Friday, September 30, 2005

Living your dreams

Jim Morrison starts his song "been down so long" with a word of advice and sermonizes by saying that we are all on a cosmic ride and once we die we are going to see our lives recurring eternally forever in cinemascope, so you better have some good incidents happening there and a fitting climax .

If you start your day with the daily dose of
"The Speaking Tree" or some other soup for your ravaged soul then you can expect this kind of stuff but hey Lord Jim has his own take on life. For a man who died at just 27 years of age, I am sure he would be seeing life much different from ours. He would always be on high dose of LSD or Cocaine when ever he performed, but his songs always reflected an intense desire for emancipation. Rock music or the Devils music as it was known in early days has always stood for anti establishment and still today it symbolizes the power of youth.

Jim gospels were no different for his cult; his concerts were no less than an occult practice of creating mass hysteria or rather as some say cosmic orgasm. However what really made me ponder a lot was the fact that each generation has grown up braving numerous challenges of societal and economic pressures.

The third wave as Toffler said has really been most exciting for music. So the 60's music reflected this struggle through rock and roll and 70's saw the emergence of Rock in different genres (heavy, metal, thrash, psychedelic) .80's saw disco and floor music 90's was techno and Rap and millennium has hip hop and trance in all forms (electro, house, fusion, rave).

Essentially music symbolizes the mood and aspirations of the youth. But if one were to try and understand the underlying current of all these ages it can be captured as "freedom and I want my own rules" kind of stuff.

However after reading
Shuchika's post I really thought hard about her ideas and honestly I admire her for putting such honest and sincere post. The fact that we all grow up trying to be something and as she says" Most of us who had average childhoods are taught to be useful. Taught to contribute, to take decisions, to think, to be visionaries. We suffer from a pressure to add value. We need to have an opinion on things. Her commentreflectsrefelcts the minds of 20 something like her and many other who are happy and have loads of attitude lke been their seen that.Suchika's views on life are quite similar to what I read on indira's blog.

Indira's is another 20 sumthing girl born in trinidad and a presently in New York pursuing her studies in Environmental Engineering and also working part time.I am amazed by her intellectual thirst and ideas on life,her thoughts on religion , indian guys who run to her thinking her to be indian and then running away after knowing that she is a trini.

Perhaps that true globalisation cause you have people living in different parts of the world having very different views but highly convergent but contextual appraoch towards life.

I guess we all faced this question in our growing up years and truly speaking I face the same question everyday .Perhaps Maslow would categorise this as need for acctualisation but I feel its the desire to be what we always wanted to be free from all mundane stuff and living our passions and chasing our dreams.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Brain Challenge

Deepak Chopra has a very interesting post on the Intent blog called “WHO IS USING THE BRAIN”. It’s a very interesting analysis of the fact that human mind can be compared to software and hardware and the analogy between both ends leads to some interesting reading.

Experience changes the brain. The notion that we all share the same hardware is simply inadequate, for one sees extremely altered brain activity after emotional traumas; different activity between criminals and ordinary people; between people who are more emotional than rational and vice versa.

In addition, the billions of dendrites, or nerve branches, connecting each brain cell are totally unique from one person to the next. What makes them take on their unique pattern is experience (and probably genes, also).So we cannot separate a conscious mind from an unconscious brain. And we cannot give primacy to the physical brain over the non-physical mind. Just as the observer and the observed are intimately related in quantum physics, using your brain makes you both its observer and the thing observed, your mind uses the brain to know itself.

A moment of insight, for example, requires the brain to function properly, since insights consist of thoughts, but left to itself, no brain would have any insight--it would just do what it does, and which is electro-chemical processing.

Finally he ends the by saying that “no one is using the brain. The self is interacting with itself, creating experience and then entering into experience to see what it feels like.”

