Rumblings 16.02.17

What if you could look at the world through the lens of “caring”, not the helping, sympathizing, pitying kind of view. Instead, through the lens of ‘What do you care about most?’

 

We tend to view the world mostly through data(measurement), statistics and trying at best to understand the reality ignoring taste, experience, emotions. Ex. US Elections most thought Hilary  Clinton would win based on data, but the other thing has happened.

 

The other way of looking at the world & which is a famed one(most aspire to) is through Reality, seeing ‘ things as they are ‘.
But what if it is not the most useful way to look at the world ?
If we look at the world through reality, then competition, winners, losers, depression etc.. all kinds of quantifiable things come into play, for reality focuses more on winning, money etc.., which for most feels like a burden/ depressive look at the world.

 

Instead learning to care about things, objects that interest us makes life easy, for we needn’t understand the complex reality for we only care about that which interests us, we give attention to those things or people we care about, we take action on things we care about. Sort of the author quotes ‘being home in the world’ This is not your “I don’t give a shit” thing, it’s being deeply involved. This kind of involvement creates effectiveness. Caring is being so much involved. It’s what you call Buber’s Ich-Du – a kind of totally pure relationship devoid of any expectations, explanations, or anxieties. When we care about something so deeply everything falls away including your own ego.

 

There are many by products for this kind of view, such as shifting from finite(goal, end) game to infinite(being playful matters instead of results) game. The point is we try to understand the world better by slowing a bit, and working towards increasing our relationships with world by caring about it.

 

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Richard Wright – Black Boy

Lately I have read a book called ‘Black Boy’. So I thought to write a few things about what I understood. The book is about the plight of Richard Wright from South(Mississippi State) to North(Chicago) and his encounters, experiences with different people, how his understanding about the Negroes and White People widened, increased over time and his process of becoming a writer. The story is set around 1900-1950. It was a time period during which Americans treated blacks/colored people very badly. Yes slavery was abolished long back, equal opportunity was there theoretically, but practically they were denied jobs, respect, food, education and basic human dignity given to fellow beings. They were treated like animals. With life liken that their thoughts were mostly concerned about survival, shifting from one petty job to another. Starvation and being hungry were quite a part of their lives. Some of the major themes are

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Short Story – Doberman and Me

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Me and my best friend, Ricky Mehlinger, made a regular routine out of this for about a month. We’d filch a sixer and drink it down in the concrete drainage ditch and let the Doberman chase us. The Doberman was one big, ugly, mean-eyed dog. He ruled three backyards. One day we were just finishing off our beer and looked up and there he sat on the corner of the brick wall looking down at us like an evil gargoyle. A split second before he leaped down, we took off running. Then here he came, snapping at our heels. I literally felt his teeth on the back of my shoe right before I scrambled up a stockade fence. It was a blast.

After that, we always made sure to walk by his domain after we finished our six-pack, and without fail, he’d spring out from nowhere, wild-eyed and slobbering. Then one day I bet Ricky five dollars he wouldn’t try to make it all the way through the Doberman’s backyard and touch the wrought-iron gate around the swimming pool. He chugged the rest of his beer and said, “You’re on, dude.”

It was hilarious. Ricky got about halfway through the backyard before the Doberman came tearing around the corner of the house. Ricky’s face went all Macaulay Culkin, and he took off at a sprint for the swimming pool gate, the dog chomping air right behind him. He tried to flop over the gate but got seriously hung up on the black, wrought-iron spikes. That’s when I saw it. The Doberman kept barking and chomping at Ricky’s ankles, but he never took a bite. He could’ve easily gnawed Ricky’s leg off, but when it came down to it, he was just like us—out for a good time and nothing more.

That broke the spell. We knew the old Doberman wasn’t really mean and he knew we knew. We’d still drink our beer down in the drainage ditch, but now the dog would sit there with us and let us stroke his head. It was September, the season of the dog. Our parents didn’t know where we were . It was spectacular.

The above short story was from THE SPECTACULAR NOW by Tim Tharp. I liked the story.

Black Mirror – The National Anthem

Last night I watched Black Mirror TV series, and it was very good and great. There are about 6 episodes spanning 2 seasons. The show was kind of biased to negativity, I mean anti-technological. The series shows the negative sides of Technology usage. I thought maybe I could write something optimistic which would clear my mind and put me at ease..

Below is the short synopsis of the episode

A member of the royal family, Princess Susannah  is kidnapped and held hostage. Her freedom is guaranteed on one condition: The prime minister must have sex with a pig, live on national television.

