Thursday, 27 February 2014

Project Krypton 1.0

Okay, it's been some time since I promised rolling out a project just like all blogs do. In fact if I'm not wrong, this supposed project should have been rolled out 9 months ago. I apologize but I simply did not have many ideas back then and although I don't have a lot of ideas even now, I do have something to write upon a clandestine subject. So, here we are with another project on our blog. Unlike most of our past projects which couldn't move beyond 4-5 posts, we do believe this one would pan out better.

In brief, Project Krypton embraces heterodoxy. We've had quite a lot of sensible and information emanating posts in the past but now it's time to revisit the original theme of the blog. Project Krypton is an honest attempt to connect with our aboriginals and to offer a truce to those who find us disdainful. The first series of posts shall focus on the inherent flaws of our collective thinking and later on as we all progress, we might move on to more subtle and more targeted themes. Without much of a delay, we'd like to kick off straightaway, 

This first post is an experimental one so pardon us for any imbecility. I was wondering for the last few days if we all have become so stiff in our thinking that we cant come up with anything intriguing enough for pursuing as a profession than the regular tepid assignments we chose to take otherwise. Although sensible ones oft leave this fanaticism as they have a well chalked out plan for their future and are also capable enough to take it forward. I'm particularly talking about the group to which I belong. People who're not really sure what to do. Maybe the professions we enlist in Project Krypton could provide you some closure. 

Arsonists, I was befuddled by the idea of being one but was amazed to know they have a word for that profession. In fact every activity for which there exists a formal word, was once, or is likely to be a profession worth pursuing. Just imagine the enigma and enticement of a job like that. You have no purpose in your life, no enmity towards anyone but everyone and no ties to salvage. What would you do then to earn a bread? Take contracts and initiate infernos. I don't have parables to justify my argument but maybe arson was a full fledged profession in the past. 

Let us try and envisage the possibilities that shall exist in this profession. Your neighbor harangued you for breaking his windows, you set his house on fire. Your teacher rebuked you for not submitting assignments on time, you set the staff room on fire. You couldn't get a reaction right in the chemistry lab, you formulate a new reaction to set the whole school on fire. In fact one really fascinating aspect about these uses is that either you burn down any traces that could lead to your felony or you would burn down yourself. Whatever it may be, you'll never get caught!

Now taking the idea to the next stage, can we actually carve a full time business out of it, We've already learnt about contract killers and specious murders. These professions though, always jeopardize the safety of those employees involved in executing the actions and just like other professions, the managers refuse to vindicate and leave all blame on the executioners. In order to prevent that from happening again, these avenues should start using arsonists to do the jobs. Arson not only makes the job less nettlesome, it also makes sure you cover your tracks well. Arson becomes the panacea to all problems. 

It remains to be seen how widespread this phenomenon would be in the times to come. Modern thoughts and technologies have always taken quite a lot of time to witness massive adoption. So, although we're ready with moving towards a society where surreptitious operations are predicated on arson, not a lot of people are likely to switch to the newer paradigm. You'll have the usual resistance and clamor from the veterans of the olden art. Their odium and spurning will stop us but the younger comrades will surely respect our stance and adopt it  They'll make sure Project Krypton sees some daylight someday.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

A future in a fewer hands.

I thought of writing something on this subject on many an occasion but I never really had the buck going to muster the elements to indite something. I finally have some structure to build up a post on. I've been witnessing a lot of consolidations, inorganic expansions and companies that are literally turning into the bastions for their entire industry. When the world stepped into the industrial revolution, we had natural monopolies which encompassed companies that raked in on the first mover advantage. Eventually, we saw new companies that leveraged on innovation or revolutionary thinking and the industrial realm distended to some extent. You finally had the utopian fair competition for a while but once again, things started coming full circle. Once again, you've got just a handful of companies controlling stakes in the entire industry with the others having a very diminutive, if any, stake in shaping the future. So, what would this supposedly concentrated future hold for us?

