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Charles Assisi
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When our loved ones come of age: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

As our lives intersect less and less with our ageing parents, the worst thing we can do is take away their agency. Let them lead the way.

The 2017 film Victoria and Abdul explores the relationship between an ageing queen and her Indian Muslim Urdu teacher.
Updated on Jun 07, 2024 10:05 PM IST

The challenges of Big Data

The power of Big Data in elections is not confined to India, in the US, the 2012 Obama campaign famously used Big Data to revolutionize political campaigning

 (Representative Photo)
Updated on Jun 10, 2024 10:35 AM IST

Why the Indian consumer is wary of eKYC

Last year, close to 63 billion eKYCs were done globally and the cost of acquiring a customer fell by 99% in many places

Financial institutions are mandated to adopt KYC so that they are not misused for illicit activities such as money laundering and terror financing.
Updated on Jun 01, 2024 08:24 AM IST

Life after 50: A coming-of-middle-age story, in this week’s Life Hacks

At this age, one meets new realities and new kinds of fears. Used right, it can be a time of wake-up calls, and of simply growing wiser.

Manhood (1840), from the Voyage of Life series by Thomas Cole. What are the rapids that most threaten your peace and serenity? Middle-age is a time to figure that out. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on May 25, 2024 02:56 PM IST

A voice-note to self

WhatsApp users send about 140 billion messages every day, of which seven billion are now voice notes

India has over 535.8 million WhatsApp users (Representative Photo)
Updated on May 24, 2024 05:38 PM IST

Is kiddie ban on social media feasible?

Last month, the state of South Australia started pushing for a ban on access to social media for children under 14. Teenagers between 14 to 15 will need parental consent

India, South Korea and Japan social media usage has shot through the roof (Representative Photo)
Published on May 17, 2024 06:06 PM IST

The man who knew too little: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

Don’t aim to have an opinion on everything. There is merit to high-agency ignorance. For one thing,it frees you up to prioritise depth of knowledge over breadth

How does AI visualise the informational chaos to which it is contributing? Above, a representation of a time of confusion and uncertainty, created by generative AI. (Adobe Stock)
Updated on May 11, 2024 03:28 PM IST

Apple’s new creative does the job by going too far

The epitome of Apple’s groundbreaking advertising strategy is encapsulated in the “1984” commercial, which introduced the Apple Macintosh

Apple (Representative Photo)
Published on May 10, 2024 04:24 PM IST

What we owe each other, and ourselves: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

Every action holds within it an ethical choice. The choices may seem inconsequential, but they add up to shape us, our communities, and our world.

Man, Controller of the Universe (1934) by Diego Rivera; a depiction of a turbulent world in which one must constantly steer between right and wrong. (Google Arts & Culture)
Updated on Apr 27, 2024 04:03 PM IST

Why market for plant-based meat is imploding

The high price point of these alternatives has proven to be the Achilles heel. Consumers are often unwilling to pay a hefty premium for a plant-based burger

Plant-based meat could cater to meat-eaters concerned about animal welfare and environmental impact, without forcing them to completely give up meat. Unlike plant-based alternatives, synthetic meat could potentially replicate the taste and texture of real meat more closely, offering a more familiar and appealing option for consumers. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 27, 2024 09:38 AM IST

It may be the buzz word but does AI funding need a sober approach?

The key turning point came with the emergence of machine learning, a subfield of AI that allows algorithms to “learn” from data without explicit programming

For representational purposes only. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Apr 19, 2024 04:50 PM IST

The timeless dance of opposites: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

We must make room for ambiguity and doubt, particularly in times of blusterous certainty. No civilisation has ever benefited from assuming a monopoly on truth.

A Nativity scene on the facade of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Accompanying my wife Anna on her spiritual treks, even as an atheist, I have found beauty in the music, heritage and architecture associated with her faith. (Adobe Stock)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 02:18 PM IST

Space tech: Can India breach new frontiers?

The only other country that can match or beat the costs India offers in space tech is China, but the geopolitical situation is such that the world does not trust China

The burgeoning private space sector in India tells a story of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. (Representative file photo)
Published on Apr 12, 2024 04:38 PM IST

New names in big tech groups

On his part, O’Rourke argues the world has changed significantly and it’s time to shift focus. By way of example, a school of thought in Silicon Valley argues that Nvidia and Meta, now called the ‘Terrific Two’, will define the future

As for the Tim Cook-helmed Apple, it is under regulatory scrutiny in the US and other parts of the world for misusing its position as a dominant player. (AFP)
Updated on Apr 06, 2024 07:58 AM IST

The secret lives of Renaissance souls: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

Defy expectation and definition, and one can begin to change the world. It’s not an easy role to assume, but it has always been a vital one.

How should one navigate knowledge? This is an abiding question. In the Renaissance fresco School of Athens by Raphael (1483-1520), Plato and Aristotle at the centre represent opposing views. Aristotle points downward; the grounded world of experience matters most. The elder Plato points to the sky. It is ideas above all.
Updated on Mar 29, 2024 04:12 PM IST

They are playing their own tune: Charles Assisi on Gen Z

Gen Z is criticised for being hyper-consumers who opt to fit in rather than rebel, but they're often simply trying to make the most of the world they inherited.

