Jul 10, 2016

Capitalism’s Downfall: Growth for the sake of growth is cancer’s ideology...

In the age of Silicon Valley-Capitalism, growth for the sake of growth is the name of the game. Small start-ups are by definition required to grow and grow quickly to survive, raise funds and become profitable. Similarly, human cells (stems cells) grow and proliferate exponentially in the early stages of life. However, in an adult human body, cell growth for the sake of growth is called cancer. 
In a normal cell, powerful genetic circuits regulate cell division and cell death. In a cancer cell, these circuits have been broken, unleashing a cell that cannot stop growing. –Siddhartha Mukherjee 

Mar 18, 2016


What is with time? Nothing about time is a constant. It forces change, heals wounds, mends broken hearts and marinates memories in a soup of nostalgia. What is always true with time though that it passes, good and bad, sober or drunk, happy or sad. The most productive, ambitious and athletic get old and die at the same exact rate as the sad, lonely, and obese. Time is humbling in this sense, emancipatory even. It’s something we all experience and paradoxically can never truly grasp. It’s always fleeting and escaping us.

Aug 4, 2015

Death: When the “real” intrudes into reality

Those rare times when the "real" intrudes and disrupts our symbolic reality, the bubble we construct to filter out the chaos of the real dimension of life. The subject makes every effort throughout his or her life to keep the "real" at bay, at a distance, through the symbolic prism of language, making up stories, religions, and memes that give an illusionary order and "meaning" to the chaos of the real [life]. But what's so frightening about the real is that it refuses to be symbolized, understood, or explained. All we can do is to maintain a distance.

Apr 12, 2015

The Case Against The Apple Watch: Silicon Valley’s Latest [Privacy] Killer App

The Apple Watch is the next frontier of the intrusive Apple ecosystem that is infiltrating our privacy, liberty, and the very sense of self. For most tech start-ups these days, there has been almost an inevitable evolution from passively collecting user data, to using that data for targeted advertising (manipulation) and the Apple Watch is the latest “killer app”, fresh off Silicon Valley’s profit-obsessed assembly line to help the Apple ecosystem further manipulate our consumption choices under the disguise of “efficiency”, cool design, and hype.

Jul 27, 2014

Human Trafficking: A Symptom of Economic and Educational Access Inequality

A good friend, who is very passionate about and involved in combatting human trafficking pointed out to me that human trafficking, in most simple terms, can be defined as economic exploitation. That is, to directly or indirectly force someone to perform a service. The transaction lacks appropriate compensation and the subject performing the service by definition, lacks any other choice but to perform the service. In order to neutralize/balance this slave/master relationship, there has to be freedom of choice and fair compensation.  But how do we define freedom of choice here? Is it that the subject has the choice to opt out, or that he or she can perform the service for another/different customer/employer?
A schematic showing global human trafficking from countries of origin and destination
"Trafficking of women, children and men" by KVDP - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Jul 3, 2014

Ego Therapy: What Gyms Sell

Why gyms do more to remedy our fragile egos than work out our muscles

Why do some people become obsessed with going to gyms and working out? To be fit. Why? To be healthy. Why? So they can live an active and happy life. Does it really require lifting heavy weights in a room full of sweaty people making groaning noises to stay healthy? How about going hiking or a long walk outside or doing simple exercises at home? And what is this perfect model of health and fitness anyways? Is it mass body index? Winning CrossFit competitions? Finishing marathons? And which latest “cool” fitness craze/cult has the most believable founding story, pseudo-organic philosophy and covert corporate sponsorship to convince me to join its fitness religion and remedy my fragile ego?

May 10, 2014

The Paradox of Sex and Its Disruptive Power

Religions fear it, businesses exploit it, and individuals constantly struggle to suppress its hedonist forces while indulging in its consumption.

Is there a more disruptive force than sex in human history? Is there a force more threatening to the man psyche that some conservative religious societies (see Taliban) are willing to force their women to fully cover themselves, fearing even a glimpse of flesh would trigger internal forces beyond their control? Has there been a subject more controversial, yet popular, in literature and entertainment than sex? Has there been a business more robust and profitable in history than the business of sex, from prostitution to online porn?  Perhaps, this is why almost all major religions, societies and cultures have sets of rules to regulate sexual activity. The power of sex can be both disruptive and emancipatory. Its strong lobbying influence in the brain can undermine any rational or irrational thought, idea or belief. Its emancipatory power can trump the separating forces of religious, class, status, race, ethnicity or nationality differences and prejudices. At the same time, its addictive nature can threaten our relationships and careers.

May 3, 2014

Ironically, I am not me: I am an “eye” observing “me”

I am not me, but I am I? I am not even sure if “I” exist but “me” does. “I” as the subject is merely a hollow observer of its objectified version “me”. So what I am, is what others perceive “me” to be and “I” am just there to observe “me”, the symbolic reference point to the “I”. 

It’s only in the presence of the “other” that the “I” is objectified into “me” and “me” is born. Since the subject (“I”) is empty and hollow within, it has to rely on the reflection of external identifiers, memes and perceptions in the mirror of the “other” to create the illusion of its unique existence, packaged together as “me”. As such, the “I” is only an “eye”, watching the perception of “me” through the prism of others.

Mar 29, 2014

Does the motivator matter as long as it motivates? What the LA (Status-Obsessed) Mindset Taught Me About Motivation and Success...

Does it really matter where motivation comes from as long as it leads to success? Does it matter that a wealthy, successful, entrepreneur who continues to work seven days a week, is motivated by a deep, unconscious, status anxiety, having had a very poor childhood? Does it matter that a nerd becomes a Silicon Valley billionaire simply because of an obsessive drive to earn money, respect and status, motivated by deep childhood insecurities as a lonely, misunderstood, and awkward kid? Does it matter that an extremely fit, and thin athlete stresses constantly about his health and fitness motivated by his deep insecurities about being fat, having been made fun of as an obese child?

Mar 4, 2014

What is Life? A Chaotic Mess...

What is life but a process of replacing one anxiety or desire with another, one addiction with the next? From babies, trends to jobs and lovers, we jump from one mind occupier to the next, so afraid of “boring” solitude, in the absence of worry or excitement. Even sleep has been hacked and occupied by the desires and worries of the consumerist culture.

Perhaps solitude is so disturbing because in boredom introspection faces us with the mirror of consciousness, where we find the “I”, lonely, insecure, and confused, fully aware of its mortality and irrelevance, secretly resigned to the emptiness of its existence. But a tweet or an email on a vibrating iPhone quickly rescues us from this depressing twilight zone back to the digital dimension that runs on busy, distractions and attention currency.