Make it your problem.

21 August 2007


I have the need to constantly problematize things. All things. In fact, you will notice that majority of posts on this blog discuss the faults I see in whatever happens to catch my fancy at the moment. Am I being negative? Hardly. I like to see myself as an optimist.


I feel that it is important to do this (point out the unspoken side of stuff) because I want my opinion of something to be well-formed. I don’t want to think good of something because that is how I’ve always thought it to be. 


For example, I might be tempted to praise the Wika 2007 contest because it is a nationalistic endeavor.I judge this effort as being good because I have grown up with the concept that nationalism is good and therefore anything that promotes it must also be good. In that situation, I am literally a hostage to my own preconceptions. My environment has dictated to me a bias and I automatically (and not completely  willfully) judge things by that.


In problematizing the concept by exploring whether it really does promote nationalism, and to what end is this nationalism is promoted, and whether that end is worthy of our effort and brain cells, we are able to form an opinion of it that is independent of what others have told me to think. My decision, what I think of the contest, will then be an act of truly free will.


Of course, this means that there will be loads of uncertainty. What I am essentially proposing is for us to question the very framework of how we evaluate the world. Inevitably, chaos will ensue because we will be left without the stability of the things we used to take at face value. However, it is in this chaos that those who are truly great thrive. It is in this chaos that great, world-changing ideas arise, freed by the absence of homogenizing agreement.


As a parting shot, here is Apple’s Think Different manifesto:


Here’s to the crazy ones.

  The misfits.

    The rebels.

      The troublemakers.

        The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

     And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,

     disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

      Because they change things.

They invent.    They imagine.    They heal.

  They explore.    They create.    They inspire.

    They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.


You should also check out how NakedBiff is problematizing online messaging