Pixelated Mona Lisa – the human mind trapped in specifics


All Writings, Observations / Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

A fascination with specifics and analyzing details has become an obsession and considered proof of intelligent mind.  It is considered the sign of a civilized, sophisticated person to find and extract what is of interest from a whole mass of information.  Machines, no doubt, are better than humans in the cold extraction of a “fact of interest”.  They can then put together many such specific facts and come up with an understanding of reality.  This is what is called, big data analysis.

The conclusion is correct when anyone concludes how, humans are shifting toward machines in their thinking style, while machines are being trained to think like humans.  We are losing what makes us human – intuition, instinct, and understanding – while machines are being trained to outdo us.  The decline in humanity is obvious!

Missing the picture because we are watching it too close up
Missing the picture

The fascination and habituation toward focus on specifics is not accidental.  Billions of people have gotten used to search engines like Google and Bing.  These respond to keywords.  People have gotten used to thinking in terms of keywords, and deception at the level of keywords.  It would seem logical that, we need to counter deception at the level of each word that is used.  Makes sense, but therein lies the folly.

Once a matter is identified fundamentally as flawed, no matter how much the analysis of details, it is going to reveal aspects and concepts that are flawed at the most basic level.  This is why mankind finds itself perpetually in cycles of rise and fall.  We rise when we explore details in a certain direction, solidifying our beliefs along the way.  We fall when, an underlying fact proves unreliable and the whole things starts to crumble.

Learning from past mistakes should be done at a very fundamental level.  Learning about what is right and wrong should follow the same mindset.  This is where I believe, religion and science differ greatly in their approach.  Religion and philosophy trains the human mind toward generality and principles.  This ensures freedom to express what a person really wants, what he really thinks.  It takes patience.  Science on the other hand, is geared toward minuteness and specifics.  This works fine in regard to technology and communication, or surgery, but it fails in relationships and spiritual pursuits.  To keep a balance is critical to human development.

In the age of social networking and Twitter hashtags, it is strange to then think of why parents abandon their children, or the death of thousands in a tsunami wave.  It is strange to think of an individual case of child abuse in an established institution that is hundreds or thousands of years old.  This is the time we find ourselves in; this is a present-day reality.

It is my firm belief, our way of thinking and way of living will have to undergo a fundamental change and both will have to happen simultaneously.  Otherwise, the friction and attrition we seen in human society will continue to produce the heat of hate.  A time would come when, no one would be able to take so much heat!

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