Archive for Movies

Defining happiness through suffering

I came across this thought the other day and I was reminded of two of my favorite sci-fi references to that.

For those who haven’t seen / understood (:P) the Matrix, here is the RED pill. The Matrix is supposed to be a perpetual dream into which all human minds are supposed to be plugged in. This is developed by the machines to keep the humans alive and captive so that they can harness the energy generated while “living the dream”.

Quoting agent Smith  – “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program…I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from…

It is true isn’t it? Our life gets a meaning only when we are struggling for something – may it be for survival, for food, for money, for love or for something else depending on the circumstances we find ourselves in. But do we forget to stop and look at the smaller happinesses which come our way? Can we taste joy only after we have been though hell? Does success only after struggle matter? Do we always need to associate any high in our life with a low to make it worth?

Another of my favorite novels from Isaac Asimov – “The End of Eternity” revolves round the same theme. In this an organisation is carrying out social engineering – changing reality by time travel and thus building an utopia for mankind which will be free of war, disease, terror, poverty i.e. in short free of suffering. But then when the reality unfolds they realise that man has become stagnant, unambitious, there are no new inventions and we ultimately meet our end due to our failure to leave the earth and colonise other planets.

This opens up a new angle to suffering – the mother of all innovation. Clearly, the most productive times for research and development were the two world wars. The Cold war accelerated the progress into space exploration and nuclear energy which have translated into many a innovations in every day life gadgets.

The more I think about it the more I feel it is human nature. It is in everyone of us. We appreciate good things more when they come after a bad time, appreciate white when it is next to black. Or realise the worth of things only when they are taken away from us. From the movie “Zindagi na milegi dobara”  – When we breath normally, we do not think twice about it but we cherish every breath when we are underwater. I think there in lies the true essence of life. Yes, there are certain things to struggle for – those define us, those give us purpose, those drive  us forward and prevent us from stagnation. Yes, we should cherish success which comes after hard work. But that doesn’t mean that we be unhappy while fighting for it. Life and this world is full of so many small things and tiny moments – each with their own charm, they are to precious to be missed. Its like you start off by believing you are happy and then do things which make you more happy. As Leo Tolstoy said – “If you want to be happy, just be.”

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Random Thoughts 2

Theorem: Everything that has a beginning, has an end.

make the most of the things in between…

Corollary 1: Everything that has an end, must have a beginning.

search and understand the source, and you shall make peace with the end…

Corollary 2: Anything that does not have a beginning or an end, does not have an end or a beginning respectively.

avoid running in circles…

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Slumdog millionaire : 8 oscars : Jai Ho!

As I said here, slumdog fulfilled its destiny  by bagging 8 academy awards for 2008! These include:

Best Picture

Best Director – Danny Boyle

Best Original Song – Jai Ho

Best Original Score – A. R. Rahman

Best Film Editing

Best Sound Mixing

Best Cinematography

Best Adapted Screenplay

TOI article >

The cast and crew found it hard to containg their excitement! No wonder! This will be the news for many days to come! A well deserved win for the movie which has won over a billion hearts 🙂

A. R. Rahman delivered the dialogue “mere paas maa hai” – “my mother is here with me” and even spoke tamil on dias. He also performed the two songs from SM nominated for the awards with indian dancers, drums and all! It was really wonderful seeing the Oscars getting an Indian Flavour!

In other India-linked nominations, “Smile Pinky” won the academy award for the Best Documentary. Full article >

Heath Ledger received the Oscar for best actor in a supporting role, Sean Penn for best actor, Kate Winslet for best actress. The curious case of Benjamin Button too walked off with multiple awards to its name.

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Worlds most pathetic dance video

An advertising campaign for the worlds most pathetic dance video:

Please please watch it and join the campaign

Video introduced to me by Aditya

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Life in perspective

“We are searching for life, yet we have a little idea what life really is….”

A quote I read in a Natgeo article some years back. The article was based on SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). And today I came across another article which reminded me of the line and about why liked it the first time.

Take a read. (Alien life on earth??? – the BBC’s Science portal)

The article essentialy is in 3 parts:

The first, suggests that alien life may exist in earth itself – in very unusual or toxic lakes etc. It could be the result of ferrying from comets, mars – the usual sources. Not very convincing though. As one scientist questions in the article – How do u differentiate between earth and non-earth forms? Even the article itself uses the phrase – wierd life everywhere. Not at all impressive.

The second part, calls for more exploration on earth itself. Sensible – no matter what “life” you are looking for… wierd, alien, earth like. But an interesting quote here – “Personally, I’m only interested in establishing whether life happened more than once. If we find it has happened twice from scratch then its going to have happened all around the universe.” This makes a lot of sense. I believe when and if we find life – this is the one that everyone would agree to.

It reminded me of another article I read (I will put in the reference as soon as I recollect it). This was about a team of scientists who modelled our galaxy from origin. They modelled everything (so they claim) and simulated the entire program to search for intelligent species and came up with  (I believe what is an disproportionately large number!) 361 results. The findings were published with a theme like – Oh, you know, life isn’t rare after all!  – –  Is this really necessary????!

I believe I am ambivalent when it comes to SETI. Undoubtedly, it fascinates me. It is a part of a quest, which began with intelligence itself. The earliest of civilizations have put up questions – What is the life? What is its purpose? Does life exists else where? Now for me there exists just the question – Whether these questions will ever be answered?

But sometimes it makes me wonder, whether these people have nothing else more realistic to do. I mean the world is so full of problems that threaten our very existence – such genius brains could be of great use here, not to mention the money spent.

The third part of the article is what interested me. Titled ‘Life in the lab’ it interviews a group of scientists who claim to have prepared molecules that are capable of ‘Darwinian Evolution’. These molecules have a DNA – RNA base with 6 letters in the genetic alphabet. The scientists have observed that the mistakes made in pairing are carried forward – showing that the molecule is evolving. The scientists claim that “Since, the accepted definition of life is a molecule capable of Darwinian evolution”, they have developed life and they would be testing the molecules for natural selection.

The phrase “definition of life” caught my attention. That would be the biochemical way to define life.

I believe somethings missing in their definition. I think that only one thing stops us from being just a blob full of chemical reactions. As Agent Smith would put it – PURPOSE

We’re here because we’re not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.

It is purpose that created us.

Purpose that connects us.

Purpose that pulls us.

That guides us.

That drives us.

It is purpose that defines us.

Purpose that binds us. [1]

Life cannot be defined without it.

My head is full of thoughts and imaginations, doubts and debates which perhaps may never be sorted, a stand never be taken. And hence, I must end this blog the same way as I started it –

“We are searching for life, yet we have a little idea what life really is….”

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SlumDog Millionaire

Why shall Slumdog bag the Oscars?

A: It is a good movie
B: It has been directed brilliantly and has loads of good performances
C: It has an Indian Connection
D: It is written √

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The world is just awesome!

I had seen the video on Discovery and when I hit upon it on Sneha’s Blog, it had to be given a link here.

>I Love the World<

Enjoy!

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