Friday, February 27, 2009

The Last Generation?

The other day I was talking to someone and he mentioned to me that we are one of the the last generation of people who remember growing up without the internet. Once I got over my initial flashes about the end of the world, I kind of started feeling nostalgic and old. The point is that this is kind of true, isn't it? I remember growing up without the internet, but just barely. I think we got internet in our house when I was in the 7th grade, which makes me around 12. I didn't even know what it was or what it did. I think I only started using it properly (and from properly I mean using it to send ridiculous chain forwards, to download MSN messenger to chat with friends that I met in school every day and to use Napster, where it took me about five hours to download a single song) when I became fourteen.

I'm so glad I didn't have a blog, facebook or something equivalent when I was fourteen because there is nothing more embarrassing in the world than thinking about yourself at that age. If that wasn't enough, looking at pictures and your 'meaningful' thoughts displayed all over the internet will probably be quite mortifying later on in life. My friend's little sister has a facebook page where she keeps going on and on about her love for Nirvana, AC-DC and The Jonas' Brothers. This poor girl is going to die of shame when she's older.

Right now, I don't even know what to say about my dependence on the internet. The only thing I can say is that it is quite deep to the extent that I'm not sure if I could even live with a dial-up connection. Remember how much time you have spent waiting for the dial-up modems to connect to the internet? It wasn't just waiting for your internet to connect, even going from one website to another used to take at least 5 to 10 minutes. Every thing is much easier now, I suppose. Although, if we didn't have the internet, I'd have a lot more free time to do the things I've always meant to do but never quite got around to doing. I'd also not know a whole load of things about the world and live in my blissful bubble of ignorance.

Come to think of it, there are so many things that we take for granted now that we didn't have less than a decade ago ago, like mobile phones, ipods, dvd players, wireless, broadband, etc. We have adapted to these things pretty quickly and now find it difficult to even think of surviving without them. It hard to imagine that less than 6 years ago, I used to have boxes full of home made mixed CDs that carried not more than 20 songs each. Mixed CDs felt like such a digital revolution, as did owning a portable CD player (a 'diskman' as we used to called it) at that time. Plus, my CD player didn't have a shock absorbing mechanism, so even when there was a small movement, it used to literally fall apart and stop. It wasn't very portable at all actually.

New things will keep on turning up as it has always been happening from the start of human civilization. There is a whole group of people who grew up without television, moving further back into time, there was a whole group of people who grew up without things that I can't even perceive being without. I've always been quite open to technological change. I don't like people who don't want to learn how things work. I don't understand how they can just life their lives without the desire to learn something new. It goes against fundamental human nature! If I see something new, I get pretty excited and want to mess with it until I know everything there is to know about it, regardless of whether its going to be useful to me or not.

Its like using predictive text while sending messages on your mobile. It is a ridiculously simple mechanism if you bother finding out how it works. Yet, most non-teenagers I know are unable to use it, and send messages typing every single letter of the alphabet. It is so easy if you only put in a couple of minutes of effort in understanding how it works, and even if you don't send text messges regularly it slashes your message typing time by half. Its okay to not know things, no one is born knowing everything, but its extremely silly to not want to know how things work.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Somebody told me

