22 July 2010

Hubris: A case of a rotten apple

Recent events bring a concept to mind. George W. Bush and his neocon and neolib cronies had been the perfect illustration of that immediately after the invasion of Iraq. Now, it is Apple and its iPhone 4 crisis.

Firstly, a reminder from Wikipedia:

Hubris (also hybris; pronounced /ˈhjuːbrɪs/ due to the hypercorrection of the Greek spelling due to the incorrect transcription of /u/ for /ὕ/) means extreme haughtiness or arrogance. Hubris often indicates being out of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power.

Hubris appears in the terms "act of hubris," and "hubristic."

The recent Apple iPhone 4 flaw and the public relations fiasco after is a perfect illustration of the Greek concept of hubris. The derision which the consumers were treated by advising that they hold the sorry devices differently was an act of hubris.

From Dictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary):

hu·bris  (hyōō'brĭs)   
n. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance: "There is nosafety in unlimited technological hubris" (McGeorge Bundy). 

[Greek, excessive pride, wanton violence see  ud-  in Indo-European roots.] 
hu·bris'tic  (-brĭs'tĭk)  adj. hu·bris'tic·al·ly  adv.

Then came the second act of hubris. There was nothing wrong, the display of the signal bars would be corrected. Utterly dismissive.

From Encylopaedia Britannica:

in Classical Athenian usage, the intentional use of violence tohumiliate or degrade. The most famous example was the case ofMeidias, who punched the orator Demosthenes in the face when thelatter was dressed in ceremonial robes and performing an officialfunction. Hubris could also characterize rape. Hubris was a crime atleast from the time of Solon (6th century BC), and any citizen couldbring charges against another party, as was the case also fortreason or impiety. (In contrast, only a member of the victim'sfamily could bring charges for murder.) 

And the final act, act III, is where the other mobile devices were compared and run down. The fiasco certainly did not dent Apple's share price. Instead, a week after the announcement that rubber cases of sorts will be grudgingly provided, Apple announced their highest ever quarterly revenue, a staggering US$15.7 billion.

Whatever it is, at the rate the Apple juggernaut is steamrolling all before it, it will soon be the company with the highest capitalisation. Apple share prices are set to rise as will its arrogance, they have risen in tandem over the years. The drama of the evil empire of Apple and its servile Macheads will be one of the most interesting to watch in the years to come, especially when it has an iCon at its head. Enjoy the show!

21 July 2010

A Quietness Within

A Quietness Within. My new blog dedicated to drawing. There will be a lot of new drawings as well as older ones from this blog which I will repost there. Do join me there if you should so desire.
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I watched 'Inception' at Lido with James (tentacled Rango) and Siu Hean (Deep One) last night. This big budget action vehicle is the latest brainchild of Christopher Nolan, a creator and crafter of elegant films such as 'Memento', 'The Prestige' and 'Insomnia'. Featuring lots of gunplay, this action film, and I like action films, has a very layered plot involving dreams.Like what Siu Hean was describing, 'Inception was 'linear' and plotted like 'Chinese boxes. This, of course, culminated in a time-pressed and predictable explosive finale, all rather enjoyable.

The last bit of 'Inception', that of a spinning top yet wobbling top, would be a standard operating practice of any good Hollywood movie these days, leaving openings for sequels in the near future.

Three simple possibilities.

  1. He didn't make it out.
  2. It was a dreamword to begin with, there was another layer.
  3. The top will topple. This is the real world. 

In case 1 and 2, there is room for a sequel.

In any case, 'Inception' does resonate with me in that my dreams, being often photorealistic, are of dreamscapes of places and sometimes, I will wake up within another dream... A few nights ago, I had a dream of a sniper rifle being stolen from me in a European coffee house and I had to browbeat in order to get it back. It was strange. There was another that had me waiting in a commercial complex of some sort.

If you do enjoy 'Inception', I should think that the same themes are explored in 'The Thirteenth Floor' and the enigmatic 'eXistenZ' years before. There is, of course, the ubiquitous everyman movie, 'The Matrix', with its gunplay and violence.

19 July 2010


Dreams. What is strange about the dreams I have had is that the surreal locales have not resembled any place that I have been to nor any place that I had seen in the printed medium or moving medium. If this were the result of my fevered unconsciousness, how then, were these conjured? These photorealistic locales? Is this unsettling? Yes, it does make one question if there is another reality that is close by... very close by...

A Dream of Canton

One humid night last week, I dreamed of Canton. It was not the Canton or rather, the Guangzhou of the waking world, rather, it was a place in a different reality, a lively city where the broad boulevards were teeming with people, where clean, white concrete blocks soared into the sun, and squealing children played in whirling merry-go-rounds in the playgrounds. I had left a hotel which seemed to have been stuck in the decades past. Leaving the lobby of bronzed granite and golden fixtures and I had embarked on a journey. I was riding an elevated monorail which was threading its way between the highly ordered but anonymous building, their white, gleaming facades, punctured by the numerous windows.

The Canton that I had travelled to had no relation with that of the waking world except in name, it was a reality that did not resemble any place that I had travelled to or seen in any media, be it television or film or the printed medium.

The embrace of the darkness

In with the new! After half a decade of that old green and blue look, I have decided on another template offered by Google, a flat black one! Whee! This new one seems a lot more customisable, that is, one can delve into design rather than tweaking the underlying code which can be problematic. I will see what can be done in the meantime.

I will also be editing the old links. I will be updating them and removing those that I have not been reading. The links section will be a lot more focused in future.

A last look at the old and familiar. Hmm.. It is definitely time for a change. Whee!

18 July 2010

I will be creating a separate blog for drawings. I will repost all my previous drawings to that one which will consist mainly of completed drawings and also the better ones. This blog will still have current work in progress, doodles, mistakes and completed work. I will also re-title my reposted pieces.

I will also, in time to come, create one about military affairs and military history. I learned after five years that a mixed blog with everything does not work at all.