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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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As always, I found out that it is a common notion amongst many of us to review the year that passed by. The year 2010 is soon coming to an end and 2011 is all set to be born this weekend. Thus, I too decided to bring out a sort of review of some the major happenings and situations that took place across the world this year.

Wikileaks: Confidential No More!!!

The latest news that is emanating from the United Kingdom is that Julian Assange is being a whopping GBP 1 million for his personal memoir. The smart man that he is, he is using this payment to substantiate his legal costs that he incurred while he got out on bail for a criminal charge. Wikileaks has taken the world by storm this year and will in all probabilities continue to do so. The whistle-blower website is on the lips of millions of citizens and “netizens” across the world so much that Assange has his group of loyal followers( I wouldn’t want to include myself, but I guess he is smart and doing something to clean the political system, in a way)!!! Wikileaks has become a source of an impending headache for almost all the countries across the world as it reveals “confidential” secrets to the view of the public. It totally shocks me that countries can be so cheap behaving like “catty actresses” bitching about others and manipulating people. However, I do have to admit that some secrets are definitely too sensitive to be revealed and the consequences, if the info falls into the wrong hands, can be devastating. Nevertheless, the “joy ride” of Wikileaks is all set to continue next year as well… Keep watching this space…

BP Oil Leak- When will we ever learn???

The year also saw one of the most horrible environmental disasters of all time. An underground pipeline carrying crude oil burst open in the Gulf of Mexico thus leading to major oil spill, one of the worst ever recorded in history. Rapid industrialization will definitely lead to some sort of abuse to the environment. It is completely unavoidable, however it can be reduced to a massive extent. Eco-groups around the world protested and were angered by this “accident” that saw a huge amount of money being spent on repairing the pipeline. Several species of birds, animal-both marine and terrain were affected by this. It still remains to be seen as to when do we get a solid solution from scientists to avert such incidents from taking place in the future.

Sports 2010

2010 was also the year of many famous and rather “infamous” sporting activities taking place around the globe. We saw the exciting and rather nail-biting finish to the FIFA Football World Cup 2010 held at South Africa with Spain winning the cup. (WAKA WAKA!!!) Although there were some controversies involved in it with regards to using the 3rd referee technology, South Africa managed to pull it off!!! We also had the sporting events being held at the 2 rising super-powers in Asia, India and China. The Commonwealth Games 2010 at Delhi and the Asiad 2010 at Guangzhou were held with much fanfare and excitement. Albeit the infamous corruption charges that put the CWG on the anvil, the Games finally did manage to take place without any tension. And I was also happy that India did very well compared to the past at these 2 games. Jai Ho!!!

2010 at the Movies

I’m not sure if I am the “apt” person to talk about this part. This is because I hardly step into a cinema hall/theater to watch a movie. My lazy butt always stays at home with the notion that “Anyways this movie is gonna come on Tv sometime, I’ll watch it then!”

But nevertheless I did manage to catch few of them. Although I have read all the books in the Harry Potter Series, the last movie I managed to watch was the Order of the Phoenix! I did watch Salt ( Since am a fan of Angie Jolie, WoW! She is the action babe!) but it did disappoint me. There was the action but the story just went haywire! Maybe Angie is waiting for a script of mine ūüėČ ! I also did manage to watch “The Social Network”. As described in some few posts back, ugh, I hate these tech movies!!! However, the emotional part of the movie did get me thinking! Rounding off with the massive blockbuster of the year INCEPTION. I heard that it was an awesome movie from every Tom,Dick & Harry and that I should definitely watch it, but alas I’ll wait till it comes on Tv. Anyways Alice in Wonderland that released this year, is being telecast on Tv next week, so how much time can Inception take right???

The year 2010 has been an eventful year of sorts for the world. We are also coming down to finish a decade and 2011 will mark the beginning of a new year, a new decade, a new Beginning! However, do keep your eyes peeled for how 2010 was for me as a person/individual and what are my plans for 2011! You too can share your experiences of 2010 and goals for 2011, would like to hear them!

Until next time, Happy Blogging…

PS: Oh, and the images used in this post were created by me, so I don’t need to credit anyone and don’t have to worry about any copywright issues ūüėČ !!!

