Wednesday, August 31, 2005

BlogDay 2005


Expand your horizons. Get out of the "friends" room on the blogroll. Step in to the wider blogosphere. Find and list five blogs that are new to you. Diversity and difference are expected!


1/ TooMuchSexy - don't expect what you expect but get some still. New York chutzpah.
2/ The Trump Blog - "Ideas and opinions from Donald Trump and his circle of experts." From the host of wildly successful real-life business drama The Apprentice. Conventional business wisdom through an unconventional educational medium. My 5-star favorite.
3/ david blaine - Yes, the magician. Got a blog. Poof!
4/ :::::StrapYa Room::::: - A Japanese blog on cell phones accessories. Very cool stuff.
5/ Regime Change Iran - the name says it mostly. A thick news blog with daily [unconfirmed] updates.

Dropped from consideration at last minute:
Bread Coffee Chocolate Yoga - Err, do they go this together? Let's hit the blog
to find out. [link deleted]

I didn't find it appealing enough. Besides, yoga just doesn't get along with all this heavy duty eating. Ew. You'd love the Donald Trump blog I put up there instead!


How well did I do? Had you seen any of these before? I hadn't. I employed some methods to reach these blogs, and these are my top 5 picks among then many random blogs I discovered. (Actually, I lie. I kept one that I wuwed to myself. It's nothing personal, it's just business. ;))

Monday, August 29, 2005

The best of moulds

Media-neutral, solution-neutral. That was the unique point of the marketing consulting firm I started to work with. Simply, it meant: we are not an ad agency. If a brand, say Lux, came to us with a problem we would not say, “Let’s make an ad!” We would find a real solution that will solve the exact problem. May be the solution was to change the product size. May be the solution was to do more research. May be the solution was to speed up production. May be the solution was an ad. We would find out.

But we began with a plain sheet and a blank mind.

We began naked.

And then we clothed in the solution of our choice.

Just because we had no solution to begin with, we had endless solutions to choose from.

For the past couple of years, I have thought hard about this. Because a human being cannot fly like an eagle, swim like a whale, or stay suspended in the air like a humming bird – we can now do it all better than them all. We can fly across the globe (in a plane), swim deeper than a whale (in a submarine), and stay suspended in the air (in a chopper). We can climb flat rocks. We can train our throats to produce a variety of sounds or modify our voice with machines. We can amplify one human’s voice to reach across miles… Our thoughts can travel across the world in seconds through the Internet. We can change the color of our eyes with contact lenses. We can dye our hair. We can put on fur coats or sheer muslin tunics. We can walk through fire and stand close to live volcanoes. We can cook an amazing variety of dishes.

We can do all this because we couldn’t do it all when we were born.

Out of our handicap, arises our ability. In having nothing, we have a choice to have anything, within our resources and context.  

We have a naked mould. Which lets us design, choose, adapt the best of suitable moulds.

The naked, naked ape

In The Fig (Tree), chapter 95 of the Quran, appears a line:

“We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.”*

Now for a long time, it seemed to me to be a patronizing statement. Well, surely we’ve read and we know that human beings are on the top rung of all creatures – animate and inanimate.

We just are the best, so we don’t even have to think about it. What about homo sapiens having “the best of moulds?” The best of structures? This line, to me, is about the anatomy of humans, so, how do we have the best of structures?

For a looooong time, I have envied birds and other pretty thangs. Surely, a dancing peacock is a heavenly being (except for those feet it regrets)… and there are other absolutely flawless beauty queens in the nature. They can fly, which I so envy. Some of them can sing and do marvelous things.

Look at us. We are naked apes. We don’t even have lovely, foxy fur.  

Strangely, I have now found my answer from the world of business. We have the best of moulds because we are born as naked apes with little inherent capabilities with no multicolored feathers and honeyed throats and an inability to fly! Our handicaps make us the best!...

I never doubted the extraordinary capabilities of the mind and of the eye in particular. Countless times, I experimented how the eyes measure speeding cars and constantly feeds the info to my mind. How the body automatically stiffens up and relaxes as we get on and off from a staircase. The blessing of fever. The taste that the nose has. The many talents of the body that we use every living second of our lives.

Still I did not have a unified theory. Then the understanding came. It came, after all, from the world of business. It came, to be specific, from the evolution of advertising agencies.

* See this page for three variations of translations.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Quest & Lust

From now on, for a few posts, I am going to document an experience that I am undergoing.

My ability to prioritize has greatly diminished recently – because I am temporarily in a perceptual world where I see all things horizontally or, rather, unarranged. I want to understand the value of “things” myself and then categorize them. Meanwhile, I have to surrender my ability to rank and order. And therefore, there may be no logical order in what I write in the next few posts.

Why haven’t I been writing lately? Because the audience of Pakistani blogs (particularly this blog, anyway) are usually very young readers with impressionable minds. Most of what I experience is not suitable for sharing, especially when it is in a stage of development. I myself have a young, impressionable mind and – ah, the age-old problem of the writer! – I am often very possessive of what I write. A question would very often disturb me. I don’t have to know all the times why I feel a certain thing and why I write it. It just is.

In the past few months, I have experienced previously unknown things. And I preferred not to write about them because even I did not understand them. It would not be fair to subject my readers with just a glimpse of the vast new world of experience that I have entered. After all, what means a universe’ worth to a person is just an arrangement of delightfully literate words to others. This is not to doubt the readers’ capability to understand, but my own inability to capture what I felt. I would be presenting only shallow pictures of what is a deep experience for me – and be adding nothing to the tasteful reader’s thoughts. I could write well, but could not pull the reader into… well… my world? What a cliché!

Now, however, I feel that I can write. A little. Sigh! I have to allow myself some space. It is, after all, a quest. And a lust. By their very nature, these are processes not ends. (Wondering aloud & aside: And isn’t that the tyranny of the nature of quest and lust that they are not ends?)

So. I will now write. About a Quest. About a Lust. Somewhat fulfilled.