We are all trapped in the “Feed”

Every afternoon, during lunch, I open up YouTube, and I find myself marveling at the sheer dumbness of its recommendations. Despite having all this viewing data of mine, world’s second most popular search engine is dumb as a brick. It shows me propaganda channels from two ends of the political spectrum. It surfaces some inane celebrity videos. It dredges up the worst material for me — considering I usually like watch science videos, long conversations and interviews, and photography-focused educational videos. Continue reading “We are all trapped in the “Feed””

Has music lost that loving feeling?

Over past few months, I have become strangely obsessed with reconnecting to music, listening, curating and most importantly experiencing it, much like I used to about a decade ago. In the years that intervened, like many, I too succumbed to the charms of streaming music…. the sheer ease of accessing music, anytime, anywhere on any device made perfect sense.

The downside of streaming was that the music was optimized to meet the vagaries of the broadband networks, and as such, we moved away from the idea of music from say a compact disc. But the end of our love affair with music began even before shitty headphones and low-resolution audio streams. Formats and devices have nothing to do with music, art, and creativity — what matters is the human relationship to creativity.  Continue reading “Has music lost that loving feeling?”

Worth Reading: Stan Smith, Algorithms, and John Oliver

We had a beautiful and sunny weekend in San Francisco — a much-needed break between endless days of drizzle. And that meant a chance to walk around and clock in my 10,000 steps. It also meant less reading and even less writing. Nevertheless, I am kicking off the week by sending you some good stuff to read, perhaps on your lunch break or when you’re commuting back from work. Continue reading “Worth Reading: Stan Smith, Algorithms, and John Oliver”

In conversation with Nick Felton (@feltron)

Nick Felton, formerly of Facebook, is quite a data visualization artist. I have always enjoyed his annual self-quantified reports, where he uses data to tell the story of his year. He recently sat down with folks from Ghostly and talked about his love affair with data, data visualization and what’s next. It is a great read. [Ghostly]

My 2014 Review & 2015 To-Do List

Every year, much like every day, there is a moment where the end is the beginning. Today, perhaps is as good a moment to reflect on the year which is winding down. It was quite a wonderful year — travel, food, family moments and a chance to meet the mighty, the marvelous and the famous.

It has also been a year of self reflection — an attempt to slow down, get off Internet’s rigmarole, be less anxious and perhaps like a piece of chalk, soak in life. I have enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, made new friends and have slowly start to appreciate personal time.

But it hasn’t been the easiest of years. The relentlessness of internet publishing has a dangerously narcotic effect — the instant gratification and feedback on one’s work is enough to make rest of the world seem slow and plodding. My new life as a full time venture capitalist for True Ventures commands more patience and calm — and if anything 2014 has been a transition towards a more tranquil approach to life, crisis and creation.  (more…)