Monday, June 10, 2013

Time to step back from the Internet PRISM

There's something nasty at work with U.S.'s PRISM program, which creates a snapshot -- or "file" if you will -- by tracking the Internet activity of people on main Internet sites. Think Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, all rolled into one giant profile about you.

This comes at a time when the U.S. does not need bad PR as it rights relationships with countries worldwide. I'm sure they are monitoring this blog entry as well, but hopefully it'll track back to my fellow writer, Venus, who owns this blog. I'm a pretty innocent dude, you know, nice guy and all.

Being a journalist, I can't opine on the topic. But I always felt some big brother activity happening somewhere, so PRISM is barely a surprise. So what now?

Step back from the Internet. Get back to the good old ways. Read books, send snail mail. Meet people, drink pints in a bar, just make sure to check for hidden cameras or microphones on a table. Or try trickery -- write about earthquakes and global warming on Facebook, and the U.S. government will accuse you of pissing off Mother Nature.

I haven't posted much on Facebook anyways, less now. It may become a barren wasteland, like a derelict high-school hang-out with some old memories stuck to it. I'll post pictures to keep the U.S. government busy. On Gmail I'll invite more spam to throw off the info-collecting spies. And the U.S. government is stupid if they are mining Myspace.

But the U.S. already has competition. My grumpy neighbor, an old lady who is a life-long New Yorker, knows more about me (she listens to my phone conversations through a thin wall.) I'm sure she'll rat out my ex-girlfriends, breakups, fight with parents, man love for kabaddi and other dirty little secrets to the US watchmen.

But there's more to PRISM than Google search, Facebook or Gmail. Firefox, IE or Chrome browsers are collecting info and sending it somewhere. Programs like PRISM are not going away, so you either live with it, or not.

Happy surfing, and remember, someone already knows you. So stop being a hermit holed up in a cave near Mansarovar searching for world peace.

Cross posted on Khakra

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Exploring personalities

Judging a person in only five seconds isn't necessarily bad. The concept is flawed if the premise is to hate or like a person, but otherwise it is a way to adapt, measure and interact in the right way. Spouting Star Wars jokes to a volleyball player won't make you exotic.

But it takes adaptation. People can be different -- could be a unique sense of humor, a bohemian lifestyle, anything. Sometimes society places limits and defines how characters are to be judged. I'd rather people liberate and open their minds, but it doesn't happen under every circumstance.

I find shy personalities fascinating. They are mysterious, and tough nuts to crack open -- they watch and measure the surroundings, occasionally expressing themselves through a smile or frown. It's highly rewarding interaction.

One of my friends is an escapist, she shuts down in groups, but is bubbly in one-on-one meetings. It didn't take long to figure out she was shy when I met her for the first time at a party.

So I started with a bang. I heard she had just moved to New York.

"So what's your story, in a New York minute?" I asked. Instinctual words, but bad start, knew it right away.

"What?" she asked, bewildered.

She didn't react well to straight up, semi-satirical questions. I had to calm the situation down, and do it quickly.

"I'd rather be at the beaches in Sri Lanka, but here I am too," I said.

One more weird face, but she seemed to figure out what I was about. She perhaps thought I was trying to impress her (which wasn't the case, I just wanted conversation). I had to calm down in any case.

"I've never been to Lanka," she said.

Time to change topic. She was looking pretty, wearing a blouse with a lehenga, and a bindi on her forehead. I didn't want to complement her looks, I never do, but I did roll out a factoid that I found interesting.

"Saw you walking two blocks wondering where you were headed, and here you are! I actually told my friend that women in bindis are hard to find walking on New York streets."

She immediately was at ease, rolling out a laugh.

"I heard the same thing when I went to salsa class yesterday," she said.

Multi-talented personality, I thought. She's raised some topics that we could talk about. The conversation went on, but I felt rewarded with the salsa nugget. She seemed to establish a small level of trust in me atleast.

She didn't ask too many questions, and I egged on. The next time we met for dinner a few weeks later, she was open, vibrant and admitted group meetings weren't for her. She also thought I was weird with the first few questions, but then I compensated well by calming down.

I gave her grief that she was judging me too quickly.

"I was not judging you, you created the situation for yourself," she said.

"I was fishing to see what type of conversation would work," I said, contesting her theory.

"So you were trying to judge me even before met?" she said.

Caught. Red-handed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

WallE & Lizzy

I was asked by my dear brother to develop a story as an exercise, I am not revealing the subject, I want it to be self revealing. and here's what I came up with:


