When I started this blog, I wanted to focus exclusively on political science topics. But once in a while, its nice to deviate from the norm.
After a long time, I finally saw a movie that was worth the hype (I think the last one might have been Return of the King). The premise of inception is interesting enough but together with the effects, performances and layered writing, the movie blew me away. Mainly because it raised some interesting ideas:
- The idea that an idea cannot be stopped: My friend Faiz always says this and it is so true. Ideas are what changed the world, making humanity capable of greatness and destruction. Ideas have shown themselves to be worth fighting for, as even today separatist movements (Kashmir) begin with an idea. Ideas are valuable (see the growth of Intellectual Property Rights) and cannot be contained (for example, the Green Revolution).
- The idea that perception defines reality: Responses are made based on the perception of a situation rather than the reality of the situation; this idea was hammered home by the Causes of Major Wars class I took in senior year. It was interesting how much of World War I (the focus of the class) was driven by perception and biases.
- The idea that the mind is an awesome thing: And here, I’m using awesome as “awe inspiring” (and not in the insipid way that teenagers use it to describe anything from winning the lottery to getting no homework). Nuanced and complex, the very essence of being, many times incomprehensible- all encompassed in the mind. Its more than rationale or brain function. It is the aggregation of all that and more (such as emotion and memories).
- The idea of the totem: I saw this is as a symbolism for stability in a rapidly changing world. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and see what defines you.
I guess liking a movie about ideas is not very original for a person who wants to go into academe and live a “life of the mind”. But hey, with your own inspiration and standing on the shoulders of giants, original ideas begin to flourish. Doesn’t it?