Philofisi...seems a new name....yeah, I combined the two Greek words, Philo and fisi to make this word...."Philo"means love and "fisi" means literally Philofisi means the love of nature.... Of course we all love nature but we like to enjoy it rather to understand it... Understanding nature definitely increase the pleasures of enjoying nature... This blog is dedicated to my love of nature.... so I will try to bring the topics related to nature in very light way....The reason that I chose the word of "Philofisi" is rooted in my understanding that we are returning to the age of naturalist not because that we get tired of specialization but because it provides enormous opportunities to uncover the secrets of nature and help us in better understanding of nature.... until now we tended to simplify or reduce facts to get the basic principles of nature...but Scientists are slowly realizing that nature cannot be grasped by simplified natural laws... It is why we see...Newtonian Physics....Quantum Physics...and Choas Physics are complementing each other.... Biologists likes to view the world with simplistic perspective of natural selection but it seems that they are also realizing that life is more complex that could be explained so easily.... Like Physics it needs to depart toward multi-mechanistic approach... I think this small introduction is not the place to discuss all these issues so I invite you to explore the blog and enjoy yourself :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Stranger that laughs on our “smartness”

It seems that the world was in hurry in welcoming the age of reason and in the process has trashed some valuable experiences that current investigators are rediscovering them. The concept of the smartness is tied to quick judgments. A dictionary meaning reads smartness as, “Intelligence as manifested in being quick and witty”. Where are we quick in our judgments (the high show of smartness)? It turns out that most of us are quick in passing judgment about “Others”. Human tends to group quickly and establish a culture of norms that identify them from “others”, that have gone through the same processes and have established their own culture of norms and values. Certainly there come differences in the norms or values and hence provide a basis for the making judgments or developing the binary system of “wrong” and “right”. I have not to repeat that even within groups there are sub-grouping based on gender or social class. It is really common seeing girls passing judgments on boys or a social class passing judgments on others or one group passing judgments on other groups. In fact most of our jokes are based on these groupings when we like to laugh on what are “inappropriate” according to the norms of our social group.
In short, we have to distinguish between kinds of smartness and see whether we are smart in bringing quickly genuine solutions to genuine problems or we are quick in making judgments based on our established binary system of “wrong” and “right”?
It seems that it is not only in only in our quick judgments about “others” that the stranger laughs on us but he also laughs on our efforts to explain the human behaviors exclusively based on our theory of Altruism. In its July 30th Article, “Welcome, Stranger”, The economist magazine reports a series of recent studies that Human in general tends to trust the strangers and still continue to trust them even if they have gotten several times cheated on. The main reason is that, the overall benefit of trust is more than cost of the cheating. It is counterintuitive to the results of the traditional game theories (the results come from economic game theories in which participants are not sure whether they will meet in future to the strangers or not)
I can’t just pass over the first paragraph of the article. It really impressed me and it might be of interest to “others” (I intentionally put this word here),
“THE extraordinary success of Homo sapiens is a result of four things: intelligence, language, an ability to manipulate objects dexterously in order to make tools, and co-operation. Over the decades the anthropological spotlight has shifted from one to another of these as the prime mover of the package, and thus the fundament of the human condition. At the moment co-operation is the most fashionable subject of investigation. In particular, why are humans so willing to collaborate with unrelated strangers, even to the point of risking being cheated by people whose characters they cannot possibly know?”
Though there is no need that go one by one to each of the causes of extraordinary success of Homo sapiens, as it is very clear to all of us that human evolved all these four causes to a level that they themselves need decades of education to be good at them. They are definitely not innate characteristic though the ability to learn them are innate (have evolved).
In subcontinent, it was a tradition for centuries (and to large extent still it is) that mountain people who are living on Himalayas (especially Afghans), come to plain areas during winter (when their lands are covered with snow) in search of work. As most of these people were unskilled so they were doing menial jobs. The people who live on plains are genetically aliens (Indian) to those who come from mountainous areas (mostly Aryans) so were not only culturally strangers but also genetically strangers.
Rabindranath Tagore, who was the first Nobel prize laureate (1913) in literature of non-European origin (Bengali) has a short story by name of Cabuliwala/Kabuliwala (A fruit seller from Kabul) that illustrate the relations that these strangers make with people on the plains (Anyone who visits the plains of Sindh and Punjab now quickly notices that a lot of these people have settled permanently one plains and own their own lands and businesses). In the story the Cabuliwala makes a friendship with a Bengali (Little girl). He was bringing her gifts (almonds and raisins) and was passing jokes with each other. Cabuliwala was retuning for sometimes each year to his home and was coming back to continue his business of selling fruits over his shoulders. Once he fights with one of the residents who owed him money and had refused to pay and goes for 8th years in jail. When he was released from jail he comes to see his friend, The Little girl but her father refuses to let him meet her as it was her marriage day and then Cabuliwala says to the father of girl that he has also a little girl at home and The Little girl was always reminding him of his little girl and now that he sees The Little girl has grown up to the age of marriage it makes him realizes that his own little girl must also has grown up. The father of girl helps him to return to his home to see his own little girl…..

Here is a song from movie Kabuliwala,

It seems that there is no connection between the Cabuliwala and the innate nature of humankind in generally trusting strangers but in fact there are. Anyone aware of the whole process knows that most of mountaineers who were coming to plain were lending money to locals or selling items in hope that they will be paid in coming years.
In short, though groupings are common and people trust more in the people inside their groups but it is the human nature to cross the lines and break them. Evolution is just a line and human pleasantly break the lines… The complexity of Intelligence, tool making, language and cooperation are evident in themselves. Human is a subject of wonder for themselves………….

Further Readings,

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