The Pedestrian Passenger Power-flux

A lot of us, maybe all of us must have faced the power flux situation. You are taking a walk and have to cross the road. There’s this vehicle coming at you like a charging bull. If the vehicle swerve’s just a little bit no one has to stop completely in their tracks. Both the pedestrian and the passenger could probably continue to move in more or less the same speed as before. But no! The vehicle is indeed coming at you like a charging bull. It doesn’t seem to empathise with you. It doesn’t seem to know that there could be no interruption in both your activities if it turns a wee bit.

Where does this dominance come from? Every motorist has probably had the experience of being a pedestrian, of crossing streets in bike and car ridden roads. Why do they assert that their task is of higher importance when it comes to a pedestrian. It can be observed that this does not happen in a Pedestrian-Pedestrian situation or a Passenger-Passenger situation. Motorists are very aware of other motor vehicles around them and how they should move in respect with the other vehicles around them.

It is fear!

Like how most of our activities are driven, this one too is motivated by fear, though in this case or any other for that matter, the fear might not be really apparent. It is simply a form of caution. People fall in like puzzles and so do their activities. If you’re throwing something at a person, the person’s probably gonna dodge it. If you’re going to make way for a vehicle, the vehicle isn’t going to stop.

What really has me wondering though is where the empathy that is exhibited in normal situations disappears to. Why do the motorists not see how both their tasks could go unhindered.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

The 3 Stages of Life

As with any other thought, opinion or truth to which we give voice, this one is also subjective. Should it be “The 3 Stages of my Life”, but that is redundant. Everything said or written or typed is my thought, my beliefs.

Incoming. A baby is born. It is uncontested in its expressiveness, unbridled in its mirth. It spreads joy. Older people look at a babe in its mama’s or papa’s arms, they think “little bundle of joy”, they have a little glow out and about themselves and feel happy about what was once theirs. It waddles about in its own poopity and cares not for anything in the world. Nothing makes sense and everything is amusing and astounding. It goes through the world in a flurry of fuzzy senses. Everything seems longer when it’s experienced for the first time. And novel and neat. But then descends, like a dark cloud, the most prized possession of l’homme, the capacity for thought. During the first stage during the genesis of which even object permanence is a hit or miss, the skill of reasoning is at its fetal stage just as the possessor of it. It does not have enough experience to make sense out of, not enough connections, not enough patterns to put together.

Preternatural. Almost every living thing on our planet does things in a single-dimensional fashion; there’re no laudable things they do, that we can look at and go “Hey that’s smart”. Except of course, us. We can refine our talents, hone our skills and be better at what we did yesterday. We can learn new skills that our parents did not have, or anyone else and do things in a different manner than most. We can reason. We learnt to question things in Stage One. But now we learn to put together the answers we get and form links between the sea of stagnant information floating about inside. They collide and form waves, they rock the shores and the entire system goes for an upheaval. From what we know of plants they do not even have to do anything. The ideal self running system, huh. Carnivores have to kill other things or eat corpses and herbivores go around eating green stuff that smell good (or safe). But humans have to think. They have words such as purpose, goal, objective. An action needs somewhere to end, it has to have a little something called means and then end up somewhere, the end, lest one do whatever one feels like and be called impulsive! The animal urges are all but contained except this or that, that ones which are socially acceptable. There are certain situations where you can act in a certain way and some other where you can not. A consummation of behaviour and propriety steps you into adulthood. You are called “mature”(like that is a good thing). When actions are limited, the mind gains strength. Thoughts gain more playtime. Unanswerable questions bring about existential dread and when there are things that do not follow the utopian “cause and effect theory”, when the so called variables are really variables, and most importantly the outcome of having curtailed action to a large extent, when physically we can do anything ever in this infinite universe but mentally we are inside a hollow dome with a little outlet we can put our hands out of and wiggle it now and then, when the devil’s playground is expanding but not in a specific direction, not towards anything in particular but trying to grasp at thin air and nothingness, when boredom kicks in really hard and we contemplate ending it all.

