Photographer's Note

The British physicist and social philosopher of science, J.D. Bernal (nicknamed. 'Sage') wrote that one of the most important evolutionary innovations that allowed man to dominate the world is the 'hand'. The hand that shaped the first flint stones to weapons also maketh weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, a disproportionately large portion of the motor cortex of the human brain is occupied with moving the muscles of the hand, especially of fingers. The grasping and fine manipulating movement of fingers require enormous amount of computation in the brain.

While I do not recall whether Bernal emphasized the need for a corresponding degree of specialization of other areas of cortex to adapt motions of the hand with visual center's activity (hand-eye coordination) and deliberate control of motion by the frontal cortex associated with volition, I doubt that he did justice to this issue. This is because Bernal was an avowed Marxist. His lofty social conscience found refuge in the utopian ideals of Marxist social order; he, perhaps alone among reputed scientists, emphasized the role of human labor in the progress of science and technology throughout history. This attempt is certainly laudable, but I often wonder whether some of his emphases were perhaps not somewhat misplaced. Certainly his thesis appears to deemphasize the role of human intellect.

Yet, when in the first decade of the twenty-first century one finds such a spectacle of utter dependence on the function of the hand, as in the brutal life in a brick kiln, where the hand is forced to perform a most primitive labor, where the ultimate personal measure of the hand is that which clutches a token at the end of each measured, laboring, step which brings the self perhaps a little closer to freedom from bondage of debt, I ponder whether Bernal was correct after all.

Salil_B, nerve, KevRyan, thaprem, chc, vagabondtravels ha contrassegnato questa nota come utile

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Additional Photos by Animesh Ray (AnimeshRay) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 689 W: 44 N: 846] (9089)
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