India

  • “The Himalayas Are Pushing Back”: Keith Schneider on Why India Needs to Forge Its Own Path to Development

    · Friday Podcasts From ECSP and MHI

    India has the second largest – soon to be largest – population of any nation on the planet and boasts a rapidly developing economy, yet it consumes only a fraction of the energy of China or the United States. Much like China before it, the Indian government has proposed an ambitious system of hydroelectric projects in an attempt to catch up. But, says Keith Schneider of Circle of Blue in this week’s podcast, “the Himalayas are pushing back – the landscape is being soiled at an unbelievable rate, the water is already getting to a point of being untenable…it’s not possible, is my conclusion of this current project, that India can get there.” Schneider recently traveled to India as part of “Choke Point: India,” a joint reporting and research project examining the intersection between water and energy in the sub-continent by the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum and Asia Programalongside Circle of Blue, a water journalism organization. “The Himalayas,” Schneider says, are, “if not the most dangerous place, the most treacherous place, the most difficult place to engineer, design, operate, and manage big dams, it’s at the top of the list.” While India has planned new dams at an impressive rate and has an estimated 150,000 megawatts of hydropower potential, it has failed to bring new projects online as quickly, only adding about 1,000 megawatts of hydropower annually. At that rate, “it’s going to take India over a century to reach that 150,000 megawatt potential,” he says. A “Wild West” for Coal Mining As a result, “India’s GDP growth has been slowing over time, particularly in the last two or three years,” and the government has leaned more on coal power, “which also uses an enormous amount of water.” The coal industry is notoriously unregulated and home to some of the most dangerous working conditions in the world, says Schneider. Box mines are no more than square pits, dug by hand in some cases, supported by multi-story ladders constructed from tree branches. The mining industry in Meghalaya State may be “the closest approximation of the Wild West in the United States in 1880 that may exist on the planet…an unregulated, market based, heavily polluted free-for-all.” India’s imperative for energy isn’t set to slow down anytime soon, as it represents a major portion of the world’s population growth every year and extreme poverty persists. Though “growth in total energy consumption and production in India is rising very slowly,” the government wants to speed the process up, committing to generate a staggering 90,000 megawatts of power annually within the next five years, he says. Schneider views this goal as admirable but unrealistic, especially given the natural constraints being encountered in the Himalayas. “For India to succeed, in my view and in view of the project we just completed, India has to develop a new sense of what is the good life, which is deep in the culture of India,” he says. “Building dams in the Himalayas and operating them unsafely? Mining coal in 200-foot deep, incredibly dangerous box mines? And polluting the air the way it’s being polluted? And exposing so many of their people to rising seas? It’s not, in the end, a definition of the good life, and that’s what we found in ‘Choke Point: India.’” Keith Schneider spoke at the Wilson Center on April 2. Download his slides to follow along. Read more stories from “Choke Point: India” on CircleofBlue.org. Friday Podcasts are also available for download on iTunes.  

    starstarstarstarstar
  • Hobby Lobby and the Illegal Antiquities Trade with Donna Yates - Episode 78

    · 01:04:13 · Archaeological Fantasies

    Today we talk with Dr. Donna Yates about the recent Hobby Lobby decision and the illegal antiquities trade. What was Hobby Lobby doing, how does this fit into looting and the antiquities trade, and what exactly is this new Museum of the Bible in DC thing?Links Trafficking Culture / Donna YatesAnonymous Swiss CollectorCambodia's looted treasuresUNESCO ConstitutionHobby Lobby fined $3 million for smuggled Iraqi artifactsSpotlight on Hobby Lobby’s Biblical Collection After Smuggle CaseIslam, ISIS, and Black Market Artifacts with Nathan French - Episode 76The Justice Department AnnouncementHobby Lobby's Press ReleaseWashington Post piece on the settlementNBC report on possibly more concerns about Hobby LobbyThe Green collection and the Museum of the Bible: 443,000 square meters of mess.Buenavista del CayoPatty Gerstenblithhttps://law.depaul.edu/faculty-and-staff/faculty-a-z/Pages/patty-gerstenblith.aspxhttp://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-remarkable-patty-gerstenblith-0208-20150202-story.htmlCultural Property Advisory CommitteeE. A. Wallis BudgeSubhash Kapoor CaseThe rogue’s gallery: Subhash Kapoor and India’s stolen artefactsDHS and DOJ return valuable, ancient artifacts to IndiaMuseums Begin Returning Artifacts to India in Response to InvestigationTemple Looting in Cambodia, by Simon Mackenzie and Tess DavisContactEmail us at ArchyFantasies@gmail.comFollow us on Twitter at @Archyfantasies and find us on FaceBook.Theme Music by ArcheopSoup ProductionsProduced by Chris Webster and Tristan Boyle

    starstarstarstarstar
  • 49: Providing health training to 90,000 people in the hospitals of India, with Katy Ashe

    · 01:00:03 · The Shin Fujiyama Podcast | Social Entrepreneurship | Nonprofit Organizations | International Development Aid | NGOs

    Katy Ashe is the co-founder of Noora Health, a tech NGO in India. When she visited the hospitals of Bangalore as a graduate student, she saw a sea of people sitting around in the hallways. Who were they? They were family members of the patients—and they were scared, bored, and lacked basic health information. Many slept outside the hospitals, waiting for days. They had nothing to do but wait. The incredible waste of time was tragic. But Katy and her cofounders saw opportunity amidst the tragedy. The cofounders asked themselves, what if these people sitting around in the hallways spent those hours learning about health, physical therapy, and disease prevention? After all, some people didn't even know what a pulse was, and at least 40% of the patients had diabetes. Noora Health began by showing one health video that they filmed in a parking lot. To the surprise of the founders, patients and their families loved the video. They wanted more. But there was a problem: the founders had no money. Yet something inside Katy kept saying, “We need to go all in and become an organization and throw our lives into this.”  For months, Katy lived in garages, attics and tents to make ends meet. She worked part time bartending and babysitting while she built up Noora Health with her professional soulmate, Edith. The founders grew the nonprofit organization and created countless health workshops. Now Noora Health operates in 16 cities in India. They have provided training to 90,000 people and impact studies have shown a 36% reduction in post-surgical complications. Fast Company rated Noora Health as one of the most innovative companies in 2016. They've been recognized by Y-Combinator, Echoing Green, and Ashoka. Katy Ashe was recently named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for social entrepreneurship. Katy Ashe's Reading List Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh Any book written by Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh Katy Ashe Show Notes Katy Ashe did an undergraduate thesis project in the Amazon rainforest in Peru She accidentally began studying environmental contamination for mercury in the illegal gold mining industry Noora Health started out as a class project for a at Stanford’s School of Design They utilized the Human Centered Design Practice for their project to find out what was happening in the hospitals of India Katy Ashe discovered that the patients and their family members were not ready to go home after they were treated due to uncertainty In India, many family members accompany a patient to the hospital. They wait and camp out outside the hospital for days Communication between patients, family members, and medical personnel was lacking Medical personnel rarely explain to the patients and family members follow up procedures Katy Ashe and her team decided to train and educate the family members who were waiting around and bored 40% of the patients going to the hospital had been diagnosed with diabetes; many others probably had it but were undiagnosed The majority of the people Katy worked with had never been to a hospital or a health class Some people didn’t even know what a pulse was Katy Ashe and her team were actually determined NOT to start an organization through the class project Then they used a point and shoot camera to make a video. A nurse in India showed the video to teach a class to the bored family members A huge line of people showed up to watch The video showed people how to walk after surgery, physical therapy techniques, basic diet advice The impact numbers were surprisingly positive; infection rates were lowered, satisfaction levels for the hospital increased, people didn’t need to go to the hospital as much afterwards The Amazon rainforest project had gotten too dangerous for Katy Ashe. The gold mining mafia wanted to kill Katy Two of the co-founders had moved onto medical school Katy Ashe went to India for a couple of weeks but ended up staying for nearly a year Living in India is very affordable, but Bangalore is a tech city and costs are increasing quickly. A ramen at a ramen bar in Bangalore can cost $15! The hospital asked Noora Health to do their programs in their other hospitals “We need to go all in and become an organization and throw our lives into this.” The founders did not want the project to fade away They gave themselves three months to get things going Katy Ashe was living in a friend’s garage to make ends meet Edith, the other co-founder, was job searching Katy nor Edith could find jobs that were as impactful to the world, and they are impact-aligned people They wanted to turn the dial using their lives Katy Ashe was looking at IDEO, getting a PhD, becoming a researcher Katy Ashe and Edith consider themselves “professional soul mates” They started Noora Health without any money or funding They made pitches about Noora Health everywhere they went In the beginning, the founders didn’t know how to tell a story At the tail end of the three month deadline, they were accepted by Y-Combinator, an accelerator for tech startups (Air B&B, Dropbox, etc.). They create a community for the entrepreneurs and create a space for accelerated growth Katy had part-time jobs (bartending, babysitting, odd jobs) while starting Noora Health, just getting by Katy had unusual housing arrangements to make ends meet, such as attics connected with ladders, tents, garages At Y-Combinator, nonprofits are treated the same way as everyone else Noora Health was the second nonprofit ever to be accepted by Y-Combinator Y-Combinator lasts 3-4 months but you become part of the community forever Katy Ashe went into Y-Combinator without knowing too much about it, without expectations Noora Health shot out of Y-Combinator “like a cannon ball” “We’ve been trying to keep the cannon ball in the air.” Katy had to learn how to hire people, create a team, create a culture The four founders had started the class project without naming a leader or CEO “Every couple of months I rewrite my job description.” Katy Ashe is currently focusing on external communication, such as writing articles and sharing their impact study data sets Katy Ashe loves to travel, kind of like Dr. Who, to go to conferences and make pitches She was rarely in one place for longer than two weeks Noora Health now works in 16 different cities in India Excessive traveling can make you confused and lose your center The original nurse in India that helped show the first video is now Noora’s Director of Training! Noora Health now sets up schools inside the hospitals and provide the staff with videos, flip charts, take home materials, everything they need Their material is largely visual since many of the beneficiaries are illiterate Noora Health has more than 30 employees now in the team Noora Health has filmmakers and designers on the team and they create the curriculum They are currently trying to change 5-10 behaviors Noora Health has trained more than 90,000 family members “You should be paying competitive wages.” Noora Health sometimes give full time jobs to their volunteers Being indispensable and adding value are keys to finding jobs Katy Ashe considers herself a messy person She is always starting new projects, reading more books, adding more tasks onto her already busy life She considers herself “too curious” Noora Health wants to take their model to all of India and eventually to other countries The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh encourages us to be advocates for world peace while working on ourselves

