The Leaky Cauldron Blog

A Brew of Awesomeness with a Pinch of Magic...

Hate in the Time of Corona

Have you ever met someone and felt from the bottom of your heart that you want to spend your entire life… without them? Usually, I feel that way when I find some bell-end justifying their hate and asserting their flawed ideas as if it’s common fuckin’ sense, that too with an air of threat that anyone who disagrees or tries to be neutral is not worth existing. FYI, I know calling someone a Stupid Cunt has never in the history of the world changed their mind, no matter what logical and sensible argument we precede it with. But this write-up isn’t meant to change anyone’s mind or to justify why the title is ripped from the modern classic Love In The Time of Cholera. No this… this is a motherfuckin’ RANT! A release that was long overdue, due to my particular strategy of dealing with stupid people.

Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups

— George Carlin

Stupid cunts are very dangerous to the community, to democracy and to people’s mental health and well being. Add the power to broadcast unregulated shit at the speed of light, things go south real fast. My way of dealing with stupid people is to always avoid arguing with them, but being a stupid prick myself (although of a tad different kind) I sometimes inadvertently find myself in the middle of an argument with such people. If I find myself trapped before it is too late, my go-to strategy is always to come out as a naive idiot because a naive idiot isn’t a threat. And since most stupidity is driven by fear, even the smartest of people are susceptible to it.

Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger… anger leads to hate… hate leads to suffering.

— Master Yoda

Fear is a unique thing, some evolutionary scientists argue that if it weren’t for fear, we wouldn’t have evolved as much as we did. It’s not hard to see that if we weren’t afraid of starvation we’d never develop agriculture and if we weren’t afraid of natural calamities we wouldn’t develop shelters and if we weren’t afraid of our survival as a group we’d never develop language and if we weren’t afraid of the death of our thoughts and ideas, we wouldn’t develop writing and so on… According to science, this “gift” of fear comes from our evolutionary will to live and spread our DNA. But what I have observed reading history is that our obsession with immortality is not so bio-mechanical in nature.

History is a witness to the fact that humans can kill or die for their ideologies. The need to control other people’s thoughts and the fear of other people’s ideologies prevailing is what strengthens a society. But every once in a while, when times like 2020 arrives where the uncertainty of our lives just keeps piling up, the ultimate fear creeps in. The fear of lack of control. Though we have never in the history of this universe truly been in control and we are just insignificant shit stains ignored by any intergalactic society that might be out there, the sudden realisation of how fragile our lives are and how meaningless our existence is — makes us very, VERY angry. So, we try to find something to scream, shout and blame our fears on to feel better and more in control. We want to see someone screwed for making us afraid. This leads to outrageous claims like coronavirus was made in the lab, our religion is in danger, Illuminati is making our biscuits fall in tea etc. But life isn’t curated, we aren’t kids anymore and there’s no grand plan! Everyone is as lost and stupid as everyone else. And we’ll probably bomb ourselves to extinction.

This thought crept up the other day when I found a book that I had read in my high school days — Arthur C. Clarke’s July 20, 2019: A Day in the Life of the 21st Century. At first, it gave me an undeserved sense of accomplishment that I was living in the future, then a haunting thought arose, Is anyone making sure we don’t kill ourselves, are we gonna be able to see the fuckin’ 22nd Century? Or as the Fermi Paradox puts it, will our civilisation pass the Great Filter? After all, it has just been a bit over 70 years, since humans detonated the first atomic bomb! A weapon that was just first in the long list of cruel options that we now have, to end our entire civilisation very efficiently. After the USA nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in his speech Emperor Hirohito of Imperial Japan said —

“The enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilisation.”

And ever since then, there have been at least a thousand instances that, we know of for sure, when we accidentally fucked up and almost brought our entire planet to the brink of nuclear annihilation. And it’s without a doubt that we’ll screw up in the future as well with a thousand times the efficiency we did in the past. So, it is not too much of a stretch to imagine that a bioweapon that was created in the lab got out.

Or is it?

In Philosophy, A Razor is a principle or a rule that allows one to “Shave Off”(eliminate) unlikely speculations and explanations for a certain event/phenomenon. One such Razor is Hanlon’s Razor which states —

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

— Hanlon’s Razor

What that means is that our need to blame someone or something evil that’s responsible for our misery and suffering usually overlooks a simple explanation that should be prioritised i.e. — more often than not, things happen without reason, life doesn’t always make sense, every single human makes mistakes and bad incidents usually don’t have malice in its roots. That being said, the fear, anger and hate we feel is also a normal part of being human. And these feelings wouldn’t have mattered much if we hadn’t taken a fuckin’ shortcut to evolution — Technology.

With the advent of Social Media, we can take these fears and spread them like viruses. Hence the term ‘Going Viral’. Speaking of which, a study in 2009 — ‘What makes Online Content Viral?’ showed that anger is the ultimate virus, eliminating the mental firewall of logic, it compels us to share the shit that makes us angry! Proof that we share a common ancestor with shit flinging monkeys. And it doesn’t just end there, to make other people understand the pain and anger we felt and to increase its impact we start tweaking the truth — a photoshop here, an eliminated context there, who cares? The more people discuss it, the more life expectancy of these anger viruses further increases thus creating an us-versus-them divide between people. And once this happens, it’s only a matter of time before cherry-picking begins — skewing perspectives, destroying harmony, driven by anger, all we can see is how ‘they’ are wrong & ‘we’ are innocent … and we lived hatefully ever after! Bringing us a full circle back to the stupid cunts I mentioned at the beginning. You see?!! How the very thing that made us the superior species over Neanderthals, backfired on us, you see, right?!!!!!

But Neanderthals, despite their popular image of being archetypical brutish and stupid ‘cave men’, used to survive many years with severe handicaps, evidence that they were cared for and loved by someone. They had bigger bodies and larger brains than Sapiens, yet we prevailed, reason being, we had a more advanced language. Our tongue which helped us to express better that we care and love, helped us form a bigger and stronger society. If that’s not enough evidence that compassion is in our DNA then I don’t fuckin’ know what is! We’ll never be correct 100% of the time, but what we can do is delay our judgement to make our paradigms more accurate, use Occam’s Razor to eliminate and avoid unnecessary or improbable assumptions.

Of two explanations that account for all the facts, the one that makes the least assumptions is more likely to be correct.

— Occam’s Razor

But most importantly WE CAN BE KIND! And if anyone says otherwise they can GO FUCK THEMSELVES!

With Love,
Vaibhav

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