Outplayed. In the dusk of your years when you have a close to mastery proficiency in various skills particular to human beings is when you come to peace with yourself. When you understand that certain things have been lost, maybe forever and that you cannot change in this life even though it only seems like a little step, a step so tiny, that you could probably do it anytime you feel like it and that would change everything, reverse all the effects of Stage Two. Alas, that isn’t the case though, is it. We seek solace in those at Stage One who we could lay claim to, that we can nurture and protect them from all the horrors that we have been through. Stage Three is when you look around you and there you are, from a third person’s view, a pencil drawing of a stick figure, thick circular lines shaking ever so lightly like shadows formed by a slow flame and around you a small space of white, and beyond that, ghouls and wraiths and other dreary phantasms towering so fearfully high but you are unperturbed by any of it. You have found your peace in your little white space. When things do not bother you anymore as they used to, when you do not have the fears you once had but also not the gaiety nor the wonder.

These Stages may come to a person at any time in their life. Some people may spend all their lives in wonderful ignorant bliss, others might have had the persistence to reach Stage Three. Still others might not have had the strength to brave Stage Two. The stage might come in force and hit you hard or it might come in unassumingly until your friend from eons ago reminds you of who you were and you realise that life has changed.

EDIT: I say stages but really they are just “states”. For instance Stage 1 is exclusive but when you hit Stage 2, you just do less of the things you did in Stage 1, you’re less Stage 1 and more Stage 2.

Tagged , ,

Sexism

That word up there, wew, seeing it there makes me like I’ve loaded a ton of responsibility over my shoulders and I’d be making tons of enemies soon. Well, I’m not going to be criticizing anyone’s opinions or offering up my own on the various sex terminologies that have come up in the past decade or so. I was watching The Mentalist, the TV show with the blond guy who’s always smiling, and there was this one statement he made. He says something along the lines of “You wouldn’t drive your sister’s pink bicycle all the way across town for…”, I think he meant unless it was really important for the 10 y/o, he wouldn’t have driven long on a pink bicycle.

At that point I kinda recalled my childhood, me being reluctant to drive this cycle called the Ladybird and also not wanting to enter this shop called Sri Muruga Sarees, because it had the word ‘Saree’ in it which is a female attire.

So where do these ideas come from and where does sexism begin? From the earliest of years, we are taught to associate pictures with words. Take the picture book from your elementary school for instance. The small shiny book, with a shiny red thing in a particular distorted non-geometrical form, that had five little letters written next to them ‘a-p-p-l-e’. We form an idea there. An idea that says if you see this red thing (or green or whatever color we want it to be, we later learn. Thanks genetic-engineering) in this particular peculiar shape, it’s an apple. Similarly what images do you associate when you say man or woman. The term is broad but I see very specific images. The first thing that pops up in my mind is of a very muscular person (imagine Goku), waist-up half portrait, camera angled up from below, portraying a towering, fearful, strong person, light effects that emphasize it. The image speaks for itself. When I think woman however, I see a full body image, she’s actually lost in the background with weak colors blending in, wearing a headscarf, sitting down with both her legs bent half in one direction, I can’t see her face, she’s probably holding a baby, I’m probably thinking about Mary in the stables(?), though I am unaware of how that story goes. It’s a weak image. It speaks of love and care primarily, but it if you take the layers apart, the underlying tones sing of cowardice and frailty.

That is the first image that pops into my mind. It’s the unconsciousness part of my mind kicking in, the auto-pilot. I, consciously do not have opinions that lie anywhere close to what my mind projects on first thought. That however is the base on which the rest of my thoughts and ideas are assembled. The base. These ideas are thus what were fed into me when I was a kid, unreasoning, pure and paper white.

Every word goes with an idea. We usually draw from a well of ideas but for collectives such as man or woman we have strong pre-processed images attached with the words. When we see a man or a woman, we already have an impression of them, because we are able to categorize them, they fall into something already though you have absolutely nada inkling about the smallest thing they have done or had done to them.

