If you look at the way consumer electronics has evolved over the years you will notice a pattern in the amount of energy consumed by these devices. Over the years, all devices(phones, light bulbs, watches, etc ) have been modified to consume less power. Same goes with commercial electronics, auto industry, etc. Make no mistake of thinking this was just coincidence. A lot of effort was put in trying to lower the consumption of energy. However, I wonder if we took the easy way out with this one. What if we had put the same amount of effort in trying to find new sources of energy? Would the world be the same? Now for something even more worrisome. Do you think we were forced to limit the capabilities of these devices due to the scarcity of energy? Now, imagine a scenario where the sun gave out wireless electricity instead of heat. Wait a minute…then we would all freeze to death. Imagine if the sun gave out electricity along with all the other rad stuff. Close your eyes and imagine that world for a second. Don’t fall asleep. What do you see?
I learned today that there’s a computer out there called Watson who is actively reading through millions of medical research papers/articles/doctor’s-notes to find out solutions to problems that even human researchers would find difficult to tackle.
And I’m sitting here, in my bachelor pad thinking, “what the fuck am I going to do for dinner today?”
How real is real?
I was talking to my grandma the other day when I got an email saying my booking for a one-on-one ‘intimate’ experience has been confirmed. So I took a moment and thought to myself, “it doesn’t get much worse than this. On second thought, at least its not a mail from work”. So my natural reaction was to hit the spam button before reading it just like how I deal with all the other problems in my life. But it also had an attachment with a name that I usually use as my username. This creeped me out a little. So I opened the mail. It said, with my ticket, I would be able to watch a concert on my phone, live, in VR. I confirmed it was spam but it got me thinking. How real is real? How much ‘immersiveness’ do we really need to be able to say, “wow! that really felt like real life”? I mean, TV is getting real, movies are getting real, reality TV is…wait that piece of shit is still garbage. People like it when actors show a little humour even during the sad scenes. This, I think is a step closer to reality. Same goes with virtual reality. A ‘true’ virtual reality experience however, would take a few more years of development. There is however, a problem with this whole thing. This tech is tailored to satisfy the average customer and will keep on adapting with that motive. I am not saying that all immersive tech is evolving this way. I am only talking about those used in the entertainment industry. Let me explain.
There was a study done in the field of psycho-acoustics where people were made to listen to recorded sounds of a forest they hadn’t been to. The test was conducted in a controlled environment using high quality speakers. The aim of the experiment was to identify the type of surround-sound tech that people liked the most. So the sounds were played back a number of times, each time using different surround sound technologies. They were also made to listen to a version where the played back audio was perceived to be closest to the actual environment (with minimum special effects). It was found that people preferred the slightly exaggerated version over the close-to-original version. This is what I am slightly concerned about. Despite having the tech capable of replicating the actual experience, we still prefer to go for the artificially modified versions of it. Does this imply that you need to make the reality ‘realer’ to make it feel real? Or do people prefer distorted realities over actual ones? I can imagine a future(not that far from now) where people would be exposed to these ‘fake’ realities even before experiencing the real thing. For example, an AR experience of a jungle where you can go on a trek, run around, scare birds, eat a snake, you know, all that good stuff. I am interested to know how the future generation would react when they experience the real thing for the first time in real life. Pretty sure there will be quite a lot of disappointment because they couldn’t do it while sitting on their couch, eating leftover pizza(like me).
The meaning of life
My aunt is the youngest of five children. I’ve heard my mom say that she was a little ‘different’ right from the beginning. She was a curious, open minded, no-bull-shit, type of person. She had a progressive outlook towards everything. Most importantly, she always got me the coolest presents for Christmas. She worked hard and settled down in the United States of America. She would come visit us every now and then. I used to enjoy talking to her about the cultural differences, education system, religion and society in general. The last time she came to visit, she brought up the topic of race. It appeared as though she was having trouble with a certain ‘race’ of people. She said,” I am a firm believer in equality but something definitely needs to be done about ‘these’ people”. It was at this moment that the voice in my head went, “Uh-oh, this bitch racist”. But with love. I gave it a lot of thought. How could someone like my aunt be racist? How can such a caring, open-minded and forward-thinking person be so fucked up? Most importantly, how do I make her realize her mistake while still maintaining the influx of Christmas presents?
