Author Archives: Rahul

The writer William Gibson:  “In my childhood, the 21st century was constantly referenced,” he said. “You’d see it once every day, and it often had an exclamation point.” The sense, he said, was that postwar America was headed somewhere amazing. … Continue reading

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Public money, private money

A recent move by New York State to ban businesses from accepting only digital payment methods reminded me of this article from a few years ago, which made the argument that digital payment methods are essentially privatised money: ‘Cash’ is … Continue reading

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Upcoming India space missions

Astrosat-2: space telescope  Aditya-L1, 2020: observe the Sun’s corona, photosphere and chromosphere  Gaganyaan, 2021: foundation of Indian Human Spaceflight Programme; 3 astronauts in 400km orbit, 7 days Shukrayaan, 2023: explore Venus’ atmosphere, to get to within 500km of the surface … Continue reading

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The brain and its ‘default mode’

This article that starts out about silence but is about much more: For decades, scientists had known that the brain’s “background” activity consumed the lion’s share of its energy. Difficult tasks like pattern recognition or arithmetic, in fact, only increased … Continue reading

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Notion and personal databases

I read this excellent dive into the system of a Notion power user. Although I haven’t used the service, it made me realise how Notion is basically specialised personal databases: everything is either a task or a document. But tasks … Continue reading

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“A modern religion that purports to be the only source of meaning and purpose”

As part of an article in The Guardian reviewing “World without Work”, a book examining the sort of society we will need to build as machines get more and more competent at all sorts of work: “Sooner or later, we … Continue reading

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Content as moat (2/2)

Zerodha the Indian brokerage has done an excellent job over the years building up a massive content library that is now one of its biggest assets. Its blog Z-connect is organised by (investing and trading) topics, its Support portal is … Continue reading

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Content as moat (1/2)

Speaking of moats and of Twitter threads, this one: The broad point is that the Internet made physical-world distribution moats irrelevant. And paid markets on search/social levelled the playing field online, which meant that prices have gone up, yields have … Continue reading

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Twitter threads as blog posts

Twitter threads are mini blog posts on specific topics. It’s interesting because they often start as responses or re-tweets of other tweets, a sort of branching-out in an organic way not possible on blogs. Since the Twitter in-app view of … Continue reading

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Colour TV comes to India

From this fascinating article from February 1982: Television has spread slowly in India. Thirteen years lapsed between the opening of the first station in Delhi in 1959 and the second in Bombay, India’s commercial capital. Ten cities now have their … Continue reading

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