Death by Information

This happened a long time ago on a planet far, far away.
There was only one commodity on this planet; #information
There was no food, no money but just information.
Information was sold in bright red packets.
In exchange for information, you would get more information.
People had no choice but to consume these packets.
Perrinially famished, they would devour any piece of information like a horde of zombies would attack a mortal.
This information was manufactured at a factory headed by an opportunist.
For thousands of years, people consumed true and factual information.
But when a pandemic swept away half of the population there was a dearth of factual information.
Information was now made artificially but to compensate for authenticity, it was made more entertaining.
Justice was also served by manipulating info.
Justice was not served by trial but my popular opinions and debates.
Populist decisions ruled.
Political and judicial mechanisms were redundant.
Eventually, all information was replaced with artificial information.
Everything got distorted, people went crazy and they lost touch with reality.
I don’t know what happened next but here are the few last words that someone heard.
Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by….

Cruising through the age of the vertical

A new Apple ad is actually a nine-minute vertical movie called “The Stunt Double”.

You are also reading this post in a vertical feed, aren’t you?

Vertical aspect ratio provides an infinite feed at your disposal.

For every one post you consume, you might discard 20.

It is designed for infinite content consumption.

Think Tik-Tok or Instagram.

Also, think about the ancient paper scroll.

The many books you must have read.

The Ipad and the Kindle and the smartphone which you might be holding right now.

The list goes on.

The vertical aspect ratio gives you control, you can interact with what you see.

You should also thank your opposing thumb too.

The horizontal aspect ratio is perhaps designed to sit back and relax, 16:9 takes control.

Giant cinema screens to home theatres and television sets.

It is also designed to work and focus.

You stay invested while engaging with a horizontal aspect ratio.

A vertical aspect ratio is designed to discard more and boost the velocity of consumption.

And Apple has realized this, vertical movies shot on iPhone matter more than ever.

I am sure Apple will revolutionize this space.

Broetry

People on Linkedin love deseeded watermelons.


Have you heard about Broetry?

Let us deal with Broetry first.

What you are reading now is a Broetry.

Surprised?

Yes! You are reading a Broetry!

One word. One Line. So much white space.

Very neat.

Every post you read is an investment.

Investment of your time and attention.

No one wants to process anything.

Processing has a cost.

It is a cognitive load after a long Monday.

Every time you click a see more button, you take a risk.

Will this person deliver on his promise?

He said something about deseeded watermelons.

He mentioned something about Broetry.

Well, I did.

If you have come so far you have devoured the deseeded watermelon.

Perhaps you have opened a new browser and searched for Broetry.

I have taken a minute of your time, perhaps more.

I can’t believe you are still reading this Broetry.

It is nothing but Broetry!

I have fallen prey to many such Broetrys

But that is the way how it works here

Digital space has no value

Wow! can’t believe I have not consumed my 1300 characters yet!

Ohh, you are still with me?

Have you noticed I am not using full stops anymore

Ok, let us end this

Leave a comment!

Because I know you have a say in this

Fin.

Let us listen to the cry of Spotify

I wanted to activate Spotify premium on my iPhone

I clicked on the premium button and was surprised to read this: “You can’t upgrade to premium in the app, we know it is not ideal”

It sounded very subtle but was enough to trigger the curiosity in me.

Why the heck I need to go to the desktop to update something on my mobile?

Spotify’s official support site directed me to a website called timetoplayfair.com

The site explains that Apple charges a discriminatory tax of 30% for use of their in-app purchase system.

In music streaming, Apple gives an advantage to its own services; Apple Music

That tantamounts to building an 8 lane highway (IOS) and owning your own fleet of trucks but you charge 30% on toll for rival truck services

Wondering how the monopolistic rise of platforms could impact the consumers in the long term

Examples galore; Jio, Linkedin, Amazon

We heard the Spotify story, what could be Apple’s explanation for the discriminatory taxes?

