Archive for the ‘character’ Category

Was the creation of the internet not supposed to be the dawn of a technological and informational utopia? Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, is convinced that it is failing us. In Anna Karenina there is a telling line in which her lover Vronsky looks at the clock without registering what he read. There is a twilight zone in our thought process which can manifest itself in the most varied manner. When we dream it surfaces, like a man in a state of semi-starvation dreams of gorging on food or forbidden desires are let out and clothed in forms that may require a psychiatric couch (and a few sessions with the doctor) to get a glimpse of what goes on in the head. When we associate attention crisis we are speaking a kind of a hole in your head through which social media may exploit your vulnerability if you let.
In an age where medicine caters to individual needs social media can similarly shape message to suit the mind. Rational design is the inventive process of finding new medications based on the knowledge of a biological target. Social media similarly targets man as a consumer so his vulnerabilities only need be located. In the earlier days a great man say Caesar who strode like a colossus before the Roman citizens was to Cassius nothing of that sort. As a soldier having been together in many military campaigns he knew his falling sickness and other failings. Such knowledge is power and Iago’s power over Othello was his knowledge. A similar and dangerous tool social media wield over human societies. They are not to educate us or plug the holes in our head but to exploit for their own benefits. In designer drugs the drug is most commonly an organic small molecule that activates or inhibits the function of a biomolecule such as a protein, which in turn results in a therapeutic benefit to the patient. Think of smartphones that slowly become addictive in your life so much so you cannot take eyes off it is the result of interplay of several actions you initiate with regularity and it is a habit. Your brain is literally rewired so information keeps flowing in and you are hooked. The same technique that we associate with Goebbels,- so a lie when directed at you a hundred times takes on the likelihood of truth, is very much in our reach. First thing you look at after sleep is your smartphone and it adds nothing to your life but you are convinced it does. This is attention crisis that defines moral and political struggle of our time. The culprits? Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all out there. They are not serving your interests but rewiring your mind for commercial purposes.
Think of the role Facebook and the rest played before the 2016 US elections? Russian meddling even when shown as a real threat cannot go away since it is still aired without let up. Is not fake news still flooding the cyberspace? If social media gives you access to truth and informational empowerment how come we see just the opposite? Perhaps the hole in the mind does not get pacified by gizmos and gadgets that pour money in some one’s coffers. You must learn to take charge of your mind yourself. It is what life means.
When my interest in girls peaked in my teens I often misread girl for Giri (name of a former President of India), and now it all seems so silly. How we give shape to our desires and how we really want to interpret the world without is not reality but the hole, the crack in the mind which is for us to fill. Character it is called. If social media seeks a hold what would character suggest? Deletion is within our power.

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Each generation makes mistakes. I did mistakes in my time, which if I have to clear would amount to couple of wagonloads. Since I have not let them swamp me and have neatly filed away under X (for experience) I am not complaining. I see the present generation is in no way better at it. Only these days the 20-year olds have social media to pass time and in my time was to  be grounded on the assumption(‘children are collared and seen, but not deciding anything’ let me make a list of things ,-20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity

Time is like a big cube of ice we are handling and with each day it is becoming smaller and smaller.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated –  You may be most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  We are all talented but some talents are as pimples that we outgrow to be something worse and obnoxious.  In nodding ‘yes’ to your parent you may have got pat on your back but will get you a kick in the butt at the job market.  In order to be an ‘yes- man’ requires certain ‘talent that works’ like the timing. So if you are told you got talent, develop it to working order. Without this it is simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results. As Tom Cruise would say ‘Show me the money’(Jerry McGuire)

Have you got a Daily Planner?

Those who achieve results get the time they are their best for doing the concentrated effective tasks for the day. Some are morning persons and some are at their peak, late afternoons and so on. Leave other times for mundane and irksome tasks that need to be attended to. Those who succeed generally squeeze in some three hours daily before time for work. It may be for catching up with news, workouts, personal grooming and checking the mail, planning for the day and a sit-down breakfast. (Those who skip the last are likely to know the difference sooner or later.)


The best years in your life is also most constructive period. There is so much data and levels of knowledge out there. Adding them without knowing what you want out of life can be wasteful. Needless to say what makes you a good human being is cultivated from home and socially, is an asset. Ability to be articulate and answer each with well chosen reply is an art, in itself.Some have a talent, natural. This can be cultivated to pass for a man of good sense and breeding.
Toward this liberal education must be seen as the basis. (The Wall Street (film)type of executives are pathetic specimens of worst excess of present day education.  What is sparkle of jargon and amoral attitude to aggrandize but a nose-stud on a porker?Does a diamond or of platinum make difference? (to be concluded)


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On hearing that Ismenias was an excellent flute player Antisthenes answered:
“But he must be a worthless man,for if he were not, he would not be such a capital flute-player!” King Philip of Macedon, when his son played brilliantly and agreeably on the harp at an entertainment, said to him, “Are you not ashamed, to play so well?” Plutarch said that it was enough for a king, if he sometimes employed his leisure in listening to musicians.
Think how a timely reproof changed Alexander the great to concentrate on things worthwhile? There was nothing that earmarked him to be world conqueror. But he conquered his own inclinations and mind in order to pursue what was important. From skirmishes he graduated to lead men in war and honed his skills to lead them well. His father made him see where his true interest ought to be. Life being short one ought to have his or her priorities right.
‘Reach for the stars’ implies that it is addressed to those who are earth-bound. By developing full potential doesn’t mean growing in all directions. Michelangelo was versatile with words and chisel. His verses showed his talent but his genius shone through sculpture. We know him as painter of the Sistine chapel ceiling and as the sculptor of David. Being able to play Jews-harp is all right but for an orator like Demosthenes excellence in it is at the cost of something more profound and noble.
Plutarch writes thus in his life of Pericles thus: One day in Rome, Caesar, seeing some rich foreigners nursing and petting young lap-dog and monkeys, enquired whether in their parts of the world the women bore no children: a truly imperial reproof to those who waste on animals the affection which they ought to bestow upon mankind. May we not equally blame those who waste the curiosity and love of knowledge which belongs to human nature, by directing it to worthless, not to useful objects? It is indeed unavoidable that external objects, whether good or bad, should produce some effect upon our senses; but every man is able, if he chooses, to concentrate his mind upon any subject he may please. For this reason we ought to seek virtue, not merely in order to contemplate it, but that we may ourselves derive some benefit from so doing.
He who waters the rosebush and spends pruning it shall have some of its fragrance cling to him.

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