Tuesday, 6 July 2010

New Learnings

When misanthropes become social media addicts, and no one notices the irony, you know it’s the worst of the times. And the best of the times. A time when every day brings new “learnings”.

Here’s what I learnt in the past one week.

1. Missing classes meant copying notes and catching up with what had been taught during our absence. Lessons weren’t repeated for our benefit. If we had doubts we could discuss them after class. Unsurprisingly, the world too operates on this principle. You missed what’s going on; it’s your prerogative to catch up.

Even to become a contrarian you need to understand conventions first.

However, if you are under 40 and don’t know what ‘tactical media’ is, despite being active on facebook and twitter. Despite doing PhDs from Oxford or Harvard. Despite working for a media outlet. In that case, it is simply time to re-evaluate your ‘education’.

2. People tweeting from their blackberries shouldn’t accuse those tweeting from their iPhones of being Luddites. Please get a dictionary. Or open a new tab and type ‘meaning Luddite’. Same rule applies for comments on facebook.

3. If someone claims to be an atheist and a meat eater chances are very high that they are most obsessed with religion and vegetarianism. That’s the curse of assuming ideas based on negation. The anti-ideology.

4. No matter what meat eaters, who may or may not be atheists, choose to believe - yes, being an atheist also requires following a system of beliefs, there’s a reason why most men and women capable of reasoning are calling for people to consume less or no meat at all.

If you don’t understand the problem with factory farming, over fishing, or how eating a solely meat based diet is resulting in wastage of resources and is unsustainable, don’t make facile arguments about plants being helpless (plants aren’t helpless they have been on this planet since before humans evolved).

That is unless you haven’t ever laid eyes upon any biology text. In that case read more.

5. Everybody has to live with his or her own peculiar contradictions. No matter how ridiculous.
Richard Dawkins on Vegetarianism: “What I am doing is going along with the fact that I live in a society where meat eating is accepted as the norm, and it requires a level of social courage which I haven’t yet produced to break out of that. It’s a little bit like the position which many people would have held a couple of hundred years ago over slavery. Where lots of people felt morally uneasy about slavery but went along with it because the whole economy of the South depended upon slavery.“

6. Everything is connected. Often there is less than six degrees of separation. E.g. your desire for sushi for dinner once a week - extinction of blue fin tuna.

7. In the US, according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, people think house sparrows grow up to become pigeons. This gives a clear idea of how much thought people put in before arriving at a conclusion. We see how deep the abyss is. We realize how much patience is needed to fill the gap with.

Postscript: Yesterday I realized bandhs are good for the country. Smashing public and private property, coercing people to stay at home through threat of violence, putting the country under an emergency like situation is the only way to get “people like us” to talk to the "poor" (okay just the taxi driver) and realize that inflation and price rise are badly affecting them. Shouldn’t we be calling for more bandhs?


Anonymous said...

the abyss is scary, factory farming is to and the price rise. a very thoughtful post anvita... it was good reading it.
~w.s. :-)

Anvita Lakhera said...

At times, I feel the scariest part is the attitude of people like us– the happy and willing consumers who think our actions are without consequences.

And on the other hand are those who think sparrows are baby pigeons :D

Are we really homo sapiens ("wise man" or "knowing man")? But then we gave ourselves that name, so who can tell :)