Saturday, July 6, 2013

Paradigm Paralysis

If A 14-Year-Old In Africa Can Build These With Scraps, Imagine What We Could Do In America?
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but not everybody has a belief in himself to overcome his problems. When a task is challenging or even slightly unfamiliar we look for the escape route.

For a family of three, our groceries cost (60-70% organic) around 300$ a month. Our gas cost - 200$, that's only for driving to a park and ride three miles away from home. Our daily commute costs another 400$ a month for the metro train. Another 200$ per month for auto insurance premium. When they say the middle class is getting squeezed, it is not because we can not afford food, it is because we pay three times more on transportation than on food.
There is a crying need for innovation in transportation.

Commuting to work alone in a four wheeler is backwards, feeding that huge car which overtakes our lives is backwards. Feeding the monster at the signals, when the delays are a direct consequence of  the monster's size is backwards. Sprawl due to wasted parking spaces for these monsters is backwards. Hailing electric cars as progressive is backwards. No matter what MPG breakthroughs we may get, getting stuck in traffic while commuting to work is never going to help anybody.

The solution:

We should be riding a motor bike to work or errands. A motor bike in winter months or in the rain is unimaginable, but now there is an answer for that. Lit motor's C1 is a fully enclosed bike with temperature control, which means you can stay warm in winter and
dry in the rain or cool in summer. I am not a stealth marketer for that company, I am a daily victim of my commuting horrors. Once there are enough of these two wheelers on the roads, it encourages other two wheeler manufacturers and people benefit.

TL;DR Two wheelers are too important to fail. Cars should not be synonymous with travel. We should not be paralyzed with the paradigm of car as a primary mode of transportation.


Cars are important too, for a road trips with family or friends, for carrying groceries and shopping goods. But with companies like Zipcar and other pay by the hour car rentals or car sharing apps, it is getting easier to live without owning a car.

I am not arguing against mass transportation by buses or trains. Rather, these bikes should fill in the gaps of mass transportation due to unserved areas, infrequent schedules etc.

The park and ride near my home has 2000 parking spots, but if one reaches there after 8:45 am to park her car and take the metro, she is out of luck, all those spots get filled by that time. While I am happy that 2000 people take the metro, parking spots place an upper limit to metro's usability. If people rode in on their bikes, there is no doubt that 4000 people could use the facility.

Daily parking at the Metro station costs about 5$ a day, the cost could be down to 2.50$ for a motor bike since compact bikes virtually double the parking capacity.

Picture Courtesy:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How many?

"How many members are there in it?” That is the first question I am asked by all newspaper reporters. “How many followers have you? By their number we shall judge whether what you say is true or false.” 

Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Dissolution of the Order of the Star 

This week's celebration of Tumblr's David Karp feels like that to me. I haven't used Tumblr much, except browsing some very popular and hilarious memes like  mckaylaisnotimpressed. So this post is not about criticizing Tumblr, it is just amusing that "Success" is defined by how many millions or billions a company is acquired for. I hope we celebrate every day heros more often.

Also posted on Quora.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I digg digg

Love the clever Digg lines above headlines(have to find the right word for it). I'll keep adding to the collection here.



Friday, February 15, 2013


Read this somewhere sometime back, thought of it today, searched and found it on some blog. The-10-very-best-zen-stories


Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

the coming counterculture

the coming counterculture

Some blogger took the time to type down his thoughts and they echo with mine. I hope to find some way to fight our car culture. Now with Lit Motors C1, cars have become an 'unnecessary evil'. 
I am not a paid blogger for Lit Motors. This is a great product to disrupt transportation and can't wait to see the production cost go down and its adoption go up.
Cars are a similar technology. They have impacted our cities so much that it’s difficult to live without one. Trying to get out of the system is impossible, and would negatively affect your quality of life. You are locked in. But when that “locked in” feeling is dictated by a single company — Facebook — it becomes a bit more frightful.
No fights with Facebook for now, I have made my peace with it (by not being a direct user).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wishlist for 2013

My wishlist doesn't mean things I want for myself, it usually means things I want to see widely adopted. So here is one (non-controversial) from my list.

  • Efficiency of a motorcycle, convenience and protection from the elements like a car.
  • First gyroscopically stabilized bike => No fear of losing balance.
  • Greener than a hybrid/electric car(I assume), without the heavy price tag (expected to be around 12k in the next few years).
  • Needs less parking space
  • More of these on the road translates to less congestion.