Thursday, 8 October 2009

I got my name in lights with

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Sattellite systems

Friday, 7 March 2008

the created and The Creator

You are in ever page
Every pen, every paper
And every drop of ink
Every stage in which we engage
In which we stay constant
and through which we change

If you weren't, why is Your prescence ever prevelant
why do we hear You in every heart beat
why do we need You in every step of life
And so this body thanks You for every breath

Indeed You exist in our lives
In every face, every eyes
In every mind, every heart
In every soul, every life
But only You decide,
whom to bless and whom to blind.

If You didn't, why do we keep returning
why do we keep yearning
why do we keep believing
Although we are not seeing
Towards You We do keep struggling
But this soul, began from your light
And it wants You in its ending.

Surely, do You touch our hearts
And fill knowledge into our minds
In every thought You are but hidden
With every word we utter, You are but unknown
Only You decide if they are worth to listen.

In every Intention and Action
You are in every sight's fraction
In every fate and Incident
You are in every segment of invocation
But only You decide who is to which of heaven's retribution

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Personal Worldview (A Managerial Insight)

The purpose of this paper is to present my personal worldview. In doing so, this paper will lay emphasis on the types of people, types of organizations and their relation to management theory. This paper will commence by questioning organizational habits and draw upon its relation to the leader's role. Two key human and organizational assumptions will be discussed, namely success and intelligence. These assumptions are framed in the context of human and organizational development and put to question as we go on.

“The minute I'm disappointed, I feel encouraged. When I'm ruined, I'm healed. When I'm quiet and solid as the ground, then I talk the low tones of thunder for everyone.” - Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi.

As we live, everyday we come across critical sessions of discussions that often makes us ponder on global issues. We ask each other and ourselves about problems that usually escape unsolved. What is the role of the foreign policies in regional conflicts? Who should provide relief to victims of poverty, violence, chaos and supernatural events? Where does all that industrial pollution get disposed? Is the “Big Mac” still cool? Could we live forever? Where are the aliens? What is the next plague?

Many of us investigate into such issues where we are caught up and linger between opposite positions that are taken by the different authorities, leaving us confused to decide who is right. A few of us however tackle the authorities and also manage to keep the score. We all want something out of life; generally it is success. The definition of success varies from one individual to another. Possibly what we are looking for is something that we already have, but are oblivious about its achievement because our lives are conditioned into a lifestyle that is tainted by consumerism by negative forces of corporate culture. We are conditioned into a pre-patterned way of living undoubtedly, which is evident yet ignored by most. Consuming more than required, whether it be a surplus of any material that a person consumes or the overproduction of that material by manufacturers. In the movie 'manufacturing landscape' Burtynsky's photographs lays an emphasis on these sort of notions. (Gravestock, 2006)

The challenge is to break free of this extreme system. By breaking free from the system I do not imply to abandon it from our lives. But we need to begin by questioning and finding out where do each of us stand amidst this myriad of over consumption of materials. What can each of us contribute as parts of the big solution from our standpoint? Life is not about luxury tenements, golden anniversaries, academy awards. It is not about a house and a job, career goals, pay rolls or the insatiable lust for worldly satisfaction. In my view the struggle to understand the purpose of our existence is the ultimate goal of life. As we live, we learn lessons and this search continues till the last day of our lives.

If we are concerned about what is happening around us and if the passion to find solutions for unsolved mysteries does remain within us then we must take interest in a wider range of reasoning. Nothing is completely black and white; we must be able to find the real meaning behind it by exercising our intellectual and tireless selves into action. Most of us are poorly equipped to handle the load of such torrent with our bare hands and a few of us have the effect of bringing it all together. These are the types of people we come across today as we engage ourselves with societies, communities, institutions and organizations of all missions and purposes.

Organizations are not just one of a kind, they too differ in their own ways like human beings. In fact there is not much of a difference between the idea of an organization and that of a human body or soul. Orgenon1 is the root word from Greek philosophy, which means an instrument of thought or knowledge. Today we can say that organizations are the tools of human development, similarly the human body and the souls are also tools for the individual to access knowledge and develop self-awareness. I personally classify organisations under two groups. There are some organizations that we did not choose to be a part of but we are born into them, such as day cares, kindergarten, high schools, cultural communities, religious organisations and so on. Other organisations that we choose to be in are like universities, business and non-profit.

