Friday, December 30, 2011


In Inception, the movie, we are introduced to the varying degrees of time based on the difference between the real world and the dream world. Similarly, it is interesting how humans tend to give credence to seconds, minutes or hours based on the nature of the activity. But usually, by the time a human being draws closer to his death, he remembers time in years and at times as bundles of years together. Each day with a girlfriend at the age of 24 is kinda remembered or cherished; which, by old age, becomes compressed into a statement. In the words of Juliet (from the song by the Killers), "O Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him."

As humans we have calibrated time down to seconds, for most useful purposes. But the mountains don't care. I believe that they measure time in centuries or millenia. And the planets don't care. They may be seeing time in hundreds of thousands of years, may be even millions... and yet here we are, this intelligent species that crawls through time as ingrates continually succumbing to societal pressures and becoming more lethargic and less alive with each passing year.

A few people believe that I tend to talk about pessimistic or depressing stuff, but most of what I talk about tends towards hope and living. This year, 2011, is drawing to a close. I closed an important and ruinous chapter in my life. I have started an important phase - my office and my company - and I see an important chapter opening soon enough. 2011 has made me younger, healthier, more introspective, calmer and more adventurous. I hope that truth doesn't leave me, although I'm pretty sure that will be my undoing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Human Nature

The above title may be considered an oxymoron. The picture below is partially the reason why.

The low-hanging fruit were plucked by humans before the middle of the 20th century. Most of our recent advances have been innovation-related - nothing wrong with that. It seems to me that until the age of 21 or so, when people start working for money, humans are rather natural; they are animalistic and constantly developing. And suddenly, as soon as they are thrown into the 'corporate world', something in them dies. I spoke with RS recently about how work done as an employee is usually mechanical, whereas work done when self-employed or when leading a team is raw, fruitful and exciting. Another friend works for a consultancy, one of the best, and says that all he really does is get things sorted and pretty looking - the answer to a client's problem is quite straight-forward but this dogma of mechanical or process-oriented work is slowly chipping away at human ingenuity. I had written about this in an earlier post but I felt the need to elaborate here. The prevalence of 'financial firms' is disturbing because their contribution is minimal relative to their potential of ruining the way modern societies function. Why are more engineers moving into finance and consultancy? And why are scientific brains rotting away in non-research oriented fields? Where have the artists disappeared?