Friday, November 02, 2012

I Know it all

Once upon time, in college, I knew a person who knew everything. He always had an opinion on every topic under the sun. Though irritable, we used to put up with him and listen to every possible, plausible trivia he told about every thing we discussed.Only when he took me to his home I realized that he had access to most news papers, various magazine and a cable connection. He had cousins in US who were telling him on what was trending. Initially I were in an impression that he was the smartest person in our college, but by the end of term he became the most obnoxious person in our college. This was one thing that he never knew.

I always marvel  internet and how democratic it is. Thanks to it that we now have the new breed of "I KNOW IT ALL" people around us. I'm meeting many such people every day who are just like that. You tell them some thing and  next thing they say is, I know it. They can even explain why the inflation is so high, or how Mallaya duped the banks, or even talk about quantum teleportation. Few days back I saw a beautiful Egyptian Vulture flying and pointed that to a friend, next thing he did was to Google and verify if I was right. He was such a dumbo, i was trying to appreciate the way it was flying and i was not on a fact checking nature audit. He was trying to experience something that was in front of his eyes through an LCD monitor. It does not stop at that, we google the details of drugs prescribed by a doctor and verify if the doctor is competent. Watch a movie based on review written by an unknown person. Not that it is wrong, but it will be very wrong if we do not use the information we have access to in the RIGHT context.

I have even coined a term for such people and call them "NETHERENT".  They are such people who use you tube to solve a Rubik cube. Convincing such persons to make a decision is very easy. Write a nice detailed review on net, use some clever tricks to increase the page rank, time it and publish your(anonymous virtual expert on that topic) opinions, they will stumble upon that link and will in turn call us back and explain about the same review as if it was there own. As I said, borrowed opinion is such a dangerous thing and many don't realize that they are becoming that obnoxious person I was referring to. As they say, the smartest person today is not the one who can solve a problem but the one who can control the flow of information. 

Take such people on a long trek to a mountain that has no connectivity, when they are completely tired with no electronic gadgets with them and are sitting all by themselves you will hear them say, "This Sunset is soo beautiful"  instead of  "Do you know why the sun is red ?


Sunday, June 03, 2012

Sound of Silence

Silence is not necessarily something without noise, you can find it amidst chaos. Have you ever noticed that there are pockets of silence amidst a busy mall, or a crowded convection hall or your office that is always full of activity. Its a about finding that perfect place where you can stand without being disturbed, a vantage point where you can see/feel the chaos around you but you are invisible to others. This isolated pockets gives you a strange feeling of being in peace. I have noticed this after a hectic day on a out station business trip standing in the balcony of my room watching the traffic move. After a busy day organizing a event. Its about finding that place where you cannot be disturbed and for this to work, you should be tired. It soothes the soul, quiets the inner beast, brings out the goodness in you, allows you to hear yourself. Having a moment of stillness in your life is wonderful.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bridging the Gaps

Was listening to a very old song "Everybody is free to wear Sunscreen" . The lyrics goes something like this:

Understand that friends come and go,
But a precious few, who should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people
You knew when you were young

I have listened to this song a hundred times and had never thought about those lines. No matter how easy it is to communicate with friends over internet, it cannot replace the actual touch or the actual interaction. It is very much necessary to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle. We should be in a position to go to the place where they are and meet them. Now I understand why my grand mom always gets exited when our relatives drop in from the village where she grew up. I'm sure we will not understand the importance of meeting old friends until we grow old.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How good is your memory ?

Your memory isn’t as good as you think. When you remember an event in the past, your brain uses a very similar technique to imagining the future. The process is less like “replaying a video” than “putting on a play from a script.” If the script is wrong for whatever reason, you can have a false memory that is just as vivid as a true one. Eyewitness testimony, it turns out, is one of the least reliable forms of evidence allowed into courtrooms.

A lifespan is a billion heartbeats

I had a very interesting discussion about this topic with a scientist at NFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute). Complex organisms die. Sad though it is in individual cases, it’s a necessary part of the bigger picture; life pushes out the old to make way for the new. Remarkably, there exist simple scaling laws relating animal metabolism to body mass. Larger animals live longer; but they also metabolize slower, as manifested in slower heart rates. These effects cancel out, so that animals from shrews to blue whales have lifespans with just about equal number of heartbeats — about one and a half billion, if you simply must be precise. In that very real sense, all animal species experience “the same amount of time.” At least, until we become immortal.