This is no surprise. It is not hard to understand that the desire to create worlds in your head is more appealing than trying to grasp the subtext of sociopolitical commentary. But people often come up with radically different ways of visualizing the same thing. For instance: what’s your picture of change? Revolution? History? I see red-shirted revolutionaries raising an almighty fuss and setting buildings alight. What about development? I see skyscrapers. So too, I think, did Howard Roark.
What about progress? It is perfectly conceivable that astronomers will call the contacting of faraway alien life progress. Environmentalists might think of the biosphere in perfect harmony i.e. lots of green grass and animals running about. But the world constantly tries to run on the assumption that at least insofar as a very basic idea of progress we can all agree – what is this world peace everybody keeps harping on about?
A team of about 70 people see progress in Pakistan as doing better with knowledge, science or perhaps novelty. Which is why The Box Move, the SSE-student run science magazine being launched in LUMS this month is so important. It represents newness: a kind of new to the picture of lack of opportunity that students in this country are so perennially confronted with. The positing of science as mindful of need, not ignorant of reality as a luxury of the intellectual. Now you tell us: what’s wrong with this picture?