The iPad is a terrific tool to share my thoughts that come at the speed of light and allows me to jot down random posts on my networking pages, but this is the only place where I can put them all together for sake of posterity...
Here are a few posts written in the last couple of days...
Development and what is the next destination of knowledge?
An answer to a keen doctoral student of metaphysics who asked me 'what I class as the greatest leaps in human development and what is the next destination of the knowledge?'
Human mind is a super university, the biggest development we had was our neural connectivity, logical reasoning stems from increased neural connectivity. We owe where we are to stone tools, fire. Humans are an ingenious species. From the moment someone made a rock on the ground to sharp-edged tool, on to the development of Voyagers and the Internet, several key advancements stand out as particularly revolutionary.
For me concepts and inventions like Copernican philosophy that broke the geocentric nature of our abode; Newton's Gravity, Faraday's Electricity, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, The Big Bang Theory, Bohr's Quantum Theory ( not in that order) laid the foundations of great human advancement of the 21st century.
I would like to trace few advancements, that I think are key to our journey forward from archaic antiquity. For example the infrastructure of our dogma suffered a massive blow as a result of 'Darwinian theory of evolution.' Only in light of evolution we can decipher biology. It opened the doors to the whole new world of enquiry by questioning religion and orthodoxy of scriptures. Copernican and Darwinian philosophy helped destroy cult of ideology.
With low life spans of medieval pre-renaissance times, lot of potential geniuses did not live long enough to conceptualize their theories to fruition. We owe immense gratitude to those who helped the prolongation of life on planet earth that have changed our world. Science is one of the best gifts to humans and remains the most important thing in our lives.
Used by a number of ancient cultures, vaccination became properly understood in the eighteenth century and was carried out on a widespread scale only last century. Louis Pasteur begun experimenting with bacteria in the 1860s, people did not know what caused disease. He not only discovered that disease came from microorganisms, but he also realized that bacteria could be killed by heat and disinfectant. This idea caused doctors to wash their hands and sterilize their instruments, which has saved millions of lives. Where would be without Penicillin, in 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, which he grew in his lab using mould and fungi. In the 1860s, people did not know what caused disease.
On February 28, 1953, James Watson of the United States and Francis Crick of England made one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history. The two scientists found the double-helix structure of DNA. It’s made up of two strands that twist around each other and have an almost endless variety of chemical patterns that create instructions for the human body to follow. Our genes are made of DNA and determine how things like what color hair and eyes we’ll have. In 1962, they were awarded the Nobel Prize for this work. The discovery has helped doctors understand diseases and may someday prevent some illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
Prolonged useless wasteful life can only be fruitful if we query and break the established set of our historical cave age instituted wisdom. To move forward anything that can be destroyed with truth should be destroyed. The world is slowly moving one step closer towards a society in which we can solve our problems of scarcity and extreme poverty, if we can start our free thinking minds to question everything that doesn’t make sense.
In this day and age Internet has helped kill the distance and made new bridges between distant minds; regions and geographies are now connected 24/7. Internet and the web is one of the best gifts to humans by science. It has not only connected all of us, but created a whole new structure of our diverse society. It is creating a global consciousness in real time and this is a tool that will help to break the self created man's scarcities, hunger and famine.
People have taken refuge and shelter in religions, this opium like addiction with concourse high needs to be broken. The project that will provide the scientific perspective of the questions like 'why we came here' is the Large Hadron Collider. Hopefully the answers of our origins will be provided by Hadron Collider. The quest of these answers has been preoccupation of all great minds for almost thousands of years. The particle accelerator shall redefine some of the theories that will reveal some of the untold secrets of the universe like black holes, the dark energy and the dark matter.
Humans are an ingenious species. Logical Thought millions of years ago gave us the ability to think that had far-reaching consequences in every field of human endeavour. Every advance is thanks to our capacity to think logically and search for connections so that we may gradually build a better world for ourselves.
In shaping stone tools we shaped our own evolution. Better tools needed more, refined tools required a greater intellect and imagination than that of most animals, and so the humans with better brains made better tools, enjoyed better lives, and generally lived longer, allowing them time to have more offspring.