My Dearest Blog,

7th December 2010

My Dearest Blog,

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I hope this letter finds you in the best of your life –¬†both professional(technical) and personal(Literary). Its been a really long time since I heard from your end. The last time I heard any news from you was only in August when I had referred you to a job in a company that I knew.

Did you take up WordPress’ offer of a “Junior Pressed Executive”? Have you settled into the company? Hope they are treating you well…

Belated Thanksgiving wishes as well.. Did you go and see your parents in “Publishville“? I also hope that you liked the dress(background/theme) that I had sent you for your Birthday. I picked up the “Motion Dress designed by Sam Ideas” since you are a big fan of his designs and your favorite colors are blue and green.

How these 3 odd months have flown by, I still don’t understand! Its was only 4 months back that we met each other at the Internet Explorer Bar over drinks. And we clicked immediately, we shared a common passion of writing and communication!

Try and visit us for the Christmas vacations so that we can catch up, have “An Arattai”¬†and I can introduce¬†you to some of my friends like Facebook and Twitter amongst others including Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.. All of hem “share” a common interest, which is nothing but Writing.

Expecting your reply soon.

Best Wishes,

Your Friend,

Addy

PS: Oh, and has it started “snowing” there?

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

9th December 2010

Dearest Addy,

              I profusely apologize for the delay in my response to you. I will always be indebted to you for our kind help in referring me a job especially when the economy is facing a downward trend.

I did get the job, and your dress that you sent also played a crucial role in me getting the job. I wore to my interview, and my good luck, I got selected immediately!!!

I wanted to inform you before, but the work was building up. Since the other person who was in my post had left all of a sudden, WordPress¬†wanted me to join and start work as soon as possible. Work has been hectic over the past couple of months, but I’ve been able to adjust. Have been on my toes, meeting targets, talking to people,etc.. However I have to add I will¬†be receiving a promotion to a “Freshly Pressed Manager” soon!!!

WordPress was impressed by my performance of  receiving close to 600 odd sales(hits) in little less than 3 months, so they decided to offer me this post. Am really happy and this all because of you, so Thanks a lot!!!

Yes, Thanksgiving went on as usual, I did visit my parents Mr.Draft and Mrs. Preview Draft in Publishville, however I was in for a rude shock when my dad had a mild “spam attack“!

So we had to rush him to Upgrade Hospital. After several scans and pre-med procedures, Dr.Dashboard suggested that he undergo a “Trasho Spam Removal Treatment“. They found that his “linking and attachment arteries were blocked due to the spam attacks.” He did have a successful operation and now doing fine. He has to continue having “Akismet” tablets to prevent and cure any spam from further attacking him.

I will definitely visit you and we can have “An Arattai” with you, FB, Twitter, etc.. Maybe we cold even¬†start a club/society with our friends called “Blogroll Inc.” What say?

Yes the weather forecast says that it will continue to snow till the 4th of January.

Give my best regards to your family as well. See you soon.

Thanks,

Seasons Greetings!

Your friend,

Blog

A Memorable Loss of Memory…

¬†Gary Woodsbrough was sitting with his eyes closed in his comfy wooden rocking chair in his house when all of a sudden he was awoken with a jolt, by a really pretty little girl around the age of 7 or 8 years, he did not know. She was wearing a pink frock and gifted him a diary which bore the letters ‚ÄúHappy Birthday, Grandpa!‚ÄĚ

 Gary did not remember seeing her before; yet he opened the book and began to read what was written in it. It was a diary, really special, that contained the most memorable incidents and photographs of Gary’s life that was compiled by his only son, Mark. Gary went through all the notes and photos of various cherished incidents that he shared with his son when Mark was small. By looking over the photos again and again he faintly remembered with utmost nostalgia about the secret fishing trips that he and his son went over the creek near the house, or search for rabbits in the nearby forest, or constructing a tree house for his son, to the extent that he even helped his son to find the ideal first date!

 His son had compiled the most precious and invaluable gift ever as a Birthday present for Gary, who was suffering from beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Syndrome. As he closed the book, he felt a warm and caring touch of a hand on his shoulder, later to find out that it was none other than his son, Mark.

With tear-filled eyes, he hugged his son and apologized for the loss of his memory. Gary said, ‚ÄúSon, I am really sorry. I felt really bad that I could not even recognize my own grand-daughter. What‚Äôs her name again, I keep forgetting it?‚ÄĚ

¬†‚ÄúCrystal, Dad.‚ÄĚ replied Mark.