Looking at the advantages, the suzerainty of the big fishes is obvious. They will have the financial muscle and the economies of scale. They will have the kind of corporate structure that needs to sustain quality leadership and that too in a protracted manner. Also, as we've witnessed in the past, some companies will emerge as the harbingers of better value and better service. All in all, the kind of restraints and impediments that are posed by the obligations towards profound competition, can be disposed off using the natural advantages. Instead, these companies can garner all their mettle and focus on bringing a quality revolution. This kind of a scenario can prove to be a boon for industries whose future course remains wry and hazy. These companies are likely to divert their energies on delivering the goods and services as expected by the customers and at the same time prevent unnecessary expenditure on moves meant to fend off competition.

The downside, on the other hand, seems a little too deleterious. One really important reason why we witnessed so much of innovation and revelation in the past few decades is the emergence of new technologies. This can largely be ascribed to an increasing number of competitors that left no stone unturned to win customers. While commoditization became prevalent and prices were getting standardized, the early movers sought differentiation in terms of features and marvel. Customer delight stemmed out of more and more research being put into the prospects of coming with more powerful products. It eventually resulted in effective cycles of product improvements. Now with the emerging systems being bereft of that element, it remains to be seen how that phenomenon could be recreated. 

Imagine a scenario where a few companies own the prowess of rolling out our future but defer the revolution for the sole purpose of reaping in the extra benefits that come out of it. Such a setup would be marked by other smaller companies either acting as pariahs who couldn't really accomplish anything comprehensive or companies that rise initially only to see themselves being devoured by the larger fishes in the pond. The consolidation drives that will spur out of such a scenario, if left unchecked, will soon assume an insidious character. Although appropriate regulations may be in place, such moves will always be camouflaged under the veil of usual corporate M & A. The corporate behemoths who possess enough money in their bank accounts to pay the burgeoning players a good enough price, will almost always succeed in expanding their realm. Slowly and slowly, the top cos will assume a superabundant status like that of the ones that ruled the world in the 50's. The only difference though, is that these big ones would have already consumed all the competition that was yet to ensue in case of the former. 

What compelled me to write this obvious and imminent post is the slew of acquisitions we've witnessed of late. The first one was the agglomeration of Comcast and Time Warner cable , the two largest cable operators in US, in a deal that spanned a sum that is more than the worth of a lot of other competitors combined. The deal is purported to bring better quality services to the areas where Time Warner cable reigned, as Comcast's portfolios have always been attributed with top quality service. Although the Time Warner cable subscribers are likely to gain with more efficient and efficacious services, Comcast will not see any competition in hindsight at least. Whether Comcast goes complacent and tries its hand on the more ambitious projects it might have kept at abeyance or would operate in the usual way, only time will tell. 

Another notable example is Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp. While the entire world is rummaging for logic in a whopping USD 19 Bn valuation for a free software service, Facebook has shelled out the money not for no reason. Facebook now owns all mobile platforms it needs to connect mobile users to each other via all media modes. Facebook owns Instagram that facilitates easy image editing, WhatsApp that connects people through the most convenient Im platform and of course, Facebook itself is the biggest online social platform. By seamlessly integrating all services and bringing them on a single platform with possibly a single Id, just imagine the kind of niche Facebook could create. It will literally provide the kind of communication platform we all craved for. However, at the same time, it will nearly eliminate the possibility of any other company coming even near to what Facebook would be providing. Hence as long as the Internet will stay the way it is today, Facebook will become the czar that will take all shots. The overall market on the other hand will be sans ferocious competition, something that had originally shaped the Internet over the years. 

Although I've already posted a critique on Google's supposed takeover of the AI world in this post, Google takes over Boston Dynamics, I'm still stupefied by how a sensible giant is taking over companies operating in a space whose potential no one really knows. Google although is ripe with the kind of cash flows that are larger than the caps of many companies combined, it still needs some rationale to justify the investments it made in these neophytes. While a prognosis of an AI future could be used as a pretext, Google does know a lot about what's actually going to shape the way we'll interact with technology. We'll interact with the Internet in a myriad of ways and already being Internet's single most influential partner, Google wanted to make sure the future belonged to it. 

Coming up with a conclusion for this post is tough as a lot actually remains to be seen. However, we've surely begun to see a pattern emerging out of all these corporate consolidations. The big companies are vying hard to solidify their positions in the wake of opportunities presented by the not so ambitious smaller companies that declare their sale. Slowly, the world will begin to have more companies but with a smaller number of influential ones. The control will shrivel and will be vested in the hands of those who were quick enough to capitalize on their financial might. Brace yourselves as we hand our future into fewer hands, something which we did back in 1940's during the Normandy landings and something which we are doing once again. Let's just hope the move does not turn us down this time as well. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The archetypal young Indian.

