Sunday, May 18, 2008

Violence Tablet Rising

May 18, 2008 - Note: This article is being published incomplete. Somehow I could not carry on writing it, just when I clearly saw "it" coming ten days before Karachi deadly May 12th, 2007 violence.

And still, I see violence rising, with more to come. This is no conspiracy, as the police or the people sometimes believe. This is self-organized chaos. One day, we will learn through a tragic lesson, how hearts are moves in unison. As I publish this article today - horrified and sickened by the images of the burned robbers of two different torching incidents - I hope that there is another group of hearts that moves in unison - the heart of the Ones Who Love. The Friends. Only in them is our hope. Not in cynicism, not in analyses, not in opinions, not in being smart. But in living a life of love.


From May 13th, 2007:
[I started writing this on May 2nd, 2007. Yesterday - May 12th- was an awfully violent day in Karachi. The situation will get worse - and it has got very little to do with the Chief Justice issue, but much to do with social justice. God speed!]

There is a thing called a water tablet and another thing called a salt tablet - both are in the soil. These are primarily terms that are used in an agricultural or town planning context. These are names for the "levels" of water or salt in soil.

A Tale of Two Tablets
Water exists somewhere far below the surface in most areas - and all kinds of soil, particularly fertilized soil and soil by bodies of water, has salt. Water tablet rises due to land/sea or land/river level changes or seepages below the surfaces. When the water tablet starts rising in an urban area, it starts making urban architectural structures - buildings, and roads, etc. - "ploppy." Everything from cement damage to structure tilt may occur. You can see the water tablet in the cracks of walls, in the crumpling floor beds, in decaying plants.

In agricultural areas, when the sat tablet rises above a certain acceptable level, it first appears as specks of white circles in the land. As salt keeps accumulating, deposits become thicker and wider, and inhibit other elements of nutrition. The land is rendered gradually incapable of cultivation. The salt simply kills the produce. Too much salt is too bad.

The curious fact is that both the tablets have no specific source and no local cure. That is, the water tablet rises below a wide area not just a certain building - and the salt tablet also is independent of territories divided amongst owners on the surface. One local area cannot treat this at its own end. The tablets have to reduce universally - i.e. the entire larger area affected has to be treated together. It's not one person's problem, it's a community problem.

The Third Tablet
The human mind also has universal tablets which are connected deep down at a universal level - i.e. a single tablet exists under many minds connected below the surface. Group dynamics share these tablets. Neighborhoods share tablets. There is always a collective issue that affects us all, and there is no individual cure.

We keep a lot of thing much, much below surface, such as a feeling of injustice. Additions in those reservoirs push them up, until they start showing marks on the surface. Once the tablet has risen, it attacks the individual units above at varying degrees. Which might make it look like a "personal issue" - but it's not.

As a society, we also have a Violence Tablet, which I'd define as our exposure to, and experience of, violence. Physical, mental, verbal, social, emotional, communal violence.The violence reservoir in our minds increases with even second-hand exposure to violence, such as its reporting in media. Reported violence is becoming real-life in our world because of the immediacy and ever-presence of media in the modern life. Once upon a time not so long ago, the media could not print colored photographs of violent occurrences. Now, we must see the colorful dis-assembly of body parts.

The mind is a technology. It is wired to learn what it senses. It's very simple no matter what explanatory theory is concocted. The mind does not judge, it simply adds what it senses and perceives to its database. Based on the minds patterns, it also tags information. However, the mind develops patterns of its information - and too much information about violence leads to violent patterns in the head. For instance, the mind tags the words "protest" with pictures of a flagged march. It then begins to see that there is a pattern rising where protest = suicide bombing. The mind simply starts storing information.

Each time now that we "call" or "request information" on the word protest, it comes with a library of images of suicidal and murderous death. This "call" or "query" also becomes a pattern if we call such information again and again - until the mind simply learns to send back these images with the word "protest" together.

So if such a mind were to think, "I am going to protest against unemployment," the mind returns suggestions of bombing, threats, etc. that it has been learning. It simply works that way - only we can describe this phenomenon in more academic terms.

The mind does not know shouldn't and wouldn't. If we suggest to the mind that it "shouldn't" think this way, the mind, being a machine, simply adds this another command in its meta-structure, where it may stand in conflict with programs such as "protest by killing" or "protest in silence." The result is a consistent internal struggle where our morals are battling our learning.

Violence Tablet Rising
I am very concerned about something I am observing: I am seeing violence and distrust even at a very micro, personal level. What the mind senses, it accepts in terms of "adding it up" to memory patterns. Though we may not agree with violence or believe in it, consistent exposure to it makes us "internalize" it - until it becomes acceptance of a technical sort. I.e., we don't want to do it, but this is what our technology is learning. It's like a mal-functioning machine or a badly-programmed computer. They just do as told or programmed.

As individuals, we are now beginning to show the cracks and crumpling of this shared, universal Violence Tablet Rising. And these signs are appearing uncontrollably all over the surface.

You think the neighbor has yelled at you exaggeratedly for your badly parked car, but they have yelled too little at the image of world poverty that is now sitting in their head so clearly, they can hardly see you.

No longer is the boss in a bad mood because of an argument with the spouse, but because the news about possible wars and national attacks on TV last night has disturbed their proposal for company growth.

As I am writing, I am thinking: so what?

Since the Violence Tablet is universal, the cure ought also to be at a large scale. There are two things I have in mind that might work at some level:

1. Regulation of Violence on Media: The "Family Friendly Channel" Tag
Media has gone beyond "the lounge" and entered our "ears". It's a "thing in our pocket." We all know the effects of media - don't the media ads admit by showing involved the users of media are? Then how, on the other hand, can it be denied that violence on media is increasing violence in real life? We don't need any study to determine that and if we do, here is a latest news story: Violence on TV?

As far back as 1974, Colman McCarthy rejected TV for the disturbance it brought in the family life.


[Article incomplete. If any readers wish to contribute any sane solutions, they are welcome.]

-RA aka The Prophecy

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