Sexism is inherent, (kinda?) we were into all this hunting and things ages ago. We still have the flight or fight thingies going on inside our head though we face a fraction of the dangers we used to back then. Similarly, the roles that were asserted aeons ago are still with us in a way. Television conforms to these gender roles mostly. Unless, the story itself revolves around a strong female lead. And what do we have even then? Charlize Theron, in her tight clothing and boyish haircut. Where’s the girly stuff in the strong female lead? We only get to see them as outliers and they in no way affect our deepest impression of the female being. We see qualities that are inherent to men, and we think they’re different, brave and strong like a man.

I blame the media!

Chaosity

Struggle is what men thrive upon. Imagine a life without strife. It’d be boring, pointless as ever and depressing. A new struggle presents itself, however, across the timeline. Take fear, for instance. The early man must’ve feared the cold, wild beasts like lions and tigers. Now how does fear stand? Man fears failure, he fears rejection, he fears getting rained on, he fears getting kicked from his job, he fears the future and he fears public speaking. Whenever something’s been cleared, something new pops up – a small problem, something life threatening or maybe a slip-up that turns things awry. But chaosity is ever present. It has to be. For existence to go on, there has to be an element of chaos, the balance of scales, between light and dark, good and evil. If there was no conflict, no movement or transfer of energy from a higher state to lower, life would end.

I think we can agree we’re beyond the point of Necessity is the mother of all invention. We have all our basic needs taken care of and much much more beyond that. The most basic needs must’ve nessesiated man’s utmost effort like, food storage, galleries and garrisons. After that it’s been a smooth transition to A higher level of Comfort is the father of all invention. 200 years ago, I highly doubt people’d have felt the necessity of something such as the internet. He would’ve yearned for the letter he sent to be delivered faster however, and voila we have something far greater in terms of communication than the average man, let alone the greatest minds could’ve envisioned at that time.

So what is it one must do? Do not be a passive observer. Increase chaosity. Brew chaos. Think of something wild, work on it. Take people under your wing and push forth with your ideas. Let it create a whole bunch of new problems. Let men thrive on what they thrive on best. Struggle and strive.

Imagine stability. We’ve created the ideal society. Everyone’s good. Every person drinks tea and utters pleasantries. They’re so polite that when two people run into each other, a deadlock happens because neither of them are able to move forward because they’re too polite. But wait! We’ve the DPE (Deadlock due to Politeness Extermintor) organisation for that. Non-profit of course. They remove you from the spot and watch video footages of your arrival at the location and figure out who’s supposed to go first and puts the person ahead when they put both of them back. There’re no robberies, no murders. The most interesting news in the last 8 months was that piece about the guy who accidently made a dildo out of anti-matter. You go to the bar. There’s a system, a form you’ve to fill up, a procedure to be followed to pick up girls. It works 100% of the time because people hate failure, get disheartened by it and thus it was removed. The government’s first policy is failure removal from every individual’s life. Would it be worth it? *shudders*

What we strive for

As a race, humans or anything else for that matter, strive for only one thing. To continue living. To perpetuate their respective bloodlines. Survival. Call it whatever you want – purpose, duty, instinct or whatever. In the end that’s what we are all designed to carry out, designed to do no matter what. Reproduce.

As humans, however, we are a little evolved. We do not just have mad sex and reproduce. Our duty’s a little different. We need to get the cogs of the world moving because we have this little thing called society and all the luxuries it has to offer can only be had if everything works in order and everyone does their job as a cog. What do we strive for? The answer is simple. We strive to reduce the effort our life takes and reproduce; to lessen the amount of effort put into survival and extend our survivability through an offspring. We are well on our way to achieve this.

With many intelligent people in the past few centuries we’ve exponentially cut down the effort required to achieve something. I bet if the pyramids were to be built now, it’d take less than a 10000th the man power that was required back then. That’s how far we’ve come to achieving one of our goals. If we were focused more on furthering our line, that’d be a little problem because we’d be vulnerable and wouldn’t have gotten any work done. Seriously. So we’ve all these little constraints and societal norms that prevent us from getting it too easily, so we can put effort into the other task that requires attention.