At a Taylor Swift concert in Australia. Through music and lyrics, fandom and TikTok, this generation has found new ways to mobilise, protest, reframe narratives. (Getty Images)
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 08:01 PM IST

India needs the ‘fabs’ for its own long-term interest

India's plan to set up a semiconductor plant faces criticism as it may produce outdated technology. However, starting with established tech is seen as a necessary step before tackling high-performance models. The country could focus on becoming a chip designing hub instead.

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Updated on Mar 16, 2024 07:34 AM IST

Crypto’s wild ride and should you be on it?

Cryptocurrencies, led by Bitcoin and Ethereum, are on a bull run. High net worth individuals are investing, while retail investors can now buy Spot Bitcoin ETFs in India. Ethereum aims to be a global computer and banking system, with upcoming upgrades to improve scalability. Critics warn of risks in the volatile market.

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Updated on Mar 09, 2024 09:04 AM IST

Crypto’s wild ride and should you be on it?

Ethereum is a massive, global network of computers (nodes) that can run software applications in a decentralized way

Bitcoin cryptocurrency (Representative Photoi)
Published on Mar 08, 2024 05:04 PM IST

Know reservations: It’s okay to not have the right answer, says Charles Assisi

Check out a tale about Nobel laureate Max Planck and his driver, that offers lessons on faking smarts and admitting ignorance, in this week’s Life Hacks.

In the TV series The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper is a know-it-all physicist. When he doesn’t have the right answer, he’s rarely able to admit it. Instead, his face twitches, he mumbles and finds himself befuddled. Saying ‘I don’t know’ takes courage.
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 05:38 PM IST

The inevitable woes of Vijay Shekhar Sharma

If Sharma had his way, this isn’t how things would have gone. But the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had enough and there was only so much it was willing to tolerate. And Sharma had pushed the boundaries so far such that it could cripple India’s financial ecosystem

 (Bloomberg)
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 08:04 AM IST

What is it that drives us to create: Charles Assisi asks, in Life Hacks

Joy, self-discovery, exploration are obvious answers. In a world of readymade oblivion, endless ease, the creative act is also a necessary gesture of defiance.

Graffiti at the open-air East Side Gallery in Berlin. It takes courage, and a commitment to deeper truths, to step away from our consumption economy and say: there is more. (Adobe Stock)
Updated on Feb 17, 2024 04:21 PM IST

Best book recommendations, and Why humans score over ChatGPT

There were many overlaps as well. Ram Chandra Guha’s India after Gandhi made it to all the lists along with P Sainath’s Everybody loves a good drought and Amartya Sen’s “The argumentative Indian”. There was a surprise as well—Suketu Mehta’s “This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto” that ChatGPT put out

Best book recommendations, and Why humans score over ChatGPT
Updated on Feb 10, 2024 07:34 AM IST

Best book recommendations; and why humans score over ChatGPT

Ram Chandra Guha’s India after Gandhi made it to all the lists along with P Sainath’s Everybody Loves a Good Drought

Author Sukety Mehta’s acclaimed book, This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto. (Amazon)
Published on Feb 09, 2024 05:49 PM IST

Inside job: Charles Assisi offers tips on how to bid on a better you

It can help to think of oneself as an investment being vetted by a PE firm, he says. Just don’t forget to add well-being and happiness to the profit metrics too

Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt; 1909. When weighing losses and profits and charting a path forward, be sure to account for rest, creativity and for simply being human. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 03:23 PM IST

The PayTM story is still unfinished business

From a business perspective, “what defensible moat did PayTM build over the last few years?” asks Krishna Jha, an investor and technology entrepreneur. By way of examples, Naykaa caught the imagination of young people looking for beauty products

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chairman of One97 Communications Ltd., operator of Paytm, in Noida, India, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. Paytm plans to revamp its online wealth management services and hire more than 50,000 salespeople to get more merchants on its network, aiming to hit profitability sooner than targeted. Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 08:40 AM IST

In ‘No’ man’s land, there’s time to rest: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

In our culture of glorified busyness, saying no can feel like a personal affront, or failure. Learn the skill anyway. You deserve the benefits of it.

Starlight, in The Boys, is a fictional superhero, and even she has trouble saying no. A key battle she fights, early on, is over the absurd skimpiness of her costume. A lot changes, including the costume, once she finds her voice in the plot.
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 11:07 PM IST

On the Internet of Things, only an iota of progress

The Internet of Things (IoT) has not lived up to its hype, according to a technology veteran. While IoT devices exist, they lack interoperability, making it difficult for them to work together. However, there are still opportunities for IoT in sectors such as agriculture, where smart sensors and artificial intelligence can improve efficiency and productivity.

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Updated on Jan 20, 2024 08:34 AM IST

Fake news, AI, and the worries ahead

Jency Jacob, Managing Editor of BoomLive and his team work to investigate fake news that spreads via the internet and social media

Artificial Intelligence
Updated on Jan 14, 2024 05:26 PM IST

First orient, then express: Charles Assisi, on the ethics of everyday choices

We pay scant attention to our many, little daily decisions, yet they shape our lives, our world. Start with the awareness that each choice has a moral dimension

Any major turning point is made up of scores of littler ones. A still from Oppenheimer (2023), a story of science and war; and of human frailty, vanity and regret.
Updated on Jan 06, 2024 07:29 PM IST
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