Jurassic World review – Greed is NOT good

I already feel like a dinosaur.

Its been more than 12 years that the first Jurassic Park released. And #whatamovie it was! Spielberg had us – the young and our adults enthralled all alike with his vision of a world that we never knew existed. After having watched those old cartoons and B-grade movies, watching Jurassic Park with those real-life like dinosaurs kept us spellbound & stuck to our seats. And after having read the novel, the world that Crichton weaves – the edits the movie had to make made it all the more meaningful.

So after much trepidation and after getting bombarded with the ads for Jurassic World, we entered the theatre. It is quite interesting what 12 years can do.

One starts to sense these tiny differences. The logo is now in white and blue – red and black gone. The font looking almost the same but not yet.That music in the original, where the helicopter descends from the top of the green valley into the helipad beside the waterfall, doesn’t hold the same awe. The first scene of seeing the green Isla Nublar is not so enthralling anymore.

Some of the scenes are still amazing, the raptors are still terrifying. The foreboding on the lack of control is still there. There are really some oh s**t moments but they are few and far between.

There was the climax in the first movie, where the T-rex comes and kills the raptors while our hero team escapes. I had numerous debates with my friends arguing that the T-Rex killed the raptors because they were bigger prey, not because it wanted to save the humans. But in this movie’s climax, I am not so sure anymore.

This humanization of every possible element, animals, predators, prey, god … this does not work at all. Everything does NOT have be human-like. Everything else need not work for us – we humans are not the center of anyone’s universe. We just exist and sometimes in the big scheme of things we don’t matter … at all.

This one takes itself far too seriously. There is no point revisiting the greenery on the island or the animals on the island – we need no reintroduction – we have already seen that. There is no point getting us nostalgic. There are many Dues Ex Machina moments and it only shows me the lack of control on the story.

Kids, go for it. Adults, you might want to go back to visiting the first part.

We are in good hands – GameJam 14

Today was a heartening day.

I was one of the 5 people judging the works of 160 odd under-graduates competing on a 24-hour hackathon to build a game from scratch. Sceptical how much I was of the number of games that would get done, it was time to put the thinking cap on and start looking at the games. 25 odd teams were presenting in the stuffy, hot and sweaty room that was for the hackathon.

And boy were we pleasantly surprised. It was a mix of games – 3d avatars walking in the maze, simple side scrollers, text based games, 2d shooters, car racing, 2d tile based … games of almost every type were to be found. And in different levels of finesse and finish too. And varied platforms too – Unity, Flash, HTML5, Python 3D, C++.

But what was most heartening was to see while some teams were very clear on what they wanted to accomplish some were more forward looking – games which would need more than 24 hours to develop but then probably which would beat everyone else out of water.

Some did understand that limitations, some aimed higher and fell short. Some aimed higher and longer. Overall, it was a humbling experience to go back to my alma mater IIIT-H, be a judge and be able to speak a few words. And then of course, it was a great way to re-energize me self. The kids performed extremely well and I came out pleasantly awed by the convicton and the finish.

No thing to worry, the future is in good hands. They kids are motivated, have their targets within their sights and ready to fly!

Thank you IIIT-H for giving the opportunity to be a judge.

Yulees.com launched – online shop for authentic women’s wear

Another friend of mine from IIIT has turned a entrepreneur. He has launched a small scale online shop for women – kurtis and churidars mostly. The gear is eye-catching and if the inhouse home minister is to be believed – the costs are quite good too!

Go try and shop – the costs include shipping costs too!



From Full text of Desiderata

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy

R.I.P Aaron Swartz

The exemplary human being Aaron Swartz – author of RSS (not RSS of India), co-founder of Reditt, co-author of Creative Commons and many more is no more. Apparently he took his own life. The legacy though is worth remembering and getting inspired from. With the media and the people with limited memories where upon death anyone and everyone is whitewashed into a ‘hero’ this eulogy is rather inspiring. Even with all the activity he has done self-lessly this is a story worth imbibing.


Read Quote of Brian Browne Walker’s answer to Death of Aaron Swartz (January 2013): Is Aaron Swartz a hero? on Quora

Compound interest is the natural rate of growth

  • Daddy’s, Mommy’s and Granddad’s and Granny’s tales of meatballs and chocolates for less that 1 paisa… Horrors of inflation now
  • Stories of radios, black and white TVs staying put for generation and a new generation seeing Color TVs, Computers and the newer generations only knowing the phones, tablets
  • Organs transplant which is still a complex procedure is already being talked about in terms of organ growth. Stories of 3D printing which are now the reality. Organs next.
  • Simple websites until 2000, AJAX websites in 2004 – 2006, COMET, Bayeux, WebSockets in 2009
  • Economic Depression in the 1970s, then the recession in 2001, then in 2008, then whispers of anytime now

As I keep looking at the changing landscape everywhere particularly technology, which is effecting the changes in social, cultural, economic backgrounds. Knowledge unlike any tangible entity keeps building on top of the other. Cross pollination of ideas, mutations, lateral movement builds on top of the other. Small changes keep accumulating on top of the other.  It is easily possible to trace this back to compounding, the natural name of the game. Particularly with Knowledge and Technology it is clearly a rate of growth that is not discernible to the human mind. As humans, we are thoroughly incapable of guessing what can be achieved in 1 week (over expect) vis-a-vis what can be achieved in 10 years (under expect). The human perceptional system is quite incapable of thinking in terms of exponential growth – linear growth only is perceptionally assimilated.

Is it that the signal processing cannot work effectively in a non-linear environment? Are we tuned to ignore the linear movement? Or is it that as humans we also keep moving and the relative velocity (with time) makes it a linear change?

I think time being a invisible entity but then as part of everything is easily ignored. There are times where I do think that every entity *must* be related to a time event.

