Sunday, July 5, 2009

Its Cyclical ...

One thing to be said about people in India ... everyone has a theory about everything. Now, this is not to say that this is a localized phenomenon, pnly thing is, this is the only country which i could try to write about. So here goes ... My neighbour probably has an opinion about Salman Khan's neighbour's dog's dietician's hairstyle! Phew!

No, thats not what i am writing about. But, the point is, i have an opinion about something ... a theory, if you may. And thats what i am going to write about. And, the theory is simply this:

Civilizations face cycles of something or the other.

OK, so i havent quite refined this theory, but it is a theory nevertheless. The way i see it, time is cyclical, not a straight time ... if it exists at all. No, lets not get too theoretical here, but without doing so, i cant seem to be able to make a point ... i am writing about a theory after all, remember? And the theory is simply this ... That everything seems to be going round in cycles.

For example, take human civilization. The earliest points of history where we know of human beings as social creatures record the idea of a community ... a tribe, maybe, for want of a better word? Anthropologists may be able to identify some of them in the tribes of today. And what did man do after that? Somehow got into his head the idea that big is beautiful. No, no ... no snickering, please! As a mechanism of protection from rivals, and for hunting/gathering, probably the tribe structure and size was the most suited one. But then, agriculture came, and man settled down, and the village came up as a social unit. This social unit, to cut a long story short, over a period of time, metamorphosed into the kingdom, which later metamorphosed into the nation-state, which now has gone and converted into trading blocks. Along with this, there was also the evolution of human beings from sical creatures into asocial elements. Where the individual began to gain more importance than the collective. I am not saying whats right or wrong (i have no reason to do anything of the kind), the point is, things have changed over a period of time.

Having said that, today, as we must have seen, given the wave of technology, man is moving again towards the mode of community. We are, today, more and more, parts of networks, parts of groups or a circle of some form of connected people ... connected by shared tastes or interests, but whatever be the connection parameter, more and more, people are becoming part of a community, and more and more, we are seeing this community creating value, and driving change in a world which is today seeing this transition with some sort of helplessness. There are people who are convinced that the new things which are coming wont help in any way (though probably they wont say it in so many words), but who understand that there isnt much which can be done about it. Today, new products are created by communities, problems are solved by communities, new markets explored, existing markets expanded by communities ... communities are even driving public opinion ... the world saw that at Iran! To summarize, today, more and more, it is communities ... communities which bring together people, invidivuals who share something (akin to the tribe?), which are coming more and more into their own.

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