It was Mark Twain who said, “Out of all things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.”
Today, in the age of information, out of all things I have lost, I miss my mind the most. And I’m not repackaging Twain in a modern context when I say this. I really feel that way. And I have a theory for that. The rate at which we as humans are losing our minds is an incredible achievement in itself. I call this achievement because I’m pretty sure, no other sentient species in the whole wide universe would work so hard to lose their own precious centres of hyper excellence.
Since modern science will never look in this direction, I’ve decided to jump straight to the naked eureka moment and call this phenomenon – BASER which stands for Brain Attenuation by Stimulated Emission of Rubbish. Yes yes, it has been blatantly stolen from LASER which actually is one of those triumphant moments in human history that is incredibly rare these days.
So what exactly do we mean by the BASER theory. Well, look around you. No, even better, try talking to someone around you. Try and strike a conversation on a subject of mass appeal, like religion. Chances are that the person or persons engaged in this conversation will do nothing more than emit extreme amounts of rubbish, resulting in a significant loss of brain matter at the end. This rubbish will go from point to pointless in no time. As it so happens, pointless is a state that is reached very quickly these days. If you don’t believe me, try switching on a news channel on the telly. Gone are the days when the news anchor brought home, valuable information from across the world. In those days, we used to gather around the telly during news time and try and absorb every bit of the worth that was shown at half past eight every evening.
Today’s news channels have just one mission – to emit as much rubbish as they can in the shortest possible time, all the while competing to do it before the competition. In a way, they’ve become merchants of garbage. But what is more interesting is that our brains have become wired or rewired to not only acknowledge this rubbish, but also to aggressively seek out more of this drivel, day in and day out and without an ounce of guilt.
And this rewired brain of ours is now configured to enjoy this loss of ability and importance. As you continue to be attacked by BASER beams from all across, your mind and its ability shrinks. So, if you enjoy watching endless hours of funny videos on Youtube for instance, you’re right there at the top on this plot. If Whatsapp consumes your day, then you’re well past the point of no return. And if reading a book is taboo for you, I rest my case.
In India, as I write this, we’re in the midst of a BASER storm these days. If someone were to talk about, let’s say, the use of machine learning in developing smart cities that are able to solve their own resource allocation problems, then the greatest reaction you’ll get is a yawn. On the other hand, try talking about why intellectuals are right in returning their national awards and not only will you win the next election, but you’ll gain a hundred million facebook followers in a day. Try discussing the value of entrepreneurship and your audience will be limited to a small conference room graciously donated by a tech startup for a period of one hour (snacks and cold drinks not included). Try to hold a convention on why Modi = Hindutva terror and you’ll get free access to auditoriums, maidans and prime time on news channels with unlimited repeats on Youtube and the channel networks.
Such is the power of the mighty BASER! And we as humans built it!
It is this apathy that is affecting us all. We’re sinking deep into this brain trauma where we’re discussing things of no importance, rather than focussing our time on rising up as a species who was and still is capable of greatness. And it is not only us in India. This phenomenon is global. In the middle east, radical groups have gone from cashewnuts to just nuts over the past few years. And the mighty west is still busy in profiteering of all things.
What is wrong with us? Are we reaching a critical moment in evolution when the human race will lose its plot, once and for all and return to its roots as harmless apes? Of course, this is the only plausible explanation. How else do you explain people who shout, scream, argue, flaunt & flash their ego, drink, torture, rape, murder and pillage their own kind, for fun and articles of perceptual worth? If this isn’t the peak of our achievement as creatures who’ve lost their minds completely, then I’m scared to think of what shall it be.
My simple solution to all of this is to focus & train your brain to think and do something constructive. Do it once a week, then twice a week, all the way till your brain returns to its former Jedi self. Your brain is an engine that needs repairs, oiling and maintenance. So, put it to work, and turn off & stay away from those mighty BASER beams!