Saturday, August 5, 2006

Save The Earth

What is your first reaction when you see a written-piece like this one? Obviously, you are at your wits end and exclaim, "Oh! my god! What is this?" Maybe, you yell & scream like a mad man,"Stupid! It is utter nonsense". And, then, after a bout of volatile and high mercurial blast, comes a cool and a sane voice from inside, "Oh, yea! Somewhere something might be wrong, but you need not explode your anatomical frame into smithereens. Be cool and join the party of hi-fi intellectuals who would skin the issue with high sounding phraseology. You just watch them explode, one by one, over a very simple issue. It will be fun, extra-ordinary".

I tell you what. You see, when I read this story of KANK or "KABHI ALVIDA NA KAHNA", I was feeling like an alien, as an ET would do on the earth. Why? Because, there is a GENERATIONAL, CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL GAP, which sets me apart from the TSUNAMI-WAVE GENERATION of your times. And those who haven't heard KANK Story; let me briefly narrate it to you, what my story- teller told me.

It was the tale of two Indian boys and two Indian girls, brought up on the Indian land on the alien culture, who make two happy pairs of love-birds, when parents decide to intervene (Or was it interfere?
Well, my narrator will later clarify!) Intervention leads to mis-matched marriage. There is a general state of unhappiness, till parents decide to have mercy (or was it pity? My narrator might clarify if he / she understands the difference between the two. I reckon it was a genuine correction by impulsive-act doers, who late realise their mistake of an emotive act!)

This story started a fission-type thought-reaction in me, which set me on a journey over the high altitude mountains of unknown terrain, where every thing seemed strange. I kept uttering to myself, "WHAT ONE SEES IS ALWAYS NOT THE TRUTH AND THE HEAP OF VISIBLE FACTS ONLY MISGUIDES ONE TOWARDS CONTRIVED TRUTH, WHERE REAL TRUTH IS ALWAYS A CASUALITY." Then, a stupendous realisation came. It said, "When one encounters unknown situations, one must not be governed by the dazzling shine of the surface but peep deeper beneath the surface to get a hang of it." You see, while reading one must not only read the written word but also what lies between the lines. THE TRUTH LIES IN THE VACANT SPACE OF TWO LINES (KNOWLEDGE PORTS). REMEMBER, EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE HIDE THIS TRUTH. And what is truth? YOU ARE THE TRUTH. Well! This is what Lord Krishna says in the holy 'GEETA'. That is Holy Book summed up, for you, in three words! Got it or flown over the head like a supersonic aircraft?

Alright, let me explain. At a business conference of large corporations of the world, it was projected by all the CEOs that it was easier to fix and resolve the problem faced by the company if it can be detected in time, but it was very difficult to pinpoint the fault despite KNOWING SOMEWHERE SOMETHING WAS WRONG.
Accordingly, a HR Head of a top IT Company, obviouly MNC, was tasked to select a team of fresh talents to develop a software which could, at the click of a mouse, tell the CEO of a Company as to what was wrong with the company. The search began.

The HR head went to top IITs,IIsc Banglore and all other reputed engineering institutes including AIT to select three technical members of the team and one Team Lead.Everywhere he gave the written test,he asked the candidates to tick the correct answer in TEN SECONDS to the following question:-
What is bigger?
(a) Point two
(b) Point twenty
(c) Point two hundred
(d) Point two thousand
(e) None
(f) All
Most of the brilliant IIT/AIT/IISC boys mulled over the problem and thought there was some catch in it and wasted their time in explaining as to how wrong the options were.Yet, at the end of it every one gave the answer as choice (e), but not within 10 seconds.
He examined the answers and left the place without any affirmative action. He then, went to Top IIMs \ Business Schools and repeated the same question.Here,too, the candidates were in the same dilemma. They, too,explained at length as to how wrong were the options.Stil, everyone chose to answer choice
(f) but overshot the time. He went away without uttering a word. He now decided to go to top universities of the world.