    starstarstarstarstar
  • U.S.-India Innovation in Financial Inclusion

    · Economics - Video

    India’s government has made financial inclusion a key part of its efforts to lift hundreds of millions of citizens out of poverty. In an effort to bring India’s poor into the banking system, it has opened hundreds of millions of no-fee bank accounts and is beginning to use direct balance transfers to provide Indians funds from India’s massive subsidy regime. But important obstacles remain: India still needs to build the banking, telecommunications, and policy infrastructure necessary to ensure the whole nation has access to financial services. Please join the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies to discuss how innovation in financial products, services, and technologies can overcome these obstacles and transform the Indian banking center.  This event is part of the U.S.-India Innovation Forum. In 2015 the CSIS Wadhwani Chair was asked to lead the U.S.-India Innovation Forum, a work stream of the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. Under this program, CSIS is organizing a series of sector-focused conversations on how U.S.-India innovative partnerships are creating new models to tackle development challenges, and offer policy recommendations to both governments.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • U.S.-India Innovation in Financial Inclusion

    · Economics - Audio

    India’s government has made financial inclusion a key part of its efforts to lift hundreds of millions of citizens out of poverty. In an effort to bring India’s poor into the banking system, it has opened hundreds of millions of no-fee bank accounts and is beginning to use direct balance transfers to provide Indians funds from India’s massive subsidy regime. But important obstacles remain: India still needs to build the banking, telecommunications, and policy infrastructure necessary to ensure the whole nation has access to financial services. Please join the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies to discuss how innovation in financial products, services, and technologies can overcome these obstacles and transform the Indian banking center.  This event is part of the U.S.-India Innovation Forum. In 2015 the CSIS Wadhwani Chair was asked to lead the U.S.-India Innovation Forum, a work stream of the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. Under this program, CSIS is organizing a series of sector-focused conversations on how U.S.-India innovative partnerships are creating new models to tackle development challenges, and offer policy recommendations to both governments.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • Eat, Prey, Love.

    · 00:43:42 · Transition

    This episode of Transition is all about gaming. We cover several topics including Activision's India pricing strategy, Blizzard's games being available in India, leaks on upcoming games such as the next Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, apart from our thoughts on Bethesda's new game Prey. Podcast regulars Rishi Alwani and Mikhail Madnani join host Pranay Parab for this episode. Activision India Pricing Call of Duty: World War II India pricing Why the price is so high Editions we can expect in India Destiny 2 India pricing Pre-order misadventures with Destiny Blizzard games in retail stores in India Which games are available in stores The editions available in India Are collector’s editions on par with what’s available in the US? Which editions you should buy Why Xbox One S is still not available in India Online exclusivity with Xbox One Why the console was delayed When it’s expected to be launched The situation, if and when Xbox Scorpio launches Prey The game’s sales (or lack thereof) The situation with PC release in India Bethesda’s hype machine for the game /s How we got a review copy New Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry leaks Assassin’s Creed Is AC going after The Witcher? What we expect The name of the game When we can hear more details about the game Far Cry 5 The setting What we want from the game Injustice 2 Microtransactions? The changes in the fighting genre Source crystals and how they affect the game Cosmetic changes Games we’ve been playing Dragon Quest Heroes II Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Darksiders Warmastered Edition The Trail Caligula Effect Steamworld Heist Music: Popular Potpourri and Path Complete from PPPPPP by Magnus “Souleye” Pålsson.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • #106: What I Learned On My Super-Unusual Vacation

    · 00:18:39 · The Three Month Vacation Podcast: Online Small Business|Marketing Strategy Plan| Sean D'Souza | Psychotactics

