The Human Network

'Wearing multiple hats and having different opinions, we are a part of a massive synthesis of ideas.'

‘Wearing multiple hats and having different opinions, we are a part of a massive synthesis of ideas.’

While continually looking for reasons to write on blogs, one recurring theme, or the primary idea is that of sharing. But why would anyone be interested in my thoughts? Thus the tiny sliver of motivation is killed. But, come on, you can’t be cloistered forever. Sharing eases you up. By opening up, you get hold of a strand in a grand web of human thought. In other words, one becomes linked. That idea which social networking guys are so fond of.

Here is one stream of thought that developed itself as I sat down to write. Presenting as it is, in one paragraph because there are no breaks in it:

‘If I can put what I think into a written form, I will be satisfied. The point is not thinking good thoughts. Of course, if I don’t have good thoughts, I can’t have anything good. But it ought not to stop with thoughts alone. The point is in keeping them down, to go over them from time to time, to put them before my friends and open to discussion, to put them for posterity and my own future self. “If I have all good thoughts and I keep them for myself, there is no benefit to anyone else. So publish your work from time to time,” said the scientist. In fact, keeping them for myself doesn’t help me either, I feel. It is kind of selfish to not share my ideas, in not opening up myself to criticism, improvements or approval. By sharing, without an unduly expectation of being approved and not being criticised, I can get more done. It is like this: a thought takes birth in my mind as a result of so many experiences to which my own contribution is minuscule. Then, I give it back to the ones who were involved in these subtle and indirect ways. I do not own it any longer. It is freely floating in the air, allowing itself to be picked up and scrutinised. I shall want to develop it alright but I may not have the final say. I may be attached to my dear idea but others’ additions and deletions should be readily welcome. I happened to house the thought for some time but I do not own it; nobody does. In this way, a beautiful picture takes form: in the wide space of personal interactions, human minds are the nodes, melting pots if you like, where different streams of thought make a confluence; and having assumed a new character, they progress to their next sojourn. Node to node, ideas are forever making a journey, changing flavours, acquiring nuances, sometimes getting too heavy to digest, sometimes just slashed down and reduced only to its essence as that person deemed fit, and on and on…

Here is a closed, self-sustaining system that had no singular origin, nor will it ever vanish, a system that has come to be the defining feature of our species as a thinking animal. That’s Social Networking for you.

As an immediate consequence, we learn that we are no wiser than the wisest chap in our group, time and context are primary in assessing any idea, and sometimes we can fail collectively. There can be little help on such occasions. Speaking of context, we must remember that ideas unfit for now may become very important some other time. That alone is a reason to respect and preserve an argument; because it has been said, and “some thought has gone into it”.


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