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What is Reductionism? and Why Reductionism is a Poison You Must Avoid?

A mother is cooking in the kitchen with her younger and elder daughter. All the three are happy. From the background window a food delivery scooter is seen rushing, representing the reductionism.

What is reductionism? Why do we reduce things? Why everything in life is complex? Why we do not want to deal with the complexities of life? How reductionism reduces our quality of life and then life itself? How do corporations make money by making you more lazy and greedy? Why you must not reduce the complexities of life?

A. What is Reductionism?

Reductionism is essentially making a short version of a complex mechanism or process.

For example, a novel is a story that binds different characters in the story, their thought process, their behaviors, their interactions, their challenges, their emotions, their struggles, their interaction with the world, and the changes based on the interaction. So when you read a novel, you travel through the storyline and get immersed in the story. However, everyone doesn’t have the time, money, or energy to buy books and read them, feel them, visualize them, experience them, understand them, and live them. They are just interested in the story. So when the story of a novel is written as a “plot” or summary, that is reductionism.

From the above example, we understand that complex processes that are time-consuming, energy-consuming, takes effort, and take patience to execute are often beyond the use of common people. Therefore the reductionism theory is used to make things available, and accessible to a larger population, who can not benefit from the actual process due to their limitation in the resources.

One of the great examples of reductionism is the value of PI.

The Value of PI up to the first 100 digits is 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679. However, it is not a cup of tea for every brain to remember all these 100 digits. There will be possibly lesser than 1000 humans alive in the entire 8 billion human population whose brains and genes support a mathematical brilliance to understand, comprehend, remember, and work with such a huge number. In order to make Pi more accessible, understandable, and usable, we use a simple approximation Pi=22/7, which results in 3.1428. The error in the first four digits after the decimal is only 0.0013. This error is 0.04%.

Anything where the shortcut gives you a result with less than 1% error than using a long, complex, and original process, is considered to be a good approximation or reduction.

B. How Reductionism has become mainstream?

Our brain doesn’t work in two ways when we start reducing complexities through approximation, we start losing our abilities to deal with complexities in life and look for a simple solution to everything. Following are some of the real-life examples of reductionism.

Dimension of LifeActual ProcessReduction
Pranethood1. Giving birth.
2. feeding.
3. safeguarding.
4. Isolation
5. Exploration.
6. Individualization.
7. Integration.
8. Teaching,
9. Skill training.
10. Value imparting.
11. Stress handling.
12. Livelihood training.
13. Social teaching.
14. Emotional development.
15. Thinking development,
16. Experimentation
17. Physical training.
18. Failure training.
19. Problem-solving.
20. Habit forming
21. Hand holding.
22. Curiosity quenching.
23. Artistic development.
24. Aesthetic development.
1. Baby through IVF,
2. Raising through a nanny.
3. Packaged milk feeding.
4. Spending money on schools.
5. Hoping that the child will get a job.
6. Marrying.
7. Hoping that your child will take care of you for the rest of your life.
Relationship for a man1. Battling in life to understand life.
2. Arranging {food, water, energy, shelter}
3. Accumulating wealth for the future.
4. Accumulating knowledge.
5. Building social strength.
6. Building physical capabilities.
7. Understanding women.
8. Discovering purpose in life.
9. Discovering “Who am I”
10. Becoming irreplaceable for society, by becoming useful.
11. Competitiveness.
12. Confidence.
13. Accountability.
14. Earning.
15. Satisfaction and Happiness.
16. Exploration and knowledge.
17. Army and war training.
18. Patience.
19. Persevarence.
20. Becoming wise.
21. Becoming desirable by women.
22. Conversation.
23. Interdependency.
24. Seduction.
25. Sexuality
26. Being selected.
1. Complete degree.
2. Get a job and earn a decent salary.
3. Let parents see a girl.
4. Get married.
Knowledge and Wisdom1. Suffer in life.
2. Deal with life and death.
3. Understanding you don’t know enough.
4. Observation to know more.
5. Reading to make sense of the observation.
6. Theory to model the learnings into philosophy.
7. Science to understand the scientific reasons behind the observations.
8. Experimentation and applying the theory into practice.
9. Calibration: Adjusting the observation and learning based on experimental outcomes.
10. Teaching: to ensure that the learning is so simple that even a five-year-old can understand.
11. Sharing and Writing: Telling others about the learning so as to ensure you didn’t learn wrong.
12. Applying learning to different areas of life to convert theory into law.
13. Keep using learning to solve life’s problems, and become wiser after enough problem is solved.
1. Open an Article.
2. Read the highlighted bullet points.
3. Mug up some silly statistics.
4. Mug up some cliches, quotes, and internet laws like “Something that is to go wrong will anyways go wrong”
5. Learn and mug up keywords.
6. Find dumb and give them Gyan.
7. When they nod, get validated that you learned.

Life teaches knowledge and experience teaches wisdom.
Read and mugup this quote and feel that you have already learned knowledge, and have become wiser.

Machines reduce human effort. We have taken this learning way too seriously. We think today(no, not think, thinking is hard, we live under the opinion) that we won’t have to think, feel, build emotions, gather experiences, suffer in life, battle in life, work hard in life, learn and become better every day in life, teaching others and making them better every day, becoming more fulfilled, becoming more satisfied, creating an intimate relationship are important, and each of these will be done by the machines.

Intimacy first got reduced into intercourse, and now intercourse is replaced by pleasure through porn and sex toys!

C. Lazy Greedy Brain

The more one practice reductionism and takes reductionism as a way of life, the more brain loses its ability to work, and think. However, at the same time, it gets envious of the others who possess the skills and effort, energy, and patience to deal with the complexities in life. Such a brain, which is called a lazy, greedy brain wants to have the complex thing in life, but in a simple way, so that it doesn’t feel left out, and at the same time it doesn’t have to put the effort in dealing with the complexities either.

Because intimacy takes tremendous effort every day, the lazy greedy brain looks for taking Viagra, doing intercourse, and having a baby. As laziness and resulting reductionism doesn’t stop, now lazy greedy brains want children but are uninterested in sex. So that babies can be born through IVF.

Because everyone wants to feel knowledgeable, but no one wants to go through the pain and suffering of life to acquire knowledge, the lazy greedy brain feels that going to college and doing some silly courses will make them knowledgeable. Because laziness and greed don’t stop, and reductionism also doesn’t stop, now people feel knowledgeable after reading quotes in WhatsApp status.

  1. We don’t want to read books: Netflix.
  2. We don’t want to suffer in life: Read blogs.
  3. We don’t want intimacy: marriage and intercourse.
  4. We don’t want to raise children: playschools.
  5. We don’t want to go out: delivery apps.
  6. We don’t want to diagnose: Blood tests.
  7. We don’t want to heal: Surgeries.
  8. We don’t want to cook: Zomato.
  9. We don’t want to become desirable: Tinder.
  10. We don’t want to work hard for beauty: Camera filters.

You see, corporations are created today to take advantage of these lazy greedy brains, taking away their money and life in return for their laziness and opinions.

D. Why everything in life is complex, and there is no simplicity, and thus nothing can be and should be reduced?

One of the key theories of “Real life” is that anything that is real life(living or having an impact on real life) is non-linear and chaotic, and that under no point of space or time, does a real-life object(being, or process) converge, and that any convergence rule, like Approximation or slicing can at-most follow a gaussian distribution of closeness, but over finite repetition, will slowly become exponentially away from the center of the distribution.

A classic example is the “8” dance of the bees. When a bee discovers a food source, it dances near the hive making 8 patterns. It is a simple movement, but the pattern has infinite variations that reflect various aspects of the food. When the scientists tried to trick the hive bees with a robot bee making the “8” pattern, the bees violently attacked the robot because this 8 was just an approximation, missing the chaotic pattern.

