How to Improve this Website?

Hi Folks 🙂

in case you haven’t noticed, I sort of gave up on this website a couple months ago… in part because there seemed to be very little interest in *participating* (though there did seen to be an inkling of interest in reading / consuming the content).

But also in part because actually creating posts was a major drag. 😐 That said, it seems to me easy enough from an algorithmic point of view. Does anyone have suggestions in this regard? I know, for example, that there used to be javascript “bookmarklets” on the web — some even developed by WP developers — that made such commentary fun, neato, quick & easy, stuff like that.

While I wait for responses to flood in (or prolly more likely trickle in), maybe I will try a new approach — to write replies / comments here (as “posts”) and then just link to the article in question. I am still mulling over that idea, not sure if I will actually do it or not. Right now my gut feeling is somewhere between a “definite maybe” and “meh”.


#comment, #commenting, #comments, #communication, #communications, #improve, #improvement, #improvements, #replies, #reply, #replying, #suggestion, #suggestions, #wtf

[] “Rise of Gig Economy in India”

What is the Gig Economy?

It is a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work instead of permanent jobs. The demand of the consumer is met by a service provider, i.e. a gig worker who can perform that specific task. In this economy, tech-enabled platforms connect the consumer to the gig worker to hire services on a short-term basis. Gig workers include self-employed, freelancers, independent contributors, and part-time workers. In simple terms, a shift from a full-time 9-to-5 job to an on-demand, freelance, and task-based economy can be termed as the gig economy.

The gig economy currently more prevalent in US, Europe, and India, is expected to bring transformational changes to traditional HR practices around the world, where gig and the traditional economy will thrive together. India with the uprising gig economy has the potential to become the top freelancing and crowdsourcing hub in the Asia region due to urbanization of the workforce.

Global Trends in Gig Economy

The digital Gig economy generated a gross volume of approximately $204 billion from worldwide customers in 2018.

Transportation-based services contributed to over 50% of this value. The size of the gig economy is projected to grow by a 17% CAGR and generate a gross volume of approximately $455 billion by 2023

Startups powering the gig economy hire talent across technology, marketing, finance, and HR on freelance or need-basis. IT companies are opening roles for moonlighters, freelance consultants on non-mission critical parts of projects, or as part of larger development efforts on a one-off basis. The gig economy can be the answer to talent supply chain challenges faced by professional or technology sectors. While critical roles would still be in the realm of regular employment, freelancers can reduce the burden on the supply chain, increase operational efficiencies, and reduce project costs.

Trends in Indian Gig economy

India has emerged as the 5th largest country for Flexi-staffing after US, China, Brazil, and Japan. Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana have most opportunities in terms of growth for the Flexi-workers

The number of workers being hired as freelancers or contract workers has risen from 20 percent to 25 percent in the contingent workforce in the past two years

This points to the rise of the Gig or Flex Economy. More Indians are opting for a flexible style of work, one that lets them remain in control of their time and allows them to work when and how they want.

A report on the future of jobs in India by FICCI, EY, and NASSCOM, states that with a 24%share, India is leading in terms of online labor market globally. Further, a study by KellyOGC titled “Workforce Agility Barometer” reveals that for 56% of the Indian firms, the proportion of temporary workers is more than 20%. The numbers are into rising with more than 71% of organizations hiring more contingent workers.

The union budget 2020-21 has also proposed one-year long internship opportunities to engineers in urban local bodies, which shows Indian governments’ interest in this economy

Mr.Debjani Ghosh, country director, World bank has propounded a definite growth of a Gig economy pointing out that COVID 19 pandemic is going to change workspaces forever, and is likely to open up many opportunities for women.

Evolving Workforce Culture

An inclination towards flexible work is being driven by factors such as freedom, technology up-gradation, skill focus, additional income, and human capital. Gig economy allows task ownership, convenience, and flexibility. Service seekers are moving towards a gig economy for reasons such as cost-cutting and skilled workforce. Corporates find it cheaper to employ freelancers to perform specific tasks by avoiding the traditional administrative and compliance costs associated with regular employees.


The growing prevalence of independent work could have tangible economic as raising labor-force participation, providing opportunities for the unemployed, or even boosting productivity.
Consumers and organizations could benefit from the greater availability of services and improved matching that better fulfills their needs.

