Charles Assisi
Articles by Charles Assisi

First Principles | AI and humans, well met

From writing political commentary to creating art, AI interventions have some interesting things to offer. And since its code is created by us humans, AI is – like we are — biased.

AI has now begun to make pretty good attempts to write political commentary (among other things) as well. (Thinkstock)
Updated on Sep 17, 2022 12:49 PM IST

AI and humans, well met

Once upon a time, writing political commentary, or creating art, for that matter, was a domain only humans could straddle

AI(Artificial Intelligence) and Financial Technology. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Sep 17, 2022 12:52 AM IST

Let life also be an Etch A Sketch, says Charles Assisi

We tend to view the sum of our major decisions as a carefully woven tapestry, but introducing disruption can be a vital step — away from future regret and towards new dreams.

In the film Wreck-It Ralph (2012), a videogame villain realises there are other lives he could lead, and breaks out of his game to find a place for himself in another game world.
Updated on Sep 10, 2022 08:55 PM IST

First Principles | Middle age may be the best time to get into business

The blame for creating a popular but untrue narrative that firms founded by young people are more likely to get funded lies at the door of firms in Silicon Valley that propped up poster boys such as Zuckerberg, Gates, and Jobs.

The times we live in, funds will chase those who present the highest potential to offer returns. It may be a matter of time before new narratives dominate the headlines — of older entrepreneurs taking charge. (Shutterstock)
Published on Sep 09, 2022 04:31 PM IST

Middle age may be the best time to get into business, and here’s why

Venture capital firms are tightening their belts

HT Image
Published on Sep 09, 2022 01:09 AM IST

The Chinese marketing whiz who controls India’s cellphone market

It is tempting to assume Indian consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to mobile phones, and that the marketplace is brutally competitive

Young woman using cell phone to send text message on social network at night. Closeup of hands with computer laptop in background (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Sep 03, 2022 01:02 AM IST

When a priest and an atheist sat down to dinner: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

No matter how high the stakes, or how much of a flashpoint an issue may be, all it takes for civil discourse is intelligence and honesty.

Anglican priest Richard Coles (above) and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins met recently as part of The Guardian’s Dine across the Divide series. One is committed to the Church, the other to atheism. But their chat was respectful, and riveting. (Photo:
Updated on Aug 27, 2022 04:15 PM IST

Why IRCTC was selling passenger data

Conversations with people at the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeITY) suggest much is going on in the background.

Massive crowd of commuters waiting on the platform (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Published on Aug 27, 2022 01:02 AM IST

First Principles | Why IRCTC is selling passenger data

Conversations with people at the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology suggest much is going on in the background.

Hypothetically, if IRCTC’s database is used by an entity to refine its model, then the monies paid to IRCTC must be distributed among the people whose data it touched as well. (Twitter)
Published on Aug 26, 2022 10:25 AM IST

A leaf out of history to understand Cryptos

Cryptocurrencies were first thought up as an act of defiance against the establishment that include banks and governments the world over

Published on Aug 20, 2022 12:41 AM IST
ByCharles Assisi

The good news about bad news: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

In medicine, as in other fields, even the best make mistakes and are prone to human error. In life-altering moments, trust but verify.

Medical dramas such as House MD focus on how often doctors who rely on averages get it wrong with outliers. And how second opinions lead to second chances.
Updated on Jul 30, 2022 03:44 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Making a case for #SquadGoals: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

Surround yourself with people who know things you don’t, and who live lives different from yours. They can be your personal advisory board.

In the show Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope’s motley crew helps her win a city council election.
Updated on Jul 16, 2022 07:29 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

The anchor, the leash and the apron strings: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

I believe teens on the internet need to start out on training wheels. How far may they roam? How closely can I follow? Lessons from recent thought experiments on freedom vs control.

The Dunphys on the show Modern Family often struggle to balance how much freedom and responsibility each of their three children can handle.
Updated on Jul 02, 2022 06:42 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

It’s getting harder to live in the now, says Charles Assisi

Life Hacks: In a system designed for infinite growth, there is no room for pause. But we must defiantly buck this trend, if we are to make the most of our brief and fleeting time here.

Much of today’s clamour, online and offline, comes from advertisements and commodified content. That’s a vital clue, for those seeking respite. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jun 18, 2022 08:18 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

The cursed lives of the super-rich: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

Wealth, they say, typically lasts three generations. One creates it, the next grows it. The third squanders it. Can one break this spell?

The Roses in the TV comedy Schitt’s Creek struggle to survive after losing all their wealth. The way the parents and their cushioned kids cope is markedly different.
Updated on Jun 03, 2022 08:40 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

A half-century isn’t a bad score: Charles Assisi on turning 50

In this week’s Life Hacks: Fifty doesn’t seem as old as it once did. But it’s as good a time as any to take stock, of goals and relationships, friends and ways forward.