¬†‚ÄúAh.. Such a wonderful name! I wish her name would just crystallize in my mind forever. But, I am just not lucky enough to remember all the good moments that I experienced in life.‚ÄĚ

¬†‚ÄúDad, it‚Äôs Okay. On the other hand I truly feel you are way luckier having the memory loss, not that I am criticizing you or anything. To be frank, as a normal human being without any memory problems we tend to always fret and fume over bad incidents. Jealousy, Ego, Confusion, Hatred, Love, and other things that one experiences in life is not permanent, yet we still tend to remember the bad incidents or situations more than the good ones. However, you get to experience each new thing again and again everyday thereby understanding the hidden beauty behind every new thing, which we fail to see in our busy and complex life. I promise you that we all are there for you, all the time and that you don‚Äôt need to worry about anything.‚ÄĚ

¬†‚ÄúI Love you, Son.‚ÄĚ

¬†‚ÄúI Love You, Dad.‚ÄĚ

 After this talk with his son, Gary learnt to appreciate and value the beauty hidden in everything and everyone till the end of his life. Some times memory loss can also be memorable with the help, love and support of your family always…

Just a really short story that I happened to pen down! Would appreciate your comments and feedback!

Until next time, Happy Blogging…

As you all may know, I’ve started a sort of “SERIES” on my blog recently, last week to be exact! The series aptly titled “How much is too much?” will cover various topics from different dimensions.

In my last post you would have seen that it was covering about the innate human nature of GREED! So for today, let us move on to a material aspect that stems from Greed- MONEY!

Money has now , in my opinion, has been tagged as a basic need for homo-sapiens apart from food,clothing and shelter! Nowadays, people are weighed simply with the amount of money that they have in their bank accounts!

Being filthy rich” is the motto for the denizens of this planet especially in this generation/century, which am pretty sure will continue into the future as well.

As people’s wallets grow fatter, their brains work much slower! Facts that leave me quite puzzled include how people can spend on some “mindless ventures”,”crazy inventions”,etc.. Yes, I too may have indulged in somethings like these in the past but not blowing so much money on probable “useless or trivial” things! Personally, when I spend some amount of money way beyond from what I had originally planned to, I automatically start feeling guilty and start to question myself!

If there are one sect of people like me, then there are other sects of people who live their life and spend money aimlessly, just without any care! Others are like misers, who would rather not spend anything at all and keep it safely locked in their vaults!

Everything needs a limit. Everyone needs to know their limits. Even when it comes to earning, spending or even saving money!

When we humans start to see more “Green” then we automatically elevate ourselves to the levels of Bill Gates or Barack Obama! As they say, “Money Blinds Us”! We look down upon people who don’t possess the quantity of dollars or pounds or euros or rupees compared to us! Arrogance nd Attitude set in and we disassociate ourselves from them and associate us with “royalty”. We start to demand respect, recognition,etc.. although we do indeed get it, eventually we start to crumble and this leads to more devastating results!

Once the cash flows out, we become so desperate to get money that we resort to innumerable means-by hook or by crook! The lure of money leads us to commit illegal crimes!

Corruption is an evil menace that has been plaguing¬†the society for decades together! It’s no¬†point we blame Tom,Dick or Harry for this to grow, it was ultimately us who allowed it to grow! With our patience levels dwindling by the day, we bribe people to get work done, only to forget that, the person was being paid for doing that work by someone else!

In terms of spending money, we spend on rather bizarre¬†articles, that kinda puzzles me with the question as to whether does the individual actually finds it useful and can say that he’s spent his¬†money’s worth in buying it! Wouldn’t it be more better and in fact¬†more satisfying if you adorn the walls of your house with the paintings/drawings/sketches of underprivileged kids rather than some Picasso or Michelangelo or etc..

Even when we save money to a level that it may burst from our vault, we don’t realize that after our life, we don’t have “access” to all that we’ve earned! We just don’t get anything!

People just need to realize this, “count your blessings, not your bank balance”!

Blinded by Money-How much is too much? "Count your blessings, not your bank balance!"

Concluding, I would like to say, ask your self this one question when you either earn/save/spend an amount- “How much is too much?”

Until next time, Happy Blogging…

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