September 25th, 2006

Access Denied

Some time ago, SashDude and I were thninking of co-authoring a book - called 'Access Denied'. We had planned the approximate line of hought to be in the book, and even the cover (draft) was made. Of course that was becuse makig a over is easier and fun.
Why do I remembeber this now? Well because slowly and steadily the company's IT policy is driving me up the wall. Every bloody site is Access Denied. it is like thats the only word in cyberspace.
Hadd hoti hai yar!
How is a normal person expected to have a decent work output without any entertainment? I mean, everything is blocked except work related sites. No mails(even the most obscur ones), no 'entertainment', no comics nothing. What happens? Well, people will just spend more time with each other, and not on the comp. I mean, even if Im checking email, I will have another window of work open, and for that 5 mins of checking mail, I will also be doing some tiny bit of work on the other window while i either wait for the mail to open or go, etc etc.
However, if I cant do anythign, being trhe social animal I am, I wll spend time at my neighbours desk and for politeness' sake not look at my monitor, nor him at his. We conviniently waste company (and our) time as well.
I dont understand this. I mean what are companies trying to stop? I can understand chat sites, or cricket score sites. But really, after a certai point, its just plain crazy. What will anyone do? Send confidential information? Puhleeze. People will do that no matter what. Every hacker finds a way. It takes time and effort, but it is possible.
I tell you, if given access, most people will not use the sites. I mean, it does effect their own perfrmance. How do you care whether I spend my time on a webcomic or on my officiall email? As long as I deliver my work, it should be fine. Right? Well, OK so most world may not work that way. HOwever, a little entertainment never hurt anyone. It improves the complete scenario. Where does the HR policy of 'fun at workplace' go from here?
Like I always say, work place is not siply work place. It is the place where most employees spend their waking hours. Get up in the morning and come to office, and by the time you leave, it is time to go to bed...for most ppl. You spend your life here. You get paid for achieving some financial goal of the company (eventually), and then, you get appraised for that. YOu manage to meet the goal, and you get a good appraisal. The least the company can do is to help you achieve that goal.
And why spend extra money in trying to make us do the contrary? Okay, get firewalls, get antiviruses - they are system protections. But there really is no sense in blocking everything under the sun. Out of 10 employees, even if one does not do any work, or spends time gaming and downloading from company bandwith...well, thats his eventual loss. How does it ffect the company? They either way have a defined bandwidth.
You are employing educated individuals who you think are capable of reaching their goals. You chose them. You were not forced in any way to hire them. The least you can do is let them be their natural selves.
And now, this is not only true for internet, but other features as well, which are taken for granted in a compny. Sure, its logical to conform to certain requirements when staying close to so many other people, and its understandable if you want to have some basic guidelines regarding that. It helps avoid unnecessary conflicts. But there is a fine line between making a place comfortable for all, and putting down irrational laws.

I can rememeber the ad on TV - on Freedom. "Who says slavery is dead". True enough. Just because someone is paying us for doing their job, does not mean they own us. They can control us.
With power comes exploitation. Just because we are here working, and getting paid for it, we give ourselves up to them. As a result come these controls. And the best part is, we just sit back and agree.
I think I can re-start on Access Denied, with new content.

Complications

We say life is complicated. there is nothing complicated about life. we are logical animals, we tend to think and act. Now since we are animals somewhere, we tend to act on the basis of our (animal) instinct. owever, the logic part takes over somewhere, and these actions are then based on what we think is right or wrong. Simple enough.Right? Wrong.
You see, what happens is, apart from our own selves who want to do certain things, the logical part of humans starts off in overdrive. As a result even the simplest of things gather a large, complicated meaning with innumerable repurcussions. Every action will now mean something with respect to a 'larger' picture. If you yourself d nt think so, the society will. THings known as expectations arise, and the strive to fulfill them arises.

Thus arise boundaries. THe need for keeping things in sync with expecations of others because that is what can help you realisse your own expectations with ease...everyone needs help of the surrounding environment. its a convenient symbiosis.

So it can be said that complications in life are all because of external unecessary influences. The same reason why polygamy/andry is frowned upon usually. WHat would happen if they were acceptd? Well, considering the freedom to choose partener remains unchanged, or rather there is perfect scenario where you have complete freedom of choosing parteners, then power struggle not whitstanding, it would all depend upon consensus of the individuals to choose whom they want to live with. If live-ins are acceptable I guess the day is not far when multiple living partners wont be accepted. But then hat would bring in utter and total chaos. Everyone wants to be special and the 'one', so multiple parteners may not be as emotionally fulfilling to a human being as one paterner can be. There must be some people doing the same studt for live in relationships vs marriages even as i type, if not already done.

THen complications regarding working/not working, what kind of work...the same thing... it all starts with wanting freedom regarding choice. But then social norms/ conditioning kicks in. It may be that today a pizza delivery guy job is considered as respectable as any other job. However, it would be utter bullshit to say that the pizza delivery guy wouldnt rather be someone with a more stable job in a company no matter how stifling, afer a certain point in time, and that society will prefer to befreind the guy with a stable white collar job. Also, at an emotional level, when taing on the so-called responsibilities of the world, the guy with a white collar job would be surer, stabler, happier and more ready than the piza delivery guy.


So, is it realy all about notions developed by societal requirements? Are the emotional requirements cited in the two cases above a function of societal conditioning, or something deeper?
Is society and its rules just a reflection of what we actually would desire, if left alone? I suppose so. It is not for nothing that thousands of people would follow a certain regulation for generations, over the world if it was not mentally and physically satisfying. there may be cases of anomalies, but where are there none?

All said and done, however, it would be better to have the ability to choose. To be able to choose between polyandry and monoandry, to choose between being the pizza delivery man all life long and working with a stabler job.
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Break on through to the other side

Saw the movie the Doors yesterday. Well made, it captures the essence of Jim Morrison. You can associate his songs with him and the band...almost. Its a good movie. Amazing photography, devent enough direction. The movie is carefully made, tries to avoid conflict, and depicts scenes which could be objectionable in a smooth manner, which nless you are extrmeely sqeamish you will ignore.
However, the movie is more about Jim Morrisson, than about the band. It does not manage to depict the coming together of the band in details, nor as to how the music for Jims Poetry comes about. The story goes from showing JM as a hero, to trying to show him as dispassionate, self engrossed and death obsessed...all the while managing to make him a hero you would want to be. A man of irrefutable talent, The Doors music however dint come from his brain. His personality could have been emphasised on, and the nastier portions of his life have been brushed through.
I repeat again the movie stresses on Morrisson, and a definite feel good factor since you can hum along the songs in the background. THe rest of the band members - well you can finish the movie without knowing their names. That references of morrissons lyrics came from his band members sentences in some cases has been mentioend obliquely, you would almost miss it.

One thing you wouldnt miss is the skyline. and the Indian. Kilmers done an amazng job, managing to make you mistake him for the the real man.

All said and done though, its a movie to be watched. To enjoy, to flow along with no questions asked. Its tight enough, and keeps you entertained...as long as you have an idea of Jim the showman, and his ideosyncracies.

All rock band movies...or rather movies on singers show the same thing. The irrefutable talent, the lucky break, the fame and the drugs/alcohol. Broken family and fan followings. Even Almost Famous 'almost touches' on all this. Ah well.

So much for a post - its turned into a movie review!
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