Who writes those forwards I get on WhatsApp

Who writes those forwards I get on WhatsApp

My problem is that I cannot remember if I have read the joke until I reach the punchline. It is only then resentment rises at the person who sent the joke that I have been receiving over the years. I sometimes believe that sending WhatsApp jokes to each other is a way of dealing with the future. That future when robots will do all our work leaving us jobless. Will we spend all our waking hours reading recycled jokes? Think of the kind of jobs we can create.

Algorithms: Are we giving up our right to choose

Algorithms: Are we giving up our right to choose

What would happen if a tobacco company or alcohol maker or drug dealer were to buy the app to encourage addiction? The fear is not far-fetched. E-commerce companies are using algorithmic nudges to encourages shoppers to buy more than what they need or can afford. The UK government is using behavioural scientists to get people to pay their taxes in time. What is to stop a totalitarian government from using algorithms for something sinister?

Just Post-It

Just Post-It

These yellow Post-It notes are an essential part of my life. I have used these yellow thingies to write welcome notes and bid goodbye. To share a word of appreciation for my team members. To say thank you for great work done. Several appraisals and many bosses later, my team members still have the fading thank you notes and cartoons on their desk.

a16z interviews Yuvi Harari

a16z interviews Yuvi Harari

The podcast explores more provocative questions. With all the data that we are giving freely to Facebook and Amazon etc, one day they will be able to predict our tastes better than loved ones and maybe even better than what we can. What happens then?

We have to look at the issue of job losses not from one country’s perspective but from multiple perspectives. If the technology developed in say US, leads to job losses of factory in Bangladesh, who should compensate whom and by how much? Who will determine the level of compensation? How will AI impact the way schools are designed and structured? And of course, what happens when techno-religions gather more followers?

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

Introduction to Storytelling by Pixar

I am a fan of Pixar’s storytelling style. I don’t know if you have ever read their famous 22 rules of storytelling? If you have not, you must. Some of the tips are really super useful to newbies like me who are fascinated enough by the magic to want to be a magician. But for now one has to be grateful that I am getting to read the magician’s book of spells before he returns. I make a quick note of rule number 2 in the Book of Spells.

The secret of feeling motivated at work

The secret of feeling motivated at work

Mastery is an endless pathway that you can use to stay motivated regardless of the work you do. A barista could build further expertise by learning about different recipes of coffee. Or about the rituals around coffee in different parts of the world. And become a storyteller who tells a new story involving coffee to a customer. Maybe you could have storytelling sessions about all the interesting people who love coffee. The day you can discover that the opportunities for mastery in your field, whatever that might be, is really endless, you will stop dreading the beginning of the work week.

Who is your disruptor?

Who is your disruptor?

It may be time to heed the advice of Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” That advice certainly holds true in the digital age.

The “Assisted Economy”

The "Assisted Economy"

Our cultural traditions have always had a place for a sidekick. Our folk theater has had a jamura who acts as a sidekick to the main performer or madaari. Without the jamura, the madaari’s show is incomplete. From royalty to musicians, there is always place for a sidekick. That may be an opportunity for India as tech becomes Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in the pantheon of jobs.

Posters don’t shape culture – leaders do

Posters don't shape culture - leaders do

Before the founding team makes their first hire, they must ask what behaviors the candidate must display and assess against them. Assessing for values impacts the culture of the organization. Strategy is on paper, whereas culture determines how things get done.

The forgotten music of Rajasthan

The forgotten music of Rajasthan

What makes this festival magical is the way the sun and the moon are blended in with music to create magic. The Mehrangarh fort becomes like a giant movie set where the forgotten music of Rajathan is offered to a global audience. That is what the Rajasthan International Folk Fest is all about

When do we feel threatened by machines?

When do we feel threatened by machines?

When machines start doing our tasks, we hold them to standards that no human can match. We expect them to be perfect. Maybe we know that they are peering over our shoulder and learning to take over our lives. They better be perfect. That is the only way our lives will be perfect. But is it?

Brain Hack

Brain Hack

Today several people celebrated Teachers Day and acknowledge the role of the teachers in shaping their lives. Today’s post begins with a tip that encourages you to think like a teacher when you want to learn something… anything.