9 Oct 2011

Endings

The world has recently got wind of the news of Steve Jobs' passing a few days ago. The man who started a computing system and a company that would eventually make a huge impact within the technology industry and changing our modern lifestyles permanently.

Thus ends the legacy of a giant, but is it the end of the golden age for Apple? Currently it's too early to tell, although fans are already mostly disappointed with the announcement of the iPhone 4S. That I suspect is to allow Jobs a chance to witness the unveiling of another product while he was still alive. The Siri feature is itself intriguing but perhaps not super useful, except in overcoming barriers for visually handicapped users. I don't expect Siri to be accurate to the commands of Singapore users, because it'd probably screw up in terms of weather or traffic reports as it'll have a hard time recognising the names of some local places.

Anyway we can't say for sure that Apple will go downhill from here on. And there's no way to say that the rivals will be much stronger from this point onwards. One thing's for certain, Jobs will not be forgotten easily, having been immortalised on the Internet and through Apple's products.

Meanwhile the year is also gradually coming to a close. For many students it means EOY exams, and in my case the PW and Chinese subjects left. I can almost feel it, the liberating sensation obtained upon tackling all necessary challenges along the way to success. Sure the burden has been reduced greatly but that doesn't mean I can completely forget about preparations. Obviously.

I may have stated this before, that the ending is not truly good or bad, depending on what is ending in the first place. The end of a school year may indicate the end of homework and assignments and projects, and dealing with temperamental teachers and bullies. It may also indicate the severing of certain friendships with both certain students and likeable teachers, the stop to sociable activities with classmates, or later the end of an era of blissful innocence. The end of a game could mean the end to a storyline, the adventures embarked or the new potential discoveries, but it would allow you to try new games. The end of a music piece indicates the unfortunate end of the performed item, and the end to the pleasant listening experience, but it is also necessary as a neat resolution to prevent the music from dragging on forever and ever, which is probably more torturous!

The end of a life? That depends on how the person lived. No one death is universally celebrated nor universally condemned. There are people who are glad that Steve Jobs had died, just as there are people who are upset over Sadam Hussein's death. But the death that I believe most people try to avoid is the death of a nobody. A person would hate to know that nobody else has any sentiments attached to him/her upon his/her passing. Imagine having nobody at your funeral feeling anything for you, or even worse not even having a proper memorial of any kind dedicated to you.

Nobody's 100% sure what happens after the end. Is the ending permanent or just the beginning of yet another event? Many people fear death because they don't want unfinished business left or bring any regrets to the grave. Most that have gone close to it and rebounded tend to change their lifestyles such that whatever they do is of significant importance to themselves and not some half-hearted commitment.

However we usually take things for granted, assuming that the end is just an end of a cycle and not a termination. We can put off things beyond the end of a week, a month, a year, a school term, or just an indefinite period, thinking that we'd get the chance later without question. We know that's not always the case, but our habit of inductive reasoning makes it convenient for us to follow such behaviour.

There's still a possibility of the ending of an ending. With enough luck and time humans may achieve immortality. There are games that don't even have storylines or grand objectives, let alone endings to those. There may have been people who have come up with never-ending musical pieces.

And this post will also have an ending. Perhaps not with a 100% certainty(there's the chance that I'd have to not publish this post at all, or the slimmer possibility that this post will never end for some bizarre reason), but it's still without reasonable doubt. I still have some control over when it will end though. We all have some form of control over most endings. Living healthily could postpone death, while abusing yourself could hasten it. Playing a piece really slowly would make it end much later than playing it really quickly. Sometimes by fate the ending could be quite sudden and abrupt, or slow and draggy.

So generally in life we all should prepare as best as we can for endings, to make sure we're fully ready to accept the conclusion without dire consequences on oneself and others. The other objective we've been striving for so far is to postpone certain endings, or even remove them altogether, but how long until that's achieved?