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I love creating things, be it using paper and pens the analog way or coding it all the digital way, but above all I love writing down the gazillions of thoughts buzzing in my head 24*7 about anything and everything. Poems aren't my forte but I may try my hand at it, for I fall under code-loving-writer category.

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Julian Sara Joseph

Ascent of Money -by Niall Ferguson - Chapter 1 Report

2 min read

There were apparently communities that survived without cash. No, not cashless. They just lived like uncivilised humans who raided fertile women and animals from one another. The Incas preferred using ‘Labour’ as a unit of value, while Nukak-Makú had no use of money. The cruel annihilation of the Inca empire by the Spaniards who outnumbered them underlined how it was the love of riches which caused wars since time immemorial(the 1500s here). This lust, however, was incomprehensible to a race living peacefully in the caves of Peru, without money.

I was appalled at the fate of these indigenous folks of the mountains. The lust of the West for silver found in these regions led to the depletion of their entire population! Every peso coin was worth the life of 10 Indians who were maimed and eventually killed in the process of mining and processing silver from the ore to make coins and bars.

What they(Western countries) failed to get, even after years of waging war against such wealthy lands was that beyond a point, even those coins depreciated in value, due to the decline in silver stocks after its mass production. Money was only worth what one is willing to pay.

During this time, the Middle East equated “clay tablets” to the silver coins in Europe, while those in the Maldives used “cowrie shells” and those in the islands of Yap, huge stone discs. Today, it is just paper or virtual (nothing but numbers on a screen). Why? Because it doesn’t matter what we use to represent money. 

Money is simply trust inscribed. Trust/belief/faith. We trust those who pay us, those who employ us, those who work for us.

Julian Sara Joseph

Books and why my love for it has varied over time.

2 min read

For me, books were an escape. Ever since I was a kid, Enid Blyton and JK Rowling have taken me to different worlds where there was no real-life worry or tension. But come 2015, when I got a Kindle, the first books my brother bought me were for learning math and computer science as if I were a researcher. I think he believed I had the aptitude to grasp concepts with ease. Those books were good, but I had developed a dislike towards reading itself, thanks to the lack of any fiction books. To top that, I was also constantly distracted with Social Media. Thanks to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - I was unaware of how my limited free time depleted each day. I just had no time to read books any more!

Truth, however, was that I didn't choose to spend time with books but was marvelled at other things like Facebook videos and so on. It has been several years since I have read a book at one stretch. My reading-hungry soul has died internally.

With just 5 weeks left in this year, I want to reclaim this old habit. I want to be hooked to books, regardless of their genre and I don't want to put down a book without knowing what the author had to tell me entirely. 

Julian Sara Joseph

Ascent of Money -by Niall Ferguson - Report on reading the book

1 min read

Things I connected with in the - Introduction

  • 2008 recession was one of the world's worst crisis after the Great Depression. 
  • We usually have hostility and anger towards the rich capitalists or bankers, or just financers, who lend money as a living — Loan Sharks, bank CEOs whose greed caused this crisis and this hostility has weirdly the following reasons:
  1. Debtors/Borrowers outnumbered Creditors/lenders.
  2. Financial crises are frequent enough for finance to be a reason for poverty and volatility. 
  3. Financial services for centuries have been provided by ethnic/religious minorities. 

All throughout major historic events, one silent rising event was the ascent of money that fueled the ascent of man, the development of countries and the establishment of institutions that never existed before but are essential to our existence today, a rise (or financial expansion) which couldn't be stopped by any other factor in the world. 

 

 

Julian Sara Joseph

Wedding bells are ringing

2 min read

Yikes! 

Yes, my reaction was not exactly thrilled or excited. But worried. Weddings in India can be crazy. The shopping, the finances, the relatives, the routines, the poses, the rituals. The very thought of signing up for months of drama rang alarm bells in my brain. Not that I wasn't grateful for the lovely soul I was about to marry, and have as my own personal person for my whole life, I very much was! My joy in realizing, he was everything I wanted my future husband to be, made me tearfully thankful to the whole universe for keeping him safe and sound just for me. Nevertheless, the herculean task of deciding what to wear, what hairdo, what sandals(I still haven't bought my heels for the dress for the ceremony at church as I write this), came upon these tiny weak but broad shoulders of mine much faster than I thought it would. The engagement taught me a lot of things!

In fact, In my mind, there went a list like this - as personal feedback/note to self:

     1. What went right? / What should definitely be repeated at the wedding?

     2. What went wrong? / What should be avoided at the wedding? 

Now you may ask, who thinks like that? I and every other developer I believe does. I find the entire idea of weddings, at times, highly over-rated with month-long vacations and trips I honestly missed my code editor and terminals during the 9 days I took leave for the Engagement ceremonies. How do people stay away from computers for so long? :P

Julian Sara Joseph

git prune

1 min read

Read slowly

This runs git fsck --unreachable using all the refs available in refs/, optionally with additional set of objects specified on the command line, and prunes all unpacked objects unreachable from any of these head objects from the object database.

