Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Life is like that

What is the purpose of one’s life on this planet, I have wondered numerous times. No, I am not a philosopher nor am I a pessimist. On the contrary, I am a fun loving person who is happy most of the times. I like to analyze things and hence the curiosity about something so basic.

One can define ‘purpose of life’ in a million ways and still be correct. Evolutionists like me argue that the purpose of life is simply to survive and reproduce. You see, evolution has shaped our senses in such a way as to maximize our chances for survival. It is kind of a matrix, where we perceive the world as the evolution has programmed us to do. Take the example of a bacteria, which peceives its surroundings as hot or cold, dark or bright because that is sufficient information for its survival.

If you think about it, the “real world” might actually be very different from how we perceive it. We do have a wider understanding of our surroundings than a bacteria has but we can't even fathom what we are not seeing. It is well known that we cannot see extremely small objects like microorganisms nor can we see objects moving with the speed of light. It is also known that our sight and hearing is limited to a narrow bandwidth. Still, we will never know the implications of what the nature has hidden from us.

I must admit that this is a very depressing thought. But I also believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology that although human mind has limited potential, one must use it wisely for the betterment of herself (himself) and the whole society. So my purpose of life is just that. Then again I might be blinded by evolution in my definition of “betterment” but that’s the best I can do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What do you want to do anyway?

I have encountered this question regarding my professional life umpteenth number of times. When I took up computer science after studying biology in 12th standard, I had a hard time explaining my choice to many. Later when I switched to bioinformatics after graduation, I encountered the same quizzical look on people’s faces. Now that I am contemplating a further change in my field, I am preparing myself to face the same situation yet again.

Gone are the days when there were a handful of career options available with clear demarcations. In this fast paced world of today, I wonder if anyone really knows what he/she wants to do. With so many options all around us and the conviction that you can excel in more than a dozen fields, it is really a difficult decision to make. The more you find out about it through the “know-it-all” internet, the more confusing it gets.

My strategy to get through this phase of confusion is to continue to do my karma and not expect anything in return. The best course shall prevail!