Categories
Personal Growth

The ‘Relativity of Time’ and how it affects our daily lives

From last one year, if there is one question I have been asked most of the time, it’s this

How do you find time to do all these?

If you love to explore things, I am sure you have also heard such questions. Although, I don’t think at all that I am potentially doing many things. At the moment, I am a doctoral student, so a major chunk of my time I spend in a research laboratory.

Beside that yeah I do have multiple interests. I love to read and write. Love to call me a fitness enthusiast with a keen interest in running (ran 3 half marathons), and occasionally pursue web designing.

When I think about people in the Renaissance era (Leonardo da Vinci, William Harvey, Michelangelo, etc.) I literally believe it’s quite normal to pursue things which you love. That may be one, two, three, or even multiple things depends on your personality.

Having heard the above question multiple times, I thought

Have I changed a lot in the last 5 years?

When I recall those days (4-5 years back), I realized my interests have grown over the time and somehow I have managed to nurture them. Five years back my life was all about going to college, doing assignments, preparing for examinations, etc. Occasionally I used to read books, magazines but those were not a regular part of my life.

A few months back, when some of my friends asked me that they want to do things they love beside the professional job at the hand, I was like ‘yeah man go for it‘.

But then came the climax, my friends were like-‘that’s easy to say man but I don’t have time to do anything else‘.

Of course, I can not completely understand their situation because everyone’s life is unique and you cannot put yourself entirely in anyone else’s shoe.

However, today I firmly believe that most of our conception about time management or whatever we call it is entirely wrong. If you just think little deep, you will realize that everyone doesn’t perceive 24 hours in a day equally.

It’s like people still believe in a Newtonian way of time. Newton believed that time is absolute. One hour is one hour for everyone, whether you are in space or any other part of the universe.

It’s Albert Einstein in 1905 showed the world with his ‘special theory of relativity‘ that time is not absolute but relative. One hour is not the same for me and you. Different people perceive time in a distinct manner.

Let me give you an example.

Have you heard about ‘Twin Paradox’? Watch the video first

Now you know what ‘time dilation’ is and one hour is not same everywhere.

Now might argue in terms of physics, Einstein said either if you are moving in a very fast rocket (close to lights velocity) or travel near a black hole time slows down.

But how this alteration of time happen on our earth (where we don’t travel near a black hole or in a vehicle close to lights speed)? Why do people perceive time differently?

Time is one of the most enigmatic things for us. We can sense touch, temperature, pressure, pain for that we have receptors in our body. But we cannot sense time. There is no association between time and sensory-specific systems.

We can just measure time which is always moving in the forward direction. For that, we carry watches but we do not need similar devices to determine whether it is cold or whether a sound is loud or soft.

Our perception of time refers to subjective experience and depends on an internal clock (our biological clock). our brains have an inherent ability to process time through the functions of neuronal mechanisms and neurotransmitters.

Think about your childhood, when you were a child you had limitless time. You used to go to school, play with your friends, hung out with your family, friends and even then you had a lot of time. But now it always feels like a shortage of time. You never have enough time.

Why are you experiencing like, time is moving faster as you are aging?

In fact, even scientific studies have proved that time passes faster for older individuals. And there are two major reasons for that- Lack of experience and reduction in dopamine neurotransmission. Let’s discuss them separately

1. Lack of new experiences:

This one is pretty easy to understand right. Compare your 5 to10 year life span with 40 to 45 year of life span. When do you think you have experienced more number of newer things. Obviously, it’s between 5 to 10 years life span. you were a child without any biases, open to learn anything new, had more curiosity, enthusiasm.

But as you are becoming adult and then eventually older most of us live a repetitive lifewith almost no or very few new experiences. It takes a prolonged time to learn something new like reading books, playing guitar, playing tennis, living away from home. This has a strong impact on our memory.

We can vividly remember the beginning of each new experience that occurred to us. when we experience newer things we feel like time is slowing down. This may partly explain why a random day can seem longer for a child than an adult. Most external and internal experiences are new to children, and most experiences are repetitive for adults. So indulge yourself in new experiences, learn something new. Most importantly don’t make your life too repetitive if you want to experience more time.

2. Dopamine and neuropathways:

The ability of our internal clock to estimate the passage of time depends on both attention and memory. To determine the time necessary to perform a given task requires both concentration and memorization of a sequence of information.

You must have observed some people who can do a particular job really fast but for the other person, the same job requires a lot of time and effort. Why does that happen?

It’s because the concentration and memory of the first person are better than the second person for that job.

In humans, concentration depends on the function of dopamine neurotransmission in the basal ganglia and memory depends on acetylcholine neurotransmission in brain areas related to memory in the hippocampal-prefrontal cortex axis. You can read more about the human brain in one of my previous article here.

Dopamine (a hormone and a neurotransmitter) has a strong connection with one’s perception of time. Anything which can increase the function of dopamine can accelerate your perception of time.

Imagine you are at a party with all your friends, enjoying your time. In such scenarios, you will feel time passing pretty fast, while the feeling of sadness or depression (which decelerate dopamine transmission) slow down your perception of time.

The perception of time during a stressful or fearful situation also seems much longer than the actual time that passes. That’s why when you watch a horror movie, you feel like time is moving slowly.

All these suggest that if you are happy and in a state of contentment in life, you are more likely to accelerate your perception of time. While bitterness, anger, jealousy just do the opposite.

Do you still believe that you don’t have time in your life?

Then your priorities in life are in a haphazard state. If your priorities are right, you must be able to find time for doing things which matters to you.

