Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Written World


It is interesting is it not, that the world we live in and believe is primarily based on a few characters dismantling certain patterns of thought in our minds. Language as we know it has come a long way - from the intricate hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt (keep in mind this is the same civilization that made the pyramids and also inspired classical works of neo-renaissance such as ‘The Mummy’ and ‘The Mummy Returns’) to the short hand twitter-esque stutters dominating the minds of the masses to-day. The Written World

This beautiful art that we have modelled and re-modelled over the years is still, like everything else, susceptible to interpretation. If two people read the same sentence it is not necessary that they will derive the same meaning from it – in fact, the chances of that happening are extremely scarce. We exist in a very presumptuous world, one where it is almost taken for granted that communication exists without barriers. The extraction of meaning from the written word is a process that requires greater imagination than we are made to believe. It is influenced dramatically by classical conditioning and experiences can never ever be replicated to their fullest extent in the form of writing. Perhaps the only difference between a computer command stemming from a binary stream of information and that of language is the potential difference of permutations and combinations between the two.

The neural structures of our brains enable fast firing of electronic signals that aid in the extraction of ‘meaning’ from text in order to make it worthy of interpretation. The information is thus dissembled and decoded yet the exact communication between the author and the reader can never quite be determined as the factual base of it is that the very means of communication are flawed.

Enter cyberspace. In the world today, unlike the one we romanticize and base our expectations on, there really is no guarantee of credibility. Facts are derived from Wikipedia, Google and other such microwaves of information. The quick 1.2353 second answers to all of life’s mysteries. In the academic realm, like the one we are forced to adhere to at institutions such as universities, this quick path to informational nirvana is discredited. It simply gives you an opportunity to personally meet Mr. Lord Sir Dr. VC and friends. Its availability, however, forces you to question the validity of all that ‘is’ credited. A date stamp, a seal from a scientific journal and impeccable referencing techniques are simply more convincing than a Wikipedia article – nothing more. If an informational source that most of the world follows is not credible then the knowledge that is being imparted on most of the world is not credible either. Therefore it begs us to wonder as to what really stands the tides of time in this turbulent space. If something like an article scourged from Google’s database is not a reflection of reality then why must we presume that a journalist from the deathly bowels of Iraq or a balding scientist from a basement in Boston are blessing our begotten souls with the knowledge that we yearn for?

The world that we tread on today, and the cyber world that it is interleaved with, are simply blatant reflections of our ability to blindly believe without thorough questioning and is also a grave reflection of our will to forfeit the validity our personal experiences over ideas ranted and raved on about by others. It is a simple mockery of ourselves that we are witnessing – a theatre assuming its own personality laughing at its creators. This is a written world that we uphold and smile at, the one that we attribute ridiculous concepts such as patriotism and nationality to, it is the world that is pulled over our eyes by ourselves. A prison for the mind.

I like ‘the Matrix’.

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