Overcome social anxiety and make friends of strangers

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

We love parties. We enjoy them very much and the magic of controlled insobriety is the key.

Are we “The Life of the Party?” Usually not. Everyone at a party is too fixated, too smitten, or simply too wasted to bother being the life of the party or care enough to notice who it is. Often, alcohol is to blame for this indifference.

I love alcohol as much as it loves me — in moderation. This not-so-passionate affair with the elixir of intoxication saves me from sickening nausea, black eyes, and the general inebriation induced embarrassment while simultaneously heightening my extroversion just enough to make effortless conversation, connect with people, and have harmless fun. …


A mindless mob in India missed this memo

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No country for the doctor (Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash)

On March 22, the prime minister of India called for a day-long “People’s Curfew.” In essence, the nation of 1.3 Billion people went on a voluntary and self-imposed lockdown. The end of the day was marked by applause for the health and sanitation workers. At 5 PM, the whole nation repeatedly beat their sturdiest metal plates with their strongest cutlery.

Clapping and cheering would have sufficed, but we have a penchant for being loud, so clangoring of metal plates and spoons it was.

The much-celebrated cacophony sent a clear message or at least attempted to — we salute our healthcare and sanitation workers. Nurses, garbage collectors, sweepers, and doctors were all hailed as heroes for being on the frontlines of this war against a vicious pandemic. …


Some are bad and others downright horrific

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Freedom is seldom free (Photo by Goodhousekeeping.com)

Social issues are challenging, especially issues related to women and women’s rights. There are countless point-of-views, numerous strong arguments, and equally potent counter-arguments. The debates are often unending, they often fail to create a consensus, yet they are vital because they facilitate an invaluable service — The exchange of ideas.


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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Write like no one is reading because it is probably true

When I began writing professionally, the “about” section of a writer I had come to admire caught my attention. It read, “Write like no one is reading because it might be true.

It was certainly witty and at the time, seemed funny. “A successful attempt at humor,” I mused. Almost a year down the line it is dawning upon me that it might not have been intended as a joke after all. Now it appears to be a successful attempt at stating every writer’s hard truth. The written word is barely ever read. …


Quarantined and learning to code after a decade

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Image by my photos from Pixabay

Coronavirus hit Japan right after ravaging China. On January 28, we had the first case of Coronavirus in Osaka, Japan. To say that “life has not been the same since,” would be a colossal understatement.

Much has been written about this evil pandemic and the wreckage of human spirit it has left in its wake. This, however, is not one of those stories. While it does not directly deal with the dread of mortality or the gloom of isolation, it does one better. It offers hope that we can find ways to make the most of a grim situation.

As I often put it, “If life gives you lemons, get some Tequila to go with it!”. Coronavirus put us all in mortal danger, subjected us to voluntary or forced quarantines, and took away the one aspect of humanity that keeps us human — our social bonds. But these government-mandated or self-imposed quarantines do have a silver lining. They have offered us “alone time,” to think, reflect, and most importantly — learn. …


My romance with Japan is alive and well

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Osaka (Photo by Chantal Lim on Unsplash)

Japan is an amazing country, and the Japanese are an amazing people. It has been over five months, and I am still in awe. It’s the “honeymoon period,” I am told, and it will “wear off,” I am cautioned. Not yet, though. My Japanese romance is quite alive and fierce.

The city is a humongous beast, and sometimes it feels as if it has swallowed me whole — I can hear it roar and rumble, grovel and sneer, whine and moan. I can feel its pulse in the Metro and its pulsating heart in an Izakaya.

The City

Life in a city like Osaka is a surreal experience, especially for someone who comes from a quaint Himalayan town. The city is a humongous beast, and sometimes it feels as if it has swallowed me whole — I can hear it roar and rumble, grovel and sneer, whine and moan. I can feel its pulse in the Metro and its pulsating heart in an Izakaya. …


It does not make your ideas any more “novel” than they are

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To everything (Photo Courtesy: A Novel Approach)

Research involves a detailed investigative study to discover, learn, and understand a yet unknown aspect of the subject matter. Hence, by its very definition, most research is novel. Most, not all, because Plagiarism is alive and well.

So why has there been an annoying explosion of research papers with the word “novel” in their titles?

Over 7% of PubMed papers now have the word “novel” in their titles or abstracts. The novelty epidemic is so widespread that the data has been extrapolated to humorously claim that by 2123, all research papers will suffer from it.


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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The tech industry ignored the fact that Social Networks lie at the intersection of Social Theory and networking technology. A course correction is underway.

This is the first of a two-story series that showcases the need to merge the social realm with the technological one.

The technologies behind modern-day communication are not conceived in a vacuum. The ideas driving the social networks where we keep scrolling and swiping away with impunity are often borrowed from other disciplines — Genetic Theory, Macroeconomics, and yes, Sociology. They are interdisciplinary in nature, content, and intent.

Take messaging on the internet, for example. The inciting selfies that we share so indiscriminately, sometimes across continents, always find their way into the right inbox. Imagine the mayhem, scandal, and perhaps shame, if our racy “snaps” were received by an unintended recipient. …


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Photo by SOON SANTOS on Unsplash

Here is a simple Vampire Test to help you do just that

Ever spent just ten minutes with someone that felt like an eternity? He probably had a way with words and a strange appeal. Yet, he could somehow make you feel an uneasy blend of restless, fatigued, and smothered at an alarmingly fast rate.

Guess what; an Energy Vampire just zapped you! These human black-holes are exceptionally good at draining the energy of anyone they interact with. The operating word here is “drain,” in its true and literal sense. They thrive on it, feeding upon others’ emotional vigor to sustain their own. …


Not everyone likes me and I have learned to smile at it

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Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

We all have a bouquet of friends. Best friends, friends, friends-of-friends, or just acquaintances. Most of them like us, and even if they don’t, they do an excellent job of hiding it. Then there is the larger social envelope of people to which we are generally indifferent. Their existence is inconspicuous, their opinions background noise, and we hardly ever feel their presence.

Why on earth would someone who does not know me enough to dislike me, choose to dislike me?

But all that changes as soon as their dislike for us becomes explicit and noticeable. Due to our human instinct of gregariousness and our deepest desire to be “liked” by everyone, the moment someone expresses their dislike towards us, we get sucked into a vortex of self-doubt. …

About

Manas Kala

Researcher • ✍Writes about — Japan, Tech, Success, Startups, & Society • Often shares unpopular thoughts 📖 instagram.com/digging_holes_in_water

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