Saturday, July 16, 2005


an·o·nym·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-nm-t) n. pl. an·o·nym·i·ties The quality or state of being unknown or unacknowledged.
I was thinking about a subject to write about and recent conversations with friends came to my mind immediately. They all involved comments from anonymous people and how people could get away with what they said just because they were anonymous. In reality, we all live anonymous lives. There are certain aspects of our life that are totally anonymous to people who are very close to us. But, I am not going to analyze anonymity of that sort or anonymity on the internet. The purpose of this post is to try and look at anonymity with a very different perspective, something people have not written about in the past(or I hope). Anonymity is a boon as well as a curse for many people across this planet. So what if someone is anonymous? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
To answer these questions, I will have to go back in time to beginning of mans reign on earth. When man evolved, there were many reasons for him to be anonymous; predators, environmental factors and the fear of meeting other humans were reasons enough.
A human being even though termed a social animal is probably the most individualistic of all creatures on earth. Like Richard Dawkins writes in his book “THE SELFISH GENE”, altruistic individuals have a slim chance for survival. His argument is based on the following, imagine a population of altruistic individuals with just one selfish individual. The selfish individual thrives on the altruistic ones and enhances his chances of survival, while they put their lives on line. In this case the selfish individual is totally anonymous; the others do not recognize him. This is nature’s irony according to Richard Dawkins, but can this in principle apply to truly altruistic humans?
Human beings on the other hand have the power to convert selfish individuals to altruistic ones (there are many examples of this phenomenon, the conversion rate might be poor but the resolve to altruistic thoughts increases exponentially with each converted individual).What is the connection between altruism, selfishness and anonymity?
Anonymity is an altruistic behavior, where the quality of state of being is unknown. In a truly altruistic society, everyone is anonymous; there is no place for acknowledgement of an individual’s effort.
The curiosity for the anonymous has always lead human beings to great inventions and discoveries. It is this quest to unveil the mysteries of earth, which has lead man to destroy earth. Anonymity for the earth has been a curse, and for Man a boon in disguise. Man’s social behavior is also very heavily influenced by his curiosity for the unknown. All of what Man has invented including God, science and religion are all influenced by his curiosity for the unknown. I hope I have confused everyone enough. After all, like my friend says, if you cannot convince, at least confuse:)
p.s. I welcome anonymous, controversial comments for this post:P


Ganesh said...

for once we are agreeing.
essence of science and spirituality
(not religion) is about quest for the truth. One good thing about our ancient vedanta is fundamental is to question who am i, what is the relation between me (I) and the universe, vedantist tries to find answer by going deep within oneself, scientist work on the relative and material world. in this aspect both spirituality and science will be always there

ROBBIE said...

It seems like you are trying to convince yourself about spirituality. You are in the right path though. Keep convincing yourself and finally you will end up with a logical scientific solution :D

Eshwar said... head is spinning. And that usually happens when a post is good !!!

ROBBIE said...

Eshwar: lol! I am glad you liked it.I wasnt sure if I was making sense myself:P

Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Robbie, You have touched a nerve chord here.

Ganesh said...

Dude robbie there is no confusion or no need for convincing.
physicst Neil Bohr and Schrodinger was influenced and inspired by Vedanta in making their break through in physics,is enough for me to study vedanta with even more interest. First step for you is to understand what I am trying to say or when you have time kindly read about Vedanta then you will know.
Walter Moore biographer of Schrodinger says "The unity and continuity of Vedanta are reflected in the unity and continuity of wave mechanics. In 1925, the world view of physics was a model of a great machine composed of separable interacting material particles. During the next few years, Schrödinger and Heisenberg and their followers created a universe based on superimposed inseparable waves of probability amplitudes. This new view would be entirely consistent with the Vedantic concept of All in One.".

ROBBIE said...

I would really appreciate it if you wrote about this in your blogsite. There are many more scientists who did not get influenced by the vedanta and still had major breakthroughs. It is the way you interpret vedanta. It might not be what vedanta necessarily says. We always conveniently attribute everything to vedanta and try and reduce schrodingers or bohrs contribution. They probably interpreted it that way and with their analytical minds were able to apply it to their science. If they had not been scientists and that too physicists, now you wouldnt be harping about this to me.After all you seem to agree that scientists are the people really worth all the credit in the world for interpreting your vedanta scientifically.

ROBBIE said...

I hope you understand the meaning of what I said above. Scientific education is a must to understand spirituality. Without scientific thinking we will never progress scientifically or spiritually.

Arvind said...


My head is also spinning...and it usually happens when a comment is good :P

ROBBIE said...

Whose comment are you talking about? anyway, hope your head stops spinning and you get time to write something useful here:P

Swahilya said...

Hi Robbie: This made interesting reading. I have now learnt the art of blogrolling and I have blogrolled you! Reading this, I thought - actually, the most selfish individual becomes also the most selfless. Cause, he respects himself and wants the best. If the tribe of totally selfish people grow, then that country becomes a great nation and the impact will spread around the world. The Earth Cries for People to be selfish for she is bearing them all on herself!

sen said...


Now i know why, you are anonymous.And i think i know who was the friend that u talked too.There is only one guy who can make u write blogs that talk about opposing perspectives :).


Selfish peoples who dont use others are ok.But a world of selfish people like the one in robbies example(the one that thrives on the altruistic ones) wont work.

ROBBIE said...

Are you talking about rettai vaal rengudu?
hahaha! If you think its him, I guess its absolutely true:P
Arvind is number 1 when it comes to confusing I should say :P

ROBBIE said...

Interesting perspective, I have to think about this one! Thanks for blogrolling me... its an honor to be featured in your blogsite

Oyster said...

i clicked on the audio clip on ur profile,curious to know what it would be.the link is not workin.thot will let u know.

ROBBIE said...

well the audio clip on my profile is just a musical score by one of ganeshs friends, I dont remember if it still works though. Its worth listening to dude!

Ram.C said...

Anonymous commentators - either don't want to reveal their identity to their workplace or to the blogworld. they have their own reasons.. But it is acceptable as far as they don't pull your legs. But sometimes, in addition to pulling your legs they may even make the place dirty. (I received two comments like that for my Anniyan review), But it happens...

Eshwar said...

haha arvi..that was funny.

Ganesh said...

thanks da. VIP blogger commentu pannittu poyirukaru namma blogela
so idea kodutha onukku bada thanks

Anonymous said...

Nice post Robbie.!
-Narayanan Venkitu

Subha said...

Really loved this post! Came here from narayanan sir's blog. I am reading Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker". Perhaps I should check out "The Selfish Gene" too! And since recently, I was raving to one of my friends about the benefits of being anonymous, I totally relate!

ROBBIE said...

Hey subha:
Thanks for visiting, there are just too many people to keep track off so I havent yet visited your blogsite. I will do so soon.