Thursday, February 5, 2015

Knockout!

Image Source: buzzmag.co.uk
I felt the hard blow on the left side of my jaw and I collapsed.  As I fell towards the ground, time seemed to slow down.  I could hear the crowd screaming and the bright flashes of light, from the cameras around the boxing ring, half blinded me.  I could hear how heavy my breathing was and shortly I felt the hard padding of the floor rush up against my face.  I lay there, badly bruised and gasping for more air.  I could hear the referee above me begin his countdown, “1…2…3…”  But his voice began to become more like an echo.  A sound that belonged to another time and space.  My eyes were stinging and the sweat burned my skin as it flowed over my body. 

Image Source: ringsidenz.com
However, the only thing I was thinking of was how everything seemed to come to a complete stop.  I could hear the buzzing of a fly from somewhere above me. “A fly? How can I hear a fly?” I asked myself.   I turned my head and felt the throbbing pain rush through my neck.  I winced a bit and then began to look around.  Everything seemed frozen, from the crowd, the referee, to my opponent, to the camera flashes.  Nothing seemed to move. I raised myself up and looked around again. As my gaze took in the scene before me, my eyes soon fell upon my old friend standing by the side of the ring. Ali Mehdi looked at me with his deep penetrating eyes and smiled very slowly. “So, you didn’t see that one coming did you Rohan?” he said in a mocking tone.  “I got caught off guard” I said. I brush my glove against my forehead and sighed heavily.  “Anyway, what does it matter? I’m going to lose this fight anyhow” I said at last, feeling my shoulders sag a bit. “Giving up are we?” he asked.  “Ali I gave it my all. I trained myself to be the best I could be but even that isn’t matching up.  My opponent is stronger than me” I said. “Indeed! Well maybe you should look at your opponent again and tell me if you recognize him” he gestured. I looked perplexed and then turned only to find another version of myself standing with the referee with both arms raised in triumph. “You know that at this point you’re experiencing something above realty. Look!  You can still see yourself lying on the ground” he said as he made his way into the ring. 

“You want to give up” he said very slowly.  He came close to me, glanced down and then turned to face me.  “You may do so but you have got to realize Rohan that the only enemy you have to defeat is the lesser self that lies within you.  For it will always give you a valid and terrific reason why you can’t make it.  You know in regular life what battles you have to fight but nothing is more gut wrenching than trying to defeat the darkened elements of your own soul that continually strive to take you down.  They constantly nag and find opportunities as to why you can’t win, why you should fear rejection and not even try, why you should accept what life has given you and why you have no right to claim what should be yours” he said as he looked down on my body lying on the floor once again.  He walked towards the other side of the ring turned to me with glint in his eyes. “You’ve got to want something bad enough and know that there are no limits towards what you wish to do” he said.  “You could hear the fly buzzing above you and see everyone frozen because now all your distractions are gone. You’re here in the present and in the ‘now.’  Your opponent only looks like you at this point in time because you’ve got to know that there’s more to you than you give yourself credit for. No matter how tired, broken, spent and exhausted you are, you have to command the universe within you to give you the infinite power that it’s holding.  It was always yours to ask for, so now ask for it and never look back” he said and smiled again. 

I looked down and began to ask something but he was gone.  I turned frantically to each side but there was no sign of Ali.  I felt frustrated and bitter at knowing my own resolve to win was weakening rapidly.  But just as I reflected on that, a new set of thoughts flowed through my mind. “Only people with a deep hunger to keep trying, no matter how many failures they may have had, are the ones who do succeed.  More so, only those you never allow themselves to become jaded and continue to polish their lives shine the brightest.”  I looked down at myself. I wanted to win this fight and I knew this victory was rightfully mine. 