So far so good. However, there’s a new problem now. We’ve reached a good production rate. The factories are pumping out their boxes for the billions. Everyone’s working in a factory line to purchase something someone else is pushing out from another factory line. We’ve achieved process efficiency, turnaround times have lessened considerably, the turnover is good and we’re showing a good progressive growth in the industry. But, as the amount of effort required to make something goes down, so should the amount of people that’re required to make it. In the 1900s, it would’ve required about 8-20 people to assemble a car. Now it’s all fully automated and requires only one person to watch over the entire plant. But the population. Has it gone down? No!

We’ve cut down the efforts required, we show results that, we’ve achieved efficiency. That’s all ok on one side, but why do you go on pumping kids and complain they’re unemployed? People do not have to work. That’s what we strive for. Do dogs work? They just eat, yawn and fuck if they feel like it. Now that we’ve machines to do the work for us and every company wants to show profits on paper, cutting down personnel cost is the best way to do this. Of course, a software doesn’t demand money every month. It’s a better investment.

If we’re all thinking as a progressive society we should see the bigger picture of what we’re actually doing. Lessen the effort required for survival, lessen the people now that we require less effort for survival, survive! Ta-da~

Tagged , , , ,

Inaqeuacy Convos

Every loneliness is a pinnacle.

    -Ayn Rand

Hmm.. What are conversations all about? Inadequacy. Inadequacy.

They are always about inadequacy. Conversations are mostly about people complaining about one thing or an other. Inadequacy. They talk about how it’s too hot or too cold, too damp or too dry, how their boss fucked them up or how their spouse killed their day, about how tough their job is and about how their pay is so low. Inadequacy. Behind all the complaints lie inadequacy if you keep digging. They get help from a friend on this or that, they do not know how to do this or that. Inadequacy.

Nothing unites two as hatred for something. Or the love for something leading to or stemming from the hatred of something else that’s not the something that they love or hate. They complain about inadequacy and get close.

Conversations of good times? What are those but reminiscences of a good time that point to inadequacy in the present, that they enjoyed back then, but they are not enjoying now. What about when people get together over drinks and discuss future prospects. They are inadequate to form their own decisions.  What about idle gossips? Jealousy. Jealousy stemming from inadequacy.

I am not saying this is a bad thing. When we see the human race as one organism, as one existence, that as a whole knows everything there is to know, then there is no inadequacy. We are all parts of this single entity. We are all but little inadequacies that seek solace in others’ inadequacies.

Tagged ,

Self-worth, Inner-happiness and other Interiors

I kind of have to go back on what I’ve said in some of my earlier posts, unfortunately. Stuff like why do you care what the other person says, why are you bothered with what someone else might think about you and such.

As promised by lots of books, movies and celebrity quotes, one can hardly find happiness inside themselves. It doesn’t exist like that. Happiness, sadness, the sense of victory, pride, power and every other feeling arises inside a person through another. Though the source could be said to be in oneself, it doesn’t originate there. It comes from empathy. We look at ourselves through another’s eyes and that’s how any and every value is identified with an object or action.

So, of course the teenage girl cares about what others think of her. This is about the time we become conscious of our consciousness. The period where our self-awareness develops by experiencing nothingness. Before this period, we are usually involved in something that keeps our mind busy. We are sponges before this, when our minds have not fully developed or attained equilibrium with its surroundings. As a person hits the teenage, s/he develops an understanding of most things and the mind slows down, gaining an inner-perspective. There are bouts of boredom and though we consciously are not aware of what we are experiencing, our consciousness is able to grasp some things itself, gain a deeper understanding. Understanding what our consciousness understands takes a few more years.

So, here we are after our grumpy teenage years, when we either go down the path, the rebellious path, which was nothing but an inner-conflict where the consciousness developed on its own, beyond our conscious understanding of our consciousness, or we refrain and indulge in normal activities, which are easy and do not involve ourselves understanding our consciousness.

But back to the topic at hand. Our value. We only derive it from other people around us. We are only as good as the other says we are. A song is as good as our friends say it is. So, we are all little balls of foggy consciousnesses that do not understand themselves very well. These little balls though, are able to connect to other balls through empathy and derive worth and value in themselves and the actions they birth.

