Monday, 18 September 2017

The quest for chaos.

One of the most overlooked subjects in the modern times is anthropology. We human beings consider ourselves the cognoscenti. The ever so mighty and ever so equipped race that has both the volition and the ability to single-handedly steer the course of the future. Truth be told, we have accomplished feats which were once deemed to be the wildest imaginations of a grotesque maniac. We believe we are the creators of the modern world, which is indeed the nirvana for all the successors who are yet to come. We believe every major move we have made in our lives interstices the gap between the plebian that we once were and the aristocrat that we now are. We attribute all the greatness and grandeur to ourselves, and all the leftover misery and all the jejune order of the world to mother nature. We believe that we should take great pride in the gargantuan structures we have made across the rivers and the peaks to protect ourselves from the wrath of nature, and should loather and disparage our own foibles in tackling the remaining streaks of the nature for all the mishaps that occur on these edifices. We are the great grand mighty race, always looking to exceed, looking to improve, aren't we? 

Well, to every man who has succumbed to the system, like me, the answer to the above seems very obvious. All our adulation does go out to ourselves and our feats, and all our chagrin is indeed reserved for what we are yet to do. But for some reason, the world's course post humans took over, doesn't really fit in if our own palpable view of ourselves were to hold true. Our moves are not in fact dictated by an unnerving urge to improve, but by an inexorable craving to extirpate the order we so dearly cherish! 

Picture this. Every great invention came with a substitute of a well functioning product or a concept. The existing solution was adored, with one or two well qualified cynics admonishing the masses for using the substandard solution, and the previous inventors for offering the same. They chastised the norms and made way for a better solution, and viola! a new miracle emerged. The new solution quickly usurped the older one. Massive industries dealing in the former solution are uprooted with many thousands of millions of people losing their jobs and receding to the alcoves of poverty. With time, the new solution becomes the new norm and with improved efficiency, it makes some aspect of human life more prosperous and convenient, thereby making it better for the standard average human being to survive and exist, resulting in greater predilection for more humans to feel elated and grow their species as a whole to further on the current prosperity. As our forefathers did this, we became more and more prolific as a race, with the rich-poor divide holding on the percentage facet diligently, resulting in the more and more overall poverty with a larger span, and more and more prosperity and convenience with a smaller span. So the percentage of the happy and impervious ones remained the same, with just the overall population increasing. 

Hence what held the pretense of making the overall situation better, simply made us become a much larger menace to manage than we once were. In a nutshell, what was ostensibly a great grand move towards improvement, was just a quest for chaos!

It's not that we do this unaware and are supposed to be caught by surprise. Every action of ours has an inherent unwanted ramification waiting to happen. What seems like the current "best choice" has repercussions so far and wide that we inevitably cause much larger tumult, obviously hidden from the normal eye, that they can make a large and unattended to sect perish into oblivion. Consider the invention example above. What seemed to the inventor as the next big revolution, unknowingly put many families out of business, some of which survived courtesy of being docile and hence adaptable, but most of which vanquished because of their belief in the order ensconced by the formal invention, which was extirpated in one single go. 

When we look at this phenomenon in day to day life, the same role play is replicated, minus the theatricality of the greater human pursuits. What seems like the best possible move in regards to our career, may wreak havoc in our lives and the lives of those impacted by our presence, for what is left of their lifetimes, in irreparable ways, beyond anyone's imagination. Or what may seem to be the right guy or the right girl, may not only turn out to be wrong for the spouse in consideration, but for the immediate and even the remotely related members of the connected family. 

This may seem like an inherent flaw of being myopic. But in reality, this is not another one of those fallacies we may again abhor and try to improve on. It's not that we are trying to ignore it and move on either. It is in fact an inextricable part of how we function as a collective species!

Entropy! All the actions of all the people result in changes to equilibrium. Some positives turn to negatives or neutrals, but as we move forward with our actions, and as we multiply and make ourselves a larger species as a part of which more people take actions today and hence there are more actions than ever taken by us, we are just causing more equilibrium changes every passing moment, than we ever did. The universal order may seem intact, but with every new action, more and more entropy is created, and more and more resistance is developed by us to surpass the dogma of considering its presence. We are a self correcting system in terms of how we impede contemplation with surreal ease. But that still doesn't discount the fact that we are the masters of this legerdemain already. Every action, every decision and every move made by you and me, makes things better for someone and things worse for many more. Thus every day you and I live and breathe, we just manifest this quest for harmony to us, which in real is nothing more than a quest for chaos!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The tyranny of tradition.

We, human beings, have an enormous knack for making things. We are the great grand inventors of some of the most marvelous wonders of the present times. We are such great creators, that at times we take immense pride in that very trait being the harbinger of our superiority. Surely, given how much we have accomplished in the last handful of decades itself, heralds a lot of mirth. However, there is something that we do even better than we are in making things. And that, folks, is making up things! While the things we make do consume a lot of our time and dictate most of our lives, it's the things we make up, that make up for the idyll. 

