Anto Ego in Ratatouille

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends.

I’m Awesome

I solved a painful reverse engineering problem working 12-14 hours a
day for a week. I feel kinda awesome and proud of how smart I am. For
a minute. Then reality and experience kicked in. Every time i???ve felt
such pride in the past, there is another problem around the corner
waiting to bring me on my knees. I realize that there are so many
hidden factors to the success, such as
– Experience with similar problems in the past
– Colleague???s picking ur brain
– People willing to help strangers a.k.a the Internet.

Sometimes we also use the corollary of this idea to assume others are
stupid because they can???t fix something. Most of the time they lack
some/all of the above.
So this time I will not succumb to the short lived pleasure; I mean
I???ll shut up. Goodnight y’all.

A stone letter

Long ago before writing, you’d send someone a stone that suited the way you were feeling. From its weight and touch they’d know how you felt. From a smooth stone they might get you were happy, or from a roughy one that you were worried about them.

Departures, 2008

Why years fly by

???In youth we may have an absolutely new experience, subjective or objective, every hour of the day. Apprehension is vivid, retentiveness strong and our recollections of that time, like those of a time spent in rapid and interesting travel are of something intricate, multitudinous and long-drawn out. But as each passing years converts some of this experience into automatic routine which we hardly note at all, the days and the weeks smooth themselves out in recollection to the countless units and the years grow hollow and collapse.??? – William James Principles of Psychology, 1890

I own you, tree.

Dave Winer:
“Our lives are so short, how could we seriously think of owning something. I once owned a few acres of land that had some old trees on it. I sat under one of the trees on a lovely afternoon, and thought of the tree “I own you.” The tree formed a thought that somehow I could tune into. “I was here long before you were born and I will be here long after you die.” I didn’t see it exactly as a response to my claim of ownership. But it sure did put things in perspective! “

Peanut Butter wisdom

groupism is fundamental. dont ignore it or hide it or sugar coat it. Acknowledging that we ourselves are susceptible to it is the first step. 

organic peanut butter – seperation is natural. 

hindu, muslim, christian. Community seperation is natural. The best way to fix this is to be aware that each one of 

War is hell

Call of Apathy: Violent Young Men and Our Place in War

A friend of mine came under fire inside a compound. He followed up the shooter, who disappeared into an escape tunnel. My friend followed standard procedure and threw a grenade into the tunnel entrance before following up. When entering the tunnel, he found only the bodies of a woman and a small child, whom the terrorist had used to cover his escape.

When I spoke about it to my friend years later, he recalled how pissed he was at losing the insurgent, and how bad he felt afterwards about it. He’d had his professional pride tarnished. I asked him if he ever thought about the woman and her kid and he just looked at me blankly.

He didn’t even remember they were there.

Our conditioning about war leads us to believe everything about war is pride, sacrifice and glory. The other side of war is, it cultivates ruthlessness, cruelity and apathy in the men who are part of it. 

Reference: Stanford prison experiment. Documentary  Wikipedia



Manifestos and Philosophies

A continuously improved post as and when we find philosophies of products/companies/people we come across everyday.

37 Signals



Please send an email to jayasimhan at gmail com if you find something that could fit in this list.

The FIFO problem at Path

We all have way too many connections online nowadays, and our connections from the past linger on, even when you have never met for decades. Sometimes we want those connections.Sometimes. But mostly, the priority is lower than the fresher connections.

Quiz: Is there an app where I can have just my closest friends?

Answer: Path. [To those who’ve never used it, Path is a social sharing service for your close friends and family. There is a limit for the number of friends you can have there.150. The app is damn beautiful! ]

Evaluation: Wrong! to know why, read on..

Path, doesn’t solve that problem. It feels like they do, since they limit the number of friends, but they don’t. Why do I say that. Though there is a cap on the number of friends, it is the first 150 that get into your list, not the best 150. See the problem? We need the capability to curate the list to keep the top 150.

Lets say, I’ve accepted 150 top connections in Path. Now, a really close friend sends me a request. What do I do? Here, Path could analyze my interactions with friends, and give me suggestions on who to remove based on their inactivity or fewer conversations between us. Should I now remove someone who currently shares with me and add my best friend? That would be harsh to the other person who still wants sharing with me.

Do we have to stick to the number 150 just because some social scientist came up with the number? 

Limiting the number seems to be a good idea to maintain sanity, but it isn’t. 

This post is based on the current state of Path [as of Jan’12] and other competing services like, Google+ & Facebook. I’m very hopeful that Dave Morin and his team would crack it. Or Google+ would. May be.

I’m thinking of a solution. Will post it once I crystalize the idea.

p.s Btw, your Path friends get to know when you visit their profile. Not for stalkers.