Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2008

context and photography

While walking over the overbridge over the train tracks, I saw the rail tracks glistening with the light of yellow signal. The yellow long lines dividing the dark into equal twos, textured and raw, with the smell of metal and sweat of urban nation. The east side dark ended with jagged edges of station roof - the undulating continuity of shades of gray and grime. the west side dark went on only until the pillar standing in between me and it.

Then a bird came and sat over the signal. Almost in dark. The light from signal of no consequence to it (apart from possible heat of the metal on its feet). Still its black eyes managed to shine a dark shine against its black body.

I so wanted to capture the moment into a photograph framed thus - the focus on the bird pirched on signal. though the tracks visible just as well, and so is the dark. essentially, to capture the whole experience of being there, but I couldn't do it. U have to have a central focus in a pic to give meaning to it. Thats t…

Of vision and photography.

This post started as a response to a comment made by a friend to the earlier post. But my thought took me a little further than they should have, so am posting the ramblings here as a post.

well, the earlier post alludes to something grander and something that runs through many of my earlier posts and has consonance with what you said.

reality is something that one constructs about oneself. reality isn't an absolute. Mahatma Gandhi's quote 'to your own truth, to your wisdom, thats where u must go', has stuck with me like anything, and lends itself to the notion of reality and here it ties up with the question of vision.

Our 'truth', our 'wisdom' is constrained in the frame of our vision.
I celebrate that increment in conscience with increased field of vision in the earlier post.

Secondly, the thought was inspired from an observation when looking. The vision of man. if I am to talk in terms of photography, Ayn Rand's 'man' would be picturised with…
I found something pertinent and am posting it here verbatim -

A search of the Nexis database of English-language publications worldwide finds zero uses of the phrase before 2005 but 600 since then. It appeared in The New York Times apparently for the first time in a quote on May 24: “Unlike people 65 and older who immigrated online after spending their youths thumbing through reference books, today’s children are digital natives who are fluent in the language of online searches,” said Marc Prensky, an educational consultant and the author of ‘’Don’t Bother Me Mom — I’m Learning!'’

Escape to the other real

It all started with emoticons.
the simple one's - :P, ;)
the anime one's - (0_0) , (u_u), (^-^)b...
then avatars in chat.
Secondlife took it to a whole other level, where an alternate reality is constructed. It is an internet based virtual world launched in 2003, developed by Linden Research, Inc. A downloadable client program called the Second Life Viewer enables its users, called "Residents", to interact with each other through motional avatars, providing an advanced level of a social network service combined with general aspects of a metaverse. Residents can explore, meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade items (virtual property) and services with one another. (source - wikipedia article)

well, the real thing of consequence about second life is that, that it has a virtual currency - Linden Dollar (Linden, or L$) and is exchangeable for real world currencies in a resident to resident marketplace facilitated…

don't/ Do download this song

Arrgghh.. the ethical questions hound us? or do they? digital natives are devided over the ethical question regarding free downloads, piracy etc. and its reflected in popular media thus ...
Wierd Al Yankovic's 2006 song 'don't download this song' was one of his first outright political songs. See the kickass video of the song at
The song was released exclusively on August 21, 2006 as a digital download. It is a style parody of "We Are the World" and other similar charity songs. The song "describes the perils of online music file-sharing" in a tongue-in-cheek manner." - wikipediaHere we see Wierd Al's strong criticism of file sharing of paid content.

However at the same time we have MC Lars's response with his song 'download this song' where he says -
Hey Mr. Record Man
The joke’s on you
Running your label
Like it was 1992
Hey Mr. Record Man,
Your system can’t compete
It’s the New Ar…

oh so visual II

People. stand up and give me some listen. There's some kickass mighty awesomish research going on the west coat of US. check this out --> collegehumor
The video is a demonstration about microsoft's new products - seadragon and photo synth. The reason I am so kicked about this technology is its potential to revolutionise the way we perceive and organize digital information. This has humongous sociological implications.
Seadragon essentially aims to change the way we use screens, from wall-sized displays to mobile devices, so that visual information can be smoothly browsed regardless of the amount of data involved or the bandwidth of the network. It promises : Speed of navigation is independent of the size or number of objects. Performance depends only on the ratio of bandwidth to pixels on the screen. Transitions are smooth as butter. Scaling is near perfect and rapid for screens of any resolution.Combine this with Photosynth which takes a large collection of photos of a…

upar dekh

When I was much younger, I would sit plumb in front of TV for hours on end. I used to do my homework, sheepishly looking towards TV in skew or hooded eyes, trying to fool parents in believing me that i was indeed studying, and i just 'needed' to 'listen' to TV.
Looking back now, i feel that might be the reason behind my habitual forward tilted low gaze. Whenever i realised my posture, i would correct it with upward tilt of my head.

