In praise of : Details

Perhaps it is due to incapabilities of human mind in handling more than 5 or 6 details at a time that abstraction is born. Now there a tendency to glorify abstraction by which one squeeze details into a small representable quantity. No doubt abstraction is useful. It definitely make sense to write down eigen values of a big matrix or a huge graph and pass comment on them. But should we made ‘the ultimate abstract’ as the holy grail of intellectualism? Why should the ability to ‘abstract out’ ideas should be taken as a sign of ultimate intelligence? If abstraction is to be used, it should be used to make sense out of enormous amount of details, to find connections. What possible use it might have otherwise rather than driving someone into a metaphysical world, a incoherent land of plenty invented by crazy minds.

One should admire, or at least respect, details. After all, the meaningful world is made up of details. It may bring spiritual satisfaction to some who pursue abstraction for the sake of abstraction. But for those who are more concerned with fruits of real world, we must take the details head on. Surely it would definitely help to use abstraction as a potent weapon unless computers are fast enough for brute force algorithms.

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Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

3 thoughts on “In praise of : Details”

  1. i don't know whether you take it as criticism or fact.i just write for fun.whenever i check into your blog,it reminds me of iit-jee preparation.too much theory,lots of books,lots of references and complicated english. wise people never read or write books cuz they don't like others to live in their ideology.i don't understand why people always quote others and live in other's quotes/ideology.if you don't live life on your own then you start quoting others.life and intellect is simple,it gets complicated when you start following others perceptions.there is simple equation to define intellect….magnitude of intellect=number of world perceptions within=amount of flawless life you have led (hehehe its my equation)

  2. Well, reading others is not only desirable but necessary. There is nothing wrong in knowing other people ideas and contribute towards it incrementally. To go beyond a mountain, you need not jump over it, you can travel around/over/through it. Ever heard the phrase, "standing on the shoulders of others". Nobody is denying that having original idea is a sign of first rate mind. But that is no excuse for not reading others. Conversing with someone or reading a book is very necessary given the fact it is of quality. After all, what is use of any idea if no-one agrees to read it. If will die with you.

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