Free Speech

by Yash 0 Comments

Freedom of speech is the right to articulate your opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.

Free speech gives you the right to say whatever you want. However it does not mean people have to listen to it, let alone agree to it.

If you own a communication medium, a platform then you do not necessarily have to give space to anyone who wants to express their opinion.

If you own a newspaper and you refuse to carry my article that does not take away my right to free speech.

But if I write my article on my blog or on a website I own and you ask the government to block the access to my website, that does attack my right to free speech.

In simpler terms, I can print my opinions on a pamphlet and distribute it outside a railway station. That is free speech. If you don’t take the pamphlet, or take it and throw it away or wipe your nose with it, it does not affect my right to free speech.

So I can write a book, give a speech, write a poem, make a movie, draw a cartoon about whatever I want to convey. That is my freedom of expression. You DO NOT HAVE to read it, listen to it or watch it.

However there is a difference between free speech and hate speech. If you espouse hatred through your speeches, you can be prosecuted.

Here are some examples of free speech vs hate speech

I am a proud Hindu – Free speech
All Muslims are terrorists – Hate speech

Kejriwal is an idiot – Free speech
Kejriwal is a traitor, send him to Pakistan – Hate speech

Barkha Dutt is disgusting – Free speech
Someone should rape Barkha – Hate speech

There is no god – Free speech
Let’s burn all the churches – Hate speech

Identifying hate speech is just a matter of plain old commonsense. If you encourage violence through your speech it is hate speech. If you target a person or a group of people based on their race, colour, caste, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or any other criteria and your intention is to cause them harm – it is hate speech.

It’s as simple as that. Everybody is free to say anything as long they don’t intend harm to anyone. You don’t have to listen what they are saying, you don’t have to agree to what they are saying and you don’t have to provide them a platform either.

The business of taking offence

by Yash 0 Comments

We Indians are imbecile, immature, thin-skinned and just plain stupid. We take offence to anything and everything. Getting butt hurt over tiniest of issues is India’s national pastime. In House of Cards the producers can use the names of Republican and Democratic parties and no one bats an eyelid. If a political drama was to be made in India I doubt if anyone will dare use names of BJP and Congress. Here Shahrukh Khan had to drop “barber” from his film’s title, Maharashtrian Brahmins are unhappy with Sairat, Teli ka tel was replaced with Dilli ka tel in the song because the telis had an issue with it! Some or the other group in India has an issue with a movie, a book, a play, a song or some other form of art. And the creators often have to bend to the whims and fancies of such loonies.

Indias are just waiting to get offended. People even take offence to things that didn’t even involve them – like a bunch of celebrities getting together and abusing each other in front of a paying audience! And courts too are too eager to muzzle any voice which hurts the wafer thin sentiments of jobless jerks. Free speech inherently comes with the right to offend. Every joke is offensive. Whenever we laugh, we are making fun of somebody’s illogical actions or somebody’s misfortune. And the remedy to getting offended is very simple! Don’t watch the movie that offends you! Don’t read that blasphemous book! Don’t listen to the hurtful song! Just don’t participate in the activity which rankles your sensitive ass, instead of being an asshole!

We have startup India, clean up India. It’s time we also get Grow up India.

Nexus 6P

by Yash 0 Comments

Nexus6p

It’s time for a new phone and it is Nexus 6P. After Nexus S and Nexus 5 this is my third Nexus. It’s bigger and better. Got a 32 GB version in silver. I really wanted to get the gold one but it was disappearing from everywhere (today it is back in stock on Flipkart) and at 40K it was more than I was willing to pay.

Specs are stellar, phone is gorgeous, the fingerprint sensor is blazing fast, camera seems to be fine, screen is super sharp owing to the Quad HD display. Got it for Rs. 33,480 after 7% discount from ebay. Not a bad deal I reckon.

Nexus all the way.

Kids prefer logical explanations

by Yash 0 Comments

When my 4 year old daughter demands something which I think she does not need, she acts like a typical child. Being stubborn. If i refuse her without giving a reason when will continue her demand, but if I give her a logical explanation she will stop.

One day at a mall she asked for one of those air filled plastic balloons which come in various shapes and sizes. The balloons are sold on the road side for 20-30 rupees, in the mall it’s 150. She asked and I said no. She kept at it, so I explained it to her – look this uncle here will take a lot more money from us for this balloon. The same balloon can be bought outside of this mall for far less money. We can actually buy 5 of these from there. She understood. She has never asked for the balloon at the mall since then. Whenever we pass the balloon shop in the mall, she reminds us that we have to buy it from the vendor outside.