Share your views

Year 536 was the worst year to be alive on this planet

Year 536 was the worst year to be alive on this planet

Strange things happened, mostly inexplicable to the people who lived then. A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months

A dark hour set in, temperatures in summers settled at 1-degree celsius

No one understood what was happening around them, most believed it was the end of everything. Doomsday! Wrath of god!

It was the literal dark age

Diseases loomed in the darkness, crops died and famine set-in

A historian wrote that “the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year”

Perhaps 1400 years later when scientists looked back at the event and connected the dots, the fog was caused by a massive volcanic eruption in Iceland

Moral of the story?

Every story doesn’t need to have a moral. Sometimes the most real stories are shocking, they just help you deal with reality and embrace randomness

Some Wishful Thinking

150 years ago big factories were based near a thermal power plant, steam was needed to operate machinery.

80 yrs ago the advent of electrical transmission allowed factories to be closer to human settlements; Freedom 1.0

This led to the formation of megacities in the developed world

30 yrs ago you could place that factory anywhere in the world; globalization, freedom 2.0

Manufacturing in the developed world became uncompetitive. This led to the formation of megacities in the developing world, all Manufacturing was outsourced there.

20 yrs back internet happened that led to the rise of the knowledge worker

10 years back Manufacturing GDP started to shrink, Service GDP rose

The economic costs of settling in a city were prohibitive. Health costs were alarming. Stress on the transport system was overwhelming

In 2020 there was an exodus of people from cities to small towns. This exodus was triggered by a virus

By 2030 70% of knowledge workers worked from home; Freedom 3.0

New small and sustainable cities began to form

The burden on megacities was halved. Real estate prices collapsed. Carbon footprint per capita reduced by 30% and everyone lived happily ever after

Or was it just wishful thinking?

If you personify China

China is a very hard working individual with a very bad attitude. And It is a very difficult combination to deal because the bad attitude would be always justified by the hard work and the value that was created after so many years of toiling

There has been muscular growth (GDP, roads, prosperity) without adequate emotional growth.

Hence China lacks soft power.

Lack of soft power is balanced with hard power: hard influencing, stubborn nature and bullying.

Sadly no one can shape China’s #behavior/attitude today.

Boycotting Chinese goods is like giving it more reasons to carry a nasty attitude.

China has to reflect and seek help before it turns into a monster that needs to be decapitated.

Once there was a hard-working European nation with a very bad #attitude.

And the rest is history.

#politics#influencing#Economy

Decision Making and how it fails societies

As individuals, we do micro-decisions every day which impact our lives and that of our close ones. However, to make big decisions that positively impact a huge group of individuals and their surroundings, collective decision making is required at a massive scale.

These big decisions mostly focus on serving the common good for a large community of people. These decisions include but are not limited to deciding to launch an attack on a neighboring nation, build a dam or reduce onion prices. Brexit happens to such kind of decision.

To progress, collective decision making is the most important factor. Faster decision making on a big scale leads to faster progress. For faster decision making, a population needs to build a consensus. To build a consensus, the population needs to organize itself. Faster it organizes itself, faster it reaches a consensus and rapid decisions are made for the common good. This sounds like commonsense but come to think of it, how difficult it is for even a family of four to decide on how they are going to cut costs or even chose a travel destination.

Politics is one of the ways of organizing a population. Political leaders influence people through their ideologies, beliefs, and sometimes money to form a large group of people who can voice out their opinions and support politicians to make decisions on their behalf. In geographies where people fail to organize, dictatorial powers rise where a small but powerful group makes decisions for a very very large group. Mostly these decisions benefit the small and powerful group that controls the majority of the resources.

Societies and cultures that fail to organize, fail to make those decisions quickly. Indecisive societies don’t do any progress.

When politics fails to organize people, it is replaced by war.