Completed 24 years the last week and tried to sum up all that I've done till now. I was scrounging for an element that might have remained intact for all these years and that's likely to go strong as I move on. And while I tried doing that, my quest for answers took me beyond mere introspection. I soon realized that I'll have to witness those elements in actions not of my own, but through the actions of others from my own consociation. I created a mental puzzle of all the most defining moments we all witnessed together as a herd and tried to see what we represent as a horde.

Despite the cudgel of problems that keeps hitting on our face every time we try something different, there is something unique that binds us to our purpose. We know how to switch between dreams and we can do that with amazing celerity. We know how to taste failures and how to probably fight back, but at the same time, we've also learnt how to surrender the dreams which we probably borrowed from others. In short, only a few of us genuinely carve a future of our own, one meant for no one but ourselves. We instead rely on others for building our dreams, be it the grandeur a title of Dr. or IPS that adds to your appellation or be it the affluence a 7 figure salary brings to you. I don't remember the last time when I could genuinely dream about something simple and realistic. All that I can dream about now are histrionic versions of a future too stupendous to be real. Movies and fables to be blamed for that! Some go to my extreme and some pursue the extreme of always being in a limbo.

We, individually and collectively, have grown extremely tumultous in terms of forming an opinion. We are a genuine improvement over our predecessors who were bereft with the notions of forming one. Ironically though, the final implication of our opinions is as futile as it was for our provenance. We are too agile in forming opinions and too virile to defend them from thereon. We praise and rather venerate the logic we used while forming the opinion and literally growl in front of someone who puts a challenge to them. However, we never bother to test the veracity of that original logic or subject it to a mental litmus test. Once we form an opinion, our only purpose is to attract the ones without one towards yours. The game changers of our times just make sure this opinion formation takes place at their behest. Our intellectual flanks, always open to hoodwink and subterfuge, are so vulnerable that those without an opinion are hogging to get one and those with one are seeking more and more confreres. Amidst this metamorphosis, no one checks what's true and what's right.

To conclude a post that depicts my own haplessness to some extent, though it magnifies when seen in collective light, I enunciate the presence of one more unique element within us. We tend to become too banal and too institutionalized. While temples of constitution themselves go for a toss, the pliable reality in front of us changes faces so quickly that we could do nothing else but to adapt to it. We come up with a set of rules and guidelines that is so comprehensive but one which no one reads. However, the beliefs vest themselves so tacitly and ardently, that you never know when you've become an apprentice of the new world order. We see more acculturation than cultural revolutions simply because a clique of people is ready to follow. Then it's just a matter of titillating the senses and inducing a new element in the parlance. Whether this happens on a micro or macro scale, is irrelevant, but what's germane here is that followers exist. People look for enlightenment in someone who promulgates them, they look for solace in a place deemed to bring so and finally, they look for a closure in others but not within themselves. That, my friend, is the quintessential young Indian. That. my friend, is me.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Like there's no tomorrow !

Plans, industriousness, assiduousness and total subservience towards the 'goals' is what every veteran will teach you in order to surmount the vexing tumult of life. Life is a complex affair, full of the din and desolation which make it somber and loomy. But life is also the very source of verve which inoculates in you the elements of gratification and surreal pleasure. Life's a mix of wows and woes, triumphs and tribulations. That's the kind of haranguing you'll get by any veteran who's had decades of experience by his hand. Everyone around you is spreading this philosophy and orchestral mooting of life's unpredictable nature and how it's becoming a more arcane affair with every day that passes by. People and papers, both would just tell you about the iniquities that exist and the cudgels of repugnance and nefariousness that you're likely to confront and hence you're supposed to be prepared to take on. Any departure from this supposed "follow the rules and succeed" dictum is considered effrontery. I wonder, where has life disappeared all amongst this !

