Losing Intelligence

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

I’ve been obsessing over losing intelligence for a few months.
But writing about it has been so painful. My mind keeps wandering. Now, since this is an old thought, getting back to it is even more painful. The editor in me (or maybe it’s the clerk) has tried to sort the thoughts and make it appear intelligent (or maybe it’s the PR).
Writer Woes: Current status- Whatever, get over it.]


Lessons learnt from all that deliberation:

Don’t let brain decay.
While at it, prevent brain damage also, if you can. Like wear a helmet. Like stop watching Hindi TV serials.
But if you’re worry about sanity, then you really shouldn’t.

“Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out,” said the shopkeeper. “That’s what I’ve always thought. No one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person.”

― Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

To not lose intelligence, simplest thing is to keep brain active. Read. Ask. Reason. Argue (not pointlessly, of course). Create problems. Solve some. To summarize: Think.

Also, don’t try to forget things. I’ve learnt there’s never an end to that, and before you know it you shut the door to making new memories. So, remember to remember and be involved with people and things.
Anyway, forgetting makes you modify the truth. What good is that?

Don’t let knowledge get lost in the time vortex.
I was reading this book ‘Letters from a Father to his Daughter’ by Pt. J Nehru. (Imagine, at that tumultuous time of the independence struggle, he took time out to write letters teaching her world history as simply as he could. It is heart-warming!) In one particular letter, he was describing Egypt and Crete, Nehru writes, “In this palace there were bathrooms and water-pipes, which some ignorant people think are modern inventions.”

And I laughed at the irony that he pointed out.

If you know me, you know how high in regard I hold the invention of plumbing and how mad I get about the issue of health and sanitation of this effing country. Every time I enter an awesome bathroom, I swear to God, I take a moment and thank the builder/architect/manager of the theater/mall/hotel for caring to have hygienic, if I may also add, ‘state of the art’ bathrooms.

I think, I’ve gone off-track again. Where were we?
Oh, irony. Yes. Ironic isn’t it. We think of an old invention as modern. We lost such an important idea of plumbing. Where did we lose that old knowledge? Moreover, Why?

So many things have come and gone; completely forgotten as if it never happened at all. Words lost. Dialects lost. Languages lost. Inventions lost. Discoveries lost. Civilizations buried. Intelligence lost. The knowledge of a civilization lost and mankind starts again from scratch; starts the whole process all over again.

[Pause. (Screaming in my head now). Resume.]

I know we can do it; but why must we? I can’t bear the thought of it.

It is regression. It’s not just regression, it is collective regression. (Breathe. Withholding the scream.)

See, I may hate creating virtual junk, but I know it’s alright. Every time I sign up for something and then I don’t like the site, I make sure I delete my account. Also when I can’t create normal, not-witty email ids and must create a new one for ‘professional reasons’, it hurts- I am yet to figure out at what level, but it hurts. I continue to see people store crap in GBs of storage space (without wincing!), obsess over storing every irrelevant picture of the same damn event, tweeting/updating every thought on record and storing movies and silly notes and music in awesome sites that saves it forever in some huge data-storing machine, with accurate date and time (goddamnit!). I explain to myself that it’s all alright because out of so much crap, just maybe 30% are ideas that mustn’t die. So it’s all alright.

Abrupt ending?,
Signing off,
Tame SheWolf


“When you know better you do better.”

― Maya Angelou


3 thoughts on “Losing Intelligence

  1. To summarize: Think.

    I don’t think that we can ‘not think’ even if we wanted to do so. I don’t think we can ever turn it off.

    So many things have come and gone … The knowledge of a civilization lost..

    When I read about the burning of the library of Alexandria, I was gutted. Every time I read about the Indus Valley Civilization (great bathroom builders/plumbing geniuses, their best known monument is their Great Bath) and realize that their script hasn’t been deciphered yet, I cringe.

    I totally get what you mean.


    1. Having said that, it is heartening to know that even if all of our knowledge got destroyed, we will ‘think’ it all back. We will probably come back with the same explanations and similar theories too. That fact is so reassuring!

      The resilience of the collective human knowledge is incredible!


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