Saturday, February 16, 2013

Once Upon a Time ...

... there was resistance to change.

Circa 8000 BC

Location: Somewhere in Egypt

Modern historians estimate that Bes often 
ran about 300 miles at stretch. On the 
way he would find food, water, mates, 
and friends! However, they note that his 
type (hunter-gatherers ) eventually gave 
up their ways for the more 'advanced' life 
of agriculture based nomadic humans. 

Bes was confused. The news had reached him. Others were changing- they were forcing seeds to grow in one place. And then they never went anywhere else, apart from occasional half-a-day long hunting trips. Just half-a-day of running and sneaking! It must be comfortable and easy!

But Bes could not understand it. Staying in one place for any length of time perplexed him.
So wedded he was to the wind that hustled in his ears when he would run around for days, hunting and gathering! Each day he reached a new place and after few days the landscape would have change completely!

He did not want to lose this human touch of his existence! 

Though the early man thought of the life of farming 
based nomads as secure and easy, yet to modern 
humans it is an unimaginable, absolutely inhuman, 
punishment and torture.

Circa 1778 AD
Location: Somewhere near East Lothian, Scotland

Ceard had had no work for weeks! His impoverished frame belies both his strength and anger.  The threshing season used to be the season of work! But as it turned out - the son of Meikle had invented some design that did all the threshing. His lord did not need him and others like him, anymore. Fortunately Ceard had also heard about a huge house in East Lothian, where they needed people from farms, to work till they turned black. They were getting paid there!

Ceard was utterly perplexed. He soon got used to the demanding labour required in that huge house of work. But, what shocked him was this- thousands of people living so close to each other and working together in the same house! He missed 'his space'.

He did not want to lose that human part of his existence!
As it turned out later, conditions of workers deteriorated rapidly and Ceard had
no option except to  accept it and numb the pain of leaving vast beautiful farms
behind. Historians remark that industrialization was indeed a turning point for
modern human society.

Circa 2013 AD
Location: TORG 1060, Virginia Tech

Adult humans were hustled together as students in a hall and were learning from the engaging Dr. S. F. on how the expectations of students and society from its teachers was changing. Technology was rapidly evolving their day to day life. Gagi, like many other students, was just introduced to platforms like blogging, gaming, online networking and was perplexed. 

It was not the writing part and the time that these online activities took that perplexed her. She could not understand how and why the virtual world had gained so much importance. Her colleagues were reporting news of families texting each other on dinner tables. It offended her senses that young child-lings were handed I-pads and other tablets at such a tender age. 
Whatever happened to the real human interaction!
She held dear to the belief that the university system will not collapse under this fast expanding virtual world. Students will always need the face to face human interaction with both peers and their teachers. She knew that MOOCs could only do so much! Engineering needs labs after all! She refused to believe that one day we will stop having human to human interaction. If we did stop interacting, she was sure, we would head towards insanity!

And, she did not want to lose that sane, human touch of her existence!

Circa 2032 AD
Location:, Burkina Faso

"Thanks Dr. S. for having me in this GEDI class! 
Hi all!
I am Rachid at I am graduate student in Micro-fluidic Devices Engineering at Virginia Tech. 
Favorite music: tchk tchk sound of my laptop keyboard - lol! I am not into music really!

Some interesting things about me that you would not know otherwise: 
I have two fun-facts that I want to share-
One: I am geographically located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 
Two: Along with my research in medical applications of micro-fluidic devices, I am also getting hands-on training on remote Thoracoscopic pulmonary surgeries. The funny thing is that though we may never meet in person, someday I might remotely operate on some of you or someone close to you!"

As she heard this, Jameena at, who was geographically located in India, flinched. 
(Some sections in India were still lagging behind in the new era of computerized medical services.)

Whatever happened to a real surgeon, who she could meet before her throat was cut open?

It was not the collective wisdom of the entire medical research in the current computerized medical system or the computer operating skills of Rachid that she doubted! She knew that a surgery team of humans was million times more likely to make an error than the completely automatic and  intelligent medical system. 

It is just that, in the event of facing a knife, she was banking at the possibility of a real human interaction!

She did not want to lose that human touch of her existence~


  1. What a great perspective! I'm really lose the perception of a static academe, and this is a fantastic model for it. Nice work.

  2. Gagi,

    This is MNM at How are you? :-)