I really like Nuzzel. It felt like something I had used before as soon as I got into it. That said I could never figure out what made it so familiar. I just realized it today; Nuzzle reminds me of the Shared by Friends section in Google Reader. Not in terms of UI, but in terms of functionality. I just hope Nuzzle doesn’t end up dead like Reader.
I’m confused by people who look at the world in binary. Black and white. Right and wrong. Us and them. Most people who see the world this way, are highly opinionated as well. Not a bad quality to have as such, but is the world that simple?
Being opinionated becomes an issue when there is an equally opinionated person at the other end. If the convictions of both parties are built on top of good insights, the discussion between them would be interesting to follow. However, in most scenarios discussion around politics never rises to this level.
Instead of discussions, we have dissing and cussing; low blows and taunts. The whole affair is disgusting for someone who wants to understand different viewpoints.
Such intolerance (I’m not referring to any specific political party or ideology when I say this) to contrarian viewpoints seems to be just a symptom of a bigger problem. Political and social polarization and that is what is on the rise. Polarization can be harmful for a society, I have seen the effect it had in Bahrain. It seems to be on the rise here as well.
I don’t have any solution to the problem. It is not a problem with a solution that can be summed up in a blog post either. Perhaps it might take a whole generation or a social revolution for a change to set in. I don’t know. All I know is that this incessant clash of ideologies is numbing for people in the middle like me.
Every opinionated person should read the books written by George RR Martin. You know, the books that eventually were turned into the brilliant TV show The Game of Thrones?
Each chapter is written from the perspective of a character. Almost always the character thinks highly of themselves and thinks they are making a smart move (Yes Sansa, I’m looking at you, you silly girl). As a reader however, you know it’s stupid. You’re also getting the viewpoint of the scenario from another character’s perspective.
Being opinionated must be like this right? You think you’re right, smart and a bad ass, but are you really truly one? By the time the reality sinks in it just might be too late.
I mentioned yesterday on Twitter that I would like to travel. I guess I need to explain myself better. When I say travel, everyone assumes I want to visit a place, see the sites there, take a few photos and come back. Nope. That’s not what I want to do.
I want to travel to a place, live there, learn something about the people there. Understand what makes them tick, what they like, what they hate. The whys and whos and whens. Basically I want to experience a place and not just travel to it.
To do this I would need to spend a few months at least in a place. Which means I need to have some solid gold stashed away. I have none. So it stays a pipe dream for now.
I’ll get around to it one of these days, but that requires planning. I have never been great at planning things in my personal life. Perhaps I’ll get better at it.
I started this blog after I joined Bangalore Mirror some time in 2007. I think it was around the time the first Barcamp was organized in Bangalore… or was it after that? I no longer remember. What I do remember were the people who spoke passionately about blogging, micro-blogging (remember that term?) and all the online platforms they used.
Till then I had mostly used Blogger to ‘publish’ online. Back in college I had created half a dozen blogs to post some design work I had done or to post some half-assed poems. I deleted all of them within a fortnight of setting them up. None of them felt permanent. I’m not sure why this website survived.
Perhaps it was the name that eventually got carried over to Twitter, perhaps it was other bloggers that I had gotten used to reading. Perhaps it was because people had started identifying me by the name of my blog. I don’t know. Somehow, despite all the crap I have gone through in the last eight years, I never deleted this blog. It has always been here.
Back in 2007 a blog had to have a purpose. People wrote about a thing. The area of focus has become sharper among the people that continue to blog. The ‘general bloggers’ meanwhile write everywhere. Thoughts are dispersed across multiple websites and services; each with its own audience and purpose. No one outside Quora cares about your college life and no one outside of Instagram cares about your dinner. No one outside of Twitter cares about your political one-upmanship and no one outside of Facebook… oh never mind. Everyone’s on Facebook.
In 2015 this blog is just trying to rediscover its purpose, or may be it never had a purpose and wants to have a purpose now. It doesn’t have an audience. It doesn’t care about the audience. I can relate to this blog. My life feels like that now.
320 words. That’s the word count till now. 327 now. It feels like I have typed a 1,000 already. I guess 140chrs a day keeps the prose away. 345 now. Yes, I’ll stop at 345.
We were one.
He swung to his right and dodged a train and then jumped to the left just as another train came barreling down the track.
There was nothing exceptional about whatever he was doing except he was managing to do all this while squeezed from all sides by the sweat, desperation and despair of Delhi. They surrounded him not by choice, but because they were pushed into that very place by the society; much like the society had done the rest of their lives.
He was now running on top of a train to collect another shiny coin which was when it happened.
It wasn’t gods wrath, it wasn’t fate, it was just the arm of someone who realized at the last moment that he had to get off at that stop. That arm managed to knock the phone of his arms and the Subway Surfer died a tragic death.
Sweat, desperation and despair threw daggers at the arm that hardly noticed the interruption he had brought to a spectator sport.
I turned to another side of the train that was headed towards Noida from Rajiv Chowk where another group was crowded around a guy crushing candies.
I decided to listen a song instead.
It’s been 21 days since I woke up to a nice mail from folks at Medium telling me that I can now login with my Twitter id and entertain the world with my
writing typing. In these many days however I have done very little writing that would make any sense for a platform like Medium, instead I have spent more and more time thinking what I can write here.
Medium is not my personal blog that I would start posting photos of my cat Whiskey — who by the way, is getting cuter and cuddlier with each passing day. This is not Twitter either that can I post lame jokes about cricket, politicians and technology.
It was then that it struck me — I have lost the ability to write long pieces unless they are dumb straight-forward pieces full of quotes from people who may or may not give a shit about the topic. “You need to have your own opinion jackass, no one cares about what someone you met has to say, tell us what you have to say,” that’s not some riting guru speaking, it’s my inner voice screaming at me from one corner of the brain. My inner voice between, is the same idiot that told me to express myself completely in 140chrs, yes, ‘chrs’ not characters back in 2008. I have always been a man of few words so I found that challenge very easy, all I had to do was unlearn how to write. With a brain as conflicted as that, with a brain with such short-term memory how am I supposed to express myself in more than a few tweets five years later?
The question actually is not about how I can do it, but more about what I have to say. Most things one has to say in life can be expressed in a paragraph and that is after all the basis of news writing. You express the most important things in the first couple of lines of a news story — the five Ws and one H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How). This is true for most blog posts too, except we mask it in layers of jokes, puns and anecdotes. So what topic can people write long essays about? Religion is definitely not my thing as my believes can be summed up in one line. Economics, though I studied in school is something I don’t ‘get’ beyond the basics and I hate everything about politics so that is definitely out of the question. That leaves me with technology, a field I’m passionate about, a field I spend a couple of hours reading about every day. So may be I should write about it?
The problem with technology writing, as I have noticed over the years, is that bulk of the time is spent dumbing it down for the common folk — people who don’t read TheVerge, Wired, Techcrunch, Engadget, NextBigWhat, Medianama, Quora or any of the sites I frequent. If you cut through that bullshit most of the information can be conveyed in 300 words; definitely not long form.
So with nothing to say and not enough to say I still stare at an open Medium tab and wonder when I’ll ever write something. Whenever that happens I’ll be a little relieved.
1. Oooh I like the tune of this song… very cool
2. I like the beats too especially at the one minute mark
3. Now what the hell does this song mean?