The Theory of Everything: Not a Movie Review

Here comes a rare moment I feel 140 characters offered by Twitter is not enough to share everything I feel and know about something. That’s when I use this space. Hopes are so high for this movie. Not only as a physicist, cosmologist but even as a human being Stephen Hawking has been a marvel to me as much as the space and time became a marvel to himself. I have wondered so many times that for how many years he would have been considered as dead if he was another ordinary person. Instead this man has been delivering lectures on topics from black holes to time travel in front of most distinguished audiences of science for years now. The way that SGD speaks out his thoughts in its synthetic voice as “My name is Stephen Hawking” simply gives me goose bumps. Not many people get biography feature films for them in their life time. If there is anyone who deserves one, this man should be the first. Not only because of his contribution to physics but also because of the way he survived through that very uncommon disease. His recent debut on Facebook was rejoiced by his fans of all over the world including myself. Now a movie is way too much for us. Hopefully the director has done a fair job to this living legend and to his fans.

I can’t think of a better place to share what I got of him. First it was a translation of his best selling book, A Brief History of Time when I was in grade 11. Then a newer edition of the same in 2011 from annual book fair. To be honest I hardly understood it in 2005, but mostly in 2011. Thought of getting a capture too! This post might get an update when I get some good copy of this movie after few months. Sadly we don’t get such in local theaters no matter how badly we need them on big screen.

image

Standard

Next Big Thing in Reading

Observed fact, most of the smart phone and tablet users use their device for reading. It can be web content, social media, documents, still it’s reading. Yet all the device manufacturers seem to be struggling to make something lasts comfortably for two days. That’s the reason they have ended up with two separate products, e ink readers and LED display tablets. The same reason I am using two products, my smart phone and a Kindle basic. I love my experience with Kindle so far. For like one hour reading daily it lasts for a month by single charge. The story is quite different for my “smart” phone, barely a day. Why not merge the two? I would not care whether it is a high resolution color display or low resolution mono color display if the device can stay up for a week by a single charge. You get reduced or nearly no eye fatigue as a bonus point when you are in e ink display mode. The closest example I can think of in today’s mobile device spectrum is YotaPhone. But we cannot expect a broad market for a device where you have to swap it repeatedly. Thought of sharing a possible solution idea which seems to be feasible with current technologies before it comes more officially from Google or Apple. Seriously it happened in few previous cases for the ideas on modular phones and multimedia search engine. Sadly the sharing was limited to few of my close relatives back then beforehand the implementations by Google. This time I am gonna shout about it at least in this space.

Back to reading, as it was mentioned I have never regretted the decision to buy a Kindle even though it is not a very much popular choice here in Sri Lanka. But we cannot ignore the fact that how finely it makes our reading experience more natural with minimum distractions and paper like display. Still it is pain to browse the web and to do social networking using the device. After all we need to have two devices to do things which are closely related. With two layers of displays in same device, one being a full color LED and the other an e ink display with easy switching in between, it should work like a charm for both heavy content readers and multimedia users. If one needs full color viewing for photos, videos or gaming which obviously consumes more battery power he/she can go with that display mode. And for basic reading and browsing plus for most of the communication tasks e ink display will serve the purpose consuming much less battery power.

To date and to my knowledge Amazon is the only manufacturer who is in producing both device lines parallelly. There is a higher chance for them to go for a product like this by merging the best of technology and we can be quite certain that it is going to be a huge hit if they do it correctly.

Wow! It’s Apple this time and they have patented it as always they do. Reminder to self, search before you type.

Standard

Transcendence of Nineteen Eighty-Four

My type of movie after quite some time, Transcendence. I hardly get movies of my type out of them most being very predictable which I consider a waste of my time. Post examination freedom at its best as it was just yesterday I faced the last paper of my university life. Unlike for most of them, big yay!, for me it’s a mixed feeling. Life is or was simple as a student. Anyway, Transcendence seemed to be very familiar even in its trailer with dialogues on AIs, singularity, quantum computing and neuroscience. But the affection began to fade when it started to sound like another typical action thriller half way through making a clear separation between blacks and whites. Yet the end made it back to the place where it deserve with a question to myself, “what do we really need?”. It could have been that majority type of movie if it ended with the AI not being Dr. Will Caster. But it is Dr. Will Caster and that raised the question. Well, now you need to watch to totally understand. It’s not something new to me that we are ignoring most of the fundamental questions of existence in our everyday life. We are provided with answers (?) for these by religions most of the time. Or we have selected to ignore them by our own choice because it is much easier. Once again, what do we need? In a plain view we all need perfection in everything. Think of it, we need governments to be perfect, economy to be perfect, our lives to be perfect. Yet what do you mean by perfect? Are we satisfied with perfection? Why utopianism and totalitarianism sound so terrible? Will we ever be able not to attain but even to define the perfection we are looking for? These questions just fascinated me for few hours outpacing thoughts on machine intelligence which I am ought to be fascinated. Acquisition of true intelligence by machines is not so far away as I see, at least they will soon imitate us in a precision that we cannot notice as Turing said. Nevertheless will it be enough? Anyone is interested in giving some heart to machines? No? Well, that’s rude don’t you think?

