Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Cynicism at its best
If you did not actually know for a fact that this is the real Walid bin Talal, what would your reaction be?
I watch his body language and the background, and wonder, what the hell?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Random Snippets of Life
I started writing computer programs back in 1993. My cousin Houssam had just come back from Germany with a Ph.D, and took on himself to start an information revolution in our sleepy Latakia. I was his first and most personal student. I remember those first few months quite vividly. I remember almost all the programs that we made on LogoWriter. That summer, I remember spending 8-9 hours everyday in front of those black and white screens. (Pixel-burners as they used to be called, because the monitor physical pixels would actually be burnt out if they weren't changed in a timely manner, hence the invention of Screen Savers!). My mom wasn't very impressed when my glasses doubled in thickness the next year.
Houssam, 10 years after coming back, went into depression, sold everything and moved back to Dubai/Germany.
After coming back from Syria this October, my Professor offered me to join his Lab. I am writing programs again (a little more complicated than moving a drawing turtle, but still programs). It feels just as satisfying as it did 15 years ago.
I love the Spring and Autumn time in Japan. Spring here (and autumn likewise) is an explosion of Color, rather than colors. What overwhelms you is not all the different colors that pop out of no where, rather, the intensity of that pinkish hue that overtakes everything. The cherry blossoms bring out all the spectrum of white and pink, they fill out the trees, the ground and the sky. Every single petal has its own distinct lifelines of pink, but all of them seem to flow together in perfect harmony.
Japanese spring comes unannounced, takes you by surprise, and leaves just as unexpectedly. In 2 weeks, you won't find a trace of that white blanket that used to cover everything... All that you're left with is Summer. Autumn, however, sneaks in much more slowly, the leaves start changing colors in early October, bringing out all the burning of red and the seriousness of brown. It takes over everything you see, by mid Noveember. Even the November sunsets, they all seem to be intertwined in some heavenly plot to paint the city tangerine. Autumn never really leaves, in the coldest of winters, there would still come Sundays where it feels as if Autumn is in full blow.
I find myself, more often than not, repelled by the argument that there is no fundamental difference between masculinity and femininity. And that the whole concept of Gender is a socially constructed type of myth.
I agree heartily that our own perception of Gender is terribly flawed and inevitably affected by centuries of conscious social imbalance.
However, that does not, in any way, negate the fact that even before human consciousness, gender was indeed a factor in self-perception, and that gender is rooted in the very concept of the sexual act.
I find it hard to believe, that through the 200 million years of evolution, since the first mammal, having one particular dominant pattern for sexual reproduction, had no effect whatsoever on the self-perception and even the evolution of both sexes.
Lately, I've been having quite a hard time going to sleep early. Insomnia has plagued my nights for almost a month, while sleep deprivation ruins my few hours of sunlight.
It's a terrible feeling when you're rolling in your bed, thousands of thoughts seem to race around at that particular moment. You catch yourself, one too many times, conversing with yourself, or with a person that happens to be stuck in the back of your head that night. I have found myself, involuntarily, conversing with people that I haven't met in years, or people that I've only met once, a long time ago, just because I happened to land on their name, or facebook page before I went to sleep.
Every half an hour or so of futile attempts to sleep, or when my thoughts lead me to particularly painful or depressing memory, I light up my cell phone, look at the time, sigh, and shake all the thoughts out of my head. Maybe even open my macbook and take a look at my email. A glance at the clock and suddenly it's not 2:30 anymore, it's 3:15 now, 1 hour less of sleep.
Good night everyone!