It’s time to give up all beliefs and rely only on what can be perceived

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

(Click here to bypass paywall and read this post)

I have recently been hearing a lot of parents complaining about kids and social media addiction. Some of these kids have totally lost the plot, and can’t keep even the most basic routines and schedules. They stay awake all night glued to their gadgets, fall asleep during their Zoom classes and mess up their studies, eat meals at odd hours, and generally display a complete lack of discipline. This has been exacerbated by being Covid-era, stuck-at-home kids. …


The world must insist on transparency on China’s use of forced labor

Courtesy Twitter

(Click here to bypass paywall and read this post)

In May 2020, the Chinese and Indian armies clashed on the Ladakh border and 20 Indian soldiers were killed. In the resulting anti-China patriotic fervor, Indians began boycotting all Chinese products. The Indian government even banned hundreds of Chinese apps including popular ones like Tiktok. These apps were collecting data on Indians and sending them to China, which obviously was a big no-no as we were on the brink of war with them.

Make in India VS Make in China

Boycotting Chinese was fine. But the problem was Indian products weren’t just good enough or simply didn’t exist…


It was all about weighing the pros and cons

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

(Click here to bypass paywall and read this post)

In the last decade, the Indian healthcare industry has turned into a blood-sucking business, almost totally devoid of ethics. This is why I generally avoid visiting hospitals unless it’s a serious infection or a critical illness.

Anyway, the second wave of Covid has just hit India and the infection rates look like they may exceed the first wave. Meanwhile, the Indian government has begun its Covid vaccination drive. My mother who is in the eligible age group felt it’s better to get it done with the Covid flare-up. As for my…


A look at how fake news is trying to rewrite the narrative in India

What’s not being said is as important as what’s being said (Photo by Sasith Mawananehewa from Pexels)

(Click here to bypass paywall and read this post)

So I was having this chat with my daughter and she tells me India is a mess. I say what? She wants to know if I have seen Greta Thunberg’s tweet about the farmers’ protests in Delhi. And if I was aware that CAA (India’s Citizen Amendment Act) had driven people crazy and localities were burnt down.

This conversation drove home to me how wide the gap between fact and fiction has become since the fake news phenomenon hit us. My daughter is a bright kid but if she’s unable to…


Dissecting a fake news article to learn what makes it tick

70 years old and still climbing strong (Photo @babulous )

(Click here to bypass paywall and read this post)

This is a companion piece to my ‘To spot fake news…’ post that reference the CAA and the Farm Bills, two new legislations in India that have generated a lot of heated commentary. One of the reasons for this brouhaha is there’s a lot of fake news muddying up the waters. So I thought it might be fun to dissect one of these fake news articles to understand how it works.

Anyway, one of the provisions in the Farm Bills gives farmers the freedom to sell anywhere, and bypass the middleman…


Our tendency to believe what we want to believe is what gives life to fake news

Are our biases letting us make fools of ourselves? (Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pexels) CC

(Click here to bypass paywall and read this post)

These days, ‘confirmation bias’ is beginning to trend. People are catching on to how politicians and their ilk are deliberately using this psychological ploy to manipulate our minds to believe what they want us to believe.

This post is my analysis of how ‘confirmation bias’ evolved from a belief of an individual to a belief shared by millions, and is the foundation of fake news.

My first encounter with confirmation bias

This happened in India’s pre-internet era, and it nearly saw me go under the knife.

I was a fitness freak in those days but had suddenly…


It’s time for VPNs to be a mandatory part of an ISP’s service

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

Yesterday, my bank asked me to update something in my account. As I was doing this, a ‘Windows Security’ update popped up at the center of my screen. I was about to click ok when my natural streak of curiosity pushed me to check what the update was about. To my surprise, it was for a VPN.


Instead of being taken for a ride by the CCP, Google should create a YouTube China for all videos uploaded from China

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

China’s CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has figured out how to cripple the freedom of speech of the free world using a simple but blatant tactic of double standards. This is deeply ingrained into the CCP’s DNA. It won’t allow Western apps like Instagram in China but protests loudly when India bans Chinese apps like TikTok. It won’t allow Westerners to even visit Chinese universities but acts pained when asked to remove its politically active Confucius Institutes from Western universities.

Coming back, outsiders are not allowed to create content for China’s internet as the CCP doesn’t believe in freedom of speech…


My friend lost ₹87,000 in a scam that’s still happening openly

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

(Click here if you are blocked from reading this story by the Medium Paywall)

Although most Indians have become aware of online scams, the scam industry continues to flourish in India. Recently, one of my friends got scammed while shopping online. I haven’t asked him (let’s call him X) for all the details, like what product or brand he purchased. I don’t think that is as relevant as understanding how scams work, why cops find it hard to catch these scammers, and what we need to do to stay safe.

Let’s start with X. His misfortune began with an ad…


Requesting the Indian government to break WhatsApp’s unhealthy monopoly in messaging in India, which is now headed to dangerous waters with Facebook’s plan to sell the data of unsuspecting WhatsApp users to corporates

Friend link to view post if blocked by Medium paywall

The recent move by Facebook to access WhatsApp user data and sell it to corporates has raised the hackles of privacy advocates all over the world. This has led to Signal, a competing messenger app that protects user privacy, becoming the top downloaded app in the Apple and Google app stores.

Europe says no to data sharing

Facebook is not trying this stunt in Europe which has been unequivocal about not putting up with such nonsense. So why should the Indian Government allow Facebook to get away with it in India?

Monopolizing messaging in India

WhatsApp currently has 400 million…

babulous

it’s an odd world

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store