Being an Indian, we never get the chance to call anyone, even a senior just by hierarchy, by their first names, traditionally. It is always ‘sir’ ‘Mr. Last Name’ ‘sirji’ ‘seth’ ‘malik’ ‘sahab’ and so on. We, Indians, pride ourselves with this tradition that should be called ‘honor name calling’ in my opinion. I call it ‘honor name calling’ because at most cases, it is ‘name calling’, but with a ‘superficial honor’. The people walking away from calling others by their first names, or endearing nicknames, are considered uncouth, or rowdy at most instances. It works in our traditional setting as we have been taught to respect elders very profusely. I think we do it more than required. Indians, going by this tradition, seem to believe that respect is earned by age, position and power, and not entirely by knowledge. Knowledge and its value is thereby degraded in this setting. We do not call our father or mother, or any family relation by their first names because for them, we have inherent respect of them bearing us until we grew old enough to bear with ourselves at last. I understand that anyone elder in the house has spent more time living and might possess more knowledge than a younger person. However, this does not mean that calling by first name in a Professional setting would bring down the respect towards this person’s knowledge or stature. In fact, it will create a sense of higher accessibility to his knowledge, and vice versa. A nervous young intern with some knowledge that can be very useful, but sounds confusing at first, is most probably going to get lost in translation of this “honor name calling”. This also kind-of binds us not to reason or argument too much with the senior at hand, as we have already submitted to the honor of his/ her name. To further clarify my opinion, assume that we are in an office setting, and when we give respect to a senior colleague, out of tradition (read: not out of actual respect), we tend to force ourselves to do that, causing visible or invisible emotional imbalance to our mind. This is a big hindrance to how the conversation would go from there. We, sub-consciously, have admitted to a certain authority standing in front of us when we have not even made the point. It is a tool for any Authoritarian to avoid negative feedback. But with the passage of time, this traditional seasoning has led to a lot of sycophancy, or ass-licking or buttering-up as we call it. The original intention of this tradition seems to be keeping an authoritarian happy with respect to his/her superficial honor. At the first look, this tradition is particularly not bad, IF the authoritarians are not egotistically affected if someone calls them by their first name. Jodi Glickman, writing for Harvard Business Review in 2011, noted that calling even the VIPs by first name creates accessibility for both sides. It breezes away the nervous tension that a newbie professional would definitely have while discussing a professional issue with the higher-ups. So, let us break away of these superficial power moves, and be in a more honest professional environment, until we have not done our work on time, then its ‘sir’ ‘Mr. Last Name’ ‘sirji’ ‘seth’ ‘malik’ ‘sahab’ or whatever whets their superficial honor. ☺
The first time I encountered the name ‘Anthony Bourdain’ was when David Choe (an artist of Korean origin based in Los Angeles) did a portrait of him. I am immensely inspired and follow Choe’s work now and then, and his portrait sparked an inquisitive burn in my heart to know more about Anthony Bourdain. The first thing that came to my mind when I started watching ‘Parts Unknown’ on Netflix, since I had the subscription and this series showed up as soon as I typed his name, was ‘This guy knows and understands more than what meets the eye, and definitely been part of a very deep and painful struggle’. Maybe It is the lines on his face, or the audible sound of the concoction of words that leave his wise aura, or simply the feelings of relating to someone’s struggle and celebrating small victories of strangers who are just happy that someone recognizes their pain, that his work speaks volumes about his passion towards understanding and depicting the struggle in different parts of the world and how their cuisines have been part of the struggle and celebration, both. Both of these are virtues, in my opinion at least, and few people use their virtues as a tool, rather than a shield to protect their egos and images. To know that an artist of international capacity is doing such work restored my confidence in human race. The episode on Libya is my favorite because of him and his crew wandering through the conflict zones to tell this brave story of the struggles and wins of Libya and its people. The libyan people winning over Gaddafi and storming of his entire compound, and how it was done, as narrated by the guy who himself sent messages to the U.N. to give directions to the bombs, was exhilarating and goose-bumpy. When the entire world was busy uploading fake happiness on social media, this dude was out there in Libya glorifying their struggle, and understanding the change in their life and making me, and so many others feel so happy about it. This episode was also one of his own favorite, as he wrote about it on his website – http://anthonybourdain.tumblr.com/post/50670679641/libya
Recently, in the Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg, France, where Bourdain and his crew were intending to draw attention towards the Alsatian cuisine, he was found hanging dead in his bathroom one morning. His passing away, especially a suicide, left me grieving for a stranger, after a very long time. The feeling that I will never be able to watch Anthony Bourdain visit the extremities of the wake of human race’s hate, greed and contempt and find victories that keep people alive and kicking, along with their cuisines and what not!, made my stomach putrid, and my head fuzzy. David Simon, the creator of ‘the wire’, recently wrote about his perception of Anthony Bourdain owing to their meetings and work together. Being an addict and having quit too, Bourdain, on meeting David for the first time apologized on writing that he could not find heroin easily in Baltimore in one of his pieces, and David hilariously called him the most incompetent drug addict to date. David’s write-up/ memoir is highly recommended for all inspired human beings to indulge in the human-ness of Anthony Bourdain – Link
Committing a suicide is considered weak in the society in general, and although people try to find a very strong reason to justify it, they tend to judge it as an act of weakness. His mother commented that Anthony would be the last person she would imagine doing such a thing, and most of us think the same. But, the message from David Choe on Instagram recently, about his and Anthony’s clinical depression, and how one should fight it by staying in touch with other people suffering from the same problem, touched my soul.