After reading this post it made me wonder how intriguing is the evolution of mankind, on one hand we have made giant strides in all sphere of our lives, be it technology ,medicine, biology but alas we fail to understand our own mind. I guess it amply demonstrate how difficult it is to understand one own’s self and how challenging is the task of managing human mind’s.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Moral Dilemma and Neuromorality

Well have you ever thought about the impact of neurons on individual’s morality? The judgmental ability of an individual to classify what is good or bad. Neuroethics has been getting lot of attentions these days for the fact that it attempts to understand the minds of those who resort to unlawful actions. Recently at a conference of American Enterprise Institute on “The New Neuromorality” some interesting observations have been made.
The keynote address was given by renowned Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker, who described a neuromorality of personal responsibility. In Pinker’s view, the worry that a biologically based understanding of human behavior will turn into a “my brain/genes/hormones made me do it” catch-all excuse stems from a basic fallacy: the assumption that bad acts deserve to be punished only if they result from some fully autonomous “free will” exempt from biological or other causation. How can we “salvage the core of responsibility” without such mystical notions?

Another debate which has generated lot of interest is the The Source of Blackstone's Intuition: Why We Think it Better to Free the Guilty than to Convict the Innocent by Sam Vermont. It debates on the aspect of our legal structure which is happy punishing an innocent convict rather than setting them free.

Another interesting article on the ethical dilemma is by Rebecca Saxe's "Do the Right Thing "Cognitive science’s search for a common morality.She cites a case study example on the moral dilemma of a man who is faced in a piquant situation and his ethical decision making ability is put to test.

Here’s her view on Brain Imaging.

In the last ten years, brain imaging (mostly functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI) has probably exceeded all the other techniques in psychology combined in terms of growth rate, public visibility, and financial expense. The popularity of brain imaging is easy to understand: by studying the responses of live human brains, scientists seem to have a direct window into the operations of the mind.
A basic MRI provides an amazingly fine-grained three-dimensional picture of the anatomy of soft tissues such as the gray and white matter (cell bodies and axons) of the brain, which are entirely invisible to x-rays. An fMRI also gives the blood’s oxygen content in each brain region,an indication of recent metabolic activity in the cells and therefore an indirect teasure of recent cell firing.

The images produced by fMRI analyses show the brain regions in which the blood’s oxygen content was significantly higher while the subject performed one task—a moral-judgment task, for example—than while the subject performed a different task—a non-moral-judgment task.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mind Mapping

Well if you thought that the idea of machine tracking human nature is far off then you are in for a surprise….

Gilad Mishne at the University of Amsterdam has developed a
mood tracking software which can guesstimate and predict your mood by analyzing your postings on the blog.

Freakonomics also has a post on this

“It tracks the blog entries of Live Journal users and aggregates their mood indicators to see how a given event (a terrorist act, a natural disaster, an election) influences societal mood".

Levitt proposed that corporations might employ a similar feedback device so that CEO's could know what their employees are thinking.
Imagine the kind of data this would generate , organisations would be able to read their customers mind,may be it will lead to a situation where one will be offered products as per the current sentiments of their prospective customers.
I guess we all would resemble like this man to the software which will be tracking our moves.Gosh this is just too scary...........

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cool Blog Links

Hey here's a some blog's recommendations from Buzz.

Jack Zen:for some cool spirituality
Wanna be girl:Good links
Artistic Images :Nice collection of daily pics
On Blogging:Languages and Styles for Blogging
Nice Pics:Underwatera and wildlife pics

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Great Legends :II

Tim Berners Lee -- Founder of the World Wide Web

Andreas Bechtolsheim , Bill Joy, Scott Mc Nealy and Vinod Khosla of SUN(StanfordUniversity Network) MicroSystems. Founded by four StanfordUniversity buddies.Andreas Bechtolsheim built a microcomputer; Vinod Khosla recruited him;Scott McNealy to manufacture computers based on it;and Bill Joy to develop a UNIX-based OS for the computer... SUN is the acronym for Stanford University Network .

Ken Thompson (L)and Dennis Ritchie(R) ,creators of UNIX.Dennis Ritchie improved on the B programming language and called it 'New B'. B was created by Ken Thompson as a revision of the Bon programming language (named after his wife Bonnie)He later called it C.

