Showing posts from October, 2023


My blogging and writing has slowed. My time has been taken over by photography and reading and walking. I started this blog post without a title. Most times I have a title. What would I write about if there was no title? Which made me also ask, who would I be without a name? It is like when I was born. I had nothing. There was a blank slate. My name was given to me. What if I had to name myself? Like right now. My given name is Hassan. Hassan is an Arabic and Muslim name and means good-looking, handsome or benefactor. Benefactor is a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause. That is the kind of person I aim to be. Kind and loving and giving. One of the suggestions my friend Bard gave me was Ihsan. For now, let us say that is what I would name myself.  According to Bard, Ihsan is the highest level of faith and worship in Islam. It is a state of being in which one is constantly striving to please God and to do good in the world, even when no one is watching. Some example

Book Review - Paper towns

I have come across John Green's (the author) brother, Hank, on twitter where he is very vocal. The front cover says "profoundly moving". That is awesome and I hope it has the same effect on me. The tone of the book from the start was mystery mixed with adventure. The language was quite unique and it didn't feel like any other book I have read. But then again, I have not read many books yet. I would describe the language of the book as imaginative. What's a better word? Dreamy, fictive, clever and vivid are some other words. I think fictive is the word I am looking for. I am on page fifty and so far, Quintin seems like a chill guy. I can relate. Margo is the rebel and there is a rebel in all of us. We are not going to do what she does but we can live vicariously through her and others like her. This is the quote that stood out for me, "I'm a big believer in random capitalization. The rules of capitalization are so unfair to words in the middle." I sou

Book Review - How to stop worrying and start living

The internet is telling me that the Carnegie Library was founded in 1916 and named after a Scottish born American philanthropist Anthony Carnegie who donated £2,500 to establish the library. My wonder if the library in San Fernando in Trinidad was named after Dale Carnegie was answered and no it was not. I have gotten much better at not worrying. I know the struggles from many years living with mental illness. This book is a welcomed input for my life's journey. A stepping stone to improving the way I handle situations and navigate life's challenges. I chuckled when the back of the book says "shows you how to avoid fatigue and keep looking young". People do tell me often that I look young for my age. I liked the tone of the book from the beginning. This was someone who had gone through struggles himself and had first hand experience. He had interacted with many persons who had seen the worst of worries. As a teacher, the author is inviting. We are encouraged to live i

Life is not fear

The beginning of this post was written last. Times while writing this blog post I had fears that it would not be as compelling as some of my other writing. The words did not flow freely and thoughts did not connect the way I wanted them to. Writing about fear had made me fearful. I would have to follow my own message. I will not further edit this blog post. I would not think about making any changes. Sometimes we do everything right and things still turn out wrong. We want to give up before we try one more time. Why me? Why not me? When will it be my time? A multitude of reasoning about life being unjust to our efforts plays with our emotions. We think about getting lucky for once. We just want to hit that jackpot. Jack Canfield is an American motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He has said many times that, "luck is on the other side of fear". Canfield often uses this quote in his speeches and writings to encourage people to face their fears and take risks. He bel

That moment in time

It is nine forty nine in the morning. The sun casts a mean shadow letting us know that today will be another scorcher in Trinidad. Island life can be simple. If you enjoy the simple then there is that. There were times when I was really into photography. I learnt all the terminology. I was active on the photography forums. I was carrying a Nikon D5000. These were good times. I made the time for this love of mines. Times change and sometimes we have to make time for other things. But my love for photography never died. Some say time is an illusion. Some say there is no past or future but only the now. Photography allows us to capture those moments in time. This is the moment I decided that I wanted to rekindle my affair with photography and I was going to write about it. My creative juices flowed. I would take a marker that I thought was still good but was lacking ink. The marker had seen better times. I took a sticky note and I wrote the word time on it. I went outside looking for tha