I have another suggestion to get more out of your time. And that’s the ‘power of observation‘. You know ‘to have a look’ and ‘to observe’ are not the same right. Today our attention span has decreased to such an extent that we losing our ability to observe things.

Having read the biographies of people who were skilled in multiple things (like Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin) I can tell you that it’s their amazing ability to observe even micro things which helped them to become a multipotentialite.

If you become more mindful in your life, I am sure you don’t have to say again lines like ‘I don’t have time’.

It’s not necessary to have multiple interests. You may be good in one particular thing and want to go deep only in that subject. That’s perfectly OK.

The problem is not whether you are interested only in one subject or multiple subjects, both are great. The Problem arises when you love doing something but not finding time to pursue that.

“Everytime you are telling yourself that ‘I don’t have time’, you are limiting your potential”

If you are someone like me who has multiple interests then I am urging you to follow your heart and pursue your interests. You will be happier and fulfilled in your life. Time is not the problem. Remember time is relative, not absolute. If you plan correctly you can get more out of your time. Don’t limit your potential.

Just look around you there are people who instead of their busy schedule able to follow their multiple interests. There were people like Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Alexandar Graham Bell, Aristotle, Archimedes, and of course, there are a lot of modern day polymaths. All these people have proven that time is not a barrier between you and your interests.

In conclusion, I want you to remember six key points from this article-

  • Time is relative, not absolute. Everyone perceives time differently.
  • As you are getting older, you will feel like time is passing faster.
  • To prevent or reduce that, explore new experiences frequently, learn something new.
  • Whenever dopamine transmission in your brain will get high, you will accelerate your perception of time. So don’t work to become happy someday, be happy and work.
  • Having multiple interests is perfectly normal. there were and are a lot of successful people like that.
  • Set your priorities in the correct order. ‘I don’t have time’ is a wrong statement, ‘I am not interested’ is a correct statement.

Have a joyful week. Until next week.

Joy

Source:

  1. Quartz.com
  2. The conversation.com
  3. Time perception and age

Categories
Personal Growth

The Power of The Butterfly Effect

A few weeks back I was reading a sci-fi novel by Stephen King named 11/22/63. There was a character named Jake Epping who one day discovered a portal which can take him to the past or future, basically, he can travel in time then.

Then he decided to go back in time in 1958, and after some experiments, he realized that he can alter the history of the humankind (as he can change the events). So he decided to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy which happened on November 22, 1963 (the book’s title is based on this date).

Somehow he became successful in preventing the assassination. He then thought the world would be a much better place when he will again go back to the present time.

But that was not the case. In fact, when he returned to the present time, everything was opposite of what he thought. Everywhere there were multiple earthquakes, his own home was gone in that earthquake, and the world was almost at its end due to nuclear war. Jake then realized he has made a blunder by altering history. He again went back to 1963 and fixed whatever he changed.

Why have I mentioned this story?

This is just to give an overview that everything in the world is somehow connected and how one small decision can create a huge change.

This entire phenomenon is known as ‘The Butterfly Effect’, a term coined by Edward Lorenz, a mathematician and meteorologist at MIT (USA) during 1963.

‘Butterfly Effect’ is the basis for a branch of mathematics known as ‘Chaos theory’. Butterfly Effect in scientific terms known as ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’.

How did the ‘Butterfly Effect’ originate?

The entire principle was born when Lorenz tried to predict some weather models using deterministic equations on a supercomputer.

He input an initial set of data, switched the computer on, and waited for the printout.  Placing the output next to the machine, he decided to re-enter some of the data and run the program longer.

But when got the results after entering the data second time, that was quite surprising. He soon realized he’d made a very minor error during input on the second run which yielded a drastically different outcome.

He had entered the initial condition 0.506 for the second time from the printout instead of entering the full precision 0.506127 value. We usually believe that a small change would not make a big difference in the results later. But Lorenz observed something different from contrary belief. The results were depicted in a curve as below-

A small error in the data magnifies over time

You can see although initially, both the curves were same but over time they started deviating from each other.

That’s the whole idea about ‘The Butterfly Effect’. Little insignificant events (which we overlook many times) can lead to significant results over time.

How ‘Butterfly Effect’ affects our life?

There is a famous metaphor about ‘Butterfly Effect’ coined by Lorenz that ‘The flap of a butterfly’s wings in one corner of the world can set off a tornado in other corners of the world’.

Although it sounds ridiculous, it’s just to convey the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. 

Now you might be thinking that is there any real-life example of ‘Butterfly Effect’?

Of course, and they are happening every day, you are just not giving enough attention to track them.

Think about your own life. Wherever you are today is because of those minute habits you had or small decisions that you took in your life.

I will give you four examples which will make you think about ‘The Butterfly Effect’.

1. The wrong turn that led to world war I:

How would be the world today had there been no world wars occurred, I don’t know whether the world would be better or worse, but it would be not same as it is today for sure.

What will you say if I tell you that the world war I started due to a wrong turn in the road? Yeah, it’s true.

So how it all started?

It was 1914 when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was going to be the king of Austria. On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, visited Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia.

Six Bosnian-born Serb terrorists were waiting for the royal couple on the route. They were seeking to avenge Austria’s recent annexation of Bosnia, which once had been part of the long-vanished Serbian Empire.

A terrorist threw a hand grenade at the open car carrying the archduke and his wife, but the grenade only wounded people behind him. Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Archduke Franz Ferdinand decided to visit the wounded people in the hospital. While in the road, the driver, unfortunately, took a wrong turn and there one of the frustrated assassins, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, was getting drunk.

Princip stepped out of the crowd and fired two shots which hit Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Both died immediately.