Stone Tools -2.6 million years ago
Apes, and indeed many other animals, have been making tools for millions of years. But stone tools were much more permanent, a spearhead, after a hunt, can be retrieved and refined so that the next hunt is easier.
From the moment someone bashed a rock on the ground to make the first sharp-edged tool, to the development of Mars rovers and the Internet, several key advancements stand out as particularly revolutionary.
Fire 1 million years ago
Although there are records of chimpanzees, our closest relatives, performing ritualistic fire dances and even wielding flaming branches, humans are the only verified creature to have learnt the art of creating a flame. Fire provides comfort and warmth, but much more importantly, it allows us to cook meat. Their powerful vegetation-chewing jaws shrank and their brains grew as they hunted more game, an act requiring a relatively high amount of intellect for the planning and communication involved. Fire changed our diets, which subsequently changed our digestive tracts, our jaws and teeth, and was one of the biggest factors in the development of near-modern intelligence. Stone tools may have started us down the road to larger brains, but fire massively accelerated the process. In a relatively short space of time after fire was mastered, the brain size of our ancestors more than doubled.
The Wheel- 6,000 years ago
The wheel in 3500 B.C., humans were severely limited in how much stuff we could transport over land, and how far. Wheeled carts facilitated agriculture and commerce by enabling the transportation of goods to and from markets, as well as easing the burdens of people traveling great distances.
The Printing Press
The German Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press around 1440. Key to its development was the hand mold, a new molding technique that enabled the rapid creation of large quantities of metal movable type. Printing presses exponentially increased the speed with which book copies could be made, and thus they led to the rapid and widespread dissemination of knowledge for the first time in history. Twenty million volumes had been printed in Western Europe by 1500.
Among other things, the printing press permitted wider access to the Bible, which in turn led to alternative interpretations, including that of Martin Luther, whose "95 Theses" — a document printed by the hundred-thousand — sparked the Protestant Reformation.
The total amount and range of knowledge capable of being stored by humanity increased almost exponentially, and the availability of books and knowledge made education improve and become more widespread. The idea that all children should be academically educated is today almost omnipresent. This was a great milestone in the path towards increasing the average intelligence of the general populace.
In combustion engines, the combustion of a fuel releases a high-temperature gas, which, as it expands, applies a force to a piston, moving it. Thus, combustion engines convert chemical energy into mechanical work.
Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be awarded a patent for the electric telephone in 1876. His patent drawing is pictured here. The invention quickly took off, and revolutionalized global business and communication.
Light bulbs changed the world by allowing us to be active at night. According to historians, two dozen people were instrumental in inventing incandescent lamps throughout the 1800s; Thomas Edison is credited as the primary inventor because he created a completely functional lighting system, including a generator and wiring as well as a carbon-filament bulb like the one above, in 1879.
As well as initiating the introduction of electricity in homes throughout the Western world, this invention also had a rather unexpected consequence of changing people's sleep patterns. Instead of going to bed at nightfall (having nothing else to do) and sleeping in segments throughout the night separated by periods of wakefulness, we now stay up except for the 7 to 8 hours allotted for sleep, and, ideally, we sleep all in one go.
Vaccination in 1724 leading to Penicillin 1928
Most famously, the terrible disease smallpox has been completely extinguished thanks to vaccination. Smallpox was fatal for nearly half of infected adults, and over 80% of infected children. It killed millions of people every year for millennia. A vaccine, initially developed from the milder yet related disease cowpox, was used to produce immunity, and when enough people were vaccinated by 1977, the disease had no-one left to infect and died out. A myriad of other unpleasant and often deadly diseases which plagued our ancestors are now easily avoided thanks to vaccinations at birth and in childhood. Even those who are not vaccinated often benefit as the disease is less likely to spread if enough others are vaccinated. Billions of lives have been saved and the entire human population have better lives thanks to vaccination.
