Sunday, August 17, 2014
In this entry I will write on one of the key aspects that seem to give shape to human behavior and society. I will not mention particulars or specific events, suffice the fact that, no matter the century or place, there is what we call injustice in the world. Since I am not religious, I will argue that this is not an absolute condition of reality, but rather the biased perception that comes from our first person witness of reality. The key point is about the duality of fairness in terms of the universe and in terms of ourselves. Imagine an infinite checkered board in which an enough large amount of pawns of different colours, not just black and white, stand filling a many of the squares. Now imagine that randomly, a finite number of these pawns are taken out of the board by an invisible hand for no particular reason, just wanted to take some pawns out of the infinite board. First of all, from the point of view of the board, nothing fundamental has changed (!!), even if the invisible hand takes the pawns from a specific corner of it and as many as it wants (remember... the board is infinite). From the point of view of a taken pawn, things are radically different, from being on the board to being dumped out of it (the chosen one!). From the pawns left on the board, the fact that a particular pawn was taken and not itself also has an implication; it has to be a reason why that particular pawn was taken instead of itself (has it?). If some higher entity is really there collecting pawns, from the point of view of them it must be of course a reason why a given pawn was collected while another was left on the board. But from the point of view of the collecting hand, independently whether there is or there isn't an entity behind, all the pawns are irrelevant, no particular reason why choosing one instead of another, only an hypothetical higher purpose concerning the overall board. The hand is not interested in the particulars of a given pawn when there is an infinite board with them to collect and move! If there is no superior entity or higher purpose; pieces are just taken in a random way one after another no need of fairness in the process. So reality (a.k.a. the positions of the pawns on the board) doesn't have a special condition that make the pawn collection fair or unfair, even if there is a higher purpose collecting the pieces; the concept solely comes from the pawns and their circumstance on the board and their relative perceptions. We have indeed trouble to perceive the reality outside of ourselves and thus, it is very difficult to avoid assessing how fair or unfair is a circumstance in the context of pure reality devoid of our own presence. The moral of the fable is simple, the fact that human beings cannot behold reality outside of themselves give them a strong bias about reality and morality. We are inherently selfish.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I am always surprised of cynical behaviour, particularly in the context of environmental and some other related issues: A tragically funny example is the legislation that counts pizza as vegetable in school lunches, on the basis of the tomato sauce. A not so funny example, when a lawyer specialized in car accidents goes to the same school to talk about car safety and give to the children pencils, t-shirts and action figures... everything with the logo "Hurt in a car... call me" Yesterday, I was thinking on this cynical behaviour related with the environment, because I noticed that the company that makes the water bottle I got from the supermarket claims that they are environmentally friendly now producing bottles with less plastic, particularly tiny tops. While it is true the new bottle contaminates a bit less (although not sure whether the process to make the new top is less or more contaminant than before) the true motivation of the company is really not very clear to me... not just saving money but using the concept as advertisement: We are cool, we care about the environment! Typical example of this is in an hotel in which they advertise that they care about the environment with the towel business (we won't wash them on a daily basis to save energy and water) and then they give you breakfast with everything disposable knife, cup, saucer. So the real question is: are these tiny, pitiful initiatives useful? the fact is there are indeed some improvements! Is it worthy? Should we better invest in a change of attitude, saving some of this cynical gathered petty cash to really produce a change beyond the crumbs represented by the wet towel hanging on a rail?