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The life of Dr. Albert Schweitzer bears out the surge of power by which consciousness and memory can make a sea-change in life of one and serve as a key to many others.
The young Albert once got into a fight and knocked down his opponent. The boy told Albert that it would have ended differently had he been as well nourished as he was. It evidently affected him. During supper that evening, he left his soup untouched.
It marked a definite break with his past and so did his sense of values. He became a caring person.
Even where he excelled in his intellectual achievements they were to be used in service of others. At 26 he had a triple Ph.D.
Whenever Dr. Schweitzer needed money during his stint in Africa he went on tour and gave concerts and talks. But what connects the son of a Lutheran pastor in upper Alsace to Congo?
As a child Albert had often wondered at a statue of a Negro, strong in body but head bowed and in chains. It made an impact on him. Of course the fight was the catalyst. It brought memory and impressions that he merely had guessed but not digested.

Of course one cannot discount the role of chance. What made Albert decide to become a medical Missionary was due to a Paris Missionary society report, which he came across as if by chance. Thereupon he settled for Lambarene, in the heart of Africa. Where mind of man is colored by collective memory, and his own experience, chance must, so it seems to me, lose some of its mystery.
In the italics I have referred to the impact of experience that keeps repeating or recycled each to his own time and place.
Quatrain #198
From first lump of the earth what was formed,
Man to his last in his kind did intend.

Angels that of the creation did sing
With the end of it in harmony bring.( Selected-The Illustrated Omar Khayyam)
benny

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Progress as a result of human endeavour is in direct context of nature. Man versus nature. Man controlling and shaping his environment to his manifold conveniences consequently creates many chains of events that require other species sharing the same environment to respond adequately. Natural selection warrants these to adapt for the changing environment or go bust. Has not man also created a similar situation for his species? Such risks many of which are caused by humans. Bio-terrosim for instance. From pandemics to Nuclear wars, human civilization thus had to face many challenges which are existential risks, that are less understood than the most obvious advantages we have derived from the march of progress.

There are some worrying features in human intelligence that may fuel the risks of his very existence. From anthropological findings it would seem humans embarked on the march of progress too early. His branching off from his ape cousins was an event and it would indicate it was undertaken before his brain was full developed. Its consequence can easily be set down from analogy of human child. Our ape ancestor was like modern human, as a baby, with its brain developing all the while till it reaches some 20 years. (A pliable head of the baby facilitates its exit at birth from womb which is biologically safe for the mother.) This necessitates from the child all the support system without let up counted in days, years and decades till the end of his adolescence. He needs rearing from his parents in order to achieve emotional intelligence he needs. Only difference was that our ape ancestor had no such back up from his peers. His brain was in the process of developing but without nurture of some role model*.
Biologists speak of ‘norms of reaction,’ which are patterned responses to environmental circumstances. For example, some male insects are more likely to guard their mates when there are fewer females in the population, hence fewer other mating opportunities. Natural selection didn’t just shape a fixed behavior, it shaped the norm of reaction — the nature of the response,”
In humans a bad idea when he can think rationally on it brings many advantages. Increasing his supply of food at the cost of one who is weaker is one way of doing it. Annexing a territory from a weak tyrant is worth the while of a chieftain if he has a superior force. He reckons that his success would silence others and make his position more secure. It must have come handy when others would take the same path to aggrandize themselves. It is a norm of reaction that suited well for the bandit kings of yore.
When circumstances could be shaped to justify it war must have seemed a fitness-enhancing behavior. Warring parties included all those who agreed with the idea and circumstances. Like success it sets off many others.
‘Just as compassion for your offspring increases your genes’ chance of survival, violent tendencies may have been similarly useful for some species’ observed biologist David Carrier, also of the University of Utah,” Humans certainly rank among the most violent of species.” In true nature-nurture fashion, though some kind of genetic preprogramming for violence, may exist in humans as a result of our evolution. Norms of behaviour as a result evolved in that along period of trial and error method.
 
