Sid Carter

The need to want to win or to keep fighting

Perhaps there are some kinds of debates where people don’t want to find the right answer so much as they want to win the argument.

There seems to be a need to want to win. Or perhaps it’s a need to fight something or the other. If you login to facebook or any of the multiple social networks out there, you are asked to be outraged. That you are wrong and you should take a hard look at yourself.

Outraged at what you ask? Anything and everything!

You have got to be angry. The world is so wrong. You have to fight against something or the other. You are given a choice – you’re either with us or against us, made famous by George W Bush.

You can’t be nowhere in the middle. Where’s your sense of outrage? Why aren’t you fighting? CNN said something – aren’t you up in arms? Fox News said something nasty – don’t just nod your head, DO SOMETHING! Jon Stewart mocked someone else – Let’s all laugh at the loonies and get outraged at the insanity that is around us. And so it goes…

Perhaps that is right for most everyone.

I know it’s not right for me. I may not like everything that goes on around me, that doesn’t mean I have to fight everything, and get my metaphorical panties in a twist.

Being outraged has rarely ever helped me. If anything, it’s always made things worse.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Before I want everyone to be tolerant, I have to be tolerant myself. Before I tell anyone to not fight, I have to not fight myself. If anything, I have to face my own contradictions. So, if anything needs to change, I will start with myself.

Now, pass me that sheesha, will ya?

Choice

In the last few minutes of the movie Looper, Gordon-Levitt’s character Joe realizes that the only way to stop the kid from becoming the rainmaker is to kill himself. And so, he chooses to kill himself and stop the cycle of violence.

Over the last few months, negativity and cynicism have flooded my soul and my thoughts. I have often looked into the mirror of my mind and wondered who I was looking at. I mean, I knew it was me, but it was a Dorian Gray version of me. You follow?

I did not like what I saw in my mirror. I had to do something. I had to act if I wanted to protect my soul, so I could be happy when I looked at myself in my mind’s mirror. I had no choice.

And so, I decided that I would try and remove negativity and cynicism, bit by bit from my life and to focus on positives.

It’s been three days since I decided that and I can say I have been pretty successful. I have not whined or complained online about anything. I do occasionally exhibit some cynicism, but am trying as much as possible to curtail it and turn it into a positive.

Voice

Touch was an important step, removing the stylus between the user and the interface. And touch has changed how we interact with devices and experience them, ever since the release of the first iPhone.

Now, it’s the turn of voice recognition. Typing using an on-screen keyboard still feels cumbersome. I would rather speak and have my words written, cause often what I’m thinking doesn’t make it to the screen in the time it takes for me to type it.

Siri on the iPhone has matured. Cortana on Windows Phone seems pretty good. Google Now is pretty good and now we have Amazon’s Fire TV which recognises voice commands too.

Voice recognition is maturing and I think, time has come to for it to take it’s rightful place. Voice recognition is where things are at, going forward.

At least, that’s what I want the most now. ;)

Update: I started writing this post yesterday, when I saw the news about Amazon releasing Fire TV. And then today, I read this – Speech Recognition Pioneer Novauris Bought By Apple. I might be on to something here, just saying. :)

Conflicted

the ones who want
their privacy protected
will be the first
to invade yours

the ones who want choice
will be the first
to vilify yours

at war with itself,
where tolerance
and comity exist
neither on the left
nor on the right

free denizens
at the throats
of one another

explains why
one side wants
to keep it’s guns
against the other

Childhood

Growing up, entertainment and fun for us was playing with friends or watching some TV. And TV wasn’t even cable TV, cause our parents didn’t want us to get corrupted, whatever that meant. We used to either watch soap operas or Indian music videos. Occasionally, on a Sunday we would watch a movie or something. I liked going out and playing with my friends, the few friends that I used to have. Because dad worked at a bank, he had to transfer to a different branch in a different town or city every four years, and so my friends changed every 4 years.

Mum or Dad rarely interacted with us. Mum would be busy watching TV or cooking in the kitchen, most often. Dad would either be reading a newspaper or watching TV. Perhaps they played with us when we were very little, but I hardly have any memory of that. I can’t imagine my memory betraying me like that.

And when I say us, that would be me and my brother. Not sure if my brother has different memories. He probably does.

Mum and Dad would often take us to meet their relatives. Not sure what my brother thought of that, but I never really liked meeting my relatives. I remember there were times when I used to take my walkman with me and listen to music when we went to meet our relatives. Looks like I might have been obnoxious and independent ever since I was a kid, doing things my way. At least, that’s what I like to think, even though the truth may have been different. And I, for one, am glad that they did not have facebook or twitter during my childhood. Yikes!

Almost everything I learnt was through the books I read, my teachers and my friends. I remember two teachers from my school years (when I was perhaps 12) who influenced me a lot. Either both of them were my english teachers or one of them was an english teacher and the other taught science, I think. It was these two teachers who influenced my early life and helped me form my nature, so to speak. Mum and Dad did the nurturing, and occasionally influencing my nature in opposite directions, one in religion and the other in atheism, respectively.

I left home to study at a boarding school in my 9th grade, and never returned home after that, except for a brief period when mum and dad moved to the city when I was about to finish my engineering studies. Since then, I think I’ve travelled to almost 20+ countries, and lived for a while in three different countries excluding India.

Fast forward to the present, I am trying to figure out if my parents missed something. And I can’t think of anything. Despite everything, I turned out fine, with hardly any trauma. And so did my brother.

What I am saying is that, I am quite thankful to them, irregardless. :)