October 17, 2005

Emotional Prostitution

One of the things that I look forward to while driving to work in the morning is the free copy of Hindustan Times they hand out at the toll booth if you make it early enough (till 9:00 AM?). Not that it makes much of an economic difference, but it is still gives me something novel to look forward to. At least on days like these, when my house has been turned upside down with some much-needed maintenance, the freebie and the foggy flyway corridor make for excellent excuses to start early for work.

DNA's RSS Feeds page does not list my favourite section of the site -- After Hrs. You can grab the URL for the section's feed by hacking the existing URL a bit and drown in the pleasures of very nicely done slushy soft journalism. I am assuming that they are using a lightweight version of the framework used to power the old jig, thus enabling the access (copy the catID from the section and use it in an existing feed) to the 'hidden' feeds. Carrying over the framework's legacy, there is no auto-discovery on the site either.

It started as one of those very geeky sci-fi jokes, but these days I am very much tempted to believe in the vision of the future where you can rent 'experiences' for the lack of time. For a certain fee, you can sign up at 'experience providers' for given periods of time. The range of experiences could range from having a family to being a business tycoon. Imagine how convenient it could be if you could swipe your credit card and do two hours of quality husband-wife time without the problems that come with being actually married?

Think of it as emotional prostitution on steroids. The employees, obviously, would have to be actors. It could even be called as an opt-in version of the The Truman Show . Money, of course, would be a major sore point. But we are talking here about a luxury that is on the scale of owning a yacht or a private jet. It would alter your reality for a certain period of time, but I think it could be quite healthy too. Take some two hours off and you are back on your feet, minus all those irritating emotional cravings.