if we do not come together, look at ourselves, where we came from as a people, what we have become, and where we want to go ...
within the last few years we have been experiencing unusual phenomena pointing out to social, political, and religious turmoil -- all these exacerbated and sped up and even made viral by high-speed cybernetic technologies. ... these phenomena takes on a truly global and globalizing character, thrusting this one "pastoral, peaceful, and pristine" nation into the world arena of both fame and infamy.
from mystery to tragedy .. this is the theme where are at at now in the two incidences of the Malaysian Airlines we are still grappling with, as a nation new to problems of such magnitude. within six months we not only lost planes by we are plunged into socio-emotional chaos of untold proportion, as if they are capstones of the never-ending corruption, bigotry, power-abuse, mismanagement, and the inability to enculturalize systems meant to make our living safer and saner.
as a student of existentialism, cybernetics, the the nation-state -- a topic that inspired my doctoral studies, i feel that the internet, as a tool of social engagement and cultural change is pervasive. it can bring us together or rip us apart, it can build a nation or destroy it, and it can educate for peace or incite violence on a massive scale.
it is a frankenstein in post-modern times.
i had hypothesized that the installatiom of or Multimedia Super Corridor, the birth of Cyberjaya, and the rise our own networked society and the "democratization of the post-industrialzied digital and globally-networked tool of social engagement" will alter the fundamental character of the "nation-state" such as Malaysia. i had that thought in the early 2000. i am stil "observing" what the internet will continue to do and what will be the cognitive and emotional consequences of the nurturing of this post-modern prometheus.
as a nation, we perhaps become more informed, more able to learn from the boundless wasteland of cybespace, and perhaps more able to see where we are going as nation.
but with any technology, and as it becomes enculturalized and become us and even as it tells us how to live, think, as well as to continue to be and become as a human being, we are confronted by all the contradictions of what it means; confronted by the disabling or even deconstrcuting and destructing aspects of our creation. that frankenstein we are no loner able to bring back home.
we are at a critical juncture -- how do we stop and think how to use technology, especially this mediium i am using. do we see its value and utilty from the point of view of ethics or do we become a child overly excited of the freedom it accords and use it without understanding what "creativity and altruism" means? do we use it to spread falsehood and half-truths and to destroy others -- or do we use it as a tool to educate and to educate for peace based on the crafting of knowledge and the sharing of information that will elevate human dignity and help reduce the suffering of others?
of course, like many, i am a believer in the internet as a tool to make others aware of the injustices the powerful amongst us inflict onto the powerless, of the hideousness of capitalist formation and the evolution of the sophisticatedness of the modern class system, of the rise of religious fundamentalism that is leading towards the "struggle to eatsablish" this or that theocratic state through violence, and as tool to make children smarter by having smarter shools. these are the elements of what this frankenstein of ours can do.
in a time of chaos ... we ought to think how to use this medium. my emotions these past 24 hours have been quite "fried". i have been overwhelmed by images of horror derived and drawn from the two horrifying events unfolding: the israeli incursion into gaza and the massacre of innocent people in response to the diablic work of hamas and the massacre of innoent people as well, and in the case of the instantaneous destruction of Malaysian Airline MH17 with all on board reportedly dead.
the images, especially of dead bodies strewn into pieces and of children dying and dead in such horrible conditions, became too much for me. they are meant to make a point of the war: the crime against humanity but they have come to me too much to be cognitively and semotically ingested. many of them ought not to be posted and passed around.
use the internet responsibly. educate and not arravate to annihilate. use it to build this nation and not to celebrate bigotry and racism.
but at this moment in the most difficult time we are facing as a nation .... we need to look at ourseleves and look at this social media too we have in our hands and ask this question: will this help globalize and multiply hatred ... or will this spread love and goodwill ... ?
LET US WORK TOGETHER ON A COMMON GROUND for the COMMON GOOD. and let us pray for the ending of the violence destroying both the people of Gaza ... and the children of Israel.
-- azly rahman