Archive for January, 2011


Today’s blog post deals with an interesting article that I came across in our the national dailies here yesterday.

For those of you who don’t know about the literary circuit here in India; although I myself am not that much conscious about; the annual Jaipur Literary Festival has come to a close last week bringing about an interesting take on books, literature and the written word.

Well although I don’t attend such festivals owing to my impatience to finish a full book, the irony is that I aspire to get some of my works published. How sadistic is that ūüėČ ! I want everyone to read my work, but don’t want to read works by others. Well, lets leave it for another blog post, shall we???

The author of the article had brought some really interesting excerpts, and other happenings that took place there. Apparently it came to a conclusion that “technology” literally reprogrammed the written word. With an extravagant presence of Kindle’s and the iPad’s, he quoted that there was a debate that revolved around the challenge these gadgets pose to books in general.

He further went to add that handheld gadgets like those above-mentioned, allow users to download e-books and “speed read” them. He went to quote Author Richard Foreman who coined up with a phrase that describes us as to how and why we prefer to flaunt our glitzy¬†tech toys rather than the ill-smelling yet intellectually fulfilling books.

The word used in connotation with the debate was called the “Dumb Down effect”. With the advent of the Internet we as human beings “skim the surface of a variety of interests and subjects at the same time rather than delve deep into a particular discipline.

“Be a Master of one, rather than a Jack of all trades”

The above mentioned quote was what immediately came to my mind¬†as I read on¬†with “rapt attention”.¬†The article also highlights that rather than aiding us, technology is making us more “unintelligent”¬†( Now that’s not very nice ūüėČ )

According to a 2008 report commissioned by the¬†British Library titled ‘Information Behaviour of the researcher of the future” it quotes that “Deep log studies show that people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal, ‘flicking’ behaviour in digital libraries. Society is dumbing down”

I do in fact completely agree with the report. Gone are the good old days of poring over piles of books and journals for our research, whereas now with the click of a button we have report ready (cut-copy-paste) in a jiffy!!!

Literacy expert Maryanne Wolf says that the style of reading promoted by the Net puts “Immediacy” and “efficiency” above all else. She also goes to add that the Net may be in fact weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex words of prose commonplace.

The Internet has extended to be a part of our cognitive thinking in modern times, that we completely rely on it for various needs. Never has any other such communication system exerted such an influence as the Net.

Harvard educated author Nicholas Carr argues that the Internet grants us easy access to unprecedented amounts of info but a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that, with its constant distractions and interruptions, it is also turning us into scattered, superficial thinkers.

Image Courtesy: Typedesk.com

The advantage of having information at our fingertips does indeed come with a price.

“The Net is a¬†fulfilling partner but a dangerous one,lulling you into a false sense of security.”

The Net offers the ultimate distraction, you can be alone and yet amidst a crowd, isolated but still part of a community.

Recent studies conducted by scientists depict results that are worrisome. Studies show that those who read text studded with links, as on the Net, comprehend far less than those who read traditional linear text. Also, people who are continuously distracted by emails, alerts and other messages absorb less than those who are able to concentrate.

The common factor is division of attention rather than undivided attention!

The depth of our thoughts, memories and even our personalities sticks on our ability toi focus our mind; when we’re constantly distracted and interrupted, we become processing units collecting disjointed bits of info.

While some argue that intelligence has in fact increased the level of intelligence even amongst the illiterate, others counter-argue that the literates have now “dumbed down”¬† ( Ouch!¬†ūüôā )

In the never-ending¬†contest between the text typed or the written word, the written word is now taking a backseat while technology is basking in the glory created by the awe of millions of people around the world. However as a popular saying goes “What goes up, must come down!”, there might be a situation wherein we lose access to technology at some point of time in the future. We will then be able to come to a conclusion.

The article concludes with the following quote: “A Paperback now has now ‘wow’ factor; A kindle or iPad does!”

And I completely agree… Don’t be Dumb ūüėČ

PS: Oh, and this post was written by a person who wants or aspires to purchase an iPad sometime in the near future ūüėČ !!!

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The Oscar season is approaching and yes, Inception has also been nominated in some categories(I Guess!)

Anyways, although people raved and ranted and “Liked” the FB page on Inception, I for one had to give it a miss. I didn’t see it and felt I rather wait for it to come on Tv. (Lazy Me ūüėČ )

However I did hear that it had to do something about Dreams et al. And it did get me thinking about the perception and the concept and secret behind “Dreams”.

Yeah, Yeah we all do dream about earning a million dollars without moving your butt or becoming filthy rich and famous or rather get married to that favourite actor/actress, count me in as well; because even I do get such dreams.

But what about those dreams that are completely wacky or quirky! You know, something completely different from your usual dreams or nightmares! Something not like “Inception” rather a completely different perspective!