What happens after this is just a tragedy. Austria announced war against Serbia and then one after another country joined them which started the world war I.

Had that driver didn’t take the wrong turn in the road, the king would have been alive and probably nothing like world war would have happened. See how a small incident led to a massive result.

2. The story of Hitler:

We all know what kind of calamity Hitler has done in the world. But nothing could have happened had the following two incidents not happened with Hitler.

Adolf Hitler in his early life aspired to be an artist. He applied twice in Vienna art academy, Austria. But both the times he failed to secure a position in the institute.

The teachers at art academy rejected him by saying that-

“They are prosaic, utterly devoid of rhythm, color, feeling, or spiritual imagination. They are architect’s sketches: painful and precise draftsmanship; nothing more”

Hitler blamed his Jewish teachers for the failure. He started hating Jews. Although it was not the only reason for his hatred, it definitely enhanced his hatred towards Jews.

What would happen had he got the admission in the art school?

No one knows but probably our history would have been different.

The second incident occurred during world war I when Brtish and German armies fighting with each other. On 28th September 1918, a wounded soldier entered in the firing range of British soldier Henry Tandey. If Henry wanted he could have easily killed that wounded soldier by firing a bullet. But instead of that, he choosed compassion. He didn’t kill him and let him go.

That wounded soldier later become the reason for the genocide of millions of Jews. Yes, that wounded soldier was Adolf Hitler.

I know what you are thinking. If only Henry Tandey would have killed that soldier, the world would never know about the barbaric Hitler.

3. Mahatma Gandhi’s train ride:

On 7th June 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi took a first class ticket to travel from Durban to Pretoria. But due to his brown colour, he was thrown out of the first class compartment.

This whole incident shook up him. From that moment he refused to accept injustice and started fight against racial discrimination. We all know what happened after that. He started the biggest non-violence movement against the British and led an important role in India’s freedom

Everything started from that train incident. Had he not thrown out of first class compartment, he probably would not become such an inspiring person in the world history.

4. The beginning of world wide web (www):

In 1962, American scientists and military feared about what might happen in the event of Soviet attack on the nations telephone system.

Then a computer scientist J. C.R. Licklider proposed a solution to the problem. He suggested a galactic network of computers that could talk to one another.

Little did they know that this idea would eventually transform the world and used for information, entertainment and social network by more than 2.5 billion people today.

Today it’s known as the ‘World Wide Web’.

All the stories above give us the same message that ‘Butterfly Effect’ is working all the time. One small incident starts a sequence of events which ultimately results in a massive result.

We often hear a line about our life that ‘Our life is the result of our choices’.

If that is true and after knowing the significance of ‘Butterfly Effect’ you must be careful about what kind of people you decide to spend time with, what kind of food you eat, what kind books or articles you read, what kind of videos you watch.

All these are micro choices you are making all the time, sometimes even unconsciously. According to ‘Butterfly Effect’ all these will add up with time and will produce bigger results in life.

If you want to shape your life in a particular way or want to be that charming person then be careful about your choices.

Have a productive week. Until next time.

Joy

Source:

  1. Effect of the butterfly effect
  2. Understanding the butterfly effect-American scientist
  3. Interesting Engineering
Categories
Health and Fitness Personal Growth

What Science tells us about a Focused Mind and how to get that?

Do you remember the story of hare and tortoise?

The story where the tortoise competes with the hare in a run. The tortoise moved very slowly and the hare was very fast. The hare thought to take a nap after seeing the tortoise way behind him. Finally, the tortoise won and the hare was sleeping even then.

I thought the hare lost due to his arrogance and the tortoise won because of its persistence. However, what I never realized was, the tortoise needed a tremendous amount of focus to persist in the race.

We all know the importance of having a focused mind in life. A distracted mind is like a football match where there is no goalpost, players have no idea where to goal. They are just running here and there.

But the bad news is, most of us have a distracted mind rather than having a focused mind. Our attention span (amount of concentrated time a person can spend without becoming distracted) is decreasing every year.

According to research, Our attention span has markedly decreased in just 15 years. In the year 2000 average attention span was 12 seconds and in the year 2015, it has reduced to just 8.25 seconds. In terms of attention span, we humans are now behind goldfish which has 9 seconds of attentiveness.

So why are we losing our attention span?

If you just search in Google about ‘Focus’ you will get thousands of articles about why focus is important and how to achieve that? However, most of them I found very surface level articles. Most of them suggest don’t overuse your smartphone, do meditation, sleep properly, etc. All these are true but when I wanted to dig deeper into the topic things became much more clear and unambiguous.

I want to share with you my findings on what is responsible for our decreasing attention span and how to regain the focused mind?

Neurologists classified attention as two types-involuntary attention and voluntary or directed attention.

What do these terms mean?

Involuntary attention refers to attention which requires no effort, such as when something exciting or interesting happens. For example, when you suddenly see a snake at the street, your attention automatically goes to towards the snake. You require no extra effort to give attention to the snake.

On the contrary, when you require effort to pay attention to something which may not be interesting to you is known as voluntary or directed attention. You need to direct your attention here, it doesn’t happen automatically. For example, when you study, exercise or write an article, you need a great deal of effort to keep your attention. Reading, writing, exercise may not be always interesting to you. So here you need to direct your attention.

Involuntary attention is an excellent adaptive force for humans, as it automatically directs your attention towards the most important or exciting thing at that moment and even alerts you from danger. Imagine how useful involuntary attention was for earlier humans in jungles. They were able to protect themselves from the dangers of the jungle due to involuntary attention capability.