I personally think it is right to say that people suffering from depression should share their problems within their own genre, and should stay positive by sharing all the time. Isolation is personal, and self-inflicted, and in most cases, owes to the feeling of not being received honestly. However, if you ever found a person to talk to, with whom you can share your thoughts and struggles, and know that the person would understand and share his/ her experiences as well, would be satisfying and positive.
P.S: Everything can be cured, or at the least given hope for, except death. Death is final. Choose Wisely!
Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. was an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems. He once said “If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in a disaster, then somebody will do it that way” working at Wright-Patterson Air-force base in late 1940’s, which later was popularized as Murphy’s law. He spent his life working to increase reliability and safety to prevent human error. Overall, it is statement of caution, to prepare yourself for the worst, when the best is expected.
Strangely enough, I noticed that people from both lazy-pessimistic and active-optimistic lifestyles use this quote in their own way. “What has to go wrong will go wrong anyways! Why care about it?” and “If there is something that will go wrong, we need to account for it and at least understand it!” are the most extreme thought examples to support my theory. To the core of its strangeness, human society has remained tolerant of some weird thoughts, but more importantly extremely silent about them as well. The society reveals what it shows, but believes what it does not. So, Murphy’s law might be unknown to some of you, because it is just a saying with no proof, but since the bigger chunk of population is stuck with the 9-5 grind, so Murphy’s law is synonymous with unknown glitches with any kind of work. Ultimately, quoting Murphy’s Law becomes the verbal hunter of all the nervous feelings of unknown failure to shove them deep inside and never to reveal. It makes us believe that the universe a.k.a. nature is out there to get us, so we should not fuss over something that was out of our control and try to learn from it. When I stumbled upon a cool proof recently, I had to write about it.
The most common story capturing Murphy’s subtle rant is of the tumbling of a toast with butter on one side that tumbles down to the floor. It is believed that it always falls butter side down. The toast when tumbles, somehow always falls in the worst condition possible. Robert A J Matthews, who was a visiting professor at Aston University in Birmingham U.K., in 1995, wrote a paper on the proof that the tumbling toast does fall butter down every time. He did this by proving that the dynamics of the toast with butter on one side while it is falling from the table always make it fall butter down. Robert Matthews now works as a consultant in Science and Media across the whole world.
Interestingly, he further goes on to prove in this paper that nature’s or universe’s fundamental constants (like height of an average table from where the toast can tumble which is dependent of average human height) are somehow helping the toast to fall butter down and proving the ‘innate cussedness of the universe’. But the important take away is that as humans, we are supposed to be intelligent enough to not to keep cursing the Universe and find a solution to the problem.
This is for everyone who thinks that the world out there is to get you. This paper, if extrapolated to other human situations, might prove that the world is really out there to get you! But, as humans, we like to stay on top of our life. Ultimately this tussle with the fundamental universe’s constants becomes life! or one may preach ‘ignorance is bliss’ and let the toast fall butter down with not a care! To each his own!
P.S. Nietzsche, a German Philosopher, believed that Struggle is the essence of life. If you are not struggling with something, then you are either on a break, or doing something wrong.