“Find happiness within yourself”? Pfftt.. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. A person feels happiness when s/he parties or achieves something or gets lauded for anything at all. It’s when you are better off than other people. That’s everything that happiness is.

And while we are on this page “Stop comparing“? If we are to associate value to anything at all, if we are to have a perception of quality, of good or bad, one has to compare. In fact, the primary premise on which the human mind works is itself comparison. It compares any previous data it has and considers the present situation. It compares, it draws results. Comparison is the most important function of the human mind. That’s how it gets anything done at all. Even our conception of beauty is by comparing facial features.

Finally, there’s self-worth. There’s no such thing. Straight-up, there’s no such thing. What is worth, how do you define it? You define it by comparing yourself to what others are capable of, or any other trait that might occupy your mind at the moment. That’s worth. “Self-worth”? How does that work? Do you assign a faux value higher than what the society would normally deem you fit to have? Is that how it works? Or do you live in an imaginary bubble where you are the king and have the highest worth. Worth isn’t assigned by one to oneself. It’s how you think others think about you. It’s an assessment of yourself in the eyes of your friend or neighbor or a colleague. How do you increase it? How do you just have a higher self-worth?

Funny thing is how the feminists among others proclaim that they are wearing make-up, fancy clothing and beautify themselves “for themselves”. Yeah right. Ok, carry on. This again is (draws an arrow to 3rd and 4th paragraphs) back there. Consciously you know that you cannot derive value for yourself from yourself. You have to go out and flaunt that back-less black velvet dress. Well, suppose in a way you are right. That  you do it to gain value in  your eye. Maybe. But how does it actually work. You gain value only because others evaluate you. You look at yourself through the eyes of a loved one or any other person and think of what they might think of you. More often than not you don’t don your finest attire and slump down on the bed and gain value or feel good. It’s like saying “Hey John, you know what? I only eat pork and beef and ham because I help the world and the environment by eating them since they release a lot of methane and other green-house gases. By eating them, I cut-down the amount of gases released. In fact I’m personally responsible for the 2% cut-down in green-house gases last year”. No Jeff, you douchebag, you drive your big fucking hummer which releases a fuck-ton of carbon-di-oxide and other gases, then you go eat those pigs and cows that are being domesticated and mass produced with techniques such as artificial insemination because your fat ass wants more of the jumbo double patty burger. You are not saving anything. You should shut up and watch super bowl like the other stupid people do.

Well, let me just wear this eye-liner and eye-shadow and stay home all day.

Tagged , , , ,

Funerals: Self Gratification

When will people admit they do everything for themselves. From attending a funeral, to bringing-up children. The “I bought you up by hand” argument is kind of getting out of hand. Do you do it for the kid? The kid did not ask for it. You had coitus and dropped the screaming pile on Earth. You did it for yourself, you did not selflessly decide to drop a baby on the sweet fast-deteriorating green-blue sphere . So deal with it, take care of your mess. Don’t blame the child and make the child feel indebted to you for the rest of his/her life. The child owes the parent nothing.

Funerals are the stupidest thing. Most people are always going around gawking about happiness this, happiness that but when it comes to funerals they all go like a zombie procession to the casket and look at the solemn face once more wearing their best sad face, wearing their best grim reaper black suits that do not reflect light, so that they do not shine anymore and reflect gloom and sadness. Well, the dead person certainly will not care if you dance around naked. You’re doing it for yourself! His soul isn’t going to get attached to a potted plant in the porch if you do not go. He’s dead. He’s gone.

Help! When  you help someone you get self gratification. You might give your life to help someone, literally die and save some; even that gives you something. You do have a take-away. However extreme the case, if you do it, you’ve a nice neat package in your hand at the end of it.

Tagged , , ,

Apriori Cognition

Children do not have well developed cognition. For example, when someone hides their face behind their hands and does the peek-a-boo thing, they become all excited because they do not have a fully developed sense of a-priori cognition. A-priori cognition here is as Kant states it. We do not have innate knowledge but from a-posteriori knowledge, a-priori knowledge can be derived. That is, if we see a ball rolling down a particular path and it disappears from our eye-sight, we still have an idea of where the ball lies. Seeing the ball rolling away is a-posteriori cognition and knowing where the ball would be is a-priori cognition. As we grow older, our a-priori cognition gets strengthened. Although, most people, it seems put a stop to the development of their a-priori cognitive sense.

