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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

The Becoming

In Culture, Life, Philosophy, Politics on October 27, 2017 at 12:06 am

What does it mean to be, become and continue being a human, in these modern times of technological despair? Our widely accepted ideology at present consists of selling an individual’s personal time in exchange for sustenance. Capitalism, with all its warts and cancerous moles, has engulfed our entire planet in a death-grip, that has decided to not let go till our last natural resource has been remolded into an imaginary paper currency.

Every time anyone raises their voice in critique against this system of passive subjugation, insults of being a Leftist are hurled, which just shuts down any conversation about changing the status quo. It is automatically assumed by the guardians of Capitalism that there is no viable alternative. Truth is that humans haven’t been able to truly harness their God-given ability for co-operation in elevating themselves above the stature of being mere animals. Not yet.

Capitalism considers competition as its cornerstone, where a person who has been lucky enough to have been born earlier, has gotten access to our planet’s previously hidden natural resources, and now will not let it go for the greater good, citing his/her natural right to that bounty by claiming he/she is natural owner of aforesaid ‘property’ just because that person was favoured by random luck to be first to appear/exist in the spectrum of our universal time-scale. Nothing more. This is why there is the common lament that most wealth is held in the least number of hands. There is only a finite amount of natural wealth and people who came before us all have claimed ownership to said property.

Capitalism is just a superficially rational monarchy. Semantics and written language have been turned into a tool for ensuring unquestioned subservience. The natural and social urge of human society to co-operate has been deemed to be unfit and repulsive, which it indeed is when implemented by power-hungry individuals indulging in the propagation of self-interest and subjugation.

There is only one way to break out of this cycle of chronic thralldom and that is to direct our attention up & above our planet’s atmosphere into outer space. We are gifted with only a few years of life for existence and it is way too little to be bogged down, wasting it away, cowing to either vicious dictators of apocryphal co-operation, or winners of a random birth lottery.

None of the rules are set in stone. It requires just that little push to move past a tipping point for reclaiming the hours of your precious time. YOU ARE INDEBTED TO NO PERSON!

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Have a Spooky October!
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TOTEM

In Culture, Life, Philosophy on June 26, 2017 at 9:19 am

 

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Reason for the existence of mental illness such as Schizophrenia is the dichotomy of individual reality and social reality. An individual’s reality exists solely on the basis of that person’s perception. Imagine a person who cannot see. That person will have a very deviant opinion on beauty which might be rooted in sounds or voices, rather than visual aesthetics.

Coming back to persons with their senses functioning optimally, we find that individuals in proto-societies devised a method to amalgamate discrete realities into one single, all encompassing one by submitting themselves to a common ‘totem’.

Definition of totem. 1a : an object (such as an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry; also : a usually carved or painted representation of such an object

b : a family or clan identified by a common totemic object.

It is only natural for a species like the intelligent humanoids as we appear to be, to devise such methods to offset our mass space dementia, floating along hopelessly and unpredictably through uncharted territory with an obscure history that noone really knows when it actually began. The punishment or consequence for not accepting the social totem is banishment to the fringes of societal existence, or death in most extreme cases. Territorial and aggressive as we are, most clans prefer to kill the non-believer than risk a future uprising that will topple their precious totem.

The author sees an end to the relevance of totems in the propagation of social anthropology only after a technological breakthrough to link individual minds of persons into some kind of hive-mind so that a thought can be said to be shared absolutely as opposed to being strictly discrete. That brings in even more conundrums but we’ll worry about it when we get there. The Conjoiners in Alistair Reynolds’ Revelation Space saga is a valid imagining of that scenario.

Until that era of Transenlightenment, we are going be apes on a floating rock, murdering opposing clans with differing totems, in an endless gallop to merge all realities into that ever so slippery and incomprehensible single reality of an Ultimate Truth.

 

Read more:

Totem and Taboo by Sigmund Freud

 

 

 

 

False Prophet

In Culture, Life, Philosophy on October 21, 2016 at 8:09 am

In this day & age, how would you recognise a true prophet walking among you without anything short of getting thunked on the head with a lead pipe, carried by the prophet of course.