Imagine you have the ability to fly. You decide to go for a ride. You go straight up through the roof of your house. When you look down, at first, you will see your house, maybe some familiar faces, trees, mountains, etc. As you go higher, you will start to see not-so-familiar places, familiar shapes of countries, continents until suddenly, poof! After a few layers of clouds, everything you have ever seen will fit into a tiny blue ball called Earth. Make sure you don’t fly away like Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Speaking of Sandra Bullock, damn! she’s attractive. According to the great Carl Sagan, the Earth, when viewed from so far away, makes one think about how insignificant we are in the awesomeness that is the universe. The time frame of our very existence on the planet shows us how irrelevant we are in the history of Earth itself. It makes you wonder. What’s the point of all this anger, envy and hate? When the camera zooms out and shows the Earth shrink into nothing but a pale blue dot, you suddenly realize that we are one big family.
Now, the problem with viewing everything from outer space is that everything you’ve ever known starts to drop in value! One would wonder what’s the point of anything. Who knows? Maybe in a billion years our whole galaxy will cease to exist. Then what’s the point? Even if that were the case, I wouldn’t want to die a bad person. I want to be good to everyone. People often say “don’t you want to be remembered for doing something great?” Honestly I don’t give a fuck if people don’t remember me. What really matters is that I want to die with a feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of happiness. And being nice to people is the way to do it. Let me explain by taking it a step further.
Lets imagine you make an effort to help better someone’s life. It could be a friend, a neighbour or even a total stranger. By helping them out you might actually end up changing their life. Who knows? They might do the same thing for someone else. This cycle might continue even after your death. In short, your good gesture might transcend the boundaries of space and time. Isn’t that mind-blowing? I’ve heard scientists say that gravity can ‘travel’ through space and time(this is the cue for all the interstellar nerds to start jizzing their pants). So, is an act of kindness as powerful as an elemental force of nature, like gravity? If each one of us wields such awesome power, then why don’t we just create meaning for our lives instead of so desperately trying to find it?
Brace yourselves. They’re here.
The BBC uploaded a UFO sighting video on YouTube today. I was surprised to see that it was only the 35th one in the list of trending videos. I guess people are more concerned about important Earthly matters. I get it. Even I was concerned about why Green Lantern wasn’t in the new Justice League movie. I really felt let down.
Usually people go crazy about UFO sightings when its caught on a shitty camera and uploaded by someone named “UFO hunter 32”. Now we have legit footage and no one gives a shit.
I had a funny thought. Suppose the UFO was actually identified as a extra-terrestrial vehicle, I don’t think people would still give a shit unless it affects them directly. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a big fan of UFO conspiracies. According to ma man Neil deGrasse Tyson, the “U” in UFO stands for “unidentified”. That’s where your discussion should stop. It would be wrong to say “I just saw a UFO. I think it was aliens”(which is exactly what they say at the end of the video. Pretty ironic).
So they say the event took place in 2004, there was a government body investigating such events, it could be countries spying on each other, the UFO seen in the video was manoeuvring itself with such ease while conventional aircraft would find it difficult to do so under such high wind speeds, blah blah blah. I am just like everyone else. Deep down, I would be really excited if there was evidence to prove that some of these are actually visitors from outer space. I have so many questions for them.
First of all, where do you come from?
Do you know who/what made us?
Our planet is dying. Can you help us?
Is it weird that I wish to watch climate change deniers get struck by gigantic bolts of lightning?
What happens after one dies? Is it nothingness or is there something more?
What is your opinion about the Marvel/DC universe?
At the same time, the whole idea also scares the hell outta me. Because obviously one would wonder if they come in peace or ready-to-fuck. If they have the capability to make the inter-planetary trip, they have got to be much more technologically advanced than us. However, in all honesty, do you know what’s much more scarier than all of this? Unemployment.
Best things I’ve heard this week
Girl’s Tinder profile reads: “If I wanted to kill myself, I would climb your ego and jump to your IQ”. Weird thing to put on your profile but damn!
Best part about growing up is giving back
Science is like magic but real
What happens to engineers after they die?
It’s simple really. Before I reveal the answer, here’s a little backstory. Lets rewind to a few minutes before the engineer’s death. The engineer realises that everything he’s learnt, everything he’s experienced, everything he loved may soon be lost forever. This brings immense sadness to the inventor’s gentle heart. However, he remembers all the great scientists and YouTube videos about multiverses and the law of conservation of energy. This reignites the fire of curiosity in him for one last time. Our engineer has now successfully converted fear into curiosity. He is now curious to know what happens after death. This gives him the courage to meet death head on. However he starts to wonder why this shit is taking too long. Soon he realises that he can’t think properly and his memory is starting to fade. He can’t remember his favourite song. He cant remember any songs. He thinks to himself, “Oh well. I hope I get to meet dad at least”. He starts to find it difficult to breathe. Now he knows the time is near. So he opens his eyes for one last time, takes a look around the empty room and then slowly closes it with a smile on his face.
