[Read the premise ‘Networking as a sandwich’ here]
Two months into the fellowship, in a conversation with Anupama, I ruminated how our finds are determined by the extent and quality of our network. You want to find a solution, ping the network. You want to hire, ping the network. You want support for an initiative, ping the network. There are crippling limitations to this argument, but shades of it can definitely hold fort on its own. One such crutch is my naïvety in matters of social development.
If society’s development is truly aspired to, reliance on purely one’s own network to find a solution is schizophrenic. Apart from restricting the knowledge sphere that is tapped into, it is befitting to remember that a network is built on similarities, both in knowledge and philosophy, thereby arresting the genesis of a radical idea. Scientism is essential when a problem is tackled. Logically, a problem statement has to be established, the situation to be analysed, previously tried solutions studied, and, finally, possible alternatives are devised. When the latter two are dealt with, it becomes pivotal that a thorough study of literature and existing theories is undertaken. A deliberate, cocky circumvention would certainly impede if not prevent any development.
Although Raymond Velcoro is clearly a different character in the second season of True Detective, a silhouette of Rust is perceptible in his conversation* with Rachel McAdams’ Antigone Bezzerides:
Ani: Nobody cares.
Ray: I have this new program, see. Because my powers of influence are so meagre in this sublunar world of ours, I try to limit the people I can disappoint. And I make sure to know the difference between my obligations and somebody else’s.
What is your power of influence‽ Adopting networking in its own as a development tool has its disadvantages. Marketing assumes importance if you wish to network well. After a while, it comes down to how well you can sell the idea. It is a slippery slope, starting with an intention of social development to fall into economic trap. The frank side-effects emerge as overselling the impact and promising to the community more than that can be delivered.
The more dangerous bit is the smug satisfaction of having developed an alternate, independent model backed by the perceived success. The rapid scale-up of conviction could have been a result of an ill-conceived problem statement or an immodest analysis of the resulting success, but hubris is enough to capsize this ship.
Often, it is only the community which is disappointed in the end.
Last week, a gentleman said, “बबुआ, सम्बन्ध बनाना आम बात है, पर निभाना बहुत बड़ी।” (Babua, in a relationship, to fulfil is more difficult than to build.)
Tushar, in MEMU, will decide whether creating a Facebook account is essential to his network’s growth. He thinks hibernation should not be limited to just bears and squirrels.
*In the background Lera Lynn plays a perfectly apt score, ‘The only thing worth fighting for’:
Change will come to those who
Have no fear
But I’m not her, you never were
The kind who kept a rule book near
What I said was never
What I meant
And now you’ve seen my world in flames my
Shadow songs my deep regrets