Monthly Archives: May 2012

Frustration Principle

When we observe the trees and plants around us, we find that even the plants of the same species bear different sizes and shapes. In fact no two trees are alike even if they are growing near one another. This is the result of the intense competition and many traits that trees have to face and acquire.

Every tree tries to reproduce to propagate its lineage. For this it produces seeds. But this is not the end of the story. The seeds have to be broadcast away from the tree preferably to a place where the parent tree does not have its influence over the resources required for growth. To scatter the seeds the tree shall in ideal case try to grow very tall and branches at the top.

Now take its another trait. Every tree has to harvest the sun energy. For optimal absorption of the energy the tree shall desire to have the design in which branches shall be horizontal and non-overlapping. This way every leaf will act as a energy cell.

Third trait is mechanical stability. For this the tree shall want minimum horizontal branches because the branches shall try to destabilize it.

Now as the saying goes no one gets the complete world. The foremost truth about the life is compromise. So when all the traits compete simultaneously there is compromise. The mixing ratios of the traits is the result of the helplessness of the tree. This behavior has been called “Frustration Principle” by biologist Karl Niklas. Niklas used computer models in which he kept the two traits constant and varied the third one. The results were as expected but when he mixed the traits in different ratios the final shape of the tree was like we see in reality around us.

This can be compared to smart cellphones which have a camera also. Although camera does good work but it cannot replace the stand alone camera. Similarly we have gadgets which can do many jobs but they are good for picnics where it is not the refinement but collection of many tools which come as handy but are not as perfect in quality as the individual tool shall be. But then who wants to take a lots of tools for picnic?

Then & Now

These days, I am taking a look at the posts which I had posted since the beginning of this blog. After going through the older posts in my blog, I am surprised how original I was since 3 to 4 years back. But I did not got much responses. My statistics were very dismal. In fact they were sustained by the posts which were copied from the internet. These were like sprinkling of the salt on the salad. Even a nutritious food cannot be savored if it does not contain the spices.

I find that the newer ones are not as original as the older ones. They are mixture of my own thoughts, pictures and literature referred from newspapers, scientific books and internet. In fact, I have realized that I cannot write better stuff because our experience of the world around us is very limited. We are content with our work and after the working hours come straight to our home. We watch television which takes away any effort we could have put in for imagining the scenarios. Our eyes and ears are fully occupied by the trivial stuff being screened on the television.

The real life experience only comes when we come in contact with people of all sorts. For example, a barber shop can be good place to listen to gossips and watch the customers. In India, in these shops in addition to the real customers, a continuous stream of young dandies come and go into the barber shop. Most of them, take the combs without any formality of asking and comb their hair in front the big mirrors. During this exercise, they hum the songs or whistle. Anyway, what I mean is that literature is born out of first hand experiences and for these either penury will push you into the throngs of the people of all hues or you are of the type who cannot sit in the comfort of the home and prefer to loiter outside.

I am realizing that how original I was writing when I was living at a remote place thousands of miles apart from my family. It is mostly copy and paste nowadays.

Time

There is a time which has been made by the God. It is like that river which always flow with same constancy, which never dries up, in which there are no ripples, no high or low tides. There does exist any moon which can cause it to have tides. In fact nothing can change its tranquility. It flows unmindful. It never ceases to flow. There is nary a change even an iota. So this is the time of the God.
This is the basic time. If we represent it in the Cartesian two dimensional space. It shall be represented by a straight line wavering not even by microns.

But for us humans, time has very different meaning. It has tides, floods or droughts. It even flows at different rates. This is like sinusoidal wave overlaying the basic line of time.When we are having happiness and enjoyment, time seems to flying fast. On the other hand, when we are passing through rough patches, time seems to stand still.
The best human is that who tries to minimize these troughs and crests from the curve. More we are nearer the basic time line, more we are closer to nature, or God or call it whatever.

Nature Works on Molecular Level

Human beings are trying to shrink the data storage space. In fact, technology is making exponential strides in this field. Only within the last decade, we have graduated from spooled data storage to blue ray DVD which can hold many layer of data. Not only it is matter of storage, but very fast retrieval of the data that is taking place. Look at Google Search, it fetches so many webpages within milli seconds. But still, the efforts are on to still go to more more and micro sizes.

When we read, our imagination begins to conjure the physical attributes. For example, if the story is talking about an encounter of someone with a tiger, our mind starts enacting the fuzzy scene. So the writings contain the cues packed in a small space. Rest is done by our imagination. Visual aids go one step further and eliminate the need for imagination and thus force on our mind the scene as conjured by the maker of the visual. Otherwise from written story, everyone will come out with their own scene based on their experiences. That is why original creativity is going down with these advancements. We are flooded with so much information that we do not require to think ourselves. Now the focus is on the intelligent choice from among the so many choices available.

In the olden times, the Kings usually erected pillars or tablets in their kingdoms. These usually exalted some great victories and virtues of the Kings. Some of them went further and put religious sermons on the display. It is another matter that most of the populace at that was illiterate. Examples are pillars erected in India by Asoka the Great.

Similarly, there is the Prism of Sennacherib inscribed in about 700 BC, describes in characters of the Assyrian language some historical events during the reign of King Sennacherib. This king of Assyria, fought so many battles. The Prism contains about 20,000 characters, weighs about 50 kg, and has survived almost intact for about 2700 years. It is great wonder.

But now compare our feats with nature. A single DNA molecule of the bacterium E-coli contains all the encoded information necessary to specify the cell’s structure and functions. No storage devise made by us even remotely come close to it. The bacterial DNA contains about 4.6 million characters (nucleotides) and weighs less than 1/10000000000 grams only. Other remarkable property of it is that it has undergone only relatively minor changes during the past several million years. But nature never boasts. It does not care whether we praise it or criticize it when we are not happy. It is just like God Shiva who is never angry with anyone and who is attached unnecessarily to anything.