Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Critics and Perception.

The word "critic" has always amused me. "critic" by definition is "somebody who makes a judgment about or an appraisal of something or somebody and gives comments". They are the one and all of the present day media. But the question remains, who are these guys to publicly question the fecundity (this is a new word I learnt which means "the ability to produce many different and original ideas"... aint it cool?) of the artists and chefs all round the world? Then I figured that in this "just" world, mankind would never allow such injustice to flourish. So, I began to contemplate on why the world has accepted them as an integral part of their lives. I started to look around and found innumerable examples of things influenced by critics. In a broad spectrum of things, there are surveys (which I believe is a very scientific approach), opinion polls, reviews, feedbacks and the list is never ending. I read an interesting article on "perception" which helped me consummate a conclusion to my quest, the quest for understanding the minds of people who believe in affirmation of their thoughts and ideas, the quest to undestand the never ending longing of the mind for appreciation and how these intelligent critics use the analysis to make a living.

"Perception" (the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation) is the key to many of these questions. I believe a simpler definition for perception is "point of view". No two people in this word are the same and so their perception of things is always different. But what makes people unite and raise a voice coherently about any issue? The answer lies in the fear of being totally different. This fear drives mankind to affirm their ideas and thoughts by someone else. This is where "critics" play their part in this world. I am sure most of us would sample any movie based on "reviews". What are these "reviews" exactly? They are merely different points of view. Our minds are programmed to accept the "common idea" or be a part of the majority. No one wants to be left alone and this is a fact.

Essentially the idea of perception in today's world is to pick sides. No one want to be left alone in a metastable (metastability in digital microelectronics is a state between a "1" and a "0" which is unstable. In layman’s terms its a thrishangu swargam) state. This is the very crux of opinion polls and people doing things based on rave reviews by critics. Hey, now I have obtained a nascent respect for critics and what they do. They help a blind folded society find what they want to see. They guide even an imbecile to the treasures of art and media.

But how do these facts explain great empires and civilizations that have evolved through the centuries based on the vision and ideals different from the ordinary. The only explanation that I could find was that these people were not afraid to be different! They thought "why not!". This explains various ideas like "communism", "capitalism" and so on. Now I am really in a fix. There are people who revolutionize the society with their brave new thoughts and those who pick up the paper to read through reviews to watch a movie!

Well I am still confused. The only decent explanation I can find is that, in this world with complex minds, each having their own perception, mankind always looks for a stable state to settle down. They group themselves together in sections that have obtained a relative equilibrium with this world. The "critics" are hence like traffic constables ushering mankind to a certain direction. It is not necessary that the direction is the right way, but hey! It’s a "point of view". They do this selflessly not knowing the quantum of minds they are influencing. So, the next time you read a review and frown because you disagree with him/her, get this - "its just a perception". Either you agree with the perception or not. Its as simple as that. But remember, if you review an event youself and then read through a critic's review, you would be amazed at how coherent your ideas are!
Dare to be different because that is what revolutionizes the world and do respect the perception of others because you never know if that perception is going to revolutionize the world we live in !!


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