Thursday, November 15, 2007

Relativity= Compromised Perfection?

I was reading a research paper the other day when I ran into this really strong statement and eventually provoked me to think: Is relativity a compromised perfection? The author was trying to press upon the implicit relative success of several methods in a certain research topic (Human Computer Interaction) and was trying to brain storm on newer ideas. But his approach was interesting. He was telling that the reason these methods have been successful so far is because we have not been able to devise better ones. Ironical, but agreed: this is true. Certain things around us seem to be pseudo-successful or nicer simply because there are no similar better things around!

There is a very famous quote made by Churchill when he lost the elections in 1946-47 after the war. He says, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947)

It is not just about democracy. We often seem to be happy with what we have. We live and die to 'maintain' this so-called implicit perfect world. But is it really perfect? Isn't this sense of relativity: the fact that we don't have nicer things just dwindling into a hollow sense of compromised perfection?

Although there is of course a thin line between being ever-greedy for better things and being a little non-complacent with the current state of things. While the former is definitely not advisable nor is meant in this blog, yet I believe the latter is the key to a race's ever-lasting journey towards a more prosperous civilization.


Debjani said...

Every bit of progress is always fueled by a never ending urge to do better, find more, know for sure..

..and democracy can be reduced to majoritarianism, which is an oppressive ideology. But for the lack of a better system, it is put to work by most nation states.

In spite of being so busy, you actually make time to update your blog. That's admirable :)


Munmun said...

@ Deb,
That's a good observation you made! Thanks for posting :)

Nikesh Rathi said...


I think Reality for everyone is somewhat different, and in some cases it might be completely opposite. Say, the difference between Left and Right in political spectrum, between individualism and collectivism, between atheists and theists, difference between good and bad and many more!

Few things in this might look perfect in their own self. But if one is perfect, then other would be most probably completely wrong. So the reality becomes sort of a trade off.

One of the quotes about reality which I like-
"We accept the reality of the world that is presented to us"

... thus making reality different for different people

Partha said...

You know your blog is in my fav lists... Do I need to explain why? :)