Rohit's Realm - July 2011

// / archive / 2011 / 07

July 04, 2011

On Asset Classes and Relationship Portfolios

As the wretched few who have been with me for far too many years know, there are moments, thankfully few and far in between, when I emerge from a haze of existential angst and school- or work-induced stupor to direct my attention and incoherence upon some subject other than the futility of life. One such phenomenon with which I have occupied myself over the years is social networking, or more specifically, the proper mechanisms by which to sort the disparate groups of individuals—value-added, commodity, and deadweight—that comprise one's relationship portfolio to protect what little semblance of privacy still exists on the web.

And while I have in the past touched upon this topic, first, in analyzing the state of relationships on Facebook back in 2005, and then in advocating for asset liquidation in 2008, I must admit that I have never fully thought through how to best implement what is fundamentally a rather complicated access control problem rife with real world social considerations. The advent of Google Plus last week and this holiday weekend presented an excellent opportunity, however, to sit down and think (alone and in the dark, obviously); what follows are some initial thoughts on the subject.

July 16, 2011

Rohit Reviews: The Idiot

The Idiot

One need not know me well to know that I am rather fond of Russian literature. The frequency with which I reference it, both on this wretched site and in a real life that is far more wretched still, is exceeded perhaps only by the seemingly unending obscure allusions to The X-Files (like this, for instance). That I would choose to pick up The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky back in summer of 2008 so soon after finishing Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov in 2007 (review here), therefore, should come as no surprise. Nor should it shock anyone that, like most things in my life, The Idiot too would fall victim to law school's vice-like grip on my time, becoming yet another law school casualty. Although I had been more than 150 pages in when I left New York that summer, I was forced to start all over when I picked up the book again this spring, finally determined to finish it. Today I accomplished that task, bringing to a close another half-completed remnant of my law school years.

July 17, 2011

Rohit Reviews: Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey

It has been a long time since I posted twice on this loathsome site in as many days—almost two years—and far longer since I sat down and read a book in a day. And for that matter, I don't think I have ever published two book reviews in a row. Inspired, however, by completing a major Russian work that had long been lingering on my bookshelf, I went on what I yesterday deemed an ill-advised book buying binge. (Ill-advised because I have a long backlog of purchased but unread books to work through at the moment, and certainly none more are needed.) Of the four novels I picked up, JD Salinger's Franny and Zooey was the shortest, which made it an excellent candidate for my next book, seeing as how I had been suffering under the dense endless prose that accompanies most Russian novels for many months. I was expecting to kill it over the coming week and had only intended to start it when I picked it up late last night; it went by a lot quicker than even I expected.

July 23, 2011

Good Things, Small Packages

The clock struck four. I looked up from the book in which I was buried and considered my options. If it was going to happen today, it would have to happen now. Silently, after a moment more of indecision for which we Libras are known­, I set down the book, and surveyed my apartment for what I would need as I traversed the depths of hell. Having found my wallet, keys, and sunglasses, I was out the door and on my way.

July 27, 2011

Rohit Reviews: Emma


You may be forgiven, dear readers, if you were slightly aghast upon examining this latest blog post's title, for it is not often that I, purveyor of all that is somber or melancholy, deign to engage anything—let alone literature—that may be considered happy, much less romantic. Rest assured, however, that my decision to read (not to mention review) Jane Austen's 1815 romance and comedy of manners, Emma, was not taken in a fit of lovesick idiocy which I decried as recently as this past weekend. On the contrary, my reasons for choosing this book (part of my binge a couple weeks back) were quite deliberate. First, after a year-to-date of mostly melancholy or downright depressing tales, it was time for a change. Even I have my limits when it comes to despair. Second, and perhaps equally as important, I needed to introduce some variation into my reading repertoire; one cannot simply alternate between Russian and (God forbid) American literature forever, after all.

Emma satisfied both these conditions quite well. For one, Pride and Prejudice is a favorite and it remains one of the few books I have ever read that made me laugh out loud, a feat for which I have much respect for its author. For another, I knew what to expect from Emma, if for no other reason than having watched Clueless (more than once, I am not afraid to admit); there would be no soul-crushing ending here. Lastly, I was told by a reputable source that this was the better novel vis-à-vis the other Austen I might have considered, Sense and Sensibility.