And then nothingness…
Oh common! You didn’t think that would be the end of it did you? That was too dark to accept!
The engineer wakes up from bed with tears rolling down his eyes and hopes it to god that the wetness in the pants are also tears. He jumps up from bed in astonishment only to hear his lame ass room mate yell “will you turn off that damn alarm? Don’t you have a job?” to which he gracefully replies “I JUST DIED YOU MOTHERFUCKER”.
I wish I knew what happens after death. I think death is the only thing in the world that can put a limit on imagination. I just thought the title was really cool!
What do we want?
We want faster phones, scarier horror movies, underwater restaurants, everlasting bacon, science-based religions, edible flight food, educated politicians, non-addictive drugs, human libraries, three-parent babies, self lacing shoes and of course, pocket pussies. We want to talk to cellphones when we feel lonely. We want to learn to play the piano in one day. We want to wear computers. We want to simulate roller-coaster rides. We want everything right now.
I used to wonder what’s the point of these endless desires. But I kind of get it now. This is how we evolve. I think it is this unstoppable want for new and better things that makes us progress in life. It is what makes us inventors and travellers.
However, things can get confusing along the way.
Goddammit Dolby. What if we get bored of this too?.
I’ve been thinking about what we want vs what we need. Its funny that most of us have a clear idea of what we want but have no clue about what we need. We don’t even know what we need until it is invented by someone else. Some good examples:
Having said that here are some things that I know for sure that I don’t need:
News in 100 words or less
“New” Jumanji movie. I hope they don’t ruin a great movie
I was walking on wet sand when I noticed the water drying up wherever I stepped. It felt very strange. As I walked further I saw bright red crabs running back into their burrows. I have to say their sense of vibration is pretty good! This is where it starts to get weird- I felt sad seeing them run away from me! Questions started to emerge. Do I really belong here? If I do belong here then why is everything running away from me?
Good old depression is back! The first thing about water and sand is pure physics. You know that. So stop whining.
First of all, fuck you. Second of all, how are you still alive? I thought you were paralysed from all the sleep deprivation I gave you.
Yeah about that, we’ll be shutting down tomorrow sometime between 4 and 6. So don’t be in a meeting or whatever. And stop talking to that girl after midnight. Its not worth it. Pretty soon your organs will start to shut down. And by the way, stop eating all that junk before you sleep. I’ve been trying to contact Liver since last week. Dude is not even picking up. And by the way, start talking to people. There are good people out there. Stop being such a whining looser all the time.
How dare you you fucking slimy ball of noodles? Wait… you’re right. I’ll take care of it. Hang in there buddy. In the meantime, take a look at these pictures I took. Damn! I am a pro!
Henry’s Island, West Bengal
The idiot box?
Look into my eyes! Worship me!
The idiot box. That’s what they called the TV when it started to ruin people’s lives. They believed that it created dumb people. Maybe in some cases it did. I always thought of the TV as a doorway, a medium of communication that transcended all boundaries. There is no denying the fact that it helped spread knowledge. It might have been biased knowledge but still it did something. It invoked curiosity in people. I don’t know if TV was the result of evolution or if the TV affected evolution in some way. I know for sure that it has affected people’s lives. It has tremendously affected mine.
Having said all this, I have to acknowledge the fact that I don’t watch TV anymore. In fact I kind of hate cable. I am very happy with the internet. I get to watch, listen, read whatever I want, whenever I want. Here’s the problem- sometimes it sucks.
I read a magazine the other day. I hadn’t read any print magazine for a very long time. As I read it I thought to myself,” Everything here is very well thought out, neatly laid out and properly researched. This is frikkin great!”. I don’t get the same feeling when I read about something on the internet. The search results are tailored to satisfy me. The results I get are the ones that I want. Not the ones that I need. We’ve all internet-diagnosed ourselves with cancer at some point in life. However, it depends on how much I am willing to delve into the research. There is no hiding from the truth after all. I am also curious about radio. There is something cool about the randomness. There is something cool about the presentation, the radio edits, etc. I sure as hell don’t miss buying cassettes and CDs. It was a whole different experience though.
I think there is something strange about the way people take in information depending upon how it is presented. The other day, I saw an ad for an app. It said,” Don’t like reading the long boring news articles? Well now you can read every top story in 60 words or less!”. What the fuck has the world come to?