In this hyper connected world, it seems to me that my own existence is a relatively spartan one. I used to have a Facebook account but do not anymore and I don't have any other social accounts, at least none that I still remember the password of, either. My Moto-E phone has further simplified my life by have a camera which sucks so much that I never feel inclined to take a photo. Which is just as well because the act of taking a photo appears ridiculous to me on various levels. The need to share them with others is more so.  I haven't fallen into the trap of trying to quantify every aspect of my life with gadgetry (fit-bit, smartwatch) and I try my best to not allow "intelligent" algorithms to dictate what I should buy, who I should connect with, what I should listen to etc. This means permanently disabling things which might, on occasion, be helpful such as Google Now, Cortana, all personalized search results, location on the phone. I have found that I do not miss these features and life goes on well enough for me without them.

There is an explanation to these tendencies of mine and it can be seen either from a negative point of view or a positive one. I am contemptuous of groupthink and have been so as long as I can remember. To me the joy of connectedness that comes with belonging to a group is not worth the loss of individuality. And this loss is not merely a temporary one. People in groups not only seem to think alike but they also seem to lose the ability to admit that they might be wrong. Their ideas are often mediocre because they are not theirs to begin with. They belong to the group and there is very little either of interest or of any truth beyond that which deals strictly with insipid practicality. This insipid practicality is nothing more than the survival of the group a fact which becomes evident when you peel off the layers of self-delusion which the members too often display. There is also a strong desire to conform and seek acceptance and approval from others. I think these tendencies are demeaning to free human beings. Similarly I am contemptuous of certain kinds of technologies as well, and for various reasons. Not only do I think that the march of technology will be a ruinous one to human societies in the absence of humanistic interventions, but I also think that any ground one gives to them makes one a little less human. The transference of the will and decision making capacity of free human beings to faceless algorithms is not worth the convenience that comes with them.

The above is essentially the negative explanation. Its essence is a freewheeling contempt and I think well directed, surgical contempt is important in a personality which seeks to achieve a semblance of peace with itself, what it has, and what it has achieved. The positive angle is my conception of a "worthy" individual and how this idea gets trampled within large groups. A free human being who is always flawed, understands it, understands that the flaws are part of his destiny, and yet tries to make sense of the world to the best of his abilities. One who doesn't try to actively delude himself and has courage enough to accept the very real possibility that the future might be bleak and his life purposeless. Amidst this darkness, one who can still conduct himself with a bit of humor and humanity, one who can still laugh at his own misfortunes and, if it is still allowed, at the misfortunes of others as well. In other words one who still displays the entire spectrum of human emotions good, bad, and evil.

Leave Your Observation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *