Queer leaks, these!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Apr 2018 12:18:38



By biraj dixit

What a leaking world we live in! Everything you say, do or prepare for, can drip out leaving very little with you. Luxurious words like privacy, secrecy and confidentiality are coming at an even higher price. The moment you felt that the world was truly coming nearer, giving up on its prejudices, biases and lack of humour, you stand corrected and are made aware of your own stupidity to have humoured such thoughts.Honestly speaking, at first I was kind of charmed by the thought of somebody wanting my data. I mean, here you are waiting, checking and checking how many people have read and liked your post and pass through all kinds of feelings, right from anticipation to dejection to hope to blast the ‘who-cares’ world, and do your bit to condemn the world for not adequately liking the one thing worth reading and thinking about, while still checking on the number of ‘likes’… and then there are some in this big, bad world, wanting to know all about you so much so that they actually dig into all your data. Wow!
But then I realised they went out of their way to just guess our political preferences. Some work, I tell you! This is like you have a new toy in technology and want to put it to use. Why? In my country such predictions, for long, are being made with just one cursory look at someone’s caste, colour, religiosity, and all such very important things, while sometimes even granting chance to slighter considerations of development and future possibilities. I say, why go all the way collecting data? Just enquire at our ‘tapris’ and ‘paan thelas’! They are the hub of intelligent political, sociological, electoral discussions, debates, analysis and data collection in our part of the world.

But they were Cambridge Analytica! Someone hell bent on analysing something, with name starting with something as pompously studious as Cambridge, is likely to go all the way. So they analysed our data and found out who we prefer! They did? How? I mean I have all my data stored in my own supercomputer - the mind. (Though I admit I often misplace my files and the data often is a mess of misunderstanding and miscalculations.) And yet, I am hardly decided when it comes to elections. The last time someone had asked me to truly mention my political preferences, all I could remember was Jagjit Singh Saheb’s ghazal…“Apni marzi se kaha apne safar ke hum hai,
‘Rukh hawaon ka jidhar ka hai udhar ke hum hai.”
Perhaps that was the sampling style of Cambridge Analytica…to count the numbers of the ‘rukh hawaon ka…’ types. But how much did they succeed? I am dying to know how my posts on setting sun, wishing friends on their birthdays, couplets stolen from Rumi, Faiz, Tagore, disclose my political affiliations. Setting sun, Rumi, Faiz…they must be thinking I am a socialist. But I did post Chanakya, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Bernard Shaw. Humour is such a luxury! Indeed, it must be capitalist. If they go by my advertisement preferences, I have checked almost everything that screams discount. ‘Poor,’ they might have concluded. But really, how can that say whether I would go for BJP or Congress, Shiv Sena or BSP, the right or the left?

But the virtual world is so hugely different from the real world that perhaps people are more truthful when they are online! Perhaps! And so perhaps more analyseable! Perhaps! All I have realised and consoled myself with is that as a person I may be nothing, but as data, oh boy! I am something.Speaking of leaking data, somebody, with a real fascination for leaks, actually perpetuated a crime most gory, most abhorable, most inhuman in the recent history of mankind. In its enormous gravity, it had threatened to consume the entire future of young people. Had better sense not prevailed, an entire generation of young people would have been left in such sheer turmoil that they would have told stories of their pathetic fate to their grandchildren for years together.

The bugger had leaked the Math paper!

The crime was committed against young souls on the threshold of achieving a milestone. The great goalpost of life – the SSC- the stepping stone for all future endeavours – was about to be conquered, when somebody, for petty marks, was ready to gobble up future of an entire generation. It dawned upon a nation of worried parents that an event worse than their worst nightmare had happened. The students, who had declared that they were just done finding the formidable Mr ‘X’ and had taken their first easy breath in months, were told of the terrible fate that awaited them. They were told that the Board was contemplating a re-exam. A math re-exam! Such crime against humanity! Oh! God, Be merciful, an entire nation had cried. Thankfully, the great Lord was merciful and heard the prayers of an entire nation. Though an economics paper was also leaked, my heart went out for those who were to be re-tried for Mathematics. It is actually easy to tell what is wrong with world’s money; but calculating your own precisely, is arduous to say the least.
The poor students had just navigated through the I-am-not-doing-PhD-,just-10th, syllabus of that killer subject, when hell broke loose. Heaven’s forbid, prayed an entire nation. And it did. The CBSE, which was castigated not just by numbers but by good amount of words, recalculated.World-over the leaks are causing lot of troubles, heartburns and seepages. The poor White House can do very little of its leak, though the President, on his part, is doing more than enough to fix those. The most important are perhaps the leaks that Mother Earth suffers. If enough is not done to fix those leaks, the devastation is going to be much more dangerous than Math paper leak for sure. All our data is going to seep along.