    Food, drink and sleep. That's my dream for every vacation. And yet this trip to Goa, India was quite the opposite. So what did I learn that almost turned my life around? That's what this podcast is about. And it might just turn your life (and health) around as well.  ========= Sometimes life takes you down a diversion. And you end up exactly where you need to be. This is the story of my trip to Goa, India. It’s where my grandparents came from. Where I spent many summers under the mango trees in the sweltering heat. It’s also the place that has led me back to where I need to be. So what did I learn? I learned a few things:1- The importance of digestion (and sleep) 2- The importance of food and types of food 3- Breaks are not enough to avoid extreme stress. Part 1- The importance of digestion (and the avoidance of sleep) “When you turn 40,” my dentist said to me, “you should go for an annual medical checkup.” There I was on the dentist’s chair having a bridge fixed and my dentist wasn’t giving me dental advice. Instead, he was telling me to go see my doctor, even though I hadn’t been sick a day for almost 20 years. And since my negligence with my flossing was causing me a small fortune, I decided to take the dentist’s advice. I went and visited my doctor and did my first ever medical test. It wasn’t good. My blood pressure wasn’t high, but it wasn’t normal either. My cholesterol and blood sugar was creeping up too. And like clockwork, year after year, those numbers edged upwards. Sometimes, they nudged their way downwards, but the general trend was not looking terribly good. You know me. I’m the 3-month vacation, take weekends off guy. I work hard, but I take a lot of breaks to rest, think and just do nothing. And yet all of that nothingness wasn’t dropping the pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar. And then I did something that made a huge difference to my life and health. I went yet again on vacation and this time to India. I have a love-hate relationship with India I grew up in Mumbai, vacationed in Goa and travelled through many parts of India before I finally moved to New Zealand. India seeps within you as you hang around that sub-continent. The food, the culture, the languages, history and science going back thousands of years. This trip was about the monsoon (something that’s worth experiencing), the food and most of all to see my parents (who I hadn’t visited in five years). Yet within days of landing in Goa, my agenda was hijacked Oh sure I started out with the food and drink, but we also wanted to get a few massages. And that search for massages got us to an Ayurvedic centre. Now you’ve probably heard of Ayurveda, an ancient system of natural healing from India. Some think it’s 5,000 years old, others believe it to be older, going back a whopping 10,000 years. But I wasn’t there for any medical checkup—I was just there for the massages… Yet life takes you down this diversion, and it’s just where you need to be. It was July, the rain was coming down in torrents and the doctor at the Ayurvedic centre was available. And we found out that my blood pressure and cholesterol was pretty high (conducting the article writing course and working through 12,000 posts helps, I guess). But even as he was telling me about the course of action to take, he brought up one important, yet obscure point. “The reason why we have a lot of problems with our health isn’t the food we eat,” he started. Food makes a difference, but the bigger problem is digestion. If we don’t digest the food completely, it sits in our system and it becomes like the inner side of a kitchen pipe. It’s got all this junk that starts to accumulate over the years. And it’s that junk that causes a huge number of problems. So he put me on an Ayurvedic course to get rid of the junk. It was interesting, this course Spanning over 11 days, it started mildly. All I had to do for the first three days was avoid oily food. But then it got really weird. For breakfast, all I could have was liquid ghee (mixed with some herbs). I don’t know if you know what ghee is, but it’s high in saturated fat. And if you’re trying to get someone’s cholesterol down, it sure seems like the last thing you want to dole out. And yet, it wasn’t just a sip of ghee. On the first day it was 30ml, then it went progressively to 80, 130 and 180 ml (almost a full glass). As it turns out, the ghee is supposed to permeate all the parts of your body down to your fingers and toes. And then to cut a long story short, the ghee pulls all the impurities and chucks it into the stomach. And you know what happens next, right? So did it work? If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a “quick fix”. I detest Lemon diets and detox diets of any kind. I don’t care to believe in quick and easy. But there I was, on vacation, and keen to get the cholesterol and pressure down. And 11 days later, we had our results. The blood test before and after could not have been more dramatic. There was a plunge from abnormal to well within normal range and in the process I’d even lost about 3 kilos (about 6 pounds). But I’m skeptical about quick fixes So when I got back to Auckland I did another blood test. And I weighed myself again. By now I was down 5 kilos and the blood test showed something remarkable. My current cholesterol and blood pressure was not only normal, but it was the best it’s ever been in 7 years. “It’s the digestion” said the doctor who put me through this treatment. Get the digestion right and you’ll find that a lot of things go perfectly well. And part of the issue of digestion was eating foods that digest well, that we all know. But the second part was giving the food time to digest. I love my sleep because I sleep so little anyway And I will take an afternoon nap when I can. Yet, it flies in the face of digestion. The moment you wake up, the body is running like a machine and having any nap causes it to slow down. What doesn’t help is that nap is usually right after eating a meal. Now it’s not like I’ve not taken a nap since I got back to Auckland, but the concept of digestion is clear in my mind. That was the first learning for this trip. I never realised how much digestion mattered. I ignored it as much as I could. And then it proved that once your body is clear of the junk, it works more efficiently. But that’s only the first part of this learning experience. The second factor was one of food and types of food. Part 2- The importance of food and types of food I’m no vegetarian. If you look at my Facebook page, I’m updating it almost daily with some sort of food. And when you read The Brain Audit or many other books from Psychotactics, it’s quite clear that Butter Chicken takes a place of prominence. Even so, this trip changed my mindset a bit simply because I wasn’t allowed to eat any meat—or fish for that matter. My diet for at least seven days was pretty spartan In India, we have a dish called Khichdi. It’s a combination of spices, cumin, ghee, rice and yellow moong dal. It’s a dish that is very easily absorbed by the body, which is why it’s often recommended to older people and for very young children. The version of khichdi I was allowed to eat was more basic. It consisted of no spices, no ghee and on most days all I ate was yellow moong dal and rice, tossed into a pressure cooker. So when I got to the other side even the simplest vegetarian dish was amazingly tasty. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of vegetarian food and if you’ve ever had the chance to visit India, you’ll know there are over 150 types of vegetarian food for breakfast alone. Once I was off the spartan diet, I wasn’t that keen on meat any more. It’s not like I haven’t eaten any—it’s just that Im not keen any more, especially since I found so many different recipes. This isn’t the first time I’ve been sidetracked by a diet Back in 2011, I was told not to eat spicy or oily food. And yet we were on our way to Vancouver and Washington D.C. to do our workshops. That’s when I discovered another side to Chinese, Ethiopian and other foods. But to go back into my own culture—my Indian culture—and find so much to eat took me totally by surprise. I don’t know if a vacation will make such a change for you But I think it just might. A trip like this to India or even to an Ayurvedic centre somewhere could change your mindset a bit. I wake up everyday and enjoy exploring food I can make in just 10-15 minutes. Food that may involve something as simple as rice flour and semolina. Food that’s easier to make and digest. Food that’s still extremely delicious and nutritious. And amazingly good for you. It’s a change, but the biggest change of all was simply following the diversion. Part 3- Breaks are not enough to avoid stress 11,645. That’s how many posts were generated in just three months of the Article Writing Course. And though the course has just 25 clients, there’s a ton of activity and assignments. So to have that many posts is pretty normal for a Psychotactics course. What’s not normal is having to write a whole new set of notes, new assignments and re-recording all the audio. In short, it was too much—yes, even if you’re a crazy person like me. And that’s one of the recurring themes from most vacations. Almost always I’ll work myself to a frazzle, then go on vacation. And that’s because I like to do so many things. I like to paint, write, deal with 10,000+ posts on the forum—and most of it fits into my work day. I realised that the additional bit, like having to write the notes and re-recording was just too much. It seems obvious to you, doesn’t it? It’s obvious that too much work is too much work. And that all that extra work leads to unwanted stress. Stress that directly leads to health issues. And that while I may take time off on weekends and vacation, there needs to be more paring back. To be hit with such a blatantly obvious idea seems odd. And yet it’s taken me a long time to figure this one out. For starters, taking weekends off was not obvious but in late 2015 and then in 2016, I got it all under control. This trip underlined why my health was not quite as good as it could be. There’s a direct link between too much stress and cholesterol and pressure. I get it. It took a while. It took many vacations, many weekends. But now I get it. I get that we all need to be less frazzled. I get the fact that vegetarian food and fruit is good for me. And I get the digestion bit. This vacation was supposed to be about food, drink and sleep. We didn’t get to eat the food we wanted. We were told to avoid alcohol during the treatment. And yes, no sleeping in the day time. And yet, it’s been one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. Sometimes life takes you down a diversion. And it’s exactly where you should be. Next Step: Do Tell A Friend About The Podcast?  http://www.psychotactics.com/general/podcast-friend/    

    starstarstarstarstar
  • Ep. #27 - Sunila Kale

    · 01:04:51 · Cultures of Energy

    Cymene and Dominic test out the identity of “semi-professional podcasters” by reeling off impressive sounding words like “load-shedding” and “blackout” and then (10:21) we welcome University of Washington political scientist Sunila Kale to the podcast. She indulges our twin fascinations with electricity and India by discussing her landmark book—wait for it—Electrifying India (Stanford, 2014). We discuss the colonial legacies that shaped the making of India’s power system and also the important regional differences that explain why in some states in India only 30% of homes have reliable access to electricity. We discuss the differential experiences of grid in India and how the middle-classes have adapted to an unstable electricity supply with inverters and generators. We touch on why the recent flood of international green energy investment has not been able to successfully address the complex social and political questions around electricity distribution. Indeed, Sunila’s new collaborative research focuses on how India is coping with a growing abundance of expensive green electricity, innovations in demand side management and a new political emphasis on increasing competition in the electricity market. We talk about Akhil Gupta’s argument that countries like India cannot repeat the mistakes made by the Global North as they increase their electricity usage and Sunila points out that India is already diverging from the northern model in terms of the supplementation of grid by batteries and rooftop solar. Sunila finally debunks the argument that more coal-powered electricity will be vital for India’s future social and economic development. What will it take to make energy a civil rights issue in India? Listen on!

