Monday, October 26, 2009

Being Bad?

"Why be good?" Draupadi asks

We have two choices : be good or be bad.
Some times badness increases in burst mode (world war, mahabharata..), only to be overcome by goodness again so that humanity survives again - and has a chance to be bad again. Thats probably because our activities increase the entropy of our universe. When we are bad, the entropy generated is even more during that time, but we can't keep at being bad for long lengths of time because we might destroy ourselves...

There is an inner voice which keeps most of us inclined to being good for most of the time. Its an evolutionary response I guess, because if it weren't so, we wouldnt trust each other. Shopkeepers won't sell stuff to people, we wouldn't give our money to the banks or banks wouldn't loan us money.

People worry about too much corruption and evilness in this world. But maybe its a bit overrated. There are so many self correcting mechanisms in this world. If any one thing increases too much, the world, like an organism responds by automatically adapting the other parameters so as to cause the decline of that one surging thing. Economic booms and recessions are a part of this mechanism driven by peoples greeds and fears alone : sometimes greed overcomes fears and at other times vice versa.

So if everyone went about being bad, they will sooner or later realise that they might actually die if they don't start being good to each other and trusting each other.....

Mahatma Gandhi said "You must be the change you wish to see in the world"
Maybe thats a simple interpretation of the self correcting mechanism.
Why should I treat someone in a way other than how I would want him/her treating me?

People are good only when presented against the backdrop of bad ones.
What use is goodness if there is no badness for it to conquer.

Consider the Output Variable for a simple control loop to be the "current amount of badness in the world"
The control system is configured to decrease the badness - not to zero (because then the control loop wouldn't be needed at all and everyone would be good to each other and hence life would be boring) but to some lower constant level which ensures our survival till some universal law deems the event of our extinction more useful than our continued prosperity. In the feedback lie the good people. People switch from the forward loop to the feedback loop all the time - sometimes being good, sometimes being bad.

What part of the loop do you belong to at the moment?
Dont worry if you are good or bad - we all have our part to play.

Sounds fatalist? Yes
My friends would even say that what I just said are actually against my own beliefs too - I believe that we have the power to control our own destiny and we are ourselves responsible for our own actions.

But look at it this way: My quest of being more and more like Roark carries meaning only because there are others who strive to be like Keating, Gail, Toohey, Dominique or Cathrine.

Maybe we all give meaning to each other's life. "you are, therefore i am"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Take a Left, Take a right or standstill?

Reading Page 119 of "The Difficulty of Being Good" by Gurcharan Das:

Perform necessary action;
it is more powerful than inaction;
without action you even fail
to sustain your own body.

In other words, do not renounce the world and become a hermit. Instead, learn to change your attitude while living and working in the world.

Reminds me of two things..
1) Dead people people on Miranda who stopped living because of the side effects of the chemical gas released in the ventilation system in Serenity
2) South Park - Spontaneous Combustion.. the episode in which people start blowing up because they dont fart.

Moral: We must fart to sustain our lives.. you have two options.. go fart in the bathroom or in front of your girlfriend, but dont choose not to fart. prrrrrp!!