Thursday, January 15, 2015

Désolé , Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

The cowardly attack on the French satire magazine 'Charlie Hebdo' saw a wave of sympathy and disgust all over the world condemning the attack. 'Je suis Charlie' became the hashtag for this condemnation. This attack is deemed as an attack on human values and the freedom of speech. (Read: Charlie Hebdo and Rise of Right to be Offended).



One article on the topic drew my attention. Published today (11st Jan, 2015) in Times of India, the article is titled 'Why Paris is Even More Shocking Than Peshawar'. The main point of the article is - "The mowing down of schoolchildren was blood-curdling, but random. At Charlie Hebdo, the dead were chosen by name, and chosen expressly because they were a symbol of freedom".

The attack on the weekly is definitely cowardly and deplorable. But I think it can't compare to the brutality of what happened in Peshawar where 132 schoolchildren were massacred in a public school. Or, even to the brutality of the massacre of 2000 people by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Even if we neglect numbers and think only in philosophical terms, Paris attack is nowhere as deplorable as the Peshawar and Nigeria massacres. 

Why?

Because, the team at Charlie Hebdo knew what they were doing. They were fighting religious fundamentalism (not just Islamic variety). 
Check these cartoons that drew the Islamic ire. They do not mock Islam. They mock the all shades of religious fundamentalism - Islamic, Christian or Jewish. Therefore, in principle, Charlie Hebdo was at war with such fundamentalists.

A cartoonist's response after Charlie Hebdo attack.

So, one can argue that to Charlie Hebdo's literary attacks on the fundamentalists, the fundamentalists retaliated with guns. Not judging anything here.

Peshawar and Nigerian Massacres
Can same be said about what happened in Peshawar and in Nigeria? Whose war was that? Was it even a fair war? Those who lost their lives – were those even the players in the war?

The answers are NO.

Boko Haram Killings in Nigeria (Via @ianbremmer)
The attacks were random (or not). The attacks were caused to inflict pain and terror. The attacks targetted the softest sections - who were not even at war with the attackers.


So, while I sympathize with all those affected by the Charlie Hebdo attack, I am more shocked by what happened in Peshawar and Nigeria. Peshawar and Nigeria make me think that the world is not a safe place. It makes me worried about my daughter. It is frightening.




So, I must say this - Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie. Désolé. Je suis Mubeen.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

How Businesses and Technologies Survive Death Sentence


Have a look at these screenshots -

Future of newspapers

Future of Laptops

Future of Tablets







These pictures show the raging debates in recent times about whether or not these businesses will survive in coming years. However, like many more similar things which were sentenced to death by experts, these businesses are not dead yet.

Transformation, not death.
This sounds philosophical. But it is perfectly applicable to all these things. Newspaper is not dead yet but the newspaper as we knew it is certainly dying. Same can be said to be true for many other things.

So, when some expert says that a particular concept or business will be dead, what it really means is that the reality is changing for that particular format. So the idea can still live on in a transformed avatar.

The masthead of NYTimes.com shows a successful transformation. 
Focus on technology at NYTimes.com
Circa an acclaimed news app which calls itself a news organization

Nexus 6 represents a trend where we will see a fusion of not only the capabilities but also of the physical form of smartphones and tablets (and laptops?)

Google's new Inbox application treats emails as messages and your inbox as a hub of your activities.

Monday, May 26, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past #ReadMore

X-Men franchise is an interesting franchise. Frankly, I won't remember much about any sequels of the original X-Men which was released in 2000. On the other hand, the original movie was very entertaining, opening me to a whole new world of the movies based on characters and stories from Marvel Comics.


Apart from the X-Men series, there also has been a special focus on Wolverine, with two movies making it to the big screen - X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Wolverine (2013). All these movies, X-Men series and Wolverine, are criss-cross of stories and move back and forth in time.

Latest story of the mutants is X-Men: Days of Future Past. The movie has a raked in a whopping $261 Million global box-office opening.

Though I am not much impressed by the movie, it did pique my interest in the characters, stories and comics about the mutants. Here are some articles from around the web which I found while reading more about the X-Men -

READING LIST: ESSENTIAL X-MEN STORIES TO READ AFTER SEEING "DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
If you are like me, you will definitely want to know more about the mutants, their adventures, and what transpires before and after 'Days of Future Past' happens. Here is a great reading list for you!

Though the title of the post says review, these are actually rants of a hard-core X-Men comics fan about gaps between original stories and the movie, and about the instances of stupidity (!).

Though, I am not so keen a comic-reader, one thing we too spotted while watching the moview was this -

Simon Kinberg Explains How the Ending of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Affects other X-MEN Movies
Simone Kinberg is the writer-producer of the movie. The title says it all. Go, read.

Here is another interesting article -
True origins of X-Men: How a second-tier comic inspired a legion of misfits and changed Hollywood
This is a great read on RollingStone.com You should read it too!

If you are interested in (being!) mutants like this lady is -
- then you should not worry at all! Watch this video to get your own claws!!


Update:
If you need to read one article about X-Men, read this -

Ranked: All The ‘X-Men’ Movie Mutant Characters From Worst To Best

Friday, April 25, 2014

Messages Overload

A few days ago, I was surprised to see the large number of unread mails and messages in the inboxes.
Four reasons for the message overload:
1. My increased use of smartphone and tablet at the expense of my laptop,
2. An always-on 3G connection,
3. Android notifications which, though give a preview of an incoming message or mail, do not allow deleting a message from notification pull-down, as of yet. Gmail notification allows you to archive a message but not delete it). So most often, I see the preview and just dismiss the notification.
4. The high unread count also indicate an over-abundance of messages which are totally useless... mostly spam, account notifications, and subscriptions. This, in spite of the fact that I use unroll.me heavily.

Thursday, March 20, 2014