Millennials quote on the social media today like unicorns in an acid dream. Everyone loves to quote the quotes and hit ‘likes’ like a newborn unknown to the human kind. I hesitate frequently to vibrate on the social media in-sync with the borrowed quotes owing to their linear nature of distribution. By linear nature, I mean no contextual tagging of where, why and how the quote came about. Nagging about the quotes on the internet, I have made it inevitable for myself to not delve into one. I first heard “History Repeats Itself” when I was 12, maybe. However, I remember the teacher sarcastically grinning and blabbering this quote to a student who was failing at that young-age and had remained stationed in the same class for two years in a row already. I understood the concept with respect to this dude’s life, but I was too young to think about anything else for a long time to come. In the process, I did a lot of self-reflection – Do I repeat certain activities unknowingly? Does this habit last the rest of my life? Maybe repeating my own historic emotional, mental or physical activities and their outcomes in different scenarios is helpful, but how do I measure it? How are people repeating their mistakes, or success? What makes humans indulge so much in the history that they repeat it?
Well, the answer is simple; quotes get thrown around frequently these days without acknowledging the philosophical and worldly context and set up behind it. The original quote in our case is just not “History repeats itself”, it rather is “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Penned by George Santayana (1863-1952) (https://www.iep.utm.edu/santayan/ ), an American Writer born in Madrid, Spain in Dec 1863, in a book called “The life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress”, this was not his only quotable text. Along with the philosophy of ‘not remembering the history condemns one to repeat it’, he also notably asserted, “happiness is the only sanction in life, and where happiness fails, existence remains a sad and lamentable experience” and “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness.” (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana). Combine just these three thoughts – Progress requires retentiveness, Happiness is the only real reason of life, and not remembering history condemns one to repeat it. Pondering reveals a life pattern and a certain vision of it. These three statements, collectively, state that life is all about happiness (in whatever you can find and make meaning for yourself). Life where happiness does not exist for you makes one stress and overthink, and a push to try to find a meaning in life. Progress happens, in general, when the next level is reached, however small or large it may be. The jump to the next level, nevertheless, requires the knowledge or rather the remembrance of the history. History of all people who have tried to achieve this level, and history of the one who is now trying to achieve it. I rather started reading history as lessons learnt. History prepares us like nothing else! The best example is that I remember passing many courses based on previous year’s question papers and frequently asked questions and knowing numerous people who excelled at this art. We cannot quantify its meaning because we are not keeping detailed logs of our own or someone else’s history, and not evaluating every moment in life with respect to what has happened in the past and how it affects our jump to the next step. So, as clearly as the mirror shows you your own reflection processed through your own eyes and brain, the dialectic needed for history is limited for teaching and debating purpose, mostly. But, how do we use history on a personal level to enhance our present? Personally, I think it comes down to Emotional Intelligence (EI). Why EI? Because EI is the power to understand other people’s emotions and then regulate your own to gauge their emotional and mental frequency. (http://ei.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pub184_Brackett_Rivers_Salovey_2011_Compass-1.pdf ). It is the skill to understand anyone’s behavior and more interestingly, the probable reason behind any yelling, love, pleonasm, one-word answers, storytelling, silent treatment and other inarticulate gestures. So, remembering history and using EI together helps understand the plight of others through a much broader perspective and prepares one to act accordingly. Normally, humans like to judge each other with respect to their own experiences in past and their own ability to cope with them. Hence, the next time your parents are lecturing you about the dearth of opportunities in their own time, and the sea in front of you, you just need to understand that they judge you with respect to their own ability or dis-ability. Reasoning is when one looks beyond his/ her own life and takes fact-based examples to understand someone else’s plight. Discussions are healthy when one keeps their own perception of the whole-world at the base level of understanding, and add the facts gathered as layers to the base level, to come to a decision or judgement. Otherwise, the history will just keep repeating itself owing to your judgement of yourself being the barometer of judgement for everyone else. So, do not give a chance to history to ruin your present.
Or, just indulge in your character and purely bi*ch about people being unfair a**holes because that works on a larger level of current-human-understanding perfectly!
Murphy’s Law “Things will go wrong at any situation, if you give them a chance”
A good-read is the book “History repeating itself” by Gregory M. Pfitzer that incinerates the idea of twentieth century social studies tampering the history ideologically to make it ‘appropriate’ for the future generation. http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/history-repeating-itself
Image Acknowledgement – http://axtschmiede.com/history-repeats-itself/
The lines are drawn by the nature of human, and the human of nature!
