What If I Don’t Remember A Thing?

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I am walking right now
Grounded with these feet
Dried dead leaves fly and go under
With a crumble, the sound, the heat

Your feet not far behind
Your humming in the rain
But maybe we were not here
What if you never came?

How would you know I was
And I, if you ever did?
If this was summer or your spring
What if I don’t remember a thing?

The sun shines bright in my eyes
The hotness on my face
I thought I could see you there
But I’m blinded in my haste

It was red and now it’s black
Darkness around, diminishing glow
I knew where I was standing
But now, I’m not so sure I know

How would you know I was
And I, if you ever did?
If this was summer or your spring
What if I don’t remember a thing?

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Libertarian-Socialist Rant

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Disclaimer: This article is not for folks who shout “No! NO! I don’t wanna believe!” whenever they see words like “class interests” or “socialism” or  “environment-is-not-an-externality-you-dumbass”. Or for folks who indulge themselves in business theories or neoclassical economics to understand the ‘nature’ of socioeconomic relations.

I wanna begin with PR and educational system (..again), but this time with an intention of igniting a metaphysical rebellion (..maybe). For those who landed on earth today, well you see, we have highly authoritarian institutes which dumb down the population by crushing elements of critical thinking and emphasizing on senseless competition within peers for grades or a pat on the head and by utilizing all the knowledge of behavioural sciences, they create obedient, confused, self-loathing individuals, and I hope you enjoy your stay here. Ok. Ok. Some sort of education does happen in midst of all this because the confused individuals are then required to push levers, create programs, build dams, all on direct order from the employer. And it is all very efficient I must say and important for the people in power, like Edward Bernays said,

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.”

And the six basic functions of school outlined by Inglis. Other than education system of orthodox indoctrination there are also social, political and media apparatus to limit the discussion and keep public opinion in check.

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” – Noam Chomsky

[Maybe some day I'll write an article without quoting either Orwell or Chomsky but today is not that day]

Alfie Kohn explains how to prevent social change:
1. Limit Your Vision – Ignoring that social structure or hierarchy has anything to do with drastic economic inequality or pollution or climate change or nuclear weapons or terrorism etc and instead believing that everything should be done on individual level.
2. Adapt – To keep the status quo intact, people should be adjusted to serve its needs. Instead of the other way round. The premise is, you should adjust to the conditions as you find without thinking about the nature of those structures.
3. Think About Yourself –  You should be only concerned about your well being, groom yourself and let the rest of the world go on its way.
4. Be ‘realistic’ – “Like it or not, that’s just the way it is”. These protestation of powerlessness are very useful, every person who takes such as stance is a person rescued from social activism. And labeling people ‘Idealistic” ensures they are not taken seriously.
5. Rationalize – Proposing insignificant reforms that never come close of changing the structures themselves.

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Similar to a modern day commodity these ideologies and actions are camouflaged by theological and metaphysical niceties and its presence reflects an invisible transcendence and hence you do not see the dictatorship in democracy. Illusions can be powerful, liberation can be painful, like Wachowski Brothers Matrix or like people from the Allegory of the Cave, “…most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, Neo” said Socrates.  Exploiting Dunning-Kruger effect, Herd behavior or any other heuristics or cognitive biases they ‘ll deceive you, and I am not just talking about the marketing people here, the guy who wants to sell you more toothpastes, but also the people who want to sell you the idea of a new politician, who when I think about it happens to be the same people.

Even when you have escaped the Evil Demon of Descartes in this sense, you may feel powerless because of the Alfie Kohn argument or you might in the face of the facts go on acting as if there is no matrix, that the interests of the bosses are similar to that of the workers, or the representative democracy could work we just need better rules etc etc etc. Like people, for example, who acknowledge global warming is real and harmful and needs to be stopped somehow but act as if there is no global warming because:
1. They do not see the effects of global warming as they step out of there houses directly.
2. They actually cannot do anything practically alone. They need to organize.

Why did I say representative democracy fails? Read this by Iain McKay.

So, Yes, Organize! Organize fellow citizens, don’t look up to the well-to-do upper classes for support or cues, even though they too need to fight against the oppressive institutes that torment the whole of humanity and the planet at large. But their short term interests blind them. Organize! Don’t expect charity that entertains the poverty, instead eradicate the systems that generates it. Organize! For a better, just, classless society. Organize for yourself! Organize for the globe!

10 Reasons Why You Will End Up Reading A Shitty Article With A Long Catchy Title Like This Even Though It Exploits You!

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We hate to think. We hate to work for what we want. We hate anything that gets us off our lazy asses. And we all are hardwired to want things, now!

