New Year and resolutions

Happy new year everyone.!

Fortunately, 2020 is now done and dusted. What a shitty year it has been. For the new calendar of 2021, let’s all hope that things will get better soon. In terms of COVID situation, we have mixed signals. Even though COVID active cases declined, adding our nightmares, a brand-new strain in the town. We really don’t know what to expect of 21, it could become even shittier than the previous. But hey, this can be only as bad as you want it to be. Let’s take it as it comes, one day at a time.

Cartoonist : Ponnappa

In terms of resolutions, I take it as you’ve just finished your session at the gym :-). Please enjoy your mandatory and weeklong ‘sweating it out’ as your apparent ‘annual’ resolution. I hope you drag it a little longer for this year.

Personally, I do have a few with tangible milestones and deadlines set. I will let you know as and when I achieve them. Some specifics for now – I am planning to write more, regularly and consistently. You would have guessed how serious I am when you noticed the new domain name URL. However, I plan to read even more than I write, by doubling last year’s goal. One book each from Yuval Noah Harari and Barack Obama are already delivered to me amounting to 38 hours of reading in total. These two should keep me busy for January, at the least.

One of the resolutions we all should resolve is to show absolute intolerance towards apathy and mediocrity all around us. We need impatienceagainst chalta hai attitude. nahi chalta hai Bhai!. This social media era has handed us over with an unprecedented amount of power and accountability. We can no longer crib about the things we always have been, our national pastime. It’s still easy to blame the system; let’s resolve not to do it anymore. Remember that we are the system!

Let me give you an of examples of what I meant.

Below is a very recent story from Kanchipuram aka Kānchi. Yes, that is the town known for silk sarees your mother always coveted. I had a fortunate opportunity to be there a few years ago. I was correct with my presumption; the town can indeed take you back in time to glorious eras of Tamizh empires.

The image below is of a rainwater drain in one corner of Kanchipuram. What you are looking at is a beautifully sculpted pillar of once-great structure, that could’ve built in any of Pallava, Pandya, Chola or even Vijayanagar reign. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the proud citizens of this ancient town, displayed apathy towards this until a concerned soul posted it on Twitter. A 2k retweets later, local authorities sprang into action!

Exhibit 2. Madikeri is one of the most scenic districts across western ghats. The people from here known for their valor, courage and righteousness. Did I already mention that Madikeri is breathtakingly beautiful? Obviously, for these reasons, tourists flock here from cityside to release the steam built up during their weekdays. Recently, a quintessential couple, like many Indians, disposed their Dominos pizza garbage on the road. An annoyed local posted this on social media and their names and phone numbers printed on invoice copy (duh!). What followed is impressive, the couple had to travel back 50 km to pick up their trash.

Anyways, for this calendar year, I hope you find time for doing what you love, take care of your health, and of those who care of you. Also, please do voice the things which matter to you and be humble about it.

Finally, I sincerely appreciate my dear subscribers for the support you poured in during 2020, thanks very much. Please do subscribe to my blog if you have not done it already. And grab a popcorn bucket, I have exciting posts lined up for you.

What do Facebook, Lady Gaga and religion have in common?

.. too many actually. They all are insanely wealthy, highly overpriced/overrated and all these because they have millions of followers! Also, all this fame achieved by them is never justified; obviously something else should have deserved it. I kept on pinging on Religion, I don’t give a damn about Gaga; it’s time for a take on Facebook. 🙂

Earlier I wrote about “why do I hate twitter” (I still do). I claimed tweets being nothing more than shouting randomly at all directions, in other words “spamming“. Facebook is just improvised version of that,. one can shout within his friends group. Anyone who logs in, (apparently to check if there are any new comments on “chooo chweeeet” video, can learn you are standing in a queue for pop-corn. God forbid, what would have happened to the world if he did not have a chance to know that!

