Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Monkeysphere

We were at the graveyard on Eid Day, and we met a guy we knew. After exchanging greetings, my cousin, Aadil asks him where's his father. Guy says his father is in Richards Bay, with his granny, his granny who he says doesn't look like is gonna make the day. I took the news with a solemn look, I have never met his granny in my life. I didn't even know his granny was still alive for that matter. As we walk back up to the car, Hamza mumbles to me 'She isn't in our monkeysphere'.

'What? WTF is a monkeysphere?' I promptly asked Hamza.

'You see,' Hamza began. 'The size of a monkey's brain shows the size of the monkey groups the monkeys formed. The bigger the brain, the larger the group. On average they deduced that the group size was around 50. So basically any monkeys out of that 50, the monkey won't give a shit about.'

So I guess we don't have to worry about Planet of the Apes happening anytime soon, but it goes further.

Apparently the human brain has a monkeysphere of 150. So basically anyone out of that, we don't really care too much about. Hence since guy's granny was out of monkeysphere, her death meant/would mean nothing to us(still don't know if she is still alive).

You might be thinking "Hey, thats rubbish, I care about people. I march for Palestine etc." Well would you rather have your best friend/ love interest / brother die over a busload of Palestinians? Think about it.

I remember in Spiderman 1, in the movie, Green Goblin gives him a choice, busload of kids or Mary Jane. He chooses both, cos they had a huge kid following. In comic canon though when he was given choice he chose busload of kids and his love interest, Gwen Stacy, died. How many of us would make that choice? I know I wouldn't. I guess with great power comes great responsibility.

Joseph Stalin said "One death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic." (They have this on loading screen of Call of Duty 2 when you die.)

Till next time in Waseem world.


Nooj said...

i liked FB most when i had less than 150 friends so maybe it's true. That is the best part of the batman movie. I wouldn't include so many relatives into my sphere sadly. Altho I think this year alone I have met 150 people who I would want to include. And yet there are so many fiendships where even if you don't see someone for years, you can get together and the feeling will be the same. This is tough. Oh and my best friend's ideal death is saving a busload of Palestinians so that's not tough

Work in Progress said...

Hmmm I think my monkeysphere diminishes as the years go on. There are so many people that u can actually be bothered to give a crap about it. Maybe I'm just selfish but u really care about all ur acquaintances, distant relatives, school friends and primary school teachers? I thought not.

Work in Progress said...

*only so many people that u can actually be bothered to give a crap about*

Khadija said...

oooh i love the stalin quote.

aren't we supposed to care more? i feel guilty for not giving a toss about the girl who terrorised me in school getting divorced... it's nasty... i think it's just distance-we move farther and farther away.

Parasputin said...

what you need to factor in is the artificial external brains we use, exponentially increasing memory and hence potentially the individual monkeysphere.
even if we don't necessarily care as much, the chance that we will have someone to care about in our individual monkeyspheres surely increases.

bb_aisha said...

define care in this sense. feeling sympathy for the person & offering condolences, then moving on & forgetting, & occasionally remembering them in your thoughts? i'd say that's pretty caring for someone out of my monkeysphere. an acquaintance from campus recently added me on fb. his gran had just passed away-i haven't seen him for years yet i do think of him.
a close friends's granddad is very sick-i think of her constantly & pray it's easy for her if he passes away.

I think fb has increased our awareness of ppl we may otherwise not think about.

I'd also like to die in the pursuit of doing good-be it saving a busload of Palestinians or any other nationality. And as unrealistic as it may sound, I'd choose to save the lives of a busload of people rather than one person I love. How can the pain of one person be greater than that of the families & loved ones of a busload of people?

May Allah grant me the strength to remain true to my conviction if I'm ever placed in this situation.

khadija-i prbly wouldn't give a toss about the divorce of a schoolmate who terrorised me either:-) not that i was terrorised

KiLLa said...

If a monkeysphere is 150.. Why do we have 4gb SD Cards... (considering i dont keep music and pics and videos)..

But its true.. Theres those u care about and those u dont..Like em mxit groups..

And if u anything like me, your so called sphere diminishes everytime your mouth opens and utters something..

Who ever said the more the merrier obviously wasnt referring to indian people..

With regards to the movie connotations.. There was NEVER a movie that really really tested the super hero's decision making ability.. Batman came close to that..

COrrect me if im wrong here, but they need to make a movie where the viewer needs to feel the pain on behalf of the hero.. That would be awesome and realistic..

For example.. Kill Alfred in the next batman.. Or let MJ (mary jane and not the blogger) get raped
in the next spidey. Or even better let supermans kid die of a krypton heart attack.. Just to let ppl know that their hero's are human too..

Just a thought

Azra said...

I don't belong to a clique..but I have alot of friends. And most of them are so different from each other. I've found over the years that people come into your life for a reason, and when that reason has been fulfilled, they leave. The friendship is like a life cycle.

True, some of my friends are considered more "important" then others. I think that as a society...we have definitely become more selfish. Gone are the days when neighbours used to look out for each other...and strangers whould offer their help freely and with no agenda etc etc

Its each man for himself and God for all...sadly.

Zahera said...

I think its sad really. Have we really become so selfish?

Nooj said...

killa i actually agree with you. not about rape and stuff but putting some realness into the stories. I actually get disappointed when the dude saves EVERYONE.that's why the HP series was so phenomenal, coz JK allowed 2 characters close to Harry to die tragic deaths

Waseem said...

Nooj - Ok lets say it isnt your best friend, its one of your sweet, innocent nephews, still feel the same?

WIP - At least I have converted one person :) Sometimes my monkeysphere seems to diminish to way below the 150 mark.

Khadija - I think feeling guilty is caring. I wouldnt care about that, and I would tell person telling me not to bother telling me stuff like that in future cos I dont care.

Parasputin - I have about 70 friends on facebook, and I could honestly delete about 30. Facebook just reminder for peoples birthday and inexpensive way to wish. Like this girl i used to work withs birthday is tomorrow according to facebook. Im not going to wish her.

BB - I do think some people have greater propensity to care. e.g. my mother cried when Princess Diana died, no idea why. What about your loved ones who will hurt for the death of your loved one? I applaud both your and noojs humanit if you can actually accomplish this, placed in this situation (not being sarcastic). Allah does not place a burden to heavy for us to bear though so we should be safe of something like this ever happening.

killa - there are movies. Punisher? But I guess he isnt much of a superhero. What about dark knight, Rachel Dawes dies, arguably a good thing but contextually it is same situation you wanted.

azra - true, everyone doubts peoples motives these days. I dont think your last statement is sad at all, it is a fact of life, cos in the end of the day He is the only one who can give you what you want.

zahera - I think most of us are. I dont think im a bad person but I can be really apathetic at times, I can probably attribute it to laziness.

nooj - what about the others, or are you trying not to be spoilerish

Trinity said...

I like the Spiderman Reference.

I think we are too selfish, in the 'old' days, when people died it was an event. Today people die, and its like nothing. We are like numb to it. I think its like one of the signs of the day of judgement?