Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Reflections about the usage of the term reflection in the news today

Along the lines of the a recent article about introspection,
I have started a google alert agent for the terms reflection and to reflect.

Reflection is a much easier term to understand than introspect.

So, first of all, here reflection is used in a introverted way,
the toned down partying of Austrailia day. It is also a reflection on the recent events of the disaster, and indicates that reflection requires resources, time and mental capacity. It is almost like mourning!

Military to reflect on Australia day celebrations
ABC Online - Australia

Australian military personnel serving in tsunami-devastated areas in southern Asia will celebrate a low-key Australia Day, out of respect for the local communities.

Commander Steve Dunning, who is currently in Banda Aceh, says morale has been boosted by the strong public support in Australia.

"[We'll] still be working hard, but we'll take some time out to reflect," he said.

This next article, continues the morning about the past, but in a different way. It combines the reflection with action, so is more a form of decision making, or part of the introspective change process. The decision and action process is guided by the reflection on the past.

Special Broadcasting Service - Australia
While non-indigenous Australians around the country celebrate Australia Day, for indigenous communities the day is better known as "Survival Day" or "Invasion Day", and is a time of reflection and action.

Aboriginal people, I think, it's a day of reflection and you think about the atrocities of the past, the slavery, the stolen wages and the endless other human rights abuses, Mapoon Aboriginal Council chairman Peter Guivarra said.

They'll never be forgotten like some of the things I call institutionalised terrorism, but we must learn to forgive, the Cape York leader added.

Here we have an artwork called "reflection", it is a gate, the article is very complex and artsy. But we can extract the basics by looking for the key concepts of looking back at the past. Also, he is reflecting over life, and trying to represent this as a symbol of a gate or transition.

Time to reflect on transition
The Japan Times - Japan

"When I was little, I had to go in and out of this gate every day," the artist explained. "...It is kind of a contemplation on what is reality and what is illusion."

It is these qualities that Suh wants to address. As a Buddhist, he believes in reincarnation, and likens life itself to a transitional space, a passageway from one place to another -- something the ethereal qualities of "Reflection" communicate rather well.
Here is an artwork named reflection.

This brings up the entire idea of the representation of the reflection : How can we represent the result of our reflection? What is the structure of it? How much is time dependent and serial, and
how much is eternal? I think that this is something that will need a much more detailed answer.

Here we come to more practical usages of reflection, the bare representing of ideas.
A statement reflects views. The action of making a statement is a decision based on observations and values. Not every statement or representation is as good as another.

Stafford Energy, Inc. Subsidiary Abucco Poised to Penetrate ...
PrimeZone (press release), CA - Jan 25, 2005

... Such statements reflect management's current views, are based on certain assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties. ...
"Stafford undertakes no obligation to publicly update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof or to reflect any change in Stafford's expectations with regard to these forward-looking statements or the occurrence of unanticipated events."
Here we have a concrete decision that a proposed action does not reflect/represent the priorities of a country. They have decided to not put major funding into a major operation, but put small funding into a small group that will help make better decisions. This is a representation/optimization decision.

UK says science aid should reflect country priorities, UK - Jan 24, 2005

The British government has rejected calls for a coordinated donor strategy for scientific capacity building in Africa and for a new grant-giving body ...
"... Instead
the government will set up a small working group to assess the potential role and structure of a board that would advise the government on how to fund
research pertaining to international development."

Here are reflections in a critical, self improvement, learning process.

Renault reflect on first day with new car - Netherlands

After his first laps in the car, Fernando Alonso commented: "I have a good first impression of the car, in spite of the delays on the first day. ...

This next one uses another word that is interesting word pensiveness

  1. [n] deep serious thoughtfulness
  2. [n] persistent morbid meditation on a problem

This is an interesting term, that is the negative introspection I was talking about before.

Michael Mann
the director of the movie aviator talks about reflections occurring after he got 13 nominations for movies he worked on. It shows you again, how introspection/reflection can be a negative experience.

Oscar noms cause Mann to pause, reflect
Hollywood Reporter - Los Angeles,CA,USA
His joy then turned into pensiveness when he started thinking of "Aviator's" long development history and the challenges it overcame. "(Movies) are all long roads. They're all filled with struggle and that's great. That's part of the adventure of it. But when a moment like this comes around, you reflect back on the history of it. And I don't normally do that. But this morning certainly made me do that."

On that line, we conclude with someone who is not ready for reflection, a man of action.
But this reflection is also a form of self criticism. It looks like he is going through some form of blocking reflection, because he does not want to call it over. I doubt this is the right attitude, but it is indicative of the difference between action and reflection, they seem to be two entirely different modes of thought.

Roethlisberger isn't yet ready to reflect on Steelers' season
" Roethlisberger's gloves were widely blamed for his poor showing "
"It's always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL, even as a little boy, through high school and college," Roethlisberger said. "I do sometimes think about, 'How did I get here?'
"But I don't want to sit back and reflect on anything that's happened. I don't want to reflect on this year, because I think when you reflect on something, it's over."

I hope that you find this as interesting as I did.