One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Friday, February 2, 2018
Saturday, January 20, 2018
At the new school, I rapidly excelled in drawings which were the combinations of basic geometric shapes. First I learned to draw a mountain (Isosceles triangles in a row), a sun (yellow circle), then, a house in the front of the mountain, a man next to house, a car on a line (road) and tree at the end of road and a pond in front of house (just rough blue coloring of the bottom half of the page). Once I mastered this drawing, I thought there was nothing to add to the drawing. For me, it the End of History (Francis Fukuyama's hypothesis that the current system is the best that humanity could achieve. Since I thought, I had mastered the art and there was no further room for improvement, it was my "the end of history"). I didn't miss any chance of expressing my view of "The End of History". I filled pages of my notebooks, blank spaces of my books (Although, it was tolerated but occasionally I get punished for them), drew on walls and streets with charcoal (a bakery was part of our house, so plenty of charcoal) and went to classes during recess in search of chalks and clean blackboards to draw.
Realization 2: my youngest maternal uncle visited us after their Iran tour. He was a couple of years older than me and taught me to draw tulips (for the memory of the fallen soldiers), tanks, fighter jets, and helicopters. I had never seen tulips and helicopters before. The only tank and the fighter jet that I had seen were the ones that were parked in the parks of the cantonment area which appeared to me as oversized toys. It was the first time I heard about Iran-Iraq war and that people died in the wars. It dawned on me as I learn to draw new objects, I start seeing the same object anew. There was no "the end of history" moment. It was just a temporary satisfaction with the level of the mastery (So was the case with Fukuyama's hypothesis).
Realization 3: I learned from the discussion of adults in the bakery that if Pakistan and India went to another war, India could drop an atomic bomb and we all could die in a blink of an eye (Pakistan was not a nuclear state at the time). I had no idea what an atomic bomb is but the idea everything could vanish in a blink of eyes, terrified me. I received pocket money in the morning and during the day, I kept looking my father and anytime I spotted my father or my grand-maternal-uncle, I taxed them. Each time, received additional money, I was in heaven. The list of the objects that I could draw was growing and I started reading story booklets. In addition to group plays, these additional pleasures made the world too sweet and I definitely didn't want it to end in blank of eyes. But I couldn't unlearn that cursed knowledge that our world could end.
Probably, humanity survives a nuclear winter but there will be real THE END OF HISTORY for many cultures, societies, ethnicities and countless species of organisms.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
I told Ustad about my experience and the thoughts around it. Based on physical similarities of a character, I looked at the guy with a subjective-perspective.
"That's a common-place experience!" was the reply of Ustad. "You don't even need to have basic literacy to understand the pictorial and visual expressions. It's an innate ability to connect the visual expressions with the familiar environment..."
"So, you think that my brain had borrowed the character of Kemper from the show as a visual representation of the term, "serial killer"?" I interrupted Ustad.
"That's my best guess!" he answered. "Look! it's a common phenomenon if you pay attention. For example, the combination of beard, Afghani dress, and turban have become a visual representation of terror and the combination of clean-shaved face and western dress have become the expression of liberalism?"
"I kind of agree!"
"What I have been interested are the ways most of the people use these symbolic representations!" Ustad continued.
"I didn't get you!"
"Appearances are multilayered. It's genetic. It's cultural. It's economical and it's political and yet, people tend to politicize appearances. Don't get me wrong. It's not just the negative-tagging of the appearances but also the positive-good-doers also promote using appearances as advertisements of their work...."
"What do you suggest?"
"I guess, there is no quick solution for it. We are evolved to make quick decisions based on the appearances for our safety. I hope that artificial intelligence could help us to overcome this problem. When all people are connected and a large amount of data about them become easily accessible, then, AI could help us to see beyond appearances and that's are individual's personalities. Artificial intelligence, unlike humans, does not have long biological evolutionary history and could access to public data and swiftly search for large amounts of data and make better decisions.
Friday, October 27, 2017
I laughed, "You know what happened, this morning?"
"I'm listening!" The Ustad replied.
"I also have a neighbor who stops me, each time he sees me and breaks the news that never happened. " Ustand laughed. "But his news and analyses are very interesting, full of surprises!"
From bypass, I could see all sorts of flags. Usually, it was the brown-clouds (polluted air) that covered parts of the city that caught my attention but that day, I especially noticed the assortments of the flags.
"I think, politics is more potent opium than religion!" I commented.
"Even if had the power to ban on religion and politics, people find other means to argue!" Ustad responded, "Most of the time, it is not religion or politics that creates conflicts but men's self-love. Politics and religions become tools of expressions for those self-loves..."
I thought, Ustad was also "breaking a news", so,
"But there are people who sacrifice themselves for their religions and political parties?" I disagreed.
"Let me explain!" Ustad smiled.
"Unlike most of the animals, humans give birth to the "immature" babies that are dependent on their parents for everything. When they grow up, while they strive all their lives, they remain dependent on others and the process of growing up never cease. You can imagine that humans never become "mature" and that's the reason for humans addiction to the idea of perfection, maturity or becoming no.1. Basically, humans know that they never achieve perfection, so, they seek it through other means, like a connection with a perfect being (God) via a "true" religion, or a best political system or finest culture or becoming no. 1 this and that. You know what I mean..."
"Yes, I got your point!" I replied, "But are you suggesting that narcissism is a byproduct of social life?"
"What I meant was that humans have an innate desire for liberation from imperfection or maturity and all the affiliations like religion or politics or other stuffs are mere expressions of it, whether, they realize it or not. Some may claim they love God or a saint or an ideology or things like that, but in fact, these all are expressions of the desire to be true, good or things like that..."
"Please don't mind!" I told Ustad, "but I find reductionist perspectives of things not beautiful."
"Well, then, your God is not beautiful!" Ustad laughed.
"Does it matter?" I laughed, too.
"God is the ultimate reductionist!"