Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Brexit conundrum.

It seems that the U.K. Parliament simply cannot make up its mind as to Brexit.

I am not saying that the members of parliament are not doing their jobs. I understand the complexity of the Catch-22 situation. It is simply not a question of whether or not to leave the European Union. There are too many parameters, and the sheer combination of them diversifies the "phase space" of possible options so that no single stance would be able to command a majority. It is such a kerfuffle. 

When one cannot make up one's mind, the usual strategy is to keep the status quo. It is not a good idea to make any moves unless one is sure in which direction one is going. One would be advised to stay in the same position.

However, in this case, it is not entirely certain what the "status quo" actually means. You would think that remaining in the EU would be the "status quo." However, when you consider the result of the referendum in 2016, it might appear that leaving the EU would be the "status quo", or the default position. 

So here's the heart of the current U.K. conundrum, from cognitive point of view. The situation is too complex to make a clear decision. Under such circumstances, normally, one would be advised to keep the status quo. However, it is not clear what the status actually quo means in this case, specifically, whether to leave the European Union or not. 

The situation the U.K. parliament and Mrs. May are facing is actually more complex than the original Catch-22 situation. Fingers crossed that the peoples of the U.K. would somehow muddle through.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

After Life: Sometimes Rembrandt, and occasionally Shakespeare.

Ricky Gervais has consistently exhibited a genius for depicting the worst in humans, and yet, in a mastery way that leaves a tinder of hope at the end. It is almost like alchemy. In a ride with this comedian, one experiences moments of frustration, sadness, and bewilderment, but finally, one is almost guaranteed to be left with a refreshing and enthralling endorsement of the human condition. One feels that the trip has been quite worthwhile, a great testimony of the powers of the art.

The Netflix series After Life is no exception. The protagonist sets out to give the worst time to people around him, with an expression of disgust on his face, but never with an outright malice. He is too intelligent to be oblivious of one's own shortcomings. One cannot be a pure evil unless one forgets or ignores one's own limitations, as is evidenced by some famous persons in the world today. 

Everything seems to be so miserable for the man. But then, things start to happen, and through a poignant process of self-recognition, reconciliation, and acceptance, the protagonist starts to love life again, if with a gingerly touch at first.

The most unique character of this 6 part series is perhaps the tonality of the cinematic experience, especially in terms of emotion that comes one's way while watching it. It is sometimes Rembrandt, and occasionally Shakespeare. After Life is a celebration of human existence, not only on its bright sides but also shades of dark. It is the contrast of the bright and dark that makes life sparkle with joy.