Steve Woznaik(sitting) and Steve Jobs of APPLE Computers.He was three months late in filing a name for the business because he didn't get any better name for his new company.So one day he told to the staff: "If I'll not get better name by 5 o'clcok today, our company's name will be anything he likes..." so at 5 o'clcok nobody comeup with better name, and he was eating APPLE that he keep the name of the company 'Apple Computers'

Rare Pics-I

Picture taken when Microsoft was started

Larry Page(L) and Sergey Brin(R), founders of Google.Google was originally named 'Googol'.After founders (Stanford graduates) Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an angel investor...they received a cheque made out to 'Google' !... So they kept name as GOOGLE

Gordon Moore(L) and Bob Noyce(R) ,founders of Intel.Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their new company 'Moore Noyce'. But that was already trademarked by a hotel chain...So they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics... INTEL

Linus Torvalds of Linux Operating System Linus Torvalds originally used the Minix OS on his system which he replaced by his OS. Hence the working name was Linux (Linus' Minix).He thought the name to be too egotistical and planned to name it Freax (free + freak + x). His friend Ari Lemmk encouraged Linus to upload it to a network so it could be easily downloaded. Ari gave Linus a directory called linux on his FTP server, as he did not like the name Freax. Linus like that directory name and he kept the name of his new OS to LINUX...

H P Story

Bill Hewlett(L) and Dave Packard(R) of HP. Behind them in the picture is the famous HP Garage. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.And the winner was NOT Bill... the winner was Dave.

My Inspirational Pics

Picture taken when INFY was started. This picture was found in the album of the clerk who took this picture... The picture was with that clerk only because it was his birthday and he just told everyone to stand together at one place to take a pic.He borrow a camera from his friend and as he can not tell any of his boss to take pic, so he took pic by himself... even it was his birthday.
These pictures were forwarded to me on mail.I really enjoyed going through them.I am really fascinated by their achievements which are remarkable and path breaking in human history.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The New Social Order

Ever thought how much time we devote each day on net on an average?
I was just trying to figure out why is it that my reading habits have changed after becoming a habitual net surfer.Much has been said about the impact of satellite TV and new channels on the young minds, but since internet penetration in India is still abysmal as compared to other developed nations their has not been any extensive study on the role and impact of internet on our day to day lives.
Well if you are still guessing hard what am I trying to tell then try this simple test.
Do you find punching keyboards keys comfortable than holding a pen?
Is your typing speed better and writing speed?
Do you often forget spellings of simple words while writing on a piece of paper?
Do you feel like having a spell check option or auto correct option while writing an office memo manually when your computer is down?
Do you automatically punch the your log in password without looking at the keyboard?
Do you often think in terms on .Net .Com and XML,rss feeds.
Do you find chatting on yahoo messenger convenient than calling a friend on his/her cellphone?
Would you rather prefer watching your relatives on webcam than going all the way to meet them in person?
Well the list is endless, I mean net is really changing the ways and means of modern Indian society.Earlier it was the TV boom which deeply influenced the modern Indian mindset but now its internet.
Perhaps the most profound impact of this medium is the fact that slowly we are becoming a highly individualistic society and our collective social consciousness is being replaced with opinionated personal thoughts.The change is rapid and the best indicator of this growing trend is the fact that most of the chat rooms,websites ,e- groups, blogs and wikies an around the world have good no. of Indian members.
So we are going to see more no. of people spending their times on the computer doing every little thing via net.Now let us look at this trend carefully, earlier we had parents speding some time with their kids and sharing their experiences , talking about relative and their growing up days and then we had friends and relatives visiting us for weekends and on other special occasions like festivals etc.
Don't forget the visits to local library and long classroom lectures,those verbose lectures and endless exams schedules.The much awaited summer holidays and evening stroll to the markets .The window shopping spree and haggling with the vendors.
Now that's a blast from the past.
You have real shopping being replaced e shopping, your visit to your nearby library being replaced with online library.Right from appearing for your entrance exams to attending classes, your first interview is also most likely to be online and chances are you are also likely to have your first girlfriend via internet.Marriage to banking,ticket purchasing to movie watching everything is just gonna be online.
So we are going to have more online virtual contacts than the offline real world good old stupid friends.Well look around carefully are we really what we used to be.
I saw my first computer 13 years back and frankly I had no idea that this damn thing will decide our fate in the days to come.So are we going to have less human interactions.As we have offices going virtual .
Will it mean that individuals are going to be less sensitive towards others or will it be the other way round as people will transcend the barrier of class, colour, creed,nationality etc.I am sure i will have some smile and interesting thoughts when I read this post of mine 4 years from now.
This reminds me of the old Beatles song "Yesterday all my troubles seems to be far away" Oh i believe in yesterday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Ashes are Back

