Excursions by Amit Gawande

When people declare on Twitter they would be at some place in town and are open for a meet, are they looking forward to meet strangers? Don’t think Twitter’s a network of people you know in real life.

Mon, May 20, 2019 thoughts

I do not understand this narrative of folding phones being the smartphones of future. Why would you carry a device which is physically more prone to damage, is a lot less comfortable to hold in all dimensions — and I believe a lot less useful too, both folded and unfolded 🤔

Tue, Apr 30, 2019 thoughts

A hot Sunday Summer afternoon is well spent with the whole family over a game of Dobble. Lots of teasing, lots of fun, lots of laughter. Don’t think there’s any better way to beat the heat.

Sun, Apr 28, 2019 thoughts

Are podcasts wasting our time?

Chris Richards, putting his perspective through, does kick a hornet’s nest. Something even I have done earlier.

I’m against podcasts. I think they’re tedious and samey and sedative, and when I’m feeling especially cranky, I consider them an enemy of music. Most podcasts are conversations for people to eavesdrop on — recorded talk that precludes real-life talk about real life with zombie talk about podcasts. Also, I like music. With all of the world’s unheard songs beckoning us with their endless mystery, why would anyone choose to waste their precious listening hours on a podcast?

Yeah, the topic is a pretty polarizing one. Most vocal voices on online forums may not agree with the Chris’s perspective. I myself believe this medium of entertainment or infotainment” needs some control to make it useful. As I had quipped earlier.

I hate podcasts, because the medium is demanding. It demands so much time from me, demands focused attention to follow along. I wish I didn’t find them so damn useful to keep giving in to the medium’s demands.

Yes, I have put some measures to not let podcasts be the static noise in my ears all the time — voices and perspective of others on everything. But the reason for that isn’t that I do not like those voices. Or the fact that they don’t sound good”, as Chris seems to argue.

I disagree. On the contrary, I believe they sound too good, too polished for my liking. I feel the recent interest in the medium from all the big production/media houses has brought in a lot more investment and so the production chops. The medium does not need that. I tend to stay away from all these new shows.

Anyway, for me, the reason that I put restriction on the amount of time I allow podcasts is simple.

I have lately felt hindered by the time I am listening to the same repetitive thoughts from other people on podcasts. Experts talking about, dissecting, the tech news. Or blabbering about something I would not be interested in typically.

I have realized the measure I had put in place to limit the medium has worked well for me. I listen to music more. I listen to the audiobooks more. Are they better at not wasting” one’s time? Now that’s purely subjective.

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 opinion podcasts

Managed to book tickets to Endgame — boy, the craze for the movie is off the charts. In recent times, I’ve avoided the frenzied rush to the theaters. But I had to catch the end of this saga in all its glory with its most ardent fans, myself included. I join the frenzy, hence.

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 movies marvel

I am done binge-watching all the seasons of Brooklyn 99 - it was a refreshing time-out at the end of a work day. I am back sifting through the list of the shows recommended here earlier. I started Sherlock and How to get away with murder again. I may stick with later.

Mon, Apr 22, 2019 thoughts

Publishing to the open web

I read this note from Dave Winer on state of publishing on the open web. The first part reads like a fact.

It’s too hard to publish something to the open web. It has to be available as simple content. Not rendered inside a commercial template.

Sure, I agree with this. Publishing on web is a need of time, every person with some access to the internet wishes to post his thoughts and pictures online. More often in closed groups — like Whatsapp, iMessage, Messenger etc. But then also on easily accessible and free services - like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Highlighted aspects are important.

Technically it’s a very simple problem, actually. And the raw serving capability is dirt cheap. But it needs a corporate entity to run it.

It is those highlighted aspects that makes this a tricky problem. From the demand’s perspective, those aspects are of a lot of importance. Majority of the people are neither ready to spend their energies nor their money for the ability to post online. Open web currently fails to address both at the same time. Accessible solutions aren’t free. Free solutions aren’t accessible.

So the supply, mostly from the corporate entities, then caters to just those demands, bringing along the price for serving it.

Mon, Apr 22, 2019 open web opinion reply

Missed a great innings from MSD yesterday — boy, the man can do anything. He has his own style of working a game of cricket. Sure, it fails to click every now and then. But he has got a signature method for handling the pressure. Calmness personified. #IPL2019

Mon, Apr 22, 2019 cricket opinion

I believe Indian selectors went with the safe options, calm heads over fireworks, while selecting the cricket World Cup squad. Most of the team picked itself - selection of the couple was going to be tricky, whichever way the decision tilted. Overall squad looks fine though.

Mon, Apr 15, 2019 thoughts

Do people use Anti-virus software, especially on Windows? I never used one on Mac, but since moving to Windows, that is one aspect I am pretty split on. I have been primarily using Windows defender, but every one around suggests that might not be enough.

Sun, Apr 14, 2019 thoughts

I realise I have a very different taste in music than majority of the people out there (or so I am made to believe). I enjoy none of the global trending/top songs, most of them are hip-hop/rap. I am surprised that’s the genre people groove to the most.

Fri, Apr 12, 2019 thoughts

This week’s episode of Reply All (#140) was pretty interesting. Of course, the issue being discussed itself was intriguing - Ben’s car stereo completely breaks” when he listens to one particular podcast. And, of course as usual, it was produced so well - fun and exciting.

Fri, Apr 12, 2019 thoughts

IPL matches are running too late into the night — I just can’t stay up late on the weekday. I’m sure am not alone and the broadcaster must be seeing the effect. What that also means is I miss some gem of matches, like yesterday’s one between MI and KXIP. This needs correction.

Thu, Apr 11, 2019 cricket opinion

Samsung’s Galaxy A80 is an automated notchless slider with rotating triple camera.” This is getting totally crazy now - that’s too many moving parts, 2 years out of this hardware would be a stretch. We’re going back to the times of absurd designs of pre-iPhone days.

Wed, Apr 10, 2019 thoughts

Castro welcomed me today with this screen. Of course, they were expecting an Aww thanks” from me. But that wasn’t the feeling I had. All I could think was why”. Stop paying attention” you guys.

Wed, Apr 10, 2019 thoughts

If there’s a one feature on iOS that has remained in my wishlist for too long now is setting defaults. It was browser earlier, it’s tiring to use anything other than Safari. Plus since I started using Spotify more, I again feel a need for this. Am sure Apple won’t like that.

Tue, Apr 9, 2019 thoughts

The Golden Age of Half-Truths

I would argue that we are living in the golden age of half-truths, thanks in part to the evolution of media as a tool for inducing dopamine.

Om Malik says it well, half-truth allows media houses to keep their story engaging without lying.

Tue, Apr 9, 2019 thoughts

I am a quarter into Lethal White. Intriguing as always from Rowling, the story moves as the mystery deepens. Of course, the master at work again, building characters that we care for while weaving mysteries that they care for.

Mon, Apr 8, 2019 thoughts

When I watched the first couple of episodes of Brooklyn Nine Nine, I instantly gave up. I thought it was too childish — and I had very different expectation. But it has grown on me now, I have started digging the inherent goofiness of all the characters.

Sat, Apr 6, 2019 thoughts