He went to DU, JNU, PU, GNU, AU, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford and various OTHER top universities of the world and put the same question. Everywhere candidates were baffled by the question and invariably they thought there was some catch in it. As at other places, here too, no one answered within 10 seconds. The choice of answers ranged from (e) to (f). His conduct was same. He would just walk out.
Finally, he came back to India. He was convinced that he would not get right candidates till he met a rustic school child in a remote village of Nawanshahar District of Punjab. He asked the boy same question in his vernacular. As soon as he spelt out the question, the boy bounced back, in double speed, with the answer as choice (d). He selected him. Two more technical members were needed. He went to a remote place in Himachal Pradesh and met a school boy in the dusty streets of a hill-side village. When he asked the question, the boy gave the answer as choice (c).This boy was also selected. He went to Vidharva rural areas in Maharashtra and selected a boy who gave the reply as choice (b).Now, only team leader was to be selected. To do so, he went to a Haryana village of Hissar District. The moment he spelt out the question to a school boy, rapidly came the answer as Choice(a).
He decided to make him the team leader.

He reported the conclusion of his mission to his CEO, who expressed the desire to meet the team members. HR Head handed over a sealed envelope to the boss asking him to open it up at the end of their meeting. Then, he produced his selected boys. As soon as the CEO saw the boys, he blew his top. He shouted at the HR Head and said:-

CEO: What is this? You call this bunch of
green-horn kids as members of a most prestigious project of the IT world?

HR Head: What you see is a naked fact. But the fact is always not the truth. And the truth is so enmeshed into web of facts, claims, data, visuals, inferences, interpretations and knowledge-statements that it is lost for ever, sir.

CEO: What do you mean? Could you illucidate?


CEO: what rubbish, I don't get you? Get to the point.

HR Head: That was exactly the point,sir . Most often, what one sees with the naked eyes is what the heart wants to see. And what the heart wants to see is what has been pre-concieved by it because of its education, training and acquired knowledge. But the knowledge-feeding source of the heart is the brain which stores data \ knowledge. As long as there is coordination between the two, the flow of data between them is properly regulated and the heart reacts rationally or what you say normal behaviour. BUT, RATIONALITY IS A MATTER OF HUMAN PERCEPTIONS! WHAT SEEMS RATIONAL TO ONE, MAY BE IRRATIONAL TO OTHER----- AS IS THE CASE IN OUR PRESENT DEBATE. You know Shakespeare said that there was nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Similarly, there was nothing either 'Right' or 'Wrong' but human perceptions make it so. And human perceptions are based on individual exposure; education; acquired knodledge through reading, interaction and observation; surrounding environments and personal experiences.

CEO: So,what are you propounding?

HR Head: Nothing, only explaining that Once there is overflow of knowledge in the brain, it starts leaking from all possible outlets and the resulting actions of the heart become irrational. One of the major function of the brain is to analyse and rationalise data\ knowledge and guide our contemplated action. This function is ignored \ obstructed because the membranes, whose job it is to analyse, get busy with storing of the excessive incoming Knowledge. And, as the loads and loads of knowledge\ information \data arrives, the brain abdicates all other functions in favour of storage. Thus, the mind \ brain is immobilised. Heart is confused with multiple directions arriving simultaneously. One becomes an INACTIVE KNOWLEDGE PULP. You become ROGER MOORE OF THE MOVIE, 'THE RAIN MAN'---- A data spitting human machine akin to a computer-----GIGO----Gabage In ; Garbage Out.

CEO: My goodness gracious! For, heaven's sake cut out this crap.

HR Head: What is knowledge? It is essentially a culmination point of man-made logic. Let us say, in arithmetic, we accept that numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 etc. are assigned certain descriptive values. Now, if we were to alter the assigned values of the numerals universally, it will become a new accepted logic and the old values will be considered illogical. Thus, knowledge and the logic are not a real truth. In fact they hide the truth. Similarly, education and training curb the natural instincts of a person. They make him automated and mechanical. Thus anything that appears outside the framework of known \accepted norms, it is automatically discarded.

CEO: So, what do I do with this theory of yours?

HR Head: I was coming to it. A mechanical \ automated mind can not invent \ discover \ innovate because he\she can tread only beaten path. They are brilliant carriers of old legacy but miserably fail on unbeaten paths. If you note, most of the discoveries \ inventions \ technological innovations were made by half-read persons. Genius is only good for storing data \ information \ knowledge - not good for devising something new. This data and knowledge is man-made and good only till it remains accepted as per its assigned authenticity. If we said in the past that there were nine planets in our solar system, it was because of the limit of our knowledge. But it was not the real truth. Today our known truth is that we have 10 planets. For, all one knows some more may be found in future. Therefore, the value assigned may change. This is what i call the contrived truth. A mechanical \ automated or say educated mind confines himself to the four-walls of this contrived truth. He is not trained to think out of this conventional box of knowledge.