But sadly, in the modern world, we use involuntary attention against our own interest. Today, what is interesting is not important and what is important is not interesting.

Images were important in earlier days to recognize things but today they are hijacked by media manager and advertisers. Images no longer capture our involuntary attention. Again what we think is important in life (such as exercise, reading or acquiring any skill) is most often not interesting to us. Thus involuntary attention is longer that useful to us compared to what it used to be for our ancestors.

Thus voluntary or directed attention becomes the only tool to fulfill our purposes.

However, our ability of directed attention is limited. It’s a limited resource (cognitive resource). That’s why your concentration levels are not same throughout the day. If you do something in the morning which requires a tremondous amount of concentration then you will find it difficult to concentrate in the afternoon/evening. How you utilize this limited cognitive resource throughout the day determines how productive your day will be.

The good news is, although voluntary or directed attention is limited, you can replenish it via doing some simple activity.

Probably, the most important thing to know would be- how and where we waste our directed attention? If we can conserve and replenish our directed focus, we will be able to accomplish more and less time.

So where do we waste our directed attention ability?

1. Mindless Entertainment:

What usually you do in your free time, like when you return from work?

If you are like most people, I assume you start browsing your social media accounts, watch Youtube/Netflix or television to chill. We think we are relaxing by doing these activities. Even I used to think so but nothing could be further from the truth.

I knew a lot of people call television a cartoon box but I was really astonished by the studies, which shows the hampering effects watching television has on our ability to concentrate. Not only that, watching TV or Youtube for a longer time prevent to replenish our voluntary attention which is necessary to focus on a job as I discussed above.

One might say, watching television require only involuntary attention, which means you don’t need any effort to watch TV, it just happens naturally.

Then how watching TV/Youtube reduces our cognitive resource (voluntary attention)?

Just because something requires our involuntary attention, that doesn’t mean it can’t drain our cognitive resources. You require some voluntary attention while watching T. V also. Consider the case when there is a movie channel and a sports channel, you have to make a deliberate choice about which one to watch. There could be conflicting situations. Thus it’s not completely effortless.

One particular exert from a research paper by Kaplan and Berman (2010) point it out beautifully-

“Television is, as Mander (1978) so effectively points out, exquisitely designed to discourage one from leaving the channel one is watching. In other words, television creates attentional capture. One indication that this is an unsatisfactory state of affairs is that a large percent of television watchers
wish that they could spend less time watching (Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002). Thus, the very act of watching would be likely to create a conflict situation. One indication that this is the case is that the longer people watch television, the more irritable they become. Thus the very activity that
many people think of as recreational is in fact increasing mental fatigue rather than reducing it.”

Guilt about watching TV is very common. Most people watch TV more than they intend to. Further studies suggest-

‘‘ . . . people reported feeling relatively less relaxed, happy, and satisfied after viewing than after the other activities studied’’

Therefore watching TV is a counterproductive means of restoring directed attention. And the same thing happens when you play video games hour after hour or browse social media for hours. All these suck our mental energy.

Now the question is if not to watch TV or browse social media then what to do instead in free times? which brings the second point

2. Replenish your voluntary attention via Nature:

According to research, one activity which has the magical ability to replenish our focus is natural environments (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008; Kaplan, 1995).

This means simply taking a walk around natural environments like garden, lake, forest, beach or any natural scenario can bring back our ability to concentrate.

The reason viewing nature restores our voluntary attention is because this activity has high levels of soft fascination.

Soft fascination is a psychology term used to describe activities that capture our involuntary attention without utilizing our voluntary attention abilities.

Natural Environment

When we see nature, it captures our attention so minimally that it allows our mind to wander onto other thoughts. Natural environments are capable of attracting involuntary attention without interfering with other thoughts.

However, urban places are not ideal places to do this activity. Imagine you are walking through a busy street in a city. Starting from hoardings to banners of different advertisements to traffic, everything will steal will attention. We don’t call it natural environment right!

So whenever you have free time just take a walk in the nearest park or garden, observe nature closely. You will be surprised how in a quick span of time you can regain your ability to focus.

Another important thing we must do in order to conserve as well as utilize our potential to focus at it’s fullest. It’s more of an emotional rather than a physical thing. And that is-

3. Resolve your internal noise first then try to focus:

Suppose two people are running in a race. One is running with 20 kg weight with him and another one is running without any weight. Who will run faster?

It’s obvious the person without any weight will run faster. Same is the case for our ability to focus. You cannot focus on a job if you have unresolved issues in relationships, work or in anything. Carrying extra baggage of unsettled issues in mind is never a good idea when you try to concentrate.

Therefore, these unresolved problems could create a kind of internal noise that would lead to excessive demands on directed attention.

So what to do in such cases?

Resolve confusing issues in your mind. Research suggests that-

“writing about one’s feelings and experiences can have therapeutic value by
promoting reflection and limiting brooding. In addition, such writing may also reduce the inclination to suppress the thoughts and feelings that lead to stress.”

Write down your unresolved issues on a piece of paper. It will declutter your mind. If you have done something wrong and it can be corrected, then correct it first. Talk to your loved ones about your problems, seek their help. Make time to reflect on your problems which bothers you, in constructive ways.

Trying to work forcefully with problems in your mind is emotionally unhealthy and it’s not good even from the viewpoint of voluntary attention. Once you take care of your internal noises, you will feel much lighter just like that weightless runner. Your mind will be at peace and will be able to focus in a much better way.

What’s the conclusion of this article?

