We live in extremely busy times. Or at least everyone “appears” to be busy or always in a hurry to get somewhere. In our frenzied and hectic schedules, sometimes there are hardly any gaps. No voids, no spaces. Everyone has got to be doing something. At all times. Even if it’s just the mindless scrolling of a social media feed or absent-mindedly checking your mail, slack etc. However, does this have to be this way? Can we instead revel in the pauses, linger between moments, find the meaning in silences, only if briefly?

Spaces to the rescue

Even from the narrow utilitarian point of…


A tree of computations. Each node is a “Task” doing some processing on a set of input tuples from its parent, a TaskInput.

This is the story of realising how, what appeared to be a perfectly reasonable choice for an interface at first, didn’t quite turn out to be so. Surprises, sometimes can hide in plain sight.

Context/Background

Consider a big data processing application that processes a large number of tuples produced by multiple input sources (Think MapReduce). A reasonable design for such an application could include the following abstractions:

1. TaskInput

The TaskInput abstraction is for the input sources that produce tuples. TaskInputs can come in various flavours, but a reasonable expectation from all of these could be to implement the following method:

def take(offset…

I have observed one common trait among people who command respect and are generally trusted by others at my workplace. And that is the quality of listening attentively.

Listening attentively is one of those things that one might as well do since he or she is anyway present there at the moment. Even if seen from a purely utilitarian perspective, listening attentively maximizes the productivity of the time spent listening. After all, the intensity of the focus with which any activity is done has a multiplier effect on the output. So it is true with listening as well.

However, besides…


The matters of the mind can be the toughest to comprehend, especially if they have never been experienced firsthand. So, it’s one thing to read about the three states of mind: the conscious, the subconscious and the super-conscious and a completely different thing to fully appreciate the full import of the distinction. While a layman can appreciate the conscious and subconscious states of mind, most people will never achieve the super-conscious state in their lifetimes. But just because something is not comprehensible or achievable by a vast majority of the people, does that mean it doesn’t exist?

Accurate descriptions of…


As someone who explores tools strictly to the extent that they are relevant to the job at hand, I never found myself using the rebase functionality of git, that is, until today. So far I had considered it to be something that belonged to the realm of git power-users, but now I know of at least one valid use-case that would require using git-rebase.

And the use-case is “Squashing multiple commits into one”. If you accidentally find yourself committing prematurely such that the physical commits don’t match the logical commit units that you had in your mind, git rebase (among…


Today, I think I ran into one of the less known caveats with AWS S3 consistency model. S3 provides read-after-write consistency for new objects; so as long as a fresh object is being created, any subsequent reads from any S3 clients are guaranteed to see that read. However, if prior to creating a new object, a GetObjectRequest is done on the object key, the read-after-write consistency guarantee goes away.

In our system, we create new objects with a unique id and upload them to S3. The unique id is a 64-bit randomly generated integer. However, to prevent any accidental over-writes…


A meditating monk.
A meditating monk.

Mediation is often prescribed as a panacea for a healthier mind, and consequently a happier life. Apparently, if you silently focus on a thought or a thing for a few minutes daily, it can magically improve the “workings” of your mind in daily life. It’s easy to understand the relationship between meditation and getting better at tasks that require concentration and deep work. However, it’s not so straightforward as to how meditation helps with emotionally mature responses, or in other words, how it helps improve emotional intelligence (EI).

What is Emotional Intelligence?

A core capability of “Emotional Intelligence” is the…

Gaurav Jain

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