Questions after No

That was little time to think about many things for me and for everyone.

However the million (Euro?) question was the following:

What is the plan?

Not the plan of the government, not the plan of the people and not even the plan of the rest European leaders.

What is the grand plan? Is there any?

Nobody really knows but I write this trying to put my thoughts and mental simulations in order. I believe I will fail but it would be interesting. Let’s calmly answer some questions.

What was the question/intention?

As the question was anything but clear, through the week we had many different scenarios for this.

  • The official one was that Syriza wanted to push Europe for a better deal.
  • The other was that Syriza was aiming to reduce the political cost of making a high austerity deal.
  • Another was that Syriza was tricking people to answer if they prefer to be in or out of the Eurozone and to gain time.

What is the clearer message we can get from the result?

That is a difficult one. Because of the unclear nature of the question, people answered to the version of the question they understood.

People and especially young ones (75% of them) voted No. At the same time75% of all people answered to polls that they wanted to stay in the Eurozone.

My interpretation is that this means out with the old and in with the new. Not just the old and the new of Greece but the old of Europe too.

At the same time people threw the ball back at Alexis Tsipras.

Why so loudly?

The result got me by surprise. No won by something more that 60/30 and in Athens there was a 70/30 ratio. We should examine why.

Yes was represented (maybe deliberately) in Greece by the people that run Greece after its big political reform in 1974 and in Europe by anyone who has been austere to Greece in the past 5 years. Also almost all private media were channeling people to vote Yes. That pretty much erased chances for aYes because Greek people hate all or some of the above categories.

However polls and even Twitter stats showed that people changed their minds at the last time.

People are angry with the situation. The last week helped to that. An hour a day in queue while in fear and uncertainty was an optimistic day plan. Angry people don’t choose positively.

At the same time the government strongly supported that there is no danger in choosing No. It seems like people believed them.

What happens now?

Nobody knows for sure. We still have to find out what we voted for.

The Prime Minister is ready to get again in negotiations and for the first time in these 5 months, Alexis Tsipras will make a move to form a united front for Greece with the help of the rest Greek leaders.

This could help Greece in the negotiations or if things go sideways Alexis Tsipras political cost would be highly reduced.

Many believe that this was the plan all along. That governing is too much for Syriza and they prefer to get back at the opposition where they feel comfortable and let the others take the blame of anything inevitable that will happen. It makes sense if you think how easy this gets with the referendum.

Now that we are here, let’s note that ex Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stepped down last night as a party leader meaning that the New Democracy party is going to get through (likely massive) reforms to become relevant and avoid the fate of Pasok.

At the same time Greece is divided. Many Syriza voters voted Yes because they feel betrayed by Syriza and many voters of other parties that were pro-Yes voted No. The thing is not party related and the word traitor gets thrown around a lot. People are afraid and uncertain. At least I am a little (less than last Friday I must say). This must be fixed really soon.

What can we do?

I am on a bus to Patras. A woman next to me is on the phone organising a play and her contact on the phone is anxious about what would happen. But the show must go on.

Be optimistic, hope for the best, continue our lives and search for ways to produce wealth in Greece. Armageddon is not coming and this will not be the end of everything. However things can still go bad or really bad but they can also go better.

Only time will tell…

Ας μην ξανακολλάμε

Όσο άσχετο και να είναι το δημοψήφισμα ως προς το ερώτημά του πλέον, σαν Έλληνες έχουμε πάρει θέσεις ηχηρά και οπαδικά ως συνήθως. Αναπόφευκτα λοιπόν τσακωνόμαστε και ξεκατινιαζόμαστε. Άριστοι σε αυτό από τα βάθη της ιστορίας.

Είμαι 22. Στη δύσκολη αρχή της κρίσης πήγαινα ακόμη σχολειο. Μικρές οι απαιτήσεις μου και χωρίς ρωγμές η φυσαλίδα μου.

Από τότε σπούδασα σε άλλη πόλη, ταξίδεψα, δούλεψα, πήρα μια μικρή ιδέα από δημόσιες υπηρεσίες και ενήλικες διαδικασίες και λίγο πολύ είδα μια πιθαμή πράγματα από τον κόσμο και την Ελλάδα.

Ταυτόχρονα ζω στο ίντερνετ. Το ίντερνετ είναι ένα άγριο μέρος όταν ο κόσμος είναι μπερδεμένος και πορωμένος όπως τώρα. Να χτυπάς με κακία ένα πληκτρολόγιο είναι αρκετά εύκολη και γρήγορη ευχαρίστηση. Τα αποτελέσματα στην προκειμένη περίπτωση ήταν αναμενόμενα.

