The Ship of Theseus

Theseus is an ancient Greek character. He was one of the founder of Rome. This story is about his ship. The story is that Theseus had a ship, a tall, beautiful ship in which he came to Rome. The people of Rome preserved this ship long after Theseus was dead. The people replaced the planks as they decayed, they replaced the masts, the sails were repaired and later replaced. These parts were identical to the original parts as the people wanted to preserve the heritage of Theseus. After enough time, all the parts of the ship are replaced. So, is this new ship same as the ship in which theses arrived to Rome? It looks identical to the original, yet Theseus has not put his foot in the deck of this ship. Also, if a ship is constructed out of all the original parts, will this ship be same as the original?

Actually, the ship of Theseus is a paradox, a thought experiment. Same thing can be said about us. Are we the same person that we were 10 years ago? No, we aren’t. The cells of our body are constantly being shed and replaced over a period of time. So, we are not made up of the same matter in the past that we are made up of  now. Not only the physical matter but our thoughts, feelings, memories have been altered. Pretty amazing huh!

Another  interesting paradox is related to time travel. In this paradox, we imagine a man in an empty room where a mirror is placed in the center. The mirror is a time machine which takes him 10 minutes into his past. What if he was to take a pistol, go through the mirror and shoot himself? Will he be dead? If he is dead, he couldn’t have gone through the mirror to fire a bullet. This is the grandfather paradox.

These kind of paradoxes test our brains and its interesting to know these once in a while. They are usually hard wrap our heads around because they are fundamentally contradictory in nature and our brains have a hard time figuring them out. They may be considered as “brain workouts”!

Lazy

We have all had that moment. That moment when we dread physical activity. That moment when we just don’t want to do stuff anymore. Why does that happen?

In the early days of human evolution, our ancestors had to conserve energy when resources were scarce. But now, we don’t have need to hunt and gather anymore. Most of us can make our ends meet with a typical behind the desk job. The advent of the digital age and rise of online markets have significantly made our lives much easier. This all converts to staying within the confines of the four walls thereby increasing laziness. In addition to that we have a variety of gadgets to help us be more lazy. Gadgets of all sizes and shapes which “automate” a variety of tasks.

Do we truly need robotic vacuum cleaners? Self stirring cups? Can’t we stir a cup now? These things were invented for people with special needs, instead we are using it to avoid getting up which is unjustifiable.

It is never a good thing to be lazy. It only makes our lives sedentary which is not a healthy lifestyle and since it is a factor over which we have control, we should all try to avoid it once and for all.

Luck

Does my forehead have any clues about my future? What do the lines on my palm mean for my education, marriage and well being?

Superstitions are  common in every part of the world but the intensity by which they operate varies. Here, it is very common to see a astrologist almost immediately after the birth of a child, before marriage ceremony and during troubling times of any sort. But do these practices really find out the luck of the person? What is luck?

Luck as a noun, refers to the success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions. The definition focuses on the part of our own actions and it is true, we have all done it. Whenever a bad thing happens the causation is transferred to luck. It is so easy! Failed an exam? So unlucky! Didn’t get the driving license? So unlucky!

This practice more often than not, inspires us to abandon the hard work required to perform a task and instead sulk about luck. Luck is nothing after proper preparation. Having a repertoire full of knowledge and experience, eliminates luck to complete any task. Depending upon ourselves will make us lucky automatically.

Frustration

Can’t score a net after 25 shots. Can’t complete a figure of 8 on a motorbike after 7 days of riding. Can’t complete a single set of push ups after 5 days of working out. These things make me frustrated. But what exactly is frustration?

It is the feeling of being upset after being unable to achieve something. Whenever we want something, we typically do something else to get it. When that act of doing something doesn’t get us the desired thing, frustration comes into play. It natural to get frustrated but it is not natural to continue being frustrated and not doing anything. Frustration is nature’s way of saying,”Your attempts are not enough, you are not yet capable,try again!”

