How you seek to be remembered

It turns out that my productivity hours often elude whichever timezone I am in, for I am always more productive and alert after 8 pm. This is no longer true.

While working, my cats would linger around close to my desk and go about their businesses unbothered. Sometimes I would pick up the phone and took photos and videos of these businesses of theirs and put up on Instagram or Twitter. I took this the other day, along with a Very Important question:

It seems tempting to get a TikTok account because there were a lot of cute pet videos on it (these pup duo! This kitty’s cute trip to the store! This adorable grump!) and it also seemed like it was something I used to do in previous years (getting on every new social media platform I could think of). I was one of the first group of users on Twitter, and Vine, definitely not Facebook, and I am in numerous social network platforms I barely even remember I am in anymore. Do I even need to be in another social network platform anyway, and give out my data to yet another questionable corporation (TikTok belongs to ByteDance, a Chinese tech giant)? After taking a hiatus from Instagram — which seemed like a bad idea the first time around because it felt like I might miss updates from friends but it didn’t then because I could get in touch with them in some other channels — I didn’t feel like returning to another platform which would work like another slot machine, where you would pull down every time you needed a ‘quick’ laugh but then ended up being sucked in the vortex for hours. Then there’s back to the question of questionable corporations, which seems to be another major corporation right now — this feels like the scene in The Good Place Season 3 where (SPOILER alert!) they mentioned that it was hard to do solely good things now because the world gets complicated so no one has been admitted to the Good Place for 700 years — as in the case of TikTok censoring videos that do not please China along with videos of Hong Kong protests and the plight of the Uyghur Muslims. Despite good news of what TikTok can do such as shown in this article on how Indians learn English through the platform, I guess I am staying away from the need of being on another platform at this point of time.

I am currently reading Sanjay Kak’s Until My Freedom Has Come, a collection of essays writing by Kashmiris themed around the tumultous uprisings in 2013, but whose voices are still relevant in their today’s struggle after India revoked Article 370 from its constitution, making worse its already creeping militarisation in the region. In one chapter of the book, Arthur Koestler writes in his essay On Disbelieving Atrocities, on the leaders and those responsible and indifferent to the plight of others, especially ones within the conditions they themselves have created:

Arthur Koestler says those not directly tpuched by the atrocity were protected by an ability to “walk past laughing and chatting”. Koestler addressed the untouched, unaffected people walking past: “Were it not so, this war would have been avoided, and those murdered within sight of your day-dreaming eyes would still be alive.”

Is this how you seek to remembered?

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