It’s funny how¬†the human brain works and the level of imagination that we possess.It sometimes bewilders me as some people do try to¬†implement their crazy dreams into reality.

But what goes back into these dreams coming to that specific person or that specific dream coming to a group of people? How would it be if we could analyse our dreams in a more rather non-sensical way?

I am not considering the psychologists as in my opinion they themselves are rather in a forlorn state, rather refusing to recover! How about we have people just to designate our dreams and kind of give a visual perception to it like drawing!

And I just happen to find the right people who may just be the one-¬†kids! Thats right, you heard me! Kids have such wild imaginations that sometimes envies me! No worries, no tensions, they are in their own dreamland; while we adults fret and fume over responsibilities(which include taking care of kids ūüėČ )¬†day in and day out!

How would it be we could behave like kids once in a while! I don’t see why not!

To get in touch with your inner child on certain occasions can actually be good for some situations! I also do remember that as a child I used to watch Scooby Doo, Tom & Jerry and all those yesteryear Hannah Barbara Cartoons.

Image Courtesy: Zazzle.com

They were such classics, that cartoons of today don’t have! I miss those animated characters a lot because of their finely crafted figures and musical voices and just the innocence behind those characters just make them so memorable!

Cartoons nowadays just breed violence and the essence behind inculcating certain things is given amiss completely. However, its good that those yesteryear cartoons do come on DVD’s or are found on the net across several tube-sharing sites.

As I come to an end, I am definitely going to connect with my¬†inner child on more occasions that deem to be fit and just “dream on” and working towards achieving them, even the most non-sensical ones ūüėČ !!!

Well I guess I’m probably the first and the fastest person to break a resolution in Blogosphere! If you all had remembered, I post¬†sometime back that I would post at least 3 posts a week, but lazy me I manage to get only one post a week!

Well we do have our personal commitments plaguing us on a daily basis, that it just makes me very difficult to find a time to sit in front of the Personal Computer and start a post. Another everlasting question that I have in my mind is about what to blog today!

I don’t want to be another one of those people who clog your “ever-growing” inbox space with my rants and so I see it positively that I do send you just one post a week, so you guys can rejoice!!!

Nevertheless one unending problem that I face, although am not sure if anyone else faces it, is with regards to categories and tags!? I find it extremely tough to add categories and tags to each blog post that I write and eventually publish. Although WordPress has several options to convert and interchange them both, I still am yet to solve this puzzle ( Kinda resembles the National Treasure movie series, right?)

And especially with people like who us who are yet to get “Freshly Pressed” but aspire to be so soon, it frustrates us as we are still not aware as to how do we tag our blog posts so that not just people from WordPress but people from all across Blogosphere do pay our blogs a visit.

Adding woes apart from the above is when people you “follow” don’t bother to follow you back. I did read somewhere that “Blogging should be mutual”, yet the whole essence of “being mutual” goes for a toss when we don’t hear back from other people whose blogs you follow, comment and like their posts.

It does pain to see such people present here, and such kind of people don’t bother to visit your blog even if you do follow theirs diligently and I mean with subscription!

Another misery that start-up bloggers face is when you comment on a Freshly Pressed blog post! They sound rather obnoxious and don’t simply bother to reply back.

Freshly Pressed or An Utter Mess?

Although I do agree that they might be overwhelmed a bit with a huge inflow of comments et al, but for how many days will they be receiving them- one or two days at the most- after that they can definitely pay a return visit back to the blogs of the commentators as a courtesy.

After all they should realize that other bloggers don’t have any need to come to their blog and post a comment!

Another reason of concern for “start-up bloggers” is of Statistics! At the beginning, I was seemingly bothered by this! I would be bogged with concern about how many people visited and commented about my posts!

However now, I just don’t bother! It’s completely their wish now! If they do want to follow mine and post a comment, they are always welcome ūüôā I have crossed a 1000 hits since August 29th when I began my blog, and that seems more than enough for me! I don’t mind if only 1 person who reads my blog, I feel positive that I need to blog for that 1 person at least!!!

Yet another final cause for worry is the will to write! There are times when not just me but even others feel about the spirit of blogging!

“When no one bothers to pay us visit, they why do we bother to even write a blog!”

Just trash that attitude and remember that your blog is yours and it doesn’t matter if no one visits it! Think of it as a virtual diary ( That’s what I do!) and am sure someday in the future you will recollect back golden memories from your blog…

“The Brain and the Heart are two most valuable resources God has bestowed upon us; they can either hold you as a Hostage or Vice versa”

The above not-so-famous quote was written by a very wise and intelligent human being probably the only person to possess the same IQ as Albert Einstein namely ME! *Applause* Thank you, Thank you!!!

Well, enough of self-praise and bravado and lets jump into what I truly wanted to say and let you all experience through my blog post today. Don’t you all agree on the above quote that I said! I’m pretty sure we might have come across so many of such incidents that prove my quote.

