It has become quite a habit now: at the end of the year, I look back and see how often I have tended to my digital homestead. In more prosaic terms, it translates to the total number of posts during the year. Over the past 12 months, I posted 128 times (129, if you include this post.)  I have to say — things aren’t as spiffy as they used to be. In 2021, I posted 164 times, while in 2020 (during the pandemic), I was posting pretty much every single day.  (307 posts, in total and resulted in this e-book, The Longest Year)

There are two ways to parse the 2022 data. My 2022 goal was to be respectful of the reader’s attention. I am glad that when I did write, I wrote about what felt important and not as “content filler.” Looking back, my posts around Twitter, Elon, and the end of social were just enough. That man doesn’t need any more attention from me or anyone else for that matter.

That said, I wish I had written more often, especially in a pivotal year like the one we had. Whether it is the impact of machine learning, augmented intelligence or some of the newer technologies that are making their way into our lives. Technology and the new breakthroughs in science are an opportunity and a challenge, and it’s a shame that most of my thoughts didn’t make it out of my journal and notes app. 

I suppose when you lose a friend who is your sounding board and your bullshit detector, you tend to lose a lot of confidence when it comes to hitting the publish button. If my writing suffered during 2022, I started to speak a visual language more clearly and strongly. It has been a pleasant surprise and a source of personal pride that I can walk a path that gives me creative satisfaction. I wrote about it here and shared some examples.) On the road to imperfection – On my Om

But you can’t bring back the time that has flown by — the best you can do is move forward. As the new year beckons, it has become obvious that in the year ahead, I will have to learn publicly, together with the community, just as I have always done with my writing.

So that’s it — time for me to say goodbye to the year that was. I wish you all a very happy & jolly new year.

December 31, 2022. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Top Posts of 2022

  1. Brunello Cucinelli. A conversation.  (Originally published in April 2015)
  2. Instagram is dead 
  3. Goodbye Spotify 
  4. A Final Goodbye. A post I wish I didn’t have to write, 
  5. Musk or not, Twitter CEO needs to go. 

Some of my favorite posts from 2022

Why (and how) of blogging

turned-on monitor
Photo by Fikret tozak on Unsplash

There are no rules to blogging except this one: always self-host your website because your URL, your own private domain, is the most valuable thing you can own. Your career will thank you for it later and no-one can take it away. But don’t wait up for success to come, it’s going to be a slog—there will be years before you see any benefit. But slowly, with enough momentum behind it, your blog will show you the world: there will be distant new friends, new enemies, whole continents might open up and welcome themselves to you.

Robin Rendle eloquently writes why you should blog, how, and where you should blog. I couldn’t agree more. And that is precisely why I continue to blog after all these years. Go ahead and read Robin’s blog post to appreciate his thinking about blogging!

September 19, 2022. New Delhi.

As a man who has always had the wand'ring ways
Now I'm reaching back for yesterdays
'Til a long-forgotten love appears
And I find that I'm sighing softly as I near
September, the warm September of my years.

The September of My Years, Frank Sinatra 

I love this song by Frank Sinatra – a reminder that even the very best of us can’t escape the tick-tock of time. We all eventually accumulate enough knowledge through the life lived to appreciate the days after summer. I, for one, love September — it is a gateway to the visual charms of Autumn. 

It points to cooling temperatures that are tempting enough to visit my parents: the holiday season, and hopefully a chance to take photos somewhere of snow-covered landscapes. Whether all this happens, this year remains to be seen. Lies are still costing lives. And America is hoarding toilet paper again! The smoke from the California wildfires will soon waft its way to our city as well. 

As the sun breaks on the second day of the month, I am thinking about August, specifically my blogging. At the start of the month, I challenged myself to write every day.

“I find that all the research and information I gather is put to good use if I write it down. More often than not, I tend to write my notes in longhand in a private journal. However, I am sometimes overcome with an urge to blog.”

Looking back, I am actually not that “overcome” with the urge to blog. I ended up writing 24 posts though I didn’t write a post a day. Somedays, I just wrote more than once, and other days I couldn’t get inspired to type away. 

