Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Within the box

The Man and the machine. What's the difference between the two? The ability to think. The ability to act depending on a particular situation instead of acting in a pre-meditated manner. That's what separates a human from a machine which is always programmed ( Huh... The job effect) to behave in a particular manner. But I wonder if we behave in any way different from a machine. We do the same things day in and day out to such an extent that we have almost mechanized ourselves to act like machines.

Just before coming to the office, I wanted the check the calendar since my relatives were scheduled to arrive next week. I checked the date. But I would not have noticed even if it was a 2055 calendar. My eyes were trained to read the year as 2005 for almost an year. ( The eyes don't even want to realize that it is 2006 and the brain obliges). I got on the bike. My bike was in the garage and I had to use my cousin's bike. It's 2 days since I am doing this yet the brain refuses to forget the gear system of my bike and the my cousin's bike complains making all kinds of odd sounds ( Grrrrr.. Urrr sounds). Is something wrong with me? Why don't I remain consicious? It's snacks time in the evening. I order "chat" and instruct the guy not to add curd ( I suffer from this thing known as curd-o-phobia) . But then he gets mechanical and adds curd to it forgetting my instruction. So we all act the same.

All these things seem to happen more at the sub-conscious level. It takes sometime to get used to new things and new ways. But the brain seems to enjoy doing the routine job even at the conscious level. My physics teacher in Class 12 would definitely agree with me. Despite his best efforts, my friends and I always used to try to solve a problem using the method used for the previous problem. ( however different the new problem might be). Our brains I guess were too lazy to search for a new method and instead settled for the latest one lingering in the brain space. The education system also stresses too much on the aspect of "revision". The focus is on the data ( which is repeated "n" number of times ) instead of the idea which needs to be understood. The examination again repeats the data instead of playing around with it ( keeping idea or 'funda' as it is called intact).

I was complaining about the documentation work that I got yesterday. I learnt working on a new tool today. The first time around I struggled. As I tried working on it again and again, I was more comfortable. It was a pity that the brain seemed to enjoy the repetitive task ( after I had mastered it after trying it out n number of times ) instead of relishing the challenge of learning something new. It was then that my heart intervened and prompted me to write this stuff.

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