Friday, November 27, 2009

Mystery of Sleep

As usual, I will begin with an aside here..

Whenever I think of my baby, I find in me a curious ability to get under her skin and visualize how she is feeling. How about you?

When pondering over today's topic of Sleep, I thought of a time when the baby was just refusing to sleep. The thought was so deep inside that I knew, the baby sometimes wonders why it has to sleep. And I wouldn't be too far off if I suggest those were my thoughts too (at times) when I was at that age

It all would depend on how engaged the mind is. You could be up all night doing something that deeply engrosses you, quietly working away. Or in a lecture you may find the opposite.

Actually, the lecture example can happen due to a very different reason - maybe you are deeply pondering over what is being said, and your thoughts connect to various linked ideas and you lose yourself just thinking, so much that you are not listening any more

Ok, so what am I driving at? I am saying, that Sleep is one sneaky bas****. Yes, that's what it is. It happens to most, if not all creatures on earth. And a lot of them sleep when the sun is down and wake up when the sun is about to arrive (I will discount the millions of humans who dont wake up strictly according to this. Humans are special, in the sense they dont respect the laws of nature and always trying to work around it - but I will leave that for another day)

If we lived in a bigger or slower planet, our sleep and wakeful times would be adjusted accordingly. Where's the proof, you say? There is no proof. It is an extension of the limited ideas in my head. Again, another day

So the Sun dictates our lifestyle. Really. This is profound when you think about it. We are like battery operated devices switching on and off according to some pattern defined by the universe around us. We are zombies that go to work when it's day and retire to bed for the night. day after day, night after night

We are a phenomenon of this universe

And how did this phenomenon start? If I answer that I would indeed deserve the Nobel prize or more

But, back to sleep. When we sleep, we dream. Dreams are ideas in our mind, but in a twisted, mangled form. It's like accessing the hard disk of a computer without consulting the file locations. The hardware running without the operating system being on. The television left running when the programming ends (remember those days?)

And how do we wake up? A lot of people have difficulty sleeping, yet no one has trouble waking up! When does our operating system boot up? And how does it remember what garbage the hardware has been throwing out from the hard disk? The memory cache! The RAM memory. We are looking just like a comuter. Or is it the other way around?

How similar we are to devices. It makes me wonder. Yet, I am amazed at the profound-ness of sleep

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Of small and big pictures

It's a corporate joke that your boss always wants you to look at the 'big picture'. What does that mean?

The words 'look at the big picture' expresses several ideas
- you are looking at something that you should not
- there are small things and there are big things
- there is a picture. use your imagination
- you are not looking

Now, this is very good material to make a joke for the book: "English is a wonderful language"

Using simple words you are effectively, under-handedly communicating some really vile ideas in a most innocent manner

Here it is again - a jump of logic. How is this supposed to be 'vile'? Imagine, you are little and you are walking by with your parents on the railway platform, and you see this really dastardly begger, with no hands or feet. How would you react? Your little heart would probably go out for that person. You might even be scarred
And you are made to walk by and do nothing. And later one day someone explains to you about the big picture: If you encourage these people then more people will come out and beg

How does this big picture look to you? To me, it is 'vile'. How? again lets see what it is telling us:

- you are looking at something that you should not
> Ignore these pathetic people

- there are small things and there are big things
> You see a beggar. But this person is not a simple beggar. He has designs of making money without working. And this is done by chopping off his body part by part

- there is a picture. use your imagination
> People are out there who want to do the same. They will blind themselves, cut their limbs off, eat dirt, but WILL NOT work

- you are not looking
> You have no idea how lazy people can be

I leave it to you to judge