Speaking of ceaseless learnings and evolution of knowledge, how does one deal with the ever-changing facts? Last week, the scientists told us that the northernmost part of earth is not where we thought it was. Apparently, it’s now a place called Oodaaq (nice name for a child born to parents who were born after 1995). We keep acknowledging again and again that we shouldn’t stay faithful to the answers. They change. Our only obligation should be towards the vexing thread of questions. Deep inside, we know that the uncomfortable questions make us stronger. They bring us closer to defeating the fear of the unknown. Yes, at times, we might act arrogant based on little of what we’ve researched and accepted to be the truth, but then, there is where lies our single great fallacy. Our experience is what brings us closer to the truth, not borrowed wisdom. Just because you spent 15 months reading about something doesn’t mean you know it all. Just because you had sex once doesn’t mean you had a sex life.
Our culture cares about winning, and that’s the only thing that matters. ... 99% of what you see on TV is fake. ‘Reality’ shows about people’s lives are fake. Vlogs on YouTube are fake. Posts on social media are fake. When I say fake, I don’t mean it’s all a lie. I mean that it’s not a depiction of reality. A snapshot of someone’s life on Instagram tells you nothing about that person’s actual life. That’s how we should treat all those things: As pure entertainment, not as inspiration for life.”
This is true for all fiction I read. I know I won’t remember most of it after a few years. And it is fine. As long as for a few hours every day I can imagine to be somewhere else. Maybe it is escapism. But it keeps me sane.
Understanding your needs tells you what’s essential and what’s extraneous. It simplifies your life—instead of trying to do 20 different things simultaneously, you can focus on protecting the core components of your life. It sounds banal, but it’s quite difficult—most smart people I know haven’t identified their needs yet, and feel lost and adrift because of it. It takes careful experimentation and a deep knowledge of who you are to pick out the one or two right things in an infinite lineup. But nothing matters more—it’s the difference between feeling empty despite having “everything” and feeling full despite having very little.
If these nouveau riche are crypto’s landed gentry, then the Collins family are its subsistence farmers. They put in long hours to keep the mining rigs running, the hackers at bay, and the stomachs of nine family members filled. Their yield is unpredictable at best and at worst, catastrophic. They may share the same principles as the crypto elite, but they aren’t making money hand over fist: in fact, they’re just barely getting by. They have made crypto their whole lives for ideological reasons, not financial ones. They are true believers in the principles around which crypto is organized, and their commitment to those principles is rooted in bitter experience. “I’m on this adventure because 2008 almost killed me financially. I’m not on dollars, I’m on Satoshi,” Owen says in his Texas Hill Country drawl. “When you come at me and ask what the value of something is and you say dollars, I’m gonna say fuck off.”
According to my philosophy, people have lost sight of what language really is and that is why they obsess with written documentation whenever they are faced with a dying language. The solution to language death is learning. In general, Western philosophies have a tendency to be rather lofty and to stay away from what is natural, human and biological. This is, I believe, an explanation for why people do often not see there is an alternative to written documentation. I regard human-based documentation as equally valid, it is a way of preserving a language.
"We aren't going to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects unless we get a better understanding of cryptography," he says. "Our government is building some of those tools for its own use—there have been breakthroughs—but they're unavailable to us. We paid for them."
Hussain’s favourite way to eat custard was in an ice cream called “Shake” outside his school in Ranchi. It was “a thick runny cold custard that my ice-cream bhaiyya, Suraj, would pour into a glass. Then he would drop a scoop of vanilla ice-cream into it, and top it off with broken pieces of kaju or tutti-frutti dots,” he said. “Lagta tha, kuch jadoo hi hoga iss mein. We used to go crazy for it. It was like eating some kind of art painting.”
Don’t buy things on impulse. I keep a note of all the items I want to purchase. Instead of buying all of them at once, I stagger the purchases over months. Sometimes I don’t even feel like buying after a few weeks pass. Don’t succumb to FOMO sales tactics. Most discounts are fake anyway. They just jack up the price and then offer a discount.
“The NGOs are required to submit copious amounts of data to various regulatory authorities on a regular basis. And yet, when they want to access data in a meaningful way, there is just no information available,” says Ingrid Srinath, director of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University. “We are unable to figure out exactly how many NGOs are there, where are they, what do they do, what is the size of the sector, what is the growth rate, etc. The data just doesn’t get compiled in a meaningful way.”
Several countries suspect the same. It’s the reason why the UAE bans WhatsApp calls or China has developed Weibo or Baidu, homegrown alternatives for Twitter and Google. It’s also the reason why the Indian government is promoting the use of homegrown apps like Koo, says Kumar. “So when the time comes where you feel you must penetrate a dark spot, apps like Koo will have to share data.”
But something fascinating now is that China has just passed one of the most strict laws of privacy around the world. And there’s a lot of speculation of, “Why did they do that? Their tech companies, their stock dropped, so why would they do that?” And one possible reason, among others, is because they realized that having so much personal data stored is a ticking bomb. And in particular, it is a danger to national security. So their rivals will get to that data sooner or later, and they will use it against China. So one reason why they’re regulating in favor of privacy is to protect themselves. And that gives a big motivation to the United States to come up with a federal privacy law, because it’s one of the few advanced countries that doesn’t have one, and that’s very worrisome.
For someone who is a part of the millennials, I do criticize them/us a lot. This generation, for all its blushes and warts, has its heart in the place but doesn’t have the spine to sweat. Too much noise, too little work. As a result, we are a bunch of people who want to speak out and feel good about how awesome we are. One of the reasons why the so-called bad guys are so damn successful is because they are focused and hardworking. The cartels and the warehouses don’t run on their own. There is a plan in place and more importantly, words are sparsely used. In other words, words are precious. Getting things done is a lot harder than throwing hollow phrases around.
I have also cut down on newsletters. Most newsletters gives a feeling of learning something new, but you rarely implement anything from these posts. They give you a feeling of becoming smart, without actually having your viewpoint. It is better to consume less and create more.
The Internet has become a subliminal influence machinery. The days where the results of a Google search are ranked by the page algorithm are long gone. Google search results are now customized for each user individually by an opaque algorithm. The argument in favor of such customization is that it is aimed at maximizing user benefit, but it could also be aimed at maximizing advertising revenues. Analogously, the stream of posting on a Facebook user's wall is algorithmically customized, with the goal of "maximizing user engagement." Just like the grains of information we reveal about ourselves result in a heap of information about us, the grains of information that Internet companies give us result in a heap of influence we are not aware of.