Sunday, February 5, 2012

the dumbest species on the planet

Its been a long time since I've been this free. I'm not exactly relaxed because I have a 36 question Java Assignment to finish but work is still 18 or so hours away and I'm going to finish it sooner or later. No worries there. Reading The Hindu Literary Review has been one of the few things I've done regularly and somehow reading it now feels nostalgic. For all the good times passed by? I don't know. Listening to TheShruthiBox, opening windows of the blogs I follow, I feel, what's the right word, comfortable for being in my zone where I do not have to meet deadlines or compete with anyone just to keep a job. Not that job's been bad, its been more fun than I could've asked for but I wish the learning wasn't this formal. I'm a firm believer in the whole idea of Tangential Learning and I all my life have learned more when somebody wasn't looking over my shoulder.

Chomsky calls all of us Consumers. Its the best possible word to describe the urban population of this world. We work our asses off to sell products and make enough money to buy the products somebody else is scrapping his ass off to sell. Is this all worth it? I don't know. But I'd rather spend my time doing stuff I want to and not buy enough time and money to do all that I want to later. Maybe its impractical. Maybe I'm just a dreamer. Or maybe I'm just a lazy bum who just talks shit. All of them are partly true. But its not as easy as some people tell you it is. That if you really love something, you'll make time for it despite everything. I'm questioning the whole basis of the idea. Shouldn't we as humans, with tastes, emotions, hobbies and ideas spend most of our time doing what we want to do than curbing all those instincts and make more money which will eventually ruin our children.

Have you ever felt really happy for having bought a real good television or a toaster. Its when you watch great sport or when you devours every slice of a great toast that happiness engulfs you. The whole idea of ambition, higher pedestal, "what-will-become of you" and "you-will-repent-later" kills people. You are talking about me repenting later. Nobody gives a shit about me repenting now for not being able to do what I so want to spend my time doing. I don't want to be the greatest human mankind has ever seen. I don't even care about it. And like I hurt a lot of people last week when I said that I didn't give a shit about medals or degrees, they don't really matter to me. Maybe like my family points out, I'm naive and I don't really know how unkind the world can get and I understand their need to keep me protected but I want to know what I'm working for. Why I'm spending time doing what I'm doing. I like my job but I don't like the restrictions that come surrounding it. I want to learn the way I want to, what I want to and how I want to. And again, if I don't want to be anything, if I'm not ambitious to show the world what I'm worth, I want to be left alone. Like Rabbi points out, We are human beings. We don't have to become something, we can just be. And Coetzee's Michael K is a genius in disguise. Nothing bothers him. He's unperturbed. Sleeping wistfully for 20 hours everyday. Sure, I'm depending on the society for all my needs and wants and shouldn't I return all that I've taken. I agree. But I'm talking about the whole of humanity. Why the need to get faster, better, more efficient. We build airplanes that are safer, faster and more intelligent so that we can travel in them and work on airplanes to make them much more faster and safer. Why isn't anybody asking the fundamental questions. I was recently reading a Tim Harford article where he talks about Science growing by leaps and bounds every day that people having generic knowledge are an extinct species. For everything in life we have specialists. I'm talking about The Jack of all, Master of none species and I don't want to be a part of the mad race to comfort and happiness. How much money is enough money? What is security? And why, why are we so unhappy and tensed all the time. I've heard enough of finding happiness in whatever you are doing. I'm talking about finding happiness in doing what makes you happy.

People have always had responsibilities. The need to be a part of the society. And in one of Gladwell's books, he talks about a 18th century town in the United States, full of Italian population where people were devoid of disease. They had families and responsibilities too. And when he tried finding the reason for this, he found out they were devoid of disease because they were happy. They were people who had time for friends, families, could indulge in their passions, worked together, drank together, laughed at each other, did not have to follow an etiquette to please anybody, and yet like any human, they strove for happiness, personal perfection and knowledge. Maybe there lies the key. We don't really care about knowledge anymore. We are so busy answering the trivial questions that we don't care about the most important of questions. What about God? And life? And the reason for our existence? We don't know our collective history, the diversity of the world we live in, the power of the human mind and the secrets of our religions. We do not care about fate and our collective future. We are so proud being intelligent that wisdom has turned into an unused word. We are people obsessed with efficiency that we have developed tunnel visions.

Both theologically and Darwin-ically, our existence as a human is to evolve into something higher than what we've been in our past lives. But we live life like we're going to hang around here forever and the whole point of our lives is to buy, sell and curse. We live everyday like there will be time to live later on, bending down and slaving away, and by the time we look up to see if we've arrived, we're all alone, burning on our funeral pyre.

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