Components of a Civilization that are more than a way of life

The environment we live in today is saturated with so many elements, that it has become difficult to think of human civilization without these. And yet, the presence of these implies that “civilization” is more than a way of life; it is the comfort that we all have become used to living in.

But this picture has an anomaly. The absence of green, the presence of garbage, the absence of enough oxygen, the presence of a rush hour, all of these seem somehow unnatural. Of course technology has advanced leaps and bounds. And we live in a world connected with wires and satellites.

But all of this comes at a price. The quick depletion of our natural resources, the labor of our fellow humans; these seemingly infinite things are finite. And we are only now realizing that we may have unknowingly put ourselves between the hammer and the anvil.

It is at times like these that history can rescue us. The ancient people were, to use a Hindi word, “doordarshi” or visionaries. They understood that their actions had repercussions. And to this end, they tried their best to treat their environments reverently.

There are countless examples of how people, especially before the industrial revolution, believed not in ‘exclusivity’ but in ‘inclusiveness.’ Their homes, their lifestyles, etc were all a reflection of this belief. This is evident in architecture, food, medicine, and culture that has been given to us through the ages.

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Brain Trauma and Big Data…

The death of Phil Hughes, Australian Test Cricketer, due to injury during a cricket match, came as a shock to the international community last year. The reason for his death- a subarachnoid haemorrhage or in simpler words internal bleeding in certain parts of the brain.

The fact that in spite of medical science being so exact, Hughes could not be saved is an indication that when it comes to the brain and its many intricacies, even the best among us are left with almost no knowledge.

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AI- Seeing the Future!

We have heard this word many a times. Sci-fi movies are always quoting AI as if it’s a household word. Artificial Intelligence has interested scientists and enthusiasts for a long time now. Ever since mankind developed the computer, the ides of AI has taken root.

It would not be farfetched to assume that in a few decades artificial intelligence will be a large part of our lives. It already plays a significant role even today- just look at Siri or Cortana for example. These words are very familiar because we can ask them various questions and they probably answer them accurately.

Whenever we hear the words AI, our curiosity is piqued. So what’s all the fuss about? Artificial intelligence (AI) is the human-like intelligence exhibited by machines or software. . The AI field is interdisciplinary, in which a number of sciences and professions converge, including computer science, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and neuroscience, as well as other specialized fields such as artificial psychology.

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Business in Celebration!

It’s Christmas Eve. The whole world is waiting with bated breath to welcome ‘the messiah.’ All the lines have been erased to witness the birth of Christ- the savior. This in itself is a miracle. Even before he arrives, he brings with him joy and peace.

Jesus lived centuries ago. And still his words, his very presence lingers in the hearts of people all over the world. And in this atmosphere of hope and happiness is the reason that Christmas is such an amazing time for us.

Businesses start preparations months in advance to cash in on Christmas. But we believe differently. We believe us and by extension most business owners are engaged in spreading the currency of love and joy.

Most businesses that survive in the long term end up adapting to their own changing sets of consumers. But with ecommerce becoming almost mainstream, and the huge amount of choices they provide, it has become necessary to find newer ways to retain customer attention.

Grabbing eyeballs may be easy even, but getting them curious enough to actually continue to look at a particular product or service is the real challenge. The virtual world is like a quagmire of options- it entices your consumers, yes; but it distracts at the same time.

With IoT proliferating and growing, it is becoming too easy to gather data. But converting that data into actionable insights is another challenge. Until now, we have had to rely on surveys and other statistical but human methods to get to the bottom of problems.

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Birds of a Feather…

In ancient India, when temples or mosques had to be built, people would come together and donate resources or services for the Lord. This tradition is seen in many cultures. In fact, crowds have come together even today to build temples in India.

The famous ‘Akshardham,’ the temples dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan in Delhi (India) and Ahmedabad (India) is a prime example. People contributed in various ways to lay the foundations of these vast monuments.

The idea behind all this, though, is constantly being reinvented in so many words. Today, we call it ‘crowdfunding.’ These days we see and hear this word a lot: crowdfunding. It is easily explained. Crowdfunding is the collection of finance to sustain an initiative from a large pool of backers—the “crowd”—usually made online by means of a web platform.

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How Financial Services firms are leveraging Big Data?

Financial Services today is an umbrella that covers everything from bank loans to insurance services. There are so many functions involved in the financial services sector that it is easy to lose count. In technical terms, financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of organizations that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, accountancy companies, consumer finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds and some government sponsored enterprises.

Managing money or economics maybe highly theoretical, but it is also one of the most practical and important aspects of our world. From times immemorial, we have required some kind of financial service. Since we learnt farming, we have believed in the concept of barter. Then came the money lenders and the Templars who created an ancient version of the banks we see today.

Finally we have banks that are deemed a very important part of our civilization. So much so that today, we use the services these banks provide to even buy the smallest of gadgets. Banks and other financial institutions have been crunching numbers forever. But now this highly manual process is becoming digitized now.

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Big Data and Food Production…

Big data has revolutionized the way we solve our many problems. It has completely changed the world’s perception of people and things. With the availability of precise and thorough information, making decisions has become easy. The magic of Big Data has spread everywhere. All possible applications of data analytics have been studied. Newer and better uses of big data are being discovered daily.

Data analytics will lead us to a connected world where everyone and everything has an online history. In today’s world itself, many countries face food shortage. Global warming has far reaching effects. One of these is the change in weather conditions all over the world. They may be comparatively mild, but we are feeling these changes all the same. As a result, food production is affected drastically.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, food production must increase with 60% to be able to feed the growing population expected to hit 9 billion in 2050.

So we step into the future of farming and food production with Big Data! Farmers today produce three times as much food as they did 50 years ago using just 12 percent more land, thanks to new technologies and better farming practices.
But the global playing field isn’t level. In Africa, farmers produce a fraction of what they could, according to the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, and most barely get by, struggling against infertile soil, drought, and diseases.

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Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

A Spanish woman recently came to India for the first time and visited quite a few Indian cities. At a private film screening in Mumbai, she was heard saying, “India is full of S**t!” None of the Indians present protested this statement. In fact, quite a few actually agreed with her. Recently Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan- an initiative akin to the Ice Bucket Challenge, meant to clean the country of the garbage that we are so used to seeing around us.

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Big Data in Real Estate- Real Opportunity!

Data are now woven into every sector and function in the global economy. These days all work is becoming “data-informed” or “data-driven.” Big data enables better demographic insight into how products and services are used by enterprise and competitors.

The presence of big data analysis has revolutionized the way industries operate. It is no wonder then that the real estate sector is also affected. Big data gives the ability to shift from expense to opportunity.

Three different kinds of data that are important to the real estate industry: property data, customer behaviour data and market data. Customers who would benefit from big data analysis include brokers, banks, and insurance companies, housing corporations, investors, authorities and real estate project developers.

Now it’s time for the real estate industry to tap into the Big Data phenomenon. Up till now, real estate has been governed solely by brokers. But with big data, now it’s all about taking the power back from the broker. The rise of Big Data means brokers are no longer the gatekeepers of all information.

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Equal or Unequal? You Decide…

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was asked to give his advice to women who are uncomfortable requesting a raise, he replied saying, “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.” Not asking for a raise, he added, is “good karma” that would help a boss realize that the employee could be trusted and should have more responsibility.

These comments though, were not well received by the online community. And Nadella was forced to retract his words with an apology in which he said that men and women are equal , hence should receive equal pay.

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