    starstarstarstarstar
  • BB 23: India Tech News Round up - April 2016

    · Bangalore Bits

    India Tech News Round up - April iPhone maker Foxconn in talks to build first Apple plant in India Nokia bets on India's e-commerce sector to grow analytics, applications business World’s largest payments network Visa plans blockchain push from India Airbnb banks on India for future growth, claims it is fastest growing market Google free WiFi to launch for Vijayawada, Kachiguda and Raipur stations tomorrow WhatsApp now has a desktop app for Windows and Mac Pebble brings its affordable smartwatches to India at last Map law won't hurt tech firms, but companies like Google will have to depict maps correctly: Kiren Rijiju

    starstarstarstarstar
  • BB 18: India Tech News Round up - February 2016

    · Bangalore Bits

    India Tech News Round up - February 2016 Remote Administration of my home router by ISP over http Routers Supplied by Broadband ISPs Vulnerable to TR-069 Too Many Cooks - Exploiting the Internet-of-TR-069-Things Mark Zuckerberg chides board member over 'deeply upsetting' India comments Dr Shashi Tharoor on state of India Under British Raj Nothing Is Free, Not Even Facebook Free Basics Zero Rating and the Open Internet Teewe Teewe’s Parent Company is Building a Proprietary Android Based OS and Smartphone Amazon Acquires Emvantage To Build Its Online Payment Platform In India Stripe Pricing Apple confirms opening of development centre in Hyderabad - Times of India A Smartphone That Costs $4 Is Set to Launch in India l>

    starstarstarstarstar
  • #50: The Early Years-Psychotactics-Moving to New Zealand

    · 00:22:27 · The Three Month Vacation Podcast: Online Small Business|Marketing Strategy Plan| Sean D'Souza | Psychotactics

