Writing after a long time feels tough. Specially during Covid, there is so much going on in the room, in-fact everything going on in the same room, that writing never gets the attention it deserves. I am thus writing on the patio of my house, with sun shining in my eyes.
In the past couple of months, most of my interaction with the outside world has been through information that pops up on my screen – Mobile, laptop, tablet. And it has been unfulfilling to say the least. (Except for my almost daily runs which help me smell Lucknow, assuring me I am not Covid +ve) Two key themes in that plethora of informative news/opinions, that stand out are : Assumptions and Acknowledgements. If you put them on a balance scale, the scale will tip towards the side of Assumptions. Acknowledging hangs high.
As a species we have assumed connectivity and information is great. Just because there is so much to watch on Netflix, Prime and HotStar, so much to read on Bloomberg, WSJ and Reddit we assume we are living in a more creative and knowledgeable world. What we fail to acknowledge is that most of the stuff we watch today is not timeless. No one acknowledges how this has caused a complete disconnect with our real world. It has made me less creative, as I am never bored. I always find stuff to watch, play or read. There is never a moment where there is time to introspect, and when there is, it feels like a waste of time. Why ? Because all these other people are reading, watching and consuming so much information, that if I spend my time in evaluating my life it feels like I am being wasteful.
Just because “productivity” hasn’t dropped by working from home we have assumed screen is the way forward. What we fail to acknowledge is that new members in any team don’t connect with other members on the same level. Humans have always needed purpose and capitalism has taught us to find purpose in what we do. Finding purpose sitting in a room which is also your sleeping place isn’t very inspiring to be honest.
Politically charged societies is a result of this huge Assumption vs acknowledge imbalance. It has become mandatory to pick a side. Left or the Right. This is not a bad thing. The bad thing is the Right now assumes that even a hint of Left in a person makes them a pure leftist and vice versa. No one wants to stop and acknowledge that there are certain background experiences that make you start on one side of the spectrum and it is completely normal to have a centrist view too. Instead we are pretty quick to assume where a person belongs and are happy to have correctly placed them in our mind map.
The issue with this placement is that the Groupism becomes so deep seated in our brain, we have to conform with all ideas and thoughts of the people who belong to our group. It is not easy to shun some ideas and keep the rest. You either live with the group or you die. That is why most of the debates that happen online start and end with name taking or Meme-oing. Left is not trying to educate the right and right feels they are always right. Assuming that the other person doesn’t have the calibre to comprehend what you stand for and calling them names instead of having healthy discussions has led us to a more divided societal structure, maybe the most we have ever experienced.
The moral foundation theory proposes six foundations for people’s concerns: Care, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority, Sanctity and Liberty; The sixth one was added by Haidt. What we are solving for, as a society right now, in a lot of ways is fairness (equality). Where we have failed ourselves is when we assume that solving for fairness solves for everything else as well. Some of these concerns have been given a predominantly left or right classification which is why as a society we don’t solve for all of them. This has led us to a point where a large portion of our kin feel left out. They feel agitated. We have failed to acknowledge that all these foundations are equally important to be solved for in order to be more inclusive, happy and successful as a race.
When I read the document back and forth it does seem a bit hazy and blurred. It started somewhere and went somewhere else. These are just disconnected thoughts I had which tied back together to these two themes. But I assume you would acknowledge that it is tough to explain all that’s in your brain in words 🙂
To acknowledge is to be human. To assume is to be AI.Citation – SST in Covid.
Assume – To authenticate by means of belief; to surmise; to suppose to be true, especially without proof.
Acknowledge – To own or recognise in a particular quality, character or relationship; to admit the claims or authority of; to give recognition to.
A graduate from BITS Pilani, class of 2019, I am currently working as a Product Manager at Flipkart. I like to write about things that get stuck in my head. By writing I make sure everyone knows what absurd thoughts I have :P Thanks for visiting.