Eclipse Of Venus – 2 The System

Statutory warning: Which I keep on repeating once in a while, that is when I remember to. All the opinions, analysis and interpretations in all the articles here are my personal, and hence could be heavily biased. I am responsible for these of course, but only to myself, not to anyone else. Anyone can copy, use my interpretation at his/ her own risk for which the under-unsigned won’t be responsible. Obviously, you can point out my mistakes, which, well depending on my mood and being convinced by the argument, I might (or might not) entertain enough to correct the matter.

When one talks of something extreme, either sense or nonsense, the size of the speech should be limited. Otherwise both the speaker and the audience, especially the second one, would become bored and withdrawn. Think of a completely noir movie, can one watch it all the way through? Or a complete slapstick comedy?

Very difficult. In one case, there is a heartache and in other stomachache. But that is only for a certain duration. After which, in the first case, the handkerchief may become too wet, and the sound of blowing nose in the auditorium too loud, to sit further and enjoy (!) it. Who knows, you might even catch infection from the concentrated atomized rhinovirus spray that definitely would escape the ineffective filter (handkerchief). It would float around, searching for the opportunity to land directly on their favorite land plot of future home, which is you, where they would go forth and rapidly multiply.

Though this is a direct attack on your heart, but it would rarely cause a heart-attack, in fact this might even have some long-term benefits. For example, though for the time being the eyes might look puffy, but in fact they are getting thoroughly cleansed.

Since all are not so beauty conscious, the attendance would be quite thin. That’s why to console the people associated, various awards are given to these movies. Once the tears have dried, the dry movie is put in a vault (archive). No one would anyway miss them and more importantly, they might not easily come out of the Pandora’s box to menace the audience once again.

In contrast, the other one though looks superficially beneficial, but is in fact much more harmful. It starts with a stomach ache and though there isn’t any shooting pain or ache in heart, but its neighbor, the lungs are stressed. These might end up causing spasms, muscular aches, and in extreme cases, there are reports of vulnerable victims choking or even suffering heart-attacks, this time coronary.

One of the lucky thing about it is the inbuilt defense mechanism. Excess of it usually would make the target to withdraw after a certain time, most of the time mentally, but could even be physically, though none would accept or believe it. ‘How can a person get bored in an out and out comedy?”. But they will, and then withdraw,

  • either from the mood, by refusing to laugh anymore at, by what they would call, staled jokes, or
  • from the environs, by withdrawing mentally, probably looking around among the audience for something more interesting, or
  • in extreme cases of boredom, use their lower limbs to avoid becoming the witness to the attempt to murder, or become the murder victim themselves

This is where Marx brothers scored over Karl Marx. To be honest, we must give a bit of concession, poor Karl was up against four of his namesakes. Unlike the tear (at least of boredom) inducing Karl, the brothers gave us continuous tickles. But that was only superficial. The moment one went a bit deep, their works were satires, and that induced thought. The antics brought laughs, but they also brought thoughts, and would compensate by being on the darker side of the grey, almost noir. Similar things Chaplin too did in his works, his tramp might be adorable and laughable, but what went around weren’t.

When I look at say Chaplin, or Keaton’s works, they fall in two categories, ‘just for laughs’ were short films. You watch a comic piece for 15 to 20 minutes and then it is over. Probably that is the approximate time, you could laugh continuously, before telling “Enough, now you have started boring me”. Let me look at one of the famed works, “Seven Chances” a 1926 movie of Keaton. It was about one hour long feature film, and it dragged, at least personally for me (I am in minority, since it got a high IMDb Score of 8+). “The General” was better because it also had other non-comic elements in abundance.

When the movies are of longer duration, it shouldn’t be an out and out comedy. To be a good and enjoyable movie, it must have something that would make you stop laughing and start thinking. Chaplin quickly adapted to it, in fact he even brought tears (not of mirth), within laughter. Marx Brothers were similarly successful by putting in satires, caricaturing certain real life problems, but Keaton’s style didn’t really suit it and as a result, he faded out (though frankly it was more due to personal problems). He did make a comeback and was appreciated too, in late thirties, but then too it was for shorts and not full length features. In fact, that concept of having a gap between laughs or tears goes to noirs too. This the ‘Masala’ films of Bollywood have understood very well and at regular intervals, they bring in some stale comedy sequence, or make the couple, out of the blue, start chasing each other around green lush bushes, even if they are in Thar desert, and then break into a song and dance number.

I wanted to reduce the size of the piece, by splitting it into pieces, so that they don’t bore. But clearly, I have done the exact opposite, by going in an extensive argument on why this boring topic should be in short segments. While explaining it, I have already consumed what this segment was allocated.

Let me now continue from where I left,

So, we have a system, which has its tentacles spread out thin but strong everywhere, keeping a watch on individual atoms and admonishing and punishing them whenever they misbehave, i.e. don’t follow the laws of the systems and thus become deviant. Before they start infecting the others they need to be treated in case the infection is less malignant.

But if it is malignant, then based on the degree of malignancy, these atoms need to be quarantined. It could be for a

  • short duration,
  • some considerable time,
  • permanently or may be
  • in ultimate case, these must be taken out of the system (in fact all the systems) itself.