Key challenges

A big challenge of Job security, stability, the certainty of a job arises
No basis for financial credit services as a steady income is not assured
Independent workers and traditional job holders alike will have to become more proactive about managing their careers as digital technologies continue to reshape the world of work.



Excellent post! 😀

Do you know more about the “historical” trends of gig / freelance work? When did the term “freelance” first become used at all? I think that before the Great Depression (in the USA), and certainly in the 19th Century (and before), most work was contracted on a very short-term basis. My gut-feeling / impression is that the 2001 (“dot com”) crash and the 2008 (“Great Recession” / real estate / financial) crash / crisis / whatever pushed many people who became unemployed to transfer from employment to “gig work” instead… and therefore this is a rather “new” development. Do you agree / know of any data to support this hypothesis?

[2020-05-05 10:49 UTC]

#contract-work, #freelance, #freelancing, #gig, #gig-economy, #gigs, #india, #job, #jobs, #united-states, #usa, #work, #work-force, #workforce

[] “Strengthening my Core”

Yesterday I did a google search to see what the cyber-world can contribute to the definition of the word ‘core’. ‘Nitty-gritty’, and ‘heart-and-soul’ was added to my ‘core’ folder. Other explanations were also starting to fill up my word basket: 

– the innermost part of the earth; 

– part that is responsible for generating the planet’s magnetic field

– the most essential or important part 

– the important facts of a situation

– essential details of a situation

Add the ‘high educational’ voice of Webster to this:

– a central and often foundational part, usually distinct from the enveloping part by a difference in nature

– the inmost or most intimate part of an individual

-a part that is removable form the interior of a mass, especially do determine composition

Week 4 – 17 April 2020

It’s all in finding your balance, but even though I thought we were stabilising ourselves

I was still caught off guard by the 4th Friday of the officially imposed living-and-working-and-exercising at home experience. Experience indeed!! The ‘real’-ness of our houses as the centre of our universes, has settled in and the happy flow of life was carrying us onward. Surprisingly, fast is the movement of this river!! 

Shocked back to reality, that even the slower pace of life@home can pass this quickly too?? I was a bit puzzled by this thought, but also encouraged to make an EVEN BIGGER effort to be present in the moment!

Arno and Thomas were doing their final welding and grinding and digging, installing a sliding vehicle gate at the front of our property. This project has taken quite a few years (5 to be exact!!) to turn from words and plans into a green gate that slide on wheels from left to right!! They were so proud of their handywork and it was a very productive father and (naturally not-so-handy-) son partnership. I figured the absence of a maize of after-school activities and negotiating mountains of grade 10 homework, might have created a desire to hand-build something!

 Let’s rephrase wise Webster: A difference in nature (e.i.staying@home), which is distinct from the normal/natural (rushing around between school, work and extra-murals) has strengthened the central and often foundational part of a relationship between father and son…in other words, C19 has created an opportunity for ‘core-work’ in and between these two precious people.

Who are we?

What are we made of?

In this alternative times we’ve negotiate different ways of connecting with people who seems to appear into our lives. A ‘good morning’ over the fence. A plum cobbler that way, a book and some chocolates this way. Relationships built and strengthened.

These unexpected connections bring interesting skills and equipment with them… 

In this way we were blessed with a slackline that appeared in our garden. For those of you who might be wondering about the nature and functionality of such a device….. it’s is an elastic cable that gets rigged up between two trees, or in our case, between the steel beam of the balcony and the ‘swing’-tree. In real life, this will be used by adventurers like Bear Grylls or Steve Backshall to be-lay over a high river, or travers across a wide gully. The excitement in the Theron-garden was escalating!! 

The excitement of developing a new skill – walking on a tight-rope – was buzzing through the ranks. We got a very elegant, arms dancing, feet touch-touch-and-grab sweetly demonstration of what such an endeavour is supposed to look like. We took this in with silent anticipation. Wondering if our bodies will be able to mimic this show of balance and core stability.

