Understanding Money: Where Does it Come From? Apr 2017

There are things in science that are awfully hard to explain despite not entirely being hard. We are wired to reason in a certain way, which might be detrimental when it comes to understanding an intricate system.

Richard Feynman, the celebrated physicist, had an interesting anecdote regarding it. In one of the interviews, he narrates how his father asked where the photons come from when the electrons transit from higher quantum state to a lower one. “Photons don’t lie inside the electron, they are just released during state transition. It’s like speech; spoken words don’t come out of bag in the throat.”, he explained. Understandably, his father wasn’t satisfied with the analogy, but there wasn’t much Mr Feynman could have done better.

In the past few months, I got an answer to the basic question I had about money: where does it come from? If I got money from James, who got it from Tim, who got it from Ken, then, who sits at the top of the chain?

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What is Hacking? Sep 2016

“So dude, do you know hacking?” asked my friend.

“See, that’s not how it works. A great deal of hacking depends on ….”. Nah! We didn’t really have that conversation. I just answered with a “No” because “Maybe” would’ve been harder to explain.

The Hollywood stereotype suggests that hacker is a nerd, wearing a hoodie, incessantly hitting keystrokes on his black–green screen (btw, you don’t really need to type so much since computers have had an ultra-convenient “Save File” feature since eternity). As technically ridiculous it is, I don’t normally lose my mind over it. The exasperating part of this stereotype is a misbelief that a hacker —

a) can take control of anything from someone’s telephone to national security servers.
b) has mastered a complex art to do every single thing.

News of websites getting vandalised, accounts getting hacked and photos getting leaked without the technical details simply reinforce the misbelief but the truth is that real-world hacking is much simpler than it seems — at least logically simple.

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