Monday, April 14, 2008

Quickies from here and there

1) There has been an online survey on Nature, which has shown that almost 20 percent of respondents, largely drawn from the scientific community, admitted to using brain-enhancing drugs like Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Provigil (modafinil). A simple questions came to my mind instantly: Is it really worth it?

2) I am reading a book from Isabel Allende. There is something about the south american writers, a sense of mistery, a special spirituality, which is very interesting for me, and very attractive. She has a very cute sense of humor too, which I enjoyed very much as I watched her
tales of passion on TED yesterday.

3) And here are
10 ideas which are changing the world according to TIME magazine..."Kitchen chemistry" as the 5th one...interesting!

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Remember, there is no spoon..."

Last night, I was watching Matrix for the 5th or 6th time.

It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, along with "the Godfather" (parts I and III), "Before the sunrise / Before the sunset" and a couple of more weird choices to be all in the same category of "my-favorite-movies". But they are all parts of what makes me, me.
I guess if they have only one thing in common, it’s that I can watch them again and again, and not get tired at all. Still, each time, I see something new in them, which keeps me excited.

On "the Matrix", I don’t want to talk about the scary idea of "Machine vs Humans" or the philosophical idea of "What is real, what is not", or the power of mind, or the great dialogues, acting, the special effects, etc. Although each and every time I watch this movie (and not the sequels) these all fascinate me. There was something else last night that made me busy thinking, for quite some time.

When Morpheus first introduces the simulation of the Matrix to Neo (to train him), he refers to the "Residual self-image", which in definition is the figure that one thinks of his/herself as projecting a certain appearance. Now, let’s forget about the future, the machines, the simulation, the matrix… Isn’t it something that we all learn to build for ourselves since we are kids?

First, the family; later on, the friends; then the teachers at school; the society; our friends at work, our spouses, our bosses, our colleagues: all and all, the concept of being accepted. The social relations and rules make us to build a figure for ourselves, in which sometimes there is very little shown from our "real" self, and what appears on the shell, is what makes us more appealling, and more desirable, and more acceptable. Unconsiously, we build a statue from ourselves, which is ususally in the same boat as the society we are living in, partially for our fear of being left alone, partially to be obedient to the society rules, and partially because this is what we’ve learnt since we were little.
Sometimes it gets to the stage that even we cannot remember our true self, which is buried under tons of this residual-social-self-image. Even if there is the slightest signs of it every now and then, we either ignore them, or quench it… "Quite! It’s not a good time for you to show up.", and hence our poor true self, stays hidden, and sometimes forgotten.

It needs a lot of courage and braveness for one to know his/her true self, and show it without the fear of not being accepted, being alone and/or rejected. Never the less, if one is brave enough to live with the real true self of their own, then the people who will be attracted to them, will be for real, and the relationships will be true, strong and precious too.

I guess I will have more on this great movie later, After all, it’s one of my "movies for all seasons"…