Our views about these organisations are shaped by the experiences that we acquire everyday. Our experiences can lead us to like or dislike any of these organizations' ideas or styles as we interact within each of them. Organizational objects and ideas are pervasive in our life's entirety. Whether we are at work, at home or even on a vacation we interact with objects as much as we do with people. From the cradle to the grave numerous materials and logos that represent their organizational ideas surround us. This shows that we are flooded with vast amount of knowledge not only through the Internet network but also through the non-virtual world.

The challenge here is to make sense of this extreme flow of information within and around us. McElroy (1999) draws on the knowledge structures of the corporate world within which he says that we express knowledge in two different ways. He notes that Organizational knowledge is expressed in the form of procedural and declarative rules that are recorded in various organizational knowledge structures.Some knowledge is expressed in literal structures such as business plans and policies-and-procedure manuals while other knowledge is acted out in the process or chain-of-command structures that we follow. (McElroy,1999)

Management theories are very important because they are guides to our personal and collective behaviour in organizations. Making ideas into concrete subjects should be the purpose of any management theory. For the leader the incorporation of the subjective and the objective is the ultimate challenge.

Theories are incomplete without action. According to Polanyi, the separation of reason and experience, which since Pythagoras was pressed further and increased over time, disfigured the true idea of the scientific method and of the nature of science. In the two seemingly contradictory words, ‘personal’, that is, subjective and ‘knowledge’, that is, public or objective, Polanyi symbolizes the balanced combination of the objective and the subjective (Kodish, 2006)

The contributions of Aristotelian approach towards actionable theory impresses me the most. Contemporary theorists like Chris Argyris emphasizes on the relations between thought and action. He contrasts between Single-loop learning and Double-loop learning. Single-loop learning is present when goals, values, frameworks and strategies are taken for granted where as Double-loop learning involves questioning the role of the framing and learning systems, which underlie actual goals and strategies (K.Smith, 2001)

In relation to the views above (about people and organisations) the questioning of the motive behind the assumptions of success like extreme over consumption and over production is the collaboration of action and thought towards such problems. Theories that have logical reasoning like double-loop learning provides a ground for Leadership to flourish in ideas of realizing human situations, questioning them and correcting them.


The purpose of this paper was to lay emphasis on questioning organizational habits and its relation to leadership. In the third paragraph this paper highlighted the questions that are clich├ęs of our daily life, yet escape unsolved. The problem lies in the lack of participation of leaders in questioning the motives behind human and organizational extremities like over production and over consumption of material. These extremities are assumptions of modern day success. There is a tacit hunger for solving mysteries of life, which is the purpose of life. The extreme flood of knowledge is the assumption of human and organizational advancement in intelligence. Most of us are poorly equipped (in knowledge and understanding), but few of us make sense of (organize) the enormous amount of knowledge that we are flooded with in this world of information age. That is one of the reasons why we have more students than teachers in universities and less leaders than workers in corporations. Classifying organizations and the nature of human involvement within them is another emphasis of this paper. Finally this paper ends by laying stress on the relation between thought and action. This paper connected the dots between my personal view of human, organisations and management theory by bringing in the leaders' role on questioning (people's and organisation's assumptions) values, goals and strategies rather than just taking them for granted.


Jalal al-Din Rumi, Maulana Open Secret: Versions of Rumi Trans. John Moyne & Coleman Barks Putney, Vt. : Threshold Books, 1984

Gravestock, Steve (2006) Manufactured Landscapes. Retrieved November 6, 2007 from

McElroy, M.W. (1999). Double Loop Knowledge. The Systems Thinker pg 2.