My first and foremost issue with Facebook is, it is a “blog-killer”. All my friends who used to blog, which was really picking up in late 90s and early 10s, now don’t have time to blog. Instead time is spent on fertilizing neighbours crops in Farmville or watching “too good… every Indian must watch this” videos. Blogging could have become a real alternative to mainstream media, who apparently require multiple reminders for unbiased and honest duty. Blogging could have dominated internet with citizen journalism. But now it’s official, they have sung RIP for blogging. Tweets and Facebook status has taken its place along with LOLs.


image source and complete infographic

Who are we fooling? Let’s be honest. Do million tweets and likes on “Save Aasia Bibi” do any difference? Even if they are tried in Capital letters? Blogs, wikis and forums run in parallel to media with more strong opinions creating awareness among (at least) netizens. Tweets and Pages really fail to fill in this shoe. Let me remind you again, these new age opinion are weighed more by number of retweets and like, less by content itself. I feel Facebook is fancy but ineffective way to run a campaign and twitter is its disabled buddy.

Agreed that Facebook had a considerable role in couple of social revolution (related to Blasphemy, Iranian stoning etc), but it’s just that Facebook had been there at right time at the right place. What Facebook has done extra which any other social media couldn’t do?

Also agreed that Facebook is a very good way to maintain contact book and way to reconnect old (and new) friends, Facebook cannot claim that for itself. It’s not the first time that someone integrated a messaging engine, contact book and an instant messenger. Facebook did that as any other social network, rest of them just did not get the hype and love, that’s all. There are good things in Facebook; I am not here to list them for being politically correct. My concern is with Facebook-mania, lot of good ventures gets shut down for not being able to gather their due attention.

I hated twitter and now Facebook; don’t call me old fashioned Web1.0 guy. I am not. By the way Web2.0 is sooo Web1.0. By this time we should’ve been in 4.0. But thanks to all those attention and time spent in “share” s and “like”s we are still stuck here. One very such example, Google Wave never got attention it deserved. Now they closed it down, a step backwards and said “sorry, internet is not ready for next version of Web”

One example on “how Facebook groups” are so useless (thanks to Evening Standard, London for pointing it out). There

Mark Zuckerberg Vs Julian Assange – source (

is a page called “save children of Africa” which was around for few years now. Last time I checked it had more than 1.8 million members. As its name states it is established to raise funds (only interpretation of word “save”) for poor malnourished children in Africa. In all those years of “like”ing and “join”ing it managed to raise little over 13000$!. That’s ridiculous. Simple arithmetic, it is less than 0.001$ per person, not even annual!. Now, compare it with Wikipedia banner campaign that raises its running cost every year without a like button in it.

In last couple of years I got at least 50 requests to join a page called “stripey”. It is created by some concerned Facebook members to save tigers in India. A large group with so many cute tiger photo uploaded. It says, if I join – tigers get saved! And how? No clues so far. No facebook-er does anything more than clicking “join”, or May be, its moral support for tigers on Facebook :-).

Final note, heard apple registered phrase “there is an app for that”. I think Facebook also should register phrases “there is a useless and silly page for that”.

And if you think Facebook is doing great as a product, read this:

The disparity between the number of Facebook users claiming to be concerned about this issue and how little money they were willing to put up says quite a lot about the business. Loads of customers were happy to commit themselves to a click to show how caring they are. Parting with cash is less popular.

Mark Zuckerberg ‘s creation — a nifty piece of kit, for sure — has 500 million users. And revenues of about $2 billion. So all those people who spend all those hours poking and messaging each other are worth only $4 each — in sales, not profits. A year.

It’s hard to think of another business model where so many customers and so much use can equate to so little revenue. If Facebook started charging for its services, how many of those 500 million would stick around? If the answer is zero, isn’t that the true value of the company?

Now, analysts reckon that Facebook may report a profit for 2010 of $473 million. That’s works out as a price/earnings ratio — the traditional way of measuring how highly a company is rated — of 106. By comparison, Apple , a business that has taken the old-fashioned approach of making and selling things, has a PE of 22.