 
As a result how he created a society in terms of families, clans, tribes were all flawed. It became in most cases patriarchal leaving women in the background. Creating wars as a manly sport, would leave women incapable what with her long period of gestation and nursing. Eventually it would stamp the role of women as secondary. This we witness even this day where some societies can kill women simply for ‘honour.’ Lack of sufficient role model man simply created a swath of experience in which his brain simply was inadequate to anticipate long range consequences.
(*There is no accurate picture what made our human ancestor diverge from other apes other than fossil evidences that our human ancestors could walk as well as climb trees. The oldest evidence for walking on two legs comes from one of the earliest humans known, Sahelanthropus 6 million years ago. By 4 million years ago early human species lived mostly near open areas and dense woods. Their bodies had become adapted to walk upright most of the time, but still climb trees.

“Apparently, there were multiple ways early human species had of moving around.” observed human origins expert Richard Potts of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, about a mystery species discovered in Ethiopia’s Afar region in 2009, the fossil forefoot bones, eight in all, from same era and same region of Africa as the famous ‘Lucy’ (1974).

Walking was a human characteristic before the development of oversized brains. The newly discovered foot-fossil gives us a clue why early human species might have moved around. By learning to walk upright they conceded forests hitherto their home to cousins better adapted for living in trees.)

If his brain was inadequate what could have been the overwhelming reason for him to strike out on his own? His tool making skills gave us stone age, iron age, bronze age and so on. His curiosity and cleverness of hand would develop into science and technology. His foresight in overcoming an inconvenience was not matched by foreseeing the consequences of his innovations. No more apt example we need seek than reasons for ushering in the Nuclear Age. America could stop the WWII speedily. The Allies however did not anticipate proliferation of the nuclear arsenal but soon they were in for a rude shock. Now in some sixty years we have come at a stage the nuclear secrets can be peddled at the click of a mouse. It is what AQ Khan achieved with the backing of his government.

Optimism of man is in terms of abstract than concrete. His abstract thinking has created the world as idea but in terms of its realization no two persons shall view an idea exactly as one and as a result these can only end in conflict. Workers’ paradise as envisaged by Lenin in the view of Stalin was transformed into Cult of Personality!
Bad experience of the past is such that technology and its progress can only be sustained by the systems an idea created along the line. The Crusades in the middle Ages were fought under the call of a Pope. Pope Urban II in 1095 invoked the Christian army of Europe to reclaim lands lost to Muslim invaders previously. It was on the matter of Ideology of clashing belief-systems of the West and East he could invoke them to fight under the sign of cross. Ideas keep evolving while experience remains in the bloodstream of the species. The war to end all wars as President Wilson qualified the WWI did exactly the opposite. If idea of war had achieved its goal the first war that primordial man waged would have been sufficient.Instead collateral consequences of war, misery,loss of prestige,material advantages are all such in collective experience that necessitates conflict ad infintum. Idea of war, belief-systems can only be settled with experience of humans proving its justness for all. It is inherent in the idea and man’s inability to see any other way than as idea. There are millions of ants to every man and by sheer numbers insects outnumber human population. Despite of being one among so many species we see the world in terms of ideas than for what really it is.

Over the past century we have discovered or created new existential risks: supervolcanoes were discovered in the early 1970s, and we should expect others to appear just as a nuclear holocaust is possible. The average mammalian species survives for about a million years. Hence, the background natural extinction rate is roughly one in a million per year. This is much lower than the nuclear-war risk, which after 70 years is still the biggest threat to our continued existence. (ack:the five biggest threats to Human existence/the Conversation-Anders Sandberg,29 May, 2014)

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Stars run out of their fuel and die. Supernovae is but the beginning. New stars emerge from debris.

We are made up what stars have sent out willy-nilly and considering these could have come from anywhere we might say Cosmos is our cradle. When we speak of earth is our home planet we are abridging many details and giving more focus on life form than our true state. We would hold stars as our family and we live among stars dying and being.

How on earth death can be any different for star children? There is nothing I brought myself save what my father bequeathed. Of course he merely passed what dying stars bequeathed to him down through several generations of his forebears. He passed on secrete packets of information encoded in his genes and my usefulness in these times is not much I can do about the past but what I adapt and use to be relevant from my time and place.

ii

Here I am quoting from Space.com news of March,14-Every black hole conceals a secret — the quantum remains of the star from which it formed, say a group of scientists, who also predict that these stars can later emerge once the black hole evaporates.

