Day 26: A night with geneticists

Tonight I went to a fundraiser for the Genome Integrity Unit in Westmead. I love it when a word is used correctly. Integrity in your genes is super important!

It got me thinking of my sliding doors moment. What would my life be today had I pursued a career in Science.  Women in STEM is the new black these days. Would I have pursued a life of research or would I have struck gold and discovered some breakthrough technology?

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Block berry

I would love to see a letter from the CEO of Blackberry explaining what went wrong and they can’t see that consumers have moved on. Nokia, anyone?

This is insane. How can they not foresee this. Kodak. Sony. Nokia. Ericcson. Sigh.

One moment in time

I was at a workshop this morning to learn about how to convert print PDF pages to iPad pages.  I was sitting there as our instructor casually explained that with a few clicks on the keyboard, a flat PDF page is turned into an animated iPad readable page.

She’s practically a digital native and think it’s cool. I, on the other hand, a writer for years, a voracious reader since I discovered comics at a young age, what she just showed me – this ability to turn text into textures – was like a showing a physicist “God’s particle”.

I imagine that if a time machine did exist, and Mark Twain or Jane Austen, or any other writer from previous centuries, were transported to 2012, smackbang right at our office – they would faint at the possibilities in front of them. I can only imagine how many short stories, novels and other works they could have produced if they had the media technology available to us today.

What an exciting time to be a writer. What an exciting time to be a reporter. What an exciting time to be a publisher.

The rules have changed but the fever remains. With the choices ahead on how to create content and connect, the golden days of journalism are here. Eherm, apologies, but I’ve decided not to play by the rule of not using cliches. I love them. They’re like my comfort blanket. Stopping now.

Hoorah for the iPad. Hoorah for the tablet.

On conviction and authenticity

To succeed on Twitter, you have to be two things: articulate and authentic. To be articulate, you have to express your opinion with a lot of conviction. The occasional gray areas, yes, but mostly, there’s black and white. There’s good and there’s evil. There’s right and there’s wrong. There’s cool and there’s loserville. The only downside that is now undoubtedly upside in Twitterverse is that geek is chic.

But conviction comes with confidence that you are absolutely right. That what you’re saying is the right thing. But what if, what if you think you haven’t exhausted all the options? all the possibilities? And that even if you’re right, what if thinking differently about the topic is better than perpetuating the discussion on the same question simply because you’ve become an expert on it? What if, all you want to do is observe and chronicle events as they unfold and not have to be one of the million others who voice their own opinion, most of which they probably didn’t dwell on too much and had they had more time, their opinion would be otherwise? What if coming to the right conclusion is not as good as coming up with the next question?

So having high conviction is not something I can do because I think there are experts around the world that know more about a lot of the key issues being discussed out there and that I really can’t say anything with a lot of conviction unless I give it due thought and research, which you can’t do in Twitterverse.

I guess that’s why Twitter is a ‘social’ media. I particularly like the jokes, the a-ha moments and the random thoughts. But when it comes to reason, there’s a lot of noise. A lot of half-thoughts. A lot of heart but not a lot of mind.

Hah, but even now as I blog I’m doing it live. No edits. No drafts.

On authenticity, how do you appear authentic in front of an audience you don’t know? One person might get a joke, another person might not. What about the in-between dialogue. I feel like I’m always coming into a conversation half-way.

To be authentic you need to know yourself: you have an identity that you can then show to the universe. But most people live their life in silos. And sometimes it’s better to keep things separate. In a world that is so public, it’s good to keep some things in private. But if you keep some things locked out, it makes it very hard to be authentic.

What’s interesting is that a young person is more likely to be authentic and opinionated on Twitter. The world is just waiting to be conquered and the consequences are likely only going to affect you and you alone. Not the stockmarket. Not people’s savings. Not your family or friends.

So I’m still on that journey on how to be ‘real’ on Twitter. I’m sure I’m overthinking it. But when you’re happier observing what the world is doing, rather than sharing your thoughts every minute, it’s a struggle.

Not always in a bad way though. Twitter can be a window to someone’s soul. And some of the tweets crack me up.

But yes, to succeed on Twitter, you have to be real and authentic. I take my hats off to those already there.

Boxing day discovery

What a whirlwind of festivities. Christmas eve was spent with family followed Christmas day spent with friends and relatives. There was so much food and gift-giving. But I have to be honest, Christmas just isn’t the same the way it’s spent in the Philippines.

Still, the last few days I discovered that I don’t think about Twitter nor think about tweeting. I can’t imagine my life without my phone or my laptop but I don’t see Twitter enriching my life. In fact when I am deep in Twitterverse I feel like I’m always trying to catch up. Always missing out on something. Never getting the full story. It’s a never-ending feed of news, opinions and a-ha moments.

I must admit that I was checking facebook though. Finding out how other people are celebrating their christmas. More of that later.

But today’s post is dedicated to my latest discovery: a US TV show called Homeland. I heard about it after reading a news article that Barack Obama watches it. Haha, and I had to check it as if watching the same TV show makes me any closer to the US President. I must say that in the past being a US president was the highest honour ever laid on a head of state in the world. But I think now the power lies in China. And the next great leader of China will have more influence on the shape of the world in the years to come. Imagine a Chinese leader with the sensitivities of the East and the aspirations of the West? The humility of the East and the boldness of the West? Honed by the ancient teachings of the East and the modern teachings of the West? Ah, I am envious of the future generations already.

It is 2pm and I have so far avoided the Boxing Day sale. I don’t really need anything so 70% off something is still 30% of spending on something I don’t need. Though it would be great to get a laptop at a discount for my mom.

Right now I’m off to enjoy my new guilty pleasure. Homeland it is.