Then it was  our turn…everyone nervously test-test the weight-carry combined with elasticity and movement integration of the cable. The hardest part is trusting the tension in the line with one’s weight, together with the instability of the floating line and body-untrained-core this is looking and feeling like a baby who is getting up for that first few steps. Needless to say, you cannot get onto the line, without somebody supporting you. Well, with my own attempt I needed two people to help me (one on each side) and not even with them both grabbing me firmly under my armpits AND me clinging onto their shoulders could I managed it!!!

So after a few tries, some members of the family actually started to manage a step or two!! Excited squeals of delight, interrupted by shrieks of fear and failure added another sound to the peaceful birdsong in our back garden.

I can testify that this skill is WAY more harder than it looks, but also if one gets the hang of it (or should I say the balance for it), it is an achievement with little or no comparison!!

As the days follow on one-another so the number of steps too. The greater the confidence of the individual, the stronger the mind with-in, the better failed attempts were attacked with more practising. The longer time spend on(and off!!) the line, the further the brave participant went. But when a new skill is honed, muscles work that has never been asked to perform until now, with the resulting pain and discomfort…mishaps can even cause arms in slings…and still the number of steps kept piling on.

Although my beloved was first to accomplish the whole length of the line, with the two teens following in close pursuit, I still found myself at the ‘getting-on’ stage!! Ok, I did not spend as much time as these brave hearts interacting with the new ‘toy’ , not to mention my natural affinity to balancing activities,which does not reach legendary status….but it brought some time for reflection. How am I caring and growing my core; developing my balance in a world where equilibrium (as we knew it) were swiftly swept from underneath my feet? What measures or values have people put into place, the gravitas of their human core, to keep them from falling off the slackline of life?

Patrick Lencioni’s statement that ‘a core value is something that a person should be willing to be punished for’ ties in completely with our garden-balancing-act scenario! Taking this a bit further, we can also understand why people with a strong emotional, spiritual and intellectual core can endure harder falls and turmoil (c’on Webbie: a state or condition of extreme confusion, agitation or commotion…yeah, right!!) get up and navigate through the stresses of unforeseen life happenings more eloquently. 

This brings me to the question: How can I adore my core? How do I attend to my core? Or better even – Where is my core, what is my core and how strong is my core? How do I find balance within my body and what is the relationship between me and the environment that I am positioned in?

From my humble own experience (which is different from yours) I’ve learned a few things. Who knows, maybe this can guide or prompt you into being awake to the attention needed to grow a strong core in yourself and in the people who you love.

  1. Nurture your spirit (your inner-man or -woman, the ‘real you’)

In order to understand your core, you need to reflect on the Creator of your spirit man, your core. The awareness of a BIGGER picture, where each of us has an important assignment to fulfil, has the ability to settle our weariness, loneliness and fear.  Read the Bible daily. Let the words soothe the chaos within you.

2. Attend to your soul (will, mind and emotions). 

A thought provoking article or book can also add to your stability in soul and mind. Personal growth and development, drawing on resources out with yourself, will engage your mind. It’ll align your will into setting new patterns and routines. Finally, it will anchor your emotions on truth… not running riot chasing after every conspiracy or piece of fear-raising fake news. Establish balance in your ability to discern what to allow into your ear and eye gate and what to banish from your home – this includes a non-tolerance attitude towards TV programs, movies, idle talking and established boundaries (amounts of screen-time and bed-time routines).

3. Exercise your body (‘vehicle that carries and protects your inner man)

No beating around the bush here – a healthy body hosts a healthy soul!!

Take particular care in eating healthy and doing exercise daily. A few  jumping-jacks can lift your heart rate as much as it can make you lift your head up!! This is where the physical core training comes into play, e.i balancing on the slackline, doing an HIIT workout, walking around the perimeter of the garden, or having a chasing crawling race with the baby!!

4. Establishing routine

There is nothing better you can do to connect your body-soul-and spirit (and building relationships within your immediate family while caring for their core as well) than to set a healthy daily routine. Make sure to incorporate variety with-in your weekly routine. The main priority for you is to get dressed in the mornings. Next up is to schedule in time to relax between doing house, office and school work. Lastly, purposefully plan rewards for yourself and the family. This will make the process of developing and working towards goals so much more entertaining and enjoyable.

