Monday, September 29, 2014

20 Hour Long Movies

Amitabh Bachchan
Cover of Amitabh Bachchan
They are not movies, but they are not called movies, but I am calling them movies. I did not watch them any differently than I watch movies on my computer. They are movies, as far as I am concerned.

First I watched Kevin Spacey's House Of Cards. I was mesmerized. There is no way you could do justice to the material in a two hour movie. It had to play out. I binge watched. Then I watched Amitabh Bachchan's Yudh. I will watch anything with Amitabh Bachchan in it. And I just finished watching 24, Season 4, all 24 episodes of it. I binge watched. Such superb treatment of the material.

Hollywood is society's imagination wing. It helps process scenarios.

I have become a huge fan of 20 hour long movies. Bring it on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Google And Diversity: Fail Whale

The top tech company in the world is not doing it right.

Exposing Hidden Biases at Google to Improve Diversity
Founded by a pair of men, its executive team is overwhelmingly male, and its work force is dominated by men. Over all, seven out of 10 people who work at Google are male. ...... Men make up 83 percent of Google’s engineering employees and 79 percent of its managers. ..... of its 36 executives and highest-ranking managers, just three are women. .... the firm’s poor gender diversity.. the severe underrepresentation of blacks and Hispanics among its work force. ...... the centerpiece of which is a series of workshops aimed at making Google’s culture more accepting of diversity. ..... to fight deep-set cultural biases and an insidious frat-house attitude that pervades the tech business. Tech luminaries make sexist comments so often that it has ceased to become news when they do. ....... Google’s disclosure prompted a wave of similar reports across the industry, with Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and several other tech giants issuing similarly dismal numbers about their work forces. ...... Google’s diversity training workshops, which began last year and which more than half of Google’s nearly 49,000 employees have already attended, are based on an emerging field of research in social psychology known as unconscious bias. ...... discrimination must be governed by unconscious cultural biases rather than overt sexism. ..... the more pernicious bias was most likely pervasive and hidden, a deep-set part of the culture rather than the work of a few loudmouth sexists. ...... research that shows diverse teams can be more creative than homogeneous ones ..... a dismal fact: Everyone is a little bit racist or sexist. If you think you’re immune, take the Implicit Association Test, which empirically measures people’s biases. ...... some of the most damaging bias is unconscious; people do the worst stuff without meaning to, or even recognizing that they’re being influenced by their preferences....... The effect of bias is powerful, and it isn’t softened by Silicon Valley’s supposedly meritocratic culture. ..... a computer simulation of how a systematic 1 percent bias against women in performance evaluation scores can trickle up through the ranks, leading to a severe underrepresentation of women in management. ..... we aren’t slaves to our hidden biases. The more we make ourselves aware of the role our unconscious plays on our decision-making, and the more we try to force others to confront their biases, the greater the chance we have to overcome our hidden preferences. ..... a less biased culture as a result of the training. Not long ago the company opened a new building, and someone spotted that all the conference rooms were named after male scientists; in the past, that might have gone unmentioned, but this time the names were changed. ....... the training was working. “Suddenly you go from being completely oblivious to going, ’Oh my god, it’s everywhere,’ ” he said.

Jackson Heights

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


How Network Theory Is Revealing Previously Unknown Patterns in Sport
Tiki-taka is characterised by rapid short passes and fast movement by the players. The idea is to dominate possession of the ball. That’s in sharp contrast to conventional tactics that focus on player formations.

The Bourne Resurrection

Matt Damon at a presentation for The Bourne Ul...
Matt Damon at a presentation for The Bourne Ultimatum in Mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"I've always been open to it if Paul Greengrass is the director," Damon said to CNBC in May of this year. "We've just never been able to come up with a story. So, if any of your viewers have a story, please call Universal and submit it."
Matt Damon Will Probably Play Jason Bourne Again After All

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gates And Musk On Energy

Going Corporate, Going Startup

Medium (TV series)
Medium (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Medium post has been a social media viral hit the past few days.

How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked my life up

Why was this post a big hit?

It is well written. The title is catchy. Many more people do startups these days than was true before the 2008 recession. The title speaks to fears many people have. Most people avoid going into the startup grind because deep down they know it is going to f*ck up things.

The post has great introductory paragraphs. The writer seems to be a classic success story. He got a great education, then landed a great job. He was flying business class.

Then he pinches you the reality. It was not all that great. He was mostly staring at spreadsheets, all night long, all flight long. A lot of people relate to that.

They say that about marriage. People who are out, want in. People who are in, want out. People who are married think singles are having more fun. Singles think married people are having more fun.

A great, catchy title with great first few paragraphs can create a social media hit.

But even after that, the post is pretty good. It gives you a pretty good idea of what a sinkhole a startup can be.

One element though is missing. He is not talking about his idea. You don't create a successful startup just because you quit a great job. It is about your idea, and your execution.