Monday, August 27, 2007

Ten years after

When standing in line at the supermarket the other day, I happened to catch a glimpse of a former classmate of mine a couple of registers over. He was with his significant other and their daughter, perhaps five or six years old, and it hit me that the last time I had seen him she had been in a stroller.

Now, this wasn't just some random classmate. I'd say that this guy was the most similar to me that there was in school (upper level compulsory school, attended at ages 13-15, for the record). Quiet, teased, bright, dreamer, a bit of a rebel, and with a lot of potential. I remember we were both in the more advanced math class, and he used to always sit in classes staring out the window, dreaming himself away. (I will always remember our math teacher, Jeanette West, since she was one of the first teachers to ever really spur me on and encourage me; my math grade during those years rose from around six up to a nine, on the 4-10 scale.)

Seeing him like that, shopping with his family, it made me think. That two so similar people would lead so different lives, ten years after.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Abilities

As a result of aging, people always feel like they somehow know more than everyone younger than them, through experience or simply the privilegie of having spent more time on earth, no matter if those years were lived completely differently to how people live now. I am no exception to that, but I would like to think that I have at least some distance to my own mind, and I therefore realise that this is not the ultimate truth. It is now 25 years that I've lived on this earth, and I have indeed formed some thoughts on life, the universe, and everything. I will try to write these up, as I can get them formulated in a way that don't seem like the work of a schizophrenic.

Abilities.

Humans and chimps share about 98% of their DNA. Isn't that interesting? Those remeining 2% of the DNA constitutes all of what is different between man and chimps. Now think about how little the difference must then be between humans. We all carry the same components in us, the same building-blocks. The same "hardware", so to speak. Counting out any severe developmental oddities, we are all born with the same prerequisites. What makes humans differ from each other is largely the upbringing, and how they use the "hardware" that they're given. So if we're all equipped with practically identical "hardware", we should all be able to load the same "software" (if we'll continue with the computer-metaphor). This is why I don't believe in that you need any inherent "gift" to do anything that some might think is out of the ordinary: like playing an instrument, composing a song, or learning a foreign language.

This means, of course, that every time I fail at something, it feels like I'm incredibly stupid; but on the flip-side, I have the power to change.

This is why I also don't believe in "racial superiority" and similar garbage.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Birthday

And so, soon, the earth will have revolved 25 times around the sun after I was born. As it happens, I was asked for a list of things I would enjoy recieving to mark the occasion.

Savage Garden - Superstars & Cannonballs live DVD
Serenity DVD
Firefly DVD-box
Can of Tommy spray
Late addition: a Guy Fawkes mask, as worn in V for Vendetta

Some more DVDs:
Sympathy for Mr Vengeance
Lady Vengeance
Kung Fu Hustle
Run Lola Run (released 8/8 according to CDON...)
Leon (The Professional)
Infernal Affairs

I will try to append it as I think of more.