29 November, 2006


nostalgia: 1770, "severe homesickness" (considered as a disease), Mod.L. (cf. Fr. nostalgie, 1802), coined 1668 by Johannes Hofer as a rendering of Ger. heimweh, from Gk. nostos "homecoming" + algos "pain, grief, distress." Transferred sense (the main modern one) of "wistful yearning for the past" first recorded 1920.

Take the modern meaning of yearning for the past. In severe cases, pain felt when remembering that the past is gone and will never come back. Pain felt for that which has been lost.

So in the modern sense, it is

lost + algos

= lostalgia

Britannica, are you listening?

24 November, 2006

The future of the Camera

No, Mercedes is not taking over. This is just a thought I had last night. It all started with me going to bed thinking about how cameras had evolved from the ones where the shutter was your lens-cap to the 220 view cams to the 35mm rangefinders, the 35 SLRs, now digital. And since now cameras and computers have even fewer differences, what applies to computers, will (or does) apply to cameras. Now, in the field of computing, the greatest achievement we are yet to achieve is intelligence. I dunno when it's going to happen, but when it does, i.e., when computers can actually THINK (does that scare you? or too much Asimov for me?), what will happen to our cameras? Will they too think for us? Already, they do the exposure for us. Will they also compose? "A little to the left... no a bit to your right.... steady now.... you've got really shaky hands.... didn't you bring the tripod? Shall I email our GPS co-ordinates to it"? Now that we have cameras with built-in GPS navigation systems, in the future, one can expect a NASA licensed Xenon-Ion Propulsion System so you don't actually have to hold the camera or even mount it on a tripod. It'll just hover over the EXACT co-ordinates IT wants to, and take the picture.

Now wouldn't that be something?

Originally written on 15 March, 2005.

What are you rebelling against?

When we were kids the sole purpose of life was to revolt against the grownups. They said, "No TV after 9." and you simply HAD to watch until 12.30. They said, "Don't have too many sweets," and you know what? You just HAD to have ONE more. They told us to remove socks the right way and we simply HAD to remove them inside out. But after you're all grown up, they stop telling you to do this or not do that. That's why there's nothing to rebel against and life turns dull and boring. Almost not worth living.

From the movie "The Wild One" (1953) starring Marlon Brando
Girl: What're you rebelling against, Johnny?
Johnny: Whaddya got?

Originally written on 2 May, 2005.

The end of evolution for us humans

Yup, us humans mark the end of evolution for the great apes. To understand this (I'm not claiming to be a scientific researcher but base this on what seem to me undeniable logic. If you have differing views, please comment), one must question why evolution happened in the first place. Evolution was the only way living things could continue to exist in a changing environment on earth. If the climate got colder, most species adapted; others who could not evolve to cope with the new climate perished. Ever since we have developed this supposedly great brain and opposing thumbs, we have been modifying our environment to suit us. Get it? We "evolve" our surroundings instead of evolving ourselves to suit the surroundings. This is where the need for evolution stops. What's the point? This way it is so much easier, faster, and more importantly, under our control. Of course, if our environment changed really fast then we wouldn't have time to adapt it (or adapt to it either) and would perish. Like in the last ice age where the climate changed so quickly that mammoth fossils have been unearthed frozen with food still in their mouth!

Originally written on 7 July, 2005.

Corporate branding pioneers

This morning while I was on the potty, I thought hard about the birth and evolution of corporate branding. Skipping all the thoughts that led to it, I conclude that religion, or rather religious institutions, were the pioneers in corporate branding. The cross, om, swastika, the star of david, the star on the crescent moon, et al are all corporate logos and the whole package (religion, i.e.), is absolutely "nothing" (sure, they promise you that you'll go to heaven and that your next life or re-birth will be "good", but who's come back and ever told us?) that is sold. And they have succeeded in selling people this "nothing" (selling because you pay. Donations, charity to a religious institution, are all a form of payment). So you see, these fellows are not only leaders and experts in corporate branding, they are marketing geniuses. Where does that money go? The Catholic church is the highest land owner in the world. More than the Queen of England. In some of the most expensive and posh areas in the world. Same case here in India... Tirupati... probably the largest stash of mined and processed gold in the world. Think about it, all this religion bullsheit is just a veil over your eyes, the oldest and best dupe in the world.

If you have blind faith, it's like having "flies in your eyes" to borrow from Yossarian. You can never know when you have flies in your eyes because you can't see them because you have flies in your eyes.

Originally written on 13 September, 2005.