in situ: part 4

The in situ series of posts is excerpts from an online conversation I had with two friends who are readers of my private blog. These posts may best be read serially, and with some leisure time at hand. Links to the previous and following posts are at the end of each post.




My idea of what a “great” conversation is has sort of changed after I have come here. Not in a bad way – it’s just very different. I have come to the very unfortunate and judgmental (and hopefully, it will change soon, when something proves me wrong) conclusion that only students who study/are interested in the humanities (and drama is not included in this) will engage in the kind of conversation that you are looking for. I refuse to label it “great” or anything else, because it’s unfair to say that med students don’t have “great” conversations between themselves – I may not find them great, but perhaps they do, and in our own universes, that is really all that matters.

Which is why when you say “if great music was written”, I am forced to ask you at that very point who decides it is “great.” There is no pre-existing canon of greatness in anything – we humans make those canons. I may think that Dave Brubeck is fantastic; another person may possibly think it’s the worst music in the world, and may not even want to call it music. What then?

This is different from a tree falling, or from music generally being composed, because these are empirical events – they do not depend on others’ observations for their existence. This is what empiricism is.

So when you make a comparison of these events with whether you even exist – I have to ask you what you mean by that. The entity that is socially accepted as “Ajinkya” exists, in a mass of flesh and blood, and he is still different from every other being because no two people are the same. Therefore yes, you do exist – both physically, and in the metaphorical sense that you are adhering to. You do not need another presence or someone else’s affirmation to confirm this.

As one of my favourite characters once said: “Your thoughts make your world.”

It has been 3 months since I have been able to speak to anyone like this. It frustrated me initially, but the comfort that I have future conversations waiting to happen – somewhere, sometime, someplace – with you, and some others is keeping me going. Till then, these alternate conversations (which is, admittedly, much more than you have) and this “brave new world”, as Shakespeare would call it, will keep me going.

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

Part 5.


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