Proper quality sleep is indispensable to have a focused mind. Meditation also helps to achieve such a mind. But most importantly we must be aware of the activities which drain our mental energy most. We must know how we can replenish our lost mental energy. We are in a time when everyone including that author, anchor, newspaper, social media site or that multinational company wants to capture our attention. Our mental energy is, therefore, the most valuable asset we have. We must utilize it in a fruitful way to make our lives better, happier, fulfilled one.

Steve Jobs

Have a productive week. Until next time.- Joy

Source:

  1. Directed Attention as a Common Resource for Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation.
  2. The Strength Model of Self-Control
  3. Image Credit
  4. Karim Elsheikh- How to improve focus
Categories
Uncategorized

Why Being Polymath is the way to success

How many times in your life have you heard the line ‘ Focus on one area, give your everything to this and you will be successful’. I guess every one of us has heard this pretty common lines. There is a very famous line which says

                                  “Jack of all trades, master of none”

Which means you may be good at a few things but if you are not excellent or outstanding in one thing, your chances of being successful will reduce. Think about your own life, what are the skills you have? How many areas have you studied? Chances are that one, two or very few. We have grown up believing that we need to study one subject deeply and stick to that forever. 

However, if you see the lives of the most successful or I would say the most impactful people in the world they don’t fall in the ‘One area specialist’ category. Take anyone for example from Elon Musk, Steve jobs, Richard Feynman, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos to Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Charles Darwin, Galileo and many more. If you look closely at the lives of these people you will find no one of them studied just one area. Wait, What’s going on here? If we all are being taught to specialize in just one area then why all of the successful personalities did not follow this. 

Something is wrong right!                                                                                                                   Even Scientific research today firmly believes that people who have wide interests are likely to have the creative impact. Have a look at this paper.

But what is the meaning of ‘Polymath‘? (you must have noticed in the headline)                   A ‘Polymath’ is someone who has knowledge of diverse fields and integrates them into one particular skill set. Many examples you will find in my previous posts from Johannes Gutenberg, Steve Jobs, Leonardo Da Vinci, modern entrepreneurs like Naveen Jain, Elon Musk etc. All of them had or have diverse interests and knowledge and they combined all the knowledge to produce something unique. There is a great story about Charles Darwin how he discovered ‘Theory of Evolution’. To solve the natures mystery he had to think like a biologist, geologists, naturalist all at once. He approached the problem from different angles. Take our beloved president A.P.J Abdul Kalam, how do you describe his specialization. Although an Aeronautical Engineer, you can see his life how diverse it was and the kind of knowledge he had about various fields.

So you want to be a Scientist. Study about Science of course but have time to read about history, business, literature or whatever interests you. Still pondering why to study all those. Remember what one of the greatest ‘Polymath’ Leonardo Da Vinci said

       c0438045065f670464e920fd3bd00c68

In fact in this modern era becoming a ‘Polymath’ is even more valuable and easy. Need justification. OK.                                                                                                                                      Things are changing most rapidly in this generation. What was precious yesterday becoming obsolete today. Now if you give all of your time and energy in just one particular skill set. What’s the guarantee that it will not become obsolete tomorrow? No guarantee right. You must know what’s trending now and what is the possible future. Imagine the scenario where someone is giving all his energy and time for becoming an excellent driver and tomorrow the driverless cars become famous. What will he do?        One must be aware of possible future like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Nanobot and many more. Having knowledge about more than one domain gives you access to know the broader and better picture of the world. It will make you much more valuable.

And it’s so easy to become a ‘Polymath’ today than ever before (if only you have interest). The world is connected all the time. You have access to almost all the knowledge humankind have acquired. There are many examples today where someone learns amazing stuff from home just by using the internet. There are Online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, edx which has courses about almost everything you want to learn. Masterclass, Khan Academy is another good platforms. Youtube is a great learning platform, which is completely free. Today a 13-year-old learning coding and developing best apps. 11-year-old learning about astronomy. Issac Newton said

                             “If I have seen further than others,                                                                                                                              it is by standing upon the shoulders of  giants”

Today we have more giants than ever.                 

So ask yourself an honest question ‘what are you willing to learn’? What interests you?      And what is stopping you from learning them? Is it the deep-rooted belief that we can’t be good at more than one things. You have got this one life, learn as much as you can.

Be grateful that you born in this era, your ancestors didn’t get this much chance to learn things so easily like today. 

robert_greene_mastery_the_future_belongs_to_those_who_learn_more_skills_and_combine_them
Robert Greene quote

Have a learning week. Until next time                                                                                                                                                                 -Joy

 

 

 

Source-                                                                                                                                                                  1. Michael Simmons on ‘People Who Have “Too Many Interests” Are More Likely                   To Be Successful According To Research’

 2. Hidden Talents

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How will be our ‘Nano World’?

 

Imagine a world where disease is just an option to us, we can have access to any information without even opening Google, where we can send our thoughts or informations to anyone without using e-mail, whatsapp or phone call. 

Sounds like a great Science-fiction movie right. But these all becoming reality today and may be within 15-20 years from now you can can experience all these. But how on earth we are gonna do these? 

The answer lies in the word ‘Nano’. Famous Physicist Richard Feynman probably is the first person to conceptualize nanotechnology to the world in his 1959 speech where he said “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom.”       There+s+Plenty+of+Room+at+the+Bottom+(1959)What’s the first word come to our mind after hearing the word  ‘Nano’? Small may be very small. But how small is very small in Nano world.      Nano objects are in the scale of 1-100 nanometer. Just to give you an idea- a nanometer is million times smaller than the size of an ant. Now you can imagine!

