Saturday, May 21, 2005
Error : Divide by zero!
Humans have a intrinsic tendency to take very basic values and core fundamentals for granted. Among this huge list which includes some elite names like unidirectional nature of time and gravity comes a very abstract and forgotten concept of finiteness. It is amusing to note that people are more curious about the concept of infinity than its anti-matter. This is because infinity however carefully one dissects it , is too vague , too meaningless concept for the human mind to grasp. Understanding the unknown - the basis of infinity - is every bit an anomaly as it sounds. Still , we provide special status to this concept ; a vague rubbish. There is a reason. Human mind has always had an indulgence towards topics that are dangerous or those that make their existance less secure. One may wonder how an inconspicous entity like infinity be dangerous. Think about it. Human perceptions , beleifs and laws have been shaped and built ever since we evolved around the concept of finiteness. Infinity has been relegated to an aberration or special state where no questions are asked and no further attempt is made to understand it. space is infinite : end of statement. No more questions to ask. How long? , how far? , how big? how is it shaped?. They become meaningless. Infinity is a concept of escapism wherein the human mind cannot reach beyond a certain point. Infiniteness defines the boundary of the human mind , ironical in itself. Therefore we feel very insecure around the concept of infinity. All human goals, emotions , desires and beleifs come to a grinding halt with infinity. I'll become a scientist one day - imagine an infinite infancy. God ! i need a shower after this drive - imagine an infinite drive. Shit , next time i swear i'll get better marks - what if that moment becomes infinite. Even though we have a notion that time is infinite we bound it to within our limits. To begin with we think about time only till we die. What will happen next year? What will happen after ten years?. We don't give a damn about what will happen a million years from now. In a couple of hundred years we will run out of petrol - who gives a damn , we'll have been long dead by then. So we limit time to finite boundaries and think about it. We can't cope with infinite space too. I mean the space on earth. We need a house to limit our space , we need cubicles , we need restrooms. One may argue that our cultural developments have shaped these things but i have a strong suspicion that our fear of infinity was the driving factor. We just consider infinity to be beyond us. As humans , we consider very few things to be beyond us and these we hold in reverance and fear. And so , it is with this reverence and fear that we hold the infinity. Space is infinite - wow! - space is cool. The ocean seemed to stretch to infinity - we take in breath. But the binding force is finiteness. Finite space on earth , finite water , finite resources , finite patience , finite hatred , finite love , finite blog posts!