Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who will change our society?

Who will bring about these changes in the society? I had earlier written about changes in our society being essential, inevitable and more importantly drivable. Again I had discussed about problems that exist in our society and categorized these into those that can be solved and those cannot be solved. Solving the problems would involve some kind of changes which are ultimately drivable. Now the only missing piece of the puzzle is "Who will bring about these changes that will solve the problems in our society?"

Most of the problems that we look to solve in our society are complex and large because of the simple fact that we are a planet of 6 billion people. Some of these changes that we are looking at are humongous at first glance, for example that of eliminating corruption, and sometimes even look impossible or highly unlikely. By one of the corollaries of the law of diminishing efforts, early contributors to a sufficiently large and lengthy task end up contributing more than later contributors. So people end up being hesitant to take up/contribute towards solving such big problems during the initial phases of such causes.

This has been one of my favorite topics for debate and one for which I get people to debate with very easily. It is easy to find people who look at the size and improbability of these problems and identify them as not worth spending their time and effort on. But they do not realize that it is because of decisions like these that these tasks look improbable and huge. Also for such big problems the actual requirement of efforts might be smaller than the perceived amount of effort required. Another corollary of the law of diminishing efforts states that the amount of perceived amount of effort required decreases non linearly with an increase in the amount of actual effort put in towards such complex and large tasks.

Very few people decide to take up such causes. The numbers are pathetic in the so called educated sections of the society because the amount of risk that such people have to take are very high. A person with a potential to earn millions of dollars in income would stand to lose the opportunity to earn that money if he/she tries to pursue improbable looking objective of solving such complex problems in the society. I believe that there would have been more takers if these problems didn't look so complex in the first place, but that is not to be.

Now it is not a sin or even a definable mistake or act of selfishness on these people's part to not take up causes or not give up prospective careers to work for the good of the society. I believe that everybody is, and should be, free to take up whatever career choices they wish to make in their lives. Besides the society always needs people who will work hard to earn their millions and simultaneously generate value and meet the needs of the society. Also it is plain statistics at work. For every thousand people, you only need a handful, to actively pursue such causes like solving the problems we face in our society, and statistics ensures that for every thousand there would be a few who resonate with such causes.

Now here is my proposition. If we can increase this above percentage of people, then these problems would get solved faster. If we increase the efficiency of these people, these problems would get solved faster. If we increase the resources available for these people for solving these problems, these problems would get solved faster. Doesn't that sound logical?

Ever since I started thinking about this I have been trying to figure out ways to get it to happen. I have been talking to everybody who I think would resonate with such causes about how it can possibly happen. What I have realized is that most people want this to happen but most of these are not willing to put in effort to make it happen. Of the very few who are willing to put in efforts even fewer are willing to take it up as a cause to live for. The consolation is that there would be a lot of supporters for such causes if and when they gather momentum and the perceived required effort drops drastically.

I, for one, have decided that, I am going to invest my life for this cause. Now that I had defined the objective I wanted to find the best possible method that I should take to work towards this objective. Like I mentioned before, if we have more people, infrastructure, technology and resources, then we could achieve these objectives faster. Of these, getting the non-human aspects together is easier than getting the human aspect ready.

If you have money then you can theoretically mobilize the other aspects but for people you have to inspire them and make them buy this vision. If 5 in 1000 is the number that you are looking at, then you have to reach out to 1000 people before you find your 5 people. Also you have to network heavily between these few people to be able to effectively work out strategies and move towards the objective.

The tough part about the vision is that there is little or no money in pursuing it. Only those people who are bold enough to think beyond money, will be able to take it up as a career. Only those who enjoy taking huge, complex and improbable tasks would enjoy such causes. Only those who can die for a cause would achieve it. And it is such people that the society needs to work for such causes. Anybody can do that. It is all a decision and only a decision. A decision that you are going to put efforts towards the cause and that you are going to achieve it. Are you game?


  1. It seems to me that most of the "big" problems of today's world have "roots" that can be mitigated much more realistically that trying to solve ALL the world's problems. One example that comes to mind is the total lack of personal responsibility that most people now have. Society is always looking for someone else to solve their problems instead of being more self-sufficient and solving our own problems. I think that 100% (not 5%) of the 6 billion people on this earth should solve their own problems, but obviously, this is not happening.

    Some "roots" that I think we need to deal with on a personal level…

    • Public schools advocate irresponsibility and dependency- parents should take their most important duty in life (raising children) more seriously. Do whatever it takes to make sure children are educated properly (despite what the schools are teaching them). Consider Home schooling

    • Priorities should be re-evaluated; money is not the most important thing in life.

