If All is Well, Then why so serious?!

    Millennia ago, the intelligent race of humans was not so intelligent. They were just another kind of animals who were moved by two important factors/purposes of survival, hunger and reproduction (the collective responsibility of the a species to sustain the species).

Then with progressing generations, there came the kind of humans who were unhappy with the present state of things. They re-thought everything, leading to raw food becoming Processed food, the animal colonies gained strength in numbers leading to civilizations, kingdoms and governments, caves became homes, trees became furnitures, metal and petroleum from deep beneath the earth became zippo lighter!

Then a word was coined. "Technology".

To this day the range of activities and products that come under this umbrella term is increasing in geometric progression.

My friend caveman after being with me for a considerable amount of time (from the time I started blogging!), he has picked up some lingo from me. Seriously.

He asked me..."Dude, I invented fire and made my life easier, I could store cooked food for longer periods of time and eat them when I starved. Fire made my life easier"

I was thinking why was this bearded freak saying this to me.

Then he went on, "You have this black colored box which you open in the morning and close at night, another piece of stone that you constantly keep touching now and then in different places...blah blah blah.."
I interrupted. Freak... that's a laptop and mobile phone.

He asked me what do I use them for and I told him, "Look you freak, these things are beyond your understanding, these things make my life easier, I communicate (I mean, talk) faster and louder(in terms of distance)", I could somehow feel this guy was understanding it cent percent, after all he was the dude who invented fire!

Then he started to go into his deep state of thinking, which to an untrained set of eyes would look like a retarted person meditating. And in a moment he snaps back coming near me..."Oh, freak", I say, "don't you ever do that sudden action as if you are gonna hunt me, ever again...I mean EVER, Damn...". Then I calmed down, and asked him what the hell did he realize, wich made him jump with energy?

Then this guy asks me.."If your boxes are supposed to make your lives easier, then why is that you carry it always? in car? and on bed during sex why do you touch the box as much you touch the female? while having food?... but still you say there is work pressure, you are always tensed and have hardly seen you smile or laugh heartily. Don't you compare my fire, with your box...I'll eat you for my next dinner, I warn you."

All this was fine...but finally he called me by the same name I had called him always..."Freak"

Hmmm...now how do I react?!

Are Smart phones really smart?

On the roads, when a girl walks past us with an air of attitude and beauty, spreading the sweet perfume of her’s in the air, we make a silent mental note of it. Then later we talk about her to our friends and say “Dude, she was like Aishwarya Rai da…my God, the image is still there in my mind”.

That’s how the mind works. Can’t help it. We often associate the things that manage to capture our attention to the Best ones that prevail/exist. (Now, please don’t argue that Ash might not be the best, there is always a Jolie…that was just a metaphor!) Similar patterns of subconscious analysis and comparison can be found in the way we perceive smart phones too.

Let me tell you how.

HOW? my favorite mechanism again…”Questioning”…
Q: What is a smart phone?
A: Simply put, a phone/connectivity device that defines simplified and intuitive ways of achieving the same goals, which in other “not so smart” phones would take about 5-10 different buttons being pressed in various combinations!

When we say smart, it can again be compared to a person. If the looks is all that ever mattered, then they must be called handsome/beautiful phones and not as smart phones.

We call a person smart looking into the real potential the person has got, not just by the looks. Of course looks matter too, but not as much as the functional aspects. Looks should essentially incline towards the ergonomics of the device.

Unfortunately, our Aishwarya Rai (BTW, Ash… if you are reading this post, I am not offending you by these mentions in this post, you are the best mechanism that can take me closer to the Indian minds…thank u for that.) kinda mindset  makes us terribly addicted to the notion that a QWERTY and loads of internet connectivity options is what makes a smart phone. Well, in a way yes. These can be compared to Hrithik Roshan’s dressing style, but the question is, is that all he is? There is more skills to him right?

Q: So…What is a smart mobile (in my humble opinion)…?
A: Its the stuff inside buddy!

I would call a device smart, if it can exhibit those little differentiating elements that a smart person would have over an average person.

So here is the checklist:

1. A very robust keypad QWERTY or a really smart T9 logic backed normal keypad.

2. A display that which is visible at most, if not all angles.

3. A good hold feel, what good would be a beautiful/handsome girl/guy if you can’t hold her/him all day?!

4. A headphone jact which can fit a generic headphone pin (3.5mm), in short the supports should be more standards specific. Why would a smart company want to trap me into buying their headphones and accessories till I get fed up with the device?

5. Make it robust, just because I call it a smart phone doesn’t mean I am smart user, I will sleep on it entangled in the headphone wires, I will spill coffee on phone ( I update my tweets when I have coffee or lunch …mostly), I am an outdoors person so please do something for the dust and moisture.

Feel: In designer’s lingo we call it UX (User Experience). The device should be smart enough to cater the most complicated of services like email’ing and document creation/editing with utmost ease and intuitiveness. If reaching any point/target in the menu takes more than three clicks or taps, please lets not call it smart, its then just another wanna be smarty! Imagine…what if you save half a second everytime you move across the menu? YOU JUST RECLAIMED YOUR LIFE MAN!!!