Open up this particular news channel and you'll find this UFO raking in a cow, all in hopeless animation of course, and a bunch of self proclaimed ET specialists mulling over whether aliens need and feed cows or not. And all the time, you'll find this heading "Kya Aleins Gai Ka Doodh Peete Hain". I mean if we can create a serious surmise out of something so preposterous, we can do anything. We'll go every height to create an atmosphere of intense seriousness all around. We want customs, more and more of them and same is our covetous desire for guidelines. We always need something or the other to follow. We need systems, hierarchies and formal procedures to do everything. We even enjoy doing that because it projects us in more urbane and suave light. We take pride in never departing away from the road that we call 'normal'. We like to be the blue eyed boy of our immediate patron because we want to be set up as an example of perfection. We go so much into this that we do things perfectly just to detract and belittle others who supposedly aren't as good at that trade as us. We buy DSLRs because it's 'cool' to have one and if we don't have the pecuniary backing to have one, we'll get one from somewhere and get ourselves clicked, thereby projecting that we have one and that we can use it. Bingo ! 

I may seem as one who does not follow what'll I've said but even I'm hapless. Even my conscience has been enshrined by these modern principles. Even I've been a victim of this decrepitude. We all, including me as well, have created a social structure symbolized by sheer compliance. Every social group will have a set of rules but we tend to live by them. Anyone who goes against, is either ostracized or in certain precarious cases, turned into a cadaver. You may consort with your fellows at the extremes and guys at the extremes will go any distance to belie and debunk the claims and veracity of other. Barca's followers keep chastising those of Real and the Real fans keep rebuking Barca. I, trying my level best to desist that normal opinion, leave on by saying "Sannu Ki ?". It's begun to seem as if we need some serious issue to fuel us, be it an argument or some impending affair. Seriousness has become such an inherent part of life that even the babas who expound liturgical speeches have resorted to structured talks rather than their quintessential leprechaun like behavior. In short, seriousness has become self-aware and self-breeding. 

We have 12 year odds nettling their parents by lingering on to something in a shop and surprisingly, the parents shell out the money and buy it.  I mean without really considering the impact that a Tegra quad core processor equipped tab can have on your novice child, you spend the hefty bucks. Why ? It's impulse. We vie for girls who are contemporary belles but we also look for that modern element of resplendence that comes with maybe dressing as well as demeanor. We don't crave for those who are demure and prudish. If we actually wanted to be serious, we would have chosen the latter. While buying a car or the bike, the "Kitna Deti Hai" horde will go for mileage but the young at heart types will go for the exuberance. While indulging in delicacies, we don't count the number of calories using a calorimeter but we measure the pristine pleasure which the culinary delights shall bring to our gourmand self. These are all examples of impulse. Probably the only inheritance we were conferred from our predecessors is this trait of ours. Impulses are too ephemeral to have any scope for improvisation. We genuinely do what we want to do and maybe for those instances, we forget all the rules. That's how a life is to be lived. 

I believe that our era, marked by semblance of professionalism and incisiveness, is a total farce. We do things just because we're told to do them and we stay serious and affirmative about them just because it's mentioned in the rule book. There are rules everywhere. Rules for spitting and rules for jumping signals are mandatory, but rules for having a spunky hairdo are obnoxious. I mean let the guy have the grumpy hairdo for a day and he'll himself go bald the next day. But what's with preventing him to have anything else except a military cut. Same is the case with the tacit rules of life. We have schedules for everything we do. However, work is the only thing from that schedule that we manage to do. We've also gone to the extent of explicitly reserving time for ourselves but the only time we end up giving to ourselves is in dyeing the reminisce of our fast disappearing hair and that too just because we'll look too asocial once they're gone. Our bodies are languished and so is our conscience. What's gone up though are the number of zeroes on the payslip and the rotundness of our bellies. We even party for the sake of partying and drinking our preset, and at times untrammeled, quota of liquor. We've had this remote control of rules and regulations guiding us everytime without our notice. Heresy is something we don't even think going for.