Obviously before that is done, someone would have to decide the degree of malignancy, by studying the guiding principles of the system, interpreting them, finding out what exactly the culprit was doing, what way and to what extent it has violated, what would be the effect on the neighbors etc.

There are two way of doing it, through democracy, i.e. based on what everyone thinks of the subject. Let us say thing like Brexit, or even elections of representatives. The results of the aggregated voice (i.e. polls), indicate with which side of the concept, candidate or the party we stand, and to what extent and conviction (the percentage share of Ayes and No).

This obviously would be governed by many things, including dissatisfaction with the status quo, (satisfaction is rarely expressed, or even achieved). A direct outcome of this attitude is that an unbiased objective analysis to decide whether the new choice would be better or worse, or could even lead to be catastrophe is usually overlooked, for an abject desire to ‘change’. Hence we really can’t depend on this method, when the matters are really critical or crucial. Britain did it, but I am not sure it should have.

It seems to be a piece of contradiction, that the population shouldn’t take a call on matters that are really critical or crucial for them, but that’s what should be, except the elections, where there is no other way.

When one is asked to make a decision, he or she should be aware of the pros and cons up to a great extent. If one makes a decision based on hearsay or coaching on TV by political parties, the vote would be based on convincing power. Decision and act of a trained person need not be the same as that of an educated person. I wonder how many of the voters had looked at the complete economic impact of the decision. Not that the decision as wrong, but was it done with an open mind? Certainly not, since I don’t assume that in any country even 5% of people could really study and envisage the long-term impacts of a policy shift. We would rather try to imagine what would be immediate impact and then I will support whatever suits me.

We should better leave it in hands of what are generally thought to be experts (by us), in the words of George Orwell’s animals, people who think they are ‘more equal than’ us. These people would discuss among themselves and decide what is best for all. To have a quicker outcome, this group shouldn’t be too large. It would be best be a single person, but we know what happens in dictatorship, even if it is time-controlled one. ‘You are dictator for next five years’, though probably has never been officially tried out, but practically it at least almost happens (and even now happening, in various parts).

These officially elected, solitaries, might be personally extremely benign. But the interpretations made by these people in such case is what they think is right. They do seek and get information from various resources, but still it is finally their call to make. If the person is really idealistic and benign, it would be what he/ she think is beneficial for all, or if not, it might tilt in favor of Specific.

Obviously, it isn’t a situation one should look forward too. Even if the person is most benign of all, the decision taken would be still biased by his/her beliefs, interpretations, situations, including the person’s personal at that moment of time and past, and many other factors. Hence let us not leave the matter in the hand of one, but a group of persons, though not a very large one, they would deliberate among themselves and decide whatever is good. Agreed all won’t be unbiased or benign, but the law of average would win, and especially when the personal bias and interest clash. They could and do still make coterie and make a common interest agenda. But that’s the best we can do, and the bits and pieces do get scattered among us.

These so-called experts are from us, but not one of us, so we do understand that what they think is right would differ from us. But just by being from one of us, and being human after all, they too suffer from what we do, the past and the present, future and the bias.

While analyzing a situation, the method followed is universal, even the self-learning artificially intelligent machines are taught to follow it.

  • Have you ever encountered this phenomenon in past?
  • If not personally, then someone you know, or even read it somewhere (including history books)?
  • If not, at least something similar?
  • What was done and what was the effect?
  • How do I modify the effect to suit the current problem and situation to have the result that I consider the best?
  • Even if no such situation is there in collective memory, still there is a method we use in engineering called FEMA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) where possible decisions are analyzed on “How they could fail and lead to catastrophes” and discard the failed solutions or at least polish them to plug those loopholes.

Thus, any decision, having effect in future, is weighed down by the

  •  past of decision maker(s) and
  •  what he/she thinks is the best outlook for future, including his/her own.

This is universal and unavoidable, but making a group, with different pasts and experiences could ameliorate and generalized the situation to be the one best for all. Even the FEMA can be easily understood to have the “Group/ Individual’s Past Bias” effect.

The system, or the guardians of the system are the top hierarchy of it. They have the power and authority, given by us, the common people, to make decisions on our behalf. In addition to it, it is their duty to see that the decision is implemented, either by them themselves, or by the people on which they have control. These could be the top politicians, of the state or union, depending on we focus on the state or union, councilors of the local body, judges of the court, board members of a company, owner of a company, top man of a studio, or even a cooperative group (say Film Producer’s association).

But are they able, even when a group, to come to a fair solution? Even if they have nothing to gain or lose by it, say a judge or jury presiding over a case? Or they have a certain mindset, which doesn’t permit to see “The” solution, and they chose something other than it, governed by their own prejudices and mindsets?

The human mind works in strange ways and it is probably not entirely possible to rid it of all its twists and turns. It might seem very interesting, but when a jury sits to hear a criminal case, where the defendant, if proved guilty, is almost certain to get death sentence, the jury should be “Death Qualified”, i.e. they should neither be a pro nor anti capital punishment. This is done to make it fairly balanced, so that the defendant gets a fair chance of escaping with his life. However, in contradiction to the common sense, it has been found that the award of capital punishment is significantly more by the death-qualified jury, than the randomly selected one.