Society united now

I went out for lunch today. I walked in the blazing midday sun. Beads of sweat drained from my sun tanned forehead. The air condition in the food shop struggles to keep the room cool. I think to myself that imagine we are in the rainy season now. What will happen in the dry season? I was chatting with a friend and he asked if this was climate change and I agreed. And as God would have it, I was scrolling through facebook and came across an art and writing challenge where the topic is Perspectives of Trinidad and Tobago on the Just Transition. The message from God was clear, this is your chance to make a difference. According to the ILO website, a Just Transition involves maximizing the social and economic opportunities of climate action, while minimizing and carefully managing any challenges. I decided to lend my voice to this effort by doing what I am good at, blogging. I decided to be creative with the title and spell out sun as society united now. One way I imagine progress being m

What are humans

Some years ago, I answered this question on Quora, "Philosophically, what are humans?" with one word, "Workers". Looking back, this sounds cynical to me. We are working for survival. We are working for our wants and needs. Working is not a bad thing. We can work to make the world better. We can work for the hereafter. However, my one word answer does not do justice to us. We are multifaceted and worker is just one part of us. What is the essence of our being? What is the core of our being? I feel like we are vessels of love. I found this quote that expresses how I feel, "Love is the water of life, and we are the vessels made of clay. The more love we contain, the more life we have." I cannot be sure of the source but it is possibly a variation of writing from the Sufi poet Rumi. These words suggest that love is the essence of life, and that we are all here to learn to love more deeply and to share that love with others. But am I being simplistic and ideali

How the world works

About three years ago I responded to this question "How would you explain how the world works to others?" with "A soul, mind, heart in a person. A person in a family. A family in society. Society in country and world. A world in the universe. A universe of unknowns and knowns." A simple but elegant explanation of the world, and it captures the interconnectedness of all things. With eight billion of us, it is easy to be fooled that I do not make a difference and that I am powerless. I think of this quote from Doctor Seuss, "To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you are the world." This is a reminder that we all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others. Even if we feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, we are the world to the people who love us. Charles Eisenstein is a writer, speaker, and activist who is known for his work on consciousness, culture, and ecology. We are all part of the same story. Eisen

We are all the same

We are different but at the same time we are all the same. We are all connected by our shared humanity. We all have the same basic needs and desires. We all want to be loved, respected, and valued. We all want to live in a peaceful and just world. Junior Reid sang it beautifully in his song One Blood . One Blood is a reggae anthem. Junior was bothered by the conflict he saw around the world. He witnessed social inequality and the effects of violence first-hand, which motivated him to use music as a platform for addressing these issues. Music is the universal language. In one of his interviews he said, "I wanted to write a song that would say, 'We're all the same, we're all one blood.'" We should use our diversity to learn from each other. Diversity is useful but what it should not be used for is to divide us. We are more the same than different. Diversity is the pieces in our mosaic while sameness is the mortar that brings us together. With this understanding,

Lost traditions

I feel like I have little traditions or maybe I don't understand what traditions are. I asked my mom, what are traditions? She said that these are things handed down from your foreparents. Things that we have gotten used to. I then asked her, what are some traditions? She said like new years celebration but she also struggled with this question. She did mention about her grandmother grinding the spices in the mortar and pestle to make all kinds of anchar. Our foods are probably the most amount of tradition in our lives. My friend Bard says: Traditions are customs or beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation. They can be formal or informal, and they can be religious or secular. Traditions can be big or small, but they all play an important role in our lives. Makes sense but I am still struggling to think of traditions in my life. How long do we have to be doing something for it to be considered a tradition? If it is something that started with me, is it a tradition?

