Taking a swift swivel on my rotating chair placed firmly on the rooftop of my pretty usual building enabled a three sixty degree view of the world to me. Any keen observer would call that as the perfect formula for a nervous breakdown, for that will probably encompass more data than our memory centers can hold at optimum functionality, or the cortical neurons of our frontal lobes can process coherently in real time. In most cases, that should have been enough, particularly for someone like me, for an IQ (ridiculously overrated term) that barely crawls to the three digits, an eye sight that struggles on every possible count, both spherical and cylindrical, and a thought process that is easily some light years away from being called as normal should not ask for anything more!
But I did not see much in it, strangely. There was a lot to see, but I found nothing worth a second look. All it (the sight) did was that it disturbed some familiar memory templates in some unidentified shelves of my densely (not so dense in my case) packed neuronal network before they settled down again, not even bothering to spark even a single action potential in my axons. Obviously, my poor observation traits were to be blamed for that, but it did not do anything to change my perception, however skewed and incomplete it was. May be the roof was too low to excite any meaningful vision out of my ill-focused retina, or may be my expectations were too high to command any action to my miserly attentive facilities for such a mundane and listless view. I would like to believe that neither was true.
I was looking for something else, something I have been looking for quite some time now. Actually, I was looking for the edge of the world, a place where this world ends. Geographers will happily vote me out of this world if they happen to read this post, for the first thing they ever read in their life was that earth is round (bhoo-gol), but I have always been more inclined towards literature than geography, or any other subject for that matter, so I guess I will not mind taking that risk; offending the geographers is not one of my greatest fears (I have many) anyway!
I was once told by one of my teachers that there are limits to everything, except for one thing, our thoughts. If we go by that theory, then there has to be a limit (edge) to this world too, for Earth clearly is not a thought!
Unfortunately (fortunately I should say), I was not able to see the edge I was looking for. May be the edge is not physical; probably that’s why my eyes could not see it. But just because I couldn’t see it does not mean it’s not there. I am afraid we are nearing it slowly and steadily, all of us, for we have been pushing our boundaries much beyond acceptable levels, sailing dangerously closer to that deadly edge in the process.
We (human race) have developed drastically during last hundred years or so. For example, we have accumulated enough stockpiles of nukes to set our planet on fire anytime, a stupendous achievement by any standards (at least the modern and scientifically advanced standards!); we have found a magical indicator of development in the form of GDP, a breakthrough good enough to permanently turn the hunger of the poor into their destiny; we are on our way to track the extraterrestrial intelligence somewhere in future, so what if terrestrial wisdom has been buried (hardly matters!); children are dying due to malnutrition, but longevity is not our prime concern anyway; morals and humanity are going downhill, on their way to a definite death, burning ignominiously under the heat of modernization and development, and ironically, we call it cool!
I wonder if this was the world that God had conceptualized in his plans. I know it is not advisable to quote God in any conclusive argument which demands concrete evidence. Any forward looking and scientifically driven mind (a category I also belong to) will dismiss any such plea in a flash, calling it emotional, irrational and anti-science. But before we do that, let us introspect whether we have got our priorities right, or we have strayed at our own peril. I am afraid the latter is true.
Economics and technology should make peace with rationality and humanity before they are allowed to advance thoughtlessly. Myopic greed of money and power should not be allowed to rule/ridicule our vision, our precious ability to foresee the drastic consequences. Immediate gains (monetary and political) should not take precedence over the conventional wisdom to act for long term goals (sustainability and welfare).
There is enough space in this world for science and humanity to survive together. The sooner we realize this, the better for us. Otherwise it will not be long before we will be able to see from the ground what I was not able to see from my rooftop, the edge of the world!