Posts Tagged ‘simplification’

During the bitter struggle for Stalingrad in the Second World War the Germans had the initial advantage but the element of surprise was worn thin by the indomitable courage of the Russians who were fighting for the Motherland. The Russians would not give up and were reduced to fight for every street. In this close combat snipers were an essential part. Vasily Zaitsev was a hero who killed some 300 Germans. He was awarded by the Party for his crucial role.
If one reads German invasion of Soviet Russia the siege of Stailngrad is reduced to a few pages and the role of Vasily may be told in a line at the most. Suppose we were to look at the whole WWII the role of Vasily, most certainly will be left out. In simplification some shift in focus is necessary.
It is like reducing the earth to the size of a golf ball. There shall be no Grand Canyon or the Himalayas. It will be smoother than the golf ball. We are all players in terms of history. Only that we don’t get written about. Our waking lives we may not have place for anything else but of ourselves. Yet we have become non-persons in the human narraive of time and place.


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More Or Less

Ozymandias, the king of kings of whom Poet Shelley wrote thus,  ‘Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair!’ one day addressed his Court and said he had arrived at the extent of the Cosmos. “It is my will that no one shall either add or subtract from the extent of it, on pain of death.”
A month later the court jester was brought before him. He was accused by his neighbor of saying his Cosmos was larger than that of his master by a hands width.
The oriental despot glared at the pitiful jester in an outlandish costume standing before him even as the courtiers shuddered: ’It is death in his looks!’ They all seemed to say. Next moment the king let out a loud guffaw. “Oh it is you! My court jester!” Turning to his vizier he said: “Does not the Law of our ancients allow our court jester to speak out with impunity?” He said to his jester, ”It is a scream that you think a grander thought than I. Court etiquette permits you to be outrageous. Why limit with a hands width?” The king was rolling in mirth; so was the entire Court. Yes why not?

While we quarrel over what is immeasureable why not more or less?


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While Werner Heisenberg mathematically arrived at the uncertainty principle our intellect faces similarly an uncertainty. It would be rather tedious to go into the details but let me cite an example from the most familiar object that I can think of. My face on the bathroom mirror. If I take a picture of half of my face and duplicate it to make up my full face it shall not be same. It will be something unfamiliar to my friends.  I may ask them to give a rational explanation. They will be at a loss to explain from the composite photo exactly where it ceases to resemble me. What is uncertain for them needn’t be so in my case.
On the other hand I can just draw a bowler hat and beneath that paint in two eyes deeply marked. All I now need to give is a toothbrush moustache. Will you not identify it as a caricature of Charlie Chaplin? How is that given so few clues we are able to reconstruct the whole persona of another?
Our mind prefers order to chaos .
All our fine theories and suppositions merely show a characteristic of our innate sense of order. Even so uncertainty still rules the roost in the very mind that we employ for abstract thinking.  We haven’t understood its nature in its fullness. Its ability to heal the body and sicknesses belong to a field which quite unfamiliar to science. Nature of miracles is one such. (I do not mean ‘miracles’ that are practiced by some in order to hoodwink others. I mean the genuine article that can be independently verified by impartial witnesses.) How the body can be healed in some cases by mind? When it happens we call it a miracle. Whereas  in others the mind seems not to effect a cure. Miracles we often explain from inadequate understanding.
Uncertainty principle is what works on this side of the Absolute.

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