What does it take to have a great first conversation? While I can only guess as to what that is, I’m going to put my money on not having made any presumptions at all, not only for yourself but for those your speaking to as well.
This is way harder than it sounds. Most business-people will tell you that no conversation can be had without an objective at the outset. On the other hand, those interested in efficiency will say that a conversation where you rediscover the obvious is boring. For me personally, I tend to jump to intellectually-driven responses that can weigh the conversation down.
Occasionally I might get to point out some thing about or to the other person that will surprise them, not necessarily in always a good way or bad way. Perhaps its the discovery of a blind spot, or something valuable, not necessarily rationalized, but true. As in any magic trick you need your partner to make an emotional investment before this is even possible. Its the act of prioritizing our choices that prepares the context for a surprise. This is possible in the form of a question, or even an observation.
Conversations are still a very human act at their center. Practice always.
Our General Election is underway and I’m scheduled to cast my vote on the 17th with others from my city. The media is practically running out of confrontational verbs, “Rahul Slams Modi”, “Pawar Criticises Election Commission” and so on. The mind is exhausted by the narrow focus of the information it’s being fed and is starved for the truth.
How do you pick out the right candidate?
I think that’s the important question. If we overestimate the impact of our individual vote, in the process we might be led to believe we’re helping a party win over the candidate. Rather the opposite is true. The candidate I pick represents me in parliament, if he wins. I learned that lesson the hard way in our last general election.
However, your vote does eventually decide who will lead our nation.
Last night, I watched Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan debate if Islam is a religion of Peace. Tariq’s opening argument, struck a deep chord with me. He interprets Islam as a means of self-education for the individual to help realize the road to peace irrespective of whether the times you live in are violent or peaceful.
This post is not about the religion, or any other religion but about our co-existence and continued prosperity.
Pick the party that can show all of us the way to work together in a way that does not compromise the fundamentals rights that we’ve been granted through our constitution. The one that respects the universal need for peace.
While we leave civic education to schools, our schools can reach only a fraction of our population. The other portion, including our educated adults, people like me still grasp at straws when making this important choice.
The other day, I was sitting on my Dad’s lap on a revolving chair and watching a movie. I leaned back and caused the chair to tilt. We were both in free-fall. Dad instinctively lifted me up in the air. On having completed the fall, he put me down on the ground to his right. For a brief moment I stood there surprised at the sudden turn of events. Realizing I was ok, I turned to Dad and said “I didn’t get hurt as I am Bheem“.
Greatly inspired by “It’s me, Saksham“.
Blogging can get easier. I’ve been putting up vlogs, rolling out two this week around concepts that I’ve been exploring. It all started when I put in an application to an incubator that needed a one-minute video introduction.
PS. Thank you for the kind wishes for my birthday.
My blogs have been neglected of late. I feel a bit like I may have lost my edge here.
Writing a blog post ought to really be easy. Peculiar mindsets make it harder. I’ve been writing a closed journal and that too hasn’t been flourishing thanks to the long hours that are going into getting a server setup and writing code, making phone calls for my latest initiative. Free time is spent with the family, going out and getting chores done, or on youtube.
I’m working through web app development in grails, bootstrap, deploying grails and concepts of project automation, continuous integration. I’ve also spent a little part of the week updating my vimrc which is now on github. I’m working out how I can get Alfred, a launcher to work better with macvim and run IDE-like searches.
This week the big challenge met successfully has been to get past growWith.in‘s first feature out. We’ve published our first-list of industry experts to assist first-time entrepreneurs with Business Modeling. Its been quite an effort coding and recruiting experts side-by-side. I’m looking forward to the payoff and feedback over the course of next week.
Another challenge that I’ve come up to is taming our tomcat deployment. The Java world is still surprisingly casual with Memory issues. I find an OutOfMemory exception in our production server after redeploying applications about 2 – 3 times. Lately these take the form of ‘out of PermGen space‘. We’re still to identify a PaaS that will help eliminate system administration responsibilities, in-turn driving productivity up.
My current activity patterns are a huge change from pre-September days and especially after having quit my last employment position. It has been a long, fun ride!