The Final Duel
Random photos, culture, philosophy and politics.
Friday, January 14, 2005
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former: An essay by M-jan
The Big Bang theory first propsed in the year 1927 by an oft-uncredited gentlemen of belgian origin proposes that the universe has been expanding ever since and is hence virtually infinite. The Big Bang theory is well, just a theory, a widely accepted one but they’ve all been wrong before, haven’t they? Rememeber Copernicus? Remember Galileo? Besides it is also thought that our Universe will someday cease expanding and start contracting instead resulting in a sort of “Big Crunch”, if you will. The universe, inexhuastible and boundless to the ordinary layman may not be as endless as it seems. It is with this in mind that I attempt to propose a new paradigm for infiniteness – yes, that’s right, Human Stupidity. It is in this authors humble opinion that once the scientists have exahustivley studied the human genome, they will find that imbecility is in fact biologically ineherent in all human beings.
Let us begin our journey through time, right at the very beginning, with the pedigree of humankind – Adam and Eve, who damned the race of man to an eternity of dishwashing and lawn mowing. Moving out of the realm of mythos and religion, consider the case of the discovery of fire by the early Homo sapiens approximately 200000 years ago. It may surprise you to know that the genus homo actually first appeared about 2.5 million years ago. Do the math. It took us 2.3 million years just to discover fire? Sheesh….
Genocide is a word, which pops up every now and then. How about an insight into its history? Alexander’s massacres of the Persians, the Roman Empire, Genghis khan, the dwindling of Native Americans, the Nazis, Israel-Palestine, Vietnam, Rwanda, Bangladesh Kashmir, just to name a few. And for what?
Contemporary examples of human stupidity are just as numerous. One can scarcely fail to mention the fiasco that was the United States 2004 presidential race. Rock stars and celebrities publicly endorsing their respective candidates, and Advertisement campaigns being made by the very same agencies that promote toothpaste in the off-season. Is this how the average American chooses whom he’s voting for? Scandalous! Its no secret that Bush’s accessible, down-to-earth personality garnered him a significant number of votes. Similarly Kerry’s total lack of charisma also factored in significantly.
Our beloved nation provides a most interesting case study for studying the depths of stupidity. Kant, Descartes, Ludwig Wittgenstein; do any of these names ring a bell? No? In that case, sir (or madam, as the case may be) you are a certifiable moron! These are the most eminent thinkers of this period and to not have heard of their works is tantamount to sacrilege. Our universities and schools mechanically churn out businessmen, engineers and a few doctors to boot. Where are the intellectuals? Why is it that in a city of more than 14 million you have but one library. Lets look at it from another perspective. How do we identify ourselves? As Muslims? Pakistanis? Students? Most of us are Muslims only because we were raised as Muslims, and none of us pause to consider why. What the strengths of our faith are we do not know. To add salt to the already salty wounds, we are fed grotesque conceptions of others faiths. Hindus, we charge we the worship of idols, whereas in truth the idols are only symbolic – a form of iconolatry. Christians are charged with having corrupted scriptures, yet few are aware of the very basic fact that the Bible is in fact a collection of books, inspired by God that never purports authenticity in the same vein as the Quran. Thus, our prime arguments against other faiths lose most of their potency. How do we justify our faith then? A Muslim living abroad may do this with some skill, but we are woefully illiterate when it comes to matters regarding religion. In a sense we are all religious extremists, the only difference is that bourgeoisie and the upper class are too distracted by everyday matters to actually do anything.
Neither are we nationalists in the proper sense. We argue vehemently for the liberation of Kashmir, the “jugular vein” of Pakistan, yet scarcely fail to realize that only genocide has resulted from the struggle thus far. We bicker about politics rather than doing something constructive about the issue. Student protests are not uncommon abroad. Yet we prefer orkutting and cricket to global issues. Enlightened public opinion helps influence government policy and restrain them (to a certain degree, of course) from violating human rights. The Educated class here is, however, too preoccupied with fantasies of wealth and power. Their sole aim in life is to advance in the career their parents have handpicked for them.
Were it that these problems were endemic to Pakistan, one may find some measure of solace. Alas, these issues can be extended well beyond our borders. Surely, human stupidity is not merely infinite but somehow mysteriously interwoven with the very fabric of time itself.