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Friday, June 19, 2009

I watch movies too!


All the conceptual, philosophical posts getting to you? Well, they are driving me nuts! When stuff gets repetitive, I watch a movie. I like sci-fi flicks, conspiracy thrillers, action blockbusters, and once in a while even the odd cheesy romantic movie.

This time though, I watched a movie that definitely falls into the action genre, but is sure to excite techno-buffs too. Released in Oct 2008 and directed by D.J. Caruso, the director of the popular TV series 'Smallville', it is none other than 'Eagle Eye'.

The plot centers around two strangers, Jerry and Rachel, who are thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman. They find themselves entagled in a huge terrorist operation with someone watching their every move.

The movie is action-packed with crispy gunshots, crunchy smashes, and immensly satisfying explosions. All of it is tightly weaved together by a kick-ass story that will have you on the edge of your seat till the credits roll.

So if you feel the itch for some destructive yet enjoyable entertainment, go rent 'Eagle Eye'!

Happy face-melting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Divine Question

Yes, I am still alive.
I promised a few posts ago that I will dedicate a post to religion. Well, I'm not going to do that. All I will say is that Religion is a concept that some people need, some people want, and some people exploit. To each his own. Amen.
Now, the reason for my extended silence is life. No, I was not too busy. No, I was not pre-occupied (which means the same as busy, but sounds more impressive.) The truth is that I totally forgot I had a blog. There, I have said it, nobody reads it anyway!
Right, so now back to business. Today, I want to write about the concept of right and wrong. On the surface, the legal system of a country (a country being the biggest independent governing unit today) seems to define what a person may or may not do. But do we know all the laws in our constitution? Rather, do we need to know all the laws? The answer is no, we don't. So how do we know what we can and we shouldn't do? The term that suggests itself here is 'Social-Conformity'.
Yes, we are brought up in a society. Man is a social animal...blah blah... Society imbibes in us the concept of right and wrong through many agents. The most influential being parents, teachers, friends, relatives etc... basically, people that we come in contact with. The closer the contact, the more the influence.
Now, if our value-system (concept of right and wrong) was created totally based on these inputs alone, everything would have been perfect. No clashes of interests. But the biggest conflict today is not between right and wrong. Rather, it is between your right and my right.
In fact, every individual person seems to have their own unique concept of right and wrong, a custom-tailored value system. Conflict occurs when two people with incompatible value-systems interact. As a simple example, consider a person who loves classical music and another who happens to be a metal-head. Let us put them both in the same room with nothing to do and a nice stereo system with all the music in the world. We have a conflict. Who gets to choose the music? All the classical wusses out there would side with the classical wimp and all the metal-freaks will side with the metal-maniac.
Thus, when two incompatible value-systems clash, there is an argument, a fight, or even a war. The Americans clearly state this is all war-movies. There is always a scene with a senior officer (usually the first citizen) justifying the war with the exact words, "to protect our way of life."
At this point, we can all agree that everyone has their own value-system. But human life is full of interactions, and as each value-system is inherently unique, conflict is bound to occur. So how do we resolve such clashes? In animal or primitive human societies, conflict is resolved by a comparison of strength. 'Might is always right' was the rule. Sadly, this is true even in todays "evolved" human society.
When one is a child, the bigger (physical power) person is always right. When one grows up, the richer (monetary power) person seems to be always right. When it comes to a work-place, the boss (power to fire you) it always right. In a store, the customer (power of money) is always right. When it comes to bigger units, like countries, the country with the biggest nuke is always right. Hence, the 'might is right' rule still seems to be in force, which makes a pretty primitive species.
So, what should be considered right? The answer is 'power of numbers'. Yes, democracy. A value system that is compatible with a majority of people will generate the least number of conflicts. This is what social-conformity aims to achieve. The flaws in today's society are not with this concept, rather they are due to imperfect implementation. Many groups of people (eg. Teenagers) are inadequately represented or given less importance in the equation that supposedly yields the best value-system.
As a personal rule, I suggest the following:

"Do what you feel is right, as long as it doesn't conflict with the value-system of those who have power over you."

How do you know that some action conflicts with somebody's value system? It pisses them off! That's how.
I sure hope I have set some of you thinking. Do post your comments on what you think.