This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Prologue to a philosophical discussion

Pre-script: When I am not either running or cycling, my posts reflect the same. Even otherwise, I don't like restricting the scope of this blog to all things running and hence 'Musings of a runner' should be interpreted as "Musings of a person(who enjoys running) on topics including but not necessarily restricted to running, cycling, etc."

Disclaimer: This post is heavy on science, philosophy and religion and not recommended for light reading.

Note after disclaimer: Though coming from an engineering background, I evince a keen interest in philospohy because I believe science doesn't answer many questions. Though I respect the scientific method of proving a theory through experimental evidence, the limitations in technology might make experimental evidence difficult to obtain for some hypothesises. The quantum theory which explained the strong and weak nuclear forces and the electromagnetic forces couldn't explain the gravitational force. On the other hand, Einstein's theory of relativity, explained gravity through the distortion in space - time(4 dimesnions), that is space time becomes curved around heavy objects.

But Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life trying in vain to bring about a 'theory of everything', that could bring together and explain all the four forces: gravitational, electromagnetic, the strong and weak nuclear forces. But Einstein's quest for the 'marble' as he called the theory of everything wasn't to come by him, as he hadn't gone further in dimensions. Einstein's quest for the 'theory of everything' was lost out in the din of the discovery of numerous sub-atomic particles by quantum theorists. It was not until 1970's that physicists brought out the revolutionary super string theory which explained all the forces as distortions in higher(4,5,6,etc) spatial dimensions. For example, light can be explained as a distortion in the 4th spatial dimension, nuclear force in the 5th dimension and so on. According to string theory, there are 10 spatial dimensions and 1 time dimension making it a total of 11 dimensions in space and time. The essence of string theory is that the whole of matter at the sub-sub-sub atomic level consists of strings of vibrating energy. The frequency of vibration of these strings decides the shape and form of the matter. In contrast, quantum theory goes only as far as quarks, which are contained in protons and neutrons, when describing the fundamental elements of matter. String theory is 'one of a kind' theory since it brings out a lot of possibilities that would be considered science fiction by many. For example: time travel through worm holes or slits in the 3-d fabric of the universe. Our universe as seen through string theory would be a three dimensional fabric wrapped around an n-dimensional hyperspace. Hence, the farthest corner of the universe, could be just a millimeter away from us, but in a higher dimension. Philosophists seem to have taken a fancy for string theory since, ghosts and spirits could be explained as beings of the higher dimensions. Astral travel that is commonly acknowledged in the mystic realm can now be made theoretically possible by string theory as travel in higher dimesions.
The biggest problem with the string theory is that it hasn't been proved so far and is very difficult to prove since these strings are supposed to be of the order of 10^(-33), making it impossible to detect by conventional instruments as the amount of energy required would be akin to planck's energy, something that is generated only during the process of creation. But physicists have already started making use of an approach that can sort of validate the string theory.

Scientists have always wondered why gravity is a force that is weak as compared to the electromagnetic and nuclear forces. For example, a small magnet can extract a piece of metal lying on the floor, when the whole of earth can't use its gravitational force to prevent such an extraction. String theory can explain this anamoly through the atom smashers operational in usa and France. The atom smashers aim at detecting particles emitted when electrons that are accelerated close to the speed of light are made to collide with each other.
Gravitons(particles used to explain the force of gravity) which might be released during this collision are suspected to spread in all dimensions and not just the three dimensions that we know of. Therefore, the disappearance of some of the gravitions might show the existence of higher dimensions(into which some gravitons have escaped).
The age-old question of what existed before the so-called big bang seems to have come into focus with the 'M' Theorists(the follow up on string theory) proposing that what has always existed, does exist and will always exist are membranes(of which the universe is made up of) and that big bangs happen when membranes collide with each other creating space-time and matter. This is not unlike what Maha Purana has to say on this:
"If god created the world, where was He before creation? Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning and end".

As I see it philosophy provides the truths with little or no explanations and science tries to prove the existence or non-existence of these truths. One is an intuitive understanding of the truths, the other is a hard-core experimential evidence based understanding. The limitations in the advance of science(lack of proof for string theory or M theory for example) should by no means restrict people from exploring the realms of philosophy since it's a rich world and could provide excellent intellectual stimuluation and insights.


sreekrishnanv said...
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arbit said...

Yes some call god energy, some the 'entity', some brahman and a few others the 'chi'..
Some also see god as a form: idols, plants, animals, nature as such...Infact many saints in India advocate god to exsit in every entity of the universe..If you equate god to be energy or a better word 'consciousness', this would make a lot of sense. Even inanimate objects are actually not inanimate...
Observe this analogy:
A rock when seen from afar seems to be still, the only noticeable change being the wear tear across centuries...But at any given moment any observer would point out that the rock is still, at rest.
But now when we probe deeper, that is at the quantum level, we notice that there is a lot of motion, motion at great speeds, motion of atoms, electrons and nucleons as such. The motion of all the atoms that make up the rock are so carefully planned that the rock on the whole looks still.
So is the rock still or is it in motion?

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'