Monday, November 13, 2023

Moving to Substack

 After 17 years of writing silly stuff here, I have finally bit the bullet and I have decided to write silly stuff on Substack. I have been struggling with managing and updating my blog on blogger for a while, so I decided to move to something new and shiny and continue there.

I may not post here for the foreseable future, so if you wish to continue to subscribe to me on RSS, please follow my feed there.

I was trying to end this on a dramatic note, but well life goes on. Nothing dramatic about it. Thank you blogger for all the love and hosting me for free for so long!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The kulfi inflation index

India has had crazy amount of inflation over the last 10 years. Every time I visit, I see prices going up everywhere and things getting more expensive.

I have a friendly neighbourhood kulfi vendor who is my perfect gauge for inflation in India. That's mainly because every time I visit,  I make sure to visit his place and order a stick of kulfi. And every time without fail, his price has increased as compared to the previous year. Just for reference, his kulfi costed Rs. 5 in 2007, and as of now in 2022 it costs Rs. 50. That's a CAGR of approx. 16.59 % It is unbelievable!

Monday, April 4, 2022

The Mask un-mandate

 Long term readers of my blog know that I loved to wear masks even before wearing them was a thing (read - pre-COVID). So I sort of did not feel bad wearing masks for the last 2+ years. Besides all the other benefits of masking up, one big benefit is - I can hide my face and be fairly anonymous in a crowd.

Anyway, now most outdoor places in my vicinity are sort of asking people not to mask up anymore. This has become highly uncomfortable for social recluses like me! I hope mask wearing becomes a fashionable thing just like how we wear shoes, and people who want to wear masks are allowed to do so forever.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Change ain't easy

So I changed jobs like 7+ months ago. And if you have noticed, I totally disappeared off this blog. Not that I did not want to write, but I was lost, stressed and couldn't get a grip on all the new things I had to learn.

Not only did I change my industry, but the entire technology stack has been totally new for me. So I have been studying hard most nights and weekends to catch-up - first on the business / industry aspect of my new job, and then on the technology stack. Learning is infinite! I am still stuck in the wonder world and every new topic I read or learn takes me down a rabbit hole that I take a few days to climb out of. I have read 3 books on my industry till now, and I still feel like a total imbecile.


I hope you all have been doing great and enjoying the ride that is 2022. I hope to write more often in the coming months :) !!

Friday, December 31, 2021

Another year goes by ...

And just like that 2021 is over! Another year has gone by ... I had a relatively busy and not-so-disciplined last quarter of the year. That is reflected in the absence of any blog posts past October this year.

As we look forward to 2022, I am hoping we can return to at least some form of normalcy in this year (or get used to whatever the "new normal" is going to be). I hope to continue to learn, read new books, and continue on my path to a healthier lifestyle.

I wish you all a very happy new year!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

The power of 1.5x

 Since I have joined my new company, my day consists of listening to a lot of recorded meetings that have happened overnight in North America (while I am fast asleep). A trick that I learnt when I started listening to podcasts a few months ago is - speed up the recording! Human beings take a lot of pauses, think and speak slow most of the times!

Our brains can comprehend other people speaking at 1.5x their normal speeds without much trouble (Yeah you have to focus better, but anyway, you are expected to focus in meetings!). The advantage is - I can save 20 minutes in a 60 minute recorded meeting (that's 33% saving of time) without any loss in the content or comprehension!


Now this trick only works if the speaker speaks at "normal" human talking speeds. It does not work in a multi-party meeting where some people tend to speak real fast. So if you have multiple people speaking at different speeds in a meeting, this may not work for you (unless everyone speaks at the same pace).

Anyway, now I have gotten so addicted to this trick that

  1. I prefer recorded meetings to live meetings cause I don't have to participate, and I can listen to the content at "my pace"
  2. I have gotten used to listening to a lot of people at 1.5x their normal talking speeds, so when I indeed have a live meeting with them, they sound super slow to me!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Voiced post

Hello people! So I decided to type this blog by using my voice.This is the first time I am using the voice typing feature in Google Docs. It's amazing to see how smart Google has become at voice recognition. 

I decided to let the blog be written without me correcting any word that Google has written. And if I have to really correct one, I would let you know that that particular word has been corrected by me manually.

