Thought for the day

Srimad Bhagavad Gita 3.21

yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

“Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.”

This verse is one of my favorites… a very truthful statement.

Shut your horn!

If there is one thing I absolutely hate about living in the middle of Chennai… it has to be the incessant honking from the vehicles on the roads. Starts early morning… goes on and on till night.Its driving me crazy!

Ockham’s razor… can it cut everything? – recycled

Yet another post of mine, which was actually read by some faculty member from the place I worked! Google can a bane… sometimes. 😛

I was reading about some stuff for my tutoring sessions and I came across a principle known popularly as ” Ockham’s Razor”. Intrigued, I started digging deeper. This was a medieval principle used by 14th century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham that forms the basis of methodological reductionism and he was known to use it so frequently that his name stuck to it. William wrote, in Latin, Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which translates literally into English as “Plurality should not be posited without necessity”. In the layman language it is stated as ,”Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred.”Now, this principle of simplicity, has a bigger consequence. This Methodological reductionism is the basis of scientific research. Any problem in Science is dealt by this reductionist principle. Meaning, given a problem, it is reduced in to a cluster of simpler problems and the accumulated solutions for the simpler problems gives the over all solution to the problem itself. This might look logical for the thinking minds. After all, we have been known to make advancement in science for all time.

But then I remembered the arguments rendered by my teacher around 3 years ago. I was not aware of the name of this principle, but was very familiar with the reductionist approach. Let’s consider this Universe. People have racked their brains over finding answers to the many questions posed by the space around us. And believe me, they use the reductionist approach to solve the origin of the Universe.

So the question is, ” What if the Universe is irreducibly complex at its present state?”. Meaning, if the present state of the universe is the simplest state it can be in, the reductionist approach will fail miserably. And another question will be, “What if the Universe was meant to be infinitely complex?”. Then whatever reduction we make, a solution will never be formed.

My opinion on this topic: There are things that escape human comprehension… things that are subtle enough to dazzle the most brilliant scientist and shield its truth from us.

To me, Ockham’s razor loses its sharpness when the subtle and the gross meet.

Looking back… recycled.

This was posted way back in July 2004. I find it relevant even now.”Two years ago, this day, I set foot on USA soil. Looking back on the two years I have spent here, it may seem easy to say that I have made it this far, but the path was not a beaten one for me.

New places, new people, new standards. And of course, now I think that I have been foolish enough to have thought at that time that these would have no effect on me or the some of the people who came with me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Curious things happen in new places and when you come in to contact with new people. Total strangers come to recognize you for what you really are, they respect you, even trust you without doubt whereas some decide that you should be kept away with a look of indifferent hostility on their face, even before they know your name. People whom you have known for many years… you would either see that your assessments about their character has been correct but mostly, you will find that many masks are rent open.

If there is something I have gained in these two years which has been worth all this trouble, it is the experience of the real world, away from the protective shields of my parents. Though I have been taught in theory, I have experienced on a subtle level that everything happens for good, but they need not be pleasurable. I have learnt that honesty, respectful attitude and compassion can win over people, notwithstanding the barriers of language, religion and culture.

I cannot go back in time and make things happen as I would have liked them to have happened, but I can and will use what these years have taught me to make sure I am able to stand up with confidence to the things that are yet to pass.”

Read this first

This blog is simply a means for expressing MY opinions on several things and also to share those opinions with people who might be interested in reading it and may be get some benefit out of the same.

If some of the opinions do not match with yours and you feel offended, you probably should stop reading, take a deep breath and close the browser, change the page, read something else… whatever.

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