In The Last free Generation, Austin Waters writes:

When we don’t know what’s real — everything loses meaning. This is the death of freedom of information; poisoning the well, so-to-speak. Worse than propaganda, because we can no longer distinguish what is real. Eventually, we will all lose faith in “facts.”

I find it increasingly uncomfortable speaking in the vicinity of mobile devices with un(non?)-taped-over-microphones and -cameras and working internet connections. (Which is—now that I think of it—almost always.) The (sad) thing is that I am aware of this. And that it forces a tiny uncomfortable amount of self-censorship. Does this mean an end to honest conversation? What do we do with classes? (Immediate dilemma.) Life?

The way we represent ourselves online has devolved from the quirky, personalised, HTML webpage-homepage of the 90s to the somewhat modular but still strange presence of a MySpace page, to the completely formatted and market-friendly presence of a Facebook page… What we’ve done is [we have] moved from personal, human, open-ended self-expression to completely market and computer-friendly, regimented and conformist expression. And that is because we have turned the net from a venue for self-expression to a way to render ourselves up onto the market.

Douglas Rushkoff, from Stare Into The Lights My Pretties

Also, zverina.com, the quirky, HTML home to an email newsletter I willingly receive and look forward to.

Here is a live feed of the Supreme Court judgement declaring privacy a fundamental right. (Use adblocker of choice.) Here is a relevant(?) thread on r/india. Hoping reasonable restrictions mean the biometric thing is optional.

Installed Linux Mint (Cinnamon) on the other hard-drive (that came with the X230). Trying to go the free and open-source software route. Does anyone have any experience similar to these people? I am told (even G says) it is hard to switch to an all-free-software workflow if you have a graphic/interaction design practice. Has anyone tried ElementaryOS? I have dealt with Scribus before and it wasn't pretty. Will see what can be. To share your INR 0.63, my email is abhijith@keyaar.in

With great powerlessness of resisting the cozy surveillance benefits of the Aadhaar card, comes great financial freedom. I can finally take that INR 201 paid every two-three months to the cellphone tower people and go buy an island off the Lakshadweeps. (They have already got my mug in various poses, my teeth count, my hair samples, dreams of my unborn children and blank pages in my soon-to-stop-being passport, which apparently don’t prove the whole snowflake nature of things. They say pigeons are making a comeback in certain circles. Can’t. Wait.

Graduating again in a few days. This is what I have learnt in two years. That, and sneaking V for Vendetta references into thesis reports is fun. (Also, that barring my typewriter and the book about typewriters, all life's essentials can fit into a 35L backpack.)

H and G enter a clearing in the woods. They see the daal-chaaval house at the far edge. The children are hungry and the house a promise of a full belly. They approach the door, chained and padlocked. The doorkeeper wouldn't let them in until they tell him their most sacred secrets, most treasured stories. Tthey are baffled by the request. Hungry and out of their depth, they bare their hearts and think nothing of it. The doorkeeper collects their stories in two glass jars, ties a piece of cloth around H's, corks G's.

H and G enter the first room and see other children leave breadcrumbs everywhere as they walk around. The doorkeeper and his friends tread on them, now and then. The children's stories ooze out from the crumbs and fill the room with their scent and wetness. The children look starved, holding on to the perfect golden loaves of bread in their hands. An invisible hand gives H and G two whole loaves soaked in the tales they parted with at the door. As they tear into the perfect golden crust, the invisible hand guides the pieces away from their mouths and onto the ground. Being children, they think nothing of this. Their hunger is now unbearable.

H and G enter the second room. It is wider and the walls are painted a blinding white. The ceiling, set too high to be inside the house they thought they had gotten into, is set high, at-least a hundred leaps into the metric system. They are asked to prove their H-ness and G-ness. Their loaves of bread are now almost all gone, crumbs outlining the paths they walked, leaving only the faintest aroma of the secrets they once held. The children have already forgotten half their stories. An hour or so of fiddling with the leftover pieces later, they are nodded at and declared worthy of staying in the second room. Along the high walls, they now see windows; some open, some not. Squinting, G manages to catch a glimpse of a pair of eyes behind one of the open, veiled windows. A falling loaf of bread distracts her. She may have imagined the eyes. (Nobody would build a daal-chaval house only to spy on the children, would they?)

The children think nothing of it all. Their hunger is now complete.

A new project, on the Dandi Salt March, is up at keyaar.in/salt

This is an interactive data visualisation of the Salt March. While it resizes somewhat awkwardly on a narrow screen, I wouldn't recommend it. (My biggest gripe still, is the absence of a sensible way to input proper apostrophes and dashes in Windows. Bear with me on this, I am as horrified as you are.)

Thanks to Prof. Venkatesh, Arihant (code-ninja), Prof. Greg Polk and Shri Sethu Das Ji, and their help and support, I only worked on this for five months and not a decade and a half.