I find that Google has not made a single mistake so far and can recognize my voice flawlessly. I always thought that speech recognition would be an extremely difficult task for computers to do because of all the accents that it has to address and correct for. But it looks like that does not seem to be an issue anymore. Everyday I keep getting amazed by the level of progress that we are doing as a society. It's scary to imagine the future.

I'm still struggling with punctuations. So I had to press the enter key and start new paragraphs. As I'm voicing these two paragraphs above I realized that it's a lot more easier to talk than to write. So maybe in the future the "writer's block" may be a thing of history. I can also imagine that if documents  start writing the way they do right now with my voice we could actually write a lot more as well as a lot faster than we do right now, and entire conversations could be just written down this way without someone having to actually write them down manually. So writers would just have to proofread what was automatically typed by the computer already. That's it from me folks, it's actually a weird feeling to talk to the computer and see it write down as you speak to it.

This section was written:
After I voice typed the section above, I realized that Google gets my punctutations incorrectly. So I had to paragarph and put periods and also put quotes for the "writer's block" above. The rest of the speech is as it is - verbatim - perfect. If you want to try it out for yourself, I would recommend you open a Google Doc in Chrome or Edge browser and try this function.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Acknowledge ephemeral happiness

 In our relentless pursuit of happiness, I realize that most of us have stopped acknowledging the ephemeral happiness we derive from small wordly moments every single day. 21 years into the 21st century we actually experience a lot more happiness on a daily basis than anytime in the history of homo sapiens. Most of us experience unprecedented levels of comfort, access to amazing healthcare and nutrition. Yet we as a society have now become increasingly divided, unhappy, irritable, stressed and unhappy.

While curbing societal pressures and controlling stress is something beyond everyone's reach, acknowledging happiness is definitely something we all can (and should do!). Ideally, throughout the day, we should learn to pause, acknowledge and appreciate the simple pleasures in our life. Complex things like airconditioners, refridgerators, microwaves, telephones, internet, televisions and simple things like hot water, taps, electricity etc. etc. all have enriched our life by leaps and bounds. We have completely stopped acknowledging the level of ease we have gotten used to, and constantly think of the next thing!

As you read this blog, I hope you think about all the little comforts that you have gotten used to, and starting today, pause and appreciate these fleeting moments of happiness as life passes by at breakneck speed!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Mac for the win!

 After having used Windows for all my working life, my new company forced me to switch to a Mac. I was terrified, unhappy and was not sure I would be able to cope with the switch. The first week was a nightmare, cause I had to unlearn all my shortcuts.

For starters, Mac has no backspace, no Windows Key, no Home, no End, no Page-up and no Page-down. Function keys are in the fancy touch bar and there is this key called "Command" which does most of the work. The mouse scrolls in the opposite direction, the concept of Desktops is different and there is no start menu.

Anyway, I have now been using the Mac for almost 3 weeks now, and I think I am surviving. I am confused with a lot of my shortcuts, but slowly and steadily I am getting my speed and efficiency back. The best part of learning to use Mac was to just Google search things like "How to Page Down in Mac" and you would get the right answer to your question almost always.

The interesting part though is - I hardly use any desktop tools anymore. Almost all my work is done in the Google Workspace suite. Though I am very familiar with the Office 365 suite of products, I am lucky to have also used Google Workspace extensively before.

My preliminary impression of Mac is not that extraordinarily different than Windows. Build-qualitywise Macbook pro looks definitely "cooler" than my trusty old Thinkpad X1. But that may have not been a big reason for me to change (ever).

I have almost found equivalent alternatives for all software that I used on Windows. The only problem now is that when I go back to my Windows Laptop, I mistype my shortcuts!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Sum Totalled Life

 Every once in a while I have this epiphany about what my life is all about because I read a book or read a tweet or a blog. This is one of those tweets by Tim Urban.

Tim Urban -

The way I interpret this tweet is - your life is a sum total of all the things that you have ever done (or to be more poetic - a sum total of all the paths you have taken). Which for me means - the books you have read, the blogs you have followed, the movies you have seen, the random tweets, facebook posts, tik-toks you have consumed as well as the people you have spent time with, the jobs you have worked on and the schools you have gone, the places you have visited and the friends you spend time with.

Now the good part of the diagram is - you still have a million different paths to go on after today. So rather than having a defitist mentality, you can still be an optimist and "optimize" the paths that you take, the things that you do, the time that you spend on going forward. Starting now, you can still choose a better path than you ever did before. And this could then be your lowest point in your life!