The Global Bullshit Crisis of 2015

doc_bullshit

For the first time in recorded history, the total amount of bullshit being produced on planet Earth every year has exceeded the amount of human shit produced annually.

Leaders around the world are rising up to the unprecedented challenge. “This will not be tolerated any more,” said the leader of a leading Muslim League. “It has come to r misr attention that Bullshit now needs freedom and democracy,” a prominent American leader added. Meanwhile Russia has announced a zero-tolerance policy towards Bullshit: “Any shit will be shot out of the sky. We can’t afford to wait any more to confirm if it is Bullshit or not.”

China, on the other hand, has taken a rather controversial stand by declaring that they will produce even more Bullshit cheaper and faster than anyone else. India went two steps ahead: demanding that Britain should pay reparations to India for all the Bullshit. The UK’s response was to put all Indians on the Bullshit Watch List. A scandal ensued when a leading tabloid revealed that 65% of Hindustanis in the UK are in fact from other -stans. “Bullshit!” was the response from the leaders from these other -stans.

African leaders condemned the event strongly: “Whenever the world discovers something new, it leads to decades of strife in Africa. We are still paying the price for being the cradle of all Human Bullshit.” Soon after, Japanse scientists shocked the world with their discovery that radioactive Bullshit has medicinal properties.

Meanwhile, all of Europe has united against Bullshit. “We must preserve our own Bullshit and not let it get diluted by Bullshit from outside,” said a spokesperson. Canada and Mexico were the only countries to not react. Allegedly when the Bullshit hit them, they were surprised to learn that “North America” is not the same as “America”. Australia reacted strongly by deporting a prominent Hollywood actor’s dogs and New Zeland declared that they need a new flag to deal with all this Bullshit.

The same actor then announced his new blockbuster about Bullshit, expected to complete production in 2017. Bollywood promised to copy the script, add songs and release a Hindi version by 2019. Kollywood vowed to copy the Hindi version and release it in less than 6 months. This chain reaction went on until Rajnikanth announced that he had already made a 3D version of the movie in 1972.

The rest of the entertainment industry was not far behind. The video game industry responded with tons of Bullshit Simulator apps and TV channels were flooded with inspiring shows like “Bullshit Idol”. The music industry announced that Bullshit Dance Music (BDM) tracks could be downloaded for free, in return for credit card details that would be “hacked” only a year later.

Owing to all this frenzied activity, the two leading news making agencies of the world decided to form a consortium aptly named the Bullshit Universal Reporting Platform (BURP). According to their official press release: “In this connected and informed world, our viewers don’t accept plain old Bullshit anymore. Fortunately, we have the backing of such large global corporations that we can afford to create our own Bullshit.”

Silicon Valley has taken up the digital baton to solve the problem from a tech standpoint, and failing that, make tons of money consulting about it. Oogle was the first: “People are searching for so much Bullshit these days, we had to split our company into two to keep up with the demand,” they claimed. Fakebook followed with a public beta of the new Bullshit Multiplier feature. “Throw any Bullshit at it, and it will display similar Bullshit that you might have otherwise missed out on in real life,” reads their updated website. Picosoft and Zamaon almost simultaneously announced their new OneShit feature. “Why should you be limited to your own Bullshit? We want to take Bullshit into the cloud, so you can access any Bullshit, anywhere, on any device.”

Halfapple, however, was ahead of everyone else as usual with their ground-breaking product offering: iShit. No one really understands what it does yet, but there is speculation that for its price, it can probably solve California’s drought problem.

The car industry was quick to recognize the potential of all this surplus Bullshit as well. “Our best researchers are working on it. By 2020 we expect to mass produce cars that run on pure Bullshit,” and industry spokesperson said.

The impact of this event has far reaching consequences for the human race as a whole. Space Agencies around the world are launching probes to other planets to find the origin of Bullshit. Studies have shown that the weight of all this Bullshit is slowing down the rotation of the Earth, and as a result we may soon lose the Moon. “Good riddance,” said the Director of the leading Space Agency. “We didn’t find water on it anyway.”

UFO researchers as well have chipped in from the fringes: “Not since 1947 have we witnessed so many confirmed sightings of Bullshit around the world.” Countries where these sightings have occurred in recent months have been quick to cash in on the tourism opportunity, complete with guided package tours in 12 languages.

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2011 Summarized – In Books

(Yes, I know it’s kinda late to be summarizing 2011 :-), but I still believe that if you have nothing important, intelligent or enriching to say, then it’s better not to say it. In other words, don’t blog just for the sake of blogging…)

Often what keeps me going through a tough day is looking forward to curling up in bed with a book at night. It is a fact (at least valid for the current state of human evolution) that we retain more of what we read in real, paper books, compared to e-books on a digital screen. Something to do with the tactile senses.

