Do we care for our survival?

Considering the vastness of our universe, the billions of stars and planets it holds, it is highly probable that earth like or even more advanced life forms should exist in planets other than ours. Yet, we have never made contact with any one of them. Why is that? Where is everybody?

This is the Fermi Paradox & there are many theories around it. You can exhaustively read about them here(highly recommended) while I delve deep into the one explanation I find most appealing: we’re fucked.

This line of thought suggests that we aren’t aware of any intelligent beings other than what’s inhabiting earth simply because they do not exist. At some point between the development of that first sign of life on a planet & it transforming into intelligent, self aware organisms capable of making intergalactic contacts, there’s an evolutionary wall, called the great filter, which is nearly impossible to crack. Further, the civilization on earth is yet to face this wall.

What this means is that at some point in our future, we’re going to face this great filter which is so impossible to come out of alive, that all of the civilizations before us have tried to battle it and failed. And we are headed for the exact same outcome. Hence, sooner or later, we’re fucked.

Now, there are many theories on what this great filter could be, the winner for me though, is Self Destruction. Think about it, the way we are violating our planet: causing extreme climate changes, imbalance in the ecosphere, how long will the precious living conditions on the planet last? The way we are fighting among ourselves, fighting for our countries, religions & what not, instead of fighting for our survival as a species… How long before a nuclear bomb explodes?

The way our life is progressing, it is increasingly becoming difficult to sustain itself. We are exploiting resources constantly, polluting our way into the future, without any regard of the consequences. Only consumption is on our mind.

I live in Bangalore, and one of the biggest problem the city is facing presently is waste management. Everyday the city generates tonnes of garbage which has absolutely no where to go. Landfills and setting piles of garbage on fire, are the two “solutions” most commonly applied, causing even more damage. There are so many alternatives out there, to be more sustainable, to be more environment friendly, but most among the intelligent species are busy being lazy and not giving a fuck. They are happily drinking their bottled water and discarding the plastic after single use because carrying your own water is such a pain!

I do not know whether there’s still time or have we gone too far on the self destructive path. But I do feel it will be justice when we fail at the great filter and doom ourselves, simply because most of us are not actively working towards a different outcome. I wonder though, what will happen if more among us actively tried to change this.

If more people became self aware and worked towards advancing the species & sustaining the planet, will we be able to delay our self destruction? Will we be able to buy enough time for our species to become smart enough & beat the great filter?

I’d at least like to try. To be one of those who care. Will you?

P.S. If you are looking for some inspiration try this. 🙂

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You lucky, lucky girl!

When I got married I had  zero experience in managing a home. I barely knew any cooking, and every time I tried, I broke something. I still have a long way to go, don’t know if I’ll ever get there. And I’m not even trying too hard. So that’s that.

Mohit on the other hand, knew his way around. He was used to paying the bills, general day to day home management and cooking just about enough to survive.

So when we got married, almost everyone including my mom felt I was super lucky. And that sort of pissed me off.

Well, don’t get me wrong! I *am* super lucky to be with him, but it’s NOT because he can do all these things. I was pissed because most people were surprised at me for not knowing these things. Never mind the fact that I had only been living in hostels before this.

And those very same people were equally, if not more surprised at the fact that he knew these things. Never mind the fact that he had been living alone for over an year in a rented apartment.

Well, that’s hypocrisy for you. If a guy does some “homely” work, he’s a gem. But if a girl doesn’t, she is obviously lacking and needs improvement.

Improve I did, however. Not because I am expected to. But because now, I want to. For one, it’s expensive to get everything done by other people or to eat out all the time. And second, I believe in being independent and self sufficient. And this last part I learnt from Mohit.

Gardening 101 – How it all started

Mohit has always been a gardening enthusiast. He finds a neighbourhood attractive based on the number of trees that exist there, not the number of cafes. He finds a house beautiful based on the size of their garden and the variety of plants they grow, rather than the size of their bricked structure and the variety of cars they own. It is no wonder then, that soon as we shifted in our new house, he wanted to start gardening.

To get us started, I thought we could visit people who are avid gardeners. So I pinged this person I knew from volunteering together as she posted pretty pictures of her garden and pet butterflies. My timing couldn’t have been better, in a way, as it turned out she & her husband had quit their jobs, and were planning to travel throughout India for the next year. And so, they had asked everyone they knew to come & take plants from their garden. The day I got in touch with them, they were left with some 100 plants out of the mighty 5000 they once owned. Although I din’t get to see their epic garden, I did get to bring home a part of it! 🙂

Here’s a picture of us, from the day we signed the papers for our house and also, the day we got the first of our plants home. We got some 15 plants, 1 sack of home made organic manure and lots of seeds.

2015-04-10

Our garden has grown since then & we are learning to become better gardeners. But our growth would have been much, much slower if we hadn’t met them the time we did. I’m so thankful!

Since then we have visited a few other gardeners. I’ve found all of them are generous, love to share their plants, seeds, tips & harvest. If you wish to start gardening, however small or big, do visit some gardeners around you. It’ll really get you started!

Happy gardening!

Nostalgia

I have a rather emotional bonding with this song, whenever I play it, I never stop before listening to it thrice in a row. A whole slideshow appears in front of my eyes. Old friends and the memories. Some stay longer, others appear as a quick flash. The scenes that were never captured by any camera, remain almost perfectly intact in my mind.

The first time I heard it, I listened to it repeatedly over 10 times. I don’t if I was listening to it because I was nostalgic or if I became nostalgic after listening to it repeatedly. Whatever it was, now it goes both ways. I listen to it when I miss  my home and my friends. And everytime I listen to it I start thinking about my home and my friends.

I chose to move away. It doesn’t mean I don’t love or miss them. But because it was my choice, I somehow don’t have the right to voice these feelings. The only response I get is to find a different job, something closer to home. But I like it here, in this new city, I feel I know myself better now. And no I don’t want to go back home just yet.

But I can still miss them though. And I do, miss them all.

 

 

I’ve been writing!

It has been some days since I wrote on the blog but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing! In fact I have co-authored two articles in this month so far: one is a brief introduction on lambda calculus and the other discusses recommender systems based on collaborative filtering. Both are inspired by random talks that I attended in the past. Go check them out! 🙂

Apart from this, I’ve been reading a lot lately. Technical papers, blogs, news pieces, and even novels. After all, reading a well written piece of work is one of the greatest source of inspiration for writing! Talking about inspiration, here’s something for you to check out – Brain Pickings. If you don’t already know about it, knock yourself out with their very interesting collection.

Ciao, till I post again!