The Proxy

Read time: about 2 minutes

It’s common for us in India to have a Literature class or a Moral Sciences class, or an Environmental Sciences class replaced by something “more important”, like Mathematics, or Physics. Or Sports, for that matter. And we’ve all been victims of this setup at some point of our school life. The logic behind such a choice is clear: Mathematics and Physics help you find the right college to launch your career from.

Of course, our schools have gotten our priorities straight.

Cover: The Proxy

Do we call this practicality or mediocrity? What about the “holistic development of the ward”? What development is holistic when it doesn’t cater to the intellect? Literature, moral sciences, environmental sciences, etc. are brain food. Of course mathematics and physics are the protein to the brain, but isn’t a protein-only diet harmful?

I refuse to call it practicality. You cannot simply feed the brain with just science and leave out philosophy or the arts; it’s detrimental to human development. And remember, all this happens at an impressionable age—when the mud is still wet, so to speak. It’s possible that such attitude is one of the sources of the pettiness and short-sightedness in us today. Think about it: there’s so much hue and cry about global warming, and privacy, and all of those pressing global issues of our generation. Why? Why else?

Did I say pettiness?

Oh yes. Let’s take a moment to think about it.

Take our grading system for example: There’s a baseline, and then, you’re better than that. It’s not about what you’ve understood. It’s not about testing your knowledge. It’s about whether you’re better than this person or worse. Do we realise what probability such a system is based on? What if the total score in an exam is 300, but the top scorer manages only 7? (The others have negative scores, by the way.) Flawed, in my opinion.

But, to someone who’s got rudimentary understanding of psychology, such a phenomenon would make him smile. Because it is the natural way a human being thinks. But is 7/300 a good score when it comes to rating knowledge? Aren’t we creating a literal rat race? It’s not about whether we can outrun the tiger; it’s about whether we can outrun our friend.

Now take this image and apply it everywhere. It’s the root cause for many of our problems of today. Including that of depression being a global phenomenon.

And to make matters worse, there’s things like Blinklist and InShorts.

Perhaps, when someone said, robots would take over our world, they didn’t mean machines made of metal and plastic.

Think about it. If you’re into “that kinda thing”, that is.

Ram Iyer

Writer, PowerShell addict, typographer, self-acclaimed rationalist.

Bangalore, KA