Category Archives: Poetry

The Awesomeness of The Untouchables (1987)

Now this is one awesome scene. Yes, I know that a lot of critics, fans, and scholars have mentioned that this scene is a homage to Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.

Well, firstly by constantly linking back to B.P, it does a great disservice to that film. Secondly, it does a great disservice to this film.

Brian De Palma really showed his mastery of choreography, camera, editing, and cinematic suspense but most of all; his emphasis of foley sounds and music.

 

The Future of Jobs will only be menial work and high technological work

Interesting read.

The common factor behind these incidences is that over the past 40 years, the computer and internet economy that replaced mental labor by humans, particularly digital technology, multi-dimensional digital terminals and internet sharing technologies, have caused the US economy and, in fact, the economic structures of many countries in the world to transform.

from this article

Costs of Globalization and Trade

 

 

 

 

There is so much to fear and not to fear at the same time in the new digital age.

With so much talk regarding how the world is entering into the 4th Industrial Revolution, Disruptive Technologies, AI, Automation, and the Digital Economy; it got me thinking how I have benefited from these technologies but at the same time; how it will affect me in a negative way.

Granted, as someone who regularly shops and surfs for the latest things online; the new digital age has been amazing.  But while it has been fantastic for the consumer; I was thinking about how sucky it must be for the worker whose job was replaced by technology.

Let me give you an example:

I loved buying DVDs.  In fact, I used to go to DVD shops. But at the same time, I hate going to the DVD shop Why? That is because I hate having to communicate with the store owner or the sales rep.  I hate having to answer the question; “Can I help you to find what you are looking for?”

I love to browse and take my time browsing through the titles and looking at the DVD covers and reading the blurbs. I like the idea of just being lost in the moment of browsing.  But at the same time, I will get tired after a while.

I used to shop at this particular DVD shop where I found out that they usually stock old movies. It was one of my favorite places to go; but at the same time, it wasn’t. That is because while the owner had a lot of old movies, he would usually get grumpy or irritated if I took too long to browse through his goods.

But my life changed when I knew about Amazon – way back in 2000.  I made my first purchase; a DVD boxset of “The Godfather Trilogy”.  It was amazing.

It was amazing because all I needed was a credit card; one click; shipping address; and boom….it was delivered to my house.

So, like many others, I started to buy not only DVDs but books and other stuff online….well..mostly from Amazon.

Later, I found out that the shop had closed down.  To be honest, I did not really mourn for it. In fact, I just went on to shop online without a care in the world.

But over the years I realized that almost everyone began to ignore the typical brick and mortar shops and began shopping online. Now, I am no Luddite.  In fact, I am a child of the internet. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….etc etc

But recently, I began to notice more and more news about Digital Disruption, Disruptive Technologies., AI….. yada yada….

And then it occurred to me……

We are indeed living in an era where technological advances have really changed the way all of us communicate, share, receive, and shop.

But to the point; it also occurred to me that with these technologies; a lot of things are made easier and more convenient.  Yet, it also meant that a lot of jobs will either be high tech skills jobs or low menial work.

We hear stories of university or college students working in cafes, or older workers retrenched and are unable to get back into the workforce.

And not to mention; in a globalized world;  transnational corporations can choose where is the cheapest and cost-efficient countries to base their operations; which means that jobs go to workers who can afford lower wages and benefits.

Now, I am not going to play the blame game of “globalization is bad” or “corporations are evil”. Rather it is just simple logic. Any businessman wants to maximize their profits. And globalization has benefited a large segment of society regardless of nationalities and countries.

So what I am saying is that; we cannot change or undo technological inventions, we can’t say that we need to keep what are basically obsolete and unproductive jobs in the face of newer technologies (like the DVD shop); or that we must undo globalization; or even fear the onset of technological advances.

