Lighthouses

When I think about what is that one project I could dedicate myself to, that will combine my passion for seascapes, emptiness, and; it probably would involve lighthouses. I would love nothing more than to follow the lighthouses from the top to the bottom of both of America’s coasts. I have no idea why, but … Continue reading Lighthouses

I have learnt the hard way that bags look much better on the Internet, and most people who write about bags are just trying to score a free one. In short, always buy a bag after seeing it in real life! Except for Patagonia – they are what they look and seem. 🤪

As a Chemistry major, I tend to keep half an eye on what’s happening in that world and why I am pretty keen on material science and battery technologies. I was very pleasantly surprised to read that John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on Lithium-Ion batteries which began back in the 1970s. The Nobel Prize twitter account explains why these three were collectively picked in this short but wonderful thread. You can dig deeper (PDF) over on the Nobel Prize website as well.

It is darkly comical that only the other day I was talking about the power outages of my childhood being a thing of the past in Delhi and here I am reading about a planned outage in my home state of California. It was to prevent wildfires from falling power-lines. Paul Kedrosky digs into the history of wildfires in California, and points out some harsh facts, such as “most California fires aren’t caused by powerlines” and that PG&E (our local utility) is a bit incompetent. This is a masterful high-order think piece that is worth reading.

“What Libyan propagandists and their backers have shown is the speed through which new narratives and disinformation can be spread, how social media can be used for this, and how easily foreign actors can influence and engage in public debates in Libya in real-time,” notes All Africa about the technology and social media-fueled conflict in Libya (and elsewhere.) This is worth a read, especially to understand that this might be the future of war in the post-Facebook world.

It is a timeless trend — new opportunity is met with excessive investment, which leads to an eventual bubble and then a collapse. And then an opportunity for a deep pocketed bargain hunters to profit from those financial follies. We saw that with the optical and telecom bubbles, whose one major beneficiary was Google. China’s bike bubble has come to an end. And it is China’s big Internet platforms Alibaba and Didi, for example — who are looking to profit – not because they are looking to make money from bike rentals, but to use the bike rentals as a way to their other businesses. By picking up the carcasses of old bike startups, “there is hope that the companies’ focus on ecosystem building will make them worth the investment,” writes Pandaily . I wonder if we will see the same here in the US as well, despite those mega investments in bike/scooter startups? #analysis

Delhipolis

I visit my parents every year, and every year Delhi seems a bit bigger, a bit more chaotic, a bit more crowded. There is hardly any room to walk. The urban symphony of car horns, hawkers, and the low rumble of the metro trains takes up every inch that the humans, cars and packs of … Continue reading Delhipolis