War is a continuation of politics by other means, said Carl Von Clausewitz

When softer tactics fail, the brute force of wars was used to organize people. Our history is tainted with brutal wars and holy wars (read crusades). Wars were used to direct large swaths of populations and resources towards a bigger cause. If millions organize and are forced to follow a common doctrine and standards then, by all means, those million people will develop faster than the million people who are divided into different tribes and follow a variety of beliefs.

And when wars failed to organize people, you have situations like the Middle-East (Syria, Afganistan, and Iraq) that is struggling to establish normalcy. Large parts of Africa (Somalia) and other poor nations are going through a similar fate. They are failing or organize themselves.

We can attribute the rapid success of China to the dictatorial set-up that forced people to follow rigid rules. Under one belief and one rule, people came together worked hard to provide the best economies of scale to the western world and China came to be known as the factory of the world.

On the other hand, India failed to do just that. India is a highly heterogeneous nation. India is in itself a continent like Europe, where more than 100 languages are spoken and so many distinct cultures thrive. People with different ideologies have starkly different preferences, priorities, and beliefs. Hence such heterogeneous communities fail to arrive at a consensus that drives common good.

Having said that, India is trying to unite through political means. It will be good to see if it follows a stable political model to grow as a nation like so many western nations have done.

And one-day politics will be redundant too. Wars have already become redundant. If people don’t need politics or wars to build a consensus then what they will resort to?

And a short answer could be technology like blockchain. We develop systems that are sacrosanct from the deviant vagaries of the human mind. These systems automatically provide a democratic set-up to decide the priorities, fill the supply-demand gaps and channelize resources where they are really needed. Read about  WHO, Uber, Crowdfund sourcing organizations. They are all doing that in some way but we as a race have a long way to go.

 

 

When you don’t remember to remember

I had no clue where I had parked my car in the vast parking lot in the basement of this mall. The only thing I remember was that it was parked next to an MG Hector. As more confusion settled in, I struggled to remember on which basement level my car was parked. It was frustrating. I was thinking about how the staff would assist me with such a problem. How would I even explain it to them like a fool? How often people even face such an issue? Then I recalled that there is an App to address this issue. But it was too late for that. I decided to use brute force. Scan everywhere, like computers search for files. Just walked around like a maniac in random directions to find the MG hector, because of its sheer size. Come to think of it; how we are structured to not remember things. Everything is on the cloud. You don’t need to remember the addresses (thanks to GPS), names, titles, etc. You don’t even need to memorize your best moments. Your memories are on the cloud if you wish to relive them. 10 minutes and a lot of walking later I found my car in the shadow of the red Hector. There was a big pillar number next to it that I did not care to read. But little did I know that all these years I was not conditioned to read or memorize it. 🙂

Cutting through ambiguity

I was 20 minutes late for the interview. 

Ohh, we were expecting you at 12:30, how are you, was it difficult to find us? she said as we shook hands.

I said, not at all, I am good! Thank you. I apologized for being late.

It was a young and small organization but they were growing fast. 

Half an hour into the interview, I realized that the role does not align with my career aspirations. And I told her that, I was just being assertive. And boldly asked if there is any other role for me. The discussion concluded shortly after.

Without wasting any time she walked me out and wished me all the best.

And said, next time you are late for a meeting or an interview, make sure you come up with a good excuse. Tell that you had a flat tire or something. But have an excuse ready.

She said this as a good gesture, I liked that. I gave a broad smile, ate a humble pie and walked out.

A couple of days back she had e-mailed me a time slot for the interview. Since it was a two-hour slot, I thought I have a little leeway around my arrival. And I had conveniently used that leeway, hence I was late.

I leveraged the ambiguity around timings to get a benefit of doubt. Or so I thought.

When I shook hands, I had two choices. I could have been brutally honest or I could have inserted the fact that there was ambiguity around timings in the E-mail. I chose neither.

Moral? I don’t know. Try to be assertive. Show all your cards or tell a bold lie, the world doesn’t care. But don’t leave any room for ambiguity. Your stance matters!