Sunday, December 25, 2005

Being narrow-minded

Universe is huge beyond our imagination, and mankind not even a droplet in this ocean. (Read more here.) It is a humbling feeling when we consider how insignificant we are. However in everyday life we cannot afford to have this viewpoint. Life is a struggle at each step and you have to be 'narrow-minded' in a sense. (This again is a bit of extension of previous post. My argument for not doing anything simply because I am not the one who has choices will do me no good.)

While thinking this, it struck me that it is somewhat analogous to the case of arguably two of the greatest scientists ever - Newton and Einstein. Einstein might have revolutionized our perceptions about the universe, time, dimensions et al and might have proved Newton's laws wrong (inadequate would be a better word, perhaps); but the activities that usually take place around us are still governed by Newton's laws. [Newton dealt with 'world'ly things, Einstein with universal ones. :)] Newton's laws might be outdated and 'narrow', but they are the ones which rule our lives mostly.


Sudhu said...

Interesting. My reply is available at Amalgam of Thoughts. Wanted to comment on the Einstein, Newton reference too, but then i dont have much to say about it, you might be completely right :D.

Nandan said...

Purpose of this post was more to strike an analogy between what-we-know-exists-in-mind and what-we-have-to-face-everyday with Einstein's and Newton's laws; rather than stressing on the need of being 'narrow-minded'. But again, the need of being 'narrow-minded' (in a sense) could be a good topic of discussion, hence I have commented that way on Vichaar-manthan.

Also, wanted to write about the hidden tendency to undermine Newton's laws as they were proven inadequate, but that was not relevant to the post and hence skipped that part.

Sudhu said...

I know about the tendency to undermine Newton's 'incomplete' laws. Tao of Physics - third book i'm reading related to Physics also deals with it in a similar way... i.e first raise Newton to a high & then bring up Quantum Mechanics and show how his theories dont hold.
I think it has a lot to do with the hate that scientists feel for Newton for all his politics in undermining discoveries of those who helped him when he wrote Principia Mathematica. Infact, at the end of Brief History of Time, Hawking writes 3 short biographies of Galileo, Einstein and Newton. Newton's biography starts with "Newton was not a pleasant man." and goes on to mention all the notorious things he did.
I too feel a lot of hatred towards the guy (influenced by Hawking!!).

Nandan said...

I am not surprised. Schumacher, Tendulkar, Newton... the iconoclastic trend is quite clear. :D

By the way, it could be topic of another post. Should we mix two different facets of one's personality when we admire him? e.g. why admire Tendulkar for his humility or denounce Newton for the things outside science? To continue the trend ahead, I am bit perplexed when people say "What did I get for being honest my entire life?". Earning money and being honest are two different things, and just being honest need not get you money, fame et al. Anyway, enough digression. We started on the topic of being 'narrow-minded'. :)

Sudhu said...

O' C'mon. An Iconoclast breaks cherished beliefs, i'm only ranting against them unsuccesfully... its more like deliberately swimming against the tide.

And that is a very good topic, let me not dilute it by my comments now.. I'll wait till you put your thoughts on the blog. :D

Sudhu said...

Forgot to mention: I promised a shloka, but my dad doesnt remember telling me one :O. Anyway, it came up when he was telling me about Nachiketa (one of the names he wanted to name me when i was born), who questioned his own father and even Yama. So i should apologise for not giving wat was promised. SORRY

Nandan said...

you are excused, Nachiketa :). If not iconoclastic, then how about anti-establishment?

Mukta said...

Hi Nandan, just came across your blog site...nice posts.
Your life might be ruled by Newton's laws, mine if pre-dominantly ruled by Murphy's laws though! [:)]