Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 29, 2017

Coffee-through-nose time:
Funny to see the devolution of communication, 1st there were social media sites like facebook, then twitter came along that limited you to 140 char, then snapchat where conceited twits just swap selfies with maybe a word or two caption. I can't wait to see what the next devolution is, maybe we will start posting grunting sounds?

Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27, 2017

I am seriously contemplating something that would have been unthinkable even a year ago: stopping my subscription to The Hindu. Reading The Hindu with a tumbler of filter coffee has been a tradition for oh-so-long, but I think it's time to be more pragmatic.

I do have a number of complaints about the paper (due to which the paper these days goes to the recycling bin either untouched or after a brief glance at the front page followed by a disgusted shake of the head):

  1. Two sets of full-page ads that you have to navigate through before you can even get to the front page
  2. And once you get to the front page, what do you get but the most boring and irrelevant news items that you can think of. Case in point: today's edition (no full-page ad before the front page, thank the lord for small mercies) has a piece about some perceived-to-be-socially-relevant theatre performance or something similar, taking about 10-15% of the prime real estate. I usually do not have nice things to say about the competition (ToI and Deccan Chronicle), but they at least get it right about what should go on the front page.
  3. Editorial content written by Grandmaester Pycelle. In general, there is a propensity to reserve their hard-hitting journalism for the national, out-of-state players, and go easy on the local elite.  Again, kudos to ToI and Chronicle on this.
But the primary reason is that the online content--both mobile and web versions--seems miles ahead, and, considering that most of my other reading has already transitioned to the smartphone, it seems like the logical next step. Most of the shortcomings with the dead-tree version are either absent or are mitigable in the app.

Another reason has to do with the medium itself; there is something inherently clumsy about struggling with such a large sheaf of papers, the need to balance said filter coffee in one hand and mutter expletives as you get rid of the full page ad for the latest and greatest smartphone in the market or about how you can live like a pampered prince in the seat of luxury for Rs 15 crores, and you reach a point where you just say 'screw it'.