Rocky Balboa

Watched Rocky Balboa over the weekend. Like all such people think that its only about fights. Cant blame them too, cause the focus is on the fight and most clippings show just the fights with people getting beat up.

However, movies become cults due to a deeper meaning hidden in them. Take for instance the Star Wars series , or, looking closer to home, Munna Bhai. Here's something that i picked up from the movie - and I think it applies to many of us:


But somewhere along the line you changed. you stopped being you. YOu let people stick a finger into your face and tell you you are not good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame - like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. Its a very mean and nasty place. And I dont care how tough you think are, but it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. YOu will be a nobody - its gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you are hit. Its about how hard yu can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. Thats how its done.

Now if you know what you are worth, then go and get what you are worth. But you are gonna be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers sayin you aint where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that aint you. You are better than that.

Your genes are patented.

YOU, or someone you love, may die because of a gene patent that should never have been granted in the first place. Sound far-fetched? Unfortunately, it’s only too real.

Read the article by Michael Chrichton at the New York Times.

Patents were started as a means to protect the inventor from having his ideas filched. However, the way patents are working now - it looks like we will be in a zone of little innovations.

Everquest Syndrome

You must have heard about the Stockholm Syndrome, but have you ever heard of the Everquest Syndrome ?

What the heck is it ? Well, for that I think I better give you some background on it.

Everquest is a game. Actually an MMORPG .

Ok, I guess i need to give more explanations here.

Games nowdays are very sophisticated. You may not realize it if you are stuck with the minesweeper and solitare on windows. The games I talk about (and play) are an immersive environment. Of the games I like playing, the top are the RPGs and the Strategy games. (Most people in India like playing FPS or RTS). err, gave you a few more terms. This is sounding like a management bhashan rather than a fun post !

Anyways, some more gyan on the terms.
RPG : Role Playing Game. Here you take the role of a character which you can customize and play as that. e.g. Diablo, Neverwinter Nights. You can take the role of a Paladin, and then you are the Paladin.

Strategy : Those which require a lot of thought. Like Civilization ( though it is also known as a TBS - Turn Based Strategy)

FPS : This is the First Person Shooter game. Here the view is what the character would see through its eyes. You get a 'first person view'. E.g. Quake. Some people also say it gives them vertigo.

RTS : Real Time Strategy. Its different from TBS that everything keeps happening simultaneously. Sometimes, people also label it as a click fest. The most popular of these are the Age of Empires series in India.
Now that you know the above, we come to the MMORPGs. I will explain this from the perspective of a game I am playing - World of Warcraft.

RPG is the same as above. Role Playing Game. For example, I am playing as a Night Elf who is a Hunter. Other people may be playing as a Human warrior or Dwarf Paladin. You are now that character.

MMO means massively multiplayer online. What it means is that there are millions of people online and logged into the game and playing. So, instead of having only computer characters, you now have humans as your allies and enemies. At last count World of Warcraft had around 8million people playing it.

This means that you are interacting a lot with people. Trading in game the items you need with the items they need, buying stuff from others, making groups and guilds, interacting in a million ways with people from around the world. The guild I am in has people from Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, USA, UK. Phew !

In the game you start as a level 1 and then have to level up to 60 ( or 70, if you have the Burning Crusades expansion set). The way you level up is that at each level you have to accumulate enough experience ( by means of fighting monsters, completing quests etc ), and once the experience bar is full, you level up to the next level.

So, basically what happens is that the more time you spend, the more you progress in the game. I have given the example of World of Warcraft, as that is the game I am playing, however, Everquest predates this game, and it is from that game that the name comes from.

So, the Everquest Syndrome is when people start to think that putting more time means more output. However, that is not true in many things. If a person takes 20hrs to write a programmer, it does not mean he is better than a person taking 4 hrs to write the same, just because he has taken longer.

I had seen this syndrome earlier, but did not know what to call it. Its everywhere around us.

In arts courses there is a popular saying you get marks by weight. i.e. The more the pages you fill up the higher the marks you will get.

Similarly, I have seen this in the IT industry. The assumption is that a person who stays in office for 14 hrs does more work than the one who stays for just 8 hrs.

Now, I have a name for the syndrome. And I think most managers are afflicted with this.

Warning : Artist at work

Some people have an imagination which can do wonders, or, in this case give a kid different personalities. Amazing graphics work ! No, not mine. Got it from an email doing the rounds on the net.