A few days back, I realised something beautiful. Upon that habitual realisation and subsequent jerk of my face upwards, I noticed the difference between the world that one sees. When one looks with low eyes the object of ur gaze is at the top half of your vision. The thought is restricted with the 'purpose' of gaze. Besides the colors that usually pervade for this pose are dark and mundane - concrete, road, furniture, people.... There's a sense of being constrained. No escape from the trivial, the mundane. The sea of mediocrity …

Mobile Communication

Mobile CommunicationThe media landscape has changed dramatically in recent decades, from one predominated by traditional mass communication formats to today’s more personalized network environment. Mobile communication plays a central role in this transition, with adoption rates that surpass even those of the Internet. The widespread diffusion and use of mobile telephony is iconic of a shift toward a new ‘personal communication society’, evidenced by several key areas of social change, including symbolic meaning of the technology, new forms of coordination and social networking, personalization of public spaces, and the mobile youth culture.The increasingly personal nature of communication technology in the desire for ‘perpetual contact’ would shape the device and its usage. The symbolic significance of mobile communication devices is part and parcel of the progression from a mass to a network toward a personal communication society. Personal communication technologies are distinctive…

wings of desire

ah. how wonderful life is that there's so much beauty in it. Saw Wim Wendel's 'wings of desire' the day before yesterday. The movie is simply sublime poetry. If you had ever doubted how moving images can be poetry, watch this movie. brilliant. beautiful. It has a poetic underpinning to it through a poem by Peter Handke, 'Song of Childhood'.
....When the child was a child,
it had no opinion about anything,
had no habits,
it often sat cross-legged,
took off running,
had a cowlick in its hair,
and made no faces when photographed.....
and the poetic dialogues in the movie is well complemented with just as poetic camera work and direction. The camera sweeps and glides over the scenescape , it might as well have been dancing and flying with the mood of narration. what a revelation.

And then, I saw More by Mark Osbourne. Creations like these restores the faith in human capacity of genius. Now am hunting for …

The Digital Ecosphere - II

The digital Ecosphere is made up of all the electronic gadgetry that helps people to stay connected to others, that helps them access and experience the media and content(entertainment, information) and that that helps them make life a bit easier in general due to digital intervention.
So the improved refrigerator that communicates to your cell phone when the milk carton is empty is a part of digital ecosphere, however the traditional refrigerator is not. For our purpose here, we would assume the digital ecosphere to be made up of digital devices that have components of communication and content creation/delivery only.
Every one has its own ecosphere defined by the individual usage. So, one might prefer watching TV, but someone else might use TIVO or computer to watch the same content. Thus the importance of various devices differ with users.
Lets try to understand this through the concept of 'personal circuit'. personal circuits are unique and habitual behavior patterns of media…

The Digital Ecosphere I

Digital Ecosphere IThe digital natives, survive on the “digital oxygen” of portable music, ubiquitous connection through cell phone, and would avoid going to places where these connections – that connects them to their friends, multimedia, information, etc – might cease. (this would have implications for travel, tourism n transport industry) This ecosphere is composed of digital devices such as cell phones, portable music players, computer/Laptop, TiVo (and such digital tools that transfer control of content of mass media to the user), digital camera, gaming consoles etc.These devices essentially cater to the following characteristics of Digital Native:Control: Digital Natives don’t want to be ‘subjected’ to content, but would rather choose what they want to experience. This desire for control affects the preference and use of digital devices around them. Hence DNs would rather watch their favorite TV program on Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) and Web TV. They pref…

Who are these digital natives anyways?

This blog is already 7 posts and exactly 7 days old, and we haven't really set the ground yet. My bad! (another of the DN manifestation - usage of global lingo. check out urbandictionary)
Before going any further lets get to know who we are talking about when we refer 'digital natives' (DN). Is this a matter of age, as some sources define it by the generation born after 1985? Damn! According to this definition, i missed the bus by a year. Would Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons not be Digital Natives?
Also, this would be widely variable across geographies, class etc depending upon the nature of digital ecosystem evolution and penetration.
So, who are these digital natives? Like a native of a city/state, digital native shares the language, the culture, the habits/mores to a certain degree with fellow technology users. They have distinctive ways of working, learning and socializing. As Marc Prensky would describe it - they share 'the accent

a lil' clarification

ok. I should have done this earlier. Here's the disclaimer : Most of the content on this blog contains my 'thoughts' and the posts are meant to put forth an argument to elicit some debate. Hence the thoughts might be divergent to opinions u might find elsewhere. Please do let me know if you find some irregularities in the argument and facts. i love debates. :D

whats with 'em namez.