Being immortal has always been a dream to mankind. It’s not that no one can be immortal in this earth. There are creatures who are said to be immortal for example a jellyfish, known as Turritopsis doohmii, or more commonly, the immortal jellyfish. It has found a way to cheat death by actually reversing its aging process, whenever it is injured or sick it returns to it’s polyp stage over three days, means it revere it’s cells to it’s younger stage then again grows to a adult cell. There are even some bacterias, lobsters, turtles whose organs doesn’t seem to become weaker with time.                                             Is it possible for humans?

If you look deeper into the human body, what are we made of ? If we try to answer scientifically, we are multi-cellular organism. Each cell is like our currency, each of them are alive by their own but depends on each other for ultimate survival of the whole. A single cell is born with combination of sperm and egg cell. Then this single cell divides further into daughter cells, which further devides to give a complex human being. 

At molecular level if we consider, a cell is a complex, self-replicating, carbon based machine. If somehow we can mimic the nature, the way it creates micro machine like cell. We will have access to a unknown world. We can manipulate our body the way we want. That’s the whole idea about creating ‘Nanobots’, which is considered to be one of the most important inventions for humankind future.                                                                   What is a ‘Nanobot‘ then?                                                                                                                      A ‘Nanobot‘ is a micro robot in nanoscale which is programmable just like softwares in our computers. It is so small that it can easily float in our blood stream and track the toxins and damaged cells to repair them. They will be our own army to fight with the pathogens (bad virus or bacteria) in our body. Not only that even terrifying diseses like Cancer can treated with the help of this micro robots. These minute molecules have components that enable them to identify and attach themselves to a cancer cell. When activated by light, the nanobots’ rota-like chain of atoms begin to spin at an incredible rate – around two to three million times per second. This causes the nanobot to drill into the cancer cell, blasting it open.

Nanobots in human blood stream
Nanobots in our blood stream

In a recent experiment nanobots are being tested in the blood stream of animals and we are very optimistic that soon we are going to have a cancer free even disease free world.

This is just one of the major applications of ‘Nanotechnology’, there are plethora of other uses which are going to change our future world, like in harvesting more solar power, in storage devices (entire information of wikipedia can be stored in a single gram of DNA), in building smart materials but another area where ‘Nanotechnology’ said to have drastic influence is in improving our brain.

Wow! sounds cool right. According to ‘Ray Kurzweil’ (a pioneer engineer at Google, an author, futurist)-

“In the 2030s, said Ray, “we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud.”

At this moment it seems unfathomable but you never know what is waiting for us in the future. Just for a moment imagine how the world would be if nanorobots will be able to connect our brains with internet. This simply means Google will be in your neurons. You will have access to almost all the knowledge and informations of humankind. You don’t need to Google map to navigate, it’s in your brain, you can go anywhere (without any device) without the fear of getting lost. Forget about e-mail, whats app, phone calls, brain to brain communication will be reality (just like computer to computer transfer of data).

You want to learn a new language, just download it or even better just stream it as neurons will be connected to cloud web. Your childhood memories or any thing ever happened to you will be stored in the cloud. So that whenever you require to remember anything just searc it. We will have searchable memory.

Brain to Brain interface.
Brain to Brain interface.

OK enough science fiction. Possibilities are limitless. Probably humans will have higher order existence then. But hey, don’t think these all are just mere fiction and has nothing to do with reality. Let us remember that great science requires great science fiction also. Scientists around the world are working on molecular machine, CRISPR/Cas9 which allows to edit our genomes, brain-computer interface to make all these a reality. In future I will discuss about each of these topics.

Like everything else ‘World of Nano’ is also a double edged sword. If we are not careful enough these micro robots can bring the world to an end. If ‘Nanobots’ start replicating themelves uncontrollably in our body, they will take everything to replicate, buildings, people, cars anything and only boundary of space can stop the replication, this phenomena is known as ‘Gray goo’.  The term ‘Gray goo’ was coined by nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler in his 1986 book ‘Engines of Creation’. If internet are connected with brain, then imagine the scenario if someone by chance hack the system, your body will be hacked by someone. Of-course everything has good and bad sides but we need to ensure that the benifits will outweigh the risks involved.

After all everyone wants a better world, a safer world.

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Have a remarkable week. Until next week.                                                                                                                                                                 -Joy

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What if you could live in a 10-dimensional world.

Have you ever thought of becoming expert in more than one field? In your childhood or teenage years, you must have thought about becoming may be a scientist, a musician, a doctor (whatever profession you like) at the same time. But alas! as you grow up you have chosen only one and take up that as your profession. It is very rare to become professionals in more than one field. 

But what if I say you, you could be a scientist, a musician, a doctor or whatever you want to be at the same time. At least Science says that is possible but not in this world where we live but where dimensions are more in number than earth.

Ok so let’s let’s dive little deeper into the fascinating world of Science to better understand this-                                                                                                                                           Dimensions are simply the different facets of what we perceive to be the reality. We all are aware of 3 dimensions of our world length, breadth, and depth. We can feel all three dimensions. To better understand look at the pictures-

one
One dimensional picture.

two_dimension
Two-dimensional picture.

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Three-dimensional picture.

These are the dimensions which we can see and feel. But this is not done here. To better understand our world we need another dimension (4th dimension), time dimension. Without this, it’s difficult to differentiate between two or more incidents. It makes much more sense to say ‘ I will meet you tomorrow at 9 a.m’ rather than saying ‘ I will meet you tomorrow”. Everyone is continuously traveling in time dimension but only in front direction. With the passage of time, we are getting young than old but we can never travel reverse in time dimension with this four dimensions, which are known as space-time dimensions. 

sony-4d-focus-1

 

These four dimensions are known to humankind since long back, from the time when Einstien explains how gravity works through space-time warp and curve. 

