I write this just after getting off the phone speaking to a dear friend. He is helping with the relief effort in Kerala. The magnitude of the calamity does not lend itself to easy estimation of the time or cost of rescue and recovery. Right now, conjecture with a bunch of assumptions prevail. The only certainties are these: its going to be very tough and it’s going to take a while. Please do what’s possible and lend a hand. Donate if nothing else.
By the way, did you hear about the story of the 8 year old kid who broke her 4-year-old piggy bank to donate Rs.9000? It filled me with hope. For the future of mankind! Thankfully, there were more stories of that ilk amidst some vile posts to the contrary in social media.
This edition of The Owl is to be read in that context. Of challenge and hope. Rightfully so, it carries a piece from the “Behavioural Scientist” which explores how we estimate risk and and how it keeps us in harm’s way. “Understanding how people respond to the risk of natural disasters offers a promising path to help us plan for these threats and limit their consequences” is a line from the piece that got me to sit up and read it again. There are lessons to be learnt from Kerala for everyone. Including those that are not there right now. Check it out.
There is another piece on change. Change happens gradually. It nudges and moves along and then one day, just marks its pronounced presence. A chance sighting of a picture from 1976, of a beach full of people gets George Monbiot to explore why we have all become fat. If you thought we are eating more or that we exercise less, well, you are not there. Its an Insightful article. Take a look!
INSEAD carried a wonderful article on why KPIs must not be tied to compensation. That flies in the face of present day practice, the world over. Even as we are at what companies are doing with their employees, did you hear about the company that installs a microchip in the palms of its employees? They can then use it for a bunch of things from logging onto their computers to buying soda! Employees love it, it seems. Well well well!
And on Blockchain, it was wonderful to hear that the government of Telangana has set up a district for Blockchain. Plus a bunch of practical applications for Blockchain all happening, right here in India. It puts a giant spring in our step!
That’s that for this fortnight. A fortnight when the rain God tested the collective will of an indomitable populace. The only silver lining, if there was any, is how people have rallied together to do their bit. Whatever little. It’s that time when we need to open our hearts and wallets a tad more. It is not a story of rain as much as it is a story of humanity. Which is a story of love!
Image Credit Pixabay