Eating up vowels, remixing and mashing up differet names, chopping to convenient length, in quest of originality creating a langauge of our own. wlcm t th lngg f 21st cntry. (welcome to the language of 21st century. well, i did go overboard with this one, but sometimes i wonder, what if vowels do go extinct. how would globalization and fight for identity throughout the world shape the language in this scenario?)
In '1984', George Orwell envisioned a new language invented by the establishment - 'newspeak'. It also had shortforms, mashups, and similar traits to the one we are seeing in the web 2.0 era. however, the context is polar opposite. In the novel, the language is a product of an authoritarian regime, whereas the the new language we are helping to shape is a ramification of demographic nature of the new media and new digital technologies.
Even here, the demographic that is at the forefront of this change is the DNs - the young and technologically savvy. A look at th…

Digital Native culture through proverbs

The last post was sooo teel dear. Well, for the uninitiated teel dear (tl;dr) = Too long; didn’t read.In this twitter age, I know I have sinned with my preposterously long posts earlier in the blog. But let me assure you, I am trying to be rid of the disease, and I am a advocate for brevity. I had even started a community on orkut about it.btw, this blog is about the new proverbs that this digital age is creating and how and what they indicate. please do add to the list, any proverbs that has digital native connotation to it.

1. all your base are belong to us - This legendary statement connoting victory in gaming was born of bad translation of Japanese in an arcade game. The words though since have grown bigger and find relevance outside of gaming enthusiasts aswell.
2. Information wants to be free" - It is an expression that has come to be the unofficial motto of the free content movement. Its philosophical implications pervade all things digital and its shaping the way one approa…

oh so visual

Digital Natives (DNs) like their information served in 'multimedia' and not just one medium (like the ever so abundant text) and Yahoo knows it. Yahoo has come up with a new spruced up search interface called 'glue'. Glue essentially changes the way one uses the search utility, eliminating the need for a few clicks in certain instances, all the while making the result page much more interesting with videos, images, Y! answers, maps, news and any other relevant sources and multimedia being made available on the result page. The service hasn't been rolled out across geographies and queries yet though. As of now, it is only a Y! India feature with only a few categories of searches (sports, travel, entertainment, health, stocks, and tech).
for eg. I wanted to know about good beaches in Konkan (where I plan to spend this weekend :D) and searched for 'konkan' and the result page threw up wikipedia's entry about konkan, news, y! answers, images along with the …

a lil trawlin'

Being a digital native, my first instinct before doing anything is to google up the query instead of thinking it through myself#. so here I am, having decided the structure of the white paper that is to be written and poised to write the entry in this blog that should elucidate the start of the discussion, but instead am writing an entry thats a chronicle of my trek through numerous blogs and other interesting outposts on web related to digital native discussion. lest you think that this post would hence be any less valuable, think again, there are some interesting links that I came across during my scavenging. not everything is directly related to the query at hand, but as is the non-linear nature of surfing (funny, I am presenting this post in text - a linear logic, to advocate digital nativity, whose hallmark feature is being non linear. well until we have a better alternative, lets stick to text for now.) I would share some other interesting stuff as well, in no particular order.

reining thoughts

I try to peer with a lil' more decisiveness than usual into my own thoughts, and the thought - seemingly uncomfortable at the neck with the touch of collar of my attention - skittles away. these thoughts, the ones i feel, require some probing, uncomfortable a t the thought of losing their privacy, hide behind other thoughts - like the ever drifting knotted bubbles, the eye's own lil' play, one sees while looking at the sky.
are my thoughts, afraid of being corrupted by my probings? how do i operate on them. i must. all those valuable, sometimes brilliantly original thoughts are of no use, if i cant shape them and put in form accessible to else, and not me alone.

bed ke neeche rehne wali

ok. dont get your gray cells working over the title. its the name of a play for children. a few days back i saw a play at horniman circle, mumbai. having seen a brilliant adaptation of wizard of oz, earlier by the prithvi theatre, i had high hopes from this play aswell..
ok, first, a little about the event. Well, Prithvi theatre organizes summer theater for kids at horniman circle garden for free. brilliant stuff they come up with. professional quality theatre made so accessible. and the ambience.. fucking brilliant.
its a treat to watch the plays. though the plays are aimed for show to kids, they are just as enjoyable by elders. The wizard of oz was adapted so well, and the songs and Indian mannerisms incorporated made it a thorough treat.
'Bed ke neeche rehe wali' was about a girl who forgets her old imaginary friend. Its a brilliant play. It was deep. it had a few glaring logical lapses and the ensuing discontinuity hampers the narration. but i guess to make it accessible, d…

Doris Lessing

The measure of greatness of any literary work is the no. of questions and debates it stirs up in one’s head and heart. ‘The golden notebook’ is priceless. May 3, 2008 23 :14 I am reading Doris Lessing’s ‘the golden notebook’ right now. The author’s note has some interesting points that made me ponder. First - subjectivity. Essentially, how can one remove one’s experience from that of the rest of the mass’s. “how can you write about your petty little issues, when world is going through so much’. How can one not be political. How can one just reside in his own cocoon, without thought to the rest... well, this links up to a myopia of a thought culture that we have inherited from our subordinated forefathers of Raj era. Today me with Kasturee and Ashima were touristing around Mumbai, when Kasturee remarked, upon seeing a heritage building, as to did the government just ‘steal’ these structures from British or what? I was left aghast then. We are still the White man’s burden, is it? Yes, o…