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Our writers have told some stellar stories this year, no doubt (as you’ve seen in our throwbacks this past week), but this one’s not about them. What really strengthens our platform beyond beats and the streamlined focus on certain subjects is the variety our contributors bring. This year we had an even more colourful mix, courtesy The Ken’s weekend attraction #TKOW

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Now this one covered up pretty much all bases for bike-sharing in India and elsewhere. Colin Daileda’s piece definitely deserves a mention.

Bike-sharing in India is missing wheels

Picture India. Cycle lanes covered with trees, construction material, waste, makeshift homes, shops, other forms of encroachment; the works. And this is IF there is a cycle lane at all. So what are we even talking about, right? Well, some bicycle-sharing companies have decided that they’ll deal with the risks of starting up in India. With optimism on their side, these dozen (or so) companies are going to try and navigate issues both hyperlocal and international.

How? Read the piece here to find out.

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Social media often rears its ugly head. But Aria Thaker’s piece shines the light upon a really specific problem—that of the “western” lens on India’s use of English on the internet.

r/indianpeoplefacebook is just...not cool

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Entire online communities (especially on Reddit) have popped up around mocking people’s—specifically, South Asians’—gaffes on social media. At first glance, it may even come across as funny, but there’s a darker side to it.

Read the story to understand how something that seems so innocuous gets really problematic.

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Mid-year, The Ken on Weekends or TKOW was launched. And with it came some of the best contributions we’ve seen this year. One of the early ones was Arlene Chang’s.

Flying is getting easier. But just how easy?

Biometric screening is quickly becoming the norm for air travel. Chang’s story focussed on its incentives, disincentives, historicity and the future. Biometrics come “with the promise of hassle-free travel. And the caveat that you are putting too much of yourself out there and in the absence of privacy laws, there is no surety how it might be used. Worst-case scenario: against you.

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Ah, now we get to the really fun part with contributions this year. Thanks to TKOW (hat tip Ashish, Pranav and Roshni), we published not one but two contributor-fuelled series.

The first of the two was a four-part series called The Simplicity Paradigm and authored by Saurabh Mukherjea and Anupam Gupta. You the read the full series here.

The first of the two was a four-part series called The Simplicity Paradigm and authored by Saurabh Mukherjea and Anupam Gupta. The premise is simple. At any given point, there are a dozen different demands on our attention. Information is a constant barrage, in the form of news, notifications and updates. All this is part and parcel of living in an increasingly complex world.

And that’s where The Simplicity Paradigm comes in. Saurabh and Anupam draw upon a wide body of research and their experiences in the world of finance to offer ways to cut out the clutter and change how we think and live. For instance, the first in the series focussed on a common problem we all face—Tsundoku, the art of buying books and never reading them. You should read the rest.

The Simplicity Paradigm

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And finally, we come to our fantastic December series—Going Home. Those of you who are not familiar with it, you’d be delighted to know that the stories in it are written by established authors, looking at their personal journeys from home to now. And they’re all free.

Ashish introduced the series perfectly in his email.

The four stories are borne of deep introspection, longing, a sense of loss, of happy memories, objects, people, moments, smells, sounds…

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