Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Wo-man in the Mirror

The title of this post comes from the famous Micheal Jackson song Man the mirror. For those of you who have heard the song you will, I hope realize the significance of the post. For those of you who haven't, you simply must.

The reason this post comes laden with pretext is because of what happened yesterday. yesterday as I got into work at 10:15 running a little late thanks to the Delhi Metro, all I was concerned with was reaching office and starting work. As I finally marched into office and powered up my computer, I was already is a foul mood since the internet was acting up. Finally, at around 11 I finally logged on to Twitter and that is when I saw it. Twitter-sphere was rife with news about the Boston Marathon bombing

Although my heart went out to the little 8 year old girl who had lost her life today and the others, I am embarrassed to say I wasn't all that perturbed. I may be only 23 (yes according to SOME that is young) but  growing up in the 21st century where terrorism is more a way of life than a global problem, we all tend to become somewhat apathetic to the problem. 

While scanning twitter I can across the following post by @WOLwealthonline (Wealth Online), you can find out more about them at:

At first I retweeted as the post urged, but about 10 seconds later I started becoming progressively more appalled. I mean isn't it bad enough that we live in a world where there is so much violence all around that we are no longer horrified by it? now people are looking to gain reputation out of it? I mean if you really want to just GIVE the money, just do it! but for God's sake don't attach conditions to it!

So I posted the following Tweet. 

After which life intruded on all my good intentions. The rest of the day in office was agony, between non responsive wi-fi, an earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter Scale and a terrible headache I was pretty much in hell. 

So finally when I got home around 10 and was able to get on to the net I went back to see if anyone at Wealth Online had bothered to even reply.

They hadn't. 

However, I did find the following two tweets. Even though they aren't phrased to my liking, I'm still glad they did something about it.  

And this is when I started thinking about the Micheal Jackson song and I made a promise to myself. "I'm starting with the wo-man in the mirror I'm asking her to change her ways, and no message could have been any clearer, if you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself, and then make a change."

So if I am outraged, or saddened or just concerned about something, it is imperative that I speak out, because sometimes a little courage and action on your part go long way, and you might be surprised how much difference one person can make.

In the words of the renowned Polish Author, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest”.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Philosophy for Dummies

I’ve recently been introduced to by a friend. If you are fond of broadening your horizons aka studying about new things, well then coursera is the thing for you. How does it work you ask? Well I’m really not in the mood of explaining the whole process (read I have NO idea how it happens) so you can watch the TED Talk by Daphne Kohler the Stanford-professor-cum-dynamo behind the project.

So my first course is called “Know Thyself”, it is a sort Philosophy for Dummies class by Prof Mitchell Green of the University of Virginia, and the course and the Prof are both agreeing with me well so far.

So since I am half way through the 10 week course I decided to give you a crash course in philosophy so far. Below is a list of the most important things I have learnt from each of these renowned Philosophers.

Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living. So constant self-examination read day dreaming is not a colossal waste of time. It is in fact intrinsically philosophical. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the big man!

Note: for those of you who were actually hoping to learn something about Socrates, here's a little something

Descartes: Philosophy trumps Mathematics. Period. You may spend your life coming up with nonsense stuff, namely the Cartesian coordinate system, but towards the end of your life what’s important is proving that a piece of wax exists.

I found this great video on Descartes, thanks to a fellow courserian!

Gilbert Ryle: Smart is as Smart does. So say you know 2 plus 2 is 4. The really important thing is what you do with that knowledge.

Video Below.

Sigmund Freud: If you can’t beat them, accuse them of foul play! In his introductory lectures on Psychoanalysis, Freud states that anyone who resists his methodology or technique, probably himself has something to hide. Brilliant! How did I not see this coming?? Forget finding Grammar mistakes the next time I’m losing an argument, I’m gonna go all out hysterical and blame people of hiding things! Also his theory about Sex and Violence governing all facets of life was a close second for the best thing I learnt from him.

And well I dont know about you but this picture on the cover of the book "Introductory lectures on Psychoanalysis psyches the bejesus out of me.

Timothy Wilson: (not really one of those extremely well known philosophers but still) The Spin Doctor inside. Wilson talks about a spin doctor present inside each one of us in the form of the unconscious or in his explanation the sub conscious, that is essential as it possible for us to justify our actions and move on.

Yes well I thought he might get lonely without a picture or video.

And well some of us just have more spin in us than others, so we will for example believe that eating a chocolate cake is perfectly okay while dieting because the basic aim of the diet was to count calories. Well the cake has 10000 calories, and since I have counted the calories all that is left is for me to eat it. (this example is purely context for your understanding and totally fictional and does not reflect on any person alive or dead, although one might argue that I am currently dieting).