Wayland, Hearing aids, Multiverse & Identity


First up, I read Antoine Beaupré’s Wayland to Sway migration with interest. While he said it’s done and dusted or something similar, the post shows there’s still quite a ways to go. I wouldn’t say it’s done or whatever till it’s integrated so well that a person installs it and doesn’t really need to fiddle with config files as an average user. For specific use-cases you may need to, but that should be outside of a normal user (layperson) experience.

I have been using mate for a long long time and truth be told been very happy with it. The only thing I found about Wayland on mate is this discussion or rather this entry. The roadmap on Ubuntu Mate is also quite iffy. The Mate Wayland entry on Debian wiki also perhaps need an updation but dunno much as the latest update it shares is 2019 and it’s 2022. One thing to note, at least according to Antoine, things should be better as and when it gets integrated even on legacy hardware. I would be interested to know how it would work on old desktops and laptops rather than new or is there some barrier? I, for one would have liked to see or know about why lightdm didn’t work on Wayland and if there’s support. From what little I know lightdm is much lighter than gdm3 and doesn’t require much memory and from what little I have experienced works very well with mate. I have been using it since 2015/16 although the Debian changelog tells me that it has been present since 2011. I was hoping to see if there was a Wayland specific mailing list, something like debian-wayland but apparently there’s not :(. Using ‘mate desktop wayland’ (tried few other variations on the keywords) but search fails to find any meaningful answer :(. FWIW and I don’t know the reason why but Archwiki never fails to amaze me. Interestingly, it just says No for mate. I probably would contact upstream in the coming days to know what their plans are and hopefully they will document what their plans are on integrating Wayland in both short-term and long-term with an update, or if there is something more recent they have documented elsewhere, get that update on the Debian wiki so people know.

The other interesting thread I read was Russel Coker’s Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen5 entry. I would be in the market in a few months to find/buy a Thinkpad but probably of AMD rather than Intel because part of recent past history with Intel as well as AMD having a bit of an edge over Intel as far as graphics is concerned. I wonder why Russel was looking into Intel and not AMD. Would be interested to know why Intel and not AMD? Any specific reason ???

Hearing Aids

I finally bought hearing aids about a couple of weeks back and have been practicing using them. I was able to have quite a few conversations although music is still I’m not able to listen clearly but it is still a far cry from before and for the better. I am able to have conversations with people and also reply and they do not have to make that extra effort that they needed to. Make things easier for everybody. The one I bought is at the starting range although the hearing aids go all the way to 8 lakhs for a pair (INR 800,000), the more expensive ones having WiFi, Bluetooth and more channels, it all depends on how much can one afford. And AFAIK there is not a single Indian manufacturer who is known in this business.

One thing I did notice is while the hearing aids are remarkably sturdy if they fall down as they are small, yet you have to be careful of both dust and water . That does makes life a bit difficult as my house and city both gets sand quite a bit everyday. I don’t think they made any India-specific changes, if they had, would probably make things better. I haven’t yet looked at it, but it may be possible to hack it remotely. There may or may not be security issues involved, probably would try once I’ve bit more time am bit more comfortable to try and see what I can find out. If I had bought it before, maybe I would have applied for the Debian event happening in Kerala, if nothing else, would have been to document what happened there in detail. 😦

I probably would have to get a new motherboard for my desktop probably in a year or two as quite a few motherboards also have WiFi (WiFi 6 ?) think on the southbridge. I at least would have a look in new year and know more as to what’s been happening. For last at least 2-3 years there has been a rumor which has been confirmed time and again that the Tata Group has been in talks with multiple vendors to set chip fabrication and testing business but to date they haven’t been able to find one. They do keep on giving press conferences about the same but that’s all they do :(. Just shared the latest one above.

The Long War – Terry Pratchett, Stephen Braxter

Long Earth – Terry Pratchett, Stephen Braxter

ISBN13: 9780062067777

Last month there was also a seconds books sale where I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Long War. But before I share about the book itself, I had a discussion with another of my friends and had to re-share part of that conversation. While the gentleman was adamant that non-fiction books are great, my point as always is both are equal. As I shared perhaps on this blog itself, perhaps multiple times, that I had seen a YT video in which a professor shared multiple textbooks of physics and shared how they are wrong and have been wrong and kept them in a specific corner. He took the latest book which he honestly said doesn’t have any mistakes as far as he know and yet still kept in that same corner denoting that it is highly possible that future understanding will make the knowledge or understanding we know different. An example of physics in the nano world and how that is different and basically turns our understanding than what we know.

Now as far as the book is concerned, remember Michael Crichton’s Timeline. Now that book was originally written in the 1960’s while this one was written by both the honorable gentleman in 2013. So almost 50+ years difference between the two books, and that even shows how they think about things. In this book, you no longer need a big machine, but have something called a stepper machine which is say similar to a cellphone, that size and that frame, thickness etc. In this one, the idea of multiverse is also there but done a tad differently. In this, we do not have other humans or copy humans but have multiple earths that may have same or different geography as how evolution happened. None of the multiverse earths have humans but have different species depending on the evolution that happened there. There are something called as trolls but they have a much different meaning and way about them about how most fantasy authors portray trolls. While they are big in this as well, they are as gentle as bears or rabbits. So the whole thing is about real estate and how humans have spread out on multiple earths and the politics therein. Interestingly, the story was trashed or given negative reviews on Goodreads. The sad part is/was that it was written and published in 2013 when perhaps the possibility of war or anything like that was very remote especially in the States, but now we are now in 2022 and just had an insurrection happen and whole lot of Americans are radicalized, whether you see the left or the right depending on your ideology. An American did share few weeks ago how some shares are looking at Proportional Representation and that should make both parties come more towards the center and be a bit more transparent. What was interesting to me is the fact that states have much more rights to do elections and electioneering the way they want rather than a set model which everyone has common which is what happens in India. This also does poke holes into the whole Donald Trump ‘stolen democracy’ drama but that’s a different story altogether.