In the year 1919, a German mathematician Theodor Kaluza first proposed that our universe has more than 3 dimensions we know. But then how many dimensions our universe has?

According to ‘superstring theory’ (about which we will know later), our universe can have 10 dimensions. So first four we already know now how about the other six?

What is a fifth dimension? Remember I said what if you want to be in two professions at the same time (say a scientist and a singer). In a fifth dimension world, you can go left and right of time that means you can be a scientist and a singer at the same time but in two different worlds (known as parallel universe theory). So your scientist version doesn’t know that you are a singer also in another world. 

multiple-earths
The Fifth Dimension: Possible Worlds

 

If you increase another dimension then your scientist version can literally meet with your singer version and you can compare both the versions. Through which your both versions travel and meet is known as the sixth dimension. In short, if you can experience fifth and sixth dimensions then just like in space you can travel backward and forward in time, you’d witness every possible permutation of what can occur past, present, and future. One interesting fact, however, is that in fifth and sixth dimensions all the parallel universes or worlds have same initial conditions or beginning (for example Big Bang). To understand simply in both these dimensions you are that same person (in your teenage years) before becoming scientist or singer.

multiple-worlds
The Sixth Dimension: A Plane of All Possible Worlds With the Same Start Conditions

 

In the seventh dimensions, one can have access to all possible worlds that start with different initial conditions (unlike fifth and sixth dimensions). Everything is different here from the beginning. 

many-worlds
The Seventh Dimension: A Plane of All Possible Worlds With Different Start Conditions

 The eighth dimension again gives us a plane of such possible universe histories and futures for each universe, each of which begins with different initial conditions and branches out infinitely.

infinity
The Eighth Dimension: A Plane of All Possible Worlds, Each With Different Start Conditions, Each Branching Out Infinitely

 In the ninth dimension, we can compare all the possible universe histories, starting with all the different possible laws of physics (where gravity operates differently, the speed of light is different etc.) and initial conditions.

ninth-dimension
The Ninth Dimension: All Possible Worlds, Starting With All Possible Start Conditions and Laws of Physics

In the tenth dimension, we arrive at the point in which everything that is imaginable and possible exists!
This is the ultimate! (one can consider is as the ultimate truth or God).

                                                                                                                                                                     These are possible dimensions Science proposed today but how do Science reach up to these ten dimensions and why can’t we see all the dimensions?

To answer the first question we have to know a little bit about string theory. So what are the basic, fundamental constituents making up everything around us we know? 

We all know everything is made up of atoms, inside atoms, there are electrons, protons, and neutrons but that’s not the end of story. Even neutrons and protons have smaller particles inside them known as quarks. up to here conventional ideas stop and here comes the String theory.

According to string theory deep inside these particles (quarks), there is a dancing filament of energy which looks like a vibrating string ( a one dimensional smallest thing about 10^-35 meter). Just like different strings in a musical instrument produce different notes, these tiny strings when vibrates in different frequencies produce different particles. These particles are responsible for different forces in the universe. In other words, it can explain everything around us and that’s why it also is known as ‘Theory of everything’.

string-theory
Tiny vibrating strings.

But when Scientists tried to study the mathematics of string theory surprisingly it didn’t work in a universe that has just three dimensions, it didn’t work even in a universe with five, six or seven dimensions of space, finally it works in a universe that has 10 dimensions of space. That’s how the idea of 10 dimensions came.

But why can’t we see those extra dimensions? well, dimensions may come in two varieties- big, easy to see dimensions like length, width, depth and tiny, curled up dimensions which we cannot see even though they may be all around us.

And to prove the existence of these small extra dimensions a giant machine called ‘Large Hadron Collider (LHC)’ is built up in CERN, Geneva,( Switzerland). You can read more about these on their website

So if the existence of these dimensions proved experimentally then the theory of Relativity, Quantum mechanics, electromagnetism everything can be explained by one Unified theory (imagine).

quote-in-string-theory-all-particles-are-vibrations-on-a-tiny-rubber-band-physics-is-the-harmonies-michio-kaku-63-52-95

Now imagine, after knowing about the possibilities of all such dimensions, who are you compared to this vast universe sorry better multiverse. Maybe a toooo tiny part right.

So throw out your ego and enjoy as long as you are on this tiny planet. And don’t forget to express your gratitude to that superpower who controls all the dimensions.                           What you think about all these dimensions?

Have an awesome week. Until next time.                                                                                                                                                                 -Joy

 

 

 

 

Source-

  1. Physicists Outline 10 Different Dimensions and How You’d Experience Them.

  2. Here’s a Visual Guide to the 10 Dimensions of Reality

   3. Brian Greene Website

 

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Science behind Affirmations.

 If you have ever read a self help book, you must have found one common thing in almost every book and that is ‘positive affirmations’ . But most people get little excited just when they read about ‘positive affirmations’ in the books ,but in real world may be  it doesn’t sound as realistic as words like ‘hard work’, ‘persistence’,’Resilience’ etc.

So I always curious to know, wheather there is any scientific study behind affirmations, to my surprise I have found some really intresting stuff regarding affirmations or self talk.  Science says, Positive affirmations are not ony about feeling good or happy at a particular moment, it’s more than that, it can help anyone create real values in their life,  help building skillls that lasts much longer than a smile.

The effect of positive thoughts on your work, your life is being studied by scientists from last several decades. One of the studies I came across (which seems to me very intersting) is by Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologists from university of Michigan shows some surprising insights about positive thoughts and its impact on long term skills.