We are all striving to the centre of balance. I guess we are wired within to crave routine, unity, peaceful living and joy. We long to anchor our souls and rest in a place of safety. These core values are who we’v been created to be. When this balance of rest is challenged, then we are naturally inclined to reclaim it. 

Our former situation will not look the same again, but with a strong core…and the willingness to keep on strengthening our core, we will be renewed in body, soul and spirit.

Don’t you want to join me on the tight rope??!!

John Spence – Definition of success: When your core values and self-concept are in harmony with your daily actions, choices and behaviours.

Google is not a good search engine for definitions. For English words, is far better. 😉

[2020-05-02 17:00 UTC]

#balance, #core, #equilibrium, #exercise, #fitness, #skill, #skills, #soul, #spirit, #strength, #strengthening, #strong, #value, #values

[] “Attachment is not love.”

Ask most people what makes a life meaningful, and most will say relationships.
Breathe a little more. Lean, touch, and connect. The reality is, real love and real connections doesn’t come that cheaply. In love we may fight. Some of us run. We effectively cling to the other person, moving ourselves into their spaces and violate boundaries- ours and theirs. We get jealous, demanding, and emotional. We do more and then flail when we don’t get appreciated.
Attachment is not love. I may have a male best friend; you may have a female best friend. You may be attached to him or her emotionally but that isn’t love.
To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something. It does not involve addiction and compassion but rather lightness and compassion. It means being complete on your own and coping up with your partners mechanism and behaviours’. Love needs connection. The more connected you are, the healthier you will be both physically and emotionally. The less connected you are, the more you are at risk. If you and your partner stay away make it a point to call him or her up at least for a few minutes. Love does not mean you always need to talk over phone or meet regularly. But, the generation we are in, everything is risky. Make them understand that you miss them. The lesser you talk; the more is your relationship at risk. Be focused. Don’t let your love life ruin your aim in life. Love and career are two different paths. Don’t mix them up. Never. Love for many is simply attraction, distraction and infatuation. If you feel this you are not in love my friend. Love will not die even if you don’t get physical or even if you don’t meet up regularly. Never be demanding or controlling. Never ask your partner to think as you do or to do as you say.
I have not been in many relationships. Seriousness means being loyal. If you want to take a break, want someone else as your partner, say it at once. It may hurt but do so. Never cheat on your partner. Don’t avoid falling in love. The more you avoid love; you are more likely to fall in love. Just do what you feel like. Never force yourself to do anything. They are many different types of people out there. You aren’t going to be compatible and comfortable with all of them. Be true to your partner. Open up your views, your experiences, your feelings, and your mind. Love is never perfect. If you are struggling with love, fight for it. You may succeed. Don’t just date because you don’t want to be alone or you don’t have a control over your sex hormones. Be loyal or leave. Never dream of your future. I believe in destiny. If we are meant to be together we will be, no matter what. Efforts are needed in love. You try at times and then you manage to be together for yet another couple of years. You grow up, become more mature with every passing day. And just as you start to appreciate the simplicity of being in love together, life took an obvious turn- college ended, and you start to work. Stress at work always propagates back home. Everyone needs to vent out the frustration and we understand that. Problems resurface when you couldn’t give each other the most basic thing in a relationship- time. Distance increases and things change. Don’t let this happen in your love life. Trust me it will be hard for you, very hard indeed. This is seen most in this generation. Prove this wrong. Your love story can’t be incomplete. Be strong, fight against everyone, fight against all odds, fight against all circumstances, be loyal, be true and just trust your partner and your destiny.

And even after lots of trials, if you don’t like the story you are in. Leave. You can’t let your mental peace be at risk for the sake of this relationship thing. Time heals everything.
Life will be perfect one day. Trust me.

and … so what?

[2020-04-30 07:53 UTC]

#attach, #attached, #attaching, #attachment, #connect, #connected, #connection, #free, #freedom, #liberty, #love, #loyal, #relationship, #relationships

[] “COVID-19, America, and the Dangers of Being Connected”

In Paul Virilio’s Speed and Politics, he describes the open sea to “compensate for every social, religious and moral constraint, for every political and economic oppression, even for the physical laws due to the earth’s gravity, to continental crampedness” (Virilio 65). In many ways, this relates to how many viewed the Internet at the time of its introduction to people’s home machines. The Internet was supposed to represent a rebirth for information; it would allow people to access any type of knowledge that they wanted, connect individuals from across the country, and serve as a medium to share your ideas and stories. And it certainly has, allowing information to travel at an unprecedented rate and people to connect from all over the world.

