Some personal observations on "Mind the gap"."MIND THE GAP," the words spoken at the underground railway station in London on a loudspeaker repeatedly were clear, loud, slow, and cautionary. Old railway cars were heavy, broad, aligned with platforms, and noisy. New cars were sleek, light, less noisy, and because of narrower width, left a gaping space between the platform and the car doors. The announcements drew attention peremptorily per·emp·to·ry
1. Putting an end to all debate or action: a peremptory decree.
2. Not allowing contradiction or refusal; imperative: . At this moment, here, watch your step while boarding the train. Or else you may miss the cross over, miss boarding, nay, miss even life in the cleft. Mind the gap.
At Mumbai University in May 2008, after delivering the keynote address keynote address
An opening address, as at a political convention, that outlines the issues to be considered. Also called keynote speech.
Noun 1. for a general semantics gen·er·al semantics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
A discipline developed by Alfred Korzybski that proposes to improve human behavioral responses through a more critical use of words and symbols. certificate course and steering through the course every day, I noticed that, on each succeeding meeting, enthusiastic participation and presentation of different perspectives increased incrementally. At the conclusion of the course the resource persons were called upon briefly to summarize their experiences. In a flash, like lightning, the London Underground The London Underground is an underground railway system - also known as a rapid transit system - that serves a large part of Greater London, United Kingdom and some neighbouring areas. It is the world's oldest underground system, and is one of the longest in terms of route length. experience of my student days as described above lit up my summation in three words--Mind the gap.
During the course, Aldous Huxley Noun 1. Aldous Huxley - English writer; grandson of Thomas Huxley who is remembered mainly for his depiction of a scientifically controlled utopia (1894-1963)
Aldous Leonard Huxley, Huxley was quoted as saying "We are brought up as believing and practicing members of some organization, Communist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Freudian. Consequently you respond to the challenge, which is always new, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. an old pattern: and therefore your response has no corresponding validity, newness, freshness." Also quoted were the telling lines of T.S. Eliot: "For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." Also quoted was the byline of an email address See Internet address. : "'Change' is constant, and continually changing." All signage, pointers to one direction--keep pace with reality in continual flux.
If we are only aware of the gaps and know how to act suitably, bridge, circumvent, jump, bring close, fill up, or negotiate appropriately, we can act with sanity. Between platform and train, map and territory, assumptions, motivations, and evaluations, is a gap. Between an extensively researched secret thesis on weapons of mass destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or from a reputable university and the reality on the ground in Iraq, there was a gap. Between rampant consumerism and genuine human needs, there is a gap. Between freedom of hasty impressions and freedom of thoughtful expressions, there is a gap. Between postulates and prejudices of which one is unaware and consciously owning them, there is a gap. Instant responses and evaluations are like distress selling of humankind's precious heirloom of discerning responses in the flea market of oneupmanship.
The distance between extensional reality and human perception determines the difficulty or efficacy of dealing with a gap. Religion, love, devotion, friendship, hatred, enmity, cultural prejudices, social biases, chauvinistic nationalism--the greater the gap, the greater the probability of people teetering from the foothold of "objective reality" down the precipice of mistaken evaluation. Perceptions are rarely uniformly white. Generally they are like Dalmatian dogs--daubed with colored patches. Therefore, white and all, warts and all, reckon with ground reality. Between the words "I will win the race," and the actual running to win, is a gap. To sprint in a race on a sports field, beyond mere words, actual strength in legs and running are required. Between language and the laps one must run to win is a gap. Between verbal conception and full-fledged experience is a gap.
Not keeping pace with the times makes response anachronous a·nach·ro·nism
1. The representation of someone as existing or something as happening in other than chronological, proper, or historical order.
2. . Not matching up with reality makes an evaluation incongruous. Moving with the times, science and research are essential. Is there a gap between the general semantics of the 1930s and the 21st century? Have the discoveries and studies of DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. , genomes, neuroscience, psychological insights, etc., been appropriately noticed and reckoned with by GS scholars? The very precious legacy of general semantics can be enhanced by updating and linking with the contemporary realities of science. Has the GS lexicon itself shown the resilience and responsiveness of a dynamic and responsible discipline? Does the very nomenclature of general semantics warrant change? Are we at the stage for a Lutheran reformation, a Copernican reversal of worldview world·view
n. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. , a unitive u·ni·tive
Serving to unite; tending to promote unity. Einsteinian integration with emerging disciplines? Is GS being consciously monitored and moved to mind the gap?
The needs of humanity require the evolution of evaluation. Language has many functions: information, education, entertainment, publicity, cover-up, misdirection MISDIRECTION, practice. An error made by a judge in charging the jury in a special case.
2. Such misdirection is either in relation to matters of law or matters of fact.
3.-1. , seduction, etc. Each function may have a suitably different form. In human relations, however, at every level, the evaluational function vitally affects the health and sanity of civilization. If one is aware, perceptions can be less confused, less clouded, less constricted con·strict
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
2. To squeeze or compress.
3. . Individuals can consciously train themselves to choose nuanced responses instead of instant reactions. In a world held ransom to sound bytes, in a world prey to the screaming or silently insidious advertising, in a world embedded in the ratings of reality shows, instant polls, political propaganda, electoral rhetoric, and other such hokum, sanity can be retained or retrieved only with a rational methodology of evaluation, one that bridges the gap and moves from the map of misevaluation to the territory of sound evaluation. For all sorts of situations in life, the mantra of the aware may as well be, "Mind the Gap." So I can sum up of the GS course that I took with three concise words: Mind the Gap.
Mind the gap, Between territory and map, Between foothold and footstep, Mind the gap.
* Devkumar Trivedi, a philosopher, poet, and educator takes a keen interest in the dynamics of world civilizations. As a learning teacher and a yearning seeker he tries to be a studious stu·di·ous
a. Given to diligent study: a quiet, studious child.
b. Conducive to study.
2. scholar of ignorance. Convinced about its continuing relevance, he occasionally guides and teaches courses in general semantics.