End of month blues

One of the problems with running your blog on your own website is that you need to manage bandwidth. Basically it seems like my blog has been run over by bots and so by the 25th of every month the bandwidth for the month is over, and the blog goes down for the rest of the month. I’ve been trying to do a lot of things to prevent this – blocking suspicious looking IPs, installing bad behaviour, and such like, but still I don’t know why it gets locked out.

My biggest problem with this end of month lockout is the volume of ideas that go down the drain during this time, rather than getting published on the blog. I wish I could try and remember all those blogging ideas and do one mega blog post at least with a summary of all of them, so that I could write about them at some point of time in the future, but it seems like I can’t remember anything now.

In other news, I’ve been getting really stressed out of late, and my mental bandwidth has been at an all time low. I’ve felt that I’ve been going downhill since my trip to New York a few months back, but of late it’s gotten really bad, and I’m just not able to do anything. That’s yet another reason why blogging frequency has dipped in the last couple of weeks or so.

Doing a deep dive into my own past, I think I’ve figured out why this has been happening. Rather, I have a hypothesis about why I’ve been stressing myself out too much at work which has led to this situation. Basically it’s down to studs and fighters.

I traditionally have what I call as a “stud” working style. I work in bursts, at reasonably low intensity. I look at the problem as a series of steps, and for each step, I internalize the problem, and then try to de-focus. And while thinking about something else, or reading something, or writing something else, I end up having a solution to the problem, and then I take a little break and move on to the next step. This is essentially how I’ve worked over the last few years and I think I’ve (to myself at least) done a good job using this method.

There’s yet another method that I’ve frequently used in the past, one that I call the Ganesha method. It’s basically used for tasks I want to get ┬ádone with ASAP. I work at it at a very high intensity, shutting myself off from everything else in the world. I work at it continuously without a break, and then take a long break once the solution is done. I’ve used it in the past for things like competitive exams where I think I’ve done rather well.

So the mistake I did a while back (maybe a year or so back) was to try and use this latter method over longer periods of time, for longer problems. The thing with this method is that it’s suited for short problems, which can be finished off in a burst with a little bit of stretching myself. But when applied to significantly larger problems, I’ve found that it’s been stressing me out way too much. By trying to be steady and focused over a long period of time, which is how a fighter traditionally works, I think I’ve mentally destroyed myself.

Moral of the story is that whatever happens you need to be yourself, and do things in your own style. Don’t try to change yourself in order to please others. It is simply not sustainable.

Introducing: NED Talks

I suppose a number of you have heard of TED Talks (ted.com). You might have seen it in the news recently, for it is going to come to Mysore sometime later this year. TED talks are available online (on the ted website), and are in general extremely informative and entertaining.

When TED can have talks, can NED be far behind? So I, along with Kodhi, hereby invite you to the first of the series of NED talks. The beauty of NED talks is that nothing is known yet. So far we’ve been putting NED to figure out what we are going to have as part of those talks. However, wee are confident that we won’t put NED to organize the talks themselves.

So here are a few salient features. You might notice that nothing is concrete yet, heck nothing is even the steel framework yet. I request you to add your own concrete to this, and put in your ideas.

  • The first of the series of NED talks is likely to be held in Bangalore in October 2009. I have picked the date randomly, and is subject to change.
  • The first of the series will be a day-long event. However, if registrations exceed our expectations, the event might last a whole weekend.
  • We have no clue what is going to be there as part of these talks. We know that it is going to be a bunch of mango people (aam junta for the uninitiated) who will be talking, but we dont’ know what they are going to be talking about. We don’t even know who are the people who are going to be talking, though I’m sure I’m going to be one of them.
  • If you have any bright ideas as to what we can do at the NED talks, please let us know.
  • NED is not rich enough to put talks on its own website, hence the videos will be put up on youtube. However, we cannot promise the same quality that the TED videos.
  • Please note that NED talks are only loosely inspired by TED talks, and has nothing to do with the latter. I also wish to clarify that NED talks are not a spoof of TED talks.
  • At the risk of repeating myself – if you have any bright ideas as to what can be done at the NED talks, plis to be cantributing.
  • Oh and at the risk of repeating myself again – we are really serious about organizxing the NED talks. And we promise that we won’t put NED for NED talks.