Politics, Science And My Generation
Ideally, politics should be about making the world a better place via ideologies. More than any generation, this is when the sovereignty of every nation is supposedly recognized and respected. My generation is full of national and international political organizations to address all possible internal and external conflicts for quick but lasting resolutions.
More than ever, we are equipped to do well for humanity through the proper use of the available advancement in science, technology and information, constituting knowledge than our predecessors. Yet my generation is still full of suppression, oppression and aggression. Ironically, my generation is one in which democratic nations spend huge sums of money on sophisticated military weapons of all kinds than even non-democratic ones. Just to the benefit of few people on the planet, some countries in some continents have become war and/or exploitable zones forever. It is a recipe for revulsion, of which terrorism and militancy are examples.
As complex and myriad as the causes of insecurity are, the machinations of the leading political powers across the globe are the key contributing factors. In my generation, there is a widening gap between leaders and followers. Leaders in this instance include elected political officials, members of their family, their business associates and followers with links to government officials.
Due to this gap which has become wider than normal, younger persons who hold the shorter end of the bargain, have become morally bereft so they have cave under pressure to meet up with their peers among the leading class. These young persons who are of my generation and constitute about 60 percent of the world population are the terrorists, militants and agents of crimes in our societies. Although a reality, this development is disheartening.
Mine is a scientific generation. The era in which humanity is extracting and distilling the real knowledge buried in the universe. We are exploring space. We are using technology to shrink distance and contract time. We are overcoming the diseases that killed our ancestors prematurely. This is the generation filled with all kinds of social media platforms, sports and entertainments activities for relaxation after hard day's work.
Yet it is also the generation with many deliberately declared lethal and incurable diseases. We are in a generation where organisms are created in laboratories and are released into the environment to decimate others all in the name of tackling overpopulation, for money making and to sustain dependence of the under developed and developing countries on the more scientifically advanced and developed countries. Other people's geographical water bodies and arable lands are the waste dumping sites for illegal business men who trade in toxic wastes, thus, endangering the lives of humans, plants and animals in such areas.
This is the generation where interference with the brain and the entire human body is possible using specifically designed chemicals and machines. Yet despite our imaging machines, we know literally nothing about the content of the mind as in what that man walking around on the street would do next. Neuroscience and neurology are not just in their infancy, even the best they can offer in their matured state will only be the interpretation of scanned or mapped images. It will be an uncorroborated stretching of imagination born of naïve realism and unwarranted trust of power of science to conclude that the scanned or mapped images represent the real contents of human mind as in what a person is thinking and willing to do. Even those under study specifically for this purpose have never had the content of their minds revealed. If the content of the mind of the human being under study for that very purpose cannot even be revealed by all our imaging machines, how much more that of the one not under study.
The mind of a man at rest or in action remains an enigma. Nothing, absolutely nothing could be revealed about it except in its outcomes in actions constituting events. And those gathered in actions constituting events are culled from group studies.
In other words, the pattern of how groups respond under various conditions as elicited via the power of statistics is essentially applied to the individual. But statistics, as remarked, is a like a bikini. It reveals the obvious whilst concealing the vital in most cases. Outwardly, the man is smiling to everyone around. But he inwardly knew he is going to kill himself and as many as possible. No imaging machines could reveal that in advance.
This is simply the case because science can never search and know the content of the human mind, not even with some kind of doubt. Therefore, the security guards, surveillance cameras and drones are truly as helpless in protecting the crowd against the man called a terrorist, herdsman or militant who is bent on detonating a bomb or massacre innocent lives.
It is worthy to note that the very notable ammunition and explosive weapons employed and deployed by the enemies of peace in my generation were possible only through science. Sure, knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Nevertheless, it is time science accounts for the knowledge it puts in public domain given that there is a difference between ignorance and irrationality. Ignorance is lack of information while irrationality is intentional misuse of information.
Omaga E. Daniel is the Executive Director, Beyond Boundaries Legacy Leadership Initiative