on the Code

finally got down to watching the film today; and i have to say that every critical review i’ve seen of it is absolute rubbish.

the film is well made, as the book was well-written–both the book and the film do exceedingly well for the audiences they are aimed at; which is the barometer for the success or failure of either–and both hold their own well.

you don’t even have to have read the book to watch the film–the director certainly does his best to help the viewer out, while not giving them everything. of course, you will appreciate the cues in the movie relating to the book much more; and the scope of achievement in making the film if you’ve read the book. it really is a good film

go watch it, and have fun! :)

on false positions

we often tend to develop a not completely thought through understanding of social and cultural systems around us, and the movements in play at any given time. the lack of understanding might not necessarily be due to lack of information or ignorance of an issue on our parts; but rather in the failure to understand the absolutes of the situation–the ramifications of our thoughts and actions within a broad sense. i like to call positions that are based upon this form of understanding–i.e. understanding without realizing the implications of that knowledge, as false positions.

the popular position on reservations, i believe; is one such false position.

one needs to understand not just the social dynamics of caste; but also the political, economic and cultural implications of casteism and its reversal. the implementation of reservations at any level rather a failure to understand inequities. the concept of reservations is like balancing an equation. if on paper, LHS=RHS.

social inequality however is not a linear equation; and reservations are the wrong approach to start with–they are the false position that i am talking about here.

on merit

the controversial reservation law proposed in the Indian parliament is one of great concern; not just to those it works against, but also for those whom it is intended to help.

take for example, the basis of the proposal to reserve 50% of the seats in all streams of study in institutes of higher education. not only does it make this reservation; but it also makes for lower selection criteria for OBC (other Backward Classes) or SC/ST (Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe) for admission to these courses.

the fallacy of this argument can be defined in the emotional outburst of one pro-reservation activist–“forget merit. this is not about merit. what’s more important are the dreams of the people”.

hem. i don’t care what your dream is–if you want to be operating on people–say their spinal columns; you had better be good enough to get in on your own knowledge and history of work rather than because you dreamed of it; and because you belong to particular caste or had ancestors who were discriminated against–or still are for that matter.

the idea of “merit” at the highest level–and in education, the Master’s and further levels are that “highest level” cannot possibly be supplanted by any skewed (some might say idealistic; i still say naive) notion of social justice that anyone might have.

sure. i’m not quite in the same boat as the people who these reservations are implemented for–and i definitely can’t relate to their problems–only sympathize or empathize. the notion of merit however is a completely different idea from that of social justice. by its very nature, merit is an absolute quantifiable idea; social justice on the other hand is a relative and changeable one.

i believe that the fallacy of reservations (or affirmative action, or positive discrimination, for that matter) lies in the generation of a false position of ethics developed rather by political need than a logical reasoning of developing society for long-term goals.

over the next week or so, i will elaborate further on this topic; and deal with possible solutions.

updates

still figuring out how this theme works and what i can do with it; it’s fun :)

moving on though; i’ll (finally) start uploading stuff on here regularly from tomorrow; and there should be a proper archives and topic listings page up soon :)

– aditya

on Arrakis

I noticed on my blogstats page; that one of the Search Engine keys that sends people to this site is “meaning of arrakis”

Now; having googled arrakis in the past; I’m well-aware that there are companies named arrakis and the like; but arrakis as I named it comes from the Dune series of Books; by one of my favorite authors–Frank Herbert (there’s three *all-time* favorites; the other two being J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan)

Arrakis is a desert planet–also called “Dune” in Frank Herbert’s original 6-part epic (the 6 “prequels” to that (3 Legends of Dune, 3 Preludes to Dune); and the final two chapters to the series (Sandworms of Dune and Hunters of Dune) have been written by Frank Herbert’s son–Brian Herbert, along with Sci-Fi writer Kevin J Anderson.)

Arrakis is introduced in Books 2 and 3 of Legends; while it forms the fulcrum of the story till Book 6, when it’s neutralized

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It is a desert planet–a real hell-hole all around, but for one resource–the spice melange. The books revolve around melange; and the politics to control its flow–think of melange as crude oil in the comparative modern political scenario, and you get the picture… The books are definitely worth a read–their official site is dunenovels.com; where you can find links to amazon.com and/or other online booksellers; and information about the release of the final two chapters.

The overall order of the series is:

Legends of Dune: (takes place over 200 years)
The Butlerian Jihad
The Machine Crusade
The Battle of Corrin

Preludes to Dune: (takes place over one generation, about 10,000 years after the Legends take happen)
House Atreides
House Harkonnen
House Corrino

Chronicles of Dune: (about a decade after the last Prelude)
Dune
Dune: Messiah (a few years later)
Children of Dune (7 years later if I recall correctly)
God Emperor of Dune (4000 years after CoD)
Heretics of Dune (2000 years after God Emperor)
Chapterhouse: Dune (a few years after Heretics)

By that you can imagine what a vast canvas Herbert painted in this series

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on Convergence

in light of this post; i felt the need to make the following “refutation”

“I’m not sure you give enough credit to Visual Media–Television to be precise.
News Tickers on TV; as also the ability it provides–to hear someone, to see someone discussing a breaking story is a whole lot more informative than reading developments in terms of viewer “Satisfaction”.

The first role of Media is to inform. While One might read about an incident on the internet, it often becomes first nature to
(a) read up further / scan news reports on the Internet, and then
(b) check the coverage it is receiving on Television.

Once you go to check on the Television though, it’s a 70-30 chance (or higher) that you’re going to stick to the Television set for the next few hours before you return to check your internet sources, or use internet sources as ancillary. Considering the issues of
(a) present internet speeds and
(b) available credible video content, and
(c) access to that content online, and
(d) access to other outlets of information away from “Computers” and the traditional Web;
the internet is not quite there yet.

One other form of Media you might want to consider is the Cellphone–in the form of GPRS and EDGE services (for web/video streams); it forms the proverbial joker in the pack.

As for “Transmedia” itself, I still prefer to use the vague-er term “Media Convergence” which is I believe is better reflective and provides an already acceptable (but still not outdated or anywhere near being so) grounding in the concept of technology and media access systems as compared to the term “Transmedia”.

“Transmedia”, as “Web 2.0″ seem high on gimmick and low on content. The changes happenning on the internet and other streams of Media technology are a natural progression of data distribution rather than revolutionary; and neither warrants a new name yet.”

next up: Convergence and Culture

life

web designs, limited hard disk space, and dying creativity especially when combined really suck… the videos and photo sections will have to wait a while, and therefore the site update itself.in the meantime, i’ll get back to writing on here

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