    How did you get to New Zealand? That's the question I get most of all from clients. And there's a story, a very interesting story behind our move from India to New Zealand. Here it is?and with some cool music too.  How did you get to New Zealand? That's the question I get most of all from clients. And there's a story, a very interesting story behind our move from India to New Zealand. Here it is—and with some cool music too. In this episode Sean talks about Part 1: What I was looking for, when I was 13 years oldPart 2: Getting to New ZealandPart 3: What were the early years at Psychotactics like?Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.  Useful Resources and Links The Power of Chocolate: The Power of Psychotactics Chocolate MarketingEpisode #8: The Power of Enough—And Why It’s Critical To Your SanityThe Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why They Don’t -------------------- So how do you subscribe to this free podcast? To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below: iTunes   |  Android   |  E-mail (and get special goodies)   | RSS   The  Transcript Hi. This is Sean D’Souza from Psychotactics.com and you are listening to The Three-Month Vacation Podcast. This podcast isn’t some magic trick about working less, instead, it’s about how to really enjoy your work and enjoy your vacation time. This is The Three-Month Vacation. I’m Sean D’Souza. One of the questions that I get most of all is how we got to New Zealand. What caused us to leave India and to get to New Zealand? What were the early days like? These are questions that subscribers at Psychotactics want to know all the time. This is the 50th episode and so I thought that’s good idea. Let’s puts in the Psychotactics story here so that you can listen to it and enjoy it. Part 1: What I Was Looking For, When I Was 13 Years Old When I was 13 years old, I had a thought. I wanted to live in a place that was half-city and half-country. Mumbai or Bombay as it was called back then, was very polluted and noisy, not good enough for me, obviously, and I wanted to move to a place that was half-city and half-country except I didn’t know about New Zealand. I’ve never been to New Zealand, probably never even seen any photos of it, but in my mind, I was clear that it had to be half-city and half-country. I say half-city because I love the city. I like people. I like going out and seeing people, and I like the energizer level of the city, but I love the country as well, and I thought if I could find a place that was half-city and half-country, that would be great. I wasn’t thinking of New Zealand. I wasn’t even thinking of leaving India. I was thinking of moving to a place like Bangalore which is in South India. It’s called the Garden City. As I grew up, Bangalore got more congested and busier, and it became just another city, so we started looking out for other countries. We looked at the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. These are mainly the immigrant countries. Canada was very cool. I went to the Canadian Embassy and they said, “What’s your profession?” I said, “I’m a cartoonist.” In that documentation that they gave me, there were six different types of cartoonist to choose from, and I thought, “Wow, this is a very sophisticated place,” because when you go to most of these places, you don’t find cartoonist listed as a profession. We didn’t go to Canada. We didn’t fill out any forms. We didn’t do any of that stuff. We did the same with Australia. We went to the embassy. We got some forms. We didn’t do anything. Then, eventually, a lawyer came from New Zealand. He was an immigration lawyer and he looked for our papers, and he said, “No.” He said we didn’t have enough points to get to New Zealand. He said that we needed to try later, but it didn’t look good, and so, we gave up. We just gave up just like that. Part 2:  Getting to New Zealand Then, I was walking down the street several years later, grocery shopping, and I ran into this friend of mine. Her name is Joan. Joan says to me, “What are you doing here?” I said, “I’m grocery shopping.” She said, “No, no. What are you doing in India? Weren’t you supposed to go to New Zealand?” I said, “Oh, yeah. We were supposed to go, but we did all these paperwork and they said that we couldn’t go.” Then, she said, “You should try now.” She gave me a card and I contacted the immigration lawyer, and that was the start of our merry dance with Indian bureaucracy. I don’t know if you’ve been in a bureaucratic country, but Indian bureaucracy is way up there. You have to go to the police and to the passport department, and you’re going back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth, and spending enormous amounts of time just in this back and forth movement. Anyway, nine months passed, suddenly, late at night, almost midnight, we got a call wherein we have 12 months to make that trip to New Zealand. That’s when something amazing happened. Everything became lopsided in our favor. I know this sounds crazy to say lopsided in your favor, but it was almost like there was a design to stop us from leaving. Everything that came our way was amazing as long as we stayed in India. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we had a rough life in India. The Renuka’s company was a Swiss company and it is the largest fragrance company in the world, and they used to pay for everything; for our stay, our car, we had a chauffeur. It was good life, but the moment we decided we wanted to move was as if a force came in, trying to keep us back. At that point in time, Renuka’s boss, he didn’t know that we were leaving. Almost at the moment we decided we’ll be leaving, he decided to put her in charge of the entire Asian region, which was a big job. When he found out that we were going to New Zealand, he offered to pay the entire airfare. He said, “Go to New Zealand. Have a good vacation. Come back and take your job back,” and we said, “No.” It was the same for me, I had an office. I had staff. I have three-hour lunches. We used to go bowling in the middle of the day. It was a very good life and we had to check up that life and then go into this complete uncertainty of New Zealand. When we left the country, I had just a handbag full of clothes. Not because we didn’t have clothes, but because I wanted to bring all my computer equipment along, so instead of the usual baggage that people bring with all their staff, I had my huge monitor, and then the CPU which weighed a ton, then a scanner, then a printer, and that was what I brought to New Zealand. Everything else was coming in bags later on, but that was the stuff that came with me on the flight. When I’m talking about New Zealand, I often say that we didn’t know anyone in New Zealand, but that’s not quite true. We knew one person and that was Wayne Logue. Wayne was someone that I had met on an internet forum. I was part of a cartoon forum called the Wisenheimer, and Wayne, he was part of that, too. I said I’m coming to New Zealand and he said, “Oh, I can help you.” This was the amazing part. It almost seemed like, “Wow, where did Wayne come from?” We didn’t know whether he was just a crazy guy, a serial killer, and I think that it crossed his mind as well because that’s what … We had a conversation one day and that’s what he said. He didn’t know anything about me. He didn’t know whether I was going to show up, but Wayne actually got my mobile phone, he got my P.O. Box, he got a rental apartment, he did all this stuff not really knowing whether I existed or whether I was just pulling one big April Fool’s Day joke on him. Then, he showed up at the airport and I was able to stay at his place for a week. He had got this rental apartment. He moved me to the rental apartment. He had a hamper full of goodies for me like Kiwi stuff, red socks. When I say “red socks” I mean red socks because we were doing this whole America’s Cup campaign and those are the red socks that they were selling. There were all these things that were essentially very New Zealand-based in that hamper. The landlord’s name was Barry. Barry showed up. He said, “Do you need anything?” I wasn’t quite sure I needed anything. Barry shows up later with half-a-full of forks and spoons, and iron and ironing board, and he just leaves it outside the door so that I can get started. This was New Zealand for me. It was full of friendly, wonderful people that just went out of their way to do stuff. This was a fairy tale start to New Zealand, but it got even better before it got worse. Within a week, I was calling up people from the phonebook. I called up maybe 200 people. These designers and marketing agencies and advertising agencies, and I had a job. I had a job as a web designer. I’d studied a bit of Flash. I didn’t know much of it, but the company that hired me, they didn’t know any of the Flash stuff, so it was very new, very interesting, until I got the job. By day two, I was sick of the job. I wanted to quit. I emailed Renuka. Renuka was still back in India at that point in time. She was going to follow in month or so. I said I wanted to quit the job. She said, “No, no, no. Hang in there.” Renuka has always been this person who had a job and I’ve always been this person who never had a job. I always ran my own business freelance. This job, I don’t know what it was, but it just drove me crazy. I had nothing to do. The whole time I was there, I probably built one website, which if you know me, that drove me absolutely crazy. It was like being in prison. Then, I got made redundant, and that was the second happiest day of the entire year. The first being the day I got to New Zealand, but this was fabulous. There was just one little problem though. We had just bought a house the week before and we had a mortgage for over $200,000, and now, we both didn’t have jobs and we had to pay that mortgage. Part 3:  What Were the Early Years at Psychotactics Like? What were the early years at Psychotactics like? For one, it wasn’t even called Psychotactics. It had this very embarrassing name called Million Bucks. As you probably heard before, I was headed back to India and I had this book called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, and it asked a question, what can you be the best in the world at? I was a professional cartoonist at that time and I couldn’t answer the question. I thought that Calvin and Hobbes was the best cartoon in the world and I couldn’t beat that, and so i wanted to do something else. I don’t know why. Maybe it was a new county, but I wanted to do something else, and so I just decided to jack up everything I was already doing, and then, throw myself into this crazy crevasse. One day, I just decided I was going to get into marketing. I don’t know what happened. It was as if I took a billboard and put it up on Main Street, and said “Sean D’Souza is not going to do any cartooning anymore,” because all the work I was getting, book covers and magazine covers, and illustrations, and advertising agencies, stuff to be done, and it all stopped. Just overnight, it just stopped. It was as if I’d made these announcements all over town. It just stopped. Then, I had to go out and find some consulting work to do. Now, I was part of a networking group, but would you trust a cartoonist to then advise you on your marketing? Plus, there was this terrible name called Millions Bucks. Even so, I remember what Wayne had told me when I got to New Zealand. He was talking about the cartooning stuff and he said, “John found the pavement. Just go and meet people.” That’s what I did. I just founded the pavement. We used to go to all these events to speak where there were two or three people, or people who were half-asleep, and the amount of mistakes that we had to make along the way were phenomenal. As you know, the Brain Audit itself came about from this very, very bad episode where I stood before an audience of about 20 people and started speaking about the Brain Audit, and then I forgot what I had to say. Then, Renuka had to come and take me aside and we have to have a break for 10 minutes, but from that came the Brain Audit, and from the Brain Audit came our entire business. Along the way, we had all of these little speaking engagements at this rotary and what they call SWAP here, which was sales people with a passion, I think. We’d go to these events and it was this drill over and over again, and this is what I tell people, “You sit behind your computer and yo expect things to happen, but there is a lot of ground work that’s happening, a lot of ground work, and we had to do all our ground work.” The years just flew by until one day, I was sitting at this restaurant called “D-72″ with my friend Eugene Moreau. We were talking about this whole badly-named company called Million Bucks. He said, “You send out a newsletter and you call it Psychological Tactics, and you call the newsletter Psychotactics, so why don’t you name your company Psychotactics? I thought that was a good idea, and so, we named it Psychotactics, and that is how Psychotactics came about. It wasn’t like Million Bucks was totally hopeless. We had millionbucks.co.nz. If you know what a frame-base site was, it was a frame-base site, that means Google couldn’t index it, and yet, we had 1000 subscribers to that website. Now, if you go back to archive.org and search for millionbucks.co.nz and go back in time like the year 2000 or 2001, you will find this terrible-looking site with very small fonts, probably 5 or 6-point. Then, right at the bottom, you had to read all the stuff and then get right to the bottom, and it said, “Subscribe Here.” You literally had to read every word before you subscribe. Today, I sound very confident, but at that point in time, I wasn’t feeling confident at all. I always felt like a fraud. I always felt like someone was going to tap me on the shoulder. Even when opportunity was thrown in our face, we were reluctant. At one point in time, a guy called Joe Vitale, he decided that he was going to promote our book, the Brain Audit, which was just a PDF. It was just 16 or 20 pages. We didn’t have any credit card facility. New Zealand was way back then anyway. It was like you couldn’t get any facility and we’d been looking for three months, and doing the research and spinning, and spinning, and spinning, which is what a lot of people do, and that’s what we did anyway. He gave us a week, and in that week, we had to figure out something and we found ClickBank. Sure they charged over 7.5%, but it was wonderful for us. It was fabulous that we could actually take a credit card. We got back to Joe and said, “We are ready.” He said, “Oh, this week, I’m busy.” Then, the next week, he was busy. The next month, he was busy. Several months passed, but in those months, someone found our website and they started buying the Brain Audit, and that’s how we started selling copies of the Brain Audit online. We didn’t change that 20-page book for ages, for probably over a year, and we sold about $50,000 worth of that book before we even made a single change. By this point, we started speaking at events and getting more confident about selling the book at the events. People will buy the book just on the enthusiasm. Back in 2002, the whole concept of any book was like weird. Some people didn’t even have an email address back then. They would ask for the book on a CD. We kept pushing and we kept going to events, and we kept contacting people on the internet, and we still do that today. After all these years, we’re still doing exactly what we did back then. When I started out, I always believed that things would get less busy, and yes, they do get less busy if your goals are very limited and you want to earn just as much as you did before. We earn a lot more than we did before, but now, the money has become less a focus. Now, just writing books that nobody else is writing, doing them in a way that nobody else is doing them, all of that takes a lot of time and effort, and that’s why I wake up at 4am everyday. In fact, as I’m doing this recording, it’s now 5:52am, and I enjoy every moment of it. Auckland is half-city and half-country. It’s an amazing place, and New Zealand, no matter how much you read about it or look at it in the pictures or in the movies, it is absolutely astounding, and you should visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little, mini episode on the Psychotactics history. If you’d want more of this, how we started up our workshops, how we started up our courses, the kind of trouble that we went to, and these personal history stories as it were, write to me and let me know so that I can give you some more stuff. If you haven’t already subscribed to this Three-month Vacation Podcast, then make sure to go to iTunes and hit the “Subscribe” button. Every subscribe really helps the rating of this podcast. If you’ve already done that, then, make sure that you tell your friends about it. Two or three friends that you tell today make a big difference to this podcast. That’s me, Sean D’Souza, saying bye for now. Bye-bye and do write in.  You can also listen to or read this Episode: #49:How To Get Better, Higher-Paying Clients With Testimonials

    starstarstarstarstar
  • India's Inclusive Growth Imperative and the Strategic Partnership with the US" Dr. Balchandra Mungekar

    · 00:53:33 · Rumi Forum Podcast

    Dr. Balchandra Mungekar, was born in a small village called Munge in the Konkan region of India to a poor Dalit (outcast) parents. Upon his graduation from College in 1965, he joined the Reserve bank of India as a clerk and has made a remarkable journey since against all odds.   A noted economist and an educationist, he organized several grassroots efforts to provide equal economic and political opportunity to people belonging to disadvantaged groups in India. In year 2000, Dr. Mungekar was appointed to be the Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious Mumbai University. In 2004, he was handpicked by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, to be a Member of India’s Planning Commission, the top body which officially recommends a Five Year Economic and Industrial Plan for the Government of India. Since 2009, Dr. Mungekar serves as a Member of India’s Parliament, in the Rajaya Sabha (Upper House). Dr.Mungekar is one of the Patrons of US India Policy Institute (USIPI) and is visiting the US upon invitation. He will speak on the topic of “India's inclusive growth imperative and the strategic partnership with the US” at public lectures organized by USIPI in New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Orlando and Washington, DC.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • 119 : AMAZON INDIA TAKING OVER VILLAGE SHOPPING IN INDIA

