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 :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Walking Dreams

Walking Dreams

Sigmund Freud in his book “Civilization and Its Discontents” concludes “justice” as foundation of civilization. We can disagree a lot with Freud but we can’t refuse the impacts of his works on understanding human psyche and personality. Injustice is the source of conflicts and miseries of human however it is also interesting to note that the sense of justice or fairness is not limited to human. Experimental studies have shown that monkeys and dogs have the sense of fairness. Monkeys express anger if another monkey tries to betray him in their exchanges of food. Dogs respond to unequal treatments.

Since Dr. Jane Goodall reports on tool making ability of Chimpanzees and also that each Chimp has a unique personality, things have changed a lot. Ethologists study, cultures, personalities, learning and traits like aggression, kinship, cooperation, communication, play etc in animals that were considered dominantly and proudly as human characteristics. After Jane Goodall’s first book “My friends the Wild Chimpanzees” in 1969, we see the book of Edward Wilson in 1975 by name of “Sociobiology”. Wilson’s book caused a controversy because it has tried to explain the human behaviors as a result of evolution by “natural selection”. To ethologists there was no distinction between human and animal behaviors as both were the result of evolutionary processes. Since those earlier controversies the Edward Wilson’s book has also evolved into “Sociobiology: The New Synthesis” and John Alcock has written a book by name of “The triumph of Sociobiology” to announce the winning of this strategy.

Despite of blurring lines between human and animals still human is unique. What makes human unique? From evolutionary perspective it might be all those “extras” that human have. What matters are all those extra-cognitive abilities, extra-behaviors, extra-abilities to change environments, etc. However when compare human societies and human individuals we see the real difference that makes human, a human.

He was a Russian with blue eyes that had sparkles of intelligence in them. He was a doctoral student of Public administration. I became curious to know his experiences. Everyone expects that Public administrations in USA and Russia should be two opposite poles. Who else could tell the difference better than a scholar who has been studied it in Russia and now pursuing it in USA. I asked him the difference and he told me of an act in USA law known as “Freedom of information Act”. This act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 6, 1996. The openness in governance increases the trust of people and secrecy creates doubts.

Every individual has his or her reasons to justify a collapse. Yes Soviet Union has collapsed and there should be a reason but it is also a fact that the same reasons have turned Russian empire into Soviet empire which became one of two world superpowers.

A strategy or behavior turns a nation into superpower and the same strategy collapses it in 1992. Why?

To an evolutionary biologist, this question is not new. As environments change a fit trait may not remain fit anymore. A quick glance among nations of world we find a list of nations that were super powers at times but now they are small nations of not much significance. Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Mongols and Turkish people are more attractive to archeologists and tourists than world politics and economics. Similarly when I look to my nation who carved that giant Buddha of Bamiyan and were first people to create oil paints and apply them in decorating Buddha statues and caves around is now a nation that is good to describe as an oppressed nation.
What turned these nations into great civilizations and declined them into small and insignificant nations? Was this “justice” as Freud, saying. Were those “extras’ that ethologists’ findings have shown? Or there is something else also?

I would say, yes “justice” matters, those “extras” also matters but there is something else that make “justice” and “extras” to work and that is “dreams”. It was the “dreams” that communists could rally people in 1917’s soviet revolution. It was the “dreams” that attracted immigrants first from Europe and then from around the world to new lands. It was the “dreams” that created new nations after colonization.

USA is unique in terms of “dreams” as it allows individuals to have personal dreams and struggle to achieve them. What is well known as “American dream”. Every human being has a dream so every one of them is walking dreams. As this book is the result of my observations of walking dreams in four months (January 2010 to April 2010) during which I visited Seattle and NYC, studying in SUNY, Binghamton which has a large number of international students so I named it “Walking Dreams”.

In age of Wikipedia, social Media and blogging it is easy to forget yourself. Brief ideas pierce your minds, wrestle with your thoughts and become parts of your imagination. Digital world have melted down the walls of self and individuality. Though individual freedom and expression levels have risen but the real sense of identity has degraded. It is natural process as every strategy and adaptation has trade-offs.

Based on trend and tradition of digital age I am reading individualism from every perspective through my observations. I chose expressing my observations in the form of aphorisms so the readers could see in it their faces. These aphorisms are mirrors in which the personalities are reflected. I have always tried to be neutral but I am not claiming that I am totally neutral because it is a false claim whoever makes it.

At the end I would suggest that do not look at It as a book to start from first page and end at the last page but it is a mirror that whenever you look in it, it will show your current reflections.

“Dedicated to all those who help others in pursuits of their legitimate dreams”

Read more here

Walking Dreams

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