Little things

Thursday, September 02, 2004 Vishaal 0 Comments

Have you ever sat at a coffee shop and just observe people and your surroundings? Drop all thoughts bothering you, just imagine that you aren’t there and try to take in everything around you. It’s like you are stuck in the moment. The cars driving by outside seems so out of focus. The smell of freshly grounded coffee in the air. The slightly tilted neck of the girl reading a book sitting at a table next to me. The chatter of people across the room.

A dishevel stack of The Hindu on an empty table. An old man reading his magazine. The movement of the thambis with their towels on the shoulders. The voice of MS playing in the background. The rain drops tapping of the window, forming bigger droplets then sliding down, almost as if it is measuring the passage of time.

There’s a certain tranquility and beauty just watching the gloomy weather outside. I never thought I would start liking the rain in Bangalore, but I do. As much as I like sunshine, I find an indescribable comfort in the slight hint of melancholic mood that rain provides. I reached out for my coffee, filter coffee to be exact, feeling the warm surface of the paper sleeve on the cup, took a little sip.

Sometimes it’s the little things that touches you.


Nice guys and metrosexuals

Saturday, July 17, 2004 Vishaal 0 Comments

It was just a matter of time before I write something regarding the subject of nice guys. What prompted this was my phone conversation with a old time friend last night. He told me about some girl he met, and how she is using her looks and sex appeal to get away with murders (figure of speech course) and manipulating guys around her. The funny thing is she never lacks guys she can use, guys volunteer to be used. I say that the problem does not lie in the girl, but the nice guys who make it easy for her to prey on.

Why do nice guys finish last? “Nice” is like the last adjective a guy should want people to describe him as. Ask yourself this: “what kind of guy is a nice guy?” I mean shouldn’t a “person” have personality and other memorable qualities that distinguish himself from others? Proper adjectives should be stuff like: smart, quick, atheletic, determined, driven, ambitious, experienced, …etc. 

Imagine your typical nice guy, what kind of image forms in your head? Probably somebody who is quick to agree and will bend themselves around for other people. You’ve probably seen this before in web forums or mailing list discussions, every time a female posts or create a thread, the exact same guys will respond with OVERLY “nice” posts, and are TERRIFIED of disagreeing with her. It’s like they are begging for attention. Pathetic. And borderline sick.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree that women should have equal rights, and that the women movement was a good thing back in 1900s. But sometimes I feel like our society is now educating and shaping bunch of men who apologize too much for being males. As a result, you often see guys without a backbone when dealing with the other sex. 

I think this is the decade in which guys have a serious identity crisis and not know their roles as males. I mean, what is this “metro-sexual” crap? A man ought to be strong and action oriented. Not weak and sensitive. On the other hand, sometimes guys go to the extreme and are assholes, NEVER showing their good side (yes…assholes too are losers). 

In my mind, a guy should not be afraid to tell a women things for what they are. Although, he makes sure that he is not hurting anyone either. He’s gotta have some flair, a personality, have things which he’s truly passionate about. Not like a dog begging for female attention. He treats everyone with respect. He is fair and balanced in the way he treats both females and males. A man is a brand, make an impression.


The Fabric of the Cosmos : Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

Monday, April 05, 2004 Vishaal 0 Comments

I picked this book - The Fabric of Cosmos: Space, Time, and Texure of Reality - up Saturday afternoon, and read the first 3 chapters. 

I decided that I have been reading too many fiction lately, and haven’t read much non-fiction. Every now and then, it’s good to pick up some heavier material to occupy your brain with. And there’s probably not much material out there heavier than the nature of space and time.
Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? The ultimate questions pondered by philosophers and physicist throughout history. 

The book has a very minimalist and yet elegant cover, it’s the picture of some out of focus fabric, which matches the book’s title. Brian Greene, one of the world’s leading physicists who teaches at Columbia University, is set out to describe superstring and M-theory to the general public in this book. As he described early on in the book, we as humans gain appreciation for our world, when we truly understand the inner workings and truth of things beyond our limited senses. 

Yes, we can no doubt look up the night sky and see and appreciate the vastness of space and time with our eyes, but this is not what drives scientists. 

Scientists want “to assess life and to experience the universe at all possible levels, not just those that happened to be accessible to our frail human senses.” It’s a passion for beauty and truth. In fact the basis for string theory is the believe that theory of general relativity (works well on big objects and distances) and theory of quantum mechanics (works well on small objects and distnaces) should not contradict. 

String theorists are believers of an elegant universe, that there ought to be one way to describe the nature of all things.


Do we dream about stuff we don’t want to think about?

Monday, March 29, 2004 Vishaal 0 Comments

There’s an interesting article on Scientific American’s site. Basically a Harvard psychologist decided to study what’s the correlation with our conscious thoughts and our dreams. And the result is that we most often dream about stuff and scenarios that we don’t like to think about consciously. “Maybe this is why students dream of sleeping through an important exam, why actors dream of going blank on stage, and why truckers dream of driving off the road,” Wegner offers. “Dreams are where our thoughts go when we try to put the thoughts out of mind.”

The explanation offered was that our prefrontal cortex is really inactive during REM sleep. And the prefrontal cortex is what’s responsible for planning and mental control. Which results in lack of control to keep our thoughts thinking about unpleasant thoughts. Maybe that’s why our dreams are usually really strange in comparison with our daily lives.