Sunday, January 14, 2018

№ 349. Siargao Through Square Lenses 2

№ 348. Siargao Through Square Lenses 1

Two-hour long flight from Manila and one-hour van ride from the airport later: Cloud Nine! Instagram and heavenly bodies!

A cancelled room booking? No problemo. Here's to sand on the heels, breezy, beach side happy hours at 4 PM on a Friday!

Cold showers and creaking bathroom doors? Throw in that crusty, flaky croissant. And that steaming espresso, too!

Heavy rains en route to the mangrove forest reserve? Crabs buffet for five, quick. And an extended three-hour paddle board-swim in the emerald lagoon.

No dessert? No serving spoon? No wifi? Nothing that a quickie surf lesson before departure and lechon Cebu during the lay-over won't fix.

More lemons please!

Monday, January 8, 2018

№ 347. Chasing Summers in the Depths of Winter

From one of the Daily Globe clippings:

At the former St. Thomas More chapel of Ateneo de Manila on Padre Faura, the celebrant was a Jesuit priest who had just finished his doctorate at Harvard University.

Christmas is when we celebrate the unexpected; it is the festival of surprise, Horacio de la Costa said in a seven-minute homily that has been quoted time and again.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

№ 346. January: A New Hope

(A perennial favorite homily among Fr. James Donelan, S.J.'s faithful--a good read & inspiring thoughts on New Year)

IF you were to enter a home in ancient Rome, you would find in the doorway a dog with two heads. A statue, of course. It is Janus, the Roman god of the doorway. One head looked to the past, the other to the future. Since the first month of the year has this two-fold function, it acts as a bridge between past and future, the Romans called it January. It is a demanding month, a frightening month, perhaps more frightening than a birthday. It requires more than remembering to put the right year on our letters and our checks. It is a threshold, a passage, and every threshold makes us pause. Every passage leaves us different from the way we were.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

№ 344. Christmas Carol

What's a cure for old age and death? For chaos? For pandora's bane?

When world peace is a sight unseen in a galaxy far, far away, when death and sickness come bearing down on our doorposts, what's the proper response?

The year 2017 will come to a close soon. Like in so many years before it, people will again hope for a better year, for a better world.

World peace will always be a cliche. Climate change may soon be a tired slogan on a fake campaign platform. Gender fairness is so 1990s as one writer admitted.

Humankind is a never ending craft.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

№ 343. Essential Algorithms

In our realities, there are many underlying, invisible truths. Gravity is one. It's a physical phenomenon. But there are other social rules which are just as intractable and vexing.

Here's one social algorithm:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

№ 342. Waking Up to Binary Dreams 6

Was Bitcoin created by an AI?

No one knows for sure who invented it, but is it possible? Is this the beginning of the end. Or is this just a blip in a technological event horizon? The first series among the many waves to come?

I was watching a rerun of Animatrix. The dystopian prophecy still strongly argues for a plausible future given a set of many quite valid assumptions, more than ten years after its release.

During the Matrix runs at the turn of the 21st century there were no Social Networks or even smartphones yet. Year 2017, the Watchowski brothers have both chosen transgender identities and Facebook boasts of more than two billion users. Apparently we are still in fluidic space and time.

But I have an alternative future in mind that is far less radical than the ones envisioned by the Matrix. The future in my head will be more accommodating to a creeping hybrid of silicon and flesh. Science fiction will still have to yield to pragmatic concerns such as business, logistics and the law of supply and demand, among many other mundane realities.