Seriousness, they say, is a virtue of the vice. It's believed that the punctual and the punctilious are simply bound to break the barrages someday. Our future has become hardwired by an ordain of orthodoxy posed upon us by no one but ourselves. We eat with social customs and etiquette in our minds, we sleep with an abject consideration of being able to get up on time and all the  more importantly, we live to ensure we could live some more. Amidst these programmed tenets of our future, we do find time between our friends and family to savor the lusciousness of life but that we do only when we momentarily waive our concerns. Probably for that small duration we recall our ancestors who were no less than hobgoblins. It's not a person or a thing's overt seriousness that exasperates and astounds me, it's this collective seriousness which I myself exhibit as a price I pay for being a part of the system. The best I can do to sum up this mood is that people ki #ConditionSeriousHai. A future without it is chimerical but maybe someday, we shall thrive again and live in an Elysium like they showed in the movies uptil those of 90's. Pure bliss !

How about grabbing a Five Star and getting lost in that reverie again .:D

Sunday, 9 February 2014

CASE STUDY : The V-day Vandals

So much for the multitude of case study competitions I've participated in of late and yet I'm searching for that element of ingenuity and shrewdness you're not allowed to exhibit. Moreover, while major management case studies restrain themselves to the realm of managerial acumen and lack a veracious analysis in both hindsight and foresight, here's proposing a case study that is one helluva conundrum. It presents to you, as the person in charge of a tardy situation, with two completely contradictory objectives which you're expected to find a balance between. Solutions are also expected to be both preposterous and delirious because these elements hold a relatively high place in our personal adjudication and scrutiny paradigms. The best solution would win you a mention on the blog with a picture of your choice accompanying links to any social media profiles of your choice. We don't guarantee a barrage of people buzzing around you post we share the links of the blog, but you'll surely see an influx of coveted admiration from people all across the glamorous blogging circle. So, what you're waiting for ? Here goes the case study. 
This time of the year, this week specially, sees distending recruitment of ground personnel by a selected set of political parties that were specifically setup for the prime purpose of demolishing the businesses of Archies, Hallmark and Ferns & Petals by vandalizing their outlets and manhandling the chirping love birds. On one hand, idle youths get some employment wherein they can exhibit their 'hidden' talents, but on the other hand, these businesses alongwith the unorganized gifting sector take a beating. So ladies and gentlemen, you are hereby invited you to submit solutions to this case study in a word document, font size 12, 1.5 line spacing, enumerating all the steps that you'll take as the administrator of your metropolis. Valid assumptions can be made pertaining to the possibilities of your provenance as being one of these irascible youths in your own rising years, or yours having accepted illicit grants from these businesses when they setup their shops while violating all possible retail space norms. 

All the best amigos and amigas ! Hoping to see some titillating, stupefying and mind-boggling solutions coming from your side. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

2:29 AM EDT, August 29, 1997

The title surely acts as an overture to what this post has to say. All the arcane verses prophesied by a crotchety Cyberdyne systems corporations model 101, enacted by Arnold in T2, pointed towards the parent supercomputer of all of Cyberdyne's networked systems, to go self aware of its conscience and its purpose. Just like Orwell's clairvoyance and insinuation about 1984 went awry, Skynet too couldn't materialize specially with the kind of gigantic computing powers it was supposed to vest in itself. However, it does not write off the kind of future that was predicted and envisaged in that celebrated movie. Neither does it demean the possibility of a universe where machines not only acted as mere companions, but acted as a faithful entourage wherever you went. Whether the machines would go nincompoop and expunge the existence of the very humans that made them, only time will  tell.


Having seen a lot of burly corporations coming up with humanoids and robotic arms in the past few years, it never really tantamount to any real progression towards imbibing self guiding intelligence into a set of circuits. However, research has suddenly started getting impetus and things have started to move a little. Maybe the way we are connected every facet of our existence with a multitude of other devices, Skynet would not be a single computer with a core in some silo, but would be the entire Internet we feed on. 

Coming straight to the point, what compelled me to expound all this was an eerie and esoteric feeling I had about where the Internet and the corporation that guides the Internet has been heading of late. Google, the company that has literally paved the way for Internet to materialize into something so comprehensive, is so ubiquitous on the virtual landscape and with such dominance, that's its hard to write off no matter what you are doing on the progeny of erstwhile ARPANET. Even as I post this blog, I rely on a platform run by Google, using an account I hold with Google, using a hosting server housed by Google through the content delivery services, using publishing technologies developed and nurtured withing Google, and finally I'd rely on Google's magnum opus - Their search engine, to have some daylight fall on the post. While all of this seems an encomium or panegyric, it hints to something more nettlesome and bothering.

