Friday, October 24, 2014

The Universal Rule

There is only one universal rule: there is no universal rule.

Or, for that matter, there is no universal law, fact, or whatever you might think of.

Everything has some kind of exception. Whatever seems fine right now will end up to be a bias in retrospect. Historically, the Earth was flat, and the universe revolved around it. Then, everything was supposed to fall on to earth. Newton must have had a hard time convincing people that the earth moved towards a falling apple as well. Then of course, mass could never be converted to energy. Even today, some people are pessimistic about the chances of poverty being erased from the face of the earth.

Whenever we do something, there are certain things that increase chances of success. Like studying more increases your chances of getting better grades, exercising more increases your chances of having better health and looks, and spending more time on the internet reduces your chances of spending time with family and friends.

But what if the people grading your tests focus more on originality than cramming, exercise leads to health issues like blood pressure or arthritis, and you are away from family and friends so you end up skyping them all the time?

It does not take long to realize that the tables have turned, and that there indeed is no universal rule. 

I once considered that I could eat as much as I liked, and not exercise at all, and I would be fine. Now that the hidden phenomenon called ageing has started to kick in, I realize that I was wrong. Now that I have written it here, I am realizing that I am a bit embarrassed. Partly because I am not old at all.

Have you ever realized something you considered as a given was not actually true?

Some time back, in another post, I wrote "attack is the best form of defense." Some time later, someone pointed out that this is not really the case. More importantly, they were able to convince me of their point. It is funny how it relates to almost everything in an almost universal manner :-)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Things Done Well

Sometimes we get insights from the most unexpected of places. I saw the movie Fight Club the other day.

I did not like it at all. Not at all. I just kept on waiting for something great or inspiring to happen, but it didn't. I had heard read a lot about the movie, about the character Tyler Durden, on reddit. What is surprising is that you will not find a single person who simply is neutral about it. People either love it or hate it.

What surprised me about Fight Club was how well it was made. The music, the characters, the narration and everything else that I am not mentioning here was superb. If you throw the personal liking part away, I think it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

As far as I am concerned, the makers did all that they could. But still I did not like it. This does not make them any less deserving of credit for what they did. This was a big revelation for me: people's opinion of your work are mostly meaningless ramblings, seen through the lens of their own perceptions.

I need to learn more about appreciating the goodness in things I don't like.