Image Source: images.fineartamerica.com
The next instant I opened my eyes and sprang up. The referee, who had reached the count of 9 was shocked to see me rise up again. Even more surprised was my opponent, for he saw in my eyes a burning fire and knew what was coming to him… Next Take please! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Higher Intelligence

Image Source: images6.alphacoders.com
As our world gets more automated and connected, there is an increase in the number of future forecasts on how technology will play a role in our lives.  One of the key topics that I have noticed come up recently, has to do with Automated Hypothesis.  It is being hailed as the next vital tool that will provide marketers with a newer way of thinking and testing products and services with various consumers groups. This new phenomenon of consumer analytics is estimated to provide further impetus to innovation, especially for personal technology companies around the world.  However, while reading about this, I couldn’t help but think about the advanced computer systems in several fictional stories and movies that include The Terminator, The Matrix, X-Men and The Avengers (Ultron).  One of the commonalities that runs across each of them, is where intelligent machines that monitor and study human behaviour, eventually decide that in order to save the world they must eradicate humans completely, for only then can perfect order be restored. 

In each of those stories, in varying degrees, the prime outcome is that human civilization as we know it nearly comes to an end, where machines rule the planet and human cities lie in ruins.  This apocalyptic theory, which is also prophesized by many religious groups, point to a time in the not so distant future, perhaps in the next 300 to 500 years, where machines are far more advanced and are completely wired into every part of our habitats, transport and maybe to an extent even ourselves. 

Image Source: d1x4j6omi7lpzs.cloudfront.net
From one angle, I do find this theory plausible, where future machines may grow smarter and eventually turn against their human creators.  However, on the other hand, I cannot help but feel that this notion that people will lose control or that machines will rise up against them will come to pass.  Primarily because these doomsday prophecies fail to take into account the gradual spiritual shift that is being seen across the world.  While there are still global conflicts that continue rage, I would say that a deep stir is occurring, where many nations and leaders are genuinely looking at more diplomatic solutions to problems with the use of words rather than missiles.  Further, being more connected in today’s world, has allowed more people to become informed, thereby, allowing them to make more rational and concrete decisions towards communal disputes, national problems and environmental issues.  More importantly, the victories that they achieve are amplified around the world to other communities, which serve as a catalyst to motivate them in to action. Plus, within the emerging nations themselves over recent years, the voter turnout has risen, the reach of NGO’s has increased and citizens groups are pushing their governments to have more engagements with neighbouring nations to quickly resolve conflicts that have been burning for decades. At the same time, there are a growing number of religious leaders, the world over, who are espousing that their followers reach out towards other groups, in order to build bridges of trust and understanding with them.


Image Source: a2isystems.com
Humanity no doubt has a long way to go, but the wheels are set in motion and the consciousness of people in many countries is changing at a rate that has hitherto, never been seen before.  In all of this it is crucial to realize the positive role that technology has played so far. Hence, looking into the future, my guess is that intelligent computers and robots will understand this aspect and instead of extermination, look at how they can add greater value towards enhancing human civilization.  Further, newer and untold inventions are yet to come to life. More so, when they do, will they provide people with the necessary means to craft a new era of higher intelligence and higher living for all of humanity. Next Take please! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Rivalry Of Brilliance

Image Source: http://everystevejobsvideo.com
There is a wise and popular saying that goes “it take two to Tango!” A further look at its meaning, reveals that in order for a great goal to be achieved, it would take two very distinct people to make it happen.  Only having one of them alone, will not see that kind of change occur without the other being present. While, most people may associate that term to relate to family members, couples or even friends; I often think of it from the point of view of innovation.  By that I allude to the fact of where the work of two rivals, merge and mingle together to create a new rhythm in the way their offerings influence the lives of people around them.  One of the prime examples of this, was displayed in the love hate relationship between the two men responsible for changing the way computers and personal devices were made available to us and how we use them. 

SteveJobs and Bill Gates had two very different approaches to both design and innovative thinking.  While, they were often critical of each other’s ways, neither could deny the inventive steps each one took to transform an industry that has set humanity on a new course of personal enjoyment and future discovery.  Each was born with a steadfast view of how technology could influence and support people in their daily lives.  Jobs was a maverick futurist, who sought to amaze the world each time with great but ‘access restricted’ products, which he felt would unite and push humanity forward.  Gates on the other hand, believed more in collaboration and in sharing ideas, which could allow companies and people to democratically have their say in the way technology and its future use would evolve. 

