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Information Anxiety.

Information Anxiety.

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Published by jdscentral
Understanding Information.
Understanding Information.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: jdscentral on Feb 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====From finances to automobiles. Get The Information You Need Here.http://infohdq.com/  ==== ===="Information Anxiety is now a recognized psychological condition..." writes Nury Vittachi, author ofmore than 20 commendable books, in his latest, "The Kamasutra of Business" (John Wiley, 2007). He goes further to state: "....some people are beginning to realize that need to stop buildingdatabases and start thinking about what we already know." For, as he rightly believes, "Today, wemay know more facts. But that doesn't mean that we are wiser." Apparently, Vittachi is talking about the excesses resulting from the Free Flow of Information,thanks to Internet and the Web. Information Anxiety however, can also attack those with a very little or no excess to such FreeFlow of Information. For instance, the desert people of the Interior Arabia: In the olden days, theywere separated from the rest of the world. They lived in the world of their own. They had little or noknowledge at all of what was happening in the rest of the world. Any new information would needdecades to reach them. It is therefore not surprising that they became very hungry for news, any news. They even greetedeach other with a standard question: "What's the news?" They suffered from "Information Anxiety".And, Anxiety, any kind of Anxiety, is a sickness. The sickness affected part of their brain, which made them wild, rough and tough. Fine for them,for life there wasn't easy either. Only the rough and tough could survive. Their sickness was ablessing in disguise - that is, for them! It would take them more than two millennia and tens of prophets to soften their hearts. As theheart softened, the greeting too changed. It was no longer "Khair Khabar?" or "What's the news?"- but, Shalom or Salaam, "Peace be upon thee!" Rest of Asia did not so much suffer from this kind of anxiety. At least, we, living in the archipelagodid not suffer from it. We were seafaring people. We were merchants. We had easier excess toinformation. It is rather surprising therefore, that we adopted their greeting in Indonesia, "Apakabar?" - What's the news? Indeed, the word "Kabar" is from Arabic "Khabar". That was not the way we greeted each other before the Arabic influence. Not that we did not carefor the news - we did. However, we did not focus all our energies on gathering news andinformation. We cared more for the kind of knowledge and information that could bring about sometransformation - Inner Transformation. We cared for reading material that carried some value. When newspapers were introduces, we
first called them Surat Kabar or News Letter, but later changed to Koran or Reading Material. And,Koran is a very powerful word. It is from Arabic for Reading. Not just any reading, but HolyReading - Reading that could turn our minds and hearts holier. The Holy Scripture, in Arabic, iscalled Qur'an. .Coming back to the way we greeted each other.....While greeting we hoped and prayed for each other's well-being. And, we have a long tradition ofdefining "well-being" as the well being of not only our bodies, but our minds, our feelings, and oursouls. We believed in the totality of human experience. Long before the west began to talk about Intellectual and Emotional Quotients - we were alreadypracticing Sembah Cipta and Sembah Rasa. We also knew that Spirituality could not bemeasured, and therefore we did not separate it and called it Spiritual Quotient. We ratherincorporated Spirituality into all the layers of human consciousness as Persembahan or LovingDevotion, Offering. We looked at things lovingly. We thought and felt compassionately. We worked devotedly. Fromdawn until dusk we lived cheerfully, and at night we slept peacefully. Our View of Life has been simple, but very clear. We did not speculate and philosophize - we putspirituality into daily practice. As such, we did not suffer from any kind of anxiety. We lived a life ofprayerfulness. Indeed, we did not even separate Religion and God from Life. We did not have toset apart certain hours for prayers. Our whole life was prayerful. Anxiety was therefore, foreign tous. This is the reason why we were so easy to adapt to the New Era of Science and Technology. Wewelcomed the Free Flow of Information. We did not, for instance, have the kind of problems facedby the Saudis and Wahabis in the interior of Arabia. There, the free flow of information is still seensuspiciously. Modernity is being accepted very shyly, and that too piece-by-piece, bit-by-bit. Progress and Transformation are often rejected in the name of religion that is progressive andtherefore transformative by its very nature. They do not realize that such unnatural rejection hascaused conflict in their minds. The more exposed they are to internet and electronic media broadcast from all over, includingother countries in their own neighborhood - the more confused they become. The clergies opposed to modernity perceive it as evil and contrary to their beliefs and customs.And, the regime that can only remain in power with the support of the clergies must "officially"stand by such perception. I have heard from at least three very reliable sources that the Saudi women traveling out of thecountry would always unveil themselves the moment their plane leaves Saudi soil and air. Asked ifthat was not against their beliefs, their reply was, "No, not belief. That is part of our customs there.We do not have to carry such customs overseas." Women living in such a society suffer more from Information Anxiety. They are always hungry for
news, any kind of news. The sickness gets worsened among those who do not travel overseas, orseldom leave the Saudi soil. If you have ever befriended any of them, you should know what Imean. Back home, the condition of their men-folks is a bit better. That is, Now. Just 50 years back, theywere in no better condition. They suffered from Information Anxiety in almost the same degree asthe women-folks. As compensation, every evening they would gather and gossip over the smokefrom their shisha. * * * Arabia then and Arabia now.....Not that there has been no change whatsoever, things have changed, but at a very low pace. Thisis particularly true with the part of Arabia controlled by the royal family of King Saud, the Saudis -Saudi Arabia. Anxiety is a Psychological Disorder. Normally, we do not detect it until it takes the form ofsickness. A person suffering from Anxiety Disorder may take 6 months or even years, dependingon his or her body defenses and immune system, to show medically detectable physicalsymptoms. Until then, he suffers mentally and emotionally. Those of us striving to transfer the culture and customs of Arabia to Indonesia - must understandthat with their culture and customs, we shall be importing their sicknesses. Indeed, in ourignorance we may have done that already. There are districts where Arabic culture and customs,language and dress-code have been introduced and enforced with the consent of the localauthorities and blessings of political parties in power. Ignorance of our leaders and blindness ofour people, alas, may result in the destruction of entire society. Destruction of the society begins with conflict in the minds of people. And, this conflict can alreadybe seen by the people with eyes to see. This conflict can already be smelled and sensed by themore sensible people of our society. These are the people who must now "raise" their voices. Justspeaking about it in the seminars will not do. Discussions with people of similar mind-frame will notsolve any problem. By raising the voice, I mean that they must go down the streets and sweat abit. Talk to the commoners whose minds have already been poisoned. If the Society must grow and progress, than the free flow of information cannot be stopped. Itshould rather be directed wisely in order to bring about transformation and change for thebetterment of the society. We have certain cultural values which are universal, which are stillrelevant. While holding on to them, we must also welcome modernity. Norms, customs, andtraditions, especially the foreign ones which were in the past forced upon us in the name ofreligion, and hindering our present growth and progress must be given up. High time we leave "Apa Kabar" in favour of our own "Rahayu" meaning Peace and Prosperity, orwhatever form of greeting that is more in line with our natural texture. Shunning "apa kabar" infavour of our own form of greeting, is not just shunning of a greeting. It is the shunning of all andeverything that is not in line with our nature which is already sublime and divine. It is the shunningof a disease. 

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