One of the more interesting things I came to know about is that there are 4 books in the long series and this was the second book in itself. I do not want to dwell on the characters themselves as frankly speaking I haven’t read all the four books and it would be gross injustice on my part to talk about the characters themselves. Did I enjoy reading the book, for sure. What was interesting and very true of human nature is that even if we have the ability or had the ability to have whole worlds to ourselves, we are bound to mess it up. And in that aspect, I don’t think he is too far off the mark. If I had a whole world, wouldn’t I try to exploit it to the best or worse of my ability. One of the more interesting topics in the book is the barter system they have thought of that is called as favors. If you are in multiple worlds, then having a currency, even fiat money is of no use and they have to find ways and means to trade with one another. The book also touches a bit on slavery but only just and doesn’t really explore it as much as it could have.


Now this has many meanings to it. Couple of weeks ago, saw a transgender meet. For the uninitiated or rather people like me, basically it is about people who are born in one gender but do not identify with it but the other and they express it first through their clothes and expression and the end of the journey perhaps is with having the organs but this may or may not be feasible, as such surgery is expensive and also not available everywhere. After section 377 was repealed few years ago, we do have a third gender on forms as well as have something called a Transgender Act but how much the needle has moved in society is still a question. They were doing a roadshow near my house hence I was able to talk with them with my new hearing aids and while there was lot of traffic was able to understand some of their issues. For e.g. they find it difficult to get houses on rent, but then it is similar for bachelor guys or girls also. One could argue to what degree it is, and that perhaps maybe. Also, there is a myth that they are somehow promiscuous but that I believe is neither here or there. Osho said an average person thinks about the opposite sex every few seconds or a minute. I am sure even Freud would have similar ideas. So, if you look in that way everybody is promiscuous as far as thought is concerned. The other part being opportunity but that again is function of so many other things. Some people are able to attract a lot of people, others might not. And then whether they chose to act on that opportunity or not is another thing altogether.

Another word that is or was used is called gender fluid, but that too is iffy as gender fluid may or may not mean transgender. Also, while watching some nature documentary few days/weeks back had come to know that trees have something like 18 odd genders. That just blows me out of the mind and does re-question this whole idea of sexuality and identity to only two which seems somewhat regressive at least to me. If we think humans are part of nature, then we need to be open up perhaps a bit more.

But identity as I shared above has more than one meaning. For e.g. citizenship, that one is born in India is even messier to know, understand and define. I had come across this article about couple of months back. Now think about this. Now, there have been studies and surveys about citizenship and it says something like 60% birth registrations are done in metro cities. Now Metro cities are 10 as defined by Indian state.

But there are roughly an odd 4k cities in India and probably twice the number of villages and those are conservative numbers as we still don’t record things meticulously, maybe due to the Indian oral tradition or just being lazy or both, one part is also that if you document people and villages and towns, then you are also obligated to give them some things as a state and that perhaps is not what the Indian state wants.

A small village in India could be anywhere from few hundreds of people to a few thousand. And all the new interventions whether it is PAN, Aadhar has just made holes rather than making things better.

They are not inclusive but exclusive. And none of this takes into account Indian character and the way things are done in India. In most households, excluding the celebs (they are in a world of pain altogether when it comes to baby names but then it’s big business but that’s an entire different saga altogether, so not going to touch that.) I would use or say my individual case as that is and seems to be something which is regular even today. I was given a nickname when I was 3 years old and given a name when I was 5-6 when I was put in school. I also came to know in school few kids who didn’t like their names and couple of them cajoled and actually changed their names while they were kids, most of us just stayed with what we got. I do remember sharing about ‘nakushi’ or something similar a name given to few girls in Maharashtra by their parents and the state intervened and changed their names. But that too is another story in itself. What I find most problematic is that the state seems to be blind, and this seems to be by design rather than a mistake. Couple of years back, Assam did something called NRC (National Register of Citizens) and by the Govt’s own account it was a failure of massive proportions. And they still want to bring in CAA, screwing up Assam more. And this is the same Govt. went shown how incorrect it was, blamed it all on the High Court and it’s the same Govt. that shopped around for judges to put somebody called Mr. Saibaba (an invalid 90 year adivasi) against whom the Govt. hasn’t even a single proof as of date. Apparently, they went to 6 judges who couldn’t give what the decision the Govt. wanted. All this info. is in public domain. So the current party ruling, i.e. BJP just wants to make more divisions rather than taking people along as they don’t have answers either on economy, inflation or issues that people are facing.

One bright light has been Rahul Gandhi who has been doing a padhyatra (walking) from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and has had tremendous success although mainstream media has showed almost nothing what he is doing or why he is doing that. Not only he had people following him, there are and were many who took his example and using the same values of inclusiveness are walking where they can. And this is not to do with just a political party but more with a political thought of inclusiveness, that we are one irrespective of what I believe, eat, wear etc. And that gentleman has been giving press conferences while our dear P.M. even after 8 years doesn’t have the guts to do a single press conference.

Before closing, I do want to take another aspect, Rahul Gandhi’s mother is an Italian or was from Italy before she married. But for BJP she is still Italian. Rishi Sunak, who has become the UK Prime Minister they think of him as Indian and yet he has sworn using the Queen’s name. And the same goes for Canada Kumar (Akshay Kumar) and many others. How the right is able to blind and deaf to what it thinks is beyond me. All these people have taken an oath in the name of the Queen and they have to be loyal to her or rather now King Charles III. The disconnect continues.