Saturday, September 26, 2015

The niches of the internet

I continue to be fascinated by the niches of the internet. It is like the long long Long Tail. If there is one place on earth that can bring people of interests together across the world, it is the internet.

Whether is a specific cooking method or a baking bread or a dance form or art form or even something like making paper airplanes, the internet has it all.

In that sense, never before has technology united humans in this fashion ever.

At the same time, because of these niches, there are other areas which one never gets to see (well, that is the same in the real world - so this argument does not entirely wash).

So, well, keep exploring...

Saturday, September 5, 2015

From expert to fun

What fun it is to see an expert have fun is it not? When you see someone improvising on a piece of music or dance or facilitation or sports - is it not fun?

The amazing thing about this is that unless you are an expert you cannot have fun. (Hat tip to better half for articulating this.) Let me qualify.

If you see an expert musician improvise on a piece - and it sounds so good - almost as if she is playing around with the music - it is fun, but it is also good. The expert can have fun in a way that it is still rhythmic, musical, enjoyable - you name it.

It is not the same as clowning around - singing off key or missing all shots that are thrown at you.

This is the magic - where the expert juggler can juggle with more fun than anyone else. See this violin maestro having fun with the violin - a classical musician playing a film song and having fun with it. See his expressions as he does it...

Or watch Roger Federrer try out a new second serve return - that only an expert can do...


Know the rules, then break some - if you don't know the rules you aren't good enough. Knowing those rules and then questioning and being able to bend them - thats genius...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Open mindedness and humility

One of my favorite interview questions is, "So, what are you learning nowadays?"

Learning something is a great way to stay in touch with the learning process in itself.

Ever so often, we build high walls around us that prevent us from learning - there is arrogance  (I know everything) and that often leads to being blindsided.

I have been struggling with learning a new sport these days. Just the other day when I thought I had cracked it, I ended up with a hand injury that took a few days to heal. And then after that I had to face a coach who was making do a bunch of things which I thought was juvenile.

I could hear my mind go, "Am I supposed to be doing all this?" "I am beyond this" "Why is this idiot making me do all this?" "I know all this - I learnt it in class 1"

And then I realized that this is a typical response when we are confronted with change or sometimes with a different situation (at life or work).

Learning ensures that you are humble. Of accepting that the kid who is teaching you, is an expert in something you aren't an expert in. Of accepting that you need to learn more. Of accepting that you need to do more. Persist. Persevere. And keep at it till you get it (if you want to get better at whatever you are learning).

Learning ensures that you need to be open minded. That coach will tell you to move your legs in a particular way and keep admonishing (or encouraging) you to get that last bit right till you do it the right way. It is all about opening your mind to hearing, to listening, to calming, to accepting instead of rejecting...

And just having this exposure ever so often makes one a better human being...I love this process.