Getting Rid of Information Overload

How much information do we really need? As you know that we live in an information bubble designed specifically for each individual based on our likes and dislikes. Facebook, Twitter, and Google, they are all showing us information that they know we are going to like.

For someone who spends almost all day on the internet, this means that I am getting article suggestions throughout the day. These suggestions are derived from my interests, and are written by professionals who have mastered the craft of writing catchy headlines.

For example, if I open my Facebook timeline right now I will see a dozen stories by The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Quartz, Buzzfeed, Guardian, BBC, etc. Most of these stories will be focused on topics that interest me and all of them will have interesting headlines.

I mean, I love reading about signs of extraterrestrial life as much as any other nerd, but do I really need to read each article speculating about possible signs of water on some faraway moon?

Why I must read every article about developments in Ukraine, ISIS, fossil discoveries, and ancient extinct species?

I love reading and it makes me feel powerful. But for someone who hardly speaks to any person other than my wife, my brother, and my boss, where I am going to use all this information? Its not like I can use these stories as conversation pieces anywhere.

I am also unable to write or blog as often as I would like to. This means I can’t share these stories on my blog. Besides, why would anyone want to read my thoughts about early humanoid species when they can learn about it from experts?

May be I should try to control what I read every day. I was thinking about trying to limit my leisure reading activities to a fixed 30 minutes period. Instead of reading things as they pop-up on my timeline, I should just ignore them till my reading time.

If I decide to read more on what’s actually related to my profession and useful for me, then I should probably read more about why cute kitten videos go viral? Any recommendations on that topic will be much appreciated.

My new phone Google nexus 5

My wife bought me a new phone as an early birthday present (my birthday is on 16th May, in case anyone wants to buy me a gift ). Its a Google nexus 5, with 16 GB storage and its white. Its very light and comes with android KitKat. It is also very clean, there is no software bloat, just the usual Google apps.

Performance is very smooth. Camera is good enough for personal use. Its just the perfect fit for me.


Young, Brilliant, and Right – What Happened to All of Us?

When I was young, I used to hang around on an online forum. The forum’s founder was a wonderful German guy. He took special interest in me and encouraged me to learn things. It was because of him that I started learning PHP, CSS, HTML. He gave me free web hosting and even bought me a domain name. Apart from him, no body else liked me on the forum.

The reason for my unpopularity on the forum was simply that I was arrogant and rude. I admit that I knew nothing about anything at all. Yet I pretended to be know-it-all. I was also very opinionated and very good at trolling. Thankfully this phase of mine didn’t last very long and I realized my place in the world pretty soon.

I am a moderator on a very active Facebook group, called Pakistani Probloggers. We have a guy just like me on the forum. Well not exactly like me, I think this guy is much more arrogant, inconsiderate, rude, and basically a smart troll. Each day other users and moderators have complains against him, and each day he has complains against moderators and other users. Since he is a smart troll, he is kind of always good at presenting his case which makes him look so right. I know this very well because I was a smart troll myself.

He made me realize how annoying I was, and how kind, generous, and considerate was the moderator of our little online community was. He knew I had some kind of talent and he made me use it and he left a huge impact on my life. For that I will be eternally grateful to him. He told me that even though I was right but I am not fair to other people and I should not provoke and troll other users. I didn’t understand how bad I was. I thought other users are jealous of me.

I was so naive at that time, the world looked so simple to me, I thought I could do anything I wanted to do. In real life I was a very shy introvert with no social skills at all. But on the online world, I felt so confident, charming, manipulative and even cunning at times.

I am a grown up now and understand that the world is nothing like it seemed. It is a complicated place, people are not as easy going and as forgiving as I thought they were. Conquering the world is not an easy task and I am not that special.

But I miss the guy I used to be. The world from his eyes looked like such a fun little place.

Thank God! Finally…. They are Dead

Some people just don’t know how to make others feel happy. It is not for lack of trying, they are just unlucky that way. Their lives are the plain texts of sorrow and misery. As they grow older, all their good things become bad things. They usually live longer and end up growing into a painfully annoying old person. Everyone openly wishes they were dead. But they stick around for a very long time.

All their lives they try very hard to bring something good to people around them. But anything good that they say, try, or wish for is often considered rudeness, taunting, nagging, annoying noise by people around them. Each day everyone dislikes them just a little more than yesterday.

These unlucky people are actually kind generous people. But the very few people who understood their kindheartedness die away, until no one remembers that they were not always that annoying. Their children, grand children, in-laws, and relatives everyone knows them as one of the rudest, ugliest, sickest old person alive. The most popular whisper on their funeral is usually a loud announcement, “Thank God! we thought he/she would never die”.

No one visits their graves, and no one wants to remember them after their death. All this effort they did all their life was for nothing. They failed to make anyone happy including themselves. They failed to improve anyone’s life.

This failure, is probably a very common story behind so many gravestones. People who loved too much and it sucked.

(Photo Credit: Brad.K)

Photographs From Umrah Pilgrimage

Here are some photographs from the Umrah Pilgrimage. Most pictures were taken inside and around Masjid-al-Haram. All pictures were taken from my iPad mini. These images are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Please feel free to use these images with good faith, in educational, commercial, or personal projects. Attribution will be appreciated but is not required.

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Photographs of Masjid-al-Haram by Noumaan Yaqoob is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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Makkah Al Mukarramah: 21.419833; 39.820633

The human experience

I m in the holy Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Me and my wife are here to perform umrah pilgrimage. I don’t like to talk much about religion or spirituality, I believe that I am a fairly non-religious but god fearing person. I try to do good. What I liked about Makkah is that there are people from all over the world. They are here to perform umrah or they are here for business. Which makes Makkah a very beautiful city.

It is nice to see people from all over the world in the haram shareef. Performing the same rituals saying the same prayers, dressed alike, and feeling the same emotions. They are all tired of travel, walking, they are all thirsty and hungry. They all speak so many different languages.

Surprisingly unlike the old days when our grand parents performed hajj or umrah here today most people in Makkah can speak and understand a little bit of both Urdu and English. I noticed that if you speak English people are more respectful and polite.

I m sitting in my hotel lobby, will write more when I get chance.