been used 506 times in the movie, breaking all previous records) about their clients or their money, they won't let their clients en-cash profits, because as long as the clients remain invested, the money is ' fugazi '.  It's as if the Martin Scorsese want you to hate the Wall Street brokers.  But the one thing I loved about the movie was the persuasion skills of the characters.  How a bunch of high school dropouts (selling weed) with next to none skills in negotiation and persuasion are trained to convince the millionaires into ponzi schemes.  The millionaires, who have climbed their way up by the virtues of their intelligence and sound judgement.  It's easy to foo