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The poorly pessimistic nature of the fourth kind…

June 3, 2014

I am an ardent fan of Albert Einstein. Yes, the theory of relativity gives me a thrill whenever I get to think about weighing stuff in relative terms. Though I love doing this consciously and rationally, what many people do with the same concept in a relatively uncouth albeit an unconscious manner would be assessing how “Rich” a person is.

Having had the excruciating experience of attending a lot of weddings in and out of my family, I have noticed how aunties and grannies pass incorrigible commentaries about the way their third cousin’s or distant uncle’s offspring married someone from a “Poor” background and how much it is derogatory to their family! In fact, my first cousin’s marriage was scorned upon by most of my family members while I remained a silent but strong supporter of her decision to marry her sweetheart from college. Familial ties with her have seemingly degraded down to a cotton thread of communication and her very own sibling refuses to talk to her! If all men had to be “Rich” to be given a bride, most of the men would end up having surnames such as Hilton, Trump or Gates! (Ofcourse, no offence meant to them as they are self-made monetarily wealthy individuals)

Maybe I am too naïve, but when people say “Rich” I fail to understand how this quantitative adjective applies only for the measurement of monetary accumulations. When I hear the word “Rich”, tonnes of different interpretations emerge in my mind.

Being a die-hard fan of Sir David Attenborough and his documentary narratives, “Rich” means to me the diversity of life on Earth. With more than 8.7 million species of organisms on Earth, the number seems staggering. The different dazzling hues in which these species come in; the curiously orchestered behaviours that they engage in; the engineering and design brilliance of Nature; and the surprisingly intricate means by which every species is interdependent on the other while Nature tirelessly regulates the available resources in a never ending circle of life are simply breath-taking.

When I imagine Dr. Richard Dawkins in my mind and hear the word “Rich”, it switches on my mind’s simulation tool and I see the many indistinguishable strands of DNA inside the cellular nucleus and stand in awe understanding that it is nearly next to impossible to completely understand the beauty of the genetic basis of life! The genome is “Rich” with so many sequences that how a life-form may take in its first breath; how it may grow its organs and regulate them; and how it may sense, perceive, process, respond to external stimuli and remember all of this at the same time. The genome may seem rather small, but it is “Rich” in both relevant (life giving and sustaining) and irrelevant (non-sense or as of now unknown) information.

When I hear Dr. V. S. Ramachandran’s low pitched voice with a curiously differently sounding American English accent explaining the marvels of the human brain, it makes me marvel at the way the human brain performs such logic defying feats of performance such that with even such a big and “Rich” brain that we have come to possess, it will take several more decades to even closely understand how our brain works! The brain is so rich in information sensing, processing, storage and retrieval that the human body as a machine would outperform all manmade automation designed and constructed till date by several hundred or even thousand folds. The brain is Nature’s piece of technological artistry so “Rich” in processing abilities that one may study the brain his whole life and yet remain in his educational infancy at his death bed!

When I read the works of Roald Amundsen or Henry David Thoreau, I understand how “Rich” a man can think and try to live his life equally colourfully despite all ordeals he has to face in life. When I glance at the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, I am awestruck at how “Rich” one man can be in so many different things at the same time! When I watch an old episode of a sitcom such as Seinfeld or Friends, unbeknownst to myself, I sit wide-eyed and surprised at how “Rich” in comedy a show about a bunch of crazy people doing whacky things can be when all they do is be themselves as characters!

In a rather funny take, when I see a man with a head full of hair, I envy the way he is still “Rich” with active hair follicles and when I see a man with a balding scalp, I understand how “Rich” his face becomes with the added realty from the North.

When I see an infant, I see the “Rich” potential welling in his heart and life to make his dent in the universe. When I see a wrinkled, hunching and withering old man, I see his “Rich” repository of experience and wisdom that he has accumulated over the years.

In simple words, “Rich”-ness is only the abundance of the characteristic we wish to quantify. It may be money, wisdom, colour, experience or any apparently relatively quantifiable entity or perceived characteristic.

With all this optimistically different perspective, isn’t this piece of work a relatively poorly pessimistic in itself in explaining there are no other means of perceiving “Rich”-ness?…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. sma permalink
    June 3, 2014 10:11 pm

    Blog author’s qrich !

  2. Anita permalink
    June 3, 2014 11:01 pm

    A truly rich post! Very nicely expressed 🙂 I share your views. Love the Science reference.

  3. June 5, 2014 9:09 pm

    Your writings are definitely improving over time. And I especially like the way you use scientific anecdote to focus upon social focus point. Cheers !!

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