Monthly Archives: August 2010

embrace the greyside

Long time back I had a verbal fight with a friend. The fight started because he made a statement to which I did not agree. I told him my viewpoint, which he did not agree to. And we discussed for a few minutes until we realized that we both agreed with each other. Though both of us had ‘different’ views, the viewpoints were ‘right’ in their own contexts.

I’ve seen this happen so may times. In our day to day lives, when things irritate us or when we are high, we make strong statements; And when these statements go out to people without proper context, they are misunderstood.

Another reason for misunderstandings is that we assume things to be either Black or White. With least bit of reasoning, we embrace sides and talk about it vehemently. And there will be opinionated people listening who will be offended by such talk; and there will be arguments.

By nature, we are judgemental, we always look for Yes or No answers. Given a generic question, one cannot answer with a Yes or No; there will be Ifs and Buts. One has to take into consideration the specific issue at hand and the numerous limitations and problems. And when we arrive at our conclusions, we cannot just yell it out at the world; we need to give the context and reasons, because without them people cannot truly understand the conclusions.

~May the Force be with You.

opportunity for a twitter oauth web client

I guess most of you’d know that Twitter API would be shutting down basic authentication on August 31st. What this means is that you will no longer be able to login into 3rd party twitter application by giving out your username and password. From now on, to use third party applications you will have to authorize the application using oAuth.

This is bad news for people in countries like China where twitter.com is blocked. They cannot login into 3rd party twitter applications with username/password; they cannot login via twitter.com.

Also, people who access twitter from office(where twitter.com is blocked) will not like closing down of basic auth. But this brings up an opportunity for someone to come up with a twitter web client. The idea is that a user opens an account with an app and authorizes it(to use twitter) when he is at home; later he can log into this app from office and use twitter. Although there are clients like hootsuite which do it, they are targeted at enterprise-y, business-ey people. A simple application like iTweet or dabr would be a hit among the code monkeys.

If built on google’s appengine, the app can use google auth for the user registration part. There are app engine compatible twitter libraries available on github. Build a decent & basic interface and you have your next big twitter app.  So, who’s building it? ;)

UPDATE: dabr has done it.

Inception

I watched Inception last week, largely because of the noise that was created on ‘social media’. When everyone talks so much about a movie, it has to be very very good, or so I thought. Probably, I was expecting too much that I was disappointed. Or maybe I did not get the movie. I don’t know. Regardless of the hype, Inception is a well made movie, a movie that makes you think about various possibilities, a movie that plants an idea about reality that you see not being the reality.

Apart from entertainment, what do you take from a movie or a book? I believe, Ideas! Ideas that change the way we think, Ideas that change the way we perceive, Ideas that change our lives. Ideas are like seeds, they need proper conditions for germination. Some of these Ideas require that we be mature ‘enough’ to understand them. Matrix wouldn’t have made any sense if you had watched it when you were 10.

Genesis of an Idea:
Years ago, I had fantasised about entering people’s dreams; I’ve also fantasised about reading people’s mind. How did I get these Ideas of reading minds or dreams? Did this Idea come out of pure curiosity or was it planted by some external media(a book or a radio show or a video)? I don’t know. But I remember that “Time Teasers” was the episode that planted the Idea of stopping time (actually, you could move way faster than others).
When we generate Ideas, are we the real creators? Or are there subconscious influences that help us build ideas?

Reality or Illusion:
While Inception gives you freedom to come up with your own interpretations, it also makes you think about the world we live in {like Matrix}; is it real? or is it mirage? Are we Independent entities? Or are there superior entities controlling us? Is there a way we could determine if this weren’t an Illusion? But how could we? Could it not be that the Idea that this world is illusion was planted by those superior entities? How could you believe in Science and Mathematics, they might as well be well thought out concepts that we were made to discover. We could be part of a simulation, created by those superior entities to study their own evolution. All your beliefs could be Ideas and thoughts planted by these superior entities. [wait, in the society that you live in, aren't they?] How do you judge upon the validity or truthfulness of this reality? And how do you plan to validate this method you will be using to validate reality? Your methods of validation could be as Illusionary as the ‘reality’ you are validating. There is no way you could know the truth(if there is something called truth).

Guilt:
DiCaprio’s last two movies have had this concept of guilt shaping the lead character’s role. Guilt: the emotion when our Consciousness judges our actions based on the Moral conventions that we have agreed upon for our Society’s existence, and finds fault with our actions. Most painful of the guilts are not those that break moral conventions but those that arise from one’s actions that affect the way one wants to foresee (his own) future. In these cases, the Guilt is embedded deep inside the mind; Irrational thoughts take over the mind and there is nothing but pain until one comes to terms with reality.

While I cannot judge direction, acting and stuff like that, I can give an opinion based on how the movie made me feel. It was decent movie in terms of emotions it generated. In terms of ideas, I am bemused that the ideas are being considered completely new and innovative. For me, the high expectations ruined the experience. I was waiting for that “WOW!” moment till the end.

I find no fault with the movie; I find fault with the audience which went berserk over it. Maybe, it was the ‘want’ of the audience to find and associate with something special, something that redefines things around and creates an illusionary world. Or maybe not. I don’t know.