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Posts Tagged ‘perception’

Being Human

In Dissecting Life, Minds and Mindsets on July 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Human beings are quirky. Their eccentricity causes distrust to erupt naturally between two human beings. It is possibly a defense mechanism that stems from our survival instincts; the need to guard ourselves emotionally and physically from others’ thought processes.

Blessed abundantly with imagination, we are capable of a variety of actions. And each one of us is hardwired to perform a different set of actions which is governed by our “habits” or “character”. One human being is so fundamentally different from another that the absence of culture and discipline is bound to throw us haywire. We don’t know which stimuli will trigger what action in a human being. Maybe that is why cultures and traditions are forced to survive. It is important to have rules to induce normality into the system. Human beings are always in the need to create a society whose members have similar patterns of behaviour. It is the predictability of human behaviour that gives us a sense of security.

The society gives you the license to question when one does not behave the way one is expected to. It structures it with punishments to pull one back on track. Categorizing actions into acceptable and unacceptable makes life simpler by reducing the number of choices we need to make. Maybe that is why systems, with well defined customs, function well, for good or bad. Similar habits and beliefs build strong groups, organizations and armies.

Today, a strong sense of individuality is budding within people. With each one harbouring their own set of beliefs, it will become increasingly difficult to decipher people. It will become increasingly difficult to decide if your action is acceptable or unacceptable because each one will have an entirely different point of reference. The concept of “trust” will become obsolete because the basis of trust is an “expected” outcome.

I can judge you by the way you…

In Minds and Mindsets on October 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

Scrutiny is inevitable when walking into a pool full of new faces. A judgement begins with an assumption and is eventually proved right or wrong. As far as human behaviour is concerned, it’s just a rough estimation. Most of us believe we make accurate judgements of a personality but few of us admit that our judgment is trash. Every nascent relationship is about giving chances; several chances. Ideally, you say nice things, they say nice things, you say stupid things, they say stupid things, you are mean, and they are mean. Sometimes you are nice but they are mean and vice versa. There is a lot of room for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. But after several awkward interactions you enter a phase of comfort interactions and eventually stabalize. That level of stabalization is your relationship with the person. It is this relationship that you are going to build upon.

All through graduation and post graduation we’ve been groomed to develop formal relationships; get interview-ready. A lot is said about body language, attires, presentations, etc. followed by several trainings and lists of do’s and don’ts under the pretext of personality development. The question is what parts of our personality does appropriate decoration intend to develop? Our focus is currently on generating “say the right thing, do the right thing, behave the right way” puppets. In such a situation when people say they are looking for something unique, it makes me wonder why they are looking for “something unique” on an assembly line! If you really think about it, why should the onus of your poor judgement come on the opposition? If you judge a book by its cover, it doesn’t become the books fault!

Currently people around me claim to be great leaders, great communicators, and great listeners and they probably are. They are also confident, intelligent, proactive, outgoing and all the greatness you can think of. But you are what your strengths and weaknesses make you. Your essence, your originality lies there. Yet, you are wise to never disclose your weakness and I know you will never disclose yourself. But I hope you know that this means we might never know each other.

Complex Meat Balls

In Dissecting Life on September 20, 2011 at 10:40 am

I woke up this morning realizing the lumps of mucus coated meat we were as we shimmied out of the cervix. Ousted by the womb– “Here are your eyes–courtesy beautiful mother, your nose– your dad’s to blame, your mouth, your limbs… Take it or leave it!”–we tried to tune ourselves to consciousness, unaware of the complexity of our physical self.

What’s with the complexity? Intelligent, but whatever happened to simplicity! It amazes me how well equipped we are with an immensely complex apparatus that accepts inputs and gives appropriate outputs, thanks to the multiple holes, pores, orifices, etc. That’s right; we can pass off as strainers. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to bud off our mothers or grow from a strand of hair or something along those lines to keep things simple. Or better still, paraglide down the skies. I must admit, I am glad human babies don’t crack out of external eggs, ‘cause if your eggs go missing the last thing you want to see is masala omelet on your neighbour’s breakfast table. “Is that…?!”

 Anyway, if I were to create life, I’d keep it simple. We’d function like a solar panel and be an assembly of detachable organs. Then we’d go to the stores and sound something like this, “I’d like a pair of blue and green eyes each, two packets of violet, curly hair please, and yeah, a pair of waxed legs… no, not those, the tanned, long ones.” It would be quite fascinating to see a new you each day–so Mystique. People would be so much happier with themselves and their spouses.

Look at the billion species on this planet for simplicity’s sake! Had we been well endowed with hair, we’d be chimps. Had we walked on our fours and resembled a bitter gourd, we’d pass off as crocks. Had we resembled a jelly nosed Pinocchio, we’d be certified elephants. Had we been detached, moderately running noses, trailing as we slid, we’d be called snails. In case of mobile goat droppings, we’d be called roaches. Come to think of it, creating a new species is like giving the sensory organs a new look. Truth is nobody can beat Lady Gaga! So why not keep it simple.

I choose beef. Not that I mind multiple partners!