Το λιγότερο αναμενόμενο για μένα ήταν το ότι βρίζαμε και υποβιβάζαμε τον Πύρρο Δήμα όταν πήρε θέση στην τηλεόραση. Έναν άνθρωπο που ο παππούς μου με φώναζε από μικρός που ήμουν να δω να σηκώνει τα βάρη, τον δοξάζαμε σαν έθνος για χρόνια και ανέβαζε την εθνική μας υπερηφάνεια με κάθε αρασέ και ζετέ. Και τώρα είναι οΑλβανός, ο αγράμματος και βολεμένος.

Αφού βρέθηκα αναπόφευκτα και σε ένα ΑΤΜ κατέληξα ότι για ακόμη μία φορά δεν έχουμε κοινό στόχο. Μόνο χωριζόμαστε ανάλογα με τους κοινούς μας εχθρούς.

Ο κόσμος κοιτάει το κενό λες και έχει φάει μία σφαλιάρα και δεν έχει ακόμη συνέλθει. Στο δρόμο οι οδηγοί είναι νευρικοί. Άκουσα στο ραδιόφωνο κόσμο να πλακώνεται στην ουρά στο πεζοδρόμιο για το ποιός φταίει.

– Ο δικός σου ρε μαλακα!
– Γιατί, ο δικός σου καλύτερος ήταν ρε προδότη;

Τους χώρισε ένας ηλικιωμένος. Κάποιου άλλου του έσπασαν το μαγαζί επειδή είχε μία σημαία της Ευρώπης έξω.

Ήδη νομίζω ότι χτίζουμε μόνοι μας ένα εμφύλιο. Πολλές οι φωτογραφίες από τον εφοδιασμό μας για πυρηνικό πόλεμο.

Ας μην πάει μακρυά αυτή η βαλίτσα.

Ό, τι και να βγει από αυτό το “δημοψήφισμα” τη Δευτέρα θα πρέπει να χτίσουμε μαζί τη χώρα και να βοηθήσουμε όποιον το χρειάζεται. Το ΝΑΙ και το ΟΧΙ είναι μία προτίμηση σε ένα ερώτημα που δεν υπάρχει πια. Είναι μία δήλωση. Πόσο καλό ή κακό μπορεί να κάνει αυτή η δήλωση μένει να φανεί. Δεν παίζουμε μπάλα και δεν υπάρχει κύπελλο για το νικητή.

Συζητήστε μεταξύ σας με ανοιχτό μυαλό και χωρίς μνησικακίες. Σεβαστείτε τον άλλο και καταλάβετέ τον. Αυτό είναι αναγκαίο.

Αν δεν αντέχουμε ο ένας τον άλλο τη Δευτέρα το παιχνίδι έχει ήδη χαθεί.

No drama please

Yesterday I realised that an acquaintance unfriended me on Facebook due to a certain political post I suppose.

I would lie if I said that his profile did not stood up on my feed. He is a very loud supporter of the Syriza government and I have read in the past many of his rage posts. I did not agree but I really evaluated them without being biased.

I don’t have any close ties to the guy. We met at a Startup Weekend, we share interest for certain technologies and comment on each others technical blogs from time to time.

But when I realised that I don’t see the raging posts anymore, for a moment I felt sad.

Then I read something from a friend:

Same thing there and I suppose there are more examples out there.

So, Greek people are diminished to fiercely choosing sides. We are choosing sides on a question we don’t understand and we refuse to even see people with different opinions that may make us rethink ours. All this with 6 days in front of us and without an official statement on what the question will be or if there is a secret question to find between the lines.

Yeah, Facebook is not real life except when it is. People are putting opinions up there and evaluate other people opinions. So right now Facebook and Twitter, are the broadest means of conversation.

I know it is hard when you have been dragged around so much and I strongly believe that this choice should not have fallen on our backs.

However this is the situation now and until Sunday you better spend your time free of drama and dogma, getting as much opinions as possible and demand calm voices from people around you.

Just don’t think about your self and make the choice you believe is better for your children.

Whatever that is, if you really believe it, I am confident it is the right one.

WTF?! Oh shit! #Greferendum

That was me checking twitter two nights ago while getting ready for an exam.

I jumped from my study and fired up the TV.

Alexis Tsipras announced that there will be a referendum next Sunday on whether to accept a deal made by the three institutions or not.

The government asked people to answer no while not explaining what that means. Most experts however agree that this will lead to a Grexit.

All this happens while the current program, thus life support of Greece’s banking system, is ending on Tuesday with institutions refusing an extension.

I froze and went for a walk to see an image like the one above at any ATM around.

That created much panic. For two days there is a continuous bank run.

Yanis Varoufakis just enforced capital control with banks and ATMs closing and 60€/day withdrawal limit from next Tuesday.