Money, God, law; they're all mercenaries of the bounty that we have come to gift ourselves. As grand as these concepts may sound, having deloused us out of our disheveled unorganized past to our glorious institutionalized present, these are no better than mere ponzi schemes. Throughout our lives we fight for triviality. We need everything to be linked to something material. If we give a small service, we need money. If we sense any trouble, we need legal indemnity. All the time, all the while, we are looking for a solution that culminates into something tangible in the form of money, or a legal writ, or a verse from the holy books for that matter. But so naive are we, that we don't know that the final quest of these tangible elements, inevitably ends in one of the many made up elements. The one I want to twaddle about today, is tradition.

Tradition is a very ribald vice. It's inherently baseless, but is often concomitant with other baseless entities like God or maybe the institution of marriage. Tradition, unlike other intangible imaginations of mankind, is under a level of protection. In that sense, tradition will only be questioned, after the first layer is questioned. For instance, the concept of voting, which is a tradition in a democracy, would only be questioned after the ideology which this democracy follows, would be put to question. People will always attack the upper and the much stronger layer, encapsulated within which are the much more feeble seeds of tradition. There is a reason why traditions have come to assume this sanctimonious status. 

Ever since we're born, we're enshrined with the facets and applications of traditions. Long before we become capable enough of knowing what god or money is, we are asked to respect and venerate both, and we see everyone around us doing the same. As a result, vicissitudes of tradition, soon transform into various learned behaviors. Later on, courtesy of these learned behaviors, we develop an incessant meretricious craving for making the traditions thrive and prevail. During the course of our lifetimes, some traditions do succumb to the winds of change, but the basic element remains the same. And thus, without even once being questioned, traditions keep going on. In certain rare cases a society may decide to abnegate the outer shell - the larger phenomenon, but traditions are by and large protected because they are much more a part of our subconscious psyche, than they are of our conscious belief. 

Now you must be wondering what's wrong with traditions. Well, the thing that's wrong is that traditions get stronger with time, if they are followed, and their outcomes are never questioned. One very interesting thing to note is that traditions are much more fragile than the belief or the concept that covers them. The very simple reason for that is traditions are dependent on a human agent carrying them out. The Mayan traditions ceased, but the Mayan religion can still be found in their books and architectural edifices. Traditions are weak, because they need actions or they need to be imparted through instruction pleonasms. However, traditions, as long as they exist, courtesy of being ubiquitous, reign supreme over everything else, and thrive. So one day when the world blows up, we'd realize we were following the wrong traditions. But till then, as long as the tradition is being practiced, it continues to live.

One very quirky thing is that from the perspective of the outsiders, traditions are often questioned. However, just like questions on the outer phenomenon, questions on traditions too are dodged. The nemesis of tradition can only come once and there can be no resurrection because traditions, once they cease to exist, either because the humans who kept them alive were wiped off, or because they became a minority largely by the virtue of those traditions, are completely gone. Traditions can never be brought back because once the commoners do realize how vile and full of turpitude they were, they're more than willing to disparage and abjure them. The outer cover, say religion for instance, on the other hand remains strong enough to be passed on despite the foibles, because it has been questioned or tested before as well, and it doesn't need mere humans to keep it alive. 

The above makes traditions both preposterous and jeopardizing. We do know that some tradition is wrong but so deeply ingrained within us are the seeds of fortitude to keep them alive, that we are willing to sacrifice any questioning or beseeching of morality on the altar of conscience, just to keep the tradition alive, because we were simply told to! Consider this. A woman from a sect or a community, who has seen since her childhood members getting married within the community as a tradition. Now even if she grows up to fall in love with someone from outside her community, and even if she has seen many members of her community in the past not deriving any happiness from their marriages because they followed this tradition, she will still go on and do that, because she has been programmed to keep the tradition alive!

Tradition is like a ticking time bomb. It may be woefully wrong since the beginning, but it is considered both mordant and even contumacious to question the same. It, by the very virtue of it prevailing, is given a holier than thou status, and being put at a pedestal beyond all approach of being inundated with questions. Amid the large menagerie that our societies have become, traditions continue to keep us in the dark, and to give us that panacea, which is just a placebo otherwise. Traditions give us this belief that we are larger than just our corporeal composition, and just to cajole ourselves in acceding to that, we let traditions dictate everything, right till them time they destroy us, and destroy themselves in the process. Such is the tyranny of tradition.  

Monday, 5 June 2017

The benign addiction in being a loser.

The concept of losing not only holds very negative connotations, but is even disparaged at times for what it brings along with it. In the present times, the honor and dignity of a loss, have not only been denigrated, but losing as a whole is no longer even considered an acceptable outcome. People will tell you to a battle, and would just expect you to win. You must be wondering what gibberish I am talking, and many would have even considered the possibility of leaving the post. And you should! But what I have to say today, has to be said. 

