10 Notes from last few Days

  • Constantly running around just for taking Oximeter reading of everyone. Pulse rapidly changing just in anticipation of seeing the right ratings.
  • Spending loads of time just to figure out which medicine to take when, how many dosages done, how many tablets remaining. Confusion is lessened as almost everyone is being given similar treatment.
  • Encouraging the sick to stay strong mentally so that healing is quickened. Motivational Speaker reaching greater heights.
  • Trying to push all negative thoughts out. First from own mind. Then from others.
  • Getting controlled by others to not go too close to the sick and incessant reminders of washing of hands. Conditioning of mind from last many months fades into oblivion seeing loved ones suffer without their mistake.
  • Reading blood reports, googling the meaning, figuring out if it is going well or not, and eventually waiting for the Doctor to guide. Googling gives relief but also gives anxiety.
  • Coordinating with other family folks for all of the above. Everyone supporting one another. Some virtually. Some through walls.

Nobody else can understand what someone goes through when they go through such times. Immunity and see-what-happens attitude go for a toss when this sort of calamity occurs right at your doorstep.

Please wear masks and avoid crowds. This is the way.

person drawing Frankenstein on brown board

The Pen is, of course, mightier than the Sword

I like Etymology as Science. Words of any language evolve and take shapes and forms of their own which might mean a lot different than the source.

One word which is interesting to me is ‘Pen’.

The word ‘pen’ is derived from Middle English pen, penne (like Pasta) which meant “enclosure for animals”, or basically a Cage or the more obvious ‘penitentiary’ or Prison. Ink Pen would’ve been a cage for Ink. From that, we moved on to Ball Pen, stylus, and so on.

While Pen originally meant to enclose or shut off things, it changed into something which resembles freedom and lets us imagine things.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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Social Media ID Portability, a thought

We already have MNP or mobile number portability in India. That is, the ability to keep the same phone number but freely moving across different Service Providers. That helps us to choose the best plan for ourselves and keeps the Service Provider companies’ exorbitant price hikes in-check. We also have multiple Cloud Services providers, Data Storage providers, Banks, and so forth where we can change our service providers to choose what suits us.

apps blur button close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was listening to this podcast by Guy Kawasaki where he was interviewing Dr. Sinan Aral, who is an MIT Professor and has written a book called: The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health–and How We Must Adapt.

Dr. Aral suggested this strange-sounding but still worth paying attention to idea: Why can’t Social Media companies act like Social Service Provider? Each of their users (i.e. us) should be free to change the service and move over to another while taking all of their data and friend lists with them.

For example, say I have 800 friends on Facebook (I had 1000+ but one day I cleaned it up) and say I am not on Twitter (I am but I just tweet about the weather). But I am done with Facebook’s privacy rules and constantly showing up of ads on my Timeline. So, if I want to move on to somewhere else, I have to lose all my data then and there. I would lose all my private messages, photos, comments, and so on. Instead, I should have the ability to either download everything that Facebook has recorded with my account (which is after all a unique ID). Or, I should be able to port it all to another social media website, say Twitter. Of course, each one has its own functionalities but in general, they all have Text, Photos, Replies, and private messages as their primary functionality. Moreover, I should also be able to connect to (via APIs) any user (or block them everywhere) from any other social media website.

This idea would help regulate not only the companies who just flaunt the monopoly and power they have over people’s lives, but it would also increase accountability on part of the user. Basically, all these companies are just service providers and they should behave in such a manner. Really interesting if this happens!

One downside from user’s perspective is that this would need a user to lose their anonymity to an extent if they show up with their real name on Facebook but you want to say whatever comes to their mind on Twitter as anonymous. But we need to choose what we find more precious, our data or our freedom of expression.

You can listen to the full podcast here where he talks further about other things which make Social Media what a behemoth it is:

assorted-color lear hanging decor

Some Change is Good

Just in front of my apartment, every day around noon, a bunch of kids play gully Cricket. More than the actual play, they indulge in shouting in a shrill high-pitched cacophony. Now, I am not one of those who get disturbed by it, rather I appreciate them playing instead of doing infinite scrolling. Guessing by their shrillness in their voices, they all seem to be just 10-12-year-olds. Reminiscing from my own lives, I foresee this: Soon, their voices would crack and the shouting would subside. They would be subjected to societal pressure of delivering goods in their board exams. A lot of change would happen over time in everyone’s lives. Not everyone would like it but it is going to happen.

Everyone feels uncomfortable when change happens. Everyone, even if they don’t show it. The way they express might be different but nobody likes to disturb the status quo. Especially when change happens within a short period of time, it is not always a pretty sight. (Unless you are a terrorist). But it is inevitable.

If there had been no change, no progress would have been made. Imagine your ancestors as single-cell organisms living in a shallow pond. Life would be just floating around in water and chilling. If they hadn’t changed their usual behavior and didn’t interact with nearby surroundings, you would not be reading this here. Imagine you being in the same job for years with the same set of people, doing the same sort of work. You might not change but technology would and it would force you to adapt or perish.

Even if the ongoing pandemic has brought mostly doom, it has made us realize what things are really important and what all needs to change.

We should embrace a bit of change once in a while and be ready for it mentally. Sachin Tendulkar retired 7 years ago. Could you imagine that sort of change? But it happened, and we are sad but okay. The same is comfortable but boring.

Not sure about this change though:

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Hand in there, better days are coming

So I recently read: ‘Your Life in Weeks’ on WaitButWhy.com

I generally don’t think long term. I do have ambitions and I have a general plan but there is no more irksome question than “Where do you see yourself after 5 years?”. Memes about this question being asked in 2015 are already aplenty. All your plans, goals, and targets crumble as soon as a personal calamity occurs.

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