In 1928, the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming noticed a bacteria-filled Petri dish in his laboratory with its lid accidentally ajar. The sample had become contaminated with a mold, and everywhere the mold was, the bacteria was dead. That antibiotic mold turned out to be the fungus Penicillium, and over the next two decades, chemists purified it and developed the drug Penicillin, which fights a huge number of bacterial infections in humans without harming the humans themselves.
Penicillin was being mass produced and advertised by 1944. This poster attached to a curbside mailbox advised World War II servicemen to take the drug to rid themselves of venereal disease.
Not only have birth control pills, condoms and other forms of contraception sparked a sexual revolution in the developed world by allowing men and women to have sex for leisure rather than procreation, they have also drastically reduced the average number of offspring per woman in countries where they are used.
With fewer mouths to feed, modern families have achieved higher standards of living and can provide better for each child. Meanwhile, on the global scale, contraceptives are helping the human population gradually level off; our number will probably stabilize by the end of the century. Certain contraceptives, such as condoms, also curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The global system of interconnected computer networks known as the Internet is used by billions of people worldwide. Countless people helped develop it, but the person most often credited with its invention is the computer scientist Lawrence Roberts. In the 1960s, a team of computer scientists working for the U.S. Defense Department's ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) built a communications network to connect the computers in the agency, called ARPANET.
The story of two voyages 18 billion km and 11 km! Mankind's final frontiers are expanding!
You are an ocean of knowledge,
hidden in a dew drop.
This is what Rumi was probably highlighting. I am completely bewildered by our limited potential and ability to decipher earth's core and extraordinary potential to traverse in the open space.
As if nature wants us to show the way forward is the space not the earths core. A journey to centre of the earth still remains a fiction, but reaching stars in few hundred thousand years by a man made object is a distinct possibility. The other day I was reading about Hollywood film director and explorer James Cameron reaching the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean, the Mariana Trench, in his solo submarine. Cameron, who directed the films Titanic and Avatar, made the nearly 11km dive in a specially designed submersible. He is the first person in 50 years to visit the deepest part of the ocean.
My mind recollected the launching of other two man made spacecrafts and I Had a look at the flight trajectory of Voyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977, from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. On September 5, Voyager 1 launched, also from Cape Canaveral aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft continue exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. In the 33rd year after their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the Sun than Pluto. Voyager 1 and 2 are now in the "Heliosheath" - the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas. Both spacecraft are still sending scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network (DSN).
I called this our limitless and the limited frontiers; outer space is far more tranquil and does not have the limitations of 'extraordinary pressures' for flimsy Voyager 1 and 2 that are nearly 18 billion km away from earth, James after 50 years finally visited the deepest crater. The water pressure at the bottom of the trench is a crushing eight tonnes per square inch - or about 1000 times the standard atmospheric pressure at sea level.
Distance from Earth:
A real-time odometer of Voyager 1's distance from the Earth and the Sun in astronomical units (AU) and kilometers (KM). Note: Because Earth moves around the sun faster than Voyager 1 is traveling from Earth, the distance between Earth and the spacecraft actually decreases at certain times of the year.
Distance from Earth
Distance from Earth
'Depicted as “loyal,” “fearless,” “little robots that could,” “intelligent,” “curious,” “intrepid,” and “indefatigable,” the Voyagers visited four planets, 48 moons, and dozens of rings between 1979 and 1989, more planetary bodies than any other mission. By whatever description, the Voyagers have had an unparalleled journey of discovery. “That decade probably represents the greatest mission of planetary discovery in the history of humankind,” says former Mission Design Manager Charley Kohlhase.
In 1990, Voyager 1 took humanity’s collective breath away when it turned around to capture one last portrait for the family album -- a sequence of pictures that revealed most of the solar system – six of the nine planets in a dazzling, orbital array. From 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) out, Earth was less than a single pixel (picture element) in the solar system -- a pale blue dot, as Sagan described it.
While the available electrical power will no longer support science instrument operation after about 2020 and our contact with them will be lost forever, the two intrepid robots will journey on through the emptiness of space where the interstellar winds blow and cosmic rays abound. Even without power, the Voyagers, theoretically, can drift on and on. In fact, they could survive for millions of years, speeding along diligently as ever – unless, perchance, they are intercepted by beings from distant galaxies far, far away.
It will take them another 40,000 years, scientists estimate, to pass through the Oort Cloud, the sphere of cometary nuclei that are the last of the known objects held by a faint gravitational pull of our Sun. Then, Voyager 1 will be within 1.6 light years (15 trillion kilometers, 9.3 million miles) of a star in the constellation Camelopardalis, the first time Voyager will be nearer to another star than they are to the Sun, according to Stone. Then 250,000 years after that, Voyager 2 will fly by Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky, 4.3 light years (40 trillion kilometers, 25 trillion miles) away.
We may never know if they make it, but if they do -- or even if they don’t -- the Voyagers are humankind’s first emissaries to the stars. “Voyager has been the journey of a lifetime,” sums up Stone. He pauses a moment, then quickly adds: “And it’s not over yet.”
Indeed, long after those of us on Earth now are all gone, Voyager, in all probability, will be sailing on, silver dreams of humanity’s quest to reach the stars.'
And here is the 6.8 miles that is the deepest we can venture on our own planet, most likely we are limited within our habitat: Mission partner National Geographic confirmed James Cameron reached a depth of 10,898m, the ABC reports, making him the first human to reach the undersea valley solo.
The 57-year-old made his descent in the Australian-designed Deepsea Challenger in 70 minutes, faster than expected, on Monday. He spent more than three hours exploring the ocean floor, before a speedy ascent back to the surface, the BBC reports. His craft was equipped with cameras and lights so he could film the deep.
Before the dive, the Titanic director told the BBC making the descent was "the fulfilment of a dream". "I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction at a time when people were living a science fiction reality," he says. "People were going to the Moon, and Cousteau was exploring the ocean. And that's what I grew up with, what I valued from my childhood."
The journey was delayed several times due to bad weather. Cameron already has 72 dives under his belt, including 12 to film Titanic. The first manned descent to the trench was in 1960, when former US navy lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard made the historic dive in a sub called the Bathyscaphe Trieste. They spent about 20 minutes on the ocean floor but their landing kicked up silt, meaning their view was obscured.
''It's staying down that's wrong."
Defeat and tragedy are unavoidable part of our life, every victory is born from the womb of a rout, a victorious life is meaningless without our unremitting endeavours to change the course of life when facing misfortune. Stealing victory from the jaws of impending defeat is only possible when you refuse to surrender, look closely and observe the turtle and see that one only makes progress when one sticks his neck out.
We need to give our children vision, and teach them suppleness of ego, I assure you this small skill will help them to have the strongest wings to fly and conquer the long distances over oceans. Keep in mind that strong trees have two essential qualities: they are able to withstand the onslaught of the fiercest of hurricanes and have the flexibility to bend. It is said that 'good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.' It is also perspiration along with inspiration and intellect that is an indispensable part of the menu to reach some purpose in your life.
I believe the rationale that why people are sour and unsure to the extent that they miss their share of happiness is not that it was not around them, they exchanged it with misery and grief. It is our ability to deal with adversity with a fist of steel that will help us to steer the path of living.
Mentors are indispensable people in one's life, I have many gurus and I learn from them, I feel an orphan if I don't listen to some or don't read others.
I will end up with Muhammad Ali quote: "Inside of a ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. It's staying down that's wrong."
Love and humanity - the only religion
Appreciation of the expanse of Universe and my nano miniscule existence has taught me that this short stay of ours here in this forlorn corner of our infinite universe can only be understood in universal terms of a love beyond color, skin, race and religion. Human love will make this unique piece of neglected real estate an unforgettable living experience don't be a miser in using the full potential of your mind to love and get the best out of your ownself; don't think small, think love and think universality. Our prejudices of dogma are on target to be the next great human extinction; either bring your kids up as a part of human race or make it our creed to cushion their minds from antiquity of archaic traditions.
“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?” Carl Sagan