Losing is not about the state you witness when you're not winning. There's no black and white to life. You'll see your feed flooding with quotes that inveigle people about getting over their losses, about only winners being the worthy occupants of this earth. The way winners self-aggrandize, is now being portrayed as the only acceptable way left to live. Like if you took part in a battle and lost, there's no chance in hell you can look up again till you've scored a victory. But ladies and gentlemen, this is not how it always has been. 

The way times are changing, and the way winners are assuming the rostrum by asserting their natural right to it, losers can just mark the sidelines. Winning is concomitant to the grandiloquence coming from the former masters of the game, while losing is attached to the caricature of a whimpering ruffian who never got his shit right. Everything we ever hear or see only accentuates this. Even Darwin's theory of natural selection corroborates the same. And why not? Everyone who has ever lost has retired to a grotto of sordidness and soliloquy, while every winner has gone on to hit the home run. But no one ever bothered to look back a loser, and see how he feels about the defeat. 

Yes, most losers wouldn't even admit to the loss and would spew cliches about getting it right in the next go. But what about the losers who played knowing this was their last shot? Has anyone ever gathered enough courage to go back to them and see what they have to say about their loss. And what about the celebrated loser who is on his way to being knocked out with no scope of him ever competing again? Wouldn't he be too lugubrious, and too entrenched in his eternal consternation? Or wait, why should I bother about him. He is a reprobate who shall never even listen. In our minds, we are either too apathetic about him or her, or too apprehensive. But truth be told, that person is not as mawkish as he looks right there! 

Oh yes, that person is no longer in the state where he or she could consciously recall what went right or wrong. That person is ostensibly too inebriated in the benign addiction of being a loser. This sounds crazy, but yes this addiction does exist. Why am I referring to this or addiction or why I'm terming it benign is immaterial. Let's just look at what this addiction is about, instead. 

You know, there are a few people who lose because they weren't prepared and so they knew they'll have to pull themselves up and fight again. But then there is a coterie which comprises of fighters who just do their job - to train! They just keep doing their chores and what they expect of themselves to do. In fact, they're too busy doing what they always do, that they don't even have any time for any contemplation or benchmarking. They're so engrossed in their duties, that they don't know when they were transported from the training ground to the performing arena, and when they were knocked out for that matter. Truth be told, the addiction is not of losing, but of doing what they really find to be the only purpose worth striving for. 

People have many ambitions and many dreams they truly cherish. But this breed is monomaniacal. They're so much into their trade, that despite them knowing about their deficiencies and shortcomings, they'll somehow wheedle themselves to the playground again, even if they're mocked and lambasted after every loss meted out to them. What looks to the outsider as a rebarbative lunatic, is actually a frantic who is just too much into something. These people are too impudent towards the outcome. They're not worried at all about what repercussions it shall have on them. They're just in it for the sake of being in it. After all, what's life without a purpose. And while their defeats can take their shots away from them, their purpose still prevails. The purpose of staying addicted to doing what they're doing, even if it means being addicted to losing! 

If you're still with me, let's bring some examples into the perspective. Nikola Tesla. Throughout his life, he was harangued and scoffed at for being the 2nd best to Edison. Even his death was a deplorable one with a carping man dying in seclusion in his hotel room which he had come to perpetually occupy. Or Alan Turing for that matter. He was arraigned of going against the laws that dictate terms on what is considered a natural and acceptable sexual union, and yet he willingly submitted himself to the cause of helping people out, even when they made his life a living hell. 

I saved the best one for the last. Now this one might be platitudinous, but it's more germane to be honest. The classic case of the unrequited love! A person becomes so besotted and enamored by someone else, that he not only loses sense of what's real, but even inveterately denies all possibilities of his beloved being already taken. He is in love, and he believes it his is solemn job to keep the love alive. Any considerations on how he is supposed to achieve course correction if the beloved is seen with someone else, is beyond the scope of what he finds deft. In fact he becomes this adiaphorous man with no regard to how the society or his supposed beloved treats him anymore. To the world, he is a loser who couldn't get over him being played out, while to himself, his job is to remain addicted to the benign addiction of love, which to him means more than paltry coquetry. 

There is no merit in the fact that such a recluse has an acceptable way of leading his life. However, there are cases when an addiction is beyond reparation. That's true for malicious addictions like that of liquor and meth, of course. But this benign addiction of getting defeated is the most extirpating of them all. Not only is the person being expunged from inside, but he is addicted to to it, and in a rather trenchant way is even oblivious to it. Truth be told, any addiction when it has crossed the threshold, has already claimed much already, which this person may not approve of, but which is never going to come back nonetheless. The most important thing being how he used to be. Yes, the loss of identity is the biggest of them all, and beyond that, there's not much left to lose. So hence ladies and gentlemen, this was the story of a man suffering from this benign addiction of being a loser. The addiction no one would talk about, but an addiction that exists.