Because it is precisely of the Internet that we can get online shopping; or for that matter that someone invented digital photography that we can take crappy photos on our phone (which incidentally killed Kodak); or that globalization sucks cos that would mean living in a closed world with firm borders and narrow self-interests instead of you and me being able to communicate through WordPress and sharing our ideas and thoughts.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that there is fear; fear of change; fear of having to upgrade my skills; fear of someone from another country taking my job; fear in general.

But at the same time,  I fear not having the Internet, not being able to Travel; or able to see what new inventions can better my life; or not.

I fear to live in a world that goes back to the dark ages of no wireless connections and digital photographs.  But most of all, I fear not being able to buy movies with one click at Amazon.

 

How to edit a film?

Emotional Dominance.  In his book “In the Blink of an Eye”, Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch talks about the six basic principles of editing.

They are: – emotion, story, rhythm, eye trace, 2D plane of screen, and 3D space.

But above all else, an editor should always edit according to the emotional needs of a scene or film.

Emotional Editing / Fast Edit / Jump Cuts

As the average viewer is only interested in a well-told story, the most important principle is cutting to emotion even if it is at the expense of screen direction and technical continuity (Murch 2001).

While some might dismiss this principle as a feature of mainstream cinema, it is actually a fairly common principle found even in art cinema. Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves (1996) is one example of emotional editing outside of the Hollywood system.

Over the DVD commentary, Anders Refn the film’s editor points out how the team prioritized emotional editing over visual orientation and consistency (see above clip).

Lousy teachers and students

I know it is politically correct to claim that there is no such thing as a bad student; only a bad teacher. Indeed, there is a famous saying; promulgated by Hollywood films; that “who can’t do, teach! And those who can’t teach, teach PE.”

But can we just be frank and say that if there are bad teachers, then equally there are bad students.

And if there are teachers who shouldn’t be teaching, likewise there are students who should not be in school.

But in a world where bullshit like “Don’t go to school to be brainwashed!” or “Learn from the university of life!”

Frankly, that is bullshit that stinks up to high heaven.

While it is true that going to school does not necessarily make you the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, it does not necessarily mean that you will be the next Bill Gates or Steve Job if you DON’T go to school.

The logic baffles me.

While schools are not perfect, not going to one is a sure way to lose out to others.

And unless you can put your hand on heart to say “yes I am the next Steve jobs or bill gates”, or you have some mysterious skills nobody have, chances are you are not and you don’t have any discernible talents of value.

But while I can understand why billionaires and millionaires would claim that their financial success is because of their university of life experience, that is because they are naturally smarter or luckier than the rest of us.

Now, to be honest, much as I would like to believe in romantic notions of equality and that if he can do it, then I can do it philosophy; the truth is….and it is a very harsh truth…

we are not born the same.

we all are different in terms of biology, psychologically and emotionally and spiritually.

Hence, it follows then our IQ and EQ are also different from each other.

It can be a bad thing.

But equally, it can be a good thing.

That is because WE ARE DIFFERENT and WE SHOULD CELEBRATE OUR DIFFERENCES.

And because we are different, we should always think for ourselves and not be swayed by the latest slogan, catch-phrase, feelgood words to think that “what works for others will work for us.”

 

This, then, brings me to the idea of teaching lousy students.

The truth is, just like there are shitty teachers, there are also shitty students.  Just like teachers who should not be in the classroom, likewise, there are some students who should not be in classroom or for that matter be in a learning institution.

That is because some are just not meant for such mode of learning. They should be encouraged to go into the school of life, university of hard knocks etc.

But parents – especially rich parents, feeling the need to compensate for their children’s lack, will do whatever it takes and pay whatever it takes for their children to go to any half-decent school.

And businessmen will do whatever it takes to cater to such demands.

Likewise, there are Teachers who are in it not because they really like teaching but because either they have made a wrong career move or because their skills can’t allow them to go elsewhere or that they are just lazy. These teachers should not be in schools.

In the end, a circle emerges where lousy teachers with lousy students and lousy learning feed into each other. Thus creating a vicious cycle and circle where shit gets round and round and round.