I watched The Batman today – I am glad that after a few terrible few showings, we have a good setting again. It’s not a perfect movie – it’s too long and too thin. But I loved the way it’s shot, it does “look and sound brilliant”. The first half is particularly gripping. I didn’t like the Riddler though, his eccentricities felt forced.

That said though, the first thing this movie made me do was rewatch a few sequences from The Dark Knight series. The heights that Nolan took this superhero to is hard to scale.

Not a natural blogger

I no longer am the prolific blogger that I once was. I won’t comment on everything that I read these days. Or post every thought I have.

I read what a few people write and realize maybe I am not as natural a blogger as I thought at one point. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Knowing that English isn’t my primary language, I knew what I write in the language won’t sound natural either. In my school, even my English teacher didn’t speak in English. English became my primary communication language pretty late in my life. So I am aware that the way I use some words or the structure of my sentence must sound wrong to English-speaking readers.

Not that I blame my struggle with this foreign language for my recent slump in writing. It’s true that I never wished to write perfect prose. The recognition that it conveyed what I wanted was good enough for me. But it’s equally true that writing is not easy for me. It takes effort.

I would love to believe that my writing has improved over these 15 years. But I am also conscious that my desire to write frequently, differently, hasn’t improved. Instead, it has been impaired recently.

I feel bad when I struggle to garner the drive to word my thoughts and I wrote about my frustration a few times recently. Looking at my blog without anything meaningful added newly makes me feel worse.

Maybe this space needs a break. Maybe I do?

It was 10 years ago today that I began a seven-day challenge not to log in to Facebook. I haven’t seen that timeline since then. It was a good, eye-opening challenge in that sense. Nice!

We sometimes write sentences that don’t need to exist. Hidden in a paragraph, we might not notice. Standing on their own, we notice. Delete any sentence not worthy of its own line.

Source: Writing one sentence per line | Derek Sivers

I finished reading The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel 📚

A short, but brilliant read. Housel writes in an easy-to-follow manner even though the topic he talks about is not. Some might say this belongs to a series of blog posts. But the chapters and respective takeaways sound coherent.

As Housel mentions, there cannot be a single investing strategy for every person out there. Each individual’s background is different. Their goals are different. And so are their perspectives. In the same spirit, two individuals cannot have the same set of takeaways from this book.

So do give this a read and discover for your own.

I have been under the weather for the last few days. I rested for the first couple of days and got much-needed sleep at unusual times. But the recovery period gave me a chance to read a few books after a long time. I slept and I read. A nice break I must say.

I have been a PC guy since I was 10 years old. The first version that I used was Windows 95. I stayed the longest with Windows 98. I fell in love with Windows XP even on my PC hardware that didn’t support the OS well then.

However, what I had for this platform wasn’t love. For the small town I am from, Windows was the default platform. At home, in school and at work. Mac OS wasn’t a name anyone had heard. Linux was limited to textbooks.

I dabbled with the latter during my bachelor’s and the developer in me was instantly captivated. It wasn’t ready to replace the default OS on my desktop though. There was still some time to go before it could go mainstream. So like most folks around me, I dual-booted Windows and Linux.

However, I believe things have improved since then. There are many “flavours” of Linux today that target users beyond developers. Why not then should I give them a try again?

So I have been running Linux as my primary OS for more than a few months now. I haven’t missed my default platform yet. It may not still be ready for all the people that Microsoft targets with Windows. But it is ready to be the default platform for many tech-minded folks out there.

I am not going back to Windows anymore. I don’t have any incentive,

PS: I am trying Chrome OS Flex currently. I am pretty impressed with this flavour of an operating system. It’s light and fast. Plus it also runs Linux now. Except for the fear of Google, this platform has a lot going for it.

An unpopular opinion, but I need not post everything on my blog. Some fleeting thoughts are better if not considered as part of the words “published”.

You have to leverage the mind’s habitual and reflexive nature. Instead of consciously “trying to be more present,” you gently train your own attention, like you’re training a dog, to locate and be with present moment experience as a normal and natural reflex.

Source: Trying to Be More Present Isn’t Enough

A social network or a community dies when the interactions dry down. When everyone speaks but there is no dialogue. Soon everyone is shouting at the top of their voices.

I find and read a lot of brilliant articles/essays throughout the day. Most are shareworthy which I freely do. But I have realised too much reading is unfavourable for my writing. The mind gets inundated with others' thoughts. I tend to first be affected by them, then overanalyze them and soon get paralysed by them. It’s not a healthy chain of events.

I am reading a lot more than I am writing. I haven’t made up my mind yet that it is bad. But I need to balance them both.

Garbage in, garbage out. Sure. But only in, nothing out is equally bad – doesn’t matter that it’s only the best that goes in.

There are times when I know I want to write about something, but I can’t think of anything. This is one such moment. Plus I am too sleepy to dig into my mind. So I am making this note to slightly pacify my mind.