Well...... Well,who would have thought that the mighty Aussies will bite the dust in the Ashes series after 16 years. Gosh !!!!! what a series, a real cliffhanger, humdinger, as England celebrates its Vaughanted ashes its time to look at some of the best memories of this series.
Its been 16 years since England won the most coveted Ashes series,undoubtedly the most cherished,oldest and the fiercely competed cricketing battle on earth.Pietersen,Flintoff and Shane Warne are the three names which will linger in our minds for a long time to come.
Well more than just England the game of cricket needed this kind of gamesmanship and competitive game for the future of test match cricket.All 5 days were house full and what more even balconies and roof top views were available on premium.
Today when everyone seems to be going gaga over 20-20 matches and One day games ,this ashes series comes as a vintage relief to its die hard fans .

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11: The Road Ahead

It’s 9/11 today and the horror of twin tower collapsing returns to haunt us with the hallucinating memories of the terror attack on humanity.

For a minute let’s forget the nationality, colour, race and religion of those who have died over the years in this incinerating, mindless battle against mankind and try and understand what ails the minds of those who are committed to end the humanity for some preposterous reasons guide by fanatic notions.

For a moment lets try to understand what must be on the minds of those highjacker’s who guided the plane and crashed them against the towers. Try to figure out the conviction of the man navigating his own journey to death. I mean this man must have felt so cold when he would have seen the plane inching towards the tower and his death closing in.

The mere thought of death brings shudder but we have committed individuals whose minds have been injected with the philosophy of destroying mankind. I often wonder what if these committed souls were to be trained to serve the humanity, what if all those teaching the lessons of hatred speak the language of love, compassion and humility.

It has often been said that “war lies in the minds of men’s” and truly speaking if at all humanity has to survive we must seek out ways to treat these minds with compassion and love. I guess the very first lesson of humanity “to love and share” is what we all learn when we are born but alas we remember these virtues in our quest for supremacy.

Let’s just pray and hope this world will be a better place to live.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I really admire this Man for his great music style and golden exresssions.John Denver has inspired generations of musicians and his fan following cuts across age and nationality. I have been greatly influenced by his music and style of exppression,his words are always a source of insipration for me.Like a true country man he died pursuing his greatest passion flying.This is a small tribute from BUZZ to the legend John Denver.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Killer Katrina and Bush Bash

The past week has witnessed Katrina ravages dominating media highlights.President Bush has been criticized left,right and centre for all his actions right from the availability of helicopter and security personnel to his administrative preparedness for this natural clamity which many claim was predicted way back in 2002.Paul Krugman one of the most celebrated economist and prolific writer wrote :

Experts say that the first 72 hours after a natural disaster are the crucial window during which prompt action can save many lives. Yet action after Katrina was anything but prompt. Newsweek reports that a "strange paralysis" set in among Bush administration officials, who debated lines of authority while thousands died.

What caused that paralysis? President Bush certainly failed his test. After 9/11, all the country really needed from him was a speech. This time it needed action - and he didn't deliver.

The New York times carried an article about Clinton's effort in helping the destitutes and Katrina struck families.

Mr. Clinton was at Reliant Center next to the Astrodome in Houston, where about 3,800 homeless New Orleans residents had decamped, standing next to former President George Bush as they announced the creation of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to help hurricane victims. After that, the two former presidents, along with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, toured the shelter, while President Bush visited storm-struck areas of Mississippi and Louisiana, providing a flow of television images suggesting a concerned White House on the march.

Mr. Clinton's visit to the Houston shelter on Monday is the latest time the former president has come to the current president's aid in his second term, from early in the year when Mr. Bush was criticized for his slow response to the tsunami, to initially defending the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina at the White House last week, to praising the credentials of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., Mr. Bush's choice for the Supreme Court. And it offered what many Democrats described as a vivid, if slightly disconcerting, insight into the complicated and increasingly transactional relationship between the Bush and Clinton families.

Often it makes me wonder if at all our Indian administration will realise the worth of each citizens life.We have become inured to the ravages of natural disasters and no amount of damage seems to make any dent to our phlegmatic administrative disaster management system.