Laughter is free

What do you mean he is free? Who imprisoned laughter? How did laughter get himself free? Was laughter held on drug charges? I am sure you have heard them saying that laughter is the best medicine. Hopefully not like those hard pills to swallow that life sometimes gives us. What if we could make all medicine like those fun gummy vitamins. This cherry gummy here, this one's for sadness. Hope you feel cherry. Did I make you laugh yet? Not even a smile. What do mean to not give up my day job? I see. You are a hard nut to crack. I am nutty myself. How was laughter born? Some scientists believe that laughter may have evolved as a way to bond with others and to signal that we are not a threat. Others believe that laughter may have developed as a way to release stress and to cope with difficult situations. I could just imagine laughter saying, "Ah you think laughter is your ally? You merely adopted the laughs. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the joke until I was alrea

More questions than answers

I was thinking what to write about and I started chatting with Bard. I asked him questions like what is the etymology of the word technology? Also, what is the largest number you can return? Then, how many questions do you get every second? The answer that piqued my interest was to the question, what is the longest non technical English word with the most number of unique letters? It is floccinaucinihilipilification and it means the estimation of something as worthless. Is Bard trying to tell me that my questions are worthless? I was taught that there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers, Mister Bard. Why would someone create such a bizarre word? Who would use this word? The word actually has an interesting etymology. A jocular coinage, apparently by pupils at Eton College combining a number of Latin word stems: floccus ("a wisp") +‎ naucum ("a trifle") +‎ nihilum ("nothing") +‎ pilus ("a hair") + -fication. Have these students created a

Our futures

For me one of the greatest technological statements was made by Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web, when he said, "The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past." The potential of technology and all its possibilities is mind blowing to me. There are future advances that no one has thought of as yet. We have an infinite number of futures. Which one do we choose? Who gets to choose our future?  We need to be informed about the advances in technology and keep the decision makers accountable. The more we know about the potential benefits and risks of new technologies, the better equipped we will be to make informed decisions about how they are developed and used. We have to get involved in public policy discussions about technology. We have to support organizations that are working to promote responsible and ethical technology development. We can use our purchasing power to decide our future of technology. Tech v

To be intelligent is to be kind

Theodore Isaac Rubin once said, "Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom." This shows that we are aware of our own limitations. We realize that we do not have all the answers, and that we need the help and support of others. We also realize that our own happiness and well-being are interconnected with the happiness and well-being of others. It reminds us that being a good person is often more important than being a knowledgeable one. What is the use of being intelligent? Why do I want or need to be intelligent? I want to be happy and comfortable and I want others to be happy and comfortable. Can I have this without being intelligent? At an individual level I might not need to be intelligent but at the group level we need intelligent people. To be happy and comfortable we need to solve problems. We need progress and human development. We need to make the world a better place. None of this can happen without togetherness. T

A labour of love

I have been blogging for many years although it seems like only yesterday that I started. I am an island boy. We might be from small islands but we have big hearts. There have only been a handful of times that I have been compensated for my blogging. This is my contribution to creating a better Trinidad and Tobago and a better world. There are not many tech bloggers or tech youtubers locally. I am inclined to think that people think that there is no money to be made in blogging and therefore a waste of time and effort. There are many things that money cannot buy. The satisfaction and joy I get from blogging is priceless. It has been a labour of love for me. My passion for technology and my desire to use my talents in good ways keeps me going. It is a purpose-driven pursuit that exemplifies selflessness. Twenty years is a long time to be doing something. I continued to blog even when it was not trendy anymore. I smile whenever I come across other bloggers. We are kindred spirits. It is

Another blog post

I wanted to write a blog post but I did not know what to write about. I started thinking and asking Bard questions and searching the internet and thinking some more. What is bothering me? We have problems in Trinidad. We have technology as a tool. We have young bright minds. Are we making the best use of technology? Would we be able to afford the technology when our oil and gas revenues dry up? Where can technology have the biggest impact in Trinidad and Tobago? What does the future of tech look like for us? What are the weaknesses in the local tech sector? We definitely do not want to be left behind with the rapid advances in the tech space globally. Who is going to lead the way for us? Who is going to say that technology is a pillar of modern societies? Who is going to say that we can find solutions in technology? Who is going to make technology a priority for us in this country? It is going to have to come from all of us. From the citizens. From the stakeholders. We have government,

