Thursday, 29 March 2007

Thinking out of the box?

A colleague of mine today said something about "thinking outside the box"... and I replied that was just so cliché. That little episode also set me thinking. We seem to be in a culture where we unknowingly bring all these business clichés into our daily conversation.

Robert Trigaux of the Times Business Columnist wrote this his article "Cliche cachet":
Business-speak is full of jargon, buzzwords, meaningless phrases pretending to be English and cliches.

Business clichés are proliferating, despite growing attempts to speak and write plain English. Part of the problem is the technology boom, which not only has multiplied tech jargon but allowed it to spread to the general business arena.

Interesting thoughts. In other words, we are bringing all these business clichés into our daily lives and we can blame that to the advancement of technology.... How's that for "being in the loop" of technological advancement in human history, or are we to find the excuse of simply "joining the party" because everyone's using clichés like "Nobody's business"?

The question that springs to my mind immediately is how do phrases like "Thinking out of the box" come about? What's thinking outside the box got to do with creativity? What box? Who put us into one? Is the box square, triangular or round? I certainly don't have the answer.

Ok, lets do a quick "brain dump" and lets see how many common business clichés we can come up with, and perhaps some of you can "fill in the gaps":

  1. At the end of the day . . .(it's when I go to sleep)

  2. it's not rocket science (then what is it? computer science?)

  3. ballpark figures (would that be baseball or football park figures?)

  4. touch base

  5. 24/7 (that's 3.4285714285714285714285714285714 or 168?)

  6. Taking it to the next level (Are we playing games?)

  7. socializing the idea (I rather socialise with real people)

  8. caught between a rock and a hard place (a rock is a hard place!)

  9. singing from the same hymn book (now are we good Christians?)

  10. at this moment in time (what happen if there is a time warp?)

  11. moving the goal-posts (obviously you haven't seen AFL)

  12. the fact of the matter is... (a matter contains an atom, electrons, neutrons and protons)

  13. put all in one basket(are we off to the market now?)

  14. the bottom line (is where we put our footer information like the page number)

  15. blue-sky figures (are there red, orange, purple, silver skies figures too?)

  16. a problem raises its ugly head (are we dealing with an ogre now?)

I'm sure there are many more interesting ones. I just can't think anymore at the moment because I am working with "limited capacity". Too jaded "at the close of business" day to make my brain work "effectively, efficiently and productively".

The fact of the matter is that at the end of the day there is nothing, like, value-added about using cliches 24/7 -- with all due respect, it's not just awesome, but it is at the moment in time, a fad, a fashion statement. The bottome line is that utilising and socialising with these mumbo-jumbo terms in your daily business dealings is like making you intelligent or something, and making you sound like you know what you are talking about.

I "bet my ass off" that you will be able to "dig out a few more" good ones too. Remember, just think outside the box! You can always try some "brain storming"!

Friday, 23 March 2007

Learning how to shoot people

I haven't been blogging for a while, attributing mainly to two major events that happened recently:

  1. I have been caught up moving my Dotnet Commons Open Source project from GotDot net host site to the new Microsoft Open Source hosting site called Codeplex.

  2. I am doing (and will do) a couple of shoots for some of my friends

Recently, I have just done a photoshoot for a friend in her graduation gown. It has been an interesting shoot. You see, I am not quite a portrait photographer yet. I have been shooting landscape for a while, and have only recently venture into portraiture photography.

It has been an interesting experience for me, trying to get the right lighting, and posture in portraiture shots. I constantly had to pay lots of attention on the lighting on the subject (my friend). She, having really fair complexion also made taking light metering challenging. Getting the right postures for the shot was also the major challenge in portraiture shoots. I constantly had to remind myself... I must make the subject looks the best possible in my shots.

Frequently having to make mental notes such as ensuring that the background behind the subject, my friend, does not having things "sticking out" of her head or make her look awkward while trying to work out all the different angles and perspective I could take as I moved around her to find all the best position angles to capture.

Here are some of the photos I took of her:
The Graduate in Red (by autumn_leaf)

The Graduate (by autumn_leaf)

I guess, I am starting to really enjoy shooting people. This is definitely one area in which I hope to make significant inroads in terms of my skills and capability.