Bleak future of the acting profession

I strongly feel (but don’t feel happy about it) that in the future, actors would lose their jobs. With the improved quality of animation and superior gaming experiences, the future of cinema could well be “involved” cinema where you can enter and change the story as you wish or atleast, play some role.

We are already seeing creation of alternate personalities and friendships or enmities in the gaming world. We are also seeing interactive TV series on platforms like Netflix. My belief is that the two will merge. The actors of interactive TV series will be replaced by avataars of video games.

Amitabh Bachchan, who?

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Whose responsibility is it to make one “job-ready”?

The industry cribs all the time that Indian education doesn’t produce enough job-ready people. I wonder, is it the responsibility of the schools/colleges to make one job ready by training them on specific tasks? Or is it the school/college’s responsibility to provide the students with the general tools and knowledge of theories and practices that will help when they take up a job. No school/college ever knows what job each of its students will take up. So, it is not possible to train the students on specific tasks! It is fair that they impart training that is general in nature. And, it is obvious that such general training may not be useful for specific employers.

The employers have all the specific processes and equipments that can be used for demonstration and making the new entrant job-ready for that specific job. Only employers can provide this customised training required to make the best job fit. So,  shouldn’t the employers be training them? Are the employers shirking responsibilities? Do all the employers in our country today have customised training for their new recruits/staff?

Standard Reply: The employers fear that whoever they train will soon escape to some other employer and so they don’t want to invest. Really? So, the alternate solution is you crib and take in half trained people and use them immediately to deliver services and products which are equally half baked?

Is trainee/apprenticeship period for training new recruits and making them job ready? Or is it a few months when the new recruit is like any other experienced employee, expected to deliver but at a lower cost and with the flexibility to be fired at short notice?

(Views of an outsider who is very much a part of the story.)

Elevators

Elevators permitted increases in height of buildings. In other words, density of people living per square km could go up because elevator permitted multiple floors and hence more people.

More people per square km means that a much larger number of people are using the same available space of roads to move around. Congestion.

What do you do?

a.) Wish that elevators were not invented and instead of vertical growth, the cities would grow horizontally and that instead of pockets of highly developed cities you had continuous stretches of several small cities with mid sized buildings and less congestion on the road due to lower population density.

b.) Wish that somebody invents private-individual flying cars quickly and the somebody also builds lanes of air traffic with different lanes for different levels (heights) paying different charges.

Reading List 21st Nov, 2013

(Was out on a vacation and hence no edition of reading list came out during the last couple of weeks.)

1.) Why drinking hits women harder and why older you get alcohol hits you harder?

Some interesting facts:

  • Body composition starts to change as early as the 30s. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass, while fat content increases. Alcohol isn’t distributed in fat. People also have less total body water as they get older. So if several people have the same amount to drink, those with more fat and less muscle and body water will have more alcohol circulating in their bloodstream.
  • The liver gets bigger as people get older, but the organ becomes less efficient.
  • Enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase breaks down alcohol. Women of all ages tend to have lower levels of this enzyme in the stomach.
  • Moderate/safe amount of drinking is defined as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women, according to the latest federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (A standard drink is about 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor, according to the CDC.)

Article: Alcohol

(All said and done, alcohol is best avoided.)

2.) Naps clear our “Cache’” and so sleep helps us remember more!

Article: Sleep

3.) Why do we value gold?

What is the reason behind gold being accepted as currency and other details on gold.

Article: Gold 

4.) Money transfer systems: simple explanation of the story behind the curtains on how money is transferred.

Article: Money Transfer

Reading List- 23rd Nov, 2013

1.)What if your memory is fake?

Article: Fake memory

Those people who seem to have a photographic memory might just be having a fake memory!

2.) A brilliant innovation gets you fit for the Olympics!

Video: Subway tickets

3.) The story of Mike Tyson. Told again.

Article: Mike Tyson

4.) How Amazon became an everything store

Article: Amazon

5.) Why does airline food suck?

Article: Airline food

Boredom and Low humidity are two key reasons along with constraints in preparing food in the air. We lose sense of taste/flavour due to a blocked sinus and low humidity. This makes us less perceptive of the taste. Interestingly, Indian food is less affected by these conditions due to the fact that naturally permits humid sauces in its preparation.

Proliferation of “Chinese” goods!

When I went around looking for some memorabilia at the Liberty Island, US hoping to take something back home, I was surprised to see all items having a “Made in China” stamp. I repeat … all. I was stumped. I wanted to carry something back that represented the US and here, everything that represented the US was actually Chinese!

A few years earlier, I lived in a remote village in North Bengal for two months. The village was 10 km away from a metalled road and had only mud houses. There was no electricity and none of the households had a toilet. Guess what the villagers used for pumping water into the fields for agriculture? Chinese pump sets!

Low cost wins. Not just against remote access and utter poverty, but also against pride.

Developed vs developing world

Is there a way to differentiate between a “developed” nation and a “developing” nation by asking a single question?

I think yes.

When you want to find out if a particular place belongs to the “developed” category just ask a fairly rich local “What is your preferred mode of travel within the city/town anytime during the day? ”

If the answer is a train or a bus or any other public transport, you know you are in a developed country.

(I guess it is simplistic but more often than not the logic is correct.)

Private property v/s Shared ownership

In the real “physical” world, humans went from economies based on shared resources or common property resources as seen during the “hunter gatherer” phase of ancient human civilisation to the economies based on concepts of private property and ownership as we see today in the modern era.

Interestingly, in the digital world, we have taken the OPPOSITE direction. While we owned servers in the past and owned every piece of hardware and digital storage spaces earlier, today we have moved almost completely towards the concept of shared “ownership” . We don’t own our mail servers. Most websites are hosted on shared space maintained by others and we have the likes of the mighty Amazon Web Services that offer shared services.