Saturday, September 13, 2008

Technology and Humanity in the Indian Context:

Gandhi had a dream of a global world. The world is global but not how Gandhi saw it. In the process we lost India to it. And with India we lost our selves. In brief it is about how mankind has progressed and the world we are living in. I find this most interesting and perhaps even very shocking. What life has come to mean in these times. I do not really know how to tackle this issue but for a start id like to list down certain points of conflict:
a. knowledge: general education compared to specialization and professional courses.
How things are becoming more and more complicated and our reasoning behind it doesn’t sustain. I have all sorts of gadgets and devices which give a specialized set of problems. The issue is that nobody really thinks them out before introducing it into the market: we are faced with mass production and a variety of models
Take for example cell phones: it causes heart ear and other hormonal problems:
Diesel and petrol cause pollution so we resort to CNG which proves to be carcinogenic
We realize these problems after implementing massive world scale systems into place.
It is perhaps a design problem but I wouldn’t be so forward as to say that.
But at a simple level I could say that these are solutions that are not thought out well enough. We have so many people and fields of thought and technology that cater to different ideas that we have lost sight of a larger perspective. WE are going a long way everywhere because everybody can experiment. But certain large scale experiments can be unforgivable blunders for humanity. Perhaps it is a cycle perhaps it is a time.
In India when I was in school about 6 years back we used to hear about the ozone hole and about population control. India is just behind china when it comes to population. Then for many years it was not my concern until I realized that nobody talks about it any more. A friend of mine mentioned a family planning doctor who had ten kids himself. How convenient our education has become. But that’s the least of our problems.
Even more recently we realized that the young population in India is at its hilt. There are more young people in India now then any other people. In a couple of decades we will have a lot of middle aged people then elderly people and kids. These are massive changes. Nobody knows what is happening in the world today. History has stopped being recorded a long time back. And what is recorded as history in a global world is not what was recorded in nations before. Scales of operation are larger. I feel basically that this abundance of potential and knowledge must be sorted out somehow because we are no longer spectators in the processes of nature. We have dared to meddle and we must now take responsibility. Maybe I venture too far. But after many years in study of design I realize that there is no concern for it. Perhaps our priorities are wrong. Anything goes because it is new and we will always find a crowd that admires it or buys it. But we must stop because a person has a choice but his choice is limited by what is produced. WE will find a million glasses to buy : that is a wonderful choice but do we actually need to make a million glasses try and error and fail and die to know what is good and how it should be done in the first place. Even if we do we now have a million glasses and cars and washing machienes and television. What we don’t have is a standard of living and a educated man who thinks about it. They are just good bargains and diwali gifts.
Also I must believe that we ape the west we are behind them in many ways but we are also more in contriol of our selves we need not go the full cycle. We can perhaps learn form their mistakes instead of making them our own. A sense of sustainability we have always had. It is what the need of the hour is. To be developed in a sustainable manner. In small but efficient and profitable ways, like Laloo Prasad did with the khullars. A quest for nature and environment instead of call centers and multinationals.

b. Capitalism and Multinationals:
How they brand, provoke and flood our senses. Experiments are conducted in panoptic practices. Coke adds flicker on a blank screen for such minute moments that the eye does not register and the consumption of coke in that theater goes up like mercury. The dump their slurry in farm lands and make them so redundant that nothing grows there. They make multiple brands of pepsi fanta merinda and stuff shops with it. They market it so hard that the consumer and the retailer do not doubt that they should stock and consume. They kill the choice of the nimbu pani.Also in directly by dumping industrial waste in the pure waters of a poor country like ours. There by making it necessary for us to drink that dishwater. Bitter gourds are all bopugth by pharmasuiticals to manufacture medicine and use its properties the vegetabvle is now rarely available and we must supply our selves with medicines instead of having bought and cooked kerele ka bharwa.
How they mak those plastic building with malequins inside and give us a real shopping experience.

c. Corporate culture: working in cubicles, lifestyle and health
d. Children and Media influence: Computers and side effects
e. Nature and Equlibrium
f. Future of the world
g. Fear of exhausting all rewenability before we stop
h. Perhaps we hshold concentrate on saving the planet before we land on the moon

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