This is an age at which parenting gets tougher. Marriage can take more work too. It’s a good time to look around and ask whether all the energy spent clambering up the ladder is quite worth the things one risks losing sight of. (Shutterstock)
Updated on May 20, 2022 05:13 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Where ‘they’ ends and ‘we’ begins: Charles Assisi on AI

An artificial-intelligence-driven future is now a given. Why not embrace programs that write, paint, create? They free us up to do more in our short lives.

Real and virtual merge in the plot of the 2013 film Her, in which Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his AI operating system. Here, he plays an immersive video game in this near-future world.
Updated on May 07, 2022 02:18 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

An Elon Musk-run Twitter? I’d log out: Charles Assisi, in this week's Life Hacks

‘I’m a fan of the man. He dreams big and works hard to realise those dreams. But even an outlier ought to recognise capacity for harm.’

‘Twitter is already a dangerous space,’ Assisi says. ‘In the hands of Musk, a wealthy man with a history of wild ideas, there is no knowing how it might mutate further.’ (Getty Images)
Updated on Apr 22, 2022 02:58 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

How is one to keep up with it all? Charles Assisi offers tips in Life Hacks

In a world that won’t stop changing, the easiest tool to deploy is denial. But that won’t keep the sum total of human knowledge from doubling every 12 hours; or keep you from falling behind. Instead, Assisi says, take cues from professions such as medicine, and learn to keep up without being overwhelmed.

The familiar is being reinvented all the time. Colin Farrell in the 2012 remake of Total Recall, a 1990 sci-fi film that originally starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Updated on Apr 09, 2022 07:07 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Regret can also shape a healthy way forward: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

What do you fear most? What tragedies can you prevent? The most enlightening answers can come from one’s own and others’ regrets.

A still from the 2015 film Inside Out. It can get crowded inside one’s head. And even tranquillity can cause a kind of regret, Assisi says. (Disney / Pixar)
Updated on Mar 26, 2022 05:40 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

The work-from-where conundrum: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

The answers we frame today will be shaped by changing definitions of work, and will reflect how we view ourselves and the role of work in our lives.

‘It can’t be a return to the old. The work cultures of the post-pandemic world will need to be pieced together like a jigsaw, acknowledging changes that can and should remain,’ Assisi says. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Mar 12, 2022 04:42 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Putting life on the record: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

We can use data from our own experiences to improve our relationship with failure. As a first step, start with a thought dump

When you’re presented with data about yourself, it becomes much easier to course-correct and create a good safety record. It raises the question: Would it be possible to create a Black Box for one’s own life? (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 25, 2022 10:53 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

NFTs are about to change our world: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

The digital-only asset format has the potential to upend concepts of art, business, ownership; to dramatically alter how we live, work, trade.

Digital artist Beeple’s NFT, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, which sold for $69 million via auction house Christie’s in March 2021.
Updated on Feb 12, 2022 06:22 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

The workweek is up for a shift change: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

As more people begin to ask what they want from life, and why they work, a four-day week could incentivise working smarter and harder.

Is it the end of the age of the toiling drone? As the world of work is transformed in the pandemic, it is time to revisit the idea of a shorter week. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 28, 2022 02:52 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Our kids deserve a better pandemic-era lesson plan: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

We should have worked out a way to reopen schools by now. A class is a working model of the real world. There is simply no substitute.

Will they have lost before they’ve begun? As our children stay out of school coming up on two years, it’s no longer about socialisation and soft skills. It’s about their very future. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 09:15 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Resolve to log out, slow down in 2022: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

Most of us have developed bonds with our devices that are toxic, bordering on addiction. Let this be the year we step back from the idea that we must be connected all the time and everywhere.

Intense focus on the virtual world can tip things over, hurting us and the relationships in our lives that really matter. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 01, 2022 02:36 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Seeing stars: Charles Assisi on the murky world of fake reviews

Vendors and writers use technology to dupe consumers. See how you can use technology to hit back too.

Updated on Dec 18, 2021 06:34 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

What is the price of your attention? Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

This is a finite and precious resource, and yet we give hours of it away every day. Start thinking about what you’re getting in return.

One question to ask when scrolling endlessly is: Would I pay for this content? If you would not pay for it in money, why pay so much for it in time? (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 04, 2021 02:51 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Planning for the future, sight unseen: Life Hacks by Charles Assisi

One can worry about all that’s likely to change. But it is often more helpful to focus on what won’t change, and build capabilities to suit.

You can’t tell what turbulence might hit the seas one sails. But some things will work to make any voyage smoother, things such as a focused mind in a healthy body. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 20, 2021 01:03 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi

Seeking success? It might take a bit more selfishness, says Charles Assisi

Much of ‘making it’ is about how far one is willing to go, the price one is willing to pay. What is your optimum selfishness point?

Wanda, struggling with grief and loss, ends up holding a town hostage so she can have the life she wants, in WandaVision. You needn’t go that far, but periodic spells of hyper focus do help boost any career. The trick is finding a sustainable way to make that happen.
Updated on Nov 05, 2021 10:41 PM IST
ByCharles Assisi
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