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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blast from the past

I first heard this classical music circa 1995 in Glasgow. I was at a close friend's room, and he was playing this music. I was somewhat down then, and this music succeeded in lifting my spirits up again.

I asked him the title of the music. He answered, "Canon by Pachelbel."

It became my favourite music for my remaining years in Glasgow. I copied a midi version of this music onto my trusted Mac, and would play it again and again.

In 1996, just before I left Glasgow for good, my friend - whom I regard as my brother - dropped by the place I was staying and quietly stashed an audio cassette of this music in my room, hidden enough for me not to notice it immediately, but not too difficult to find later on.

While the audio cassette is no longer functional (and no longer practical for that matter), the music still brings a cheer to my heart. Have a listen. Who knows, it just might cheer you up somewhat.

And to Nazrul who introduced me to Pachelbel's work, thank you for being a very good and understanding friend all those years.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Emotions α 1/Intelligence

Is it me, or am I right in saying that when emotions cloud our mind, our maturity dwindles? The more emotional we get, the less mature we become. Could it be that emotions outweigh intelligence?

Well, at least that's my hypothesis, which can be put down mathematically as:

Emotions α 1/Intelligence

Anyone willing to carry out the research? [Perhaps that is why Spock is the intellectual one, for he is without emotions].

Human beings are emotional creatures without a doubt. At the same time, human beings are also intellectual creatures. When these two are at odds - emotions and intelligence - it's interesting to observe which one gets the better of the other.

I have seen people who lost their cool and said [or replace any of these words: wrote, blogged, twitterred] things which I am sure they regret later. A pity really, for sometimes these emotions could have been channelled positively.

Just a random thought in the wee hours of the morning, this. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Triple tragedy in the land of the rising sun

Japan Blue Sun Rise Images
I am, for once, lost for words when news reached me about the 東北地方太平洋沖地震 (Tōhoku Region Pacific Ocean offshore earthquake). The 9.0 magnitude (a mega-earthquake by modern standard) rocked Japan on Friday, 11th March 2011. The earthquake was initially measured at 7.9 on the Richter scale and later upgraded to 8.9 on the Richter scale before scientists finally putting the magnitude at 9.0 on the Richter scale.

The mega-earthquake triggered tsunami warnings. A number of cities in Japan in the Iwate Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture were hit by tsunamis, some reportedly 10 metres high. It has been reported that up to 10,000 people are killed, and another 10,000 still missing.

What began with the earthquake (and its subsequent aftershocks) and followed by the tsunami led to another tragedy in the form of a possible nuclear meltdown as a result of explosions at the Fukushima power plants. The danger this meltdown can cause is no doubt a reason for global concern. 

The triple tragedy (mega-earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant explosions) resulted in the worst ever crisis Japan has ever faced since World War II. When I got news of the mega-earthquake, my thoughts quickly turned  to my friends who are in Japan (both Malaysians and Japanese). I pray that they are safe in the midst of this trying times.

My thoughts are with those who have been badly hit by these tragedies, though I can only watch from afar. I am very sure that once the dust is settled, Japan will once again rise - just like it did after the devastation of World War II. In the meantime, we also have the responsibility to assist them in rebuilding in any way possible.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Personal space

There was a time when people want to be alone, they would just stay in their rooms and shut the rest of the world out.

These days, ironically, when people want to be alone, they would go into their rooms and switch on their laptop and Internet, and let the whole world in into their personal lives.

I believe some (or is it, many?) of us mistakenly think that the Internet is our own personal and private playground. Our cyber-interaction with netizens are usually not done face-to-face leading us to be under the false impression that we are untouched by the rest of the world.

With blogs, social networking sites, chat programmes, etc., we are actually "out there" albeit virtually. What we write, what we post and what we upload are not exclusive to us alone. It can be read, viewed and shared by others too. Sure, we can set our privacy settings, but there are still people who can read, view and share what we write, post and upload. They can, by their own right, reproduce what we write, post and upload.

We cannot claim that our blogs and accounts with social networking sites are our own personal space. The fact that these applications use the Internet as its platform makes it a very public place. Just because we do not see others on the Internet does not mean that others do not see what we write, post and upload.

We have to take responsibility for what we have written, posted and uploaded. We cannot simply say that we can write, post and upload anything we please just because the blogs and social networking accounts are our own personal accounts. That, I believe, is a misguidedly naive point of view. Remember that people got divorced because of what was posted on their spouse's Facebook accounts. Remember that people got sued just because they put up on their blog a link to another blog which speaks badly about a person.

Again, let me say that the Internet is a very public space.

If we want to write something in private, do ourselves a huge favour: Buy a personal diary and keep them locked safely in the room.