From the early 1980’s till the early 2000’s it appeared that Gates had chosen the right path.  More so, newer firms such as Google adopted this strategy and continued to carry it forward with its market innovation called Android.  However, post the advent of the 2000’s era, slowly but surely, Jobs, who was largely dismissed as narrow minded inventor, proved once and for all that even the closed ecosystem of consumer product innovation could work as well.  Apple’s offerings that now include the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and services like iTunes and iCloud, have given users a parallel (and superior) experience to what was and is available in the market.  Microsoft, on the other hand, gave the world a great operating system (Windows), web services and a neat gaming experience (Xbox).  But putting aside each firm’s offerings, what made the relationship between Jobs and Gates so unique was their deep determination to prove the other wrong.  Their mockery of each other at various points throughout the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, spurred each one to try and outdo the other.  Their competitive drive made the world a much smarter, efficient and connected place, where innovation is king and the blockades against technological possibility are far removed. 

Had these two men been born at different times, the world would have progressed at a much slower rate. Hence, it would appear that more divine forces were at play.  The coincidences of them being born in the same year and reaching their prime in the same place, when the world of technology was set to take off, would clearly show that the universe itself, used them as change catalysts. 

For in short, Jobs and Gates came, saw, danced, dazzled and left behind a legacy that future generations will no doubt draw inspiration from and perhaps label as the greatest rivalry in the search for excellence!  Next Take please!


Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

Thursday, May 15, 2014

News Of The World!

My Photograph
The radio crackled as he drove down South Street Highway towards the bay area.  Having wanted to get away from home for a while, he decided to visit and sit by the Hampton shoreline during the evening and reflect on his thoughts.  Life was looking bright for him and he smiled thinking of the television anchor job he would be interviewing for tomorrow morning.  He also reflected on what the Human Resource manager had told him.  The network was looking at someone who could also suggest and implement a fresh approach to their news telling given the cut throat completion they were up against.  Just then, the Top 40 music countdown ended and a special announcement was introduced.  He was reaching for the volume knob to turn it down, when the announcer’s voice caught his attention. He paused and decided to let it play on.

Announcer: Good evening ladies and gentlemen!  It is with great anticipation that we here wish to get your views on a topic that has been doing the rounds across many homes and offices lately.  Our listeners are curious to know if the “News of the World” or the content that all of you see across newspapers and television channels is far too inclined towards only showcasing negative happenings and occurrences.  Further, many of the people that we have spoken with, share the same sentiment that the news we see, read or hear is only concentrated on everything that’s wrong with the world, with each channel and publication house competing to see who can outdo the other with more sensationalism and disturbing imagery. 

Sadly, many of our listeners feel that there is virtually no attention given to the positive things happening in our country or across the globe.  In fact, hardly any mention is made of political parties, communities and people who have transformed something negative into something positive.  These sometimes small and subtle changes are what many of our listeners feel would give people, who are facing similar circumstances, hope and inspiration to peacefully work for a positive transformation. 

What we then ask is your view!  Do you feel that the media should change its approach and give equal weightage to positive news? Or is this merely a baseless argument, which has no merit whatsoever? Do let us know your thoughts, for only your voice can truly decide what makes the “News of the World!”

My Photograph
Looking out over the bay, he thought carefully for a few minutes and smiled even more brightly than before. “Yes that’s it. That’s the new angle the channel needs. Maybe it’s time they changed their focus and adopted something that could really touch the hearts of people and give everyone the answers to overcome the challenges they are currently facing. While it’s important to keep everyone informed of the occurrences around them, it is equally important to have them see how wonderful life can be and know how others have made it so” he thought.   

Tomorrow was a new day and he looked forward to the promise that it held. Next Take please!