Levels of abstraction

As humans we have come a long way, from fire to wheels to clothing to tools to weapons to groups to kingdoms to sciences to inventions to computers to internet. It has been a long long journey. But if we look at our past now, we feel that the human race is progressing faster today then it ever did and this pace is increasing. Did the stone age man ever thought there could be mobile phones to talk to each other or cars to commute? The speed of human progress, the kind of work people do today and the tools people use, it is baffling to see how things are always changing. Today, many humans can work smartly and act quickly because of the tools that serve almost all purposes you can think of. The speed with which things are growing and are being created & enhanced is overwhelming and amazing. The ‘kind of work’ is directed to the progress of the human race, or is it?

There is one small problem. Today, there are ‘n’ number of corporations and institutes in an ever-increasing race to grow bigger and bigger. Without a doubt this has benefited the human race but look at what we are into now! Look at the levels of abstraction we have created. Go back one step or I would say go back a couple of steps and see or rather look at all of this from high above. Go fly high up in the sky and visualize what is going on. Do you see the various levels of abstraction built around our world? Do you see layers of wrappers around everything? Do you fail to see the underlying natural elements beneath? People today are involved in improving highly abstracted objects around us to create an even higher level of abstraction.

Is human happiness = ease of human life = more and more levels of abstraction?

Human resource today is being wasted in things like managing other humans, creating and analyzing senseless data, earning money and more money and even more money, etc.. Infact, even in the research space, which is directly responsible for the human progress to a great extent is highly abstracted. Today, it is not very possible for any person to get an entry into any field of research because it needs you to know a lot about certain things or does it? I would rather put it as, you can be good at research if you are academically good or more commonly heard fact is – “Research is further studies” or “Further studies is research meaning boring and less money”. Are we trying to identify and give our fellow less fortunate human friends(or fortunate humans who are unaware) a chance to help change the human race or even explain what they are unable to even conceive due to maybe lack of education of otherwise. I am not talking about philanthropy or social startups. Knowledge, today, is highly abstracted is what I meant, in case I wasn’t clear.

Go ask a Phd candidate to explain their work in plain English and after he(assuming male) does so, ask him what will the success of his work result into. See the look on his face. Many today are blindly trying to solve problems just because they happened to be there. Its not bad, although but are those problems worth solving. Are the best of human brains being applied where they should be applied? Are there well defined levels of problems each individual should be working on and is anyone(news channels, media, stock markets) around the globe keeping any index about how well the human brains are being used. I agree everyone has to earn his/her living but is our human race even slightly concerned about things that matter and delegating things around properly?

The point to be clarified here is how do we see human progress, in general? Is it the technology or something else? Is it how far we have reached in this almighty universe or how well we are optimizing the change or the speed of our progress. Are things efficient? Are the stock prices that important? Should we be only concerned about the current affairs, nations and their disputes, sports, music, entertainment? Is there a better index to measure human progress and also the derivative(or the rate of change of human progress) other than GDP of all the nations? I don’t think so.

Human resource wastage is at its maximum. Very low number of humans today are actually into directly making the human race better by applying their most beautiful resource – their brains. Most humans are into all kinds of silly and senseless tasks called improving the levels of abstraction.

Another good question, I often ask people around me is what is their aim in life? Or what is it they desire the most, currently and in general? The common answers are money, power, fame, girls, peace, have-a-wife-and-kids-and-settle-in-the-US, more-money, laptops, well-settled-life, solitude, not-having-to-work-for-the-rest-their-lives, ipad, iphones, infinite-supply-of-alcohol-and-or-some-other-stuff, cars, higher-post-in-their-corporation, some-other-rare-philosophical-ones etc. etc. If the basis of our thinking and aiming is such, then I hope we all need to rethink our views and find a better primary goal. It doesn’t mean that these answers are wrong, it just means people tell me they haven’t really thought about it and they think on the fly. Maybe, what they are looking for, is not what they are looking for! Get my point!

Note: The entire essay is when we think of things from the human race point of view and not the individual point of view. One needs to think it that way to think of bigger and primary problems.


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