musings on music and life

July 5, 2018

social media fame (or infamy)

Filed under: Internet craziness, Life — sankirnam @ 5:24 pm

Another interesting development that happened during my hiatus from blogging was that I was named a “Top Writer for 2018” in the Q&A social media site Quora.screenshot_20180226-220002

I have talked about this before, and I have mentioned the importance of having a social media presence in this day and age. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this recognition – this isn’t necessarily something you can put on a resume (“HEY GUYS I’M AN AWESOME WRITER ON THIS SOCIAL MEDIA SITE HIRE ME PLZZ!!!!”), so I don’t know how much this necessarily contributes to my credibility or cachet. What I’ve learned is that demonstrations of credibility are pretty specific to an industry – if you’re in tech or web development, then social media is pretty important, but in a more traditional field like mine (chemistry), it is irrelevant. In R&D especially, your abilities are demonstrated through peer-reviewed publications, patents, and other measures of intellectual productivity.

As Groucho Marx said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members“. I don’t think of myself as a very good writer – I consistently got C’s in English in high school, and that has done a number on my psyche and confidence. Thus, getting this recognition was a bit of a surprise. In addition, Quora has not been doing too well lately, as a lot of well-known writers who were driving traffic to the site were banned for rather random reasons. Most of these people migrated to other sites, such as Medium, where they have the added benefit of being able to monetize their writing.


June 21, 2018

I’m alive!

Filed under: Life — sankirnam @ 7:33 pm

Yes, I am alive!

There have been no updates here lately due to the intensity of work and other life circumstances catching up with me. But I do have stuff to share, which should make it here in the coming days/weeks/months. Watch this space…

August 13, 2017

Still alive

Filed under: Life — sankirnam @ 7:42 pm

Don’t worry – I’m still alive, but I’ve been busy (in a good way) with work commitments, which is why communication has been very sparse here. A lot has happened recently, which I do need to get to, but those will be topics for future posts.

In the meantime, I should share some exciting (or not) news – I crossed 1 million views on Quora, a popular social media-type Q&A site. I’m not a huge fan of social media sites, especially since there are studies that have linked heavy Facebook usage to depression. However, having an online or digital presence is increasingly important, as the products of the tech industry begin to encroach more and more into our lives. I wrote about this before, around this time last year, and my efforts seem to slowly be paying off. It remains to be seen whether this strategy will work for my industry of choice (organic chemistry research) – jobs in that field are obtained through word-of-mouth, hidden handshakes, and backroom deals with influential people. I’m still working on finding out who these influential people are in the companies that have labs around here (Allergan, Pfizer, J&J, Teva, and others).


January 20, 2017

Farewell, Obama

Filed under: Life — sankirnam @ 11:16 am

Thanks, President Obama, for a remarkable 8 years. Your administration accomplished a lot, and even though it may seem that we do not appreciate your struggles (especially with a gridlocked partisan Congress), I hope history will be a lot kinder and that you do get the recognition you deserve. You were more than we, the American people, deserved as last November’s election showed. You can now take a well-earned break from public scrutiny – but please don’t disappear for too long, as we need your help in making sure all your hard work doesn’t get undone by the next President!


Some links:

  1. An excellent article by President Obama for The Economist (Oct 2016) on the state of the US economy, and what challenges still lie ahead.
  2. Obama’s farewell address (I missed seeing this live on TV, so I have to watch it today in order to console myself over current developments):

  3. I did happen to see this one live – Obama awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice-President Joe Biden!


  4. Obama’s State of the Union address from 2015! I particularly remember this speech as he was slightly snarkier than usual, and deservedly so. He also chastised Congress towards the end for being so partisan, and implored Republicans and Democrats to come together to generate solutions for the good of the nation.

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