Personal Musings

This blog is intended to be just a jumble of thoughts that hit me and need not necessarily mean anything.

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Location: Kerala, India

Water flows ...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

How to destroy USA?

Well, this is from one of my converstaions with a friend of mine.
We were just talking about indian politics and naturally the talk came around to some of ppl in power.

"Consider what will happen if amma went to USA? She will become the US President in a matter of months."

"Yes and also make sure that her coffers get filled with US Treasury."

" Think about it, americans will cheer 'anna namam vazhga!!'. All poor people will get 15 kg rice free. ALl students will get 2 chocolates free daily. All teenagers get condom free. Washington, DCs face will change. it will be filled with statues of Anna, MGR (cooling glass inclusive and umbrella as well). Free laptop for all homeless."

"SAddam hussein must only need to pull jayalalitha to US politics to doom that country"

A sample of How The way Amma moves People. Posted by Picasa

Amma is incredible!!!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

The independence of Thought

Many things have been written about thought that I feel my own words are only regurgitation of some persons thoughts put in some manual script or some where else. But to write is what I do and that is all that matters.

What is thought? I have browsed through many books. I tried to put the question into my own mind and the results that I got were amazing. Thought is that which makes you read, that which makes me write, that which makes us eat; thought is the drive for all our activities; thought is the result of all our activities; thought makes us think, thought makes us not to think; thought makes us dream. Thought is the only thing that exists in our mind. But mind itself is too abstract to conjure.

I said thought is responsive. Then how can thought be independent? Well, for that first I will have to talk about the fallacy called "my thought". "My thought" never exists, because I nor any person can own a thought. It is the nature of thought to flow through us. If I were to take parallels then I think I have to take the case of neurtinos that pass through the earth. The neutrinoes, when they pass through, do contribute their weight to us. The earth's mass does include the neutrinoes mass that pass through it as well. But then try fixing the neutrinoes to earth alone, and then one becomes incapable. At an instant the neutrino is part of the earth, but then it never looses its individuality and the moment it comes out of the other side, it is free from earth.

We think. Our thoughts do become part of us. But they are only part of us, as long as we are following the thought. Once the thought is lost, we don't follow it. Now we can train our selves to follow the same thought again and again. That s possible. But the ownership of the thought will still be with it, not with us.

WE have seen a lot of abstract things. But then to add some more things to it, let us pose the question, "what exactly is thought?". (Too difficult if this was part of my exam papers, I would have left the question.) To put it with some physical perspective, I must explore it as a group of chemicals in my nervous system playing rock music. Our brain brain consists of a lot of nerve cells(neurons). They are connected among themselves at places called synapses. In a synapse, there is a lot of chemicals flying across from one cell to another. There are also chemicals floating around in the vicinity of the synapses themselves. Then the neurons nucleus has also to make a decision whether it must "fire" the synapse or not. All this chemical pout puree with the neurons influence together generate a small flow in our brain. Lots of such flows combine together to create an imprint on our mind that a thought has come.

even the very act of me typing is way too complex. There are fingers moving and hitting keys. These actions have to be coordinated. I have to look at the screen. Parallelaly I have to check whether I am making any typos. I have to follow a sequence of complex signals to generate the thoughts that I am having. And all these things the "I" doesn't do. It is just a sequence of chemical reactions inside my brain. [The question of "who am I", I have not answered and I don think anyone can 'answer' that. So I am lavishly using 'I' even in places I shouldn't be.] all these seemingly complex tasks are nothing but a stream of thoughts. I wont call "algorithmic" because I don't want to feel like a robot myself. But the fact is these are simple set of operations that is inherently taking place inside us all the time.

The nature of the thought purely depends on the input to this massive computer, called as "body". [Why did I say body, and not brain?]

Now will there not be an argument that from what I have said, a thought is specific to an individual body. Well.. Let me try to explain it this way. WE have got thousands of cars plying around. Each one of them has its own petrol internal combustion engines. Now engine is individual, the petrol flowing in different vehicles must also be inherently individual (not same). Then how does all the engines when working, turn the crank shafts the same way. Though the actual bodies may be different, thoughts are like the motion of crank shaft. Crank shaft will move in the exact same direction whenever the engine is running. The mechanisms of the engine force the crank shaft to work in a particular way. I could actually use a generic term "crank shaft" and not bother about specific cars or trucks, simply because the inherent nature of the mechanism is known and it is known to be the same in all instances. The same action will occur in the synapses if the inner conditions and the surrounding area conditions are same. The probability for Murali to throw THE one rupee coin in air to THE exact height and catch the coin in THE exact height catch it in THE particular way in an exact environment condition and get a heads is also is going to be 1. Of the parameters are fully explored and set, then probability will degrade to totality/fallacy, never in between.