Someone on facebook had tagged me to do a meme called '25 random things about you'. I thought that it would be better to do it over here rather than on facebook because I'm not actually friends with even half the people on my facebook and meh, I'm not sure how I feel about having random, known people know about the irrelevant details of my life. So here it goes:
  1. I don't have too many friends because I'm not a very sociable person, but the ones that I have are awesome. I don't think I could do without them, and I really should put more of an effort to keep in touch with them.
  2. I'm a bit of a book snob, but I can't help it! I just judge you by the books you read, but I'm anything but a snob when it comes to films. Its just that watching something is a passive activity, so in my mind I am totally excused for sitting through bad films.
  3. I'm mildly addicted to reading celebrity gossip websites. I do feel totally trashy when I do this, there is a strange sort of fascination in watching rich people looking pretty and making a fool of themselves.
  4. I love television shows of all sorts, but more specifically, I love Korean and Japanese TV shows. Not many people know this and the people who do know this are either vaguely creeped out or think that I'm making it up.
  5. I'm not very fussy about food but there are some things that I am unable to eat: I cannot eat peas in any form (just thinking about peas is making me feel ill right now), boiled carrots and cauliflower. I like meat, but I don't like eating meat or fish that looks like its original animal form.
  6. I suspect that I might have done better growing up in the 70s.
  7. I'm not really sure if I can live without my ipod or laptop. I know this is a contradiction of the above point, but I'd like to think that I'd have happily made it through with a gramophone and a typewriter if I had grown up in the 70s.
  8. I'd like to think that I'm a good listener because people are always unburdening their troubles on me, and I don't mind hearing them out.
  9. I don't like talking about myself. I never talk to people about the things that are really important to me. Its not because I'm modest or because I have something to hide, I'm just insanely private about my life, which is another reason why this meme is not being done on facebook but on my blog.
  10. I am such a not-so-closeted-romantic. Its not like I believe in romance in real life as such, I just wholeheartedly enjoy it on television.
  11. I am very confrontational when I'm annoyed with someone. I blame this on my family! We like to make scenes and argue in loud voices.
  12. I'm an alone person. I need my space. I'm not sulking, I just like being alone.
  13. I hate people touching my hair, ruffling it or playing with it. Its just something that irritates me to no end.
  14. I've bullied one person in my entire life, and this was almost a decade ago. To be fair, the girl I was mean to was really terrible. Of course, that didn't give us the right to treat her like the way we did and I still get guilt pangs about this from time to time.
  15. I had a really happy childhood. I was the only child and got practically everything I wanted, except that I was never a very demanding kid. I was a little bratty and extremely stubborn, but never in a spoilt, obnoxious manner. Whatever my shortfalls are, they are my own. I cannot blame my upbringing for any of them.
  16. I love chocolate in all forms apart from ice-cream. I don't like chocolate ice-cream. I've always been more of a vanilla person.
  17. I have an irrational, insane hate for Nicholas Cage.
  18. I like being on time. I'm always 5 minutes early and people who are meeting me are always 10 minutes late. This is where having an ipod becomes a must!
  19. I don't like dogs. Dogs don't like me either.
  20. Reading fanfiction on the internet has been my dirty secret since I was 15.
  21. I secretly love frilly dresses. I have no idea why. I've never owned or worn anything with frills, but I love them because they bring out my inner Scarlett O'Hara.
  22. I am obsessive about this show. Go ahead, tease me, I don't really care!
  23. I hate one uses them in the way they are meant to be used...if you get what I mean...
  24. It is really easy to make me happy. You don't have to try too hard!
  25. When I was thirteen or fourteen I decided that I wanted to be a philosopher. I liked the idea of sitting around and thinking all day long, while having other people write about my wonderfully insightful thoughts about the meaning of life. Unfortunately, this isn't as simple to do these days as it was during Socrates' times.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I am suitably bored and unable to think of anything to write about so I'm doing the next best thing, putting up pictures! I had gone to Prague last year during Easter hols. The weather was terrible, it was full of tourists and Italians (because Italians really do deserve a separate category of their own) If you thought that Mozart was oversold in Salzburg, you must see how they treat poor Kafka in Prague! But regardless of all this, Prague has inevitable ended up becoming one of my favourite places in Europe. It is so beautiful in such a conventional European way, and looks like a picture postcard that my mediocre pictures don't do enough justice to.

PS: The last two pictures were taken from the camera on my phone, which explains their low resolution

PPS: We also passed through Liechtenstein on our way back. It is the most disappointing little country ever, but I've always wanted to have the satisfaction of telling people I've been to Liechtenstein, so there!