Blog Posts

Code: Using OpenSoundControl and FaceCap to manipulate blendshapes live in Unreal Engine

Saw an OSC + Facecap implementation for Unity and one for Motionbuilder but nothing for Unreal Engine. UE has native OSC support but zero tutorials on how to do it with Facecap. Plus, there’s an annoying 4.25 bug that I had to build a workaround for. I’ll pad this out later with what OSC/Facecap are and where the potential use cases lie, but here’s some code so you can get started if you know what you’re doing. Here’s the result

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An article on pain, suffering, anxiety, and data

This article might sound like a ramble, because it’s still work in progress. In human beings, metacognition (the ability to think about internal status and thought) and other advanced cognitive skills such as socializing, planning, and strategy, are all proven to depend on a region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. One advantage we have over other living creatures is our ability to be “self-aware” and rationally watch our thoughts and internal state, regardless of the emotions we are

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Antibiotics kill mood too

I work closely with neurobiology departments of different research centers, and I’m starting to believe in something that very few people will fathom or even understand. I strongly believe that the global mental health crisis has less to do with external stressors, and more to do with gut flora depletion through antibiotics. More than 90% of your body’s serotonin is manufactured in the gut by 39 trillion little bugs. When you wipe them out with antibiotics, you create a void

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A brief history of money: from the Barter system to Bitcoin


  The early past The global economic system is incredibly complicated. At its fabric, this seemingly complex system disintegrates into a set of few rules that sum up how humans trade their notions of value. The internet has changed the entire game for age-old systems ranging from commerce to dating, so it’s no surprise that it has caused immense disruption to the financial system too. With everything that’s going on with blockchain (and more specifically cryptocurrencies), it becomes the media’s

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The future of fashion

I was playing Deus Ex the other day when a strange thought struck me — what are human beings going to wear in the future? Historically, humans have always mimicked what’s on TV. Fashion followed a predictable funnel from celebrity to socialite to common citizen. With SO much visual media available now (games, Netflix and movies mostly), what’s the 2025 human going to go to work in? To be honest, I’ve never really been interested in fashion. When you buy

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We wrote a book and got published by Bloomsbury. Here’s our entire experience.

The idea I still remember that day vividly. Abhinav and I make it a point to catch up once in a while, but this time, it had been a while since we’d met. Both of us had gotten significantly busier over the years, but we know our priorities. “Varun, I’ll be at Titan in 30 minutes. Hope you’re free – Abhinav” gleamed a text message on my phone. My home studio Titan was a place I’d built during my times

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My quest to find the nature of consciousness

My brain is a liar “Consciousness is the way information feels when it is being processed by particles” explains Max Tegmark, in his seminal book, Our Mathematical Universe. One of the problems with my brain is that it tends to ask more questions than give answers. Years of trying to zero in on the right questions have made me come to realise that statements like the one Tegmark made are practically fodder for a series of new questions. From an evolutionary

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What does it cost to run a startup in India?

startup costs

This is a post from the Wayback machine – old stuff I’ve written that becomes relevant at some point in the future. This post is from 2016. The last few months have been incredibly taxing, both mentally and financially for the folks at Jobspire. We’re now quite deep into the product development process and hoping to enter beta soon. In lieu of our experiences, I decided that it would be best to help the Indian startup community by detailing the

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How to fix the Government

I’ve been having a hard look at the etymology of the word ‘democracy’. According to Google, the word came from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek dēmokratia, which stands for dēmos (the people)  and kratia (power, rule). That’s supposed to mean a country ruled by a people, correct? If you go deeper, the flaws are apparent. ‘Democratic Voting’ sounds a lot more intellectually appealing than ‘Popularity Contest’, doesn’t it? Remember that popular girl in school who everyone knew? She needn’t necessarily have good grades, be

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