Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 67: Interstellar


So, I watched Interstellar yesterday. And I think I need to watch it twice more to wrap my mind around it. I remember the awe I felt after watching 'Inception', and the awe I felt after watching Interstellar was thrice that. The visuals are magnificent. The premise is fantastic, specially fascinating for a science fiction nut like me who has a morbid interest in dystopian settings.

I came away with multiple calculations and theories after the movie.
I came away with questions.
A lot of questions.

The one thing that was gnawing at my mind after the movie, other than questions about blackholes and quantum mechanics and relativity of time and the Einstein-Rosen bridge was inexplicably farming.

People on Earth were dying, not because of aliens taking over.
People on Earth were dying, not because of the robots overthrowing us.
People on Earth were dying, not because someone was trying to build an intergalactic bridge and Earth happened to be in the way.
People were dying because of starvation.

Life on Earth as we know it was coming to an end and the only thing that people could do was farm. The one vocation that was being encouraged was agriculture. People were dying and the immediate response was to grow food. People were dying and the apparent cause was hunger and starvation.

After all that we've done, after all the places that we've been to, after all the advance in science and technology that we've made, after all the beautiful things we've designed, we would fail because we wouldn't be able to meet one of the three basic requirements for living.

Interstellar is going to make me think a lot. About a lot of things.
It is, justifiably, exactly how it has been written about.
It is a gargantuan, beautiful, confusing, amazing, awe-inspiring, thought-provoking intergalactic mess.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day 66: Momentum

Momentum. The tendency of a moving object to keep moving.

I had forgotten this word and its implications for the longest time. I had lost momentum in life, being content with what I had, with what was happening and living on reruns on Netflix.

I think I have to regain my momentum, and shed my limitations. I need to regain my hunger and my ambition. I feel like it is lost somewhere in the humdrum of everyday life.

Nothing like a Women in Leadership conference to inspire you and give you that much needed momentum.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 65: 2048 - Overly familiar or overly grinding?

2048 ( is a wildly popular single-player puzzle game available on smartphones as well as the web, consisting of a 4*4 tile board, which is initially partially filled with low numbers such as 2. The objective is to slide numbered tiles on the grid to combine them and create a tile with the number 2048. The game is a variation of the sliding block puzzle where equal numbers merge to form a single tile with their sum. 

Figure 1: Initial setting of the tile grid, partially filled with low numbers.

The filling up of blank tiles on the board reflects building time pressure eliminating the need for a separate timer. There is no alternate end state since the game is over if the board fills up without achieving 2048. Thus, as the player progresses in the game, there is an increase in the dramatic tension of the gameplay.

Figure 2: As the board fills up, the player has to strategize and there is increase in dramatic tension.

The elusive 2048 tile ensures repetitive play of the game, helping interactors gain insights about which strategies can be employed to achieve the goal. 2048 includes a scoreboard and a leaderboard to ensure competition. However, the score mechanics are unclear making the score a distraction. 2048 tries to reach the sweet spot between being overly familiar and over grinding.

Figure 3: The end state achieved when 2048 is reached. The player can ‘keep playing’ after winning.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 64: Gadgets

Yo yo yo!
It is gadget season again. So many new devices just clouding the horizon and making us sing out about how it is raining gadgets. 
Fun times.
Our news feeds flooded with reviews about the latest tablets and smartphones, the features of the latest Operating Systems, their usability and then the ensuing price battles.

Time to stay awake, make a few decisions and prebook these gadgets away!

Day 63: Concerts

Why do we go to concerts?
We spend buckets of money to go listen to some songs that you have on your playlist anyway.

But the energy, the atmosphere, the feeling that nothing can go wrong, the crowd around you and you being a part of the crowd.
The sense of belonging.
The sense of adventure.
The hypnotic trance you fall in.
The elation when your favorite song starts playing.

It is magnificent.