CEO: Hey, listen friend, I had enough of your bullshit, you come to the point or you are fired.

HR Head: OK, the question I asked from everyone should tell you what was being looked for in the candidates? The job at hand doesn't require a genius. It requires persons with open mind. It requires people who have no previous knowledge. It needed absolutely raw minds. The more serious the problem; More fresh must be the minds who seek to fix it.

CEO: Whatever,we are not running a charity organisation. we can not have these untrained kids doing the job. Your mode of selection seems funny to me.

HR Head: I did not select any of the students of the reputed universities\ engineeing institutes \ business schools because even after realising that there was something wrong in the given options or the question was wrongly framed, they still tried to answer it.
They should have walked away, if they were sure of the folly of the question. They faulted on four counts. First they had no concern of the time. YOU KNOW GENERAL GEORGE S PATTON OF THE US ARMY USED TO SAY THAT A GOOD PLAN TODAY WAS BETTER THAN THE PERFECT PLAN TOMORROW. Second, they had too automated a mind to think beyond the known knowledge. THEY THOUGHT THAT THE KNOLEDGE THEY HAD ACQUIRED WAS THE ULTIMATE THING.
SUCH A FIXATION WAS REPRESENTATIVE OF A STAGNANT MIND. Third, they were hungry for the routine job, not for the pioneering-work. If assigned the job, they will definitely adopt predictable methods and waste time.
Finally, they were confused and not sure of themselves.

CEO: And what is your logic for selecting these four kids?

HR Head: Team members were selected because they were raw minds and after some basic guidance they can be launched on to a pioneering work. They have the eagerness and hunger to tread the unknown path without any fear.Team leader was selected because besides having other qualities of the team members, he also knew how to be on the top because he chose option (a). Really speaking, the answer given by these kids are correct and i think you should know there was nothing wrong with the question. LOOK AT IT THIS WAY. "POINT TWO, POINT TWENTY, POINT TWO HUNDRED and POINT TWO THOUSAND" COULD MEAN SPECIFIC POINT IN A DESCRIPTIVE STATEMENT. LIKE I WOULD SAY I HAVE FIVE POINTS AND POINT TWO IS BLA, BLA---------- AND SO ON. AS A COMPARITIVE STATEMENT ANY ONE ANSWER IS PLURALISTIC AND OTHER THREE ARE SINGULAR. THE LAST TWO CHOICES WERE ABSTRACT AND MEANINGLESS. THUS, EACH BOY IN HIS WISDOM SHOT BACK THE ANSWER IN THE ALLOTED TIME FRAME. THEY COULD THINK BEYOND THE BEATEN PATH RATHER THAN CRIB ABOUT THE LACK OF RESOURCES AS MOST OF THESE HIGLY EDUCATED, TRAINED AND KNOWLEDGE-INTENSIVE PERSON WOULD DO.I think you should task these kids to do your job.

CEO: Hell with you and your theories. I am not convinced. I think i was wrong in assigning this job to you. You are fired and leave immediately.

HR Head: I think you are absolutely right. But you have taken a trifle longer to sack me. I expected you to do it forth with. Anyway the loss is bothways yours. You may open the envelope and read it now.
Thanks For bearing with me.I have recorded our conversation so that you do not back out after reading this note.

Thus, the HR Head happily walked away without any signs of remorse or bitternes shown on the face. The CEO opened the envelope and began reading. It read:-

My dear Chief,

Sir, your conduct is predictable as you have been programmed through your learning process to behave like this. Before you sack me here is my resignation. I leave this company of my own free-will because i was stagnating here and not growing . I was sinking deep in the stagnant waters of my career in your company due to lack of growth and the repititive work. YOU KNOW WHAT PHILOSOPHER LINSDAY HAD ONCE SAID. HE HAD STATED THAT YOU DID NOT DROWN BY FALLING IN THE WATER, YOU DROWNED FOR HAVING STAYED THERE. I have had the opportunity over the last six months to have a glimpse of our rivals companies. And I have had an excellent offer. Perhaps, this was possible because I got the opportunity to work outside the suffocating environments of the company. No doubts, this opportunity was given by you, when you asked me to select a team for a job which was ill-conceived. You see a human intensive organisation can be guided through computers but IT CAN NOT BE COMPUTER-DRIVEN.