Kodish, Salvica (2006) The paradoxes of Leadership: The contribution of Aristotle. Leadership, vol. 2, no. 4, pg 459-461

K.Smith, Mark (2001) chris argyris: theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning
Retreived November 7, 2006 from

Other Readings

Argyris, Chris (2004). Reflection and Beyond in Research on Organizational Learning. Management Learning. Thousand Oaks: CA. Vol. 35, Iss. 4; pg. 507 – 510

E Cunha, Miguel Pina et al. (2006) Organizational Spiritualities: An Ideology-Based Typology Business & Society, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 211-234

McDonald, Ross. A (1996) The Spiritual Poverty of Material Economy Journal Of Human Values, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 179-188

Zohar, A & Morgan, G (1996) How Seriously Should We Take Mobots Organization, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 408-410

stonefree13 publications© Yaseen Z.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Semiotics, Semioticks, Semidiotics

The following is an excerpt from Semiotics, Semioticks, Semidiotics,a short semiotic analysis of Fashion Now, an anthology of contemporary fashion, edited by Terry Jones and Avril Mair.

Roland Barthes introduces semiology as a term given by a general science of signs, the existence of which was conjectured by Ferdinand Saussure, who is widely considered as the father of 20th century linguistics. Saussure was the first linguist who decided to call the science of understanding signs a semiology. Later on many sociologists and linguists developed on his work and settled upon a world of identifying cultural meanings from objects that possess signs.(Barthes, 2006) Whatever object or language it may be, they all indulge us into a Semiological analysis. The meanings that are to be found in a visual are not just personal views based on individual conscience, nor are they representations of a unanimous syndicate specialized in cultural interpretations. Shields (1990) notes that the ability of a visual text to communicate meaning involves an intricate interplay between the codes and messages encoded into the text at the time of its production and the cultural experience and subjectivity the spectator brings to the viewing of that image.(Shields,1990) The meanings of the visual picture, whether its characteristics be still or moving, transparent or substantial, heavy or light, dark or bright or all together combined, the hidden meaning(s) of an image can be found in the midst of such characteristics and the dominant ideological perspective of that individual. Semiological interpretations are not a science that is coded by natural laws, but a radical system of language, unlike the usual literature that constructs a loophole free from procedural laws. This is how the use of semiotics in this essay will attempt to challenge and analyze the popular culture and Fashion. So an interpretor must constantly and tirelessly separate the object from its meaning like a centrifuge. This is how the meaning is clear from the object that represents it and the object is made independent by the textual blindfold wrapped around it.

stonefree13 publications© Yaseen Z.

(The rest of the essay uncluding the citings are available upon request. If you would like to use my essay please let me know by leaving a comment below.)

Monday, 15 October 2007

Friday, 5 October 2007

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Remember ATARI?

The phenomena of video gaming from arcades into homes has turned it into a modern cinematic subcategory which is currently influencing the entertainment business at large and highly reflecting upon understanding cultural discernment. The Hollywood Entertainment business and the North American culture are not the only two spheres in which influences and reflections are currently being discussed as cultural subjects, there are other spheres within which the same subjects can be more complicating to comprehend or even to link with. However this paper will discuss the influence of ATARI and its reflection to American culture including other gaming consoles in North America. This article does not attempt to define the clear image of interactiveness or cultural labour between the human body and the TV screen but it will make a textual collage of technological advances and cultural effects of video gaming.

Despite the personal, cultural and political indifferences that prevail as barriers of interconnection between people of diverse cultures, somewhere a checkpoint is always available and necessary where cultures can exercise their diversity. The virtual gaming space is now the place where such a checkpoint can be found because of its diverse participants. Virtually speaking, a spaceship is more likely to win and go to the next level if accompanied by a second player. This shows that an effort is made by both the players towards achieving a common goal. This is one of the inexplicable natures of individuals that make jazz combo teams in new paradigms of business management(Drucker,1998). Drucker(1998) states that in a jazz team each participant does his or her own thing but together they make great music. Similarly in the virtual engagement of games like Spacewar (PDP-11, 1961)1 such nature of a team can be seen as a universal checkpoint that can be found and agreed upon by gamers, whereas in the case of ATARI's pong (Atari,1972) the game engages the playing minds and bodies in competing attitudes and gestures. Even though Spacewar was unsuccessful image wise and commercially, it gathered players under a friendlier atmosphere regardless of its failure upon entrance into the "world of play".(Wilson,2004) The entrance of ATARI into the homes from arcades was mainly because of the simplicity of pong which broke down the focus from emphasis over controllers and instructions to easier tasks. So games have various functions that can shape cultural identities. Whether it be Grand theft Auto (PC & Playstation, 1997) or Winning eleven 52 (Playstation 2, 2001) , the role of the virtual surrogates in the screen reflect upon the interests of the player, sometimes literally and at other times arbitrarily. It is not necessary that a gamer likes to play more violence related games because the person has violent tendencies, it is also possible that a gamer who plays Need for speed Underground3 (PSP,2003) could highly fancy the visual upgrades and customizations that she/he has made to the Cobalt SS.

