Creatures of habit

Stress is a foreign concept. Foreign i.e non-Indian.
The critical will most certainly ask how I can make such a bold claim having not lived the better part of my life in my country of birth (they of course do not count my first 15 years as ‘better’ part of life!).
Anything Indian – sells. From kurtis to Kiran Desai. Incidentally, several Indian born authors of books on very Indian themes Booker prize winners, have lived the better part of their lives overseas. Returning to the motherland for weddings, funerals and to write their books!
I write for pleasure – my own not others’. My policy is ‘Write like no one’s reading’. I guess the idea of writing this in a blog for the world to read is slightly contradictory.
Started reading Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot‘ last week. I never watched the acclaimed ‘COSMOS’ series on TV but I read as much of Carl Sagan as I could get my hands on. Him and I seemed to share a ‘cosmic connection’ in that we both think that ‘we’ are inconsequential in terms of the cosmos. And ‘we’ give ourselves much more credit than we deserve. The vastness of the universe is humbling to say the least.
I had a thought as I sat in my weekly Monday morning meeting with others of the research group. We were going over the list of things to do this week (and forever more as it were!) and the general idea is to go around the table and ask each one to explain what they did (or did not do!) the previous week, the plan for the week to follow etc. I sat there listening to everyone speak and my gaze wandered from person speaking to picture of a ‘research highlight’ (the space thruster developed here at ANU) showing the gizmo amidst stars of the night sky.
I wanted to get up and ask one question – why? Why measure nonlinearities or make compositions – if we go back far enough we really don’t know why? We are up against the wall of ‘because that is how it has been for hundreds of years and we know no reason to change it, we are creatures of habit’.

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