So what she had found in the study is ‘ feelings like anger,fear,stress in one word ‘negative emotions’ blocked your mind and limits your possibilities to see the world in other ways. Let’s take an example ‘ if a tiger suddenly crosses your path ,you will run, here the emotion fear will guide your mind and blocked it from thinking other ways.         You might have the options to climb a tree but your brain will ignore all those options as those seem irrevalent at that moment.This is called survival instinct. Human mind is programmed in this way.

This is useful if someone try to save his/her life but  now-a-days we don’t have to worry about ‘if tiger cross my path’, still our brain responds to the negative emotions in a similar manner. People  in anger, stress, depression never choose the best decisions.When you miss some deadline or feeling bad about not eating healthy or exercising, you feel how little willpower you have or how lazy you are.The reason here is same, as negative emotions shut off our mind ,we cannot see other possibilities.

                      But then how positive emotions can affect our life?                                                                       The benifits of positive emotions won’t stop after few minutes of good feeling, the biggest benifit it provide is to enhance the ability to build skills and develop resources for using later in life. For example-   ‘ A teenager (or anyone) who runs around outside (travels),play with friends,develop the ability to move athletically, communicate in a team (social skill) and the ability to explore and examine the world (creative skill).

In this way positive emotions like ‘joy’, ‘curiosity’ prompt anyone to build skills that are useful in everyday life.                                                                                                                                                                   Fredrickson refers to this as ‘ broaden and build‘ theory as positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind.Read the full paper .                                                                                                                                                                   This is one of the studies which I found quite attractive, a lot studies are been  done or going on on this topic- some scientific studies links are-

     1. Study  proving power of positive visualisation.                                                          

     2. Study shows happiness make you succesful rather than success make you happy.

     If you are a book lover, than the must book read in this category would be Dr.Martin Seligman’s (known as father of positive psychology) ‘Authentic Happiness’.

In 1990’s Dr.Masaru Emoto from Japan carried out an experiment where he exposed water to different positive sounds,images,thoughts, what he found was very surprising, the crystal of those water, which had been exposed to positive thought and sounds are more symmetrical hence beautiful compared to those crystals where water had been exposed to negative sounds or thoughts.According to Dr.Emoto human consciousness has effect on water.watch out this  video .

You know our body contain 60% of water right, now imagine the effects of your thoughts on your mind,body and soul.

Keep track of your thoughts (write them down if necessary), do things that make you feel happy, positive. Spend time with people who make you feel good.  You are the master of your thoughts, so choose your thoughts consciously. 

3199092-positive-thoughts-quotes5lxavJE_1438580410

 

 

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Parapsychology- is it magic or Science ?

What you think ,how far we have come to know the mysteries of universe ?

Of course Science has come a long way to unfold many of the mysteries of universe.If you ask any Scientist these questions ,he would probably say ‘we don’t exactly know how far we have come ,there may be lot more to discover.

There are some physical laws in Science by which we think the universe is running (just like cause and effect ) , some scientists proposed the birth of universe is fromBig Bang’.       But Science proved facts based on experiments (mainly) but what about those cases where experimentation is not possible, what if physical laws are not applicable.

    Well, these facts arises in my mind because few days back i saw a quote of an extraoridinary scientist of mankind    Nikola Tesla ,here is the quote

                        nicola tesla

Nikola tesla was an extraordinary  mind, so what really he tried to say?

As i have said ,Science has some scientific laws, based on which we explain things in a logical way. But there are things ,where scientific laws are not applicable or difficult to explain using scientific laws,    So are those things fake? 

There can be things which write now looks impossible to explain using Science but one day we might able to explain. Think about it i mean  electricity once upon a time, it may had been  looked as a phantom phenomena to mankind as people were not able to understand that  until people like Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla were able discover and understands it’s characteristics ,so that people  were able to use it  for betterment of mankind. Similarly there are so many things.

So what are those non-physical phenomena that we are not able to explain now, well the branch  of science which studied such phenomena is called ‘Parapsychology’.                                      The areas which studied by Parapsychologists are mainly – Telepathy’, ‘precognition’, ‘clairvoyance’, ‘psychokinesis, near death experiences,reincarnation etc…..

You might familiar with some of these terms , none of these phenomena can be explained logically  using scientific laws and these might seem fiction right now but that does not guarantee these phenomena does not exist (they might not exist), science is skeptical about these at the moment and Scientists tries to prove  whether these are real or not and if real how can we explain these.

And few years back scientists has proved the existence of ‘Telepathy‘ by experiments , you can click the link text  below to know further about the experiments-                                          Telepathy experiment

Similarly a very new healing process now-a-days is ‘Distant healing‘, where a patient is  believed to be cured by the prayer of a healer. Sounds like just a story but very  soon (link ) they may become reality worldwide.

In the same way precognition and psychokinesis are some phenomena yet   to be           proved.

Although in some culture , these phenomena’s are believed to be true (recall your childhood you may heard about similar things)   but due to lack of scientific evidence these are considered to be superstitions.  But who knows science might able to explain these one day,

And when a genius like ‘Nikola Tesla’  gives so much importance on’ Non-physical phenomena’s’ then  there must be something. Any way we hope in future mankind will be able to unfold some more mysteries of universe and human civilization will reach a new height.    what’s your thoughts on this?   some links are given below if you further interested  in Parapsychology-                                                                                                                                                                             parapsychology      , there is also a whole book on this-                                                               Parapsychology- Science or Magic.

Remember the words of  ‘the most influential brain of this century‘-

albert-einstein-intuition