Rhapsody Of Madness


How does one explain the tragic human condition which turns so surreal that what you see inside the celluloid is exactly what is happening outside ?

 In that iconic moment of the film, when Joker dances gracefully to the morbid rhythms of a human mind careening towards insanity, there was an eerie moment of silence in the theater. 
At first one lone voice howled out in adoration. 
And then another clapped. 
And then another whistled. 

In no time, the voices inside and outside the celluloid came together in unison and savoured the rhapsody of madness. 

Ever since Joker movie got rave response from audience worldwide, it was evident that it had touched a raw zeitgeist nerve. When the world doesn't make any sense any more, how do humans cope with the dreadful act of living? I recently spoke to an entrepreneur who bamboozled me when he said that he derives inspiration from Joker. 

What is it about this film that connects so deeply with the times we live in? 

Is it because, like Arthur Fleck, we too realize that there is literally no one to listen to the clinical case history defining humans on earth : Chronic paranoid delusions about the reality we live in. 

Or is it because in the bottom of our hearts we feel entitled to project our realities onto others and rebuild the world in our own image?

Are you a Live player or Dead Player?

What makes a framework useful? 

Perhaps, when it doesn't create much fuss and quietly gets into your bones to let you make few distinctions carefully! 

Ever since I first read Samo Burja's distinction of Live Players Vs Dead Players in his blog, I've been seeing Live and Dead Players in orgs, in startups, and in people I meet in my work and travels.
Who is a Live Player? 

In Samo's words, a live player is a person or a tightly coordinated group of people that is able to do things they have not done before. A live player usually does things outside their domain, is tightly coordinated with the group, possess a living tradition of knowledge and knows to play in stealth mode to avoid opposition. 

Who is a Dead Player? 

In Samo's words, Dead player is a person or a group of people that is working off a script, incapable of doing new things. And what causes them to die? When tight coordination is replaced by bureaucracy, when an intellectual tradition dies. They may compete in old tested domains, but they can never do anything new. 

Few days back Matt Stoller published a fascinating argument to break up The Walt Disney Company. Reading his argument, it was obvious: Disney is no longer alive. They are a dead player. But remember this. Never write one dead though. You never know if they are playing dead.

P.S. I used to be a dead player. I talked about my transformation here 

Betaal's Digital Agribusiness Riddle Revisited

I've been fond of Vikram Vetaal for quite sometime, and its magnificent riddles have often helped me throw light on complex, wicked challenges which evade easy answers.

Those who've been reading my blogs would know my penchant for understanding wicked problems in the business of agriculture. 

I was invited to address the students of Institute of Rural Management, Anand for their agri-input marketing symposium which was held recently in their campus. And I chose to look at the big picture of Digital Agribusiness through a riddle from Vikram Vetaal. 

You can read the blog post here.

 Do join the conversation in LinkedIn if it evokes you.