    · 00:38:40 · Digital India

    This week Kavita Singh and Suresh discussed the recent article from Economic Times: How Amazon is going deeper into the hinterland with a gambit of unique offline-online blend Amazon is in the news again with its project Udaan. An initiative that Amazon rolled out to expand its reach in Rural and semi rural areas by partnering with offline partners. Started in May 2015. We discussed the What, Why, How, Who and partners for the Project Udaan The 119th episode of Digital India Podcast on FIR Podcast Network is brought to you by staff and students of  Web Marketing Academy Continue Reading → The post 119 : AMAZON INDIA TAKING OVER VILLAGE SHOPPING IN INDIA appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • 6.04 Ravi Venkatesan - Leading in India versus other markets

    · Play to Potential Podcast

    NUGGET CONTEXTHow does being a business leader in India differ from leading in other international markets? Hear Ravi elaborate on what you need to succeed in India by sharing some personal experiences. Don’t miss the bit about Jack Welch of GE and the concept of a younger mentor. GUESTMy sixth guest on the Play to Potential Podcast series is Ravi Venkatesan. He is the Chairman of Bank of Baroda and on the Board of Infosys and Rockefeller Foundation. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Social Venture Partners India, a network of engaged leaders attempting to address complex social issues through venture philanthropy. He invests in young organizations through Unitus Seed Fund. He also works as a mentor with some start-ups that need guidance. Ravi is the former Chairman of Microsoft India and Cummins India. He is the author of bestseller “Conquering the Chaos – Win in India, Win everywhere” published in 2013 by Harvard Business Review. He is an alumnus of IIT Bombay (B.Tech – Mechanical Engineering), Purdue University (Masters in Engineering) and Harvard Business School (MBA).Ravi has had several interesting transitions through his career 1) Moving from the US to India to head Cummuns 2) Moving from heading Cummins in India to heading Microsoft 3) Leaving Microsoft to pursue his current portfolio of Board memberships, writing, speaking, philanthropy, investing, mentoring start-ups and more. We spoke about a range of topics including the transitions he has made, leadership in the social impact world, building a career in a growing gig-economy and more.HOSTDeepak Jayaraman is the creator and curator of the Play to Potential Poecast series where he talks to leaders from different backgrounds on topics around leadership, transitions and careers. Deepak is a Leadership Advisor and an Executive Coach. He works with leaders to improve their effectiveness and in helping them make better decisions specifically around organisational and career transitions. He currently runs Transition Insight (www.transitioninsight.com) and works with leaders to handle phases of transition thoughtfully. He has worked as an Operations Consultant with KPMG in UK, Strategy Consultant with McKinsey in the US and as a Leadership Consultant with EgonZehnder (a Swiss Leadership Advisory firm) where he helped companies recruit CEOs, CXOs and Board Members and worked on Leadership Development. Deepak is a certified CEO Coach and is an alumnus of IIT Madras, IIM Ahmedabad and London Business School. His detailed profile can be found at in.linkedin.com/in/djayaramanDISCLAIMERThe views, comments, opinion and statements expressed in the conversation are solely that of the guest. The podcaster, interviewer, Host or Transition Insight Private Ltd do not subscribe or endorse any of the views, Ideas, comments, opinions and statements expressed in this conversation.The intention of the Podcast is to have thoughtful conversations with people who have chosen different paths and draw insights around leadership, transitions and careers so that it could be of help to individuals at varying points in their career or life. The podcast does not mean to hurt or question any person’s or organization’s sentiments, beliefs, views or concepts in any manner. The podcaster is not liable and/or responsible in any manner whatsoever.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • #128: What I Learned in 2016—And How It Made Me Calmer As A Result

    · 00:33:31 · The Three Month Vacation Podcast: Online Small Business|Marketing Strategy Plan| Sean D'Souza | Psychotactics