If you watch the show carefully, you could see how social media mostly and traditional media (a very little) played a major role, in the ongoing events of the episode. When princess Susannah kidnapped video was uploaded on YouTube, it was shared and downloaded by thousands of members within minutes, and by the time Prime Minister ordered to shut down the video, it was too late. This illustrates the point how information can be shared all over the world, without having to resort to traditional means. There are lots of examples where information sharing at such speeds helped us like Bridge to Peace Unity Chain, Batskid, Tweetsgiving, Facebook checks-in for Nepal, Organizing disaster relief for Haiti, etc.. ( http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/best-examples-of-social-media-doing-good-deeds/ ). Obviously, for everything there is upside and downside, and there are going to be victims on each side. So is the case with Digital Media. With help of Digital media, we are aware of what’s happening in the world, share some nice things, keep in touch with families and friends, which wasn’t possible a decade ago. We can also make a point, the digital media, gives power to individual members or people. In the show we see, An artist was capable of making PM do something by uploading a video of Princess Susannah kidnapping to YouTube just to make a point. This is something atleast. Everyone who is connected online, can empower themselves to certain extent.We can also say that we are addicted to digital media so much.

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15 Million Arts – Black Mirror

The second episode “15 Million Arts” is a very depressive portrayal of future, like Dystopian Sci-Fi novels. The future world is full of screens, with onslaught of personalized ads, which you cannot escape from, unless you have credits(sort of like digital money – no more cash). What bothers me most is the life kind of becomes empty, mundane, you are a cog in a wheel with no meaning at all and how technology strains our relationships, emotions, authenticity taken away from us. Here is the synopsis of the episode
It was set in a Brave New World, with ordinary humans reduced to the status of TV-addled drones. Bing, played by Psychoville’s Daniel Kaluuya, was one such beaten-down prole, cocooned inside his drab virtual world and forced to spend his days pedaling for credits while living his life vicariously through a video game avatar.
When Bing heard pretty new female drone Abi (Downton’s Jessica Brown-Findlay) singing in the toilets, he was moved to spend all of his hard-won credits to enter her in a TV talent contest not-so-loosely-based on that one with the big whooshing X in the title sequence. But the show’s deliciously evil judges, led with relish by Rupert Everett in the Simon Cowell role, told Abi that they didn’t need any more singers, and coerced her into becoming a porn actress instead.
Incensed, Bing eventually tricked his way back in front of the judges and, with a shard of glass held to his neck, delivered a passionate diatribe against manufactured culture. They simply smiled indulgently and signed him up to present his own show (“the throat-cutting thing – neat gimmick”). Ultimately nothing changed, but Bing got his own penthouse.

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The Return of Archons

The complete Star Trek Original Series was a very fantastic show, even marvelous. I mean the themes they choose for episodes and the visual effects and surrounding settings are amazing. What is more surprising was the show dated back to late 1960’s. Really the team of Star Trek has done a marvelous JOB.
In this episode “The Return of Archons”  we could see the suppression of freedom, individualism, creativity for a peaceful, tranquil society and universal good.
I am going to explore some of the concepts in the episode. Here is the short synopsis of the episode..
The Enterprise discovers a planet where the population act like zombies and obey the will of their unseen ruler, Landru.
 
Here is my synopsis – the episode begins with Mr. Sulu exhibiting strange behavior after beaming up from the Beta-III planet who are almost similar in appearance and thinking to humans. The entire Betan populace is controlled by Landru and his philosophy of ruling the Betan populace is peace and tranquility – the universal good. He does this by controlling the minds of its populace, except there are a few people who can resist mind controlling to certain extent. Over the course of 6000 years, the society becomes One or it seems so. Everyone is used in the service of the Body(the whole Betan Populace), who ever deviating from the course are severely punished by death. The society seems perfect on the surface means there are no wars only peace, tranquility for 6000 years except the society is Soulless. There is no individualism, no freedom, no creativity which means the society hasn’t changed at all for 6000 years. By the end of the episode Kirk and Spock realize that Landru is not a being, it;s a machine designed to control the minds of people and change their behavior for the Good of the Body. That machine was created and programmed by Landru who died 6000 years. By asking several questions to Landru, the machine by Kirk, he teaches Landru that he himself is evil and destroying the Good of Body. So it self destructs itself. USS Enterprise leaves the BETA-III with some crew on the planet who guides for the restoration of the BETA-III culture to a more human form.

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