In Dissecting Life on August 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

Religious advertising campaigns are an open secret. Each religion gives you a book of stories and you get to choose which one you’d like to believe. Or let’s say you get to decide which one of them qualifies as non-fiction in your head. While one gives you the opportunity to go to heaven, the other guarantees your rebirth. While one let’s you take an eye for an eye, the other compels you to forgive. Yet another ensures that what goes around comes around (So, sit back and have some popcorn.). While one guarantees you multiple partners in heaven (bang on target!), the other guarantees you freedom from all desires. While one says God is around you, the other says He is inside you. While one stops you from consuming alcohol, the other stops you from eating beef and yet another stops you from eating roots. You also get to choose whether you’d like to be buried, burnt or eaten by vultures, when you say your last sayonara. If you are an atheist, you have choices too! You get to rot in hell unless of course hell lies at the centre of the earth in which case you have no choice but to get roasted, or you get to be reborn as a pig and chewed by pork eaters.

Converting? Anyone?

Believe It Or Not, I Don’t Know.

In Dissecting Life, Minds and Mindsets on June 12, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Statement: If Mr.X exists, he occupies room2.

Initial Conditions: A, B, C and Z are sitting in room1. Room1 has a door (opaque and solid) that opens into room2. The door is shut. Also, if the door is opened, nobody can see what occupies room2 unless he enters it.

Experiment:
Z enters room2. After a while, Z walks out and claims, “I met Mr.X.”
Later, Z asks the three guys, “Does Mr.X exist?”

A says, “Yes.”
B says, “No.”
C says, “I don’t know.”

Observation:
A takes the leap of “faith.” He believes Mr.X exists because he has faith in Z’s words.
B only believes what he sees. He believes Mr.X does not exist and will continue this way until he sees Mr.X himself. He has no faith in Z’s words.
C admits he doesn’t know. He is not concerned about what Z has to say.

Inference:
There are two possibilities:
Case I: Mr.X occupied room2.
Case II: Room2 was empty.

If Mr.X occupied room2, it means Mr.X exists. So, A’s belief is equal to the truth.
If Mr.X did not occupy room2, it means Mr.X does not exist. So, B’s belief is equal to the truth.
However, in both cases only one man is being true to himself and he is C because irrespective of whether Mr.X occupied the room or not, none of the three guys know the answer to the question- “Does Mr.X exist?” While A and B “believe,” C “knows” that he doesn’t know. Hence, “I don’t know” is the truth.

Conclusion:
The dead don’t know death any better than the born know birth. The most honest answer to some questions is, “I don’t know.” And all the alternate answers to those questions essentially begin with a “Maybe…”

The Complexity of Butterflies and Destinies

In Dissecting Life on March 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

 

Our world is a complex system. In the midst of this complexity, if someone tells you that the flapping wings of the dainty butterfly in your garden is capable of setting tornados into motion (The Butterfly Effect- Chaos Theory), you’d think he needs a therapist. But if there is any truth in what he is saying, the smallest actions such as batting you eyelids can have outsized, unrelated, and unexpected consequences. The theory alerts us that the most insignificant occurrences in nature are not inconsequential. An infinitesimal action gathers momentum over a period of time to change the face of our delusionary “controlled system” of living. It makes life look like a joke; a complex version of The Truman Show.

If a butterfly can change weathers, I can prevent an epidemic by spending my evenings swatting flies. If you look at the events closely, you will notice that something as harmless as flapping a pair of wings can create a disastrous tornado while something as cruel as killing a fly can prevent large scale deaths. A seemingly insignificant event may be positive or negative (based on regular human moral standards) but that may not really have anything to do with the positivity or negativity of the situation that arises out of it.

If little things can lead to large things then probably large things can lead to much larger things, which is ultimately a collection of little things. So, can the motion of massive planets across the universe affect our insignificant existence? If the moon can cause changes in tide, it would be foolish to rule out the changes it can bring about within us. Maybe there is more to astrology than meets our eye. The birth date could be just a point of reference, an initial condition or a value to understand what moved in what direction to create what changes over what period of time. These external events could have created very basic changes such as temperature changes, mood changes, and radiations thus affecting human interactions, hormonal changes, or even perceptions to create the life pattern. This pattern can probably be graphed if life can be expressed as a combination of variables, measurements and forces. It can also be loosely labeled as “destiny”. Our story is probably a collection of external and internal events that naturally lead to actions, behaviors and reactions. But we believe that these actions, behaviors and reactions are of our own doing, will or choice. Maybe because there are so many factors affecting one little life, a prediction can never ever be accurate. But only human beings predict. Nature doesn’t have to calculate. The outcome is definite.

The movie 127 hours, highlights the outcome of an action (or actions) beautifully. At a certain point, in the movie, Aron Ralston seems to be convinced that the situation he is trapped in is an outcome of very simple, basic acts that he habitually performed. Aron says, “This rock has been waiting for me my entire life. Its entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.” Personally, it was heart wrenching to watch this man reach a moment of “realization” or “repentance” (depends on whether you think his actions were neutral or negative) and accept that he created the very thing he was trapped in. It was an incident waiting to happen; destined to happen ever since he was born.