Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Popularity contest

Who are the most popular people. What are the most popular entities ? How do they become popular.
I am a huge believer of democracy - the majority opinion - the popular opinion- still am - it is self-corrective - though slow but steady - because anything radical would mean dictatorship. i was reading a sufi book - the sufi parables are quite like zen buddhist philosophies - which I have quite enjoyed as the eastern philosophies goes beyond thought rather than restricting itself to it.
The book revolts against popular opinion by citing the following parable:
A man died and a coffin was created. He was laid and he woke up. Seeing the entire procession he fainted again. He was proclaimed dead and taken for burial. He woke up again and said "I am alive - let me go". A man said - "But the doctor said that you are dead". He said "No I am alive". The other man asked everybody at the burial "Do you think he is dead or alive?". Everybody said "He is dead". "So you are dead". And they buried the man.

Along with this story, it provides another story - in other end of the book but it is interesting how the solution to above problem is cited in the other story.

A man landed in "The land of Fools". He saw that everyone was scared of a water melon and thought it to be a monster. He went near the melon and everybody said that - "he is daring". He went and smashed it and started eating it. Everybody said - "he is a monster too and they killed him".
Another man landed in the same world. He saw everybody was scared of the water melon. He knew it was just a melon. But he pretended to be scared of it. He tip toed near the melon like every body. He led them, himself acting scared near the melon and then he managed to touch it and made everyone touch it. He then managed to cut and everybody ate the melon too. He was made the king of the land.

I think it is quite an insightful story as to how things operate in our group.

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