Ending a long wait, started reading George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. You think it is coincidence? Not really!

Standard

Oh Tesla!

This is not supposed to sound like a promotional campaign. But I must make a note on my second expressible bucket list item. “Drive my own Tesla.” Yes, it is! After all these things should not be that easy. If anyone is curious, first one (again exp.) was watch Yanni play live which was ticked off causing much less effort than expected. Tesla haunted with its pure to the core tech specs for sometime but watching this made it finally to the bucket list. And Tesla has a new challenge to make its cost feasible to a third world country government worker! And I like being optimistic in technology, make it self-driven and charged by my solar powered home station! Take that self-driven part Google. We are simply living in an era where decades of science fiction becomes our day-to-day life.

UPDATE: Tesla is doing it sooner than expected.

Standard

Not so Funny

I truly wish if we had a translation of Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy in native language. But still I wonder how our readers will embrace such writing especially with its homosexual elements and also who will dare to translate a book which include number of other controversial themes. Right now my concern is on the applicability of what book has to offer on ethnic conflict and 1983 riots which took place before our generations’ presence, which seems to be forgotten intentionally by preceding generations. The way Selvadurai has presented the reader, most probably first hand experiences of him, on destruction of the state at that dark period should be retold amongst today’s youth who has been blinded by opportunists. Especially the last chapter Riot Journal: An Epilogue, will help them not only to understand how that massacre was executed with the patronage of throne but also to realize how it affected generations of people till today.

Selvadurai was introduced to me by “the blog writer” of Sri Lankan blogosphere, Taboo. I cannot recall a memory about this author before it was mentioned in Taboo’s blog. Now I can see the similarities between what they wrote. He was mostly referring to the next novel by Selvadurai after Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens. The name was in my mind for a long time, but did not come across with a hard copy at bookstores. Honestly few other books topped in my to-read list so I was not so keen to find this particular book. Selvadurai came to my mind again following a random Facebook post on the launching of his new book, The Hungry Ghosts. I could not attend the launching due to many reasons. But this time I did not let him slip away, found a soft copy to be occupied with just after end semester exams. I could not resist the craving to share some of my flooding thoughts right after reading, hoping that it will urge someone else to read few hundreds of pages, something that person will never regret.

Standard

Halal shake

Did I misspell anything? Guess not. Another viral video is trending all over the internet with hundreds of replicas following. One eternal truth can be composed(?) for them, soon they come sooner they go.

Meanwhile in Sri Lanka Halal seems to be shockingly fraying the common conscious between ethnicities. Firstly it was just a rumor. But now it seems to get scandalous wings through social networks. Censorship is clearly not a solution, but a prominent group like Bodu Bala Sena should be more responsible in releasing its propaganda to a media like Facebook. Notorious fake profile holders and few other groups are having a field day by making this a sensation. What we are wondering about is the end of this sensation. All the complications arose up to this moment are not worth even a droplet of blood fallen at battles. Majority of social network users are less matured to come up with handy solutions for situations like this. Rage could be easily tempered within them and henchmen of opportunism seem to be fueling the flames. Roots run behind the throne some say. Who knows? It’s quite disappointing how nationalism is used for a power willing burlesque. Issues might raise. May it be Halal certification or the Law College incident, but this moronic generalization of racism should be condemned at any extent before it completely cripples the ethnic harmony of this country. We are just ended three decades of bloodthirsty war. Extremists who are not rare in any race and hypocrites who are in a never ending thirst of power are the only people backing up this rampage. Patriotic veins of innocent citizens have been boosted villainously to be used them as pawns of a cheap political agenda. They seem to be blindly following the torch without knowing that first blaze will set themselves into fire. We are ignoring the screams of unspoken past, letting a repetition of tragic history which no one wants. Rumors are freshly made into facts by just typing them on images! These facts are shared by thousands without making a single question about their accuracy and relevance. A whole race is addressed in words we dare to speak forgetting the friendly neighbor, faithful friend of same nationality. Are we this much blind not to see where all these are headed? True that we are the majority of this country. But it doesn’t give us the ownership of this soil. We need to reach the pinnacle of maturity as a society before attain the dream, miracle of Asia. Hopefully not never.

Self advisory rule was imposed to keep it short. Skipping to bottom line, country is in need of an active intervene of all the moderate and peace willing people to end this holocaust. Wish a Harlem shake could shake all the misled brains back to their initial state.

Standard

Hello world

Amateur blogger is departed for sometime with all his novelty. Only the confused psyche was fighting in flickering time. Thoughts have been echoing and striking in his mind for freedom of expression. When the level of intensity becomes intolerable alternativity of writing was banished. A decision was made to unleash which were callously held. Typical tech blog start was the result despite of his last wish for another tech blog.

Okay, enough! Let’s hope above will be a curtain raiser. 🙂

Standard