See more on your trips – Pole Pole (swahili for do it slowly)

We’ve made a few mis-steps in our long journey of progress as human beings, as is natural, whats important is that we recognize and amend our ways so that moving forward we can say we learnt from our mistakes.

We’ve come to realize that eating quickly and certain foods has led to heightened cases of diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc. and we’re correcting our ways by moving towards a more slow and healthy eating mentality.

Well I propose another change another mis-step that we’ve been making in the name of convenience but haven’t been aware of yet. It’s the mis-step of Fast Travel. When we get on a plane in San Francisco and disembark in Nairobi. We enter a door on one continent and walk through it on another. Not knowing the lands we’ve passed, the cultures we’ve flown over, the costumes we’ve not seen, the songs we’ve not heard. And this is a loss that takes away from the joy of travel: for the joy of travel is the joy of learning a new culture.

How can we say we know a land when we do not know what surrounds it, or a people when we don’t see how they are similar to and slightly different from those around them.

Neighboring Countries are like cousins, closer than you might think and just a little different to make them unique. If one travels from India to Europe you will see the gradual change in the clothing, in the food, in the language, in the dances. It all changes gradually not suddenly, like a brush stroke going from one hue of pink to another to another before it becomes red and then onwards to another color.

An understanding of this gradual slow change, gives us a greater insight into the ways of the people or countries along the way.

When we traveled by sea/land we saw this slow change and we slowly changed with it too. It gradually got warmer, or colder, or greener or sparser. We adjusted, acclimatized, sensitized.

We learnt how similar things are and how they’re different cause we had a deeper understanding than is possible from entering into one end and coming out another without ever seeing the mountain we just passed under.

This is crucial to seeing the world as one which is full of small variances as opposed to one which is full of starkly different cultures and people.

The morality of online behaviour data

Snooping or Observing?
Snooping or Observing?

When does going through someones online history start becoming online voyeurism?

Now I know this is a stretch but in all honesty it’s something that keeps creeping up when I am behind the scenes looking at data. I recognize that it is aggregated data and not specific to individuals which protects identity and saves against bias. That said, I think it’s too early for consumers to be alarmed by it, but as we start to live more of our lives online this debate and the laws to limit marketers access to data are not too far away.

If good marketing means the ability to comb through peoples online behavior data and find patterns and insights so as to conclude their next steps and their buying pressure points.

Then it to some extent requires the same skills that would make a good voyeur. The ability to go undetected, being one of them, because no one wants to know they’re being watched but it also involves deducing their next steps so that we can intercept them with our products and make it seem like a helpful coincidence.

Is online data snooping or observing? Online behavior is not done in the public realm so it can’t be observing and if it isn’t then is it snooping?

So go forth and snoop! #BuyBehavior #InsightMiner

Children are chalkboards

Impressions made aren't easily unmade
Impressions made aren’t easily unmade

Children are extremely impressionable, what they see as youngsters stays with them for ever. If you teach a child a rose is a tulip. He’ll believe it till he goes to school and is told otherwise (most likely with jeers from his peers).

Children are like chalkboards in that sense. The first time you write on a new chalkboard it’s fresh and the lines are clear, the impression is crisp and clear. As time goes on and the chalkboard is erased the board gets greyer and no impression is as crisp as it was the first time.

Also the impression is never completely erased, it’s silhouette is still there and the harder the impression was the clearer its silhouette remains.

This is what it’s like with us, hence be careful what you say around your kids and what message you’re sending them as kids cause it stays with them for a long long time.

Why we’re all taught to like the same thing, Or at the least within a range of things.

The Choice Equation.
The Choice Equation.

From early childhood we are made to aspire towards the same goals and covet the same things. Individuality is encouraged but within confines. It is a false acceptance of Individuality because in reality true individuality is discouraged and sometimes literally beaten out of people.

The Mantra can be rephrased as – Be the best that you can be (do the most that you can do) vs. do whatever you want to do.

The individual self is a threat to the mass produced nature of the corporate complex. Individuality means variety, but the systems of mass production can only profit on large numbers of the same objects — A limited range of desire is required and hence a conformist desire is projected.

E.g. Forget getting to design your own car you can’t even pick any color. You can only pick colors from those offered by the car company. Now sure you can get it painted in any color you like.. but why not then sell a blank car at a discount. Do I hear the universal echo of “economies of scale” being shouted by business people everywhere, not to mention law enforcement that might need to describe the color etc.

This seems practical and it is.. for products though not for people. The thought that a range of options is the same as true individuality when made towards a lifestyle and choice of career is what is truly stifling for the human condition.

This is the case because if we did not in some way confuse conformist desire with true desire we would see through the mirage that is consumerism and its promise of fulfilling our inner desires with products.

Hence we are confused into thinking we are individuals when in reality we are being cajoled into conforming to pre-molded roles that can then be categorized, segmented, marketed to and finally capitalized on.

Think Differently

Climate change is a young persons problem!

Does anyone know of a study/poll that breaks down climate believers and deniers by age group? I have a creeping suspicion that the deniers will tend to be in the higher age groups and most of the variables/reasoning that leads to the skewed data will not be based on scientific information but on the premise that to accept climate change would mean a tacit acceptance that their generation is somewhat responsible for the climate’s current state of affairs.

Sadly their denial is leading to inaction which in turn is compounding the problem. There’s no gain in blaming and no one knows that more than the one’s who will be left with a broken planet. Insecurity=Inaction. I think a study could help resolve the differences and lead to united action on the environmental front.

We must not let those who covet the coin destroy the tree to gain it.

Image Courtesy: ScienticAmerican

Palestinian right to return

Israeli’s use the Dead Sea Scrolls as the legitimacy for their return & occupation of Israel yet “Many believe that Palestinians returning to the original villages from which they fled, or were forced to leave, is synonymous with the end of the Jewish character of Israel.”

This hypocrisy is hurting Israel more than anyone else. Israeli politician need to make the hard choices that are required, simply beefing up your military and pandering to your voters even when you know they are wrong is not what makes leaders or great nations.


How America can lose weight!

Universal health care is the only way America can combat obesity.

Because only then will the FDA reign in the food industry and tax / restrict unhealthy foods that makes health care expensive and Americans obese.

With universal health care and the FDA under one roof (public sector) the left hand knows what the right hand does and vice versa.

MTV India dabbles in folk music.

Rural Games - Qila Raipur, Ludhiana, Punjab

A lovely video & song created using the sounds and the imagery of the Annual Rural Olympics held in Qila Raipur, Ludhiana, Punjab.

MTV India’s Music Director Sneha, Folk Singers Sultana & Jyoti along with a melange of characters from the games give folk music a much needed make over. Using the technology & tastes of today .. They give us a folk dub-step beat with Exotic Imagery!

Check out the Music Video

& here’s the making of