The researchers call these objects “Planck stars” and believe that they could solve a very important question in modern physics: the information paradox, or the question of what happens to information contained in matter that falls into a black holes.

Black holes are regions of space so incredibly dense that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. Most are thought to form at the end of a big star’s life, when its internal pressure is insufficient to resist its own gravity and the star collapses under its own weight.

Since the laws of physics no longer apply in a region of infinite density, no one knows what could possibly happen inside a black hole.

Stephen Hawking suggested in the early 1970s that black holes can slowly evaporate and disappear. But in this case, what happens to the information that describes an object that falls into a black hole? According to general relativity, information cannot simply disappear; inside a black hole, however, information apparently does. This “information paradox” has puzzled researchers for decades. “The quantum gravitational effects produce an effective repulsive force, so that matter wouldn’t have collapsed into a singularity.

This way, the universe would “bounce” when the energy density of matter reached the Planck scale, the smallest possible size in physics, causing the universe to expand again, and then possibly collapse again, and so on, back and forth.

Because of old age I drag my feet and I cannot bounce anymore. If my information cannot ever be lost I shall be around even though my soul is clothed with a new set of clothes and speak altogether new ‘lingo’ that as children have secret language to throw off parents from clueing in, I shall be still relevant.   

 

Death is but a change of worlds.

benny

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Nearly all of the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of only five gases: nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, argon, and carbon dioxide. Several other compounds also are present. Air can contain as much as 5% water vapor.

 

99% of the mass of the human body is made up of only six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Every organic molecule contains carbon.

 

Since 65-90% of each body cell consists of water (by weight), it isn’t surprising that oxygen and hydrogen are major components of the body. Hydrogen is a component of the water molecules in the body, as well as most other compounds.Oxygen is necessary for respiration. You will find this element in the lungs, since about 20% of the air you breathe is oxygen.

 

 Carbon is ingested in food the food we eat and in the air we breathe. Carbon accounts for 18.6% of the total mass of the human body.

 

Nitrogen is a component of proteins, nucleic acids, and other organic compounds.Nitrogen gas is found in the lungs, since most of the air you breathe consists of this element.

 

Calcium is a major component of the skeletal system. It is found in bones and teeth. Calcium is a metal. It readily oxidizes in air. Because it makes up such a large part of the skeleton, about one-third of the mass of human body comes from calcium, after water has been removed.The element is incorporated into the bones, combines with other elements including iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium. It is necessary for sexual function and reproduction, muscle growth, and to supply nutrients to the nerves.

 

Potassium primarily is found in the muscles and nerves as an ion. Potassium is important for membrane function, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions.

 

Sodium is important for proper nerve and muscle function. It is excreted in perspiration.

 

Chlorine aids in cellular absorption of water. It is the major anion in body fluids. Chlorine is a part of hydrochloric acid, used to digest food. It is involved in proper cell membrane function.

 

Phosphorus is found in the nucleus of every cell. Phosphorus is part of nucleic acids, energy compounds.

 

Magnesium is a cofactor for enzymes in the body.Magnesium is needed for strong teeth and bones.

 

Sulfur is a component of many amino acids and proteins.

 

 

In such a chemical cocktail that permeates the air,space and objects I see nothing but form and function. 
Form of man and form of plants thriving in cosmos to be of use to one another is simplicity in itself. We need oxygen and plants need carbon dioxide. In supplying each others needs we have fulfilled our roles that of course is one among many dimensions we run into each other. ‘I think there fore I am.’ In order to know that my brain again  of same substance as in Cosmos, fired up certain electro-chemical impulses. It has no reality outside myself really.

We palaver, chat up to higher-ups and make deals, cut corners,stab backs of each other and are locked up for some 30 years in Louisiana and released because of some lacuna in human justice and, thank God we have showed Law still reigns supreme under the sun. It is much about nothing really.

  benny 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Life in the Hills

At the moment my wife and I are in a state of denial. The frosty conditions of Europe sent us packing to India. Not that climate is in question but man must be able to retreat to his inner resources whenever he has a chance. So we come to deny some comforts for the silence of the soul among growing fields of tea as far as eye could take in. We simply idle in our domestic bliss, but it is not enough to keep from putting our foot in mouth when we go to local grocery store. Needs of the body would need a certain finesse whether in supermarket or in a pokey little hole in the wall sort of store. In the latter we are stymied because we cannot convert our exuberance into local vernacular.Image

