Ibrahim Shakeel

A blogger based in Islamabad who writes about politics, music and literature

Bitcoin, the magic money, and why I chose to risk it for the biscuit

The Bitcoin saga has been one of mad fanfare, terminological jargon, ridiculous price jumps, and scathing criticism from banking establishments. There is a plethora of information available on how Bitcoin works, and the original proof-of-work paper is available to read on the currency’s organisational website. Yet, despite all the countless articles that detail the schematics of the Bitcoin system, it remains mired in controversy, especially of late as it makes the news on a regular basis for its volatility. Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding Bitcoin, and attempt to disentangle this nascent cryptocurrency from the confusion that surrounds ...

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Kuch Khaas open mic night: Good times in Islamabad!

Last weekend I attended an open mic night at Kuch Khaas, a famous social enterprise in Islamabad. The occasion held all the promise to be yet another “mass brain cell genocide”; a phrase I use fondly each time I end up at one of these gigs. I had anticipated a night filled with tone-deaf kids hopped up on drugs, with couples leering in the corners and of course bad karaoke music. But I was wrong on all counts. This open mic night has to be one of the finest youth events I’ve attended in a long time. Kuch Khaas is located ...

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The brute in me

Like every young gun in Pakistan who has recently graduated and started a job, I too have become a drone, hell-bent on acquiring as much wealth as possible. The indifference to every other value of life seemed outrageous and inhumane at first, but even that feeling has slowly ebbed away to an occasional rant.  There has been zero opposition to this life of comfortable nihility, until a peculiar incident occurred and brought my life to a standstill. I was driving to work one morning and had stopped at a traffic signal; the counter above read sixty agonizing seconds while a group ...

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