Category Archives: Personal

Reinvigorated, Revitalized, Revamped

It has been a long, long time since my last blog post. I’m now currently living in New York City, the financial capital of the world. I guess being in a city where so much knowledge, decision-making and power has inspired me to pick this blog back up….

Also the fact that I have about 8-9 more hours of free time since I quit my job and began business school has also been a factor.

No matter the reason, we’re back in business folks. I’ll be making a few small changes to the blog. I won’t list them all here now but you’ll notice them as you follow me along. However, I can tell you that my first post after coming out of retirement from the blogosphere will be about a company that discussed in one of my earliest posts, Twitter.

Stay tuned.

“Comeback is a good word,man.”
-Mickey Rourke



I’ve always had an interest in space. Like many other people, I’ve looked up at the night sky and wondered about what lies in the distant stars. Will we ever be able to reach them? Are there any other life forms out there thinking the same thing as me. Almost every corner of our planet has currently been explored and in today’s modern world, the increasing flow of information gives us visual access to even the farthest corners of our planet. Nevertheless, it is man’s natural inclination to ponder about the unknown and the uncharted. Thus, whereas the explorers of the 17th and 18th centuries dreamt of distant continents, we now dream of outer space.


But as we look out into space, there is an opportunity to look back at our planet and discover more about ourselves. This brings me to a story that has been haunting me for the past several weeks;  that is the story of the Voyager space program. In 1977, NASA launched two space probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, in order to analyze the planetary systems of Jupiter and Saturn. The probes completed their original mission in the late 80s but continued to drift into outer space. On September 2013, NASA reported that Voyager 1 had exited our solar system and entered interstellar space. To think that an object created on this Earth has exited the solar system is incedible. I haven’t done the math but I’m assuming it will take it thousands of years to reach the nearest stellar system. However, it is still interesting to think of the possibly that one day, intelligent beings in another planet might stumble upon the Voyager probes. Well, the folks at NASA thought about this too…

In the extremely unlikely possibility that the Voyager probes may eventually be discovered by an alien civilization, NASA decided to insert a time capsule into the Voyager probes. The capsules, which were in the form of two golden records, would contain sounds and images that would represent the life, the culture and the passion that exists on planet Earth. The contents of the record included greetings messages spoken in 55 modern and ancient languages, sounds such as laughter, rainfall, a car, a kiss, bird, crickets and thunder. The record also contained 90 minutes of music from various cultures across the ages and images depicting life on Earth and other planets in our solar system.

The video above contains the 55 greetings. There are also videos of the pieces of music that were placed into the record. Feel free to look them up if you wish.

I don’t know about you, but there is something touching about this collection. Listening to Mozart, hearing the sound of a mother talking to her baby and being greeted by the  languages of the world makes me realize something. At a time when our planet is intensely divided into countries, religions and ideologies, we tend to forget that we are all the same species. We are all human. We all feel the joys of love, the thrill of success and the misery of sadness. I had talked about looking back at ourselves. Voyager 1 looked back at the Earth in 1990 and took this picture.


The picture was named the Pale Blue Dot, which became the title of a book written by Carl Sagan. Unsurprisingly, Carl Sagan chaired the committee which decided the contents of the golden record. In his book, Sagan brilliantly states

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam…

…The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

 Sagan is absolutely inspiring. This small and overly optimistic project to embody the soul, the spirit and the existence of our planet should makes us realize that despite our differences, we are all the same. So no matter our ethnicity, religion or nationality might be, we should kindly and lovingly approach one another as fellow human beings who all feel the same emotions. And because we are in it together on this Earth, we should work to preserve the wonders of this planet not just for ourselves. Nations spend over a trillion dollars each year on military spending, espionage and national controls. Now I’m not an absolute pacifist. I believe that if a good guy carries a big stick, than a bad guy with a little stick will be less inclined to start a fight. However, it is absolutely possible to focus more of our efforts for ways to unite our world instead of dividing it.

One final piece was added to the golden record before the Voyager probes were launched into space. This is the part of this story that is hauntingly beautiful. The group that oversaw the process decided to record the brainwaves frequencies of Ann Druyan, who also worked on the  project, and turn those waves into audio format On the day of the recording, Ann Druya contemplated on what though she should conceive in her mind. It would be a challenging task for any of us. If cosmic beings were to find the records, with what thought or emotion would you want to represent the human race? It is true that this record did not contain some of the harsh realities of our world. When thinking about humanity, it is very possible for our minds to think about war, poverty, inequality, or any other tragedy that occurs on our world on a daily basis and makes us realize that we are not a flawless species. However, that was not the thought that came into Ann’s mind that day. You see, throughout golden record project, Ann worked closely with Carl Sagan. As stated in an interview she gave to NPR in 2010, despite the fact that the two maintained a strictly professional relationship throughout their work, the process of combining the emotions, the passion and the embodiment of mankind, as well as the entire planet Earth, led Ann and Carl to fall madly in love. Two days before her brainwaves Ann’s brainwaves were recorded, the couple got engaged. On the day of the recording, well, I don’t think I can state what happened better than Ann herself.