You cannot be blamed for this state of things because in the world we live in, the average person is inundated with useless information shutting him/her down into a passive state of adherence to the status quo. The number of people you’ve met during the course of a year will now include all the human beings you’ve met, as well as the quirky characters you’ve been exposed to in all the movies you saw, or the mindblowing ones in the books you’ve read. (The author of this blog recommends the characters in books since they’re well fleshed out than the other two sets of losers)

On top of this quandary, there are the vast number of false prophets walking amongst us. The ones who claim to have a guaranteed position upon the shoulders of a supposed creator when judgement day finally comes. It is assumed that you can achieve salvation only if you communicate with that creator using this person as a conduit. Their malevolence feeds on the weak and the destitute!

Coming back to our initial query of how to determine a bona fide prophet in this day & age…

Ironically enough, the one person who unknowingly discovered the procedure was one of  the scions of our present consumer culture, Steve Jobs. And the technique he came to be known for was Reality Distortion. In older days, this was known by another name, a miracle.

 

The reality you are experiencing right now was manufactured by people similar to yourself who’ve come before you, but it is also possible  to completely change it and mould it into a new phase. The proof of this lies with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

 

You have every right to be skeptic about any such methods, and you should be. If I want to imbibe anything through this blog, it is this….

Do not take anything at face value, Question Everything & Everyone!!

4sxgtgt

 

 

 

Lifeless Things

In Philosophy on November 10, 2015 at 7:30 am

You know….

In Culture, Life, Philosophy on November 5, 2015 at 8:42 am

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The Spectrum

In Culture, Earth, Life, Philosophy on July 4, 2014 at 6:27 am

 

You can’t even begin to imagine the scale of experimentation that Mother Nature has been up-to regarding propagation of life in various forms. Most of them might end up as a dead end on the evolutionary branches but a large number of those do turn out to be successful and thrive in their niche.

 

Humans constitute one species among all of this flora & fauna, albeit a flourishing species, if not the most. What I wanted to speculate on today, much like most of these blog entries are speculations, was about the wide range of characteristics spread out over these billions of human beings. The fundamental hereditary units are so numerous whose survival depends on ‘lucky & favorable circumstances’, rather than ‘survival of the fittest’. (The luck mentioned previously can be manufactured by manipulating resources that you may possess, or acquired, or stolen.) This range of difference is not conducive for social amalgamation of individuals, resulting in creation of artificially concocted ‘lowest common denominators’, or totems.

 

Do you believe in what I believe?

 

If not, then we have a problem. The most primitive solution to this quandary was the evolution of totems which lead to religion and now you have that totem hanging around your neck, placed nonchalantly around spots that your community gathers. Even when it comes to the application of these totems, we find the spectrum of human behavior varies. The only religion that mimics this endless variation is Hinduism. Crores of Gods for crores of humans. Islam and Christianity vouch for a single entity as their God-totem, which inevitably leads to  squabbles of the violent kind especially when given political connotations, emerging from, ‘you don’t believe what I believe’.

 

Coming back to the spectrum analogy, the sheer variety of human characteristic is visibly evident in physical traits. The same variation exists in the mental makeup of these vast number of people. People are predisposed to kill & usurp. That is how apex predation works. The notable point is that this instinct gets wired differently in individuals. It is spread out over a huge spectrum just like varied physical appearances in hominids, old and new.

 

If you ask me, altruism is the greatest experiment concocted by Nature. You will go so far in altruistic methods as long as those actions don’t cost you unfavorable outcomes, but as soon as there’s not enough ‘return on investment’ of altruism, the stakes are back to every man for himself. This is most probably the reason for emergence of conscience & reasoning, to gauge altruism. 

Automaton

In Cosmology, Culture, Life, Philosophy, Universe on April 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

An automaton is a self-operating robot, or it is at times referred to as an android. It might appear to have thoughts of its own but in reality all of its cognition is pre-programmed and it follows rigid rules preventing itself from questioning these pre-programmed rules.

