Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Natural Unbalance Caused by Humans

Bangalore faced heavy rains during the last few days. Water flooded in many of the low lying areas and traffic stopped for many hours, many vehicles are lost. Still it is raining and no one is able to predict what will be Bangalore’s face after a few days. The same thing happened in Bombay a few weaks back. But in Bombay the situation was too horrific. This is the case with most of the cities. Our cities are not able to with stand any natural phenomena which deviates slightly more than the normal level.

Humans live in societies. When we, humans, accumulate in some place in large numbers, a lot of unbalance occurs in the nature. The recent phenomenon in Bangalore and Bombay is an example for such a kind of natural unbalance. The flood reminded me about a very small incident that happened about two years ago, while I was working as a lecturer in Mary Matha College, Mananthavady.

I was returning to home from the college. I left the college around 4-0-clock. On the way I was held up due to heavy rain. I stopped riding the bike and took shelter in one of the nearby shop. Watching the heavy rain was funny. As the rain increased, water started forming tiny streams on both sides of the road. The road separated a forest (the continuation of Mysore forest) from the cultivation lands. The shop where I took shelter stayed opposite to the side where it was forest.

The rain lasted for almost one and a half hour. The road became almost flooded and the cultivation lands became muddy and many newly formed small streams of water were flowing through the land. But on the other side, in the forest land, even after such a heavy and sudden rain, not even a single stream of water formed due to the rain. The soil absorbed all the rain water not allowing forming tiny streams. Due to human’s intervention, the soil on the cultivation land lost the capability to absorb water. In the forest, the roots of tiny grass, plants and big trees, make it possible for the soil to absorb the water.

Natural unbalance of one or the other type occurs whenever humans clog in an area. Nature will find a way to bring back itself. But it may be a natural calamity for us. Draining out the water during heavy rain is a huge problem for almost all the cities. I believe nature is doing a kind of cleaning by itself by such process. The cost we have to pay back for the unbalance we create in the nature is high. So think twice before distorting any kind of natural process.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Knowledge is Power or Limitation?

"2000 of years ago we knew that Earth was flat. 1500 years ago we knew that earth was the centre of Universe. Now we know that Earth is a tiny planet in the solar system, which in turn is far away from the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Tomorrow we don't know what all things will be in our knowledge base".

I got the above quotes from the semi comedy movie 'MIB' (Men in Black). These are not the exact dialogue from the movie. Even though the story of MIB is fiction, the above dialogue caught my attention. I remembered the statement; 'Today’s fiction is tomorrow’s reality'.
When people believed that earth was flat and there is an edge for the flat earth, they never traveled too far, in the fear of falling from the edge of the earth. When people believed that stars and moon were tiny spots fixed on the 'layer sky', they never thought of landing on the moon, the tiny disc fixed up in the sky. When humans knew that earth is round, we tried and succeeded in traveling around the globe. Again when we knew that moon and stars are spherical objects in the endless sky, we started exploring moon and other planets which revolved around sun.

Yesterday we didn't think in the way we are thinking at present, because what we knew then was not what we know now. Today we are thinking only in limited directions, because currently what we know limits us from thinking and exploring in some other directions. Tomorrow we will think of some strange things which we have never thought at present and it will not be strange things any more. We believe that what our ancestors knew was wrong. The same way we should believe that what we believe now is completely wrong and our predecessors will find better truth, which will explain many things in a better way.

So how can we say that knowledge is power? Our knowledge now seems to be a limitation for us. Our current knowledge limits us from thinking though we think that we think a lot. Knowledge is a limitation? So we can think about an ultimate truth, above which nothing exists further which if we know will make us think correct. But we already said that what we think is wrong. So we cannot think about such an ultimate truth. But we cannot blame the people who are in search of truth, since they are the one who thinks in strange way, breaking the limitations of our thinking imposed by our knowledge. Eventually they will find new truths which will definitely rule out existing truth. But time will rule out those truths also.