Some Ponderable Questions

I am nothing if not inquisitive. Ask any person who knows me well. I always ask question. Even when I don’t know what I am asking. One question I always feel curious about can be described as follows…

We all know our earth is three fourth water and only one fourth land. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if it was the opposite? Would then all countries be joined together? Of course, there will be lot more countries. But they all will be connected by land? There may be bus service between Sri Lanka and Canada. It would take a quite long, but the service will be there for people to use. This would also raise the issue: will there have been lot of harmony among people? About this, I cannot be sure. There will be lot more fighting too. But thing is for sure people will know more people.

If you think this was quite silly, I also have questions about real life situations. Here is one question to ponder and I think there is something to it. It is about my city of Kolkata, India or any other cities in India. I sometime wonder is there any need for automobiles in a city like Kolkata. Wouldn’t it be much nicer to have people walk or ride bicycles to their work or any other places where they want to be? Imagine how much pollution can be reduced and how much money could be saved? Not to mention the physical discomfort and possibility of hurting or even dying in accidents. Granted, people will loose some time by using this mode of transportation. But what good is saving a few hours time in your life when the pollution and other hazards are taking away years?

Now one might say this was too practical for an article of this nature. Well I think about other questions too which have been asked from time immemorial. Some of them are (with my annotation):

· Who came first, chicken or the egg, although both seem quite tasty.

· Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? Well we may be curious to know this but aren’t we happy they are gone. If they were roaming on the face of this earth, wouldn’t we, the humans, be extinct by now?

· Can an asteroid or some big foreign objects hit our earth one day? This is quite possible. Then should we not build alternative places to live such as underground cities?

· What makes some women beautiful? This is a worthwhile question to ask, although I think makeup plays an important role. I am curious to think that if I say to some woman ‘Your make up is beautiful’ will that be taken as a complement?

· Will computers (robot) do pretty much everything from cleaning to driving etc one day? This raises an interesting question. What happens when a Robot driving a car crashes? By ‘crash’ I mean the computer inside the Robot crashes. This would most likely result in a car crash. I wonder who will be deemed guilty in that case. Oh officer, this crash was completely not at fault, it is a result of another crash.

· I have always wondered when a zero is added to zero why is always zero. I think the answer may be in spelling. Imagine the way we spell zero, if we add more o’s to it , it still sounds zero albeit slightly elongated – ZEROOOOOOOOO!

At this point, one may wonder where I am going with the article. Isn’t there anything serious I can talk about? It is true that there are no serious questions in my world? Not at all! Since childhood, men ask questions: why is sky blue, why do we have day and night, how are babies born. Why, why, why? As she or she grows older, he/she asks bigger and better questions (at least so we think). For example, Isaac Newton asked why the apple fell on his head? In fact, the fall of this legendary apple led him to deduce that gravitation (a force between objects) exists, and leads us to deduce that Newton had an orchard! However, Newton could not explain why this force gravitation exists, and we cannot explain if there were other trees in his orchard, such as pear, orange or almond! Then Einstein explained the gravitational force with his theory of space-time curvature. If I go on here, it will very soon take this article beyond the scope of a layperson. But you wanted some serious, so

I gave you some serious! Take it or leave it! Let me finish by

mentioning some of the questions vexing human minds today:

· How did the universe begin and how will it all end?

· How did life originate in earth?

· What are the basic constituents of matter?

· Are there intelligent beings anywhere in the universe?

· Is there a parallel universe?

· Put your own question.

Needless to say I cannot answer any of these questions, just as I cannot explain why you just wasted an hour in reading this article.

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Copyright © 2003 Gautam Dev. All rights reserved

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