“I had a one-hour mental itinerary of the information I wished to convey. I began by thinking about the history of Earth and the life it sustains. To the best of my abilities I tried to think something of the history of ideas and human social organization. I thought about the predicament that our civilization finds itself in and about the violence and poverty that make this planet a hell for so many of its inhabitants. Toward the end I only permitted myself a personal statement of what it was like to fall in love”

Love. Despite all the negative occurrences in our world and the emotion that it might bring, Ann decided to represent the soul of mankind by feeling what it is like to be in love. It makes me realize that the human race has limitless potential for compassion and love. As a species, we have already accomplished so much in such a short span of time. We have put men on the moon, connected our entire world via the Internet and mapped the human genome. And we did all that in a world that is unequal, unjust and deeply divided. But, if we were to all share the same compassion and love that Ann felt when recording her brainwaves, then the human race could accomplish so much more.

I know this post has been drastically different than the issues I usually write about. But the next time when you stare up into the starry night and ponder about deep space, enjoy the view, but just like the Voyager, don’t forget to look back on our pale blue dot as well..

On a side note, this song helped me ponder and write about this issue.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
– Dalai Lama XIV

New Laptop, New Segments

You might have realized that its been a while since I last wrote a new post. Well\ that was because I was waiting in line for Black Friday. Just kidding. The reason I was unable to write a new post in nearly a month was because my laptop had been malfunctioning. After using the same laptop for nearly 4 years, the fan on my Toshiba stopped working; causing it to overheat and shut off spontaneously. However, I purchased a new laptop a few days ago. If you’re also considering buying a new laptop but don’t know which one you want to buy, you can take a look at mine in detail. I’ll also let you all know what my opinions are about this new laptop after I’ve had time to play around and get more comfortable with it.

Despite the fact that I was unable to write during this period, I did spend a lot of time brainstorming about ways I can improve this blog. In one of my shower brainstorming sessions, I decided to categorize my writings according to recurring segments. I already have the Video of the Week, where I post a video about I what I believe was the most important event from around the world in the past week. In addition to the Video of the Week, here are the new segments I have decided to add.

The Pacific Theater – In this segment, I will discuss the ongoing geopolitical standoff between China, Japan, the United States and neighboring Pacific nations. Lately, there’s been a lot of interesting stories developing from this region of the world and I intend to write my first post for this segment very soon.

Revenge on the Street – Yes. I know this was the title of the post I wrote about JP Morgan. But I like how it sounds. As you might have guessed, this segment will follow the fines and punishments big banks receive from governments worldwide.

Economy in Digits – This will be another weekly segment that I post every Saturday. It will list the important economic indicators (GDP growth rates, employment rates, etc.) released in the past week with a short comment added to each one. When I first started this blog, I thought that covering each indicator would be too much of a hassle. But I realized that there are certain economic indicators which must be kept track of in order to understand what is going on in the global economy.

Hero/Zero of the Month – As the name suggests, this will be a monthly segment dedicated to honor individuals who made the global headlines for courageous, kind and righteous reasons such as promoting democracy, helping the needy, brokering a peace deal, etc. The exact opposite will apply for Zero of the Month. I assure you, this will be the most prestigious award after the Nobel prizes. Just give it a couple of years.

If I get an idea for a new segment, or if the concept behind one of the existing segments becomes defunct, I can add or delete a segment. The way I see it, my blog is still very new and the only way I’ll cement a long term structure for it is by trying new ideas on writing consistently. Of course, not all of my writings will fall under these segments. However, having recurring segments should make reading about these topics a bit more interesting.

Winter is coming, and interesting stories are on their way.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”
-Maya Angelou

Journey to Symmetry


Asymmetric Information is the economic theory (developed by George Akerlof, Michael Spence, and Joseph Stiglitz) which states that in transactions, when one party has superior information than the other, an imbalance of power is created, which can eventually lead to market failures.

This condition is apparent in many instances throughout society. It occurs when you’re unsure about the quality of a used item on Craigslist or when an insurance company decides to insure an individual but is unable to determine what medical conditions he/she really has.

However, I think the most important instance of asymmetric information is the way our world runs. Everyday, crucial economic, financial, and political decisions are made all around the world and because of how integrated our world has become in this age of rapid globalization, all of those decisions end up affecting our lives in many ways. The interest rates on our college loans, the price we pay to fill up our car with gas, and the amount of money taken away from our paycheck for taxes are just a few examples of things that are decided by a few people in different corners of the globe but that have an impact on our everyday lives. These decision makers have an immense amount of knowledge on these issues while many of us idly accept the fact that we will never understand them, thus leading to asymmetric information. This is one of the reasons why most of the world’s wealth is owned by 1% of the world’s population. If more of us were more educated and informed regarding these issues, not only would we learn more about the world around us, but we would also make better decisions in our lives.

The main two reasons why the average person doesn’t take it upon himself to engage himself in this material is that he/she is either uninterested or unable to learn. This is where I come in. I’m just a 23 year old college graduate and thus I don’t claim to be a guru in all political and financial issues. However, I have studied them extensively for the last 5 years and I regularly follow these events on a daily basis. I decided to start this blog so as to help others become more educated and well-versed regarding political, financial, and technological subjects and events. After explaining the content I discuss in my writings, I will end my articles with my own opinion regarding the issues. That way, I will attempt to separate the facts from my own opinions. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to contribute. But please keep it clean. If you would like to contribute an article, please email me your writing at I’m always glad to have contributors join me on this blog. With easy to understand explanations, links to educational sites, visual aids, and with a sensible dose of humor and wit, I believe I can do my small part in attempting to overturn the status-quo, and end information asymmetry.

“We make the rules pal. The news, war, peace, famine and upheaval, the price of a paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of a hat and everyone else sits out there wondering how the hell we did it.”

-Gordon Gekko