Julian Sara Joseph

Stop Biting

2 min read

If you bite, everytime someone 'reaches out' to you - they will just stop 'reaching out' to help you out. So stop biting!

There are so many people around you who take care of you and love you. Your family, your friends or your neighbours, your colleagues, your dance class partners, your early morning football team players, your folks at church and so on. The list is quite long, if only, you pause, and rewind the day in your head. Think about all those folks who smiled at you, or addressed you by name even for a casual "Hi"!

It is easy to go off the cliff and behave like you have no reason to smile or be happy. It is easy to take the "martyr route" or just "be grumpy". Yeah. I have often tried to blame the circumstances in life and the restrictions I grew up with. But, trust me, there is nothing in this world stopping you from just "being nice", especially when the people around you are taking so much effort to be nice to you. Don't bark everytime you open your mouth. It takes conscious effort not to. Almost as much as it would take you to say "No" to carbs or sugar, maybe more. 

It takes two to quarrel and two to love.

Either you can complain about not having the "right people" in your life or the "right opportunities" or power to do somethings, or you can accept the people, the time, the chances you get at taking up whateve life offers you, helping hand or challenge, and reciprocate in kind!

Meet love with love.

Kindness with kindness.

Friendship with warmth.

Fear with Grit.

Challenge with courage.

Opportunity with willingness. 

Feel the high of doing the 'right things' at the 'right time and saying the 'right set' of words at the 'right time'

Julian Sara Joseph

When all you see is experimentation

1 min read

You might be aware of Test and learn approach - 

I'd like to relate it to Gustafson's law today. 

Gustafson's law's Derivation
A task executed by a system whose resources are improved compared to an initial similar system can be split into two parts:

a part that does not benefit from the improvement of the resources of the system;
a part that benefits from the improvement of the resources of the system.

Now if we were to compare these two parts - we would have what is called 'control' and 'test'.

Julian Sara Joseph

Checklists and pathways

1 min read

Ever since I read the book - Steal like an artist, I have meaning to do this. I started this last year in Oct I think. Trust me it makes you accountable to yourself. Feel free to add whatever you like - even things like : 

> Made the bed on waking up

> Tech curfew of 2 hours before sleep

> read 10 pages of any book today. 

 

Habits are creatable. As it is written in the book - "Quiet Leadership" , our brains can form new pathways for your new habits. The best way to get rid of old habits you are sick of is to stop doing it! :P Think of it like water flowing through rocks to create the Grand Canyon, similarly the less you do of the task, you don't want to, the lesser stronger these paths in your brain. The more you do, the new habits, the more checks on the list above, the stronger those pathways in your brain.  

Julian Sara Joseph

Boils down to the same thing

1 min read

https://www.strengthsensei.com/fix-rounded-shoulders/ 

If you are aware of something, you keep finding that wherever you look, similar to seeing only 'red-cars' on road, only after you buy a red car yourself. Finding out about rounded shoulders, made me realise how so many guys around me had terrible postures. I wish I could share the mental screenshots of their weird slop-sided almost broken shoulders, making me wonder: Do people not know they have rounded shoulders? Are we just lazy to flex some muscles, and stand up straight? 

A person's stature, his posture, speaks volumes when he walks into a room. Ladies, take note, this doesn't mean, you lose grace, (Lol, this is only for those non-girl girls out there like me) this means you walk with straight shoulders and confidence but light steps. 

Julian Sara Joseph

Realizations that dawned.

2 min read

Everyone out there is definitely on a path to progress/self-improvement/career -development in this week. So many resolutions and planners bought and doodled in. Before I too get into that, I'd like to share a few hallelujah moments.  

1. I have realized how women (atleast Indian mallu women) "expect bad things to happen to them". 

 "I'll end up getting married to a bad guy"

 "I'll never be promoted!"

 "I'll be stuck in this place forever"

Such a mindset, be it for men or women, will do us no good. Our thoughts can shape our lives. Proof? Here you go!

 

2. Some people are just incapable of grasping what your words mean. 

"You feel me?" 

"Do you get it?"

There are several such instances when people can fail to understand what you say, they hear what they want to hear. Always.

 

3. Never compromise on your relationships because of money you owe people or small fights. 

"You don't need to pay me back"

"I don't really care what you think of this color"

People do care. People remember what you say and give and not give. Don't you ever think otherwise.