Saturday, January 19, 2008

Stray thoughts and Fluff

A random Thought flutterted into my head today. And I felt very pleased with myself and proud of my profundity. The Thought went somewhat like this: There is something about the human mind which demands systems (refer previous entry, 'Class with the Jobless Man' for origin of this thought). Hence our need for heirarchy and society... also the need to tabulate and organise learning. A systematic method. So, when we explore the natural world we assume that it too has to have a system. We assume that since that is the only way we can understand things, the universe has to be a functioning system. But what if we're wrong? What if there is no grand unification theory?
The problem with our existing theories is that some things follow some laws, others follow others, and this varies with conditions. What if somethings follow some laws sometimes and other laws at other times? What makes us believe that it has to form a system that makes sense to us? Perhaps the pattern is too complex for our human minds to grasp... perhaps there is no pattern at all!
Hmmm... interesting Thought, isn't it?

Confucious said: Damn cool. Write it down.
Ari said: Science and our attempts to explain everything... it's just our way of looking at the world... doesn't mean that that's the way it actually is.
Say said: We don't know enough about the world to be able to understand it. Too many unknown variables.
Genie said: I don't need systems to learn.
To which Confucious replied: He's proving your point... there's an exception to every rule!

In addition to this conversation, the cafe and the subsequent train ride involved a reading of an exerpt from a very cool new book of Confucious'. (also tons of random conversation) I tried reproducing a gist of it, but just mangled it, so I won't tell you what it's about. Anyway, it was brilliant, and as soon as I get a copy, I'll put that exerpt up.
Coming back to my brand new Thought. I told my Dad about it this evening. (And consequently spent eighty-eight ruppees on the subsequent discussion. (You're right. I really wanted to use 'consequent'and 'subsequent' in the same line)) Anyway, my dad had a lot to say. He said that the universe has to have a system because if different parts of the universe follow different systems, there will be friction. When two systems govern the same thing, a conflict will arise. There's no other way. So, there has to be one smooth system governing the universe, because as far as we can see it's functioning smoothly. And we have recognised several systems in it: like the solar system, gravity... and since it's working smoothly, they can't be in conflict with eachother. So, there's just one system. Also, the laws of the natural world are not laws we've made up, we've discovered them. This is how things work. We haven't made them up. From here we drifted off into what happens when two systems meet. We keep to the left side of the road, when driving, Americans to the right. Obviously difficulties will arise when the two systems meet. We went off into religious conflict... and for some strange unfathomable reason... hmmm.... we spent a lot of time on inter religious marriages as an example of conflict arising when two systems meet. Any marriage, he said, requires a lot of adjustment as two systems, ways of life, are having to co-exist. There has to be give and take... sacrifice and a new system has to evolve. This is hard enough when there is common ground, but when there isn't, that is, when you're from different religions, it's even tougher. Also, to come together, you've had to give up the support of the system you've been brought up in (your family), the sacrifice is greater and may cause resentment... lot's of adjustment needed. Hmmm... very subtle.
We also got into how we cannot exist without a system. The unfairness of our social systems has been bothering me for a while... but today's discussion helped. Papa says, that we only exist because of our organ systems, and they only exist because of much smaller systems... atomic interactions...... It is not possible for an individual to exist without a system.... unless you are only one individual all alone. If many people are to live together, you need predictability. You need to know that the car ahead of you is going to stop because that light is red. Otherwise you'll crash into it. You need to know where the other person is going, so that you don't bump into them. And systems evolve. They're not unfair to begin with. A barter system for example. It may start off with 1 chicken = 1 duck, but if the demand for one goes up, it becomes more valuable. And as it evolves, some people are left behind. Some people are 'exploited' because they are willing to do more work for less pay, to survive. So they are slowly overlooked... and this keeps happening until there is a revolution and a new system is set up. (A new system cannot be set up easily. It requires a great expense and most often a lot of bloodshed.)
The new system slowly begins to exploit another group... There are pros and cons to systems. You can't just look at the cons and depress yourself that it's unfair. It's not about right and wrong. It's about what works. That's why evolution takes so long. A new idea is born, but it doesn't fit in with the system. If it happens when conditions for it are favourable, it is absorbed into the system. if not it's cast on the wayside. Who knows? If the mutations that occur today had happened earlier the pollution might not have killed them and we may have been further evolved. It all depends on timing. Who knows when an idea will take root? There may have been dozens af Christs and Gandhis. It just happens that these two existed when they did, and their ideas took root... even if we don't really follow those ideas today, the fact remains that the timing was what allowed them to have the effect they did.... *sigh* overload.
Oh, by the way, I saw a brilliant play. 'Sangathi Arinhya.' Fabulous acting. Wish I could do that. Hugs to all and sundry. Thoughts circling round my head like moths in a light bulb. Good night.


Roshan George said...

Wow, fascinating where you ended up when reading where you started from. Very interesting.

Maybe I'm reading what you're talking about wrong, but I see it another way, when two systems interact with the same things I understand that they will fall into the state that provides least conflict, automatically, simply because there is no other way. I can probably explain this clearer if I didn't have to write it down.

Also, I cannot imagine that there is no system. That is simply not beautiful.

PS: For some reason I kept correcting write to right and then back to write many times in the above comment.

Samyuktha P.C. said...


I agree with the fascination in this post and generally in this realm of exploration. Randomized! Beautiful!

Systems aren't bad and can't be avoided by the human mind. However, the beauty of the human brain is that it can identify and understand systems even within which we don't live. Moreover, we can create our own systems. Two systems, depending on whether closed or open, would lead to a level of friction or unity. Depends on whether the motive is taoistic or dualistic.

I will also give all of you a copy of my Radical Ecology material. That is something very interesting to read together. I can sure take "class" over it. Logic, darling, is another deeper realm. As we proceed in your class, looking into people's work like Russel's or Descartes' is a decent plan.

I have asked a friend of mine to source the other Kappen Memorial lectures.

I also agree with the beauty of systems. And here other thoughts are bubbling - running away or sticking to systems. Marriage itself - age difference is something interesting. See, if there is a fourteen year difference between the couple we cringe. Why? It's the fault of the educational format. Immediately, we transfer to the equation to an LKG kid and a 12th standard student. Systems are nice and *****d up! Stay when you need to, and run when you have to. Most importantly, get into a system before opposing, learn it thoroughly, unlearn it, and then change it!


Lúthien Táralóm said...

Really, delusions of grandeur is right.
Normally I'd never bother to comment, but judging by your most recent article, you haven't improved, so why don't you put something up that you think is really good writing, I'll be back in a week latest to check it out.

Ate, write something instead of practicing sarcasm.

[Yes, I am publishing the same comment twice even though you're going to get this is your mail, since this is a really old article]

Daughter of the Night said...

Hello, Luthien.
Welcome to this blog.Do tell Ate she's welcome as well. Thanks for the comment...
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm not writing for you, so I'll put up what I like. Sorry if you don't like it... but it's called the 'world wide web' for a reason.
Anyway, have fun.

Oogata Otoko said...

And since I'm the rude one, I'll just be rude. Get a life you FUBAR.

Lúthien Táralóm said...

Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm sorry I don't have the time though. I have a life. Was just randomly checking stuff out. I know it's called the 'world wide web' and for what reason. And I know you don't write for me.
But one would hope you'd at least write well for yourself.

Daughter of the Night said...

No problem at all.

Oh, and... I do.