Software: Now we are talking business! This is where I wanted to come until now! The software is the real deal, and can very well be compared to the brains of a smart person. I would not make the slightest compromise on this!!! No bugs, No hanging, better memory management please…after all  a smart person manages stress with ease right?! So should the smart phone do.

Extended services:

1. I would like to buy not just the phone, but the services that come along with it, every single using moment I wish to be reminded of the fact that I am using a device, the makers of which, make it a commitment in making me feel that I am a king (hey…I don’t claim myself to be a king! Don’t gimme that look,please!…corporates call customers the King right?! that’s why I chose the word.)

2. I wish there should a personal cloud space for me when I buy a smart phone for synchronising (now that includes a good server as well!) all my data (be it relevant or irrelevant…that’s immaterial when striving to cater the best services).

3. Proper scheduled updates and patches of softwares to help my mobile stay smart. Any smart person would know the value of continued learning, just like them the smart phones can/should never afford to get obsolete.

These are the expectations of an average Indian guy, fresh out of college into the software industry, with money to buy phone/s and services (also called “your potential customer”). Make something quickly for me, I am all ears!

Quick Conclusion :
  • A smart phone is not just a QWERTY mobile with Fun-filled components.
  • Its the inside stuff that matters the most, in real world they call it software!
  • After the sale, I should not feel like an obsolete dumbo…the services do matter.
  • Remember : Holding a smart mobile, doesn’t mean I am smart.

Stop Downloading, Start Uploading*

Stop Downloading, Start Uploading
—Jay Bradner.

Welcome to twitter era, where people largely emote in terms of tweets! Unlike great old works like poetry, literature, dramas etc tweets don’t have the luxury of attaining permanence in hard bound print forms for eternity, but they rather choose to stay as short little yet powerful words, wandering in the Internet, just showing up themselves when someone looks for them.

Did I mention powerful?! I did it because, tweets are the way we generally think. Ranging from pain to pleasure, we often wind up the message in less than 140 characters. Not convinced…?
Touch something hot?..Ouch!
Want to express love?…I love you..
Every other feeling including the ones above?…Fuck..

So not astonishingly, every now and then great works of intellects are born in tweets and fade with timelines. One such tweet was “Stop Downloading, Start Uploading”.

This was a message from Jay to the high school students at graduation. I would say what a statement of vision. Internet is a mechanism truly democratic, it is populated by the people, for the people, and is presently of the people! and all that what we call constitutes Internet oops… (I sound like an obsolete techie now!) Web 2.0 today is the culmination of the data (uploads) by the people, who were/are mostly from the developed countries, who were lucky enough to have decent Internet access, at a very early point of time. Ours is a developing country, and our optic fibres are progressively carrying more and more data everyday, seems like a good sign to me!

With all this discussion on “Stop dowloading, Start uploading”, it is worthwhile to see throught the right spectacles, what the early Internet access and uploading phenomenon helped these developed nations achieve.

The greatest thing is about the data in Internet is not just data in itself. It is a culture uploaded. A subtle form of soft-power establishment. British council through its libraries worldwide, wields it soft-power by establishing cultural relations. We all speak English, eat American, Italian, Lebanese, Chinese range of foods, prefer French wines, trust German engineering, Indian software services! etc. All this constitutes judicious use of soft-power, advertently or inadvertently. So, essentially what we see in Internet is what they show us, which is actually that which they want us to see! I mentioned “inadvertently” already, I don’t mean to say all this is done deliberately, it just happened and is happening, and all that I am calling for is to see the huge benefit that can emerge out of practicing a simple thing from now on, the benefit of which will arrive as a geometric progression, in simple terms -exponentially. After-all, in Internet, information is contagious!

So what can we do?
It is a must that we accept that India as a nation has its own problems, ranging from poverty to corruption, there are lots of people who still need to be fed, there is a huge mass that needs to be vaccinated to fight diseases of the future and an equal mass that needs to be educated to fight the social/cultural diseases that will come up in the future. All the above problems, need to be addressed with careful, diplomatic plannings, often requiring political intervention and will. So that very much distances techies like you and me from these issues!

So, what can WE do.

By WE, I here mean the privileged few like you and me, who have access to Internet, who have email addresses, who communicate ceaselessly with our devices. We can’t touch lives, we can’t change rules by which our nation runs, but we definitely can break all these barriers and utilize this medium called Internet which is very easy and which is so much our playground.

My dream is an extrapolation of Jay Bradner’s Vision. My dream is..

Every school student, college graduate has a blog, or better, a website for himself.

To tweet the emotions, to come up with good emotions, don’t forget that we are uploading cultures!

Colleges and companies should have a place in the forms asking for personal websites and blogs, just the way we have mobile numbers now, I don’t think that was there two decades ago.

Students start giving links to their blogs and websites in their resumes, enabling their persona to break the confines of a boring black and white resume, just the way they want to break the confines of a dull, unchallenging job.

The up-loaders should provide appropriate tags, as the Web 2.0 loves tagging, for managing itself. Oblige and Web shall love you too!