Thoughts linger in the cold emptiness of the jungle of memories,
This illumination is a discourse of a bag of emotions run by the myriad colors of the memories in focus,
Tears fall across the subliminal lines of a smile on the caricature of facial skin,
Mixed emotions, but no regrets!
In the rearview mirror is the silhoutte of hazy clouds of the evening
Lazy hues of red and blue blending the hallucination of calm
Let’s look ahead instead ….. the storm has been waiting for long now!
Nature was God until Humans thought they could take control.
Calmness was free until ego set out the chaos.
Acceptance was viral until selflessness read about “being yourself”.
The dynamics of it all, we will never find a balance.
But, are we really looking for it ?
Knowledge is earned,
Or otherwise it is just a superficial diaspora
Where your mind finds happiness in comfort
And is driven away from the homeland of struggle
Ilm kamaya jaata hai
Nai to woh ek mamooli panah ki talaash ban jaati hai
Jahan ilham aaraam main khush hai
Aur junoon se bahut door ja chuka hai
I lose focus with the same discipline as of a wounded mother trying to save her child. Yes, I lose focus on a watch. I watch myself lose focus and my head starts to churn strange concoctions of already stored visual, sound and smell memories. The world seems to change its color and notions. Sometimes it is bright and sunny, sometimes dark and humid, each beautiful in its own way. The richness of life stands entirely on knowledge, peace, love and respect. All this in just a gaze into the scenery around me, be it wherever. A lost gaze absconding in the rebel against focus. I want to stay here forever, but as they say, you should not lose FOCUS for long, or it ruins you!
I realized it off late that when someone says, ‘stay in touch’, it feels good. Acceptance and remembrance are the pillars of human interaction. In these two glorious phases, we dance like a monkey, we laugh like a king, we whine like a bitch and cry like a baby! Haven’t noticed yet? Well just wait to make a brand-new friend or find a brand-new passion. And then maybe indulge in remembering the best times you guys had together. The contact with the right frequency could magnify your life trajectories but contact with the wrong one could also throw a dark light on your odds and ebbs. The contact is a fuzzy logic of so many interactions, that bringing it down to the linear level of throwing two groups at each other to resolve the conflict does seem like a prejudiced situation.
You are Agile until someone deciphers your technique, puts it in a process and delivers to the highest bidder. Then, you are just a competitor to everyone who bought your process.
e.g. Facebook bought Instagram
So rich people win, even with a little bit of wit. Unless you open source it, then it is in the hands of all humanity to use and come out with an even better version.
e.g. Tesla open sources all of its patents to be used in good faith.
However, you are scared that it will fall into the hands of the evil! Nevertheless, Evil can be rich and can bid for it too! What it needs is a filter; a filter to filter out the evil!
But, have you defined your evil yet?
Or are you even Agile yet?
The day is dry with faded insignia of a hot summer. Clouds are in the mood to pour, but holding on in fury. Crops are swinging in chaos. Wind is bleak and edgy. The scenery is a sad blues song. The heart skips a beat, but the mind refuses to accept defeat. Rebellion is mostly verbose and frustrating. Society is always unhappy with my thoughts. What needs to change ? Should I step back into the fantastic weather prepared for me by the society? Or should I be EVOKE to enter the storm of acting on it!
‘Be Yourself!” is being tossed around a lot these days! What people tend to forget is that even Adolf Hitler was being himself!
But nowadays, all the humans in front of the camera suggest being oneself. It is the mantra of this generation and maybe a few more to come.
Do not join the herd! Absolutely not! But the herd might be decently and relatively correct about what they teach, or preach!
Most (Read: All) of the artists/ politicians/ public figures etc. seem to be very honest of their character and traits. But most (Again, read: all) of them have a PR team running their image. A group of people deciding for them how, when and what to spit out of their mouth, or even swallow in! These hired teams maintain an image of the artist which sells them to the public!
e.g. If a politician (Read: Trump) is speaking honestly about the current policies with an opinion not accepted by everyone, one should try to comprehend that he is targeting the audience which is naive and not worldly, but in abundance though!
Everything and everyone has an image now. Because everything and everyone sells! But why do these artists/ politicians/ public figures etc. need advisers? They could do it for themselves too, right?
In my cumulative moving averaged opinion, there could be a few fundamental reasons to this:
- Humans cannot handle everything by themselves, delegating is considered entrepreneurial diligence!
