Friday, September 09, 2005

How do you convince a person, you can/may not communicate with, that you mean them well?

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Homo Sapiens, at some point of time apparently co-existed with other erect bipedals. In all probability, Homo Neanderthalis was still around when we appeared on the scene. Perhaps they did not flourish in the sense of flourish as we know it, but they were around for atleast several millenia. Wehave only been here for a fraction of the time our cousins were. Perhaps our cousins did not have to deal with the kind of climatic changes we have had. The ice-age we survived killed off a great many species who were unable to adapt, our cousins the other bipedals certainly were whittled down in numbers.

I begin to think there is something drastically wrong with our genetic/psychological makeup. We are rarely, if ever, satisfied and at peace with ourself. Insecurity drives us. We thrive on challenges. We find creative solutions when something threatens our peace of mind. At some point of time we probably lived in trees when we were not out looking for food. We could not survive individually, our primate ancestors had already faced this problem; the solution was to live and hunt/forage in groups. Our constitutions and mental make-up discovered it was possible to avoid sleeping out in the rain, open to the risk of other predators by moving to caves. Then we found that caves were few and far in-between, we solved this problem by erecting temporary shelters. By this stage we were already hunting, not with our bare hands, but with more lethal weapons. Weapons were not always handy at the location of the hung; we experienced the need to carry things some we carried in our hands, for the others we invented transport. Somewhere along the line we found some of us did some things better, which others did not. Possesiveness made it's prescence felt, and we discovered trade. We would barter with others for things they were good at, in exchange for what we were good at. Instead of a simple exchange, things now had a value associated with them. What something meant to one person would not neccessarily mean the same to another person. In addition, what one person had to barter need not neccessarily be available in long distances. A comparitive value system had to come into existence : Money. We also learnt of our feeble mortality and life-spans. What one person learnt during the course of his life would be used by others in the group and so on. Memories of events had to be communicated, a member of the group did not have to face a danger to recognize it if another member had already experienced it. To begin with we communicated , perhaps, only by gestures and sounds. Then, somebody discovered pictographic representation made it easier to get the idea across; Writing was invented. We had a means to document and transmit knowledge, but not the emotions associated with an event. Language expanded with the need to convey emotions, even if in a very rudimentary form with the equivalent of terms that have evolved to 'serene', and 'grisly' as we use them nowadays. We found we did not need to forage; less agressive animals could be approached and negotiated with for various purposes; Agriculture, Beast of burden and Conveyence. During one of those days we found Fire was not something that would always destroy us, if handled with caution. We did not need to fear cloudy and moonless nights any more; it was another big step forward. All the while we were driven by the subconscious fear of our own fallibility. "Whatever is to be done must be done today, for there may be no tomorrow".

For the most part our species
i. can not wait.
ii. must have some comfort

It was not enough for us to move at our own pace, we had to move faster. Walking, Running, Riding, Driving [cart, carriage, automotive], and finally Flying. It was not enough for us to 'go there' and communicate. We had to invent means to communicate even in our physical absence- Sketches, Heirloglyphs, Phonetic languages ... more recently the internet.

We discovered safety in numbers. From clusters of huts/houses to villages, to towns, through cities and finally Metropolis. We gather in a city, apparently a permanent rather than a nomadic lifestyle and claim ourselves civilized. We use 'economy' to provide the bare requirements for us - food, and shelter. We use Earth's resources to provide us with Energy for our requirements of movement, communication; Oil, Natural Gas, Radioactive Elements. All provided by this planet, Our Home and Our Own Earth. All capable of providing Energy for only so long.

Is it only I that is insecure and imagining a Sword of Damocles hanging over our head the day we realize our present lifestyles need drastic rethinking?

Sunday, June 19, 2005


The golden age was first; when Man yet new,
No rule but uncorrupted reason knew:
And, with a native bent, did good pursue.
Unforc'd by punishment, un-aw'd by fear,
His words were simple, and his soul sincere;
Needless was written law, where none opprest:
The law of Man was written in his breast:

Quoted from Ovid's Metamorphoses -

Life is all about Change ... and how it fascinates us. The unknown tugs at our sense of discovery. The opportunity to broaden our horizons is like the flame to the moth; Not infrequently, we proceed heedless of the instinct for self-preservation that cautions us so. That which is apparently obvious is often passed over in favour of that which titillates our imagination.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

First post

My colleague at work said 'All Firsts are memorable' at the farewell we organized for him. This was his first real job, and he had been with the firm for nearly 7 years. The comment was typical Mukesh as I knew him; short, to-the-point, and typically under-stated.

One may easily lose the depth of that statement; that one line tells so much about the Human race. Everything we do, we learn and remember. It is part of why Homo Sapiens Sapiens is different from other species on this planet. Every experience is new, and ( usually ) the way we deal with a situation is influenced by similar past experience. Memory, the ability to co-relate situations, and then to extrapolate are what make us unique ... what make us human.

Everything we ever do is there in our minds; and yet we do not always know it. As with the physical world, we usually prefer what gives us a sense of happiness and relaxation, and build a shell against what hurts. Yet the memory is ... there, as are memories everything associated with that particular situation. Let a remotely similar situation arise, and the hurt shall rush back with a vengeance for the time it was imprisoned beyond walls. Hurt and Pain are the price we pay for a memory, as a memory is the price we pay to live.