This can be compared to the shifting paradigm of the Renaissance. With the advances in transportation and spread of information, the world became more connected during the Renaissance. Just as the Internet represented a rebirth of information, the Renaissance experienced a rebirth of thought that was reflected in art, architecture, innovations, and many other establishments.

But the ‘open sea’, as Virilio describes, does not only free people from oppression and physical barriers; the open sea “became the right to crime, to a violence that was also freed from every constraint” (Virilio 65). The freedom of the open sea did not just serve as a medium for free travel and thought, but an expansion of violence and war. The changes of the Renaissance reflects this as well; along with innovations in medicine, art forms, and transportation, there were innovations in war. Weapons became deadlier, easier to use, and more indiscriminate with who they targeted. 

The expansion of the Internet and the freedom of knowledge is no exception to this behavior, and the way America is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic reflects it. America has fairly liberal laws on Internet usage, and while this has allowed the spread of ideas and knowledge, it has been just as good at spreading disinformation. During this pandemic, many people have been helped by looking at trustworthy websites (such as the Center for Disease Control’s website) to learn more about how to stay safe and how to avoid endangering themselves and others. But many have turned to the Internet to look for what they want to hear; that the disease is fake, that it is a conspiracy, that the virus is ‘not as lethal’ as the CDC warns. This type of information, found in tabloids and conspiracy videos and certain online communities, is just as proliferous as information from reputable sources. This type of misinformation is not without consequence; with armed protests happening in many cities and groups of people refusing to quarantine, these people pose a serious threat to all Americans. In one of his notebooks, da Vinci wrote, “Let no man who is not a mathematician read the elements of my work” (da Vinci 9). As elitist and highbrow as it sounds, it has some truth given our current situation- many times people will read legitimate information, but will not have the proper background to realize its legitimacy or use it in a productive way.

This severe response and militant disbelief serves as a haunting reflection of what the open Internet serves for in democratic countries. Compared to other countries, America’s internet is relatively ‘free’, and government censorship is limited. In response, the media and the Internet has been flooded with misinformation and biased pieces that are passed off as ‘news’. Instead of using technology to get educated, most people use our many sources of information to confirm their long-standing biases. This is a stark contrast to authoritarian-ruled countries like China, where the Internet is heavily censored and technology is used as a government tool to control their population. This heavily controlled Internet is easily able to control massive groups of people by only allowing government-approved ‘truths’. And while this does not fit the idea of the ‘open sea’ as Virilio imagined it, this type of control has worked frighteningly well during the COVID-19 pandemic with many areas of China having quarantine restrictions lifted already.

While the outbreak is far from over, I hope America’s response will put our usage of the Internet in speculation again. This incident, and many incidents before now, have shown that misinformation is extremely dangerous, and that the spread of conspiracies and biased articles have deadly consequences. Only by addressing these problems can we prove that the Internet can be used as a free, open medium to spread thoughts and knowledge instead of being a favorable tool to control the public.

Your depiction of the situation is excellent — but I am more reserved about your conclusions.

You may also be interested to read Elizabeth Eisenstein’s fine history of the printing press. Similar misinformation occurred during the early expansion of this technology.

Misinformation is not extremely dangerous — nuclear weapons are still more dangerous.

Misinformation may not even be the problem at all, but rather illiteracy (cf. your Da Vinci quote). Please note that it took several hundred years for even a modicum of literacy to become widespread (in early US history, literacy was a requirement to vote — but AFAIK that typically meant nothing more than the ability to sign your own name).

Also: the history of copyright law also plays a significant role.

Finally, you may also be interested to read some of my own work regarding “retard media” — a good starting point might be How to define “retard media”.

Keep it up! 😀

[2020-04-29 09:19 UTC]

#copyright, #da-vinci, #information, #information-literacy, #literacy, #media-literacy, #misinformation, #online-literacy, #printing-press, #propaganda, #publishing, #rational-media, #renaissance, #retard-media