Ridiculous rate of information consumption. Difficulty in understanding people due to difference in eras.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I have been watching shows/animes that are related to wars, or very different timelines. From far back in the medieval times, like Game of Thrones, to beyond the future, like Doctor Who, or tons other crazy animes. They all featured fighting.

Wars. I will never understand them.

I've watched countless of war films, documentaries, movies, or science fiction. Star Wars for example. I get how scary it can be, but I will never understand the fear, the desperation, the lack of hope experienced by those people. "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

It's times like these I feel jaded, thankful to the "more rational" society these days, many kids like me are able to live in a world fairly free from conflict and death.

Which means that I can never understand what my parents have went through in the past. Yes, they are old enough to at least experienced the ending of World War 2. They have told me stories of when they were kids, how they had to hide into bomb shelters as such. Can I ever imagine that feeling? Frankly speaking, no. There's no way I know the feeling of being on the brink of death, the possibility of dying without any warning whatsoever.

Can any of my friends understand that? I doubt so. Having little to no food, being oppressed by an army, even though you had done nothing wrong, you're just caught in the middle of it. The unfairness of the world that we are blissfully ignorant of.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's excellent that my generation of people can live in such a wonderful world. There are many other problems lurking around, but just being able to be ignorant of wars? I'll take that any day.

I really don't think my parents will understand how I think either. Me, who has been sheltered all my life, thanks to the blood and sweat that they had expended in the past. I would go as far as to say that I've been born with a bronze spoon. (Silver is out of my reach) There are so many things that I understand the rational behind, but don't get it, like it's not etched into my soul.

A simple example would be,
Don't waste your food.
I know why, I shouldn't do it, it's wrong. I get that it's wrong. But I'm not a farmer. I could barely cook. It's just things that I can never fully grasp.

My grandfather has a fruit plantation, my mother also knows the basics of farming and such. I've even gone to pluck some fruits too. But it's a lifestyle for them (years ago of course), I can never understand that essence of the teaching, "Don't waste your food."

I'm always in front of my computer, and my parents can never understand why I'm doing this. To them, a computer is simply a tool to get work done. Internet is just a way to send some image/text/video to someone else. However, it means so much more to me. I probably can't live without internet or computer for more than a week.
(well I could, but it's like detoxing, it would be hell)

So far, I've been using my parents as examples. Which has worked so far. I realized however, that generation gaps doesn't have to be 40, 30 or even 20 years. In fact, from what I have observed, it could be as close as 10years or less.

Cartoons, are a prime example to showcase that gap.

Here are some openings to the cartoons in the 90s. In which you can probably guess my age.

Kids these days will probably hate these. When I try to watch the cartoons that kids watch these days, I just can't get into it. It seemed so stupid.

My point is, it's the kind of environment that these cartoons creates for us. When you think about the times when you were as a kid, the only shows you've watched are probably all cartoons. Real popular ones like Teen Titans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spongebob Squarepants. Or even further back, something like Teletubbies which I used to love.

Now, another thing that makes people hard to understand is the rate at which they consume information. I've watched a TED talk recently about how we should treat information/media like food. We choose what we eat, to make sure that we're healthy. But we don't practice that same attitude towards info/media, simply put we just absorb everything it has to offer with filtering stuffs.

I complete agree with what he is saying.

Unfortunately, I'm at that stage where any lesser information wouldn't be enough to satisfy my appetite. I feel bored, more often than a normal person would. My brain just can't seem to handle idle time very well.

If you're too lazy to watch that, I'll try to summarize it for you, or if you did and didn't understand it, hopefully this would help.

People consume information at a crazy rate these days, the information we get in a day is probably more than what people would in their lifetime centuries ago. We should start filtering out the stuffs that we actually need. Treat it like food, don't just gobble everything down, pick and choose what is good for you.

If you don't believe that 1 day of information is more than a person's lifetime, think about this.

You know that the Earth is round, you also know the circumference and size, because of the various sources you have. It would take someone years, decades of observation and calculation to know that. You can learn all of it, within an hour if you wish. Google it, read the research papers and calculations. There, a man's life of research into your head.

You see where I"m going with this, right?

These days, I can't sit down for 10mins without anything happening. In my holidays, I've spend most of my time reading articles, watching videos, learning about random stuff as fast as humanly possible.

Ranging from physics, to chemistry to astronomy to computer science to sociology to history to biology to computing technologies to etc. Yes, that's what I've been spending my time doing. I probably retain less than 10% of the information, but they would probably sound familiar when and if I need to go deeper into those topics.

Of course, this is a bit of an extreme case, but you, who have been reading this is also consuming an incredible amount of information. By reading this, you've gained a new perspective on things, you've learnt to see info/media in a different light, you're stressing the cognitive regions of your brains, and improving upon those skills. All of that, just by staring at a screen.

Here's my main point.

It's close to impossible to understand another person.

Unless you lived in the same generation, lived in similar conditions, had the same education, consumed the same information. And this is ignoring intelligence and all the personality quirks.

The most you can do is to get what he/she is trying to convey. Put in another way, unless you've walked in the same shoes, you won't get it. Anyone that has been slapped before knows how bad it feels (a good proper one, not just one for fun). Try explaining it to someone who has never been slapped before. It hurts, but there's a strange feeling of unexplained humiliation.

I'm writing this probably because I'm starting to have trouble understanding people, or myself even. Like a lost and confused kid amidst all these chaos and randomness.

Sigh, why do people have to be so complicated?

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