Wow, there has been a deluge of Hello messages written to the “world” today. The world must be feeling overwhelmed, wondering what ruffled us earthlings today 😬

Me, Reading

No! How can this be?! I’ve read only fifty-two per cent of this damn book?

No! How can this be?! That’s exactly me, reading.

Is there a threshold of word count that when hit, and only then, an essay or a book will be considered notable? Or what is communicated be taken seriously? If not, why do I see authors unnecessary lengthening the prose?

Come to the point, make it with conviction and sign off.

Just a few pages in and I was excited to read Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Given the times we are living in today, whoever claims that “the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think” has my attention.

March is yet to begin and the Summer’s already here. The room coolers are out. The earthen pots that store the water are out. And watermelon is in the home! AC, fridge and icecreams don’t bring the same joy to me.

Anyway it’s close to 🍉’o clock 😁

I finished reading Endless Night by Agatha Christie and am not at all impressed. This review might contain spoilers, but I can’t help I have to rant.

Nah, I am not letting the ending influence the overall rating for the book again. It is easy to get wowed by the intelligent ending and rate this book highly. But it wasn’t a good read for me.

Right from the start, I didn’t trust the narrator. I guess I’ve been fooled by many first-person narrations for my liking. Michael is a poor narrator - not sure if it was intentional on Christie’s part. None of his actions, his reactions made sense to me, further heightening my suspicions about what I was being told by him. So the twist towards the end fell flat - it was as if I already knew deep down and was just waiting for it to be revealed.

Oh, and I was waiting a lot of time throughout the book. 2/3rds in and there is hardly anything that takes place. To me, the love story between Mike and Ellie was not interesting. The way it played out was dull. It got tiring at one point to read Mike tell what was happening. The suspense around Gipsy’s Acre wasn’t built at all. It was supposed to be a “gothic story with gypsy’s warnings” - wasn’t the case.

This may have been a brilliant psychological thriller for its time. But a lot has happened since 1967 and too many have been inspired by the style of surpriseful narration from this mystery master for this style to create the necessary impression anymore. This read was so unlike any other from Agatha Christie and this time it is not in positive sense.

On Personal Names...

I have a pretty common first name (or given name as it is called at some places). It’s so common that even the movie characters with my name have rarely had any significant part to play. I believed my surname was uncommon, making the combination unique. But I was wrong with my assumption – boy there are so many Amit Gawande’s out there on Facebook, the “universal phonebook”. Yo namesake morons, why are you still using that app?

The names from European countries always fascinate me 1. Every name sounds so unique. And has such a complex tone to it – it’s new every time I hear it. And if I think I’ve already heard it, they adorn the spelling with an extra “z”. Fantastic!

Having a common first name sucks. Having it end with an equally common surname sucks more. Good luck getting high up the search results list 2. I dread creating my account on any new service that is launched. I rarely get a username with just my first name – there is already a developer building that bloody service. With surname? Nah. With the first letter of surname? Nah. With a number or underscore in there? Yep, that’s what you get.

That also the reason why I respect the service where I could get that username with just my first name. Uhm!

Of course, if your aim in life is just to get lost in the crowd, be not know or just be, have a common name. But who wants that? Right? RIGHT?

  1. Not English names though – why won’t you patch up your relationship already. It will save us other worlders the effort of clarifying this every time. I know, I know. As if you ever gave a shit about what we thought. Sigh! [return]
  2. Yep, am not pure. I do Google my name often. As if you don’t. Bruh! That’s also another reason why I love DuckDuckGo – I am the “top” Amit Gawande amongst all other suckers out there. [return]

Why is it that it's only the Mac, iPhone, or iPad apps that work well with the Indieweb principles? Say, for example, integrating well through a micropub endpoint? Are all Indieweb app developers in the Apple ecosystem?

I don't like GitHub's dark theme - it's painful to my eyes. There's too much contrast between the dark background and the lighter fonts. It's not simply about going white on black - getting the balance of shades right is not a trivial thing.

