Thanks to Douglas Adams, we think we know the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything. He would also have us believe that the only thing that remains a mystery is the ultimate question.
We are wrong on both counts, as a small minority of people on Facebook have demonstrated. First of all, the answer is still work in progress. The only thing established is that it needs more keys than the numbers bar of your keyboard. And as for the ultimate question, that’s no mystery. The question is right there for all to see, in the status bar of the Facebook homepage. ‘What’s on your mind?’ it asks us, and the above mentioned band of Facebook users pours out a sea of possibilities that can fix life, the universe and everything.
The atlas-of-the-mind typeTo get even close to understanding this personality type, you have to first stop pursuing selfish things like happiness, success and good coffee shops.
Then, try to see the world from a modern Atlas’s point of view (no you don’t have to squint or have eyes in the back of your head; I meant this in a figurative way). When you carry the earth and the heavens on your shoulders like you would a slobbering drunk friend, your perspective is bound to be larger than all the above.
I know what you’re thinking. How can Rajeev, who’s an un-creative number cruncher by day, be qualified to find solutions for the universe? Now here’s the secret of these people’s global wisdom. They have an uncanny knack of rewriting universally accepted laws and rules.
Here are the top three that I have uncovered while studying the status updates of these noble souls.
If at first you don’t succeed, extrapolate, extrapolate, extrapolate again. When V.V. Clemsy drops a glass of milk, he doesn’t waste time crying over spilt milk (boo hoo as a Facebook status update just isn’t global enough). Instead, he asks himself how the principle of dropping a glass of milk can be applied to larger subjects. Calcium depletion? Not big enough. Hungry children? Better, but overused. A drop in world nutrition levels? A loss of organic produce? Organic… hmmm there’s something there. So there you have it.
V. V. Clemsy laments the loss of yet another organic resource from a world that’s turning to plastic.
Most readers, for fear of looking ignorant will scan the net and find lots of relevant news stories that will help them sound intelligent while commenting on V. V. Clemsy’s update.
Rush in where punsters fear to tread. When Aloe P. Shea sees hair in her comb, she doesn’t just think of it as hair loss. That’s petty, selfish and a wasted opportunity. So she lets her mind out on a random association trip. A receding hairline? It’s getting macro, Aloe knows, but it’s still too selfish to make a statement about the world. So she flies from receding to recessive to recession... Bingo! That’s global enough now.
Aloe P. Shea then feels that the solution to global recession is to pat existing resources in place.
When you point a finger at yourself, remember that three fingers point at the world. Nothing remarkable has happened to Indra Pal Lobhia all day. In fact he lost a bet on which cricket team would win today. So does Indra Pal Lobhia, or IPL as he is known to friends and enemies hide the fact under the astroturf? No way! He capitalises on it to publish his learning about life, the universe and everything.
His status update reads: IPL knows that individual and team brilliance must collaborate with the will of the people for a Utopian culture to flourish.
Coming up soon: The I-link-therefore-I-am type