Ali Khan

Techie, maker, dabbling with a few things. Here to share daily learnings and reflections in my personal cosmos. 
May 20, 2024

Goals can be anti-goals

Human motivation is an incredible force. At its peak, it can move mountains, change the course of rivers, and build monumental structures. Yet, it can also fail us particularly when we are burned out. This elusiveness of motivation can be quite disheartening and practically difficult to manage. One way to combat this is to avoid ‘anti-...
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April 29, 2024

Success? Just Keep Showing Up

Nobody tells stories about success like success does. From the pages of history to our world of tech, premises of bloodline, capabilities, and talent, as well as being in the right time and market, are all overplayed factors, in my opinion. The overwhelming share of success comes from 'sticking to it' day in and day out - without takin...
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February 14, 2024

12 Useful Lifehacks

• Boost reading retention: Pose a question for each chapter to encapsulate lessons or insights. • Opt for salads or vegetable juices at lunch. • Sell something online, no matter how small (could be a digital product on Gumroad, or a course on Udemy). • Want people to remember your words? Use analogies and stories. • Keep frequent conta...
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February 13, 2024

First-rate Intelligence

I often find myself thinking about F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous quote: “"The test of a first-rate intellect is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." ” We live in the world where the ideas stemming out of seeing things in black-and-white are not only prevalent, b...
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February 12, 2024

Varying Depth of Online Learning Content & Experience

The experience of learning online could be on a spectrum of tough, hard-to-follow, taking rigorous notes, to easy to understand, bite-sized convenient to remember, and audio-only (no need to actually watch the video). Andrej Karpathy prefers the former approach, a fact that anyone familiar with his technically sophisticated and coding-...
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January 30, 2024

Essential Wisdom, Zero Fluff: Unpacking Kevin Kelly's Latest Book

This book stands out in the self-help genre, boasting an incredibly high wisdom-to-fluff ratio with zero repetitions, unnecessary stories, or filler content. Excellent Advice For Living As you progress through the book, Kevin Kelly navigates between imparting profound, life-applicable wisdom and diving into tactical, specific advice fo...
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January 29, 2024

Beyond the Paycheck: How Your Job Shapes Who You Are

Notes from a conversation and advice to someone about to embark on their career journey: Your job has a profound influence on your identity. It's not just about the tasks you perform or the skills you acquire; it goes much deeper than that. Your job becomes intertwined with your thoughts, beliefs, and even your psychology. Consider thi...
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January 28, 2024

Book Review: Cutting Through the Fluff: Why 'Nonviolent Communication' Stands Out

I'm usually hesitant about self-help books, yet find myself reading many. This might seem contradictory, but there's a reason. The ratio of substantial content to fluff in these books is often disappointingly high, leading to my reluctance. However, the few valuable insights gained from a lengthy book can be incredibly impactful, makin...
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November 13, 2023

First 20 Years of Pakistan

Anatol Lieven writes in his compelling and well-researched book on Pakistan, Pakistan: A Hard Country: "...the composition and achievements of the Pakistani state in its first twenty years were mostly non-Pakistani: a state structure created by the British and largely staffed by officials who had moved from the old Muslim territories i...
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October 30, 2023

Seeking Sustainable Paths to Peace in the Israel-Gaza Conflict

This year, we have witnessed conflicts in Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Gaza that have caused immense trouble and distress. In these challenging times, it becomes even more crucial to advocate for peace, understanding, and unity. Regardless of who is behind aggression and terrorism, we must unequivocally condemn such acts as they only sow ...
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October 24, 2023

Easy vs Hard Problems of Consciousness

Consciousness - both as a term and a state - has been in the spotlight this year, thanks to the mind-boggling advancements in Artificial Intelligence. The question of whether AI can achieve consciousness has sparked diverse opinions. While it may have seemed implausible in the past, it is now a topic of serious consideration. In light ...
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October 24, 2023

Do women really see more colors than men?

Yes.
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September 29, 2023

Welcome to Data Ladder!

As humans, we rely on three types of data to navigate through different aspects of our lives: information, knowledge, and wisdom. a) Information: This data is crucial for day-to-day or short-term use. It helps us complete specific tasks or processes. For example, if you want to enroll your children in school, you need information about...
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September 27, 2023

Finding AI Project Ideas and the Impact on Jobs

Andrew Ng, a highly capable and respected AI expert, recently wrote an excellent article on deeplearning.ai. Here are a couple of excerpts that really resonated with me: On how to find AI-focused project ideas for business: “I’ve found the following recipe useful as a brainstorming aid: • Consider the jobs of the company’s employees an...
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September 26, 2023

Perception vs Reality - a lesson from science

I came across another amazing insight from Bill Bryson's 'The Body: A Guide for Occupants' last night, which is actually one of many others: how much we rely on our perceptions is truly difficult to grasp and fully appreciate. For instance, one of the first things we notice about everything, and everyone are the inputs we receive from ...
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September 25, 2023

Why I'm a fan of listening to audio books *now*

For a while, I was unsure about the idea of 'listening' to books. However, for some reason, I decided to subscribe to Audible last month and have now made the choice to continue the subscription after the trial period. Let me share with you the reasons that convinced me: 1. Enjoying fiction: While I usually prefer marking, highlighting...
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July 31, 2023

How to write 'About Me'

Writing 'About Me' to introduce yourself on GitHub, Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram is hard, but a good rule of thumb to remember is: “Profiles are not about who you are, what you know and what you like (or dislike). Profile should be about:” 1. “How the community should know you,” 2. “What you bring to the community, and” 3. “Why the c...
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