Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Privacy Please!

This story is from a few years back when I was 19-20. There was a boy, let's call him Ass, I did not invent that, those are the initials of his name ;-). Ass sometimes blurted out things about me that I had never ever told him or anyone else for that matter. I had no clue where he was getting this information from.

One day it clicked me that all the information he knows about me was in my emails. I remembered that he had used my computer for some assignment. So now imagine someone reading all of the information about you - someone finding out that you are into pricking voodoo dolls or whatever you are into when you are 19 ;-) Trust me at that age people are least likely to be into something as simple as voodoo dolls!

There was no mal-intention on Ass's part I guess, he was just having fun with it but I found the whole thing weird and creepy. After my initial panic attack I decided to have fun with it too. I changed my email password to Bastard(Ass's full name) and on the same day I received an email from him which indicated that he was very upset with me, obviously he couldn't specify the reason.

I got my computer fixed after that episode, never interacted with Ass and I delete my emails after I read them!

My grandmother always told me to be nice as she thought there is someone out there who is watching everything that we do, the good, bad and the ugly. She called this someone 'God', well she was almost right except it is not God it is cookies, worms, viruses, malwares, trojans, horses, tigers and what not sitting on your computer and tracking you, or may be just sitting and waiting silently, to do something.

Imagine something gaining access to your webcam and is able to watch you! May be your phone is injected with something? It can see your messages, record your calls? People use computers and phones for everything these days, there is less of a personal interaction, so imagine the number of things that can be tracked.

Do you ever fear that someone or something is tracking everything that you do? May be right at this minute someone is watching you or your screen, that someone may be seven seas across or right under the same roof... may be your boss?

Why would someone want to read irrelevant information about people? Social media is similar, that is why I am not on FB, I do not want to read information that is not useful or making a difference in my life in any way. I do not care who is celebrating their dog's birthday! Don't get me wrong, I follow a lot of blogs (as trivial as style blogs) but they are not fed to me rather I chose them based on my liking.

Yes, I am a private person in the era when Privacy is a Myth.

P.S. Have you seen TV show Mr. Robot? I did not like its story but loved the concept.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Sun's Heartbeat

One fine day something happened out of nowhere. That something created everything, it is the reason why we exist. I am talking about the big bang.

Was there space before the big bang happened? Or it created the space? What existed before it happened? If it happened here then did it happen somewhere else too? Is the theory of multiverse true?

Some questions bother me every single day like why is there something rather than nothing? how does it make a difference because there is something? What if none of it happened or existed ever? Did it exist at one point of time and then something went wrong, everything collapsed and then the big bang happened again? 

My biggest pain and worry is I will die without ever getting answers to these questions, I think all of us will. I wish I had some simple questions. As you can see I never get questions about my own life... Why do I exist? What is the goal of my life? Am I making any difference? I am more than convinced about the futility of existence in general ;-)

I think things are more frustrating as the humans have the so called 'intelligence' factor, so they want to have a purpose to everything. It is beyond us why would there be something without any goal, aim, purpose or ambition. Also it bothers us that there is creation that has no creator, so we want to believe in a creator. Well, that fixes us in an endless loop of what created a creator with conscious?

Would there ever be a time when scientists will get closer to the truth? May be a billion years from now?

Would humans even live that long to find out? What will happen to the human race once the Sun dies? Obviously it will die one day, just like all the other stars do. Our hearts beat because the Sun's heartbeat is still intact.  May be we will die before the Sun does, because of global warming, wars, population, pollution or may be an asteroid hits the Earth.

Is there anyone living far away who evolved like we did? And what is the probability that they also figured out the radio frequencies, space travel and what not? Would the future 'aliens' ever know that there once lived a Sun that gave birth to such stupendous life forms who invented such extra ordinary things like the social media    :-) Or the knowledge of all our inventions will die with us?

I have reviewed a lot of books on this blog, probably more than a hundred. If I had to recommend just 5 out of all of them then 'The Sun's Heartbeat' would definitely be one of them. The book is about everything one would want to know about our life giver. Author's sense of humor makes it an excellent read.

I have expressed this many times before that reading books related to science (not just textbooks) makes one realize the pettiness of religions, wars and all that crap. I won't rate this book as it goes beyond anything as petty as rating. 

Kudos to Bob Berman!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The business of spirituality

Long back I joined a spiritual organization in India and did a meditation course. For people who do not know what a spiritual organization is - it is a business that has a CEO (AKA Guru) who claims to be an avatar of some god and he has employees (AKA devotees) who do marketing and other jobs associated with running this organization. The CEO's job is to make nice motivational speeches (stolen from some books), talk about spirituality (from old scriptures), teach some breathing techniques (invented long back by yogis) and also claim that he/she knows everything about the ultimate truth (why and how all of this exist).

So what is spirituality? For me being spiritual means being a good human, feeling satisfied/ content also having a wonder of what lies beyond our knowledge of the universe, a thinker and someone who doesn't gain ultimate pleasure in consuming material/worldly things. When one wonders about the bigger picture they realize how petty the concepts of religion and wars are. So would a spiritual person really look for fame-popularity- money-reverence and make ignorant claims that they know it all?

I am a strong believer of science, it states everything with proofs. You can hate science but you can't deny it. When I heard this particular Guru talk I thought it did not make any sense. Why are people blindly following him? I have seen people following Gurus who pull out watches and stuff from their mouths, trust me all the factories will shut down if people start doing things like that, how can anyone believe in that? I mean this is 2015 for science's sake.

To my surprise it is not just the naive or uneducated people who become victims to inane concepts like Guru. I was surrounded by people from all fields during my course - doctors, engineers, scientists. I thought I was the only one who thought that the concept of spiritual company is ridiculous. Spirituality is a business for them, something that buys their sisters Louis Vuittons. I laughed at the whole thing and stayed away.

I recently saw a short film called Kumare which is based on the same topic.

I wish I had made such a short film with my experiences to portray the politics-gossip-sex and scandals that happen in these so called 'spiritual' organizations. I also wish I had the courage to name such orgs or gurus but I don't as most of them have goons and lawyers to take care of those who do not have nice things to say about them.

I highly recommend the film Kumare - it is available on Youtube and I also urge you that don't be a part of such orgs. Being part of an organization or having a Guru does not mean you are on a spiritual path. 

You don't need any such CEO, just read self help books, read science, wonder, live, have a hobby, think about the bigger picture, be a better human and that's it... you will be your own Guru.