The Enigma

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Systems and Signals

Fortune of the day: System prepares the crime. The criminal commits it.
This was shown on orkut when I logged in. That quite didn't sound like a fortune, but did make me think. The AIMCAT 0603 carried an RC passage that spoke of System and Crime in one of its lines. That made me think of System and its implications. Ya! I was thinking in the middle of a CAT test.
I am from South of India, probably you, the reader or from north or from south or wherever and when we see the cultural differences among us, we attribute it to the system we were born in, the system we were brought up in. The word may not be the same in all cases, but the meaning is intact. A local and a foreigner are bifurcated and the roots are traced to the incumbent system in his/her residential location.
We are graded on a scale of 4 and some institutes do it on a scale of 10 and most of India prefers to print in grade cards in percentages. The difference, they say, is the system prevalent in the institutes.
I apply for my cumulative grade card. My friend applies for his passport. Another wants to change his room in the hall of residence. They say the heuristic is modified now and the time taken isn't the same as earlier. The notion that "system is now changed" was insinuated into us on these occasions.
These are one of the few cases where I have heard the term 'System'. I am baffled by the versatility this word has. It has made its way into many a textbook of mine. What I still don't understand is what exactly is the meaning of 'System'. Don't tell me it is context dependent. You very well know which system I am speaking of when I ask for the meaning of it.
I liked Abhishek Bacchhan when he said in Sarkar, " My dad stays out of the system and works for the society". I liked the dialogue and liked him, but that still clear the haze surrounding this enigma.
If system is to be considered the society, then we say people make the society and make it what it is and on the other hand we say we are slaves of the system and the frustrated lot say fuck the system! Hang on, which system are we speaking of? Is it a set of ethical conduct we have chosen to live by? Is it just the physical surroundings that destiny has put us in? Is it the set of guidelines that we have made ourselves to get things done?
We are making the system and also abusing it, does that mean the system is at fault, which again means we the makers of the system are at fault? If it starts and ends with 'we', what exactly is the system then?
Is System confined to something as small as a college campus, or is it something one and unique universally? We often tend to use the term System when we are indignant, depressed, frustrated. We abuse the system on our failure. Is this escapism or rationalism?
Once when I completed a course in Signals and Systems, I thought this word would never bug me again, but it is reluctant to budge away.


At August 03, 2005 6:26 PM, Blogger Rahul said...

Abey again I'm tempted to write a comment as long as your blog but let me keep it precise. A system is formed and the sooner we realise its not effectual and its deformed we try to modify it because human requirements are always not the same. I agree that lot of ppl say "Fuck the system" without a proper reason. But I guess every human has this immanent and tendentious notion of living life the easy way. No one wants to work hard (by no one I mean those who keep harping about the system but never change themselves from the dogmatic people they are).

As you proclaim the chain of we-society-blame-we does not necessarily hold. How many of us were really there when the constitution was written ? How many of us were really there when the rules of placement in our college were formulated ? A very few of the "we" you are talking about. That should definitely give everyone a right to complain and that is the still the reason why laws keep changing even after we've enjoyed about six decades of independence.

It is only apposite to the post that you raise how one considers the framework that adumbrates his system. When these beliefs of an individual contradict those already in action I guess expropriation is but an obvious outcome. What I'm trying to say is that Utopia is still a chimera. We'll always have flaws in any formation not by its nature but by the users who follow it and those who choose not to.

Sorry bey ! But when in full josh I keep typing and typing and typing....

At August 04, 2005 9:37 PM, Blogger mphaxise said...

ok first things first...not going too philosophical about this...the system you are reffering to is the group of people who have the power to do things for has all the people who start from the peon in the govt. office who will pass your application from table to table to the prime minister of india. not just the govt. even our college has systems as i call, like how bobli has pointed out the placement cell which brings out the rules of the system so called policy which you are told to follow strictly and once you break any rule you are out of the policy and the system rejects you. But wait a min. when the there was a change in rule after the first round saying that there will be no more companies which will be invited to the campus once hundred percent placements are completed, but that is a negation to the policy, as a people we cannot break a rule but as a system a rule can be mended though it may affect the people, now that is the kind of power a system has and which makes people say "Fuck The System".

ps.: that was just an example and not an attempt to corner out someone in the placement committee. it is just coincidental that i had to write this to ur blog.

At August 19, 2005 12:14 AM, Blogger I Am Sam said...

i think this is the one of the toughest job to describe exactly what is a system and are we inside or outside the system we are blaming ... when things are not our way ..we blame the system . from queue of reservation counter to india loosing the batch..we blame system ..

you are quite right ..our cognition map talks of system only when we are indignant,depressed frustrated or when the things are not moving our way..

better saying "FUCK system".. we have to change first ourselves than system..

At August 19, 2005 11:36 PM, Blogger GVC said...

All through the evolution of mankind we have tried to understand our surroundings and have made guidelines that are acceptable to most of the people belonging to the society/system. Deviating from these guidelines doesn't necessarily mean abusing the system. It is these guidelines along with common sense applied that differentiate ethics from non-ethics. The guidelines that we have chosen for campus placements seem to follow the same lines of argument. It is the only few who have been affected by the system that use the phrase "**** the system". As long as the number of people who have benefited from the system is significantly greater than the number people who were affected by it in "true" sense, it can be regarded as a “good” system. To be precise "a system is the one in which the members of the system frame guidelines that are beneficial to the larger masses". Most of the problems arising today are mainly due to the systems which have guidelines formulated way long ago and the absence of revision making them fit for modern world.


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