    Everyone loves a fabulous year, but the best years for us are those that aren't terribly great. We learn more, and go through a revolution in such "difficult" years. That was 2016 for me. Life took me on diversions I hadn't expected and to me that became the most interesting element of all. Now I look forward to the diversion. Find out how you can be calm even when life takes you off route. And how the off route can be the one thing you look forward to time and time again.  In this episode Sean talks about Part 1: Why Goals Are Not Enough (And Why Pacing Matters) Part 2: Time Management vs. Energy Management Part 3: Dealing With Seemingly Closed Doors  To read it online: https://www.psychotactics.com/power-diversion/ ----------------------- In February 2016, I took a rather interesting vow. I vowed to stop grumbling. Now let's get one thing straight: we all grumble. Some do more than others, but I'm one of those people who are easily disappointed, and so I'm relatively more prone to grumbling. Why I decided to stop grumbling, I'm not sure, but I know it led me down an interesting path. Instead of spending all my time trying to figure out what was wrong with the situation, it often led me to analyse why I was in that situation in the first place. And that leads me right into what I learned in 2016. I learned why goals are not enough (and why pacing matters). I've always been clued into the fact that time management is not as powerful as energy management. And 2016 was when I had some solid, practical applications for this concept of time vs. energy. I also realised that closed doors open, if you're willing to persist. However, at the top of the list of my learning was “the importance of the diversion”. This message resonated stronger within me than anything else. Let's find out how and why the diversion mattered. In July 2016, we decided to go to Goa, India. India, as amazing as it is in terms of beauty, food and culture is not quite a vacation for me. My parents live in Goa, which by itself used to calm and peaceful, but now seems like any other part of India, noisy and chaotic. What makes the visit slightly worse is the location of my parent's house My parents live in a tiny two-bedroom cottage, but it's located at a junction. If you've visited India, you know that horns on vehicles are meant to be used whenever possible. Cars, buses, motorcycles—they all honk while on the move, but almost always honk when at a junction, just to warn others of their approach. You see the problem, don't you? My parents are used to the traffic, as well as the honking, but the sounds of India drive me a little crazy. To make sure we were suitably removed from that chaos, we decided to rent our own cottage This cottage was about 15 kilometres (about 7 miles) from my parent's place and supposedly a lot quieter. You know how you're not supposed to trust things you see on the Internet, right? Well, we didn't. I got a cousin of mine to check out the place and get back to me. “It's by a narrow road,” she said, “and not particularly noisy. There's a bit of traffic, but it's not too bad.” Going by this assessment, we decided to rent the cottage. When got to Goa and the cottage was amazing It had a superb lounge area, superb art on the wall, decent food nearby, two large bedrooms and was perfect in every way but one: the sound of traffic. Apparently the road was narrow and seemingly devoid of traffic, but it also happened to be the route to an industrial estate. This meant that when traffic rolled, it was the sound of enormous trucks rolling by. Normally this would be enough reason to grumble We'd done all our due diligence and there we were in a situation not a lot better than before. Yet this location proved to the starting point of a completely different type of vacation. Normally on vacations we eat, drink and rest a lot. Instead we ended up at an Ayurvedic centre (quite by chance) and were instructed to stay on a diet, with no alcohol and we could only sleep at night. At night we were often woken up by the barking of stray dogs, so we'd wake up early the next day for the Ayurvedic treatment, yet quite tired. In short, what seemed to be a vacation was not a vacation at all. We got back to Auckland more tired than when we left and could barely function for the first two weeks. Yet, this was my biggest learning: the role of the diversion We weren't supposed to end up in this cottage. We weren't supposed to be at that Ayurveda centre. We were supposed to eat, drink and make merry. Yet it was the most life-changing vacation we've ever had. Both Renuka and I found that the diversion helped us tremendously with our health. Once we were done, my blood pressure which was soaring, was almost back to normal and my cholesterol levels were the best they'd been in past seven years. Our food changed If you look at the photos on Facebook, and I post food photos almost every day, you'll notice a marked difference in the food we ate from July onwards. We didn't consciously move towards vegetarian food, but meat is a rarity these days. I'm the biggest fan of bread and yet I've been making dosas (a fermented version of rice and dal) since we got back. All of this has had a massive impact. And the story of our trip to India is just an example of how 2016 has helped me focus on the diversion. Before 2016, I'd be more driven to getting to the goal Anything that took me away from the goal was a needless irritation. I'd do almost anything to get back on track and to avoid the diversion. The sight of a “diversion” sign would get me needlessly upset. Yet at the end of 2016, I tend to revel in the diversion. If things are not going my way, I tend to find the importance of that diversion. Don't get me wrong: I don't believe in destiny I used to believe in it, and it's fine if you believe in it, but I don't. I don't believe that things happen for a reason either. I believe that things happen, and we put a reason to it. This diversion angle isn't about life unfolding to a plan. Instead, I see it more as a sense of calm as things go awry. That instead of grumbling and getting upset, it's about enjoying the diversions. I know this to be true because not all diversions end with lower cholesterol and happy stories. Some diversion are just a royal pain, but when you're ready to accept the diversion for what it is, you're a bit like a walking Buddha, accepting things for what they are. I'm still very goal oriented I still believe in the concept of getting things done, yet I'm less paranoid about the diversion. To me that's been the biggest learning of 2016. I think I didn't do as well as I expected with the grumbling goal. I could have done better. I've grumbled less than I usually do, but more than I would have liked. What I do know is that diversions don't faze me as much as they used to. To quote a Jack Johnson song: Swim like a jellyfish, rhythm is nothing; you go with the flow, you don't stop. That jellyfish lesson; the lesson about diversions and learning from the diversion—that's my first lesson. The second was even more ironic. You know that at Psychotactics we talk about the “Three Month Vacation”, right? Well, in 2016, we didn't take our three month vacation as we should have. And it really impacted our work. Let's find out how. Part 1: Why Goals Are Not Enough (And Why Pacing Matters) The Article Writing Course at Psychotactics is called the “Toughest Writing Course in the World”. When you make a statement like that, most people assume the course is tough for the person doing the course. Admittedly it's very tough for the student because you have to get from a point of struggle, to being able to write a very good article in less than 90 minutes. Yet for me it's a bigger struggle A course with just 25 participants generates between 10,000-15,000 posts in just 3 months. All of those comments, assignments and questions have to be answered. Plus there's no such thing as “rolling out last year's course”. Between 10-20% of the course changes every year (and has done so since it first ran in 2006). However, this year I decided to do something that would put even more pressure on me. I decided to create Version 2.0 of the Article Writing Course. It's not like the earlier version was a dud, but like everything in life, a course needs an upgrade. Under perfect circumstances, the notes would be rewritten well in advance However, when doing a Psychotactics course, I like to gauge the reactions of the clients. Where do they proceed quickly? Where do they get stuck? And so at least for this course, I decided to write new assignments and notes while the course was in progress. No matter how good you are at writing or creating courses, it's incredibly hard work. Which is why we have the “Three Month Vacation” in place. We work for 12 weeks, then we take a month off. Then another 12 weeks and then another month off. In 2016, we didn't stick to our well-oiled routine The “twelve week on, four weeks off” has been the primary reason why we achieve our goals. It allows us to work, then rest and come back with a full charge. The vacation in India, while great for our health and diet, left us more tired than before. And then we did a half-baked vacation to Australia in October. Instead of taking the entire month off, we tried a two week break, and a work trip at the tail end of the journey. Technically a two-week trip is as good as a month, but having work at the tail end means I never quite relax as much as I should. And this was my second learning That though there are diversions, it's important as far as possible to stick have a solid pacing. The routine is what's most efficient, which is why it's called a routine. When we stray away from this pace of work and downtime, we are straying away from what's most efficient. By the end of the year I was quite drained I've managed to do as much as the previous years, probably even more. Yet, it's important not to be so very tired as you head into a break. And yet I could see myself yanking myself to work at 5 am (instead of 4). I could feel the tiredness in my bones simply because we hadn't stuck to the pacing. Taking weekends off was a great move and it helped me to get back to Mondays with a bounce in my step, but even the vacations mattered. What also mattered was how we structured the vacations. The diversion concept is easy to spot, but how does this pacing apply to you? We often work through the year, expecting that work itself will get us to where we want to be. Yet, it's been proven time and time again that downtime is where the brain really works. A tired brain simply does not function to its highest capacity. A brain is like a modern jetliner. It needs to fly, but then it needs to get down onto the tarmac and refuel before it gets back into the air. A jetliner's greatest value is not when it's on the tarmac, but when it's in the air. Yet, without the downtime and the maintenance, that plane will crash to the ground. It's the routine that keeps that plane in high performance mode at all times. It's one thing to have goals. It's one thing to say that it's important to have vacations and weekends. Yet, it's quite another thing to structure that downtime. That in 2016, we failed to structure all of our downtime in the way we normally do. And that the month off from December to Jan will do its thing. Even so, the breaks should be better planned and executed. The goals are one thing, and the pacing is quite another. That was Lesson No.2. And with a little planning (and some diversions) we'll have more pacing in 2017, so that we go to the break still quite relaxed and not quite so tired. All of this talk about pacing is really a pre-cursor for energy management, isn't it? I've always suspected there's something fundamentally wrong with time management and this year it came home to roost. Energy management is far superior to time management. This was my third lesson for the year. Part 2: Time Management vs. Energy Management You wouldn't think chefs would solve a productivity problem, would you? And that's just what stuck with me when I was watching a Netflix's episode called “Chef's Table”. What struck me was the difference between my method of cooking and theirs. Now I may get the ingredients in advance, but usually I'm looking at the recipe just before I cook. Then I'll assemble all the spices, the veggies etc. and start the cooking process. While that cooking is in progress, a whole bunch of utensils get dirty and have to be washed. I'll then finish the cooking, and then it's time for the plating. The chefs don't operate like me The ingredients are bought in advance, they're chopped in advance, they're located right where they should be when the chef is ready to cook. What struck me is that a professional cooking system had a remarkable similarity to the way I write. I will write topics on one day, outline on the second day, expand on the third, edit on the fourth, and in the case of the podcast, record on the fifth. It seems like a long process, but the actual writing doesn't take time when I split it all into tiny bits spread over five-six days. If I tried to do it all at once, even a single break in the chain drains my energy and I waste twice or thrice the time. I know you've heard me write and talk about this energy issue before, but to me it was crucial especially when teaching difficult courses like the Article Writing Course. In the past the emphasis on the course was to turn out dozens of articles. Yet, that often exhausted the participants and more importantly by the end of the course they weren't able to write within 90 minutes. Some still took 3 hours, some even longer. And if you slog so hard, it's easy to get exhausted and even have dropouts. Now our dropout rate is often restricted to just one or two participants, but even so, I'm responsible for their success. If I'm the teacher, I can't afford to have dropouts simply because they're getting exhausted. Which is why energy became such a big issue for me in 2016 I started to design my life around energy, not time. Any task was almost always split up into parts—like a chef sequence. Incredibly enough the first day of the sequence involved nothing but planning. Planning all the things I had to do was just day one. And in the courses, that's what clients spent their first day doing as well. They planned what they were going to write about. This simple shift in energy vs. time management makes a world of a difference both for me, as teacher, writer, trainer, as well as for the learner. Instead of being bludgeoned by having to do it all at one go, the clients were able to learn better. I in turn was able to achieve more and do so consistently. Overall the year was draining I struggled when I returned from India; didn't have quite the break I expected in October in Australia and technically I should have achieved a lot less. Yet, when I look back at 2016, the only place where I struggled was in when reading books. I didn't get too much reading when it came to books, but otherwise I was able to get through a quite tough year to my satisfaction. Of course I'll never be satisfied. I still want to do twice as much, or thrice as much. I'm fascinated with a lot of things: cooking, drawing, painting, software, dancing, teaching. The list goes on and on. And to maintain a high proficiency you need to be like a chef. I need to be like a chef. We both need to do the prep work well in advance. Time management is still interesting to me, but it's energy management that really got my attention. Which takes us to the final point: dealing with seemingly closed doors. Part 3: Dealing With Seemingly Closed Doors Every day I pick up my niece Marsha from school. And every day we avoid the mad rush of school girls and exit from the gate on the far side. We have no problem with this gate on most days, until we ran into a certain Friday. We could see the problem unfolding from a distance. First there was a motorcyclist trying to get the gate to open. Then a woman stepped out from her car and ran into a similar problem. By the time we got to the gate, it seemed like there was a lock on it. If so, we'd have to retrace our steps and go back at least 150 metres to the other gate. It was a boiling hot day, and I'm no fan of the sun So I decided to fiddle with the gate. As it turned out, it wasn't locked after all. There was a lock on the gate giving everyone the impression that it was locked, but the gate was merely jammed. A bit of a tug in the right manner and it rolled to the right as it should. To me this was part of my learning for 2016 mainly in my personal life For much of 2016, Renuka was having a lot of trouble with her allergies and partly with breathing at night. On the trip to India, she went through the Ayurvedic treatment that helped her reduce the nodules that were blocking her breathing. We thought with treatment the problem of breathing well would improve—and it did. Even so, we couldn't shake the problem of her allergies. Around 2008 or 2009 she'd gone to an allergy clinic Without any medicine or fuss, they managed to get rid of her allergy in 24 hours. Instead of sneezing endlessly, using nose sprays or taking over the counter medication, she went from achoo, to being a normal person. Before she got to the allergy clinic her nose would get all clogged, her sinuses would flare and her eyes would get all red. She watched dozens of videos on YouTube and tried to self-medicate. The sinus issue and allergy would back down for a short while and then come right back. So what's the point of this story? We thought the allergy gate was closed. She'd been to the clinic several years ago, was free of the allergies. Now that they were back, would there be any point in going back? Instead of treating that gates as locked, she went back. And within 24 hours her allergies were gone and have stayed gone for the last few months. What I'm trying to say here is simple. Through 2016, I ran into friends I thought I'd lost forever. I just had to dig further and deeper to find them and we were reunited. Most of the things I thought were doomed were just stuck on pause. When I worked my way through them, sometimes months later, they seem to magically open gates I thought were permanently locked. I really wondered if I should add this fourth point of “never giving up” in this piece It seems so very trite. So mundane. Yet, the story of Renuka's allergies, plus being able to find a long-lost friend was a matter of pure chance after giving up. It's not like I hadn't tried before. I did try. But then after a lot of persistence, I gave up. What this message is all about is to try again, a lot later. That gate at Marsha's school seemed locked to everyone. And yet it needed nudging. Who knows? Maybe the motorcyclist and the driver of the car loosened it just enough for me to yank it free. It's a lesson that you have to keep going long after everyone else (and possibly even you) have given up. And that was my 2016 in a nutshell.   Epilogue We are already in 2017. Last night I had my zero-gravity dream again. It's a recurring dream where I simply spread my hands wide and I'm able to beat gravity. Like an astronaut that tumbles and flies in zero gravity, I'm usually in a room, floating to the ceiling. Occasionally I'll go outside. Probably even show off a bit by doing double or triple flips. No one in the room seems to be surprised by my ability, but even in my dream I'm trying to prove that it's not a dream. Except I didn't have this dream for all of 2016 (as far as I can remember). Was 2016 a bit rough? Monetarily it was like all other years. We made thrice as much as we need and that's more than enough. Our subscriber rate went through the roof, climbing 200% and then 500% or more. And no we didn't do anything dramatic. No advertising or joint ventures or anything of the sort. No hoopla launches. Though we did sail through a second year of podcasting and I believe that made the difference. Clients continue to listen and learn a lot from the podcasts. And if you haven't already noticed, they're almost little booklets by themselves if you were to print them out. Almost every podcast is about 4000 words and covers just a deeper look into a subset of a topic. Even so, I felt a bit unsettled by 2016. Now after a whole month of rest, I'm ready to take on 2017, doing better stuff, not just more stuff. And I have my cue. I am flying; I'm in zero gravity. La, la, I'm on the ceiling again. Catch me if you can! Sometimes life takes you down a diversion. And you end up exactly where you need to be. Read more about: What I Learned On My Unusual Vacation