This is a list of things you’re allowed to do that you thought you couldn’t, or didn’t even know you could.

Source: Things you’re allowed to do - Milan Cvitkovic

A fascinating list this. A few that resonated with me were saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t have an opinion” when you don’t" or “don’t drink (alcohol), even when you’re expected to”. A handy reference.

My daughter regularly uses the assistants at home – for timers, for reminders. To play songs that she loves. She even asks questions about things she gets curious about. She loves Alexa and talks to her as if talking to a friend. She can work with Google Assistant – it always gets the job done.

However, she doesn’t like Siri. I set a timer for her with Siri today – it didn’t take her long to move it to Echo. Well, I can’t blame her. She asked Siri how much time was remaining on her timer. Siri replied, “I am sorry, I can’t do that here.” How can you not do something so basic?

Once my daughter was done, I asked Siri to cancel the timer. Well, she repeated that she can’t do that. Sigh!

I suck at emojis – I don’t understand this language. Why are there so many representations of the quality of laughter? Grinning, Smiling, Beaming and whatnot. I understand each word means something different, but conveying that through the right emoji is a task in itself. I mean seriously, what’s the difference between emoji representing “Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes” and “Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes”? I will never know that.

We have around 3600 emojis (3633 to be exact), which include gender or skin tones. Isn’t that number too large? Plus it keeps growing every year. Sure, add new emojis that people want and anticipate. But remove a few tens that get hardly used. Who uses Dotted Line Face 🫥? What does it even mean?

Emoji is a powerful language – fastest growing at that. But it need not grow meaninglessly.

Side note, did you know 😭 is the most used emoji? It represents the pain that is using the right emoji.

These stunning images are a major achievement for us Earthlings. And given everything absurd we’ve witnessed on Earth of late, they are more than that. If nothing else, the humongousness of the universe ought to put our problems into perspective. A little insignificance isn’t such a bad thing.

Source: What’s in the James Webb space telescope photos? We can explain.

Did anyone think the drama around Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will play out any differently? Normally, that is? Is anything that this guy does conventional?

Yesterday, I ranted about how Youtube is aggressively pushing Shorts in their feeds and recommendations. Of course, the quality had taken a huge nosedive. Well, just look at the explore tab of YouTube. I very rarely do, that section always had poor-quality videos. But at least they were full-length ones. Now it is full of shorts with each having millions of views.

That’s so much collective time wasted. We need to move on from shaming social media and its addictive nature. These short videos are ruining our habits and I see very few are complaining.

A few years back, I stopped watching Elementary after the last episode of the first season. I didn’t like that it stopped being what it was good at - a riveting procedural drama. I recently started watching the second season and even this season had the same arc. I am stopping watching the series this time too.

It has been raining incessantly here for the past week. So when the Sun shone through clouds momentarily, the whole neighbourhood decided to turn up on the roads. It didn’t matter that the skies were still crowded with clouds and it would rain soon. Too much of anything is bad.

As far as time wastage goes, short video services are the new social media. YouTube Shorts, Reels whatever. I have realized this mindless format of the content is eating up too much of my productive time. YouTube, in itself, was bad. But at least there was a chance that I would learn something. With Shorts, it’s a total waste of hours, a minute at a time.

I don’t watch Reels because, well, I don’t use Instagram. Or Tiktok. Or whatever app that’s trending now. But I keep going back to YouTube often when I have short time to pass. I hate that the app is aggressively pushing the Shorts nowadays.

What’s worse is that the videos are trash. They are neither fun nor informative. They register only as much as a dented luxury car would – I go “huh, that’s odd” and move on.

I finished reading The Comfort Book by Matt Haig today. Though I really enjoyed this book, I don’t think I am done reading it. I will keep this book close and revisit a chapter randomly whenever I feel down. Or feel that I need a nudge in the right direction. I don’t think this one is a book. Each chapter is a nugget of inspiration, of motivation, of reminders for what matters, presented in the most no-nonsense way by Matt Haig. 📚

Almost every morning, I get a notification from Day One reminding me of an entry I had made on this day in some previous year. It always brings a smile to my face. Most entries are from some 8-10 years back when my daughter was growing up. I am so pleased with myself that I have made these entries. I relive the charm and the excitement of spending time with a growing child.

There are no notifications that I look forward to more than the ones from Day One. This is a worthy investment, both the subscription cost and the cost in terms of time to note the entries. The words I might have found meaningless then read like a heartfelt memory today.

My caseless device had the first fall today, thankfully a minor one. But until I picked it up and looked for cracks and dents, my mind was racing like crazy. Not a good feeling this. Yuck!

Read widely. Read some books more than once. Write in your books. Don’t finish every book you start. You might be able to read 2500 books in your lifetime. Maybe a few more than that. It’s still a very small number. Choose wisely.

Source: My Twelve Rules for Life