Brain & Mind Human Society Social Media

Escaping from slavery of information

Modern science is slowly realising that information could be the most fundamental building block of reality, so understanding how it behaves is now drawing a lot of attention; and, one of the most interesting theories proposes to look at information as a life-form!

This makes sense as once any bit of information is born, be it a virus in your nose or a thought in your brain, it can be seen striving to compete with other bits of information and find a way to copy itself according to the medium it exists in.

This idea can be extrapolated to study human behaviour too, as thoughts and ideas born in our brains are like living animals that can replicate only by finding and infecting other host-brain. So, it is possible that replication agenda of these information bits has enslaved us to look for ways to access and infect other brains. Human urge to communicate could be a result of this process.

Unfortunately for every bit of information, accessing other brains and making them receptive is a very difficult task as our universe is teeming with infinite amount of information that it has to compete with. So, the task of grabbing attention of other brains is its primary need and thus a likely base of all human behaviour.

This drive is so fundamental that it appears to have power to supersede what we have imagined to be central drive of life, i.e. self-preservation of body. Human beings can be found to be taking deadly risks or even indulge in self-destruction for momentary visibility by other brains. So, information drives seem to rule us at a level beyond our survival drive.

But, there is another manifestation of this phenomenon at a different level that has caught my attention during a social media interaction.

One of my completely innocuous posts pointing out Amir’s paradoxical stand about following dreams of one’s parents in 3 Idiots and Dangal was shared by a famous personality idolised by youth of India. Even though it was not really thought-provoking, huge number of intelligent young Indians saw the need to respond to it, allowing me to study tools used humans to grab attention of other brains.

Though each person had his/her own way of trying to rise above the din, one interesting and fairly common trend that I noticed was of disagreement. Though post had nothing really outrageous or objectionable and was perfectly agreeable, people produced arguments from simple to absolutely absurd to prove that they had a different take, a new bit of information that deserved attention.

Though the disagreement in most cases was amusing, it has made me aware of the damaging effect of using disagreement for attention grabbing in social media space; where, for the first time in history, human brains have found an incredibly powerful forum of interaction that can speed up our intellectual growth in an unprecedented manner.

Disagreement has always been an extremely crucial tool for growth of human knowledge as knowledge can move forward only through dialectic discourse. So, if disagreement ends up serving visibility-agenda of information bits, we will end up scuttling our own growth that could otherwise move rapidly under the new-found interconnectivity of brains.

So, I request you to consider this New Year resolution. Next time you see a social media post, do ponder for a moment and see if you really have a genuine disagreement or you are just being slave of the information drive within you. Use disagreement sparingly, so it retains its usefulness as a tool of our advancement.

Your new year may become more agreeable if you allow it to be!

DNA: 1/1/17

I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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