For one company to have such an impact on the Internet and even the devices that now run it, it's imperative that the company breaks its shells and experiments with contemporary models. It seems that Internet is no longer the heirloom of ICANN and Internet societies but now runs at the behest of Google's and the consociation of the companies that rule it. While adjudicating a corporation which exudes awesomeness would be wrong, Google's recent demeanor seems less than unquestionable. 

Google, known for its variegated acquisitions in the past is known to have leveraged on the opportunities that were available. Google bought DNNresearch Inc. early in 2013 and speculations were rife that the neural network expertise of the company was to be deployed in the next level of Google's search. And then Google kept buying incongruous turbine companies and gesture recognition technologies(Flutter), keeping their motives rather discreet. For a company sitting on a pile of hefty cash, no one really minded whether the leprechaun was really looking to build something comprehensive. But just then, in the end of last year, Google played their first maneuver.
After having bought companies that have either improved its services of helped Google foster a new offering, Google seems to have gone somewhat haywire on their purchasing patterns. While multibillion dollar honchos perch on your shopping data to find your preferences, I chose to delve on that of Google. 

Google acquired 8 companies in 9 days and all of them had to do with futuristic man machine interaction technologies, a space Google always wanted to venture into. Starting from Schaft Inc. which makes humanoid robots to Redwood Robotics, a robotic arm maker to Boston Dynamics, another Robotics company, Google had it all under its belly. It also went for Industrial Perception, a virtual reality company and Bot and Dolly, which is into robotic cameras. And the ballyhooed acquisition of Nest for a humongous 3 billion + was kind of an innuendo.Although the purchases seemed to be somewhat reconditDeepMind technology which is purely into AI. Now given Google had to spend just a modicum of cash to get these cos, it wouldn't do that at the simple pretext of setting a prognosis of it venturing into 'cool' avenues. Google does have an agenda behind this semblance.
e in context of what Google does, all of them had to do with machine intelligence and robotic development. While Nest's product line seems less dilapidated, it too wants to turn your residential network into a cognitive learning setup on its own. Eventually, Google went on to acquire

Google, ostensibly has a facility called Google X, located meters away from its headquarters. This facility works in a largely clandestine manner but also divulges details of some of its most intriguing of projects. They were the ones who announced a lens type that could monitor glucose levels in diabetics and the ones who are working in augmented reality space pertaining to Google glass. While most projects seem to be in harmony with Google's overall visage, the new acquisitions hint towards something more discreet. While the projects Google has come up in the past considered using a mix of innovation and peppiness to come up with new wonders, Google X's new escapade seems a little different. As the Internet is planning to step into its next phase, Internet of Things(IoT), perhaps Google has something else to offer.

As we enter one of the most stupefying of phase in silicon technology development, Google probably wants to become the one that ensnare all the enigma. We've had chimeric things in the past which are now reality and maybe Google wants to be the harbinger for the ext such set of things. As we progress towards a completed connected cohort(CCC), we are going to need much more than mobility from our IP connected devices. We'll obviously have refrigerators that could control themselves and homes that could eliminate the acclimatization phase, but world would linger to the idea of something bigger. How about cars that could not only be driverless but that also know wherre you ought to go and on the basis of your past experiences with it, could adjust their driving paths and still better their very algorithms. And what if prosthetic arms are no longer conventional and now use your proxemics and dynamics to anticipate your action, thereby having a brain and a conscience of your own, Perhaps a case in point is the entire Internet getting apprised of its existence and its responsibilities wherean nodes are no longer passive but are a set of neural networks, each with a set of data and designated actions, which thereby drive the entire data transfer. 

