[Reader-list] On technology(ies) and ...violence

jha sadan jhasadan at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 20 13:19:53 IST 2002

On technoloy(ies) and...violence

Let me pose some of the most primitive questions related to 
technology(ies)---'technologies for whom' and 'technologies for what'? I am 
skeeping one obvious question--what is technology?  These questions are for 
beginners and I expect you not to pay any heed to them. One raise an eyebrow 
over these questions only at the time of ones entry into 'the field'. One 
gets satisfied with an answer or a set of answers and move to another level. 
The tension acquires a different form. There is another dimension to the 
problem. This line of thinking suggests that one does not get satisfied with 
her/his answers but allows herself/himself to think that the question is 
itself a futile one and questionning of this kind does not lead to 
anywhere...And, one moves to another plain. These two approaches obviously 
do not cover the range of possibilities for not paying attention to 
primitive questions. The range is so wide and terrain is so rough that it 
can even go upto responses such as, 'I do not care' or 'damn care!'.
'Are you a social activist/socialist/hypocrat?'
Laughter is the best way to unarm, to disorient or to simply destry an 
urchin who ask these primitive questions.
'It reflects anxiety of a new comer who has not been indoctrinated in/by the 
field', one argues politically.Phases of continious projection and negation 
can be stretched on this line of denial.
'What(the hell)do you want to unearth? What the hell do wish to prove? For 
whom ? For what purpose do you ask...(at all)?'
The anxiety to fix the location of the question and to fix the 'author'. 
Fixed--Bracketed--Destroyed--Mission accomplished--Security 
Imagined--Security Achieved--Violence negated.
I wish to listen first. My background motivates me listening. Tales of 
violnce and technologies  have been told and retold. Each generation has its 
own story, its own lullabies. These lullabies are neccessary. They give ways 
to selective amnesia. You forget the violence or locate it in lullabies so 
that you can sleep well and can dream.Dreams not to remember but for goody 
goody feelings in the morning.
Listening is also a kind of lullaby. I am listening because I have not 
resolved the anxiety. I have not found any answer to these primitive 
questions. I have not moved to another plain. Some people are condemned to 
remain attached. They are stuck and can not move further, can not move 
But moving ahead in what direction? Development paradigms come into my mind 
and I remember Gandhi and modernism and all those ('complex')words with a 
constently inconsistent prefix, 'post'.
I choose Gandhi. He has a lot to offer on technology and violence. This is 
also due to my ignorance as I have not come accross much on the technology 
and violence. The ignorance is a bliss too. It helps in listening. It opens 
up this epistemological landscape. The charm of the landscape keeps one 
involved with primitiveness(of the question...violence...technology(ies).

Sadan Jha.

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