  2. @Izzy - You have hit it right on the head. Most of the big problems that we see around have root causes centered around each of the individuals in the society.

    I think I owe an explanation about the idea of solving all these problems. Look at it this way. There are problems, there are solutions. People, infrastructure and resources are the input for this problem-solving process. When I talk about solving all the problems what I am looking forward to is to contribute to building and supporting the problem solving process. So such a systemic solution would be able to solve all the problems in the world. It is very abstract and most of the framework and pieces are probably already out there and working. But the theory I am exposing is about contributing to this and building this framework.

    Although I like the idea about home schooling there are lot of things that students would miss when they do that. For example the social skills that they learn, the competitiveness, the relationships. But then again if everybody home schools then there would be enough children in the neighborhood through whom they can get the same skills :-). Still there are going to be problems in the transient phase if there is going to be a shift.

  3. Regarding the misconception you may have with homeschooling...

    On average, home-schooled children have better social skills than children in public schools.

    In my experience, home school has an all out benefit to my son's social skills, not a detriment. When I compare his behavior to his cousins, (they were more or less raised by peers in public schools) he is able to interact confidently with a wider range of people.Like the ancient Greek aphorism "Know Thyself", I think my son knows himself. It is easier to socialize, be competitive and have meaningful relationships if you first "Know Thyself". It is very hard for children to achieve this in most public schools (In the USA at least).

    Here is a good article about it... "The homeschoolers scored as "well adjusted." In one study, trained counselors viewed videotapes of mixed groups of homeschooled and schooled children at play. The counselors didn't know the school status of each child. The results? The homeschooled kids demonstrated fewer behavioral problems. Dr. Lines' conclusion? "There is no basis to question the social development of homeschooled children."

  4. @Izzy - You must be more knowledgeable than I am regarding this aspect given that you are home-schooling your child :-). I skimmed through the article. Interesting read. I guess the notions about home schooling that are floating around are more mindsets than reality.

    Is the model scalable? Maybe in developed countries but what about developing countries? Would the economy be able to absorb the amount of time required to home-school the next generation?

  5. Before we go to far with solutions I think it is important to understand the history of public schools.
    here is a great article about it.

    "public schools are not interested in education but in social change and social control. A government education system is basically incompatible with the values of a free society. Eventually, one or the other must go."

  6. Is the model scalable?

    The homeschool system seemed to work fairly well up until the 20th century when public schools were phased in. the population has grown considerably, but so has our ability to communicate. We can learn from anyone on the earth, even when we don’t speak the language in some cases. Independent learning can/ and does take place everyday.

    Maybe in developed countries but what about developing countries?

    Well I think it would be easier considering they may not have the established infrastructure devoted to public education as we do in developed countries. They can start more "fresh"?

    Would the economy be able to absorb the amount of time required to home-school the next generation?

    I think public education will be phased out in a similar way that it phased in. it will take some time. With the use of modern tools like the internet, online schools could be a part of homeschooling, along with cooperation with other families. Money would be saved in the end instead of spent. Society as a whole is now paying for the inflated and inefficient system we already have. It's just a matter of cutting back funding, which should lead to less tax burden on the citizens.

  7. so after all reading this long post.whats the point?? who will change our Society??
    the answer is simple but complex. it very easy to say that its all a decision.. But the path which leads to that decision is so hard and tough..only few of thousand may reach the destination.. Now ,it has the time to stop old conventional idea of change.. one man game in social reformation.. we have to build neo-social engineering on our micro-poilitical age.

    so the point is simple that we are not jews to wait for the Messiah..

  8. @Izzy - Thanks for the detailed and patient reply. I guess it is possible with all these new technologies coming up. If that is the case then I guess there is going to be a huge business opportunity and market emerge to support the home schoolers. Hmm. Interesting :-)

    @jeevanism - I totally agree with you. The world is too large and the problems too complex for a single individual or even a small group of individuals to change. But yes, small groups can magnify their efforts by tapping into the power of technology. Again like I said before, change can be driven if more and more people consciously start working towards change.

  9. sir,i want to know one thing about our society
    what is happening in our society. Why these people always makes alegations to each other and why these people want to divide the state
    I am very sad about this sir,
    before some days i am very happy to live in india but now i am very sad about that why i got birth. Really i wish to god to change out society otherwise take away from this earth