purpose of being

March 30, 2014

this blog is personal – it is not meant to advance a specific purpose.  I write to enhance my skill and as a form of therapy: to share and express my feelings. It is there to help clarify  and develop my thoughts on various subjects. On occasion, there is a rare insight but that is more of light bulb moment rather an attempt to put forth a formal case – sometimes there is a point but that is not the sole intention of the online journal.

triple A

March 29, 2014

there is a belief that you should try to write 15 minutes a day – like exercise it can be habit forming.  They say action leads to behaviour (and not the other way around as we are usually told).   I am sure it is not original but thinking about it I need to start evaluating my work according to three factors (this may eventually expand based on experience):

1.  Audience.  Who is it meant for.

2.  Argument. It may not always succeed in influencing or convincing others but it should at least try to.

3.  Action.  What is the desired effect or what do you intend for them to do?

This may be far from being comprehensive but it is a start.

open arms

January 27, 2014

we went to this year’s Australian Open for my son’s birthday – unfortunately it was the week of the heat wave. All in all we enjoyed despite the heat and my son not getting an autograph from Nadal.

Aside from seeing a boat-load of player practice sessions,   we were able to see the second round match between Nadal and Kokanakis at the Rod Laver Arena with the roof closed. Thanis and Nick Kyrgios bode well for the future of Australian tennis.

I am not one to be fanatical but I admire Sam Stosur’s stroke – not since the backhand of Jusine Henin-Hardin have I viewed such beauty.  Some people even positioned themselves at 1 pm in the sweltering sun just to get a glimpse of Federer who was scheduled to practice at 5 that afternoon.  It was also nice seeing Rafter play doubles after 9 years – even if they lost during the initial match.  Nonetheless, it was amusing to see and hear the Fanatics barrack for each of the Aussies for their various matches.

While there, I was able to catch-up with an “old” and dear high school friend and her family – unfortunately, we were not able to meet-up again due to scheduling conflicts.  If we had known there was a kid’s day the day before, we would have booked a flight sooner.

Wawrinka had a good run towards the men’s final – strangely enough, he’s now ranked as Switzerland’s top player and at the same time is a close friend of Roger. He has a “killer” serve and backhand.  The “Stanimal” won his 1st championship in 4 sets.  Unfortunately, Rafa was plagued with back problems – so we’ll never really know.  He fought hard to get back his number 1 world ranking last year despite injuring his knee.  After missing 7 months and last year’s open, is it any wonder he showed such emotion for what seemed to me the first time in his storied career.  It’s a testament to him that he finished the match when the commentators thought he would surely retire.

Maybe my interest in the sport was rekindled because my son plays the sport, we were at the Open, my view is the racket is part of the player and just not equipment,it is as much mental as it is physical, or a combination of factors.

ironic

December 25, 2013

neuroscientists don’t believe in the split of functionality of both hemispheres of the brain: logic and creativity require both parts.  It’s ironic that the corpus callosum‘s role is to divide AND connect both sides.

One can’t entirely blame humanity for dualism and binary relation – genralisatiion allows us to deal with everyday life. It’s sometimes easier to define a thing as what it’s not.  There’s a bias towards rationale and objectivism – science and history has made it so.  Qualification has it’s place but it’s not the end all and be all.  Like most things, balance is at the root of humanism.

I’ve included a brief animation as a “meme” (and because I think it’s cool):

http://www.thersa.org/events/rsaanimate/animate/rsa-animate-the-divided-brain

see-quel

December 23, 2013

while Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues‘ humour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s very rare that Hollywood produces a film that matches or exceeds the original.  In that category, I can only think of The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II that I’ve seen that fits the bill.

Sure, I found it funny and, at times, silly but I think that everything has become news is a telling commentary of the world we now live in.  Some people think what I laugh at is high-brow, I just prefer my comedy to have another meaning.

A computer language comes to mind.  SQL allows the user to specify information they need rather than worry about the how.  The emphasis on what empowers them and is an exemplar of good design.  There’s a sound mathematical basis for this very practical application.  As technologists, there’s a penchant to maintain a “secret society.”  I think demystification leads to greater adoption, unanticipated uses, and makes it easier for everyone in the long run. Sure, it can be a proverbial Pandora’s box but I think it’s much better to plan for letting the Genie out of the bottle – after all, information wants to be free.

call me (maybe)

December 20, 2013

my mum calls every weekend. It’s structured the same (not that I’m complaining) – on reflection, the consistency of it all seems to bring me some  comfort.  She did this even before my before my condition – I guess she thinks it’s more important now. Our chats have always been brief – I’ve never been much of a talker.  Most would say it’s a bit ritualistic – but knowing the intent behind it changes the context. Maybe it’s force of habit or force of nature but I don’t reciprocate even if I know I should. I don’t expect it but I’ll miss it if it stops.

upside down

December 14, 2013

i attended a few philosophy workshops recently and they “enhanced” some of my views .  As it should, it made me think.  It was designed to make you reflect – and on that regard it was successful.

I came to the conclusion that I should read more on a post-colonial theorist  to see whether his work is relevant to my research. In my humble opinion, research needs to accessible to everyone – and not just a few intellectuals and the elites as it was traditionally made for.   In my view, most research has to be practicable to have any sort of impact on everyday life.  Sure most times, “amateurs” need the help of “professionals” to articulate their thoughts.  It’s not the more “formal” theories aren’t valid (they often make a lot of sense) but every opportunity should be provided to give a “voice” to those people usually marginalised by society.

In order to provide a “useful” education, we are often enamored by technical skills.  There is nothing wrong with providing these functional competencies to employ someone for a certain job or advance their career.  I think that it is only practicable given the current economic climate.  I just think there’s an unhealthy obsession with the “how” and not enough emphasis put on the “why”.  We should also give the students the ability to think critically and reflect on their actions and lives.  As in everything, I think balance is key.

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