The universe is governed by the laws of Physics. One of the key laws of Physics is Newton’s Third law, which states that there is always an equal and opposite force.

Because life is complex, any complexity needs significant energy to execute. However, if anything gets executed with minimum effort, time, and energy, which requires years, and extraordinary effort, then there are other invisible forces that are acting alongside you to get the work done. These invisible forces can be machines, they can be the environment, luck, ecology, and so on and so forth. Because your effort is minimum, as you are reducing the complex processes, your energy is also minimum.

Work helps humans to first convert energy into emotions, and then an abundant form of energy into a form that is needed by the family.
When you are eating vegetables, each of the vegetables has its seeds. If you take and plant the seeds in abundant land, and take care of them for about 60-80 days, you will start having free vegetables. But by shopping for vegetables, and throwing away the seeds, your lazy greedy brain feels it is buying the vegetables being produced by someone else, but in reality, it is losing touch with the ground, losing money, losing satisfaction, losing happiness of farming.

Reductionism deals with sensory observation-based slicing or model-based approximation. All our senses are evolved to not suppress the noise, which in itself is chaos.

Some other classic examples of reductionism

Antibiotic=>Antibiotic resistance
Vaccine=>Viral Mutation
Gall Bladder surgey=>Sphincter of Oddi malfunction
Software=> KISS(Keep it simple stupid)=> is=>Keep it simple for Stupids

E. Why you must reject anything that comes easy, and avoid reductionism like a plague?

Let me take the example of writing this article. This is a lengthy article with correlations from Ethology, Physics, Mathematics, and real life. There is thinking, and there is narration. There is a story that flows through the article from the top to the end. There is an effort to teach you. There is an effort to make things easy for you to understand. There is imagination, creativity, productivity, energy, emotions, and attachment with the article, and there is an immense amount of passion that is going behind writing this article so that this gives some meaning and helps you in some ways.

However, this article could be given to a silly ChatGPT and that would have created content in no time. I could save energy, effort, thinking, feeling, and would have saved time that I could utilize elsewhere. However, such content would please my lazy brain and it would feel smart for doing something without any effort. You are reading this article for over two minutes now. On average, a user spends only 30 seconds on a top site. So you are already spending 7x more time on this article than an average internet user spends reading a piece. The reason you are reading this for so long is that you are engrossed, and loving the narration, feeling emotions. However, had this been ChatGPT-generated content, you would have come and left the site.

By investing more effort, energy, and emotions, I, the author, and you the reader are creating stronger mutual human bonds like trust, faith, love, and happiness.

Now imagine millions of content are getting created every second across the internet through AI, and millions of users are glancing at them. However, neither ChatGPT content generators are getting anything in return(other than some low-quality readers and hopefully some leads), nor the readers are becoming loyal to such sites and content and feeling bored as all content appears superficial.

Any reductionism is done through tools and machines. The example of reducing Pi to 22/7 is an approximation tool. Reducing learning through degrees is done by the education machinery of schools, colleges, and universities. Reduction of knowledge into content is done through LLM(Large Language Model) machines like ChatGPT. Finding who is intelligent and who is not through marks requires a statistical model. (A large percentage of the good students score above 80% so, 80% is the interview cutoff).

F. Conclusion

Always remember Newton’s first law of inertia

Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force

Newton’s First law of Inertia

Therefore now that you know that reductionism is not limited to one area in life but spreads to other areas too when you face a life-and-death danger such as a disease, your brain won’t process the complex condition but will use reductionism like high sugar=Diabetes and seek medicine.
Finally, because life in itself is complex, reductionism will reduce your life to simplify life itself. Remember you are already in the path of a reduced life due to constant reductionism, which will not stop unless you can put unmeasurable amount of effort.

Passionate, Accountable Student for Life

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