transcendence

Transcendence

I am a geek. In that aspect I share Sheldon’s quest for learning when the technological Singularity is going to be achieved. If I have lost you, then perhaps you need to watch this clip from The Big Bang Theory (Season 4)

Technological Singularity

My family was appalled when I shared this with them.

Why would you want to go away from the physical world?

Followed by,

What about relationships?

Let’s think things through. A technological singularity happens when a human conscience is transferred into a machine or a robot. What that means is that the human body is no longer the limiting factor of life, and the conscience can continue to live even after the body has died.

In effect the conscience has transcended the body or the physical realm. This is what the movie Transcendence is about.

The Plot

Dr. Will Caster (played by Johnny Depp) is a brilliant researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and is working on a government project to build a sentient machine. However, he is targeted by a anti-technology extremist group (most likely scared because of movies such as this one and The Terminator), and they try to kill him. Their attempt succeeds as Dr. Will Caster is poisoned and has only a few weeks to live.

Seeing him slowly loosing his life, his wife (Rebecca Hall) and his friend (Paul Bettany) help him transfer his conscience into one of his neural network prototypes. What happens next is a good movie that you have to watch.

I do not want to share the spoilers, however if you do want to read ahead, go to IMDB.

The Aftermath

Watching the movie which vibed so much with my thoughts, made me think afterwards.

What is the essence of life? Is it a soul, or is it being aware of being alive? The minute you abstract the physical self, you can also replace the physical self. So what is being?

The minute this technology is available, everybody would be forced to migrate to this system … even if they dont want to!! Since being human is based on being equal, and this technology gives an unfair advantage to anyone who adopts it, any rational person would want to adopt it. Just like any other technology, without regulation and finer understanding, it is rift with dangers and potential disasters. This also means that the time it would take for a technology such as this to hit mainstream would be far more than anticipated … Sheldon (and I) would have to wait another lifetime to get to this Singularity.

Read More

Bollywood doesnt know finance

In case if you have seen any of the following movies then you will agree with me that almost all the protagonists in Bollywood do not know what are the different debt instruments available in the market these days.

Take the movie Om Jai Jagdish, or Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke … or any movie where in the villain somehow coaxes either the hero’s family or woe be gone, the hero himself into an unsecured loan. Then when the hero is near bankruptcy, forces the hero to sell all family heirlooms and property in the classic filmy neelami. Fortunately, since all bollywood movies need a happy ending, the hero somehow pulls through by sheer dumb luck or hard work (or a script writer’s blessing).

But in real life this is vastly different. Yes, there are people who take unsecured loans, and yes there are people who declare financial bankruptcy. But there are easier debt solutions out there than doing an all out public auction or going bankrupt!

Here is one – an individual voluntary arrangement (IVT). An IVT is a solution wherein the repayments can be lowered, the interest rates can be kept constant and it can more importantly stop the creditors from chasing our hero. Now all he has to do is click for an individual voluntary arrangement. He has to fill in some simple forms and within a few months, his bankruptcy problems will atleast be averted. This form of debt management has been around for some time now, and is making headway in the UK. In the past year or so, BBC reports suggest that many individuals are opting to go this way instead of simply declaring bankruptcy.

You can find more about IVT, simply google for it or find the wiki on this. Now if only our Indian heroes were that smart and could keep up with the times! Not only would it save so much heartburn for their family, but would also save so many reels of trashy melodramatic cinema!

Read More

A Study in Pink

sherlock_holmesAs a child, I was a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his novels. Aside from the Sherlock Holmes set of mysteries, Sir Doyle has also written thousands of short stories … the Black Panther being one of my favourite. Sherlock Holmes as always is a classic. The way in which he explained everything as it was so simple to Dr. Watson made you awestruck at the Science of Deduction that Holmes always provided.

There have been movies and there have been multiple series around Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson’s crime solving adventures. The latest is BBC’s rendition of the modern Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. What is awesome about this series is that the same adventures have been adapted slightly to adjust correctly to the modern times.

So Dr. Watson is an army doctor who gets shot in the shoulder (not the leg any more!) in Afghanistan! Dr. Watson also is seeing a therapist to discuss his psychosomatic limp (which explains his walking stick!). Holmes still has his set of eccentricities, however UK is a smoking free country these days, and he has to resort to Nicotine patches.