 

Language is bit of a problem and today my wife wanted to bake bread so we went to the local store for yeast. I was the scout to scour the wares in the shop. Items were thrown pell-mell in the cool confines where one can only hazard pot luck. So I ask this owner braving the gantlet of local color supplied by a motley garb and attitudes (and they are also in a state of denial). “Have you yeast?” A stony stare in reply. I tried their lingo and all words that approximated the article in question. After much head scratching the shopkeeper says, ‘Do you mean yeast?”
“But it is an English word?” I blurted incredulously. I have been scrapping the bottom of Tamil vocabulary and the man was letting me run out of steam. Meanwhile my wife from behind whispers,”What does he say?”
I say,” Yeast is yeast and waste is waste”Paraphrase of Kipling to convey my inability.
My wife murmurs back, “But will my dough rise with it?”
No Kipling had better stay pickled where he belongs and we decided to do something else.
benny

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I read science as though it is fiction; fiction must then satisfy somewhere deep down science of living.

When I read Bernie Madoff got his comeuppance it did not make my loss good but felt my moral sense was somewhat straightened out.

That is what I call Spooky Science of Soul.

 

2.

if two black holes were entangled, and then separated from one another, the result, would be a wormhole connecting them.

A fool and his money part company soon. Is there a wormhole connecting the two? Madoff would say it is 150 years long.

 

3.

The other night Daddy Long-legs III  and I over supper heard a jingle,- an unpardonable travesty of la donna e mobile; and it has burrowed into old goat. ‘He says only when he goes from one fickle mistress to another is an adventure. He says it makes him come alive’. But what I am doing here? I guess I am entangled with him.

I heard Rigoletto later in the night. Funny I cannot pin the music down. Instead I am only hearing the jingle.

I got entangled with some bad jingle and my taste for music as far as La donna e mobile is concerned is killed.

4. In a consumer society art is pushed as though the peddlers of bling- bling are culture conscious. In effect they poison the fine art of living. Life of the senses, of the soul are replaced by bad art. Culture vultures pick your wallet and also spoil your taste for good music.

benny

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Each generation makes mistakes. I did mistakes in my time, which if I have to clear would amount to couple of wagonloads. Since I have not let them swamp me and have neatly filed away under X (for experience) I am not complaining. I see the present generation is in no way better at it. Only these days the 20-year olds have social media to pass time and in my time was to  be grounded on the assumption(‘children are collared and seen, but not deciding anything’ let me make a list of things ,-20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.

Time is Not a Limitless Commodity

Time is like a big cube of ice we are handling and with each day it is becoming smaller and smaller.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.

You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated –  You may be most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  We are all talented but some talents are as pimples that we outgrow to be something worse and obnoxious.  In nodding ‘yes’ to your parent you may have got pat on your back but will get you a kick in the butt at the job market.  In order to be an ‘yes- man’ requires certain ‘talent that works’ like the timing. So if you are told you got talent, develop it to working order. Without this it is simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results. As Tom Cruise would say ‘Show me the money’(Jerry McGuire)

Have you got a Daily Planner?

Those who achieve results get the time they are their best for doing the concentrated effective tasks for the day. Some are morning persons and some are at their peak, late afternoons and so on. Leave other times for mundane and irksome tasks that need to be attended to. Those who succeed generally squeeze in some three hours daily before time for work. It may be for catching up with news, workouts, personal grooming and checking the mail, planning for the day and a sit-down breakfast. (Those who skip the last are likely to know the difference sooner or later.)

Education

The best years in your life is also most constructive period. There is so much data and levels of knowledge out there. Adding them without knowing what you want out of life can be wasteful. Needless to say what makes you a good human being is cultivated from home and socially, is an asset. Ability to be articulate and answer each with well chosen reply is an art, in itself.Some have a talent, natural. This can be cultivated to pass for a man of good sense and breeding.
Toward this liberal education must be seen as the basis. (The Wall Street (film)type of executives are pathetic specimens of worst excess of present day education.  What is sparkle of jargon and amoral attitude to aggrandize but a nose-stud on a porker?Does a diamond or of platinum make difference? (to be concluded)

benny 

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