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A Kodak Moment

It’s sad to hear Kodak filing for bankruptcy.  And I’m sure a lot of people give a little sigh of regret with a tinge of nostalgia at hearing the news.  Though in a way, it’s well overdue.  I mean, who uses cameras with films these days?  Actually, my last Kodak camera was well over a decade ago.  It was one of the first digital cameras in the market and with 3 megapixels to boot.  And you could do cool stuff like photo-sharing and print the photos up yourself.  But then it didn’t last very long before other slimmer, fancier looking digital cameras with bigger megapixels flooded the market and suddenly my Kodak camera seemed rather old-fashioned.  From then on, with the emergence of everything digital and with built-in cameras and photo-sharing capability, like the mobile phones, well, we really haven’t heard anything from Kodak in the last ten years.

But still, the name is synonymous with camera, having been around for 131 years and was the first to introduce an apparatus that even a child could use, making photography a simple recreation that anyone could indulge in.  As a matter of fact, I have an aunt who still refers to a camera as a ‘Kodak’, which goes to show how ubiquitous the brand was in the global household.  And of course, we still talk about a ‘Kodak moment’ when talking about an event that is particularly memorable, because for a long time, the easiest way to record that event and put it to memory is with a Kodak film or a Kodak Instamatic camera.


Might Is Not Right

When I was little, every time I got into a verbal argument with my older sister there would be a point when I came up with a cutting remark that I knew she wouldn’t be able to retort to, as in those days my mouth was pretty sharp despite my diminutive size.  And at this point too, my sister, who was physically far bigger than me, would glare at me while struggling for words, and finding none that was adequate, resorted to using the ultimate weapon of the inarticulate to fight me.  She would pinch my arm so hard that tears welled up in my eyes.  I refused to cry however, and bore the pain patiently until she let me go.  She had the satisfaction of hurting me.  But both of us knew who won the argument.  I equated her anger and violence as a clear sign of defeat.

Since then I’ve been a great believer that you cannot win an argument except with a better line of argument, you cannot change someone’s opinion unless you provide a more persuasive one, and you cannot force someone to share your belief unless you successfully come up with a more convincing and rational explanation.  Violence, censorship and criminalisation of what is ultimately an abstract debate is a clear sign of some sort of defeat, whether intellectual, moral or just plain rational argument.

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