All in all, this series is a hilarious adaptation of Sherlock Holmes and his eternal struggle with James Moriarty. The modern age does not dull the edge of Sherlock’s deduction powers, but now they also have the aid of stuff such as GPS and tracking. If you are a fan of Mr. Holmes, then you definitely have to check out the first episode of this series, A Study in Pink (a different take on A Study in Scarlet).

Image Source: IMDB

Read More

Dune-poster-dune-8432403-748-1062

Dune

This is by far one of my favorite sci-fi novel series. I have read Asimov, but Frank Herbert (and his son in later parts) have really put together an interesting universe with Dune. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend that you read the entire series.

It was with great anticipation that I sat down to see the movie. Having played both the games (which did not do the series justice), I had some sparing memories of the movie during my childhood. Enough to know that Paul was played by Kyle MacLachlan, the movie had Sting as one of the characters and the fremen had cobalt blue eyes :)

The actual movie as all movies based on books go, was a big disappointment. The movie has been made in 1984 (ominous no?) so I did not expect much in terms of special effects. However the richness of the sets and the good print of the movie had me astounded. It was even a pleasant surprise to see a young Patrick Stewart play the very likeable Gurney Halleck, and a very young Sean Young (no pun intended!) play Chani.

Perhaps the plots and plots within plots were too much for the movie to capture, or perhaps the director was trying to save his ass post production, I do not know what went wrong with the movie, however the movie lacked that certain impact! Paul fails to impress and the Baron who is supposed to be the devil incarnate seems to be a flying lunatic homosexual at the worst :)

Really not worth a movie of 2.5 hours. Huge plots such as the Kwisatch Haderach, the Bene Geserit, the Voice, and Paul’s struggle against the inevitable Jihad are omitted. The original movie was apparently 4 hours, and it was excised to fit the 2 hour length by the producers. A shame, because there was no lengthy directors cut available then. A movie only to be remembered the fans of the book.

[schema type=”movie” url=”http://kidakaka.com/blog/2012/02/24/dune/” name=”Dune” description=”Dune the movie comes in with huge hype simply fails to deliver on so many levels. A movie you should only watch if you are a fan of the book.” director=”David Lynch” producer=”Raffaella De Laurentiis” actor_1=”Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen” ]

Read More

Why this Kolaveri Di?

I am sure that by now most of you have heard of this song.

If you haven’t yet heard the song, then do give this video a look-see –

There is a huge hype around this song, for a multitude of reasons –

  • It’s written and sung by the son-in-law of Rajnikanth
  • The main keyword of the song, kolaveri actually has no meaning per se. It’s sort of an accepted slang which means rage … murderous rage to be exact
  • The song is half in tamil (no frilly lyrics there), but simple casually strung lyrics, and half in english … in fact I do not understand Tamil, yet I could make out the gist of the song
  • The gist of the song itself, is identifiable by the multitudes of youth
  • The beat of the song is catchy, in fact I can imagine this song being put on full blast on speakers on a lazy afternoon in the locality
  • Is this simply a good song bolstered by viral social media or is this an internet meme ala Rebecca Black’s Friday? Well, it’s a viral phenomenon for sure.
  • Dhanush seems to be enjoying the creation of this video as well, and you can see the support of other stars such as Shruti Hassan in the background
  • The part where the song goes “pa pa pa paan, pa pa pa paan … ” that’s enjoyed by both my daughter and wife :)

Read More

Singham

singham Yesterday was the world premier of the movie Singham, starring Ajay Devgan. World premier is just a euphemism to say that the distributors of the movie want to extract a bit more from television advertisements. The movie is definitely a non-stop entertaining watch, with eye-candy Kajal having some idiotic scenes, great action scenes and good sound tracks. A masala flick.

The reason movies such as Singham, Wanted (Salman Khan) and Nayak (Anil Kapoor) run at the box office, and become decent sized hits is simply that the people have become tired of the degree of corruption in the Indian system. Being tired is still different from being objective, and hence as a common man, we do not do any thing, however, in the movies, the protagonist takes on the corrupt system and by sheer force of his will (and lots of brute force) make a change happen. We like to believe in such a romantique notion.

Read More