Archive for December, 2012

Although I first heard this only recently in a rendition by Joan Baez (and it seems to have a rich history), the lyrics are revolutionary to say the least. The fragment below is a refrain (with “nobody” being replaced with what or who you want it to be).

Ain’t gonna let nobody, turn me around
Turn me around, turn me around
Ain’t gonna let nobody, turn me around
Keep on a walking, keep on a talking
Gonna build a brave new world

There are many things and people I would replace “nobody” with, particularly in this day and age. Random names come to the mind like Coursera, Udacity, the IITs and IIMs, Government policy, technocrats and bureaucrats I know. They would all fit very well in here.

In the song, there is the unmistakable sense of motion – motion towards a goal, motion of the self in unison with others, motion that cares not what the path is like. There is a spirit of revolution that unifies and makes indistinct personal differences. There is a sense of shared discovery which emerges continually and the story of a quest full of inquiry. There is a strong undercurrent of personal agency and a conviction in the vision of a brave (original song has it down as brand) new world.

Some may call it Intellectual M., and thinking and sharing seems to hold less premium today than rolling up your sleeves and getting it done, whatever that may be. Some may deem working inside the system a pragmatic necessity, but that isn’t romantic enough, is it?

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