Future possibilities

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Anytime one looks at global events, hears the news, they are always plastered with terrible things, whether its round the clock cable news tv, online news portals, or in campuses. As people are more focused on the ‘dangers’ of our environment, this gets more attention within each of us, rather than focusing on the tolerant aspects of our world.

That is not to say that we shouldn’t ignore the ‘dangers’ of our environment, however I feel that they are being ‘magnified’ by certain groups in our society. Most people are doing the best that they can to improve the environment, society, and the economy; whereas there are those who constantly whine and grime about society, expecting apes that came out of the Savannah several million years ago to fix things immediately.

As one travels the world, and observe astutely of society, people, and culture they can see hope and optimism in so many areas. It is a wonder that apes out of the jungle have built sophisticated technology, infrastructure, and complex structure that allows anyone to travel all over the world. We are now living in a world, where one can have breakfast in Singapore, have lunch in Dubai, and then have dinner in Paris.

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We are now living in a world, where one can have breakfast in Singapore, have lunch in Dubai, and then have dinner in Paris.

Think about the statement for a second, a person can eat their breakfast in a cafe in Singapore, go to the airport with excellent transportation facility, travel at the speed of sound in a jet airplane, stop over for lunch in Dubai, then head to Paris for a beautiful candlelight dinner. Our ancestors hundreds of years ago could never imagine that people one day will be able to eat their meals in different continents within a day.

Our ancestors hundreds of years ago could never imagine that people one day will be able to eat their meals in different continents within a day.

While this access isn’t available for every person on the planet, a quick tour to any mega airport will reveal the answer, the latest data shows more than a billion people have traveled internationally last year.

Where does this lead us, one can only guess as the physicists Michio Kaku, stated that we are seeing the changes of a multicultural society, based on scientific principles, and tolerant people. Obviously there would be a lot of conflict and hesitation by people, but we can also see the evidence of a society that is the pinnacle of human excellence.

Gift of GPS

gps1Imagine going to a country that one hasn’t been before, not knowing anyone, not speaking the language, or even a place to stay, that is how hopeless I felt when I had lost my phone abroad.

A smartphone is one of the best ways to navigate the world, and without it most travelers would be in limbo. As soon as my phone was stolen, I felt a heavy burden on me; yes I would have been fine had I been in a country where I knew the local language, and therefore could ask people to aid me. The smartphone was my only companion as a solo traveler, guiding me across the vast world.

A smartphone is one of the best ways to navigate the world.

I was never keen on buying a smartphone, until I was on a tour and a passenger sitting beside me was using the gps, to navigate to his destination. It was extremely helpful for not only him but also to me, as I knew exactly where to go with pinpoint accuracy.

Without gps technology, I wouldn’t have been able to find a place to stay that is walking distance to the beach, touring nearby places, restaurants, finding the quickest route to my destination, and dozens of other stuff that was so helpful to my during my stay. I would have been stuck in a forest with wild elephants for the whole night if it wasn’t for gps !

As I had written before about the dangers of technology creeping in, again it depends on the context of the situation, we can use these wonderful tools to enrich our lives or we can use it to create ‘the matrix’. It is people rather than the tools that will determine the outcome. My greatest fear is people will not utilize the full potential of our wonderful tools to create a better society.

It is people rather than the tools that will determine the outcome.

Finding Meaning

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In mid-afternoon, the air dry the sun smoking up any traces of water, eerily silence ensues as people stop buzzing around for a lunch break. Railway tracks, beaming in the heat, it’s surface as hot as a pan, I can see him from another railway crossing, his bright skin attracting the attention of other kids. Mindlessly walking along the rail tracks, the filth and smell didn’t bother him, walking with no clear purpose, physically tired, his eyes looking for answers, avoiding questions the kids were asking him, he looked similar to the picture above.

One of the last places you could ever think that a foreigner would go to, especially walking along the filthy rail tracks, for long distances, to pass time. A quick tour to any part of western europe and north america will give you the answer, people there are living meaningless lives. That’s why you can find them hoping from one place to another, like gypsies, staying in peculiar places that even locals don’t go, doing things that others wouldn’t expect, they are looking for meaning.

