Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
Everything I wrote in 2022
Time Capsule 2022
Learning by Proxy
Buy Now, Pay Later - Generations will be in debt even before they get out of college thanks to this financial innovation!
Mesh Network - Tech companies seem to have billions of devices in the wild today. How do you think they plan to leverage it?
Inflation - The only reason to keep inflation low is so that the rich can continue to get richer. The poor can be easily turned into the metaphorical 'frog in the hot water'.
5G Hubris - The FAA is left to clean up the mess that the Trump administration created.
Delivering Freshness - After years of working on building supply chains to make 'farm to fork' a reality, large retailers are now betting on taking the farms to the consumers
Flying Cars - Dozens of companies have been building silently across the world. Billions have been invested by VCs and defence corporations. They are at the precipice now!
The Great Energy Transition - Globally, oil producers are in the process of pivoting away from oil. The exceptions are the USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Have you heard of how like poles repel one another?
From the Jewish State to the Islamic State - The Middle East is perhaps the most complex region to understand. That land was the cradle of civilisation and history that old is often hard to reconcile with. #LongRead
Why fight for Ukraine? - This battle was started by the USA in 2014, and it is coming to an end now.
India’s Greatest Tech Export - UPI has changed the way Indians transact. Can it change the way the world transacts?
Russian Commodities - The supply of a lot of things is going to start to dwindle. What will we prioritise?
The New World Order - IRCing the West; India, Russia and China seem to be thinking of what this situation could mean, in the long term.
Boogeyman - Many have wondered if the third world war would be a nuclear war. The third world war is being fought at the bank!
Hunger - 2022 will be a year when more people go hungry than ever before in Human history. We have the means to ensure it is not.
EU is left to regulate American Oligarchs because America won't - Monopoly laws have been left toothless thanks to legal chicanery, so another stick needs to be invented
An asset that everyone owns - Does not exist...
When they refuse your refuse - Your backyard will fill up quite quickly
Why is Musk making a bid for Twitter? - With the direction of movement in the EV industry, the success of Tesla is not a foregone conclusion.
Tech Companies trying to steal reality are failing - Billions have been made manipulating people's attention. Alternate reality is the best way to completely exploit it, but fortunately, it is not taking off.
You will not need passwords anymore - A new paradigm of passwordless login is going to come to all services very soon. Expect to abandon all your passwords by the end of this year.
Virus Virus everywhere… - The heat is causing viruses to evolve and change. We need to prepare for more future pandemics since the climate issue does not seem to be getting solved
Building supply chains upside down - All of the investment VC or PE is focused on the customer end. Who is investing in making sure that there is enough raw material?
The Dichotomy that is India - Modern India is not modern at all. Also, the India that we are living in is not the same for all. Between the north and the south, between the urban and the rural, many Indias exist
How we work is changing - This is becoming a special point of focus, especially for those who have seen the difference during the COVID lockdowns
The multiplier problem of Open Source - If the algorithm of an open source software turns out to be biased for any reason, the multiplier effect that it can deliver is unfathomable
Changing face of geo-politics - The sands are shifting quite fast across the globe. Power equations are changing faster than ever before.
Exaggerated Stock Market - Crypto has been moving in tandem with the stock market. It just sways a lot more than the stock market making it great for speculators but not for investors
Faces of Supremacy - Supremacy does not look the same everywhere but seeks out the same goals no matter how it looks
My world's on fire, how about yours? - The "global north" has found itself quite immune to climate change for decades now. This is changing faster than they thought. The heat is coming home.
Bretton Woods is not dead, but it just might be - Bretton Woods established the primacy of the dollar. That supremacy is under threat.
Welcome back to the Nuclear age? - Nuclear energy was supposed to provide the world energy security until they determined that it was not safe. Now, they seem to be left with no other choice but to turn back to it.
Two-front war - America seems to relish fomenting trouble overseas, could it reach a point where it has one troubles too many?
Climate Hypocrisy - The "Global North" is the greatest contributor to global warming and still has the gall to call out other nations for not doing enough.
Drying Rivers - Rivers are drying up at an unprecedented pace across the world. No country is being spared and some of the largest rivers across the world are bearing the brunt
Self-Driving Hubris - Insisting that every plane land on city roads would only result in aviation being completely stagnant. This is what we are insisting on from self-driving cars. Why? Idiot Billionaires.
The curse of powerlessness - So much of what we do today is done by machines and those machines need electricity. An amalgam of circumstances has given a gut punch to energy security across the world.
Greenland - As climate change makes this island peep out of the snow, vultures are already circling to feast on the bounty it has to offer.
Death - Billionaires are busy trying to beat death while we are still not sure how cells live and die
Supersonic Dreams - Boom Aviation has billed itself as the company that would bring supersonic flight back, how they will achieve it remains to be seen.
Arrival of Defence - The defence industry in India seems to be on the cusp. Can it be prodded to take off?
Moving a World - We now wield the power of the gods
The weight of the dollar - All the currencies are getting pummelled. Will they continue to remain subservient to the dollar or chart a new course?
We learn nothing - There seems to be another collapse in the making, this time out of Europe
Let me tell you what inflation is - Inflation has nothing to do with the supply chain and everything to do with psychology #LongRead
AI coming for stock photos - Most of us are subjected to AI without our knowledge. The day is not far when most of us will be using AI knowingly.
