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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Celebrating Non-Difference and the Birth of the Technological Being

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When I look at how much we share, I am amazed that we have waged so many wars and undergone so much conflict to prove that we are different.

But whether we are metropolitans, slum-dwellers of Dharavi, shepherds in the Andes — birth, mothers, memories, consciousness, sorrows, joys, disease and death are not the only things we share. Both the rich and the poor got buried in the ashes of Pompeii and are swept away by tsunamis.

It is not just the physical conditions of our life and death which is our shared human heritage. We share the workings of our minds and consciousness. We are tool-makers and structure-imposers on reality, whereby we look at the world and receive, meditate and regurgitate technologies. And that is why, irrespective of our educational and economic status, we in the 21st century are the technological beings.

Whether we are sherpas listening to a radio in the foothills of the Everest, or a banker in New York, technology has become so deeply ingrained in our lives that we notice it no more than we see the atmosphere. No doubt, there is a wild variance in the application of technology in individual lives,  but  still it travels throughout the world, much like the toxins of a manufacturing town.

And as technological beings, we have adopted a new God!


Human Beings: Is redefinition even possible?

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Let us play a game here. Let us be presumptuous enough to redefine, on the claim that one never reinvents the wheel but always, invents new ways of using the wheel.

Philosophers, scientists, religions and cultures have spent all of human history answering this question. Culture, that umbrella term for our languages,  thought processes, social and religious practices,  is somehow the core of the definition, that one thing that makes us supra-beings: the top of the heap haminals, or humanals….Whatever!..few more words to show that human beget languages as much as languages beget us.

If a definition is finding the absolute commonalities, then let us begin with a minimalist definition: it is a physical being we are talking about. The human being, or  the hanimal. And of course, since we are creating the grammar, let us creat a new pronoun randomly—hb—just for the fun making ludicrous the he-she-s/he debate.  Can it get any stupider, more illogical than this?

Whats’ logic got to do with being a human being or with our cultural practices?  Logic is merely our effort to make sense of the world, to impose a structure, just like grammar is an imposition on language.

So the first element in our re-definition: living beings who happen to be humans, have a strangely illogical and crass need to impose logic, structure and grammar upon the it-is-what-it-is world.

More in my next post!