Using the same logic, if a person as inside his brains an almost exact replica of brain patterns an another, then both of them will have similar thoughts. The funniest parts of neurons is that they can do the same operation in an umpteen number of ways. So essentially, two people need not have all the parameters exactly same to have the thoughts matching. They can just have 'Equivalent' neuron mappings and related chemical environment to have the same thoughts repeated.

If the same thought can appear in two persons simultaneously, then who will be the owner of the thought? This is a fairly logical question that will follow and the only answer striking me is that thoughts cannot be 'own'ed by a person. If it is to be owned, then it must be under the control of one person alone, and can never be under two persons.

[I am not against IPR] If thoughts are independent, then ideas must be independent as well. Ideas are nothing but a collection of mutually coherent thoughts. Since thoughts in an idea like company - I mean the thoughts that are part of an idea want some exact thoughts to follow them to make them logically cohesive - we have no other option other than to accept that ideas are also independent.

The thoughts need not want a person to conceive, because it already had existed. Just like we don't need to conceive all the atoms in a steel beam manufactured in a factory. The factories processes themselves will eventually bring the sequence of atoms in place. The parameters that fix the thoughts to a person at a point of time manifest themselves to generate the thought. Once the thought has been expressed, the parameters don't continue to be same. And hence they thought drifts. All the thoughts are fixed by their corresponding parameters. The moment a set of parameters repeat anywhere, the thoughts will come back to life just for the fraction of time needed to manifest itself, and then disappear back into the place from where it came from.

||Chintaneeyam chintamanyam chintanam, chintayeraiva chinthayath||


WHY Super-heroes are a failure

Looking at the title itself, I think, many of you must be wondering what utter non-sense this is. But then, many things that look like non-sense end up having much more sense later on.

Super heroes are supposed to be characters that fly around doing impossible things. People have used super heroes for motivation effectively. For instance, "If Superman, who doesnt know that under wear must be worn before pants can do it, then so can you." Super heroes are super heroes, because
  • they do impossible things.
  • they fight for the notions of truth, justice, et al.
  • they come from seemingly innocuous back ground and use some of their talents, though exaggereated heavily, to become famous.
  • they are the creation of some person who is obsessed about one special trait.
  • All commercial super heroes, started decent and then became prey of commercialisation.
But if you notice carefully, all the characters were made in situ. The story revolves around their surroundings. What I am syaing is that the superheroes functioned and usurped their current surroundings for all the things they did.

All superheroes were lonely people. Some of them identified their special traits very early in life. Others just stumbled upon them. But whichever way it goes, it was something great which they suddenly got.

The main problem with these superheroes is that they are not trained. They just happen to possess what ever special thing they have. I will accept that superheroes were made because some body wanted to put their imagnation to the extreme. But you dont get special powers unless you are trained. I am happy to believe in a Jackie Chan movie in which he flies from top of building (into a net) than a super hero simply because the kung fu movis show level oftraining involved before these people show their stunts.

No man has ever gotten anything without a mentor. Ok, Ok. There was some one as a mentor for many of the heroes involved. But what did these mentors do? They did not teach them hw to use the powers. They were in most instances only motivators. But the heroes never recieved a well-organozed learning strategy.

I have been blabbering about training a lot. But what is the real significance of training? Take the case of ean Claude van Dam's martial arts movies. Specifically I want to say about the one with coumingtang. There the master trained the student to deal with the fight. His training strategy not only involved giving special skills, but also sharpen the already existing skills. (remember the scene where van dam was blibd folded and asked to serve tea. this effectively helped him win the fight even though the opponent had put chemical in his eyes and he turned partially blind). Similarly, in Yodha, mohanlal was trained to fight and protect appukuttan. The character Akosoto was given skills and also the training to use them. That is where our superheroes lack.

Our superheroes know their skills. They have been fed with various concepts of truth, justice, etc. by simple common people. The people who were metnoring probably had no idea what the capabilities of the person are, and how can you improve upon them.

Another problem with super heores is that they were all loners who sddenly emerged out. Since they were loners, they start reading the signs wrongly. World out there cannot be mastered if you are a loner. This is a simple fact of life. What these people needed is just a set of people who can show them around. Not developing super powers and end up saving the world.

The main objective of such a person is to project his own inherent weaknesses of loneliness and so on onto the world. Frankly speaking, world doesnot need some one to save it. Humanity may need, but humanity is way too small. As the scientists try to put it we have been here only for 6 seconds if we consider that earth was created in a day. The real quality that must be cultivated is to understand the right thing to do and do it. do it not becuse it satisfies a fancy condition called justice, but do it because the soul says "do it".

"WE can become responsible fo our actions, only when we are aware of our actions. All the training that is given to us is just to do that. Be aware. "