All in all, Google X is not very different from the utopian world which makes us s inquisitive. A world where every palpable device has an IPv6 and has a connection to your central device which manages your very life. Just imagine a universe where your tardiness and tenaciousness compells you to share your burden with technology that is very well capable of handling all your worries. Your PAN of devices not only begins to assist and suggest you, it also develops the propensity to guide you. Slowly and slowly as we  turn more slovenly and tepid, we allow the systems to permeate to organizations and to nations. Just imagine a nation which carves its strategic decisions on the basis of the suggestions and information elicited out of a large network of tax collection servers, financial planning servers, public subvention servers, public data servers and maybe even the strategic defense and space research servers. In our quest for getting a wholesome view  of our situation courtesy of our technological prowess, we indeed woul drop the piecemeal approach and would benefit but we would do it at the cost of wilting human role in decisions made for humans themselves. Ultimately as machines begin to intercede on our behalf, we would find the prospect too lucrative and let the times beguile. And then one day, maybe a 100 years down the line, all decisions would become the prerogative of a network which should have comprised of humans made of flesh, but which would actually comprise of humans made of silicon. We missed out on 2:29 AM EDT, August 29, 1997, but maybe we just procrastinated the inevitable. Maybe self awareness isn't that impossible at all.

Monday, 3 February 2014

The KYU HYUN Facebook Spam

So just as I was beguiling some time on Facebook like I always do, someone tagged me in this eerie picture posted by someone who goes by the name "Kyu Hyun". Having had an avarice for analyzing social spam facades in the past, it took me no time to recognize that as a spam. It was this picture that I include below and it had a panoply of comments wherein people tagged almost all of their Facebook friends in as many comments as it took. Just as I was admiring the ingenuity of the purported mechanism adopted, someone else tagged me in a comment alongwith a host of others. For someone with 800 odd friends to have been tagged twice within a few minutes in a spam that on the face looked so gibberish, it was befuddling.

I tried to delve into what the spam is all about. It's obviously deployed by a group of hackers who are shrewd enough to know the propagation rules of the game. Give the gullible and credulous a bait to lure, and they will follow you. As it seems, this entire spam was designed keeping the incessant human craving of peeping into others' life into purview.The spam mentions about a link which contains an elixir that will help you hack into someone's profile. It makes you visit the target's profile, makes you visit that code containing  link and then it asks you to paste the code on the browser's code consoles and promises you of receiving the requisite target's credentials in a while. While people became so inexorably involved in the process of hacking into the profiles of maybe their arch rivals, they forgot to guard their own flanks. The purpose was served. Anyone and everyone who was got allured, ended up tagging almost all of their Facebook friends on the comments on this picture, thereby building a more behemoth of an audience susceptible enough to the phenomena. While this took place, the initial target couldn't even notice what happened.

A few noteworthy things about the scheme is the ineffable lingering we have for hacking into someone's profile. I mean given the spread and contagiousness of the spam, almost every person might have wanted to imprecate someone else or maybe make that person appear a schmuck or a cretin on their social profiles. Or on the other hand, people simply wanted to scrounge others' profiles for prospective intimacies that burgeon on an amiable and affable platform like Facebook. Whatever made people go for it, was large enough to motivate them to such an extent that they were even ready to type codes in a browser console to do that. I can't make estimates but not a lot of Internet users are normally aware of an embedded code console being available in modern browsers. Moreover, a lot of people would obviously have been unaware about the repercussions of using the consoles at all. However, they still did it, just at the mere pretext of it giving them a way to look into someone else's life.

The spam was incisively designed bringing all tenets of human behavior into consideration. It may seem this is an encomium or a panegyric but it's not. I'm merely expressing my astonishment on the way the spam not only acted the way the hackers wanted it to but the spread went so unprecedented that you had some 14000 comments with the Facebook tags in 18 hours time. It would have really inundated Facebook's content delivery networks all across the globe with surreal amount of traffic. What's more germane to our discussion though is the fallible human conscience. We have such temerity for our morals and so much of avidity for vengeance and vendettas that it has almost become a sine qua non for us. We would chase our opponents no matter how much we tend to overlook the veracity of the modes and means we use to do that. That initial speck of something going in our favor in this fray, makes us go for it without bothering about what's going to come of it. While what has happened on Facebook is just a mere apparition of what has happened many a time in past and would be eventually curtailed, it's just another more scaled down version of what we humans are notorious for. We have so much against each other that it acts as a gargantuan source of energy for a third party to suck in all the energy, leaving us enervated and leaving them stronger as ever. This provenance of this spam is a well known human fallacy - our inability to look beyond our own inner strife. Something that has made us accustomed to getting fooled, time and time again.