I read several interesting, thought provoking and highly influential books since last year (besides the usual classic Science Fiction). Some of the more noteworthy ones were:

  • 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot” by Prof. Richard Wiseman — I came across this in a reference at Coding Horror, and although I’m not a fan of non-fiction (and certainly not the How To sub-genre of non-fiction), I just picked up on a whim, and boy, was I hooked. I have been evangelizing it ever since, and more than a year later, I’m still discovering ways in which reading this book helped me break my [evil] habits and turned me into a better person.
  • “IGNORE EVERYBODY and 39 Other Keys to Creativity” by Hugh MacLeod — A friend recommended this to me (in fact, so strongly that she gave me her copy to read), and although sometimes a little opinionated, I found the advice very relevant to the times we live in, especially The Sex & Cash Theory.
  • I very quickly read “It’s not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be.” by Paul Arden. Although the book didn’t really resonate with me (maybe because I was still reeling from the in-your-face effects of IGNORE EVERYBODY), I found some of the ideas very insightful. For example, Paul made the case that out of five sales pitches in a week, the client is most likely to pick the one presented on Tuesday, because Monday was “too early, nothing to judge by”, Wednesday & Thursday were “like eating too much chocolate” and Friday was like “feeling sick”.
  • Meanwhile, Steve Jobs sadly passed away, and the time seemed to be right to read “The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation” by Jay Elliot & William L. Simon. I found the book to be very balanced, using storytelling to draw focus on best practices and insights that can be applied in our own organizations. Highly recommended if you think you or your place of work could do with a fresh dose of [now legendary] iNspiration.
  • I then started reading “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg & John David Mann, which was the first in a reading list recommended by Venkat during his inspiring talk at BarCampBangalore11 (#bcb11). This is a short book that extols the virtues of giving as the secret to success. If you’re in the business of making profit (who isn’t), this book will surely make you think.
  • There was some promising talk on Facebook about “Plunnge: Reinvention for the New Generation” by Rakesh Godhwani, so I got hold of a copy shortly after it was published. I’ve read many books, and no matter how badly they are written, no matter what subject they’ve been written on, I always find something, no matter how small, to learn from them. So over the years, I’ve never regretted reading a book (except maybe my school textbooks :-p ), but after a bit of a mental struggle, I was forced to admit Plunnge was the first one. Although the subject (essentially a collection of true stories about Indians giving up successful careers to pursue their true passions) is commendable, Mr. Godhwani’s attempt at writing is best described as “otherworldy”, and clouded the true potential of the book.  The writing is heavily biased & prejudiced, almost every single page has either a grammatical or semantic error (although I must concede that some of them are popular usage in corporate India) and there was just too much credit being given to individuals who were correcting their own bad initial career choices (most of all Mr. Godhwani himself – If there was one purpose this book served, it was that of being his personal catharsis). Apparently Peak Publish, headquartered in Derbyshire, U.K. is quite accommodating with the authors they pick. Initially I was so appalled I wanted to write to both publisher & author, but as I read on I realized that (a) the publishers published it, so obviously they didn’t find anything wrong with it, and (b) the author is so pleased with himself and the topic that obviously the finer details were not important to him. So what’s the point? Don’t let your filters fail, and skip this one.
  • To recover from “the Plunnge”, I went on a Malcolm Gladwell reading spree (who I think is a magnificent author), and read “Blink” and “Outliers” (which were somewhat related to the subject matter in “Freakonomics”) and that was time happily well spent. No matter where your interests or disinterests lie, if you’re human, you should read Gladwell.
  • A lot was happening around that time, and I thought it was a good time to revisit the old classic “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson, probably the best piece of work written on dealing with Change.
  • Finally, I read the short story “Whispering Wind” by Frederick Forsyth (in his book of short stories called “The Veteran”) which I think is the perfect story. Forsyth fans and those discovering him now will equally be amazed at the level of excellence the Master Storyteller achieved with this story, especially considering that this isn’t one of the topics (or time periods) he usually writes about.
  • Recently I also finished reading “Bozo and the Storyteller” by Tom Glaister, which presents a unique, thought-provoking (and sometimes depressing) view of the human condition.

I got myself  a LightWedge to and will continue reading happily into the night…

Day 066 – Strange Windows Vista

_Captain’s Log, StarDate 2007.09.10_

Somebody got a new laptop today so I spent my whole evening imparting tips and advice. It was an HP dv6000 running Windows Vista. We left it running with nothing but the web browser on and came back from dinner to find that it had unexplicably crashed. Several attempts later, we got the system to boot but then we got this weird message saying that the OS installation had crashed and needed to be repaired. The best part was that according to the message, “only installations listed below can be repaired”, and there was absolutely nothing listed below. The message went on to explain that if no installations were listed, then we should “load the appropriate hard disk drivers”. Isn’t that wonderful? Your OS telling you to load the hard disk drivers so that it can recognize itself? I mean, if I have to load hard disk drivers myself, what do I need an OS that takes up 17 GB for? Insane!