Therefore, all you CEOs are on the wrong foot if you ever think human conduct can be mapped by a computer and you will ever be able to FIND OUT WHAT IS WRONG & WHERE IS IT WRONG, at the click of a mouse. All of you are wrong if you think computers can ever replace a human brain. This is the undoing of most of the CEOs.

I took up the assignment because it was an opportunity to explore a new vista. I knew from the beginning that I would have to go and therefore I searched new openings for myself. And I have been offered a CEOs job by your strongest rival and I would join them as soon as I am free from you.

As regards these boys, they stand enrolled in your company for a minimum period of three years ,on a salary befitting their envisaged future role in the company. However, according to their terms of contract, they will be under training for one year and provided with all the facilities to learn about the job. Their jobs are protected against sacking. The company will have to dish out one million dollars to each if removed from the job before three years or not trained to their satisfaction. It will be considered as contractual deficiency. The annual CTC for each boy will be minimum one lakh dollars. Well, you can not back out because i was fully authorised by the management and the CEO to make these selections as per my wisdom as i deemed fit for the company. You have no choice but to bear with these boys. At the end of three years, they are at a liberty to leave, which they will, because they have signed the contract with my new company to join us after they leave you. It is for your information that My ccompany will be providing legal services and advice to the boys free of cost, should you default on this contract.

Sir, by now, you would have understood that living life is not a few clicks of the computer mouse. There is no display monitor of the consequences of your actions in life. you live it today and not on the contours of tomorrow. Today is the reality; face it. And this reality is that in a competitive and a market economy everything is on the sale. Talk not about old ethics and moralities which are marvellous ruins of a old social structure. Let future travellers of these ruins marvel at their grandiose style, like we wonder today at the beauty of collapsing caves of Ajanta and Ellora. New moralities of the emerging social system lay stress that individual was supreme and all his activities revolve around this as the central theme. Join the band wagon and enjoy the fun. Rat race is on and the some rat will win. Lets run.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,
An Alien Thinker,
Head , HR Dept.

Such a conduct and thinking of 'Alvin Toffler's "THIRD-WAVE" generation or what you call the 'knowledge society', frightens me. They behave like the ' TSUNAMI-WAVE' and I feel they are making this earth a dangerous place to live. Their FREE-FOR-ALL CONCEPT OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY WITHOUT ANY SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND FAMILIAL RESPONSIBILITY ARE BREAKING THE CHAINS OF EMOTIOAL TIES AND AFFINITIES. They blindly pursue goals which have only materialistic gains and monrtary awards. This thinking is the cause of de-sensitisation and brutalisation of human-beings, finally, contributing towards religious activism and over-energisation of religious fundamendalists. The theory of 'INDIVIDUALISM' has its varients in regional, communal, lingual, religious, ethnic, racial and economical fraternities.

Fragmentation and disintegration of families, socities, and countries due to onslaught of 'INDIVIDUALISM' is causing friction and violence every nook and corner of the world. The result is terrorism, wars, military conflicts, riots an disharmony. Emotive bonds of centuries of togetherness have boken. There is a general state of hatred, distust and a sense of insecurity. The questions before all of us are :- Can we save this earth form a final disaster when it will go spinning out of the solar system due to a nuclear holocaust? Have you ever thought that nuclear bombs might create a diequilibrium in the rotational and revolutionary motions of the earth by changing its axis? What if some nuclear scientist governed by monetary advantages, decides to give nuclear weapons secrets to some crazy organisations\ nations\ individuals who suffer from shortsightedness. You see, mankind is sitting on a volcano of its destruction. If we want to save it we would have to re-infuse social codes and a set of moralities wich bind people obligingly together. Declaring wars on terrorism or against a crazy nation will not reverse the situation. It will act as a catalyst. What is needed to be done is to do away with the dominating philosophy of American-style 'free- for-all- liberty and freedom', which is the Mother of 'INDIVIDUALISM'. To do so, we must begin with the basic unit i.e. the old family system. Let family emotions spread its wings to tie people into familial, social and human bonds to sensitise people towards each other's sensitivities. If It happens, Earth shall not spin out of its path. We shall survive. And we owe it to yet-to be-born future generations to let them see this beautiful creation of the GOD- who is singular despite multiple names.

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