Knowledge, Not Boring & Space

I haven’t meditated for a long time (relatively) and that is a bit frustrating to realize because it was a good habit. At least, I thought, it was a good habit and it was helping my brain switch off from the constant updates that I was receiving from everywhere. I will get back to it starting today. Right after I finish this post. (Isn’t this how it always goes? A little later, a little bit later). Right now I want to create a new habit. One to write one post daily. Then refine along the way.

I want to write about a few things today and more important than anything else I want to make sure that I write every day about things that interest me. I don’t want to become a person who is consuming and regurgitating opinions without any knowledge. I don’t just want to consume and be informed. I want to connect the dots and convey knowledge (see Knowledge Graph).

Individual data points and insight are related but not a one-way connection; image credit: © Maxger

Something that caught my interest early was Not Boring by Dan McCormick. He clearly illustrates how more can be with a simple email. He clearly illustrated how important it is to have an idea and execute it early with the simplest of tools. Dan McCormick wrote a simple email called Not Boring that talked about everything Venture Capital and eventually now has an audience of about 200,000. He himself started a fund supported by his audience and allows them to have skin in the game. 

One of Dan’s latest areas of interest is Space. Space technology is growing like anything and there has been substantial money poured into this ‘space’. 2021 alone saw $14.5bn invested by private capital firms into startups. I started tracking this space a few months ago after a newsletter from Dan and it connected deeply with my prior experience (starting a Cube satellite project in undergrad, attending satellite navigation control courses at IIT-B, etc.). However, I didn’t act on it. I should have gone beyond the Google sheet about emerging players and created content that illustrated the players to track this space. Like Space Capital did.

WEF: Top 10 Countries in SpaceTech Sector in 2021; image credit: SpaceTech Analytics

This brings me to Alex West. Alex is a guy who started as a daily blogger and now is at a stage where he is earning $500k/yr with his clients. Of course, there were failures involved. “19 failed products” as he states frequently on different media.  However, in the long term he made choices to focus on the right things and results followed. His story is inspirational but the devil is in the detail. What I take away from all this is that I need to write and I need to write with structure and speed at the same time. 

What I lay out here in this post is day one, step one in a long journey that will build on everything that I have achieved in the past. I hope I am successful but I will stumble along the way. What I want to be sure of is that I put effort into this thing that I am trying to build and I have fun while doing it. It is not going to be easy but it will be something that will energize me and not drain me. Excited about the next steps.

30+ days of continuous meditation

I don’t know what to think about them but they have definitely made me think about thinking.

Today was interesting to point at something that wasn’t supposed to be there. I wish this sense of calm that the body feels would be ever present. Not for me but the body. Are those two experiences separate? I don’t know

Perhaps this new state of continual introspection will help me in my new role at work. The new year will be a new job but it’ll be more than that. I know 2022 will be special. I’ll be able to do things that will rise the tide for everyone around me.

Privilege within the system and progress

The System

I agree the system been broken for certain segments of people to achieve certain outcomes. The corruption in south east Asia, the oppression against women, the caste system, the corruption of local authorities. These are all indicators of a broken system. I guess my thoughts differ from many people on how to fix something that’s broken and I think we should think through the solutions or a certain path that will bring us solutions. There are lot of things that are working, even for people of color in the US. Compare that to how the Modi government is sowing seeds of unrest against Muslims in India. She’s a young country and people (even in my family) are developing an outlook towards a segment of the population because they’re affected subliminally by what’s being done by the government. The messaging, the posturing, etc. in the US as well, I agree it’s not even close to “good” but it works, even for minorities, one can’t overlook the good that’s been done tirelessly over the ages.

There are many places around the world where things are worse not even by a little margin, much worse. I guess a comparison with other systems would be fair, wouldn’t it? If we were to fix everything from scratch, then where should we start in the US? Should all white people go back to Europe, leave this land to the natives, why stop at African Americans and Hispanics? And who defines how much the majority needs to undo? I guess we’ll need to talk and find out. I think the pain that non-white folks endure is not understood by the majority. Sometimes it almost seems the helplessness to understand those different cultures is making them support anything and everything? An ally who wants to support but doesn’t know what and how to support. (Reminds me of missionaries who went to other countries to show them the light. This is a sensitive subject and I know I should tread lightly and read more here particularly) Coming back to the US, there is a systemic issue, because the systems were defined without heed to people of color, perhaps even bending the system to their disadvantage. I agree and I see the pain it’s causing. But and this is a big but the system has evolved, people have worked within the system to make changes for the better. So, is it broken? Yes, does it need fixing? Yes! Does it need to be razed to the ground? No! And no, I also don’t think that if small changes are made, they’re only band-aid fixes. I think the Cruzes, the Cottons, the Grahams and those people (who I personally consider hideous) need to be sat down with. Their ideas are ridiculous and they need to be exposed on a public forum intelligently. There are people who have compassion and are intelligent to have a dialogue. Not all of the smartest people are cold blooded and on Wall Street. I don’t even need to say this to you. These politicians shouldn’t be allowed to hide their ideas behind a veil of facetious agendas and policies. Otherwise more people will learn to thrive in the “new system” they’ll only just not talk about their ideas and stay silent. There will be new impostors who will learn to get there work done even in a new system.

Recognition of the privilege

I then had a great conversation about how it is important to recognize that I am privileged. It stays in my memory and makes me thing not because I wasn’t aware about it but because I needed to hear it. I think sometimes even if we know things, we don’t actively think about them. They might be somewhere in our subconscious, just like our breath. When we breathe involuntarily, we usually use a certain amount of lung capacity that is not close to maximum. Yet, when one meditates, or consciously focuses on deep breaths it causes the body to feel rejuvenated compared to before because you’re now breathing 30%-50% more oxygen. I think it’s the same way with realizations as well. There are things you know and you’re aware about but you’re not actively making decisions with those realizations. So, it’s good to be made to think about these things externally.

That recognition leads to many things, out of which one is action for people who don’t have that privilege. The conversation brought out things like where I lie in the social structure of a country like India. I’m probably in somewhere in the 95th percentile by financial wealth, access to information and awareness among other things. Yet, there are problems that I face in society which keep me awake at night when I think about facing those challenges in an Indian society. Traveling by mass transit, dealing with government officials, opportunity to pursue new work, among other things. What must be the condition of those people who are in the strata of society that I have no idea about? I haven’t forgotten the face of the poorest man. I continue to build myself up so that one day when I can turn around, I can talk about these things on my platforms. I think very soon I will be at a position where I will have influence. I’m glad I harbor these opinions because these are morals that are required and much lacking in people who have influence today. Authority corrupts, even if not in sense we understand corruption in a social sense. It moulds the way of thinking that is advantageous to the thinker and detrimental to people disconnected from the thinker. Putting this in record is a good idea because then I can be reminded of this later. Memories that I currently have already haunt me and push me to do better. I hope my realization of privilege will propel me to be more mindful when I have more authority.