She clearly understood that the balloon sold in the mall wasn’t worth it. If I had just said no without explaining why I am saying no she wouldn’t. I hope it would have also instilled a little sense of value of money in her tiny brain.

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Last week me and Yaashi went to watch The Jungle Book. My wife had gone to attend a seminar.

Yaashi (while we were leaving): “Let’s pickup mom as well”
Me: “We can’t. She’s at the office.”
Yaashi: “Why is mom at office today? It’s Saturday!”
Me: “Well, she had some work”

Her office is on the way to the cinema hall, as son as we passed it Yaashi said, “Stop, let’s pick up mom”
Me: “Mom is not here, she is at another office”
Yaashi: “So let’s go there”
Me: “We can’t go there.”
Yaashi: “Why?”
Me: “Mom has gone to attend a seminar on international taxation, if we go there we will not understand anything”
Yaashi: “OK”

That was it. We went for the movie and enjoyed it. I am sure Yaashi had no clue where and why did her mom go, but she surely got some idea that whatever it was, it was clearly not for me and her.

So I think kids demand logical explanation. Why can’t I wear this dress today? Why do I have to brush my teeth? Why should I share my food/toys? Why I should not hit other kids? Why should I not waste food. If you try to be dictatorial with them – they won’t listen! They’ll rebel. If you tell them the reason – it doesn’t matter if they are too young to grasp it fully – they will understand.

What has been your experience with your kids?

The problem with prayer

by Yash 0 Comments

Assumption 1: Some god/gods exists and he created the universe.
Assumption 2: That god is omnipotent. He can do anything.
Assumption 3: That god is omniscient. He knows everything – past, present and future.

So a god created humans and he knows what each of them is going to do. So if a human kills another human, god knew it all beforehand. Since the god is all powerful it must that’s how he wanted things to go. So essentially we humans are just characters acting according to a script – for god’s entertainment presumably. So what’s the point of praying? If everything is predefined, how is your praying going to change it? And you think the god will just change the script because you request him to do so? And since god is omniscient he ought to know you were going to pray for it. Well then it means the act of prayer itself is scripted! So the god puts you in a tight situation, makes you pray to himself and then bails you out – all according to a well crafted plan.

Looks like this god dude was getting bored, so he created a world full of creates who would endlessly go on praising and praying to him – just to massage his ego! Classic example of a narcissist psychopath who likes to surround himself with an army of sycophants.

So if you believe assumption 1 above to be true, just think of what and whom you are praying to.

Intelligence and grammar

by Yash 0 Comments

For last many years I have been using an online logical reasoning test to recruit programmers. I see a lot of candidates writing their names with proper capitalization and many others who don’t care about capitalization, signifying poor grammar. I was curious to see if there was a correlation between the scores and proper capitalization of the name. The test has 10 questions and scores range from 0 to 10. I mapped the scores with the percentage of candidates who have written their name with proper capitalization.

Yash Gadhiya is proper capitalization. yash gadhiya or YASH GADHIYA is not.

Here are the findings

10    100%
9    100%
8    78%
7    77%
6    75%
5    81%
4    80%
3    77%
2    56%
1    54%
0    All – 73%, test completed – 61%

Everyone who managed to score 9 or 10 had written their names properly. There was a fair amount of consistency between scores of 8-3. Only at scores 2 and 1 did the percentage dip around 50%.

0 is an interesting case where the numbers are in live with higher scores. But it also includes candidates who have abandoned the test. If I take into consideration candidates who had submitted the test then the ratio is 61%.

So apparently there is some correlation between logical and analytical skills and grammar. However it does not mean everyone with higher intelligence has proper grammar and those who don’t care about grammar are idiots. But if I was comparing two candidates who have similar scores and similar educational background, then I would rate the one with better grammar a tad higher than the one who doesn’t care about proper capitalization of his/her name.

Starting a new innings

by Yash 0 Comments

I am hanging up my entrepreneur boots (for now) and beginning a new phase of my career. I have joined Schoolguru Eduserve as their VP of technology. SchoolGuru partners with leading universities and provides end to end online learning solutions.
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I have run Uconomix for 10+ years and I have spent 13 years in the  building software applications for various platforms. Building software is my passion. I love it. I did that at Uconomix but my last idea PhotoKeeper did not take off. So I think it is time for me to take break from the rigors of entrepreneurship and utilise my skills at another organisation and luckily I found an opportunity at Schoolguru.

A new journey begins.

PhotoKeeper is dead

by Yash 0 Comments

PhotoKeeper has been shut down. One and a half years of labour gone waste. Just 3 months into the launch. 12000 visitors to the site in the last 3 months, 300 signups, 12 paying subscribers. Visitors to subscribers ratio of 0.1%. That is not sustainable.