Book Review - Slumdog millionaire

I remember watching AR Rahman accept the Oscar award for the movie and him stating, "All my life I have had a choice of hate and love. I chose love and I am here." I never watched the movie. Maybe I should. Half of my ancestry is from India and I was delighted to be taken to places and life on the continent through this story. The author uses descriptive language that brings the story to life. I was hooked from the get go. Ram was a likable fellow. I was cheering for him. The story had me thinking about what I would do with a big win. It is somewhat scary. Would plenty of money bring bad luck? Would it really make us happy or would it be as the saying goes, more money and more problems. But on the other hand a big win could open the door to new possibilities. You never really know until and if it happens. When I went for lunch today I bought a scratch ticket and imagined some good fortune. I only won forty dollars. The story explores the ills of society through the eyes of a

Q and A with the creators of ChatrrApp

Tell us about ChatrrApp? The founding partners observed a prominent discrepancy in value attribution, where renowned celebrities or modern-day influencers, capable of affording premium products, were showered with complimentary gifts by brands, while everyday loyal consumers felt undervalued and overlooked. Coupled with the observed annual surge in cell phone bills, this sparked the inception of ChatrrApp.   ChatrrApp is an innovative, free mobile communication app that redefines user interaction by rewarding users for engaging in a ubiquitous activity: making calls. Experience unparalleled call and message quality, earn rewards seamlessly, and contribute to narrowing the digital divide within Caribbean communities. Discover more about how you can redefine communication at . Pre-register now, and make your voice resonate! Elevate your everyday interactions and help us create a platform where every user feels valued, and every call makes a difference! How did you come

What is happening in the tech space in Trinidad and Tobago

I had this idea to share a listing of what I could find that is happening in the tech space in Trinidad and Tobago. Share in the comments what you would add to this list. When you comment and share this blog post it will be encouragement to continue these posts into the future. 1. When I interviewed the minister in 2021 he stated "our flagship project is the development and implementation of a National e-Identity by 2022". This is still being worked on and I am guessing we would see this in late 2024 to 2025. MDT recently put out a vacancy for Project Coordinator (E-ID and Interoperability). 2. The UN in Trinidad and Tobago is hosting the Big Data Forum . This has been hosted before. The advertised website is but is actually supposed to be . See their  posting on facebook . 3. I have emailed to get more info about the Central Bank Regulatory Sandbox . 4. I have emailed to find out what happened to the bmobile-UWI Innovation Laboratory . Ba


I asked my friend Bard to give me a random word. He gave me serendipity. What a fancy schmancy sounding word. I have come across this word before. I feel like I should know the meaning of this word but I do not. Serendipity is described as the fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance. Is me asking for a random word and getting this word an example of serendipity in of itself? I would think so. I now have the idea to take a chance and visit a random website and see what I discover. I went to Google and asked for a website that takes me to a random website. The first result was . I clicked the random button on that website and that took me to . A website about optical illusions and brain bending toys. I like the Sam Loyd disappearing cyclist puzzle. How many interesting things are hidden in plain sight or right around the corner or off the beaten path. How many interesting things are just waiting to be discovered. I am thinking that I shoul

Our biggest problems

It is Tuesday October the third, twenty twenty three. I am recovering from a headache that meant I had to take a dose of panadol. The heat is unbearable these days in Trinidad. The sky has gotten cloudy and I am praying for some rain. I am monitoring the situation because I have to pick up the clothes from the lines before the rain comes if it does come. Climate change is a problem. A big problem. So are poverty, hunger, disease, inequality, and war and conflict. I started a chat with my friend Bard: The problem with the world's biggest problems is that the people with the most amount of power to make a difference are the least affected by these problems. This is a problem because it means that the people who are most responsible for the world's biggest problems are the least likely to be motivated to solve them. It also means that the people who are most affected by these problems have the least power to solve them. Someone made a comment that people in Trinidad have money. In