Virtual Ownership

The idea of the NFT seems to be a sensible use of blockchain technology to solve a real problem instead of it being the other way around as I have seen too often in business.  The powers that be dictate "we must have a blockchain strategy" and people down the food-chain go scurrying around to make that happen. Problems are invented only such that blockchain could be the answer to them. All these while mundane yet critical issues remain unaddressed.  The creator of the virtual impossible furniture describes the value of NFTs well: "For artists, being able to sell artwork in digital form directly to a global audience of buyers without using an auction house or gallery allows them to keep a significantly greater portion of the profits they make from sales. Royalties can also be programmed into digital artwork so that the creator receives a percentage of sale profits each time their artwork is sold to a new owner. ..I believe we are expanding our experience into a new hybri

Obvious Answers

I don't understand anything about wines and my tastes are as plebian as they get. My buying process is very simple. The price should be "competitive", the bottle should have some aesthetic appeal that separates it from the crowd on the shelf. The label should be interesting or quirky. Since  I don't know wines it should not be a brand I am familiar with.  That is a pretty wide net and more often than not the results are good. I have a few friends who "get" wine and over the years they have attempted to educate me but I am not a willing or able student. I love and work with data for a living - unlike wine, I do "get" data. So it was fun to read how this wine model was built and to arrive at a pretty obvious conclusion that alcohol content being the most important variable by far. Would make sense to most people Alcohol appears to have the biggest impact on Quality, followed by Volatile Acidity and the amount of sulphates in the wine. Reminds me a g

Different Worlds

This post made for sad reading . So many layers of difficulty. A name that does not match the face, the accent that does not fit the stereotype associated with that face and finally teaching English in America while being Asian.  The pandemic has strained every fault line in society. Each country and its people experience it differently. The blame for this horrific unraveling of life has to be laid somewhere. The existing "villains" are the best fall guys and those vary by where you live and what you do. The world is being stress tested and the grades are clearly failing : ..In addition, rising authoritarianism, democratic backsliding and ethno-nationalism are reported, while civil unrest including protests have risen above 2019 levels. Gender-based violence has also risen .. In contrast to all that cosmetic dentistry is booming business in other parts of the world because the privileged have jobs and spend time on Zoom meetings all day. Jewelers are doing well for themselv

Feeling Sore

My friend A was telling me about the dread he experiences each time he sees a call coming from India. It is starting to take a toll on his mental health. His wife has lost several family members already, he has been lucky so far. We are both expats but living in different countries. The feeling of being alone in the local population where the subject has moved on from daily death tolls, is a shared experience. I have not had one person at work or among my circle of acquaintances ask me how my family in India is faring.  They all do know that such family exists and reside there. In a precarious time like this where I start and end my day with a call to my parents to make sure they are okay, the lack of concern from people I spend all day with can start to grate on what is left of my nerves. All of us who have loved ones in India are putting on a brave front and carrying on like nothing is happening. That is so far from reality. I know in my case, I don't want to spend any time at al

Giving Time

Peleton's leaky API is not earth-shattering news. It's basically what we should expect when we choose to share private information and the collector of such data has much to gain from it. What is particularly galling in this instance is that the person sharing data only to have it leaked, is paying for that privilege by way of a monthly subscription.  This is a bit more offensive than our data being scraped off of Facebook, LinkedIn, ClubHouse and the like. Most of us are not paying directly to any of these services though the act of sharing real data is very much a fee. As such events become routine, consumers will experience fatigue and stop bellyaching over it. That in turn will normalize the notion that privacy should not be expected at all. It's great if you happen to get it but generally you won't. The response from Peleton is very telling:  Through our Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure program, a security researcher informed us that he was able to access our

Odd News

Silly news like this about a  farmer moving the border of his country on accident is what I needed to catch a break from things. The variety of response to the Gates divorce is somewhat amusing too - there is a lot of concern around the fate of their philanthropic efforts. Its like they owe staying married no matter the personal cost for the greater good of the world. Something is deeply flawed about that logic and is not unlike the expectations from a desi couple in an arranged marriage. They are made to feel like they owe scenes from a happy marriage to the families and communities that celebrated their union.  Two people grew older and further apart over time and felt it was time to move on - happens all the time . Once kids are grown up and gone, the strength of the marriage is fully tested freed from joint obligations. For regular people that could mean the luxury to pursue long cherished dreams, change careers, take risks that were not possible until then. The aspirations each s

Clearing Ground

The bushes in my yard have been around for a decade and mostly I don't know what they are. This year, a several of them bloomed all at once, some for the very first time. These were mature bushes ten years ago so they are only older now. It was a welcome and surprise turn of events in a time where happy news has been hard to come by. Wild violets have taken over the grass everywhere. For reasons only nature knows, many flowers have chosen to bloom all at once this year. Maybe to serve as reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Trying to learn about these flowers all around me led to this site about the mythology of flowers .   I have been spending time pulling weeds so the flowers might thrive and not get crowded in - doing my part to help this sudden and unexpected abundance.  The profusion and variety of weeds amazes me when I pull out one that I have not encountered before. To my untrained eye, there seems to be an infinite variety in my own yard. They make me rec