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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Columnist: Seshie, Stanley

Frequent terrorism: Is this the age of bomb explosion? Part 1

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It is the world of ages; the Stone Age, Iron Age and then Bronze Age. Later we live in the Industrial Age, Machine Age and Space age. It will not end there. We continue with the Computer and now in the Information Age.

In fact, we are on our way to living in the Age of Nanotechnology, where there will be miniaturization of almost everything as you have started with your chips, now nanochips and no longer microchips. Nano-drugs will soon be added.

Looking back through the ages, they were all permeated with their fallout of irrationalities and moral evils among others. Paradoxically, our information age is seemingly becoming that of irrationality. There is unthinkable intentional misuse of information for purposes of moral evil, of which the apex of it is terrorism.

Frequent terrorism is ushering in the age of explosions in lieu of maintain that of information and nanotechnology. Terrorism predates many of its modern day spectacles.

Yet ever since the infamous September 11th 2001 attack on the twin towers in US, and more importantly the reactions of the US led Coalitions to contradictorily transport and export Democracy militarily to Asia, the world had never known peace. Of course, peace is not the absence of war. However, whatever it is, it is certainly the absence of the kind and frequency of terrorism that now saturates the world. The Pandora box of irrationality was opened and as such, no one knows which city is next.

Whenever and wherever terrorism strikes world leaders, it expectedly come together with messages and actions of solidarity to reiterate the common hope of unity for humanity. As good and noble as this gesture is, it does not address the causes of terrorism. Unpredictability is not acausality (to happen without a cause). Terrorism is unpredictable. Nevertheless, it has chains of complex causes. Everybody knows.

The public had been bamboozled into confounding unpredictability with acausality so much so that world leaders prefer to let the public deal with the emerging uncomfortable outpouring emotional trauma of terrorisms than dealing collectively and decisively with the causes. Political and religious leaders must unite and act for the good of humanity. We cannot continue killing one another simply due to differences in political and religious beliefs.

As for science, it will not stop providing the knowledge for use or misuse. It is as if terrorism is on a mission to prove the futility of science, religion and politics. Let us briefly go through all.

Politics and man

Politics is 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. This is the same generation 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 information, constituting knowledge than our predecessors.

Yet this is also the generation still full of suppression, oppression and aggression. 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 zone forever. It is a recipe for revulsion, of which terrorism is an example. As complex and myriad as the causes of terrorism are, the machinations of the leading political powers on the planet are key contributing factors. There is no doubt about that.

Science and man

Ours is a scientific generation. This is the time that humanity is 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 sports and entertainments activities for relaxation after hard day's work.

Yet it is also the generation with many deliberately declared "incurable" diseases. We created organisms in the military laboratories and release them into the environment to decimate others once they have access to their biological system. All in the name of tackling overpopulation. Other people's geographical water bodies are the waste dumping sites for some, endangering them.

Also using specifically designed chemicals, we can interfere with the necessary physicochemical basis of the mind of the brain. This is the generation full of imaging machines such as X-ray, NMR, PET scans and others for revealing any substance trapped anywhere in the human body. Man does all these with and by the mind. 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 as well as surveillance camera are truly as helpless in protecting the crowd against the man called a terrorist who is bent on detonating a bomb, worst if he is suicide bomber.

Meanwhile, the very notable explosive weapons employed and deployed by the terrorists today 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. Irrationality is intentional misuse of information.

To be continued

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