Aug 25, 2012

dEsigning a FuTure

We are surrounded by designs - Forms and Functions. And this is area that hugely interests me to think about and talk about. It has most of element which engages one’s analytical and artistic mind. Things like your furniture you use, house you stay are the everyday objects which we deal with. Hence a proper design is very essential. But these everyday objects have such a large scope in our lives that the problem never seems to be completely solved by anyone. There are always a newly designed chairs or newly designed house which seems to solve our certain aspect of problems. Because this deals with both art and science, the scope for any designers to work on the problem is huge.

Image Source :

For example, we know that every industrial designer takes on the design of a chair. And everyone has their own take on it. It gives designers an opportunity to play with an idea around the chair. In parallel to the physical object design, we have something called digital design.

There are different aspects of digital designs as well. Just like chairs, we have task management apps, project management apps, email apps and so on. These apps are like fundamental forms of digital life and everyone uses one. Now in near future social networking apps are also going to be a must have app. There are thousands of productivity apps dealing with different aspect of it. Similarly there are many designers still working on that next great Email Apps.

Social networking sites have a lot of issue and this is mainly because of the domination of these platforms by only few. Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter will never encourage anyone to play around with their platforms and take away the users. Unlike email, where anyone can own a separate instance of their email server, no one can have different aspect of their social graph in the internet. It has to be either Facebook or Twitter.

This is one of the biggest challenges in the future of our digital life that needs a solutions. The major problem is that these different social networks don’t communicate with each other like emails do. It has different concepts all together. For example you can send a mail from hotmail to any other mail server. But you cannot send a message from Facebook to Twitter or LinkedIn.

Now this might sound weird that why would one want to do that. But this also shows a difference in the way human personal identity exists in the Internet. It exists in the form of ownership with other networks or platforms. You cannot have a different network of your own. We are already seeing an issue with the existence of one powerful social network platforms. The ownership, the privacy and data issue. One company owning and governing major part of your digital life doesn’t sound fair.

Can this be changed? I am not sure. Other networks like Diaspora seem to have tried to solve it with no avail. I think the solution can lie in the framework. For example every email you send or receive comes in a standard protocol; hence all the services providing such services comply with it. This way there is standardization and variety of application and companies can exist around it – hotmail, yahoo, gmail and so many other independent.

But in case of social network, there is no standard. The standards are only fixed and controlled by Facebook and Twitter. There is no protocol defined for it. But I believe that there needs to be a defined protocol. This way, many services can exist and we can have lot more innovations. The idea is not straight forward but there can certainly be a solution to it. I am not sure how it will look and feel. But I am certain that such innovation will happen, as we are already seeing many independent companies tring to solve it.

Aug 20, 2012

Demand of an Individual

For some time now, I have been thinking to stop writing and give full focus only to thoughts. Take it deeper into my conscious so that it remains safe and sound. I was inspired by the idea of ElizabethGilbert: Your elusive creative genius. The idea is to not let thoughts overwhelm you, so that you can be patience and calm, take my time and still find the thoughts waiting for me.

So this one particular thought “Demand of an Individual” had been hitting me hard again and again. I had taken enough time with it to deal with it deeply and thoroughly. Once I even went far enough to pick a pen and start writing but, I would soon lose interest on it. So I had recklessly put it aside. The problem is that most often, this immense passion comes, passes through you and leaves you strangled. Hence I wanted to know that this idea was not going to do that. So let’s see where this will take me.

Urban Prism by Nancy Eckels - abstract, contemporary, modern art, painting by artist Nancy Eckels
[WARNING: Thoughts expressed are conditional and result ofthought experiment.]

Demand of anIndividual

The idea arose while I was walking down the street and looking at people around, walking through the malls and by being surrounded by millions of THINGS. So far, I have been living a frugal life, I would say. Not trying to surround myself with too many things and instead remove things not worth. It could be hobby, or habit or interest. The idea was to focus and remain that way and challenge the economics of human civilization.

But then here I was asking myself again and again, about demand of an Individual and how this individual is the symbol of modern economy. Everything around you is designed and created to full fill that particular demand of an Individual.

You get up early in the morning and expect electricity to be on, your wi-fi to be on, your latest messages and updates to be available on your finger tips, your email browser to operate as efficiently as possible.There should be no lag while your facebook is refreshing else you will cursethe developers at least few times a day (especially Mark). Remember you still have not got up from your bed and there is already millions of expectation right with in few minutes. Hence to fulfill this initial expectation, millions have been invested on telecommunication infrastructures, data centers and thousands of engineers hired at high pay to just give you that initial satisfaction when you get up. Once you are on your feet, you expect hot water running, your last night’s dishes being cleaned off. When you go to shop, you should be expecting a packet of milk which should not by any chance be out of stock already.You want your morning tea to be perfect. Once you are on the roads, you want roads to be clean, less traffic, less noise, low fuel price and all that.

You see, the demand keeps rising through out the day. I have only started this, but I guess you all know where I am going with this. By the dawn of the day, you return home waiting to be entertained and amused. You spend time watching TV, you expect something interesting to be there. You log into social networks, just in case you might find something interesting. With all the day gone by, you would want every night be sleeping care free and without any problems.

This is just one individual’s daily expectation, basics of living in our modern society. But not everyone has that capacity to demand in this world. This capacity to demand varies across the population. Do you know what I think; the percentage of people who has this capacity to demand might beonly around 1/2 %. But somehow the whole of population work day and night to make sure that these expectations are meet. Our world is really interesting if you look from this perspective.

Origin of Poverty
This is where I would want to link my other thought which I have been keeping safe in my conscious- The Foundation of Human Civilization (I also sometime want to think this has the Origin of Poverty). From my weird assumption, we started as a dependable group of people with healthy relationship and responsibility. But then greed turned this into a civilization with contrast between 1%, slaves and audience (You obviously know which segment I am referring to and why Audience? Because audience is a pseudo 1%).     

Human values
But why am I pondering upon these things? Because this brings me to another important question - “what is the value of Human Being?” Dowe have so much right to demand from our own civilization and if so why? Why is it not possible for us to balance responsibility and create healthy society? Tough questions, isn’t it?   
For some reason, this madness of our world is the model of our future civilization. An engine designed to keep all of us working hard day and night, to simply sustain. As a result of our hard work, we expect to be treated well accordingly. If an individual is not demanding, he is an outlier to the society – a hermit, a recluse or an outcast.

I am leaving lots of things to question and suggestions. But somehow, this demand of an individual is the driving factor of our modern civilization and everything is surrounding it. But with all model this one also scales to demand of a community, demand of a nation. And in every demand there are 1%, audience and a slave.

[Update: Thanks to Jeewan for proof reading :)]

The day I dreamt of becoming someone

Reading a story is like pealing an onion, each chapters reveal new secrets and show their hidden layers. Everyone has their own story to...