Gaming cultures brings us under an umbrella of intellectual apprehension without having to speak about our intellectual self initially. Traditional board games like ludo, chess and monopoly are still prevalent but their transition to the form of digital media is more popular simply because there is a larger network through telecommunication (Internet & online gaming). The first popular video game to enter the American homes from arcades was the pong, which made the computer game industry a big business but Grifitths(1997) notes that video gaming has become more popular among a larger audience with the advent of the arcade game Space Invaders. This phenomenon is seen as something that happened particularly within the youth culture. Arcade video gaming and home video gaming are new forms of cultural practices, now they are so substantial in the sense that they have become a form of addiction specially for groups of youth. Which in turn has changed family and friend gathering norms, and more importantly identities and personalities. Youths have now become closely attached to videogaming, so much that it is effecting them socially, and also physical and mental symptoms are beginning to show among them. However Griffith(1997) argues that it is problematic to only a small minority of the youth. The view that video gaming is a negative influence over the youth culture is real but simplistic. Contemporary videogaming covers even intellectual human games such as chess. Through chess we understand that war gaming is an old pastime between two individuals where the player is everything from the low rank soldiers to the Kings. Similarly digital video gaming today have opened visual horizons for such players, where the gamer's conscious is tacitly immersed into history lessons. Age of empires (PC,1997) is a strategy game that lets multiplayers participate in online gaming. Carr(2003) relates that this type of gaming brings about a checkpoint where thousands of strangers share a gaming world. Such games offer action, theatrics, community, improvised and sociable role play, or open slather "frag' fests.(Carr,2003) The gaming consoles today are apparatuses between the playing body and the TV by which the player learns about history. However we have to keep in mind that these games are not an effective way of learning about history because all the depictions of historical information are not necessarily authentic(Schut,2007) just how we may argue that all history is not completely true.

The problem solving mind of the human have become over active since the emergence of multi-faceted video games. Our subjective instincts signal us about our wants that turns objective to almost all our limbs and possibly the whole body. If your first gaming console was ATARI, you may remember the grip of that erected joystick with the red button on the panel. Remember the struggle in trying to make sense of how it all works? The engagement in this activity of figuring out what to do, is itself the act of learning to perform a new cultural labour. As the games keep developing cultural labours associated with them also advance. Wilson states that a subject is adapted to flexibly accomplish a greater burden of labour, where labour is increasingly concerned with the production of cultural and informational goods.(Wilson,2004). Schut (2007) draws the relation between a culture's dominant media and the behaviour of the culture. The media ecology perspective that he presents reflects on how our tools of communication surrounds us as our cultural environment. The medium is an important focus in the media ecology. In the context of video gaming the medium is the apparatus between the body and TV. The cultural labour shaped by this medium has its strengths and weaknesses. (Schut, 2007)

Wilson (2007) also contrasts and compares significant works of art in order to relate early video games, video art and abstraction with possibilities of attention. He shows how Barnett Newman's Onement IV ,Videosport's videogame Tennis, Nam June Paik's Zen for TV and Participation TV are all related in a visual resemblance and as moments in tradition. Newman as an Abstract artist is associated with post-war and North American Modernism. (Wilson,2007) Wilson relates Pong to Onement IV because of its pictorial flatness and simplicity. By comparison the vertical line that divides the pictorial space into two halves clearly represent the lines in that of a tennis field, a ludo or a chess board. This is the first commonality that a viewer and a player experiences while looking at Onement 1V or playing pong. Participating in some of his paintings required body movement, this occupied the viewer's visual field and also engaged the body to move in order to get a sense of the whole artwork.(Wilson,2007) His concern was to draw on the dots between the art work and the body. Similarly many consoles bring out the same ideas. When ATARI was first launched, it was an arcade video game in a bar, the participation of the people demonstrated a bodily immersion into the screen. The players were more into the games, but the ongoing pong sessions also has spectators like any still work of art. Both the body work and the mind is more intensely working in a gaming session than in observing an artwork in an art gallery.