We can take this above sentence positively and work on our abilities and try until we get it  or we can act angry at the advice, lash out, sulk and never do anything to achieve our dreams. The former gets us closer to our dream the latter pushes us farther.

Traffic

“God! Kill me already!”

This is what comes to mind when sitting and waiting in the long, barely moving traffic queue. This is not a problem of a locality, it is worldwide. Especially so in densely populated areas, so-called economic capitals and fashion capitals and others. When thinking about it, it not only makes us frustrated but angry as well. “Why can’t somebody do something about this? Why is this happening? Why is that madman driving like he is the king of the road?” are a few examples of our own thoughts.

It is not a problem, actually. It is fairly predictable. When large group of people move from one point to the other at almost the exact same time on the same days, traffic jams are bound to occur. Yet everyday we sit through it, cursing and mumbling.

Dealing with traffic jams is not only a burden to us it also a burden to the people who are responsible to manage it. Lets think about the traffic police who stand all day, bearing the dust, the rain and the sound incessantly. Hats off to them. They are the true heroes.

“What can be done then?”, u ask. Well, it depends on ourselves. Making sure that traffic jams don’t occur by taking the alternative route or leaving house early or travelling by public vehicles now and again. I suggest that the government make 3 days a week public vehicle days when we have to use them. After enough public vehicles are added, of course. Each of the solutions has shortcomings and frustrations of their own which is another topic in itself!

Inspiration

What is it that makes us get out of our beds in the morning? Is it work? Is it something else? Well, whatever “it” is, that’s inspiration. We attach  a lot of significance to the word but we don’t know that if we didn’t have inspiration we would not be able to do anything at all.

It seems as if we need an inspiration to do something that we have never done before. But we don’t know that we already have inspiration to do a lot of things.

We find inspiration from many things. Some of us find it in the eyes of our parents, some of us in other successful people, some still in nature and so on. However we must know that inspiration comes from within. It has to do with self esteem and confidence in what we do. Like, where did i find and inspiration to write this? It was from within (although i needed a nudge to push me!) and that’s what we all should do, look within, think about ourselves, let go of our fears and soar!

Relationship

Trust. Compromise. Behave. Try. Cry. Lose sleep.

These words come to mind when thinking about relationship. We have all been in one and its, quite frankly, tiring. We all try our best to maintain it and most of the times it works but a time eventually comes when we give all of our hopes up and fear for the worst.

There’s a thin lie between love and hate. And that line may be an act or a lack of it. It often results in a clash, then comes anger then repentance and finally guilt. Compromises must be made. The walls of a relationship are made of thin legs of trust and honesty as we  all have already heard probably a hundred times but its true. In a relationship of two persons  at least one must be strong and willing to compromise or “take the high road”.

Alcohol

What is it about alcohol that makes it so addictive? Is it the fact that it lowers our inhibition to the point that when we want something we HAVE to get it? Or is it because of the fact that the effects make us do things that we normally don’t?

I have always wandered the question, “why does alcohol affect us the way it does?”, and i found the answer in medicine. It increases the inhibitory chemicals in the central nervous system thereby making our body more depressed yet our minds actively working.

For me its more like a gateway to a person i have have never known yet stays within me, depressed. Its like a wonder drug that makes my mind go kaboom! I am not endorsing drinking in any way. Alcohol is dangerous to our bodies in large quantities yet in moderation it has shown to cause a decrease in the common maladies people are affected with viz. hypertension and diabetes.

Idea

I literally have no idea what i am  doing.

I guess that’s what life is. It’s a collection of twist and turns that ultimately place us in positions that we find surprising. And it may be a good or a bad thing. Depends on who we are.

“It about the journey”, they say and “they” talk a lot. But “they” don’t know  what they are talking about. Life is a journey yes but it’s not all about it. If the destination is beautiful the journey, however hard it may be, will seem to be nothing.

The idea is to write something interesting, something we will be hooked on to and something that will satisfy us after reading it. The rolling sunset in the picture doesn’t seem to be in order for the given topic but it represents the faint glimmer of hope that i have for this piece of writing.