November 7, 2006

Random Rantings

Bored. Frustrated. Alone. what to do? update your blog!

Current Status:

Sarat Chandra Addepalli, age: 22 years.
currently pursuing Mtech, at IIIT Hyderabad.
single, and no hopes of changing that in the near future.

how uninteresting can a life get? you'll know, if you know me. Passions, interests, none. Aim in life, still not very clear. Views, thoughts and opinions on current issues: if the current is a/c, you'll die. I know. Bad joke. And that too not a very laughable one. I suck at socialising. I suck at making and keeping friendships. I suck at keeping promises. And it's a wonder how I've lived more than 20 years on this planet!

I know my life is much better than more than half the people on the earth. I know my problems are nothing compared to some of the problems others face in their everyday life. I know I'm much better off than most people. Yet, I crave for sympathy. And finding none, I pity myself. Fallen into a deep rotten pit. Along with my conscience, which mocks and jeers at me every second. I try to hit it hard, and subdue it, but that only makes the grin on its face much wider.

Enough with the pitiful self-pity. The other day, i was trying to think of an idea which involved Man, Machine, Cyborg, Robot, Conscience, Guilt, and such. And all I could think of was how complete the Matrix concept was. Somehow i can't go beyond the Matrix. It's like all possible scenarios have already been encoded in the Matrix (and the Animatrix), that one can't possibly think of a situation beyond it. But then again, that's just another way of saying I'm sorry, I'm unable to think. So how do you think, and come up with something that nobody has ever thought of before? And for those of you who have not much work to do like myself, may i suggest to you this site? Contains comics, essays, videos, anime, artwork and such addendum, some of which is very interesting, captivating even.

What is it that defines man, and differentiates it from all other species? is it thought? No. We have already proved that other creatures too are capable of thought. Is it conscience? How do we prove other animals are not self-aware? After all, they too have instincts honed over generations which help in survival. Then what is self-awareness? Simply put, I understand it as knowing that I exist. Then doesn't a dog know that it exists? How come? A dog knows when it is hungry, and it certainly knows affection. Any pet-lover will tell you that. I suppose a dog will also revolt, under extreme circumstances. Bees certainly do, when their hive is violated. So does it mean animals have a sense of belonging? A sense of what is theirs and what is to be protected? I think so, yes.

So what is self-awareness? I know i exist. Doesn't an animal know that it exists? Is that even possible? Interesting tidbit: Once upon a time, it was assumed that blacks were incapable of thought, and that they were inferior to humans. That they were used as a commodity is well known, that they were thought of as a commodity is plausible. There might have even been days when people did not consider blacks as people. And now we know better. So is it possible that some time in the future we suddenly realise that even dogs are much more intelligent than they seem? Or that indeed other species have a latent ability to be self-aware? I don't know. I'm not knowledgeable in areas such as this, and I do not know what are the studies that have been done. What I do know is that gorillas have successfully been able to understand limited speech, and even communicate with humans. So does that mean the better a species is able to communicate with humans, the more intelligent that species is? Like I said, lots of questions, don't know the answers.

Anyways, I was trying to lead up to this: in my opinion, the distinguishing feature that a human has, is individuality. The faculty of independent thought. The ability to live all alone, and not be bored at the same time. The ability to come up with different ways to represent knowledge and thought, in the form of languages and sciences. The ability to feel a wide range of emotions, yet be heartless enough to see a fellow human suffer. The ability to change lives of others, even when one doesn't know them. The ability to think something, say something else, and act completely different. Deceit, treachery, malice, pride, jealousy, envy. I wouldn't know if animals have such emotions, but i sure know humans have them. And the ability to wage a concerted civil war, when they feel their rights have been infringed upon. And maybe it is only after a war that a civilisation realises its mistakes. All this is what marks a man from an animal, his boon and his doom.

What if there is a new species that is much more intelligent, capable of processing much more information, stronger and swifter, but incapable of individual thought? what if all the thinking process is done in a Queen's brain, hidden inside a highly secure hive, and all the work done by drones controlled by the Queen? Does that make the species more intelligent than us? What if the Bugs rule our world in time to come, and subjugate humans and brand us as less than them, and thus lesser arthropodizens (like blacks were branded as lesser citizens)? And what if, that new species wasn't even a biological species, but a software bug that suddenly gained consciousness on some level, and started ruling (or rather controlling) all electronics, communications and power systems? Will that still make them a species? Will we have to listen to their electronic voices or messages in order to preserve our sanity? Or worse, our freedom? (The Queen could be a super-secret mainframe hidden deep inside a mountain range, a hive, ala Dan Brown's cultist defense organisations. I know it's cheesy, but i'm only stating what could be an electronic version of a Queen bee. Or it could be something like Resident Evil's Red Queen.)

Where does all this leave us? my question is, why do we feel so superior to other species? After all, we are just another species, which shall leave enough information for later species to delve out of our fossils. For all our bickering, we will still be outlived by the cockroaches. Doesn't that make them more intelligent than us?