Freedom for Mendelssohn!

In October 2009, my colleagues and I rallied behind an unexpected cause: defending the right to play Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.”  The trigger for our campaign was a rather audacious lawsuit filed by a Novosibirsk lawyer. In an apparent bid for notoriety, he sued the local civil registry office, demanding compensation for each use of Mendelssohn’s… Read More Freedom for Mendelssohn!

My Early Digital Ventures

It’s hard to believe I’ve been on LinkedIn since June 2005. This makes it my longest-used account on any social network, with Twitter and Facebook following much later. It seems like a lifetime ago, yet I still recall certain aspects of those early days. In 2005, I launched my first stand-alone blog, focusing primarily on… Read More My Early Digital Ventures

My Soviet Awakening

In late 1989, a kindergarten teacher, who seemed to aspire to be a political commissar, scolded me for decorating my pencil box with drawings of cartoon tanks. “You must not deface property,” she admonished. When I protested that the box was indeed mine, she countered by asserting that personal ownership was not permissible and that… Read More My Soviet Awakening

Novoday: How to Create a Holiday

Sixteen years ago, my jovial friend Alexander Feoktistov and I, along with a few colleagues whose identities shall remain secret, created a new holiday. We wanted to offer people an opportunity to engage in something meaningful during the extra day provided by the leap year, February 29. The concept emerged one dark January evening in… Read More Novoday: How to Create a Holiday

When Silicon Valley Came to Russia

In February 2010, Ilya Ponomarev, then a member of the Russian parliament, brought a group of American diplomats and Silicon Valley moguls to Novosibirsk. I met Howard Solomon and Esther Dyson and even had a beer with Jack Dorsey and Ashton Kutcher. I was hopeful back then. Visits like this showed the advantages of cooperation… Read More When Silicon Valley Came to Russia

The Irony of the Future

ChatGPT never ceases to amaze me. I asked it to draw a picture, and the result was impressive, though the background required some improvement. Naturally, I requested a fix. ”Open Photoshop and fix it yourself,” the model replied. Welcome to the future.

My Euromaidan

Ten years ago today, I attended Euromaidan (and listened to my favourite Mykola Hnatyuk at the pro-Yanukovych concert). Looking at the photos now, they seem like ancient Egyptian papyri: not just reminders of the past but messages from a different civilization.

A Gentle Nudge

Apparently, ChatGPT now adds a special disclaimer to the emails it generates: “Note: Please replace [Recipient’s Name] and [Recipient’s Position] with the appropriate details before sending the letter.” A gentle nudge to some “prompt engineers” who’ve embraced the copy-paste culture too enthusiastically.

AI Joke

I asked ChatGPT for a joke to liven up my latest piece, and it quipped, “Why did the Tasmanian tiger join a dating app? It heard scientists were trying to match its genes!” Hilarious.