A name like Simon, John, Smith, Jason is so very close to Internet, you see these filled in by default in the text boxes intended for filling in your names. Why not Krish, Raghav, Ram etc!?! Provided we think more than providing just software making and maintaining services, and come up with more original home grown ideas which the Web 2.0 would love to accommodate, or better celebrate.

How can we do?
Q:How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.
—from "Eat That Frog" by Brian Tracy.
Start with one upload per day, minimum being a tweet, maximum being a video of some fun or serious activity of the day.
Upload options: esnips, plinky, twitter, scribd, stumbleupon, facebook, tumblr blog, wordpress, bloglines, linkedin, etc…in simple terms…HAVE A FACE IN INTERNET. An entire population of a country like India, into Internet, filling it…see the potential?

How can we do?
You think upon that…! and add a comment. I will be commenting my ideas as well. Looking forward to your bright ideas. Trust me, I will Execute them!

The Indian Doppelganger syndrome

Gandhi was a man who saw this coming very clearly. Thats why he gave us the "Three Monkeys", that say "See no evil, Say no evil, Hear no evil", but my education taught me that saying bad things meant using dirty words, and may be now they are teaching see no evil means pornography...but it took me 23 years of introspection to understand what this man wanted to convey. He says, say no to negativity and be more open towards positivism! What a visionary within that puny man.

The common wealth games are up and running, we have finally delivered the promise, not much to the world's awe but to every Indian's awe! "shame"... Everyone of us who watches Indian news channels and reads Indian newspapers must have seen the dark gloomy clouds that the media positioned over the CWG site in Delhi. In fact for a moment they convinced me to think against my own country, and make me blurt "WTF is happening here man...such a shame"?

That is exactly when I realized that I have this Doppelganger syndrome like all other Indians. We all in this country have a propensity to love our country and behave as if lacking patriotism is a crime (well... In a way it actually is ;) ), but the big picture is that it is very superficial. I would compare it to a boyfriend who makes it a point that he says "I love you" to his girl every single morning and night to reiterate the fact that they are in love and they better not get diverted with someone else!

 "We are Indians", "we love India", "mera Bharat mahaan" etc, we love saying this, don't we?! The same superficial Indian curses everything we got in India, from politicians to film making...here is a check list! See which one you use the most...?!

1. These roads...God knows what the government is doing with all the tax money.

2. Hopeless politicians, they are just keen on making money...clearly they confused politics to be a career option, that requires no educational criterion to get employed/involved in it.

3. Education system in India sucks big time...don't know when all this will change, exams exams exams...all that we try to do is to act like a USB memory stick, and forget the processor in us!

4. The younger generation has hardly any values, God knows where India is heading to with this generation that loves casual sex and drugs, the generation that which sleeps late and gets up late.

5. The petrol price is high, and this traffic makes my cash flow into the atmosphere through my car's ass.

6. The television channels are so bad, the programs are so offending, is the government watching?

7. Who sends me all this advertisement messages, calls from banks and messages from Dr.Batra's? why isn't TRAI concerned about all this at all, BTW what are they concerned about actually?

8. What films we make?! yuck...have you seen Guy Ritchie's, Danny Boyle's, Quentin Tarantino's, Martin Scorcese's movies? Thats the real deal man...When will we ever have movies like that?

9. Stop expecting more...this is a blogpost, not a research paper! The next point is the best one!!! our favorite! and the last one...

10." Common Wealth Games :( " say no more...ha ha

We have clearly got so much negativity about our own country. But let me help us get to the roots of it, through my favorite mechanism..."Questioning".
?    Q: What is a country?
?    A: You, me and similar things put together.

?    Q: Where is the problem?
?    A: How much did you pay for your kid's schooling, medical or engineering course fee (I mean the Undocumented money!) ?
?    How come paying extra Rs.1000/-- gets you a fancy number for your bike and Rs.4000/-- for your car? Did you get the bill for it?!
?    Did you get the bill for the single strip of paracetamol you bought recently?
?    Did you demand bill for the fuel you filled in your vehicle's fat belly?
?    ''congratulations'', you just did your bit to screw up the system! HOW???
?    -->>> You didn't get bill, the money went undocumented, government got no tax, Government is angry, cos it never knew that you got your stuff, and paid money for it, because Government never got its share, so she decides to support herself by making your commodity costlier, so that the little taxes that manage to reach the government gets proportionately larger in magnitude.
?    By the way, forgot to ask...how will you repay the education loan for your kid who is still unemployed because of the poor education quality that was thrust upon him? especially when your paycheck is so miniscule? when was the last time a bribe supported this cause?! ;)
?    Got a fattened medical bill from hospital for claiming it from your office?..Hmmm...now we start stealing from the employers haven't we? Now...the employer is angry, so lesser claims encouraged, you are now enraged! can't help it!

Can't help it...because this vicious downward loop is here to stay, till when we have this syndrome treated. Wanna know whats the best part?!

Nobody but ourselves can treat this syndrome.
Did you just say..."conclude fast"?! Fine...

Just for a change...U do that...