- We always have the best practical advise for others! For ourselves, we have a large volume of self-indulgence and sub conscious self loathing. We do whatever we want to do. But in the identical situation, we advise the best practical solution to other human beings!
So don’t just be yourself! Be a decent human being too!
P.S: Human Beings are Selfish, Period!
Picture acknowledgement: https://themindlessphilosopher.wordpress.com/
(I absolutely do not know where this guy copied the picture from, But I definitely copied it from him)
I used to chitter chatter with you very often!
But you just seem to be becoming the “Once in a Blue Moon” sorta thing!
This abiotic commensalism seems to be losing its Essense!
I have been lacking the sense of ideas mandatory for the spark of camaraderie accompanying your friendship!
Welcome Back, My Distant Friend!
I have not written in some time now. Whenever I tone my routine to sit down and write, I cannot think! and then I wander back to the daily quotidian tasks. Maybe I lost my capacitive stylus! Maybe I lost Interest! To ponder over what or who to blame for this unreasonable tragedy of sorts, today, I decided to sit down and think about this inability to generate synchronous thoughts pointed towards a single important goal – to write!
Google helped me search numerous articles to satiate my desire of writing again. So finally, I thought I will break the writer’s block by writing about it.
What is writer”s block? I think it is when you stop day dreaming! Period! When you look at the sky while driving and think nothing! When your only goal is to get through the day without flying in your dreams to the momentary happy stop you used to take every now and then!
Well, I found this essential paper published by Dr. Dennis Upper – “The Unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of ‘Writer’s Block’.
His unmistakably glorious paper shines enough light on this mental restraint and is the magnum opus of the effect of writer’ block, and of sarcasm too!
Writer’s block is a denial to expand your imagination to enjoy the flavors of everyday. It is a denial of the brain to generate thoughts that deviate from the task at hand. It is a denial of self thought! You need to run away from the mental streaming protocols and explore some weird angles about every moment! It is also a sub conscious hit to the confidence of concocting a written piece to your satisfaction! It could also be a fear of nonacceptance of your scribbled gibberish by the society. Whatever it is, figure it out and get to work! or leave the spaces empty! like Dr Upper.
Well, that is all I have! Maybe I should have also left some space empty to amplify my yearning to write! But that diligently intelligent piece of art is already taken by Dr Dennis Upper.
Some of us like to decide quickly with the minimal amount of numerically and philosophically most accurate choices. Whatever we decide needs to connect with the events of the present or past or both. Choices concerning the future need vague numerical prediction of the future (because accurate prediction is not available yet). Our mind has, over the years, trained itself at every step, nano or kilo, to form processes and modules of different behavioral, gestural, muscular, optical, nervous and other bodily dynamics. Each action has a module of dynamic components reacting in one in a millionth probable way to fulfill your thoughts of acting in a way you want. You train yourself to answer, gesture or physically behave in a certain way for certain situations. But some situations demand natural reactions. But even those natural reactions are a combination of the sub-conscious and genetic data which is hidden. So there is a chance that you never create an original gesture by un-intention!
Our minds have been generally thought to work in modules (module – each of a set of standardized parts or independent units that can be used to construct a more complex structure, such as an item of furniture or a building).
But there are 2 extreme thoughts on this. One extreme hypothesis believes that our mind is not wholly modular and the modularity lies towards the least side of the spectrum. Modularity is analogous with peripheral and output signals of the brain and non-modularity is related to the central cognition or conceptual section of the brain. So the first hypothesis calls our mind meagerly modular, kind of calling only a few of the peripheral signals modular. And our central cognition rules over most of the brain. This would mean that a few modules are created and our brain would not like to form habits of reacting in a certain way to certain situations, but rather act out of the gut most of the time. These brains would be very creative but not very productive!
The second hypothesis asserts that our brain is massively modular, if not wholly so! It likes to state that our central cognitive system is small and non-modular and almost every other system is modular. Now, this would mean that the brain signals work in modules and hence like to form modules for almost everything keeping the gut feeling away most of the times. I think these minds are the most practical and productive minds.
I think one trains its mind knowing or unknowingly throughout the life to either lean towards the natural frequency of it or away from it. The achievement would be the right balance. The right balance would make you a philosophical scientist. A person who knows exactly how to react every time, either through a module or the gut feeling! Balance is difficult to maintain, that is why change is the only constant!
Picture Credit: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161004-were-developing-brains-outside-of-the-body