Are We an Independent State

Political fads come and go. More so when the elections are around. National level fads peak at the time of the Lok Sabha elections. Having said that, they are not confined to those times. Before we begin, let me state that this is not a political post, even though it starts with the word “political”. This post is about a political phenomenon. Also, this post does not state the obvious for most people, because history from a couple of centuries ago has taken a back seat in our heads (as is evident by some of the responses that I saw on social media).

Mid-brain Activation

Remember those days in school when you had people come over and show you how to remember lists of words, calculate complex arithmetic in seconds, etc.? We had such people visiting our school a couple of times as well. A lot of my schoolmates had enrolled themselves for these “workshops”, in hopes of achieving better scores. None of them worked; had anything so groundbreaking happened, our school would have organised these workshops every year, and we would have aced all state- and national-level competitive exams.

Religious Law as the New Way of Life

The past weeks have been eventful in the international space. The state of Afghanistan—our neighbour (we share a small bit of our international border with Afghanistan at the north end of Kashmir)—worries us Indians. The Taliban does sound like a formidable force, and we constantly wait for our government to put out statements that say, ‘We are doing fine.’ And then we hope that the government is being truthful. Taliban members in an area controlled by the group last year in Laghman, Afghanistan.

My Experience with COVID Vaccination

This first of July, I got my second shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Over the past months, I have seen people opposing vaccination (which surprised me), some being suspicious of one of the vaccines (which included me), people expressing concerns, and people that I care about getting affected with Covid after choosing not to vaccinate, despite getting the chance to get vaccinated—more than once. This is a personal post. (I get to do that once in a while.

On Petrol Prices

As soon as someone complains about the fuel prices, we see some coming out in support of the hike, calling it an economy booster. I am no exception; I saw those forwards as well, for as long as I was on WhatsApp over the last year. In this post, we look at the good and the bad of such fuel price hikes, look at whether the government does indeed control the prices, what its implications are, and what we can do about it.

Sexual Abuse in Schools

Yesterday, I woke up to the news that students of a top school in Chennai—Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan (or PSBB)—had alleged that a teacher had sexually abused them. PSBB teacher accused of child sexual harassment, school accused of inaction (The News Minute) The piece of news shook me because my cousin studied in the school, and I could personally relate to it. The teacher also taught at the same branch that she studied in.

How to Pick Privacy-friendly Services

The topic of privacy came up today in a conversation about picking a cloud storage for documents like journals and other writing. Given the fact that services can recognise handwriting, where is a good place to store your notes? The larger question was, how do you pick privacy-friendly services? Encryption Core business Open source software Not truly open source Free products and services On-device and peer-to-peer alternatives Privacy-friendly alternatives Linux ProtonMail Signal Firefox Cryptee DuckDuckGo In closing Let us start simple: Google owns Google Drive, Microsoft owns Microsoft OneDrive.

Is EdTech a Scam

About half a year ago, an EdTech (Education Technology) start-up came into the limelight. The company had found its way into serious controversy, including claims that the company had misled parents and children, ripped them off of millions of rupees and were home to some questionable conversations. The subject came up tonight and I did not know how to conclude one way or another. I thought I could try to untangle it using a post.

Is COVID-19 Winning

Today is Sunday, and time for me to share what I have learnt about the disease. Disclaimer: I am an engineer, not a medical professional. What I am sharing here is for informational purposes, not health or medical advice. If you have specific queries, please talk to your (or a) doctor. And do not trust WhatsApp University. A moment for my uncle On “alternative” treatments On shortages Need of the hour Treat the ill Stop the spread Vaccinate On testing and lockdowns On medicines that work On mutations On relaxation of intellectual property restrictions Investment on health What more do we need The second wave (and the waves) In summary A moment for my uncle The virus hit too close to home.

Enjoy Your Life With Covid 19

There was a time when I was a favourite student of WhatsApp University. When I realised the ultimate quality of education there, I was so envious of it that I quit. After all, those of us who have had the privilege to attend the mainstream universities would be jealous of the free-and-open system. This is why I dropped out of the university (and I made a video about it as well):