The Great Divide

As we struggle to wrap our minds around the outcome of the Pakistan elections and reconcile reality with the expectations, aspirations, hopes and dreams associated with the ballot, one question remains. What’s worse? That the 2013 elections were rigged on such a massive scale, or that Pakistan’s “educated class” has completely lost touch with the masses? Continue reading The Great Divide

Making Jest

In the absurdities of the last few days over the Long March in Pakistan and what can only be called the resulting chaos, while news channels and dime-a-dozen analysts revel in the cha-ching of advertising money as the nation tunes in to watch the political primetime drama, most of Pakistan seems to have lost sight of the realities of life in the country. Continue reading Making Jest

Liking Your Likes

Back in 2010, when Facebook first introduced a ‘Like’ button, it forever changed the meaning of the word. Or at least, for its 850 million or so active users. Now, everyone wants to “go digital” but it seems no one quite knows how or why. Continue reading Liking Your Likes

A State, Islamic

The debate over whether or not Pakistan was meant (or supposed) to be an Islamic State is as old as the country itself. But what exactly do we mean by “islamic state,” and what good would the label do any of us if we chest-thump for implementation but never actually practice ourselves? Continue reading A State, Islamic

Two Months in Romania

If you had asked me at the beginning of this year what I’d be doing this summer, I would probably have shrugged and mumbled something about taking an extra course at university. Instead, I found myself in Romania, taking part in an ambitious educational project to help young people realize their potential in an increasingly competitive yet interdependent world: gROw, 2011. Continue reading Two Months in Romania

‘Pious’ Justice

Governor Salman Taseer’s murder at the hands of his own bodyguard has certainly rocked the proverbial Pakistani boat. Just four days into a new year – which the astrologers on the television told us would be a good one for Pakistan – a police guard turned his gun on the governor, riddling him with 26 bullets. The assassin was led away, smiling ear to ear at his accomplishment and leaving a trail of utter madness in his wake. Continue reading ‘Pious’ Justice

Digging for Digital Gold

Edward Wilson, in his book Consilience: the Unity of Knowledge, wrote “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.” Despite the tons of information available to us almost instantaneously over the internet, it still takes the same amount of time to make sense of anything as ever.

Humans have been manually extracting meaning from data for centuries – that’s basically what statistics are used for. But with the numerous petabytes of data being generated every day, manual analysis just isn’t an option – that is of course where computers come in and data mining begins. Continue reading Digging for Digital Gold

Lost in Translation

Nearly 12 million viewers in the US alone, winner of a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy for best TV drama among a slew of other nominations and wins, LOST has perhaps been the best TV show television has produced in a long, long time. A successful show without a doubt – yet ultimately a failure to its viewers. Continue reading Lost in Translation

Warfare 2.0

Cyber warfare is coming, say security experts and analysts. Does “War 2.0” just mean the use of computer networks to achieve the same ends as its traditional bullets-and-blood predecessor, or has war really evolved into a different, if not altogether new, form? Continue reading Warfare 2.0

The Problem with Windows Vista

Windows Vista has transformed into a poster child for epic failures. System administrators cringe at the very mention of its name, running for cover, fondling their XP CDs. But like so many preconceived notions, the idea that Vista is the bane of modern computers is ridiculous. Many would have you believe it is true, but it simply is not. Continue reading The Problem with Windows Vista