That means older people who don’t have a debit card cannot get their pension on Wednesday.

People went on crazy mode. In addition to the bank run they buy food and top up their fuel tanks.

The situation is fucked up and things are happening all the time.

There are many theories on what is the plan of the government or the possible outcomes. In any case, the people who are going to decide the future of Greece are in great shock and the decision they make should be thought through.

Polls are showing that people still prefer to stay in Europe (sorry, Greek article).

Myself I am furious.

In a very difficult time for Greece the government decides to divide the people and play dice with their fate without having a plan and acting plain stupid and irresponsibly. Also they are giving people 7 days to decide on something that is their responsibility to negotiate and decide for 6 months now. They are cowardly playing hot potato with the people and dress it as democracy at the end of the cliff.

If this is a negotiation tactic or one of Varoufakis famous game theory tricks, the risk and the cost are just too high. Even if it works there will not be a huge gain if any. Also trust in Greece is lower than ever. Specially when we are at the verge of the summer, the most prosperous time of the year for Greece. This is bad. People will suffer and will be our fault and no one elses.

Many believe that Syriza’s plan from the start was to lead the country out of the euro and try to pull a Chávez in Greece. This is way different from what the citizens asked him for. I did not believe this at first but now I can’t understand the logic if there is one.

Even if I really hoped at first, I’ve came to believe that they are just plain stupid cowards with no less appetite for power than anyone else before them. The difference with the previous governments is that they have no damn clue what is happening.

The only thing we can do is hope for the best, whatever that is…


Higher education and higher education communities like college are not dead

This is a response to “Is College Dead? Class From A Student’s Perspective” and it was originally posted on Medium.

As you have learned by now, college is not a must to start a business. There are people who own successful businesses and have not finished high-school. They learned by experience what you have learned in class (and in life).

That goes both ways. The fact that someone finishes college does not mean he/she is entitled to a great job.

Education is actually slowly but steadily evolving. More and more companies are getting into that game and also students demand it. This evolution though is slow for the better I believe. Imagine if a whole system that involves students, proffessors, staff, companies and governments changed every year. There would be chaos. It is better to change small stuff in a slow and reliable manner than to jump to the newer trend all the time. The same happens with law by the way.

There is actually a say:

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about what you get from college.

1. You don’t get to reinvent the wheel

It is magical to learn from your own mistakes. However it is very time and money consuming. Imagine someone who makes carriages. Does he learn from someone how to make something simple like wheels or he tries by himself to start and invent the wheel from scratch?

The core of your trade remains the same. In college you learn the absolute core and build on top of it.

2. You learn in depth

College lets you learn things in depth if you study hard and learning things in depth is invaluable.

Keep in mind that there are people getting second and third degrees to learn things in depth and not just to put them on their resume.

Take for example Elon Musk. He could have started his awesome career two years earlier but he didn’t. He took his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics just after Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.

This gave him the advantage in many ways.

3. Valuable connections and experiences

You probably wouldn’t have a sense that the people in your story existed if you skipped college.

You also wouldn’t have met your professors.

Your professors are not recordings of a class. They are most of the times respected and successful people in their field. You should learn about their work and ask for advice. They know the industry and it’s needs.

4. College broadens your horizons

Kind of cliche, I know but it’s true and it is the main stuff.

Steve Jobs was inspired by college (even if he dropped out). He was inspired because it gave him the ability to explore things that he didn’t know he liked.

Some more down to earth examples?

Some engineering students and friends in my university were excited about medicine and they published with some medicine students, a paper on bio-medicine that has seen great success.

Another guy I met at a party last month, is ready to leave for a university in France to write algorithmic economics simulations because he took an economics class and he liked it.

To conclude, college is not obsolete. Sure it can improve but it has great value even in its current form

Having said that, I hope that your business thrives and that I’ll see your watches soon on people’s wrists or even mine!☺

A Soliless smartwatch is a soulless smartwatch

Project Soli is basically a miniaturised radar implementation of the LEAP Motion sensor.

It can track precise finger gestures and at the same time is very compact as there is no combination of cameras and IR sensors.

As you see there is no much of implementation. The team has only raw data support for now but they say soon the sensor will be at the hands of the developers.

The most profound application is wearables. And the hot wearable right now is the smartwatch.

On a regular watch you don’t fondle the screen all the time and the crown is not intended to be used more than twice a year. Also it shouldn’t matter if you wear gloves. So a new interface should arise that is capable of satisfying smartwatches requirements. I believe that this will be Soli (or something like it).

On a regular watch you don’t fondle the screen all the time and the crown is not intended to be used more than twice a year.

Until two days ago, I was waiting for smartwatches to become less bulky but now I am waiting for manufacturers to incorporate Soli too.