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Measuring Distraction

I knew I would write this post right after I scanned this piece of paper. And yet, what did I do? I opened an email which led me to open another link before I reminded myself that since I had scanned the format, I should write this post.

If your mobile phone and laptop suck up your time and leave you tired without any feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day, you might just want to do this exercise for a few days and measure your DISTRACTION QUOTIENT.

If you look at the sheet, you'll see 4 columns. You'll also see some symbols and words highlighted in green.

The first 2 columns are sort of 'purposeful'. Obviously, we use mobile phones and laptops for purposeful activities. So the first 2 columns give you the space to record what you consciously decide to do using these gadgets. They are marked with 'right tick' on top. You can fill these columns well in advance.

The 3rd and 4th columns are meant to record the instances of 'unintentional' or 'u…
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The stomach of our eyes and the legs of our fingers

As an incredible and incredibly tired - to the point of puking coz - user of the smart phone and laptop screens, I have often wondered about the role of tablet and phablet (that's such a fuck-all category name, the sound of it, the meaning of it) and the distinctions between the the latter two, and the distinctions between the latter two and the smart phone especially. Without any more long sentences, here are a few thoughts.

I can see two broad categories: consumption devices and production devices.

Mobile phones? Consumption devices in 'sachet' form, literally and also for different purposes. Suited for small tasks, small talking, small give and take of messages, small viewing. (Exceptions galore. Sickening ones largely I guess. Am not a gamer, but have watched users pore into their little screens playing obnoxious games for good stretches. I find reading a decent length article on a mobile mighty difficult for my eyes.)

Laptops, PCs? Production-cum-consumption devices.…

Making sense of that non-commital answer 'Depends!'

If there's one answer that drives us all nuts, it's 'Depends!'

And there wouldn't be a surprise if your reaction to the above statement is 'Depends!'

Actually 'Depends' is such a dependable answer because it seems to tread those fine lines between 'right' and 'wrong'. Our assessment of 'right' and 'wrong' is always so pathetic that we tend to depend on 'Depends!' to save ourselves. And so very often.

I won't be wrong to say that 'Depends!' means 'Debatable but let's not debate!'

Suppose I depend on the old saying 'excess of anything is bad', then I can also say, 'excess of rightness is wrong'. That might also tempt me to say, 'excess of wrongness is right'. And I might so rightly sound foolish with that excess of wrongness.

Anyway, have a look at this 2x2 matrix on the debate between means/methods and consequences. More elaborately, right and wrong means/method…

Meanings of sharing 'family and children' pics on FB

I wonder when Facebook was originally built it carried the tag 'social media'. But since it was meant to become a virtual hangout for friends, typically from a college, it isn't a surprise that it assumed the tag so easily.

Given the current situation, the meaning of 'social' can be talked about until...

Given that the connections to most 'friends' on FB now are at best tenuous, I am trying to make sense of the sharing-family-and-children-pics-(with all the friends)-on-Facebook phenomenon.
Sharers know that friends might want to know what's happening in the family. Though these sharers don't know who these friends are exactly. So anyway, the pics should reach these not-exactly-known friends who might want to know.Sharers know who these friends are exactly but don't find any other channel suitable enough to do such sharing. 'Suitable' means convenient or sophisticated or common channel used by all friends.If in point#2, I pick the aspect…

Friend, not a follower

Earlier when I would befriend someone on FB, I would get that person's updates on my timeline (basis whatever algorithm FB has). There was no choice.

For some time now, FB has given us a choice. If you don't want to see updates from certain 'friends' on FB, you can 'unfollow'. In which case, you don't have to 'unfriend' to avoid the updates. Just 'unfollow'.

The default is 'follow'. When you befriend someone, FB assumes you'll 'follow' this friend. Follow = Receive updates on our timeline.

Befriend. Unfriend. Follow. Unfollow. Meanings galore.

Let me just open the box using a two-by-two window!


First you shape the system, then the system shapes you?

Not really. First they shape FB, then they shape you!

In a bid to have good conversations with all the friends 'befriended' on FB, a few minutes back I was engaged in calibrating the Notification Preferences of my FB account.

After my clicking some "unfollowing" buttons, FB throws a message:
"It looks like you’re using this feature in a way it wasn’t meant to be used. Please slow down, or you could be blocked from using it."

Funny this is, they've built a system in which users might end up taking up such an activity. And if FB has throw such a message, clearly they dislike such an activity or perhaps they didn't anticipate such an activity. Hurts their business, does it?

The verbiage of the warning message above is an interesting one. Read again:
"It looks like you’re using this feature in a way it wasn’t meant to be used. Please slow down, or you could be blocked from using it." What do they mean 'it wasn't meant to'? Are…

The Curious Case Of Dubious Quality At Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar

Have been wanting to record this instance for quite a few days. Finally.

In the last few years, a lot of construction and building work has taken place at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar.

Natural stone and granite have also been used in huge quantities.

We've been interested ever since this work began some years back. A few months back we did really get a chance, a small window to show what we can do, what we can supply, the quality et al. We were optimistic.

The construction company (a giant of a company in India) contracted by the Govt. of Gujarat
showed us the kind of material they expected from their suppliers. All top-notch.

We submitted quotations for high-quality in all kinds of stone they asked for, thinking it's such a big project. Such important work, such big construction company.

They found our quotation high. They bought the material from some other supplier(s).

We were disappointed. Just exactly why we were rejected, we were curious. So we went there for a courtesy…