And this is more apparent now than anytime before. According to The Guardian, the desire for in depth analysis is being continuously diminished and this has led to a generation of internet consumers who live in a world of “instant gratification and quick fixes” which leads to a “loss of patience and a lack of deep thinking”. Our hedonistic tendencies dictate that pleasure remains the driving force that compels us to gratify our needs, wants, and urges.
And one alluring consequence of this is a fairly recent trend, which we here at DoubleThink couldn’t help but be amused by. Sample these:

This Akshay Kumar Song About ‘Susu’ Is The Craziest Thing You’ll See On The Internet Today!
Do Indians Want To Have Sex With Desis Or Videsis? Interesting Answers Ahead
20 Epic Responses To ‘I Love you’ That Will Make You Laugh Your Lungs Out
10 Reasons Why Your Best Friend’s Wedding Is The Most Special Event Ever

These articles could well serve as the foundation course for “How To Market Crap Extremely Well 101”. How these articles capitalize on the attention deficit and perverted tendencies of the readers by offering senseless masala that does not add any real value but gives instant gratification can be a lesson for any budding marketer. And we all love senseless masala, don’t we?

So as an “ode” to this trend, we list a few tricks and a few reasons why we think views on these articles just keep on comin’ :

Reasons:

► Because we like the easy way out
I mean, why watch an intellectual cinematic experience when you can just watch Dabangg instead?
Why read the book when you can watch the movie, or the TV Show, or just read the summary?
We are lazy, and reading is too much of an effort. How does it matter that reading helps in improving your language, conveying thoughts better or the fact that ideas can quite literally start or stop a war. What matters is how did Salman Khan do a double-flip on a super fast bullet train as he juggled live grenades with one hand and raised his collar with the other.

  Because we are perverts
My eyes lit up as I read the title- “10 Reasons Why Size Matters.”
I’m a girl, and I care a lot about any and every size known to me – Shoe Size, Dress Size, Ring Size, ad infinitum.
I’m a man, and the article is about size. I expect high definition photos of breasts. (I’m looking at you TOI.)
I’m a guy, and who are we kidding here, in our darkest hours we’ve all searched the internet for the acceptable penis size.

 ► Because we have a short attention sp… oh look, a fly!
When social networks that limit you to 140 character updates are doing great, you know the end is near.
I can’t even introduce myself in 140 characters, and here you are, trying to make me write what I feel about my mouth watering, perfectly grilled sandwich in 140 characters.
I had essay writing exams for this, and I can’t go through that shit again.

► Because we love it when everything is served to us on a silver platter
I don’t want to make the effort of scrounging through a mountain of links Google shoves in my face. Wouldn’t it be much better if it is all there in a single list? The headline catches my eye; it promises a story that’s finite, and as long as my fast-food information diet is necessarily limited in content and is unlikely to contain the nutritional value of the more in-depth analysis of traditional articles that rely on paragraphs, my purpose is served.

► Because I need some stranger to tell me things about myself cause I can’t figure them out on my own
We hate thinking, remember?
We all have tried to find the perfect answers to those HR questions for our first interview, haven’t we?
Why put strain on this work of art resting on my shoulders. I’ll just read it of the internet and be done with it.
Also, I need the internet to justify my fantastic decision of dropping out of college to be successful. Hey, Steve did it, right? And see where Apple is now. I always knew I was the next Steve Jobs. It is my destiny, bitches. Gah! What do these lowly humans know.

Tricks:

►  Throw in a couple of funny GIFs from a commercial box office movie and we’re game
No literally, I have no imaginative thinking. I need a pictorial description of what I just read (and sometimes to laugh at the jokes I don’t get.)
*insert a lame GIF*

►  Find a YouTube video that has been trending, and title it like “This Awesome Rap Is Dedicated To All The Chutiyas Who Did Not Want To Become Engineers/Doctors”
Just re-share a lame trending video, write a few random lines summarizing it and Voila! Hit post.
Really, I do need one more shitty website so that I can waste my time on a senseless video on YouTube, which god-forbid I might have missed out on if it weren’t for this site. I really don’t have anything worthwhile to do with my life. True story.

►  Exploit emotions and social issues you don’t give a damn about
#Reading this letter from a boy to his mother will bring tears to your eyes
Sounds familiar?
Hey! There’s no dearth of flaws and emotional fools in our society. Let’s pretend to care about them and exploit them to make some moolah, while not giving a shit about constructively working towards alleviating the issues. Exhibit A : Kill The Poor – SHOCKING Social Experiment.

►  Exaggerate that shit bro!
Exaggerate to the extent of a hyperbole.
I still remember that day I laughed my lungs out to a video on YT. Still trying to find where that sneaky left lung went. Ping me if you find it strolling somewhere. Oh, fond memories!

►  Sprinkle a few attention grabbing keywords such as sex, crazy, shocking and unbelievable throughout. CAPS for a larger effect.
And there you have your fair share of creeps raking up your hits counter. Tried and Tested.

(with inputs from Tushant Juneja)