Nuggets and Aphorisms

Food for thought. These first appeared in Amit Varma's blog, India Uncut

Monday, October 24, 2005

Living parallel

It's funny how much America can influence countries just by their pop culture. You can do a lot more with pop culture than dropping Patriot missiles. You can get away with so much more. Because it's just so appealing. How many girlfriends I lost because of John Travolta, because the girls were looking for a guy who could dance like Travolta? It's amazing how much we were infiltrated with no resistance. "Saturday Night Fever," "Star Wars," it's like we were living parallel.
Ziad Doueiri, director of West Beyrouth, in this interview by Anthony Kaufman. (Link via Chandrahas Choudhury's fine review of the film.)
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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Accuracy can be boring

The vast majority of the press is not interested in covering what is actually happening. They are interesting in covering what they think people want to think is actually happening. Everything is sensationalized. In 1999, it was sensationalized on the positive side, and in 2002, it was sensationalized on the negative side. It's never exactly accurate. As it turns out, accuracy can be quite boring. And quite boring does not sell newspapers and magazines.
Bo Peabody, the founder of Tripod, in "Lucky or Smart? : Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life."
amit varma, 11:13 AM| write to me | email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What is truly important

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Steve Jobs, in an immensely moving and inspiring speech he made at Stanford in June this year.

(Link via email from Abhishek Mehrotra a few weeks ago.)
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