A had a captive target market of photographers who were already using my watermarking product uMark. More than 100000 email ids at launch. Don’t assume if you have a target audience they will still want your product. Do they really have a problem that you are solving? Even if they have the problem is your product really the one that solves it? When even photography blogs don’t bother covering your product despite repeated attempts you know you have created a product nobody wants.

Above all do you have money to carry on for a long period if your initial assumptions do not work out? If not do you have connections to raise funds? If you have neither don’t bother.

The joys and sorrows of being an entrepreneur!

Snapcast.in – share photos on multiple platforms at once

Snapcast.in – share photos on multiple platforms at once

We have just launched a new product – Snapcast.in. It is a web app to post photos on multiple platforms at once. Right now it can post photos on Facebook, Twitter, 500px and Flickr. What is special about Snapcast.in is that you can select platform specific properties for photos while posting them. So you can set keywords which will be used by 500px and Flickr and select a category for 500px. you can connect a Facebook profile, a Facebook page, a Twitter, 500px account and Flickr accounts. Once you have connected your various social profiles with Snapcast,in you can select up to 10 photos and post them at once on the selected platforms.

snapcast-post

The idea came to my mind for during my 365 project. Initially when I started the 365 project I used to go to each site manually and post my photo there. But doing that every day became cumbersome so eventually I stopped posting on other sites and was posting only on Facebook. Existing tools like Buffer do not have option of posting on 500px and Flickr.

Check out Snapcast.in

Modi, RSS and secularism

by Yash
Modi, RSS and secularism

Narendra Modi on his tour of Ireland saw children reciting Sanskrit shlokas and he had this to say – “Irish children here sang Sanskrit Shlokas to welcome me… In India, this would have raised questions about secularism”.

This is not the first time. Earlier too he had berated secularism during his tour to Japan. I am sure this is not the last time either.

What Modi is implying here is that seculars of India hate Hindus and they are against anything related to Hinduism. He is not alone in having such a myopic view of secularism. It’s an idea of the RSS. Modi being sanghi to the core is just rattling off what he has been taught.

In the west secularism means separation of church and state. That the government be separate from the religion and government has to be neutral in the matters of religion. In India though secularism has a slightly different meaning – the state is not completely indifferent to religion. India has different personal laws that apply to citizens based on their religion (something that creates a problem for us atheists). Indian secularism means giving equal space to each religion. Indian constitution treats all religions equally vs giving special treatment to one specific religion. That is where RSS has an issue with secularism.

RSS wants a Hindu Rashtra. A nation of Hindus, for Hindus, by Hindus. In 1947 Muslim League got its Pakistan, but RSS could not get its Hindu Rashtra. Instead what it got was a secular government headed by an atheist Nehru. RSS hates Nehru to the core to this day. However Nehru wasn’t the only secular in India. Majority of Indians are seculars. Live and let live is the mantra of majority of the Indians. That is another thing that RSS is not able to digest.

Hindutva is the guiding principal of RSS and their raison d’être. But RSS knows fully well they cannot win elections in the name of Hindutva. So they have to pay token lip service to secularism and ask for votes in the name of development and achchhe din. But in reality they hate secularism. They cannot see other religions being treated equally. They perceive any steps taken for betterment of religious minorities as anti-Hindu and try to paint it as such.

It’s a strategy of the Sangh to declare anyone who does not subscribe to their narrow ideology as being anti-Hindu, anti-India – a traitor. It’s a concerted effort by RSS and BJP to propagate the idea of secularism being anti majority. The term they have coined – sickukars – shows their mindset. According to them secularism is a decease. Another favourite term used by them is pseudo-seculars, although that term applies more to Sanghis themselves.

The term pseudo is used to describe something which pretends to be something but it’s actually not. For instance pseudo-science. Something which claims to be science but is not – like astrology or homeopathy. So Sanghis who claim to be seculars but in reality are not should be called pseudo-seculars. Narendra Modi is one of them.

I tried to engage with some of BJP’s Twitter human-bots to see what they reply. The stock copy pasted replies are an indicator of what RSS intends to convey.

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RSS’s ideology is a poison, and to sell that ideology they mix it with nationalism. Message is clear – you can be a true patriot only if you are a Hindu, a vegetarian, worship cow, hate Muslims and Christians, recite Sanskrit Shlokas, perform yoga and do whatever else RSS thinks makes an ideal Hindu. If you happen to disagree with them – straightaway you are a traitor, anti-Hindu and the only place for you to be is Pakistan.