Holding yourself Hostage

In my observations there are 3 classes of people whom I witnessed that actually made me crumple my cranium and chalk out the saying!

(1) Cranium Crumplers: Well, you might have guessed it for sure. These are those people who pay more attention to their brain or rather they weigh more on basis of their thoughts about anything. Going by logic and rationality, they take a “mental decision”. For example: If a blind man asks you to help him cross the street, usually these kind of people first check whether the guy is blind for real or not, before actually helping!

These people go all the way to see to it that they implement the decision taken or rather they tend to be intellectually snobbish to an extent. These people, in conclusion, are held hostage by their gray matter!

(2) Heart warmers: If the same blind man asks for help from a person of this genre, they go all out the way to help the guy, irrespective if the guy is blind or not!!! People in this category kind of have an emotional¬†side of looking at things or situations. They listen to their heart and bring more “care” into their decisions. However they are “sweet softies” and I am not saying this to criticize them! People falling under this category are held hostage by the heart!

(3) And the third category to which I truly believe I belong is the “Rubix¬†Cube”: You all do know that the Rubix cube is by far the most complex toys to crack, but with a little luck and quick thinking, you eventually do crack it!

I usually base my decision on both logic and emotion. I usually step in the other persons shoes and then based on the fats take a decision accordingly. People under this class can be viewed in 2 ways:

Either they are the most pitiable as they get to be held hostage by both the brain and the heart or are the most enviable as the hold their brain and heart as hostage!

However it’s not at all easy doing this and ultimately the decisions people take fall into the first 2 categories. It has always been a ever-debatable question as to which “voice” should we follow when we take a decision – the call of the cranium or the whisper of the heart.

Again there exist some differences between people who choose to follow either one and one only. The intellects tend to remain aloof from the “society” as a whole and are bound to face “ostracization” from their fellow-beings as being too harsh on others. And for the other class, they are actually looked down upon as being far too emotional that eventually run wild and engulf the person into a mound of sorrow or misery!!!

And we human beings are in a dilemma as we cannot ignore one as both are within us and both are ultimately essentially for our survival!

Yet the post is not about which is the best person to listen to or those class of people who see success more based on their decisions! The blog post is all about encouraging to just follow your decisions be it based on logic or emotion. Ultimately its you who has to face the consequences – be it good or bad – thus just go with the flow.

However at the end, I would just say just step into the other person’s shoes and take a decision with the facts and info at hand thereby giving importance – to not only your brain or heart – but also the other people involved in your decision.

I would also like to hear your comments on how you base your decisions, or any other feedback about the post!

Until next time, Happy Blogging

Old Dog, New Tricks? Why Not!!!

Technology is an entity that constantly innovates and evolves by itself –¬†leaving me less amazed and more irritated or bewildered!!!

As you all may be knowing, I was and am¬†a student of business administration and so let me begin today’s post by explaining to you a concept that I learnt. In Marketing, we have a section called Consumer behaviour – as you all may know companies constantly are trying to “learn our minds” ( Yes, I know it resembles a devious scientist Mr.X who is looking to take over us consumers and make us slaves by buying only one company’s products! OMG, the pain in imagining if there is only one company that exists in the world! Nooooo!!!!)

Anyways, as I was saying companies look to understand our needs, tastes and preferences and churn out products accordingly! They have actually categorized us consumers that ranges from “early adopters” to “late bloomers”!

Coupled with the above lesson, I also came across an article that relates old people with technology!

The article had mentioned that old people find it difficult to “understand” technology at present and so were struggling to keep touch with their high-flying and tech-savvy children. Yet there were some rather spurts of positive incidents where old people find solace in technology and adapted as a fish to the pond!

As I kept pondering over these facts, a rather old, clich√©d and philosophical quote came into view – “You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks!”

It's never too late!!!

However, I’d rather question it by asking Why Not??? Why can’t you teach an old dog new tricks? I mean how do you know if the dog doesn’t want to learn? It may be willing to learn at any cost for that matter you know!!!

And I am not restricting myself only to the subject of technology – because as human beings in a “communal society” we are interdependent upon each other for survival!

So it doesn’t necessarily mean that we overlook the matter, rather we look at it from a different perspective!

Each one takes time to adapt or adopt to a certain situation, although it may take time we eventually and finally change.

So it doesn’t really matter if we feel we are too old to learn anything, rather ask yourself by saying why not now that you’ve realized this void in your life??? If you feel embarrassed, no problem ask your family or friends for help and support, I’m sure they’ll help you in every way possible!

So it doesn’t matter if your 18 and don’t know how to swim or 60 and don’t know how to use FB/Skype, all that really matters if you realize the “need” and display the “urge”…

What do you say, guys? What do you think that, you feel that you need to know/learn in spite of believing the fact that “it’s not your cup of tea”???

Remember IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!”

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