Friday, November 23, 2018

Why the world is heading back

Man enjoys competitions the most. Because here, the results are always rejuvenating. There is never a success that cannot be made sweeter, nor is there a failure, where there is nothing to feel happy about.
I think we began with competing with the nature. As time went, our victories effectively ended many such instances. As we go ahead with inventing new opportunities or fresh such instances from each victory, there is an issue. Not many people can contribute here as it takes certain intellectual build. Hence there always is a time lag. How to fill this lag. 
This is where irrational ideas come to our rescue. The advantage of such ideas is that it enables one to feel opposition, without having the need for an opponent. And the disadvantage is that whoever wins, the one oneself is the loser. But one benefit here surpasses all the drawbacks. A loss, as well as a gain, can be made to appear the way we like.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Book Review: ‘What is Wrong with the World’


Book Review: ‘What is Wrong with the World’ by GK Chesterton
The book begins with an analysis of a mistake we continue to make in life. Following the lessons we have learned from medicine, we look for a cure, wherever we find an issue. Whereas, in sociology, for whatever cure we are able to come across, we must look for an issue from a long list of social ills, to which it can be applied. We are not able to recognize this, since we are constantly under the influence of biological metaphors on all aspects of life. For example, we talk about young nations, or dying states.
Then the author comes to the title of the book. What is wrong with the world is that we do not ask what is right. And dissect our social mores and variants over the ages. For example, take hypocrisy. The hypocrite of the old was a man whose aims were really worldly, while he pretended that he was religious. The new hypocrite is one whose aims are really religious, or parochial, while he pretends that he is worldly and practical. Or look at the way one misunderstands totally, every past event.
Come another chapter, and the talk is about our romance with the future, leaving the past and the present to the hands of the unthinking. We strengthen this by our nature, especially of the dread of the past and the present. And in our society, one who thinks ahead of his times is revered very high.
The book then examines why, the modern world is so uncomfortable with ideals that they take up new ideals at every opportunity. An ideal, the book says, is like the sun. Just as it is hurting to look directly at the sun, it will be startling, if one is to be fully true to one’s ideal.
A few chapters are devoted to a discussion about the female point of view. How and why such matters need to be in our society, and what can come out of it.
These are only a few of the issues covered in this book. I feel this is a great read, though the language is a bit tough. It supports much of what I have written in my book, The Unsure Male.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Unity?


Looking at the rate at which unpleasant events keep on happening for no real reason, I felt a need to study this issue from its beginning. Humans I found, find it easy to derive happiness from one’s own efforts, whether for one’s own benefit, or for the sake of others, or as it is more common, for a judicious mix of both. I think one can say, for humans, this is the only source of happiness. I also found, humans constantly encounter unhappiness, the actions resulting from one’s interaction with others being the culprit, almost always. So, social life, though does not have a real say, as far as happiness goes, is the prime source of unhappiness. In the light of these facts, I think we need to examine afresh, the hidden benefit that makes the human race subscribe to the idea of living as a society.
You see, the human race, though organized naturally into different nations, where positive effort is needed to prevent mutual fights, is a flourishing conglomerate of independent nations. But each and every one of them is having many groups that are not at ease with each other. And take any group. There will be many individuals, who are not at ease with the other.
In all nations, forces of divisive and disruptive nature erupts at every trigger, initiating discontentment and ill will. But, barring an occasional catastrophe, the world at large manages to become a better place to live, as days progress. I think what is facilitating this, is nothing but the disunity present in a society, which is mostly celebrated as, rich diversity, great cultural heritage, or an unquenchable thirst for liberty.
Let us see how. Say a group of people feel dejected enough to think of starting a violent movement. But in a diverse society, many groups may emerge that do not share such dejection, or may even be enjoying the current ambience to its hilt. Many of those groups would be opposed to the very thought of a rebellion, which effectively nip every such activity in the bud. And, only those ones that can enlist the support from many disinterested, mutually exclusive groups can succeed in meeting their aim.

What does this point to? Every revolting group has to bring as many disinterested people to their side as possible. The easiest, and perhaps the only, way is for the revolting side to demonstrate that they are willing to share the spoils of victory. This would naturally entail closer interaction between people of different aims, ambitions and priorities, effectively moderating any such upheaval.
The disunity inherent in a rich diversity acts as a balancing force, enabling the society to maintain its direction, in the midst of such random disturbance. (I think this is the reason, artificially generated social barriers thrive in countries that do not have a naturally diverse population. And the ones that did away with such barriers, did not last very long)
One thing should be clear by now. Unity is risky.

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