This week, I have been staying in New Delhi. There is so much to see. And when I see, without judgment and preconceptions, without prior notions and impressions, there is so much to learn.
In today’s post, an observation about mall life. Also, the link to this month’s Insider Hangout at the bottom of this post.
The SneakyArt Insider Post is written for paying subscribers of the SneakyArt Post. I share a behind-the-scenes look at my work, solicit positive feedback for various projects, and organize (in-person) meetups and (virtual) hangouts.
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The Reverse Turing Test
The Turing Test was formulated in 1950 to distinguish artificial and human intelligence. But as our work becomes more robotic, as our lives become regulated by algorithms and timetables, are we closing the gap between humans and machines from both ends?
What is human intelligence? What is artificial? In which direction should humanity move to liberate itself?
Cafe Cultural Differences
I went to the Select CityWalk Mall, a premier shopping destination in South Delhi. I went there to watch the people.
Although I found several excellent cafes, none of them were conducive to people-watching. This is a difference I have observed about cafes in India vs abroad:
In North America, the good cafes sit on street corners. Big glass fronts let you look out upon the intersection. While you are indoors - warm, nourished, and safe - you remain connected to the rhythms of the outside world.
In India, the good cafes insulate you from outside chaos. It is not about windows or glass fronts. It is about the ambience - a comfortable bubble to spend a few hours with friends and family.
And then, I spotted a Tim Horton’s! It is funny that I came all the way from Vancouver to grab coffee at another Timmie’s, but perhaps it was meant to be?
The cafe sat at an indoor intersection within the mall, with great views on either side. Just as we strolled in, a patron vacated their seat at the front-facing counter. I could not have asked for a better spot.
A Valuable Lesson at the Mall
I had heard this before - Delhi people dressing up for the mall is a vibe. But for the first time, I was seeing it myself. No one was casually dressed. Everyone was in their best garb.
My first thought was this: