Monday, April 7, 2014

Sharing the same taste



When was the last time you recommended an awesome series to a friend only to get the reply - "I didn't like it at all"? Accepting that other people don't share the same tastes as you is one of the hardest things imaginable. Why doesn't the person like what you love, why do they hate something you so firmly believe in? While you go on explaining to them how the good the thing is, how intense it is, the simple fact is, they just don't like it. You cannot do anything to change their preferences. And it feels that they have been denied something which is very harmonious and perfect. All the while they're oblivious to the fact that they're missing something so great and powerful.

Finding people who share almost the same tastes as you is very difficult and rare. It is so rare in fact, that many mistake it for love. Liking the same things is an icebreaker in conversations, it can make or break your case. But some tastes are just not meant to be forced. You cannot force that AMAZING band on your friend, they have to like it on their own. It's sort of like naming a pet. No matter how interesting the names you suggest, the person is going to choose his own favorite name, even if it sounds dull to you.

When you have someone that shares the same tastes, you have someone to talk to. Liking the same unique thing together is even more special. But what happens when anything you can talk about has to be something mutually liked? You're building up someone a lot mentally by projecting so many things onto this one person. 

There's a difference between liking the same things, and liking the person. So when someone doesn't like the same thing as you, it's their preference, and the point of preferences is that you don't have to explain them. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The World is Coming to an End



A great philosopher said this for our generation:

Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

The philosopher was Socrates and this was in 500BC. My point being, people have been condemning the newer generation and predicting world apocalypse since the inception of humankind. With every new generation  reluctantly agreeing with the old one after the introduction of a newer one.

The world is changing constantly, our lives are dynamic.  Many mistake this change to be the destruction of the old order. The new way isn't how it was supposed to be' and modernity is 'corrupting the youth and destroying the old' Declaring that the world is coming to an end is a new trend, all around me I see people denouncing the world. It is cool to join in with the naysayers too, just look at the Youtube comments on classic rock videos - 'Im 13 and this is the music I listen to, all my friends listen to crappy new age pop music. Upvote my attention whoring attempt' 

Music nowadays is garbage.  I liked music back when it was real, just two stone age men clapping rocks together.

When people claim that we're going to kill the planet, I always remember this quote: 'The world is safe, humans are fucked". We're all just trying to save ourselves in the name of the planet. But not every minute change our species take is a deal-breaker and a harbinger of doom.

While many human behaviors that we recognize are degrading the society like - Self entitlement, willful ignorance, narcissism, these behaviors have been around as long as the civilization. We can now just spot them more easily and on a global scale. Indeed, the world's coming to an end, or is it? We've been living in the most peaceful of time in history, the crime rates are going down. The only reason it seems worse is because all you have to do is open a laptop to see what horrors still remain

Despite this, the inferior trends that do exist should not be ignored, humanity is always one step away from extinction. While the world may not be waiting for an inevitable destruction that is long overdue, we're not immortal either. So any and all problems that are corrupting the world should be equally balanced and solved. 

"Everything right now is amazing and nobody appreciates it" -Louis CK




Friday, March 28, 2014

Sleeping Late, not a problem



Sleeping late has been a moral issue and a cultural dilemma for a while now. When it's well-established that the circadian rhythm shifts later during your teenage years, I don't understand why early-rising moralists try to shove their ideology down our throats. Many teens are wired to feel tired later than adults. You'll never hear someone being called lazy for going to bed early.

I believe it is a remnant of ancient society's subsistence farming, irrelevant in the modern urban life, but forced to be carried out because of the deep rooted history behind it. Before electric light bulbs came around, someone who slept during daytime hours probably would have been looked down upon as wasting productive time, but now there is no excuse to be willfully ignorant. Even worse is when you're asked to just get up early to get work done. That's the same as me telling you to wake up at 3am instead of 9 to 'get work done'.

As for night owls being lazy, many people can still not comprehend the idea of sleeping late, and thus waking up later. If you're up 6 hours later than someone, then waking up late is not that absurd an idea. People who sleep late are often considered lazy, no matter what they're able to achieve in their one 24 hour day cycle while early risers are lauded for their productivity even if they hardly do anything else. If you sleep late working on a project, people will tell you at 8-9am to get your lazy ass out of the bed. Everyone's a bio student with vast knowledge about the sleeping patterns and how harmful sleeping late is, when all they have is a minimal understanding of science.

Also, god  forbid you try to catch up on some sleep during the weekend, then you're literally the lowest scum of Earth. Yeah, well, I'm not burning daylight because I am not a farmer waiting to sow his crops. And it is not all hearsay, there's some science to back me up too! This has got to be the dream city - Overpopulation becomes such a huge problem in the world in the year 2051 that cities start switching over to this to help unclog the congestion caused by so many humans. Half the city is awake during the day, and half the city is awake during the night. Cities become more productive, and congestion on roads is cut in half.

What about sleeping late, waking up early and then taking a nap in the afternoon? Wikipedia explains it perfectly.
Segmented sleep

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Minimalism: The Rise of Less



Minimalism colloquially refers to anything that is spare or stripped to its essentials. It is simplicity in its purest form. The simplest elements are used to bring out the intensity of the subjectThese days, minimalism is everywhere. From Apple ads to movie posters, from product designs to food.

Minimalism has been often associated with art styles, especially abstract and modern art, but minimalism is also a way of life. Not a life filled with restrictions such as living with less than 'x' number of things, or not having a job, home or money. Minimalism as a lifestyle is one of freedom. Freedom from the world and the life trapped within the consumer culture. It is not just a way to please the eyes, but also an imperative to appreciate the quintessence of life. In your life, you can find minimalism in art styles, music, movies, architecture, food; in almost everything to be seen, heard or felt.

The most apparent minimalism is the advertising revolution where  companies are trying harder and harder to de-clutter their campaigns and introduce their products with fluidity and in simple terms. Minimalism is also directly linked with De stijli or Neoplasticism.
"New plastic idea will ignore the particulars of appearance, that is to say, natural form and colour. On the contrary, it should find its expression in the abstraction of form and colour, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour"

Click on the image to visit the source
Minimalism is the practical symphony of geometry. The geometrical organization in life is as soothing as it is strong. It is balanced and sometimes supplemented by symmetry. We are more attracted to pieces of design that blend in together with harmony. The rise of
minimalism may be a direct result of the chaotic era. We were,
and are still bombarded with information. 90s websites and newspaper ads are perfect examples. They are fine examples of the chaos in our lives and ways of aesthetics.



We want to de-clutter our lives, which might explain why the Google homepage looks so analgesic to the eyes instead of say, the Yahoo! homepage. There is no arguing this, minimalism is efficient. It is a better way of doing things. There's a movement going on, one that began since the beginning of time. It is a concept that has been self evidently practical since centuries, but
only now being realized.

Some ways of incorporating the minimalist design in your life:
  Flaticons theme for iOS
  Zenpen writer
  Music finder 
  Dictionary

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Awesome in the Mundane




Lots of times, we come across facts that make us awe at the brilliance of life and ingenuity of nature and get back the next moment to complain about petty things like a tree blocking the road. I like reality because of how quickly it flutters back and forth between awesome and mundane. Very schrodinger's cat.

For example, In 1903 the Wright brothers flew for 59 seconds. 38 years later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. 28 years after that, we landed on the moon. We went from gliding a few feet off the ground for less than a minute to launching rockets out of orbit, traveling for hundreds of thousands of miles, landing on the moon, and then returning, all within a single lifetime.

...And we still don't have a working hovercraft model.
The world is filled with these overlooked facts that the large part of population doesn't care about. Cleopatra lived closer in time to the first Moon landing than to the building of the Great Pyramid. There are some facts that are both bizarre and plain ordinary.

Some things on the other hand, are invisible until you step back and look at the bigger picture. You cannot make sense of these seemingly random happenings quite easily, even you're looking for them. The drug Voltarin causes people to be eaten by Leopards! Voltarin was given to cows. When the cows died, Vultures ate the cows. Voltarin killed vultures. 99% of Vultures in India gone by 2008. No Vultures - wild dog population explodes as they eat dead cows. Then the Leopard population explodes as they eat wild dogs. Leopards enter villages looking for dogs and eat people. That's one cruel butterfly effect.

Now look at the moon. It is hard to imagine that something as inconspicuous as the moon that has shit all to
offer to the eyes besides having craters, craters, craters, Nazi war-camp, craters, craters. But now imagine this, the moon you're looking, every human being that saw it saw the same moon. From Hitler to Napoleon to Mother teresa to Ganghis Khan.And not only the same moon, but the same side of the moon.

Sometimes, I sit somewhere and look at people whizzing past me, and guess how they come to be where they are. What their day was like and what profession they
 belong to. Everything that we see has a story, from the zipper to a diamond. It is just a matter of curiosity to go look for it.




Monday, March 17, 2014

Reasoning vs Justification




Would you rather be an honest and fair person and have the world believe you're deceitful,
or be a liar and a douchebag
and have the world think you're Gandhi?

It is Plato's prerogative to prove that our minds are perfect think tanks and that all our actions and morales are based on logical and rational reasoning meant to find the truth which, as he says, is the truest sense of happiness. Now, what Plato says sounds good and all because he's a very persuasive debater, but how true are his arguments?
Plato's is the idea of what humanity should be, rather than what it is. Our own sentience and natural programming make it nearly impossible to be unbiased and fair throughout life.

Our minds are less equipped for reasoning than they are for justification. While reasoning takes sheer
strength of will to find out the truth and reach a moral standpoint, justification works in reverse. You decide the moral standpoint and your position before you even start thinking about why you chose it.
 A lot of research has been done in this field by the likes of  Jonathan Haidt and Howard Margolis. It says that when in contact with an opinion, we instantaneously decide if we're for or against.

When you flat out say 'you're wrong' to a person, you've already defeated the purpose of the discussion even
before it started. The person's mind perceives it as a confrontation and immediately tries to defend his own resolution. The person's reason goes not to look for truth, but to justify what he's already decided. Their whole being senses you as a threat to the perfect conclusion they have 'unbiasedly' arrived at.

In reality, what we say is inscrutable truth is actually quite malleable. Reason is largely a tool to justify our intuitions & beliefs held by groups we wish to be a part of. Reputation is more important as a whole to humans rather than seeking precise truth. We form our opinions in a subjective way depending on the circumstances, emotional quotient, and authoritative value of the person in question. We have evolved to become impeccably adept at justifying our flawed reasoning and intuitions.

This is the reason people argue even when they know they are wrong, why we carve out a version of ourselves that we project to other people, why we forgive celebrities easily. Evolutionary advantages of being fair and honest are quite less than the advantages of seeming honest and fair while actually being
dishonest and deceitful. This is how we can rationalize the silliest arguments and beliefs when they otherwise are plain wrong.

It is eliminating this subjectiveness of the human behaviour as a race, the bending of truth and logic to serve our needs that will help us find our reality. Until then, the truth is as flexible and inconsistent as our own minds.
But rationalization doesn't need to be a manipulative force, it can be a good politician trying to wade through the trench of baseless instincts and deliver us to the truth that is objective and concrete.

People are fluid. 'Truth' is made by people. Truth is fluid.


Listen to this post using the Soundcloud widget on the sidebar.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Frisson: Trapped in the amber of the moment





Listen to this post using the Soundcloud widget on the side-bar.
Sometimes, while listening to music, something weird and beautiful happens. Time stops. It stops being of any significance, it stops having instinctual power over you. But mostly, it just stops.  Like most feelings, there is in fact a word for this sudden thrill and excitement. FrissonFrisson is a shudder of emotion, a fleeting sensation of excitement from an epic moment of a song, or the climax of a movie. 

 During these instances, reality becomes surreal. Almost a mirage. Your body's autopilot takes over. You  make decisions, you do things that you don't remember 10 seconds after you've done them. Your body is doped on life, literally. Moments of frisson release dopamine in your body, which is intoxicating.

This is one of those times your own reality starts looking terribly unimportant. Everything both makes sense and doesn't. Music seeps into you.This is, in my opinion, an altered state of consciousness. Some of the most complex and creative thoughts are birthed while listening to music. They cannot be defined, but you can understand their potent essence. They have a reality of their own, separate from themselves. It is the outburst of soul.


Many take these moments of introspection and gain unquantifiable insight. But mostly, during these short times of frisson, time feels like an instant. It is both over very quickly and lingers for a long time. Like cocaine and Morphine, the ecstasy from the frisson of an event decimates after the first time. Replaying that song will churn up the same feeling, yes. But with a reduced presence. Watching that movie will never be the same, again. But this has no effect on the moment you just experienced.


"Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything?"
 "Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why."

Time is not the boss of you.
 You sprout a global consciousness, a compulsion to do something about the current state of affairs, but it all feels so insubstantial. A negligible period after the end of a novel. You gain the brevity of human existence and a new perspective for that short while. The meaningless life forces us to find our own meaning, even if it lasts for not more than an instant.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Accepting Apathy, Really What We Need?



 Listen to this post(experimental):
 

We're a generation raised not to feel. Someone beats you on the playground? You do not fight back. Someone curses you? You do not abuse him back, you stay silent and let it simmer. Someone backstabs you at work? You do nothing, because it is work and not an emotional circus. Nobody cares about anything anymore. Sure, you see a few freaks fighting for the cause of others, or some retards trying to make this world less of a shithole, but those people are morons AMIRIGHT?! Who cares if the world is going to shit, you just live out your life peacefully, that's what matters. Much like most things we humans don't like, we have successfully romanticized the idea of not giving a fuck, about everything.