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From the safety of their comfortable home, where they can be sipping coffee, driving suv’s and going to the latest shopping mall, yet these women are getting their hands dirty in south asia. So you have to ask the question, why someone from the ‘modern’ civilization be toiling under the heat ? This answer can only be told my ‘natives’ people who had evolved and adapted to their surrounding, testing and experimenting ways of life that works.

Anthropologist Dr. Joseph Tainter offers to explain this as well, complexity is what drives society to collapse. The west are in a civilization collapse, because of civilization itself, without complexity there is no ‘modern’ civilization, and the increased sophistication from technology, architecture, government, corporations, laws, affects the social dynamics and lifestyle.

“We need a society in which market incentives play less of a role in people’s lives, where people can find happiness in things other than material consumption.” Dr. Joseph Tainter

Hunter gatherer societies have a dozen social personality, whereas modern civilization has over 20 thousand occupations, these increased level of social hierarchy is bound to collapse. Increased commercialization, technological tools in other parts of the globe, hold similar outcomes, the key is can the world learn from the mistakes of the west, or will they succumb to the selfishness of the human desire.

Civilization fragments

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“My God, did we finally do it” was the words uttered by the character played by ‘James Franciscus’ in the movie ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’. In the scene, the character stumbles upon an underground train station, which used to be his home, but he now sees all the fragments remaining of the past civilization.

I found it in my movie collection bought recently and I finally saw it. It was brilliantly directed, the acting was meticulous, the lighting, the script, the storyline, the message everything you expect from a great movie. Even with all the new technologies, gadgets movies are no better today, that’s the problem with the world : addiction to growth.

As our economy needs to keep on growing, humans will keep on devouring all the resources the planet can sustain, as our population expands, more consumption is required, the difference between devouring resources today compared to thousands of years ago is environmental pollution. Most people still don’t understand or believe in climate change, because of religious, cultural, and economical aspect associated with it.

Industries don’t want to believe in global warming, because they rely on the fossil fuels to grow their wealth, politicians don’t believe in carbon pollution, because they are paid by the fossil fuel industry, economist don’t want to stop climate change, because they know the economy will collapse, religious people don’t want anything to do with global warming, because they believe only god is capable of changing the climate.

In the movie, what was predicted decades ago, still resonates to this day, how people, think, what people do to other animals, how people’s fascination with fictional reality will ultimately cost the destruction of our species and other life forms. Scary part is the reality of the situation at this moment, can humans change, or will they ‘finally do it’.

Dust and Steel

The sheer weight, the unbearable humidity, the constant noise, expending all the strength and energy to pull the cargo, especially at this time of the year, is excruciating. People of the city want to build a modern civilization, a civilization that produces dust and needs steel.

Walking at the outskirts of the city, where there is some greenery left, but not for long ! Not for the people in our culture, who think they are born in this world to build civilization, but alas they can’t do it with proper planning, infrastructure, vision, because they are flawed. Civilization is not for every culture in this world, certainly not for people who are disorganized, uncoordinated, lack vision. The west have done their bid to build it further, even though they are more organized, professional and have vision, they too are reeling from it’s effects, the complex societies they have built is falling apart, social destabilization is causing plenty of people to abandon their developed empires to developing empires across the world.

the complex societies they have built is falling apart, social destabilization is causing plenty of people to abandon their developed empires to developing empires across the world

IMG_20160614_154748Looking at the way the man was pulling the cargo, made me think of the way our culture is heading towards. It also made me think of my personal hurdles in life, with such sheer weight he could barely pull it, that’s why he had made a belt across his waist so he could ease the load on his body, with miles to go he stopped to take a breath and then kept marching. With people who faced childhood abuse, that’s what it feels like, pulling this sheer weight of mental anguish, in a unforgiving environment, with miles to go yet somehow we keep marching.

 

Plenty of foreigners, stop what they are doing and take pictures of this kind of site, but rarely do they question the bigger picture, they push for modernization here, but without fully understanding and comprehending the complexity of the issue, the environmental damage, the social destabilization, the hunger for endless growth and consumption, that would ultimately turn the world in a bowl of dust and steel.