Readings 1st Fortnight Nov, 2017


I am trying to get back to listing out what I read recently and thought it to be interesting.

Bitcoin: The “bubble” is back. After the last crash, people had slowly started looking at the technology behind Bitcoin that helps Bitcoin run – blockchain, as being a more long term technology that could yield benefits. However, the value of Bitcoins have shot up significantly in the last two years. I personally feel that the ability to run a completely annonymous & decentralised currency while there is a State is naive. I don’t believe Bitcoin has become a currency already because a currency to be able to sustain cannot have fluctuating value. So, Bitcoin is still a wannabe and it doesn’t look like the State will leave it unregulated. Blockchain, however, could have potential (again, not in its current envisaged form) but it is very early. Two articles seem to reflect the same opinion and share some other data points.

The Bitcoin Bubble

Crypto Fool’s Gold

I believe that most food consumed should be available at the consumers’ doorstep at the freshest form possible i.e. less or no chemical additives or with long shelf life packaging innovations. One way is to innovate food processing. The other is to grow food closer to home. With the urban sprawl increasing, food production is moving farther and farther away. With increasing urban sprawl, this will get worse. Longer distance from farm to consumer means greater need to improve shelf life (possibly through heavy treatment). A possible solution is planned Urban Farming. This is slightly utopian but possible, as solutions emerge. Not just startups that are making urban farming easy, city planners and administration need to plan and encourage urban farming especially for naturally low shelf life produce. It has implications on nature of diet. Unlike the Western World where there is dependence on sugar/salt laden highly processed and preservatives added “convenient” but harmful food, the world needs food that can keep humans healthy.

Urban Farming 

Dark Chocolate is good. Fat is bad. Etc. Etc. Proven by scientific research (fine print: research funded by chocolate companies and sugar based companies). An article on how Mars (and others) spend money on research that “prove” the benefits of consuming their products. 

Dark Chocolate is now health food. Here’s how that happened.

Work from home has recently been abandoned by a number of big firms who made an attempt to implement. The benefits for the society and the employees are huge but takes a toll on organisations which thrive on collaboration. Telecommuting leads to inability to have a “complete” conversation and establish emotion connects. Lone Ranger jobs may be suited to telecommuting or jobs which are by design spread out across multiple geographies. However, jobs that requires coordination and collaboration is often best executed at a central location. Add to it, the near impossibility of ensuring that all employees are equally committed to work because your hiring and incentive practices can never be perfect.

The Economics of the Office. Why do we still commute?

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