The world is broken, ain't anything you can do about that now, can you. Nobody has the time to listen
to your sob story, it's just one droplet in the universe of oceans. Apathy is the unsaid topic everyone understands, but not many dare say out loud. After all, what are we but faceless creatures roaming the Earth, taking the form of whatever suits our wants best. Older generation likes to associate that with the internet, the loss of connection. But we lost the human touch a long time ago.

The world is broken. It is broken because we break it everyday. What is an ocean, but a multitude of droplets? Is this empathy towards apathy that's leading to humanity's dissociation? Each human is an individual sentient being, that's not a phrase to throw lightly. It is not the lack of connectivity, but the lack of will to connect that harbors alienation. The motto of the new world is 'Well, at least I didn't try".

Friday, May 3, 2013

Last Shred Of Humanity



I was surfing the internet late at night when I came through an album of prisoners' last meals (which is embedded at the end of this post). These prisoners were to be executed and they had one last wish. But this is more complex than that. It is not just some random guy eating Sushi. This is murderers and arsonists knowing their finality and being offered their last shred of humanity.


I find the concept of a last meal on death row fascinating. The fact that the prisoners have done something so terrible that they aren't deemed worthy to live, or it's too dangerous for them to be around others, but someone out there thought of offering them a huge treat just before they die, anything they want. This act of compassion right before you're executed. It's a bit of a mindfuck in my opinion. You are going to take away someone's life away from him as a punishment, but not without respecting it. You respect the fact that the guy is still human, just not a good one.

It is also the  last time for the prisoner to really think about what he's done. They are being offered something to eat as an act of sympathy and yet, their victims didn't share this kind of sympathy or joy in their end moments. This must be the guiltiest time of their whole life, something which is about to end soon.

These murderers are people. Like us, they had a childhood, a life. They have Memories and thoughts. We are taking away their life, but not without some comfort. This may also be the moment of calm for the prisoners. The significance of this is far greater than anything possible just before death. Some may not deserve this, they may have been animals to their victims. But their executors are not animals. We are not animals.

Prisoners choose their last meal  for different reasons.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why Iron Man 3 Sucks




The new Iron Man movie was released this Friday. The previous ones had been amazing, if not perfect at pinpointing the actual badassery involved in being a superhero. Iron Man 3 was meant to take it up one level further. It was the struggle against Tony Stark and Iron Man. It was the movie that everyone knew was going to be a blockbuster hit, no matter what. While the latter part remains true, everything else took a backseat.

Obviously, this post is going to have some spoilers. So watch the movie before reading this...or not, 'cause it is kiddy trash. 

ACTING
The movie started with Tony Stark recounting a past event as his iron suits were being blown away in the background. The introductory quote sounded like the writers spent a week trying to say something witty and yet insightful. They failed at both of these attempts. The initial acting from all the actors seemed superficial and completely lacked emotion of any sort. It looked like everyone was trying extra hard to just finish the dialogues and be done with it, go home and watch something better. Well, it will become better once Iron Man comes, right? Who am I kidding, that made it worse, and I thought it was not possible.

THEME
Iron Man 4, coming soon to
theatres near you
Stark is building this prototype suit with little or no armor that he can wear with just the flick of his fingers. The prototype fails, some laughter ensues. Oh, did I tell you, the suit is also capable of being its own handler. It can fly, fight and even protect itself. Not bad for a prototype that is supposed to not quite work, is it? After the creators added everything they thought was cool to the suit, we see a handsome man entering this crappy scenario. He was cool, has awesome hair and wears custom made suits. Everything that warns the viewers that this guy is a douche. He reeks of his own ego and confidence, only to be rejected by Potts.


Now that two characters have had enough screen time, the scene changes to the head is security, a guy who can hardly handle a tablet and sucks at being observant. The very thing he's being paid to do. After a few explosions and some more cool effects, the director thought he could have some fun and relax for some time. The 8 year olds in the theater certainly didn't seem to mind.

Honey, there are more from where these came from
All the while, the henchmen did an excellent job of describing the science beneath the cool...um..things (since they never really explained its implications at all)
Seemed like whenever you got what the thing actually was, the creators changed their powers to make them look more unpredictable when all it did was create cheap surprise tricks.


o.O
Yes, that guy literally pukes fire.

Tony Stark went to extended lengths to charge his suit, even barely escaping from death by a burning woman. And after some time, he had the realization that he had more than a dozen suits which could actually steer themselves. Yeah, Mr Stark, really well thought out plan.



VILLAIN