The Moratorium on Brains
Now this is something that really goes a long way describing the kind of world I am living in and the kind of world I want to live in. This took place just a few days back at my Fluid Mechanics lab.
Now my batch has got these 3 teachers for the lab course, all of whom are amateurs. No I am not trying to degrade them- not yet at least. Now to summarize the situation of the lab, it will be sufficient to say that there are not more than 3 people in the entire class who really know or have any desire of knowing what is going on exactly in the experiments. I have no qualms in stating that I am one of those 3 people. I do not consider it a crime to do the right thing or to be interested in the right things.
So here I am in the lab surrounded by people who are just waiting for the bell to ring so they can get out and lead whatever they choose to call as life during their free time. And I submit the experiment that I had conducted last week. While computing the value for the required parameter, I found that I had got a large difference in the values of the parameter found out graphically and analytically. And I had discovered that the reason was not some error in the reading or in the calculations. It was something more fundamental. It was in the very derivation of the formula. In the end, I realized that the vast difference was due to the assumption of a convenient value for the power of a certain other parameter. And I realized that whatever result I was getting through graph was not wrong in actuality. It was actually through the graph that one should interpret the result. At the time of me discovering this, I had a very memorable moment actually comprehending the beauty of the concept.
And so I let the values stay in the record book. And I submitted it to the instructors. And I had put in extra efforts to write the record. I hadn’t copied a single word. I made it as neat as I could do it. And in the end it came out quite well I should say. I was happy with myself when I gave that record.
And so after some time, the teacher calls me and asks me to explain the difference in the values. I begin with lots of enthusiasm. I really felt happy to narrate her the amazing experience I had when discovering the subtle concept. And to my shock, all the 3 teachers are just staring at me as if I am out of my senses and that i am somebody who cant understand the subject. I was trying to make them see the beauty of the situation. But all the response that I get is that I should have “manipulated” the graph to fit the values of the analytical results!
I quickly replied-“ Mam, I could have manipulated anytime and got the value of the analytical result. But I just left it as it is. I did not want to manipulate the readings.”
And then she reminds me that I had been asked to manipulate the readings in the graph on a previous occasion as well. I try to convince her that the very way the experiment is conducted is not right. But all I find is that I am talking to just some sort of human forms who have everything human except the ability to reason. I make an effort to help them see the situation as it was seen when the experiment was conducted 4 centuries ago and what the person tried to convey. I was trying to make them realize that the very purpose of a laboratory course was being defied. But the only response I could muster from them was that I was being asked to change the graph to fit the values.
And in the end it came down to authority and position. I was sidelined and was awarded 7 on 10. 7 on 10 while others who had copied the entire stuff they had written and had no clue about what was in it ended up getting 8 and above. And when I asked the teacher as to how come I was given fewer marks, all the 3 teachers could do was to give me that smile which very proudly declared that I was in a world which did not allow one to think by themselves. And that I was not expected to be any sort of exception. It was as if they were reminding me that I was not required to think by myself and instead that all I had to do was to just follow what has been taught till now even if it contradicted whatever some great man had found out centuries ago by thinking different from all the others around him.
And this is the kind of world that I am living in. And all I can see around me are more people who have realized that thinking is not required or those who are trying to make others realize that thinking independently is something not to be done in this world today.
And so from now on, I will do what is required to get whatever value I am supposed to get as per analytical formulae. It will kill me everytime I do it. But I will do it. Because you see, that is the only way of surviving in this world where reason has been deemed redundant. I might as well start copying everything that I write and I might end up getting the same marks, probably more. But I wont do it. Not because I don’t trust others( that is a fact, but that is not the reason). It is because what I write will not be of my own thought or of my own creation. It is someone else’s. And I don’t feed on someone else’s creation. Each creation is the triumph of that one person who made it happen.
And whatever I do is MINE. Irrespective of whether this world recognizes it or not. I had read a question in a book for which I have high regards. It asked: “Who is John Galt?” I ask something else.
Where is John Galt when you need him the most?
This whole blog is not meant to be understood by all those who read it. All those who read it and either cant understand it or are not able to appreciate the magnitude of the situation, have no purpose on this planet. It’s not that I don’t care what you think of me. It’s just that I don’t think of any of you.
My time will come. Then I will let all of you out there know what I mean by leading a life and what it means to actually live.
The Moratorium on Brains will not last forever