I prefer to keep this blog technical. However, this time I am touching a gray area – human mind as a machine.
In the wake of recent tragic shooting at a school in the US, a blog post “Thinking the Unthinkable” has made quite a stir. My heart pours for the mother who describes her son’s violent rages and her helplessness. I have an idea that can help.
[I tried posting the following idea on her Blogger blog. However, it needed me to login to Blogger. I don’t have a blogger account. I request readers with Blogger account to go to the mother’s blog post and put this post’s link.
Disclaimer: I am neither of PETA activist, a Gandhian, a Jain, a Buddhist.]
In short, her son is a 13 years bright kid. At times he can get into murderous rage – like taking up knife to threaten to kill his mom and himself and he has to be physically overpowered and chemically subdued. The situation is so regular that his younger siblings have been taught an emergency evacuation plan. The mom suspects she is a mother of a future mass murderer. Deeply sad!
Human mind has inertia. It is difficult to suddenly switch to a different mode of being. A lawyer can’t suddenly turn into an accountant and vice-verse. That means, if we immerse the boy into strong non-violence for a few years, his mind will find it increasingly difficult to switch to violence.
The trouble is, you can’t force non-violence! It has to be influenced, not forced. So, here is an idea about a program for school and parents of a budding, intelligent teenager who is having anger problems.
Stage 1: Information gathering
Data gathering (or so called “White Hat”) is the top layer of personality.
The child is ready to accept anything as a project. Let us give him a project on some extremely non-violent schools of thought like PETA, Gandhism, Jainism or Buddhism.
Again, it must remain interesting to a teenager. So limit it to compiling and commenting on stories from those schools.
This stage should last for six months.
Stage 2: Internalization of information
This stage is about preaching it to others. That is infinitely easier than practicing, right? 🙂
The kid is an electronics and games fan. So we then challenge his creative genius to come up with games plots from the above stories in which non-violence is awarded.
In the second half of the stage, we challenge him to actually implement those games.
Man, this will be so absorbing! All the *intellectual* faculties have to be channelized to reward non-violent behavior of a neutral, unknown, third party, unseen player.
Like any good game design, it will take 3-4 years. By then the kid will be almost through with his formation years, thinking on how to simulate Buddha, Gandhi and Mahaveera.
The beauty is, we don’t have to preach anything to the kid. We don’t have to provide any other incentive to him to think about non-violent behavior. As the game progresses to higher levels, subtler and subtler form of violence will be rejected and punished in the game – and in the mind and value system of its designer.
Stage 3: Publicity of the work and identification of the person with the theme
At this stage, we can design some publicity.
The scale and duration of publicity would be dependent on the success of the game(s).
However, publicly defending the theme of games would force the designer to accept them finally.
And who knows, with the deep passion and long,deep thinking about non-violence and its public acceptance, we may get another Gandhi instead of a mass murderer?!?