Randomness, superstition and understanding:
Everything starts by being random. You can’t spot the head or the tail. But you don’t just feed the angel or kill the monster. You try to figure out its start and end. You start with correlations coz that’s what your brain can spot at first. Your beliefs at this stage are nothing more than superstitions if you stop here and hypotheses if you pursue them. You carry out fair experiments to test each factor and then zero in on the ’cause’. You then try to find a ‘method’ by which the cause can lead to the effect. With that you claim to have understood something of the monster.
Correlation may not be the causation, but it might be a future causation:
Correlation is not causation. But, many correlations are results. And many results are feedbacks into the system thereby becoming a contributing cause of whom they were themselves a product. Feedback is a lovely aspect of evolving systems. It changes dependency into inter-dependency. The dependencies get woven so intricately that we no longer like the term dependency. We prefer to use the word interaction. We interact with our surroundings and the surroundings in turn interact with us. A positive feedback encourages us, a negative feedback discourages us. If we get encouraged, it encourages our surroundings which encourages us further. This phenomenon is a fundamental part of what we encounter every day. We see it in brawls when anger escalates, on social networks when a topic trends, in fashion when a style is a hit and in society when beliefs get accepted.
A single source, feedback and a continuum of sources:
The beauty of a feedback is not just in the interaction but also in the establishment of a diffused source. What originally started from a single source, now seems to spring from various factors. This is because the first round came up with some outcomes, each of these outcomes acted as a feedback source thereby becoming a source themselves. By the time you are done with twenty rounds, you don’t know how it all began. In fact, the point from where it began may not even exist at present. Yet the structure exists. It may have started with your boss shouting at you. But with you getting irritated at a wrongly parked car, the driver challenging your parking skills, you abusing his sister, he punching you in your stomach and now both of you in hospital, there really isn’t a single source you can trace this menace back to. The boss meanwhile is enjoying saas bahu serials at home.
‘Source’ is the source of cessation, not the source of origin:
How it originated is not the question here. If that’s the path you are going to take, it’s not going to work. There is absolutely no way by which you can trace your way back to the origin in an evolved system. But, what you can do is attack from the periphery. Curb future feedbacks. Eat your way back into the system. You don’t even need to eat your way right to its core. There is no core now. The extended expanse is what it is, hollow from inside. Kill future feedbacks and you can starve the system to death. Feedback is the food for the system. Education is a means of implanting new sources, but the environment still governs the feedback. We can have endless debates on whether illiteracy is the root cause or whether educated men don’t commit crimes. The answer is “I don’t know how it began. But I can suggest how to curb it. There isn’t a direct cause-outcome that led to it. But there is a direct cause-outcome that can hope to curb it.”
Brain as a cause:
While humans may struggle to make sense of the world around them, there is a very simple causation that they intuitively agree upon – thoughts cause actions. Maybe you didn’t think, but the thought came and so you acted. This isnt correlation. It is outright causation. Even in the case of impulses. For us to understand the actions, we don’t even need to bother whether it is ‘the’ causation or a pawn in the path of some other causation. All we care is that thoughts are an inescapable precedent to actions and curbing thoughts is a way of preventing actions. To bring about a change in actions, we need to curb the feedbacks that lead to the thought itself. You can bring forward deterrents for the action. But that is like applying pressure on a tube. The content is going to find some other way of coming out. If you are applying pressure on this end by deterring actions, the thoughts are applying an equal pressure from the other end causing the frustration to build. Kill the sources which feed the content itself. The thoughts.
Mind and Mentality:
Mind is about emotions. Mentality is about expression. Mentality is a more physical level wiring which allows for routes to express your emotions, give them a form. Anger is an emotion. But do you get angry when you are jealous or do you get angry when you are in pain? What do you get jealous of? A woman who is earning more than you or a man who is stronger than you? These concepts shape our mentality. When we are hit by an emotion, we look to the mentality routes for expression. As magically bizarre the rise of emotions are, the shaping of mentality is pretty much comprehensible. I cannot predict when you will get jealous. But I can shape your wiring to not get jealous of, say, kids who are playing in the garden. I can discourage you from beating kids up every time you do get jealous of them. Am not changing your mind, am changing your mentality. And that is not very tough.
Mentality transcends smoothly into actions. The routes provided by the wiring lead right upto tangible objects. If the emotion is intense enough, if you are weak enough, if you don’t question your thoughts, you are one step away from executing the mentality. Love is mysterious. An emotion you don’t know what to do with. But when you associate smashing cars with it, you know exactly what to do the next time you feel romantic.
Mentality and cache:
Mentality is not always about deep-rooted beliefs. It is, many a times, about your cache memory. What have you been thinking about for the past few days. Funny how the people who resist attaching narratives to every outcome feel uncomfortable doing something without a reason. But, that’s how actions unfold. Many a times what we have is not a reason but a comfortable route provided to us. We don’t always question why we do things, we don’t always evaluate the pros n cons before taking a decision, we don’t always “really want” to do something for us to do it. We often crowdsource the thinking to the environment. Not everyone who uses a car knows why the car is shaped that way, or why it should have gears etc. You could be inquisitive and find out. But somewhere, you do trust the people who have given it enough thought. More bluntly put, you trust the society. If this is how you see it happening, this is how it must be meant to happen. And this is where feedback latches directly onto your mentality and hence your actions. This part of evolution of the system is so direct that given its vagueness, you are tempted to attack this part first. And profitably so, it yields immediate results. Of all the people who have cellphones now, not everyone really wants to carry one. Some had even strongly spoken against carrying one. But now, if everyone is carrying it, they go with it. This must be the way it should be. We instinctively accept the societal norms prompted by an urge to survive. If they say men shouldnt cry, that must be the way it should be. If they say men should dominate women, that must be the way it should be. No personal vendetta against women. No belief to be shaken either. Just something that the I go with since that’s what I see. Show me something different and I will quickly switch to that. This is how a lot of product adoption graphs evolve. The early adopters start a trend. If enough people adopt, it cascades into the entire system going for the product. Argue all you want – Maybe the product had intrinsic value, audience matured, there was no competition. All arguments can be countered. Reality only being that the initial feedbacks created a fertile environment for it to grow and the subsequent cache copying led to an unchallengeable establishment of the product.