    starstarstarstarstar
  • BB 29: India Tech News Round up - June 2016

    · Bangalore Bits

    India Tech News Round up - June 2016 Google, TRAFI & others may get real-time info from BMTC All you need to know about BMTC's Intelligent Transport System BMTC App Xerox launches transportation aggregation app in Bengaluru Go Bengaluru Applink IRCTC's new mobile app makes flight booking simpler Trai launches mobile app to take on pesky call, SMS complaints Trai App ESPN Launches Local Multi-sport Digital Products for India and the Subcontinent in collaboration with SPN Cabinet approves setting up of India Post Payments Bank Bharat Bill Payment System RBI panel to study FinTech business in India State Bank of India sets up $30 mn fund to back fin-tech startups Matrimonial sites must verify users with valid IDs: Govt Ericsson Mobility Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2016

    starstarstarstarstar
  • Shakespeare In India

    · 00:15:53 · Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare Unlimited

    What impact has Shakespeare’s writing had on Indian theater? And, how has Indian theater shaped and altered Shakespeare’s work? Shakespeare’s interaction with India came, of course, in the context of India’s experience with British colonization and colonialism. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I gave a charter to the East India Company to trade with the Shahs, emperors and Maratha princes who’d ruled the subcontinent for the previous century. Over the 150 years that followed, the East India Company transitioned from being merchant traders into a kind of quasi-government. After Indians rebelled in 1857, Queen Victoria closed down the East India Company and ruled India directly as a British colony. During the run-up to the rebellion, English had become India’s language of instruction. Among the Indian elite, you needed to know Shakespeare in order to appear truly educated.In this podcast episode, Barbara Bogaev interviews Jyotsna Singh, Professor of English at Michigan State University, and Modhumita Roy, Associate Professor of English at Tufts. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. © January 27, 2016. Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. “From the Farthest Steep of India” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington. We had help from Marcus Rediker at the University of Pittsburgh, Thomas Devlin at WGBH radio in Boston, Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West Recording Studio in Los Angeles, and Ricky Nalett at L. A. Productions in Dewitt, Michigan.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • India – Europe cooperation

    · 00:04:33 · ESApod, audio and video from space

    The first venture between India and Europe took place in the 1980s. In 1981, Europe's Ariane 3 rocket launched into space India's first geostationary satellite Apple. The cooperation continues today with India's lunar mission Chandrayaan-1. India's INSAT satellites were also designed for weather forecasting and Earth observation. Thirteen of them lifted-off with Europe's Ariane launchers. Today India has developed its own launchers at its Sriharikota base in the Bay of Bengal and is about to enter a new stage with its first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1. The large antenna designed by the Indian Space Agency and specially installed outside Bangalore to monitor the Chandrayaan-1 mission forms part of India's deep space network and is a good illustration of India's desire to play a role in the conquest of space and to offer its services to other countries. India is also interested in other forms of cooperation that go beyond lunar discovery and astronomical missions.ESApod video programme

    starstarstarstarstar
  • GOOGLE’S NEXT BILLION AMBITION IN INDIA

    · 01:12:16 · Digital India

    In this weeks show we talk about Google's Next Billion ambition in India. We discussed about Google products in India, their Next Billion Ambition, Board meetings, India specific Products such as Tez, you Tube Offline, You Tube Go, Rail Wire. The 125th episode of Digital India Podcast on FIR Podcast Network is brought to you by staff and students of  Web Marketing AcademyContinue Reading → The post GOOGLE’S NEXT BILLION AMBITION IN INDIA appeared first on FIR Podcast Network.

    starstarstarstarstar
  • Bethesda Does What Capcom Don't

    · 00:42:16 · Transition

    Nintendo Direct Xenoblade Chronicles 2 No Fallout 4 on Switch Skyrim on Nintendo Switch Bethesda vs Capcom on Switch Doom on Switch Super Mario Odyssey bundle Fire Emblem Warriors Minecraft on Nintendo 3DS Alliance Alive Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon new content Arcade archive Tokyo Games Show The relative lack of exciting announcements Final Fantasy IX Left Alive Monster Hunter World, India release Custom PS4 Pro bundles PSVR India price drop, cheaper games FIFA 18, Need for Speed Payback, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and Other EA Games Not Exclusive to Amazon India PES 2018 India price situation Forza 7 Massive 50GB day 1 patch Xbox One X edition even larger Multiple disc installs Incomplete game on retail disc Expansion packs PUBG breaks yet another record Fortnite cross-platform play Why this is a good thing Sony refuses to play ball The future of cross-platform online play Games we’ve been playing this week Danganronpa V3 Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 Darkest Dungeon Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite Music: Popular Potpourri and Path Complete from PPPPPP by Magnus “Souleye” Pålsson.

    starstarstarstarstar