New Machine, Old Tool

We cannot solve most problems of the day today (i.e., when we need it most), not because there arise too many more questions every day than we can manage and they are mostly difficult, but because while the problems are of today demanding today’s knowledge, we apply yesterday’s knowledge (which is sort of outdated) to them. That is to say we use yesterday’s outdated tools to fix today’s machine. If we can, we can solve yesterday’s problems today, and while the solution may still have its value, this time lag (born of a knowledge lag) takes its toll.

This characterizes the problem-solving and decisision-making scenes in every single sphere of human affairs, be it poliltics, religion, philosophy, science, medicine, the economy, the environment, and what not? We see new political fields opening up at every political coordinate across the globe, each demanding a fresh approach/practice; however, the best of our political minds, established in one system or the other, step into these with a set of political ideas built on the political philosophy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries put (with some variation) into practice in the twentieth century. The political ideas of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries based on the experiences of the seventeenth and sixteenth (or eaerlier) centuries to determine our daily twenty-first-century practice!? The discovery of such diseases as AIDS and the outbreak of diseases such as ebola take our medical scientists by so much surprise that for long they–equipped with their medical knowledge of the past, no matter how encyclopedic that is–remain at a loss what to do. Every now and then, we find ourselves at the end of a cul-de-sac or the other.

As we cannot leap up out of ourselves and look down on the top of our own heads (and so also from the future back into our present moment), we may not ever be able to resolve problems in real time, as and when they arise, and nobody in their right mind would expect that. However, something other than this inevitability is making our adaptive mechanism work slowly and far less efficiently, delaying our progress. This something is nothing but our unwillingness to change endorsed and encouraged (perhaps unwittingly, but that does not make us less bad in effect) by and condensed into what we call the system.

(To be continued)


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