"Lizzy, How was your day today?" asked the wall-E, as Lizzy would call him.
"You know, my mom used to tell me that our cousins in the US are pets. The human kids adore them, feed them, play with them. I don't understand why that li'l girl is so hostile at me. I ran for my life today, you know. next time, I will need to be very careful." Lizzy said.
Wall-E "Next time? there is going to be next time? Are you out of your mind? are you crazy?"
"Don't you love your life? Didn't you parents teach you never to risk your life?"
Lizzy," Tell me about it. I so clearly remember, in fact, that is the most clear memory I have of them."
"My mom would take me on that huge banyan tree, she will pick those red ants, they were so sour in taste, I loved red ants back then."
"she would give me a few and then some. She would then tell me, "Lizzy, you are so unnecessarily risking yourself. You should just move around and learn to hunt in and around this banyan tree house. There are snakes and cats if you go out of this fence. People say, they are just waiting for us to come out of this fence, and in no seconds they will munch you like that hoggard. See, your favorite red ants are also right here on the banyan tree.  If you want to play, play where I can see you. next time, you might not come alive if you venture out again. understand?"
"I used to just nod, and agree to her."
"But, now am no longer a child, I am a grown up individual with my own dreams. I want to explore the outside world."
Wall-E, "hmm, I keep hearing the tv sounds about the traveling to the Africa, to Australia, to Switzerland. they seem to be very beautiful places from what I have overheard the TV in the next room."
Lizzy, "hmm, interesting, may be one day, I will be able to fly there, one day."
Lizzy, "but you know, about a year back, I did not know you could fly like this."
wall-E, "Me? ha ha, in my dreams also I can't."
"It happened to me so accidentally, I was on this tiniest branch of the mango tree on the corner of that farm, ohh, how would you know of it? There is this huge farm at the end of all these buildings. You have to be li'l careful while passing all the buildings. I have found the whole network of pipes laden under the ground, which, if you know the way, you can be there in less than 30 minutes. anyhow, The gushing wind comes swooshing, and I lost my balance to fall down. I got so scared for a moment, but then I opened my eyes, and I actually enjoyed looking around at everything from different perspective, it's just awesome. oh man, it's just a totally different level of addiction, you'll also get hooked to this jumping, flying thing if you do it once. I can never do it enough. I lost my tail on the same day, see, it's growing again now."
"you know, what I did then? I went up the same tree again, and went to the same branch again, and this time, I didn't wait for the gushing wind. I just jumped from there. You know the Speaky sparrow and the Coco cuckoo were so amused that I could fly without any wings." I am getting to be a pro now. You just have to be careful of those predators. how long can you just keep frightening and sit in this house, wiat for that one fly whom you may or may not trap in your mouth, it's so boring."
Wall-E, "I have been here for more than 70 years here witnessing generations of your family, you are the first one, I'm hearing that lizard can fly!"
"no lizard from your whole ancestry left this house, they were born here, and they died here." " you are the only one Lizzy, you are so different, Lizzy"
Lizzy," Did I tell you, I forgot to eat today, I was so thrilled. I'll just go on that banyan tree and see if there are any ants working out this late."
Wall-E,"be careful, the cats are always on the pry at night, they have a very sharp vision at nights."
Lizzy, "ohh that cat, who ate buzz, my cousin. Poor guy, he never got to go out and see the nature. he never had any dreams. He was in this waiting for the fly at the window rut."
"Anyhow, i'm starving and before these ants go to sleep, let me fill up my tummy. see you tomorrow, i'll tell you more stories of my flying and jumping.
Wall-E, "Good night buddy, live your dreams!"
Lizzy goes out to the banyan tree, li'l tired from jumping and flying the whole day with empty stomach. he lethargically climbs up the tree branch, so tired, only to fall on the sleeping kitty.
Next morning, Wall-E, to Bubba lizard, " I knew, he was a risk taker, a dreamer, who fell in the cat's mouth. but he actually lived his life Bubba unlike us."
"He was a dreamer man, dreamer, and he lived his life."
 


Friday, March 29, 2013

abstract painting

An Artist makes her imagination alive on a canvas, mold or on a piece of stone. the abstract subject is left to the viewers' perception. For the artist, it is crystal clear at the time of creation, which is enough, the clarity in the artist's mind. 
Put your dreams on canvas, and paint your dream, the world does not need to be explained of your genesis. It always starts with an abstract idea, then the idea manifests itself into an unambiguity. The final masterpiece speaks for itself. The most important thing is to shape our dreams on a canvas, the execution of the abstraction formed clarity.

-venus

COPYRIGHT © 2013 THINE, EXPLORER

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Others' Kids

One of the SMSes I have received says: 

If own son cries, it hurts deep in the heart, and if it is someone else's who cries, it hurts deep in one's head.


I am wondering if this is true with the Gods also, if all the mythological stories are true!
Lord Shiva takes up a fight with Lord Ganesha, his own son when he does not know that he was his own son, and kills him.
Once he realizes that he was fighting with his own son, he brings him back alive with a head replacement!

May be, it's true?

-venus 

COPYRIGHT © 2013 THINE, EXPLORER

Sunday, March 17, 2013

practical Vs. passion

practical is a set of rules
passion is creativity

practical kills passion
passion keeps you alive

practical is derived
passion is a lightening bolt

practical is dull
passion is the fireworks in the sky

practical is a zero watt bulb
passion is a blazing sun

practical is stagnant
passion is progress

practical is treason
passion is dedication

practical is a compromise
passion is love

practical is dead
passion is life

practical is vagueness
passion is enlightenment


-venus

COPYRIGHT © 2013 THINE, EXPLORER

Friday, March 15, 2013

Today's Mantra

No Passion, No Production.

it's merely a performance, until you pour your heart into it!

- venus

COPYRIGHT © 2013 THINE, EXPLORER