A one rupee on a modest 10% rate of interest grows to 17 rupees over 30 years. Here is the excel to play around.

The fun begins when you change the rate to 11%, 12%, 20%… Think of this: If you think your company is not paying you well, ask them to pay you a 12% fixed hike every year. No need for a blockbuster hike – you know how that ends, don’t you? 😉

The world this week [sic]

Turned 30. Too many things to do and too little a time left.

Neil Armstrong dies at 82. This was the first man to walk on the moon. In a couple of decades, Dragon X [and many others] will commercialize cheap [sic] flights to the stars and beyond … but until then this was the first man to walk on the moon. Something to think about. Beyond all the conspiracy theories of the man on the moon and movies (Scorpion One), the amazing work that Ron Garan is doing engaging with the civilians directly, kids sending balloons and cheaper cameras, its a wonder unfolding right within the very eyes. But until then think about it, the man on the moon who was.

The other living Armstrong, Lance decided to not fight anymore. When I see the media reports streaming in, it looks as though he has been convicted – the facts and the procedure presents otherwise. Reminds of the elections in UP the other day where it was said that Dimple Yadav won unanimously while the whole truth was she was selected on basis on no other contestants. Media – it is a disservice if you are looking for a story and not telling the facts.

Apple won in the ‘Apple vs Samsung lawsuit’ with Samsung being ordered to pay in excess of $1B. What that means for the rest of the Android devices, for Google, for Nokia and Microsoft, Bada OS only time will tell.

man in the mould of god or vice-versa ?

All the texts of origins of different religions talk about a beginning. A beginning that was begot by a single all knowing all powerful being. And humans who were moulded in his / her shape. If it looks fine, if it feels fine and if it smells fine… then it must be fine. However when I was at the Birla Science Museum a small thought stuck with me.

On the geographic timeline, Earth was born 4.6 bya (billion years ago). Earth did not cool down and the first rock forms did not appear until 3.95 bya.  The first sign of life (single celled organisms, etc) up until 537 mya. The mighty dinosaurs not until 249 mya. They ruled and utterly dominated earth for about 160 my and suddenly inexplicably go extinct around 63 mya. The baap to the current humans the homo-sapiens came in at around 190,000 years ago. On a geographic time scale of 24 hours, the dinos ruled the earth for a fill 1 hour and we have been here only for the last 8 minutes. We are already talking about devastating dangers to our existence. (Hat-tip : NatGeo)

And I yet cannot understand for the love of it, that none of the texts of god even talk about a past filled with dinosaurs. The stories never even talk of mighty beasts and yet they seem to be a commandment of higher all knowing beings. Were the all knowing beings ignorant or just plain absent-minded and forgot to tell about the dinos. Anyways, the question will keep raging for a few more decades anyways. I for one have to seem to have found my own small cubic millimeter of peace. I for one have found my answer. An answer that just talks about the limits of human imagination, the power of social media and society, the complete power held by beliefs rather than of rationality.

How to work with me

The first time I read it here (Hat-tip @derblub) , I saved it in a text file for my reference and to internalize it. However for the sake of posterity and my own predisposition towards spring cleaning I’ve decided to save it here.

This is something I am going to send out to my minions and their minions to work with one another. Tee hee!

  • I prefer to work fast, minimize bullshit, get to the point.
  • You will sometimes have bad news for me. I want it immediately. I can usually show you how to fix it. And I never blame the messenger.
  • Bring pen and paper to every meeting with me. Pay attention to what I say; I’ll try to speak with care. If I frequently must repeat instructions, or remind you of something I’ve already told you, you will not work with me again.
  • If I’ve scheduled a weekly meeting with you, don’t assume that this meeting is the only time to raise issues with me; Interrupt me for time critical issues.
  • If you have a meeting with me at an assigned time, and I am in another meeting with my door closed, interrupt me. I stack meetings, and each meeting leads into the next.
  • I like “micro-meetings”. Get in quick, bring only the necessary parties to the table, make a decision, get out. Five minutes or less. Make these effective by knowing what decision needs to be made before you start, and presenting the decision criteria ahead of time to all participants.
  • Stand during micro-meetings.
  • I don’t like email, particularly for discussing complex topics. If a decision needs to be made, do a micro-meeting. If a problem needs to be discussed, ask the person with the most depth to prepare something, an agenda, have a whiteboard, and work through it quickly.
  • One exception to the above: I like “micro-updates”: Quick emails confirming time critical commitments and mutual understanding. These are especially useful after we hold a meeting and I give you a set of directives: I always like to hear our agreed-upon commitments echoed back to me. I may not respond, but I will read it. Keep these emails short: Spare me the greetings, thank yous, regards.
  • Be consistent in your communication. Use words consistently. Use email headers consistently. Strive to make your work immediately comprehensible.
  • If you disagree with me, voice your differences. I welcome and invite dissent. If this makes you uncomfortable, feel free to prepare your thoughts after the meeting and then later return to make your case.
  • Ego-driven debates annoy me. Check your ego at the door: I’m only interested in reaching the best, most elegant solution —I don’t care if it’s your idea or mine.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not clear. I have more patience for explaining and clarifying my position before you start than I do patience for fixing a wasteful, incorrect approach after the fact.
  • Don’t tell me something is in the process of being done without telling me when it will be done. I’m more interested in the time commitment than the fact that an effort exists.
  • Always give me options, informed by an economic analysis where possible (if there are dollars involved, an analysis is mandatory), and then make your recommendation. Don’t tell me there’s a problem without offering a solution. Don’t offer me multiple solutions without giving me your best and final recommendation.
  • If you must prepare reports for me, review spreadsheets I’ve created. Copy the style and format.
  • Don’t send me long documents. I like precision and concision. Say it on one page (or less).