Let’s go back to my first example. As children, the peek-a-boo thing would amuse us, probably because we were fascinated with all the sudden appearances and disappearances. One shouldn’t expect the same thing to work on a grumpy teenager. S/he probably punch your face as you pop out from behind your palms, “peek-a-b…ouch”. The teenager knows that you haven’t disappeared and magically reappeared. The teenager knows you hid behind your filthy hands and revealed your displeasing face again.

Most human emotions are based on the absence of consistent a-priori knowledge. Fear, because we do not know how something would go down. Anger, because we feel inadequate, or unable to help a situation or simply an outburst of emotions that force us into action. Sadness, because we face a loss. These emotions can be overcome easily. Say, you’d have fear if you did not study for an exam but if you did study for it, it can be overcome. Otherwise, it can be overcome by playing out in your mind what would happen if you did fail the exam and what course of action you could pursue. By action or reasoning any emotion can be overcome.

Let’s see what emotions most humans overcome this way and which ones they do not overcome. Fear of the dark. This is a splendid example. Initially when we have a poor grasp on a-priori cognition, we are scared. We are caught unawares as to what creepy-crawlies, what predators may lurk in the dark waiting for us to switch off the lights, only to pounce on us and devour us despite our bloodcurdling screams. As time goes on, we gain a-posteriori knowledge that nothing is going to attack us and we gain a-priori cognition. We take a look at things before switching off the lights and know that the things exist the way they were even when the lights are switched off. We can navigate in the dark now and have overcome our fear, a base response from an untrained mind. Humans overcome a bunch of emotions this way.

What intrigues me is how they stop developing their a-priori cognition. They develop it to brave their fear of the dark, fear of heights, to deal with sadness and control their anger by gaining a-priori knowledge by the process of reasoning, but then they stop completely at a point. They do not go on to develop it beyond a certain point. For example, the death of a loved one. Everyone is going to die. Chances are you’ve already seen a person die or even a whole bunch of people you’ve known. Everyday in the news, we hear thousands have been killed off in one corner of the world or another, be it natural disasters or army invasions or civil wars. Hell, there’s even an obituary column to remind you daily that you are temporary. Still, I’m confounded by the fact, I’m totally stumped when I see people crying. They saw it coming, all their life but still they grasp at straws instead of seeing the light. For a less morbid example, take how teenagers react when they see their friends at the mall or the sidewalk. They go crazy! Like yeah, you live in the same city and what do all folk do except go to the mall or some other stupid place. They go haywire when they see their friends,  like they won the noble prize for running hundred meters under 7 seconds, underwater in a zero gravity field.

So, yep. Develop it.

Tagged , ,

The War Games

War is stupid. There I said it. Army is made up of idiots or psychopaths. Honestly, think about it. Imagine if a scrawny gaunt person with thinning silver hair sits in his basement all day with an overhanging light in his dank basement thinking of how to kill people, you’d label him a psychopath and call the cops on the person immediately. However, when the government you elect pays people to do it in designated, centralized air-conditioned buildings with canteens and discount shops and give them medals and bestows honors, we applaud their effort, salute them and celebrate them.

War is like a sport with less rules. During war, the world is like a giant Roman Colloseum where people hack each other to their deaths. Each side trains their teams, they practice their stuff and plan out their attack strategy. It’s like a hardcore football game with weapons instead of balls. Like seriously, isn’t that sick? You can call it “defense training” or what not but basically it’s training to kill people. You train all day to kill people effectively and all those high ranking officers think about nothing but killing people. Sick.

Why can’t we just host a battle Olympics or something? Like the runners muscle it out in the field and throw short-put balls or swing javelins, the loser team relinquishes control of the territory or the resource or pays the winner on an annual agreement.

Tagged , , ,