Sometimes I get afraid of tapping that YouTube app. It just drains too much of my time - even with all my efforts to make the service a lot less addictive. I fear this service even more than any social media app out there. I know I will start with something interesting, but will eventually start watching the same old videos that I've already seen.

It is easier to stop myself going in than to convince myself to come out. Inertia much?

I only recently came across this wonderful Netflix show Manhunt: Unabomber. Boy, it was brilliant - No idea how it missed my radar. Such a thrilling story narrated in an engrossing manner. Masterful, intelligent and affecting.

Dropbox can also store your passwords now with their password manager - and it’s built into their Plus and Professional plans. This could be a good option for those affected by the LastPass change to their Free plan.

Not for me though - am not (yet) a paying Dropbox customer. I don’t know till when that can last. Appears to me that all services I use are reconsidering their free tiers.

For all the non-iOS users, what’s the Android phone that you currently use or are planning to upgrade to?

(That question also brings a sad reality of duopoly that the exists today.)

Of course, there had to be a term decision fatigue - “the emotional and mental strain resulting from a burden of choices”. It has to be the king of all fatigues. It leaves you paralyzed. What’s worse is you still go through your motions as if everything’s normal. Pathetic!

I know password manager's an important service and one shouldn't hesitate to pay for it. But LastPass's free tier was a good enough option for me; there was no feature that I needed to pay the subscription price for. That changed with today's modifications to that free tier.

That update also made me reevaluate my options. And I realized 1Password is a better option for me -- both in terms of the features and the cost it charges (especially in Indian market).

So I've ditched LastPass the moment they asked me to pay. Is that cheating?

Is today’s doomscrolling a severe variant of 2007’s wwilfing? I’d, for sure, suffered from the later during my early blogging days. We humans have since long mastered two things – finding the most boring ways to kill our productivity & naming them in the most creative manner.

I read a headline “The science of reasoning with unreasonable people”. Why would I do that?

I finished (finally!) reading 4:50 from Paddington today. I was about to rate this book a lot lower than what I eventually did. The meandering second half - a difficult feat in an already short book - made me forget how brilliant the first half of the book was.

I felt this was a short story that Christie wrote first and then rewrote it for a book. Wish she hadn’t.

Stop Defacing Quotes With Brackets!

If the changes are not obvious, don’t use the quote; if they’re not necessary, don’t use the brackets. The goal is to present the quotation as directly as possible.

Has anyone used Beeper - “a single app to chat on iMessage, WhatsApp, and 13 other networks”? And it is built on an open source project, Matrix?

It sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch - there must be one?

This comment from Dave Winer made me pause.

[Y]ou don’t make money from a blog or podcast, but you can make money because of a blog or podcast.

Why We Fight Over Fiction

Our moral evaluations of the main big actions that influence our world today, and that built our world from past worlds, are still up for grabs.

Why is it that every time I take a break from writing, for whatever reason, I find it extremely difficult to get back? I feel the longer am away, the better the next post has to be; it has to explain why I was away. May be I am not comfortable? That’s stupid, but I can’t help.

I managed to complete my 2020 reading challenge – finished reading Fraudster by R.V. Raman.

This one had a pretty interesting storyline with lots of twists and red herring peppered across the chapters. Having said that, I wish the writing in the middle third was a lot more crisp. It gets too simplistic, slips into a narrative style of telling what’s playing out. I would have lost the patience, but it was the rapid pacing of the plot that kept me going. Also it has a few subplots and characters that should have been edited out - it becomes tiresome to follow towards the end.

With all said, this is a promising debut nonetheless by Raman with a welcome, quick read with an Indian setting.

I am just one book away to complete my 2020 reading challenge. Goodreads tells me there are still 14 days left! It believes I can do it! I know many can. I don’t know if I can in 2020. Such has been this year.