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  • Debapriyo 9:58 am on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , philosophy, ,   

    Youtube Treasures 

    I felt like sharing some of the great channels I’ve found on Youtube over the last few years. Many of you might already know all/few of these. Do check them out if you don’t. If you have anything to add to the list, please write them down in comments.

    • Vsauce: The guy here offers a mixture of scientific facts and fun about everyday curiosities. Moreover, he often refers you to other cool online places. Great presentation skills. There are similar channels (namely Vsauce2, Vsauce3) which you might also like.
    • minutephysics and AsapSCIENCE: Two great channels for popular science. The videos are extremely short and entertaining.
    • vlogbrothers: If you have heard of the online community called ‘Nerdfighters’, you’ve heard of the vlogbrothers. It’s a channel run by two brothers (John Green and Hank Green). John is a writer and Hank is a scientist(?)/musician. They became famous after one of Hank’s songs (about Harry Potter) went viral. John’s books (e.g. The Fault in Our Stars) are quite good. This channel will also introduce you to the youtube vlogging community consisting of many other interesting individuals.
    • khanacademy and YaleCourses: Video lectures. The former might save your ass on the last day. The latter will help you if you have time on your hands.
    • Vihart: A  ‘mathemusician’ from khanacademy. Her channel is made of pure awesome, and will make you love math.
    • CGPGrey: A really fun channel ‘explaining complex things’, as the description goes.
    • collegehumor: Internet comedy.
    • thechesswebsite: For those who are really into chess, or want to learn the professional ways of the game. If you thought chess was only a battle of intelligence, this channel will prove you wrong.
    • BBQTurkman and ZeroEmpires: It’s sad that there are no Age of Empires fans in our college. But in case you have a passing interest, you might want to discover the true beauty of the game. These channels will cover the major aspects.
    • comicbookgirl19: For Game of Thrones histories and other stuff.
    • gigguk and podtaku: For anime fans.
    • Alice Vega 4:15 pm on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yay fellow youtube fan! :) I would also suggest tuning into YOMYOMF’s reality webseries called Internet Icon. There’s a lot of undiscovered youtube talent there as well.

  • Debapriyo 10:22 pm on August 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pain, philosophy   

    The Fault in Our Stars – Review 

    There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.

    To be honest, I like to steer clear of cancer books. I know cancer is a deadly disease and all that, but let’s just face it; I can do nothing to help in the field, and being selfish and keeping myself away from the associated depression seems like the best option for now.

    But I decided to read this book anyway since it was recommended to me rather earnestly, and one should never turn down earnestness! Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Mainly because it is as much a cancer book as the earth is a cube. It’s just that the characters in the book have cancer.

    A few pages into the book, I was really getting annoyed by the author’s self-advertisement of vocabulary. It was as if he was screaming “Look at me! I know more words than you, you loser!” I’m not saying that using rare words is bad, but using rare words where common alternatives are probably available, is simply show off. Then I thought that he might actually be unaware of the lowness of our comprehensive abilities, and decided to let it go.

    But John Green is certainly aware that pretty busty ladies won’t get the adequate attention (most people who read such novels these days aren’t driven through life by hormones). Hazel Grace, the protagonist and narrator, was made probably to attract readers like myself. Hazel, and girls like her are really and annoyingly appealing, in the sense that she is downright rude, self-satisfied, arrogant, and states stuff in a very matter-of-fact way. She is a person who will bullshit your thoughts if they’re different from her’s and will act like that’s the most natural thing to do. Of course, all these things aren’t even indirectly implied in the book (the book doesn’t need to explore those sides), but I know, since I know real girls like her. The typical intellectual teenager for you.

    Then there’s Augustus. A handsome amputee. Who also likes making jokes. He says he can’t write, but proves himself wrong in the same passage. You won’t find a speck of a flaw in him. In other words, a perfect match for Hazel.

    I wasn’t impressed much by the characterization. Every character seemed to have a John Green brain, and was similar to all the others on some level.

    Enough criticizing. Now for the strong points. The book gives you thoughts, or rather extracts out thoughts that have been hiding at the back of your head. You will find an inevitable connection with each idea. Also, the writing is pretty awesome. That’s the whole point of being an author, isn’t it?

    People will tell you that this is a book which make you cry gallons of tears. Maybe it will. But it wasn’t even remotely sad for me. There are books which transcend such emotions and only leave you grateful at having read them.

    And that is the highest compliment I can give to this book with my limited literary capabilities.

    My rating: 9/10

  • Debapriyo 1:37 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: objectivism, philosophy, quotes   

    “I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
    “It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”
    “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.”
    “There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”
    “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”
    “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”
    “Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
    “God… a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive.”
    “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.”

    Ayn Rand
    • dibya 3:53 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      There was a time when I was heavily influenced by these quotes or more generally her fictional works. Recently I acquired a non-fictional work of hers “philosophy: who needs it?” Have you read it?
      I was thinking, we could have a literary club session where we discuss her ideas and their validity. I think everyone should have a point of view in this debate. For example, people value altruism quite a lot usually.
      What do you say we have such a session??

      • Riju 4:23 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        No, I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of it.

        And such a session would be nice, but would others understand her ideas properly unless they read her works first?

      • tuhinspeaks 10:54 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Right. I haven’t read any of her work but a session like this should be interesting.

      • nahseezila 1:50 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        The idea is nice, let’s check how many of us have read her works in the next meeting and then we can decide.

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