What you see in majority, what you hear every hour every day, shapes your cache. Recall the time when you are getting late for office and don’t have time to think. What do you wear? The one right in the front in your wardrobe. Quickly pull it out, wear and leave. Or maybe the one you are most used to wearing. You know its buttons are intact, you are comfortable with it. Don’t want to experiment at this time. Fall back to your most used suit and rush off. This is the power of mentality. When you are looking to express your emotion, you don’t have the time or patience to think of avenues. You then either go with the cache route that had been bred into you by repeated inputs from your environment. Or you retrieve your own most comfortable route, the mentality you have lived with for long, the wiring your brain has traversed n number of times.
Change mentality towards women you say? K, do that. How are these guys then going to vent their frustration and anger? Maybe they begin a mentality that plants are our enemies. Maybe they begin to religiously visit parks in the evening, in gangs, and pluck all leaves out of a plant, meticulously, violently. You can then begin sensitizing them towards plants, tell them it provides you food, bring laws, bar parks after 8 pm, deter them. They will look for other avenues then. The idea is to keep doing that till they find a harmless or better still a constructive way of expressing themselves.
And this is where education comes in. Education not only helps you cope with your emotions but also provides you with alternative channels to vent the emotions out. We have heard about artists who dance till they faint to vent out their anger, who play till their fingers bleed to vent out their pain. Lets talk about a more common emotion – boredom. We have options, we actually ask ourselves what we want to do to entertain ourselves. Maybe chat on social networks or watch the television or read a book or play a game. What do you do when you don’t have interests? You go back to the wirings your mentality provides. You try to implement your emotions through the same channels. The guys who went to pluck leaves out of anger have cultivated a feedback environment which now others take to when they are bored! What do you do as a law imposer or an activist? What do you call a cause, what an effect and whom a perpetrator?
The case of feeding sexual channels:
For those who feel lyrics of a song, the television, movies, language etc are trivial things to focus on, step out of your world of myriad interests and enter this world where people live, breathe and eat sex. Right from getting up in the morning, watching people in tousled clothes, watching people bathing, hearing songs on the radio, calls on the cellphone, words used in every sentence… The entire day is filled with not so subtle innuendos which shape your mentality and fill your cache. These are not people who have developed skilled channels for expression. Language and songs make up for a major chunk of their interaction with the world. Some resort to sexual channels to vent anger, some to vent energy, some to vent frustration, some to vent helplessness and some just to vent boredom. There’s a guy who rapes because he has lost his job and a schoolboy who gropes en route from school coz he doesn’t know what to do with his energy. The core cause is not the same, but, the feedback is the same. They all take to what you feed them. All those who listen to songs and sing them do not do so coz they have a musical inclination. Society drills music into them. Feeds them music. You do the same with sex and you have what you have now.
The special mention on expletives:
Expletives, abuses, create the environment, the feedback that works on your mentality and cache. How far you let it affect you is your own control, but the idea is that it needs a control from you. By default, it does affect you. There is no way you can say F*** hundred times in a day without at least thinking twice about the act.
And let us just say that you don’t mean it when you say it. You don’t mean it when you dance to Chikni Chameli in a party. It is just a word or just a song. Am willing to go with it. After all we understand what kids mean even when they use wrong words from the limited ones they know. But then, if that’s how you treat words then how do you pride on your vocabulary, how do you incorporate complex structures like pun and sarcasm into your words and how do you challenge me randomly on my choice of words. How also do you attach style to words? Why is “hanji” mediocre while “yup dude” is happening? And why are you using the word F*** specifically? If the word itself doesn’t matter then why not duck or muck or luck? Coz you too rely on what the society feeds you. You may not mean the word, the insult when you say F***. You still say it coz the environment has fed that into your cache. When you are irritated, this is the word that comes to your mind. Translate this onto the mind of the perverts. Not all who molest are sexually aroused, not all are mad about women, not all are suppressed souls, not all even know what sex is all about. Yet they take to it. The way you take to F***. Your saying may not harm me. But their doing does harm me. Immensely.
To end fashionably:
Causes aren’t always direct and time bound – Not like you wash your hands and a disease will go away. Not like for the time you havent washed your hands you are suffering from a disease. But, not washing hands is a cause for many diseases. It encourages the growth of a breeding ground for germs.
Feedback may not be the cause for existence, but is a sure cause for death – Not like you feel hungry every time you pass by a fridge. Not like the fridge makes you eat. Not like you wont feel hungry if a fridge is not around. But, a fridge is what you will open when you are hungry. And the contents of the fridge are the choices you will face. And one of those contents is what you will eat. We can’t control when people will feel hungry. But we can control what we are hoping to feed them.