Going to Space - Privately - The first private Indian launch company successfully reached orbit on its very first attempt
One Mississippi, two Mississippi, no more Mississippi - One of the most important waterways in America is slowly disappearing and it will have catastrophic results for the food supply.
Carbon Credits - We keep inventing things that are ostensibly meant to save the planet but are actually meant to save capitalism and the way of life it has created.
Mental Violence - The western media is a tool for inflicting mental violence. It is a shame that many around the world have completely become numb as a result.
The New Oil - Hydrogen is being produced at an unprecedented pace. It is not being intentionally produced but is a positive externality.
Enjoy the Weather - Climate change will deliver us new and exotic weather each year, and we are going to learn to deal with it.
Covid Returns Returns - China had been the only country that was intent on maintaining a zero covid policy. They dropped the policy and COVID is running amok. How far will it travel this time around?
The rewards for solving hard problems are not that great any longer...
The Wizard and the Prophet - A short summary of the book by Charles C Mann
Life and its need to survive - Omicron is Covid's attempt to survive
Language of Marketing - Marketing is about communicating ideas. Does being stuck with English leave us with fewer tools?
Fight for what is right - Is generating revenue at any cost fine?
Most Respectful Interpretation - In any confrontation, assuming that the person on the other side has good intentions, will almost always deliver a better outcome
Connecting the Dots - I talk about serendipity and the ways to manufacture them with Christian Busch
A rule of thumb - There are several razors that make thinking about problems rather easy. Here are a few.
Anchoring - is perhaps the most powerful tool in the hands of a marketer. It ensures that you see things their way.
Make it Stick - What makes certain marketing messages sticky and others not so much.
Power of Details - The more details you offer, the more likely you are to convince another person.
AI is Outsourcing 2.0 - AI is nothing but Outsourcing glorified
How The Economist dumbed down Economics - Just because some things can be compared does not mean that they are comparable.
One Skill at a time - Industrialisation was about deskilling, and AI is about the same
Reductionism - Our science is often structured to make it easy to understand rather than reflect the real world.
The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber - David's last book raises a lot of important questions about the structure of society and how we reached here.
Value and Values - If your work involves values be prepared to derive little to no value from it
Cruel Optimism - When those who created the problem offer a solution, they are more interested in preserving the status quo rather than a real solution. They make you the problem.
Negentropy - It is real and not too many people know about it. No science book even defines it.
Stolen Focus - A book by Johann Hari
Taking for Granted - There are things in all of our lives that we take for granted. It is often a privilege that we do not realise.
How to create a problem 101 - When capital is no constraint, you have the freedom to rip up the fabric of any business whether you know the right solution or not.
A few good words - Curated some of the good pieces that I have written over the years into three booklets
Education - Education is far more than instruction. What we end up getting in the name of education is instruction most of which is available for free today.
Looking for the road to Avoid - When you do something with the express intent of avoiding an outcome, you often end up sliding towards it.
Hegemony at its best - America engages in Cultural Hegemony across the world. The funny thing is that the rest of the world readily accepts it.
Books I read in the last 3 months - Here is a list of books that I read over the last 3 months with my brief thoughts on them
The fittest never survives - The fittest 'anything' is not meant for survival in an ecosystem that is filled with interaction with others
Nice guys finish last - A statement that was made 80 years ago, was simplified many times over to give us this line...
Stolen Ideas - It is more likely that someone stumbled upon the same insight as you rather than 'stole' your idea
Tamed Man - Of all the species on Earth that have been tamed, the one that has been tamed by the species itself is Humans.
Vantage Point - Based on where you are, what you see might be radically different. But does our language accommodate it?
Burnout - Nature has built a surge capacity within us to deal with emergencies, and working as if every day is an emergency result in blowing the fuse on that surge capacity
Big Feelings - A book by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy
How Goa became a part of India - Goa was a Portuguese colony even after Indian independence. They were in no mood to give it up.
On Being Lucky - When people get what they want, they are called Lucky. I think it is about people wanting what they have.
To Belong - Most of the troubles in the world seem to be because we do not seem to feel a sense of belonging. We treat everything and everyone around us like shit
Elite Overproduction - A society with few elites will rarely see a revolution. The ones with too many deliver the revolutions.
Saving Money - We spend our lives pinching pennies and blowing dollars.
Bullshit Black Box - Now think about the implications of assuming AI is right but how it works is a mystery
An Immense World - A book by Ed Young
Slack - Slack is what makes it possible for a system to handle shocks. It is often misunderstood to be inefficiency
Status Games - We are all participants in one or more status games at all times. The question is do we realise it?
Collapse - Innovation has managed to save us many times in the past. Can it continue to save us in the future?
Our Bias against Action - The more of us are present, the fewer are willing to initiate action. What does it mean for our cities, our governments, and our companies?
Collapse 2 - It is just simple maths with a dash of greed
War in Ukraine - Anything and everything that is off with the world economy that a government does not have a credible response to seems to be linked to the war in Ukraine
Let it rip - Governments seem to be able to take very hard decisions when it comes to people's lives, they cannot find the same determination when it comes to the money of the rich.
Colonial Baggage - There are several things that are wrong with India because we just took what the British had left us and decided to continue with it. This is one thing that we should fix immediately.
Virtue - Most of the people who are the least virtuous have the greatest need to be seen as virtuous.