The heat and the unreal journey

It’s the 25th of July (I wanted to write June) and these Olympics are a bit weird. I’ve usually been excited about the international games and yet I have close to zero idea of what is going on in the games. This is perhaps one example of how beginning of the second decade of the 21st century left us. Lot of lessons, with new found joys after a bundle of tragedy, all in all confused about what is required to be done in life.

After pondering about and around the idea of a sauna I finally visited one a couple of weeks ago. I visited an infrared sauna. It was not the worst idea. When asked about the benefits of a Sauna my answer is a veiled joke about the “heat shock proteins”, a JRE listener would feel in on the joke. This comes as an edit to an earlier entry because after a few hours of me having written this Joe actually posted something on Instagram (used to be a “social” network a few years ago) talking about the benefits of Sauna. I would like to exclaim ‘who would have guessed?’ ironically of course.

I wanted to summarize a few experiences from these past few weeks. Things are always passing by and making a note of the things that have added value to the experience is probably helpful. “No, he’s twelve” – these words, atleast I hope, are not forgotten too easily. The human experience is not simple and conversations about experiences and the experiences themselves makes one realize what things need to be paid most attention to in the day to day on goings. Another sentence was “… Grass grows here…”

They are tirelessly working at it and everyone ignores them because it is inconvenient. I’m not sure what this actually related to but perhaps it relates to workers that immigrate to the United States. There will be another country but for now the USA is one country that allows people to come in and work. It’s not easy and there are other places but if one can figure out the way the machine works. I still don’t know what that means for tme. If we could agglomerate the best learnings into another place it would probably look similar and eventually end up having similar problems. So for now yes there are people that are tireless working, maybe not in the most efficient way but they are working harder than the residents of this country because they have a dream that they are pursuing. This might be the country where entreprenuership is at the helm of existence and value that one could add to society but I still can’t start a company.

What a force of science! The faith in replicability, hypotheses framing and statistics is unparalleled.

One side is corrupt and the other side is inept. Lighthouses that actually meant to function are being taken down by the forces of both. How am I contributing to either? None, I’m just standing my ground and documenting my journey. What will the developing world do in the face of these challenges? Will they follow like always or do they have answers from before hand like they always have? Someday there will be a dam burst and when everyone will be looking for answers they will be narrated through an audiobook that will talk about the unreal journey this was for it’s time.

I don’t want to listen to what someone has to say and I don’t want to look at the world from anyone’s perspective because I think they are all incomplete and flawed. A perspective can help fine tune the whole but it cannot be followed as the only perspective. Human vision is flawed and so is the analysis that follows any perception. The level of nuance required to lead an inspiring life is exhausting but much needed at times.

Love that is not proclaimed. It started again because it feels that life itself is filled with pain. On the other side the other entity didn't need to be implored but neither does it need to be ignored. Things they have to say, important or not they still hold their sway. This might have appeared helpful then but is it even mentionable at all now? Typing away whenever there is conflict as if it has something to say.

It is only about the details

I have to agree that I was overwhelmed as well. There is just too much noise in the system and everyone has an opinion based on whatever information is available to them. That opinion then in turn has an emotional response attached to it. This in turn ellicits more reaction from the people around. This cycle just keeps on going on and on and on…

Among all this chaos the solution to mundane things is complicated. Maybe even the questions aren’t clear either. Unfortunately to keep the kitchen clean one has to clean the sink, the countertop needs to be scrubbed and everything from the spoons to the rag used to clean the utensils needs to be cleaned. This is not a ten minute job. At best to do this it takes at least 20 – 30 minutes. If one needs to be precocious this needs be done before and after meals. Maybe the cleaning before the meals only takes 20 minutes but after the meals takes at least 30 minutes. Assuming 4 meals in a day that each take 30 – 45 minutes themselves that brings the whole endeavor of dealing with the kitchen to about 120 + 80 + 120 = 320 minutes or 5 hours. 20% of your day!

The idea to go through that was not to split hairs but just to elaborate a simple thing could be very engaging and time taking. Diligence is not just for bootcamps or hostels it’s a core tenant of daily life. The only question is whether or not you want to pay attention to it. Do you require to get into this level of detail? Perhaps not. What happens when something that requires an amazing amount of attention is thrust upon us? As an engineer and a working professional I had to cultivate attention to detail. Getting into the details of things is what ensured that the output is the best. Am I always successful? No, I would instead say I’m perhaps fail more than I succeed at the endeavor. Yet, I’m aware that attention is required to arrive at an optimum understanding and output.

So when the pandemic struck, even before it was classified as a pandemic I wanted to get into the details about it. No, I’m not going to get into the details here but I will only mention that details are important. Details about news sources, about the science about the cures, vaccines, everything. Yes, the human mind is limited in capacity and resource constraints are what makes this whole thing so interesting. It brings prioritization into the picture. Now you need to know what to focus on, how much and when. Prioritization and classification is what leads to and increase in the signal to noise ratio. Something relatively easily acheived in electronics and something extremely hard to do in systems where human beings are involved. The details are important. The details are paramount.

And then something weird happened

Everything came closing down… This Friday doesn’t seem like other Fridays. I haven’t walked outside in 10 days. Ok, I got two Whole Foods deliveries but in total that accounted for 10 minutes outside my room! The visa process is still going on. In about a couple of days, I’ll get to know how I need to plan for the rest of my year and beyond.

So I returned after a journey that was like no other. The journey itself was pretty smooth but the environment around the trip was harrowing. When we left from here, there was no pandemic and borders were relatively open. The economy was hurt but governments around the world had not churned out trillions of dollars in economic stimulus programs.

Right now people across the world are hankered down at their places of residence and working from home. Most large companies are supporting remote work policies, though most leaders are also actively looking at cost cutting measures. The common man is unable to go out of their house and spend, which means that retailers like Walmart will not generate growth in earnings, which means means the the stock market will not post growth, which means traders will not make money on their investments, which means banks will churn profits. All in all to say that the economy will, already has started to slow down. The question isn’t when will it happen, it’s more like how long will it take to get back to normal.

This would be a good time to step up the learning curve. Weather through corporate learning programs or through personal courses on websites like udemy, coursera or other learning institutions. Times of financial stress is when it’s a good idea to get re-skilled and prepare for a time of boom after this slow period. Am I being unnecessarily optimistic? No, I think this is the only practical way around it. Am I being pessimistic about the near future? No, the streets down below are empty and this is downtown Atlanta. One of the most bustling metropolises’ in the world.