It is not that I was short of ideas. It was a hectic month of learning — everything from security, crypto, biomaterials to new developments in physics was on the menu. I talked to quite a few interesting people. Those conversations sparked quite a few thoughts. I just found it easier to write more privately in my journal. 

After giving it more thought, I have concluded that since I don’t have a deadline (and it certainly isn’t my job), I prefer to fully marinate the ideas before putting them out for public consumption. It is not that the world is short of words these days anyway. 

See you around, somewhere erratically. Have a great month ahead, everyone. 

September 2, 2021.

black text on gray background
Photo by Pixabay on

E. B. White, an essayist for The New Yorker (and author of many books), once said: 

"A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper." 

He probably was describing me — during the last week. At the start of this month, I set myself a goal — blog 500-word pieces every day. It was an effort to become a writing fit. I hope to write for a column for a publication shortly, and I want to regain my writing skills. As you might have gathered, I didn’t hit my goals this week. 

This week’s failure made me reflect on my past. When I was a professional writer (blogger, if you are pedantic), my writing was reactive, whether to some breaking news or a conversation or an interview. And on rare occasions, it would be like a finished lego set — where many bits and pieces from conversations, facts, news events, and theories would all neatly fit together. Whatever it was — being in the flow is a big part of writing steadily — one needs external input to spark internal creativity. 

Another crucial difference, perhaps, is that I have different commitments on my time today than in the past. I am less singular about writing about technology (and its impact) than I used to be. While technology is still a primary lens with how I view my world (and life), I find myself spending more time on the science of technology and have found a waning interest in the business of technology. Unicorns don’t excite me. And more importantly, the world of technology has become more complex and thus needs a lot more research, understanding, and deliberation. 

Since leaving the profession, I have discovered a passion for photography, and I think about it a lot. And with age, I have started to gravitate towards the “finished lego set” type of writing. And the timing of that writing has a bit of unpredictability to it. It is also an outcome of a set of random events that don’t happen as often. (Example: my essay, 40 Kilometers.) 

In that sense, I am much closer to writing like Susan Sontag, who, when asked about her writing regimen, said:

I write when I have to because the pressure builds up, and I feel enough confidence that something has matured in my head and I can write it down. But once something is really underway, I don't want to do anything else. 

Nevertheless, I know I have to develop a schedule to sit down and write for the remaining days of the month. Ideally, it will be first thing in the morning, long before the sun comes up and my phone starts distracting me from the words that matter. The good news is that I am an early riser. 

August 7, 2021. San Francisco 

TWeek That Was

white and black cat sketch
Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Aug 2: Hey  @JasonHirschhorn  how about one of your special essays about  @MTV and joining the middle age yesterday? (I want my MTV is now 40 years old. Ouch.)

Aug 2: It is not the customer’s fault the network is being deprecated. So @AmazonKindle  has to step up & not be cheap. Replace old Kindles with the new ones. They will make up the costs in years of buying the new ebooks. The Verge

Aug 3: Tom Standage is an editor for The Economist and has a new book coming out on “the social history of the car, and why it’s the 1890s all over again.”  Tom is a great writer and a wonderful book author. Every one of his books sits in my library. Victorian Internet was/is my favorite.

Aug 3: Hey  @KP24  actually @JemiRodrigues is the leading run-scorer in @thehundred not @BenDuckett1  

Aug 4: From  @business newsletter today: “Zoom’s share of the video-conferencing market rose by 10% points to 76%” in Q2 from Q1. Translation: @Zoom has won the video conferencing sweepstakes

Aug 4: Here is  @SpaceXStarlink by the numbers: 90k subscribers. Active in 12 countries. Half a million on the waiting list. 1700 satellites deployed. My takeaway: huge demand for rural/off-the-grid connectivity, that incumbents failed to deliver.

Aug 6: Happy 30th birthday World Wide Web (WWW). What a wonderful gift to society (despite all the naysayers)  @timberners_lee