Nam June Paik's Zen for TV consists of a TV set with a magnet on one side that serves to horizontally compress the TV image by confining the movement of its CRT; the TV is then upended so that the line is seen vertically. It takes a similar charecteristic from Newman's work into a satirical remediation of abstract art. (Wilson,2007) This abstract work of art reflects more on the interaction between the TV image and different possible dimensions in which we look at a screen. Here the body work and the mind utility is also highly relative to gaming, precisely because Paik stresses on the TV content and the viewer's perception. The way in which a spectator might perceive GTA's violent content is quite different from the perception of someone who is playing the game. The fever of criticizing a game for its visual content can spread easily but its hard to challenge the aesthetics of the very same visual contents.(Carr,2003) Paik further goes into a more elaborate explication of the human body's virtual relationship with the technological advancement by presenting his Participation TV. This conceptual work is a vibrant kind of art that speaks in deeper context of interaction between human body and technology. It is an artwork that achieves the conditions by which the spectator might act upon the new kind of flat victoria space Paik makes of the screen in Zen for TV. (Wilson,2007) Here the artwork unlike those previously mentioned, engages both viewing and participation at the same time. Participation TV's first impression is the image of Karaoke, which means "empty orchestra" in the Japanese language. In the case of Karaoke, the human body is indulged by the screen to sing what the eyes see. Here the human voice before giving instructions to the microphone actually receives the electronically eliminated instructions in form of texts that constitute the lyrics for the vocal. As Wilson(2007) notes Participation TV is one of the first conceptual works that incorporates the audience into the feedback loop of its production. Also the cultural labour that one experiences in this activity is seen as heavy. In comparison to the Nintendo wii this artwork is a vivid representation of the 'aesthetic auro' between the machine and the spirit.


Video gaming is an activity that reflects upon a culture. The technological advancements in this field has been changing the way we communicate with each other. Virtual reality is a whole new horizon where Utopian checkpoints can be created , found and shared by diverse networks because of its infinite space, cultural durability and endurance. Not all video games are negatively influential, video games also have educational and aesthetic purpose. It is easy and simplistic to criticize the violent and unnecessary contents of virtual gaming, but it is even more challenging and interesting to conceptualize video gaming as an important element of American culture. There is a substantial and a metaphysical relation between post-war artworks and ATARI's ping pong. This is where ATARI's auro of cool can be experienced. In understanding that video gaming is not just a novelty or a pastime for adolescents but an enduring culture that teaches us our constant changing nature. The 'auro of cool' is an experience of widening our perspective and strengthening the relation between the technological environment and the physical actions of the human body by discerning upon their various levels of interaction.

Stonefree13 productions© Yaseen Z.


Drucker, Peter F. (1998) Management's new paradigm,5,6.

Wilson, Jason (2004) 'Participation TV': Early Games, Video Art, Abstraction and the Problem of Attention: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies 95,97,86, 87, 88. 90

Griffiths, Mark (1997) Computer game playing in early adolescence: youth and society,223,224

Carr, Diane (2003) Game on: The culture and history of videogames, Visual Communication163 – 167

Schut, Kevin (2007) Strategic Simulations and our past: The Bias of Computer games in the presentation of History. Games and Culture, 213, 214, 215, 216

Other Readings

Apperley, T.H (2006) Genre and Game studies: Towards a critical approach to video game genres, Simulation and Gaming

Schott Gareth R et al. (2000) Girl gamers and their relationship with the gaming culture, Convergence: The Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies

Thrush, Emily et al (2000) Virtual Reality, Combat, and Communication: Journal of Business and Technical Communication