On Earth, raw material for creating such a machine is available in innumerable quantity, in the form of newly born human-beings. In fact, the whole economic system adopted globally is very much driven by and dependent on this quantity of raw material. Unbridled self-replication followed by mindless consumption props up the predominantly capitalistic economic practices, which under scrutiny turns out to be just a giant global Ponzi scheme, to demarcate the rich & privileged, from the poor & downtrodden.

Some automatons do turn out to be exceptional critical-thinkers and trounce this man-made facade of economic fallacy, thus enriching themselves, for e.g the entrepreneurs who create truly beneficial tools for daily use by the automatons, or the occasional winner of Who wants to be a millionaire? But what is lost in this noise, is the fact that plutocrats remain at the top of our economic ladder, owning  a vastly disproportional amount of the world’s wealth.

“The richest 300 have the same wealth as the poorest 3 billion!”

The automatons are falsely taught to toil, or work, or sell their time to an employer, in order to earn a living. This is nothing new. In pre-industrial societies, slaves and their labour were economically extremely important. Following reforms brought about by a renaissance concerning basic human rights, automatons have been inculcated to sell themselves, as slaves to modern slave-masters in the garb of corporations. The usual objective of such an automaton is to imbibe a need for consumption in fellow automatons. Thus the vicious cycle is maintained ad infinitum.

It has been almost 3 and a half years since James Cameron’s Avatar was released worldwide. Cinema is a medium that has the widest reach in our modern world, and this particular movie had a strong environmental message proclaiming that we only have one planet to sustain ourselves. Cinema is also tragically the medium through which automatons worldwide are lulled into passivity when they should be clamouring for realization of human rights &  cosmic research and exploration. After Avatar, and countless initiatives by environmental organisations worldwide, the automatons continue to buy more than 2 cars per house, continue to consume obliviously.

When you consider the fact that there have been numerous calls for a revolution, or a paradigm shift, and yet no change seems to be in sight for the near future, to save our only habitable environment, the Wachowskis got it right about the automatons in their 1999 masterpiece, The Matrix.

“Many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

The enemy is among us.

Nothing

In Philosophy on July 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Humans have always been powerless to comprehend the concept of nothingness. The basic building block of civilization is the working hours of the week. This creates a cognitive dissonance and inculcates a mental paradox when one considers what was the Universe upto before the Big Bang. What was it doing?

Interestingly, the vacuous condition required for all scientific experiments being taught in educational institutions do not exist either. It is an ideal state which is not what we find outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Granted, the medium outside our planet is lifeless and less dense but it is not entirely nothingness.  You find tiny amounts of hydrogen atoms dispersed within it. Nevertheless the vacuous atmosphere of outer-space is closest to nothingness that can be fathomed in reality.

Since a concept of nothingness is inherently insoluble with everyday human existence, we invent alternate realities devoid of nothingness and populated with human happiness. This notion of heaven is the ultimate failsafe to keep a check on insanity of humans co-habiting our natural environment. Einstein once commented on the infiniteness of human stupidity. If there’s a human trait that can match stupidity in its infiniteness, then that’s insanity. What is insanity? It is a state of the human mind where the individual resorts to actions that have absolutely no reasonable justification. Now, why does the individual resort to this? This is a hard question to find an answer.  Inauthentic people pretend to be insane so that they can get away with questionable behaviour, while other kinds of people are unable to possess cognitive comprehension of a purpose for their existence resorting to a primal, destructive instinct.

Patrick's To Do List - Nothing

All of this demonstrates the frail human psyche fighting to cope with a temperamental universe designed to get rid of life at every corner in space&time. The eastern spiritual traditions were closer to solving this conundrum of survival by forcing the individual to look inwards for strength rather than on totems created by man to feed his false security.  From thousands of years of progress our civilization is no closer to figuring out the purpose of existence than the Neanderthals. Maybe, we’ve already stumbled upon the answer and it’s too frightening to accept it. Nothing.

Luke Barrs

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