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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I just watched the most amazing video on TED.com: http://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_how_i_harnessed_the_wind.html
Some people are amazing, they can create the most incredible things from next to nothing. This guy is a true genius, and an inspiration to everyone. At the moment, I am working with a leadership forum, and we meet every few weeks. It is such a great experience working with young leaders, like me, and finding ways to work together to help our community and those in need. TEDx has an event in Wellington soon: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TEDx-YouthWellington/320037732382?ref=ts

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Are we the same person that we were 10 years ago?

I have been doing a bit of research on this topic lately: I have written off a few myths, and pondered on others (for excessive lengths of time).
From a physical approach, I once heard that the cells in the average human were all different to the cells that had been there approximately seven years ago. I soon discovered that this was not true about all cells, such as brain cells. (I suppose this is quite clear, because if we lost all of those over a period of seven years, surely we wouldn't remember anything.)
From a mental and emotional approach, we are always changing our minds et cetera, but fundamentally we think in the same way as we did seven years ago.
I eventually came to the conclusion that for this question to be answered thoroughly, one needed to define "the same person".
I thought about this carefully. Could "the same" mean that even if we lost a few skin cells or a bump on the head made us forget a few things we would still be effectively the same person? Well, I actually don't think so. Even if we are 99.999...% the same, we are only partially the same. We are partially the same as every other human on the planet, and we don't call ourselves the same person. I like to think that "the same" should mean "exactly the same", and therefore with every instant (or frame, like in a film) we are somehow different than before. Whether it be that we are thinking different things, or that we have lost a couple of dead cells, or that our temperature has changed... anything.
And there you have it. At least, that's my view.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I never finish anything

No matter how great my dreams or how genuine my intentions are, I never seem to finish anything I start. I have several unfinished paintings sitting in my art folder, one canvas sports only a mere sketch. Songs I have started to write live on wrinkled bits of paper, and spring up from unlikely places whenever I am looking for something else. Books I have started lie dormant on my hard drive. Empty diaries line my bottom drawer, covered in other bits and pieces that seem to have gathered there somehow. Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother. Why do I start these things in the first place? I write books because I have an idea, but never get any further than a couple of thousand words. Somehow the idea maps itself out so beautifully in my head, but it just never sounds right in words. I paint with every intention to sell my works at the local cafe, but even if I finish a few in a series, I never get round to making frames that fit. And for the songs... well I shouldn't even bother. I have minimal musical talent, and couldn't sing if my life depended on it. All in all, I might as well flush my next dream down into the realm of failure where my past dreams now reside. It's all quite depressing, isn't it? I really need to concentrate on extending the span of my attention... I'll keep you updated... whoever you are...

No one will ever find my blog HERE

It seems strange to think that the internet can make or break. It appears to me that publicity generally has an adverse affect (but I may be being rash). Take Justin Bieber. A couple of videos on YouTube, and he goes from someone who could easily have been someone like my younger brother to a teenage pop sensation with thousands, nay, millions, of screaming, screeching, squirming fans. If my near-16-year-old brother is anything to go by, Justin is probably only about 10% of the way through the maturing process. It seems unusual that a brain surgeon can go for the large part relatively unnoticed by the general public, while a 16-year-old kid can belt out a few in-tune notes and never have to work another day in his life. (I know that is an unfair judgement, however it does seem like that's the way things work on Planet Earth).
On the other hand, Eminem is too right in saying "Everybody wants you... Who could really blame you...
We're the ones who made you". And I should feel quite ashamed of myself if I stooped low enough to take Justin's hat. The way we behave around celebrities is unreal. It reminds me of a sort of variant of Sir William Golding's perception of human behaviour in groups -- like a frenzied pack of savages hungry for fresh meat. It's as though the desire for self-fulfillment can only be quenched by pinching a pint-sized celebrity and thus claiming some sort of weird achievement.
I find myself suddenly realising the extent of my hypocrisy in creating this blog, as the whole point of these things is to gain readers/followers... And so, perhaps, I should concentrate less on criticising Justin Bieber and wish him good luck with the hope that karma will see that I shall have some of it too.